Sunday, December 18, 2005

Road to Lawless Land

President Bush justifies that it is okay for him to allow NSA to spy on Americans. As NYT, W. Post and many others have rightly argued, the appropriate course here is to take permission of FISA court and then proceed. Further, it should really have been FBI to work on intelligence rather than NSA. Next, if President Bush finds that obtaining a warrant from FISA court is cumbersome, then Administration should have asked Congress to work out a more convenient process as per existing laws or modified laws. President and the Administration did not do that and President Bush is still not ready to stop this program. This means such spying is still happening right now!

It is a sad spectacle Condi Rice going to pathetic levels to justify first the use of torture and now the power grab by President Bush in eavesdropping case. Looks like all the good work she has done since becoming Secretary of State is overshadowed by these faulty arguments. In the end as Senator Boxer would say, her loyalty to President trumps her thinking abilities as well as her moral compass. In all of these issues (torture ban and spying on Americans); she is coming out really poorly and clueless. What is the use of all her eloquence and brilliance if her conscience is in the wrong place or cannot withstand the swagger of Presidency? Condi simply failed to rise to the occasion while navigating through these muddled water.

Senator McCain did right in torture case and President Bush saw the light in the end. (Sorry Charles Krauthammer, not all the time you are on the right side. There was no smart way for the Administration to wriggle out of the box this time unlike how Krauthammer prompted the Administration in Harriet Mieyer fiasco.) The question is will Senator Feingold, Senator Specter and others from Congress force the Administration to stop this spying program? They better, else why do we make laws in this country? Why is Congress in the business when her laws are not observed by another branch of the government? Congress MUST take this issue and go to the bottom of this episode. President Bush is trying to hide again behind the argument that ‘but we had informed Congress about this program and it is wrong for NYT to report this news….’ Well, this Administration has problems with lot of people who want to do their jobs honestly. As Senator Feingold said he does not want to hear on the floor of Senate that Congress can trust this Administration. This business is not for trust. It is the business of law of the land and President Bush has to go back here. Not only he is on the slippery road here; he is dead wrong and he is a law breaker here. He has to figure out how to conduct the War on Terror within the framework of American Laws and Regulations. War on Terror is not a blank check to him to do whatever the Administration pleases to do. For too long Americans have been underwriting President Bush in terms of Lives and Tax Dollars to sustain his version of War on Terror. We Americans do not want to compromise further what our Founding Fathers have granted us just because President Bush finds the burden of stopping Terror unbearable while working within the legal framework. Looks like he fails to understand the sanctity of Law and the need to observe laws by those in Power. Those who preach Democracy all over the world need to observe all the principles of democracy in their land without fail. No excuses are acceptable here, no spying on our own citizens is acceptable. We do not live in Soviet Union and we do not want to convert the land of Lady Liberty into a Stalinist Totalitarian State. Let us not take the first step on the road to a lawless land.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
December 18, 2005.


Gaurav said...

Are you Umesh Patil of COEP Batch of 2002?

Umesh Patil said...

No, I am from Pune University 1989 M. Sc. batch.