Saturday, September 22, 2001

75% in a poll say the assassination ban should be lifted. It's in an executive order, so who's to say it hasn't already been? Clinton said this week that the ban only ever applied to heads of state (professional courtesy, I guess), and that he tried to have bin Laden assassinated.

I wondered why that list of banned songs included Sinatra's NY, NY. "Top of the heap". Oh yeah.

The latest brilliant idea re Afghanistan (which by the way has never, so far as I know, sponsored terrorism in the US, unlike, say, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya...) is to restore the monarch. Who is 86.

The problem with Bush's jihad is of course the one Republicans saw in every one of Clinton's military adventures: no end strategy. Asked about that 2 days ago, Rumsfeld hemmed and hawed and then said that the end would be when Americans were persuaded that they were safe. Actually, much of what we've heard about security the last 2 weeks has been entirely about PR. Listen to it the next time someone talks about planes or skyscrapers: the language most of the time is about making people feel they are safe, not actually making people safer, except inasmuch as it is necessary to the goal of altering perception.

See the Salon article "God bless Big Brother" for some of the details of Bush's wish list for tearing down constitutional protections, email, wiretaps, lowered standards of proof, indefinite detention of aliens, use in US courts of information collected by foreign countries in violation of 4th Amendment rights, including info obtained by torture, etc etc.

The Constitution proper is also being edited. Rumsfeld is spending money not appropriated by Congress, under the Food and Forage Act from the Civil War, which I assume had something to do with Union troops needing provisions not having telephones and credit cards. And the "Homeland Security Agency" (what a title), headed by a Cabinet-level official Bush who does not intend to have ratified.

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