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View Diary: UMass Mao library book story is a hoax (140 comments)

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  •  reflection of the times (4.00)
    That we were willing/able to believe the story is an indication of the times.  Pre-PATRIOT we would have dismissed the story out of hand, but in today's world we are well aware that the US government is nosing into library records, airline employees are telling people they can't read government documents on airplanes, the government tried (is trying) to get utility employees to snoop on their customers, etc.  

    The fact that we did not immediately call BS on the story is not a reflection on us, but on the climate of fear that the government has been building.

    "Mission Accomplished" -- George W. Bush May 2, 2003

    by gaijin99 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 05:39:33 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Or maybe... (2.66)
      ... government surveillance isn't really all that much worse than in prior administrations, but as you are so eager to believe that it is, you seek out and embrace every story that supports your view, whether true or not.  Your eagerness to believe this story should probably give you caution as to what else you unquestioningly believe.
      •  Can you give me some... (none)
        evidence to believe such is the case? i.e. "...isn't really that much worse than prior administrations,..."
      •  government spying (none)
        While the possibility you rise cannot be instantly dismissed, it can be dismissed after a bit of rational thought.

        Despite the desire of those on the right to pretend that we on the left have a horrible and unprescidented hatred of George W. Bush, the reality is that the attitude of liberals towards Bush is quite warm and fuzzy compared to the attitude held by conservatives towards Clinton.  Therefore I think it is safe to assume that since conservatives did not make claims during the Clinton administration that he was authorizing violations of the Fourth Amendment that Clinton was not, actually, spying on American citizens contrary to the laws of this nation.

        Certainly all governments spy on their people, the questions are frequency and legality.  In the USA we require that the government obtain warrants when it wants to spy so that a paper trail exists and if the spies spied on the wrong person, or spied for frivilous or political reaons, we can identify and punish them.  The real issue here is not that Bush authorized spying on American citizens, it is that he broke the law by ignoring the requirement for warrants and removed accountability from the process.

        Since conservatives accused Clinton of everything from murder to serial rape to cocaine abuse, the absence of any conservative claim that Clinton violated the 4th Amendment would indicate that your suspicion that the current uproar over Bush's violation of the 4th Amendment is purely political is not true.

        As for myself, I do not believe anything either questioningly or unquestioningly, I simply accept what the facts lead me to think is true.  Belief is, from my POV, a failure of reasoning.  Available evidence indicates that President Bush is willing to use the War on Terror as an excuse to violate the civil liberties of Americans.  This incident is merely one in a long series of related incidents.  I do not believe this to be true, the evidence indicates that it is true so I accept it as true.  Belief, faith, and the like do not enter the picture.

        "Mission Accomplished" -- George W. Bush May 2, 2003

        by gaijin99 on Sat Dec 24, 2005 at 10:00:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that we need to be diligent about what is (none)
        posted. Never the less, I too had a terrible sinking feeling in my gut when I heard the original story. I was writing a letter to the editor and was told by a friend I might want to use the story in my letter. Because I couldn't find any other verification other than the blogs, I didn't insert it. Still it is believable that the current administration would do something like this. I challenge you to prove your conjecture that other administrations have done the same type of spying on American citizens as the Bush administration. Even if you can, that doesn't make it right. Remember when your mother use to ask you if your friend ran off a cliff, would you do the same thing?
      •  They have claimed the power to do it (none)
        The issue is that this administration has either asked for and got (via the USAPATRIOT act), or just illegally asserted (Bush's secret spying orders) the power to perform all kinds of surveillance on citizens.

        And it's not just surveillance: The administration also claims the power to torture, intern without charge, and even summarily strip any person (citizen or not) of all constitutional rights by designating them as an "enemy combatant".

        We don't know whether and how much that power is actually being used or abused, and thanks to the dismantling of due process, we can't find out.

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