Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Watergate, the remake

Several pundits, across the political spectrum, have theorized that the scandal stemming from the NSA’s illegal domestic wiretapping will turn out to be bigger than Watergate. But, what with the odd exchange between NBC’s Andrea Miller and New York Times reporter James Risen (first noted by John Aravosis and now picked up by Frank Rich in his Sunday NYT column)—in which Miller asked the oddly specific question about whether the NSA had listened in to the conversations of CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour—I am now wondering not so much if this is bigger or smaller than Watergate, I’m wondering if this is Watergate.

Remember that Amanpour is married to Jamie Rubin. Rubin was a top advisor to the 2004 Kerry campaign. The Bush-sanctioned wiretaps were very much alive and kicking during that campaign. Is it possible that the administration happened upon or directly sought out such conversations, and that Bush/Cheney ’04 benefited from eavesdropping on conversations with Kerry advisors?

Risen makes no such claim, and, in fact, denied any knowledge of anything specifically concerning Amanpour, but I can’t help but wonder. Given what we now know about this administration’s disrespect for the law, and their willingness to use the tools of government to serve their own selfish ends, is this scenario so hard to fathom?


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