News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: When The Tech Guys Start Chirping, You Know Somethings' Rotten in the Air

Saturday, December 17, 2005

When The Tech Guys Start Chirping, You Know Somethings' Rotten in the Air

One of the blogs I monitor is one for former and current military geeks and techies, whose stated mission is to review and stay up to date on "The future of the military, law enforcement, and national security." Most likely the blog is run by and read by former military who want to keep up to speed on the technology advances made by military. No doubt, there's something of the little boys' syndrome of seeing big toys going on here, as well as staying aware of the changing technology.

I like the site because I have some of that technophilia in my heart--just like most kids I grew up worshiping, dreaming about, and learning about the latest technological feat. That's what makes America great, right?

And why not? I mean I'd be a hypocrite to deny that I've benefited from that technology. From my microwave to this computer, I guess I think I'd be at a loss .... I have often asked myself what level of technological lack in my life would I think went too far? For me, it gets to the level of hot water.

Anyway, what's interesting about this defense tech blog I monitor is that they show all the gadgets and gizmos that will keep the empire in force--even should the US leave Iraq without gaining its objectives. This is a group of writers who are about as gung-ho, pro American, as you'll get without having to listen to a Limbaugh meat puppet bellowing in your ear...

What's drawn my eye is a recent post the guys put on the eavesdropping story that's making the rounds in the news. That is, the stories that describe how the President has ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on US citzens' emails, phones calls, and other electornic communications. By law, the NSA is not allowed to do that without a court order and only in extraordinary circumstances. After 911, Pres. Bush abrogated the legal procedures, jumping over the court orders, and instead told the NSA that he has the power to direct them to do this merely by the fact that he is the executive power in the government.

Needless to say, this has caused a lot of heartache among liberals and conservatives. For good reason. It infringes on the Bill of Rights and calls into question the balance of power among the three branches of government.

You might suspect that the guys over at Defense Tech are behind the President on this. Extreme circumstances call for extreme measures, and these guys (like many people) feel that the "war on terrorism" is about extreme circumstances.

Yet, even they are balking at the reasoning that the President is giving for why he needs to tap Americans' communications. According to a recent posting, titled "Wiretaps' Fishy Rationale," at the blog:

But that's not the only fishy thing here. In his radio address today, the President said:

The existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk.

Which implies that, somehow, suspected jihadists might not have known before that the government could be eavesdropping on them. Realistically, what are the chances of that?
If even these guys, gung ho as they are for this war and supporting the war against terror, can smell something fishy in the air about this wiretapping, then I think Pres. Bush has something to worry about--not to mention us. Why, indeed, do you have to wiretap people who already know they're probably being wiretapped anyway?

The Defense Tech posting ends with an update:
Also, if the Administration thinks it basically has the power to do whatever it damn pleases -- detain Americans indefinitely, torture terror suspects, eavesdrop without a warrant -- then why bother pushing for the Patriot Act? What do you need new laws for, if you're already allowed to use every trick in the book?
Good question. As I have mentioned in other postings, the people in the military are just as concerned about what they're losing their lives for as anyone else--obviously. They believe they're dying for freedom and to protect the American people and the constitution. If the President has thrown the constitution out the window, then why are these men and women fighting and what for?

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