Friday, December 30, 2005

Solutions Are Not the Answer

[[A D V O C A C Y]] * Well, Christmas is past, bringing my way a stack of wonderful new books, a new cigar humidor, and a few useful clothing items. And I’ve finally signed off on my responsibilities toward both January Magazine’s gift-books feature and its “Best of 2005” selection (the latter of which should be posted soon). So I have some free time again in which to tinker with and update Limbo.

The first thing I want to make mention of is the ACLU’s hard-hitting new ad, which ran yesterday in The New York Times:

(Click on this image to see an enlarged version.)

This advertisement is linked with the ACLU’s December 21 request to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales that he appoint an outside special counsel to investigate George W. Bush’s secret domestic spying program. That request reads in part:

The shocking revelations of the past few days make it clear that the administration cannot be entrusted with investigating itself, especially when the instructions to violate our federal criminals laws came from the president himself. President George W. Bush and members of his cabinet, including you, as well as the Principle Deputy Director for National Intelligence, have gone on the public offensive after reports broke that the NSA has engaged in a secret domestic program to listen in on conversations of American citizens and other people in this country without any court review or authority under FISA. These reports first appeared in the New York Times on December 16, 2005. The public interest demands that this prima facie case of criminal activity be referred to a special counsel who has the independence to investigate the violation of these criminal laws.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Bush has been likened to Richard Nixon, for obvious reasons. And it won’t be the last, especially since Snoopgate, as Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter dubbed the administration’s latest scandal, makes Dubya look just about as paranoid and contemptuous of congressional oversight as Tricky Dick ever was. I am just waiting for the prez to repeat, any day now, that infamous Nixon line: “When the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal.”

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