Monday, June 26, 2006


Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York, has called for an investigation, and possible prosecution, of the New York Times. "What they've done here is absolutely disgraceful," he said.

The crime? Daring to report on the Bush administration's searches through bank records of U.S. citizens. In other words, when Republicans are caught performing activities that are almost certainly illegal, fellow Republicans respond by accusing the accusers.

Except the Times isn't really accusing the administration of anything. It's just reporting something that is already there. Ah, but by exposing the administration's tactics to the light, the Times is somehow revealing state secrets, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Does anybody really believe that? Could anybody really be comforted by the fact that shadowy right-wing operatives are going through their bank records and tapping their phones? And do we really believe this has anything to do with the alleged war on terror?

Because if these illegal tools are supposed to be helping us find terrorists, our intelligence people are even more incompetent than previously thought. Zarqawi releases a video of himself wandering around identifiable locations, and it still takes us awhile to track him down. When we do, we don't take him out G. Gordon Liddy-style, with a shoelace or a sharpened pencil. Nah, we drop a big-ass bomb, which--hey, here's a big surprise--also takes out a bunch of civilians, including a little girl.

Or what about the justice department's breathless announcement last week that they'd foiled a terrorist threat to take down the Sears Tower in Chicago. Except that the "terrorists" in question turned out to be a bunch of hapless schmucks who knew a guy who said he knew a guy who could connect them to another guy. The Honeycomb Bunch was as big a threat to national security.

If the administration's war on terror is this incompetently waged, may we assume the phone taps are in fact being used for other purposes? Maybe we'll find out soon, since Senator Arlen Specter has proposed oversights on Bush's wiretap program. But since Specter is a Good Republican, I think when he says oversights for Bush, what he really means are free blowjobs. (Metaphorically speaking, of course. These are good, solid citizens. No homo stuff here.)

While all this is going on, where have the Democrats been? Busy trying to figure out how to have no position about Iraq. Sigh.

Let me just say it again: We're hosed.