Kicking Ass and Taking Names
Glenn Greenwald is currently on C-Span, debating Prof. Robert Turner of the University of Virginia. (Who is speaking from Virginia, and clearly has some students doing research for him off-screen because they are handing him texts as props.)
Glenn is doing a fantastic job: very clear, very straight-forward, very much a non-bloviating lawyer — unlike his counterpart, who is frankly taking me back to my law school days when staying awake in certain classes became an exercise in self control and priming with espresso shots.
The NSA hearings begin at 9:30 am this morning. C-Span will be covering them, and I will try and live-blog for as long as Fiona will allow me to do so.
Glenn has made some great points this morning thus far:
(1) This is an American scandal and about the President breaking the law. Republicans as well as Democrats are apalled by this, and there must be some oversight — some check — on this power of surveillance, or we live in a nation where the laws no longer apply.
(2) Democrats and Republicans alike want surveillance. But the President must follow the law. The President asked for, and got, amendments to FISA in the wake of 9/11, and then turned around and started spying in secret anyway — after publicly praising the amendments. The President asks that we "trust him" on this matter — but he has repeatedly lied to the nation about whether or not warrants have been sought.
And in case you were wondering, Prof. Turner appears to be just the sort of fellow for whom the unitary executive theory holds great promise — I’m not certain that there are any limitations in his mind on Presidential power during a time of war. Which makes that whole "forever war" a looming problem for the entire country in the world that Prof. Turner inhabits.
And a note on the folks calling in — the "fear factor" that Rove has been playing has a very strong pull. There is a great need for combating that fear — but getting through the constant fear with facts is going to be a tough, uphill battle. Let’s start talking about ways to effectively cut through that pee-your-pants fear that Rove and company have been stoking in this country since 9/11. We need a strategy — now — and I’m confident that the great minds in our comments can come up with some great ideas on this.
(Picture via Matrix Reloaded.)
UPDATE: OMG, I am laughing so hard, and I’ve spewed coffee all over myself. Prof. Turner just said that terrorists may be imbedding messages in Viagra spam. Mwahahahahaha.
Turner had perhaps the most insane hypothetical of all time — "Osama might embed messages in Viagra Spam"
Erectile dysfuntion emails,
IF YOUR BOMB DOESN’T EXPLODE AFTER 4 HOURS PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN
Man, I’m going to be laughing about that one all day today. *snerk*