Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Electrifying Stupidity 

This has already made the rounds of the blogosphere, but it's either so damn funny or so damn appalling that I have to mention it here. Courtesy of Eschaton, via Crooks and Liars, a comment from AG Alberto Gonzales as he continues his tapdance of trying to say that the President didn't break wire-tapping laws -- even though the President broke wire-tapping laws.
"President Washington, President Lincoln, President Wilson, President Roosevelt have all authorized electronic surveillance on a far broader scale."

Um... say what? Okay, FDR was probably spying on radio broadcasts, and Wilson... well, he didn't have much to wiretap, per se. But no doubt those two had spies out there, seeing as how they were in the midst of WW II and WW I, respectively. And Lincoln probably had a few telegraph lines bugged...

But I sure would like to know how the hell George Washington did his electronic surveillance. Maybe Gonzales slipped here and gave away an Illuminati secret -- that the founding fathers did have advanced technology, given them by their Bavarian Overlords. Maybe he was just trying to make some point about spying and was being metaphorical. Or, more likely, he's just a dumbass who's ignorant of history.

I wonder what tunes Ben Franklin had on his iPod. I'll bet he used to listen to Blackeyed Pea's My Humps all the time when he was gettin' jiggy with those French ladies.

Incidentally, Washington was not a wartime president. Yes, he was a wartime general. But he was in office after the Revolution and before the British Invasion of 1812. And well before the British Invasion of 1964...

But, Berty, let's get back to the original question: did President Bush break the law when he ordered wiretaps without getting FISA warrants?

Um... yes. And no amount of "b-b-b-b-but (Clinton, Bush I, Lincoln, Washington) did it" is going to change that fact. Mainly because none of those other presidents did it. They followed the law and got their warrants. Well, except for Nixon -- but when he got caught wire-tapping, his defense wasn't "It's legal because I can do what I want dammit."

Hm. Come to think of it, Nixon's defense was to resign and get a pardon from Gerald Ford. There's a hint for W there. When your actions become indefensible, sometimes the best defense is to just go away.

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