Monday, December 19, 2005


So the government has been tapping U.S. citizens’ phone lines.

How could this happen? This is a breach of our rights, our privacy. As to whether this order was necessary, or whether the goals could have been achieved through different means, I won’t say, because frankly, I’m dealing with incomplete information.

However, I have a big problem with this:

“Sources with knowledge of the program have since told CNN that Bush did sign the secret order in 2002.

The sources refused to be identified because the program is classified.” –

Let me clear my throat, and repeat, CLASSIFIED.

Now, maybe I’m biased because of the industry I work in, but objectively, the term “classified” means a couple different things:

1. You shouldn’t tell anyone any of this information, because it is vital to the nation’s security.
2. You CAN’T tell anyone any of this information even if you felt so inclined, because it is ILLEGAL to do so.

Now, let’s step back for a second. Do I think that all classified information should always be kept secret? This brings to light ethical dilemmas such as “the whistleblower.” The idea is that someone knows something that they aren’t supposed to tell anyone, but the public has a right to know that information because it’s predicated on lies. See Exhibit A: Enron. I don’t think anyone would argue against Sharon Watkins’ actions.

So what of the whistleblowers in this case? These people were among very few people in the entire country that were entrusted with information that was highly classified. It was illegal for them to come forward with this information.

But perhaps, like Watkins, they know something we don’t? Perhaps the president authorized this program to stop terrorists, but it’s being abused, and our government is spying on everyone without rhyme or reason. In my opinion, if this is the case, whoever came forward to the press with this highly classified information should reveal themselves – if they felt that this covert operation were so heinously out of control that the public should know, and that courts would immediately declare the order unconstitutional, then they should be able to fess up to their actions. If they are right, they should have no problem sleeping at night, and will probably be regarded as heroes.

Otherwise, they are just snitches.


Post-write-up thoughts: maybe I’m old school, but I think that people should take accountability for their actions. Particularly as while I wrote this up, I saw various other headlines on CNN, such as “Democrats plan to investigate constitutional breach…”

Perish the thought, but if we had a Democratic president, something tells me the Republicans would be doing some investigating as well.

The concept that this charade could be politically fueled makes me want to wretch.


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