Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling (18 July 1887 – 24 October 1945) was a Norwegian army officer and fascist politician who served as Minister President of German-occupied Norway during World War II from 1942 to 1945. During this time, he claimed to be the head of government while the constitutional government was exiled in London. After the war, Quisling was convicted of high treason and subsequently executed by firing squad. His surname has become an eponym for “traitor”, especially a collaborationist (see Quisling).
It was once my job to host a delegate from the international part of my club, a visitor from Norway. While we were traveling around we happened to pass through New Haven and I mentioned it was the home of my favorite traitor- Benedict Arnold.
“Benedict Arnold?”, all innocent she.
She practically spat at me. “How do you know about him?”
I read history for if we forget we are condemned to repeat it.
Glenn Greenwald has two pieces of wisdom today-
For apologists of Democratic Party passivity, who claim endlessly that Democrats can stand for nothing because they’ll lose elections if they do, such a claim is not only craven and self-destructive, but factually inaccurate as well. From a new poll released today, commissioned by the ACLU:
|Majorities of voters on both sides of the political spectrum oppose key provisions in President Bush’s proposal to modify foreign surveillance laws that could ensnare Americans, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The survey shows nearly two-thirds of poll respondents say the government should be required to get an individual warrant before listening in on conversations between US citizens and people abroad. Close to six in 10 people oppose an administration proposal to allow intelligence agencies to seek “blanket warrants” that would let them eavesdrop of foreigners for up to a year no additional judicial oversight required if the foreign suspect spoke to an American. And a majority are against a plan to give legal immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping.
“Across the board, we find opposition to the administration’s FISA agenda,” pollster Mark Mellman said Tuesday.
The argument that Democrats should allow chronic lawbreaking because doing otherwise is politically risky ought to be too corrupt an argument for anyone even to entertain. But for those who believe in that calculus, it’s also just factually false.
Consequences for ignoring congressional subpoenas: None
Your Harry Reid-led Senate in action-
(H)e wants to spout this Bush claim that the Senate must comply with the President’s orders immediately because he wants to pressure and shame Dodd, Feingold and any others who might support them out of filibustering telecom immunity and new warrantless eavesdropping powers. Dodd is ruining your weekend, preventing your fun retreat, not letting you go to Davos — all because he wants to grandstand with “talking this to death.” The President said he wants this done and we must give him what he wants and now, and I am acting with my good friend Mitch McConnell — who is explicitly hoping to bully the House into passing the same bill in one day that the Senate passes, just like happened back in August — to make sure this all happens with as little disruption and debate as possible.
If and when telecom immunity is passed (thereby forever extinguishing any hope of investigating and obtaining accountability for the President’s illegal spying programs), and the Bush administration (and subsequent presidents) are vested permanently with vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers to spy on Americans, it will be because Harry Reid and the Democratic leadership conspired to ensure that it happened. They aren’t just standing by meekly, failing to oppose it. They are actively enabling it with as aggressive a posture as the Republicans could possibly have employed had they still been in control of the Congress.
UPDATE: For an excellent summary of just how radical and invasive these new warrantless eavesdropping powers are that Senate Democrats are about to enact, see this comment here, complete with citations.