Friday, June 16


Michael Kinsley nails it:

The CIA is in the forefront of efforts to make sure that democracy, individual rights and stuff like that don't get in the way of our crusade for the spread of democracy, individual rights and stuff like that.
In a twist fully worthy of Kafka, or at least Joseph Heller ("Catch-22"), the very suspicion that bad things are going on is a reason you can't find out. As a CIA legal document explains: "CIA confirmation of the existence of [evidence] would confirm a CIA interest in or use of specific intelligence methods and activities." After all, the agency gaily reasons, the "CIA would not request . . . authorization from the president for intelligence activities in which it had no interest."

Meanwhile, in another federal court, the ACLU has been arguing with the National Security Agency about the wiretapping of international phone calls to and from the United States. The 1978 intelligence reform law made clear as cellophane that these agencies had no authority to wiretap citizens of this country and in this country without permission from a judge. So clear, in fact, that the president doesn't deny that his wiretapping program violates the 1978 law. Instead, he says that Congress overruled that law in its 2001 resolution to oppose terrorism. That, plus the usual inherent powers of the presidency.

What's more, government lawyers say, they can prove all this. Or at least they could, but they can't, because the evidence must remain secret for national security reasons. And what are those reasons? Well, the reasons why the reasons why the program is okay are also secret. And without this evidence, there cannot be a trial. Sorry.

Yossarian whistled. "That's some catch, that Catch-22."

"It's the best there is," Don Daneeka agreed.

Tags: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home