Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Celebrating a Failure of Civic Duty

As written in a post entitled Hoystory » What they knew and when they knew it, Matthew Hoy berates the New York Times for not revealing the illegal NSA wiretapping program (which Hoy describes as a "terrorist surveilence program," despite that it targets law-abiding American citizens) as soon as they knew about it. The reason he gives, however, is as fine an absurdity as you'll likely find on the Internet:

Frankly, the second-best choice (the best choice being not revealing the program at all) would have been for the Times to reveal the it when it first discovered it. Democrats would’ve beenforced to take a responsible position — not the politically convenientone — and endorse the program and trash the Times. The year-plus delay served to give the paper, and Democrats, some cover.

So, basically, Hoy seems to wish that both the Democrats and the Times would abandon the American people to be victims of this administration's war on the Constitution. Not revealing an illegal program that you have knowledge of can hardly but be considered a deriliction of duty, and makes one an accessory to that crime. This unethical and illegal program stripped American citizens of their Fourth Ammendment rights, as well as any right or privledge to privacy. Furthermore, the program could not be considered to be effective, as before it was commenced, we already knew that the methods by which many terrorists choose to communicate are invisible to this program, such as the shipping of prepaid cell phones to other countries.

Whenever a program strips citizens of their rights and lets terrorists go unchecked, while at the same time violating the law, I would hope that all citizens would at the very least feel transgressed, and not celebrate any derilictions of duty which occur.

While I may respect that others have different viewpoints on how to combat terrorism, broad and untargeted wiretapping is unethical, ineffective and illegal. Targeted wiretapping, with warrents obtained through open or secret courts, against those strongly suspected of terrorism does work. In fact, this is what Britian used to foil the most recent airplane-related terror plot. Remind me again how it would have been a good thing for the Times to fall through on their duty as a journalistic enterprise? You know, the watchdogs of democracy?

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1 comment:

Mass Treble said...

We seem to be having issues with your feed appearing on LJ. They're showing up all at once and truncated. What a bother.