Sunday, January 15, 2006

Why don't you pass the time with a game of Texas hold 'em?

mohamed-el-baradei-spacewar The Manchurian Candidate book
Bush wants hearings regarding the NSA spying scandal. I don’t know if I should even call it a scandal as it’s unclear to me to what degree people out there in real-people-land are concerned about it, or even understand the issues at stake. The rapidly evolving conventional wisdom regarding why Bush wants hearings is that he thinks the democrats will make themselves look shrill and foolish, and after the herculeanly inept “grilling” of Sam Alito this past week I readily agree that this is possible.
(see “Bush in the Briar Patch”- John Dickerson, in Slate.)

The problem, as I see it, is that Republicans are framing the “issue” and Democrats are letting them, perhaps out of timidity.(Or stupidity.) Fox News say it’s about our rights versus our security, and if you accept that middle school civics class trope you’re an idiot. Of course people are going to choose security. Security is macho. “Rights” are whiney. You and your whiney, whiney rights, liberals. Go back to Connecticut, or Sweden, etc. Sadly, that's what we are living with today. But Americans already mistrust George Jr for being a liar, even if senatorial democrats, to say nothing of CNN, are too afraid to use that word. The problem with unfettered spying is the enemies list, which is bigger than Nixon’s. How many people are on George Junior’s enemies list? You know the sumbitch has one. How many people is he spying on under the guise of calling them terrorists? Take a page from Richard Condon, and the good version of the Manchurian Candidate(1962):

Senator Iselin: I have here a list of the names of 207 persons who are known by the Secretary of Defense as being members of the Communist Party...I demand an answer, Mr. Secretary. There will be no covering up, sir, no covering up. You are not going to get your hands on this list.

Rights versus Security: stupid. Bush’s enemies list: provocative and timely. We already know that Mohammed El-Baradei is on that list, and in the fall of 2004 the NSA spied on him. Did Bush ok it? A year later El-Baradei won the Nobel prize, along with the IAEA. Why don’t any of the s***-for-brains loonies who go on opinion teevee the cable news networks to discuss NSA spying talk about that?
You want to win with the NSA spy scandal, ask about who Bush is spying on with his presumptive powers. I’d inquire about all the persons who’ve won the Nobel peace prize who’ve spent time in the USA since 9.11.2001, at a conference, or giving a speech or whatever. How about Sibel Edmonds, or Richard Clark, or Richard Ben-Veniste? Did Bush spy on any of them, just because he decided he could? People who opposed John Bolton’s nomination to the UN. People who testified in ways the White House didn’t care for before the 9-11 comission. Rights versus security? Please. Turn the Fucking Tables.


Hunter at Daily Kos discusses it here(June 2005), and,

Washington Post: IAEA Leader's Phone Tapped
U.S. Pores Over Transcripts to Try to Oust Nuclear Chief(December 2004)

Diallo Sekou in deskrat chronicles discusses El Baradei, here.

(I was originally going to title this post "George Bush, jr is the bravest, kindest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." But I just couldn't.)