Saturday, December 24, 2005

Angry Flower

So I'm pissed. Since we learned about the Bush administration's spying on American citizens, I've been super careful to make it clear that the spying was limited to calls that crossed international boundaries. Even after it was revealed that some of those calls crossed out of the US and then back in, I still adhered to a standard of precise language out of a desire for fairness.

But it turns out that was all wasted effort. They've been monitoring purely domestic communications without a warrant, too.

If it were just that I had to invest excess effort, I wouldn't be too pissed. But the president and his defenders have invested a lot of effort in that defense, too, and it turns out it was all lies.

As part of the program approved by President Bush for domestic surveillance without warrants, the N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications, the officials said.

This is warrantless, unsupervised searching through (so far as we know) every (or at least any) phone call anyone makes. This is horrific. As Brad DeLong likes to say, I Hate the Way This Administration Makes Me into a Nutbar Conspiracy Theorist. Regular readers know that, while I wear my politics proudly and openly, I'm not afraid to buck the party line or to call out egregious conspiracy mongering by my own side. Until this incident, I've been against talk of impeachment because I don't think it should be a tool of partisanship.

But George Bush won't let me walk that line. He keeps acting more and more outrageously, until I have no choice but raving shrillness.

Cognitive psychologists have found that the following all must exist for people to think someone was lying:

  1. Saying something the speaker doesn't believe

  2. Intent to deceive

  3. Intent to harm something

  4. Saying something that isn't true

The president authorized the program, so he couldn't believe that there wasn't warrantless surveillance of Americans. He intended to deceive us. He infringed on our civil liberties. He lied. Plain and simple. And he lied about a crime.

When Sam Brownback and I both think a Republican president went too far, he went too far. Sam Brownback is troubled.

"I do not agree with the legal basis on which they are basing the surveillance, that when the Congress gave the authorization to go to war, that gives sufficient legal basis for the surveillance [the surveillance on international calls, I think -TfK]," Brownback said during a news conference at the Kansas Statehouse.

Impeach George Bush. Impeach him now.