Time to Think the Unthinkable

It used to be that having the NSA spy domestically was one of the unthinkable acts that one believed administrations understood were out of bounds. Sort of like the indefinite detention of US citizens in military prisons, or the torturing and killing of prisoners, or ‘rendering’ them to countries that torture.

Well, all bets, gloves, illusions are off.

It is time, therefore, to start asking if this administration is doing other things that were previously ‘unthinkable’.

Today brings suggestions that the administration spied on one or more journalists, and perhaps also on an occasional Democratic candidate and party operative. But don’t stop there. For example, someone should ask whether the new ‘anything goes without a warrant if it’s important enough’ standard for snooping extends to tax returns and to census data. It’s hard, after all, to imagine a legal theory that would allow the NSA to ignore FISA that would not also apply to all that delicious data just sitting there, even if it is hedged with statutory protections. That’s just Congress, after all, nothing serious.

Suggestions for other previously unthinkable questions that should be asked — not that we can trust any statement we get from this administration — painfully welcomed.

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4 Responses to Time to Think the Unthinkable

  1. Adam says:

    Vote theft allegations have been made in Ohio.

  2. Ereshkigal says:

    How about administratively redefining a citizen out of constitutional protections, incarcerating him for three years (while fighting every attempt by the detained person to exercise those lost protections), and finally charging the detained person (as a citizen, no less!) with crimes unrelated in any way to the unsupported allegations that led to his detention?

    Holy Son of Kafka, I think this story is too far-fetched even for Hollywood.

    Unless, of course, there’s a role in it for Tom Cruise.

  3. Dana Barker says:

    Political absolutism
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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    Absolutism is a political theory which argues that one person (generally, a monarch) should hold all power. This is often referred to as the “Divine Right of Kings”, implying that a ruler’s authority stems directly from God. Prominent theorists associated with absolutism include Augustine of Hippo, Paul of Tarsus, Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, and Thomas Hobbes.

    Hobbes, in his philosophy of natural law, believed that absolutist rulers emerged according to the baser instincts of humans, specifically their fear of death and their need for power. In his philosophy, there could be no social order without the ceding of power to a single individual who would use power to restrain the violent and anti-social tendencies of the people.

    To those who believed the absolute ruler was chosen by God, rebellion against the monarch was tantamount to rebellion against God. Hence, rule was considered “absolute,” in that the ruler could not be challenged.

    Later absolutist rulers sometimes tried to rule according to Enlightenment principles, and so are called enlightened absolutists. They attempted to allow their subjects to live more freely in their day-to-day lives, while still maintaining the autocratic monarchy.

    Absolutism, as a term, did not appear until the 19th century, when the traditional “age of absolutism” had passed.

    Some historians see the Absolutist Monarchs as a direct consequence of the centralization of the state under the New Monarchs.

    The seventeenth century Kings of England, James I and Charles I of England are often cited as Absolutist monarchs. This is a popular misconception; in actuality both operated in the context of regular parliaments. Were it not for their empowered subjects, however, both were said to have had designs on establishing an absolute monarchy.

  4. hoo buddy says:

    Given all we know now, I think its time to have another look at the trade center ‘inside job’ meme.

    They tried first to avoid an investigation and then hamstrung the committee as much as possible.

    The voting in Ohio is very suspect as well.

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