Why exactly was this Bushbucker bypass of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Constitution so necessary? Was NSA's warrantless spying kept secret in order to prevent the terriors from finding out they could be listened to and read--big surprise--or to keep the American people and even high ranking government officials and the Congress, who by rights should have known, in the dark? That's done, of course, so that no one will object, as the number 2 official in the Justice Department did in 1994, while serving as acting attorney general, according to a report in the January 1. 2006, New York Times by Eric Lichtblau and James Risen. They are the reporters who first exposed this secret program, and they deserve all praise and gratitude they get, but if the Bushies have their way, Lichtblau and Risen will be put in a position of betraying their sources or going to jail. That's shades of Judith Miller, only Lichtblau and Risen truly would be protecting whistleblowers who exposed govenment malfeasance.
Called to account, the Bushbucker-in-Chief has obfuscated and attacked, because, it appears, the truth would show that the program's purpose was to collect as much information about as many people as possible and to distribute it to the alphabet soup of black budget agencies that are supposed to keep our democracy safe from the dark lords of oppression, who kidnap people off the street, hold them in secret indefinitely without charges or trial, and torture them. Those are the autocrats who hold themselves above the law and public accountability, who are the antithesis of democratically elected leaders. Walter Pincus exposes the data sharing in the January 1 Washington Post.
For his part, the Bushy is quoted in a Washington Post report from Texas, where he is bushbucking, as saying on Sunday, January 1, that the NSA program applies only to incoming calls placed from the phone of an al Qaeda member. "'This a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America, and, I repeat, limited,'" Lisa Rein quotes him as saying. Simply revealing its existence did "'great harm to the United States,'" he said, and because he said, we are to believe. The White House press office later corrected the Bushbucker-in-Chief, according to Rein, saying that the NSA, in fact, monitors incoming and outgoing calls.
Lichtblau reports on the Bushy's defense and the White House correction in today's New York Times, while observing that the spying is and was much more extensive than the Bushbucker-in-Chief claimed.
Let K'ung Futzu comment: "If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success." (Analects, III, 5. Project Gutenberg Etext The Chinese Classics (Confucian Analects) trans. James Legge. )
"Therefore a superior considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires, is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect." (Analects, III, 7)
The Bushy may well believe that he is speaking "in accordance with the truth of things." I qualify the statement because I can't tell whether he is delusional, wilfully ignorant--meaning he refuses to learn the details of his own policies--or so arrogant that he believes he can break the law, violate his oath of office, and lie with impunity. Maybe all three come into play. Certainly no one has ever called him to account, and it's unlikely this ethically challenged Republican Congress will do so.