Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Safe Prediction

One thing about the righties is they are consistant. Glenn Greenwald writes of the next big wingnut hullabaloo. How the Dems are weak on terror or some adjunct to that.

.....consideration of the bill proposed by Arlen Specter (and a similar one introduced in the House by Rep. Heather Wilson), which would "amend" FISA by making it optional (rather than mandatory) for the President to comply with it, thereby removing all limitations on his power to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans......
The argument, of course, will be that Republicans want to listen in when Osama bin Laden calls and Democrats don't, as evidenced by their opposition to the Specter bill, and that Democrats therefore oppose a surveillance program which most Americans support. Put another way, the Republicans will attempt to exploit this debate by advancing two factually false claims:
Falsehood # 1: the debate is about whether the President can eavesdrop on Al Qaeda and other terrorists;Falsehood # 2: "most Americans" support warrantless eavesdropping. .....
...there is no excuse for depicting the NSA program as some sort of widely popular program which has the backing of "a majority of Americans" and is opposed only by the Democrats' "liberal base." That is not reporting. That is factually false political propaganda straight from the mouth of Karl Rove and Ken Melhman. The opposite is true -- at best, polls show that Americans are evenly divided, but most polls have shown since the beginning of the NSA scandal that most Americans want aggressive eavesdropping on Al Qaeda but oppose warrantless eavesdropping.

Please be clear on this:

The difference between FISA and the warrantless eavesdropping program is not about whether the President can eavesdrop on terrorists. He can eavesdrop on all of the terrorists he wants under FISA as it is written. What is being debated -- the only difference -- is whether he should be able to eavesdrop on the conversations of Americans with judicial oversight (as all Presidents have done for the last 30 years) or whether he can eavesdrop on Americans in secret, without oversight (which led to severe abuses of the eavesdropping powers in the four decades prior to FISA). That is what is being decided, not whether he can eavesdrop on terrorists.
When Bush and his supporters argue, as they will relentlessly in the coming weeks, that Democrats oppose eavesdropping on Al Qaeda, that is not political advocacy. That is not "spin." It is not a legitimate argument or a factually questionable proposition that ought to be passed along without comment. It is none of those things. What that is instead is a factually false claim -- a lie, if one insists. Nobody opposes eavesdropping on Al Qaeda. The President has the full power right now under FISA to eavesdrop as much as he wants on terrorists. To say otherwise -- to say that Democrats want to stop eavesdropping on terrorists -- is just untrue. Period.

I predict he is right and this misinformation will be all over the talk shows,news and blogs of the right et al. Unless they find the missing girl in Aruba.


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