I have spent much of the last two years on this site railing against the hysterical, exaggerated, and ultimately dishonest charges made by people like Glenn Greenwald and others that the Bush Administration was tearing apart the Constitution and trying to set up some kind of a dictatorship.
The cornerstone of their bilious rantings has always been that the Administration’s NSA intercept program was, on its face, illegal. In fact, the NSA program has been cited as reason number one to impeach the President and no amount of reasoning by those of us who cautioned against jumping to conclusions about a program that we knew so little about deflected these despicable jackanapes from wailing about our “lost freedoms” and comparing Bush to Hitler.
Well pardon my French, but the only thing I have to say to the gaggle of goofs who have spent much of the last two years in formulating some of the most vile, calumnious, and over the top charges regarding the Administration’s cavalier attitude toward our civil liberties is… BITE ME:
After a delay of more than a year, a government board appointed to guard Americans’ privacy and civil liberties during the war on terror has been told the inner workings of the government’s electronic eavesdropping program.
The briefing for the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board had been delayed because President Bush was concerned—after several media leaks—about widening the circle of people who knew exact details of the secret eavesdropping program.
The board, created by Congress and appointed by Bush, focused on other classified work since it was named in spring 2005, but continued to press for a formal briefing by the National Security Agency.
A breakthrough was reached in recent days, and the five members were briefed by senior officials last week.
Board members said that they were impressed by the safeguards the government has built into the NSA’s monitoring of phone calls and computer transmissions, and that they wished the administration could tell the public more about them to ease distrust.
“If the American public, especially civil libertarians like myself, could be more informed about how careful the government is to protect our privacy while still protecting us from attacks, we’d be more reassured,” said Lanny Davis , a former Clinton White House lawyer who is the board’s lone liberal Democrat.
All of that ink spilled. All of that bile vomited forth from people who didn’t know what the hell they were talking about and yet accused the President and other public servants of the most horrible violations of the Constitution. All of that outrage from people less interested in our civil liberties – not to mention our national security – than they were in scoring cheap political points at the expense of a program that not only now has been shown to be well run and sensitive to civil liberties but also vital to protecting the United States from another terrorist attack.
And let us also put to rest perhaps the most ridiculous charge of all; that the President and his people simply didn’t care about the Constitution:
“We found there was a great appreciation inside government, both at the political and career levels, for protections on privacy and civil liberties,” said Raul, author of a book of civil liberties. “In fact, I think the public may have an underappreciation for the degree of seriousness the government is giving these protections.”
Gee. Ya think? Wonder where the public got “an underappreciation for the degree of seriousness the government is giving these protections…?” Couldn’t be from leftist lickspittles like Greenwald et.al. who’ve spent much of the last 5 years trying to convince the American people that Adolf Hitler was in the Oval Office and Nazi gaulieters were staffing the Justice Department, could it?
Just thinking about the smug, self righteous louts who have hindered every single program, every single effort to protect the people of the United States by constantly raising the specter of Hitler and dictatorship makes me sick to my stomach.
I have no doubt they’ll spin this news by pointing out that there are plenty of other examples of Bush/Hitler tearing up the Constitution. But given the fact that no one in the government connected to the NSA program ever thought in their wildest dreams that any media outlet would be irresponsible enough, partisan enough, or stupid enough to reveal its existence, one can logically assume that other programs are equally careful of the Constitution and civil liberties. And this report now places the burden of proof on the civil liberties absolutists to show otherwise.
I’d say “For Shame!” except they have none. Nor do they have a case that the NSA program and its offshoots are anything except as advertised by government; as well designed as possible in order to safeguard the Constitutional protections that all of us – both liberals and conservatives – are vouchsafed as Americans.
Ed Morrissey, as always, puts it more delicately than I – which makes his indictment of the hysteria mongers even more devastating:
The hysteria surrounding this program might finally start receding, as long as these remarks get some significant play. After all, having a former Clinton aide wish he could reveal more about a secret program to reassure people of the good work done by it rather than to torpedo the Bush administration should raise some eyebrows among the paranoid. Former Reagan counsel Alan Raul went even further, telling John Solomon that he believes that the public underestimates the level of concern and dedication for civil liberties in the federal government.
Once again, the public’s support for a tough but necessary program has been reinforced by its careful execution by the NSA. This should not surprise anyone, as even the New York Times acknowledged that they had no information that the agency broke any laws or violated anyone’s civil rights when they broke the story. All they had were “concerns” about the program’s legality from their anonymous tipsters.
The same could be said for every single program that these guttersnipes have been using as a club to make the Administration’s commitment to the law and the Constitution suspect, undermining the public’s confidence in our national leaders during a time of war, and ultimately, giving aid and comfort to the jihadis who know that they can always depend on the New York Times and their allies to give them a heads up about any attempt to thwart their plans using legitimate, constitutional methods.
So, once againâ€¦sound and fury signifying nothing. And weâ€™ll see the NY Times with a big headline on this assessment on page one, above the fold, right? Brian Williams will lead with this story, right? Maybe at least Jon Stewart will bring it up?
Last I saw, the forecast for hell was hot and humid with no chance of snow…
Finally, the inimitable Mr. McGuire:
Left unanswered – what terrible hold does Karl Rove have over Lanny Davis?
Ask Greenwald. Or maybe David Corn. His tin foil hat is brand new this week…