Calling It For What It Is
AOL Online Poll, This Morning:
(Over 50,000 responses)
1. Which branch of government do you trust the most?
2. What do you think of the way President Bush uses presidential power?
He goes too far: 74%
I approve: 23%
He doesn’t go far enough: 4%
This right-wing and White House pushback against the New York Times has gone overboard, with that bastion of levelheaded punditry the National Review Online now calling for the White House to pull the NYT’s press credentials, and others in the Stepford Caucus calling the NYT’s decision to do its job treasonous. Note that Joe Scarborough is not going along with the script this time. As MSNBC's Craig Crawford, Glenn Greenwald and others show us, Bush's monitoring of SWIFT transactions has been known for a while now. So this is simply an exercise in giving the base the usual villain once again, and to remind them to stay under their beds until Daddy Protector tells the little bedwetters it's OK to come out.
Let’s also point out that key Democrats in Congress weren’t even given an updated briefing on this program until the Bush Administration was outed by the Times. So what is really going on here is the White House got caught once again acting in secret without any congressional notice or consultation, and the price to be paid according to the Kool Aid Drinkers is jail. Note that of the three papers that ran similar stories, only the Times has been threatened by the cultists, but not the Wall Street Journal or the Los Angeles Times. Also, as The Nation’s William Greider notes, if Congress and the administration were truly serious about closing down international avenues for financing terrorism, they would start with the Saudis, and then move on to close all of the offshore havens, banks, and money laundering operations that routinely are left alone, if not expanded by Congress at the request of the banking lobby. Lastly, as The Nation’s John Nichols notes, is it any wonder why the administration goes batsh*t crazy over these “leaks” about spying programs, yet doesn’t show the same fury when it comes to leaks about troop movements and possible reductions, which one could argue gives information to the enemy as well?
It’s time Democrats started calling this for what it is. State control of the media is a prime component of fascism. Democrats need to tell the voters that this is nothing more than the government telling newspapers what to print, and when, if at all, to print. As it relates to media control, this is Saddam, this is Mussolini, this is your garden-variety fascism on display here. The frame needs to be set: this is fascism.