Bush Admits to Keeping Tabs on Millions of Americans
Now, however, that parsing has become truly repulsive. If you pay close attention, my friends, something has become terrifyingly clear: Bush is going to keep track of every phone call you make. And he's not going to apologize for it.
The headline of the CNN story reads as follows:
Bush: U.S. doesn't eavesdrop on phone calls of ordinary Americans
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush insisted Tuesday that the United States does not listen in on domestic telephone conversations among ordinary Americans.
Really? Well, that's good to know. Given the recent reports that the NSA has been gathering long lists of domestic phone calls, we were all starting to get worried! I mean, we had been getting word that you were even spying on major media organizations.
So what else did he have to say? What other reassuring words of comfort?
What I've told the American people is we'll protect them against an al-Qaida attack. And we'll do so within the law. I've been very clear about the principles and guidelines of any program that has been designed to protect the American people.
Well, that's not too reassuring now, is it? What exactly do you define as the law, mister President? Tell me more!
I've also been clear about the fact that we do not listen to domestic phone calls without court approval and that this government will continue to guard the privacy of the American people. But if al-Qaida is calling into the United States, we want to know, and we want to know why.
Ah...we DO NOT LISTEN TO DOMESTIC PHONE CALLS without a warrant. Well, question resolved then! But wait, was there more???
The president did not respond directly, however, when asked whether it was a violation of privacy for the National Security Agency to seek phone records of millions of people from telephone companies.
Well, there's the nub, isn't it? Through incredibly disgusting parsing, Bush has made something terribly clear: he fully intends to continue keeping logs of the phone calls of MILLIONS of Americans WIHOUT COURT APPROVAL. And it's all okay--because he isn't really LISTENING to those calls--unless, of course, the FISA court approves, as it has done in almost every instance.
So the government may not be listening to your conversations directly, but it knows the name, location, time and number of every person whom you have called, and who has called you. How comforting, Mr. President.
Me, I feel safer already. Don't you?