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December 17, 2005

The Right's Reaction to Operation Peeping Tom

By Pepper of the Daily Pepper

There's been plenty of outrage over the president's Operation Peeping Tom, and eavesdropping on American citizens is the kind of thing that might be awfully tough for right-wingers to defend. So, I dropped in on the Wingnut Menagerie to see how they were reacting. In today's Powerline post on the subject, John unveils a possible strategy for fighting the "ludicrous" accusations that Operation Peeping Tom is a violation of our rights: The next step is to appoint a prosecutor to investigate who leaked this important classified information, and begin criminal proceedings against those responsible.

I'm sorry ... I'm laughing and crying at the same time. Do these people have no shame? If this were a writing class, I'd flunk them for plagiarizing. More Right reaction after the jump ...

Speaking of flunking, Little Green Footballs turned to a desperate ad hominem argument to defend the president by attacking the author of the NYT article that set off the SCANDAL. They link to Drudge, who notes that one of the authors of the piece, James Risen, has a book coming out.


Uh, no. So Risen's book might make a big splash. I'm tempted to buy it and give it to friends. That doesn't make his reporting any more false or true. Nice try, LGF. You still flunk.

I then turned to the mild end of the spectrum, with "cuddly conservative" David Brooks. On last night's NewsHour, Brooks said:

The president's reaction is not going to fly. If you are not getting warrants, the burden of proof is on you to say why. I'm perfectly willing to accept that maybe there is a good reason why they had to go around the warrant system. But you got to tell me why.

It seems like Brooks is doing a rap with the "fly" and "why" bit, and I'm pleased that Brooks is upset with the president, but did he really expect a good reason from this administration? Since when have they found a reason for what they do other than "because I said so" or "because Dick said so"? Despite all of Brooks' empty calls for being reasonable, he still displays a deeply ingrained trust in this administration that is deeply disturbing.

Oh, and my Pet Wingnut, James Lileks, dealt with the garage-door repairman and went to Kinkos, blissfully unaware that someone might be watching him.

In general, all of these guys, with the possible exception of Brooks, are a little too confident that no one would ever spy on them because they're so loyal and so true. Heck, Bush could probably offer these guys oceanfront property in Arizona, or maybe a Ronco product, or stock in Enron, and they'd snap it up.

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The wingnut talking point is probably going to be "investigate the people who leaked this important information." Even the President used it today, and of course that same talking point was used after the CIA prisons broke (until Trent Lott mentioned that it was probably a Republican senator who leaked it).

This is, frankly, a weird talking point to adopt, given that any attempt to investigate the "leaker" in this case will simply keep the spying story in the newspapers for a longer time. It's an example of conservatives trying to find their own equivalent of the Plame story without having any understanding of why the Plame story has become a problem for the Bush administration. But that's what happens when you get all your news from the conservative media; you start to say stuff that makes no sense to anyone outside your little media bubble.

Posted by: M.A. | Dec 17, 2005 10:39:48 PM

Ezra -Normally I think the left is way out of line when the throw the F word around the GOP, because it's always way out of proportion. But there is a whiff of fascism present in the wingbot defense of criminal evesdroping and torture exemptions.

It's hard to imagine that the right would be carving out these exemptions for a President Clinton or Carter. Maybe not even Ford. It is easy to imagine this is directly linked to their admiration of Bush and their hatred of Bush's adversaries.

Afterall, if you watch a lot of Hollywood films and those films convince you of the efficacy of torture, you should probably adopt a general princple.

Ezra -One thing that you should pointis that the difference between legitiamate protected whistleblowing and criminal leaking was already elaborated on in the appellate decision that upheld Fitzgerald against Cooper and Miller.

Judge Tatel, to borrow a phrase, pre-empted those wingbots, and already ruled their tactic invalid.

Then again, they probably think Tatel is not loyal because he ruled for Fitzgerald and against the interests of Libby and his clique of vengeful Bushbots.

Stop by GI for some comic relief Ezra.

Posted by: Gotham Image | Dec 17, 2005 11:05:04 PM


Notice Brooks language - his phrase, "the warrent system," makes it sound less like a part of common law, inherited from pre-Jacobean times, then some sort of pre-911 thingaajig, that probably should have been updated.

Also- I seriously doubt you are anyone else for that matter, really thinks Brooks is sincere when he says the Admin. has some hidden good reason. Brooks is relying on no one calling anyone's bluff, the triumph of "respectable" opinion, etc.

Read how Brooks tried to marginalise, thru his chin scratching BS, truth tellers before the Iraq debacle.

As far as those other Bushbots, their fusboxes were blown to kingdom come, a while ago.

Posted by: Gotham Image | Dec 18, 2005 12:03:14 AM

Read the bylines, guys. It's Pepper, not Ezra.

I particularly liked the Freeper who called for the leakers and NYT reporters to be executed. Which is nice.

Posted by: ahem | Dec 18, 2005 3:58:32 AM

No doubt, because of the uproar, this issue needs to be settled . At the same time, if this information was classified, I would also like the justice department to look into who leaked it. I don't see anyone who leaked this as a 'hero' immune from prosecution.

Yes, it is.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Dec 18, 2005 9:40:22 AM

Really, folks, what on earth else does anyone expect (or CAN expect) from this clownshow of an Administration; still less its rabble of rah-rah blogger-cheerleaders? Basically, Bush's response to the revelations of warrantless surveillance has been: "I'm doing it to fight terrorists. Screw the law. Shut up."
And there is, and always will be, some asshat with a blog somewhere who will jump up and down yelling "Yeah, right on! Remember 9/11! F*ck the Constitution - this is War!!!!!"
As the InstaHack would say: Heh. Indeed.

Posted by: Jay C | Dec 18, 2005 11:11:45 AM

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