Williams introduces the piece, followed by a 5 second clip of Russ Feingold saying something on the floor of the senate, then followed by Richard Posner (Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th circuit) spouting his opinion that the benefit we gain for the minimal intrusion of data mining is worth the freedoms we give up.
Good lord, the opinion is idiotic for all sorts of reasons, as digby said:
I'm of the mind to adopt "give me liberty or give me death" as my personal motto. If I have to kowtow to a bunch of childish Republican panic artists who have deluded themselves into believing that fighting radical Islam requires turning America into a police state, then it's just not worth it.
...but why do they have to skip the whole debate and go right to the opinion of a curmudgeon who wants to reduce everything to balancing the economic value of the intrusion (everything boils down to conservative economics at the U of Chicago ya know).
Tell me again, if it is a minimal intrusion, why congress couldn't have authorized the program? If it seems like a good idea to you Posner, why have any standards at all. There is nothing sacred to some of these assholes. I'm with Digby. There are some things worth dying for.