Sunday, March 09, 2008

Liberal Intelligence

From The Corner:
A bill to restore to American intelligence agencies the authority they formerly had to monitor, unfettered, the communications of foreign terrorists passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support. Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democrat who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee said that every day that our spy shops don’t have this authority our intelligence is being “degraded.”

National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell, a former vice admiral of the Navy, an intelligence officer for 25 years, and head of the National Security Agency under President Clinton, said that without this authorization, vital intelligence is being “lost.”

A letter sent by 25 state Attorneys General of both parties says that America’s security is being “jeopardized” by the refusal of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to allow her members to vote on the bill – which, it is believed, would pass with bipartisan support in the House as well. The moderate Blue Dog Democrats are pushing Pelosi to permit the vote.

And in an interview with National Journal, an intelligence adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign broke with his candidate’s position opposing this bill – which also contains a provision granting legal protection to telecommunications companies being sued for cooperating with the U.S. intelligence officials to detect and prevent acts of terrorism.

"I do believe strongly that [telecoms] should be granted that immunity," former CIA official John Brennan told National Journal reporter Shane Harris in the interview. "They were told to [cooperate] by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context." Last month, Senator Obama voted to strip language in an intelligence bill that would have granted to Verizon, AT&T and other companies the immunity.

Regarding the telecoms, Senator Rockefeller has said: "What is the big payoff for the telephone companies? They get paid a lot of money? No. They get paid nothing. What do they get for this (for cooperating with intelligence officials to prevent terrorism)? They get $40 billion worth of suits, grief, trashing, but they do it."

I have publicly praised those Democrats — e.g. Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana — who have taken a principled stand on this issue and, by doing so, incurred the wrath of Speaker Pelosi, the trial lawyers who stand to make billions of dollars,, the ACLU and CAIR (the Council on American Islamic Relations, a pro-Islamist group which has organized a campaign against the Senate bill).

Yet for some reason, in all the mainstream media coverage of this issue, those who support the bill are portrayed as “partisans,” and those who oppose it are called “civil rights advocates” or something equally flattering. Why is that? Discuss among yourselves.
Why? Because the press is in league with the same self destructive America haters that are standing against this legislation moving forward. Kudos to the Democrats for proving that their party is not completely made up of kooks, but shame on them for voting said kooks into legislative leadership positions. As for the trial lawyers, I have no limit for my digust of them.

Meanwhile on the other side of the aisle Larry Kudlow, who I consider to be the eternal optimist, takes Bush and the Fed to task for devaluing the dollar. When Mr. Kudlow starts sounding pessimistic, it's time to take note. One has to wonder briefly why the left wing press isn't making hay over the fact that a nominal Republican is actively printing too much friggin' money in order to protect rich banker types. I figure they pay it no mind because:
  1. Since it's actively harming America they don't care, and if the general public does get wise to it then the Republicans will get blamed for the ensuing chaos, so the worse the better.
  2. Unfortunately while #1 is plausible the more likely explanation is that it's too complicated and it would hurt their wee little minds to try and comprehend something like that.

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