I guess I would feel better about the news that our President has authorized the National Security Agency to spy on us if our administration didn’t have such a dismal track record of intelligence failures. They claim that only people with known ties to terrorist organizations were spied upon. Oh, and people who had ties to those people. And…maybe people with ties to those people. So if your dry cleaner donated money to a group who might have received some phone calls from a guy who received e-mails from somebody the Bush administration thinks is a terrorist (and once again keep in mind how successfully they’ve identified terrorists in the past) then they might be spying on you too.
Of course Bush insists it’s just for our own protection. Sure. The KGB was just protecting good Soviet citizens from the bad people too.
Another concern revolves around why this was all done without warrants. There is a special court set up specifically to review security matters like this, why couldn’t they be used? The Bush administration seems to resent the notion of checks and balances (no doubt, since it is their power being checked and balanced) but there is a good reason why our government is supposed to be prohibited from just spying upon us without oversight or accountability.
And finally this troubles me because this administration has a somewhat questionable history of shady political tactics. Just ask Valerie Plame. Whether you think she was deliberately outed as political retribution or not the reality is that a majority of Americans (according to polls) seem to believe that this administration is capable of such things. Do you really trust Karl Rove with the resouces of the NSA? Would anybody be surprised if the next time Rove needs an edge on a political opponent or critic if some damaging piece of information nobody should know happens to slip out?
I’m not saying that will happen — just that it doesn’t seem out of character for this bunch which makes me EXTREMELY nervous about them telling us they’re spying on us "for our own good."