February 17, 2008

Ruhro, The Protect America Act expired--Please Panic now--Updated

Because that is exactly what your President wants you to do. Glenn Greenwald nails another of the "President's bizarre propaganda dramas" where Bush and his loyal drones in Congress tell us that the expiration of this law makes us unsafe.
All of the right-wing war cheerleaders who will be rendered sleepless as of midnight tonight, petrified that the Muslims who normally lurk menacingly on their corners will now be free to spring attacks since we now live under FISA (1978-8/2007) rather than the PAA (8/2007-2/2008),
That's right. We are so very unsafe because we are now under the previous law and not under this questionable PAA. Does that mean that Bush can't go after terrorists? Not really:
"(Um, no: every order now in place stays in place for a year, and any time the government wants to target someone new, all they have to do is get a warrant from the incredibly compliant FISA court.)
And say that it really did make us unsafe? Greenwald again points to the source of that insecurity:
There is one reason, and one reason only, that the Protect America Act expired. Its name is "George W. Bush." That is who refused to agree to the Democrats' offer to extend the law by 21 days (or longer), then repeatedly threatened to veto any such extension ("US President George W. Bush on Wednesday vowed to veto another temporary extension of a domestic spying law"), then directed the always-obedient House Republicans to vote unanimously against the extension, which they (needless to say) did. This vital-to-our-safety piece of legislation expired only because George W. Bush repeatedly blocked its extension. It's just that simple.
And why? Because of telecom immunity. Corporations who "may have helped" the government spy on its own citizens need a break from trial lawyers. Or something. But clearly, that is far more important than anything else to the Bush man.

But the very best take on this (so far) is Mark Fiore's animated cartoon: The Spies Who Love You! Hilarious and dead on balls accurate.

Updated: Publius at Obsidian Wings has a very interesting take on this recent fight and suggests that while the 2002 war authorization demoralized and harmed the Democrats, it did more harm to the GOP, and that bill is coming due.
"In short, the GOP learned too much from its 2002 victory. Rather than seeing 2002 as a one-time victory based on unique historical circumstances, they’ve come to see it as a universal recipe for electoral success. In their minds, they can win by taking any national security issue on which the Dems are divided and embrace the policy that maximizes executive authority (or more precisely, Bush’s authority – I’m sure they’ll all transform into squawking Hayeks if Obama or Clinton win)."

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