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Security and Sand 
15th-Mar-2008 04:00 am
I have to say it's been a pretty fun week of reading watching some of the latest fallout of things connected to the 9/11 tragedy and the Iraq war.

In case you've been living under a rock the first bit of fun started when the House of Representatives unveiled a new surveillance bill that was different from the version the Senate created. Pretty common at times, but the best part? Bush wanted the Senate version passed. Why? Well, if you take what Bush says at face value it's because he doesn't want the various phone companies that provided information after 9/11 to be open to civil lawsuits. Don't believe the hype though. I'm pretty sure it's just a smokescreen.

While I do believe people are upset with the phone companies for offering up private information to the government that was obtained in a questionable manner, I believe those people are actually more upset with the government. The problem is that it's difficult to sue the government without the government's approval that you sue them (as I've come to understand such things over the years). So, if you can't sue the government then you go after the people who gave the government information on you.

The Senate's version of the surveillance bill would have given retroactive immunity to the companies that provided our personal information to the government. It seems the House Democrats aren't big on that. Still, it could be a moot point though as the House's bill would allow the phone companies to make their case in a closed court without the plaintiffs present. To me, that's still questionable but as it does have a connection to national security and personal privacy I can accept it. So, to me the hinge factor is the retroactive immunity for the companies. Why is it important to Bush? In my mind it's simple. He's saving his own hide.

You see, if the phone companies are found to be guilty of crossing certain lines regarding the use and sharing of information of private citizens I'd say the next logical step becomes to go after the people who asked for that information, especially if obtaining it is determined to have been done through questionable means. Oh, and I'm not just talking Bush and his cronies here, I'm talking our whole intelligence community. This week has also had an interesting report of how the FBI has been found to have been obtaining personal information on citizens without proper authorization.

Back to the President though. I'm sorry, but I don't believe for one instant that his primary goal in having the Senate's version of the intelligence bill has a THING to do with protecting the phone companies or their financial situations. His choices as President have done more than enough to screw up the economy. This could make the dam get close to bursting, but he started building the pressure long ago. Oh, and if you didn't know the House version of the bill was passed. I'm hoping for a showdown.

Finally, in a connected story of lack of connections....

The Pentagon (yes, THE Pentagon) released a report stating that there was NO connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Now, while the findings do support that Hussein was supporting terrorists inside and outside Iraq their focus was keeping him and his Baath party in power. So, if we're constantly fighting al Qaeda in Iraq and there was no connection between Hussein and Iraq then what is the new factor in Iraq that would/could have allowed al Qaeda to encroach? Wow, I'd guess it's the fact we headed into the country to make our changes (for them of course).

Please keep in mind that this isn't me saying that we were wrong in wanting Hussein out. This is me saying that the way we did it was wrong on a NUMBER of levels. Not only that, we regular citizens are paying a much more hefty price than any of those who approved our military action. We're paying through the economy, the lives of fallen soldiers and our standing in the world in general as a nation. I really do believe that anyone that continues to argue that Bush will be remembered as one of the greatest presidents ever needs to be smacked. Any benefits to our country or the world in general that come through our response to 9/11 and our military action in Iraq will have happened in SPITE of that man. Of that there is no doubt in my mind.

It seems many things are coming to a close for the Bush regime.
Clerks Ani - USA!
15th-Mar-2008 11:59 am (UTC)
I would be hesitant to think that any of this is going to come to a decisive resolution anytime soon, even after Bush is finally gone. I have the feeling that all of this incredibly innate counter-productivity he has injected into our daily world of thinking is going to breed and manifest itself into some really contemptuous ill feeling and inaction from the rest of the world on our behalf come the day we must truly defend our soil and the original american ideals that were corruptly polluted long ago with it. The only constituents that uphold his values and truly regard him as a great idol, in my perspective, are those that favor despotism over democracy, empirical power over constructive diplomacy, bloody ignorance over fearless love if you will. The sad fact is with this utter irreverence for the democratic process and the unchecked power of egotistical fascism, there will be more not less candidates vying for their choice of freedom and branding it on the rest of the political body, enforcing their choices, tastes, and values onto the unholy (by means of hypocrisies) materialistic crowd. In my humble opinion, we as the newly minted generation of able bodied registrars in this academia of democracy will be living down the encroachment and irresponsible undervaluing of human rights, threatened with responses and reactions to his regime of demagogues for quite a while.
16th-Mar-2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Oh, believe me when I say that I know that just because some things may come to a close it doesn't mean that resolution is part of that. This stuff can easily be closed and swept under a rug, or swept under a rug to create the illusion of closure.

Our democratic process is definitely sick. Personally I think the first part of creating some wellness is to revise or do away with the Electoral College system. It's outdated and is not an accurate reflection of the true voting landscape.

Yes, we will be living down the choices of the Bush regime for quite some time. As I have told a friend of mine many a time, "For as angry as I get with these idiots in office I can only allow myself to get so frustrated as I know the people who I should actually be upset with are the voters who put them into office." We get what we vote for...kind of.
16th-Mar-2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Same here, i consider myself an independant wanting for the days of a multi party system again. The first time I ever got to vote (turning 18 in 2000) i voted for gore in the election bush stole making my vote really not stand for anything, even though I was originally going for Mccain.. then somewhere along the way of him supporting Bush and his switching stances and changing his mind more then they accused John Kerry of he lost my support of his cause; I wanted Howard Dean to win the 04 campaign but then the media started blasting him for being a little too passionate, which is honestly what I'd want out of someone trying to oust the current regime anyway. After pretty much all of that I ended up losing faith in the political system and stopped participating in all politics altogether.

Meanwhile the whole time Bush apologists always argued the bullshit about war on terrorism and his blatant abuse of power in the oval office, even though I referred them to read up on the Mccarthy era.. which is almost exactly how the supporters of the Bush regime is against islamic terrorism is panning out. They never gave me any valid or fact based arguments, only screaming about how bad the other politicians would be, assuming that I was a Clinton apologist and calling me a liberal hippie. I lost a few friends, that I thought were smarter then that, over stupid arguments like that.

But I have to say that Obama, and his supporters (even though many are voting for him for the wrong reasons), have been giving me new hope and optimism about the future of our political system. Im glad he isn't resorting to Ms. Clintons recent tyrade of dirty politics, and I just hope I don't get screwed out of this vote as well, or Im probably going to be wanting out of anything to do with politics altogether.
16th-Mar-2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
I understand where you're coming from on this one. I was lucky enough to first vote at a time when I felt like my vote had a bit more of an impact. Still, while I have been voting since I was 18 I have never voted FOR a presidential candidate. The post I plan on putting up later today is gonna be on that. Check it out if you're interested.
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