News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Bush Defends NSA Spy Program

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bush Defends NSA Spy Program

Facing a rising call on the Left for impeachment and calls from within his own party to investigate the spy program on Americans by the NSA, President Bush took his show on the road. Attempting to lay people's minds at rest, Bush fielded questions from an audience at a public forum in Lousiville, Kentucky. This time the audience was not screened for Bush-only supporters, accroding to the Washington Post.

Bush responded to a question from the audience about the NSA plan by telling the questioner,

"I understand people's concerns about government eavesdropping," Bush said in response to a question about the program during a citizens forum here. "I share their concerns as well." Even so, he added, the program is important to his duty to protect Americans.
The vacuity of this answer leaves my mind numb. If anything is said here, it's that the President understands what I understand about his breaking the law, ...

but if he understood what I understand about his actions, he would know that it is illegal and therefore not do it or have done it.

Can the President really share my "concerns" about this program? If he did, then he would not be eavedropping on Americans, even to protect me. The way I see it, there are just some things that I care about--like my freedom--that no action that destroys that freedom can in fact be done to protect my freedom.

It seems that the President's confusion here rests on an inability to recognize that the ends do not justify the means. In the process of protecting me, the President's abuse of power and betrayal of my trust destroy any basis for freedom that I might later have.

While it might seem a quaint notion at present, I still have this naive belief that any life worth living must be free. If you destroy that freedom, then any life you protect will simply be worthless by the time you get done protecting it.

In life, there are some things, I guess, that are worth more than the basic fact of material existence. The freedom from fear is one of those. It seems that the President believes that to destroy the enemy means that any means are justifiable, including creating an environment of fear and suspicion among the very people he thinks he is protecting.

Whether or not those means are just or legal seems beyond his ethical comprehension.

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