Maybe you heard about the government giving itself broad new spying powers over the weekend. In a way, it doesn’t matter, because the government was doing this for at least the past several years, before this new law was ever written. Illegally, yes. This spying actually violates criminal law, and to my understanding, for each violation of it, a person could be sentenced to 10 years in jail. No wonder Attorney General Gonzales is willing to lie and look like an idiot in front of Congress and the world; better that than a prison cell.
Anyone who says that this law was needed to “modernize” the spying laws is a fool or a liar. The reason this law was “needed” was to keep Bush and his cronies out of jail. That is the sole reason. As I’ve said many, many times now, under current laws, American intelligence agencies are allowed to tap phones and eavesdrop and whatnot, as long as they can get a warrant to do so, up to three days after they’ve already eavesdropped on you. And the warrants are issued by a special court that almost never says no to a warrant request. This new law lifts even that miniscule bit of oversight; now the attorney general or the director of national intelligence can approve the spying.
The only, tiny bright side here is that the law expires in six months. In other words, BushCo can continue doing illegal stuff legally for the next six months. At which point the Democrats will cave again and make it permanent, draft a “compromise” bill that gives Bush most of what he wants, or push for the Constitutional crisis that has been upon us for most of the current regime.
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