For most bigwig Democrats in Washington, D.C., the last 48 hours has delivered news of the worst kind — a flood of new information that has washed away any lingering doubts about where President Obama and his party stand on civil liberties, full stop.
Glenn Greenwald’s exposure of the NSA’s massive domestic spy program has revealed the entire caste of current Democratic leaders as a gang of civil liberty opportunists, whose true passion, it seems, was in trolling George W. Bush for eight years on matters of national security.
“Everyone should just calm down,” Senator Harry Reid said yesterday, inhaling slowly.
That’s right: don’t panic.
The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems — including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry — have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008.
Recall what Senator Levin told CNN in 2005, demanding to “urgently hold an inquiry” into what was supposedly President Bush’s domestic wiretap program.
Levin continued, at length: “It means that there’s some growing concern on Capitol Hill about a program which seems to be so totally unauthorized and unexplained…The president wraps himself in the law, saying that it is totally legal, but he doesn’t give what the legal basis is for this. He avoided using the law, which we provided to the president, where even when there is an emergency and there’s a need for urgent action can first tap the wire and then go to a court.”
There are two notable exception to this rule are Senator Ron Wyden, from Oregon, and Sen. Mark Udall from Colorado, who had seemed to be fighting a largely lonely, frustrating battle against Obama’s national security state.
As Mark Udall told the Denver Post yesterday: “[I] did everything short of leaking classified information” to stop it.