18 February 2008


"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
~George Orwell, Animal Farm, published in 1945

On Thursday last week, I was listening to NPR and marveling, yet again, at President Idiot's latest crisis-mongering tactics. Will it ever end? *Sigh* Not until he's out of office, at any rate.

Here's the scoop:
Congress and the pres are facing off over a continuation of a bill that allows Uncle Sam to place wiretaps on foreign citizens, in foreign countries. Yep, you read that right. If you, living your life in Italy, as an Italian-born citizen, are doing something that brings you under Uncle Sam's suspicions, Uncle Sam seems to think that he ought to be able to tap your phone. Regardless of Italian law, apparently. Now I'm using Italy as an example here, but as I understand it, we're talking about hush-hush wiretaps all over the world.

This irks me for a couple of reasons, not least of which is that I value my own privacy highly. Very highly. So I think that everyone is entitled to protection of their privacy. Additionally, we get all up in arms when OUR civil rights might potentially be violated, but furiners? Damn, who cares about that, anyway? No one, apparently. Urgh.

No one is above the law; if you believe in democracy, freedom, and the rule of law, then this is wrong. Going outside of legal systems in other countries, in my ever-so-humble, is a violation of their sovereignty, plain and simple, no ifs, ands, or buts.

To play my own devil's advocate for a minute, I do understand why the intelligence services (oh, and I use that term loosely) would want this ability. Easily. You'd probably worry that if you informed the foreign government of your intentions that they might tip off their citizen, or forbid it entirely. I'm sure that the spy agencies place taps all the time anyway, with or without legal consent. At least, that's what the movies would have you believe.

I should note that I'm also hotly opposed to the feds listening in on MY calls overseas, which has been in the news previously. If someone wants to listen in while I bitch about my job to my Mama, firstly they're going to be bored witless, and secondly, I want to know who is listening and why.

Ah, your tax dollars at work. Joy.


MotherMe said...

My only hope is that some other nation will come to our peoples' rescue and free us from our tyrranical government.

Oh. Wait. That's supposed to be us. Well, never mind, then.

Lucy Arin said...


sad, funny, and true.