Democrats & Liberals Archives

The dissed court: What happens when a President decides he's a dictator?

Today, it was announced (link) that FISA court members, including the Head of FISA court are arranging briefings from administration and justice department officials surrounding the legality of President Bush’s American Citizen Surveillance Program (ACSP).

The FISA court (now shy one Judge after his resignation in protest) wants to know why they believed that secretly listening in on telephone conversations and reading of American citizens' emails was legal.

They also want to know if any of the information that they received through these, potentially illegal, surveillance actions was used to gain wiretaps on other American citizens.

The presiding FISA Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who also sits on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, told fellow FISA court members by via that she is arranging for them to convene in Washington, preferably early next month, for a secret briefing on the program. Based on the outcome of this meeting, they may demand from the Justice Department the proof that the wiretaps previously granted by the FISA weren't tainted by illegally obtained evidence.

They also, as a move of potential protest, could suggest disbanding the court if the President feels that he has the power to bypass the court.

Wow.

That's some pretty serious anger. And before some of the neo-con faithfuls begin the normal "attack the messenger" model, take a look at the backgrounds of the FISA court members questioning Bush's actions first.

If a court is disbanded because of the illegal actions of a President, what's next? The creation of a new Presidential Position: King George Bush (KGB)?

Posted by john trevisani at December 22, 2005 11:43 AM
Comments
Comment #105984

Good. The country needs an investigation into the President’s activities with regard to wiretaps. At the very least, this will help clarify the legal standing of those wiretaps. While my gut reaction is to say “Impeach! Impeach!”, there needs to be an objective analysis of this issue in order to properly determine the next course of action. Because, fundamentally, these wiretaps are a question of legality, not politics (as some of the red column have indicated). While HIGHLY unlikely, it is entirely possible that a legal conclusion can be reached that permits the President to do warrantless wiretaps during the particular conditions we are currently living under. Let’s wait and see….

Posted by: ant at December 22, 2005 12:09 PM
Comment #105986

nice post John, but it doesn’t matter what happens next - because we won’t know about it. In societies with effective secret police, people just disappear and are never heard from again.

Fortunately that doesn’t happen in the ‘love it or leave it’ US- by the way, who’s Jose Padilla?

Posted by: CPAdams at December 22, 2005 12:10 PM
Comment #105989

You Libs are a rip. You wouldnt know the truth if it slapped you in the face. Truth to to libs is like garlic to a vampire. Your man “I Luv Head” Bubba did the very same thing. Were was the human out cry then. Hows about 1000 files taken from FBI all files were on Republicans. People in glass houses should not throw stones. Bush won you “war Hero” I got 3 purple hearts in 3 months Kerry Lost. Get over it.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 12:13 PM
Comment #105996

And please, no replies that contain some version of how LBJ did it and Nixon did it too (secret surveillance).

As a society, we became so disgusted with POTUS and other top govt officials spying on people that FISA came into existence as a necessary balance against greater govt powers .

Sounds like Bush likes good old days (he always was nostalgic) when leaders were called Lord or God or Your Most Exhaulted Highness.

I like Frank Langella’s line in “Dave” the best -
‘he’s not the president, he’s a regular person - I can kill a regular person’

[SIGHING WISTFULLY, sung in your best Barbara Streisand voice] memories…

Posted by: CPAdams at December 22, 2005 12:18 PM
Comment #106008

Hey, ya gotta love W. I mean, he put the ‘dic’ in dictator… right?

Posted by: tony at December 22, 2005 12:23 PM
Comment #106011

Actually Billy Bob put the “dic” in dictator - matter of fact he put the “dic” in many other areas too.

Posted by: mike at December 22, 2005 12:27 PM
Comment #106013

I would have to agree that we should not risk accidentally finding out that Mr. Jones likes to wear womens clothes in exchange for saving a US city from being nuked - makes sense to me

Posted by: Mike at December 22, 2005 12:29 PM
Comment #106019

In before some conservative says “But…but…but Clinton!!!”

“Bubba did the very same thing”

Oh wait…

1, 2, 3, 4 posts. Is that a record?

Posted by: chantico at December 22, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #106028

Lets not gloat. As the noose tightens on Bush and the neocon junta they will become more dangerious. Expect the worse. At some point we can expect attacks from the cadre of brown shirts they have cultivated(see Thomases response).
We have a habit of trying to understand and empathsize with our enemies. When we deal with these enemies of liberty we should give no quarter even though most of us can sympathize with their underlying unresolved latient homosexuality.

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2005 12:43 PM
Comment #106035

Typical reply Thomas, a right-winger wouldn’t bother with the facts or take the time to look them up. NONE (zero? notta?) of Clinton’s wire-tapping occurred against U.S. citizens on U.S. soil. IMPEACH! Let’s see is breaking the law more or less impeachable than a blowjob????

Your righties have some morality measure.

While you’re at it weigh a blowjob against the deaths of 2,100 Americans & 100,000 brown Iraqi civilians.

Posted by: Mert at December 22, 2005 12:54 PM
Comment #106036

Chantico

Pointing out that Clinton did the same thing is very appropriate in this case. It shows past presidential practices and precedents. The essence of the charge is that President Bush went beyond his legitimate powers. Only a few presidential powers are explicitly granted or forbidden by the Constitution. The rest (like our common law) is the result of tradition and precedent. If this was a practice of other presidents since 1978 when FISA was enacted, it proves Bush not guilty since he was following established procedures.

So the “Clinton did it” is not a line is not a partisan attack on Clinton; it is an affirmative defense of Bush.

Re FISA effect, I quote from the Weekly Standard

“Consider the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the French Moroccan who came to the FBI’s attention before Sept. 11 because he had asked a Minnesota flight school for lessons on how to steer an airliner, but not on how to take off or land. Even with this report, and with information from French intelligence that Moussaoui had been associating with Chechen rebels, the Justice Department decided there was not sufficient evidence to get a FISA warrant to allow the inspection of his computer files. Had they opened his laptop, investigators might have begun to unwrap the Sept. 11 plot. But strange behavior and merely associating with dubious characters don’t rise to the level of probable cause under FISA.”

Posted by: jack at December 22, 2005 12:54 PM
Comment #106038

Thomas,

I want to thank you for that perfect example of mindless Bush sheep speak. It had all the classics. You said nothing,but included catchy analogy”Truth to to libs is like garlic to a vampire.”You sounded like you knew what you were talking about.
A thing of beauty.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at December 22, 2005 12:55 PM
Comment #106040

It is with incredible disappointment that I look at the people around me. Generally they say torture is OK, have no problem with GW spying on citizens, and that there is no difference between Dems and Republicans. I’m glad the courts themselves are looking to protect their turf, congress has already abdicated power to the corporations and the Bush crime group. I have started a savings account for 2008. If the Dems cannot mount an effective challange to the noecons I’m out of here.

Posted by: Parker at December 22, 2005 12:57 PM
Comment #106041

Jack,

“Clinton did it too” is only relevant if Clinton did exactly the same thing (bypass the FISA court to perform wiretaps). Otherwise it is just lazy moral thinking - like saying saying that I can beat my wife because my neighbor uses drugs.

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 22, 2005 1:00 PM
Comment #106046

Hey libs, take a look at this before you continue on with the “Bush is emperor” mantra:


http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0512210142dec21,1,2062394.story?coll=chi-technology-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true


“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.”

“I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president, but it is authority we have needed in the past and, in the light of history, could well need again.”

Posted by: rahdigly at December 22, 2005 1:04 PM
Comment #106047

A question for Bush defenders: Would you want to give President Hillary Clinton a magic “national security” wand that let’s her bypass Congress and the courts?

Rahdigly,

I’m not registered to read Chi Trib, but the judges on the FISA court apparently think otherwise…

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 22, 2005 1:11 PM
Comment #106048

It does not matter who “did it first” or that others have also done it. Wrong is still wrong. Put the current spying on Americans together with the myriad of other erosions of our civil freedoms and rights that have occurred since 2001, along with reckless fiscal and environmental policies and what we have is a record of an administration that is out of control. The most sickening part is the “who cares” attitude about the future consequences of their actions.

I can only dream of a time when politicians will realize that Niccolò Machiavelli was wrong.

Posted by: J. R. Milks at December 22, 2005 1:12 PM
Comment #106050

So color me confused. What are you talking about when you say Clinton did it? Are you talking about the order that gave the attorney general authorization to pat down NON american citizens for 12 months, as long as they were reasonably NOT US citizens? Because that was neither a multiple year program nor a program directed at US citizens.

Or are you talking about FISA? The provision that allowed warrantless searches “exclusively between foreign powers.” (AKA: NOT on american citizens) Or perhaps the section where it says that the president at at time of war can use warrantless searches for NO MORE than 15 days?

Posted by: chantico at December 22, 2005 1:14 PM
Comment #106056

This blog at the Universit of Chicago’s School of Law addresses the issue in some detail:

Cass Sunstein

This appears to be a very complex legal issue. It is certainly less than “Bush the Dictator” and certainly more than “Clinton and Carter did so why can’t I?”.

Posted by: George in SC at December 22, 2005 1:24 PM
Comment #106057

Woody and JR

It matters a lot who did it first because the whole process is based on precedent. In the U.S. we rely on precedent. It has the force of law. That is the whole basis of our system and it is the whole basis of our discussion. The Constitution gives the president certain duties and implies the powers necessary to carry them out. Presidents, courts and congress work out what this means in practice. This one is still not worked out to the satisfaction of reasonable people.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. wrote that the life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience. The experience of former presidents under similar conditions is the key to judging this one.

This will end up in the courts and they will decide whether or not the president exceeded his authority. But the issue is murky, which means that you can’t claim it was a criminal act. Reasonable people will disagree.

Posted by: Jack at December 22, 2005 1:27 PM
Comment #106060

For me, it’s very odd to hear the, almost, blind support for the President. Sure it’s easy for some to do the ‘dogpile on the rabbit’ thing and jump all over Bush for doing something stupid. But this goes beyond stupid.

i think that his behavior is nothing new. Bush has proven that he has little time or patience for dissent and has proven that he will go around procedures to get what he wants. For i you recall, he ripped out the UN inspectors BEFORE they were finished. He claimed that HE knew better than the UN inspectors and chose to go to war. With the ACSP, he decided that the court was in his way and he went around them.

It’s a pattern.

Bush Supporters:
If the FICA law explicitly states what you can do and what you can’t do with regards to surveillance. What is the law that Bush is grasping on to support his actions?

Posted by: john trevisani at December 22, 2005 1:29 PM
Comment #106061

Woody, JR and Chantico,

The President has the legal authority to do what he did. The courts said so:


“Every president since FISA’s passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act’s terms. Under President Clinton, deputy Atty. Gen. Jamie Gorelick testified that “the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”

“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. In the most recent judicial statement on the issue, 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.”

“I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president, but it is authority we have needed in the past and, in the light of history, could well need again.
—————
John Schmidt served under President Clinton from 1994 to 1997 as the associate attorney general of the United States.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0512210142dec21,1,2062394.story?coll=chi-technology-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true

Posted by: rahdigly at December 22, 2005 1:33 PM
Comment #106063

John-

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.

That’s by John Schmidt who served under President Clinton from 1994 to 1997 as the associate attorney general of the United States.

Chicago Tribune

Posted by: George in SC at December 22, 2005 1:37 PM
Comment #106067

Guess we overdid that link a little bit! Oh well, again it shows that this is more than just a partisan issue….

Posted by: George in SC at December 22, 2005 1:41 PM
Comment #106068

Jack,

So why would you say the FISA law was passed? Wasn’t it b/c it was evident that past Presidents were overstepping there authority? Now your man Bush has completely disregarded this law b/c it isn’t convenient for him. Well democracy isn’t always convenient but it keeps checks and balances on the power. So it really doesn’t come down to his spying on terrorists, it’s the fact that there is no oversight. Remember the old saying… Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely!

Posted by: Tony CO at December 22, 2005 1:43 PM
Comment #106073

Colleen Kollar-Kotelly?

http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/kotelly-bio.htm

Not too surprising, huh?

C’mon, this isn’t going to stick either.

Posted by: Ynot at December 22, 2005 1:49 PM
Comment #106076

George in SC:
But the FICA court themselves are questioning Bush’s rationale.

Gonzalas claimed the post 911 power as the rationale. That power was not intended to cover domestic surveillance without oversight let alone a rubber stamp of a FISA court. For if, as Bush’s team allege, that this power was so insanely broad; it would contradict FISA and the Constitutionality of powers afforded to the President. Didn’t the PATRIOT ACT also want warrantless searches too? That’s inconsistent. Why would the Bush go after a lesser power in the USA PATRIOT Act if he already claimed to have it?
Why? Because the 911 power was never intended to do domestic spying.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 22, 2005 1:51 PM
Comment #106078

I believe this uproar over Clinton’s exception is unfounded for the following reasons:

1)This was a Physical search they were speaking of. Those were not covered by FISA then.

It wasn’t illegal at the time. Unwarranted wiretaps have been unquestionably illegal for the last 27 years, though.

There were questions about whether such physical searches were fully legal, so…

2)Clinton suggested that a reasonable addition of such warrant protection be added to the FISA statute.

This demonstrates both that Clinton was sensitive to the search and seizure issues, but also to national security concerns.

And, most importantly,

3)A provision requiring warrants was added successfully to FISA, and Clinton never challenged it.

Clinton, for all his problems, was willing to operate here within the law. For those who think that this was insufficient. Let me remind you that many of these terrorists could have been stopped cold with a decent watchlist, used with due diligence. It was laziness that got us, in many ways, and most of the time people simply circumvent the law here out of laziness.

I believe that sometimes, in desperate times, we need to give the rules a rest and do what we have to. But in that case, we need to be willing to both consider and take on the consequences of our actions, and not do the shameful sort of tap dancing and posturing that this supposedly bold and moral administration is doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 22, 2005 2:00 PM
Comment #106079
You Libs are a rip. You wouldnt know the truth if it slapped you in the face. Truth to to libs is like garlic to a vampire. Your man “I Luv Head” Bubba did the very same thing. Were was the human out cry then. Hows about 1000 files taken from FBI all files were on Republicans. People in glass houses should not throw stones. Bush won you “war Hero” I got 3 purple hearts in 3 months Kerry Lost. Get over it.

Thomas,

Where was the human out cry then? Just because the Repubs in Congress were too busy acting like perverts, snooping into the President’s private sex life and ignoring everything else, is no excuse for what Bush has done. The important thing about history is that we learn from it so that we do not make the same mistakes again.

So, maybe the lesson for Bush should have been to get a BJ from an intern, have it leaked to distract the country, while he played dictator. Governing is all about distracting the public. Up until now Bush and Congress have been very good at distracting the public, but they have both lost a lot of credibility recently, that will make it more difficult for them to use diversion techniques. Public outrage at the government has been caused by the wealth of realities coming out of Washington. Scandals galore, mis-handling of tax payer dollars, possible wrongdoing to get us into the war with Iraq, gerrymandering congressional districts to guarantee the Repubs win elections, bribery, no bid contracts, etc., etc., etc., and now this.

The people who are trying to justify these wrong doings by pointing to other administrations who have done them, only causes public outrage to grow. The power of the Executive has grown further than most are comfortable with. How can you possibly justify one wrong with another? I learned in elementary school that 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

The current situation has the potential to have a good outcome for America or a very bad outcome for America. This is a time that we should seize to define exactly what the powers of the Executive are. If we overlook these wrongs then we will only see Executive powers grow and our freedom shrink. If we say that the Executive with this kind of power is nothing more than a dictator and send the message that he/she must work within the government structure setup by the Constitution, then Americans will have done what Americans have fought and died for over the past 200+ years.

The President may be charged with protecting this country and keeping it safe, but so is the Congress. The courts are charged with making sure that the government protects this country by not letting the system run amuck. When the President makes laws while bypassing Congress and the Judiciary, then yes, he is a dictator.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 2:03 PM
Comment #106081

John,
“Why would the Bush go after a lesser power in the USA PATRIOT Act if he already claimed to have it? “

B/c the Patriot Act knocked down the “wall” that had been built in regards to information gathering. It allowed us to “connect the dots” and, it certainly augments the existing laws and policies (that were futile) and helps us fight terrorism better.

Check the “Chicago Tribune” story (in previous posts by George in SC and myself); it’s from a former Clinton Official and you’ll see that the prez has the authority to do warrantless searches.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 22, 2005 2:04 PM
Comment #106083
This will end up in the courts and they will decide whether or not the president exceeded his authority. But the issue is murky, which means that you cant claim it was a criminal act. Reasonable people will disagree.

You sound like a good defense lawyer Jack. ;)

The point about “responding” to an attack raises another question: How long does the president have to do this? The US was attacked for four years ago. Are we under perpetual martial law now?

Posted by: Woody Mena at December 22, 2005 2:05 PM
Comment #106084

John,
I’m enjoying watching you kick rightwing butt with each of your replies! Well done, and way to go, sir. :^)

Woody:
“the judges on the FISA court apparently think otherwise…”

Exactly. Their reaction and opinions on what Bush has admitted to are something I’m willing to take much more seriously than any of those from the rightwing posters in this blog.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 22, 2005 2:06 PM
Comment #106090

Maybe our right wing friends could explain why, of the judges who are questioning the presidents power, 11 of 12 were appointed by Rehnquist - why are they concerned? Please show me how you will twist that into a liberal-political conspiracy.

Also, explain to me how Bush is prevented from wiretapping by FISA when:

1-the statute explicitly allows the government to act for 72 hours without obtaining a warrant

2-since its creation in 1978, surveillance court has rejected requests a total of FOUR TIMES.

you see, my ideologically constricted friends, surveillance court is as close to a rubber stamp as you can get. “the court is a hindrance” argument has more holes in it than rejected FL votes from 2000.

let me paint the picture for you: a court, 90% appointed by William Rehnquist, is asking the president: “excuse me, but we’re friends, appointed by a conservative chief justice. you would receive the widest possible latitude from this court. what is going on that you are afraid to come to us?”

If this isn’t a smoking gun, it’s about as close as you can get.

Posted by: CPAdams at December 22, 2005 2:13 PM
Comment #106098
Gonzalas claimed the post 911 power as the rationale. That power was not intended to cover domestic surveillance without oversight let alone a rubber stamp of a FISA court. For if, as Bush’s team allege, that this power was so insanely broad; it would contradict FISA and the Constitutionality of powers afforded to the President. Didn’t the PATRIOT ACT also want warrantless searches too? That’s inconsistent. Why would the Bush go after a lesser power in the USA PATRIOT Act if he already claimed to have it? Why? Because the 911 power was never intended to do domestic spying.

john trevisani,

Gonzalas basically said the same thing:

“This is not a backdoor approach,” Gonzales said at the White House. “We believe Congress has authorized this kind of surveillance.” He acknowledged that the administration discussed introducing legislation explicitly permitting such domestic spying but decided against it because it “would be difficult, if not impossible to pass.”

Congress authorized the surveillance, but it would be impossible to get it passed in Congress?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 2:17 PM
Comment #106108

To respond to you libs that say Bubbas BJ didnt cost 2,000 lives. Let me suggest to you that if Bubba wasnt so pre-occupied with his manhood,perhaps 9/11 might not have happened. The presidents first obligation is to the security of our country. We all know that wasnt Bubba concern. Now lets talk about Iraq and how it wasnt a threat to our National security. Why weren’t you libs up in arms over Bubba taking the mighty Bosnian people. Please explain to me how Bosnia was a threat to our National Security. and by the way Bubba did Bosnia without the approval of the U N. If there is a lib out there with any balls. Please respond.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 2:26 PM
Comment #106116

Thomas,

I love how you righties cherry pick facts and spin them to your liking. (trickle down effect i guess) First on your 9/11 comment — maybe if Bush hadn’t completely disregarded the Clinton administrations warning that terrorism should be there number one focus we wouldn’t of had 9/11.

Now Bosnia — you are correct they didn’t have UN approval but they went in with NATO, so it wasn’t a unilateral move like what we have in Iraq.

Next.

Posted by: Tony CO at December 22, 2005 2:37 PM
Comment #106122

Tony,

Do you know the definitions of unilateral. If you do then you must know more than one cannot be unilateral. So lets get the facts streight. So Bubba gave Bush warning about terrorism. My question is why didnt Bubba respond to terrorism ie the Cole the Embassy. Please explain Bubbas lack of response and how that is fighting terrorism. When it comes to defending our Nation the Dems just dont get it. You dont stick your head in the sand and expect to crush terrorism.. Your “war hero” I have 3 purple hearts in 3 month kerry lost the election. Bush won get over it.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 2:48 PM
Comment #106123
Congress authorized the surveillance, but it would be impossible to get it passed in Congress?

Up is down.
Black is White.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 22, 2005 2:50 PM
Comment #106125

Aye ya ‘ol bushywushy is at it again! Yet I am not suprised with this new debacle, it’s right up his assclown alley. Still I was furious when I heard what he’s up to. I wonder if he has even read the constitution….Gah! Screw him I’m moving to Canada. Oh, yeah well said Tony.

Posted by: candice at December 22, 2005 2:53 PM
Comment #106131

Well, Thomas I did Not vote for the evil monkey that is W and neither did alot of us. We don’t have to get over it because it’s a free f—king country! Sadly your main man W is trying to take that away!

Posted by: candice at December 22, 2005 2:58 PM
Comment #106135

Thomas. Bush very well proabably broke the law. Get over it.

Posted by: chantico at December 22, 2005 3:02 PM
Comment #106137
We all know that wasnt Bubba concern.
Define ‘we’.
Now lets talk about Iraq and how it wasnt a threat to our National security. Why weren’t you libs up in arms over Bubba taking the mighty Bosnian people. Please explain to me how Bosnia was a threat to our National Security. and by the way Bubba did Bosnia without the approval of the U N. If there is a lib out there with any balls. Please respond.


Balls i have.
Thomas,
This is what the President vows to do:


“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.”

If you are aware where is says that the President may do as he wishes, use at his whim the resources of the American government, by all means… i’m all ears.

Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution…
i take that to mean:
- i will PRESERVE the constitution
- i will PROTECT the constitution
- i will DEFEND the constitution

That means, to me, he will live by the law. And if someone (and that means every citizen in the country) DISAGREES with the law; try to change it. If you go around the law, that’s called illegal. Period.

Bosnia has nothing to do with this discussion. If you want to have a separate thread on Bosnia and National Security and Military Intervention, by all means; i’ll join in. But this thread is about how the FICA court is questioning the legality of Bush’s actions.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 22, 2005 3:06 PM
Comment #106142

You all are making a mountain out of a mole hill. Luckily we live in a place in which if the president does exceed his authority we have system which will catch such mistakes and let him know he has gone beyond his reach. Unless he knowingly and intentionally took such actions, he has done nothing wrong. After the courts are through with the situation, the evidence obtained by the wiretap will be thrown out of court, the president will be informed that he has exceeded his authority, and everyone goes back to normal. No harm done. What’s the problem?

Posted by: goindhoo at December 22, 2005 3:12 PM
Comment #106146

Thanks, John.

and Thomas, that court was appointed by Rehnquist, not exactly one of those “liberal courts”. No, these are blood and guts conservative judges. And it is these judges who have a problem with the president’s actions.

rather than defend everything Bush does, don’t you have some questions about that?

this republic was founded on the rights of life and liberty, not just life. we expect our leaders to keep us safe while preserving our liberty at the same time.

if giving up some liberty is OK with you, might I suggest you go find yourself a monarchy?

Posted by: CPAdams at December 22, 2005 3:14 PM
Comment #106149
So the “Clinton did it” is not a line is not a partisan attack on Clinton; it is an affirmative defense of Bush.

It would be an affirmative defense, if it were true. However, it’s just not true.

The Clinton administration program, code-named Echelon, complied with FISA. Before any conversations of U.S. persons were targeted, a FISA warrant was obtained. CIA director George Tenet testified to this before Congress on 4/12/00:
I’m here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency…

There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, the position of the Bush administration is that they can bypass the FISA court and every other court, even when they are monitoring the communications of U.S. persons. It is the difference between following the law and breaking it.

Source Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 3:17 PM
Comment #106153

goindhoo,

you can go find a king as well.

and exactly what system was going to catch Bush? in case you’ve missed the whole debate, there is no system because Bush has left no paper trail. congressmen and senators were prevented from discussing the program with ANYONE under pnealty of law.

How’s that for a kick in the head? - Bush proceeds with an illegal program for 3 years because senators were bound by law to keep it secret, even if they thought it was illegal. they couldn’t even get legal opinions.

The “system” that caught him was agency insiders who leaked the story because they didn’t think it was legal either.

Posted by: CPAdams at December 22, 2005 3:22 PM
Comment #106159

That’s it! IMPEACH BUSH! That gives us President Cheney and the first Black Single Woman Vice President Condi Rice. That will split the black vote, definately change the single female vote, effect the hispanic vote. We are on our way to Condi Rice in 08. Billary wouldnt have a chance.

Posted by: scott at December 22, 2005 3:29 PM
Comment #106160

Someone please explain to me how your rights were trampled. Bush did nothing wrong. He was simply following the precedent of the man before him. Clinton did the same thing :). It seems to be hard to impeach someone for doing nothing wrong. Your hate for bush can’t be healthy. All you dems need to get your blood pressure checked.

Posted by: David at December 22, 2005 3:30 PM
Comment #106162
My question is why didnt Bubba respond to terrorism ie the Cole the Embassy. Please explain Bubbas lack of response and how that is fighting terrorism.

Thomas, your question should be why didn’t W respond to the Cole bombing. It was widely reported, and accepted, that Clinton held off on responding to the Cole attack because he didn’t feel right about initiating a military engagement in the final weeks of his Presidency. But in the hand over of power, he let the incoming Bush administration know that he felt they should indeed respond.

By the way, try and keep on topic. To refresh your memory, the topic is not the Cole, or Bosnia, but the Bush administration’s blatant disregard for the law and American freedoms.

Posted by: Burt at December 22, 2005 3:33 PM
Comment #106164

Why do libs always have to resort to name calling? Bosnia is relative to this discussion. I am simply trying to point out that the Libs have no concept of what truth is. Just like their leader “Bubba” depends on what you mean by alone. is is . Dems the party of the poor and the working man. Please answer me these three questions. 1st what party voted to put Social Security in the General Fund. (dems). What party voted to tax Social Security? (dems). What party voted to increase tax on Social Security to 85 % (dem) Al Gore cast the deciding vote. These matters are relative to this discussion. Why beacause it shows that you libs dont know what truth is. Taxing SS boy that really hurt the rich. Dems need to keep people in poverty because they know you dont bite the hand that feeds you. As for the issue about wire taps. Bubba did the same Carter did the same. I have no quarrel with them doing wire taps. We need to defend our country against the terrorist. Im sure the terrorist are abiding by the rules of engadgement. They dont torture they just cut your head off. When it comes to defending my Country I sure in the hell dont want you Libs defending us and I believe the majority of American people feel the same. The trouble with Libs is that they dont see anything good in America. They like socialism. Take from the rich and give to the poor. Libs have no sense of accountability its always societies fault. I dont believe as your precious Mrs Clinton does that it take a village to raise a child. I believe it takes a mother and a father.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 3:33 PM
Comment #106166

I’m so sick of this crap.

So tell me oh wise libs.

You capture a top terrorist and he has a hundred phone numbers in the United States on his cell phone. You know that they have specified times that they call each other and if you miss an appointment you have been compromised. If it takes 3 to 5 days unless the FISA has questions and then it could be longer. You do the math. Hours could be the difference between stopping an attack or not. So what do you do Mr. or Ms. President?

Posted by: jimf at December 22, 2005 3:34 PM
Comment #106168

Tony,
“Now Bosnia — you are correct they didn’t have UN approval but they went in with NATO, so it wasn’t a unilateral move like what we have in Iraq.”


Clinton didn’t have Congressional approval to go into Bosnia. I don’t hear anybody whine and complain about that. Would Bush have been allowed to go to War without Congressional approval, even if he were to receive backing from the UN and Nato? Don’t think so, pal. If he did, the ones complaining about the “Constitutional rights” the president has would be all over him.

“maybe if Bush hadn’t completely disregarded the Clinton administrations warning that terrorism should be there number one focus we wouldn’t of had 9/11.”


And what did Clinton do about terrorism for his 8 years?! How did he do in response to WTC in 1993? How did he do in Somalia? How he do when OBL declared war against us in 1996? How he do in 1998 with the US Embassy bombings? Cobalt towers? USS Cole?


It’s b/c of Clinton that we’re in this mess; he didn’t do squat against Muslim extremism. They’ve been knocking at our doorstep and all Clinton did was tell us that we had 8 years of “peace” time. Well, he’s right. The terrorists have been attacking us “piece” by “piece”!

And yet, Clinton went into Bosnia without Congressional approval against whom? That’s right, the “Christian” Serbs. And he defended the Albanian “Muslims”. He never (Ever!) waged war against Muslims; unless you want to count Saddam in 1998 when he “bombed” his country on a Saturday night and killed a few camels.


I have my complaints about Bush and I call him out when need be; but don’t, don’t try to go after Bush by defending what Clinton did (or didn’t do)!!!


Posted by: rahdigly at December 22, 2005 3:35 PM
Comment #106169

Thomas seems to be forgetting that Clinton did go after Bin Laden with what limited means he thought were appropriate at the time, i.e. the bombing of training camps where the available intelligence had spotted him. I don’t recall any voices from the right or elsewhere crying out for a full-scale military invasion at the time…probably because the enemy was not a particular country or government. Similarly, comparing the scale of troop involvement in Bosnia with Operation Iraqi Freedom is somewhat like saying that riding a bike is no more difficult than driving an eighteen wheeler. The scales of operation simply do not match up.

Also, while I am by no means a huge John Kerry fan, what I do know is that the man at least has a fully documented military history of honorable and selfless service, to include his numerous awards for bravery in a combat zone. In this humble ex-infantryman, ex-ranger’s opinion (that enough balls for you?), to mock Senator Kerry’s service or even hint that he is somehow undeserving of his accolades, especially while cheerleading for an administration chock full of people who had “other priorities” as our veep so bluntly stated, is childish at best and unconscionable at worst, particularly when proclaiming to have the best interests of the security of the nation at heart.

And lastly, yeah, the FICA court doesn’t seem to be too pleased with this latest gaffe from Shrub. Only seems logical that he could have gone to them given the severity of the situation and the supposed suitability of those requiring surveilance. Unless, of course - there was something to hide???

Posted by: macsonix at December 22, 2005 3:36 PM
Comment #106172
Clinton did the same thing :).

No, he didn’t. See my comment from December 22, 2005 03:17 PM

It seems to be hard to impeach someone for doing nothing wrong.

He broke the law. Maybe you think it was justified, but the issue is illegal activities.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 3:37 PM
Comment #106176

You rightwing pigdogs make me sick. You think you’re so superior, so smart, you know better than the rest of us. Well let me set you straight.
The Framers of the Constitution weren’t a bunch of simple-minded idiots, and they weren’t a bunch of pot-smoking communist hippies either. They’d just finished fighting a long, bloody, tiresome war to get away from unchecked power. They knew better than most (and certainly better than you nutbag neo-con shills) that concentration of power requires serious structure and oversight to prevent it from spiraling out of control – thus, the notion of checks and balances. The central purpose of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is preservation of individual liberty in the face of a potentially tyrannical government. The Framers knew it was more important to be vigilant against abuse by our (elected?) officials than to worry about other citizens or a foreign enemy.
The reason Bush’s authorization is UNEQUIVOCALLY illegal is precisely because it avoids any checks and balances. The Clinton/Carter stuff that you retards love to cite applies EXCLUSIVELY to communication between foreigners. And yes, warrantless property searches are conditionally allowed for 1 year, you simians. Section 1802a is unequivocal about the “exclusively between foreigners” clause.
sec 1802
No more simple-minded scenarios. That “you’ve got 24 hours to defuse the ticking timebomb” crap is for kids. Oh, and just for the record, FISA allows retroactive warrants for up to 72 hours, you empty-headed goon. You idiots just love to give away your rights, but you’d be crying bloody murder if President Clinton had wiretapped your phone without a warrant. Cretins.
And before you start that “extraordinary circumstances” stuff (your usual whine when there’s nothing rational left) keep in mind that the Framers created these protections JUST FOR extraordinary circumstances. That’s right. Of course none of them foresaw people flying planes into buildings – but they’d just witnessed MUCH MUCH WORSE.
So jam it you whining cowards.

Posted by: T. Jefferson at December 22, 2005 3:42 PM
Comment #106180

“the bombing of training camps where the available intelligence had spotted him.”

macsonix- are you telling me that Clinton had faulty intelligence?

“He broke the law. Maybe you think it was justified, but the issue is illegal activities.”

lawnboy- Are you saying you don’t have a problem with what repubs did when they tried to impeach clinton for lying?

Posted by: David at December 22, 2005 3:45 PM
Comment #106182

T. Jefferson:
i understand your anger, but please… let’s refrain from namecalling. Thanks.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 22, 2005 3:47 PM
Comment #106184
I’m so sick of this crap.

Me too, so try and get your facts straight before you mouth off again.

So tell me oh wise libs. You capture a top terrorist and he has a hundred phone numbers in the United States on his cell phone. You know that they have specified times that they call each other and if you miss an appointment you have been compromised. If it takes 3 to 5 days

Ooops. Wait a minute. Stop right there. So despite the fact that it has probably been posted roughly 100 times that it doesn’t take 3 to 5 days, when in fact you can start wiretapping immediately under the FISA laws and get a warrant later, this particular piece of information has failed to sink in eh?

Let me guess, you’re a Bush voter, right? Ok, continue….

unless the FISA has questions and then it could be longer. You do the math.

Ok, I’ll do the math. 0 hours = 0 hours. Simple enough for ya?

Hours could be the difference between stopping an attack or not. So what do you do Mr. or Ms. President?

Why thank you for your vote. I would follow the law and begin surveillance immediately, then apply for a warrant sometime in the next 72 hours, which I would certainly receive because I had probable cause and because I am the most beloved and honorable President in the history of our great land.

Posted by: Burt at December 22, 2005 3:47 PM
Comment #106186

well put, Jefferson.

Posted by: macsonix at December 22, 2005 3:48 PM
Comment #106187
Are you saying you don’t have a problem with what repubs did when they tried to impeach clinton for lying?

That’s tough. While Clinton might have broken the law, he might not have. Although he definitely tried to mislead the court, it’s possible that his unseemly parsing of the language opened a loophole that made his deception legal. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know.

Even if he did break the law, I consider violating the law to avoid personal loss less objectionable than violating the law to spy on fellow Americans.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 3:50 PM
Comment #106188

David:

no, I make no claims as to the viability of that intelligence either way. Can you clarify or elaborate on your question for me?

Posted by: macsonix at December 22, 2005 3:51 PM
Comment #106189

jimf:

I suggest you read the Law. The President is allowed to RETROACTIVELY ask for a warrant AFTER the wiretapping. That means he could wiretap IMMEDIATELY and ask for the warrant LATER. Does that mean anything to you or should I use smaller words?

Posted by: Aldous at December 22, 2005 3:52 PM
Comment #106190

You need to calm down Mr Jefferson. Do you live on the east side in a deluxe apartment in the sky ?

Posted by: David at December 22, 2005 3:52 PM
Comment #106192

We have been here before many times. The case is different and the facts are different but the idea is the same.

The Blue side makes assertions. It might be about an election, the law, the economy or the outcome of some event. They make some good arguments and they are very passionate about it. But they are making assertions about something that has a bottom line. The election will be decided. A person is guilty or innocent. The economy grows or not. The event takes place or not.

In the end little or nothing happens or the opposite actually takes place. We heard a year ago that Bush was so unpopular he couldn’t win. He did. We heard that Fitzmas was coming. It didn’t. We heard that the elections in Iraq would be bloody and poorly attended. They weren’t. Now we hear that Bush has broken the law. There is a bottom line to this one too. IF he did, there will be legal consequences. I doubt that outcome, but that is what it would be.

If this argument follows the usual pattern, the Blue guys will repeat themselves so often that even when the event predicted doesn’t happen, they will kind of think it did and they will continue to use it as an example of a Bush defeat.

Posted by: John at December 22, 2005 3:54 PM
Comment #106193

Lawnboy,
“He broke the law. Maybe you think it was justified, but the issue is illegal activities.”


Prove it. Prove what Bush did was illegal.

TJ,
“The reason Bush’s authorization is UNEQUIVOCALLY illegal is precisely because it avoids any checks and balances.”


Here’s your Checks and Balances:


http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/terroristattack/joint-resolution_9-14.html


“SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

Also:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/technology/chi-0512210142dec21,1,2062394.story?coll=chi-technology-hed&ctrack=1&cset=true


“Every president since FISA’s passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act’s terms. Under President Clinton, deputy Atty. Gen. Jamie Gorelick testified that “the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”“

“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. In the most recent judicial statement on the issue, 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.”“


Posted by: rahdigly at December 22, 2005 3:55 PM
Comment #106194

Lawnboy - breaking the law is breaking the law. there is no in between. its legal or illegal. not kind of legal.

macsonix - I was referring to bush’s “faulty intelligence”

Posted by: David at December 22, 2005 3:56 PM
Comment #106197

T. Jefferson:
Also, one of Jefferson’s key pillars of Democracy was a FREE PRESS. He thought that without a free press a crucial ‘check’ was missing.

That’s why it’s funny to me to hear the Bush supporters saying that the NYT should never have published such sensitive information. To me, without it, or cases like the Pentagon Papers, you’d never get what Jefferson wanted: that last ‘check’.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 22, 2005 3:58 PM
Comment #106198

I wonder if he has even read the constitution, by Candice

Bush has a Mussolini complex, and doesn’t believe that he isn’t bound by laws which were enacted before he came to power. He uses the excuse that 9/11 changed everything, but it didn’t change the constitution.

Posted by: ray at December 22, 2005 4:00 PM
Comment #106199

I get all confused when I read the words BUSH and INTELLIGENCE in the same sentence.

Posted by: macsonix at December 22, 2005 4:01 PM
Comment #106200

Didn’t Clinton search someones home without a search warrant. Where were the dems then. He was taking your rights.

Posted by: David at December 22, 2005 4:02 PM
Comment #106202

That sould be “doesn’t believe that he is bound by laws which were enacted before he came to power”

sorry, spellchecking wouldn’t catch that one.

Posted by: ray at December 22, 2005 4:03 PM
Comment #106204

T. Jefferson:

Nice Post though I doubt the WingNuts will heed it. The Right seems to have this incredible ability to twist reality. They think, for example, that the UN authorized the Invasion of Iraq!!!

Go Figure.

Posted by: Aldous at December 22, 2005 4:04 PM
Comment #106205
breaking the law is breaking the law. there is no in between. its legal or illegal. not kind of legal.

I’m not sure if you’re referring to Clinton’s deception or impeachability, but you’re incorrect on both.

In terms of Clinton’s activity, you seem not to be aware of the complexity of the American legal system and the loopholes that exist. I know Clinton intended to deceive, but he may have done it in such a way that it didn’t technically break the letter of the law.

In terms of impeachability, the standard for what is an impeachable offense is basically whatever the House of Representatives thinks is impeachable. They wouldn’t impeach for breaking the speed limit, although that’s breaking the law, for example.

There is not a one to one correlation between breaking the law and being subject to impeachment.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #106206

Jack,

Precedent doesn’t play as important a role outside the judicial branch as it does within. The other two branches aren’t technically bound by it in the same way. So I think that’s kind of a non-issue.

But I’m interested to hear what you have to say about this, since it’s a line of argument that isn’t getting much play in the media.

Posted by: Yossarian at December 22, 2005 4:06 PM
Comment #106207

Sat T Jefferson you need to jump on some paxil. you seem to be pretty hot under the collar. As for marc and his war hero Mr “purple heart”. Did you know that kerry knew the 3rd puple heart got him out of Viet Nam. You know the one were he got scratched and did not spend one day in the hospital. Dont give me your bull shit about your war hero cuz it aint true. Thank God Bush won the election. If mr war hero were president Sadam would still be in power. He would still be waiting for his Coaltion the french the germans the russions. Tell me that you are smart enough to know that those 3 werent going to kill the golden goose.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 4:06 PM
Comment #106213
Prove it. Prove what Bush did was illegal.

Please see Professor Orin Kerr’s analysis.

My impression is that, based on the evidence I have, President Bush willfully broke the law. I can’t prove it any more than you can prove your belief that he didn’t.

We’ll have to let the courts decide.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 4:09 PM
Comment #106216

Thomas said:

To respond to you libs that say Bubbas BJ didnt cost 2,000 lives. Let me suggest to you that if Bubba wasnt so pre-occupied with his manhood,perhaps 9/11 might not have happened.

Bubba wasn’t pre-occupied with his manhood, the Republican controlled Congress was, as part of it’s witch hunt. Where is there a law that the President cannot have sex? In 1998 when Bubba ordered bombings of Iraq’s WMD facilities over 4 days, the Republican led Congress charged Bubba with “wagging the dog”. They didn’t care then about Iraq’s WMD capabilities or the war on terror, they were more concerned with keeping America’s attention on the President’s sex life.

The presidents first obligation is to the security of our country. We all know that wasnt Bubba concern.

I think you are confused, it was the Republican Congress that was not concerned with national security. They were only concerned with finding a way to derail President Bubba. When did it become the sole responsibility of the President to secure our country. The President is commander and chief of the Military. He is not commander and chief of the homeland. Under the Constitution it is actually Congress’ first obligation to the security of our country. We all know that wasnt the Republican controlled Congress’ concern.

You dont stick your head in the sand and expect to crush terrorism.

Hum. Well that is exactly what the Republican controlled congress did, except they stuck their heads down Clinton’s pants.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 4:13 PM
Comment #106223
I wonder if he has even read the constitution, by Candice

You mean the constitution that he called just a “god damned peice of paper.”?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 4:22 PM
Comment #106225

Jay Jay you libs again miss the boat. Bubba wasnt being impeached for sex. He was being impeached for lying under oath. The oath that he swore to defend. You libs are always trying to get Bush to admit that he was wrong about this or that,but when Bubba lied to the American people for nine months were was the outrage. Lets us not forget that it was Bubba that cost the American tax payer all that money. If he would have come clean right away it wouldnt have cost the tax payer so much. Now ofcourse you libs say lying under oath is acceptable if it is about sex. So if its ok to lie under oath about sex why cant a bank robber lie under oath. What a legacy for Bubba. The only president that the world know that his penus is curved.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 4:23 PM
Comment #106226

Jay Jay you libs again miss the boat. Bubba wasnt being impeached for sex. He was being impeached for lying under oath. The oath that he swore to defend. You libs are always trying to get Bush to admit that he was wrong about this or that,but when Bubba lied to the American people for nine months were was the outrage. Lets us not forget that it was Bubba that cost the American tax payer all that money. If he would have come clean right away it wouldnt have cost the tax payer so much. Now ofcourse you libs say lying under oath is acceptable if it is about sex. So if its ok to lie under oath about sex why cant a bank robber lie under oath. What a legacy for Bubba. The only president that the world know that his manhood is curved.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 4:25 PM
Comment #106227

Jay Jay you libs again miss the boat. Bubba wasnt being impeached for sex. He was being impeached for lying under oath. The oath that he swore to defend. You libs are always trying to get Bush to admit that he was wrong about this or that,but when Bubba lied to the American people for nine months were was the outrage. Lets us not forget that it was Bubba that cost the American tax payer all that money. If he would have come clean right away it wouldnt have cost the tax payer so much. Now ofcourse you libs say lying under oath is acceptable if it is about sex. So if its ok to lie under oath about sex why cant a bank robber lie under oath. What a legacy for Bubba. The only president that the world knows that his manhood is curved.

Posted by: Thomas at December 22, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #106230

Yup that’s the one.

Posted by: Candice at December 22, 2005 4:40 PM
Comment #106231

thomas,

You are clearly under the influence of something other than levity. I find myself unwilling to respond to your idiotic drivel. I’d rather debate my five year old - at least she can stay on point and utilize logic.

BTW, since you seem so preoccupied with John Kerry’s service in the Navy (not to mention Clinton’s penis), and I just know you are going to keep posting, why don’t you tell us all about YOUR heroic acts of bravery in the face of battle.

Face it, tough guy…John Kerry could kick your ass while giving Dick Cheney CPR after his eighteenth heart attack.

Posted by: macsonix at December 22, 2005 4:46 PM
Comment #106242
Jay Jay you libs again miss the boat. Bubba wasnt being impeached for sex. He was being impeached for lying under oath. The oath that he swore to defend.

I didn’t say he was being impeached for sex. I never said that his impeachment was wrong either. You stated that the President’s first obligation is the safety of the country. Not so according to the Constitution. Congress is obligated to keep America safe under the Constitution. You say that Bubba should have been impeached for “lying under oath. The oath that he swore to defend.” Hum, excuse me but Dubbya was and still is under oath:

“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.”

Apparently the only time an oath means anything to you cons, is when it is a lib under one.

It seems that the Presidents first obligation is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. It says nothing about the safety of the country. You would think if that was his first obligation then the oath would have been to preserve, protect and defend the union.

Congress on the other hand is given the obligation to preserve, protect and defend the union:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

“To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;”

“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;”

“To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;”

“To provide and maintain a Navy;”

“To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;”

“To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

“To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;”

These powers are given explicitly and exclusively to the Congress, not the President. In fact he is not even Commander and Chief of the Military unless those services are called upon:

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

In fact his only involvement in this is that he may recommend measures for Congress’ consideration.

“He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.”

These are the obligations of the President under the Constitution:

Makin copies. (just kidding)

To preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Report to the Congress the State of the Union, and make recommendations. To act as commander and chief of the armed forces when called into service. The pass or veto bills sent to him by Congress. (congress can even override him on this one) to appoint officers, judges and other officials, to act as the U.S. Public Relations guy. And to execute laws passed by Congress. It is past time that the Congress take back from the President the powers that are granted exclusively to the Congress by the Constitution.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 5:34 PM
Comment #106251

Remarks by President Bush in a Conversation on the USA Patriot Act
Kleinshans Music Hall
Buffalo, New York April 20, 2004:

September the 11th — when the President says something, he better mean it. See, in order to make the world more peaceful, it’s essential that those of us in positions of high responsibility speak clearly and mean what we say.
You know, I can’t tell you how strongly I believe that — about the power of freedom. After all, it’s been a part of our national soul. We have proven how powerful freedom can be. We bring people from diverse backgrounds together under the mantel of a free society. We’re such a beacon.

Attention Cons:

The enemy can’t stand the thought of free societies. That’s why they attacked us, see. And we’re not going to change. That’s what they don’t understand. There’s nothing they can do to intimidate, to make us change our deepest belief.
see, I’m not a lawyer, so it’s kind of hard for me to kind of get bogged down in the law.

Well,… that’s obvious.

Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.

So why didn’t you get one?

The Patriot Act changed that. So with court order, law enforcement officials can now use what’s called roving wiretaps, which will prevent a terrorist from switching cell phones in order to get a message out to one of his buddies.

So, why didn’t you get one?

Thirdly, to give you an example of what we’re talking about, there’s something called delayed notification warrants. Those are very important. I see some people, first responders nodding their heads about what they mean. These are a common tool used to catch mobsters. In other words, it allows people to collect data before everybody is aware of what’s going on. It requires a court order. It requires protection under the law. We couldn’t use these against terrorists, but we could use against gangs.

So what about all that hullaballu about not getting warrants because of the time factor? The patriot act gave them authority to use these against terrorist with a court order.

You see, I try to pick the best I can at the federal government and say, here’s our mission — our mission is to protect our country.

Like “Brownie” & Harriet? Scare me!


Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 22, 2005 6:02 PM
Comment #106283

Lawnboy

I think it is worse to break the law for personal gain than it is to break the law to protect your fellow Americans from terrorists.

Yossarian

I don’t know much about the law. I am thinking of this as it relates to the president. The office of president is unlike any other. Its powers and obligations are as much or more a matter of precedent and tradition than of black letter law. Many of his powers are implied by the constitution. And there is always a tension between the congress and the president. This is politics, not law.

A Democrat I admire is Franklin Roosevelt. If you read about him, you see that he was constantly pushing the envelop, first during the New Deal and then in the war. Sometimes he got in trouble with the courts. But he wasn’t a criminal

I don’t know how (if) the courts will decide in this case. They may find that Bush exceeded his authority. But I am morally certain that they will not find him criminally culpable. It will be more like the law of trespass. In my state at least, you are guilty of trespass even if you wander onto someone’s land accidentally. But there is no legal consequence unless you do some damage or are willfully disobedient in the face of a clear warning.

Posted by: Jack at December 22, 2005 8:09 PM
Comment #106291

—-
I think it is worse to break the law for personal gain than it is to break the law to protect your fellow Americans from terrorists.
—-
But this Administration has done nothing else (especially with regard to the 9/11 Commission) to protect us from terrorism - why do you think they broke the law to protect us? I can understand the hopeful logic with that, but the track record doesn’t jive .

Posted by: tony at December 22, 2005 8:30 PM
Comment #106292

Jack,

That’s the difference in perspective. You see Bush’s violation (if it is a violation) as protecting America. I see it as violating America, especially since there’s not a thing that has been demonstrated that he was able to do to protect us by breaking the law instead of simply following the law. The wiretaps could have happened legally, but there would have been a papertrail and accountability.

I don’t see an advantage in ensuring a lack of accountability in the process of invading citizen’s privacy without any tangible gain.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 8:33 PM
Comment #106293

Well, Bill said a lot right here:

>>>>>>>We have a habit of trying to understand and empathsize with our enemies. When we deal with these enemies of liberty we should give no quarter even though most of us can sympathize with their underlying unresolved latient homosexuality.

Posted by: Bill at December 22, 2005 12:43 PM

I can only assume that the latent homosexuality comment had to do with Bush & Companies attack on homosexuality in America. Look, I live in Kansas where they still treat homosexuality as a mental illness (ie: we all must be the same or someone must change).

But, aside from that, our major flaw as “Liberals” is to tend towards empathy and even sympathy, especially regarding fellow Americans. We try to understand. We try everything to circumvent violence. We try to understand each other, but that doesn’t mean we’ll not fight when we must.

Everyone here would serve themselves well to learn all they could about Dominionism and Theocracy in the USA. We are in trouble!

KansasDem


Posted by: Erick Brunzell at December 22, 2005 8:35 PM
Comment #106295

t has finally happened, the President of the United States, George W. Bush, has declared himself officially, “Dictator of the United States.” His Vice President concurs and his hand-picked lawyers have given him a permission slip that says so. Mere laws no longer govern him. He declares that in a time of war, the Constitution, the Congress, and the Judiciary no longer have any authority to restrict him from doing whatever he thinks is needed to protect the American People. Of course, he also declares that the “war on terror” may go on for decades or longer. After all, like in George Orwell’s, “1984,” “Oceana has always been at war with Eurasia.” And the United States has always been at war with terrorists. So “War is Peace.”

He also goes on to state that members the media, Independents, Libertarians, Democrats, and even those in his own Party who dare challenge him are officially traitors. They give aid and comfort to the enemy. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are hereby rescinded. Habeas corpus no longer exists for those he declares to be “enemy combatants,” even U. S. Citizens in their own country.

The fourth amendment to the Constitution, protecting us from unreasonable search and seizures is no longer valid. After all, the President says he now has the right to conduct unauthorized wiretaps and surveillance on American citizens in their own country, without a showing of probable cause. No longer does he have to be concerned about torture and restrictions on cruel and unusual punishment.

So the Bill of Rights and the separation of powers are no longer valid. After all, the Constitution is just a quaint historical document. An anachronism, just like the FISA court and verifiable elections. So says our President-cum-Dictator.

The President may be the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, but he is not the Commander-in-Chief of the people of the United States of America. His oath was to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. In this, he has utterly failed. He has even failed to protect his people from terrorist attacks. His own 9/11 Commission declared so last week, giving him more D’s and F’s than A’s and B’s on protecting America. He even ignored his own CIA’s briefing, on August 6, 2001, warning him of the impending 9/11 attack.

If we do not take steps to impeach Bush now, the terrorists will have already won. It is time for a bi-partisan Congress to take the lead on this, just like the Congress in the time of Richard Nixon.

If Congress fails in its responsibility to impeach and remove, we must do everything in our power to elect a new Congress next November. A Congress that is responsive to the will of the people and whose members pledge faithfully to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. If we do not, may G_d help us all.

Posted by: Sander Bellman at December 22, 2005 8:44 PM
Comment #106304

it wouldn’t be so bad , had Goergie Boy actually had proof of what he did came with results. As a our supreme ruler(or as I like to say appointed president, not elected the first time) he is still counting on us to follow blindly into that goodnight. On a parting note, Clinton may have lied but at least he only screwed a girl, not a whole country

Posted by: michele at December 22, 2005 9:30 PM
Comment #106307

Rah,
You’ve done it again. Who taught you to read?
It doesn’t appear that you even read what you wrote.

“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.

IT says plainly that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence>/strong>

It does NOT say anything about the wiretapping US citizens.

As for the Clinton did, so it’s ok that Bush does routine….

I suppose that means that since the store down the road was robbed,and the robber got a way, it’s ok for me to rob it again? And not worry about the fact that I broke the law….

Or better yet, I can kill my husband because the jerk down the street got by with murdering his wife…so that even if I get caught I can say the other guy got away with it, so it must be ok for me to do the same thing…

Clinton was wrong. He was impeached. He no longer matters in OUR world today. Please get over it.

Saying that something is ‘Okay’ simply because someone else got by with it does not make it right, legal, ethical, or moral.

I simply can not beleive anyone would try to use this as a defense for anyone!!!
Linda H.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 22, 2005 10:02 PM
Comment #106308

Rah,
You’ve done it again. Who taught you to read?
It doesn’t appear that you even read what you wrote.

“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.

IT says plainly that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence>/strong>

It does NOT say anything about the wiretapping US citizens.

As for the Clinton did, so it’s ok that Bush does routine….

I suppose that means that since the store down the road was robbed,and the robber got a way, it’s ok for me to rob it again? And not worry about the fact that I broke the law….

Or better yet, I can kill my husband because the jerk down the street got by with murdering his wife…so that even if I get caught I can say the other guy got away with it, so it must be ok for me to do the same thing…

Clinton was wrong. He was impeached. He no longer matters in OUR world today. Please get over it.

Saying that something is ‘Okay’ simply because someone else got by with it does not make it right, legal, ethical, or moral.

I simply can not beleive anyone would try to use this as a defense for anyone!!!
Linda H.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 22, 2005 10:03 PM
Comment #106369

See you later Parker,and while your at it,please take the rest of these mentally disabled Lib’s with you.

Posted by: John at December 23, 2005 12:01 AM
Comment #106466

Linda H. said: “You’ve done it again. Who taught you to read? ”

Linda, dispense with the insults or lose your comment privileges here. Critique the Message, NOT the Messenger.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at December 23, 2005 2:50 AM
Comment #106522

LeftBehind,

“A rebuttal to the Chicago Tribune op-ed:
Ex-Clinton official Schmidt’s defense of warrantless wiretaps, cited by York and Angle, rife with inaccuracy, empty arguments, and unwarranted credulity”


I like how your source is a very, very “objective” source. She did say it and it is true. I’ll go beyond an op-ed piece and a left-wing website for you; let’s go right to the source:

http://thinkprogress.org/gorelick-testimony/

“First, the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the President has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General.”

“As I stated earlier, we believe that existing directives that regulate the basis for seeking foreign intelligence search authority and the procedures to be followed satisfy all Constitutional requirements. Nevertheless, I reiterate the Administration’s willingness to support appropriate legislation that does not restrict the President’s ability to collect foreign intelligence necessary for the national security. We need to strike a balance that sacrifices neither our security nor our civil liberties.”


So, if you still want to play the “Bush is a Dictator” crap, make sure you add Slick Willy to the list. Clinton’s Administration felt that FISA wasn’t enough and that the President has the “inherent authority” to conduct warrantless searches. And, this was seven years prior to Al Qaeda terrorists killing 3000 Americans. Amazing!


Posted by: rahdigly at December 23, 2005 7:31 AM
Comment #106541

rahdigly,

You missed that

In 1994, the FISA did not cover physical searches. She was explaining what the President’s authority was in the absence of any congressional statute. She wasn’t arguing that the President had the authority to ignore FISA.

In 1995, with President Clinton’s signature, FISA was amended to include physical searches. That law prohibited warrantless domestic physical searches. No one in the Clinton administration, including Gorelick, ever argued that the administration could ignore the law, before or after it was amended.

Think Progress

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 8:33 AM
Comment #106577

Everyone

While I hated the fact that Clinton was being impeached for lying I could not escape the fact that he did. Was it a “lie” that was worth telling? No. Was I disappointed in my President? Yes.

Why? Because he represented MY party and everything that I fealt my party stood for. Does this give ammunition to the opposition? Probably… but my integrety depends on honesty.

I am most disappointed by those I hold dear when they let me down. I expect better from them. Especially myself if I fall short.

To be perfectly cynical, when the opposition falls short I simply attribute it to what they represent and since then do not represent what I believe in…

To the person attacking Kerry with however many Purple Hearts in however many months. That is okay… We veterans and service people are used to being used. We are HEROS up until the time we disagree and then we are COWARDS. That is why as a disabled vet I went in the moment Rep. Schmidt (R-Ohio) finished speaking and told my son I did not want him to enlist.

I am not willing to see my son go into the military and defend a political party that treats service people as pawns and with contempt when political debate is presented in Congress.

Bush won, get over it? Should we do an America Under Seige countdown like Rush did the day Clinton was sworn in for the first term? I remember demands for investigations and special prosecutors by the right wing even before he was sworn in! And, they never stopped for 8 years.

I remember the second election and afterwards the Republican mantra was “MANDATE”. Clinton did not win a MANDATE. President Bush won by even a smaller margin in his second term.

Please, rhetoric should be a different color so we can find the chicken salad. I bring this up because it was presented and should be answered.

Again, integrity to my beliefs. If you want to bring up the actions of Clinton then that is fair. No President should be given a free pass on his actions of behavior based on whether or not he belongs to a particular party.

To be fair, we must make sure that we are comparing apples to apples and oranges to organes. We must avoid false dichotomies as well as insure that each argument supports and logically moves to the next.

Sticking out of tongues, rolling eyes and pointing to the other side does not contribute to discussion.

If we agree that the actions of Clinton are open to debate and discussion… and legal proceedings if he violated the law… can we then agree that President Bush should be held to the same standard?

As of now, the most responsbile people are calling for an investigation into the actions of the President. They are not stating that what he did is wrong based on the current information… they are asking to see if what he did was illegal based upon the information they can only attain through an investigation.

To those that worry about someone’s sexual or dressing prefernces love to point out… we are not looking for that. And, if a person has nothing to hide, then they have no fear of being investigate or having their phones tapped.

I am sure that if President Bush did nothing wrong he has nothing to fear.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 9:35 AM
Comment #106588

Lawnboy,

Did you use a blog to back up your source? Well, tell Judd that he’s missing the point. The whole reason Gorelick went before the “Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence US House of Representatives” concerning warrantless physical searches conducted in the US for Foreign Intelligence, was b/c of the case of CIA official Aldrich Ames, a Soviet spy. Mr. Ames’ home in Arlington, Virginia, was the target of two secret federal searches in June and October, 1993. Ames’s attorney threatened to use the government’s warrantless break-ins to attack the case against his client and, according to a source on the House Permanent Select Committee onIntelligence, Janet Reno was deeply concerned about a potential constitutional challenge by Ames.


And the conclusion was the President did have authority; there were four federal courts that said so.

“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.

In the most recent judicial statement on the issue, 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.”

The passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978 did not alter the constitutional situation. That law created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that can authorize surveillance directed at an “agent of a foreign power,” which includes a foreign terrorist group. Thus, Congress put its weight behind the constitutionality of such surveillance in compliance with the law’s procedures.

But as the 2002 Court of Review noted, if the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.”

Every president since FISA’s passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act’s terms. Under President Clinton, deputy Atty. Gen. Jamie Gorelick testified that “the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”“

Posted by: rahdigly at December 23, 2005 9:53 AM
Comment #106625

I appolize, Rah and to the Watch blog editor. I did indeed cross the line.
I am am very sorry.
Linda H.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 23, 2005 11:09 AM
Comment #106659


Water under the Bridge…

Posted by: rahdigly at December 23, 2005 11:41 AM
Comment #106689

Hmm. We are all making a bit of a stink about this issue since it directly connects to the Bush regime. But what about the pentegon spying on Quakers, Passivists, and anti-war protesters. Are they related to terror groups, are they talking to foriegn al Qaida sources, or is the Pentagon spying on people who exercise their 1st amendment right to protest the President. We need to support the troops by desperately seeking the investigation of their highest commanders, including the Commander in Chief. By the way, I write this comment as an individual and anonymously. If I were to write this in my official capacity as a minister, this administration would have the IRS sue to take away our non-profit status as it did to that church in Pasadena. The freedom of speech and the freedom of religion are eroding quickly. Heaven help us who sit idly by.

Spying on Americans?

Posted by: Hopquick at December 23, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #106695

Well posted Maxsonic, JayJay, Sander and Darren. To all of those who love to bash Kerry, Murtha and others that have willingly and honorably served our country. Get this: At least they served and went to war which is more than can be said for the present administration. So however they got those medals is irrelevant. They at least were in a position to get them. What I can’t grasp is how the people of this country expects Bush to handle a war time situation when he was never in a war or even made it through a completed in full stint in the National Guard is totally beyond me. This whole thing about it’s either my way or the highway is so gradeschool, it doesn’t belong in our government and the way that Pres. Bush pouts when the questions are not what he wants to answer is so pathetic. He stutters and stammers while trying to come up with a good answer for defending what he says is right. If it wasn’t so important it would be funny. The US has lost any credibility to other countries because of this President. The sad part is no matter how good or what policies that the next President puts into place, it will make no difference, this country is so low it will take years of fixing to make it right if it can ever be made right again, just so that someone can say I was right and you were wrong. Leave the kiddie games to those that are still in kindergarten, not to this great country.

Posted by: Sherri at December 23, 2005 12:41 PM
Comment #106708

Sherri,
“What I can’t grasp is how the people of this country expects Bush to handle a war time situation when he was never in a war or even made it through a completed in full stint in the National Guard is totally beyond me.”


FDR never served in the military and he was the Commander in Chief in WWII. And, we won that war; just like we won in Afghanistan and in Iraq.


“To all of those who love to bash Kerry, Murtha and others that have willingly and honorably served our country. Get this: At least they served and went to war which is more than can be said for the present”


So did John McCain, George Bush’s father and Zell Miller; they all support Bush in Iraq, why don’t you mention them?!

Posted by: rahdigly at December 23, 2005 12:58 PM
Comment #106735

—-
FDR never served in the military and he was the Commander in Chief in WWII. And, we won that war; just like we won in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
—-

So you are saying that the terrorist in both countries have sighed treaties/surrendered - and that their threat is no longer?

Posted by: tony at December 23, 2005 1:47 PM
Comment #106748

Thomas,

>>My question is why didnt Bubba respond to terrorism ie the Cole the Embassy

I think most if not all perpitrators of those bombings have been captured. That’s what you do to thugs (you don’t go to war).

rah,

>>FDR never served in the military and he was the Commander in Chief in WWII. And, we won that war; just like we won in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

FDR served honorably, even if not in war.

We went to war against Afghanistan? Did we even catch ben Ladin?

We won in Iraq? Have our troops come home? Has there been a truce or treaty, or…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 23, 2005 2:07 PM
Comment #106757

Tony,
“So you are saying that the terrorist in both countries have sighed treaties/surrendered - and that their threat is no longer?”

No. In WWII they were fighting countries; so, you could sign treaties and have them surrender. This war is not with a country; it’s w/ a hateful ideology that is completely intolerant to anything but their way of life. Their surrender is death and they will (eventually) “surrender”, if you get my drift.


Kicking the Taliban out of Afghanistan and setting up a Democracy there is definitely a victory; same goes for Iraq. We’re still fighting to “win the peace” and there’s still a threat; however, it looks good in those two countries, definitely a sense a hope now.

Posted by: rahdigly at December 23, 2005 2:16 PM
Comment #106784

Have you guys read this article yet?
Daschle: Congress Denied Bush War Powers in U.S.

A few quotes from the article:

The Bush administration requested, and Congress rejected, war-making authority “in the United States” in negotiations over the joint resolution passed days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, according to an opinion article by former Senate majority leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) in today’s Washington Post.

Daschle’s disclosure challenges a central legal argument offered by the White House in defense of the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. It suggests that Congress refused explicitly to grant authority that the Bush administration now asserts is implicit in the resolution.

“Literally minutes before the Senate cast its vote, the administration sought to add the words ‘in the United States and’ after ‘appropriate force’ in the agreed-upon text,” Daschle wrote. “This last-minute change would have given the president broad authority to exercise expansive powers not just overseas — where we all understood he wanted authority to act — but right here in the United States, potentially against American citizens. I could see no justification for Congress to accede to this extraordinary request for additional authority. I refused.”

Here is Daschle’s op-ed piece:
Power We Didn’t Grant

Posted by: Adrienne at December 23, 2005 2:40 PM
Comment #106796

Whoa, T Jefferson! Good points, and it made me laugh! Can’t get any better than that…
Also, excellent posts by the Snowman, Lawnboy, CPAdams and Sander.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 23, 2005 2:49 PM
Comment #106885

thomas,
everytime i read one one your blogs i realize what a genius goerge bush is by comparison.

precedent, precedent, precedent. murder is legal we have precedent. cain vs able

Posted by: ec at December 23, 2005 5:06 PM
Comment #106907

The libs, who post on this website at least, I think have their priorities wrong. Most people are Americans first Dems or Repbs or Libertarians second. I feel many people posting here would gladly surrender to terrorists or allow more attacks on America if it would hurt the President. Thank God you have only cost the Dems two elections(still can’t admit it). If you succeed in blocking our means to defend ourselvs and we get hit again, you will do two things. First you will have helped kill Americans, second you will guarantee a Repb president for the next 25 years. Time to find a candadite who might win. Most of the people in America think you extreme Libs are nuts(same for extreme Consretives). Calm down, be adults and try to help win the war. You may find winning the war will help win an election.

Posted by: x-lib at December 23, 2005 6:21 PM
Comment #106975

x-lib,

The libs here would in no way shape or form surrender to the terrorists or allow more attacks on American soil to hurt the President or for any other reason. The libs here are Americans first in the truest sense of the word. We are standing up at home for the same thing that our troops are fighting for in Iraq. IMO, the President is not as strong on our defense as some on the right would like us to believe.

There are so many things that can be done to secure the nation that this administration has never addressed. How about hunting down OBL once and for all? How about some border security? How about securing and protecting our nuclear, biological and chemical plants? How about requiring background checks for anyone entering this country that is not a U.S. citizen? The U.S. Constitution is in place to protect Americans. American’s rights should be protected. Non-citizens who enter this country should bear the brunt of government intervention and intrusion, not American citizens. The President can do all the surveillance on non citizens he wants, I don’t think anybody would argue with that, but if he is going to spy on Americans then he needs to do it within the law and the Constitution.

Can I ask those on the right, why are we having a trial for Saddam? Why not just execute him?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 24, 2005 12:53 AM
Comment #107011

JayJay
Curious how you became the spokesman for everyone on this web site? Do you have some kind of magic potion that allows you to see into the hidden depths of ever persons soul and determine their motives? Of course you don’t. You are stating your opinion as fact. That is not at all surprising. JayJay, you illustrate the problem with trying to communicate with any person who thinks they are infallible be they Dems or Repbs. If you disagree, you are automatically wrong.

As for standing up for at home for what our troops are fighting for in Iraq, that may be but you might want to scroll up and read the postings. Nothing but complaints about the current administration. No plans at all about how to do these things, just whining because they haven’t been done yesterday. Do you really think we haven’t found OBL because we are not looking? Why are there no complaints about Bill Clinton’s lack of action after the OKC bombing? All he did was “feel our pain”. Sorry JayJay, not enough.

Leaders who really do things are destined to step on some toes. The good leaders do it accidentally, the bad ones do it intentionally. I will leave it to you and your magic potion to sort out who is who.

Posted by: x-lib at December 24, 2005 3:40 AM
Comment #107082

The trouble with Libs is that they dont see anything good in America. They like socialism.

Seems to me that the trouble with the neocoms is that they love facisim! They don’t see ANYTHING wrong with America. I guess that is why they think their loved ones are perfect because you do NOT see any faults in something or SOMEONE you love; if you did that would mean that you can’t love them!

Posted by: Frankiebruchis at December 24, 2005 10:07 AM
Comment #107138

Frankiebruchis

I think you are exactly right. The truth is almost always somewhere in the middle.

As for everyone else, whether we agree or not about politics, I hope everyone has a merry Christmas!

Posted by: x-lib at December 24, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #107149
Curious how you became the spokesman for everyone on this web site? Do you have some kind of magic potion that allows you to see into the hidden depths of ever persons soul and determine their motives? Of course you don’t. You are stating your opinion as fact.

x lib,

I don’t have a magic potion anymore than you have a crystal ball to make your assertions. Nobody here has given any indication that they “would gladly surrender to terrorists or allow more attacks on America if it would hurt the President.” I have not read a single thing here to indicate that. You are making false assertions about everyone here that posts something you disagree with:

The libs, who post on this website at least, I think have their priorities wrong. Most people are Americans first Dems or Repbs or Libertarians second. I feel many people posting here would gladly surrender to terrorists or allow more attacks on America if it would hurt the President.
You are stating your opinion as fact.

No I’m not, I was stating my opinion, and I stated as much. IMO stands for in my opinion, maybe I should have been clearer, my bad.

JayJay, you illustrate the problem with trying to communicate with any person who thinks they are infallible be they Dems or Repbs. If you disagree, you are automatically wrong.

That is exactly what you did in your comments. You made false assertions about all libs who post here, even though there is nothing to indicate they truly feel this way. You made these assertions because you disagree with what we are saying, but nobody here has asserted that we want anything bad to happen so that it would hurt the President. That is ridiculous. I can’t answer for all libs, but I have not read anything here that would make me come to such an assertion. We can fight the terrorists without handing our liberties over to the government.

As for standing up for at home for what our troops are fighting for in Iraq, that may be but you might want to scroll up and read the postings. Nothing but complaints about the current administration. No plans at all about how to do these things, just whining because they haven’t been done yesterday.

I have read the above postings, and we have offered ideas- work within the law and the Constitution. I offered several ideas in my last post, tighten border security, do background checks on people entering this country, secure our most volatile industries against terrorist attacks and do all the foreign spying you can. IMO, (in my opinion) the complaints against the current administration are warranted.

Why are there no complaints about Bill Clinton’s lack of action after the OKC bombing?

This was a domestic terrorist attack. What did you want Clinton to do? Invade Kansas?


Happy Holidays all!

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 24, 2005 2:29 PM
Comment #107160

JayJay

Once again JayJay, you seem to ignore what was written or you just can’t see it. You should be the poster boy for what I just submitted. When one writes, as I did, “in my opinion” it means just that, my opinion. When I write “I think” it is nothing more than what “I think”. Get it? When you write,”The Libs here would in no way shape or form surrender…” or “The Libs here are Americans first in the truest sense of the word” I wonder exactly how you know such a broad, sweeping statement can be true? Back to the magic potion again I guess. Believe it or not there are people on both sides who will put personal feelings ahead of the best interests of the country.

As for the invading Kansas statement, no that probably would be a bad idea. Some domestic wiretaps might have been in order though, I THINK. Just my opinion. My personal thoughts only, okay JayJay.

Good luck, JayJay but you seem to have nothing much to say. Good bye.

Posted by: John Douglas at December 24, 2005 3:49 PM
Comment #107161

JayJay

Once again JayJay, you seem to ignore what was written or you just can’t see it. You should be the poster boy for what I just submitted. When one writes, as I did, “in my opinion” it means just that, my opinion. When I write “I think” it is nothing more than what “I think”. Get it? When you write,”The Libs here would in no way shape or form surrender…” or “The Libs here are Americans first in the truest sense of the word” I wonder exactly how you know such a broad, sweeping statement can be true? Back to the magic potion again I guess. Believe it or not there are people on both sides who will put personal feelings ahead of the best interests of the country.

As for the invading Kansas statement, no that probably would be a bad idea. Some domestic wiretaps might have been in order though, I THINK. Just my opinion. My personal thoughts only, okay JayJay.

Good luck, JayJay but you seem to have nothing much to say. Good bye.

Posted by: x-lib at December 24, 2005 3:50 PM
Comment #107167

IMO, John Douglas or x-lib or whoever you are,

you seem to ignore what was written or you just can’t see it

What exactly can I not see? What you see? Is it that I cannot see the assertions you make about liberals? IMO, As I said I cannot speak for all liberals but the ones who have posted here have not given any indication that they would do the things you assert. IMO, What I stated was my opinion based on what I have observed here. IMO, If you want to argue about schematics then I think you have your priorities wrong.

Believe it or not there are people on both sides who will put personal feelings ahead of the best interests of the country.

Oh, IMO I believe it. IMO, That is the whole purpose of this thread. “I think” some have put their own personal fears (or feelings) ahead of the best interest of the country as a whole by handing the liberties of us all over to the government. IMO, This would not be the first time a democracy gave up it’s liberties in the face of fear. Does 1930’s Germany mean anything to you? IMO, it is not too far-fetched to think it could happen here. Why exactly do you think the terrorists attacked us? To take us over? IMO, No, it is to instill fear and divide the country. To cause fear that makes us give up our freedom. To cause the collapse of America and everything it stands for. IMO, Bush and the Repubs are playing right into their hands.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 24, 2005 5:06 PM
Comment #107226

>>As I said I cannot speak for all liberals but the ones who have posted here have not given any indication that they would do the things you assert

JJ speaks for me in this matter…the Repubs are too eager to give up on our country…there must be some DeLay Dollars in it for them.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 24, 2005 10:01 PM
Comment #107228

>>As I said I cannot speak for all liberals but the ones who have posted here have not given any indication that they would do the things you assert>>

JJ speaks for me in this matter…the Repubs are too eager to give up on our country…there must be some DeLay Dollars in it for them.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 24, 2005 10:04 PM
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