Friday, December 23, 2005

Domestic Spying is Still Wrong

It has been pointed out to me that the federal government has been spying on US citizens since before the time of J. Edgar Hoover. The fact that it has gone on for so long, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, does not make it anymore right today than it was back then. It means the wrong has gone on for far too long.

There have been some early calls for impeachment over this issue. It is doubtful that such proceedings will take place even if the Democrats gain control of both Houses of Congress in the next election, because there are Democratic fingerprints in the same cookie jar that we caught the GOP hand in.

It is rather like as it is with speed limits. If the speed limit is 65 and everyone drives 70, then nobody gets ticketed for driving 5 over the limit. But those old speed limits were arbitrary safety standards set both in DC and Indy that had nothing to with how fast was actually safe to drive. Nobody is suprised or shocked by warrantless wiretaps for the same reason, but the right to be safe and secure in your own home, the right to not have to testify against yourself, and the right to say what ever you want over the phone without a governement agent recording it make those wiretaps unconstitutional and illegal.

While it is unlikely that anyone will go to jail over domestic spying, (except of course those who are being spied upon) people need to start holding politicians responsible for this. You can't ignore something like this even when the perpetrator is a member of the same establishment party as you.

I strongly suspect that I will only have to change the wording of this post slightly if and when I republish it again when a Democrat is president.

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