(Although I still don’t buy the story from the guy whose dog had been enlisted by the CIA to help spy on him.)
I wonder if that guy tried to marry his dog.
But I digress.
We’ve had better weeks around here. The Patriot Act renewal and the Senate Intell Committee’s decision to block any investigation of the NSA warrantless surveillance program are enough to make any civil libertarian run, not walk, to the nearest barstool to drink liberally.
But fear not, friends of freedom. There is plenty of work to be done. The more they push us down, the louder we become.
Rather than being a check-and-balance to the administration, it seems the Congress is more interested in getting decked-and-walloped by the White House. Thus, they’ve forced us to go to the third, co-equal branch of government, the judiciary. From the ACLU’s press release yesterday:
Saying that the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans is flatly illegal and unconstitutional, the American Civil Liberties Union today asked a federal court in Detroit to block the program immediately.
“In America, no one is above the law, not even the president,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “The president’s allies in Congress are preparing to cover up his illegal program, while others in Congress are standing on the sidelines. When the President breaks the law, Congress should not be giving him a get-out-of-jail free card.”
Meanwhile, Senator Arlen Specter announced on Monday that he has introduced legislation, S2369 (pdf), to add further freedom protections to the Patriot Act, and his bill is co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group of senators. From Senator Specter’s press release:
“This bill will be useful as a marker to promote further reconsideration of the provisions contained in the Senate bill passed last year,” said Senator Specter. “There is always a balance to be struck between civil liberties on the one hand and sufficient power for law enforcement on the other. This legislation puts down a benchmark to provide extra protections that better comport with my sensitivity of civil rights.”
Finally, the (Harrisburg) Patriot News recognized the need for full disclosure on the domestic spying program in an editorial today:
This program raises serious constitutional red flags and needs a thorough public airing to determine its legality as well as the range of its use. We urge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who held the lone hearing as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to refocus on this issue and move forward with more hearings.
So buck up, amigos de libertad. As TJ said, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and eternity is a long, darn time.
Andy in the HBG