Kinbote (kinbote) wrote,
Kinbote
kinbote

Granting the premise

I caught pieces of the warrantless domestic surveillance hearings today via online video. What most dismays me about this issue is how the President has articulated a snappy one-line argument to justify it -- "If al Qaeda is calling you, we want to know why" -- and everybody seems to be granting him the magical ability to be right whenever he claims it's al Qaeda calling.

But he claims a whole lot of people are al Qaeda when they're not:

- We know hundreds of Guantanamo prisoners -- who we were assured were the "worst of the worst" -- have been released because they were actually harmless shepherds and farmers, not dangerous arch-terrorists. But they were kidnapped, transported halfway around the globe and imprisoned for years because the President could label them "al Qaeda" without oversight.

- We know the "No-Fly List" wrongly claims thousands of innocent people are too dangerous to be allowed on airplanes, based on suspicion without oversight that is then extended to others by sloppy name-matching. Senator Kennedy from Massachusetts is wrongly on this list. I personally know a hospital nurse here in town who is wrongly on the no-fly list. But hey, the President can label them as dangerous on his own say-so without oversight.

- We've watched the administration repeatedly claim to have blown up Person X from al Qaeda with a missile strike, only to have Person X appear on TV a week later, alive and well. So who got blown up in their place? Innocent people get blasted into little meat chunks because they've been wrongly labeled "al Qaeda" without oversight.

The simple response is: Sure, you can wiretap al Qaeda _IF_ you can justify your labelling. That's what the warrant process is all about!

Isn't this obvious? Why is everybody granting him his premise, that people are actually al Qaeda whenever he so labels them?
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