One of America’s greatest Presidents said it. And Democrats in Congress keep acting it out…
Republicans and the Bush administration used a ‘bogus’ terror threat that raised specific fears of an attack on the Capitol to scare lawmakers into adopting a dramatic temporary expansion of the government’s spy powers last month, a former top intelligence committee Democrat said Wednesday.
Congress agreed to give President Bush and the nation’s intelligence agencies extra authority to spy on Americans just hours before lawmakers left for a month-long recess in August. In the legislative session’s final week, news emerged of an impending plot by foreign terrorists to attack the US Capitol, and Republicans pointed to the reports as justification to expand the administration’s powers.
“That specific intelligence claim, it turned out, was bogus; the intelligence agencies knew that,” Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) said at a forum on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act organized by the Center for American Progress in Washington. However, lawmakers did not learn of the claim’s unreliability until “the day” they approved the FISA expansion, she said.
Why anyone believes anything Republicans say anymore is beyond me. Of all people you’d think that Congressional Democrats, after being gulled and filleted multiple times, would be beginning to clue in. But once a mark, always a mark.
However I think it’s more than that. As Corrente’s Chicago Dyke pointed out:
I didn’t really enjoy it, but like everyone else who wants to move on the Hill in DC, I got used to all the security measures that honestly, are making the town ugly. Barricades, police vehicles on every corner, all manner of checks and tags and providing your ”œpapers” to people. It’s like an armed camp…
…No wonder Pelosi and Reid honestly believe the rest of America is as askeerd as they- toss in a little domestic wiretapping and ratfucking, and it must be very spooky for them.
There is an important lesson here. It seems that all one has to do to sustain a coup in a once-democratic nation is to imprison the former ”œleaders” in a invisible prison of fear. Make them feel fear, and they won’t be able to think and fight and otherwise act logically to preserve the Constitution.
Lawmakers, ever since the Anthrax scare that strangely targetted only Democrats, have been living in fear. They see all these security precuations all the time – they work in an armed camp – and they natural come to think all these protections must exist because they need them… becuase it’s a dangerous world out there. Already scared, already under siege, already thinking that there are powerful forces out there who want to kill them, they are primed to be ramped up into greater fear at any time.
Taking down the barricades and instituting more reasonable levels of security would be one of the best things the next President could do. Living like everyone’s out to get you, eventually makes you think everyone is out to get you.
In the meantime, Democrats continue to live out Franklin’s (that’s Benjamin Franklin’, folks, sorry for any inadvertant confusion) maxim that those who give up a little liberty to get a little safety will neither get, nor deserve, either. But in their efforts to feel safe in their little fortress, Congress members keep throwing out everyone else’s civil liberties too. Indeed they probably believe they aren’t throwing out there’s along with yours. One day they’ll find out they’re wrong (indeed the new FISA bill gave the executive the right to spy on anyone, including Senators, without oversight. Smart. Real smart.)