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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Thursday, February 09, 2006

You can pretty much get away with anything

Alberto Gonzales testified before a Senate committee, today, regarding the Bush administration's use of illegal wiretapping. (For those of you who don't remember Al, before he became Attorney General, he was the White House attorney who advised the adminisatration that the Geneva Convention didn't apply in the war on terror, called its provisions quaint, and paved the way for sanctioned torture.)

When asked about the President's authorization of the NSA's illegal wiretapping program, he didn't tell the committee anything. Why? Because he didn't have to. The administration's approach to Congressional committees throughout its time in office has been to show up, but say nothing. Use as your excuse (a) that answering the question would be a threat to national security, (b) that you wouldn't want to pre-judge issues that might come before you when you're in office, or (c) that you don't want to engage in hypotheticals.

In essence, couch your "fuck off and stop bothering me" in polite sentences.

The reason administration officials get away with this is that the Republican party dominates both the Senate and the House. So, given a majority of any committee must vote to do anything that has teeth, the administration knows it's immune from serious Congressional rebuke.

Just now, not so many "checks and balances".

How safe do you feel your liberty is?

Happily, Gonzales faced a more critical audience when he recently spoke defending domestic spying at Georgetown University Law School. The picture below is the students' reaction.


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