Your Wiretapping Holiday Guide

« December 2005 »

'Tis the season. And I'm here to help.

Over the next few days, many of my readers will be engaging in various holiday-time tradition with friends or relatives. It is possible that, during those times, the subject of President Bush's illegal warrantless wiretaps may come up in conversation. Despite the acts in question being indefensible in any sane world, some of your friends and relatives may find themselves parroting various aspects of the defense as presented in the media, blogosphere, or punditocracy.

Here is a handy guide to those criticisms, along with YAD-approved verbal responses, and suggested physical responses. While this blog post does not authorize you to engage in that physical response in violation of state and federal assault laws, you may be able to claim inherent authority under your state's seat belt law. Use at your own risk.


This defense claims that in the modern age of modern, box-cutter-based terrorism, there simply isn't time to go through the lengthy, tedious process of getting a warrant from the bureaucracy. Time is of the essence, so Bush acted decisively and promptly.

Verbal Response - Timeliness was never an issue, and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot, a liar, a member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, or all three. If the government wanted to obey the law, all it had to do was seek its warrant up to three days AFTER they started wiretapping. Not before. After. Start wiretapping, take a day off to go fishing, take another day to run a few errands, pick up the dry-cleaning, that sort of thing, then mosey on down to the super-secret court to get the super-secret warrant to make sure what you already did was legal. If timeliness wasn't keeping Bush from getting warrants, WHAT WAS?

Physical Response - Swirlies. As many as the local plumbing allows. Those of you with low-flow toilets may want to substitute a sink full of ice water, broken glass, and lemon juice.


This defense states that Bill Clinton frequently encroached on civil liberties during his two terms in office, especially in regards to the controversial ECHELON program which engaged in electronic surveillance on American soil. Since this defense relies on the false premise that everyone who hates Bush loves Clinton, this one's easy.

Verbal Response - Then I guess they impeached that slimy motherfucker on the wrong crime. Doesn't mean we can't get it right this time.

Physical Response - Baseball bat to solar plexus, followed by a gentle whack on the back of the head.

THE AFGHANISTAN DEFENSE (a.k.a. "Pulling A Gonzalez"):

This defense, the Administration's primary legal standing, says that when Congress, after 9/11, authorized the President to use "use all necessary and appropriate force" to go after Al Qaeda, that meant warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Verbal Response - No, it fucking well didn't.

Verbal Response, Elaborate - No, it fucking well didn't. By that logic, President Bush could rob a bank, as long as he gives a news conference saying he spent the money on an X-ray machine for an airport. Also, fuck Congress for consistently passing these kinds of ridiculous, vaguely-worded resolutions because they don't have the balls to decide whether or not to declare war.

Physical Response - One pulled Gonzalez deserves another. Waterboarding, naked pyramids, sleep deprivation, and Lynndie England smiling at the victim's genitals.

TOMORROW: Even DUMBER defenses!