Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sullivan's Sense

Posted by codemorse

Once again, Sullivan shows that differences in ideology do not negate the possibility of (relative) agreement on issues.

From Andrew Sullivan:

"Total Information Awareness"

Remember that idea? Congress disposed of it back in 2002. But that didn't stop the Bush administration from
doing it anyway. I tend to think these programs are useful and, with oversight, defensible. Some may be legal, under exceptions to the law. But the Bush administration - again - seems to think oversight is a dirty word; and no sane person can trust them any more.

Money quote:
USA TODAY discovered the continuing TIA programs through entries in a public database of government contracts and a search of academic papers mentioning those contracts."

And so King George just does what he wants. In the end, his contempt for the constitution may undermine the perfectly defensible anti-terror programs he has instituted.

While I don't share Sullivan's comfort level with programs like TIA, I agree entirely that programs like TIA can be maintained within Constitutional boundaries. That the President has consistently and consciously chosen to disregard and/or test those boundaries is really the base, elemental source of my dislike for his administration.

Were he to suggest these programs in a forum befitting the word democracy, it's more than possible that even a rampant lib like myself could get behind them. But by working under the assumption that trusting-the-American-people = bad, the President and his chosen teams have forfeited that trust in return. I distrust them on impulse, and I blame them, not my "lack of patriotism," for that development.


At 6:56 AM, Blogger Jabawacefti said...

In what sense do you think "the President has consistently and consciously chosen to disregard and/or test those boundaries"?

Which surveilance program do you think is within Constitutional boundries? Which do you not?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

I don't have the legal wherewithal or confidence to concretely say what's constitutional and what's not.

What I can say is that better, smarter men than me have spent the better part of Bush's tenure arguing very loudly against NSA wire-tapping, the harvesting of personal records (in the TIA program for starters), the detention of people without trial, the use of Executive exceptions to lawful orders, and quite a few other actions/decisions which are arguably pushing constitutional boundaries, if not breaking past them.

Alberto Gonzales has spent the better part of his tenure in front of reporters explaining why certain actions are constitutional.

But when professors of law from Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, etc et al publically (sp?) question Gonzales' reasoning, it puts that constitutionality into doubt for me.


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