The 30% of Bush's hard core conservatives who still support him are apoplectic over the NYT exposing his secret bank monitoring program, along with all those gays who are going to ruin our traditional marriages, and those thousands (well, four maybe, over the last ten years) of flag burners. The Times is a constant irritant to the unthinking right, and with plummeting election year approval levels for both this president and his Congress, the howls of protest are over the top.
New York Congressman Peter King called the Times "treasonist," and suggested that Attorney General Gonzales consider prosecuting the Times, its reporters, editors, and maybe the janitors. Fox News wing nut Tammy Bruce compared the NYT to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, although she is too young to remember them.
The crème de la crème, however, came from Dick Cheney, the Prince of Darkness: "Some in the press...particularly The New York Times, have made the job of defending against further terrorist attacks more difficult." This from the man whose office intentionally exposed anti-terrorism agent Valerie Plame, and thereby her network, for simple revenge against her husband, who exposed administration lies about yellow cake uranium.
More reasoned minds, including several anonymous Treasury department officials, said the international banking system spying program had either "awesome," or "troubling" capability...depending upon where you sat. "While tight controls are in place...the potential for abuse is enormous." They expressed reservations about the Swift program, saying that an "urgent, temporary measure had become permanent nearly five years later, without congressional approval or formal authorization."
Bush and his minions respect the First Amendment only when it serves their cause. One need only recall their repeated leaks to Judith Miller, formerly a NYT writer, and Lewis Libby's acknowledgement that the vice-president authorized him to leak the Plame information.
Massachusetts Congressman Edward Markey opined that the Bush administration once more employed a "shoot the messenger" strategy in an attempt to avoid congressional oversight.
Tom Brokaw's comments may have been the most telling: "I don't know anyone who believes that the terrorist network said, 'Oh my God, they're tracing our financial transactions. What a surprise.' Of course they knew they were doing that."
How can this president call the nations, and probably the world's foremost newspaper shameful and disgraceful for printing the truth about yet another of his secret spying programs?
Mr. Bush, I don't think you want to talk about "shameful." Not when you repeatedly lied about WMD's to launch an unnecessary war.
Not when you minced around on the deck of an aircraft carrier, prematurely proclaiming "Mission Accomplished," before another 2,300 American kids died, and countless thousands more were gravely wounded, due to your inattentiveness and failure to recognize the insanity driving your inner circle of neo-con extremists.
Not, sir, when you intentionally allowed and encouraged your administration to disdain publicly our long-time European allies as being "Old Europe," an inflammatory and frankly stupid statement, which has caused irreparable harm to our reputation with some of our oldest allies.
Not when you have repeatedly ignored real science on global warming, to protect your oil industry contributors.
Not when you have allowed Christian fundamentalists to take over the Air Force Academy, one of our nations's three military academies. No president in history would have allowed that.
Not when you supported writing precise discrimination into the Constitution of the United States, to rally your far right constituents.
Not for politicizing the Homeland Security Department, allowing your friends and contributors to steal literally billions of dollars from the American taxpayers through schemes and bribery. Your friends, sir, have been greatly enriched, over the blood of our young soldiers.
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