Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Conservatives Wave the White Flag In the Fight for Civil Liberties

This is the last report from secret operative number 1 on forums held at this year's CPAC conference.

Given my interest in civil liberties issues, I was particularly excited to attend the Preserving Civil Liberties in the Fight Against Terrorism forum held at this year’s CPAC.

Unfortunately, the forum basically served as a sales pitch for the destruction of the civil rights and civil liberties that make this country great. To start the forum, Viet Dinh, a Georgetown Law professor, essentially argued that anything the executive branch of government does is legal, with the excuse being that it was done to protect America. What was the law professor’s legal argument for spying on Americans? He stated that if Al-Qaeda was talking about plotting against America, he wants someone to know about it.

Well, Mr. Dinh, so do I and so do all Americans. However, digging through Aunt Betty’s e-mails and listening to phone conversations with grandma won’t get you that information. It will, however, get you fourteen hours of conversation about bundt cake and control-top pantyhose.

Mr. Dinh, you and other conservatives like you, are the real cowards in the war on terror. Everytime the President starts fear mongering, you would rather throw up your hands and surrender rather than defend our nation’s commitment to civil rights and civil liberties.

Spying on Americans is a dangerous precedent, and more importantly it is illegal. No one is above the constitution, and no form of fear pandering is going to change that.

There's a big problem with Dinh saying that "no one without the details can comment on the legality." First, part of the legal problem is that the law requires that congress be kept informed (violation of the law #1) and that you cannot wiretap Americans without going to the FISA court and getting a warrant within the first 72 hours. This was not done by the Bush Administration (violation of the law #2). Mr. Dinh's disengenuous approach amounts to (you don't know the details, but I do, and it's legal) is complete bullshit because the FISA court determines what is legal, not the President. (violation of the law #3)

Hugs and Kisses,
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