Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Friday, May 12, 2006

Privacy: A neo-con throwaway
The Bush Administration just seems intent on pissing off the entire US electorate, on both sides of the political spectrum. Their views on privacy, a traditional battle-ground for conservatives, have been confusing to say the least.

The latest is the row over phone-tapping of Americans citizens, which was down-played by senior officials months ago as affecting a tiny number of citizens who where actively engaged in Al Qaeda-related initiatives. His exact words were, "We're not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans." Reports this week found a different story, with the major telecom companies, AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth turning over tens of millions of phone records for investigation, even going so far to state that the "N.S.A. had created an enormous database of all calls made by customers of the three phone companies in an effort to compile a log of 'every call ever made' within [the US]". Another broken political promise, and another loss for the right to privacy.

Bush's second term has been an absolute nightmare for him, with the traditional "lame duck" second term woes coming very early for him. Any political capital that he had earned from the last presidential election has been lost, and he is finding himself to be a punching bag for the pack of power-hungry wolves, Republican and Democrat. It's going to be a tough last few years...