Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bonehead Justice

Regarding Albert Gonzalez’s assertion that they’re finally getting court approval over their illegal wiretapping, we read from TPM:
Administration officials “have convinced a single judge in a secret session, in a nonadversarial session, to issue a court order to cover the president’s terrorism surveillance program,” Ms. Wilson said in a telephone interview.

Now they’re just getting stupid.  It was offensive before, but now it’s offensive and stupid.  This isn’t going to work and they’ve just opened a whole can of worms they didn’t want.  It’s like someone amongst them wants to be busted.  As if you can just get a fricking warrant for the whole damn program.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.  Frankly, I had thought this was a dead issue.  They rode out the storm over warrantless wiretaps, and either Congress was going to do something about it or they weren’t.  But this isn’t going to stop anything and is just going to piss people off.

Of course, this is all provisional until we find out for sure that the story here is true.  But I strongly suspect it is, because it just sounds like the kind of brain-numbing shenanigans these people like to think are clever.  Some bonehead in the Justice Department came up with a harebrained scheme for getting around the problem, and the boneheads in the Whitehouse were so desperate to find a solution they liked that they convinced themselves that it’ll work.  But it won’t, and will only have offended people.  

Liberals who were offended by the original program will be offended more so by the sleight-of-hand.  Liberals who weren’t offended (The New Republic, perhaps), will be offended that they defended a program that the Whitehouse is so willing to revise at the drop of a hat.  And Conservatives will be offended that the Whitehouse gave up any ground at all.  

In fact, that’s the biggest surprise: That Cheney didn’t step in and put a kibosh on the whole thing.  To him, it’s weakness to even do research on whether they need to ask permission about getting permission.  You get the powers because you took the powers, and thus they’re vested solely with you to have or not have.  And if you have to ask whether you can do it, it means that you probably can’t.  It’s that simple.

But I guess this is perhaps a sign of how weak Cheney’s position really has become.  And it’s about time.  Just about every screw-up this administration has had has Cheney’s fingerprints all over it, including its first mistake: Hiring Dick Cheney.  And it’s all been downhill from there.  If someone told me that it was Great Grandpa Cheney’s idea to build New Orleans below sea level, I wouldn’t doubt them.  I don’t know anything about Cheney’s lineage, but wouldn’t doubt if it’s faker boneheads all the way down.

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