Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, March 31, 2006

NSA Hearing: Lulling the frogs with a warm bath

When you cook frogs to eat, if you have the flame too high, they will jump out of the pot. The trick is to slowly raise the heat. When they realize what's happened, they drift off and then it's over.

"Don't worry about the water, it's warm." But what about the sharks?

Fellow frogs, let's avoid the warming waters, find a new pond, and a better way to regulate the water temperature. We have legs. All we need to do is jump.

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The problem with the NSA hearings is the lack of specifics. There are many NSA programs outside "what is publicly known."

This Congress wants to apologize and make excuses, yet they don't know what they're apologizing for. That in itself is outrageous. Unlike Nixon's days we don't have all the facts. Unlike Nixon, Congress isn't willing to tell the President, "You don't have enough votes."

We haven't scratched the surface on Bolton's intercepts, or why he has politically-related information. That's consistent with what Nixon was doing. Failing to stand up and call it what it is -- abuse of power and violation of rights -- will be used later. They will say, "But you didn't say anything before."

Comparisons to Watergate are appropriate: Cover-ups, lying, and abuse of power. But this time it's worse: War crimes and Federal Government assent to illegal war.

The real problem is for the legal community. How long have they known about the illegal evidence prosecutors were using; and how many cases should be reversed? Gonzalez' approach is to hide the issues. Yet, we're talking about real people detained on false evidence.

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The apologists are well known. They carry little weight, merely distractions. They lull us into inaction. Watch -- they will use our assent to unknown abuse as an excuse to further abuse power and violate rights.

We need not seriously consider their denials or excuses. Rather, it is a separate offense that despite what we don’t know, they're still asking us to be patient, not get upset, and stop making comparisons.

Some suggest that we need not be concerned. Yet this conduct at odds with the high principles in our Constitution:
"Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the comparison to Watergate is "apples and oranges" because Nixon's actions were more about saving himself and his presidency than national security.Ref
Senator Graham's conclusions are premature. We cannot say that Bush's activity is somehow noble.

We are not waging lawful war. Nor have we declared war. The "argument of war" is the distraction from the accountability of power. Power is abused, and abused more in silence and in the shadows. Illegal war is not the foundation for abused powers, rather they are the same -- abuse of power and violation of rights.

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The only thing our Constitution is about -- power and rights -- is at odds with the NSA: Abuse of power, and violation of rights. It is not a question of comparison; it is a question of denial. We should not be silent in response to the calls to be silent. This is outrageous.

It's dangerous to dismiss the conduct in the absence of information. This is like asking us to agree to be invited to a holiday party, but only when we walk through the door are we told "the rest of the story." If you knew the truth, would you have declined?

That's where America is. We're being asked to accept assurances without any reasonable basis to believe those assurances. This President has lied about Iraq. The NSA activity was going on before 9-11. But we're told to focus on post September activity, and then say "It's for a good reason." Breaking the law is breaking the law.

The problem this country has is we don't know what else is going on. It's appropriate to make adverse judgments. We're not comparing apples to oranges, we're simply trying to decide whether we buy the story, or will find another one.

It's reasonable to compare Bush to other examples: Nazi Germany, Hitler, and Stalin. Real people died, and real people's lives were forever destroyed. That is a fair comparison: Fascism and Bush; war crimes and Bush; and dictatorship and Bush.

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We don't have to buy what is already known to be rotten. And we can find a better story. We do not have to wait. We have the option to create a New Constitution. There is no requirement we assent to this non-sense. We didn't give them the power to lie, violate the law, or sell us something that is only part of the story.

We need not assent to this non-sense. This Federal Government has failed. Continue working on the New Constitution, and don't let anyone tell you we have to "wait until the election" to make things better.

We can start right now, here: Click and Click

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Bush's Anti-Impeachment Ad: "Support Criminals: Otherwise they will be prosecuted"

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There is reason for hope: "If we in the Congress don’t stand up for ourselves and for the American people, we become complicit in his law breaking.' -- Senator Feingold [ Ref ]

Congress knows they face a credible threat of being held accountable with a New Constitution. They need to hear your voices -- not at the election, but now: "Do your job, or we will lawfully revoke the power you abuse and do not assert; we will make your failure to do your job a crime. You no longer have absolute immunity."

Power can be abused by its use and non-use.