Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Why do we have checks and balances?

Let me tell you that persistence pays off. If she wants something, Cassie keeps pointing and crying, eventually she gets whatever it is, within reason. There are parents that do not necessarily abide by the ‘within reason’ principle. It appears that George and Barbara Bush did not abide by the aforementioned principle when raising little Georgie.

The current President Bush, is complaining that the NY Times did its job. The paper reported about a story affecting tens of thousands of Americans, and is probably of interest too many more. It appears that the Administration has been using broad, indiscriminate subpoenas to look at private financial records of Americans. Some of these transactions were entirely within the U.S.

President Bush decried this saying that the Times had hindered the government’s ability to fight the war on terrorism. I, as all Americans, appreciate the need to combat terror. That being said, how much are we going to give up in the name of security? The Bush Administration has previously tried to create a program called Operation Tips that would encourage US citizens to spy on one another. Then they pushed forward the program to wiretap phone calls without probable cause, and now, the Administration wants to have unfettered access to American bank records. All of this, without Congressional or Judicial oversight, is a bit much for me to stomach.

There are laws in place that allow for all of these activities, with the appropriate amount of oversight. In the case of the wiretapping, it is a retroactive subpoena, as far back as 3 days. In financial matters or location searches, there are other judicial checks in place. There is no legitimate reason that the checks and balances system needs to be gutted. What the hell are our men and women fighting for?

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