. . . Saturday December 17, 2005

Listening to the Eavesdropping Story

W came out swinging on the secretive eavesdropping story:

“This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends, and allies. . . .And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.

“I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.”

This statement doesn’t do much to answer the legal and ethical questions. After all, one could make a similar statement about getting murderers off the street, etc.

But Dems should be very careful about trying to exploit this as a political issue.

My gut is that most Americans will buy this argument. Remember, most of us (it turns out) approve of the use of torture in some cases and I’m sure the same is true when it comes to bending the rules to catch the bad guys.

Vic Mackey and The Shield aren’t popular shows for nothing.

There are really two issues here. An ethical and legal one. And a political one. Beware of letting the latter get ahead of the former.

Concentration is important!