Via TBogg, we learn that Captain Brain Cell is just another of a whole passel of right-wing wanks who have no clue about how logic actually works, and this might be a bit tricky to explain so make yourself comfortable. I promise to be gentle.
Recall, if you will, the infamous "flypaper" theory of the Global War on Terror™. You know which theory I'm talking about: "We have to fight them over there so we don't end up fighting them over here." Yes, that's the one, with the fundamental premise that, as long as you're involved in whacking the bad guys overseas, then they don't represent an actual threat here at home. That's the clear implication here. With me so far? Good.
Which brings us to Captain Ed's overwhelming stupidity, when he writes:
Now that we see how the NSA has kept us safe, we should recognize that the limited loss of privacy on our telephone habits is not much of a sacrifice in giving the intelligence community a tool to root out terrorist sleeper cells.
Does anyone else see the logical contradiction here? See, on the one hand, sending all those youngsters overseas to get killed or maimed is worth it since it has the effect of making the homeland safe. And yet, one must tolerate massive, widespread wiretapping and invasion of privacy since that's the only way to (you guessed it) make the homeland safe.
In short, the entire illegal eavesdropping program is a devastatingly painful admission that the whole flypaper theory is utter crap as it makes it clear that, even if you're fighting them over there, you still have to deal with them over here. But it doesn't end there.
Note how Captain Ed describes how "the NSA has kept us safe," as if the general public should be immensely grateful for the lack of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil recently (well, except for that glaring exception back in September of 2001 but, other than that, things have been pretty quiet.)
However, if one buys into the administration's flypaper theory, then this allegedly "safe" state of affairs isn't something to be celebrated. Rather, it should be the default situation, shouldn't it? If one accepts the whole flypaper idea, then the logical conclusion is that, as long as troops are engaged in combat overseas, domestic security should be automatic, not cause for rejoicing or anything. But it doesn't work that way, does it?
In effect, the Bush administration is having it both ways. It's defending the overseas military operations by promising that they'll keep America safe, then turning around and simultaneously claiming that they need to spy on Americans because those Americans are in such grave danger domestically.
Is that a great con job or what?
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION MEETS DUSTIN HOFFMAN: It's not like I need to beat this point home any further but this whole safety issue reminds me of poor Dustin Hoffman in "Marathon Man," who I can paraphrase:
American Public: "Is it safe?"
Bush administration: "Yes, it's safe. It's completely safe. After all, we're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here and, besides, only we Republicans can keep you this safe which is why you should vote for us."
American Public: "But is it safe?"
Bush administration: "No, no, it's very dangerous. So dangerous, in fact, that we have to illegally eavesdrop on millions of Americans and strip you entirely of your civil liberties. Oh, yes, very dangerous indeed."
And thus endeth the analogy.