Last night's Chris Hayes show exemplifies what makes the show so special. The segment below deals with two hot stories, the Bradley Manning trial and the Supreme Court decision yesterday that allowed the government to DNA test citizens upon arrest for the alleged purpose of identification. The way he synthesizes these two stories in order to address the larger implications. He used the phrase "no more secrets" from the film Sneakers (which I've also usedin the past, fwiw. Love that movie ... )
This is some intelligent and interesting TV, folks:
I've been reading various iterations of Akil Reed Amar's fourth amendment arguments for years and remain unconvinced. But like Barry Scheck, who has far more standing to do it than I do, I won't deem to get into the debate between Amar and Scalia over constitutional originalism. For me, it's pretty simple: I don't trust the government not to do this for reasons other than very specific identification such as abusing their discretion in order to build the data base or solve other crimes. In fact, according the Scheck they are already misusing this power.
And I've never understood why the police shouldn't have to persuade one lone magistrate that they have probable cause. In this case especially it seems ridiculous --- they have the suspect in custody. There's really no reason that they shouldn't have to prove that DNA is the only way to identify them before they take it.
Anyway, it was a very interesting discussion all the way around and the way Hayes put together the fact that millions of people now have top secret clearances with Bradley Manning and the court's indifference to privacy is something that should make us all think. Which TV rarely does.
He also held this really interesting discussion with the man who arranged for John McCain to go to Syria and meet with the rebels (some of whom turned out to have been kidnappers.) Just watch it:
After watching this, this imediately came to mind: Ahmad Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.
Update: If anyone thinks that McCain's involvement in Syria doesn't portend a very big mess, get a load of this:
McCain has been a forceful advocate of U.S. military intervention in Syria and has spent months in television and other media interviews trying to make his case. The Arizona Republican continued that campaign last night during an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS, highlighting the war crimes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have committed to justify more U.S. intervention. When Rose noted that rebels are also committing war crimes, McCain brushed them off:
ROSE: But at the same time you do hear about atrocities on the other side as well. You know, wherever it’s coming from within the other side you do see not only stories but video?
MCCAIN: But you know, Charlie, you see that as isolated incidents of people who have just gotten so battle-hardened and angry and this happens in warfare. What you’re seeing from the other side is orchestrated training and tactics to intimidate and cow the population from the Bashar al-Assad side. So it’s — it’s dramatically, mind you, different. Horrible things are happening on both sides but with Bashar al-Assad’s forces it is a tactic that they use to intimidate and cow the population.
And probably a few bad apples, amirite?
Anyway, remember,Iran is everything:
Rose later challenged the idea of greater U.S. involvement in Syria’s civil war, noting that — because many of the forces battling Assad have strong ties to al-Qaeda — there’s a chance that those who take over in the event Assad would fall would be no friend to the United States. But McCain dismissed that concern as well, suggesting — most likely correctly — that any Sunni al-Qeada affiliated group won’t be allied with Shiite dominated Iran:
MCCAIN: So if Bashar al-Assad wins the connection to Hezbollah remains, Iranians mischief throughout the region continues. [...]
ROSE: Notwithstanding that Syria might become a failed state and might be ruled by, you know, a group of people who have no interest in good relationships with the United States?
MCCAIN: But not an ally of Iran, seeking to facilitate their efforts to create mischief throughout the Middle East. I mean I’m not saying it will be a Jeffersonian democracy and it may be long and difficult. But there is no doubt of the relationship between Bashar al-Assad and Iran and Hezbollah, that’s why Hezbollah is in, because if they lose Bashar al-Assad Hezbollah loses their lifeline.
McCain and his allies are right back where we started with Iraq --- they don't care about al-Qaeda or terrorism. They care about American imperial supremacy and all that that implies. Terrorism is just a convenient excuse to do what they always wanted to do. You'll recall the adorable saying they used to have: "Real men go to Tehran..."
This is why I don't trust US foreign policy. Sure, the Obama administration may not be on board with this. This is a very unhealthy, twisted way to look at this problem. But our foreign policy and national security bureaucracies have been bipartisan for decades --- and John McCain is a very influential player. Best stay out. No good will come of it.