Monday, May 15, 2006

Two Crucial Questions: Who Will Ask Them?

"There are two simple points that need to be made aggressively and stubbornly every time any Democrat speaks on (domestic spying).

(This, by Zack Exley, was on Huffpost last Thursday)

1) "Bush ALREADY HAD the freedom to spy on anyone he wanted - he just had to tell a secret intelligence judge AFTERWARDS, a judge who was sworn to secrecy. So what was he trying to hide from that judge?"
Say that over and over. Whenever the interviewer or Republican who you're up against goes back to "our intelligence gatherers have to be able to act fast," don't let that stand. Stop them. Stop them and make them take it back. Ask them, "Is there something you don't understand about this? Bush already had the freedom to spy on anyone at anytime - with no delays, no delays at all. All he had to do was AFTERWARDS tell a special, secret, terrorist-fighting judge who he spied on."
I know from the last time, you feel like you did say that. But you didn't really. You'd throw it out there with some confusing words about a FISA Court, and 72 hours. And when they ignored you on that point, you let it stand and moved on to the next point of argument: usually something about "civil liberties" and how we need to defend them even if means everyone getting blown up by terrorists.
This time around, keep it simple, and make them acknowledge the simple fact that Bush could always spy on anyone with no delays at all.

2) "WHO WERE THEY SPYING ON? We need to see a list."
Democrats in Congress must demand to see a list (and keep it secret of course), of every person and organization who the Republican administration eavesdropped on, and every person and organization whose phone records they checked.
Was Karl Rove making up lists of political opponents to listen in on? Did this have something to do with the 2004 elections? Were they listening in on the people who were investigating the White House? Were they spying on Churches? On corporate competitors of Halliburton and other favorites? The reason the president has to tell a secret intelligence judge who he spied on is to prevent those kinds of abuses.

Read the whole thing. It's worth the time...

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