Where does it stop?

In Sunday’s NY Times, “This American Life” contributor Sarah Vowell talks about her internal and “insuferable civics robot,” which yelps every time Bush talks about his “responsibility ‘to protect the American people.'” Vowell’s robot yearns to remind Bush that his oath (“the one with the Bible and the chief justice”) is to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

At the intersection of not protecting people or laws: I’m not liking this suggestion by “a Justice Department official…that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States.” Domestic spying, domestic hit squads, what’s next?

Meanwhile… I’m thinking that the whole “tell the truth, whole truth…” thing might be a good addition to an oath of office. Not only did our esteemed AG justify the NSA domestic surveillance program, but he falsley claimed that there was implicit Congressional approval of the program. In his blog, Russ Feingold accuses Gonzales of “bringing the parsing of words to new lows.”

And, yet, the Harrisburg Patriot News and the ACLU’s own Caroline Frederickson suggest that all of this attention to domestic surveilliance plays the role of convenient bait and switch to distract from the release of Bush’s budget proposal. We haven’t seen that before, have we?

But, while it might just be a petty distraction for you, me and my co-workers listening to C-Span online, we might as well send in the ACLU Action Alert calling for the appointment of special counsel to investigate this current incarnation of executive abuse of power.

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