Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Surveillance: What Bush Should Have Done

Should all international communications be scanned by the NSA? Possibly, but not without warrants and accountability.

President Bush should have established automated mechanisms to scan messages for content, but he should also have created safeguards against use of the information by humans, and obtained the consent of Congress (which was in Republican hands, by the way).

What kinds of safeguards might be appropriate? Well, human translators might be permitted to analyze flagged messages, but they would only have access to the identities of the participants under court order. Also, the collected information should only be available for use in counterterrorism cases. Otherwise, this technology will be abused by people on fishing expeditions.

As it stands, Bush broke the law by illegally wiretapping communications. He wants us to trust him after all his lies. Trust him? Let's see, how did Bush put it? "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

I think there are even odds that Bush will be impeached if the Democrats take back Congress in 2006.

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