On irregularities by the FBI et al.

 

Dear Editor:

 

So we learn that the FBI has lately had U.S. groups with nothing to do with Al Qaeda under surveillance (News Article, Dec. 20), as well as that the NSA has had U.S. citizens with alleged ties to it under surveillance (News Articles, Dec. 16-20). Questions of legality are raised, and the less reactionary wing of the establishment is wringing its hands (e.g., Editorial, Dec. 20).

 

I say ho hum. Serious activists knew by the time of the Vietnam period or earlier that the government of this political system was going to spy on them, and that the status of the surveillance under the system's laws was at best a secondary issue. Time and time again the U.S. Congress has passed legislation which was supposed to curb the practices, but which included loopholes that have emboldened the Executive branch to work around the law or simply ignore it. What is new is only that the ignoring is more blatant now. (That fact is no doubt due to the Bush administration getting away with using 9/11 as a mere excuse to implement the political agenda of its Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz faction, to invade and occupy Iraq.) Probably this newly invigorated boldness will cow such opposition as has been voiced, and a new compromise will be reached, say, agreement to tell a secret court of the NSA activities after the fact, with a longer time interval than in the existing law from 1978.

 

On the other hand, wake me up if there is serious talk of impeachment.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

(12/20/05)

 

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