Friday, September 01, 2006

The hypocrisy of the crowd

In 2000, an article about "The Secret FISA Court: Rubber Stamping Our Rights" created outrage and prompted comments like this:

This is beyond frightening. Thank you for this find.

This does not bode well for continued freedom. Franz Kafka would have judged this too wild to fictionalize. But for us - it’s real.

and this:
Any chance of Bush rolling some of this back? It sounds amazing on its face.
But today, when there's warrantless NSA surveillance that makes the FISA Court look like significant judicial oversight, the comments are like this:
Privacy is a false argument and has been for some time. Your insurance company and the credit bureaus have more on you than the feds do and you can do nothing about it. I would rather be secure knowing that the feds were looking over my shoulder and keeping me safe. I have nothing to hide, and in times of war, these steps are necessary.
So when Clinton engages in eavesdropping (rubber stamped by the FISA Court), it's a threat to the republic, but when Bush does it (without any judicial oversight), it's no problem.

Hat tip to Gene Healy at Cato, by way of The Agitator.


Hume's Ghost said...

I think you'll appreciate this link.

Lippard said...

Those people should all be embarrassed not for making those arguments during Clinton's administration, but for failing to continue to make them during Bush's.

Of course, they'll all defend themselves by saying that 9/11 changed everything.

Hume's Ghost said...

That's the thing. So many of those folks attack, say, the ACLU for being a partisan "leftist" organization that is out to get Republicans and what not, but the ACLU protested Clinton's use of the NSA Echelon program. I actually got into an extended argument with someone who tried to tell me that concerns over Bush's domestic surveillance were purely partisan because Echelon under Clinton was worse (i.e. Clinton spied on "everyone") than what Bush is doing. I wanted to bang my head against a wall, because the guy would not acknowledge that Bush is using the same frickin' program! (plus the bit about authorizing the circumvention of FISA.)

They'll say 9/11 changed everything, but many people in those links or their colleagues don't have a problem with what Nixon was doing in the first place.

Hume's Ghost said...

I assume you'll know what I meant in the comment above, but just to be clear, I'm not implying Nixon is exclusively the only other president to violate civil liberties, but just that those folks are particularly ok with Nixon having done so.