September 18, 2008

Hoist [7:43 am]

Glenn Greenwald has a field day: What does Sarah Palin have to hide in her Yahoo emails?

Some adolescent criminal (in mentality if not age) yesterday hacked into a Yahoo account used by Sarah Palin for both personal and business email, and various sites — including Gawker — posted some of the emails online. [...]

[I]t’s really a wondrous, and repugnant, sight to behold the Bush-following lynch mobs on the Right melodramatically defend the Virtues of Privacy and the Rule of Law. These, of course, are the same authoritarians who have cheered on every last expansion of the Lawless Surveillance State of the last eight years — put their fists in the air with glee as the Federal Government seized the power to listen to innocent Americans’ telephone calls; read our emails; obtain our banking, credit card, and library records; and create vast data bases of every call we make and receive and every prescription we fill and every instance of travel and other vast categories of information that remain largely unknown — all without warrants or oversight of any kind and often in clear violation of the law.

The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin’s privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.

And the same Surveillance State Worshipper leading today’s screeching — Michelle Makin — spent the last several years attacking those who objected to the President’s illegal spying program as “privacy crusaders” and “constitutional absolutists” and “civil liberties absolutists”.

Shouldn’t these same people be standing today up and insisting that if Sarah Palin has done nothing wrong, then she should have nothing to hide? [...]

[...] Last night, O’Reilly angrily lamented that “we have no privacy left in this country anymore.” That’s the very same Bill O’Reilly who went on television last October to gravely warn that John Edwards was a “Far Leftist” and detailed all the dark things that would happen if Edwards were elected President:

Would you support President John Edwards? Remember, no coerced interrogation, civilian lawyers in courts for captured overseas terrorists, no branding the Iranian guards terrorists, and no phone surveillance without a specific warrant.

Nice to see him having so much fun with this — I just don’t know if irony is really a workable political advocacy strategy. But it would be nice to see some of the proponents for the surveillance state squirm, even a little bit.

More info: Palin’s Yahoo e-mail account hacked

See also Hacking Sarah Palin from Slate and Hackers leak e-mails from Palin account (pdf), both of which go into more detail into the interesting issue surrounding the decision by Alaskan officials to use private email accounts to conduct state business, rather than using the accounts supplied by the state for business use. Also Hackers Access Palin’s Personal E-Mail, Post Some Online (pdf)

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