Sunday, December 18, 2005

I'm shocked, shocked to find illegal spying going on!

I find myself somewhat out of step with the left blogosphere, who are all in a righteous lather over the revelation that Bush authorized the NSA to do some illegal surveillance. Perhaps I've been wearing tinfoil too long, but is this really a surprise? Does anybody really not believe that various government agencies are peeking in on citizens all the time, under varying degrees of surreptitiousness and illegality? The Bush administration did something illegal. Yawn.

That doesn't mean the lefties are wrong to act indignant and press the issue, now that it's in the open and acknowledged, but there seems to be an element of theater to the whole thing.


Max Sawicky at least seems to share my attitude:

For a red diaper doper baby (o.k., not really red, at least a light pink) like myself, it's possible to get very cynical about these revelations that the USG is flagrantly violating the law in its surveillance of U.S. citizens and treatment of foreigners. To me this is not news, it's always been done, it's the way this unAmerican American government works.

There is an important difference, however, in what you or I think and what everybody thinks. (More than one, actually.) Even when it's the same thing. The difference is timing, which hinges on what is commonly regarded as reliable reportage. The masses may decide what is true much later than you, and that point in time is an important political milestone. So cynicism (or as I prefer to say, realism) aside, now is the time to pump up the volume.

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