So they have our phone records, and now our bank accounts, according to some twenty employees of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). There has been a request by the Justice Department made to Microsoft, Google, and others, to track all internet usage to their sites for two years, and there are plans to make AT&T, Verizon and Comcast (among other ISPs) to do the same. What is there left to spy on? I’m sure they’ll find something.
So our bank records, eh? You want a history of all our transactions? What, like contributions to political parties? Stuff like that? Sure, that might not be what you’re going after exactly, but in the grand sweep, you got it, right? That and our phone records. And funny how Congress as a body knew so little about this. Sure some of them knew, but I thought Congress as a whole has to approve these sorts of things? Something about checks and balances and guards against abuse of power?
George W. Bush, of course, was terribly upset that this news about financial spying on US citizens was released. According to Bush, “what we did was fully authorized under the law. And the disclosure of this program is disgraceful. We’re at war with a bunch of people who want to hurt the United States of America, and for people to leak that program, and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America.”
White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, also chimed in, noting that “nobody is going to deny First Amendment rights. But The New York Times and other news organizations ought to think long and hard about whether a public’s right to know, in some cases, might overwrite somebody’s right to live, and whether, in fact, the publications of these could place in jeopardy the safety of fellow Americans.”
Hmmm… You mean like when a sitting president gives the “all-OK” to release the name of a covert CIA operative who’s involved in the investigation into Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction?
The reaction to the NY Times article was, in itself, SWIFT, especially from all the GOP criminals, who were not upset at “Big Government” for once again being caught spying on its own citizens, not upset at the continual erosion of public citizens’ privacy. No, they’re all out to kill the messenger! Our own Peter King of Long Island called the NY Times’ article “absolutely disgraceful” and “treasonous.” Funny, that’s just how I usually describe Bush and his administration — “Disgraceful and Treasonous.”
But I think the real problem here is that the right-wingers are upset about the timing of the news release. You see, Bush was apparently riding on a high-30s approval rating since the killing of Zarqawi and… well, let’s let John McIntyre of RealClearPolitics.com explain it in today’s piece of drivel: “President Bush was already looking better after two weeks of positive news (holding CA-50, killing Zarqawi, Rove cleared, a new government in Iraq) before the New York Times irresponsibly disclosed details of a top secret program aimed at protecting the nation from future terrorist attacks.”
Awwww… Did the Times run Bush’s party? Just when he starts to gain some traction, another one of his criminal activities sees the light of day. I am so sad.
Why can’t we all let Bush, Cheney, and all the other criminals in this administration just trample our Constitutional rights in PEACE?