irregularities by the FBI et al.
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.