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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

By Any Means Necessary

Posted by on December 20 at 15:38 PM

In a double reverse back-flip take on the Plame case, Bush intends to go after the leak on his domestic spying program. The NYT writes:

Mr. Bush strongly hinted that the government was beginning a leak investigation into how the existence of the program was disclosed. It was first revealed in an article published on The New York Times Web site on Thursday night, though some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists had been omitted. “We’re at war, and we must protect America’s secrets,” Mr. Bush said. “And so the Justice Department, I presume, will proceed forward with a full investigation.”

God, I hope so. First the Bushies break the law, then they go after the people who turned them in. That’ll be attractive.

Indeed, I love how adamantly unrepentant the Bush administration is about the spying scandal.

Here, for example, is Gonzales in : today’s NYT

In the first of a series of appearances Monday to defend the intelligence operations, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told reporters that “this electronic surveillance is within the law, has been authorized” by Congress. “That is our position,” he added…Mr. Gonzales said the administration believed that Congress gave the president clear and broad authorization to attack Al Qaeda in a resolution passed on Sept. 14, 2001, that set the stage for the invasion of Afghanistan. That resolution authorized the president “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

What the Bush administration doesn’t understand is this: Even if they argue until they’re blue in the face that eavesdropping without a warrant is legal (and even if they’re right…which I can’t imagine they are… 4th Amendment?), nobody, especially not their hard right base, is down with this sort of spying. Let them keep saying they had a legal right to do it. It just makes them look bad.

When Bush loyalists like Sen. Rick Santorum comes out and says the President can do “watever is necessary” (as he told the Philly Inquirer today), it’s gonna start to scare the shit out of people. As John Aravosis puts it: “Really Rick? So that would include taking people’s guns away, having background checks at gun shows, keeping permanent federal records on gunowners, repealing the 2nd Amendment? You said “whatever is necessary”

In addition to the conservatives that Daily Kos cites, there are still others coming out against this. Sen. Arlen Specter is keeping up a steady drum beat about investigating and here’s one of Santorum’s Republican colleagues from PA. Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.):

“It certainly wasn’t my intent to give the administration the right to tap the phone conversations of Americans” when he voted for the post-Sept. 11 resolution. “I don’t believe they have the right to spy on American citizens - that doesn’t mean I don’t support the war on terror.”

Oh yeah. I bet you’re linked to al Qaeda, though.