When a President lies the country corrupts:
Nixon and Bush
Are the Nixon lies the same as the Bush lies?
Or is one worse than the other?


  1. The news of the government monitoring program doesn’t surprise me.
    There have been efforts ongoing for years to keep an eye on us for years. Europe and Canada listen to us and we listen to them and trade the information to keep it all legal. See Wikipedia for an overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eschelon.
    Of course, if we hear some trade info that sounds interesting, I’m sure we keep it to ourselves, and vice versa for our European friends.
    The ’90s saw the rise of Carnivore, the system designed to monitor email communications to keep us “safe.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivore_(FBI).
    The ’90s also saw the effort to make sure that the government had a way to backdoor all encrypted communications. Remember the fight about PGP and how it was going to be used by drug dealers and terrorists, so you shouldn’t be able to have completely secure encryption that couldn’t be accessed at will by the government.
    I always assumed that overseas lines were tapped and monitored by someone. You didn’t want to say something like “The three clowns are bringing the packages to the circus” or else some computer at the NSA would flag the recording of your conversation for review by an analyst.
    It’s more than one man and is systemic.
    If our spying effort isn’t directed at fighting an enemy, it will be directed at gaining economic advantage for our industries. Because it involves money and power, someone somewhere will always be listening just as they have for probably the last 50 years.

  2. Hi Chris —
    I admit I am not surprised about these illegal wiretaps, either — what surprises me, though, is the brazen defense of the indefensible position Bush is taking to defend his illegal actions after getting caught.

  3. Hi Chris —
    This article from “The Washington Post” puts a clear angle on what bothers so many people from both major political parties:
    Several members of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in interviews that they want to know why the administration believed secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails of U.S. citizens without court authorization was legal. Some of the judges said they are particularly concerned that information gleaned from the president’s eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to gain authorized wiretaps from their court…. On Monday, one of 10 FISA judges, federal Judge James Robertson, submitted his resignation — in protest of the president’s action, according to two sources familiar with his decision. He will maintain his position on the U.S. District Court here…..

  4. Frank Rich of The New York Times is back from vacation and had this to say today about the wiretapping scandal:
    That the White House’s over-the-top outrage about the Times scoop is a smokescreen contrived to cover up something else is only confirmed by Dick Cheney’s disingenuousness. In last week’s oration at a right-wing think tank, he defended warrant-free wiretapping by saying it could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Really? Not with this administration in charge. On 9/10 the N.S.A. (lawfully) intercepted messages in Arabic saying, “The match is about to begin,” and, “Tomorrow is zero hour.” You know the rest. Like all the chatter our government picked up during the president’s excellent brush-clearing Crawford vacation of 2001, it was relegated to ma√ɬĪana; the N.S.A. didn’t rouse itself to translate those warnings until 9/12….

    ….The warrantless eavesdropping is more of the same incompetence. Like our physical abuse of detainees and our denial of their access to due process, this flouting of the law may yet do as much damage to fighting the war on terrorism as it does to civil liberties. As the First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus wrote in The Huffington Post, every defense lawyer representing a terrorism suspect charged in the four years since Mr. Bush’s N.S.A. decree can challenge the legality of the prosecution’s evidence. “The entire criminal process will be brought to a standstill,” Mr. Garbus explains, as the government refuses to give the courts information on national security grounds, inviting the dismissal of entire cases, and judges “up and down the appellate ladder” issue conflicting rulings.

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