Saturday, January 28, 2006

Democrats on the NSA wiretaps

The American Prospect article is a week or so old, so the reference is a bit out of date, but the issue is still pressing. The issue of the NSA wiretaps is NOT a question of National Security or Civil Rights. This is a question of National Security AND Civil Rights on the side that the Democrats are taking vs. a false SENSE of security while actually reducing our security, the Republicans' position.

The only reasons anyone needs to have complete freedom of action with no oversight, the powers being claimed by George Bush, are 1) the individual is incompetent and does not want that discovered or 2) the individual is up to something illegal, and does not want it discovered. Oversight and review are needed to get competent results, they are essential to get top notch results. Removing the oversight on wiretaps and prevalence will only result in wasted time and effort on false leads and pursuing innocent citizens. If we want our national security to be the best it can be we need to restore the kinds of oversight and review that have been in place for the past several decades.

Some folks, see Kevin Drum are starting to see this. Now if we can get the Democratic leadership to make this case we might be in good shape.

As a post script I would add that granting someone these extraordinary, absolute powers has never in history lead to the possessor of the powers using them to protect the nation. The possessor inevitably uses them to protect himself. The Democrats are for the president to have the powers and the motivation to protect the United States, the Republicans are for the president to have powers and motivations to protect himself and the Republican leadership.

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