Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Spying: How's it playing in Peoria?

by BarbinMD
Tue Dec 20, 2005 at 10:01:40 AM PDT
From the New York Times, to the Washington Times, from the Daily Kos to Free Republic, reactions to the revelations about the Bush administration's secret, domestic spying program once again highlights the divide between the reality-based community and administration apologists...consider this:

But none of these phony choices were as absurd as the one Mr. Bush posed to
justify his secret program of spying on Americans: save lives or follow the law.
Versus this:

...we think the president's arguments persuasive. Mr. Bush has not flinched from
the criticism, and we applaud him for that.
Or this:

Did you get this? Gonzales says it was okay to spy on Americans without
authorization because the war resolution gave them that power. But when asked
why they didn't ask for specific congressional authorization, he says, well,
Congress wouldn't have given them that power.
Versus this:

Clinton got a blowjob.
No surprises here...but how is this story playing in Peoria?

We know how the story is playing in the blogsphere and we've gotten the expected reaction from the "big boys" of the MSM, but what are the editorial pages saying in the rest of the country? Here is a random sampling from five newspapers, three from red states, two from blue states.
From The Olympian (Olympia, Washington):

Every American should be outraged by the president's attempt to justify domestic
spying. It's wrong, and the president should acknowledge that fact. He must be
held accountable. [...]
Either we are a nation of laws and moral values or
we are not. We cannot pick and choose which laws to abide by and which to ignore
for the sake of convenience or expediency.
George Bush is not above the law.
Outstanding editorial...a message we'd like to get out to every Joe and Jane Six-pack in America. But Washington is a decidedly blue state, so let's look at the opinion from traditionally conservative areas. From The Idaho Statesman:

President Bush has made a serious, startling revelation: He has authorized a
secret -- and ongoing -- campaign to eavesdrop on telephone calls to root out
possible terrorist activity.
Congress must react in a serious, nonpartisan
fashion. Lawmakers need to investigate the utility and the legality of this
operation. Idaho's Republican delegation should join the call for hearings.
"The fact that we're discussing this program is helping the enemy,"
Bush said Monday.
We think the discussion is necessary. In a system built on
checks and balances, it's up to Congress to make the most of the discussion.
Ouch! And from The Telegraph (Macon, Georgia):

Last Friday all hell broke loose in Washington, D.C. The New York Times revealed
a secret eavesdropping program by the National Security Agency, authorized in
2002 by President George W. Bush. The agency was allowed to spy on Americans
without court-approved warrants. [...]
The president expects the American
public to trust him...The question citizens need to ask is, with all the added
powers included in the Patriot Act, why was it necessary to circumvent some of
its provisions? [...]
He has stepped up to the line of what is legal and
what is not. In the coming weeks we will find out if Mr. Bush crossed that line,
or not.
Hmmm, not too friendly either. And from North Carolina, The Charlotte Observer says:

President Bush is right on one count. Protecting America from terrorist attacks
requires the nation to think and act differently. But he is dead wrong to order
secret wiretaps of citizens without obtaining warrants. That kind of spying is
an assault on civil liberties -- one that should not stand. [...]
In times
of war, it's even more vital for the nation's leaders to do their work with
integrity and meticulous attention to the letter and spirit of the law.
president owes Americans a direct apology for his actions, and a better
explanation than the one he has provided of why he would disregard their right
to due process.
From this quick and random sampling, no one was defending this latest assault on our Constitution....well, except the Washington Times and Free Republic.
Oh, and what about Peoria?

Is the leader of the free world suddenly anxious?
He should be, given the
recent reports of his federal government spying on the international phone
conversations and e-mails of American citizens, without court warrant. [...]
Perhaps the president's heart is in the right place. He says he just wants
to protect Americans. Who doesn't? It's really quite simple: The Founders were
clear that threats to the republic could come from inside as well as out. No
president, of any party, under any circumstance, should be permitted to act like
a king. This is troubling.
The Peorians have spoken.

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