what kind of sick individual wouldn’t want an attentive big brother?

With the President’s approval, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been spying on American citizens without oversight. They’ve been doing it since 2002, but Bush has just admitted it. (You know, I really didn’t believe the story that came out a few days ago about Bush saying to his advisors that the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper,” but now I’m starting to wonder if there might be some truth to it.)

I guess from now on we should all just assume that we’re being watched all of the time… Did you see in today’s news that a student at U-Mass was visited at home by federal agents after requesting an inter-library loan of Chairman Mao’s little red book? That’s not really the kind of thing you’d expect from a free society, is it?

Of course Cheney says that if Clinton had allowed warrantless surveillance 9/11 never would have happened. As the folks at Think Progress point out, however, that’s absolute bullshit. Here’s a blurb from their post on the subject:

The NSA “already had the capacity to read your mail and your e-mail and listen to your telephone conversations. All it had to do was obtain a warrant from a special court created for this purpose. The burden of proof for obtaining a warrant was relaxed a bit after 9/11, but even before the attacks the court hardly ever rejected requests.” Indeed, from 1979 to 2002, the FISA court issued 15,264 surveillance warrants. Not a single warrant application was rejected.

But we needed to make it easier… eliminating any written documentation, as well as oversight.

I guess maybe we should just be happy that we aren’t being torturedat least not on U.S. soil.

(note: This post was brought to you courtesy of the brand new They Might Be Giants podcast.)

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10 Comments

  1. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    See also “Echelon”

    http://cryptome.org/echelon-60min.htm

  2. Kathleen
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I think it’s sad that UMass had to Interlibrary Loan Mao’s Little Red Book. Why on earth is it not in their stacks? Good thing I didn’t buy mine, so I’m untraceable.

  3. Dr Cherry
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I posted a comment but the Ministry of Truth deleted it.

  4. Stella Magdalen
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Ok I have been trying SO hard for so long not to say this but I can’t not.
    To me, Dr. Cherry sounds like a great porn name.

  5. Dr Cherry
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    “… been trying SO hard for so long …”

    It is a great porn name though I hope those video tapes never see the light of day, I don’t need that kind of fame.

  6. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    My porn name was always going to be Buster Hymen (sob, sob, sniffle…) but just wasn’t in the cards for me.

  7. It's Skinner Again
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I thought you got your porn name by combining the name of your first pet with the first street you lived on.

  8. Collin
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Pudding Santiago. mmm…no. Not even in porn.

  9. mark
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    It disgusts me to say this, but I love the taste of Pudding Santiago.

  10. mark
    Posted December 20, 2005 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Echelon under Clinton isn’t a good analogy. Here’s something from Think Progress:

    …That

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