Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Slime Time

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign hypocrisy continues to know no bounds. It is rather unbelievable that Clinton would listen in to conversations being conducted by political opponents, but refuse to allow our intelligence agencies to listen in to conversations being conducted by terrorists as they plot and plan to kill us. Team Clinton can expect to see and hear this over and over again over the course of the next year.”

If you believe that, you're probably a Republican, perhaps even the kind of Republican who defended Richard Nixon's wiretapping and insisted the charges against him were politically motivated. You'll doubtless overlook the false equivalence of legal wiretapping and illegal wiretapping and the specious assertion that Democrats don't want to investigate terrorists because they prefer to acknowledge the fourth amendment.

At any rate, the quote from an unnamed GOP official appears in Alexander Bolton's article about the book Her Way in The Hill today. Her Way, by experienced and prize winning investigative reporters Don Van Natta Jr. and Jeff Gerth asserts on the basis of information by another unnamed source that Hillary Clinton listened to recordings of cell phone calls by political opponents 15 years ago. I agree with the quote -- I can't believe it either, but my scepticism has more to do with the technical difficulty involved. Yes, analog cell phone signals of that period were easy enough to copy for anyone with a scanner that covered the 800 MHz spectrum, but receiving both sides of the conversation is not as easy and listening to that scanner waiting for an individual to make a call is, I think, likely to be futile unless you're following them around.

Of course it is possible, just as it is possible that John Kerry shot children and never was wounded in Viet Nam. It's possible that a 6 year, $60,000,000 investigation failed to uncover a Bluebeard's closet full of demonic corruption, but there's as much if not more evidence that Mother Theresa was the devil. There's enough evidence about the Bush family dealings from unassailable sources and court records to choke a jackal, but they're not Democrats.

Who knows? But evidence is never necessary for believers - innuendo and the will to believe are proof enough and although the book isn't selling very well, there will be more -- and whoever becomes the Democratic candidate is going to have to cope with enemies who can equate Al Gore with Joseph Goebbels and do it with a straight face. There is going to be an eruption of denunciation and accusation and fabrication and hysteria such as we have not seen.

It's going to be a very slimy year.

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