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Dear Mr. President
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george bush

George W. Bush, President, United States of America
Richard Cheney, Vice President, United States of America
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, United States of America
Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State, United States of America
et. al


Dear sirs (and madam),

Come on now. Seriously, you guys are just taunting us, right?

Okay, when you admitted that, yes, you were eavesdropping on calls between US citizens and suspected terrorists overseas without any kind of legal warrant, despite the fact that an extremely easy (and even retroactive within 72 hours) path to a legal (and secret) warrant exists under FISA, we were like, "oh my god, you've got to be kidding! You are kidding, right?" And you were like, "Nope." And so we were like, "Okay, this totally pisses us off. You guys have got to come before congress and explain this shit to us." And you were like, "We're really busy. How 'bout we send Gonzales?" And we were all, "I guess that's cool, but he has to testify under oath." And then Specter was all, "Naw, just kidding -- no oath needed. We trust you, 'Berto."

So we were bummed, you know, but we charged ahead. And Gonzales hemmed and hawed and assured us that the program was "narrowly targeted" and that it did not include domestic to domestic calls. And a whole bunch of us screamed that the program was totally illegal, and Gonzales told us that the president is above the law, but that the program could be legally defended. And the legal scholars started parsing the minutia, and our little ADD-addled MTV-generation minds moved on to something else.

But then we find out that you are compiling databases of every phone call we all make. And that you like paid the big phone companies for those lists (which totally makes sense, so far as AT&T's recent return to near-monopoly status with not even a single, "hey, what's up?" from y'all). And we're all, like, "holy crap, man." I mean, we know that law enforcement agencies can get phone records for a specific period of time as long as they've got a warrant, but collecting everyone's phone records and compiling them into one database for casual examination by the NSA? Holy crap! And you're all, "this is only gonna be used to stop terrorists -- you have nothing to worry about. Don't you want to fight terrorism?" And we're like, "sure, 'cause we're gonna trust you after WMD and the daily briefing and the cost of the prescription drug plan and gutting the clean air act and empty promises of aid in Africa and Halliburton and Mission Accomplished and Jessica Lynch and Abu Ghraib and Abramoff and Delay and Cunningham and Valerie Plame and the biggest deficit ever and tax cuts aimed at the top one percent and the Iraq war will pay for itself and Rendition and Guantanamo and the Geneva conventions are no longer relevant and ignoring Global Warming and tax breaks for oil companies and NPT violations and Scooter Libby and Carol Fisher and all of everything else."

And then a senior law enforcement joe tells a coupla journalists, "It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," 'cause the government is using the phone data we just found out about to get around the shield laws!

And we're like, "oh my christ on a popsicle stick!"

I mean, you have got to be kidding, right? You're just like that practical joker that takes things way too far and waits for you to start to cry before he's like, "aw, man -- I'm just kidding," and we get all mad and embarrassed 'cause we totally believed him, and we're mad for a little while but then it's okay because it was all just a joke, right? It was all in fun, right?

Because this shit is immoral. And unethical. And illegal, ya know? Straight up, fucked up, man. Seriously. Please, oh please, tell us you were just kidding. and soon. 'Cause this shit has gone way beyond the point where it's gonna be funny anytime soon. Please.

Seriously, dudes.

(the nation formerly known as "the Land of the Free")

end of essay
David Nett Portrait David is an actor, writer and producer in Los Angeles. He's the founder and editor-in-chief of CSP, and a founding producer of the acclaimed Lucid by Proxy theater company. Despite all this, he still has to hold down a day job in the dot-com world, where he does product and interaction design. His acting has been called "committed," "detailed," "fearless," "hilarious" and "heart-rending" by the LA Times and Backstage West. His writing has been called "articulate and commanding" and "eminently readable" by Flak Magazine. His tenth grade Geometry teacher said he "does not work well in groups." | more essays by David
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