Democrats & Liberals Archives

Secret wiretaps=impeachable offense?

If you still support the Bush Administration after reading this story, then your partisan political sickness may be terminal:

President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.

The super-secretive NSA, which has generally been barred from domestic spying except in narrow circumstances involving foreign nationals, has monitored the e-mail, telephone calls and other communications of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people under the program, the New York Times disclosed last night.

The aim of the program was to rapidly monitor the phone calls and other communications of people in the United States believed to have contact with suspected associates of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups overseas, according to two former senior administration officials. Authorities, including a former NSA director, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, were worried that vital information could be lost in the time it took to secure a warrant from a special surveillance court, sources said.

There is no defense for actions such as these.

Wiretapping US citizens without a warrant?

This is against the law. There is absolutely no excuse for the President of the United States to violate the civil rights of US citizens..even to stop terrorism.

I can't imagine that this isn't an impeachable offense.

I recognize that there are a lot of scared Americans out there. Terrorism is a scary business.

But terrorism has been with us for centuries. And we've had US citizens die from terrorism on our soil prior to 9/11. When Eric Rudolph murdered abortion doctors and bombed the US Olympics in Atlanta..did we allow secret wiretaps of suspected abortion doctor killers and other suspected whacked out US citizens? When Tim McVeigh bombed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City...did we start those activities then? When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered their classmates at Columbine High School, did we start secret wiretaps of suspected angry high schoolers?

This is insanity. Any quarter of American society that supports allowing the POTUS to secretly wiretap Americans without having secured a warrant is either so blindly partisan or so blindly scared that they are beyond the reach of common sense.

Posted by Carla Ryan at December 16, 2005 6:18 PM
Comments
Comment #103294

I believe it scares only the people who are up to no good. I have nothing to hide from anyone, so the way I see it, unless you are involved in something you shouldn’t be, then you have nothing to fear.

Posted by: Ashley at December 16, 2005 6:52 PM
Comment #103296

Carla,
What am I missing? Is this as bad as it looks? I don’t understand what would possess a president to sign an executive order which obviously violates the constitution. I must be missing something. A president has all kinds of legal advisors, including an Attorney General. There are all kinds of provisions for searches which go through a fast, questionable, yet obstensibly legal process.

If this is true, impeachment would have to be considered. I don’t think anyone, Democrat or Republican, would see any choice. If it’s true, it’s really not a partisan issue. A president can’t do that. Period. But like I said, I can’t believe something so cut and dried and clearly wrong could have happened. For now I’m tempted to stand back, and see if there are developments.

Posted by: phx8 at December 16, 2005 6:55 PM
Comment #103298

Ashley:

“…unless you are involved in something you shouldn’t be, then you have nothing to fear.”

The issue is that wrong and right are defined by law, not whim. Moreover, there is an entire history of privacy being a fundamental right of a citizen. The government simply does not have the power to do things in secret like this without some manner of oversite by the citizenry. And perhaps impeachment is that manner of oversite.

Posted by: ant at December 16, 2005 7:02 PM
Comment #103299

President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States after advising senators,congressmen and federal judges to make sure no laws were broken. You don’t hear Rockerfella saying a word because he was advised and agreed. If this action saved one life it was worth it. This president,office of homeland security and the patriot act has kept us safe from terrorism since 9-11, remember 9-11? Any internal attack on this country, after this sad day in congress, (defeat of the patriot act) will be the fault of liberal democrats. Merry Christmas

Posted by: Ken at December 16, 2005 7:04 PM
Comment #103300
This is against the law. There is absolutely no excuse for the President of the United States to violate the civil rights of US citizens. Even to stop terrorism.[sic]

Seriously. It’s ok for the President to let terrorists kill US civilians, if stopping them would violate the civil rights of some people.
No.
Civil rights are revered in this country. They should be. However, your claim that they are more valuable than the lives of people is simply wrong. When talking about violating civil rights, knowing the scale is key. Both the scale of the rights violated and the scale of the threat. And both of these scales are judgment calls.
The government, charged first and foremost with protecting the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of its subjects. There is a fine line between protecting lives and disrupting them and no one on earth is qualified to make that judgment. Is protecting one life worth infringing on the liberties of one innocent person? What about ten people’s rights? One hundred? And what about the life the person that will die, what if he would discover a cure for AIDS and save millions of lives? You can’t know the future and therefore who are you to say that the preventing the potential death of these people is not worth infringing on the rights of others?
If the government violated these people’s rights arbitrarily, then yes it committed a crime. However, if the government had a credible threat and then acted on it, it should be applauded. While the government does have the burden of proving there was a credible threat, the only way to fully prove that something will happen in the future is to see if it happens. Should we do this instead?
It is not the responsibility of the people to applaud the government for what they do right, that is there job. It is our job to criticize, but lets avoid partisanship and criticize them when we can actually show that they did something wrong.

Posted by: Josh at December 16, 2005 7:09 PM
Comment #103301
I believe it scares only the people who are up to no good. I have nothing to hide from anyone, so the way I see it, unless you are involved in something you shouldn’t be, then you have nothing to fear.

Actually it should scare anyone who believes in our constitution. Unreasonable search and seizure anyone? As phx8 suggests, it’s really so easy to do this legally, so it calls into question the motives of those who would do this.

Posted by: Loren at December 16, 2005 7:13 PM
Comment #103304

Ken,
You know the US has porous borders, right? Illegal immigrants enter daily in large numbers. Agreed? Now, how do you reconcile that fact with the fact no terrorist attacks have occurred? And no, ‘luck’ is not an adequate explanation.

Are you really that afraid of terrorism? Would you sacrifice your rights, your freedom, and your constitution on your altar of fear?

There are many reasonable, measured steps which can be taken for security.

Do you have a link for Rockefeller’s role in this executive order?

Posted by: phx8 at December 16, 2005 7:15 PM
Comment #103305
The government, charged first and foremost with protecting the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of its subjects. There is a fine line between protecting lives and disrupting them and no one on earth is qualified to make that judgment.

You completely contradict your point here. This is the REASON we have a system of checks and balances, because no one is qualified alone. And if the government is so charged with this protection, then it must do so by protecting the rights of everyone, not just those it wants to protect today.

Posted by: Loren at December 16, 2005 7:24 PM
Comment #103306

Ken You’re wrong Senator Rockefeller did object at the time he was informed but was not allowed to go public with his dissent due to espionage laws. Everyone out there who does not see a problem with the government spying on them must be very ignorant of history both domestic and abroad. Perhaps you should all get out your history books and read up on what happens when personal privacy rights are violated by a government! This is very serious, my 78yr old mother is up in arms over this issue and you don’t get anymore patriotic than she is.

Posted by: jonitodd at December 16, 2005 7:24 PM
Comment #103307
Are you really that afraid of terrorism? Would you sacrifice your rights, your freedom, and your constitution on your altar of fear?

I totally agree. If we sacrifice our rights, then there is nothing left worth protecting, and the terrorists have already won.

Posted by: Loren at December 16, 2005 7:29 PM
Comment #103308

PS KEN Republicans also voted against making the Patriot Act permenant as it now reads, what’s wrong with the rest of the republicans that they couldn’t accept a three month extention to the Act, while they had an intelligent discussion on what should be included in it. Why are the republicans always using the fear in people to push through whatever they want, which usually turns out to be harmful to the middle and working class, while benefiting only their self interest?

Posted by: jonitodd at December 16, 2005 7:32 PM
Comment #103309

Carla:

I think you ought to “hold your fire” on this line of thought for a while. This is another “slick back book” article released just in time to help with sales.

I am not discounting anything. It may be impeachable, and it may be not. What is certain is that there is a clear conflict of interest in that the writer of the story has timed it’s release to enhance their own and their publishers pocketbook.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 16, 2005 8:12 PM
Comment #103312

Carla,

There is no defense for actions such as these.

Except that there was something called 9/11. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

Hopefully, Democrats will insist on impeachment and the downward spiral on the left will continue.

Posted by: esimonson at December 16, 2005 8:25 PM
Comment #103313

Um, I think we need a special counsel to investigate who leaked this information as well.

Posted by: esimonson at December 16, 2005 8:27 PM
Comment #103314

Ken Wrote
“This president,office of homeland security and the patriot act has kept us safe from terrorism since 9-11, remember 9-11?”

No what happened on 9/11? I missed Bush’s speech this week so I didnt get reminded about it for the millionth time.

Odd that the 9/11 commision gave our government terrible grades in reguards to securing our country. We all saw what a bang up job the department of homeland security did during Katrina, if that would have been a terriorist attack I cringe to think what would have happened. This adminstration was unable to provide bare essentals like bottled water, ice or MRE’s. So maybe the fact that we haen’t had a terriorist attack has little to do with this adminstration. Today the Senate decided not to re-new the “patriot act” which is a good thing considering it was hastely rammed through the system while the fear from 9/11 was fresh in the minds of all Americans.

As far as wire taps I guess this really doesn’t suprise me. A US citizen’s constitunal right to privacy is just one more that has been compromised over the last 5 years. But hey we can still own as many guns as we want! I doubt that is a right that will ever be violated.

Posted by: Dr. Shopper at December 16, 2005 8:27 PM
Comment #103316

phx8 said
“And no, ‘luck’ is not an adequate explanation.”
You are so right. It was the FBI, CIA, etc., that has kept us safe. And if spying is a part of keeping us safe…great get it on. Had a very wise history professor once (before they all became liberal) who taught if we want security from our government we must be willing to give up some freedoms. He was so right.
” Are you really that afraid of terrorism? “
After 30 years in the military and two wars, I am not afraid of terrorism for myself. I have lived a full life. But, my grands and great grands need something better than what the cut and run liberals offer. Afraid…talk to those who lost loved ones in 9-11. See if they are afraid of further attacks.
jonitodd…So, senator Rockefeller was a stealth objector….how convient! It must have been a secret!
Only the rebel republicans (liberal ones) voted no.
Fear, you talk about fear. The liberals are masters of doom and gloom. Listen to them sometime. Everything is going wrong according to them. The glass is always half empty.
Ashley said it quite well. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.
Wish we had the List of Subversive Organizations under President Kennedy still around. ACLU would be at the top with the tree huggers a close second.

Merry Christmas again!

Posted by: ken at December 16, 2005 8:35 PM
Comment #103322

Note the immediate slant of this topic toward impeachment. Note how for a large segment of the liberal community, this issue is purported as disgust over (potential) civil rights violations but is in fact coated in glee that maybe, finally, at long last, they might have a chance to impeach. After all, this has been the #1 goal of the Democratic party for the last 5 years.

Posted by: Paul C. at December 16, 2005 8:57 PM
Comment #103323

Dr. Shopper
Unless you live on the gulf coast do not speak of things that you do not know. Please do not mouth the lies of the media. The lies are just now coming out.
We had plenty of water, shelters, etc., here on the Mississipi coast. Signs in our yards say Thank You FEMA. I do not speak for New Orleans other than internal things caused their problems.

Posted by: Ken at December 16, 2005 9:08 PM
Comment #103324

Ken, who uses fear as their tool to subvert justice and continually strip away civil rights? Is it really doom and gloom or a view of reality you can’t seem to understand?

Posted by: Marko at December 16, 2005 9:22 PM
Comment #103325

All

Time for the mighty Sicilian Eagle to dive into the fray on behalf of my president.

First off,a little birdie told me that is NSA doesn’t check constantly,all any terrorist has to do (and they are doing this…believe me..)is get pre-paid cell phones with American numbers,load them up with minutes on pre-paid calling cards and presto they have created a real time terrorist communications network thanks to us all over the world in a flick of an eye.

A US cell phone detonating a IED.

Nice,huh?

Imagine 25,000 cell-phones like that in Iraq,Afganistan,Pakistan,Iran,Palestine,VenezualaIndonesia,Nortth Korea,China.

Communicating intelligence,planning attacks..the whole gamit.

Do you really want to make an issue of this?

In January there will be a Congressionial inquiry and the above info alone,once out…and now consider it out…will again cause my lefty friends to wince.

Another dry hole,fellas…

Save the impeachment crap for,say Kerry or Pelosi…

Nice job they have done to your party.

If you don’t watch out,the Eagle will soar over there and straigthen things because he’s a nice guy.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 16, 2005 9:30 PM
Comment #103326

This truly shakes me. I voted for Bush, and it wasn’t long after that i definitley regreted that decision. I thought our president was leading our country down the wrong path, but i didn’t know that he was infringing on our civil rights, basically spitting on our “american freedom.”

Posted by: MagikJester at December 16, 2005 9:35 PM
Comment #103327

I put my opinions up on a public blog. I don’t care if someone listens in on me. As long as they don’t make fun of me in the morning.

I am glad the president had the courage to protect us.

Even the person involved might be protected. If you are a good Muslim, for example, or an Irish patriot, you might be involved with terrorists and not know it.

Re impeachment

Impeachment is a political decision. Much as you all hate Bush, you will never get rid of him. Who replaces Bush - Cheney.

Posted by: Jack at December 16, 2005 9:39 PM
Comment #103328

I am saddened and appalled by many of the posts Ive just read. Saying that security and safety trump the ideas of freedom and privacy is a gross violation of the entire history of this country and the ideas it was founded upon.

This country was formed by people who were willing to lay their lives on the line for merely a hope of freedom; our men and women in the armed forces sacrifice safety every day in order to protect the freedoms we cherish.

Their lives are dishonored by those today who say that they are willing to give up what they died for in order to protect themselves.

Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying that those who are willing to sacrifice their liberties for the promise of safety, deserve neither.
The founding fathers and those in the military whove died knew this to be true in their hearts.

If people have died for liberty, and we revere them for it, how can we now say that those very same liberties are less valuable than our own lives?

Posted by: Liberal Demon at December 16, 2005 9:47 PM
Comment #103329

very well said Demon

Posted by: magiKJester at December 16, 2005 9:48 PM
Comment #103330

I hate to dampen the impeachment party, but….

In the unlikely event of an impeachment by the Senate, not only would Chaney be President, but he and the Republican Congress would select the new VP.

This new VP would IMMEDIATELY go to the front of the line as the favorite as the Republican Presidantial candidate, and would have vast opportunity to get a leg up against not only Republican challengers, but also Democratic.

Whereas today, the Republicans will spend much of the 2007/2008 campaign jockeying within the party to win the party nomination.

Soooooooo, be careful what you wish for…….

Posted by: Paul C. at December 16, 2005 9:50 PM
Comment #103332

Discussions like this reveal another aspect of the cultural conflicts in our society. On one side are people like Carla, phx8, Loren, and ant, who all seem to have a passionate belief in the most important idea on which the United States was founded: the legal system has legitimacy only so long as it has integrity and even-handedness, and binds the state as much as it does the individual. Others seem to believe that the legal system exists for the exclusive benefit of those who think, vote, and pray like they do.

In the 1970s miniseries “Holocaust” the Adolf Eichmann stand-in is a lawyer who rises in the Nazi hierarchy by perverting, not doing away with existing laws. The Nazis never tore up the Weimar Constitution, they simply said, whenever they wanted to, that it did not apply.

This is not to equate Bush and the Republicans with Hitler and the Nazis, in either the viciousness of their ideology, the level of their fanaticism, or the depth of their criminality. But what I think that some on this forum recognize and some do not is that the first step toward totalitarianism is the acquiescence of citizens in the corruption of their legal system in the name of a “higher truth”.

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at December 16, 2005 10:15 PM
Comment #103333

Liberty and privacy are not the same things. Franklin would not have found anything unusual in the government checking up on people who might engage in mass murder.

Posted by: Jack at December 16, 2005 10:23 PM
Comment #103335

Paul C, D. Hastert’s not next in line?

Personally I would love to have Cheney as President. He’s such a corpo-whore, we dems would have a field day with his insanity. Cheney is to us what Howard Dean is to Ken Mehlman/E. Gillespie. But if Cheney is connected to the Libby affair somehow and BTW it appears now that the Delay findings have widened to include possible conservative NGO fronts (though not much is being said) we could get rid of Cheney first making George Junior all that much more vulnerable. we can only dream but George is plummeting whether we have impeachment hearings or not. Either way George goes down from here on out, curse of the second term.

What about the NY Times, those whores pulling back the story (Texas hold ‘em style) for supposed national security purposes? As if the Judith Miller debacle wasn’t enough of a black eye???

Posted by: Novenge at December 16, 2005 10:31 PM
Comment #103336

I do very much consider privacy to be one of my liberties. The freedom to communicate with another listening in i consider to be one of my freedoms in this country, this is the same as if i followed you everywhere you went listened to every word you said, and then when something a little suspicous arose taking you and interrogating you, and you know with the patriot act there is no trial. you will just be detained until they are convinced you are not dangerous… which could be a long long time.

Posted by: magikJester at December 16, 2005 10:34 PM
Comment #103337

:edit: without someone listening in :end edit:

Posted by: magikJester at December 16, 2005 10:36 PM
Comment #103340

Ken Your right our kids and grand kids do need to be offered something better- when are we going to learn that war will not end violence. We need to work harder to find non-violent solutions to the worlds problems. The right thinks they can get whatever they want with military might, it might work in the short run but it will never bring a lasting peace.

Posted by: jonitodd at December 16, 2005 10:43 PM
Comment #103342

I admit to being badly shaken after 9/11. No doubt our leaders were as well. Did they take steps that they thought might help safeguard the nation even at the cost of infringing on Constitutional rights? It now seems quite possible.

So, what should be our response? The first order of business is to find out exactly what’s happened before jumping on any particular bandwagon. On the right, anyone who has ever said we must respect and uphold the Constitution and even be willing to die for the rights created by that document it should be very cautious about automatically defending the use of warrantless wiretaps. On the left, anyone who was fearful for their their country and the lives of their families should be cautious about automatically declaring such actions as utterly unconscionable and irresponsible.

These are strange times. If laws were broken and rights secretly rescinded, a heavy political price may well be paid. That’s probably as it should be. We are, after all, a nation of laws. But we’ll also need to judge the underlying motives for such crimes, if indeed they were committed. There’s a difference between infringing on liberties for the sake of pure power and infringing on them for the perceived common good. We’ll need to weigh these things as wisely as we can.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 16, 2005 10:44 PM
Comment #103341

Many fine Americans have given their lives throughout our history for the preservation of our Constitutional liberties, and I think they would be rightly disgusted at how easily some of you have thrown up your hands and surrendered after a single act of terrorism. Fortunately, liberty has indeed been more precious than life to some real, patriotic Americans.

Franklin said “Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Our country is glorious because of Franklin and the other framers of our Constitution and our form of government, and also because of the real patriots who gave their lives for our liberties. The Constitution provides for checks and balances, most important being judicial review. When we discard the Constitution, we dishonor the patriots and abandon our country. And we lose the “war” on terrorism.

Nothing to hide, so nothing to fear? Want to buy my bridge? How about the Quaker meeting house that’s in the Defense Dept’s threat database for their anti-war beliefs? Go read up on Joe McCarthy….

9/11? Tragic, but not even a blip in the recent history of evil. Consider Iraq: some foreigners didn’t like their government because it wouldn’t give them big fat oil contracts, so they overthrew it by laying waste whole cities and killing tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens and maiming countless more. We lost two buildings. What I’m mad about is that the people who did it are still out there (and here’s a hint: they’re not now and never have been in Iraq).

Here you are: you think its fine for your government to spy on its citizens, throw people in secret prisons without charges or representation, torture, lie to its citizens (golly, sounds exactly like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, doesn’t it?) — all ignoring the protections demanded by the Constitution. No, no, you say, we have to ignore the Constitution lest some nut-case manages to kill someone! We have to extend the Patriots-rolling-over-in-their-graves act! I’m glad you weren’t in charge in 1776.

Face it: as terrible as our 9/11 experience was, more people than lost their lives then will suffocate this year because the EPA won’t enforce environmental standards on contributors to the Republican party.

If you want to preserve America, if you want Americans to be safe and healthy and free, you might want to take a little more critical look at the policies of the President.

But sure, let’s save impeachment for the really horrible stuff, like lying about your sex life.

Posted by: Lee at December 16, 2005 10:44 PM
Comment #103343

Ken

thanks for setting me straight on what a steadfast and valiant effort FEMA put forth in the face of Katrina. It must have been only the “libreal media” that showed me and the rest of the world the thousands of people in New Orleans going for days without basic things like food and water wading around helplessly while Mike Brown made dinner reservations and looked for a weekend dog sitter, give me a break. You are right, I don’t live in the gulf area but I did attend college there 8 years ago. I have a few friends who still live in the area and they have assured me what we all saw was the truth. You say in Mississipi that FEMA did an adequate job and I believe you, but dont pretend that was the case in New Orleans. Also don’t blame “internal things” for FEMA’s shortcomings either. Katrina was the biggest natural disaster this country has ever seen I’ve heard the talking point how this was a state and local goverenment problem and that is a joke. Name one state goverenment that wouldn’t have been overwealmed by this disaster.


PS
I’m sure Brownie was planning on leaving his postion anyway.

Posted by: Dr. Shopper at December 16, 2005 10:59 PM
Comment #103344

Carla,

If the other things won’t stick, illegal war, obfuscation of fact finding and truth, possible bombing of a news station, war crimes on civillian populations and others. This might not stick especially with a republican congress. they’d force it somehow to an ‘up or down vote’ and he’d have the keys back to the White House. That’s how these types operate, he’d serve out his term.

I think we can rest assured that the truth of what he and his pentagon advisory are doing overseas will become known more and more. things are starting to unhinge everyday so it’s only a matter of time until something comes out that will just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Thusly instigating such a move to really can this guy once and for all.

Posted by: Vast left-wing conspiracy at December 16, 2005 10:59 PM
Comment #103345

This is something that happened in the days and months RIGHT after 9-11 when nobody had any idea if the attacks were over and that weren’t more major attacks in the offing. In short, it was well within the president’s authority during a time of national emergency, which was this clearly was.

It was NOT a free license for law enforcement across the country to eavesdrop on anyone but people with known or suspected associations with Al Qaida and other overseas terrorist organizations.

If there had been another 9-11 attack in 2002, would that have been okay with liberal posters here?

The president actually has very broad emergency powers, and there have been instances when habeas corpus was completely suspended. The president can actually put people in prison without trial in such circumstances, which goes far beyond the relatively mundane act of eavesdropping on those with suspected terrorist ties.

Posted by: sanger at December 16, 2005 11:01 PM
Comment #103346

Jack wrote:

Liberty and privacy are not the same things. Franklin would not have found anything unusual in the government checking up on people who might engage in mass murder.

I don’t find anything wrong with that, or monitoring phone calls to attempt to prevent terrorism, as long as those doing the “checking up” obtain a warrant by successfully arguing to the judicial branch that their actions are called for, as required by the Constitution.

Posted by: Lee at December 16, 2005 11:03 PM
Comment #103347

” Those that would give up essential liberty in pursuit of a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security “
Ben Franklin was correct when he penned this and senator Sununu, a republican, was correct when he quoted this today on the floor.

Posted by: jim vallicelli at December 16, 2005 11:04 PM
Comment #103349

At this one will be investigated!

Arlen Specter said today that he thinks this is wrong and said the senate will have hearings about early next year. On merit I do oppose these wire taps becasue it trespasses on every American’s civil rights. I am curious to see just who was being spied on, and it looks like for once we will actually get to hear the truth via federal investigation. It would be funny if Cindy Sheehan, Joe Wilson, and Al Franken’s name come up on that list.

DISCLAIMER
Attention right wing conspiracy freaks the last sentence contains irony and the writer in no way claims that to be the truth

But we will see!

Posted by: Jeff Gannon at December 16, 2005 11:14 PM
Comment #103350

This is interesting: liberals become very indignant if you say that they lack the toughness, patriotism or resolve to defend the United States.

They often go so far as to say that the reason they oppose the war in Iraq is because they think it’s a distraction from the fight against Al Qaida and domestic terrorists.

But when it comes down to brass tacks, you find that they don’t want to fight domestic terrorism either, not unless it conforms to the failed model of law enforcement that effectively tied us into knots during the Clinton administration and early Bush Administration. The system which put barriers in communication between law enforcement and intelligence services, which requires extensive review by lawyers and multiple judicial orders for each step which would allow us to even monitor a potential terrorist.

What we see now is this: if there has just been a major terrorist attack on our soil which kills 3000 Americans, it is NOT okay with them (okay, some of them—I don’t want to say that all liberals are this hysterical) to monitor the phone calls of people with known or suspected Al Qaida ties.

We’re not talking about jailing people, mind you. Not even detaining them. We’re talking about cutting the red tape and allowing intelligence services ot merely listen to them in order to head off rapidly devoloping attacks.

That’s what this comes down to—the complete refusal of the more out there segments of the American left to allow law enforcement to protect the American people in any way, shape or form.

Posted by: sanger at December 16, 2005 11:17 PM
Comment #103351

Sanger,

So what are we saying, we agree that these provisions were a bit over-reaching?

See the problem with the Patriot act is two fold

One: are the “sunset provisions” meaning congressional assembly cannot go over HOW the Patriot act was used over the five year term.

AND TWO: Is the fact that the laws and provisions can be “JIG-SAWED” together to create new laws. Such you can take six or seven of them and put the together to give agencies the rights to to just about anything. That’s how broad the provisions really are.

In Patriot act two there are provisions to potentially kill protestors by whatever means, imaging that jigsawed with six or seven other odd provisions. The power a sitting president would have would be near maniacal like within a stalinist or medeival sense, really. It would be a push button monarchy instead of a nation of laws. This needs to go and be possibly replaced with something hopefully a hell of alot more responsible and transparent.

Posted by: Novenge at December 16, 2005 11:19 PM
Comment #103352

I believe it scares only the people who are up to no good. I have nothing to hide from anyone, so the way I see it, unless you are involved in something you shouldn�€™t be, then you have nothing to fear.

It should scare you that the government has kept this secret for 3 years. If it is no big deal then why keep it from the public?

Except that there was something called 9/11. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

The real question is has Bush heard of it? OBL strikes America, he strikes Iraq. Our borders are wide open for terrorist to come on in, Bush spies on Americans. Say what? Carla is right, if this doesn’t get a rise out of you then your partisan political sickness may be terminal.

I don’t know what is scarier, that Bush has grossly violated the Constitution he took an oath to uphold, or that people are actually defending his actions. Do any of you that are defending this action realize that we have Americans fighting and dieing for this country and all it stands for? Some scream and yell “unpatriotic”, “un-American” and charge that liberals are hurting troop morale when they so much as question the administration about the war. Do some of you really think they are honoring the sacrifices that our troops are making by giving up the very rights they are fighting to protect? This is crazy! Will nothing wake America up?

And for those who say if you are not doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear. Have you ever heard the of “the slippery slope”? 9/11 was the peak, and we have been sliding down the slope ever since. If we continue going down this slope, then the terrorist we are trying to stop, have won. Period.

As far as impeachment goes, I cannot believe he wasn’t impeached after Katrina. It is unbelievable to me that a President can be impeached for lying about a stained blue dress, but a President cannot be impeached for the needless deaths of thousands in New Orleans and tens of thousands in Iraq, he cannot even be impeached for violating his oath to uphold the Constitution! What has happened to our great country?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 16, 2005 11:35 PM
Comment #103353

If there is any “partisan political sickness” involved … it’s with Ms. Ryan … regurgitating the same old “we had the Bush administration” garbage. One of government’s primary responsibilities is to protect it’s people. While abuse of individual’s rights is one issue … protecting us from ANYONE connected with terrorism … is something I applaud. Wake up Ms. Ryan!

Posted by: John Miller at December 16, 2005 11:41 PM
Comment #103354

Novenge, there are simply NOT provisions in the Patriot Act which permit law enforcement officials to kill “protesters by any means”.

Not unless you want to say that others laws already on the books and generally agreed upon by society could be taken to illogical extremes using the same “jigsaw” provisions you mention.

Laws against disturbing the peace, trespassing, insurrection—or even jaywalking for that matter—could, if you use this “jigsawing” approach, be used to to excuse kill protesters.

You could just as easily say, if you’re determined to do so, that enforcing any laws could in some version of reality lead to totalitariansim.
It’s a very easy to assert if EVERYTHING is interpreted according to its most remote possibility at the end of a slippery slope.

This is, I think, an example of the left’s hysteria when it comes to the Patriot Act. Is there one single abuse of the Patriot Act that anyone can point to? Has there even been ONE instance when it has been used to interfere with the rights of honest citizens instead of terrorists? Can anyone cite even ONE instance?

I hope that the left realizes this one thing: if the Patriot Act is defeated or gutted and there is another terrorist attack on American soil, the left would, I’m sure, love to blame the president for it.

All he’ll have to do, however, is say “Well, I tried my best. For three years there were no further attacks but then the Democrats fillibustered the anti-terrorism measures I tried to implement, emasculated our law enforcement, and just look where it led.”

If I were a partisan Democrat, I wouldn’t be inviting a situation where the blame for future terrorist attacks could easily be put squarely on my party.

Posted by: sanger at December 16, 2005 11:46 PM
Comment #103356

God protect us; but one more attack as 9/11 and no one will be worried about our civil rights, but about our protection from the government at any cost!

Posted by: Wayne at December 16, 2005 11:59 PM
Comment #103357
On the left, anyone who was fearful for their their country and the lives of their families should be cautious about automatically declaring such actions as utterly unconscionable and irresponsible.
Reed,

I was and am fearful for my country and the lives of my family. Not because of terrorism, because our government has used fear to hijack our country and our rights. We have more to fear from our own government then we do from any outside threat.

It is ridiculous that anybody would be willing to give up their rights for no real security. Our troops are willing to fight and die for this country and all it stands for, shouldn’t we?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:01 AM
Comment #103358

To all who see no problem with our rights being violated. Move to another country with fewer rights than we have and be “safe”.

Posted by: new guy at December 17, 2005 12:02 AM
Comment #103359

What Vast left-wing consipracy said.
Additionally…
First question: Why even act surprised or outraged?
Second question: Why aren’t you already?

I’ve long known this entire administration has ABSOLUTELY NO REGARD FOR OUR CONSTITUTION. Really, no regard for people in general. Here. Abroad. Nobody.
Nothing they did or could do can surprise me now. Honestly.
Even in 2000 when they gained power it was through an unconstitutional appointment by the Supreme Court. Everything that has followed since has been of a piece with that unprecedented break with our founding principles.
After all, what more can be expected from fascists whose ideologies and actions have never bore any resemblance to American principles?
And yes, OF COURSE they must be impeached — THE WHOLE F*CKING LOT OF THEM.
There is actually a very long list to choose from — really we can take our pick, fellow citizens.
Come one, come all! Take a turn on the Wheel O’ Impeachable Offenses — everybody hits an Offense! Nobody goes home without a copy of the Constitution!
:^/
Unfortunately and less stunningly dramatic though, none of these impeachable offenses have anything to do with cheating on the first lady by getting a blow-job from an intern in the oval office.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 17, 2005 12:14 AM
Comment #103360
If I were a partisan Democrat, I wouldn’t be inviting a situation where the blame for future terrorist attacks could easily be put squarely on my party.

sanger,

Just how do you come to this conclusion? Bush and the Republicans are in control of Washington. They are calling the shots, badly I might add. They have invaded a country based on faulty intelligence, that had no connection to terrorism (it sure does now though), they have done little to address our wide open borders, they have made new enemies around the world and tarnished our image. Anti-American sentiment is running high. We are in a much more dangerous situation today, and you can thank Bushco for that. But hey way to go guys, spying on Americans, that should keep us safe! “You’re doing a heckava job, Bushie!”

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:14 AM
Comment #103361
Even in 2000 when they gained power it was through an unconstitutional appointment by the Supreme Court.

This is exactly why he has no respect for the Constitution. None.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:17 AM
Comment #103362

New guy, unless you have known contacts with Al Qaida, I’d like to hear about which of your rights have been violated because I’m aware of not a single instance of any honest citizen’s rights being “violated” by the Patriot Act.

Hell, if you DO have contacts with Al Qaida, I’d like to hear about that too! So specifically which rights? When and where, and mention something that happened to you or somebody you know—don’t just repeat something you read on the Daily Kos.

Speaking for myself, I feel that my rights are best preserved when I’m not being attacked by terrorists. Obviously you feel differently.

Posted by: sanger at December 17, 2005 12:19 AM
Comment #103364
Unfortunately and less stunningly dramatic though, none of these impeachable offenses have anything to do with cheating on the first lady by getting a blow-job from an intern in the oval office.

Adrienne,

I’ll give him a blow-job myself if it means taking America back! 8^o

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:21 AM
Comment #103366
I’m aware of not a single instance of any honest citizen’s rights being “violated” by the Patriot Act.

FBI agents used a USA PATRIOT Act “sneak and peek” search to secretly examine the home of Brandon Mayfield, who was wrongfully jailed for two weeks on suspicion of involvement in the Madrid train bombings. Agents seized three hard drives and ten DNA samples preserved on cotton swabs, and took 335 photos of personal items. Mayfield has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, contending that his rights were violated by his arrest and by the investigation against him. He also contends the USA PATRIOT ACT is unconstitutional.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:26 AM
Comment #103367
I’m aware of not a single instance of any honest citizen’s rights being “violated” by the Patriot Act.

In May 2004, Professor Steve Kurtz of the University of Buffalo reported his wife’s death of heart failure. The associate art professor, who works in the biotechnology sector, was using benign bacterial cultures and biological equipment in his work. Police arriving at the scene found the equipment (which had been displayed in museums and galleries throughout Europe and North America) suspicious and notified the FBI . The next day the FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Department of Homeland Security and numerous other law enforcement agencies arrived in HAZMAT gear and cordoned off the block surrounding Kurtz’s house, impounding computers, manuscripts, books, and equipment, and detaining Kurtz without charge for 22 hours; the Erie County Health Department condemned the house as a possible “health risk” while the cultures were analyzed. Although it was determined that nothing in the Kurtz’s home posed any health or safety risk, the Justice Department sought charges under Section 175 of the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act—a law which was expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act. A grand jury rejected those charges, but Kurtz is still charged with federal criminal mail and wire fraud, and faces 20 years in jail. Supporters worldwide argue that this is a politically motivated prosecution, akin to those seen during the era of McCarthyism, and legal observers note that it is a precedent-setting case with far-reaching implications involving the criminalization of free speech and expression for artists, scientists, researchers, and others.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:29 AM
Comment #103369
I’m aware of not a single instance of any honest citizen’s rights being “violated” by the Patriot Act.

A North Carolina county prosecutor charged a man accused of running a methamphetamine lab with breaking a new state law barring the manufacture of chemical weapons. If convicted, Martin Dwayne Miller could get 12 years to life in prison for a crime that usually brings about six months.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:33 AM
Comment #103371

I’m aware of not a single instance of any honest citizens rights being “violated” by the Patriot Act.

“Within six months of passing the PATRIOT Act, the Justice Department was conducting seminars on how to stretch the new wiretapping provisions to extend them beyond terror cases,” said Dan Dodson, a spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. “They say they want the PATRIOT Act to fight terrorism. Then, within six months, they are teaching their people how to use it on ordinary citizens.”

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:35 AM
Comment #103372
I mean, hell, I almost gave up my whole Presidency for just a couple of em.

And I bet you got a real purty mouth, doncha?

Bill,

Forget it! You can’t help us now. How ‘bout Hill, she’s a senator.

Why yes, I do have a real pretty mouth, and big sharp teeth.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:40 AM
Comment #103373

This is NOT the only thing that this president and/or his administration has done that is flat out illegal. Bush has commited more impeachable offenses that Clinton could ever have even dreamed of!

Posted by: Barb Iversen at December 17, 2005 12:41 AM
Comment #103374

JayJay:
“I’ll give him a blow-job myself if it means taking America back! 8^o”

Honey, all I can say is, whatever you do, don’t swallow!
I wouldn’t want a nice guy like you to pick up any of their nasty Neocon germs. (They’re so into globalisation, you never know where these Clowns have been!) ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at December 17, 2005 12:44 AM
Comment #103375

Seen on bumper sticker:
If you are not outraged, you’re not paying attention!

Posted by: Barb Iversen at December 17, 2005 12:46 AM
Comment #103376
Honey, all I can say is, whatever you do, don’t swallow! I wouldn’t want a nice guy like you to pick up any of their nasty Neocon germs. (They’re so into globalisation, you never know where these Clowns have been!) ;^)

Adrienne,

I heard he was impotent anyway. Or was that incompetent? 8^>

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 12:49 AM
Comment #103379

JayJay:
“I heard he was impotent anyway. Or was that incompetent? 8^>”

Well, the first lady during her stand-up routine claimed that Curious George was always asleep by nine — while she watched ‘Desperate Housewives’. So, no doubt you’re correct. As for the latter it’s a given, no?

Posted by: Adrienne at December 17, 2005 1:17 AM
Comment #103382

Some some basic groundwork for the purposes of discussion:

The Fourth Amendment

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Franklin’s actual quote:

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

The quote quote inscribed on the stairwell of the Statue of Liberty:

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Presidential Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

From George W. Bush’s Twin Towers Speech

“Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievement of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us….I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people…Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them. Fellow citizens, we’ll meet violence with patient justice, assured of the rightness of our cause and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom and may he watch over the United States of America.”

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 17, 2005 1:49 AM
Comment #103383

Ashley, Ken,

“I believe it scares only the people who are up to no good. I have nothing to hide from anyone, so the way I see it, unless you are involved in something you shouldn’t be, then you have nothing to fear.”

“Ashley said it quite well. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

I’m sorry, but this vulgar display of ignorance is thoroughly nauseating to me. You think you have nothing to hide? You’re naive. Let’s say, for the sake of argument that you have never broken a law in your life, nor do you ever intend to. I don’t know how many times I must put this argument to shame. Oral sex is illegal in my state, how ‘bout yours? You like pornography Ken? Could be illegal in your state. You like a drink every now and then Ashley? It was called prohibition, and there are many who would like to see it happen again.

I said it before, I’ll say it again. Today’s liberties are tomorrow’s litigations. Just because what you do today is legal doesn’t mean it will be tomorrow. How about if tomorrow those ‘damn democrats’ take away our right to bare arms? Or they abolish religion? You don’t break any laws? I call BS. I bet you could think of at least 3 or 4. The real point is that this kind of attitude is what paves the way for dictators.

In the end, you’re opinion (while you’re entitled to it), praise be to God, doesn’t matter jack. You plainly and simply lose. You can’t justify such actions as those you are espousing unless you plan to amend the constitution. Sorry.


“They that can give up essential liberty
to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety” - Franklin


You want to give up our freedom in order to protect our freedom? Do you hear yourself?

Posted by: Diogenes at December 17, 2005 1:51 AM
Comment #103387

This may be slightly off topic, but when has that stopped me? You know, linking the invasion of Iraq to fighting terror (when it was obvious there were no terrorists there except Saddam) reminds me of the joke about the guy walking down his residental street one evening, and seeing a neighbor on his knees under a street light obviously looking for something. The man walks up and says, “Lose something?” The neighbor says, “Yeah, I dropped a twenty dollar bill.” The man says, “Hmmm, around here, huh?” And the neighbor says, “Actually, no, I think I lost it down the street a ways, but the light’s better here.”

Silly joke, I know, until you realize that there’s billions of barrels of oil under the streetlight.

On Robert Benjamin’s comment upthread: The first step toward totalitarianism is the acquiescence of citizens in the corruption of their legal system in the name of a “higher truth.” I believe Mr. Benjamin points to the crux of the issue regarding wiretaps by a government agency that has betrayed its mandate, directed by a president that has failed to uphold his responsibilities to protect and defend the constitution.

Adrienne:

You are a balm for my troubled soul—thanks!

Posted by: Tim Crow at December 17, 2005 1:59 AM
Comment #103398
Speaking for myself, I feel that my rights are best preserved when I’m not being attacked by terrorists. Obviously you feel differently.

sanger,

If this is how you truly feel then lets go all out and protect ourselves right. Why kill tens of thousands of innocent people at all, if we can just thwart terrorists by taking away the rights of Americans? Why not just suspend the Constitution and build a wall around the perimeter of the U.S. We can all have microchips embedded in our forearm for easy identification and GPS tracking. Lets put up surveillance cameras on every street corner,so that law enforcement can identify terror suspects living among us. Let’s tape everybody’s conversations, you never know when you might catch a break and stumble upon a conversation between terrorist.

Let’s put filters on the Information Super Highway to censor any information that may be used by terrorists in any way shape or form, and do the same at the library. Lets suspend the free press and have a central press run by the government, after all they know best, right? We wouldn’t want anything that might remotely jeopardize national security out in the hands of the public.

Lets allow surprise inspections of any residence for any reason, you never know were a terrorist might be hiding out. Lets put up check points on highways and allow searches of vehicles, after all the terrorist have to get around somehow. Let’s put up border patrols at all state borders and require passports to move about the many states.

And for heaven’s sake we don’t want the terrorist to go free, once we catch them, so lets trash the judicial system, and allow our central government to decide what is best. They’ll do the right thing, I’m sure.

Then lets do profiling to come up with a profile of a typical terrorist, the exterminate anybody that fits the profile. We would be super secure then. Right?

Speaking for myself, I would rather take my chances with the terrorist, then to give up the principles that make being an American so great.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 2:16 AM
Comment #103401

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, and I did not speak out- because I was not a Communist;

Then they came for the Social Democrats, and I did not speak out- because I was not a Social Democrat;

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out- because I was not a Trade Unionist;

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out- because I was not Jewish;

Then they came for me,—
and there was no one left to speak out.

-Rev. Martin Niemöller, 1945

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 2:27 AM
Comment #103408

No doubt our torture-loving Alberto Gonzales told Bush that spying on Americans is legal.

Posted by: Aldous at December 17, 2005 2:47 AM
Comment #103419

Looks like the right is really showing their true color on this one. Yellow. All this time they have been trying to convince everyone that the left was weak, that we were for communism, that we were un-American, etc. Who did they think they were fooling? They won’t even stand up for a basic American principle. This is not simply an issue of invasion of privacy, this is only the beginning.

Let’s not forget history. 1930’s Germany started out a Democracy, until a terrorist attack on The Reichstag . On February 28, 1933, President Hindenburg and Chancellor Hitler invoke Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which permits the suspension of civil liberties in time of national emergency. This Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State abrogates the following constitutional protections:

* Free expression of opinion
* Freedom of the press
* Right of assembly and association
* Right to privacy of postal and electronic communications
* Protection against unlawful searches and seizures
* Individual property rights
* States’ right of self-government

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 3:32 AM
Comment #103425

What more is needed to get this purported leader of democracy impeached? To accomplish his aims, he is a liar, a torturer, and now we discover, a lurker of untold magnitude. I am heartsick at how low we have sunk as a nation. How can anyone of us as Americans - we are AMERICANS for God’s sake!! - condone this latest news of big brother illegally watching, listening, recording thousands of Americans over the last three years? I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really tired of being little sister. Is our sense of security really worth living in a police state? Because that is where we are, my brothers and sisters. Can anyone of you ever have imagined five years ago that our government leaders would actually engage in a dialogue over whether torture should be used in interrogations? Or that dissent with our President means a person isn’t a patriot? Or that having my phone conversations listened in on by the CIA without any legal safeguards is okay? We have a right and a duty to be outraged. Our personal freedoms and national conscience are being nibbled away bit by bit and we are allowing it to happen. Patrick Henry, where are you? Thomas Jefferson, we have let you down. Brave soldiers who fell at Bull Run, Gettysburg, Iwo Jima, Hamburger Hill, have we allowed you to die in vain because the country you fought for and shed your life’s blood for no longer stands for liberty and justice? Where, we the people, is our moral outrage? Please write to your senators and congressmen and congresswomen and demand an end to this nightmare of a presidency. Thank you.

Posted by: cmarie at December 17, 2005 5:39 AM
Comment #103429

Sanger,

Obviously you arent aware of the fourth amendment in the bill of rights. Well here it is:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

You should read the bill of rights and learn what rights you are supposed to have.

As for being accused of being Al Qaida, I’m insulted. You sound just like the Bush administration. “If you are not with us, you are against us”. We’ve made a lot of allies with that phrase. Whateve happened to the other war? You know the one where we were supposed to catch Bin Laden.

Also, you obviously didn’t like that I told you to move to another country. Now you know how we liberals have felt when the same statement has been told to us. I love this country, but our basic freedomes are being taken away from us. What’s next? “Sorry *Bill* but you don’t have the right to free speech anymore. I know you want to say something in your defense but you can’t anymore. Sucks to be you, now give me the keys to your car. I need another for my kingdome”. That is the path we are starting to take as a country. This is not what our ancestors died for.

Bryon

PS- I would have replied earlier but President Bush called me yesterday and said I had to be in bed by 12:30 am estern time. Otherwise I would have gone to Abu Graib under the Everyone in bed by 12:30 Act.

Posted by: New Guy at December 17, 2005 6:49 AM
Comment #103433

I really can’t believe the narrow minded answer, “well if you have nothing to hide….”
That is unreal to me! This effects our right to privacy in many other issues, right to choose, human rights, gay rights, medical care just to mention a few. We as a country cannot allow ANY changes to our current laws. President Bush could have done this legally without difficulty. This just shows his arrogance. The next change will be Dictator Bush!

Posted by: Randy Dixon, RN at December 17, 2005 7:30 AM
Comment #103435

Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, Roosevelt imprisoned Japanese Citizens. This is a time of war, action must be taken.

Posted by: Tim at December 17, 2005 8:03 AM
Comment #103444

This country was founded on principles of FREEDOM, NOT principles of SAFETY!! We are becoming so obsessed with the idea that our lives must be totally risk-free that, as Benj. Franklin put it, we are giving up our essential liberty. The Bush Administration and those in the media who are their puppets are playing this for everything they can. You can’t read a newspaper or watch a news program without seeing some new scare tactic about something. Every “edition” of the nightly news has yet another segment devoted to frightening the public. Then along comes Bush with that carefully cultivated sad-eyed “trust Uncle George” look and assures us that HE can keep us secure. All we have to do is abandon our rights. Just sit back, open another beer, watch the idiotic “reality” shows on the channel of our choice, and let him and those right-wing religio-nutcakes run our lives for us.
I don’t know about you-all, but I say “BULLSHIT!” Better Free than Safe! It’s more than high time we dumped this gang of crooks, sneaks and warmongers.

Posted by: capnmike at December 17, 2005 9:00 AM
Comment #103446

If we are willing to allow our military to risk it’s life to protect the American way of life, shouldn’t we be willing to actually live it? The military says ‘they are here to protect democracy, not practice it.” The ‘practice democracy’ part is the responsibility of the American citizens and our elected officials. If we’re not willing to live up to our end of that bargain, why should they?

Posted by: tony at December 17, 2005 9:04 AM
Comment #103453

Ashley

“I believe it scares only the people who are up to no good. I have nothing to hide from anyone, so the way I see it, unless you are involved in something you shouldn’t be, then you have nothing to fear.”

Frankly, comments like yours scare me more than the fact that POTUS has apparently usurped the power and authority of congress and the FISA court. Why not just declare martial law and be done with it? I’m sure that would make us all safer. Right?

Posted by: RMD at December 17, 2005 9:40 AM
Comment #103463

For those who think that decimating the Bill of Rights is justified if it protects us from terrorists, here is a wake up call.

According to testimony before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee in June, “[The Environmental Protection Agency] has cataloged some 15,000 facilities in the United States that manufacture, use or store hazardous chemicals for productive, legitimate purposes in amounts that could cause extensive harm if turned against us as weapons. DHS, using a different methodology, has identified 3,400 facilities that could affect more than 1,000 people if attacked. Only a fraction of the nation’s chemical facilities are regulated for security by the federal government or subscribe to voluntary industry security standards.”

My outgoing US Senator and incoming Governor, Jon Corzine, introduced legislation in October 2001 that would have required chemical plants to use best available technology to improve their security. Since then, Chemical Industry lobbyists and Senate Republicans have made sure that this bill never got out of committee.

In June of this year, Sen. Susan Collins called for a new bill to tighten plant security. Jon Corzine, still fighting for this protection, said that he was optimistic that it could finally pass.

Guess what. It is still going nowhere, and even if it passes, it is so weak that it might as well be worthless. Here is what OMB Watch has to say about Collins’ bill.

As someone whose daughter lives 2 miles away from the Secaucus NJ Chemical Industry complex, what some call the biggest in-place WMD in the world, I am tired of hearing how much security we have achieved at the expense of our constitutional rights.

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at December 17, 2005 10:40 AM
Comment #103471

As always, the liberal mind leaves a very good discussion and uses this forum for “Bush Bashing”
Single minded filthy mouthed liberals have a problem with reality. Void of common sense some will continue to wander aimlessly in there hated of the man who beat them.

Posted by: ken at December 17, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #103472

If liberals have their way, we’ll need fifty pages of documents filled out in triplicate and a judicial review before an American soldier can pull the trigger of his rifle in a combat zone.
You poeple need to wake up.

The president has extremely broad powers in a national emergency, and eavesdropping on potetential terrorists is an extremely minor measure.

The president has made clear that he is going to KEEP monitoring those with terrorist ties, and thank god he is.

This has nothing to do with anybody criticizing the administration. Liberals don’t have to worry: their right to spend all day flaming the administration on the Daily Kos and marching in support of the rights of Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein is in no danger whatsoever.

That liberals have totally gone over to the forces of irrationality is totally clear.

Pretending that this is a choice between “freedom” and “safety” is nonsense, as is bringing in that cliched and overused Reverend Niemöller quote.

That quote really needs to be updated, actually. Then liberals can really be proud to post it on their refrigerators.
__________________________________________

On 9-11, Al Qaida killed 3,000 Americans but I spoke out against George Bush because I was not a Republican;

Saddam Hussein killed a million people, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Republican;

Then George Bush freed millions of people from tryanny, and I DID speak out against that- because I AM a Democrat;

And then when the terrorists came to kill me,
I was just glad to see that nobody had ever violated their civil rights in trying to stop them.

Posted by: sanger at December 17, 2005 11:21 AM
Comment #103482

—-
I almost thought it was a joke broadcast this morning on CBS newsradio. He has issues with people leaking information to the press. Let him gripe about it when Novak and Rove are in jail, or in other words, when hell freezes over. It’s just another example of how Rpblcns think that the rules only apply to people who disagree with them. Also note how many times he said 911, Gary Trudeau could have written that speech, and it would be funny.

em>”people who are up to no good”

Bush probably thinks YOU are up to no good, posting in this blog.

“a President can be impeached for lying about a stained blue dress”

The drive to impeach William Jefferson Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, began as soon as he was elected. It was revenge for Nixon’s impeachment by the VRWconspiracy and nothing else.

See here http://www.papersplease.org/davis/index1.html for an example of a Bush’s policies in action.

Posted by: ray at December 17, 2005 12:09 PM
Comment #103489

If this is the price we must pay to protect our “freedom” and keep us safe, I say “Thanks, but no thanks”. I’ll take my chances with the terrorists rather than to live under a regime which has so little regard for my rights under the Constitution.

While it may be true that we haven’t been attacked by the terrorists since 9/11, they are still winning if we allow our great nation to resort to “Gestapo” tactics as a means of preventing such attacks.

Posted by: Danco at December 17, 2005 12:47 PM
Comment #103501

Sanger,
The fact that you aren’t willing to question anything that goes on in the government scares me. How far will you let this go before you open your eyes? How many freedoms needs to be stripped from you before you realize they went too far? Pretending this is a choice between freedom and safety? tell me, would you allow yourself to be monitored constantly by, let’s say, a bracelet you had to wear because it makes you feel safer?

Posted by: MagikJester at December 17, 2005 1:44 PM
Comment #103502

Impeachment proceedings were not brought against Bill Clinton for lying about his sex life. Impeachment proceedings were brought against him because of lying about his sex life under oath in front of a Federal Grand Jury.

‘W’ just can’t win. The liberals will cry inpeachment because he is attempting to protect our safety, but if/when another 911 happens, they will be the first ones to say that he has failed to protect the country.

The influx of illegal aliens from the south is nothing new, this was going on for the four years of Bush Sr. and also for the entire 8 years of Clinton. But of course the left coast forgets to tell us about the bad of the clinton administratiion.

Posted by: dodge at December 17, 2005 1:51 PM
Comment #103503

Regarding Wiretapping American citizens, I watched the broadcast this morning and did not hear word 1 about wiretapping American citizens. Additionally, where is the call to uncover the leak to the NY Times, which was patently illegal and directly threatens the lives of American citizens, and the call for a special prosecutor to uncover that leak? Amazing the 2 obvious faces in the mainstream media and left leaning complainers. Valerie Plame was a low level known CIA employee and the investigation to uncover the source of the leaks is ongoing and front page news. But when the media likes the story, in other words it may cause a negative impact to this country and Bush, then there are no such calls because it is doing the right thing. I believe that the NY Times may have some criminal problems here since it knowingly published classified information. Great place we live, the dems have the media, and the republicans have the brains.

Posted by: Doug Marlin at December 17, 2005 1:54 PM
Comment #103507

Doug,
“… I watched the broadcast this morning and did not hear word 1 about wiretapping American citizens.”

Which broadcast? Even Fox news last night noted the problem. It appears US citizens are being wiretapped without a warrant for calls going overseas. If true- and as I said at the beginning of this thread, I find it hard to believe- but if true, it is a violation of YOUR constitutional rights, specifically the fourth amendment.

“Valerie Plame was a low level known CIA employee…”

How do you know?

The NYT is in a no-win situation. Liberals are furious the Times delayed publishing this story, when it could have come out right before the election. Conversatives are furious that it came out at all, and that somewhere along the line, classified information was leaked.

For once, everyone agrees! The NYT sucks.

Some idle speculation… Maybe this is along the lines of an urban legend, but supposedly there is the capability of initiating a wiretap which is triggered by certain words, such as ‘nuclear.’ I suppose that can be applied to phrases as well. Wonder if that plays any part?

Final note. I’m glad this is an issue. I’m sorry so many Americans would give up their constitutional rights so easily.

Posted by: phx8 at December 17, 2005 2:11 PM
Comment #103537
W’ just can’t win. The liberals will cry inpeachment because he is attempting to protect our safety, but if/when another 911 happens, they will be the first ones to say that he has failed to protect the country. The influx of illegal aliens from the south is nothing new, this was going on for the four years of Bush Sr. and also for the entire 8 years of Clinton. But of course the left coast forgets to tell us about the bad of the clinton administratiion. Posted by: dodge at December 17, 2005 01:51 PM

Dodge,

How is secretly wiretapping our own citizens without a warrent, protecting the country? There is even a special court set up to issue expediant warrents in such cases. This bill even bypassed this court. How about real national security. How about securing industries that pose a potential risk, like chemical plants, nuclear plants, biological industries. How about securing those? How about securing our borders. No it is not a new thing to have bad border control, but spying on your own citizens is. So, if we can do that, then why can we not secure our borders now? Supposedly this wiretapping is to thwart terrorists, if such extreme measures, as war and trashing the Constitution need to be taken then the measure of fixing our border security certainly should not be too much to ask.

Bush has failed to protect the country, and I am saying it now, before any other attacks. He has made us more valnerable than before 9/11.

I don’t give a crap what Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan or any other President did with regards to this matter. GW Bush is the sitting President who is doing these things and who is in control of fixing these problems now. Today, Clinton has more power than me or you to fix these problems. If Clinton were the sitting President today doing these things, what would you say then? If it is any different then you are saying now, then you are just blinded by partisanship. If it were Clinton doing these things I would be just as outraged!


Impeachment proceedings were not brought against Bill Clinton for lying about his sex life. Impeachment proceedings were brought against him because of lying about his sex life under oath in front of a Federal Grand Jury.

This is the best argument for impeachment.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

As long as Bush is President he is under this oath! He has trashed the Constitution and disregarded this oath, he took it in front of the American people. Clinton lies under oath about his private sex life: “Impeach!” Bush lies under oath about protecting and upholding the Constitution: “Your doing a heckava job, Bushie!”


Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, Roosevelt imprisoned Japanese Citizens. This is a time of war, action must be taken.

Tim:

That is not Unconstitutional:

Article I, Section 9.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #103539


Richard Benjamin:

Do you think anyone here listens to what you are saying? It seems everyone is too busy concocting their latest retort or scathing criticism.

There are gaping holes in this country’s defenses regarding possible terrorist attacks. Mr Benjamin’s daughter is on the front lines, as are millions of other Americans. There is plenty of blame to go around for this country’s lack of real defenses. We’re sitting on more WMD than the rest of the world combined.

One of the ways we could make ourselves a little safer is getting rid of this vast chemical and nuclear monkey on our backs. We don’t need most of it, do we Mr. Benjamin?

Posted by: Tim Crow at December 17, 2005 4:38 PM
Comment #103540

jayjay:

Maybe you have forgotten, we are at war, just how many special courts must be have to go thru to get the permission we need ? How long will that take ? If you snooze….you looze. Yes we should secure the industries and large plants and buildings. Just like we should have taken action during the 1st world trade center bombing….why didn’t we secure it then ?

Of course you dont care about the previous presidents and what they did. That would only show you how Clinton did not secure the border for the eight years her was in office. But of course that is 20/20 hindsight.

I could care less about Clintons private sex life. Its the lying under oath that makes me ill.

Posted by: dodge at December 17, 2005 4:42 PM
Comment #103549

SANGER,

IN PATRIOT ACT TWO, YES THERE ARE, FACT!

In Patriot act two there are absolutely such provisions, which is why congress hasn’t enacted it. Read it sometime before you blow smoke up my butt, okay!

Google up: SUNSET PROVISIONS PATRIOT ACT TWO sometime.

Posted by: Novenge at December 17, 2005 5:13 PM
Comment #103550

Dodge Wrote
“That would only show you how Clinton did not secure the border for the eight years her was in office”

You make it sould like the borders are locked down and not a single illegal immigrant has gained entry to the country since W has been in charge. That couldn’t be further from the truth our borders are just as porus as they have ever been. Way to use an example of a problem that has never been taken care of by any adminstration and try and twist it to make Bill Clinton look bad. I’m sure it sounds persuasive when you listen to rush say it.

As far as adding security to the World Trade Center that problem was addressed, but when maniacs fly airliners into them, metal detectors, and extra security staff doesn’t do much help.

As to your comments about being at war, you are right we are at war. But that doesn’t mean we as United States Citizens should forfeit our basic civil rights. Like Jayjay said there is a process already in place that can grant warrants without the huge beurecratic mess. From what it sounds like so far from the information released this pretty much cuts out the paper trail. We will all know more in a few months since even repbulican senetors like Arlen Spector promised hearings.

Posted by: Dr. Shopper at December 17, 2005 5:23 PM
Comment #103560


Ray
I heard that liberals were rewriting history, but did not believe it. Now I do….
President Nixon impeached? I don’t think so.

Posted by: ken at December 17, 2005 5:54 PM
Comment #103562

I’m going to surprise a lot of folks here and agree with the left with this issue. I am not willing to give up a single right that I have.

The truth is that I’m leaning a lot toward the Libertarian Party now. I guess I’ve always felt that way but couldn’t find where I really fit in. I DO know it isn’t with the left side of the isle. That side left me a long time ago. I am a lot more in line with the Republicans than the Democrats, but Libertarian seems to suit me better.

Posted by: tomd at December 17, 2005 6:02 PM
Comment #103570

Ken
you’re right Nixon cut and run and resigned.

I’m sure both Nixon and Heckiva job Brownie would have be vindicated during their trials, but for some reason resigned before the truth came out and swallowed them whole.

Posted by: Dr. Shopper at December 17, 2005 6:13 PM
Comment #103580

I can’t believe what I’m reading here, by some of you. What, were you sleeping through your history classes in school? Particularly American History? Our FREEDOM has been bought at the highest of prices, with blood and loss. For any of us to give up a single civil liberty is to dishonor the men and women who have fought to protect those very liberties you are so “freely” buying a little security with. Benjamin Frankly rightly stated: “They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” That statement holds true to this day, and especially now.

So often I hear the argument from zealous right-wingers “oh, constitution, schmonstitution, those were different times, and the writers of the constitution weren’t fighting terrorists on our soil back then - times have changed.” To that I say, “WANNA BET???” Do you think those Brits weren’t terrorizing our ancestors back then in the 1700s? Do you think for a minute that our first American families weren’t terrorized by them, right here, on our soil? Our men went to war and came home to find their families burned to death in their homes, their entire towns demolished - if they got to come home at all. Don’t tell me times have changed, because, my friends, they have not.

Our Constitution is our law. It’s there to protect us from tyranny and oppression. It’s there to ensure our freedom and our civil liberties. To disregard and disrespect our Constitution and selling out our civil liberties is to allow America to stop being America. We are “the land of the free,” not “the land of the safe.” Anyone who doesn’t know this needs an American History lesson - current White House occupants included, in fact, most of all.

Posted by: Trish at December 17, 2005 6:51 PM
Comment #103586
Maybe you have forgotten, we are at war, just how many special courts must be have to go thru to get the permission we need ? How long will that take ?

Dodge,

ONE! It is a special court set up just for this purpose, to get warrants quickly. It is basically a rubber stamp court and has turned down very few requests. The Bush administration didn’t even bother getting warrants through this court. This is a gross violation of the Constitution, no matter how you look at it.

Yes we should secure the industries and large plants and buildings. Just like we should have taken action during the 1st world trade center bombing….why didn’t we secure it then ?

Then why haven’t we? The second attack on the world trade center was unprecedented. Did Clinton do all he could to prevent 9/11 from happening? No. Did he violate the U.S. Constution? No. That was in the past, like you said that is 20/20 hindsight. We need to stop fixating on the past and look forward. Because of 9/11 we need to improve our foresight. Why has that not happened? There are many measures that can be taken that do not violate the Constitution that would make us a much more secure than spying on Americans. Yet they have not even been addressed. Why?

Of course you dont care about the previous presidents and what they did. That would only show you how Clinton did not secure the border for the eight years her was in office.

Clinton was far from perfect, but he never did anything like what Bush is doing. Ditto for Bush I, and Reagan, etc.

I could care less about Clintons private sex life. Its the lying under oath that makes me ill.

But Bush’s total disregard for the U.S. Constitution while he is under oath to protect and uphold it, doesn’t? That makes no sense, dude.


The truth is that I’m leaning a lot toward the Libertarian Party now.

tombd,

I am with you. Except I am more in line with the Democrat party, the Republican party has never represented me. I was quite impressed with the Libertarian Party when doing research on them. IMO, they are the best of both worlds. I hope that people will get sick and tired of both mainline parties and turn to third parties, esp. Libertarians. They probably come the closest to representing the principles of the Constitution.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 7:28 PM
Comment #103587
Maybe you have forgotten, we are at war


dodge,

Maybe you have forgotten, this is America, and we are Americans.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 7:31 PM
Comment #103589
James Bamford, author of two books on the NSA, said the program could be problematic because it bypasses a special court set up by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to authorize eavesdropping on suspected terrorists.

“I didn’t hear him specify any legal right, except his right as president, which in a democracy doesn’t make much sense,” Bamford said in an interview. “Today, what Bush said is he went around the law, which is a violation of the law — which is illegal.”

The thing that makes this so bad and a violation of our Constitutional rights is not so much that they are spying on Americans, it is that they are doing it while bypassing the Judicial Branch. Even though there is a special court to quickly issue warrants.

Often appearing angry in an eight-minute address, the president made clear he has no intention of halting his authorizations of the monitoring activities and said public disclosure of the program by the news media had endangered Americans.

Bush’s willingness to publicly acknowledge a highly classified spying program was a stunning development for a president known to dislike disclosure of even the most mundane inner workings of his White House. Just a day earlier he had refused to talk about it.

Forget the investigation, he has admitted it and said he will not halt in violating the U.S. Constitution that he took an oath in front of Americans to preserve, protect and defend. Impeachment proceedings should start immediately.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 8:12 PM
Comment #103597

jayjay;
My comment about Clinton not securing the border, maybe I didn’t go far enough. Bush is not securing the border as well. I think, at least for now, that is one of the things i do not like about this administration. ‘W’ has done a few things I don’t care for, and the southern border, i think is the most important at this time. Lets see where this ‘wiretap’ thing leads before we all go off of the deep end. It will be very difficult to get the straight story however, once the press starts spinning.
No jayjay i haven’t forgotten that we are at war and i haven’t forgotten that we are Americans. I would just like to stay in one piece for the short time I have left.

Posted by: dodge at December 17, 2005 9:07 PM
Comment #103602

Just remember, you don’t have to be doing anything illegal for them to monitor you. All they have to do is SUSPECT you as PART of a terrorism network. That’s a heck of a lot of lee-way. Whether you think the emails and websites you visit are “harmless”, it doesn’t matter. There is someone out there that doesn’t. If you’re O.K. with overstepping the 4th amendment, you’re inching down a slippery slope. I know it may sound extreme at this time but, don’t forget, when we nonchalontly start to give away our rights to privacy it is extremely hard to get them back.

“They came after the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so, I did not protest. They came after the trade unionists, and I was not a trade unionist, so, I did not protest. Then they came after the Roman Catholics, and I was not a Roman Catholic, so, I did not protest. Then they came after me, and there was no one left to protest.”

Posted by: Matthew at December 17, 2005 9:46 PM
Comment #103607

Matthew, there is an excecutive order in place which has to be reviewed and signed every 45 days, and it says only that law enforcement agencies can eavesdrop on those with affiliations with Al Qaida and other overseas terrorist organization.

And this is violating our rights how?

Saying that it could be used to monitor your and my emails and websurfing is just ridiculous—I don’t, and you don’t either (I hope) have any connections with overseas terrorist organizations.

And if we DO have such connections—inadvertently, perhaps—then law enforcement isn’t going to find anything to use against us, now are they?

It would be absurd to add to your little quote there:

“And then they came for the Al Qaida terrorists, but I was not an Al Qaida terrorist so I didn’t protest.”

We’re not talking about a suspension of habeas corpus, of anything related to search and siezure—nothing like that. We’re talking about how after 9-11 law enforcement was given the authority to simply LISTEN to and WATCH those with known affliations to terrorists.

Matthew, you and others here are NOT speaking out for your rights and mine. You are speaking out on behalf of those who want to take all of our rights away—who want, in fact, to blow us up like they did on 9-11 and chop off our heads.

Posted by: sanger at December 17, 2005 10:19 PM
Comment #103610

Sanger, I’m not saying this is a violation of our rights. I’m saying someone in the intelligence field COULD use this Exec order to spy on anyone just by claiming a person might be linked to Al Qaida. I know what you’re saying, I don’t want the EVILDOERS to hit us again, and i’m down with roving-wiretaps, etc. But what is wrong with showing it to a judge first? Do you think a judge is gonna defend a terrorist? No. But he or she will make sure the bugging is legit. That’s all.

Posted by: Matthew at December 17, 2005 10:56 PM
Comment #103611

Disregard my first sentance.

Actually I am saying that law enforcement agencies COULD violate our rights.

Posted by: Matthew at December 17, 2005 11:00 PM
Comment #103614

sanger:

You will never win that argument. you are using logic.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at December 17, 2005 11:12 PM
Comment #103615

greetings all
After reading every post here ,Im beginning to become very concerned that some one has put some kind of hallucangnic agent in the vast majority of the dems who are posting here,,,,

1.President clinton was not Impeached for recieving a blow job in the oval office while discussing the bombing of bosnia with a US congressman,,,nor was he Impeached for his speech to the american people stating I did not have sex with that woman….He was Impeached for telling the same lie to a federal judge while under oath,,,,however because of his connections he was found to be above the law and was disbarred and is the only past president who can no longer practise law in front of the supreme court,,,however if any one else here tonight did the same thing we’d be looking at any where from 1 to 3 years in prison simply ask martha stewuart ,or perhaps lil kim…..Next,,,,,

2.Blaming president Bush for the neglect scene during hurricane Katrina ,,,with 100s of buses left to flood and not used to evacute residents ,,while the governor could not and would not ask for federal intervention ,,,the army cor of engineers told people the leve’s would not hold if the storm was a cat 4 or higher ,,ray nagin and and the governor knew 48 hours in advance that katrina was a 5 slowing to a 4 at minimum so why did they wait to call a city wide evac for 24 hours ,,,and once done why did they not use those buses to get people out of harms way…Not pres bushes fault….

3.Presidential powers during time of war:
for the vitrolic posts claiming president bush should be impeached for allowing the NSA to moniter international phone calls this is so outragous that meerly responding to it is like telling a child why they are not allowed to play in the middle of a 6 lane highway…however here goes ,,president bush is determined not to allow the terrorists to strike us again and un like his predcessor has and continues to do everything with in his power to protect us all ,,,evan the rabid mouthed anti american anti war protestors ,,, during time of war if needed president bush could suspend virtually any and all rights we take for granted….and ifeel so far (cross your fingers) he’s managed to stop any additional attacks ,,

4.Securing the border ,,neithor president Clinton’s adminastration nor president bush’s has adaquitly stoped the flow of illegal immigrants to this country which is why we currently have 11 million and many more coming daily.,,,,now for once put aside politics and consider this ,,,if only 5 per 100,000 are al quada terrorist cell members that means 550 are currently in place awaiting orders….probibly distrubuted throughout the lower 48 states ..having spent time in the milatary directly advising senior commanders about worst case scenerios let me give you one to consider :

4a.Worst case Scenerio..
average of say 12 in a cell dstributed in each state upon recieveing orders via tape release by bin laden or henchmen ,,one team member takes 200 flares that he drives around his state and simply tosses into the wildest dryest areas he has located ,2 members get into there modified pickup truck with holes cut in back and begin to shoot people at gas stations and public areas then move on to new location .2 members take specialy bred organic worm casting’s infected with biological contamints and dump into water sources with in each state,,2 members take to the air in small crop dusting planes using antrax spores obtained in Iraq and begin spraying areas with population centors ,,2 members set off small explosives in oil refinery /storage facilities and remaining 3 attack 1 nuclear facility with intent of gaining access to control room and shuuting off the water that cools the fuel rods…all of this would be done in each state simutaniously ,,,,and may include sabatoge of local dams as well ….

5.Please put aside politics and truly consider the actions ive just stated ,,,the enenemy we are fighting are inhumane animals willing to kill them selfs to advance thier cause ,,,,they dont care about miranda rights lawyers nothing but destoying the USA,,,,,that is what we should be discussing ,,how to make it more difficult for them to do this kind of thing…

6.north korea reprocessing 8000 nuclear fuel rods ,,,ever wonder what theyve done with all that material ? 0ne rod sold to bin laden and attached to a suicide belt could make 8 to 10 blocks of any magor city uninhabitable for 100s of years ,,,considering north korea derives 80% of its hard currency from sales of illegal weaopons sytems does any one think for evan a NY minute that kim song would not make a deal with them,,,?

6.Iran day by day there new leader makes inflamatory statments that the entire world is now beginning to realize he must be dealt with and it’ll be soon ,with the first nuke reactor due to go on line by march ,,the world will not and can not allow this to accur ,nor do i believe president bush will allow it ..

7.5 years from now i believe we will look back at this moment in time as the time we wasted in partisian bickering while not taking desisive actions needed to save this country for we are on the brink of world war 3 that will make these days look like paradise …..

Posted by: Rylee at December 17, 2005 11:14 PM
Comment #103617

Craig Holmes,

Judgeing by how much you added to the discussion i’m surprised you can even recognize logic.

Posted by: Matthew at December 17, 2005 11:24 PM
Comment #103618

Hahahahahaha

I just love feux indignation, it looks soooo funny written down.

Have none of you ever heard of “Tempest” or “Echelon”?

Both started in the mid to late 90s btw.

Look em up.

Posted by: Ynot at December 17, 2005 11:26 PM
Comment #103620

Rylee,
Utter fearmongering….what you don’t seem to understand is that bush’s policies have and are making us way more vulnerable than if say, we had actualy maintained our focus on finding those responsible for 9/11. Your rationale for ILLEGAL domestic spying by the N.S.A. sounds eerily like the neocon argument for the war in Iraq.
“Give me liberty, or give me death”
This is why our uncles, our brothers our moms, our dads went to war to fight and sometimes to die. I don’t understand why it’s taken until this point for some to realize that our freedoms that were won at such a cost are being pissed away in the name of…..of what? It’s time for people to stand up to this.
Who gave this man (bush) the power to disregard the constitution and the law of the land?? If Clinton should have told the truth to the grand jury, doesn’t that also mean that bush has to ontain a warrant for the N.S.A. to engage in spying on American citizens? I mean, REALLY!!

Posted by: Steve Miller at December 17, 2005 11:34 PM
Comment #103622
You will never win that argument. you are using logic.

Craig,

Too bad our government doesn’t use logic. That is the real problem.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 17, 2005 11:47 PM
Comment #103626

Matthew, I think we agree. You approve of roving-wire taps, the key provision of the Patriot Act (which the Democrats have now vowed to filibuster), so I’ll meet you more than halfway on this one.

I agree that this COULD be abused, and if it is let’s raise a chorus of outrage together.

Hell, the laws against jaywalking could be abused if law enforcement decided to use it to persecute political dissidents who have pissed off George Bush.

If Michael Moore illegally crosses the street to buy a triple cheeseburger and he’s arrested and sent to Gitmo for it, I hereby personally promise to chain myself to the White House fence.

I’m not kidding. That would be wrong, brother, wrong!!! Damn the man!

But until then, are we agains every single measure of law enforcement and anti-terrorist policy because it COULD in some way potentially be used against the innocent even though it hasn’t been so far?

Posted by: sanger at December 18, 2005 12:00 AM
Comment #103627

The NSA is using information obtained by the CIA from lap tops and computor hard drives with all phone numbers on that hard drive or data base or cell phone then given to the NSA and those numbers are then monitered ,,this is not some kind of random system where the NSA is monitering mrs jones phone calls to the girl scouts these are numbers that were called to or from the us to known terrorists and under current law in order to recieve a judges ok each number must be submitted seperatly ,,this action simply expadites the process allowing the government to do its job of protecting the life of our citizens ,,,,complain all you want about them monitering these numbers but guess what if the terrorsts blow you into small bits or grab you like they did to mr armstrong and slowly saw your head off then your freedoms wont mean an awful lot will they ….

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 12:01 AM
Comment #103631

Rylee, good points.

What the left fails to understand is that we’re at war, that 9-11 really happened and could happen again.

No matter what you think of Iraq, or any poliices of the Bush administration, the fact is that there are people in the world who RIGHT NOW are scheming for ways to kill us.

They are probing our defenses, reading our news reports, looking for our points of weaknesses. And when they find them, they will NOT FAIL to use them.

We’re all in this boat together. Three years from now somebody else will be president—perhaps even a Democrat. We don’t know who it will be, but we know it won’t be George Bush. He will be sitting in Crawford Texas, planning his presidential library and enjoying the sunsets while he’s protected night and day by a team of Secret Service Agents.

The rest of won’t be so protected or so safe, but to spite George Bush, the left wants to raise a chorus of indignation against policies such as roving wire taps and eavesdropping against people with known Al Qaida ties.

This isn’t about George Bush or his adminstration anymore. This is about your safety and civil rights and mine.

Again and again, the left can not point to any actual abuses but can only say that such abuses “could occur.” Of course they could—and let’s talk about them when they do, not when they’re not a matter of idle partisan Bush-hating conjecture.

Posted by: sanger at December 18, 2005 12:30 AM
Comment #103634

After reading several articles regarding this issue seems pretty foolish after 9-11 to continue the way it was for if the NSA was listening to bin laden directly and he called an american citizen by law the NSA would have to hang up ,,,does this protect us ?….
in addition seems that using this has already stopped one attack that officials will admit to namly the arrest and aprehension of hyman farris who conspired with al qaida to blow up the brooklyn bridge,,,yet no one seems interested in the fact these technics are preserving our freedoms for with out life ,freedom is pretty much a moot point,,….

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 12:49 AM
Comment #103635

Another point to ponder …
vice president cheney went to the hill today and discussed this issue with top house and senate leaders ,,,,no one present at those meetings would comment on what was said ,,,interesting eh …there may be a reason to be very concerned for it looks like to me the times has exposed truly important info that may change the tactics and ways our enemys operate now truly endangering us …..wonder whethor any of our liberal friends would care to comment on this ,,,what if with the exposure provided by the times the terrorists change S.O.P. and manage to attack us with some thing the NSA was currently monitering (such as the disapearance of 14 asdm mark 57 s)would this not constitute at minimum sedition perhaps evan treason ?….
ASDMmark 57 is back pack carryed 1 kiliton nuke weapon….wieghs only 51 pounds…and comes with small back pack…

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 12:58 AM
Comment #103640

What amazes me is that people are shocked this is going on. Of course they are doing that. If not the NSA then the Homeland security and military intell. I am sure the FBI and CIA are also at it. This is not new. Nixon did it against the anti-vietnam war movement for example.The FBI did it to civil rights leaders.
I want to know just who they are bugging. John Kerry? Howard Dean? Old Quaker ladies?My guess is probably all the above and then some. It is the nature of the beast. It is a sure bet they are reading this blog.
The argument it is necessary for security is just silly. The pros assume they are bugged. They are evil but not stupid.As I recall there was plenty of intellegnce warning about 9/11 without this crap or the Patriot Act. The failure was the Bush Team’s incompetence.Maybe they should resign for national security reasons.
While I am at it if this war is so great why does’nt our fearless leader get his daughters to enlist? Sure they would be in danger. So are everybody elses sons and daughters serving in Iraq. I just bet their unit would have all the armor they needed.

Posted by: bill at December 18, 2005 1:16 AM
Comment #103642

hmmm…Bill
typical dem dont adress the issue simply attack so because the presidents daughters did not decide to enlist ,,,yes thats right bill we have a freely joined military not one drafted without choice that makes the war wrong…come on stop it …

I want to know just who they are bugging. John Kerry? Howard Dean? Old Quaker ladies?My guess is probably all the above and then some. It is the nature of the beast.

they are monitering phone numbers collected from cell phones lap tops and computor hard drives…
these are numbers the terrorists have called or have been called by …still wont address the issue though eh …the times exposed this ingormation that was highly classified and unknown to the terrorists dont think for a moment they will not now find different ways of communicating which directly threatens me you your family and my family ,,,and if god help us all this allows them to make another major attack on us then the editor and any who particapated in the release of this material should be tried for treason /sedition

The argument it is necessary for security is just silly. The pros assume they are bugged. They are evil but not stupid.As I recall there was plenty of intellegnce warning about 9/11 without this crap or the Patriot Act. The failure was the Bush Team’s incompetence.Maybe they should resign for national security reasons

I seem to recall osama bin laden declaring war on the us in 1996 and then attacking the kobar towers and the uss cole hmmm ….the lack of any reponse by the previous adminastration showed bin laden we were weak and unable to fight an enemy which directly led to 9-11 and you also may want to look up the 9-11 commisions report you might find a lot of useful info there as well.

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 1:35 AM
Comment #103647

Rylee,
Link on those backpack nukes? Care to explain to people that, even if it were true, no unauthorized person would ever be able to detonate them?
What on earth do you think has been revealed that isn’t common knowledge already? The NSA does surveillance? No! I’m shocked! Shocked to find out surveillance is going on at the NSA. Come on. The problem is that there is a possibility the Bush administration ignored the constitution when authorizing surveillance of US citizens. That’s unacceptable, and needs to be investigated.

3,000 Americans murdered on 9/11 was awful. Even worse would be the destruction of our country, our constitution, and our ideals. That would be a true loss. That would be defeat. That would be the ultimate surrender.

Posted by: phx8 at December 18, 2005 1:42 AM
Comment #103655

If this war all the right-wingers here is as serious as they say, why in the hell did we go into Iraq on a fool’s errand? All ties between Saddam and al Qaeda have been proven to be concocted and fabricated. Why on earth didn’t we go after al Qaeda? We started in the right direction in Afghanistan. What on earth was this administration thinking? Now we are wasting hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of innocent lives in Iraq, and by the very nature of being there are creating and training more terrorists by our own self-created folly, putting a patina of democratic schmaltz over this horrific affair.

Everything about the decisions of this administration smack of incompetence, greed, hubris and imperialism. How in the hell we are to get through the next three years without something terrible not happening is beyond me.

Posted by: Tim Crow at December 18, 2005 1:58 AM
Comment #103672

The smallest nuclear warhead manufactured by the USA was the W-54, used for the Davy Crockett warhead which could be fired from a 120 mm recoilless rifle, and a backpack version called the Mk-54 SADM (Small Atomic Demolition Munition). While this warhead, with a weight of only 51 lb (23 kg), could potentially fit into a large suitcase, it would be a very tight fit. While the explosive power of the W-54 — up to an equivalent of 1 kiloton of TNT — this is the some additional info on weapons i was talking about cant find link regarding the 14 missing or current investagation too tired to look now …

What on earth do you think has been revealed that isn’t common knowledge already? The NSA does surveillance?

perhaps al qaida is knowledgeable enough to know they are being tapped perhaps not however you miss the point ,,,perhaps they have located sympathetic arab americans to assist them and or theres already a plot in the works that will enable them to find other ways to communicate leaving us in the cold regarding that info….

one of the reasons we had to use 2 nuclear weapons to bring japan down was thier ferocity in battle and thier kamakazi pilots we face an evan more ruthless enemy now and during a time of war this is unprecidented for a newspaper to disclose this kind of info ….had this occurred during world war 2 then i think you might have scene those responsible charged and tried for treason …….

Posted by: rylee at December 18, 2005 2:21 AM
Comment #103683

rylee,

president bush is determined not to allow the terrorists to strike us again and un like his predcessor has and continues to do everything with in his power to protect us all ,,,evan the rabid mouthed anti american anti war protestors ,,, during time of war if needed president bush could suspend virtually any and all rights we take for granted

Please back this up. How is spying on Americans without a warrant within the power of the President?

TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36

CHAPTER 36—FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE

§ 1805. Issuance of order

(A) the target of the electronic surveillance is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power: Provided, That no United States person may be considered a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States;


§ 1811. Authorization during time of war

Release date: 2005-03-17

Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.

The program is reviewed every 45 days, using fresh threat assessments, legal reviews, and information from previous activities under the program, the president said. He said that he has personally signed off on reauthorizations more than 30 times.
45x30=1350 days.

Where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that the President can suspend our rights?

The NSA is using information obtained by the CIA from lap tops and computor hard drives with all phone numbers on that hard drive or data base or cell phone then given to the NSA and those numbers are then monitered ,,this is not some kind of random system where the NSA is monitering mrs jones phone calls to the girl scouts these are numbers that were called to or from the us to known terrorists and under current law in order to recieve a judges ok each number must be submitted seperatly

Can you please provide supporting information on this?

,,this action simply expadites the process allowing the government to do its job of protecting the life of our citizens ,,,,complain all you want about them monitering these numbers but guess what if the terrorsts blow you into small bits or grab you like they did to mr armstrong and slowly saw your head off then your freedoms wont mean an awful lot will they

And life without my freedoms won’t mean an awful lot either. You make a lot of claims, but you have provided nothing to back them up. If you want us to take anything you write seriously then please provide credible sources.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 18, 2005 2:33 AM
Comment #103684

Rylee,
It’s late. My point is only that it’s hellaciously difficult to detonate a nuke. There are restricting factors. Obtaining the physical weapon is not enough, not even close. I’m confident we’ll never see terrorists successfully use nuclear weapons. There are nightmare scenarios, but that’s not one of them.

I think everyone would agree, it would be better if NSA surveillance never hit the headlines. There are plenty of stupid terrorists out there, no point in giving a sucker an even break. However, your civil liberties and my civil liberties are paramount. I’m sure you and I disagree about many things. But I’m just as sure every person I’ve ever seen posting on Watchblog is passionately devoted to this country, enough to take the time and debate, disagree, earn rebukes from the Watchblog manager, etc. It has never been a question of what we stand for, but how to achieve it. I would argue that the ends do not justify the means. Hopefully Bush feels the same way, and in this case did not go too far.

Posted by: phx8 at December 18, 2005 2:38 AM
Comment #103697
perhaps they have located sympathetic arab americans to assist them and or theres already a plot in the works that will enable them to find other ways to communicate leaving us in the cold regarding that info

If they are United States citizens then they are protected by the United States Constitution which spells out procedures that must be followed by the government. Procedures that were streamlined by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Bush has illegally bypassed a special court set up by the FISA to authorize eavesdropping on suspected terrorists.

It is a fallacy that the U.S. government didn’t have intel that 9/11 was immanent. Intel that our government did not act on. Intel that was gathered through other means than spying on Americans. The Bush administration is and has been using 9/11 as a red herring.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 18, 2005 3:00 AM
Comment #103716

Rylee’
I did not sugesst the Bush girls be drafted. I just suggested their father should urge them to enlist.Now that the pentagon has decided to lower their standards to meet recruitment goals and overlook past criminal behavior they are eligable.
The NSA may or may not be restricted to those list but I was also refering to several other agencies.
You refered to lack of response from President Clinton. That is historically inaccurate. Al quida training camps were bombed and Bin Laden nearly killed.And the response from the Reps? It is just “wag the dog”. Then they continued with the ridiculous impeachment attempt,really weakening the country. Further action under President Clinton: Al quida terrorist aprehended at the Canadian border,planning to set off bombs during the millenium celebrations,the apprehension of the terrorists responsible for the first WTC bombing.Should he of done more? Of course. But to say he did nothing is wrong. At least he was not on vacation. And the support you guys gave him,a knife in the back.If you are looking for who convinced Bin Laden we were weak,look in a mirror.

Posted by: Bill at December 18, 2005 4:05 AM
Comment #103737

TO KEN: WHY ARE YOU EVEN POSTING THINGS HERE??? FOR ONE THING YOU CAN’T SPELL. (THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THERE AND THIER) AND YOU ARE A WAR DOG YOURSELF. WHY WOULD A FIGHTER UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE WHEN HE WAS TOUGHT TO FIGHT AND KILL???? YOU KISS BUSH’S REAR END. SO WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU ARE RIGHT? BECAUSE YOU SERVED THE COUNTRY??
SORRY OLD DUDE. YOU’VE BEEN BLIND TOO LONG. YOU EVIDENTLY HAVE NOT SEEN THE CORRUPTION GOING ON IN THIS COUNTRY SINCE THE REPUBLICANS HAVE TAKEN OVER. ALL THE LITTLE PEOPLE ARE GETTING STOMPED ON WHILE ALL YOU BUSH FOLLOWERS KEEP DEFENDING HIM AND HIS.
EVERY TIME I SEE A BUSH BUMPER STICKER I CRINGE. HE CHEATED TO GET IN OFFICE AND IS JUST AS CROOKED AS HIS FATHER..
YOU THINK HE’S DOING THE RIGHT THING??? LET HIM SPY ON YOU FOR A WHILE. SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT THEN.

Posted by: CINDI at December 18, 2005 9:13 AM
Comment #103739

Good morning all:
where to start hmmmm….well here goes

Jay jay said:
Please back this up. How is spying on Americans without a warrant within the power of the President?

on the day that president Bush took the oath of office he accepted the responsibilty to lead our country and do every thing possible to protect the citizens of this country ,under current law when he was elected ,primarily because of the 1974 church commision ,evan had the NSA managed to locate bin laden talking on the phone with an american discussing his next attack the NSA would have been unable to continue to listen in to the conversation,in addition because technoligy has expanded so rapidly since then rules in place called for each number to be monitered to be justified in front of a judge prior to listening,,,now i ask you all this the CIA raids an al qaida safe house in pakistan and obtains 2 cell phones ,on those cell phones are 100s of numbers that all go directly into the USA ,remember clock is now ticking as those in the house who escaped are telling there comrades of the raid meanwhile activaty on many of those numbers is taking place 10 mins after the raid ,,do you or any one else currently here wish to tie the hands of those trying to protect us ,,,??with out blanket authority to moniter those calls theres no physical way we could do it any other way ,: in addition because of those arcane outdated rules regarding interception of phone calls remember until 2001 nsa could not have listened in to call from bin laden evan if he was dicussing plans for NSA ..is that how you want to fight the war on terror ?

Where in the Constitution of the United States does it say that the President can suspend our rights?

as commander of the united states military prtecting life and liberty are one of main dutys for as so many keep missing the point here if the terrorists blow you up or cut your head off any other rights and libertys you may have had are truly a moot point ,,simply ask MR armstrong who was vidio taped with a black hood on his head thrown to the ground with his hands tied behind his back while they slowly..repeat slowy sawed his head off …I wonder if given the oppurtunity whethor mr armstrong would feel his rights were violated if by monitering his phone he had been saved ..?and Quite frankly if you have not watched the vidio of this being done to mr armstrong is impossible for you to accuratly understand the mentality of those we currently fight.during times of national emergancy the president can and has suspended habios corpus and has a lot of latitude to do whatever is nessicary to protect life and limb of our citizens

And life without my freedoms won’t mean an awful lot either. You make a lot of claims, but you have provided nothing to back them up. If you want us to take anything you write seriously then please provide credible sources.

Jay jay with all due respect can almost gaurantee you have not watched the vidio of what occurred to mr armstrong and i would bet every thing i own he’d be more than willing to trade places with you ….

Posted by: rylee at December 18, 2005 9:31 AM
Comment #103744

Bill

The NSA may or may not be restricted to those list but I was also refering to several other agencies.
You refered to lack of response from President Clinton. That is historically inaccurate. Al quida training camps were bombed and Bin Laden nearly killed.

1996 the sudanese government offered the us /president clinton to turn over bin laden who was being evicted from there country response from the clinton adminastration was they did not have enough evidence to legally charge him then,,,taqking him into custody then would have stoped 9-11 and probibly many things that occured after ,also remember a certain boat named USS cole where 17 us sailors died after terrorists drew along side with a boat filled with explosives ?…please tell me what action president clinton took after the uss cole attack ?…..

Then they continued with the ridiculous impeachment attempt,really weakening the country.

I really find this difficult to understand see when proof was provided during nixon period republicans and dems decided to impeach him which pres nixon then resigned in disgrace ,,however when president Clinton lied under oath to a federal judge 99% of the demicrats still try to defend this action ,,ask martha stuart ,or lil kim whethor lying to a federal judge is a good idea ?…..

At least he was not on vacation. And the support you guys gave him,a knife in the back.If you are looking for who convinced Bin Laden we were weak,look in a mirror.

hmmm i seem to remember that while not on vacation mr clinton was discussing bombing bosnia while recieving a blow job from a certain intern ,cheating on his wife while discussing bombing people that the UN never gave athority to bomb ,however he got republican support to do this because it was the right thing to do ….and you did not hear or see 1000s protesting an illegal war with out un permission….guess it really depends on who we are talking about eh …president clinton as a demicrat is above the law and innocent evan though hes been tried and convicted and his law license suspended and banned for life from practising in front of the supreme court ,,,however if your name is tom delay your not even given the presumption of innocence as howrd dean so eloquently put it ,,mr delay should go to texas and serve his time ……truly amazzing to me that a democratic district attorney who’s obvious political bias is attempting to railroad him out of congress and yet hes already guilty with out his day in court ….

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 9:56 AM
Comment #103745

“…unless you are involved in something you shouldn’t be, then you have nothing to fear.”

That’s what the mass of German people said while Jews were taken from their homes. That’s what some southern whites claimed when blacks were being lynched. While this may not carry the same weight yet, persecution begins by turning a blind eye to the persecutors. It is possible that Bush may have been spying without a warrant for more reasons than just stopping terrorism. Does anybody recall Nixon’s effort to discredit and spy on his political enemies? It’s a good thing integrity and honor have been restored to the White House or we may be heading down another slippery slope (sarcasm).

Posted by: Garrett at December 18, 2005 10:05 AM
Comment #103747

PS I wouldn’t be so scared of terrorism if Bush had done his job and captured Bin Laden by using the full power of the US military. Instead he chose to create Afghanistan on steroids by invading Iraq. We’ve given them the training grounds they needed and they will begin to export this new generation of terrorists soon. First Jordan, tomorrow the WORLD! You don’t need a wiretap to know when the sh*t’s going to hit the fan.

Posted by: garrett at December 18, 2005 10:13 AM
Comment #103754

Garrett

That’s what the mass of German people said while Jews were taken from their homes. That’s what some southern whites claimed when blacks were being lynched. While this may not carry the same weight yet, persecution begins by turning a blind eye to the persecutors.

Good point

during the 90s congress and our leaders ignored the systemic elimination of any and all opponants of saddam hussien while he continued to pay 25,000 to all families of suicide bombers willing to kill themselfs and innocent people which directly created an incentive for the poorest people to have one member of the family kill them selfs to enrich the rest of the family…in addition we ignored the taliban in afganistan while they mutilated women destroyed valuble historic artifacts and virtually enslaved the entire population in a backward sadistic regime…which enabled al qaida to train 1000s of anti american radicals and then distribute them through out the world….which is why we find ourselfs where we do now.

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 10:40 AM
Comment #103766

As I see it, if King George (the king we overthrew in the Revolution) would have liked it, we don’t need it. During the Revolution, the King put soldiers in people’s homes to keep tabs on them. Human or electronic surveillance, both are against everything the Founders fought for. How can we support democracy in Iraq and lose it here?

Posted by: Bill at December 18, 2005 11:07 AM
Comment #103768

Rylee,
You are just plain wrong. The oath of office is not to protect the citizens….it is an oath to protect the Constitution and it does not allow invasion of privacy by any government!

Posted by: Bill at December 18, 2005 11:10 AM
Comment #103802

” you have nothing to fear”

Ashley,
your reasoning assumes a begnign government. the english, through bad experience, decided to “chuck” this concept and got rid of “… the benign right of kings”. to beleive that along the line, secret, unchecked wiretaps, etc. would not be used for political or worse purposes is not, imo, realistic.

checks and balances were placed into our constition for good reason, to control unbrideled power. it will be to all citizens eventual detriment, not to adhere to this concept. benign rule is not guaranteed and its opposite will sooner or later raise its ugly head. the president has other means of obtaining the information he wants.

Posted by: ec at December 18, 2005 12:07 PM
Comment #103806

I’m sorry that Nixon’s impeachment was only voted out of committee, and he resigned because everyone in the world knew he was through, including our “enemies”, the Russkies and China. Clinton’s impeachment was viewed as ridiculous everywhere in the world, including our fierce and terrible enemy of Iraq.

On the morning shows, even Confederate senator Lindsay Graham of SC thinks Bush is acting unconstitutionally (Face the Nation on CBS). The same goes for right wing idealogue G. Will on ABC. Condy Rice was on the defensive on NBC. The surprising one was McCain, also on ABC, who seems to have made his peace with Bush and apparently expects to be the next Rpblcn nominee. I don’t know what was on Fux because I don’t watch Rpblcn party political broadcasts.

My theory is that Bush watches Deadwood and identifies with the no law nor order days of the Wild West, where the most powerful person makes the rules and does whatever he pleases.

Posted by: ray at December 18, 2005 12:11 PM
Comment #103805

I’m sorry that Nixon’s impeachment was only voted out of committee, and he resigned because everyone in the world knew he was through, including our “enemies”, the Russkies and China. Clinton’s impeachment was viewed as ridiculous everywhere in the world, including our fierce and terrible enemy of Iraq.

On the morning shows, even Confederate senator Lindsay Graham of SC thinks Bush is acting unconstitutionally (Face the Nation on CBS). The same goes for right wing idealogue G. Will on ABC. Condy Rice was on the defensive on NBC. The surprising one was McCain, also on ABC, who seems to have made his peace with Bush and apparently expects to be the next Rpblcn nominee. I don’t know what was on Fux because I don’t watch Rpblcn party political broadcasts.

My theory is that Bush watches Deadwood and identifies with the no law nor order days of the Wild West, where the most powerful person makes the rules and does whatever he pleases.

Posted by: ray at December 18, 2005 12:11 PM
Comment #103810

rylee,

You are using fear tactics, just as Bush has been doing since 9/11. Hitler used fear tactics, too. After the Reichstag fire Hitler suspended the rights of Germans, supposedly to protect German citizen, look what that lead to. Are you willing to just roll over and allow that to happen here? If our soldiers are willing to fight and die, throughout history, for our freedoms, then why are we at home not willing to do the same?

There are procedures and laws in place to make getting warrants easier and quicker. If the President does not feel these laws are sufficiant then he needs to try to change them, but until that happens, he is not above the law. You may have a compelling argument if the NSA had intercepted calls that originated outside the U.S. by suspected terrorist to the U.S., however, it sounds to me that he had also authorized the monitoring of calls that originated within the U.S., by U.S. citizens to outside the country, all without a warrant and for at least 1350 days, that is 1335 days longer than legally allowed by law.

If our laws are impeading the war on terror then the President needs to make his case to the legislative branch, which can then pass laws to address those concerns, and that are open to judicial oversight. He does not have the authority to secretly operate outside the law or the Constitution, and took an oath not to. Period.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 18, 2005 12:15 PM
Comment #103821
I don’t understand what would possess a president to sign an executive order which obviously violates the constitution.

phx8,

This is my big question as well. There’s some missing piece in this puzzle that we’re not hearing about yet. Ultimately, after all the rhetoric is over, a lot of this will come down to legalities. Did they act within the law? I really want to know since we are, after all, a nation of laws.

Mr. Bush has some things going for him, as I’ve posted elsewhere. First, no major terrorist attack has occurred since 9/11. Second, he was elected primarily as a security president. We like our pitbulls when we’re feeling insecure. Third, he did have some communication with Congress, though it’s not clear how well they understood what was happening.

But Mr. Bush also has a couple of things going against him. He’s no longer widely trusted in the U.S., and there’s already a steady whiff of corruption and ineptitude surrounding his administration. Another thing is that those on the libertarian right are going to just hate this, so that section of his base will peal away.

So, I suspect there will be hearings, some of them conducted secretly for national security reasons, about what happened and whether it was legal. There will be a hullabaloo about whether the Bushies fully communicated what they were doing with the Democratic leaders in question. There’s going to be a huge argument about executive powers, government checks and balances, constitutional law, and whether the terrorists win when the U.S. is spying on its own people. And, there also might be a huge debate about technology’s role in setting up monitoring systems.

Personally, I don’t want to know the details of our security net, especially if it’s working. But I do want to know if the whole things is and was legal. I don’t begudge the administration’s right to extend executive powers amid a time of great national insecurity. Our nation was attacked, after all. But I don’t want to give up my constitutional rights and not even know about it.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 18, 2005 12:39 PM
Comment #103841

Jay jay you said:

if the NSA had intercepted calls that originated outside the U.S. by suspected terrorist to the U.S., however, it sounds to me that he had also authorized the monitoring of calls that originated within the U.S., by U.S. citizens to outside the country, all without a warrant and for at least 1350 days, that is 1335 days longer than legally allowed by law.

according to what ive scene and read this authorization is reviewed every 45 days by attorneys with in the white house and the NSA and are updated based on intelligence reports prior to reauthorization,dont get me wrong if the NSA is listening to conversations of howard dean or john kerry well thats a different story however all reports ive read state that phone numbers with in the us that have called, or been called by known terrorists who have been captured and or killed in safe houses around the world then these numbers are the ones that are monitered by the NSA .

Jay jay consider if you will this ,the CIA locates and distroys a terrorist safe house with in this house is a cell phone computor and lap top ,these numbers are then relayed to NSA headquarters who with in minutes of recieveing are able to tap and moniter all these numbers before the terrorists are aware they have been compramised which enables our intelligence agency’s to stop potentialy disatourous attacks ,time is the real issue here for if they are required to go through all kinds of red tape to moniter these numbers the info will no longer be of any use and they will change phones.with todays high tech cell phones that can be bought for very little money with out this the terrorists will successfully attack again .

I am not condoning the NSA to moniter any ones phone number with out just cause ,however during a time of war with an enemy willing to kill them selfs to do as much damage to our country as possible we must do whatever is needed to stop these people.I would really like you to think and consider the following after the release of his last tape (al zaquari) who in this tape called for renewed attacks on oil storage faciltys ,refinerys and tankers then with in days an oil storage site containing 5% of the oil currently within England has an industrial accident that authoritys claim was accidential yet this claim was made while fires were still being fought ….and without any investagation ,,during world war 2 one of the ways we finally beat the nazi war machine was by bringing in moles who lived and worked within the region at water sites manufactorers and such ,who when given instructions would commit sabatouge that slowed and eventually led to thier dimise .

Bin laden is not a fool he has worked directly with our own CIA and is a very good engineer its how with his assitance and the US providing weapons to his group they were able to defeat the russian army.Do not think for a moment thet the terrorists are not watching this debate rubbing thier hands togethor with glee ,,,for we are tying the hands and feet of the tip of our spear designed to protect us …

I have not heard any dems question the release of this information by the times however with recent release of new tape ,the explosion in england is it possible that we’ve now exposed intelligence to the terrorists that will enable them to change thier operating standards and in turn succesfully mount another attack .?perhaps now they will change cell phones every 10 days making it virtually impossible to be monitered .another thing to very carefully consider ,army corp of engineers states that footings were deep enough in new orleans and have to dig further to discover what happened ,many have stated they heard explosions prior to levi giving way how do we know for sure this was not done by moles living with in new orleans ?with new tape and many places down that way still with out electricity and very little security how hard would it be to call operatives living within this country and have them commit little acts of sabatouge ?such as shooting holes in huge storage containers holding gas and oil and igniting them with simple flares ?….This is why i feel we’ve had a major intelligence leak regarding this issue and congress and the senate should call all partys that had a hand in releaseing this info before congress and if need be imprison all involved until the leak is discovered .documents written by aids to senotor durbin clearly stated that members of the senate intelligence committee (democratic members) should look for anything that would belittle or embearass president bush and then release it discreetly to news organizations .Thats why i believe top 2 members of both partys on the intelligence committee should see info regarding these calls ,and congress must investigate where the times got thier info ,whosoever released this info should be tried for sedition /treason and if found guilty be given the death penalty .release of this info may result in the deaths of many americans ,anything less would be an insult to us all.

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 1:42 PM
Comment #103843

for anyone to think that this or any other administration will use the secret wiretaps for the sole purpose of chasing terrorists is at best naive.

Ken,
i wish you would stop overusing that nebulous, non entity word “liberal”. while in some cases it may be justified, you use it with wild abandon. most of the things you disagree with are labeled “liberal”. HOW ABOUT SOME DAMM EXAMPLES OR NAMES.

Posted by: ec at December 18, 2005 1:47 PM
Comment #103862

As a democrat I should be happy for my party right now. Our Incompetant-In-Chief has handed us yet another example of heavy-handed, self-defeating weakness masquerading as stregth. Under other leadership, our party would be posed for complete victory in 2006 and 2008.

But that is not the case. Instead every time our party leaders open their mouth it frightens Americans even more. The Republicans argue that national security is worth slipping down the slippery slope to authoritarianism. The Democrats respond with soft-spoken half-arguments; we waver between “My privacy is sacred!”, and “We can’t win!”. We are vulnerable to the charge of defeatism.

Just for the record, THERE IS NO REAL CONFLICT BETWEEN CIVIL LIBERTIES AND NATIONAL SECURITY! It’s a false argument. But it is the only argument being made right now, and America WILL reluctantly opt for the latter in the end. Americans are scared. And right or wrong, most Americans are not confident that the Democratic party would protect them.

Talk of impeaching Bush while not addressing those security fears does nothing to raise confidence. Who would replace him? What policies would replace secret wiretaps, and extra-judicial hearings? I have yet to read the Reid-Dean-Pelosi National Defence Strategy. How could you lead a major political party in these times and not have one? Or is just dumping Bush supposed to make us all feel more secure?

America is more than prepared to consider an alternative to Bush’s failed tactics; but not until they hear one.

Posted by: Mike Cooper at December 18, 2005 2:34 PM
Comment #103864

I’m sickened that so many of you prefer to cower under the so called “blanket of safety” that Bush has provided. You are so immobilized by your fear that you sit idley by, and even come to his defense, while he burns the Consitiution.

I’d like for you to try explain your positions to those who spilled their blood defending the rights that you take for granted.

Democracy isn’t easy.

Posted by: Danco at December 18, 2005 2:34 PM
Comment #103868

“In his statement on Saturday, Mr. Bush did not address the main question directed at him by some members of Congress on Friday: why he felt it necessary to circumvent the system established under current law, which allows the president to seek emergency warrants, in secret, from the court that oversees intelligence operations. His critics said that under that law, the administration could have obtained the same information.”(New York Times)

The fact is, the president could have sought wiretaps in the legal way: by going through a judge for a warrant. What this president wants is never to have a paper trail. If Mr. Bush is doing nothing wrong, why is he trying to avoid any reference back to him? If he is doing this for the good of our country-why is he afraid to present his case to a judge? He has broken the law and I believe (and I’m telling my Senators and Representative) that I believe this is an impeachable offense.

Posted by: Miller at December 18, 2005 2:46 PM
Comment #103877

From what i’ve read, the problems are only beginning.

The NSA law of 1978 was put into place to STOP NSA from evesdropping on AMERICAN CITIZENS.

The LAW has been in effect since 1978.

The Secret Tribunal Court has been used since the law went into effect in 1978.

In only case has the governement been denied to evesdrop on AMERICAN CITIZENS.

George W. Bush broke the law when he took it upon himself to decide that he knew better than the law. He decided that he and only he shall make the decision to evesdrop on ITS CITIZENS.

The fact that George Bush decided to act as a benevolent dictator and decide the ITS CITIZENS no longer deserve due process in the eyes of the law, is when he crossed the line.

The sad fact is that this was completely avoidable. The court was in place to hear his arguments for the wiretaps and the court probably would have easily granted his request. But since he decided to ignore the RULE OF LAW and take matters into his own hands he must pay the price for his actions. His actions were illegal and he should be impeached.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 18, 2005 2:53 PM
Comment #103905

John you said:

The NSA law of 1978 was put into place to STOP NSA from evesdropping on AMERICAN CITIZENS.

The LAW has been in effect since 1978.

The Secret Tribunal Court has been used since the law went into effect in 1978.

This law was put into effect over republican protests and was one of the main reasons that our intellegence agencys were unable to stop 9-11 from accurring,because it effectivly tied our intelligence agencys from effectivly communicating between them selfs ,,the Patriot act removed a lot of these barriers enabling our people to effectivly protect us ,however it still placed many burdens on the people to provide proof prior to wire tapping suspected terrorist sympathiesers .

You also stated

George W. Bush broke the law when he took it upon himself to decide that he knew better than the law. He decided that he and only he shall make the decision to evesdrop on ITS CITIZENS.

So far all articles i have read state that prior to doing this he directly notified key members of the congress and senate Including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried,and that the authorization of this has been reviewed by attorneys for both the justice department,The Whitehouse and the NSA,every 45 days and based on available intelligence renewed however the program was suspended for a while because of objections from an F.I.S.A court judge but were subsequently renewed and is ongoing ,So your statement the president Bush took it upon himself is absolutly incorrect and shamlessly partisian attack ,please at least get the facts prior to sounding off.

you also stated

But since he decided to ignore the RULE OF LAW and take matters into his own hands he must pay the price for his actions. His actions were illegal and he should be impeached.

He sought advise and consent from both partys prior to doing this and this is really a case that has occurred specifically because a member or members of the Intelligence committee has intentionaly released this information,truly amazzing how after a document created by aids to senator Durbin (2nd ranking democrat) surfaced telling democratic members of the intelligence committee to find damaging info to the Bush administration and surupticiosly release the info to news organizations for timed release ,
We certainly do need an investagation however it needs to concentrate on who received this key information and who released it to the new york times ,the release was timed for the day after the Iraqi elections to again try to discredit the bush adminastration ,this is no longer a dirty politics partisian cheap shot,what this is though is one or more democratic senators who hate President bush so much they would endanger our very lifes and our country to make a few political points,This is an issue that we as a country may pay a terrible price for its release and as such who so ever released info should be tried for treason…..and before you rant and rave i want you to think carefully ,if the terrorists change tactics based on the release of this info ,and we are attacked say at a mall in your home town and your family is injured or worse what would your feelings be concerning the political leaders who released this info….

Posted by: Rylee at December 18, 2005 3:53 PM
Comment #103907

Look how quickly the radical right tries to demonize the messenger in an attempt to take the focus away from the crimes committed by the chimp-in-chief and his cronies. If you follow the thread in these posts there is a startling similarity to what was done in nazi germany. “We are under attack. We must take away some of your freedoms, for the good of the country”. (and this is a LIBERAL blog!!!) It worked then, and it will work now. Wake up, America!!!!

Posted by: Steve Miller at December 18, 2005 3:57 PM
Comment #103947

You have nothing to fear, but fear itself. This administration preys upon all who live in fear. How many times did we see the threat level change (yellow, orange, red) before the election in ‘04. It’s been over a year. How many are you aware that occured in the last year. This administration uses the media to pander and propogandize fear. Without fear, the Repuklicons are powerless!!!

Posted by: Steve Martens at December 18, 2005 7:06 PM
Comment #103953

If the Democrats don’t consider perjury an impeachable offense (remember Mr Clinton?) then this shouldn’t matter to them either.

Posted by: mac6115cd at December 18, 2005 7:43 PM
Comment #103967

I despise everything that the klan, aryans and so forth say and do, but i will defend to the death their right to say these things.

The Constitution and all things that flow forth from it are sacred and have to be zealously guarded at all times. It is not a document to be trifled with by adding “gay marriage” amendments or any other pissant political amendments. It most certainly is not a document that has safety in mind when it is attacked by foreign or domestic entities.
This attack by Bush and his spawn goes to the very fabric of the Constitution by attacking and disregarding the rights of the people, this is simply not right. We, the people have to stand up to this attack, correct the problem by whatever means, and then go back to our watchdog rolls once again.
If in correcting the problem the blood of patriots must be spilled, so be it.
If a terrorist attack hits this nation once these wiretaps are done away with, so be it.
You have to be prepared to defend the Constitution no matter what transpires.
To those who think that it is OK for Bush to bend the constitution if not outright ignore it you are cowards.
If you look to the government for safety as they bend or ignore the Constitution you are cowards.
This is not a political exercise. Folks, their playing loose and fancy free with our most important document.
No apology for the words used.

Posted by: jim at December 18, 2005 8:37 PM
Comment #104017

I cannot believe my eyes. Conservatives are standing up for someone who violated the Constitution?!?!

Bush & crew had up to 72 hours AFTER initiating surveillance to apply for a warrant. So nothing was stopping them from reacting to immediate threats. By not applying for the warrants, the implication is that they were probably conducting surveillance on people who didn’t merit it. Else they would have gone to court and made it legal.

So the mere act of initiating wiretaps and more, is not a big problem if they followed the law and obtained warrants after the fact. What may merit impeachment is if this is thoroughly investigated and it is found that hundreds of people were monitored, without warrants, and without just cause.

And I would hope that Republicans could put away their partisan defenses long enough to defend the Constitution.

Or would they be willing to allow a Democrat president to pick and choose whichever tenets of the Constitution they don’t wish to follow, without repercusion.

Posted by: alan at December 19, 2005 2:07 AM
Comment #104082

Rylee:

This law was put into effect over republican protests and was one of the main reasons that our intellegence agencys were unable to stop 9-11 from accurring…
In 1978, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which establishes a separate legal regime for “foreign intelligence” surveillance. Title III (the “Wiretap Statute) outlines the strict guidelines regulating ordinary law enforcement surveillance, while FISA regulates the government’s collection of “foreign intelligence” information in furtherance of U.S. counterintelligence. FISA was initially limited to electronic eavesdropping and wiretapping. In 1994 it was amended to permit covert physical entries in connection with “security” investigations, and in 1998, it was amended to permit pen/trap orders. FISA can also be used to obtain some business records.
So far all articles i have read state that prior to doing this he directly notified key members of the congress and senate Including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Ried…
Members of congress were notified four briefed four months ago or rather eight months after the NYT first contacted the White House about running the story. Previously Congress had not been briefed on this. In fact, Bob Graham was quoted as saying he knew nothing of this program as he would have been notified because of his Committee Position on the Intelligence committee.
He sought advise and consent from both partys prior to doing this and this is really a case that has occurred specifically because a member or members of the Intelligence committee…
I believe you’re misinformed. Bob Graham, who was a ranking member of the Intelligence committee has stated that he knew nothing.
We certainly do need an investagation however it needs to concentrate on who received this key information and who released it to the new york times …
Sure; investigate the leak. However, i think that if you’re going to focus your energy on the messenger, you’re going to miss the message.



what this is though is one or more democratic senators who hate President bush so much they would endanger our very lifes and our country to make a few political points,

Which Senators are you referring to? Arlen Specter, Lindsey Graham? Both REPUBLICAN SENATORS that are crying foul and are requesting specific answers.

This is an issue that we as a country may pay a terrible price for its release and as such who so ever released info should be tried for treason…..
i would say it was bad, but Mr. Bush isn’t, IMO, guilty of treason.
and before you rant and rave i want you to think carefully ,if the terrorists change tactics based on the release of this info ,and we are attacked say at a mall in your home town and your family is injured or worse what would your feelings be concerning the political leaders who released this info….
We have laws in our society. We must abide by those law or risk chaos. When leaders pick and choose which laws they wish to abide by and which to ignore, the message is clear. ‘We can do whatever we want.’

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. “
Ben Franklin

Posted by: john trevisani at December 19, 2005 7:44 AM
Comment #104166

Wow, over and over I all I read is it’s the damn man trying to hold us down again….

I put this to you if one “illegal” tapping of suspected terrorists phone prevented the death of your entire family and every friend you knew in a nasty dirty bomb explosion would it be worth it??

Now I agree if people that do not deserve to be spied on are being tapped then I have issues, but if in fact everyone of these people do have some ties to Al Qaeda, then screw em listen in if it saves lives. I love all you freaking moaning ass whiners, it’s wrong, he should be impeached, blah blah blah. You people would be the same ones bitching at the President for not doing everything he could have if we get another attack on our shores.

Grow the hell up people, stop being blinded by your own hate for a single man or a political party. There is a bigger issue at stake here and that is our way of life. It would be kind of hard to enjoy all those liberties, freedoms, etc if you didn’t have someone willing to pull out the stops to keep the bogey man away.

Posted by: Andrew at December 19, 2005 10:34 AM
Comment #104195

In case you forgot, 9/11 was a coordinated attack by foreign citizens upon U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. That is an act of war, and when President Bush signed this bill the U.S. was entering a war, not as conventional as previous wars have been but nonetheless a war. And in wartime the president’s powers are increased and his priority is shifted away from civil rights and toward national security. Compared to past presidents, this is actually a relatively minor, and legal, offense. Do not forget that Abraham Lincoln, who most consider to be the greatest president in U.S. history, imprisoned hundereds of U.S. citizens who were
possibly connected with the confederacy for years without them having commited a crime. Roosevelt, who many consider the 2nd greatest president in U.S. history, while reacting to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and other aggressions in the Pacific, gathered up the U.S. citizens of japanese descent and placed them in internment camps. What Bush did was unthinkable in peace time, but it was not and (despite the admonition of some) still is, and was and is legal.

Posted by: fORGETING SOMETHING at December 19, 2005 11:22 AM
Comment #104197

Andrew:

I put this to you if one “illegal” tapping of suspected terrorists phone prevented the death of your entire family and every friend you knew in a nasty dirty bomb explosion would it be worth it??

No. See, part of being a free nation is being willing to die for that freedom rather than see it lost. The right may call liberals cowards, but the fact is we’re quite willing to die for our beliefs and freedoms rather than betray them in the hopes of gaining some security.

Now I agree if people that do not deserve to be spied on are being tapped then I have issues, but if in fact everyone of these people do have some ties to Al Qaeda, then screw em listen in if it saves lives.

The problem with this reasoning is that we really don’t know if these people have ties to Al Queda or not. They’re suspected of it, but clearly the administration does not have proof of this or they would rather easily be able to obtain warrants. The fact that they’ve chosen not to seek warrants only indicates how flimsy the evidence is that these people have any real ties to Al Queda. What the government is doing is fishing for evidence of ties, and then using that evidence as the justification for the search in the first place. It’s rather like conducting a search of someone’s house on mere suspicion and then using the fact that they found weed or an unregistered gun or an illegal immigrant or something as the proof that the search was needed, even though they may have had no idea what they would actually find before going in and did the search entirely on a whim or because they didn’t like the person.

It would be kind of hard to enjoy all those liberties, freedoms, etc if you didn’t have someone willing to pull out the stops to keep the bogey man away.

It’s kind of hard to enjoy those freedoms if they’re being taken away in the name of protecting them. Only children are afraid of bogey men; if we’re to remain a free nation we need to be made of sterner stuff.

Posted by: Jarandhel at December 19, 2005 11:25 AM
Comment #104207

This is insanity. Any quarter of American society that supports allowing the POTUS to secretly wiretap Americans without having secured a warrant is either so blindly partisan or so blindly scared that they are beyond the reach of common sense.

Posted by Carla Ryan at December 16, 2005 06:18 PM

Yup! I thought it needed repeating.

Posted by: Dave at December 19, 2005 11:45 AM
Comment #104211

lol, Carla I beg to differ, again it is easy to sit on the outside and judge. But I again say I guarantee you if you lost family in a terrorist attack you would be the first one screaming why didn’t the government do more. And Jarand I will call you a bald face liar if you tell me you are okay with your child being killed or any child for that matter being killed in an act that could have been prevented. The fact is if you are not doing anything that makes you a suspicious character you have nothing to worry about. All you all are doing right now is specultaing the full facts are not out yet. And, as it seems that the purpose of some of the tappings maybe because it is need to know right now information, that yes it is better to do and get permission later, however, if the tapping is continous there needs to be a warrant for it. So what I am saying is that I am okay with them tapping the lines before asking permission, but they need to get the warrant asap. And if it is deemed by a judge that the warrant not be granted then all tappings must stop.

Posted by: Andrew at December 19, 2005 11:57 AM
Comment #104226

Andrew:


So what I am saying is that I am okay with them tapping the lines before asking permission, but they need to get the warrant asap.

The situation was completely avoidable.

i don’t think anyone would disagree with the fact had they followed the rule of law and acquired the proper warrants, no one would have had a problem with it. But, sadly, that isn’t the case. Much like other things that he’s done, he’s shot first and asked questions second.

i’m sure every law enforcement officer in the country would love to wiretap people without going through the necessary legal processes, but that’s not the case. We must abide by our laws; otherwise it’s the wild west; it’s chaos.

Defiant or not, Bush has put himself in deep do-do. His only possible out is the fact the Congress and Senate probably won’t begin impeachment processes because of their partisan beliefs. Instead of being beholden to the United States of America, i fear too many Republicans will be beholden to their party.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 19, 2005 12:43 PM
Comment #104231

Andrew, you are sadly underinformed in this matter. You say that these wiretaps are “need to know right now” matters, that they can’t wait to get warrants, and that is why Bush has waived them. You say that you’re ok with them wiretapping without asking for permission as long as they go get permission after the fact. Fine. The problem with that is *the law already provided for that without Bush’s authorization*.

The law already provides authorities, in emergency situations, the power to wiretap for up to 72 hours without first obtaining a warrant as long as the attorney general approves it. It also requires the attorney general to notify the judge of the authorization immediately, and apply for a warrant as soon as practicable but not more than 72 hours after such authorization is issued.

To put it simply, Bush is not authorizing these wiretaps without warrants because of a difficulty in obtaining warrants in time to get the necessary information. The *only* reason to authorize warrantless wiretaps is because they don’t have enough evidence to perform them legally. They are going fishing, plain and simple.

As for your assertion that I’m lying about being ok with a child dying if it is in any way preventable… what good is keeping that child alive if I have to sacrifice his or her freedom to do so? There are more important things in the world than safety and security, and no amount of fear mongering or pleas to think of the children is going to make me willing to sacrifice them.

One of the big ideas this administration and its supporters has touted is the idea that we need to give up certain ideals and freedoms in order to preserve our way of life and security. We’re given scenarios where a child’s life can be saved by one illegal wiretap. We’re given scenarios where cities can be saved by torturing one “known” terrorist. These things make great movie plots, but very bad legal precident and even worse tools for securing our way of life or our safety. If we say illegal warrantless wiretaps are alright if they save the lives of our children, what happens when our children grow up and they’re the ones being illegally wiretapped on mere suspicions? If we use torture to save a city, what happens later on when the government wants to torture some of the inhabitants of that city to get similar “vital” information? How long does it take to go from using torture on someone hiding a bomb to using torture on someone hiding a person, or a car, or a bag of weed? If we accept torture as a useful way to get a confession, where do we draw the line on what kind of confessions it can be used for? And if we allow it to be used on people who are merely suspected of being terrorists, without even being proven guilty in a court of law, how long is it till it is used on suspects of other crimes rather than them being presumed innocent until proven guilty?

Some people seem to be willing to sacrifice so much for security, and so little for true freedom. If tomorrow you could gaurantee an end to all terrorism forever by electing someone dictator for life over America and doing away with democracy, would you? How far, exactly, are we willing to go as a nation? How many freedoms are we willing to give away just to feel a little more safe?

Posted by: Jarandhel at December 19, 2005 12:55 PM
Comment #104246
This is insanity. Any quarter of American society that supports allowing the POTUS to secretly wiretap Americans without having secured a warrant is either so blindly partisan or so blindly scared that they are beyond the reach of common sense.

This thread, and the one on the red side, has shown just how blindly partisan some are. It is the same people, who less than a month ago were charging that the left was un-American, that are now supporting such an un-American measure. Those that made such claims about the left and now blindly support the President’s illegal spying on Americans, have lost a lot of credibility.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 19, 2005 1:38 PM
Comment #104287

I don’t think I am wrong in comparing this to Nixon when he wire tapped the Democrates. He finally quit the job of President to stop the action of Impeachment! Bush is doing the same thing, and do you think he would do other things with this power? Of coarse he would. He thinks he can do anything he wants. He has forgotten about the Osama Bin Laden things and gone after Sadam. He is on a power high! He is on a God trip. He needs to be stopped. Right now, he needs to be stopped.
Janea Hallford

Posted by: Janea Hallford at December 19, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #104338

Excuse me, but using your logic… I suppose then, that Clinton should have also been impeached afterall, since we now know that he did the same exact thing???? Did you not know that, or are you selective in using logic for your leftist political leanings?

Posted by: Gimmie at December 19, 2005 3:38 PM
Comment #104355

Impeach! Impeach! Please lord get the law breakiing lying, son of a crooked politician turned insanley crooked president out of office before the “Land of the Free” becomes “Land of the Rich and Powerfull.” This country is loosing it’s independance, it’s rights, it’s liberty and it’s justice for all. Wake up and smell the Bullshit before all that has been built here goes down Bush’s toilet!

Posted by: Lauren at December 19, 2005 3:59 PM
Comment #104358

Gimmie,

I didn’t know that. Could you give specifics? If it was found out that during his presidency he was spying on Americans without a warrant then yes, he should have been impeached.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 19, 2005 4:01 PM
Comment #104365

Actully, I wish Clinton would have been impeached or resigned in his second term. He did break the law and it would have been justified. If that would have happended then Gore would have taken over the Presidency. In the 2000 election he would have been the incumbant president. That would have been enough to push him over the top to win the election in 2000. Bush would have been sent back to Texas and we would not be fighting, for our liberties, rights and freedom, against our own government today.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 19, 2005 4:13 PM
Comment #104381

My idea was to have Clinton resign at the convention and make Gore president, just to mess with the VRWconspiracy.

Posted by: ray at December 19, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #104436

No worry unless you’re doing something you shouldn’t?!?!?! Amazing.

In my lifetime, the President has had an “Enemies List”. In my lifetime, the FBI Director had dossiers on most public figures and used them to intimidate and threaten. In my lifetime, people have been blacklisted from employment because they didn’t “believe the right things” or because they wouldn’t “name the names of those who had heretical ideas”.

If this isn’t impeachable, but sex is…I weep for our country. I mourn our constitution. And I laugh at our citizen’s concept of democracy.

MarkJ710

Posted by: MarkJ710 at December 19, 2005 5:15 PM
Comment #104758

I have been warning for the better part of four decades now that our nation is inexorably sliding into fascism at the hands of power-mad presidents who have lost touch with the American people and, as importantly, the immutable precepts of our Constitution. George W. Bush joins the hall of shame that includes Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. They share responsibility for sticking the needle of lethal injection into the arm of the American dream.

The latest example of this is Bush’s Saturday confession that he has committed at least 30 felonious and impeachable offenses by violating a 1978 federal law prohibiting wiretaps without a warrant issued by a court. It is also a violation of the Fourth Amendment that guarantees privacy and freedom from unreasonable search and seizures. Egregiously, Bush said he’d “do it again.”

Last month, Bush reportedly told a group of GOP congressman that he couldn’t care less about federal law and the Constitution. W had called the GOPicans into his office to push renewal of the (un)Patriot Act. When cautioned by some of the congressmen that a push to renew controversial parts of the Act that violate civil liberties could further enrage his conservative base, Bush exploded: “I don’t give a goddamn. I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

There is something gravely wrong with W; it is obvious that he has a serious personality disorder. Despite his duty-dodging in the Air National Guard, he certainly is as enamored of his undeserved “Commander-in-Chief” title as his is of playing military dress-up, sporting a flight suit and landing on aircraft carriers, all the while killing people with impunity by waging an unconstitutional war.

When reminded by an aide during the meeting that parts of the Patriot Act may violate the Constitution, Bush screamed, “Don’t throw the Constitution in my face! It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

“Just a goddamned piece of paper.”

This is what our sad state of leadership has come to: A cretinous chicken hawk who is just as willing to shred the very foundations of our nation as he is to trot our most patriotic young people off for cannon fodder, to say nothing of the genocide he has committed through his illegal war.

W’s callous disregard for the Constitution is obviously shared by his evil twin at the Pentagon, Don-pal Rumsfeld. NBC News recently revealed that Rummy’s Defense Dept. has been spying on perfectly ordinary and law-abiding Americans who oppose the war in Iraq. NBC obtained documents from a Pentagon database that showed 1500 such incidents of domestic espionage, which is prohibited by federal law as a direct result of similar chicanery under Tricky Dick during the Vietnam debacle.

Rummy’s Pentagon has even spied on a group of senior citizens in Florida who take issue not only with unjust war, but with unethical practices, admitted by the Pentagon, by military recruiters. Now there’s a crime.

The revelation by The New York Times, albeit a year late, that Bush had the NSA spy on Americans is another score for fascism and another nail in the coffin of the Constitution. Does anyone seriously expect Bush to obey federal law if he considers the Constitution “just a goddamned piece of paper”?

We ordinary Americans go about our lives trying to make ends meet in the crummy Bush economy; raising our kids with some sense of decency, ethics and learning; going to church, sporting and cultural events while trusting our government officials to follow the law and actually lead us to world peace and, in Jefferson’s words, to “the pursuit of happiness.”

It’s not happening now and won’t happen as long as a fascist cabal holds office in Washington. Instead, we’re stuck with a bush of fool’s fools to whom the Constitution is “just a goddamned piece of paper.”

God help us all.

(The writer is a long-time journalist and Air Force veteran.)

Posted by: Limo Liberal at December 20, 2005 9:54 AM
Comment #104789

I submit the 4th Amendment to the Constitution as proof of Bush’s felonious and impeachable criminality:

Amendment IV:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Bush confessed that he knowingly did not seek “warrants” as referenced in the 4th amendment, for his “surveillance.” He said he “would do it again.”

He has committed felonies and violated the Constitution. He and his criminal cabal must be removed from office.

Posted by: Limo Liberal at December 20, 2005 10:54 AM
Comment #104826

Hooray, Limo Liberal. I agree with everything except impeachment. Bush is so crooked and the congress is so subservient, that nothing will ever come of it, unless there’s a huge change after the 2006 elections.

Posted by: ray at December 20, 2005 11:46 AM
Comment #105306

Gimmie,

Actually, what Clinton (and Carter, too) did by Executive Order was to explicitly authorize the type of wiretapping that was laid out by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The language in the EO’s was *directly* lifted from that Congressional Act, and it did *not* authorize wiretapping of U.S. citizens in the manner in which it currently appears that Bush’s did. (It’ll be nice if and when we get more solid info on the current plan.)

In fact, Reagan *also* wrote such an Executive order, too, though his language was very much different than Carter and Clinton’s.

Check out the orders for yourself:

Reagan’s:
http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo12333.htm

Clinton’s:
http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo/eo-12949.htm

Carter’s:
http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/eo12139.htm


And here’s a link (already made Tiny) to the FISA law. (Well, one part of it, but you can easily get to the other parts with the Prev and Next links)
http://tinyurl.com/8o3yp


I only just stumbled onto this forum (and don’t know I’ll manage to get back to it, frankly) while doing a Google search, so none of you know me from Adam, but I consider myself on the conservative side of the spectrum, and I, too, find this program (as currently reported) very troublesome.

And as much as I don’t want to go down the road of impeachment again (true, the Left has been itching for that since before Jan. 20, 2001), if it is eventually proven that Pres. Bush exceeded his authority and broke the law (and in a pretty egregious way, it *appears* at the moment), then it may be necessary to go down that road.

I want more info before being on the side to advocate for it, but anyone being intellectually honest has to be open to that possibility, once all the info has come to light (which it certainly has not, yet).

Posted by: BoxMaster at December 21, 2005 5:56 AM
Comment #209065

Funny thing is that FDR did the same thing in the 1930’s. There were laws on the books prohibiting wiretaps yet FDR ordered J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap hundreds of Americans, including some of FDR’s own advisors. FDR felt that he had the authority to do this under the necessities of “national security.” I guess it was okay then because FDR was a “progressive.” History is merciless regarding party affiliations isn’t it. Thank goodness the author of this peace isn’t in charge of protecting anyone I care about.

I guess the fact that FDR imprisoned “American Citizens” by the tens of thousands is worse than Bush detaining foreign nationals at Guantanomo. I know simple logic doesn’t explain that. I’ll wait for the “liberal spin” to do so.

The thing that is really scary is liberals would like to see Bush fail even if it meant terrorists didn’t fail. Read Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book for a scathing critique of liberal compliciy and aid to terrorists. Disgusting is the operative word.

Posted by: Dave Thomas at February 20, 2007 1:36 PM
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