By Charles P. Pierce
Of course, while everyone in Washington, and the courtier press that serves them, were endlessly droning on and on about the Gentle Fiscal Incline, the Bill Of Rights closed out 2012 by having one of the worst weeks it’s had in the two centuries of its existence. But the courtier press paid that little mind, possibly because selling out the Bill Of Rights was done on a “bipartisan” basis, and the denizens of the various Green Rooms would endorse cannibal murder if both parties agreed to subsidize it. [..]
This latest thing was to reauthorize the truly spooky FISA Amendments that were passed in 2008 when the president, in one of the actions he’s taken that really was a naked sellout of his previously enunciated principles, joined with a Senate majority to immunize the telecommunications companies that had participated in the Bush Administration’s lawlessness regarding wiretapping, as well as to authorize sweeping new wiretapping powers far beyond those against which the companies were being immunized. What the president did is not excused by the fact that he was running for president at the time. This wasn’t a flip-flop he took because he wanted to be elected. This was a flip-flop he took because he wanted to do some things once he was elected. [..]
Later, came the release of some FBI documents in which it seemed to indicate at least an unacceptable level of involvement by federal law enforcement in the crackdowns by local authorities on the various outposts of the Occupy movement. The hooley on the Left, which is going on vigorously over in the LG&M saloon, seems to center on whether or not federal authorities directed the activities of the local cops, or whether they simply provided logistical and intelligence support. (There’s also a great deal of swatting at Naomi Wolf, on which I will pass, thanks a lot.) To me, this is a distinction without a difference. [..]
Moreover, the documents also seem to indicate that the FBI was coordinating with the banks and the financial institutions as regards to the burgeoning Occupy movement. This, also, would not be unprecedented. The FBI always has been willing to do private favors for the powerful, and it rarely works out well. [..]
Rule Number One For Daily Living: There is no such thing as an “informal” chat with the FBI.