What kind of wiretap activity is so sensitive that even secret, retroactive judicial review is too restrictive? Where are the protesters, the people in the streets? If the idea that the executive government refuses to explain its actions to any court doesn’t make your skin crawl, why not? If it does, how are you able to talk about anything else?
Does the thought that it’s okay to torture even potential terrorists make you want to yell? Or cry? Both? And yet if the same happened to any nation’s soldiers or civilian bystanders, we’d be talking about war crimes and international courts. Why is “The War on Terror” not required to follow the international laws of war? Does that mean that they’ll have the right to torture the next militant homegrown cult the FBI encounters?
Lately I’ve been thinking that even Orwell might be surprised to discover this: it turns out that you don’t have to rewrite the newspapers and history books to get people to buy into the changing reasons for an amorphous war, and expanded attacks on civil liberties. You just keep telling them that everything that happens is part of your plan (even when you said you were acting for this reason and this result and something entirely different occurs). You tell them that you have their best interests at heart. That you’re only doing this to keep the country safe. And that you’ll never do these things to one of us.