Here’s something I just don’t understand about the whole electronic eavesdropping controversy.

Given that FISA warrants are:

  • Easy to obtain
  • Secret
  • Obtainable retroactively, so you can legally start listening in immediately

Why is it necessary to eavesdrop without one? What’s so hard about getting a warrant?

While we’re at it, given that the bad guys almost certainly knew we were spying on them as much as we could already, what’s so dangerous about revealing the warrantless spying program?

Instead of these endless self-justifications, it would be nice to see President Bush or Attorney General Gonzales say, “You’re right, we should have gotten warrants. From now on, we will.” End of story. Instead of digging in their heels and insisting on powers that should scare the hell out of anyone, no matter what their party affiliation.

3 thoughts on “Smoking Dutch Cleanser

  1. Thank you. Those are precisely my questions (and precisely my observation in reply to the “Talking about this is a danger to national security!” thing).

    If there’s a reason why the FISA process wasn’t workable, it hasn’t been made public. Which is going to make a lot of people think it wasn’t used because they thought the warrants wouldn’t be issued, which is more than a bit worrisome.

  2. Strangely left out of most of these articles is that Gonzales claimed precedent on electronic surveillance back to President Washington. Um…that’s good Dutch cleanser there, isn’t it, Attorney General?

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