13 January 2006

ACLU Gone Missing in Three Acts

Act 1 - Double-Secret Probation spying on civilians did not begin on September 12th, 2001.

The (New York) Times actually defended the existence of Echelon when it reported on the program following the Australians revelations.

Few dispute the necessity of a system like Echelon to apprehend foreign spies, drug traffickers and terrorists.

And the Times article quoted an N.S.A. official in assuring readers . . .

that all Agency activities are conducted in accordance with the highest constitutional, legal and ethical standards.
Act 2 - It's not the Patriot Act that's sniffing through your library records, it's Whisky Ted.
Unable to touch Alito on his knowledge of the law or the depth of his experience, Kennedy and his liberal brethren on the Senate Judiciary Committee have resorted to a McCarthy-era tactic -- guilt by association. The depth of his desperation was seen in an altercation Wednesday between Kennedy and committee chairman Arlen Specter in which liberalism's grand pooh-bah demanded . . . a subpoena of records that were publicly available. Kennedy believes documents prove that Alito, who was a member of the group, is anti-black and anti-female. Doing his best Emily Litella imitation, Kennedy huffed and puffed and hinted at some vast right-wing conspiracy to keep Alito's checkered past secret. Except that these records are available at the Library of Congress and have been pawed over by The New York Times. Never mind.
Act 3 - I'm all for eliminating pork and fraud, especially in the agriculture "industry," but is this enforcement or domestic spying?

Satellite technology, which takes images at roughly eight-day intervals, can be used to monitor when farmers plant their acreage, how they irrigate them and what crops they grow. If anomalies are found in a farm's insurance claim, investigators can search satellite photos dating back years to determine cropping practices on individual fields. Just as U.S. satellites kept track of things like the wheat harvest in the former Soviet Union, other countries have also launched satellites to monitor American crops. Germany, France and others have satellites monitoring crop conditions, and many other private firms sell those images in the U.S. "Everybody spies on everybody. I was stunned to hear that myself," Edwards said. "Someday, I may have to rely on a French satellite to convict an American citizen.
ACLU? Pelosi? Dean? Kos? NPR? Where are you?

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