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December 20, 2005

Dear Leaders: Please Stop Protecting Us So Hard

One thing we know about George Bush: he really, really cares about protecting us. In fact, he cares so much he's been spying on Americans without warrants. But as he explained at his press conference on Monday, this had nothing to do with him. It's all about us:

I want to make sure the American people understand that we have an obligation to protect you.

The same thing was true about the Patriot Act. It had nothing to do with him getting gigantic new powers. That's ridiculous! Like most ambitious politicians, President Bush got into politics in order to have as little power as possible. Instead, as he said when he signed the Patriot Act:

Today, we are taking historic action to defend the United States and protect our citizens.

Likewise with Saddam Hussein. Did you think he wanted absolute power? How preposterous! He would much rather have stayed at home, knitting decorative tea cozies. Unfortunately, he was forced by circumstances beyond his control to defend Iraqis.

As with Bush, we know this is true with Saddam because that's what he says. Here he is at his trial, challenging a witness who accused him of ordering the witness' torture:

"I realize there is pressure on you and I regret that I have to confront one of my sons," Hussein said to Mohammed. "But I'm not doing it for myself. I'm doing it for Iraq. I'm not defending myself. But I am defending you."

It almost makes me cry to see the deep love our leaders have for us—the way they care so much for us, and so little for themselves. I hope Iraqis are as grateful to Saddam Hussein as we are to President Bush.

Posted at December 20, 2005 09:05 AM | TrackBack

Arrest the Police State
It is a clear, word-perfect violation of the 4th Amendment (and is thus an “unreasonable search”) to monitor a US citizen’s phone conversation without a warrant being issued.
This is the gravest crisis in American history excepting only our birth and our civil war. The president is not above the law; his action by spying on US citizens with no warrant removes at a stroke the linchpin of Federal and State Judicial Branch protections. We will need move the very machinery of the law to prevent Bush from reaching his goal: a “christian” corporate despotism while casting himself as Big Bother. Call in every favor ever owed you from anybody powerful, print out your thoughts about this and print “Arrest the Police State” signs, and mail these to your representatives. Hundreds of thousands of us need to speak out right now in defense of law and Constitution, this very week.. and fight this out. This is it folks, it’s us or them.
I know, OK, so I’m repeating myself.
“Arrest the Police State!”

Posted by: the cubist at December 20, 2005 09:18 AM

"Arrest the police state" is indeed a nice slogan.
what makes this particular crew so alarming isn't necessarily their ambitions, which are not so different from previous administrations. (I'm not defending Bush here, but instead indicting other presidents.) What's scary is what technology makes possible now, while the normal opposition to this kind of stuff (which pushed back against previous administrations) has collapsed. It's an exciting time to be alive!

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 20, 2005 10:50 AM

Shouldn't this be part of your continuing series, "Thank God Our Leaders Are Completely Different From Saddam Hussein"?

Posted by: saurabh at December 20, 2005 11:16 AM

It should, if this site had any kind of intellectual consistency. However, I'm pleased to say we've never succumbed to that ever-present temptation.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at December 20, 2005 11:35 AM

This is true; your consistent inconsistency is one of the most appealing aspects of this blog. Or would be, if you'd stick with it.

Also, I'm not sure if it was a typo or if cubist meant it this way, but I think the notion of W as "Big Bother" has quite a ring to it.

Posted by: Bob at December 20, 2005 01:10 PM

Ah, it's like old home week to see the FBI resuming their affair with the Catholic Workers. They seem to have a decades-long infatuation with dear Dorothy and her friends. And good and necessary work it is, too! At any moment, those Reds (or "semi-communists," I believe they're being described as this time) could come charging out of the Bowery and inflict horrible injury on the Republic. I'm sure Osama chats with them every other day or so.

The only thing that worries me is that the Feds are apparently wasting some of their time surveilling the vegans. What are they thinking?! The CWers are ten times more dangerous! But it's good to hear that they have some time left to snoop on the Quakers. The way they sit around not talking all the time -- you never know what they are thinking.

Posted by: jonj at December 20, 2005 09:55 PM

I wonder if they're interested in blogs? If I'm not on a watch list for "peace activities," I'd like to belong in the official Internet Crank pile.

Posted by: Sully at December 21, 2005 07:32 PM

the NSA activity thats getting plenty of traction, and the unusual Military stuff thats getting not so much, is kiddie stuff compared to COINTELPRO. They restart that shit from the 1950s-1970s, then you can start freaking out.

Posted by: LamontCranston at December 24, 2005 09:40 PM