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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Evil Doers Are Doing Evil, You See…

Posted by on December 27 at 21:23 PM

John Aravosis makes a good point: If the Americans George W. Bush has been spying on illegally have “a history of blowing up commuter trains, weddings, and churches,ā€¯ as he’s now claiming, then Bush could have obtained all the damn search warrants he wanted.

Here’s what I’d like to know: If the country is crawling with people who have a history of blowing up trains, weddings, and churches—a history, mind you, not just a yearning—then why was Bush content to simply spy on these evil doers? Why didn’t he have them arrested and prosecute them for the crimes they had already committed?

Here’s something that makes my head hurt everytime I pause to think about it: Is Bush as dumb as we think he is? Or are we anywhere near as dumb as he thinks we are?

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Dan, Aravosis's question was the question that hit me when the spying story first broke: That is, if we're spying on al Qaeda operatives, why not just bust in and arrest them?

To be fair to Bush, though, the answer seems pretty reasonable. The goal of spying is to get info and leads on other cells to bust up a big plot. If you jump in and arrest your marks too early, you lose your window into their world. I think, if Bush really does have some key terrorists under the magnifying glass, it makes strategic sense to let the terrorsits go about their plotting until we can swoop in and bust up several cells.

Having said that: It has been four years now, so Aravosis does have a pretty good point. And I definitely agree with his first point, that is: If the government has its eyes on guys with a history of blowing up trains, weddings, and churches, than it should be able to get warrants for surveillance rather than skirting the law.

It hurts my brain, too, Dan. I think we [meaning those who can't bear even the sight of him] have done a great disservice to ourselves and our cause by underestimating GWB. And as for your second question, it seems that we [meaning most Americans] are willfully dumb because it's easier.

It seems clear: all of us idealistic chumps are as dumb as he thinks we are. Just when we think we have a strong foundation to stand on, we fail to notice and grapel with what should be obvious.

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