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Tilting at Windmills

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January 16, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

EXECUTIVE POWER AND NATIONAL SECURITY....In the LA Times today, former Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach writes about Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, wiretapping, and national security:

In October 1963, Hoover requested Atty. Gen. Kennedy to approve a wiretap on King's telephone....Bobby was furious. Hoover's charge that King was a pawn of the communists could potentially taint the whole movement and bring into question everything we were doing to vindicate the constitutional rights of black citizens. It was hard to think of an issue more explosive.

....It was only years later, at the Church Committee hearings held after Hoover's death, that the full scope of Hoover's anti-King activities became known. I was and am appalled. And sad. This man who was a national symbol of law and order ended up grossly violating the nation's trust and respect in the name, he said, of national security.

....Today we are again engaged in a debate over wiretapping for reasons of national security the same kind of justification Hoover offered when he wanted to spy on King. The problem, then as now, is not the invasion of privacy, although that can be a difficulty. But it fades in significance to the claim of unfettered authority in the name of "national security." There may be good and sufficient reasons for invasions of privacy. But those reasons cannot and should not be kept secret by those charged with enforcing the law. No one should have such power, and in our constitutional system of checks and balances, no one legitimately does.

As Katzenbach says, the issue is not wiretapping per se or even national security per se. It's all about oversight. The president is not above the law, and the history of unchecked power shows pretty clearly that even if it starts out with good motives, it usually doesn't end that way.

Kevin Drum 1:18 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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And why anyone, even a total see-no-evil person, would suppose, even hyopthetically, that the current oversight issue started "with good motives" is completely beyond me.

Posted by: cdj on January 16, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

But the President IS the law! He is honor-bound to protect us! If you don't let him do everything and anything he wants, we will all be killed by the terrorists! Only King George is Man Enough to save us!

Posted by: Al on January 16, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

yeah, this milquetoast 'with good motives' stuff has got to go. What kind of chucklehead would believe that this administration would arrogate for itself the right to spy on whoever it wants without oversight for purely virtuous reasons? When this administration does things for purely virtuous reasons it tells us about them...

Posted by: matt on January 16, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

When the information finally comes to light, I'm pretty sure we'll find they have *already* misused this process in ways not related to national security.

Posted by: stmojo on January 16, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with cdj. Nothing this administration does has any motive other than politics. These guys don't care one wit about terrorists. The terror threat is jusst great for them. It gets them votes in every election. It's replaced the Commie threat completely, and it's even more effective.

Posted by: walldon on January 16, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

I strongly recommend reading this whole thing:

Al Gore

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, Katzenbach wiretapped Martin Luther King Jr.

Bush is eavesdropping on people linked to al Al Qaeda.

Yeah, one of those two people has been involved in gross violations of Americans' civil rights. And it ain't Bush.

Posted by: Al on January 16, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

If by "people linked to Al Qaeda" you mean "anyone they fucking choose" then, yeah, I guess I agree with your characterization of Bush's domestic spying regime. Regarding your conclusions however, not so much.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Katzenbach is absolutely on target--the issue is not whether the surveillance is appropriate, it's the fact that the administration ignored the law. If they believed that this surveillance was important, they either should have gone through the FISA process or sought an amendment to the existing law. It is critical that the Democrats in Congress, and the rest of the principled opposition to this administration's actions, emphasize this issue. The administration, the RNC and their media support will continue to try to characterize this as a matter of national security, which it is not.

Posted by: Don on January 16, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Right. Wiretapping Martin Luther King, an American citizen and civil rights leader, is exactly the same as putting an NSA electronic sweep on phone calls between numbers in the U.S. and overseas terrorist-linked connections.

I imagine quite a few people will still buy it, though.

Bad enough that the term "wiretap" has already been completely corrupted in this discussion. Try and remember what a "wiretap" actually is.

Baldrick: Other than wild speculation, as far as I know, nobody has come up with evidence that the NSA program was being used for anything other than its stated purpose.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 16, 2006 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is eavesdropping on people linked to al Al Qaeda.

Fake Al, George is eavesdropping on people with no links whatsoever with Al Qaeda.

So yeah, he is violating the Rights of Americans.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 16, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is doing this because he can, simply put. Congress has completely abandodned its "checks and Balences" role because they view the President as the leader of their party. They see themselves as party royalists first and Legislatures second.

The gerrymandered two-party system is failing America and we will have more of these problems until the root cause is addressed.

Posted by: Jon Karak on January 16, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Don. You're right. This is really about the pResident breaking the law, committing "High Crimes." I suspect that we will find that the motives behind this criminal activity weren't so wholesome either, however.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Fake Al, George is eavesdropping on people with no links whatsoever with Al Qaeda.

Utterly false. You can lie about the program if you'd like, but that doesn't make your comments very credible.

Posted by: Al on January 16, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Utterly false. You can lie about the program if you'd like, but that doesn't make your comments very credible.Posted by: Al on January 16, 2006 at 1:52 PM

No, absolutely true. I have exactly the same amount of evidence for this as you have for asserting that they've only been spying on people with links to Al Qaeda.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 16, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Abuse of power is in the eye of the beholder.

I can't help but wonder if folks like Al would be so supportive of such unchecked presidential power if the president were, say, Gore, Kerry or Hillary. Personally, I have a problem with any president doing it, I happen to believe in checks and balances. The fact that it is Bush and I don't trust/like/respect Bush does up the creepy factor for me.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on January 16, 2006 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

See, now this is where tbrosz reveals his role as a simple water-carrier for the Administration.

Hoover was spying on Communists.

George Bush's NSA is spying on Terrorists.

Dammit, man, you're not obtuse so stop being such a shill. The issue is not who Bush is spying on, because spying is always on Bad Guys. The issue is that no one else knows who he is spying on, which is the direct precursor to abuse of power.

In Kennedy's day we had honorable men at the top, which is the only reason we know about the King wiretapping. Today the dishonorable men are the top, and if the law doesn't hold them accountable then no one will ever know who they really were eavesdropping on.

But you know all that. You're just regurgitating the "reasonable reactionary" talking point.

Posted by: S Ra on January 16, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, just an idle question, but has anyone else ever noticed how John F. Kennedy's former advisors always portray all the bungles and screw-ups and bad policies of that administration as if they were never the Kennedys' fault?

Oh, yeah, we are assured by Katzenbach, Bobby Kennedy strenuously objected to Hoover's wiretapping. Bobby Kennedy was HOOVER'S SUPERIOR. He had the power to fire Hoover. And, of course, so could the President. I do realize that had either one done so, Hoover probably had a lot of dirt on the Kennedys. But that makes the decision to allow the wiretaps even more venal, not less. Better to invade the civil liberties of one of the greatest men in American history than risk that JFK's sexual peccadillos might be exposed to the public.

Katzenbach is correct that the tapping of King's phones was an outrage. But it is an outrage attributable to the President and the Attorney General whom he served and loved, and a nice illustration of how the Kennedys, just like the Bushes, were capable of gross abuses of executive power.

Posted by: Dilan Esper on January 16, 2006 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, come on Kevin, complaining about this eavesdropping business is just hyping some "weak brew".

Posted by: jimBOB on January 16, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

It's all about oversight. The president is not above the law, and the history of unchecked power shows pretty clearly that even if it starts out with good motives, it usually doesn't end that way.

I want to ask a straightforward question: Are there a great number of Americans who do not, and never did, comprehend exactly what oversight is? I think so.

Not only oversight, but also basic concepts such as separation of powers and checks and balances. It really helps to understand theses concepts clearly and to be able to relate them to the every day workings of government.

If you have no historical appreciation of oversight and how the avoidance of oversight can (and has) hurt us, then you are easy prey for those who belittle it in the name of national security.

More than anything, the guys who wrote our constitution worried about unchecked power, especially on the part of the chief executive. Our entire government is set up to avoid unchecked power. The President is not allowed to do anything in absolute secrecy. That would make all of us less safe.

Johnson and Nixon tried to keep secrets about the Vietnam war. Did not work out too well and they are not admired for this.

Nixon tried to subvert a good bit of the executive branch, including the FBI and CIA. He had to do it secretly, absolutely. Oversight would have stopped him cold.

Reagan pulled a major end run around Congressional oversight regarding the Contras, American hostages, and arms sales to Iranians. Congressional oversight would have stopped this cold, so he did it secretly. (Where are all those TOW and HAWK missiles today?).

Bush? Gosh, dont want to wear myself out. Lets just say that Mr. Secrecy would have been hampered with quite a few initiatives had oversight been allowed to operate.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 16, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

I have exactly the same amount of evidence for this as you have for asserting that they've only been spying on people with links to Al Qaeda.

Really? I have as evidence Risen and Lichblau's articles in the Times. What you got?

Posted by: Al on January 16, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Dilan; Katzenbach, being a good Kennedy loyalist, omits to mention that (a) the indiscriminate use of bugs was actually approved by RFK in early 1961 following a memo by Hoover, and (b) Hoover only requested a tap from RFK after Bobby ordered him to request it that September. Hoover was already monitoring the SCLC, and there's no doubt that he hated King with a fiery passion, but you can't deny RFK's complicity there.

And of course, if Hoover were alive, he would say that he was monitoring Communists in much the same way that Bush maintains that he's monitoring al-Qa'eda. For whatever that particular figleaf is worth.

Posted by: S. Tarzan on January 16, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz: I just want to ask a simple question.

Do you favor the elimination of oversight with regard to wiretaps? That's the question here.

You changing the subject by talking about (as though you know) who has been wiretapped.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on January 16, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I strongly recommend reading this whole thing:

Al Gore
Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Baldrick. This Al, the real Real Al, should be president. He lays out the criminal case against the Bush Clowns quite eloquently. His is a true patriotic call that transcends party.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 16, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Dilan; Katzenbach, being a good Kennedy loyalist, omits to mention that (a) the indiscriminate use of bugs was actually approved by RFK in early 1961 following a memo by Hoover, and (b) Hoover only requested a tap from RFK after Bobby ordered him to request it that September.

Whether you agree or not is utterly beside the point. The point, made so ably by Don above, is that Bush is spying on US citizens in direct contravention of a statute passed by Congress in 1978. He does not deny that his spying is against the law. He states flatly that he will continue this illegal spying. In other words, the law does not apply to him. He is in some way above the laws of the land. What about this is difficult to understand? The man is a god damn criminal and needs to be impeached.

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Baldrick, I think you'll find after some careful examination that what you just said and what I said are not mutually exclusive. It happens that I agree with you, for the most part; but just because Katzenbach is on the right side now doesn't mean that his historical omissions should go without comment. To turn it around, what about _that_ is hard to understand?

Posted by: S. Tarzan on January 16, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

S. Tarzan:

Just trying to keep the conversation focused on what's at stake here. What happened in 1961 really isn't important, except as part of the history of the adoption of FISA in 1978. Whether Bobby Kennedy was involved in the wiretapping of MLK is not relevant to whether a president stands above the law. (Bobby was not a president, and FISA had not yet been conceived. The vicious result of wiretapping political enemies can legitimately be illustrated by the MLK story, but the situation is otherwise not relevant here.)

Posted by: Baldrick on January 16, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I can't help but wonder if folks like Al would be so supportive of such unchecked presidential power if the president were, say, Gore, Kerry or Hillary.

Spot on, zoe.

Posted by: Gregory on January 16, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

This can all be attributed to BDS.

BDS.

BDS.

I made up an acronym.

It's BDS.

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on January 16, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

BDS=Brain Dead Sycophant or more commonly known as George W. Bush

Posted by: MRB on January 16, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

This can all be attributed to KGS.

KGS.

KGS.

I made up an acronym.

It's KGS.

Posted by: Elephant_Corruption on January 16, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

"starts out with good motives"?

Bwahahaha! That's rich.

Posted by: melior on January 16, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

We are on the verge of seeing the end of the American Experiment. Gore says that if these illegal acts and the assertion of the executive's right to ignore the law is allowed to proceed without a strong response, the country will never be the same.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on January 16, 2006 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Why do the wingnuts continue to beat the dead horse "Bush didn't spy on Americans" canard long after Bush has already admitted doing it?

Do they have no short term memory at all, or do they think that no one else does? And does anyone care a whit which wingnut sources they cite claiming to "prove" that he didn't?

Posted by: melior on January 16, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Throughout history, all dictators, authoritariana and totalitarians, have had 'good motives', at least in the eyes of their ardent followers.

Posted by: lib on January 16, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

I can't help but wonder if folks like Al would be so supportive of such unchecked presidential power if the president were, say, Gore, Kerry or Hillary.

Yes, I would. I support having a President as a co-equal branch under the Constitution, regardless of which party the President hails from.

In fact, I supported President Clinton's attack on Serbia and Kosovo, even though it was blatantly illegal as a violation of the War Powers Act. That's because I believe that the President is the Commander in Chief, and Congress may not constitutionally pass a law telling the President when and where to attack (or refrain from attacking).

Posted by: Al on January 16, 2006 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

One bit of insight today was that Al-Qaeda has replaced communism as the bogeyman used to scare America. Admittedly, the U.S.S.R. accumulated military power and Joe Stalin was no man to trust.
The U.S. military baited them for years without being open about it. Hoover used info to consolidate power just like a chief of the secret police. I don't think he would have been so brazen without McCarthy's influence on the American public.
Today the net connects people in dialogue across the world. The paranoia about foreign contact has already begun. How much do you think I trust that I won't be "tuned in" for speaking my mind without even the dubious protection of U.S. citizenship ?
If you've read Revelations, one worry is that GWB thinks his destiny is to enable suppression as part of God's plan for humanity. Does that mean I think he's unhinged ? What I've seen to date is hardly reassuring.
This is the man who openly says his power and priviledge puts him above restraint.

Posted by: opit on January 16, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Al, they all have BDS.

BDS is an acronym I made up. It's pronounced "Bee Dee Ess". All the moonbats have it. They all have BDS.

BDS.

Posted by: Donkey_Courage on January 16, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

"The President is not above the law."

Okay, but how do you make a Republican believe that? To them, any law that thwarts them is like a speedbump they can roll their lowrider Scion SUV over, again and again, until the horrible crunching sounds stop.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 16, 2006 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my prediction of how the Rove/Ailes/Mehlman machine will have their stooges like Herb Lusk respond: as with the whole gay rights = race-based equality flap, "conservative" African American "leaders" will decry the implicit parallel of MLK and the Civil Rights Movement with al Qaeda by the America-hating Dems.

Posted by: The Confidence Man on January 16, 2006 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus:

No, absolutely true. I have exactly the same amount of evidence for this as you have for asserting that they've only been spying on people with links to Al Qaeda.

That isn't quite how the process of convicting someone of criminal behavior works. Any positive proof?

Notice they're still misusing "wiretapping."

Posted by: tbrosz on January 16, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Latest Drudge Banner:

GORE BLASTS BUSH FOR 'DANGEROUS BREACH'

[Gore calls for Independent Counsel...]

http://www.drudgereport.com/flash1g.htm (and etc. outside links)

Posted by: Neil' on January 16, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Two comments:

1. What Mr. Katzenbach says about the conduct of the "furious" Bobby Kennedy and the conduct of himself should be taken with a grain of salt -- he likely wants to make himself and Kennedy look as good as possible when the reality is that they approved wiretaps of Dr. King.

2. The short discussion at the end of the column about the situation today is pretty weak. I am not even sure there is much of an analogy to be drawn between going after one guy and going after terrorists in general as part of a war on terror. In any event, the premise of the criticism of President Bush at the end of the column is that the "invasion of privacy . . . was kept secret." Of course, the Bush admnistration did not keep it secret. It informed the leaders of Congress about it.

Bonus point -- Katzenbach, an old man, attributes faulty thinking by Hoover to him being an old man.

Posted by: brian on January 16, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh, the sixties! Such an influential decade. We have Jack getting us into ' Nam, ordering the assassination of Diem and the ' waterboarding' of nubiles he was banging every which way but loose in the W/house bathroom.
Then we have little brother... the little bugger. Rat Fink RFK, later to vote for fighter jet sales to the violent Euro-colonialist's of occupied Palestine before getting his right wack from a Palestinian.

FREE SIRHAN SIRHAN!

Finally we get lumbered with the original toxic Texan, LBJ. Bushwars have killed 30k. LBJ killed THREE MILLION!
Pretty simple math hey Drum. Democrats are worse than Republicans by any measure worthy of the name and they are not to be trusted. Ever.

Posted by: professor-rat on January 16, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Good work, S Ra for reminding Tbrosz that he can't get away with his silliness here. And notice its been hours since you raised the point, and T-wit has gone silent (no doubt busy frosting more cookies or figuring out a reentry mechanism for his manned capusle).

Given the holiday we are celebrating today, it is worth remembering that the King wiretaps were, of course, in large part motivated by Hoover and the FBI on trumped up national security grounds based on Hoover's manic fear of King's support on the left, and in particular his adviser Stanley Levison. Hoover had other motivations - we don't need to delve into his racism - but his desire to discredit King and the SCLC, and at the same time to cut the movement's lifeline to Levison's network of New York donors lay behind the transparently disingenuous assertion of national security.

He could make the claim - and even got Kennedy to intercede to urge King to cut his ties to Levison - precisely because the FBI drew the specious connection between domestic dissent and external subversion. And arguably this threat was rather greater than anything we face today. After all, the Soviets were armed with nuclear weapons and the missiles, bombers, and submarines to deliver at least some of them to our shores. Without minimizing the current threat posed by the "GWOT," it doesn't compare to a nuclear World War Three. Was the Soviet Union a threat? Of course. Should the government have had the power to defend the country against that threat? Absolutely. Was the government under the obligation to use that power lawfully? Yes. Did it abuse that power? Yes.

But S Ra has it wrong on another essential point. It is untrue that we "had honorable men at the top, which is the only reason we know about the King wiretapping."

Kennedy was leveraged into approving wiretaps on King in part because Hoover had the goods on his sexual shenanigans, and in particular his dalliances with a Soviet-linked agent. Neither JFK nor his brother, nor the "best and the brightest" advisers are heroes in this story.

The first hint of the FBI's wiretapping came out, oddly enough, in Muhammad Ali's appeal of his criminal prosecution for draft evasion. It was learned that evidence introduced in his trial was obtained by the FBI through its wiretap on King, whom Ali had spoken to by phone.

This leads rather directly to Tbrosz' other idiotic point, parsing the meaning of the word wiretapping, and his preference for the rather more anodyne "putting an NSA electronic sweep on phone calls..." [Orwell, where are you when we need you?]

Ali was "swept up" in King's wiretap, and so were countless others innocents. How many innocents are now caught up in "an NSA electornic sweep on phone calls..." either because we don't have good information about those "overseas terrorist-linked connections," (in Tbrosz' infelicitous phrase), or because - in the worst case scenario, the sweeps are in fact being used for other purposes?

Moreover, the revelations of FBI skullduggery in Ali's appeal were quickly swept under the carpet by Hoover, through an aggressive campaign to discredit those who revealed the wiretapping. The full extent of his and his agency's misdeeds didn't become known until the Church and Pike Commissions years later.

It was, of course, those congressional investigations which opened the lid on the domestic abuse of intelligence, which led directly to the passage of FISA, which Bush now subverts.

FISA is a fairly weak check - but it is at least A check - to ensure that the state exercise its power in a lawful manner. FISA's existence reminds us that this power has been abused within living memory in an effort to attack domestic opponents in the name of national security and an overseas menace believed to be a threat to our way of life.

You don't have to be on the left to believe that similar potential currently exists with this administration. It is not a matter of "trust" as Tbrosz has previously tried to argue. The abuse has occurred before, and by Democrats, too, who deserved punishment at the time and whose reputations are tarnished today. It is a matter of checks and balances and countervailing power to prevent the executive from abusing power. That is what a constitutional order is all about.

Today of all days it behooves us to remember this history. King, whom most now celebrate, was considered a subversive and a traitor by many in government who were able to use the unaccountable force of the state against him.

King had few protections against this power. Until recently, we could consider ourselves more fortunate: congressional oversight, FISA, and (when those fail) whistleblowers can restore a measure of balance in favor of ordinary citizens. (And we all know how Tbrosz and his ilk feel about whistleblowers!)

One key feature that distinguishes our current events from this sorry history is that we are finding out about it in more or less real time, when checks and balances really can have an effect. Thus a final (unfashionable) lesson from King: how will people look back on us 35 or more years from now? What are we doing to defend freedom here at home?

One place we can start, given the holiday we celebrate, is with the fine histories of King, Garrow's "Bearing the Cross," and Taylor Branch's magisterial three-part history, "Parting the Waters," "Pillar of Fire," and the soon-to-be-released "At Canaan's Edge."

Posted by: Tbrosz watch on January 16, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

professor-rat:

Your observations are obsolete. What happened in the 60s and 70s is not the choice we have today, between today's ultra-corrupt neocon Republicans and today's Democrats.

Posted by: Neil' on January 16, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

Even if they weren't obsolete they still would not lead to the conclusions rat reaches. Republicans weren't trying to keep us out of vietnam, or trying to get us to kill fewer people in the war. Young George Bush was actually campaigning for expanding vietnam and killing more people (working on a hawkish republican congressional campaign, while playing fighter pilot to stay out of the war).

More like the situation with Tony Blair today.

Posted by: jefff on January 16, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

That isn't quite how the process of convicting someone of criminal behavior works.

Since when does one need to establish the proof required for conviction before a charge or investigation is initiated?

Posted by: cmdicely on January 16, 2006 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oversight IS about national security.

National security is about keeping us safe from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The domestic enemy IS the unfettered state.

Oversight protects us from our own government. That's national security. We don't think of it as national security anymore, because we haven't lived without it--we haven't lived day-to-day in fear of our own government. But just because we take it for granted doesn't mean it's a guaranteed thing. Oversight is boring and wonky, but it's what keeps us safe.

Posted by: theorajones on January 17, 2006 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

They used to refer to the father ae George Herbert "Hoover" Walker Bush because of his abysmal economic performance. I guess we can characterize the son as George "J.EdgarHoover" Walker Bush because of his penchant for enemies lists and eavesdropping. Suppose there's any photos of Junior in an evening gown floating around out there?

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