This past week’s revelations about the National Security Agency millions of Americans’ phone records (without suspecting any of them of a crime), plus news of secretive data-gathering program called PRISM, has seemingly drawn a rough dividing line between civil libertarians (libertarians, less-hawkish conservatives, anti-war progressives) and establishment types in both major parties.
Even before that rift became clear, it was obvious who would be leading the charge to defend the government’s expansive surveillance program: Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.
If the security/warfare state is ever in question, you can always count on Kristol to run cover. And he certainly did not disappoint this weekend. Urging Republicans not to “conflate” the ongoing Internal Revenue Service scandal with the NSA snooping, Kristol declared it a “huge mistake” to suggest the NSA’s actions were intrusive and thus politically leverageable.
In other words: Bill Kristol rightly finds the IRS’s targeting to be exemplary of abuse, overreaching government. But the NSA? Not really a concern.
Before the GOP goes ahead and listens to Kristol (as they are unfortunately wont to do), here’s a helpful and cautionary reminder of several ways in which the commentator has been laughably wrong (and yet somehow still gets a platform as a “serious” voice):
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