Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Strange Bedfellows

I'm on the wagon.
Ain't got extra money, but I have a blog. All I have to do to help is reach one rich reader.
This WSJ piece splains it better than me.

The fight over immunity for telecom companies in domestic-spying legislation is creating an unexpected side effect: unity among liberal bloggers and Ron Paul supporters.

Liberal activists and supporters of the Texas Republican and former presidential candidate plan to join forces Thursday and begin a "money bomb" protest of lawmakers who support telecom immunity in the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act.

During a "money bomb," grassroots activists donate money during a short period of time -- usually a day -- to create buzz and raise money for their candidate.

The effort is timed to coincide with a planned Senate vote on the bill. Libertarians and liberal activists have blasted Democratic lawmakers, including presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, for supporting the legislation.

Both groups are upset about a provision in the bill that would provide retroactive immunity from civil actions for telecom companies alleged to have provided information to the government as part of its secret, warrantless wiretapping program. The House passed the legislation on June 20 and a Senate vote could come as soon as Thursday.

The movement's still young, but a lot of the right people are in it. I didn't like the so-called Patriot Act from the jump and this is one way to fight that wholesale prostitution of constitutional protections in the name of faux patriotism.

Strangebedfellows is a unique and diverse left--right coalition which has come together to put a stop to the eradication of civil liberties in America. Modeled on a similar group in Britain, the initial Strangebedfellows group encompasses Ron Paul supporters (, Rick Williams and Trevor Lyman), leading bloggers from the left (Glenn Greenwald of, Jane Hamsher of and many more who share the view that warrantless surveillance, telecom immunity and other such outrages of the lawless surveillance state MUST END—AND END NOW. Our group of Strangebedfellows is organizing a moneybomb on behalf of AccountabilityNowPAC, and we’re reaching out to friends and colleagues from across the political spectrum who believe in the Bill of Rights and freedom in America. So join us-- become a Strangebedfellow! Add your name and group to our list of backers, and enter your pledge today to donate to AccountabilityNowPAC. Let’s reverse these police state sellouts by our political leaders—FOREVER.

Last week I came across a cute but misleading piece of prose that has stuck in my head ever since.

The Law enforcement approach equals the Word Trade Center in rubble, the Pentagon damaged and Flight 93 and its passengers scattered across a field in Pennsylvania.

The military approach equals most of al Qaeda leadership dead or captured, 20,000 al Qaeda fighters dead in Iraq, no terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11 - and a handful of video tapes of Osama bin Laden's ravings being broadcast on al Jazeera.

Which approach to terrorism leaves you feeling safer?

This piece of rhetoric from Hillbilly White Trash (No, I'm not making this up...), inspired by a Dick Morris interview, was included in a long post at Done With Mirrors.

The cowboy approach is always more appealing than civil alternatives, and in the case of the WTC tragedy resulting from a policy wall preventing the sharing of critical information among government agencies it seems like the only alternative. But the "law enforcement approach" could have been more viable than the "military approach" had the mechanisms been better calibrated. It sure as hell would not have started a war in Iraq based on the proposition that there was a cause and effect connection between Saddam Hussein and the WTC attack.

Seems to me our mission should be to streamline and improve the law enforcement approach and keep the cavalry in the barn to respond to true military threats. That phrase "Global War on Terror" is misleading in the extreme. It's a war, alright, but one of hearts and minds. Killing bystanders is not the best way to win friends and influence people.

And when the same people who brought us this war have stuff like floating prisons, torture, rendition, signing statements and an exotic doctrine called the unitary executive in their saddlebags... all that stuff makes me feel like I'm at a political rodeo. I want to throw a rope around them and tie them up. And tossing a wrench into this stinking FISA mess is a good place to start.

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