Spying on Americans = Good; Talking about it = Bad
My wife just called me to share her joy at watching President Bush’s press conference this morning. “He’s just losing it,” she tells me breathlessly, “reporters keep asking him about the domestic spying, the Plame leak, the torture, and for once his mantra of ‘9/11 changed everything’ isn’t holding back the criticism! It’s hilarious?”
Well, it would be hilarious, if this were a fictional TV sitcom about a bumbling commander-in-chief, like Comedy Central’s short-lived “That’s My Bush!”. The problem with that show is it was hard to satirize something that’s not taken seriously in the first place. (Oh, and 9/11 happened and changed everything.) As it is, knowing that the real Bush is having a detrimental effect on every human life on the planet is too terrifying to be funny:
WASHINGTON – President Bush on Monday said disclosure of his domestic eavesdropping program was a “shameful act” and said he will keep using it “for so long as the nation faces the continuing threat of an enemy that wants to kill American citizens.”
“As president of the United States and commander in chief I have the constitutional responsibility and the constitutional authority to protect our country,” he said in an opening statement at a year-end news conference.
Asked if the Justice Department would be investigating who leaked the existence of the program, first disclosed last week by The New York Times, Bush said he presumed the process had started.
“It was a shameful act for someone to disclose this important program in a time of war. The fact that we’re discussing this program is helping the enemy,” he said at the White House event.
How DARE anyone mention that we’re spying on American citizens? I mean, spying on our own citizens in violation of their constitutional civil rights, that’s understandable… but talking about it?!? That could ruin everything. It’s like those Abu Ghraib photographs; nobody really had a problem with us torturing… ahem, interrogating extraordinarily… until they actually knew about it.
Normally, no wiretapping is permitted in the United States without a court warrant. But Bush said he approved the action without such orders “because it enables us to move faster and quicker. We’ve got to be fast on our feet.
“It is legal to do so. I swore to uphold the laws. Legal authority is derived from the Constitution,” Bush added.
“…which I think I read once at Andover, heh heh. I particularly like the part that says the Commander-in-Chief has absolute power to do whatever the hell he wants during wartime, that’s my favorite!”