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It Could Have Been Columbia

Is America a homeland or a nation?

The question I pose is rhetorical, and I pose it for this reason: what is America to us? What is it that our soldiers fight to protect? What is it that even most of America’s native critics admire about it? There is something to America, in every subculture and region that goes beyond simply the land. American may be a patch of soil between two shining seas, but there is more to it than that, and that something is worth defending.

I'm not speaking in the title of the South American country, I am speaking about us. America, in fact, is sometimes poetically referred to by our discover's latinized name. I bring that name up to make another point, but I think I can get to that after I'm finished laying out what brought it to pass.

It starts for me with the recent disclosure that Bush signed multiple executive orders ordering wiretaps on thousands of Americans. According to FISA, essentially the law covering national security-related electronic surveillance, no surveillance of American citizens can be done without warrants. Add to that the obvious fourth amendment prohibitions against searches and seizures done without warrants or probable cause, and one would think that it was pretty well settled.

It seems to have settled with something of a loud thud, and the dust still hasn't settled.

I have found to my frustration that many people share the Bush administration's "flexibility" in terms of what is constitutional, what is moral, and what these words mean:

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

Just get into on this site, and you will find the following text:

Whether or not a search was reasonable, wrote Justice Powell for the Court, was a question which derived much of its answer from the warrant clause; except in a few narrowly circumscribed classes of situations, only those searches conducted pursuant to warrants were reasonable. The Government's duty to preserve the national security did not override the gurarantee that before government could invade the privacy of its citizens it must present to a neutral magistrate evidence sufficient to support issuance of a warrant authorizing that invasion of privacy. 153 This protection was even more needed in ''national security cases'' than in cases of ''ordinary'' crime, the Justice continued, inasmuch as the tendency of government so often is to regard opponents of its policies as a threat and hence to tread in areas protected by the First Amendment as well as by the Fourth. 154 Rejected also was the argument that courts could not appreciate the intricacies of investigations in the area of national security nor preserve the secrecy which is required. 155

As far as FISA goes, the FindLaw Site concludes with this:

The question of the scope of the President's constitutional powers, if any, remains judicially unsettled. 156 Congress has acted, however, providing for a special court to hear requests for warrants for electronic surveillance in foreign intelligence situations, and permitting the President to authorize warrantless surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information provided that the communications to be monitored are exclusively between or among foreign powers and there is no substantial likelihood any ''United States person'' will be overheard. 157

The president's argument, as many helpful Red Column Readers have graciously and repeatedly asserted, is that the authorization of force against the perpetrators of 9/11 and those that provided them support and haven allows the president to bypass the FISA courts.

I have trouble seeing that. This is the relevant text of that law :

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.

Implicitly, it may serve as authorization for getting warrants, but because of the Fourth Amendment, it is still necessary to get warrants, in this case through the FISA courts. Seeing as how the administration has seen fit to do that before in the War on Terror, it's difficult to understand why they would do things this way.

FISA law, as I've noted before, is clear: If an American is on the line, a warrant is needed. Besides the necessary war powers provisions, the text of the main body of the authorization to use military force is as presented above. Nothing in it explicitly repeals FISA, which operates even in a time of war, and nothing in that authorization can possibly repeal an Amendment. As all of us social studies junkies know, it takes an amendment to repeal an amendment. the authorization for the use of force is obviously not one of those.

The suggestion, therefore, is that America's civil liberties can be freely interpreted by the president as needed to protect us all. Sounds nice, until you realize that the whole point of those civil liberties is to protect us against him.

That was the nation we set up. We are born to America as a homeland, but we are born to the United States of America, this nation, as citizens. As such, it is the burden of the government to show evidence that we have done something or gotten involved with something before they can claim that searches, surveillance, and other invasions of our personal freedoms are justified. The other Amendments to the constitution see to it that we have other rights, rights which only the misapplication of law can deprive us of.

Our nation, you could say, is an emergent phenomena, an entity that is more than the sum of its parts, more than just a bunch of cogs grinding together in the same machine. Between the dry language of the constitution and all the law that is based on it, and the lives we lead, something happens, something that has allowed this country to be the greatest country on the face of this planet, and also one of the most just.

There are those who look at America, though, and see just a name, behind which lies some mysterious power. It doesn't matter what we do to preserve the nation that occupies the nation between the two shimmering oceans, they say, it only matters that we are always willing to do it, and willing to follow those leaders bold enough to use the power to do it.

And if some whiny liberals just happen to get in the way? Treat them as the threats they are. To them, America is cut in two: those who deserve it, and those who don't. If you're not part of the first group, then it's all right to do anything it takes to leave you the loser in any competition, battle, or situation you encounter them in. Does it matter if we aren't completely consistent? Well, such is life, and we can sort all that out after the country is nice, safe, and in our hands. Let's not deliberate. Don't argue with me. Don't complain when I browbeat you into passing this legislation, hours after the vote should have been legtimately over. If we bruise (or break) a few civil liberties, then don't whine about it, because obsessing over those things is for weaklings (and traitors who want al-Qaeda to win). In short, these folks believe that they form an elite set of people who recognize the true character of the United States who deserve to have control of the Government.

America though, in reality, is not that. It's a country built not merely with a government, but with a government for that government: the Constitution. The control reflects back and forth in an neverending strange loop of self-modifying, self organizing government. Just witness the grassroots strength of the opposition to Bush. If things were so deterministic as he would want, all his spin and propaganda would work easily, and it wouldn't be so hard to make up American's mind for them. Instead, Americans have made up their minds for themselves, to the extent that even the Republican Congress is visibly breaking with the president, and the sense is in the air that the days of the Republican Majority could be numbered.

Even before now, things were slipping from Bush's control. In no small part, this is because much of this never was in Bush's control to begin with. Bush, by dint of consistent abuse of his rivals, consistent abuse of America's trust, and consistent abuse of its laws and moral standards has done what many politicians have failed to do in a long time: make people interested in the outcome of elections. It is not significant to note that not only had the President received more votes than any president elected before, but also his opponent?

This is a system that is meant to punish those who try to exercise power without doing the public's will in the process. The first amendments ot the constitution explicitly remove the power of Congress or any other branch to censor people's expression, especially their political beliefs. To many, this seems a bad move, a sure way to let the heretics, political and otherwise, grain power. Not a year has gone by in America without somebody grumbling about somebody else being able to voice their beliefs. And yet, for all those doubter's quibbles, this country stil functions. Some would believe that a society with civil liberties for suspected criminals would descend into chaos. Despite all those naysayers, our country survives, with the finest police forces in the world.

America's freedoms are more than abstract legal principles, of use only to lawyers. They are the foundation of American character. They are what makes America unique, special, a city on the hill, and an example for all to admire. This is what Bush messes with, when he starts believing that his power comes by right of election, and not law and the will of the people. This is what Bush degrades and leads to decay.

America could have been given any name, and yet still be the America we know and love, if it still had the constitution and the prinicples and restraints on government that come with it. That aspect of America transcends any name, any piece of music, any piece of cloth. Without it, we could slap the name America on a patch of soild between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and the nation so described would not be recognizable to us.

I do not want to live to see the day when my country becomes as such, with a name and little else in common with the country I was born in. I would rather be burned alive by a terrorist bomb than see my country become America in name only. Bush has taken several serious steps, in his reckless quest for greater power (well intentioned or not), that have taken us closer to this terrible reality.

Though I think it unlikely that Bush would turn this country into a fascist regime overnight, I do believe that many of the precedents he has created in office will be exploited by future leaders, and so exploited further wear our freedom down, the way a crack in the rock lets in the ice that splits it even wider. This is not simply a slippery slope argument- this is the way tyrannies have come to pass for ages before not, and how they will come to pass in the ages to come. Democracy doesn't die in an instant. It decays from within, infected with the false promises of unrestrained power used for the good of all.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at December 30, 2005 3:33 PM
Comments
Comment #109275

It hasn’t happened over night, The people surrounding this President have been around a long time. Doesn’t anyone else get the shivers when an old picture surfices ?

This country, is not the country you were born to And it is getting worse not by the day or week, month or year but by the Hour. THEY are changing the face of American as we write this.

Yesterday, Rumsfeld changed who was in charge at the Justice Dept.
Today, the Justice Dept. is investigating “The Leak” about the NSA spying on Americans.

Now, isn’t that just dandy, move some people around and NOW do the investigation.

This all happened within hours and not with the approval of Congress. Not even with their knowlege till after the fact.
Too much power… Very, Very Scary.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 30, 2005 8:42 PM
Comment #109278
This all happened within hours and not with the approval of Congress. Not even with their knowlege till after the fact. Too much power… Very, Very Scary.

gypsyirishgirl,

I don’t know which is scarier, that this administration is chipping away at American principles or that some Americans are all too happily handing their freedoms over to the government.

Apparently Bush is going to appoint Gordon England to the new number 2 Pentagon job with a convenient recess appointment.

Thomas Donnelly, a defense expert with the American Enterprise Institute, said the changes make it easier for the administration to assert political control and could lead to more narrow-minded decisions.

“It continues to devalue the services as institutions,” said Donnelly, saying it will centralize power and shift it away from the services, where there is generally more military expertise.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 30, 2005 9:02 PM
Comment #109282

“I don’t know which is scarier, that this administration is chipping away at American principles or that some Americans are all too happily handing their freedoms over to the government.
Thomas Donnelly, a defense expert with the American Enterprise Institute, said the changes make it easier for the administration to assert political control and could lead to more narrow-minded decisions.”

I think it is more scary that some Americans are all to happy to let this happen. God knows that Man will try. Getting away with it… History has shown us what is next hasn’t it ?

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 30, 2005 9:34 PM
Comment #109288

Stephen, A powerhouse post. for many Americans, this “snoopgate” issue is where the metaphorical rubber meets the road.

Justice does not come by decree, nor by mandate, nor by political capital.

It only arises out of law. We are a nation of laws. My belief is that there cannot be justice without law. When laws are circumvented or otherwise ignored, there is a corresponding diminishment of justice.

President Bush seems to believe that he knows better than the rest of us, and that the illegal acts that he has authorized are being done for our benefit.

Now we have an investigation into the leaking to the press of the NSA snooping. I am hopeful that the investigation results in the swift apprehension of the individuals involved. And that they are all given the freedom medal and a parade down Pennsylvania ave.

Maybe some good will come out of the investigation if it focuses attention on the misdeeds perpetrated by the administration. However, it seems to be typical bushco “attack the messenger” strategy.

Posted by: Steve Miller at December 30, 2005 9:59 PM
Comment #109292

“and that they are all given the freedom medal and a parade down Pennsylvania ave.”

Amen, Is that a Collective humanitarian Amen that I hear ?

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 30, 2005 10:11 PM
Comment #109294

Quite right, Stephen. Authoritarian regimes make up the laws they will abide by as they go along, disregard laws that interfere, or amend such laws as needed from the office of the authoritarian executive, as President Bush has done.

This is a President and cabinet, which has for all intents and purposes acted outside the law, ignoring the portions of it which would interefere with their will. If allowed to go unpunished by the law, that huge step down the slippery slope of leaving behind the concept of a nation of laws, and the elevation of the concept of a nation of men, specifically those few who author their own laws, will be taken.

Until Pres. Bush, Presidents have walked to the brink of that slippery slope, to be pulled back by the Courts. But, I fear with Alito’s confirmation, there will be no Sup. Ct. to halt this or future Presidents from taking the full plunge down the slope.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 30, 2005 10:26 PM
Comment #109314

“Slippery slope” arguments such as these have to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

They tend to ignore the actual matters at hand and postulate extreme and unrealistic situations that quickly become borderline paranoid.

You can use “slippery slope” arguments to object to anything whatsoever. If the speed limit is raised to 65 on the highway, does that mean that drivers will start going 95? No, of course not, and if they do it will still be illegal. If private citizens are forbidden to own Stinger missles, does that mean that their Second Amendment rights are under attack?

There are some extremists who would say just that, but until lately they were the type who’d hide from the black helicopters at places like Ruby Ridge.

By the same token, it’s ridiculous to say that if law enforcement officials are permitted to use roving wire taps, to eavesdrop in narrowly restricted situations on those with known terrorist ties when they make overseas phone calls, that the next step is a totalitarian state.

In any case, the administration has, according to a great many (including top legal scholars and officials of former administrations, including those from the Carter and Clinton administrations) acted not only entirely within the authority given to the executive branch by the Constitution. Not only is it perfectly legal, it’s been done for decades—so much for the “slippery slope.”

Posted by: sanger at December 31, 2005 1:11 AM
Comment #109322

Another huge misconception at work here: the idea that even incrimentally increased law enforcement and monitoring of citizens (even citizens with known terrorist ties) is a slipery slope toward an authoratarian regime.

This is, in many instances, actually the OPPOSITE lesson taught by history.

Over and over again, what history has showed is that inadequate or lax law enforcement breeds the conditions which give rise to authoritarian regimes.

Despite the conventional wisdom on this point (which is pure baloney) can anyone actually name a totalitarian state which occurred as a result of the gradual chipping away of civil rights? Germany? Iran? China? Cuba? Italy?

Nope. Totalitarian states have always arisen in unstable societies where threats to the internal instability of the nation have gone unchecked. In some cases, the citizens have gotten fed up with this lawlessness and installed a dictator who changes things basically overnight. In other cases, the “man on the horse,” the dictator, has exploited the government’s weakness and instability and come to a power in a violent revolution.

Where has authoritarianism ever occurred as a gradual process?

Many, I suppose, might cite Nazi Germany as an example. But read your history.

Long before Hitler and the Nazis came to power, they were basically a domestic terror organization that committed street crimes, murder and assasination while a succession of weak German governments tried to appease them, ignore them, or give them light prison sentences whenever they were convicted of crimes against the state.

Hitler himself wrote Mein Kampf while he was in jail after attempting to overthrow the government (in the “Beer Hall” rebellion).

Why did they ever let him out? Would it have been better for the world to hold him incommunicado in a place like Guantanomo? Didn’t he deserve it? Would it have been better to prevent him from writing and disseminating propaganda such as that in Mein Kampf after he was already found guilty of murder, assasination and the attempted overthrow of the government?

Oh yeah—sure. His right to freedom, free speech and lack of monitoring by the government was “neccessary to avoid any chipping away of civil liberties.”

Wrong!!!

How many of the American left today would champion these very rights—for Adolf Hitler? His right to be left alone, his right to privacy. If they champion these rights for Al Qaida associates, why not for him?

This laxity went on for literally decades. Stricter sentencing, greater vigilance—STRONGER MEASURES—would have prevented this gang of domestic terrorists led by Adolf Hitler from ever murdering, intimidating and conniving their way into power.

Anyone truly worried about their civil liberties in America needs to stop and think. What if another event like 9-11 occurs? What if, god forbid, there is a nuclear, chemical, or biological terror attack on a major American population center that costs thousands (or even millions) of American lives?

Don’t make this about George Bush—perhaps he won’t even be president when and it happens. Perhaps it will be a Democrat. Perhaps an independent—it doesn’t matter who. This isn’t about party or personality.

What happens to our civil liberties then?

If such an attack happens, the public will not only tolerate but DEMAND the most stringent and invasive security measures ever seen in this country.

As a civil liberatarian, I don’t want that to happen. I want the maximum freedom, the minimum interference from the goverment.

Attempts to prevent the goverment from taking common sense measures like roving wire taps and the monitoring of phone calls overseas by known associates of Al Qaida make it massively MORE likely, instead of less likely, that a dark day for our rights and liberites is on the horizon.

Posted by: sanger at December 31, 2005 2:02 AM
Comment #109323
By the same token, it’s ridiculous to say that if law enforcement officials are permitted to use roving wire taps, to eavesdrop in narrowly restricted situations on those with known terrorist ties when they make overseas phone calls, that the next step is a totalitarian state.

How do you know the spying was used in narrowly restricted situations on those with known terrorist ties, sanger? Because Bush told you so? There is no legal documentation (as in a warrant) to back up this claim. The President flat out lied about getting warrants in 2004 when he said:

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. President Bush, April 20, 2004

If he lied about this, then what else is he lying about? Who he is actually spying on? What other unconstitutional and illegal things is he up to? According to those on the right, once a President does something then that makes it right for future Presidents to do. Clinton did it, so it must be legal! Right?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 2:09 AM
Comment #109324

Lately, I’ve spent a lot of time reading the works of our founding fathers. Their correspondence is fascinating, demonstrating a capacity for critical thought and extreme long-term reasoning that we don’t see in our leaders these days. The works where these gentlemen really hit their stride are the original formal works that we all know and love — the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and the Declaration of Independence.
In a recent reading of this last work, I was struck by a handfull of phrases, some of which I will note here:

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government”
Of course, the author goes on to formally enumerate the injuries perpetrated by the King of Great Britain (his initials entirely coincidental).
“He has refuted his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.”
“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.”
“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:”
and among these Acts,
“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury”

Any of this sounding familiar?
In the end, when a president dings up the Bill of Rights, he tends to pay for it dearly. Let’s make sure this one does.

Posted by: A. Simpleton at December 31, 2005 2:12 AM
Comment #109329
How do you know the spying was used in narrowly restricted situations on those with known terrorist ties, sanger? Because Bush told you so?

How do you know, Jayjay, that fire codes aren’t used to intimidate and harrass political dissidents? That liberals aren’t disproportionaly audited by the IRS or cited for double parking?

How do you know that the cops aren’t watching Michael Moore and Howard Dean every moment in hopes of giving them a speeding ticket or a citation for public intoxication?

Is the bogey man in the black helicopter coming to take us away? I don’t know. Maybe he is.

JayJay, if the President of the United States wants to persecute and harass anybody who isn’t a terrorist he doesn’t NEED—nor would it make any sense—for him to conjure up an executive order with wording so narrow as to be restricted to those with terrorist ties.

Believe it or not, the elected President of the United States is quite a powerful man and is given a wide range of authorities and powers by the Contitution even in peacetime.

If you think that it’s wrong to give anybody so much power, I won’t argue with you, but every President has had this power. Your quibble seems to be with the very existence of an executive branch.

Because, you see, if the President wants to come after ya’, he can do it quite effectively without pretending to do so as anti-terror measure.

Of course, we COULD deny the president the powers explicitly assigned to him by the Contitution to defend the Republic during a time of war because we’re afraid he might abuse them.

But if we’re really that paranoid, we better take axes away from firemen!

After all, axes are dangerous weapons that COULD be used to attack upstanding an innocent American citizens who are only minding their own business.

Posted by: sanger at December 31, 2005 2:45 AM
Comment #109331
Over and over again, what history has showed is that inadequate or lax law enforcement breeds the conditions which give rise to authoritarian regimes.

Absolutely, and if we allow Bush to break the law and his oath to uphold the Constitution, then that lax law enforcement will bread the conditions that will allow the President, this one and future, to push the envelope.

Despite the conventional wisdom on this point (which is pure baloney) can anyone actually name a totalitarian state which occurred as a result of the gradual chipping away of civil rights? Germany? Iran? China? Cuba? Italy?

That would never work in the United States, it is a different animal. If the President would have anounced the suspension of the Constitution after 9/11, he would have been bounced out of office, head first. Chipping away at the Constitution is the only way to put one over on America, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Why did they ever let him out? Would it have been better for the world to hold him incommunicado in a place like Guantanomo? Didn’t he deserve it? Would it have been better to prevent him from writing and disseminating propaganda such as that in Mein Kampf after he was already found guilty of murder, assasination and the attempted overthrow of the government?

I guess you will have to ask this question to the German government of the time. We are talking about the laws of the United States, not 1930’s Germany. What are you saying here anyway, that we should lock Bush up at Guantanomo?

How many of the American left today would champion these very rights—for Adolf Hitler? His right to be left alone, his right to privacy. If they champion these rights for Al Qaida associates, why not for him?

Well, if Hitler were an American citizen today and Bush wanted to spy on him, as long as he has a warrant, then I see absolutly nothing wrong with that. If Hitler were a German citizen and Bush wanted to spy on him and his associates in Germany without a warrant, then I see nothing wrong with that. If Hitler were a German citizen and Bush wanted to spy on him and his associates in America, as long as he has a warrant to spy on the American citizen then I see nothing wrong with that. There is simply no excuse for Bush to not get warrants. None.

Anyone truly worried about their civil liberties in America needs to stop and think. What if another event like 9-11 occurs? What if, god forbid, there is a nuclear, chemical, or biological terror attack on a major American population center that costs thousands (or even millions) of American lives?

Well, at least I will know that I died standing up for what I believe in. Again, if we are willing to send our loved ones off to fight and die for our way of life, then why are we not willing to do the same at home? And what if another 9/11 type attack never happens? Should we live in fear and give up our rights? Deadly threats are nothing new to the U.S. and they will not go away anytime soon. So if your answer is lets live in fear and give up our liberties for possibly a little bit of security, then for how long? Where do we stop giving up our liberties in the name of safety? Terrorists can communicate in other ways than just electronically. Should we allow the post office to go through all our mail? Why not allow suprise inspections of your house? If your not doing anything wrong then you don’t need to worry. Right?

Attempts to prevent the goverment from taking common sense measures like roving wire taps and the monitoring of phone calls overseas by known associates of Al Qaida make it massively MORE likely, instead of less likely, that a dark day for our rights and liberites is on the horizon.

Why is it not common sense to get a warrant? There is no excuse no to seek a warrant. None.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 2:59 AM
Comment #109332
nor would it make any sense—for him to conjure up an executive order with wording so narrow as to be restricted to those with terrorist ties.

I thought this executive order was classified. How do you know the wording is narrow and restricted? Better yet, why not just get a warrant? Nice and legal. Plenty of legal documentation.

Bush didn’t need to use 9/11 to invade Iraq either, but he did.

Your quibble seems to be with the very existence of an executive branch.

I’m not sure what you’re talking about here, but ok. The executive branch does have very neccessary functions as outlined in the Constitution. I just wish someone could point out, exactly, where in the Constitution, it assigns all this great and powerful authority?

Of course, we COULD deny the president the powers explicitly assigned to him by the Contitution to defend the Republic during a time of war because we’re afraid he might abuse them.

Explicitly? Where? Please point them out. Commander in Chief of the armed forces when called into service is not explicit. The job of the executive branch in the Constitution is to execute the laws and policies set by Congress while upholding the Constitution. I realize that the President has more power than this today, but you say the Constitution gives him the power, where?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 3:16 AM
Comment #109334
After all, axes are dangerous weapons that COULD be used to attack upstanding an innocent American citizens who are only minding their own business.

And guess what? The person who uses that axe to attack that upstanding and innocent American citizen will have to answer for it if front of a court of law. Why is the President above the law? If the President’s personal sex life isn’t above the law, then certainly neither should illegal wiretapping.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 3:19 AM
Comment #109337
JayJay, if the President of the United States wants to persecute and harass anybody who isn’t a terrorist he doesn’t NEED—nor would it make any sense—for him to conjure up an executive order with wording so narrow as to be restricted to those with terrorist ties.

If he wants to persecute and harass anybody he doesn’t need an executive order. If the President of the United States wants to persecute and harass any American he does NEED to —nor would it make any sense not to— get a warrant, though. No excuses for not getting a warrant. None.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 3:32 AM
Comment #109388

Let Sanger go. When a Democrat is in office, and the President seems to have this uncanny ability to direct his justice department to uncover every little secret of Sanger’s leaders, let’s see how safe Sanger feels. And how exuberant he is to defend the Democrat President having the power to spy secretly on anyone who may be conspiring against the president’s reelection, the security of the nation.

We have seen the shoe on the other foot time and time again, which makes objections like Sanger’s pretty much irrelevant to such a discussion as whether or not the President should act within the constraints of the law or not.

We are a nation of law, not of men, so there is no intelligent argument to be made in defense of any President who acts above and outside the law, save that of folks like Sanger whose argument has but one conclusion, they prefer dictatorial powers in order to feel safe, or to acquire for themselves, whichever the case may be.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 31, 2005 5:43 AM
Comment #109390

A. Simpleton, your comment belies your handle. Excellent points.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 31, 2005 5:45 AM
Comment #109392

Sanger, and then sometimes slippery slope arguments warn quite accurately, which is why such arguments exist at all. Some in Hitler’s Germany warned of slippery slopes, some in his own judiciary and some in his own military. They slid down the slope and found themselves risking their own lives to try to assasinate Hitler themselves, the only option left them after sliding down the slope.

And no, I am not comparing Nazi Germany as a nation to the US today. Only that the concept of slippery slopes exist for very good reason. It is too damned hard to climb back up a slippery slope, so it is best not to act in a manner that could at all cause one to slide down it in the first place.

An authoritarian America will look much more like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World than G. Orwell’s 1984. Though George Orwell is not one to be ignored in these times, nor in any times of war, for war is the cloak that hides the transition from free and open government to closed and secretive government.

Mussolini’s fascism was not the same as Hitler’s fascism, and neither was the same as Japan’s imperialism, and China’s communism was not the same as Russia’s, and Britain’s democracy is not the same as ours. Point being, an authoritarian democracy may not at first resemble anything we have seen before. But if an authoritarian democracy comes into existence in America, it will do so on the back of just such extra-legal maneuvers as Bush has just been discovered engaged in, and a supportive majority defending the man, and not the law.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 31, 2005 6:00 AM
Comment #109453

Wow. Fantastic post, Stephen. Five stars (highest rating!)

A. Simpleton — very nicely done.

“I’ve spent a lot of time reading the works of our founding fathers. Their correspondence is fascinating, demonstrating a capacity for critical thought and extreme long-term reasoning that we don’t see in our leaders these days.”

I couldn’t agree with you more. So much so in fact, that I believe it might be a fine idea if politicians who aspire to Congress or the presidency should be required to study the writings of some of the founders very thoroughly, and then be required to pass a written exam before they should be allowed to even think about running for public office.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 31, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #109454

Greetings all
Thought this would be an interesting list to observe,as its directly relavant to this discussion ,will add comments to this list as well …

Thursday, January 10, 1963
Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla., is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman’s request, I include in the RECORD, under unanimous consent, the following “Current Communist Goals,” which she identifies as an excerpt from “The Naked Communist,” by Cleon Skousen:

CURRENT COMMUNIST GOALS

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
A.How many liberals have we heard from since the 60s stating only way to peace is through the UN simply ask John Kerry or any of a multitude of previuos democratic canidates.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.
A.this was written in 1963 ,with John F Kennedy as our president ,Bay of pigs comes to mind,as well as refusal to address and take a stand against north korea in 1994,instead giving this country millions in aid while turning a blind eye to obvious violations of said treaty.
3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.
A.Does this sound familar ?
4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.
A.hmmm think back to 1993 with UN oversight of oil for food program created in part because many groups stated 1000s of iraqi children were starving to death,then the refusal of germany ,france ,Russia or china to authorize decision to remove saddam hussien ,primarily because these countrys were being paid millions to look the other way.
5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
A.with financial collapse of russia ,and subsquent aid from america ,for multiple projects such as re-employment of nuclear scientists,removal of nuclear materials ect,with there corrupt system how much of this taxpayer money is actually doing what it was designed for ?and not being detoured to specific weapons sytems ?….Kind of like playin chess if your opponant believes you are weak and unable to defend your self he slacks off…think reduction of our military and release of classified nuclear research to chinese during clinton admin.
6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.
A.Needless to comment on this simply look at the nations both dems and repubs have supported since 63.
7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.
A.already done and allowed most favored nation status as well.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
A.with Reagon spending far more than russia was able to realisticly spend for more newer weapons far more likely they did what had to be done to seem defensless allowing the wall to be torn down while knowing all the while it was all a ruse to enable them to recieve massive Us aid all the while hiding there new weapons sytems and research programs,.
9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
9A.Ban still in effect though Gerge Bush has attempted to nullifie this in order to conduct research on small 1 kilaton bunker buster type weapons,,remember the outrage of the dems when this occured?…
10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
10A.again follows the ruse of collapse of former soviet union and allows many before unheard leaders of each small state to ask for and recieve US aid that otherwise would never have been granted.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)
11A.Listen to Howard Dean,John Kerry ,Dick Durbin,Harry Reid,Nancy Pelosi,Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton,Barbra Boxer,Jon Conyers,and any other democratic reprsentive and you’ll hear how we must seek consule and rebuild bridges to the UN as George Bush has destroyed all of these connections by going into Iraq.

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.
12A.white supremist’s wanna be nazis,communists,gay and lesbian groups holding legal parades in US ,while being given this right by judges hand picked over the 60s 70s ,80s and early 90s by democrats.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.
13A.lawsuits taking out god in the pledge of alligiance,removal of 10 commandments from courthouses around the country,

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
14A and now china and many of smaller countrys that were part of russia,add into this loss of significant nuclear research or our entire nuclear program to china during the clinton admin.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.
15A.Very apparent the Democrat party as a whole has already been taken over,and is now controlled by The Money of a few.
16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.
16A.Gee sounds very familar eh?stopping wire tapping Of the NSA that so far has protected us from additional attacks,with Democratic pressure this will be stopped which will allow our enemys to hit us again,and for Russia or China who would never dream of attacking us outright,the oppurtunity to hand over a few nuclear suit cases and other needed technoligy ,to say north korea ,and or othe terrorists groups making it virtually impossible to identifie where they came from,meanwhile we end up with several million dead and no one to retaliate against.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

17A.last 30 to 40 years this has been accomplished with the democratic party controlling the teachers union and multiple democrats and democratic groups trying to make it maditory to teach 5 and 6 year olds about gay and lesbian lifestyles as well as issuing condoms to 10 year olds ,and many other issues far to large to cover hear ,george Bush is first president in many years not afraid to take on these unions and force them to be accountable and actually teach students but the curriclum has already been corrupted and this is main way we’ll lose our freedoms ,through teaching thier immoral culture to our youngest for the only way to take down the US is from within,and is i believe the goal of the current democratic party.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

18A.with campuses around the country attempting to stop military recruiters from being on campus ,Why?because the military adopted a dont ask dont tell policy regarding sexual behaviour,however thats not enough for our liberal friends they’re goal is the teaching of immoral sexaul activitys from pre-school to college again part of the systemic detroction of moral fabric that has held this country togethor over the last 200 years .

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

19A.can you say Vietnam war protests which caused untold credibilty lose of US and now cindy shehan and her hollywood liberal elites attempting to foment and do the same thing ,as well as congressman murtath ,nancy Pelosi calling for immeadate withdrawal of all forces from iraq ,

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

20A.other than Fox news they have already gained control of 90 % of media through the teaching of there polictical agenda since the 60s ,one of main reasons they were able to succesfully riot and cause withdrawal from vietnam was walter cronkites story and pictures of a north vietnamese who was captured in civialian clothing in south vietnam then exucuted with a bullet to the head ,however the press never reported that the geneva convention specificly oks this in a time of war,add to this the attempt ,by Dan Rather to change the outcome of a presidential election by disclosing information about george Bush that was entirly made up and completly fraudulant as proved multiple times and confirmed by retirement of dan rather and fireing of many at CBS.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

21A.Hollywood elites and there money ,and 90% of written press /radio/TV under control of liberal democrats they have succeded here already.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

22A.removal of nativaty scenes nationwide,10 commandments ,attempt to take god out of anything now in our culture,payments by taxpayers to the cultural arts allowing artists to have scenes of mary covered by human excretment and many 100s of other examples.

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

23A.pretty self explanitory this is already been succesfully completed as well.

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them “censorship” and a violation of free speech and free press.

24A.they continue to work on this regarding child pornography and plain old porn ,think back to early 70s do you think youd see the sex in movies /commercials you do today?….again they have been very succesful using judges appointed by dems in the 60s ,70s ,80s,and early 90s.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

25A.this needs little comment simply ask your self what you currently see in movies books commercials ,Howard stern ,ect.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, healthy.”

26A.This is continuing on a daily basis though they may have jumped a little early as thier defeat in 11 states regarding gay marriage goes however the overturning of sodomy laws and expansion of gay and lesbian additional rights have gone a long way to accomplish this.

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a “religious crutch.”

27A.Amazzing how many suddenly remembered childhood sexual attacks by priests around the country,and now we have an ordained minister who became leader of thier church who lives the gay life style.

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”

28A.not much comment needed here any who post on this line are very familar with multitude of lawsuits stoping this.,/strong>

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

30A.with information released recently regarding thomas jefferson who supposidly fathered a child through one of his slaves this is on track as well.

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture—education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

32A.can you say hilliary clintons health plan?and many other aspects of this have been completed as well.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

35A.can you say Homeland security dept created after panel on 9-11 forced it to occur?…

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

36A.Already done.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use [“]united force[“] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

After reading these that were done in 1963 and try to be honest how many have they already accomplished ?now think of the democrats beliefs and objectives and ask yourselfs this one question ,,,are these truly for the good of the united states ?…hope this gives all some moments of refection.

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #109456

Sanger-
First post:
There are such things as slippery slopes, and giving too much power over yourself to a set of leaders is an all too common example in history.

You have the argument backwards. It’s not the wiretaps themselves, but how Bush went about getting the authority for them. Bush says that this the authority is his by constitutional right. But the constitution, in parallel to giving Bush the command of the army, forbids him from search and seizures not backed by a warrant. Your argument seems to be that the constitution can either be regarded piecemeal, or that the President’s constitutional role as CINC can be regarded to overrule other parts of the constitution.

Congress, as I’ve pointed out before, cannot give the president authority that the constitution itself grants nobody.

Second Post:
Civil Liberties and strength of law enforcement are not diametric opposites, because the system isn’t that simple. In fact, some of the most totalitarian regimes have some of the darkest, most corrupt underworlds. It’s worse for these people if they get caught, but only if they get caught, and only if the authorities care to act against them. An example: The Russian mob, which developed in the underbelly of the Soviet Union. Because of the paucity of limits and safeguards on power, abuses of that power, such as taking bribes to allow underground activity to go on, are much easier. Because of the benefits this engenders for the powerful, the corruption is almost guaranteed to occur. It’s naive in today’s environment of graft and corruption to assume the new powers won’t be misused

Such corruption will make it far easier for officials to turn a blind eye to security hazards, and far easier for the corrupt to cover up their unintentional or intentional complicity. In short, though it might seem like the sacrifice of civil liberties will protect us, it will actually open up new avenues of danger for Americans, both from own government, and from the terrorists well connected to get past our security net.

As for what happens with our civil liberties in case of an attack, I would be far more worried about that in an environment where we’re already allowing illegal warrantless searches, than one where the safeguards still exist.

Third Post:
Sanger, has it occured to you that the reason why fire codes and tax audits or following of liberal leaders doesn’t occur that often, is because such actions would have to be performed and thereafter justified in public?

Another recent article revealed that plain jane pacifist groups, with no connection to terrorists, were investigated and penetrated by military intelligence. Similar things have happened under the patriot act regarding the FBI snooping on such groups.

The president is investigating his opposition, and justifying it as part of the war on terrorism. It’s not paranoia. The president is given a great deal of power, but nothing without limits. We have a whole laundry lists of things the president cannot interfere with in our lives without evidence of a crime or just cause.

Your justification of constitutionally granted powers cannot ignore whole sections of the constitution. Even assuming the best of Bush, what about the next person who comes in and takes advantage of the powers Bush has illegally gathered to himself?

The Founding Fathers would be horrified to see how quickly certain Americans have thrown themselves on the mercy of the good intentions of their leaders.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2005 12:41 PM
Comment #109457
and then be required to pass a written exam before they should be allowed to even think about running for public office.

Adrienne,

What a GREAT idea! It could be called “No Politician left behind”!

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 12:44 PM
Comment #109460

Or better yet, Amend the Constitution to require it for American citizenship and call it “No American Left Behind”.

Of course no politicians would ever support such an amendment, the more ignorant “we the people” the better for them.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 12:49 PM
Comment #109465

Rylee-
If the logic of that list is right, the Communists should be the winners. After all, congress was liberal until 1994. I should think that the historical verdict on communism is obvious. We won, they lost. In part, we won because we could take and leave their ideas as we saw fit, while their system didn’t allow them any such flexibility. We could afford to be a little bit socialist. They couldn’t, in the end, afford to be a little bit capitalist.

America is subversion-resistant because the government is not built on any kind of cultural enforcement. You can’t just force people to believe something, and conversely there is no enforced culture to develop an underground with. The communists in this country were never separated out here the way the communists were separated out in Europe or Russia, with result being that they ended up acquiring many mainstream values.

You guys think that Roosevelt invited communism into this country- in fact, he killed it with kindness, taking well-liked socialist reforms and ideas, and blending them with capitalism. Result? a hybrid that didn’t please the most fervent of anti-communists, but which stole the intellectual and popular thunder from that party, consigning it to be a minor player in politics from that day forward.

This is a country that confronts dangerous ideas, and absorbs them. The minute we break away from that, is the minute we become easier prey for subversives.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2005 1:12 PM
Comment #109471

Stephen
If you read the goals of the list which was main resaon for posting and was not answered you’ll see that the vast majority of there stated goals has become the goals and positions of the democratic party ,how many of the objectives they wanted achieved have in fact now been achieved directly through the democratic party ?…i started out as a democrat but could not continue because they do not tolerate any thing but thier agenda … i personaly believe the government has not right to restrict a woman from seeking an abortion however if done should only be allowed in the first 100 days of a pregnancy and if its a minor should require parental permission,however for the democrats theres no room whatso ever its all or nothing allowing 13 year olds to have an abotion with out parental permission or knowledge.

as far as the gay and lesbian issue i have no problem with people doing what they please in there own bedroom however i do not want this amoral behavior taught to any children nor do i feel they should be given additional rights simply because they choose to particapate in an amoral ,deviate life style.

This once great nation is being divided by large money very tiny segmants of america who whethor intentionaly or inadvertantly are following the script of the communists for its the only way any of our enemys could ever defeat us….Remeber if you will United WE STAND,,,,Divided We fall.

To read the vast majority of posts from democrats virtually all continue to claim George Bush Lied to the american people regrding weapons of mass destruction,,,,they state it time and time again however in reality every intelligence agency in the world from each and every country felt that Iraq and saddam hussien was hiding additional weapons ,and with additional information regarding the food for oil program its very apparent to virtually any one that the only reason that france ,germany russia ,and china refused to endorse action against saddam was they were being paid millions of dollars to garauntee thier support,this year as more info comes out ,about this subject and Iraq continues to build up the forces nessicary to provide security we shall discover how big a true cover up this actually was.

So I ask you stephen of 45 stated goals for the communist party in 1963 how many have been adopted or directly furthered with the help of the democratic party…?

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 1:40 PM
Comment #109473

A Simpleton,

One of my favorite founding father quotes that applies here is this one by James Madison:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In forming a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

Sanger,
You’re correct that “slippery slope” arguments can be misused to argue against all manner of sensible things. You’re wrong that this is such an instance.

You ask for examples where a totalitarian state formed by a chipping away of civil rights. Perhaps Rome is a good example. Regardless, I don’t want to see it happen here.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at December 31, 2005 1:48 PM
Comment #109477

Maybe I’m wrong here but I think Rylee just called Dems Communists ?

I have done extensive research on Communist China in the 50’s, Interviewed A few VERY lucky to have lived threw it.

The only people I see that resemble that remark are those in the Bush Admin.
Really, and that is why I am here today writting this…
I recignize the propaganda, I am frightened by the propaganda, and I have seen the propaganda preached at the pulpits of churches. Again, like Communist China in the 50’s.

Let me say this, they are not telling people to vote Democrate! Not even to ask for Gods guidence, just out and out , If you don’t vote this way you are not a Christian, if you are not Christian you will go to Hell.

The people that voted for Bush that are from the bible belt. Got Bushes vote out of fear.

Communism thrives on fear.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 31, 2005 1:58 PM
Comment #109479

Actually Rylee, I do see communistic footprints in the Clinton Presidency and YES chipping away is the means. But We do have such strong capitalism in the US all the marxist ideology will never fully take root. I do however believe that Bill Clinton/Hillary/Gore had rather semi-communististic underpinnings although balanced in some ways. It’s an interesting conversation you brought up.

Posted by: Novenge at December 31, 2005 2:03 PM
Comment #109485

Gypsygirl,

All of Bush’s answers (especially nochild left behind) are political answers. Set to keep the deckchairs on the titanic looking like he’s getting them straightened while everything crumbles. His economy and his tax-deferrals same shinola. It is all a load of Bull-sh#t that the well meaning are placing all their hopes on Bush’s answers being more than two dimensional AND IN TRUTH ALL THERE IS A HOLLYWOOD SET with a two dimensional western town and little else. He lies to us boldface his words now have about as much credence as that guy who used to sell Isuzu’s on TV (the 80’s) and his word is so far from dependable or trustworthy. This country is a sloppy half-ass mess with bad appointments all over and the right-wing will come to this point eventually as most already have.

Posted by: Novenge at December 31, 2005 2:19 PM
Comment #109487

Novenge

It’s true there is the “HOLLYWOOD SET” and their reasons are differant (perhaps) than those in “The Bible Belt”.

The smoke screens that have gone up, really should be burning peoples eye’s by now , Don’t ya think ?

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 31, 2005 2:25 PM
Comment #109488

Stephen:

Powerful article!

Sanger:

“Anyone truly worried about their civil liberties in America needs to stop and think. What if another event like 9-11 occurs? What if, god forbid, there is a nuclear, chemical, or biological terror attack on a major American population center that costs thousands (or even millions) of American lives?”

So you are afraid. And you let fear determine what you will do. Too bad. Our Constitution is based on hope, not fear.

You don’t like slippery slope arguments. But this is what your argument is: If we don’t let Bush get away with illegally spying on Americans then the danger to America will increase. A terrible slippery slope.

I’d rather have a slippery slope argument in favor of hope that one in favor of fear. I’d rather stick with the Constitution, for all the reasons given by Stephen.

Again, Stephen, congratulations for a powerful American article.

Posted by: Paul Sieagel at December 31, 2005 2:28 PM
Comment #109489

Agreed, the horsecrap is getting noxious. Dumb political answers to mask a group bent on something else different entirely. Iraq and world conquest. It is strange that we were training for mideast invasions prior to 9-11 as was britain. Keep the populace duped and generate a war for wallstreet, that’s how I see it.

the right talks about the left having no answers, not only do they but it sure beats the stooge stuff the right-wing asserts that are far from long term and entirely hollywood set to keep people placated and asleep.

Posted by: Nov enge at December 31, 2005 2:33 PM
Comment #109491

Stephen, your entire argument rests on the premise that there is in fact something illegal, extra-constitutional or othewise untoward about the wiretaps. You just assume this and move on to your dire prediction. Bu it’s far from an established fact that the administration has in fact overstepped its authority rather than merely exercised it.

Checks and balances don’t only work in one direction—against the executive.

And in any case, there may NOT even be any checks and balances or consitutional issues here since previous court rulings on this issue as well as specific Congressional authority to pursue Al Qaida actually appear to be running in the administration’s favor.

As for the civil rights question, the freedom from “unreasonable search and siezure” depends largely on how the word “unreasonable” is interpreted.

Targeted wiretaps do not seem unreasonable to me, especially within the very narrow confines under which they’re permitted.

And if you’re paying attention to the many editorials and articles that have come out about this lately by law professors, former administration officials and others, you find that the vast majority of those who are so sure that there’s anything wrong with this tend to be the type that think that Bush “stole” the last two elections.

In other words, his partisan enemies, people who think that everything he does wrong anyway.

Posted by: sanger at December 31, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #109497

gypsyirishgirl
No im afraid youve missed the entire point of what i said so ill try again ,,,first i did not say the democrats are communists what i did mean to imply was that many of the goals stated in 1963 by communists are now the agenda /ideals of the democratic party….how many of the items stated in the list of 45 have been successfully done now ?,,,,with the assistance of the democratic partys issues along with a very few unregulated democratic appointed judges…and again your statement that bush was elected by bible belt and was elected simply from fear ?….is simply wrong ,,if youd like ill post the evidence to show this ,for if you look back at the election bush won a far greater percentage of actual countys in the us ,,and quite frankly if electoral votes were awarded based on total countys won it would not have been evan close…vast majority of john kerrys votes came from liberal citys with large populations …the biggest point i am trying to make is this :until the democratic party outlines in detail its core beliefs and its core agenda with defending the US from all threats not AND i Repeat not using the UN to protect the US then they will continue to decline and have less and less votes…the gerrymandering that currently occurs in both partys is dispicable while most of congress is up for re-electection this year only a hand full are considered possibly up for grabs .as to the list i posted i see at least 30 of 45 that are being acted upon by democrats and or liberal groups with support of the democrats party ,,,and then they wonder why they cant seem to national elections.

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 3:47 PM
Comment #109501

“first i did not say the democrats are communists”
OK , ?
“what i did mean to imply was that many of the goals stated in 1963 by communists are now the agenda /ideals of the democratic party”

AND THIS MEANS ?
“as to the list i posted i see at least 30 of 45 that are being acted upon by democrats and or liberal groups with support of the democrats party”
= COMMUNIST

My goodness, ya’ll think if you ay enough words , we might get confussed ?
An insult said with a smile on your face is still an insult…

It was your post, after all. Comparing Communism to the Dem. party.

If my response implyed that “only” the Bible Belt got Bush relected then I miss wrote.
What I meant was, That of those that relected Pres. Bush “in the Bible belt” did so, in my opinion ,out of fear.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 31, 2005 4:19 PM
Comment #109503

Rylee,
“united we stand, divided we fall”
I suppose you don’t see the irony in your anti-gay stance. What’s that you say? anti-gay, me? What extra rights are gay people asking for? Just to be left alone to marry and live their lives like the rest of us? Call it what you like, but that is bigotry. If you want us to unite, support your fellow Americans, don’t try to repress them.

No comment on the communism drivel, it pretty much speaks for itself.

Sanger,
How on earth do you refuse to see that secret, unauthorized wiretapping of american citizens is not illegal? Article two of the constitution does not seem to give this kind of power. The fourth amendment seems quite explicit in it’s denial of these powers to the president.

A constant theme I see in the posts by republican/conservative types is an unreasoning fear of bush having to answer to some higher authority (congress, the Supreme Court, a special prosecutor) on this matter of snoopgate. What’re you afraid of? If he did no wrong, then he’ll be exoneratd, right?

Posted by: Steve Miller at December 31, 2005 4:29 PM
Comment #109505

gypsyirishgirl

well considering the document i posted is from 1963 you still havent answered the primary question….your party is acting like and has a simalar set of ideas/national agenda that is very like the stated goals of the communist party ….

It truly ammazes me that when ever confronted with a question they do not like rather than answer said question they attack the messanger.This is your party of democrats now look at the stated goals and tell me you do not find them very simalar to the agenda the democrats currently push …..makes it a little harder to push this politicaly correct allow everyone to do as they want agenda …

I have voted for both dems and republicans in the past and no one party automaticly gets my vote ,I listen to what they say and research how they have voted/conducted them selfs in the past then i make my decision .However with the democratic partys national agenda and mainy of there leaders stating we need to withdraw from Iraq immeadeatly ,they have no chance of winning with there current positions ,add to that evan party faithful who disagree with there national platform are then ostracized and belitled by the rest of the party,(Joe Lieberman)…unfortunatly the democrats are allowing a very small outspoken minority to create /dictate thier entire platform,and I truly feel that after the elections of 06 then 08 they will become a perminant minority party for the balance of my life as well as most of us now talking here.

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 4:35 PM
Comment #109509

Steve Miller
amazing how out of all the points ive made the only one you evan considered answering was that i am anti gay ,,perhaps you should re-read that post ,,,I do not feel nor does the vast majority of this country feel that because a person particapates in a deviate life stlye they should be rewarded with special rights ,nor do the vast majority of americans feel the gays or lesbians should have the right to Marry,this was tested in 2004 with a resounding defeat of all of there intiaves in 11 defferent states ,your unabilty to answer questions regarding your partys goals and agenda is why they shall be soundly beaten in next election,.as to the wire taping ive read or heard of members who were in the justice department in earlier democratic administrations and virtually all state that no laws were broken ,with the exception being that whoever leaked this information to the times has released information that may enable the terrorists to change there tatics and once again attack us ,so simply put if this causes the NSA to stop the monitering and or they change there tactics and manage to attack and kill many 1000s of innocents would you still feel it was ok to release this info…?
and finally the point ive made and so far no one has been willing or able to defend or answer .

..do you not see a vast number of simalar goals that the democratic party currently use as thier agenda that are very simalar if not the same as the 1963 communist agenda was ,…???

Posted by: rylee at December 31, 2005 4:53 PM
Comment #109510

Rylee-
Oh, don’t worry. I understood your implication just fine! I had to restrain myself. I actually thought of going point by point on this. Then I realized it was a information dump designed to overwhelm logic with supposedly related evidence.

A little footwork on the original text revealed the truth. These goals are what the author of the Book, Cleon Skousen, believed the communists were doing. I think Mr. Skousen saw communists driving the liberal agenda of the times, and conflated the two, with a heavy dose of apocalyptic sentiment mixed in.

You, in turn, apply your own coat of conflation to it, heavily reinterpreting this list from an already right-wing biased source to fit today’s Republican Pet Peeves.

America is not about standing united on the outside when inside you believe differently. In America, compromise is a necessity. You can’t expect everyone of us to take the Right-Wings view without question, and just accept Bush’s word, especially after the president’s word has turned out to be less than golden.

Bush has continually demonstrated that he would rather do his own will than do ours, that he would rather circumvent the law, whatever its source, than be restricted from doing as he pleased. He has shown the willingness to disregard the wishes of most people in this country as to how America wants him to govern. No president can demand unity or loyalty. They must earn it. That’s Democracy. It’s more than just elections- it’s the sovereignty of the people. Bush has shown through his disregard for the bill of rights that he believes himself sovereign ruler of this country. Doesn’t matter why he thinks this is the case, it’s wrong for a Republican like ours.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2005 5:04 PM
Comment #109511

I was , earlier, responding off the cuff. I guess after all, the LIST was a bit rattling.

You have a valid guestion, one you are free to ask. I personally do not have the answer to that particular guestion. That would take research on my behalf. It does go back a long way.

I also have voted for a Person and not the Party. But I have come to a differant conclussion on behalf of our currant President than you.

I can surely see why, now after reading some of your post’s.

I suppose if I was afraid of Gay’s or Jewish people I too would have protect my way of thinking.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at December 31, 2005 5:04 PM
Comment #109515

Stephen said
In America, compromise is a necessity. You can’t expect everyone of us to take the Right-Wings view without question, and just accept Bush’s word, especially after the president’s word has turned out to be less than golden.
So stephen it seems to me that the democrats primary agenda is to repeat again and again that he has lied to the american public ,i saw earlier a post that said in april of 2004 President bush stated that all wire taps were done in accordance to the patriot act,however if this is one of the so called lies president Bush has told the american people ,Please remember that this survellince was one of the most top secret endeavors our intelligence agencys were particapating in and for him to divulge this information to any one could and probibly would have been considered an act of treason.If however you are referring to the weapons of mass destruction ,,I really want all of you to consider this Please put aside your party afiliation for a moment and consider this \

1.Virtually every intelligence service across the world felt that saddam was reconstituting his weapons program,
2.He continued to defie the UN resolution to allow inspections for 4 years ,,,we wont go into or attempt to batter previous administration for allowing this however,with 4 years of no inpsections ,while continuing to bribe top diplomats from many countrys that allowed him to use billions of dallars not to feed his people as the program was designed to do ,but to build emense palaces while intentionaly allowing his own people to suffer ,,

with Iraq the size of california and 4 years with out any inpectors on the ground how hard would it have been to construct underground storage sites that were filled then sealed prior to our invasion.

Remeber that in may of 2004 the insurgants used a 155 chemical binary shell as an IED it hurt a few soldiers hoewever because this shell requires the spinning motion generated after being fired from a 155 artilliary piece the 2 packs of 2 liter agents did not mix properly and did not work,..However once this was made public by our news agencys do you not believe that the terrorists who found this shell know where the other 795 that were inventoried by the UN weapons commision in 1996 and then put away for another day ?this was my field while in the military and these shells can be diassembled and then reassembled in a way that would make them work as designed.


gypsyirishgirl

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 5:38 PM
Comment #109516

so now im anti jewish as well ?gypsyirishgirl,
so sorry but not anti jewish anti black anti any thing however i dont feel that the agenda of less than 5% of the american population should become the law of the land simply because a vast majority of those involved are very wealthy and use thier wealth to drive there agenda’s.So i ask of you only this tell me that none of the items listed are now currently democrats national agenda ?if you are honest you know you can not say that .is truly very disquiting espacially if youve been voting the democratic line to see something of this nature that was printed in 1963 and from what i can see at least 25-30 of there goals and points are being carried out by this party ..that and only that is why since 1994 they have continued to lose seats all over the country.

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 5:47 PM
Comment #109518

Sanger-
This was quoted in my original post:

Whether or not a search was reasonable, wrote Justice Powell for the Court, was a question which derived much of its answer from the warrant clause; except in a few narrowly circumscribed classes of situations, only those searches conducted pursuant to warrants were reasonable.

That is how unreasonable is defined. The check to power, both of the individual and of the government, is the warrant. The warrant narrows what the government can examine, who they can arrest, and what they can seize. As much as you would like to trust Bush, I don’t think you have in hand any alternative means of doing what a warrant does.

I mentioned that a warrant provides a check on the individual. Let’s say an American citizen is captured on home soil, and gets free of the agents who captured him by killing them. Can we prove that he wasn’t just a citizen defending himself? If he was arrested under a warrant, we would have evidence that would tell the court that the person in question was a legitimate target of detainment, and the agents would be off the hook on kidnapping. Warrants protect the legitimacy of law enforcement, and that is not a small thing when you want to keep domestic counterterrorism running smoothly.

The general opinion of the FISA court is that they are mystified as to why Bush did not go through them. You say its a fact that there was nothing wrong with what Bush did. Besides the fact that this is just your opinion, other facts might lead the fair-minded to disagree with you.

First, no law can trump constitutional authority. The 4th Amendment only stops applying in a time of insurrection or invasion, and we have neither. Because of that, the CINC Clause must be interpreted in parallel, not opposition to the 4th Amendment.

FISA is the definitive law on Intelligence-Related electronic surveillance. It forbids surveillance of American citizens without a warrant, even if they are the only party on the line whose American. It does, however, permit retroactive warrants, so if time pressures are a concern, agents can tap first and answer questions later, just as long as they do their share of explaining.

Bush did not once avail himself of that, so it’s mysterious why Bush did not see fit to get the warrants he was required by law to get.

The authorization to use force requires that his actions be appropriate. FISA does allow other statutes to apply as written, but the Authorization to use force provides for no alternative means to approve warrants for wiretapping on American Citizens. Since FISA is the definitive law, and both it and the 4th Amendment apply in a time of war, Bush’s actions are illegal. That simple.

Now if you want to obsess further on the notion that we’re doing this because Bush beat us and we hate him, go ahead, but don’t expect to be lent much credibility by that constantly employed red herring.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2005 5:53 PM
Comment #109519

stephen
As an ex democrat who as a youngster thought John F Kennidy was the best president wed ever had ,I would personally welcome a item for item rebuttal however i dont feel theres a democrat on this line who could or would do this for a lot of it is now a direct part of thier political agenda,.I am open minded and would truly enjoy having someone completly disavow each point however you would then be disavowing many of your minorty members true agenda’s.

Perhaps I am wrong would love the oppurtunity to discuss ,with out attempting to degrade or insult ,so please prove me wrong any one who thinks they can ,I wait with baited breath for an answer.

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 5:58 PM
Comment #109520
i saw earlier a post that said in april of 2004 President bush stated that all wire taps were done in accordance to the patriot act,however if this is one of the so called lies president Bush has told the american people ,Please remember that this survellince was one of the most top secret endeavors our intelligence agencys were particapating in and for him to divulge this information to any one could and probibly would have been considered an act of treason.

Rylee,

This is what the President Said:

“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. President Bush, April 20, 2004”

You state that the wiretaps were a top secret endeavor and to divulge that would be considered an act of treason. OK, isn’t that exaclty what he divulged in this statement. He stated himself that he was doing wiretapping on terrorist. Which part was top secret? That he lied about the warrants? So are you saying that the President not only lied about the warrants, but that he is also guilty of Treason?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 5:59 PM
Comment #109522

Asa hutcinson a republican leader
stated a week ago that attorney general gonzalez had approached senior members of congress and the senate in 2002 asking that dramitic changes be made to the 1978 fisa bill but was told that there was no way they would be approved and once debated would tell our enemys what and how we were operating,Remember we are currently in a state of war with a determined radical enemy who will stop at nothing to destroy our nation.This bill was made and rules created in 1978
perhaps a lot of people forget the technoligy in place then ,home computors were virtually unknown cell phones same thing ,now with todays technoligy a terrorist can use a disposable cell phone have it sent over the internet into a different recievers to give instructions to potential terror cells operating here in this country,,,do we really want to tie the hands of those reponsible for keeping us safe ?….

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 6:11 PM
Comment #109523

jay jay
no if president bush had divulged the NSA program that would have been an act of treason ,and who ever did release this information to the new york times should be tried for at least sedition if not outright treason…this ws one of our countrys most closly held intelligence secrets ,and as such just the fact that we sit here and discuss the program enlightens our enemys and assists them in planning thier next attack.

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 6:17 PM
Comment #109524

jay jay
no if president bush had divulged the NSA program that would have been an act of treason ,and who ever did release this information to the new york times should be tried for at least sedition if not outright treason…this ws one of our countrys most closly held intelligence secrets ,and as such just the fact that we sit here and discuss the program enlightens our enemys and assists them in planning thier next attack.and personally i dont care whethor it was a republican or a democrat they should be removed from office and tried for this.In 1998 Bin laden found out through a leak in congress that his comminications were being monitered he changed the way he operated that directly assisted him and his minions in pulling off 9-11,put all the partisian bickering aside or if you like consider this if leak turns out to be a republican in the senate what actions would you say are appropriate ?….

Posted by: Rylee at December 31, 2005 6:22 PM
Comment #109528

warrants ‘or’ probable cause

Did GW have probable cause? Does he have the authority to determine probable cause? What is probable cause? One of those loopholes intentionally written into many of our laws, known only to those who wrote it and to those who need to use it?

Isn’t the 9/11 attack and the threat of further terrorist attacks a probable cause? Who is authorized to determine that? GW? I don’t believe so. GW may not have determined it, but he approved other peoples determinations… Who determined it? Rumsfeld? Cheney? Gonzales? NSA?

We’re riding heavy on this issue, hoping to take the final blow against the supreme world dictator. I really hope that I’m totally off in my interpretation of what I have read. Please convince me that I’m wrong.


Posted by: Steve at December 31, 2005 7:25 PM
Comment #109530

This is an interesting list, too, and is directly relavant to this discussion as well.

The 14 Characteristics of Fascism
by Lawrence Britt

Britt looked at the “following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power.

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
1A. How many conservatives have we heard from since 9/11 who call liberals un-American or un-patriotic? (well at least up until snoopgate anyway, now that no loger works without looking like hypocrits, so they cry national security, instead; “What if America is attacked again?! It will be all the fault of liberals!”)

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.
2A. Abu Ghraib mean anything to you? How about Guantanamo? Bush’s stance against a torture ban, and the attempt by some House republicans to block the bill? How about marriage equality?

3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause.
3A. 9/11, Iraq, Saddam Hussein, al Queda, “the” insurgence, liberals, non-Christians, Gays and Lesbians, Holidays, the unknown

4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism.
4A. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Republican controlled Congress has approved $364 billion for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Congressional Budget Office projects additional expenses of perhaps $450 billion over the next 10 years, making it the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years

5. Rampant sexism.
5A. Appointment of anti-abortion and anti-gay rights judges. Anti-marriage equality, anti-family legislation and amendment attempts.

6. A controlled mass media.
6A. NYT delayed release of the domestic surveillance story at Bushco’s request, The “Iraqi Inquisitor” paid for by Bushco, Jeff Gannon, Three conservative columnists who got big paychecks for writing favorable articles on Bush policies.

7. Obsession with national security.
7A. Domestic spying in the name of national security, pre-emptive war, constant fear tactics, “War on Terror”

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.
8A. Wars on the holidays, faith based initiatives, “attack” on Christianity propaganda

9. Power of corporations protected.
9A. Enron, Big Oil, corportate welfare, Vice President Halliburton, no bid Iraq contracts

10. Power of labour suppressed or eliminated.
10A. The Republicans have worked hard for years to erode labour unions.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.
11A. Republican history of attacks on the arts. Budget cuts on student loans. “Republicans are from the heartland, the common man. The Democrats are from the Big City and act like they are smarter than everybody else.”

12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
12A. Secret document details American plan to bug phones and emails of key Security Council members, Domestic wiretaps, willingness to give up civil liberties, foregoing oversight

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
13A. Brownie & Harriet, “Duke”, “the Hammer”, Bush appointees, Frist, et. al.

14. Fraudulent elections.
14A. Massachusetts bait and switch petition scam, 2004 Ohio voter irregularities, 2000 Florida irregularities, 2000 Supreme Court election decision, gerrymandering

After reading these and try to be honest how many have they already accomplished? Now think of the Republican beliefs and objectives and ask yourself this one question are these truly for the good of the united states? Hope this gives all some moments of reflection.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 7:32 PM
Comment #109537
Who is authorized to determine that?

steve,

The FISA court, or the President to stop a known and imminent attack, but even then he can get an emergency retroactive warrant from the FISA court.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 31, 2005 8:32 PM
Comment #109549

Rylee-
You might have been able to cut and past and annotate that list in a few minutes, but the rest of us would spend hours going point by point on all this.

A great deal of this is just generalized paranoid notions of a secret enemy taking over society. Conveniently, all the targets seem to be Liberal programs and institutions.

It’s not worth dignifying with my time, my effort, or the respect that a point by point rebuttal carries with it.

The thing is, I don’t think I could argue anybody out of this kind of paranoia. There are a lot of accusations, but not a lot of proof that these social saboteurs even exist, much less how they would manage to work things out. Moreover, a lot of this list is absolutely moot in relevance. We won the Cold War, despite all the things your folks would describe as Handicaps.

So don’t hold your breath for a point by point. I have a topic that’s much more of interest

Second post:
Always with you guys it can’t be done. The president can’t defend the country without breaking its laws. The laws can’t be updated without revealing the methods. The law is too old to count now, and the terrorists are so damn clever. Oh, please, oh please, don’t tie the hands of our leaders by forcing them to acknowledge the rule of law.

Democracy is not some delicate luxury of times of peace and safety. I don’t care what Asa Hutchinson says. Somebody should have locked an intelligence Committee in a room and told them they weren’t coming out until they had neatly worked out how to maintain warrant-granting oversight in FISA for the new technologies of this age. It’s not the President’s job to go adding ad hoc exceptions to the constitution and Federal laws!

The details on the NSA program are so vague that it’s doubtful that any real information has come out indicating how it works. As for the Satellite Phone, that item was very much in the news before that supposed leak.

The real fact here is not that Bush wants to end partisan bickering, he just doesn’t want to have to discuss anything with anyone. He wants things his way, and apparently he’ll break the law to get them that way.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 31, 2005 9:37 PM
Comment #109550

Yes,
Probable cause is determined by the court with jurisdiction, in this case, the FISA court. I am quite honestly staggered, absolutely dumbstruck by the sheer partisanship that would not allow someone to see the truth of the matter here.
with warrant;legal
without warrant; illegal

The outrage on the right is mostly derived from the sheer cheek of those who question He who should not be questioned.

Do you really prefer cowering in fear and giving up our precious civil liberties, to standing up to someone who is stealing them away from you, based on POLITICS? If Bill Clinton had pulled this stunt, I hope that he would have been succesfully impeached, because it is WRONG to snoop on american citizens without a warrant.

It is my opinion that you republicans would fail the “shoe on the other foot” test miserably. Just tell me honestly that you would have no problem with, say, Al Gore having limitless power to eavesdrop without oversight or any other checks.

Posted by: Steve Miller at December 31, 2005 9:38 PM
Comment #109558

Ya’ know I’m among the group that really thinks I have nothing to fear. If someone were to listen to my conversations I fear they might develop narcolepsy out of boredom.

But: I know IBM is a 9.@@@@@@@@ address so i was curious when a 7.129.129.61 IP showed up on my registry. Who the hell has that low of an IP?

Well it’s DoD / Defense Information System Agency

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at December 31, 2005 11:26 PM
Comment #109559

Anyone have any ideas?

OrgName: DoD Network Information Center
OrgID: DNIC
Address: 3990 E. Broad Street
City: Columbus
StateProv: OH
PostalCode: 43218
Country: US
NetRange: 7.0.0.0 - 7.255.255.255
CIDR: 7.0.0.0/8
NetName: DISANET7
NetHandle: NET-7-0-0-0-1
Parent:
NetType: Direct Allocation
Comment: Defense Information Systems Agency
Comment: DISA /D3
Comment: 11440 Isaac Newton Square
Comment: Reston, VA 22090-5087 US
RegDate: 1997-11-24
Updated: 1998-09-26
RTechHandle: MIL-HSTMST-ARIN
RTechName: Network DoD
RTechPhone: +1-800-365-3642
RTechEmail: HOSTMASTER@nic.mil
So, who is this?

OrgTechHandle: MIL-HSTMST-ARIN
OrgTechName: Network DoD
OrgTechPhone: +1-800-365-3642
OrgTechEmail: HOSTMASTER@nic.mil
# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2005-12-31 19:10
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN’s WHOIS database.
Done

Posted by: KansasDem at December 31, 2005 11:41 PM
Comment #109562

I’m not certain what any of that means. What’s the context of this stuff about high-level IP’s?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 1, 2006 12:30 AM
Comment #109564

hmmm ….

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of the members briefed by the administration about the surveillance plan, expressed deep reservations about the program to the vice president in 2003. But he said he also would like hearings into whom leaked the story to reporters at the Times.

Reps. Peter Hoekstra and Jane Harman, the chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively, on the House Intelligence Committee, also condemned the leak, saying it hurt national security.
Seems that evan some democrats realize that release of this info is very damaging to national security ,however to some elected officials it seems that releasing top secret classified info that may damage this country and allow our enemys to attack us again does not matter as long as they can damage the Bush Administration.I would bet this info came from senator dick durbin,or his office .As a memo that came from his office stated that any dems who obtained priviliged classified intelligence info should still leak this info to try to damage the Bush admin,with actions such as these I honestly dont see how the democratic party expects any one to continue to vote for them.ill bet ya all one thing though,if we have another attack and it is determined that this leak helped the terrorists succed in the attack,the voters could get real upset at any one on the dem ticket.

theres a time and place for politics ,endangering america by releasing classified info that could cause another attack is simply wrong,,,and this goes way beyond partys I dont care what party the member is from who ever leaked this should be removed from office.

Posted by: Rylee at January 1, 2006 1:01 AM
Comment #109565

Stephen,

Quite simply every connection is assigned an IP address. Well that is short of LAN distribution. And of course there’s a bunch of smoke & mirrors involved. Still, all connections can be traced.

I try as much as possible to backtrace any potential hackers trying to access my info. Super low numbers indicate someone that’s been connected to the web for a very long time. The first sequence of numbers is now commonly 3 digits long. The lowest originating number I knew of till now was 9.ya-da-ya-da. That’s IBM.

So I ran a whois.uwhois to find out who’d been trying to hack me. That’s what the print out is. I’m too much of a wuss right now to call the 800#.
This is probably just a case of paranoia. Or it may be connected to the most recent windows “flaw”.

It’s the thought of, “would the government watch what I’m typing”. Would they listen to what I’m saying? They wouldn’t really swoop down on me would they?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 1:03 AM
Comment #109566

OK I decided to grow a pair of grapes. This really is the Department of Defense trying to hack me.

You can see the print-out yourself. No smoke & mirrors. There would be no reason for them to be looking at me other than this blog.

Hmmm, well I have been outspoken locally.

I’m 54 years old. So damn blonde I was teased about being one of the Winters brothers when I was about 18. (Ya know “albino”)

I wouldn’t survive a day in the custody of some freakin’ spooks. I live where I live because I rely on my oldest son and my daughter for assistance just to survive.

I’m sure I’m just freaking out.

Ain’t this kind of funny though? If they don’t shut us down we have some first hand spying evidence, eh?

Erick Brunzell
signed deliberately with my real name

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #109567

I tried to send a knew message.

That is the Department of Defense trying to hack me. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Am I worried?

Yes.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 1:27 AM
Comment #109569

“It’s the thought of, “would the government watch what I’m typing”. Would they listen to what I’m saying? They wouldn’t really swoop down on me would they?”

Well now , that is the million dollar question, isn’t it?
I Hope someone gets an answer. Oh, wait we did, on Dec.17th.

Happy New year, ya’ll

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 1, 2006 1:30 AM
Comment #109570

Holy shit man, bend over, put your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye!!!!!!!

Posted by: Nagashina at January 1, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #109572
if we have another attack and it is determined that this leak helped the terrorists succed in the attack,the voters could get real upset at any one on the dem ticket.

How do you know it was a Democrat that leaked the info? Maybe it was a Republican with a conscious. Are there such things?

theres a time and place for politics ,endangering america by releasing classified info that could cause another attack is simply wrong,,,and this goes way beyond partys I dont care what party the member is from who ever leaked this should be removed from office.

How is releasing info that the President was spying on terror suspects endangering America? Do you really think that the terrorists didn’t already know they were being spied on? As pointed out earlier, the President in 2004 announced to the world that he was spying on terrorists (although he lied about the warrants). The only thing new is that it was done without warrants. Do you really think the terrorists care about warrants? Do you think they are cowering in their cave with their high speed broadband connection, debating whether or not the President of the U.S. needs a warrant to spy on them? Of course if they were, apparently they would know they were being spied on, poor KansasDem has the DOD on his butt.

So if you needed to communicate, and knew you couldn’t do that electronically, how would you do it? Snail mail? Courier? Telegraph? Telegram? Telefriend? Does that mean we should allow the Post Office to open all our mail? It might prevent another attack! (Geez, I hope I didn’t leak another Bush secret!)

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 2:24 AM
Comment #109573

This does really scare me. At first I thought, “nawwww, it can’t be”. Then I thought it had to be some kind of a fluke. But it’s the real deal.

So, I printed two copies of this and mailed them to friends (the PO is 3 blocks away) and I’ve emailed two of the area TV stations.

Never in a million years would I have thought this would happen to me. Why me? If it can happen to me it can happen to anyone of us.

And I am scared sh**less. About 5 years ago I suffered a head and neck injury which resulted in spinal surgery which then resulted in Meningitis and Encephalitis which has left me with MS like symptoms. So, I’m not lying when I say I couldn’t survive at the hands of some damn spooks.

I do guess we know who’s targeted by Bushco now though, huh?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 2:28 AM
Comment #109574

Oh, one more reason I thought of for “them” singling me out: I do correspond with old friends in Canada, England, Australia and Spain.

So maybe I’m more suspicious based on that.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 2:38 AM
Comment #109576

Rylee,

You seem to like to ask hypothetical questions and want a honest answer. So let me ask you something, and be honest. The nation is pretty well deeply divided, as we found out from the last two elections. What if our differances could not be worked out and it was decided to split the nation. Half the country would remain the United States of America and continue based on american constitutional principles. The other half could be the Safty States of America.

The S.S.A. would have it’s own government and a President elected for life (you want someone in office with lots of experiance, and you don’t want to chance security breaches by replacing your leader too often) They could spy on your phone calls. They could read your mail. There would be surveillance cameras on every street corner. Everyone would have to be implanted with microchips so the government can track everyone and know instantly if anyone has had contact with a terror suspect.

Do you want to live in the free and maybe not so safe U.S., or would you rather live in the very safe but not so free S.S.A.?- be honest.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 2:51 AM
Comment #109577

KansasDem,

Why don’t you just take comfort in the wise words of our friends on the right- “If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.”

Not so easy not to worry when your the target of the DOD is it?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 2:54 AM
Comment #109578

KansasDem,

You’re not alone.

OrgName: DoD Network Information Center
OrgID: DNIC
Address: 3990 E. Broad Street
City: Columbus
StateProv: OH
PostalCode: 43218
Country: US

NetRange: 28.0.0.0 - 28.255.255.255


CIDR: 28.0.0.0/8

NetName: DSI-NORTH2
NetHandle: NET-28-0-0-0-1
Parent:
NetType: Direct Allocation
Comment: ARPA DSI JPO
Comment: 7790 Science Applicationis Crt.,
Comment: Vienna, VA 22183 US
RegDate: 1996-03-11
Updated: 2000-04-13

RTechHandle: MIL-HSTMST-ARIN
RTechName: Network DoD
RTechPhone: +1-800-365-3642
RTechEmail: HOSTMASTER@nic.mil

OrgTechHandle: MIL-HSTMST-ARIN
OrgTechName: Network DoD
OrgTechPhone: +1-800-365-3642
OrgTechEmail: HOSTMASTER@nic.mil

# ARIN WHOIS database, last updated 2005-12-31 19:10
# Enter ? for additional hints on searching ARIN’s WHOIS database.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 3:10 AM
Comment #109579

I have this IP address trying to access my computer too, but there is no info at http://www.uwhois.com.

5.106.154.124

I don’t even know anyone outside the U.S.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 3:14 AM
Comment #109580

Rylee-
Read this:

Among those briefed on the spy program was Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, who said Wednesday that she approved of the program as it was described to her, but that she had new reservations.

“I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities,” Harman said. “Like many Americans, I am deeply concerned by reports that this program in fact goes far beyond the measures to target Al Qaeda about which I was briefed.”

As for Hoekstra, he’s a Republican and a leader of the committee.

As for your theory on the leak? Not only is it unlikely, it seems to be more of the same stuff you were piling on with that list. One more claim that this all a personal vendetta against Bush. He could flay small children, and you guys would make out like the negative coverage and Democrat’s outrage at it were just getting back at Bush for getting elected/re-elected.

The Real problem is with Bush’s policies. The real problem is with a leader who expects the respect of his fellow countryment, instead of being trying to earn it.

Kansas Dem-
The answer to this situation is outrage, distribution of the information, and a tentative attitude.

If we are being spied on or hacked into, I suggest we do what we always do, and not fear them. I didn’t sign my names to these things so I could have the easy way out. If they want to mess with my life, they only stand to vindicate my opposition to the President responsible for all this.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 1, 2006 3:34 AM
Comment #109582

JayJay Snowman,

All I come up with is:
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina de Rey, CA

Net name says only Reserved. Originated 7/7/95.

There is an abuse email abuse@iana.org and an abuse phone #1-310-301-5820

But it’s a safe bet that since two of us got hit by DoD they’re targetting us only because of the blog name.

Which would explain why Bush avoided the FISA court. The poo is not only getting deep the smell is getting to be unbearable.

I think Stephen has it right. This is our vindication if we needed any.

I gotta tell ya’ though, I’m glad I wasn’t low on clean boxers. For a while I felt like the farmer in Stephen King’s “Fire Starter” (hmmm, somehow that doesn’t sound right) when he said something like, “I went to sleep last night in the USA and I woke up in the Soviet Union”.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 3:55 AM
Comment #109584

I tried to go to http://www.nic.mil, it is a Department of Defense site, but there is a warning screen before you enter that states “Use of this page and all DoD NIC services constitutes consent to monitoring.”

There is also this blurb:

The Defense Information Systems Agency is a combat support agency responsible for planning, developing, fielding, operating, and supporting command, control, communications, and information systems that serve the needs of the President, Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Combatant Commanders, and the other Department of Defense (DoD) Components under all conditions of peace and war

P.S.: DoD and President Bush- I do NOT consent to monitoring.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 4:00 AM
Comment #109586

I’m overdue for bed and so I might be making little or no sense, but how does everyone feel about sending this info to the DNC.

I know sometimes Chairman Dean can embarrass even the most liberal of us, but it’s just a thought.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 1, 2006 4:10 AM
Comment #109602

KansasDem-
Where did this item show up? If it shows up on this site, then it could be argued, as long as no deep intrusions are made into the server, that the parties involved are monitoring stuff that we’ve put in the public domain. If it’s outside of that, then it’s different. As for my use of the word tentative, this what I mean that: we should work out where our visitor was dawdling, before we start sending up the alerts. That way, we’re not simply sending investigators after a site patron or something like that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 1, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #109658

Stephen,

These are attempts by the DoD to make inbound connections to access private individual home PCs. Such a connection could give the DoD access to all the files on your personal computer. The DoD Network Information Center is a spying and data gathering operation.

Is the Government Watching YOU Online??

This site gives a listing of IP addresses that belong to the DoD. I usually don’t pay much attention to my firewall it is on and I have it automatic mode so that it blocks connection attempts silently, but it logs all the IP address that have made attempts. After KansasDem posted that the DoD was trying to access his PC I decided to check the connection attempts made to my computer. Boy, was I shocked when I opened up my firewall log! There have been 30711 connection attempts to my computer! That number is growing by the minute. When checking these IP numbers almost all belong to the government. Not only has the DoD tried to access my computer but also the Pentagon and possibly the FBI.

Since writing that last paragraph there have been 22 more connection attempts to my PC. It is very scary that the government is trying so hard to access my computer. BTW: I have no connections to anyone outside the U.S. I don’t think I have ever made an international call, or been further outside the country than Canada, several years ago.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #109675

looks like i need to get me a firewall and quick.

Posted by: MagikJester at January 1, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #109696

The fact of the matter is, the only reason I should need a firewall is to keep out the criminals and the identity thieves. I shouldn’t have to worry about the government inspecting my hard-drive because the current president thinks that Democracy is some nicety that we do away with when it becomes “hard work”.

Of course it’s not easy, but good government will never be. Good government isn’t about somebody doing just some right thing that should be so obvious its not funny. It should be about making difficult choices well.

The 9/11 commission, when it settled everything, found that many of our institutions, given the powers they already had, were just plain weak on keeping their act together. There are many instances, including the terrorist watchlists, and the Case of Zacharias Moussouai, where a greater commitment to undertaking the job they’d already been empowered to do would have allowed them to foil some part of the plan.

Before we should even think of pushing the envelope on what kind of searches and surveillance, we should try filling it out first. The sad fact is, many of our problems on 9/11 were not so much there because of information we didn’t have, but information that wasn’t passed along to the right people, or acted upon when somebody got it.

I think it’s important to point out that surveillance employed to watch people because of their political associations is surveillance wasted. Find the right people, and they’ll lead you to the other right people.

The 4th Amendment is not just about restraining law-enforcement, it’s about keeping the focus on evidence and on legitimate law enforcement. These are not bad things to focus on.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 1, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #109697

Stephen,
How right you are. If the people in charge are also so level headed then we have nothing to worrie about. They should go about the business of getting the Bad guys.

I am a 42 year old single mother of four, Iv’e been working since I was ten, paying taxes since I was fourteen. I have worked hard my whole life. Never commited a crime. Never hurt a soul. I go to church every sunday. I believe in the American way.

Yet, I too have had attempts on my computer. I have looked into some of these and yes, It was the Government. What a sad state things have turned into.

A true waste of serveillance. That is for sure ! This is where our tax dollars are going and He say’s it is all nessasary ?

to quote “Give me a break”

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 1, 2006 10:07 PM
Comment #109706

I spent a lot of time today contacting friends. None of them with backtraceable Firewall software show any attempts by the DoD / Defense Information Systems Agency.

Also, to clarify about my foreign friends, my foreign contacts are all either survivors of encephalitis or their caregivers. We are all part of a couple of on-line support groups.

The general concensus among my friends is that I’m probably being watched only because of my liberal/democrat views. One friend in particular pointed out that he’d read that peace activists are being targeted. I actually believe I’ve heard the same thing, but I hardly think I could be called a peace “activist”.

From what I’ve seen from Bush & Co. the past 5 years I can’t help but suspect they’re targeting Democrats based on the simple math equation:
Democrat = Liberal = Peacenick = Anti-American = Subversive = Threat

Or it’s all just random. Yeah right.

I can only say that actually being on the “watchlist” is one heck of a wake up call.

I’m awaiting a reply from the TV news channels I emailed (actually did get an automated message from one that they’d be out till Tuesday).

So will I change my views or go into hiding? Absolutely not.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 2, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #109709

Nice to see you ,kansasdem, Ever since you brought all this out, you haven’t been on so much , and that my freind would have been a shame , In so many ways. I feel that nobody should let this stand in thier way. We can’t protect ourselves or our nation if we all just vanish.

The only thing I have ever done is talk here, and that is legel, (at least before my nap it was ) Just joking. However, with the knowlage that the DOD, Justice Dept and Homeland sec. are trying, means they are interested in what we the people think. Maybe something good can come of it. At the very least, we now can say first hand that yes this is being done, and even venture to say “in all homes” as mine is no differant than many of theirs.

I did find on mine, some numbers with very high starting ranges not just low ones as in the case with IBM. Just thought I would look at them anyway while I was doing it at the time, Some of the high ones are government also, such as 204.xxx.xx . an information gathering co. specializing in fiber optics, Working for homeland security AND other branches of Government. The name of the Company might say one thing but when you look at what it is they do and for whom , well, it’s like opening a package on Christmas.

you know the one , the one that you can’t wait to return.

thank you for your honesty and faithfulness in bringing all that out in the open and not going “into hiding” After all if we all just keep our mouths shut, nobody wins.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 2, 2006 12:35 AM
Comment #109713

KansasDem, the Defense Information Systems Agency is one of the Internet’s 13 root servers, along with such nefarious groups as the University of Maryland, NASA and Verisign. The entire infrastructure of the internet is deeply involved with agencies which can be traced in one fashion or another back to a government IP, which could very likely mean—well, exactly nothing.

Before you “go into hiding” or worry yourself unduly about being on a “watchlist” maybe you should enlist the services of a private computer security analyst to take an expert look at your firewall logs and explain things to you in plain English.

For your peace of mind, it might be worth the couple of hundred of bucks it would cost you. And then, if THEY agree with the rather extreme conclusions your sleuthing has led you to here, I look forward to seeing you on 60 Minutes! The expense would sure beat changing your identity and moving to Argentina!

I don’t want to completely discount your worries (you seem sincerely concerned) but if the Department of Defense is singling you out for intensive individual surveillance, I’d be very suprised if you’d be able to detect it with Norton Firewall (available at your or my local Walmart) and a simple reverse IP look up!

There are plenty of completely harmless explanations for what you’re seeing, and you really do need more than an amatuer’s knowledge of how IP addresses appear on your store bought Norton Firewall log.

For one,a simple attempt to connect to your computer (perfectly normal—something that could be totally automated) is NOT the same thing as an attempt to hack into your hard drive. Also, since you belong to international health support groups, you might very well be caught in up in sites whose web activities are transmitted through the web backbone that passes through US government.

I used to play video games online from this computer, and since then, video game companies have frequently tried to connect with me. Somehow I doubt that I am actually under surveillance by the programmers of Civilization and Doom!

Anyhow, get some expert advice on this before you jump to such wild conclusions.

Posted by: sanger at January 2, 2006 1:16 AM
Comment #109719

Sanger,

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a wing of the DoD. But what goes on at 3701 Fairfax Drive in Arlington, VA? Database profiling or massive data mining. Everything from bank records, credit card transactions, phone records, airline tickets and other travel companies, credit reports and other data banks to monitor, internet surfing habits, even health records, all gathered in real time.

Under the USA Patriot Act, banks and other companies were forced to allow DARPA to access their files.

DARPA takes all this information on Americans and creates a profile on each of us. The idea is that the profile creates a picture of what our normal pattern is. They then pick up on activity that breaks from the norm. Say you purchase certain materials that could in some way be used by terrorists, travel to certain locales, or other set criteria.

Patterns that fit into these criteria result in an investigative alert and the individual becomes a “person of interest” who is referred to the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

In 2003, Congress tried to kill the program by cutting the funding for it. Unfortunatly, President Bush secretly shifted DARPA’s budget into a classified defense fund.

This is all bad enough, but how can it possibly be legal for the government to try to connect to a private home computer and search your files? You claim it isn’t happening, but the attempts to connect with my PC have risen substantially over the last few months, since I have been contributing to this site. On 10/10/05 there were only 7 attempts to connect to my computer. On 11/10/05 there were 19. On 12/20/05 the day after I posted “Bush’s idea of acoutability: ‘trust me’” the number of connection attempts shot up to near 300.

There have been 30711 connection attempts to my computer! Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 1, 2006 01:26 PM

As of right now there have been 33726 connection attempts on my pc. So in a little over 1 day since we started discussing this subject there have been 3015 connection attempts. 37 of those were high rated, something I have only seen a couple times before today.

So sanger, if these are just random automated meaningless connection attempts, why is there this increasing pattern of connection attempts the more vocal I become on this site? And why are the vast majority of these IP addresses registered to or have connections with the DoD, Pentagon and FBI?

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 2, 2006 4:18 AM
Comment #109730

Stephen, excellent post. President Bush broke the law. It’s that simple.

Remember how the militias used to scream about Clinton wanting to violate their Constitutional rights, even though it never happened? Notice how when President Bush actually does wipe his ass with the Constitution those so-called defenders of liberty are quiet as sheep? Fascinating.

…a greater commitment to undertaking the job they’d already been empowered to do would have allowed them to foil some part of the plan.

I just finished W.E.B. Griffin’s “By Order of the President”. The guy basically fictionalizes the 9/11 Commission report — fleshing out all the bureaucratic turf wars, unwillingness to cooperate, and institutional failures described in the report — and adds a hero and a happy ending. It’s pretty good.

Jay Jay and KansasDem, I think sanger’s right about your firewall hits — but he’s wrong about the President’s FISA violation. Wiretapping isn’t the problem, it’s the fact that he didn’t get the warrants needed to do it legally. Bush was — and is — clearly engaged in criminal activity.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 2, 2006 6:56 AM
Comment #109745

Sanger-
You bring up a legitimate point in that the internet is based on older government domains, which means that any substantial traffic is going to come through that backbone.

But if we’re getting connection attempts to our own computers from the FBI or Pentagon, then we should be concerned. It’s not just the rather well-belabored points about privacy and 4th Amendment Rights, it’s the time, money, and manpower that’s being used to watch Americans who are political rivals to the president, but not security threats.

This has happened. Resources from the executive branch have been used to peer into the activities of people whose only offense has been to oppose the president’s war. This is simply a waste of resources that not only should be used elsewhere, but must be used elsewhere.

An investigator can only attend to so much at a time, and if we’re occupying that time and our money with others over a harmless difference of opinion, rather than concentrating on terrorists and leads relating to them, then we’re giving the terrorists the kind of time and diverted attention required to bring their plans to fruition.

Moreover, such data mining can only give us a piece of the puzzle, and one that may not be necessarily reliable. Other information lies out there, not on hard-drives or cell phones, but in the real world, information that is every bit as valuable, if not moreso than the abstracted data on those devices.

Before we even begin to consider the desperate measures that require us to forsake our civil liberties, we should optimize our definitively legal means of investigation, optimize the flow of meaningful information from top to bottom, and start making sure that we can get in these people’s way when they attempt their attacks. It is both intellectually and morally lazy to seek out extralegal means before legal means have been fully exploited.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 2, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #109753

Let me give you guys a little bit of insight from an American teenager who wants to go into the military to protect the government and country that you guys are so quick to bash:
You are in America a free country. If you don’t like what’s going on GET OUT. The vote is in Bush won. Deal with it. Your bitching and complaining and nonsupportive attitudes aren’t helping anyone and are just making the liberal democrats look like jackasses. If your so pissed off get out or try to do something about it but spreading lies and being so one sided isn’t helping you guys. Support your government because whether you like who they are or not they are yours and the majority of YOUR country voted them into office. Either look at it from both sides or shut up but complaining is just making everyone of you guys look like one-sided stubborn pig-headed jackasses. Deal with it or get the hell out that is the only point that I am trying to make.

Posted by: Leah at January 2, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #109760

Sanger,

Believe it or not, the elected President of the United States is quite a powerful man and is given a wide range of authorities and powers by the Contitution even in peacetime.

This power isn’t costless. It’s supposed to be balanced by accountability, for instance.

President of the United States is a (wo)man citizen, right. No United States citizens could be above the Law.
Or should, for that matter…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 2, 2006 12:40 PM
Comment #109761

Leah -

Free country - we’re pissed and vocal… deal with it! A majority of Germans supported the Nazis, doesn’t make it right - just makes those who go along look ignorant or evil (or both.)

Since you’re in High School, please study a bit more of American history. “Support your government because whether you like who they are or not they are yours and the majority of YOUR country voted them into office.” That’s hardly the American way of doing things.

btw - Everyone else here have valid points to make… looks like you are the only one here that’s just “spreading lies and being so one sided.” I’d suggest you “Deal with it or get the hell out” - it’s a liberal blog after all.

Posted by: tony at January 2, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #109764

“Deal with it or get the hell out”? Well that is an American message if Iv’e ever heard one. First of all I want to reasuure everone that not all of AMerica’s youth are so quick to wild judgment calls. I may no longer be a teenager but I am fresh out of college and from my experience it is indeed a rare few that so blindly support our “leader.” The fact of the matter is that this is America and the reason that, “deal with or get the hell out.” is so infuriating is just that. It is our American rights that allow us to say that our President is a blooming idiot and that we can’t wait to get one who is not a liar or a warmonger. It is unfortunate that in a country who’s motto is freedom that so many people are so readily being cast a aside due to the ability of an individual thought.

Posted by: Supermanatrandom at January 2, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #109765

The Wasington Post printed a pretty good article regarding this sort of thing:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/31/AR2005123100808.html

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at January 2, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #109770

The American public school system is a joke. Anyone who believes “if you don’t like it get out” obviously has never studied history. Leah, here is some very basic reading every American should know:

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution of the United States

The Bill of Rights

The Constitution: Amendments 11-27

Also do a little reading reading about Nazi Germany and the rise of Hitler.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 2, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #109776

Leah-
You ask us to look from both sides. It’s unfortunate that you did not follow your own advice.

Our side here is that we love this country more than we love the people running it. That is our right as free Americans. If you can’t handle that, you are free to take your own advice as to where you dwell from this point on. There are many nations where loyalty to the leader is enforced, and where nobody can question or fail to support a leader’s policy without suffering consequences for it. If that is your desire, then follow through.

I believe that what makes America great emerges from the result of all its laws working together. I believe this president, whether his intentions are good or not, is acting in a manner that threatens to destroy those laws. Would you stand idly by and let your freedoms be destroyed, even by a person who meant well by it?

As for majorities? It’s majority rule, but consider this: A majority can be any set of people who gather in great enough numbers to get their way in a vote. For that to work though, no majority can be allowed to touch certain basic freedoms, especially not one whose representatives have so extensively abused their power. By protecting these freedoms, we allow the system to work properly, such that no majority (or minority driving that majority) becomes the permanent power in the land.

Our system works because the people who gather at the polls can do so freely, with the only constraints on their votes the ones they impose themselves. We shouldn’t have to fear that our government will punish us, or intrude on our lives because we don’t support their agenda. The only disapproval people should fear when they enter the voting booth should be that of their own conscience.

What I support is righteous government, not any government in particular. I expect my government to live up to my standards. If it doesn’t, I will complain until I am either satisfied, or until I learn something that allows me to reconcile the policy in my mind as appropriate. Otherwise, I will not be a wallflower about what I believe, nor will I have anybody else be as such.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 2, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #109784

KansasDem,

Could you please instruct a pc-illiterate, like myself, how to check inbound IP addresses? I’m curious if I’ve come up on the radar. Thanks.

Leah,

If you are truly going into the military, then you know that you’re going to swear to protect our constitution which gives us the right to voice dissent with our government.
Thomas Jefferson (you may have read that he helped found this great country)said,

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”[emphasis mine]

Posted by: isisbless at January 2, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #109791

Nevermind. Got it figured out. Thanks, though.

Posted by: isisbless at January 2, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #109806

I for one am glad that no Watchblog editor found it necessary to throw leah off the site. I thought it was wonderful how people calmly explained the facts of life to this youngster. Maybe this person will grow up to feel differently. I sure have different opinions now than I did when I enlisted in 1976, at age 17, needing my parent’s permission. Hooray for open debate!!We have a great site to do it on…let’s just hope we keep the rights we now have……

Posted by: Steve Miller at January 2, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #109817

Leah,

You correctly make the statement “You are in America a free country.” If you believe America is a free country then where do your views of “Deal with it or get the hell out” come from? You state that you want to go into the military to “protect the government and country” that we are so quick to bash. But who will protect the country from the government? The government of a free country does not suppress it’s people or violate their liberties. The job of the military is to protect the country, it’s people and it’s founding princaples, not to protect the government.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at January 2, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #109855

If the President justifies suspension of civil liberties under his authority as CINC, does that not mean he’s extending the use of war powers against his own citizens, without an invasion or insurrection to justify such use of power?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 2, 2006 9:00 PM
Comment #109861

Alright, it’s me again. I read that I was booted or whatever but I hope that I can post this because it needs to be done. First off I would like to apologize to everyone. Not because I might have offended someone but because I handled it wrong. At the time the blog seemed good but I was also irrational about the situation. When I reread it the blog sounded way to angry, some things didn’t sound the way I wanted them to either. So, I would like to try again.
First of all in response to Stephen I would hope that I can handle this the way you do. You seem to keep it in perspective and not freak out (like I did.) I would also like to say the statement “If you don’t like it get the hell out.” Was taken very seriously by some people, it wasn’t meant to be that over thought (Although I should have said it better.) A lot of you say that you complain because you love your country, but in your blogs you make it sound like your not complaining against your government but against everything in the country and the country itself. You have to look at it from an outsiders view. That is how it sounds to me, and yes I get angry when I see things like that.
Look at it like this, we have amazing people over there fighting for you and this country. Now what if you were one of those people and you come back and all you hear is that we shouldn’t be over there and that it isn’t being handled correctly and OUR military is killing innocent people. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to come back and that’s the response you’re seeing. That would hurt me. I mean what if we hadn’t attacked Iraq after 9/11? Do you think it would have ended? We couldn’t have gone in peacefully. More of us would have been killed. So, ultimately I think Bush has handled the war itself VERY well. Now don’t get me wrong (like last time) I don’t agree with EVERYTHING Bush has done, but at the same time I put my support and trust in him because there is no other choice right now and I will stand behind him and my country.
The other thing that I want to say is for the person that says it’s not the majority of the country it was the majority of the people who voted, but if you don’t care enough to come out and vote for who you want do you really have the right to complain? Yes, because we support that but ultimately no because you didn’t care enough to vote why care enough to complain? The last thing is the media/press stresses everything we have done wrong and everything that isn’t going right, but what about what we are doing that’s right? Why don’t we hear about that because it’s happening too. We hear about the deaths, and the mistakes, and everything else we do wrong, but what about the saved lives, the changed lives, the thwarted terrorist attacks? What about that? I’ve seen an e-mail with pictures of Iraqi’s with signs that thank us. I’ve seen troops holding babies, and I’ve seen a picture that brought tears to my eyes. It was of a soldier holding a wounded child crying. Does that not touch you? Britain stated that with the help of America they have thwarted at least 8 terrorist attacks that they know of. Not to mention the INNOCENT Iraqis that will keep their lives because we have removed Saddam. Yes, we have killed some innocent but we’ve saved many, many more. You just don’t hear about. That is what I want you to hear from this blog (that I hope explains me better.)
Again, I would like to apologize to all of you. Not because I expressed my views but because I did it in a wrong way. For that, yes, I apologize. I fear that I came off as an immature, un-educated, stubborn CHILD. In some ways I also sounded very uncivilized (not the word I’m looking for) I hope to be taken more seriously and yes I hope to hear your viewpoints. I fear that maybe I was quick to jump because the only liberals I’ve ever REALLY dealt with for any period of time I came to dislike. I hope to learn from you guys even if I don’t agree with you. Thank you for reading my newest blog and I hope you understand me a bit more.

Leah

Posted by: Leah at January 2, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #109863


Ding Ding Ding, hello ya’ll read up, someone has the lights on.
In my book Stephen that is exactly what that means. He is starting to remind me of an old cartoon, Instector Gadgett. No telling what he’ll reach for next.
Go,Go Gadgett arms…
Too bad Bush is not funny and this is not tvland. Here’s a bit of old reading material for some of the youngsters out there.

God bless america
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With the light
From above
From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans
White with foam
God bless america
My home sweet home

God bless america
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night
With the light from above

From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans
White with foam
God bless america
My home sweet home

You see American Teenager, we are not “jackass’s” but Americans , living in this still Free land. Not one person posting is doing it for any other reason other than a deep sence of Love. One that we are willing to voice. One that we are ready to fight for. To protect and guide.
The others are right, If you plan on going into service then you really should know what you’d be swearing to. For ALL of us, and these very rights.

An American Mom

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 2, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #109864

Leah,
I have a lot of respect for your having come back and explaining your position……that’s what america is all about; the free exchange of ideas. You make some great points about the news from Iraq being skewed toward the negative….sort of like the local news, yes? Human nature to emphasize the negative maybe.

I agree with gypsyirishgirl- we’re all Americans here. Even the most partisan of the bloggers on both sides get some of it right. And I’m sure that every one of us has a deep and abiding love for America. I sure do…..Even reading “God bless America” brings a tear to my eyes.

Anyhow Leah, good for you!

Posted by: Steve Miller at January 2, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #109889

Since my computer is a Mac, my firewall came already built-in when I bought my computer, and so far I haven’t been able to figure out how, or even if, I can take a look at the IP addresses that may have taken a stab at hacking into it.

But now that we all know that the NSA, the FBI, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the Pentagon has been illegally spying on American’s, for whatever petty or invalid “reason” they wish to claim, shouldn’t all us on the Left just automatically assume that they’ve tried, or will soon try?
And hell no, that fact isn’t going to shut me up in any way, shape, or form! These Neocon’s may think it’s okay to monitor and track me for future gulag interrogation purposes or whatever the hell it is they think they’re doing, but my first Amendment right is the freedom of speech, so they’re going to have to forcibly drag me away to ensure my silence.

PS to gypsyirishgirl, I’ve always admired the lyrics to America the Beautiful, myself.
This part of that song goes out to whatever government agency would like to monitor me online:

America! America!

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control,

Thy liberty in law!

Posted by: Adrienne at January 3, 2006 2:44 AM
Comment #109901

Leah-
If it comes to a choice between sparing people’s feelings and sparing people’s lives, I choose sparing their lives.

The troops are doing the best they can, but they require good leadership from the top for them to use those talents to their greatest and best effect. That leadership has been missing.

We were sent into a pre-emptive war, one which made being right about the threat Saddam posed so much more than just an academic question. After all, we were claiming there was a gun to our head. This was also the sole reason why people like me consented to this war or at least did not question it at the time. Otherwise we would have insisted on finishing the job on al-Qaeda, the real threat that had presented itself and destroyed so many American lives.

I don’t believe this war has thwarted Terrorist attacks. Quite the opposite. It has created a new haven, a new training ground. Bin Laden sits pretty in Pakistan, while we sit in the meat grinder, with not enough people to settle the country down. Look around the world, in London, Madrid, Java, and other places, and you will find terrorists staring right back at you.

It’s tempting to think we could draw them all to Iraq and kill them, but such a belief, if you really think about it, assumes that our enemy will mindlessly pour in recruits knowing they’re running out of troops. These aren’t mindless folks here. al-Qaeda is an organization that made its name by the sophistication of its attacks. These are smart people here. Even if they are willing to feed folks into the meat grinder for Allah, they only need to keep back a few hundred people to do serious damage. Witness the damage that 19 people did in our country.

The press? The press is lazy, rather than biased, with reporters that barely venture out of the green zone. The truth is our troops are probably well liked in certain quarters, and that many Iraqis think we’re doing some good. But that is one part of a composite truth, and just disregarding the obvious won’t help us.

The key to understanding the press coverage is understanding that it is their job to be skeptical, and Bush burned them on that by having them be the conduit for the unreliable information he based this war on. The Media lost credibility by being so close to Bush. Reporters hate being lied to, and Bush pushed some major crap on them.

You speak of what moves me. A great deal moves me. I look at the situation in Iraq with a great swell of pity for those, both soldier and civilian, who get caught in the crossfire, who have to live with the dark uncertainties of this war. I want the Iraqis to see Democracy at the end of all this, and not merely a cardboard construction that collapses when we leave.

My point has always been about integrity, about a system that is what what we say it is, and does what it’s supposed to. It does us no good to believe heartily in something that is false at its core, and produces counterproductive results.

I think America, if it is to be united, cannot simply be expected to unite artificially, under one person’s ideological agenda. That’s not real unity. Real unity is our leaders presenting us all with a policy that most of us can agree on, even if it doesn’t represent our personal wish’s permanently. Democracy is government by agreement, and agreement is best gained by informed, respectfully attained consent of the government. When a government browbeats, berates, and misinforms the people to get what they want, they not only divide the people, but they limit the extent to which people are willing to work with them. Sooner or later, they alienate one group of people too many, and end up losing their majority support, along with the minority’s acquiesence.

This is one of those things where you can’t force things to go your way. The Bush administration should have recognized that and taken a more humble approach.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 3, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #109905
Democracy is government by agreement, and agreement is best gained by informed, respectfully attained consent of the government.

Pardon me. That should be:

Democracy is government by agreement, and agreement is best gained by informed, respectfully attained consent of the governed.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 3, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #109921

“What I meant was, That of those that relected Pres. Bush “in the Bible belt” did so, in my opinion ,out of fear”

People here did not vote for Bush because they feared Bush, they voted for Bush because they fear the lefts anti Constitution agenda.

Posted by: kctim at January 3, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #109925

kctim-
I think you missed the point of what you quoted. Bush doesn’t have to present himself as an object of fear, he has the terrorists (and to a limited extent the Liberals) to scare people with.

What boggles my mind is that you’re saying we’re the ones with anti-constitutional agenda. We’re not the ones actively justifying violations of the 4th Amendment in the name of the president’s authority as CINC. Aren’t we the people who get Bashed as being too protective of Civil Liberties in a time of war?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 3, 2006 1:29 PM
Comment #109946

Indeed, Bush used the terrorist attacks, The fear of Al Queda, The fear of any “non Christian” agenda. The fear of weapons of mass distruction.
In my opion he had poeple in my nighborhood Afraid that no one else was as qualified enough to fight the fight on terror.
Which is small minded and egotistical, even those that have fought in a war for this counrty and fellow countrymen were not as ABLE.

He used the fear of these things, not that we feared him. Although, now I do. In addition I fear for those that blindly “follow.”

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 3, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #109985

Steve Miller, and Stephen Daugherty,
Thank you guys for responding. In a better way than I originally respond to things. You guys with that approach would be the ones if any that helped me understand this more. So, thank you because I find this whole political blogging thing VERY interesting.
I have grown up in a very small community that is VERY democratic and it is sort of a sulture shock to read some of the things that I read. Being the way that I am I occasionally have a short temper. I also understand that this is a “Liberal and Republican” blog room, but I learn or find your comments more interesting. When I read the Democratic views and comments they are already things I myself think or believe so in the long run I get nothing out of them. Like I said I respect that this is your room, but I would like to continue to comment and get your thought out of what I am saying because if I can have that discussion it is helpful, but since this is your territory I am in a way asking permission. If it going to offend anyone I won’t do it but I would like to.
Leah

Posted by: Leah at January 3, 2006 7:45 PM
Comment #109996

Leah,
I just have to commend you once again for your perseverance in making your thoughts and feelings known here. I’m about as liberal as they come(despite being a truck driving, gun owning, construction working veteran of two branches of the military) on this blog. But I really think it would suck if everyone thought as I do. I love the debate that goes on here, even when(espescially when) it gets acrimonious. That’s why I was glad nobody threw you off the site or even gave you a warning.

I’m also very new at this. I don’t know how to post links, posting at all is agony(I type about ten words a minute), and my writing is sometimes awkward. But it’s been rewarding to leave some of the anger behind and actually wrestle with the issues, instead of just blasting others.I think you’ve taken a big step into the adult world by coming onto this site and having this dialogue.

What branch of the military are you thinking of? Good luck to you if you do join.

Posted by: Steve Miller at January 3, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #110005

Steve,
In all honesty I’m not sure which branch yet. I know that I want to go into either Army or Air Force. I’m not sure which though because I think I would prefer the Army but I have grown up really close to Holloman Air Force Base and since that is where home is I have thought about going into the Air Force to that I can, hopefully, get transferred to HAFB at some point and be close to home again.
Also you say that your about as liberal as the come. I’m probably about as conservative as they come and yet I agree with you most. You have to understand that what bugged me most was to get on the website and most of what I saw was negativity towards our country. As I learned the hard way a lot of blogging reasonably is not being entirely negative in what you say because that made me jump the gun and get really pissed which made everyone else do the same thing. I don’t know maybe I just listen to, to much Eminem or something. I’m the type of person that is quick to judge and slow to accept and that makes me come off as a very hard person and I’m talented enough to run my mouth and make myself look even worse. I like to run my mouth but I don’t like the negativity that follows and I’m learning the hard way how to handle things. Like I stated I come from a very Conservative town and the few people that I know that are liberals are people that have affected my life negatively, but I hope to learn how to deal with it better partially through this website.

Posted by: Leah at January 3, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #110006

Steve,
In all honesty I’m not sure which branch yet. I know that I want to go into either Army or Air Force. I’m not sure which though because I think I would prefer the Army but I have grown up really close to Holloman Air Force Base and since that is where home is I have thought about going into the Air Force to that I can, hopefully, get transferred to HAFB at some point and be close to home again.
Also you say that your about as liberal as the come. I’m probably about as conservative as they come and yet I agree with you most. You have to understand that what bugged me most was to get on the website and most of what I saw was negativity towards our country. As I learned the hard way a lot of blogging reasonably is not being entirely negative in what you say because that made me jump the gun and get really pissed which made everyone else do the same thing. I don’t know maybe I just listen to, to much Eminem or something. I’m the type of person that is quick to judge and slow to accept and that makes me come off as a very hard person and I’m talented enough to run my mouth and make myself look even worse. I like to run my mouth but I don’t like the negativity that follows and I’m learning the hard way how to handle things. Like I stated I come from a very Conservative town and the few people that I know that are liberals are people that have affected my life negatively, but I hope to learn how to deal with it better partially through this website.

Posted by: Leah at January 3, 2006 9:17 PM
Comment #110017

Leah,
Well, I’m sure the president is a very nice guy in person. I know he means well. I know he is getting instructions from God, that he is “God’s man in this war on terror” and all that. I don’t hate him personally.I believe in God myself and pray every day. But I hate what he is trying to do in and out of our country in the name of freedom. Thank God that we have the freedom to speak out against the leaders if we don’t like them. Could you imagine how horrible it would be if the liberals had control of the presidency, the house, and the senate? And, worse, if they passed laws, invaded countries (or WHATEVER they did), and called your patriotism into question when you disagreed with them? Imagine them trying to refute your complaints by saying the same weak and untrue things over and over again until they had all their followers parroting them instead of thinking for themselves, instead of basing what they thought on the laws of the land, on the constitution? That’s sort of what its like for us liberals today in this country.

Anyhow, I was in the Army, had a great job in a public affairs detatchment as a photographer. Before that, I spent 6 years in the Coast Guard. I inspected ships when they came into u.s. ports, and then worked at a LORAN station. I got to travel a lot, learned a little spanish, have a lot of good memories. Best of luck to you if you do join, stay safe, and welcome to blogdom.

Posted by: Steve Miller at January 3, 2006 10:18 PM
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