Right now, George W. Bush is giving a speech in which he says that America is in danger of terrorist attack unless the House of Representatives passes a law to give him the power to spy against Americans at will and gives legal amnesty to telecommunications corporations who helped George W. Bush break the law and violate the Constitution.
Catch the twists in that argument?
Bush’s argument is that that in order to protect you from foreign terrorists, he needs a law that gives him the power to spy against Americans.
Bush’s argument is that in order to protect you from foreign terrorists, corporations need to be protected from Americans who are angry that the corporations violated their constitutional rights and broke the promises the corporations made in customer privacy agreements.
Bush’s argument is that in order to protect America from foreign terrorists, the President needs the power to coerce American corporations into helping him break the law.
If George W. Bush is really trying to protect us from foreign terrorists, how come his targets are American?
The law that George W. Bush is pushing for, the FISA Amendments Act, is not about protecting Americans from terrorists. Think about it: When was the last time that there was any terrorist attack within the United States? It’s been almost seven years.
George W. Bush is arguing that you need to give up your constitutional rights to protect you from something that happened seven years ago.
Don’t forget the facts: The FISA Amendments Act would give George W. Bush the right to send spies to search through your home and office without any search warrant, and without any evidence that you are connected to any crime at all – terrorist or not. How is that protecting you from terrorists? Are you hiding any terrorists in your home?
The FISA Amendments Act would give George W. Bush the right to have his spies listen to your telephone calls whenever they want to, without any search warrant, and without any evidence to suggest that you are even suspected of being connected to terrorists. How is that protecting you from terrorists? Are you talking about terrorist plots on your telephone?
The FISA Amendments Act would give George W. Bush the right to read your email and track your activities on the Internet, without any search warrant, and do so without any search warrant, and without any evidence that you are even suspected of jaywalking, much less terrorist conspiracy. How is that protecting you from terrorists? Are you plotting a terrorist attack by email and on EBay?
George W. Bush is playing a con artist’s game with you. First, he tries to get you afraid. He says that terrorists could attack you at any time. Second, he comes up with a solution for the irrational fear he has inspired in you: Give him whatever he wants. Give him your freedom. Give him the powers of Big Brother. Convert the United States of America into a nation of omnipresent spying against its own citizens, a nightmare straight out of a George Orwell novel.
Of course, George W. Bush doesn’t really express his argument in those terms. He doesn’t mention the details of the FISA Amendments Act when he gives his speeches about the law. Bush never admits what the law would allow him to do.
Like a good demagogue, George W. Bush keeps his argument simple, leaving all the disturbing premises that his argument depends upon unspoken. George W. Bush just says that terrorists are trying to kill you, and that he needs the FISA Amendments Act to stop them.
Bush promises that he will only use the spy powers of the FISA Amendments Act against bad people.
Think about that for minute: Do you really think that George W. Bush can be trusted to keep that promise?