Friday, December 16, 2005

Freedom spies

Remember, this was done for our benefit, which is why we couldn't know about it.

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Nearly a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program, discussed it with reporters for The New York Times because of their concerns about the operation's legality and oversight.

The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted.
Do you feel safer? I know I do. But did the feeling of safety always come with so much underlying dread?

Remember, until yesterday, the Bush administration considered cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners essential to fighting the war on terror. So a little domestic spying unsanctioned by any court isn't going to make them queasy.

Do you get it yet? To the Bush administration, your rights, due process of law and the Constitution of the United States of America are nothing more than an inconvenience.

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