Saturday, March 15, 2008

A spook debacle?

Granted, Wall Street pandemonium is going to be the top story.

Yet I notice that the House's knockout blow to the Rockefeller-Bush no-safeguards warrantless wiretap bill is getting very muted coverage. What? The invisible government can't lose. Keep it out of the papers.

What Bush hates about the bill favored by the House is that not only does it nix immunity for telecom execs, but imposes judicial review and establishes a national commission to investigate the attacks upon liberty.

Don't bother to send me that bill, says Bush. I'll veto it.

But the House, including a group of conservative Blue Dog Democrats, stood firm. So that means the old FISA bill will just have to do.

This development may do to the underground system what the credit crisis is threatening to do to Wall Street: trigger a stampede for the doors.

The fear of such a domino effect is likely what caused the CIA to leak classified information about its secret detention of an al Qaeda suspect. McConnell-Hayden wanted to top the wiretap story. In fact, the New York Times noted the al Qaeda story on page one but buried the wiretap story inside. In many papers that receive the Times service, editors would have likely chosen the less important spook story over the gigantic loss for spookdom story.

But, spookdom lost. Lost. Again: spookdom lost.

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