Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Feldman Waiver

Emmanuel Feldman appears a bit hypocritical this afternoon. The good Rabbi from Atlanta has spent his life chattering professionally from the pulpit about morality, decency and respect for the law, but now says he is perfectly cool with illegal spying:

"So the government has been intruding into our private lives by listening in to our telephones and our emails. The howls of protest are inevitable, but we need to remember that this transcends the legal issue of constitutional rights of privacy. We are at war-and with an enemy that will destroy us if we do not defend ourselves by every possible means. I, for one, am willing to give up some of my liberties temporarily so that all of my liberties in this blessed land are not destroyed permanently."
So much for rule of law.

Anyway, Manny's made two mistakes here:

First, why is he so certain that the abolishment of civil liberties is "temporary?" Does he have a guarantee from the president that he'll go back to respecting the constitution once the war on"terra" is over? Is it notarized? Can we see it?

Second, the N.S.A (the agency behind the spying) always had the privilege of spying on Americans suspected of having terrorist connections - but first the spooks had to get a warrant from the Foreign intelligence Surveillance Court. Since its inception in 1978 the court has granted almost 19,000 warrants and turned down just 5. So why did Bush direct the N.S.A to go around the court? Why did Bush illegally and unilaterally decide that warrants were no longer needed? Why is he unnecessarily expanding executive power?

Does this make you nervous? It terrifies me, but if you are more confident, I have a proposal for you (borrowed from here.)

If you (Chaim, Ezzie, Bloghd, Naphtuli, TobyKatz, YaakovMenken, CWY, Heshy, Lkwdguy, Dude, etc.) are so gosh-darn certain that W and his cronies are kind, benignant, and immune to all forms of error and corruption, I propose you sign and return the Feldman Waiver:

I, ___________________, hereby waive any rights of privacy in my person, property, association, thought and/or expression that I have, had or claim to have under the federal and state constitutions, statutory law or regulation of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, decisional law, common law and/or any other source of authority, real or imagined, to the extent the waiver of such rights is, in the sole judgment of any military, law enforcement or national security employee of the United States, deemed necessary to prosecute the war on terror.

This waiver applies both retroactively and prospectively.



Cut-and-paste the above waiver and e-mail it to comments@whitehouse.gov, or yourfavoriteblogger@hotmail.com or write the words "I am a gullible, mindless sheep who deserves neither liberty nor security" in the comment section.