The headline is my answer to this headline.
In typical ODE columnist fashion, Kristen Brock takes a completely nutty position and then manages to completely miss the point. Her column, I’d like to note, is called “Illustrating Absurdity”, to which I say (as an English compatriot might): Quite.
Let’s go ahead and get down to the naughty bits:
However, the FISA court isn’t always fast enough, or it sometimes serves as an obstacle in and of itself. Because of the FISA court’s reluctance in granting domestic wiretap warrants, the FBI decided not to file for a warrant to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s computer because it had been turned down so many times in the past. If the warrant had a good chance of being granted, the U.S. government would have known about the Sept. 11 attacks months in advance.
This would be true…if FISA didn’t provide a 72 hour window to obtain a retroactive warrant. That’s right, kids, under FISA the government can get a warrant after it’s already searched whatever the bejesus it was interested in. The rest of the column rambles off into Jimmy-Carter-Did-It-Too-And-Clinton-Was-Worse la-la land before coming to this gem of a penultimate paragraph:
As a Republican, I cringe at the thought of the government being given more power in the — usually vain — hope that it is given back. In this instance, however, I try to remind myself that every administration since the 1960s has been using these programs, and I still have my civil rights intact.
The last time the GOP cringed at the government being given more power was at least a decade ago, and we’ve all seen that, really, that only boiled down to partisan politics after all. And, frankly, this kind of crap going on against American citizens violates (just off the top of my head) the Fourth Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth. Do you remember those, Kristen? They’re in what’s called the Bill of Rights. You do know what that is, right? As for the government yielding back power once it’s granted, I’ll point you to the “temporary” Federal Excise Tax that was started in 1898 to fund the Spanish-American War.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s the final paragraph:
Is the president’s practice of authorizing spying without warrants a bit frightening? Of course. But is it an impeachable offense? Hardly. The Democrats need to cut their losses, drop the issue and focus on something that’s actually important.
I think she’s right here folks, those pesky Democrats (admittedly likely doing the right thing for the wrong reason) should shut up and let Bush 43 go ahead and wiretap any citizen he feels like without a warrant. I mean, Jimmy Carter did something similar and they like Carter! And, besides, it’s not like Bush has suspended habeas corpus the way Jefferson tried to in order to get Aaron Burr for treason or the way Lincoln did during the Civil War….Oh wait.