3 Years Ago This Week…

I wrote this about the war in Iraq.  Choice quote:

“What I wonder is how long it will be before we’re training and turning out respectable numbers of Iraqis capable of defending their own country? Will this in fact ever be possible?”

I still wonder.  And I doubt it.

Illegal Wiretaps Bad…Ya Think?

The Constitution got a bit of good news today as a judge invalidated W’s illegal wiretapping operation.  This isn’t the end of the story, I suspect, as the decision is already under appeal.

Bill Frist says:

“Terrorists are the real threat to our constitutional and democratic freedoms, not the law enforcement and intelligence tools used to keep America safe,” Frist said in a statement.”We need to strengthen, not weaken, our ability to foil terrorist plots before they can do us harm.”

That is patently true but just as obviously irrelevant.  Get a warrant, G-men.  It’s not going to kill you, although it may kill me, if you fail to present probably cause and get a tap authorized.  Nobody’s saying we don’t want you to record Osama’s pals’ calls, but there’s a proper way to do it.

Republican Congressman Pete Hoekstra says:

“It is disappointing that a judge would take it upon herself to disarm America during a time of war…”

But what is war, Pete, and are we actually in one?  Certainly our troops are.  But is the nation really at war?  < 1% of us are, give or take, actively engaged with an enemy - but what about the rest?  Is this state of affairs really significantly different than any given 4 year span in this century?  Or is it more like George Orwell laid it out in 1984 when he described as background the subtle need of governments to create conflict to ensure that they’re needed to resolve the crisises they create?