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How's That Dictatorship Coming Along?

Tuesday, Aug. 07, 2007 2:00 AM

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, he of the 'gut feeling' that there will be a major terrorist incident 'sometime soon' is trotting out more fear for your comfort and convenience.

This time, it's to hype the plot-that-never-happened involving plans to homebrew a chemical explosive and smuggle it aboard planes in gimmicked bottles.

(It should be noted that ABC News is still reporting the plot as 'using sports drinks,' which is wrong. It has nothing to do with any sports drink other than it being a familiar bottle that might pass scrutiny at a security checkpoint.)

Chertoff points out that 'top men' tested the formula with devastating results, therefore we should probably sacrifice some more liberties just to feel safer.

What works in a lab is still a long throw from a homebrewed version working in untested conditions. And it still overlooks the fact that the suspects had been under surveillance for over a year and had not purchased any airline tickets.

Nor does it account for the fact that we're still letting liquids aboard in sufficient quantities for this design to be feasible, and that we're still obsessing about planes as the target of choice.

Sure, the newly-signed Protecting America act is supposed to expire in six months.

Uh-huh. Right. I buy that. Another nifty piece of legislation with a nice patriotic name and a sunset clause couldn't possibly be detrimental or damaging to the Constitution, right? We can count on the law expiring right on schedule, can't we?

Somebody wake up the pinheads in Congress. Thanks for selling out America. Again.

King George the 43rd views the law as a starting point. There is little doubt that their ultimate goal is to be able to spy on anyone, at any time, and not have to suffer judicial oversight. (Hell, Alberto Gonzales can't remember substantive conversations and who, exactly, fired attorneys who report to him � yet we expect him to cross all the t's and dot the i's on warrantless wiretaps? Not to mention, he doesn't think habeas corpus is guaranteed by the Constitution.)

And Mr. Bush has announced his intention to ask that the law be expanded to include 'legal protections' for the 'alleged actions' of the telecommunications companies who cooperated with the illegal surveillance program, even though they say they didn't. So let's also count on being unable to sue the government or the phone company if the White House decides you need to be monitored.

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