Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush-Cheney Openly Seek Dictatorial Powers

Vice President Cheney justified secretly spying on American citizens — and presumably also the secret abduction and detention of Americans that the US Supreme Court smacked ‘em down for last year — by saying the executive branch needs to be strengthened. That may be, but it doesn’t change the fact the he and President Bush are now crooks like Nixon.

"Watergate and a lot of the things around Watergate and Vietnam both during the '70s served, I think, to erode the authority I think the president needs to be effective, especially in the national security area," Cheney said.

Damned right they did, and rightly so. Cheney is right that this is a valid point for debate, but you don't do it by breaking the law and then daring Congress to impeach you. All that does is make the President and Vice President criminals thumbing their noses at the the law, the Constitution, Congress, our judiciary system, and the American people.

If secretly spying on American citizens is a power they really need, then they should have asked Congress to give it to them. Instead, like those assholes robbing convenience stores in Santa suits to protest the commercialization of Christmas, Bush and Cheney are common crooks who think they're rebels with a cause.

I swear to God, if my Congressman, Republican Randy "Duke" Cunningham, wasn't in jail for accepting bribes, I'd be camped in front of his office until he started the impeachment process. Bush and Cheney are crooks. It's that simple.

Posted by American Pundit at December 21, 2005 12:08 AM
Comments
Comment #105213

The Democratic Party: Standing up with pride in defense of Al Qaida’s god-given right to operate with complete impunity within the borders of the United States!

Congratulations! At long last we know what the Democratic Party stands for. It must feel good for them to find their mission in life.

1). No roving wire taps on anyone, even if a judge would order it under the provisions of the (now fillibusterd Patriot Act). Not even somebody carrying a suitcase nuke. Leave that guy alone! He’s probably just a misunderstood peace activist. He may even be a Quaker.

2). No eavesdropping on any American citizens, even (or especially?) those who have trained at Al Qaida camps, have met with Al Qaida operatives, and whose phone-calls overseas are to locations in Syria and Iran. They’re probably just misunderstood peace activists making those calls anyway. The right to make those phonecalls to Al Qaida and not have them monitored are precious civil rights. Exactly what our proud men and women and uniform have paid for with their blood throughout American history!

3). Impeachment! Those who seek the means to defend America or lift a finger to do so should be impeached! Who the hell do they think they are? Wasn’t that the lesson of 9-11? That we spend entirely too much time and effort worrying about nonexistant threats to our security?

Announcment paid for by the Democratic National Committee.

Posted by: sanger at December 21, 2005 12:41 AM
Comment #105216

Now, now AP,
Those strong words should only be spoken if a case can be made that the information gathered is directly related to something other than National Security. As it stands this is a policey issue better settled between the President and Congress.

However, since President and the Congressional Leadership kicked opened the door it is only Our Constitutional Duty to look into the Matter. Thus, if the Left would agree to a Public Hearing on the Matter before any PA Amendment is made perminant than I believe the Right has to go along with it or risk linking these actions with that of outing the CIA Agent and “Scooter” Libby.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 21, 2005 12:44 AM
Comment #105217

Sanger,
Maybe the Republican Party could start doing a better job of explaining their “Reason and Logic.” Or is it ok to govern off the top of your head at a time of war?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 21, 2005 12:48 AM
Comment #105220

Henry, nobody is asking for the measure to be made permanent (it has to be renewed every 45 days) and I’m not aware of anybody who has come out against a public hearing on the matter either.

We need that public hearing. Desperately need it.

We need to hear more both about the thousands of lives (according to officials) which have been saved as a result on eavesdropping on known Al Qaida associates AND the treasonous act of exposing this common-sense measure by double agents in our intelligence services and the media.

As you may recall, there was no outing of a CIA agent by the admistration. There is, however, a contradiction in stories by a former Democratic political operative named Tim Russert and an administration offical which has become the occasion for case regarding perjury which has yet to be tried.

Posted by: sanger at December 21, 2005 12:55 AM
Comment #105221

“I think there’s a very powerful case that the president has independent authority” to order surveillance without a warrant, said Robert Turner, a University of Virginia professor who specializes in national security law.

RESPOND TO EDITOR E-MAIL STORY PRINTER FRIENDLY FOXFAN CENTRAL
Debate Rages Over Legality of NSA Wiretap Program
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
By Greg Simmons
PHOTOS VIDEO

Click image to enlarge
STORIES BACKGROUND
•Lawmakers Seek Relevance in Wiretap Debate•Senators Want to Know Bush Wiretap Authority•Alito to Face Questions About President’s War Powers•Bush Addresses Patriot Act, NSA Spying•Bush: Vote a Landmark for Liberty•Gonzales: Congress OK’d Spying•Transcript: Bush Oval Office Speech
WASHINGTON — Legal and security experts continue to debate administration arguments that President Bush had the authority to tell the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on international calls starting or ending on American soil without a court warrant.

“There isn’t any question in my mind that this operation violated federal law. And once you determine that federal law was violated, you … reach a very troubling set of related conclusions,” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told FOXNews.com on Tuesday.

“I think there’s a very powerful case that the president has independent authority” to order surveillance without a warrant, said Robert Turner, a University of Virginia professor who specializes in national security law.

President Bush on Saturday acknowledged the existence of the secret program that gave the NSA permission to listen in on hundreds, maybe thousands, of phone and e-mail conversations involving people believed to be members or associates of Al Qaeda. The president has said the program is necessary to protect national security, and he and other administration officials say they stand on firm legal ground in the authorization of the program.

“It is good, solid, sound policy. It is, I’m convinced, one of the reasons we have not been attacked for the last four years. It’s absolutely the right thing to do,” Vice President Dick Cheney said Tuesday while traveling in Pakistan.

(Story continues below)

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Cheney repeated administration arguments that the authority is “absolutely consistent with the Constitution,” is reviewed every 45 days, has been approved by the Justice Department and is known among top congressional members with security clearances.

He added that if the NSA had the authority prior to Sept. 11, 2001, to listen in on terror suspects or affiliates who may be inside the United States then the agency may have been able to pick up on conversations between the hijackers and their overseas connections before the terror attacks.

Added Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff: “In this war we don’t have radar, we have intelligence.” If one considers the “total set of tools that we have, whether it is the NSA monitoring programs, whether it is the Patriot Act, these tools are critical tools in defending this country against terror,” Chertoff told FOX News.

But alarming many critics is the president’s decision to authorize surveillance without what is widely seen as a basic step to preserve constitutional rights: obtaining a warrant through the approval of a judge. In 1972, the Supreme Court punted on the question of whether the president is allowed to authorize wiretaps of foreign powers or their agents without a court order, Turner told FOXNews.com.

Administration Cites Law, Court Precedent

President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday cited three areas in which the administration has the authority to conduct warrantless domestic surveillance: presidential powers in Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution; the 2001 congressional authorization for the use of force after the Sept. 11 attacks; and the Supreme Court’s decision in the 2004 case of enemy combatant Yaser Hamdi, a Saudi-American citizen captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan who was held for three years without being charged.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan repeated the legal underpinnings used to justify the “signals intelligence.”

“Under Article 2 of the Constitution, as commander in chief, the president has that authority. The president has the authority under the congressional authorization that was passed and clearly stated that, quote, ‘The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force.’ This was under Section 2 in the authorization for the United States Armed Forces,” McClellan said.

“It is limited to people who have — one of the parties to the communication [who has] a clear connection to Al Qaeda or terrorist organizations and one of the parties [who] is operating outside of the United States. And I think that’s important for people to know, because there’s been some suggestions that it’s spying inside the U.S. That’s not the case,” the press secretary added.

Gonzales told reporters that the Supreme Court decision on Hamdi reinforced the claim that the president was given wide permission in the Sept. 14, 2001, vote by Congress authorizing the president to “use all necessary and appropriate force” against those behind the Sept. 11 attacks.

Gonzales said the congressional authorization did not specifically mention the word “detention,” but in the Hamdi case, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in the majority opinion “that detention of enemy soldiers captured on the battlefield … had been authorized by the Congress when they used the words, ‘authorize the president to use all necessary and appropriate force.’”

“We believe the court would apply the same reasoning to recognize the authorization by Congress to engage in this kind of electronic surveillance,” Gonzales said.


However, Turner, who is assistant director for the Center of National Security Law at the University of Virginia, argued that history is on the president’s side, especially before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 created a special, secret court to review surveillance requests.

“To the extent that the first 200 years of our history — basically 90 percent of our history when FISA didn’t exist — everybody seemed to understand that this was exclusive presidential territory … that can’t be taken away by Congress by statute.”

Turner said 1973’s United States v. Brown and 1978’s United States v. Humphrey — both appellate decisions — upheld the president’s authority to perform warrantless wiretaps in foreign intelligence, but a 1972 case that reached the Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of domestic surveillance related to “foreign powers or their agents.”

Posted by: Rylee at December 21, 2005 12:56 AM
Comment #105224

As person who started this blog clearly demostrates the demonrats will do anything repeat any thing including sedition ,and or treason to regain political power,actually this may be what this country really needs as one of your top leaders stated 2 days ago
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid even bragged that he had “killed the Patriot Act.”..and you can bet bin laden and friends are gleefully rubbing there hands in anticapatation waiting for this to occurr,when the terrorists then hit us and kill 1000s more we all will be able to rest assured that the rage of the average american voter will make 2006 a watershed year in which the dems will lose more seats in congress and the senate than they have ever lost in any election ever,hopefully it will be the end of these liabelious traiters currently in office.It really is sad that many more americans must die prior to this happening ,however for the good of the nation with blogs written such as this one the better good will come from this as they will no longer be able to do the damage they are currently doing.

There’s going to be a building outrage in more of the liberal media than anywhere else about this, and there are going to be>strong> Democratic members of Congress who are going to deny any involvement here. If they start to do that, then it is important that we understand where politics begins and ends and where policy begins and ends,” he told FOX News Radio.

Graham said he’s bothered by the fact that Gonzales apparently came to Congress and asked for an amendment to FISA and was advised it wasn’t possible without jeopardizing the program.

“It’s really a big problem and I’d like to know how that happened. If we have fell down on our job shame on us because I had rather amend the act for the future of our country then to have executives orders setting aside the act as a routine policy,” he said. “And I don’t think it’s fair to be briefed, to be asked to help and you stiff-arm the White House and then turn right around and blame them.”

Posted by: rylee at December 21, 2005 1:12 AM
Comment #105227

I have come to the conclusion that the democratic party as a whole is has completly gone off the deep end ,or perhaps they are victums of mass hynosis ?…however watch the result if the patriot act is allowed to expire and the NSA is forced to stop its interception program ,and another attack occurs …..It will be the end of the democratic partys power for decades hopefully longer,Meanwhile with the dems more concerned with the rights of terrorists be careful every one for we;ll see another attack in 06 for sure.

Posted by: Rylee at December 21, 2005 1:20 AM
Comment #105228

Rylee:

The 9/11 Commission recently gave all “F”s to your Bush for failing to upgrade our defenses in every way. Why do you carp on this issue? Where is your indignation in the fact that NOTHING has been done to enforce the 9/11 Commission Findings? The sheer hypocrisy of the WingNuts is beyond belief!!!

Posted by: Aldous at December 21, 2005 1:37 AM
Comment #105229

Sanger,
You said

Henry, nobody is asking for the measure to be made permanent (it has to be renewed every 45 days) and I’m not aware of anybody who has come out against a public hearing on the matter either.

Well, according to Fox News

“It’s a political game of chicken and neither side seems willing to blink. The standoff over renewal of the Patriot Act continued late Tuesday between Senate Democrats and President Bush and Republican leaders without any clues as to when a resolution could come.”

Now, I can understand the reason and need to move quickly on the issue of National Security; however, the fundamental problem is that some of these investigations were left off the book by not obtaining Legal Search Documents. How does that make any of us safer if action needs to be taken in the U.S.? Given the history of the Republican Party as well as the Democrats, just the idea that any single investgation was used for other than National Security wants me to revoke the power of the President out of hand. Yet, Common Sense tells me that “We” need this ability for the idiots that think violence is a way to change their society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 21, 2005 1:54 AM
Comment #105230

The truth of the matter is Bush & Co, haven’t busted up a single *terrorist* plot with their Stalinesque “Patriot” Act!

Washington Post reports that using PATRIOT Act provisions, despite wild exaggerations made by President Bush, the government has actually only convicted a handful of people for terrorism related activities.

Most of the total number of PATRIOT Act cases (81 percent) that concluded with conviction are immigration-related cases. Most of the 39 actual “terrorist” cases were not serious enough to warrant a prison term of more than 11 months.

Such cases could have been successfully prosecuted under pre-PATRIOT Act conditions, prompting civil liberties organization to insist that security need not come at the expense of rolling back Constitutionally protected civil rights and liberties.

Anti-war protesters have repeatedly been videotaped and otherwise spyed on. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050919/friedman I’m betting that the unauthorized spying Bush is accused of really has little if anything to do with “terrorism” and everything to do with intimidating and keeping tabs on the true *patriots*—those who oppose his war and this government’s slide into fascism (I know it’s a dirty word, but someone has to say it!).

So why is Frist refusing to extend Patriot until more time can be taken for serious debate before reauthorizing its provisions? Because a *terrorist* attack after 12/31/05 would give Bush everything he would need: blame the Democratic Party and accuse them of a long list of “treasonous” acts in an attempt to demonize them before he and the GOP implode. (Bush knows he needs it NOW, because this latest spying fiasco is diminishing his chances of getting full Senate approval.)

“But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”~General Herman Goering; President of German Reichstag and Nazi Party, Commander of Luftwaffe during World War II, April 18, 1946.

Posted by: Carri at December 21, 2005 2:20 AM
Comment #105231

sanger, decent Americans follow the law. President Bush could have done his spying on American citizens lawfully. He chose to break the law.

If Bush and Cheney felt the executive branch needed more power, they could have made a case to the Republican Congress for whatever they needed. Instead, they chose to break the law.

President Bush broke the law. He spit on the Constitution of the United States and thumbed his nose at the American people. He’s a criminal.

Posted by: American Pundit at December 21, 2005 2:20 AM
Comment #105232

Indeed. AP is right as always. The Bushies had 4 YEARS to amend the Constitution. They could easily bully their Conservative lapdogs into an even bigger Government and further weakening of State Rights.

And ofcourse, there is the lack of action on the 9/11 Commission Findings.

Posted by: Aldous at December 21, 2005 2:29 AM
Comment #105233

I failed to finish my line of thought…does anyone remember the steely resolve of Americans during WWII? Remember this line: “The only thing we have to FEAR is FEAR ITSELF!”? Now we have GW and his psy-ops team using the Politics of Fear, making Americans believe that the moment they fail to continue supporting our Fearless Leader and the Homeland’s policies of fascism we will be “hit” with a severe “terrorist” attack; or worse yet, be killed in our own homes by Muslims in dark robes and hoods. Hillary Clinton, et al, can speak for themselves when they talk about how we NEED the Patriot Act for “our security”. I’m not falling for the fear-mongering propaganda…

To refute anyone’s belief that the Patriot Act is needed to “stop the *terrorists*”, I believe Benjamin Franklin said it best: “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

AMEN!

Posted by: Carri at December 21, 2005 2:34 AM
Comment #105234

Henry S. said:

Yet, Common Sense tells me that We need this ability for the idiots that think violence is a way to change their society.

So you’ve bought into the “they hate our freedom” propaganda BS? If you would stop listening to FOX News & MSM, and did your homework, you would find that line of thinking is inherently FALSE! And even if it was true, WaPo had this to say:

“(Patriot-related)cases could have been successfully prosecuted under pre-PATRIOT Act conditions, prompting civil liberties organization to insist that security need not come at the expense of rolling back Constitutionally protected civil rights and liberties.” (see post above)

Ben Franklin’s words are worth repeating:
“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

Posted by: Carri at December 21, 2005 2:46 AM
Comment #105244

AP, first off, I’ve missed you. I don’t like it when you disappear, and I especially admire when you’re all fired up, like with this piece.

As you’d probably guessed, I agree. Bush, Cheney and their administration ARE CROOKS. Full Stop. No ifs, ands, or buts at this point. That is exactly what they are.
These crooks have proven in so many many ways that they want to opperate in whatever way they want, with no checks whatsoever upon them by the legislative and judicial branches of this nation.
It has been occurring to me lately that everything they’re doing, or have been trying to do since 9/11 seems to come under heavy debate (and that high level of debate should be telling all of us that something is seriously wrong), because clearly they’ve been assuming sweeping, unprecedented, and clearly UNCONSTITUTIONAL presidential powers.

From their lofty perch, these men know nothing about We the People. In their arrogance, they’ve continually shat upon our Constitution — because they have no respect for what it actually represents. And so, they believe they have the right to twist our American principles all out of whack in the name of their “War on Terror” catchphrase. Well, SCREW THAT and SCREW THEM.

Their fearmongering makes us WEAKER, because we are actually losing the MEANING of Amercia in the way they’ve chosen to go about “protecting” us from terrorism. And the glaringly obvious TRUTH of the matter is, none of what they’ve done actually does!

In FDR’s opinion, and in mine: “The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is Fear Itself”. Yet, all they talk of is fear —because they WANT us to be afraid.
I’m sick of it.
Give me liberty or give me death, motherf*ckers!
I’ve had enough of their bloody relentless fear and their version of “protection”. It doesn’t give them the right to trash the Constitution and break the law this way.

Look at this:

A surveillance program approved by President Bush to conduct eavesdropping without warrants has captured what are purely domestic communications in some cases, despite a requirement by the White House that one end of the intercepted conversations take place on foreign soil, officials say.

It’s all a bullsh*t smokescreen they’ve been using to make themselves dictators over us.

I’d personally rather die than have them turn this country into a Neocon-robot shell of its former self! Where every f*cking thing is done in secret, big brother is always watching, and nobody ever asks the uncomfortable questions of Our Dear Retarded Leader.

I can tell you this, one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and will ever have, died in the WTC on 9/11, and if he could speak today, he’d be even more angered and outraged by this administration than I am. He’d also be royally pissed off that they’ve taken his death as an excuse to kill this country and make it a cowering, timid, and fearful shell of it’s former self, just so that a bunch of stupid, greedy, monsterous FREAKS like Bush and Company could strip the idea of America and the word Freedom of all meaning.

Clearly it is long past time to demand a change of the guard, before there is no America, and no American ideals, left worth defending.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 21, 2005 3:29 AM
Comment #105250

Carri,
Did you know that the only way that has ever worked in changing the behavior of Humans throughout history is to show how “Stupidity” of an act is caused by violence? Being Unalienable Right Regardless in one’s actions and words allows even the youngest of us to call down Our Elders and their Authority? Try it some day and you might begin to understand what Ben was talking about by Liberty and Safety. Maybe some political leaders should learn that lesson of history.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 21, 2005 3:35 AM
Comment #105333

Sanger,
“The Democratic Party: Standing up with pride in defense of Al Qaida’s god-given right to operate with complete impunity within the borders of the United States! Congratulations! At long last we know what the Democratic Party stands for. It must feel good for them to find their mission in life.”

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!…ok, I’m ba.. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!… Alright, I’m back.

Sanger, that was so good, and so very, very right. Earlier this week, Senate Democrats were (actually) applauding when Senate “Minuteity” leader Harry Reid said “we’ve killed the Patriot Act”. Can you believe that a national party, POST 9/11, would actually have the audacity to do something like that?!!

And, of course, all we here from the otherside is how the repubs are the problem, the repubs are the ones “abusing” power. Last I checked, it is the repubs that are setting the agenda, winning the war in Iraq, stimulating growth to our economy, and (of course) keeping us safe, in regards to National Security, by going after the terrorists and not allowing them to use our laws in their favor.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 21, 2005 7:27 AM
Comment #105395

Rahdigly,
Question; how can the Republicans jump up and down for joy knowing that President Bush placed this Country’s National Security at risk. In fact, to play the Devil what happens if information leaks out that some political spin masters used this iformation for political gain and thus force the Republican House to Impeech one of their Own? No, this blounder ranks up there as one of the worst political moves in years. Or is it really true about what the Left says about the Right?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 21, 2005 9:11 AM
Comment #105396

I have come to the conclusion that the democratic party as a whole is has completly gone off the deep end ,or perhaps they are victums of mass hynosis ?…however watch the result if the patriot act is allowed to expire and the NSA is forced to stop its interception program ,and another attack occurs …..It will be the end of the democratic partys power for decades hopefully longer,Meanwhile with the dems more concerned with the rights of terrorists be careful every one for we;ll see another attack in 06 for sure.

================

Can anyone else pick up the irony here? Deep end, mass hysteria, end of the Dem party? This is more humorous than it is sad.

I don’t know how the party who hasn’t been in control of jack squat for the past few years (check the house, senate, executive and supreme ct to see what i mean goofball)— republicans are in the majority in washington. Since no one thinks for themselves in washington, the republican agenda has been the only one utilized since bush took office. no checks and balances.

Rahdigly:
Setting the agenda (thats the biggest issue, since most of the administration are incompetent and the world sees it, therefore any agenda they set forth should be poured over with a fine tooth comb so they don’t continue to f*** up. thats our jobs as citizens.)

winning the war in iraq the political DEBATE in this country continues on whether GWBush had adequate evidence to go to war against Iraq or simply deluded us into believing he did. However, many other nations have not been so hesitant. In July 2003, Bush announced he was cutting military aid to 35 countries, or those that supported the International Criminal Court, for refusing to sign an exemption guaranteeing that no American would be tried for war crimes. Bush has already been indicted for war crims in more than a dozen countries. Unless such an exemption was signed, once out of office Bush would have been unable to travel outside of the US without being arrested and tried for war crimes.

Despite all this uncertainty in this country about his culpability, apparently man abroad are convinced thta his actions in invading Iraq can be adjudicated as an international crime. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.

Keeping us Safe How so? By pissing off the rest of the civilized world? Killing poor people for control of the worlds larges oil reserves (he is an oil man, so was his father and his father’s father, you combine that with the US insatiable mass consumption / waste habits war for oil makes total sense to him.)

Rahdigly, you’ve lost it man, take your meds.

No, im just a liberal who goes against the president on a whim. But i’d rather think for myself than have the man think for me. 1984.

Posted by: tree hugger at December 21, 2005 9:11 AM
Comment #105404

Rahdigly:
Stimulating our economy? By doing what? Oh, let’s see. By raising how much the poor should pay for medicaid, and insuring that only the rich will be educated. But then again isn’t that what they want, to keep most of America stupid? After all the spying I guess it is working.

Posted by: michele at December 21, 2005 9:16 AM
Comment #105413

I keep asking myself one question: why is this leak “shameful” (to quote W.) and the leaking of a CIA operatives ID is less important?

More questions: Do any of us believe that the terrorists are so naive that they don’t take surveilance into consideration?

Do Bush & company believe the FISA court has been infiltrated by Al Quida?

Hey, I’m from Kansas and I think I missed out on the intelligence part of my design.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at December 21, 2005 9:24 AM
Comment #105438

We all know that Georgie BOY wants to become the current KING George. Too bad so many Americans are hoodwinked and bushwacked to give the power- hungry twit his wishes and so many of those who don’t won’t STAND together!

Posted by: qat at December 21, 2005 10:01 AM
Comment #105517

It is difficult for one to believe that some of the comments made regarding this issue are serious. Where have these people been for 5 or six years? Those who attack the Democrats for having gone off the deep end and for being unrealistic need to take the Lemming Test. You would find yourself, no doubt, scoring high on the test. Your comments, putting it mildly, are risible. We have a sitting president who has contniually lied to us about every major issue and now lies about the lies. Where are the WMD and ties to al Qaeda—remember? Return to the words of our fearless leader; either he lied or he was deluded. I’d prefer he lied (as most Presidents do) than be deluded. If you wish to claim the latter, go ahead. There comes a time when even fanatical Republicans will have to face the truth. This guy leads Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan in the race for the worst President contest. Peace

Posted by: cml at December 21, 2005 12:47 PM
Comment #105525

The following is a few excerpts from a news article from the Asian times.

Iran wins big in Iraq’s elections
By M K Bhadrakumar
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GL20Ak01.html

“And the reality is that the Middle East’s political compass shifted last week.

More importantly, the secular candidates who were believed to enjoy links with the US security agencies would seem to have been routed.

As the trends became available regarding the Iraqi elections of last Thursday, what has emerged is that contrary to all pre-poll projections, the Shi’ite religious coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), not only held together, but also can be expected to dominate the new 275-member National Assembly for the next four years.

Iran has, therefore, every reason to be pleased with the outcome of the election. Tehran sees that Iraq is now irreversibly on the verge of profound change, and transition is already in the air. The US is increasingly finding that it must come up with a clear plan to withdraw its troops from Iraq. As prominent Lebanese political observer Rami Khouri wrote on Saturday, Starting the American military retreat from Iraq is important because American troops will continue to be a divisive and destabilizing force, just as the American military presence in Saudi Arabia after the 1991 war was a major provocation leading to Osama bin Laden-type resistance and terror.

No less important for Tehran were the local Palestinian elections last week in West Bank cities. According to the preliminary results, the Islamic militant group Hamas won resounding victories

Hamas remains committed to the destruction of Israel, and is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the US and the European Union. The implications for the tepid peace process with Israel are bound to be serious. An existential dilemma forthwith arises for the international community: can it any longer remain myopic and exclude Hamas from the the Middle East’s political landscape?”

_____________________

The bottom line here is that our invasion of Iraq has shifted the balance of power towards Iran and has made our country much less safe that we were 4 years ago. We have spent 300 Billion dollars on this war and it has not given any additional security. Our presense in the middle east has caused so much resentment that radical politial parties like the Hamas have benefited and will soon run the Palestininan government.

While we have destabalized the middle-east we now are being asked to give up our civil liberties at home by those in power that preach fear and remind us of 9-11 everytime they get in trouble.

Posted by: RJacob at December 21, 2005 1:01 PM
Comment #105556

Are cons truly the cowards they seem to be here? I refuse to be manipulated by fear into giving up the freedoms my direct forebears risked their lives to protect. This situation is like the kid who gets bully_1 to protect him from bully_2 offering the bribe that bully_2 is asking for plus lunches for a week. Bully_1 sees bully_2 approaching to kick the kid in the shin for his money and bully_1 kicks the kid in the balls instead. Bully_2 digs the money out of the kids pocket and takes his lunch then says, “Problem solved. You’re safe.”

Replace bully_2 with terrorists and bully_1 with W. If the terrorists attack us because they hate our freedom, then W will take away our freedoms to solve the problem.

Posted by: JD in MI at December 21, 2005 2:19 PM
Comment #105576

treehugger,
“Despite all this uncertainty in this country about his culpability, apparently man abroad are convinced thta his actions in invading Iraq can be adjudicated as an international crime.”


51% of the American people don’t believe that; certainly not the military which voted nearly 4 to 1 for Bush’s reelection last year. I don’t care that there are people that “mudsling” and are using “conspiracy theories” about him to discredit him; that’s all part of being President.


michele,

Stimulating our economy? By doing what? Oh, let’s see. By raising how much the poor should pay for medicaid, and insuring that only the rich will be educated. But then again isn’t that what they want, to keep most of America stupid? After all the spying I guess it is working.”

America’s not stuck on stupid and neither is the President. A president that didn’t do what the president did would be considered “stupid” in my opinion. War was waged on us in 1996 and we had over 3000 Americans brutally murdered on our own soil; this president did what he had to do to make sure that didn’t happen again, AND IT HASN’T!!!!

As far as the economy is concerned:

4.3% economic growth
200,000 + jobs in the month of November
5% unemployment
Housing market was still booming in October
Inflation in check

All this in a quarter that had 2 (devasting) hurricanes, which took out our gas and oil supply for a little while, thousands of lost jobs lost in those hurricane-torn region, and high energy costs. The economy is doing well under Bush and it’s only going to get better. Bam!!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 21, 2005 2:54 PM
Comment #105579

stop listening to FOX New,yes, Deep end, mass hysteria, is what they produce.

Their purpose is to brainwash and propagandize; sanger, Rylee, and Rahdigly are their unfortunate victims. Anyone who ever heard GWBush speak, and still voted for him, is not concerned about our national security.

The newer media outlets are carrying on with the agenda of the National Review, to keep moving the country further to the right. They chased liberals out of the Rpblcn party, now we keep searching for the few “libertarian” members of their party when we need to preserve the freedoms in our constitution.

why is this leak “shameful” (to quote W.) and the leaking of a CIA operatives ID is less important?

Pure hypocrisy, one set of rules for them and their friends, another for their opponents.

Posted by: ray at December 21, 2005 3:04 PM
Comment #105596

It’s Legal

John Schmidt, associate attorney general of the United States in the Clinton administration, superbly explains why the NSA intercept program is legal under all authorities and precedents:

President Bush’s post- Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and e-mails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents.
In the Supreme Court’s 1972 Keith decision holding that the president does not have inherent authority to order wiretapping without warrants to combat domestic threats, the court said explicitly that it was not questioning the president’s authority to take such action in response to threats from abroad.

Four federal courts of appeal subsequently faced the issue squarely and held that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence purposes without judicial warrant.


Schmidt quotes the same language from the 2002 decision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review that we have cited repeatedly:

the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, composed of three federal appellate court judges, said in 2002 that “All the … courts to have decided the issue held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence … We take for granted that the president does have that authority.”
This morning, I sent the following email to New York Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and Adam Liptak (other Times reporters who have participated in the NSA stories do not publish their email addresses):

In your reporting in the Times you appear to have tried to create the impression that the NSA’s overseas intercept program is, or may be, illegal. I believe that position is foreclosed by all applicable federal court precedents. I assume, for example, that you are aware of the November 2002 decision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, in Sealed Case No. 02-001, where the court said:
“The Truong court [United States v. Truong Dinh Hung, 4th Cir. 1980], as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. *** We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.”

In view of the controlling federal court precedents, I do not see how an argument can be made in good faith that there is any doubt about the NSA program’s legality. Therefore, I wonder whether you are somehow unaware of the relevant case law. If you know of some authority to support your implication that the intercepts are or may be illegal, I would be interested to know what that authority is. If you are aware of no such authority, I think that a correction is in order.

Thank you.

John Hinderaker

Posted by: Lug at December 21, 2005 3:19 PM
Comment #105612

“The Democratic Party: Standing up with pride in defense of Al Qaida’s god-given right to operate with complete impunity within the borders of the United States!

Congratulations! At long last we know what the Democratic Party stands for. It must feel good for them to find their mission in life.”—Sanger

Gosh, does anyone else get sick of hearing programmed boobs like this rant? I know I do.

Sanger, please, do this freedom loving country a favor… Go to any country out there (and there’s quite a few to choose from) that offers no personal liberties to its citizens, spies on them to make certain they’re not a “threat to national security,” and has no concept of free speech and take up permanent residence… Please.

And if not that, please promise those of us who wish to see humankind continue to evolve in a forward direction that you will never, ever procreate… Hell, I’d be happy to send you a thousand bucks if you send me the receipt after getting “snipped.”

Posted by: MJ Shaw at December 21, 2005 3:29 PM
Comment #105615

Ray,
“why is this leak shameful (to quote W.) and the leaking of a CIA operatives ID is less important?Pure hypocrisy, one set of rules for them and their friends, another for their opponents.”


Actually, your comment just exposed your hypocrisy. You have a problem with a CIA leak when it is possibly a Bush Admin official (which turned out not to be the case) and when it’s a leak of “Secret CIA prisions” and the leaking of “NSA wiretaps” that expose us to our enemy on how we combat them, it’s not a problem.


Whatever!!! Some people in this country better wake up and figure out what side they are on, and fast!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 21, 2005 3:36 PM
Comment #105621

“I have come to the conclusion that the democratic party as a whole is has completly gone off the deep end ,or perhaps they are victums of mass hynosis ?…however watch the result if the patriot act is allowed to expire and the NSA is forced to stop its interception program ,and another attack occurs …” — Rylee

Good lord! The trained, rabid rats are coming in through the pipes today!.. Somebody, grab a shovel quick, and throw them out the window…

Perhaps it would be best to put such poor, pathetic, slobbering creatures out of their misery. Perhaps the “liberals” in this country should adopt a more “conservative” philosophy…

Perhaps “liberal” masses should become violent in expressing their beliefs as the “conservative” masses have shown works so very well…

Posted by: MJ Shaw at December 21, 2005 3:44 PM
Comment #105639

rahdigly!!!, I don’t even understand your post!!!, but you seem to be worried a lot!!! about our enemy , and you want people towake up and figure out what side they are on. Try Decaf tomorrow and maybe things will look better, and you’ll be cured of the exclamation points.

Posted by: ray at December 21, 2005 4:17 PM
Comment #105729

If the right wingers are correct, if the wiretapping of American citizens without a warrant (obtained even retroactively) is in fact legal, then the neocons have nothing to worry about. If, on the other hand, these acts were actually ILLEGAL, then these guys are history.
Count me among those who would cheerfully die to protect what these people so freely piss on. Real patriots don’t break the law to “serve the public good”.
What kind of a country will we have if bush & co prevail? Not one that I want to live in. All outrage aside, I honestly cannot comprehend anyone defending what is being done as far as the NSA spying on it’s own citizens.
Is there no appeal to be made, perhaps to the supreme court, to stop the spying? Where is the leadership?

Posted by: Steve Miller at December 21, 2005 6:31 PM
Comment #105760

Something I’ve discovered from my reading on this subject…
From 1979 until 2002 ALL FISA court surveillance requests had previously been granted. Every single one. Then for reasons known only to the FISA judges, four of this administrations surveillance requests were turned down. So, it seems that until this president, all the other requests had seemed legal and reasonable.
Therefore, it appears to me that Bushco decided that if they were going to recieve any kind of resistance from the FISA court over doing whatever it was they wanted to do, they’d simply circumvent the rule of law and discard the 4th Amendment.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 21, 2005 8:52 PM
Comment #105849

all this arguing about the moves of the elite…polish the brass on the titanic but we’re still going down. Global consumption, pollution, and over population have us doomed within the century. Our last democratic president was as much a slave to our military- industrial complex as the current tyrant in chief. its actually refreshing to have the corruption so in the open. enjoy the last few decades of civilization and stock up on duck tape. late

Posted by: drew46n2 at December 22, 2005 7:18 AM
Comment #106266
Whatever!!! Some people in this country better wake up and figure out what side they are on, and fast!!! Posted by rahdigly at December 21, 2005 03:36 PM

Rahdingly,

I’m on the side of our founding fathers, on the side of our troops and what it is they are fighting and dieing for. American freedom and liberty, our very way of life. Apparently, you are on the side of big government gone amuck.

“The Democratic Party: Standing up with pride in defense of Al Qaida’s god-given right to operate with complete impunity within the borders of the United States!

Congratulations! At long last we know what the Democratic Party stands for. It must feel good for them to find their mission in life.”—Sanger

Yes, yes, Democrats are for protecting terrorist organizations. OBL in 2008! Blah, Blah, Blah. Sanger, you obviously have not been paying attention or this is a feeble attempt to try and save your beloved party. Nobody is defending or even remotely suggesting that terrorists have any rights. We are talking about a President who has taken it upon himself to break the law and order warrantless wiretaps on American citizens. I hope he is wiretapping terrorists, that is what he should be doing, and nobody said he shouldn’t. He needs to follow the laws though when it comes to American citizens, otherwise we just have a dictatorship.

The reality is that we now know what the Republican Party stands for. Send someone else’s kids off to fight and die for your freedoms then hand those same freedoms over to the government at home. Make the President a Dictator and allow him to control our everyday lives, all in the name of safety. What a party!

Lug,

We are not talking about foreign spying here, the President can do all that he wants without a warrant. We are talking about domestic spying. The U.S. Supreme Court trumps all those federal courts of appeal you are so proud of, and they have already ruled in a 9-0 decision back in 1972 that the President does not have the authority to order warrantless domestic surveillance:

These Fourth Amendment freedoms cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances may be conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch. The Fourth Amendment does not contemplate the executive officers of Government as neutral and disinterested magistrates. Their duty and responsibility are to enforce the laws, to investigate, and to prosecute. Katz v. United States, supra, at 359-360 (DOUGLAS, J., concurring). But those charged with this investigative and prosecutorial duty should not be the sole judges of when to utilize constitutionally sensitive means in pursuing their tasks. The historical judgment, which the Fourth Amendment accepts, is that unreviewed executive discretion may yield too readily to pressures to obtain incriminating evidence and overlook potential invasions of privacy and protected speech.
It’s Legal

John Schmidt, associate attorney general of the United States in the Clinton administration, superbly explains why the NSA intercept program is legal under all authorities and precedents:

Lug,

Here’s some info on the this article you cited:

Ex-Clinton official Schmidt’s defense of warrantless wiretaps, cited by York and Angle, rife with inaccuracy, empty arguments, and unwarranted credulity

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 7:03 PM
Comment #106271
In view of the controlling federal court precedents, I do not see how an argument can be made in good faith that there is any doubt about the NSA program’s legality.

I think the U.S. Supreme Court might want to disagree with you and Mr. Schmidt.

Therefore, I wonder whether you are somehow unaware of the relevant case law.

No, but apparently you and Mr. Schmidt are unaware of the relevant case law. It’s United States v. United States District Court

If you know of some authority to support your implication that the intercepts are or may be illegal, I would be interested to know what that authority is.

How about the U.S. Supreme Court?

If you are aware of no such authority, I think that a correction is in order.

No correction is in order from this side. You might want to talk to your friend John Schmidt, though.

United States v. United States District Court

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 7:16 PM
Comment #106694

Like a lot of things that have happened in my
country in the past few years, I find I don’t
actually mind the act in principle, but more
teh fact that I was not told about it. If we
accept the administrations secretly monitoring
individuals within our borders, who knows what
else they are not telling us about, but doing
“for our own good”.

Posted by: tattooddood at December 23, 2005 12:41 PM
Comment #106696

Like a lot of things that have happened in my
country in the past few years, I find I don’t
actually mind the act in principle, but more
the fact that I was not told about it. If we
accept the administrations secretly monitoring
individuals within our borders, who knows what
else they are not telling us about, but doing
“for our own good”.

Posted by: tattooddood at December 23, 2005 12:42 PM
Comment #117885

Not only is your post an excellent commentary on the one of the many abuses of power in the Bush administration but the line:

“I swear to God, if my Congressman, Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham, wasn’t in jail for accepting bribes, I’d be camped in front of his office until he started the impeachment process.”

is VERY WITTY!

Posted by: DonnaToo at January 28, 2006 12:09 PM
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