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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Great line of the day 

The Editors agree with me about the true purpose of the NSA phonegate program:
. . . the question becomes: why was none of this done? . . . why wouldn’t you be interested, just on general principles, in trying to protect the privacy of Americans who you have absolutely no reason to suspect are involved in terrorism? Even if you didn’t have to, why wouldn’t you try to work with the Congress and the courts, just to ensure that everything could be carried out smoothly? In order to make some legal/philosophical point about the Unitary Executive? Because you forgot? Because you didn’t have the time?
Bullshit. The lack of oversight and the lack of privacy protection is not a bug; it’s a feature. This program was not intended to catch terrorists - it was intended to give the White House access, invisibly, to information about private citizens which it wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to have. (We’ve seen the tip of this iceberg already.) The goals of this program are political. There’s just no other plausible reason to conduct the program this way.
Emphasis mine.

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