Democrats & Liberals Archives

The King of America is dead, at least according to the federal courts

When Federal Judge Anna Diggs Taylor handed down her judgment (link) in the case against the US’s NSA warrant-less eavesdropping case she not only announced to the world that the NSA’s program was unconstitutional and should stop immediately, she also announced to the world that King George will no long exist as an entity.

"For the past five years, the Bush administration has operated as if the horrific evens of 9/11 changed fundamental aspects of national security and public safety, but also changed the very nature of government... There are no hereditary Kings in America."

She wanted to make it clear: there will not be a King in America. On a personal note, those very strong words from a Federal Judge, ran shivers down my spine because it echoed my sentiment exactly; that the Bush administration has consistently acted as an anointed force, rather than a public servant. The affirmation that King George does not exist and our democracy is not a monarchy was, oddly, comforting.

I didn’t get the same feeling when the Supreme Court said similar verbiage, in a much subtler tone, from the Hamdi case (link).

"a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens."

The Diggs Taylor case is an indictment on the Bush administration’s philosophy of “we’re right and you’re wrong’ about everything regarding the direction of the nation. Even though the appeal process is already in motion, the appeal will have to have certain merit to withstand the appellate process. Simply objecting to the decision and demanding an appeal doesn’t secure you an appeal; there must be legal basis for this appeal.

I’ve read other’s that suggested that the only, actual appeal, will come from the decision surrounding the ‘states secrets’ decision. Probably because the court rejected the ‘states secrets’ doctrine with NSA eavesdropping but dismissed the other case challenging the constitutionality of the data-mining program, the appellate court will hear the case.

But with regards to the rest of the decision, it’s a clear; the NSA program of eavesdropping violated the 4th amendment’s unlawful search and seizure. The government would have a hard time finding a legal rational that this court’s decision was incorrect. She cites the ‘Keith’ case to support her case, which, after reviewing the summary, is eerily similar. One wonders if the Bush administration will claim that the world is different place that it was in 1972, when ‘Keith’ was decided. That’s a hard one to accept; terrorism was the basis then, and it is the basis now.

Continuing, the decision also shoots down the claim that the Authorization of Use of Military Force (AUMF) authorizes the administration to violate FISA for eavesdropping.

The ruling also says that the NSA program violates the 1st amendment rights of free speech. Evidently the ACLU argued that the NSA program stifled free speech but not allowing the free expression of speech to flow through the phone wires. The court agreed that the policy was subjective and could not guarantee that those who were eavesdropped upon, were subversive.

She also said that the NSA explicitly violated FISA. No ifs ands or butts. The court said that the FISA court was there for this very purpose and going around the court, violated FISA.

Most serious is the part of the ruling that specifically points out how President Bush does not have special power, war-time or not.

Citing ‘Youngstown’, the courts held that the President does not have special powers with regards to national security to go above and beyond the laws or the Constitution. And that the court can restrict the President in areas of national security, even in war-time, when the President’s conduct violates the law. Hamdi was an example of this as well. The court made clear the President is subject to constitutional restrictions. Clear cut : the Bush administration would have a hard time reversing a longstanding proposition.


Judge Anna Diggs Taylor will probably be vilified by the conservative press as some sort of legislative judge with a liberal agenda. The blogosphere has already started (link). Let’s just hope that her message is heard loud and clear:

”There are no hereditary Kings of America”

At least for now.

Posted by john trevisani at August 21, 2006 10:10 AM
Comments
Comment #176731

Finally we have an smattering of the balance of powers. It’s a shame the congress rolled over dead long ago.

Posted by: Loren at August 21, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #176732

Will do not need to villify Judge Diggs. We will think of her as wrong until she is overturned by a superior court and then we won’t think of her at all.

Posted by: Jack at August 21, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #176734

Jack,
k

Will do not need to villify Judge Diggs. We will think of her as wrong until she is overturned by a superior court and then we won’t think of her at all.

She’s wrong?? So there ARE hereditary Kings in America?? Or were you referring to a different part of her statement… such as her claim that 9/11 didn’t change “the very nature of government”?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 21, 2006 11:21 AM
Comment #176736

Of course Jack, anyone that thinks King George cannot do whatever he wants is guilty of disloyalty to the crown and must be wrong.

I have little doubt the ruling will be challenged, after all, repeatedly breaking the law as president is an impeachable offense. As is telling a lie under oath. (Which is why the president refuses to be placed under oath, I imagine)

So go ahead Jack, hail King George II while you still can. His days are numbered.

Posted by: Tim at August 21, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #176737

Or that a president can declare us at war(against a tactic, not a country) and then do anything he wants to do.

Posted by: Loren at August 21, 2006 11:24 AM
Comment #176741

What suprises me most about this whole mess is the fact that conservatives are the first to demand that we as citizens give up basic rights to fight the terrorist. The very same conservatives that dont want government in their lives. It is so Orwellian I have a hard time understanding the conservative logic on this issue. Is it fear of the terrorist? Is it the a fundemental switch in the conservative philosphy?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 21, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #176742

This female negro activeist liberal democrat Federal Judge and her queen of america ruleing are going down, like Bill Clinton’s zipper. All hail king George.

Posted by: Angry White Infadel at August 21, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #176746

“conservatives are the first to demand that we as citizens give up basic rights to fight the terrorist”

Not only basic rights! We’ve not only failed to secure our borders and ports, provide reasonable inspection of shipping containers, etc. ad nauseum, we’ve gotten worse at defending our own citizens from good old “home grown” violent crime:

“US facing wave of murders and gun violence”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060820/pl_nm/crime_usa_dc

“Explanations vary — from softer gun laws to budget cuts, fewer police on the beat, more people in poverty and simple complacency. But many blame a national preoccupation with potential threats from abroad.”

“”Since September 11, much of the resources that were distributed to crime-fighting efforts in Boston and other major cities were redistributed to fight terrorism,” said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University.”

Combine those stats with reports that our National Guard is ill prepared to assist with the aftermath of a cataclismic hurricane such as Katrina, and the continued redeployment of troops in Iraq for the 4th and 5th times and the “back door draft” now being used, and then just ask yourself if we’re safer now than we were before 9-11.

OTOH Bush is right about one thing, we do need improved intelligence. An intelligent Commander in Chief would be a good start.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 21, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #176748

“This female negro activeist liberal democrat Federal Judge”

Thanks for the reminder that racism is alive and well, actually thriving, in the USA.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 21, 2006 12:46 PM
Comment #176749

“For the past five years, the Bush administration has operated as if the horrific evens of 9/11 changed fundamental aspects of national security and public safety, but also changed the very nature of government. There are no hereditary Kings in America.”

My goodness, it’s almost as if this was a liberal judge retrieved in an ACLU shopping spree! Oh, she was actually?! Aren’t I so clever.

And, oh mightly liberal Judge, I have some shocking news for you. 9/11 did change the fundamental aspects of national security and public safety, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN 3000 PEOPLE DIE FROM AN ATTACK ON THE CIVILIAN SECTOR!!! duh.

…. and there’s only a few hundred ways, with historical precedence, government changes in war time, but I don’t want to confuse the judge with that right now.

Judge Diggs may now return to her regularly scheduled MoveOn.Org luncheon.

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 21, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #176751

Ken Strong,
Instead of the name calling could you take a moment and enlighten me as to why conservatives seem so ready to give up constitutional rights?

Posted by: j2t2 at August 21, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #176753

All

I have been reading the comments on the decision. Even supporters find it hard to justify as a good interpretation. He comments about hereditary kings were just her own rantings. I find it a bit silly for a judge to be so self indulgent and childish, but I won’t have to think about her much longer, as I said.

Kansas

Those racist statements are probably a provocation. We have people who like to play that game. They write in something absurd, often including very bad grammar, in order to discredit the other side.

I remember cases where people write racial slurs on their own lockers and then protest. When you are dealing with anonomous actors, you never know.

Of course it is sometimes possible to overestimate the general intelligence. Maybe this guy is serious. In either case, we are right to castigate him. He is either displaying ignorant racism or trying to exploit it.

I used to think Aldous was like that, but he was open about his provocative statements and seemed truly to believe the others.

Posted by: Jack at August 21, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #176756

I believe some important questions need answered:

Why did the ACLU pick this judge?

Why did the ACLU use Muslim lawyers that have appeared to work with people associated with terrorism?

Does this case even have standing?

I think the whole case is going to get thrown out.


Posted by: Cliff at August 21, 2006 1:19 PM
Comment #176757

Jack:


I have been reading the comments on the decision. Even supporters find it hard to justify as a good interpretation.

Can you supply a link? Thanks.

He(r) comments about hereditary kings were just her own rantings.
Yes, you are correct. The hereditary king remark was subjective and a product, not of legal precident, but of her particular opinion.

You should know, however, that many rulings contain similar language. In fact, in my original post, i included a quote from the Supreme Court Hamdi v. Rumsfeld ruling that contains, equally strong and subjective language.

But your point is well taken. The right-wing will use her comments to solidify their weakening base. The comments will serve as noise to fodder on both sides. However, her legal ruling, may stand.

Posted by: john trevisani at August 21, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #176763

Cliff;
1. Judges do not pick what cases they hear, the cases are assigned, therefore the ACLU did not chose her..
2. Appearance do not make one a terrorist. You must have been listening to Rush last week. Seems he spouted the same thing.
3. Yes the case has standing or it would have never been heard.

The king is dead, long live the king….

Posted by: KT at August 21, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #176764

I have to say, I believe what we are seeing is our system of government self-adjusting, just as the founders intended. This is good for all Americans. I suspect that some can’t see it now because of partisan filters, but when a Democrat is next president, they will be thankful.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #176765

I, of course, agree with Ken and Jack that this will be overturned because of the historical precedence.

It is funny to see the left do their little jig of joy at the expense of the country. They haven’t danced like this plame or was it abu ghraib? Yes let’s keep tying the Presidents hands so that we can blame him when we are attacked again.

Posted by: JimmyRay at August 21, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #176766

john-

Here are a couple of links:

While I wholeheartedly agree with the general result, the court’s opinion and reasoning are weak in a variety of ways, and given the magnitude of the opinion and the efforts that will be made to undermine it, I fear that Judge Diggs Taylor has, in the long run, undermined those of us who have believed the NSA program is illegal since its existence was revealed several months ago.
Daily Kos

Although the court reaches the right result— that the program is illegal, much of the opinion is disappointing, and I would even suggest, a bit confused.
Jack Balkin

Yes, sure, it is true that the judicial opinion issued yesterday is very weak, in places borderline incoherent, in its reasoning with regard to some issues. Anyone can see that. Most everyone who commented on it, including me, pointed that out. But that does not undermine in any way the fact that this President has been systematically breaking the law for no reason other than he thinks that he can, and that judge’s rejection of that belief is quite eloquent and powerful. Most importantly of all, it is indisputably correct.
Glenn Greenwald

Posted by: George in SC at August 21, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #176767

JimmyRay:


It is funny to see the left do their little jig of joy at the expense of the country. They haven’t danced like this plame or was it abu ghraib?

Please enlighten me: What is at the expense of the country? What does this mean??


Posted by: john trevisani at August 21, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #176769

John,

Sure. Whether it is the NYT outing our monitoring of international financial transactions or a liberal judge shutting down NSA wire taps, how is this making the country safer in a time of war? Which side on the war on terror do these examples help?

Posted by: JimmyRay at August 21, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #176770

Here are my thoughts (not having read up on the case or the decision):

I think some people forget, or don’t recognize that we are fighting a war. I hate the term “war on terror”, because it has been used derisively, out of context, and too often for it to carry weight beyond its words. Despite this, we are fighting a war.

war ( P ) Pronunciation Key (wôr)
n.
A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.

If you recall, during WWII President Roosevelt signed executive order 9066, which authorized the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans. Was this a violation of civil rights? Absolutely. Could there be an inference made in that FDR was acting like a “king” in this situation? Why not. After all, he basically flushed the constitution down the toilet on this one. But he did it for a reason - not because he hated Japanese. He did it to protect the country. Right or wrong, the intentions were to protect our citizens and our soil in a time of war.

Is Pearl Harbor that unlike 9/11??? My point being, that in times of war, difficult and harsh actions take place. We may not like them or agree with them, but decisions must be made. To parallel the NSA thing with my above observation, I think that while nobody likes to think that their privacy is being invaded, I feel pragmatic about it. I don’t believe that this administration wants to spy on people because they are Stalinistic or anything like that. They feel that they must do this to protect our citizens and our country. Has it been successful? The jury is still out, and I’m sure that there will never be a complete consensus on that, but I ask you…if any of these measures help to prevent another attack like 9/11 - would it be worth it? Please take of your partisan hats for a moment and really ask yourself that question. What if, god forbid, it were you, or your loved ones affected by an act of terrorism that could have been prevented. Would you feel differently?

Sorry for the ramble - I didn’t have time to put this in a more cohesive and concise format.

Your thoughts?

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #176771

If it was found that the NSA was using the eavsdropping for situations other than what has been advertised I might have some sympathy for the democratic view of this but until that happens I feel more comfortable having calls in and out of the country monitored. The NSA can listen to my calls all day long if they would like but I don’t think they would have any interest.
While there may be a fine line between abuse of power and the need to gather necessary intel on terrrorists issues I find it interesting that we can always count of the left to sprint to the side of Americas enemies on these issues.

Posted by: Carnak at August 21, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #176772

The only thing I don’t understand is why the President and his supporters oppose judicial oversight. Current legislation allows the NSA to surveil suspects PRIOR to seeking a warrant. The ONLY stipulation is they have to seek a warrant, I believe, within 72 hours of the action. I have to believe the Federal Government has enough attorneys available to submit the requests for these warrants.

If this program is to monitor terrorist calls coming into the country, why is the President unwilling to have judicial oversight? Is he saying we can’t trust the judiciary? Could the NSA be listening to something else? Maybe Al Gore’s phone calls…who knows. Republicans should remember that if they lose the White House a Democratic President could be listening to them. Be careful what you wish for you may get it.

Posted by: Bill at August 21, 2006 2:40 PM
Comment #176773

Respect for the law is not just a liberal concern, JimmyRay. Even if I bought your assumption that legal wiretapping isn’t efficient, the solution is not to break the law, but to change it. We are the mightest country on the planet; surely we don’t have to undermine the Constitution to fight this battle.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #176775

Hey!


There is one simple fact here: Bush and his cronies broke the law and lied about it. Simply put, FISA stipulates that the executive MUST get Congress to know about wiretapping AND must have a warrant and get it cleared. Wiretapping without a warrant and in secret may be done ONLY for 15 days after war is declared.

It’s simple and clear, this law. Why don’t you cons try to argue about that?

If you cannot articulate why this wasn’t a crime and a clear violation of that well-established law, then you can’t come to this table and argue the judge’s decision. And you can’t make the retroactive argument that the law is without merit. It is a law.

And when you’re finished with that, please explain why Bush and company didn’t perjure themselves lying about it.

Invoke the evil ACLU, “activist judges,” the “liberal media” and all the Goebbels-like propaganda (down is up, north is south) you wish. But if you can’t have a convincing argument about that, your opinion can’t be taken seriously by anyone who knows the law. And we are, as so many have pointed out, a nation governed by the rule of law.

Posted by: DavidL at August 21, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #176777

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Ben Franklin et al.

Whether Ben said it or just republished it, he still believed in the overall message.

How quickly people are so willing to give up their freedoms. Americans should fight, fight hard to keep their freedoms. These are the very same freedoms that countless people died to preserve in WWI and WWII. To allow even one American to kowtow to fear and let someone take away your freedoms without a fight is the one, true, un-American act.

Those that allow people to take their freedom without a fight, disrespect those who fought to preserve those freedoms.

Posted by: john trevisani at August 21, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #176778

Trent,

My rightwing web sites…..
Abraham Lincoln… the extraordinary measures such as suspension of the writ of habeas corpus that he took to deal with “Rebellion”. Rebellion was one of the special circumstances recognized by the Constitution, which justified the use of extraordinary powers that may temporarily curb civil liberties otherwise protected by the Constitution. The other exception is “Invasion”, which is what we now face in our post-9/11 world by global networks of Islamic-fascists.

Bill,
I’m not a lawyer, but doesn’t a warrant need a person or a phone number or something?

I don’t know for sure, but I’m guessing that these wire taps were broad nets to capture key words or phrases. I may be way off on that but if I were President and they came to me with such a program I would do it.

Bottom line: Right believes we are in a war, Left believes we are in a police action.

Posted by: JimmyRay at August 21, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #176780

JimmyRay,

Seriously, appealing to past abuses of power by Demoncrats doesn’t change my mind. Although it was obviously a political thing, I thought Clinton deserved impeached for perjuring himself. I was glad about the outcome, and I think the Starr fishing expedition was terrible for this country, but the simple fact was, Clinton broke the law and got what he deserved.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #176783

Indeed, the King is dead.
Long live the Rule of Law, the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights!

Glenn Greenwald has been doing a great job of talking about this subject on his blog the past several days.
Here is his post from today:
Rules of polite Washington discourse

From the link:

Jonathan Turley (who, for those with the new law professor fetish, is one at George Washington University) puts his finger on why there is so much desire to focus on the “quality” of Judge Taylor’s written opinion while all but ignoring the fact that a federal court just declared that the President of the United States has been repeatedly violating federal criminal laws, and still is:

“The far more difficult question is the implication of Taylor’s ruling. If this court is upheld or other courts follow suit, it will leave us with a most unpleasant issue that Democrats and Republicans alike have sought to avoid. Here it is: If this program is unlawful, federal law expressly makes the ordering of surveillance under the program a federal felony. That would mean that the president could be guilty of no fewer than 30 felonies in office. Moreover, it is not only illegal for a president to order such surveillance, it is illegal for other government officials to carry out such an order. For people working in government, this opinion may lead to some collar tugging. If Taylor’s decision is upheld or other courts reject the program, will the president promise to pardon those he ordered to carry out unlawful surveillance? The question of the president’s possible criminal acts has long been the pig in the parlor that polite people in Congress refused to acknowledge.”
Legal battles which involve the government typically are waged over abstract questions as to whether a particular government action (a new law or a President’s order) is invalid as being unconstitutional. While such battles can generate substantial emotion, they do not typically implicate government officials personally.
But the FISA ruling from Judge Taylor is of a much different nature. The question being decided by NSA cases is, effectively, whether George Bush and his top officials, along with those at the NSA following his orders by eavesdropping without judicial approval, are guilty of felonies. As Professor Turley notes, very few people actually believe the answer to that question is difficult to discern:
“While Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales insists that the legal authority for the program is clear and filed a notice of appeal with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, few experts outside of the Bush administration support the program. To the contrary, federal law seems perfectly clear in prohibiting warrantless surveillance.
This has been the most bizarre part of the NSA scandal all along: the President got caught red-handed violating an extremely clear law — he admitted to engaging in the very behavior which that law says is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine — and yet official Washington (the political and pundit classes) simply decided to pretend that wasn’t the case.”
They agreed to acquiesce to the administration’s fiction that there are some sort of complex and difficult legal questions with which one must grapple, and that only shrill partisans say that the President is violating the criminal law. And thus, a Washington ruling class which reveled in subpoenas and criminal investigations over such towering matters as Whitewater, Vince Foster and Monica Lewkinsky has collectively decided that talk of criminality on the part of the President for how he is spying on Americans is imprudent and unserious.
The Justice Department lawyers who approved this illegal program, the political officials who ordered it, and the journalists who defended it (and have enabled this presidency) are all part of the same circle, and the very suggestion that any of this is actually criminal — even though it is all being done in violation of the crystal clear criminal law — is just too unpleasant, too unruly, too disruptive to admit. As Turley puts it: “The question of the president’s possible criminal acts has long been the pig in the parlor that polite people in Congress refused to acknowledge.”
But Judge Taylor’s ruling — with its very un-Beltway irreverence towards the President, and free of the fear of describing the President’s lawbreaking as what it is — is forcing that question out into the open, which is what explains so much of the hostility towards Judge Taylor. This judge, unknown to the Important People in academia and the political power centers, sitting in her little Detroit courtroom, has broken the rules. She used language which is uncouth (she pointed out the obvious — that this President has pretenses to being a King) and refused to pay homage to the false orthodoxy that there are really difficult questions triggered by the President’s refusal to abide by the criminal law. How irresponsible, unscholarly and unserious she is.

You can read the rest of Greenwald’s well written blog entry at the above link, and if your interested, on the same page, you can also read the other excellent articles he wrote this past Saturday and Sunday regarding the pathetic, desperate, and utterly dishonest way the rightwing is trying to focus only upon the person of Judge Taylor, rather than on the fact that she ruled correctly:
That the president, and all the presidents men, are clearly guilty of a whole sh*tload of unconstitutional criminal felonies — and that for this reason (although there are many others) they should definitely be impeached.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #176787

A majority of Congress upholds this wire-tapping, and worse:

  • the Supreme Court upholds abuse of eminent domain laws (legal plunder);

  • a dishonest, fiat (counterfeit) funny-money system and the inflation it creates (by design) ;

  • rampant spending, borrowing, printing of money (M3 Money Supply increased by $721 billion in 2005; that’s $2 billion per day!);

  • an astronomical $8.5 trillion National debt; $22 trillion of total federal debt (that’s current debt; not future debt);

  • $1 billion per day of interest alone on the $8.5 trillion National Debt;

  • empowers illegal immigration (by design) for cheap labor, driving down wages, driving up profits, shifting the burden to U.S. citizens, toying with demographics;

  • falling median incomes for the last 6 years (two or more workers required per household);

  • started a war based on false intelligence about WMD, and a disbelieving president that can’t admit a mistake , despite thousands that will suffer to carry out what he, himself, called the “crusade”;

  • plundering Social Security (a ponzi-scheme; $12.8 trillion in the hole);

  • created hundreds of billion$ of unfunded liabilities for Medicare and Medicaid ;

  • mismanaged PBGC ($450 billion in the hole);

  • declining quality of public education;

  • increasingly unaffordable college and higher education;

  • increasingly unreliable and unaffordable healthcare;

  • increasing foreign competition and rampant outsourcing;

  • growing government to nightmare proportions; more jobs in government than all of manufacturing;

  • the shrinking middle class is being systematically squeezed (a mere 1% of the U.S. population has 40% of all wealth, a level that has never been worse since the Great Depression of 1929) ;

  • etc., etc., etc.

The majority of incumbent politicians in Congress did this (above).

Therefore, why do the voters keep re-electing the majority of Congress (who enjoy a cu$hy 90% re-election rate)?

Unfortunately, the voters have not yet reached their threshold for pain and misery required to motivate voters to stop re-electing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, incumbent politicians. But we will, because we are on the right path to guarantee that lesson is on the way. Pain and misery is a good teacher.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 21, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #176789

I wonder what The Real Story is, since this is apparently not about warrantless wiretaps to most.

To the Administration & Friends, is it about some undiscussed additional powers that they want for themselves and/or future presidents, since wouldn’t they just introduce legislation to clearly legalize such wiretaps (wouldn’t this pass, or make themselves look better for Nov?), which they wouldn’t get from a Bill but could argue they have if the warrantless wiretaps are called legal??

To Dems who keep saying ~”Why doesn’t Bush just request this power from Congress?” why won’t they just be practical (take the initiative and high ground from Republicans) and introduce legislation to make this clear/legal? Or do they just not want to split with Liberals who are really against this particular strong non-military Law Enforcement tool?

To Liberals who are so against this action even at the point where you would agree that it is 100% legal, at least you are arguing over your real issue. But can you please tell me better what the downside is?? We seem so far away from a totalitarian state (I don’t think Bush or Clinton were anywhere near being able to stomp out all dissent) so I don’t really go for the slippery-slope argument … any more than I think a waiting period for buying assault rifles with cop-killer bullets is a “War Against the Constitution!” and “Assaulting Our Civil Rights!”.

And I wonder why the Media does not seem to discuss this Real Story at all. Or do I misunderstand the situation…

Posted by: Brian at August 21, 2006 3:48 PM
Comment #176790

For myself, I am far far less interested in impeaching Bush and other officials than in compelling acquiesence to the law. Having said that, the bar for impeachment has recently been set rather low.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #176792

Brian, if this gets to the Supreme Court, which I bet it will, and the Supreme Court rules in favor of the president, the country will go along with that. After the 2000 elections, I researched as much as I could the issues before the SC and still thought it acted wrongly; however, the SC is the final say and we have no choice but to accept that, short of revolution, which I think nobody wants.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #176793

“Whether it is the NYT outing our monitoring of international financial transactions “

That story was leaked by bush’s own people.

“Bottom line: Right believes we are in a war, Left believes we are in a police action. “

The most significant victories in this “war” have been made on the police side, not the army side. The war rhetoric is simply used to allow the abuse of power that bushco craves.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #176795

The war rhetoric is simply used to allow the abuse of power that bushco craves.

are you serious?

I guess FDR DID hate the Japanese then…right?

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #176796

“But can you please tell me better what the downside is?? We seem so far away from a totalitarian state “

Not nearly as far away as we were 6 short years ago.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #176797

“are you serious?”

Yes.

“I guess FDR DID hate the Japanese then…right?”

That was an actual war, and FDR was wrong. We admitted so a few years back.
His decision was made as much out of fear of citizens attacking Japanese americans as fear of Japanese americans committing sabotage, but I doubt out of hate.
Anything else?

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #176798

I think most liberals regret the internment of the Japanese and Japanese-Americans. In 1988, Ronald Reagan officially apologized for the United States, saying the internments were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.” Reparations followed. I’m not a big fan of Reagan, but I was proud of him that day.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #176799

Trent:
“if this gets to the Supreme Court, which I bet it will, and the Supreme Court rules in favor of the president, the country will go along with that.”

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the president, it is saying that the fourth amendment is no more, and that non-compliance with the existing FISA laws that already give more than enough latitude for terror survelliance means nothing at all. Why should our country go along with that?

“After the 2000 elections, I researched as much as I could the issues before the SC and still thought it acted wrongly; however, the SC is the final say and we have no choice but to accept that, short of revolution, which I think nobody wants.”

The decision in 2000 was unconstitutional — and the SC knew that it was. This why in that decision they made it clear that the ruling could not be used as a precedent for any future court decision. This situation is rather different, and is indeed worthy of revolution — because it is telling us that the fourth amendment is no longer applicable, (that warrants aren’t necessary, that probable cause is rendered “quaint”) and that existing FISA laws and the need for a FISA court no longer apply to our sitting presidents — that their “the unitary executive” powers now give them a king-like stature within American government.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #176800

John Trevisani

Most of what I know comes from the liberal media.

The Washington Post wrote an editorial entitled A Judicial Misfire and called the decision a lot of sound and fury. Listen to the Dianne Rehm Show to hear both sides. Clearly, there are ample grounds to appeal and the Administration will do so.

This is another Fitzmas case, where liberals are counting chicken that will never hatch.

I prefer to spy on Al Queda and any Americans they might work with. That is just my preference. But I believe the courts will uphold the NSA program.

Posted by: Jack at August 21, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #176803

Perhaps it is best to leave complex legal arguments and decisions to those who are experienced in making them and have an education in law. Namely, our judges. Before we label court decisions as “wrong” or “unconstitutional” maybe we should consider this:who (hopefully) knows more about US government, law, and the Constitution-us, or the judges?

Posted by: Silima at August 21, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #176804

Of course the King of America is dead. FDR died a long time ago.

Posted by: Steve at August 21, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #176805

Jack:
“Clearly, there are ample grounds to appeal and the Administration will do so.”

Let’s hope they actually give the court a better appeal than they did this time around. From Greenwald’s Saturday article:

The DoJ’s Brief was filed under seal and was not even publicly available. But by all appearances, it seems that the DoJ made the choice to not take very seriously the substance of the constitutional and legal challenges to the NSA program in this case, because it basically took the position that the court had no right even to rule on those issues (because of the “state secrets” doctrine and because of standing issues, to which the DoJ devoted the bulk of its efforts — i.e., basically telling the court it had no power to decide these constitutional and other legal issues).
Thus, the Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief noted that Defendants “have failed to offer any formal defense to their violation of the law.” The DoJ’s principal arguments in defense of its lawbreaking appear to be focused on claims that (a) the AUMF authorized the FISA violations and (b) the President’s Article II powers cannot be restricted by Congress. See pp. 11-12. But the parts of the court’s opinion rejecting both of those arguments are solid (if not stellar) and, in any event, the Supreme Court itself in Hamdan almost certainly precluded argument (a) and dealt a severe if not fatal blow to (b).
If, as appears to be the case, the DoJ chose not to dispute certain factual claims (such as the claim that the president’s eavesdropping falls within the mandates of FISA), then the court was absolutely correct to treat that as an undisputed fact. And if the DoJ failed to raise certain legal issues thoroughly or even at all, then the fault lies with the DoJ, not the court, for the fact that those issues played no role in the ruling.

“But I believe the courts will uphold the NSA program.”

This is not about whether the NSA program can continue, it is about whether it can continue unlawfully, and without any kind of oversight.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #176807

1. yes we are in a war. see my definition above. the fact that you cant recognize it scares me.

2. we sometimes do things that we dont like during times of duress. Thats life. be pragmatic.

3. fdr didnt hate japanese, and bush doesnt care that you need to pick up your dry cleaning. to think otherwise is plain naive and shows how much you truly despise the man.

4. the government has a responsibility to protect us. period. the end. if you dont like the way that the current administration is doing it - then fine. But at the end of the day, we HAVE to do SOMETHING. Have any ideas?

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #176808

“I prefer to spy on Al Queda and any Americans they might work with. That is just my preference.”

For the UMPTEENTH time, this is NOT about whether they can wiretap. It is about whether or not they can do it without warrants or oversight.
NOBODY has presented a cogent argument as to why they insist on doing it outside the established FISA law. NOBODY.
18000 warrant requests, 5 turned down.
3 days free ride on getting the warrant.
Only explanation is sheer arrogance.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #176809

maybe it has to do with the sensitivity of the information.

if they are trying to catch someone in the act, wouldnt you think that any chance of a tip off would be a bad thing?

I dont know - Im probably talking out of my ass, because after all the NSA should have a completely open book policy for anyone to look in to.

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #176810

Yep. Stop doing things like this, and stop re-electing irresponsible incumbent politicians.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 21, 2006 5:00 PM
Comment #176811

“yes we are in a war. see my definition above. the fact that you cant recognize it scares me.”

You scare easily.

“we sometimes do things that we dont like during times of duress. Thats life. “

It is during times of duress that we most need to stick to our principles.

“fdr didnt hate japanese, and bush doesnt care that you need to pick up your dry cleaning. to think otherwise is plain naive and shows how much you truly despise the man.”

FDR hating japanese was your comment.
As for despising bush, yep, I do. I have 100 good reasons. BUT, that is NOT why I oppose his refusal to follow US law. Since he has no good reason, his refusal sends up all sorts of red blinky lights in my mind. As for whether he’s spying on me, your missing the point. HE isn’t making the wiretap decisions. Lower level, unelected, intelligence operatives are. THEY, and EVERYONE up the food chain needs to be accountable to abuses. THAT is the purpose of the FISA law.

“But at the end of the day, we HAVE to do SOMETHING. Have any ideas?”

Lots. But speaking to this issue, I have NO PROBLEM with the continued program as long as it is done within existing law. Period.
Get the warrants, end the controversy.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #176812

Bombay:
“maybe it has to do with the sensitivity of the information.

if they are trying to catch someone in the act, wouldnt you think that any chance of a tip off would be a bad thing?”

The FISA court is a SECRET COURT.

“I dont know - I’m probably talking out of my ass”

Don’t be too hard on yourself for merely being ignorant of the facts.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 5:05 PM
Comment #176813

“maybe it has to do with the sensitivity of the information.
if they are trying to catch someone in the act, wouldnt you think that any chance of a tip off would be a bad thing?”

Maybe isn’t good enough to allow laws to be ignored. The FISA court is highly secret. If we have al quaeda moles that deep, were already done for.
Since bush’s penchant for secrecy is so pervasive, we don’t know the exact details of who how or why the wiretaps are being conducted. I don’t need to know these details, BUT THE FISA COURT DOES. That’s called OVERSIGHT and is what our Constitution was based on.
Again, no explanation of the need to bypass the law beyond pure ARROGANCE.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 5:07 PM
Comment #176814

Any scholar that I’ve ever read calls Lincoln’s suspension of Habaeus Corpus and FDR’s internment of the Japanese abberrations and violations of the Constitution. How those can be used to defend Bush’s violation of the Constitution is byond me.


Whether there was criminal intent on the part of the President is another issue. I doubt anyone would be able to establish that.

The Bush administration has shown a poor understanding of civil liberty. It has shown a poor ability for honesty and openess. It has shown an antithetical relationship with democracy and human rights.

If our newly appointed Supreme Court becomes activist and attempts to defeat this ruling, in my opinion, we are in need of a revolution. Congress has been a rubber stamp for King George II and if the Judiciary has also sold its soul, then we are left with no other recourse. Let’s hope we have not reached that time in the course of human events. I find the Judge’s ruling both sound and patriotic.

Posted by: gergle at August 21, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #176815

——Adrienne— Excellent post, Do you think Attorney
General Ashcroft may have resigned because of all
the illegal activity by the White House?

Posted by: DAVID at August 21, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #176817

Don’t be too hard on yourself for merely being ignorant of the facts.

Oh - Im sorry. I thought what we were discussing were opinions. I didnt know that you were the unequivicable keeper of all of the facts. I might as well not post anymore since there isnt any point.

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release February 9, 1995


EXECUTIVE ORDER 12949

- - - - - - -
FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE PHYSICAL SEARCHES


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution
and the laws of the United States, including sections 302 and 303 of the
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (“Act”) (50 U.S.C. 1801,
et seq.), as amended by Public Law 103- 359, and in order to provide for
the authorization of physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes
as set forth in the Act, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) of the Act, the
Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a
court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of
up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications
required by that section.

Sec. 2. Pursuant to section 302(b) of the Act, the Attorney
General is authorized to approve applications to the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court under section 303 of the Act to obtain
orders for physical searches for the purpose of collecting foreign
intelligence information.

Sec. 3. Pursuant to section 303(a)(7) of the Act, the following
officials, each of whom is employed in the area of national security or
defense, is designated to make the certifications required by section
303(a)(7) of the Act in support of applications to conduct physical
searches:

(a) Secretary of State;

(b) Secretary of Defense;

(c) Director of Central Intelligence;

(d) Director of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation;

(e) Deputy Secretary of State;

(f) Deputy Secretary of Defense; and

(g) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

None of the above officials, nor anyone officially acting in that
capacity, may exercise the authority to make the above certifications,
unless that official has been appointed by the President, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate.


WILLIAM J. CLINTON


THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 9, 1995.


WHERE WAS YOUR BIG OUTCRY OF INVASION OF FREEDOM FOR PHYSICAL SEARCHES THEN!!!!!

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #176820

HERE IS ANOTHER ONE!!!

EXERCISE OF CERTAIN AUTHORITY RESPECTING ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE
EO 12139
23 May 1979

————————————————————————————————————————


By the authority vested in me as President by Sections 102 and
104 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C.
1802 and 1804), in order to provide as set forth in that Act (this
chapter) for the authorization of electronic surveillance for
foreign intelligence purposes, it is hereby ordered as follows:

1-101. Pursuant to Section 102(a)(1) of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(a)), the Attorney General
is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign
intelligence information without a court order, but only if the
Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section.

1-102. Pursuant to Section 102(b) of the Foreign Intelligence Act
of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(b)), the Attorney General is authorized to
approve applications to the court having jurisdiction under Section
103 of that Act (50 U.S.C. 1803) to obtain orders for electronic
surveillance for the purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence
information.

1-103. Pursuant to Section 104(a)(7) of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1804(a)(7)), the following
officials, each of whom is employed in the area of national
security or defense, is designated to make the certifications
required by Section 104(a)(7) of the Act in support of applications
to conduct electronic surveillance:

(a) Secretary of State.

(b) Secretary of Defense.

(c) Director of Central Intelligence.

(d) Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(e) Deputy Secretary of State.

(f) Deputy Secretary of Defense.

(g) Deputy Director of Central Intelligence.

None of the above officials, nor anyone officially acting in that
capacity, may exercise the authority to make the above
certifications, unless that official has been appointed by the
President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

1-104. Section 2-202 of Executive Order No. 12036 (set out under
section 401 of this title) is amended by inserting the following at
the end of that section: ”Any electronic surveillance, as defined
in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, shall be
conducted in accordance with that Act as well as this Order.”.

1-105. Section 2-203 of Executive Order No. 12036 (set out under
section 401 of this title) is amended by inserting the following at
the end of that section: ”Any monitoring which constitutes
electronic surveillance as defined in the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be conducted in accordance with that
Act as well as this Order.”.

Jimmy Carter.

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #176822

Thanks DAVID. To answer your question: NO, I don’t believe that’s the reason that Ashcroft resigned. Because in 2004, when Ashcroft was in intensive care recovering from pancreatitis, that is when it came time to sign off on an extension to the warrantless NSA program. The guy who was then Deputy Attorney General, James Comey, objected to some aspects of the program and was refusing to sign off on it, so, Alberto Gonzales (at that time only White House Counsel) and Andrew Card were forced to go see Ashcroft in the hospital in order for him to sign off on it. Ashcroft, like Gonzales was a Bushco puppet who didn’t give a damn about the rule of law.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #176823

“Do you think Attorney
General Ashcroft may have resigned because of all
the illegal activity by the White House?”

Tom Ridge quit because of the constant bogus terror alerts.
Once in a while you get one with integrity.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #176825

bOmbay,

You should read those things before ya post ‘em. Do I need to point out why?

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #176826

—-bOmbay—-I think we are discussing George Bush,
an not Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton- Why not
bring something for us on King George II.
On Illegal Wire taps, Without the Congresses
approval!

Posted by: DAVID at August 21, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #176827

Adrienne,

Whoa, you’re scarying me a bit there. If the SC upholds, I agree, a travesty has been been committed. But revolution? The SC has made bad calls before that were later corrected. If we don’t work within the system. …

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #176828

“WHERE WAS YOUR BIG OUTCRY OF INVASION OF FREEDOM FOR PHYSICAL SEARCHES THEN!!!!!”

2 quick points.
1. Neither me or anyone I know ever heard of FISA or these ammendments back in 95. If they were oversteps, then I would support a court stopping them.

2. Citing past actions does not excuse current actions. Same as when the right goes back to 1860 to tell us what Lincoln did.

Sorry, 3.
3. Kind of goes against your sides argument that Clinton was weak on terror.


Also:
“Pursuant to Section 102(a)(1) of the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act of 1978 the Attorney General
is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign
intelligence information without a court order, but only if the
Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section.”

Have you analysed section 102a thoroughly enough to breif us as to what certifications are required by section and thus required by the Attorney General to make, and, if so, are you in knowledge as to whether said certifications have also then been made by the current Attorney General as pursuant to section 102a of the FISA of 1978?
ISN’T CUTTING AND PASTING WITHOUT A CLUE FUN?!?!?!?

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #176832

FISA

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #176834

“(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party;”

This is the part of the FISA law that is being violated, in case bombay is still with us.
Also, this part:

“for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers,”

It’s been more than a year. And does anyone know if our AG has submitted in writing and under oath??
SO, even under this provision, if nothing else, a warrant should have been requested by now.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #176835
The judge may well be correct in her bottom line that the program exceeds presidential authority, even during wartime. We harbor grave doubt both that Congress authorized warrantless surveillance as part of the war and that Mr. Bush has the constitutional power to act outside of normal surveillance statutes that purport to be the exclusive legal authorities for domestic spying.

Washington Post


Thanks Jack, for the link to the Washington’s Post editorial about the recent judgment rendered by Judge Diggs Taylor.

Posted by: Cube at August 21, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #176837

oh brother.

Im done. The point was prior administrations accepted the fact that certain survailances or searches (physical or electronic) had to be made without court orders (warrents). Much like this administration recognizes that wiretaps (another method of collecting information) has to be done without all of the legal protocols followed. My point being, if you are all going to call George Bush a King for going above the law and violating civil rights (ie searches without a warrent) then previous presidents must be lumped into that category as well.


Maybe we can agree to disagree. I thought my first post made some good points, but apparently not.

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #176838

bOmbay,

There has been a lot of shrill rhetoric on both sides. Sometimes we forget that we all want what is best for the country, we merely disagree what that is.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #176839

thanks trent. I appreciate it (and agree).

Posted by: b0mbay at August 21, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #176843

“Much like this administration recognizes that wiretaps (another method of collecting information) has to be done without all of the legal protocols followed. My point being, if you are all going to call George Bush a King for going above the law and violating civil rights (ie searches without a warrent) then previous presidents must be lumped into that category as well.”

We weren’t trying to dump on you, but just citing other presidents actions does not specifically speak to today’s issue. If a federal judge issued a stop order against a Clinton surveillance program, I would be the first to say “lets decide if it’s legal”.
As far as I know, there were no specific instances of Clinton violating the FISA act and surveilling AMERICAN CITIZENS. bush, after lying about it, admitted that calls originating from the US were being monitored.
Perhaps it’s the ‘always lie first’ policy that makes us so wary of your president. The requisite ‘correction’ being issued the next day.
I’m not saying stop surveilling, I’m not saying impeach bush (however sweet that would be), All I’m saying is get in line with the law, or change it, but do it above board and STOP LYING!

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #176845

—-bOmbay—-J Edgar Hoover, many years ago, was
The FBI Director. He illegally tapped thousands of
phones, opened mail from Senators right down the ladder to any one he wanted to control, including
Martin L King. Was this alright? No. I have no
desire to see those good old days return now or ever. Their must controls an oversight on all
Governmental activity for very obvious reasons!!

Posted by: DAVID at August 21, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #176846

“The judge may well be correct in her bottom line that the program exceeds presidential authority, even during wartime.”


Sorry, one more time, but, We Are Not At War.
Yes, we are fighting islamic nutjobs. Yes, our military needs to be involved, as well as intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, courts, etc.
But sorry, the word “war” is merely being thrown about to justify the blank check bush was handed, and the laws he seems to enjoy ignoring.
Just to explain, IF we were at war, we:
-wouldn’t be cutting taxes
-wouldn’t continue handing out pork by the bucketfull
-wouldn’t allow blatant profiteering by connected companies
-wouldn’t be allowing our ready forces to be in such a low readiness state, even if that meant a draft
-WOULD be requiring chemical, water, power plants to be secured
-WOULD be serious about securing the ports, borders
-WOULD spend what it takes to secure the airports
-WOULD have a plan in the M.E. with hard goals and exit strategy
-WOULD have made O.B.L. a serious target and WOULD NOT have wasted such resources on one of the lowest priority targets, ie Sadam.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #176853

—-By the way, AOL just fired several employees
for giving or selling customer information to the
Feds.—

Posted by: DAVID at August 21, 2006 6:51 PM
Comment #176860

bOmbay,

“The point was prior administrations accepted the fact that certain survailances or searches (physical or electronic) had to be made without court orders (warrents).”

…um…the Clinton act that you quoted was simply the President delegating his powers expressly permitted by the FISA Act to officers appointed by him. He was following the law, not ignoring it like Bush. Didn’t you notice when Trent asked “Do I need to point out why?” (Trent, I guess the answer is YES!)

Observer, I share your frustration with the Bush supporters. You’re right, nobody can defend Bush doing this without oversight. Thanks for arguing the point so clearly and effectively. One question, though: Why do you hate America so much? ;)

Also, Observer, I agree we cannot say we are “at war.” The main reason that we can’t do it is that this “war”, like the “war” on drugs, will never end. We are not fighting a nation. There will never be a treaty signing in Geneva ending hostilities. What we have is many ill-defined groups of people who for whatever reasons, want to destroy us (or at least bug the shit out of us as much as possible).

So, we can’t say the “President has certain extra powers because we are at war”, because that would be saying that the President will have these powers for all eternity.

Posted by: Jeff at August 21, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #176862

Trent:
“Adrienne,

Whoa, you’re scarying me a bit there. If the SC upholds, I agree, a travesty has been been committed. But revolution? The SC has made bad calls before that were later corrected. If we don’t work within the system. …”

I’m not trying to be overly dramatic here, but I honestly think you should be more afraid of what you’re saying here, Trent. You want to work within a system where the Supreme Court will allow the president to have king-like powers over his “subjects” — whose Constitutional rights can be taken away? Where whatever the president of the United States decides to do is deemed legal after he does it, regardless of any laws that were previously written?
Honestly, don’t you think it’s time for a deep line in the sand to be drawn here?
So far we’ve had Patriot Acts I and II that contain unconstitutional provisions — and have had a Congress that has allowed them to stand with very little argument or changes. We’ve had a presidential administration that started our first-ever pre-emptive war on flimsy intelligence and outright lies. They’ve institutionalized torture, held prisoners without charges, extraordinary rendition-ed prisoners to foreign gulags, and rendered the Geneva Conventions “quaint.” Now, we’re supposed to allow our fourth amendment rights to be done away with? We’re supposed to think that a secret court that has always previously rubberstamped whatever surveillance a president wanted, but who for the first time began to turn down requests made by this administration, is a court who is suddenly too restrictive and hard to deal with because of the “war on terror”? That it’s okay that when the president met with that resistance, he made an end run around the FISA court and began to wiretap without warrants? And that now the Supreme Court should rule that this is alright, and that warrants and oversight for spying on our citizens IS no longer necessary?
If America doesn’t stand up and speak out when and if the Supreme Court begins to rule against the Constitution in favor of bestowing king-like presidential powers, and if we don’t attempt to protect our fourth amendment rights by demanding that our government must still get a warrant and have probable cause when and if any of our citizens are going to be spied upon, then when do we?
Btw, I am in no way trying to be unnecessarily strident or shrill in this thread.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #176866

Adrienne,

What specifically do you propose?

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #176869

Trent:

“If the SC upholds, I agree, a travesty has been been committed. But revolution? The SC has made bad calls before that were later corrected. If we don’t work within the system…”

Actually, gergle made the revolution comment, not Adrienne.

What’s your prognosis when the ‘system’ has been so corrupted and compromised that fair elections are not possible, fair and equitable legislating
without corruption is not possible, that corporate fascism is no longer creeping because it’s already here? How can we expect reform from an already corrupted and rotted system?

We were birthed as a nation by revolutionaries, ner-do-wells, trouble makers and idealists. Working within a corrupt system gives it an authority and legitimacy it has long since compromised.

Observer:

Well-spoken. The only reason this administration refuses to follow FISA is because they are tapping political opponents, dissidents, journalists, peace activists—occasionally, I think they might stumble onto a terrorist: then realize it’s Ann Coulter masterbating, and move on.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 7:43 PM
Comment #176871

Tim,

Actually, Adrienne did raise the specter before gergle.

There is all kinds of resistance. That is why I asked what she specifically proposed. For that matter, I will ask you now, too. If you guys are speaking of armed revolution, say it.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #176874

Actually Trent, this is what I said — after the word revolution had first been used by you:

“This situation is rather different, and is indeed worthy of revolution — because it is telling us that the fourth amendment is no longer applicable, (that warrants aren’t necessary, that probable cause is rendered “quaint”) and that existing FISA laws and the need for a FISA court no longer apply to our sitting presidents — that their “the unitary executive” powers now give them a king-like stature within American government.”

“If you guys are speaking of armed revolution, say it.”

I don’t think that is necessary — at this point. Violence to me should always be the very last thing ever resorted to. I do however, think that giant, very loud mass demonstrations and civil disobedience are definitely in order IF the Supreme Court decides to give “the unitary executive” king-like powers over the law, and makes all American citizens the “subjects” of the president.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #176877

Right wing Republicans always side with republican presidents when the law is broken. They always say, well sure maybe a law was broken but it was for the betterment of the country, ala Mr. Reagan and Iran Contra… Trading arms to a terroist nation is ok even if we did break the law…

Jack and some of the others really crack me up on this one. Clinton was a criminal worthy of being impeached becaused he lied under oath to a grand jury about having sex with an intern.
Bush and company break the FISA law and lie about WMD’s and trying to tie Iraq with 9/11 and these guy’s want to let Bush off the hook. They don’t care that Bush’s lies cost the lives of 2,600 military personel. and 30,000 plus civilians in Iraq. Not to mention those who have died in Afganistan on both sides.

Clinton is beginning to look like a flunky compared to Bush and company.

Posted by: Rusty at August 21, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #176878

Thank you, Adrienne. I can go along with that.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #176884

“This female negro activeist liberal democrat Federal Judge”

Thanks for the reminder that racism is alive and well, actually thriving, in the USA.—-$$$—-

Yes I took lesson’s from Robert Bird,Jessy Jackson,Al Sharpton,Howard Dean,Cindy McKinny,and the new black panther party, and most of the democratic party, in the early days of the civil-rights movement.

Posted by: Angry White Infadel at August 21, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #176888

“So, we can’t say the “President has certain extra powers because we are at war”, because that would be saying that the President will have these powers for all eternity.”

I’m laying 100 to one odds that when a democratic president takes over, these gung ho right wingers will suddenly support congressional and judicial oversight again.

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #176889

Trent:

“There is all kinds of resistance. That is why I asked what she specifically proposed. For that matter, I will ask you now, too.”

I am for civil disobedience, non-payment of taxes, street demonstrations, worker strikes, what ever it takes to get government to respond to real corruption.

I am not nearly as adverse to the concept of armed uprisings as I was ten years ago. Ten years ago, the system could at least fake a certain efficiency, a certain moral clarity. Now, the government isn’t even bothering to fake it.

That is a very dangerous sign; the law-breaking is not even being covered up anymore, and any dissent of said lawbreaking is being demonized so stridently and vociferously for political gain, the truth is being regularly massaged and dismantled, torture and preemptive attacks on sovergin nations being condoned…maybe we should be fighting the government in Washington, so we don’t have to fight them in our neighborhoods.:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #176890

“—occasionally, I think they might stumble onto a terrorist: then realize it’s Ann Coulter masterbating, and move on.”

You think ann coulter plays with her penis?

Posted by: Observer at August 21, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #176891

Observer:

“I’m laying 100 to one odds that when a democratic president takes over, these gung ho right wingers will suddenly support congressional and judicial oversight again. “

You don’t have to lay odds, believe me. That is exactly what they will do, and I’m trying to make a note of all their arguments while Bush is in office so I can call them on all their collective flip-flopping once such transition of power occurs. Help me to document them will you? My memory isn’t what it used to be.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #176893

“You think ann coulter plays with her penis?”

This conjures an especially disturbing image….

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #176894

Observer:

Your 6:42 post is especially succinct. It is a highly selective ‘war’ that is going on here, isn’t it?

Declaring a war has certainly become de classe as well, ever since WWII. Think a Congress will ever declare a war again?

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 9:16 PM
Comment #176898

Tim,

I can’t think of a better system of government than what we have. It is capable of accomodating many different governmental philosophies. It provides a framework for peaceful installment of new leaders. As far as resistance goes, I’m definitely in the Martin Luther King camp.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #176903

Well some interesting comments have been made.

First as far as calling it a war, only Congress can declare war, but since Korea, congress has given the Pres the power to send troops into battle. King George of course sent troops into Iraq for a war he started on lies he gave to the citizens of the US.

Now a old man many many years ago said the following “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserves neither liberty or security” Ben Franklin said that a long time ago, and when the government(Bush and cronies) start bypassing the Constitution(4th Amend) then maybe we need to do the following”The tree of Libery must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of Patroits and Tyrants. It is it’s natural manure” so says Thomas Jefferson.

So maybe a new American Revolution is needed, to refresh this country. Not necessarily a bloody revolution, but for Americans to say enough is enough and take the power back from those that bastardized this country and government(bush and cronies). Go back to what George Washington said in his fairwell address, to stay out of foreign affairs, to pay attention to what is going on here, instead of overseas.

Take the money that is going to Iraq,Lebanon, and all the other countries and spend it on the US. There are a lot of place here that need to be rebuilt.

Posted by: KT at August 21, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #176904

“As far as resistance goes, I’m definitely in the Martin Luther King camp.”

Yeah, and look what happened to him…and Gandhi, and Jesus, and Socrates.

I often think of Macolm X and King—good cop, bad cop. I think they needed each other; King could point at X and say,” This is what you’ll deal with if you deny the black race it’s seat at the American table.” And Malcom could say,”They won’t even deal with reasonable people that ask for rights non-violently.”

I don’t mind being a bad cop, if that is what it is going to take.

By the way, a peaceful transition of power isn’t what it’s cracked up to be—witness the elections of 2000, 2002, and 2004. They were peaceful (and compromised) because everybody was asleep.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 10:05 PM
Comment #176905

Trent:

“I can’t think of a better system of government than what we have. It is capable of accomodating many different governmental philosophies.”

That’s what the powers that be are looking for—no analysing, or investigating a different format. Everything is just fine. You know how this country accomodates many different governmental philosophies? It ignores them, eliminates them by a rigged political system that makes third parties a joke, and mass brainwashing. Probably the only way this government gets the changes the people deserve is through crisis—political, economic, environmental.

We can talk about it now while there’s air-conditioning, electricity and hot-and-cold running water, or we can wait until we’re a third-world country overcome by it’s own corrupt complicity to a corrupt, violent government.

This is already a run-away train, it’s not like the people have any impact on what the government’s doing. We have ample evidence of that.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #176907

Ok, Tim. Sketch out a new constitution. Make it better than what we’ve got. And remember, whatever you come up with, any time you have people involved, there will be corruption. Devise a way to deal with it. That presumably means some sort of jurisprudence. Don’t simply say you will haul out the bad guys and shoot them; who determines who are the bad guys?

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #176908

Btw, Socrates choose death, Tim. You know why he didn’t escape when he had the opportunity? Do you know why more Athenians voted for death than, in an earlier vote, voted to convict him?

Socrates, Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King — every single one of them changed the world through non-violent means, every single one gave us ideas that still live, ideas that you and I value so much.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #176919

Trent:

“Socrates, Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King — every single one of them changed the world through non-violent means, every single one gave us ideas that still live, ideas that you and I value so much.”

I can hear the swell of the orchestra in the background, the French horns soaring, the strings and woodwinds, eyes watering, hearts pounding…

and we still have a corrupt government that will not go quietly into that good night.

I have called for a new Constitutional Convention, inviting everyone of all political persuasions and temperment to meet and discuss constructive change, to make suggestions addressing the problems we face. My only stipulation? That none of the people be in the present government.

I’ve even set out my ideas about making all elections paid and supported by the government to get all corrupt monies from well-heeled individuals and corporations out of the election process, making all elections open (eliminate the secret ballot), eliminate electronic voting machines with proprietary software.

A temporary fix to be sure.

There are far more able people than I who could suggest a better Constitution. I’m saying it’s time to put possible change on the table. Going along to get along is probably going to kill us all.

This government sucks, and expecting it to heal itself is naive. And expecting me to solve it in one posting is another way of burying our collective heads in the sand.


This is not unlike kicking our enormous national debt down the road for our children and our grandchildren to deal with. No examination of a government that isn’t working is not a solution.

We have to at least consider the prospect that change is needed.

“All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

George Orwell

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 21, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #176926

Tim, re: Martin Luther King:

“Yeah, and look what happened to him…and Gandhi, and Jesus, and Socrates.”

Yeah, and Abraham Lincoln, also. Yet, all of them WON. Every single one of those men is a hero to (most of) us — because we’re still talking about their achievements and about how their philosophies changed us — indeed, changed this world.

“By the way, a peaceful transition of power isn’t what it’s cracked up to be—witness the elections of 2000, 2002, and 2004. They were peaceful (and compromised) because everybody was asleep.”

I wasn’t asleep. I know it’s true that they were compromised, and of course, I’ve been forced to wear the tin foil hat in this blog for not letting the matter drop, for stating what I know unequivocally, and for alerting people to what they can do, and what others are doing about election reform.

I try to keep in mind what Gandhi said: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

“Probably the only way this government gets the changes the people deserve is through crisis—political, economic, environmental.”

Sadly, this is true. But we’ve all still got to keep trying to do and say what we know in our hearts is the truth — no matter what comes, no matter who tries to insult, demean, or even kill us. That is what Judge Taylor just did. She laid down the plain, unvarnished truth on Bushco and every one of the Bushies who have responded here.
Bush committed the unconstitutional act by ignoring the FISA laws, and not getting a warrant from a secret court whose SOLE PURPOSE is to give out warrants for the government to LEGALLY to spy on American citizens. The people who are now attacking Judge Taylor for her ruling, for her wording, for who appointed her, for her race, for her sex, for her political leanings, etc. They are desperately trying get people to believe the very worst of her, and forget the fact that Bush is a criminal who deserves to be impeached for this crime — but it’s all bullshit that thinking people should be able to see right through.
There is NO EXCUSE for what they’ve done. And they know it! Which is why they couldn’t even come up with a reason they broke the law to present to Taylor in court — instead, they tried to make a case that she didn’t have the right to rule at all on what they are doing: Spying on any and all Americans they want to, without a warrant.
Now, this case goes to the Supreme Court — a court that Bush has done his best to stack in his favor — and they may attempt to UNCONSTITUTIONALLY rule in his favor. In that case, We, the People can’t let that shit stand. We must stand up and shout as loudly as we can, lest we lose our fourth amendment rights and end up with a King unbound by our laws, who will no doubt take a mile when given a Constitutional inch, rather than president who SWORE to protect and defend the Constitution!

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
Mario Savio, Berkeley, 1964

Savio was part of the Free Speech Movement — people who wanted to register African American voters in the South over the summer, and who had set up information tables on the University of California (Berkeley) campus to solicit donations for that and other civil rights causes. It was not comprised of only left wing people — there were plenty of right wingers in the Free Speech Movement who wanted the ability to campaign for Goldwater on campus as well. This group of people didn’t take no for an answer — they very forcibly but peaceably demonstrated against those who mistakenly believed they had authority over their actions on campus — and of course, the Free Speech Movement eventually won.
What we face here is another one of those times, and those defiant words and the free spirit behind them is even more relevant today than it was then. Because we may need that kind of willfulness, and anger, and energy to combat an even greater authority — the Supreme Court, America’s most powerful decision maker — giving the President the United States the power to be a KING who can take away our Constitutional rights at will, while mouthing the empty words and wearing the guise of a benign protector.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 21, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #176927

Tim,

Fine. I would love to see such a meeting of minds. In the meantime, why don’t you apply for editor status here at Watchblog. Perhaps under the Third Party rubic. I will read your articles and contribute comments.

Posted by: Trent at August 21, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #176930

Adrienne:

You post duly noted. My point about the list of martyrs is this—they have been coopted by the oligarchy, they are now sanitized and de-radicalized by the government. They are saints. And their ideas of non-violent change of racism, economic servitude, corruption and violence are known far and wide—and studiously ignored by governments all over the world.


That is why revolution, the Tree of Liberty must be watered by the blood of patriots, as someone so aptly put it up-thread. The Gandhis, the Lincolns, the Kings, they are powerful and righteous. But they need their Nehrus, their Jacksons and Abernathys, their Grants.

The next revolutionaries are nameless and faceless, and their stories are yet to be written. But anyone in this government will not be those people, and time is short.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 22, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #176932

Trent:

“Fine. I would love to see such a meeting of minds. In the meantime, why don’t you apply for editor status here at Watchblog. Perhaps under the Third Party rubic. I will read your articles and contribute comments.

Kind of you, but be careful for what you wish for…:-)

I have flirted with the idea, but, thankfully, when I lay down the feeling goes away.

Frankly, I don’t know enough yet. There is so much to read, so many people to meet and exchange ideas with—maybe in a couple of lifetimes I’ll do it.

Posted by: Tim Crow at August 22, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #176933

Ladies and Gentalmen, I’ve Spent the Last 2 hours reading the various entries made by all. Some are intelligent and thought out while others were passionate rantings. We all have to remember what Aristotle said about the rule of law, The law is reason free from passion. This saying is as true now as in the past. The problem I see is not whether or not Pres. Bush broke the law, not if congress knowingly bestowed “wartime powers” or not, or if the courts are ruling according to past precedence or not. The problem is the passion of all three branches of our gov. colliding on the constitution, ergo our rights as citizens. I do not just blame our elected reps., I also blame the american public for being complacent as well as ignorant of the rights that they have under the constitution. We as citizens have an obligation and duty to watch our gov. and change that which needs to be changed. Making our voices heard by calling your reps. or the White house to make an educated arguement, circulating petitions, and holding town meetings. This is a motivating force to incumbants who wish to actually represent thier communities. I’m saddened to think that I am wittnessing the fall of Rome all because WE THE PEOPLE have not been fighting for the our country, only what we are passionate about.

Posted by: Dwayne at August 22, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #176936

I also get very disturbed about the government giving themselves raises . They have provided themselves with the best insurance in the world. They take off to campaign for themselves and others candidates. That has to be illegal.
They work for us , that is the biggest joke in the world. They think they are so far above us that they have no ideal how we live.
They do not know us . If you write them a letter , they send back a sign (HAHA )form letter.Never have they said they would do what you wanted them to do. They would think it over carefully then drill for oil in Alaska.And I would bet they never see the letters.
Over all the biggest grip I have is their retirement plans. Why should we pay them and their spouses the rest of theirs lives. They don’t deserve any of that. I know they have to live away from their home towns a lot , well so do road construction people. They don’t pay us to build that highway and get paid until they have to build a new one.
They take money from companies so that they can be a voice for them in the congress and senate. And be damm the little people who pay taxes that pays their salary. They get preferential treatment from law officers , judges . the works.They all need a hugh cut in pay and put in the social security system just like the rest of the citizen. Are these people better than us ? I don’t think so.
I believe they should get a living salary that they can live on and share insurance or Medicare with the citizens that they work for. They should be allowed to be taken out to dinner with their friends and by their friends. And I am not talking about poor house wages, $100,000. A year to start with a car and special nice government houses, to live in. In a protected neighborhood . A raise any time social security raises they should get the same. But if they were ever caught taking graft money it would automatic that they lose their jobs.They should pay into social security like the rest of us.There should be special bonuses for them , according to how many years they stay in office. God help us if we didn’t have the older more wiser people there.Their salary should top out at $200,000. a year.That is $16,600 . a month.I could live on that with a car and housing paid.They could save like the rest of the citizens and invest in the stock market. That might encourage the Larger companies to lower the salary of the CEO of big business so that the stock holders don’t get cheated.
Also school CEO’s should and coaches should have lower salaries. Our schools are running out of money and can not teach band, music, the arts, because they don’t have the money. Duh ,no they don’t if it is all paid out to the guys and dolls at the top. They should start out just like our junior senators with raises to match social security raises.With housing and a car furnished, or an allowance if they want to live on a high scale, which they pay for.
Why should these people not have to work like the rest of Americans. They are not Gods or people to worship. And George ain’t no king.His family was very close with Sauds’s , so I am sure he has had dreams, but Let’s face it , they need to get over themselfs and get back to the Constitution of The United States. This goverment is hated in other countries.

They could put up a small sum to get in the pot to run for office and the government ( the people taxes paid for the rest of their campaigns). If they want to run the other persons down running with their allotted money instead of telling us what they believe in, that’s their problems. When they lose they maybe realize they did it wrong.Now their campaign is just a joke.
Something has to give. this country it is to important to give it over to crooks. to run. We need honest and proud people to look up to.Our children need to be able to be proud. to live in America. And our politicians need to be proud of themselves for their honest days work.
I know this is not going to happen unless every citizen puts it to a vote. As private citizens we should be allowed to do this. If they don’t want their jobs, send them home. All the workers in their office should have a pay scale to be paid for their work .And Mr. President should be paid all his expenses and $400,000. a year with social security when they leave office.
Now that is a plan. and the citizens should put it to a vote and if they can’t live on that they go home.We do not need to make these people rich. Because now they think they are so much better than the rest of us. We are just jokes to them.
And they are trying to make our Constitution over. It has served this country for since day one and should continue to do so now.

War on terror , yes it scared some small children and old people , people do not want to face the truth in all this.These oil people have a different agenda, from the rest of the people , and they have been successful so far.And they will continue if this judge and others like her doesn’t continue to prove them wrong.Let’s get behind the honest judges that are going by the laws of the Constitution of the Uniteds States.
It doens’t make much difference if they are Democrates or Republican our laws are there to stop just this kind of thing.It should never have gotten this far. And remember the Supreme Court has been stacked by this administration.
Now that is scary.

The last time I looked there has not been any terrorist caught in the United States, with this plan, so Duh !

Posted by: Sue McAvoy at August 22, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #176940

So this impeachment issue, does anybody know how far down it would go? Getting rid of W for Cheney doesn’t seem worth the effort. Now if we could get rid of both of them …

Posted by: j2t2 at August 22, 2006 1:53 AM
Comment #176943

“So this impeachment issue, does anybody know how far down it would go?”

Not far! But it would sound a very loud message that the partie’s over. In other words: this doesn’t need to be a major “rat killing” prospect. We need only let everyone know there’s a “rat” problem.

No one tells the truth anymore. The truth is that we must “occupy” Iraq and we must reinstate the draft to do so! The first politician to say so has my vote.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at August 22, 2006 2:18 AM
Comment #176945

President Bush most definitely broke the law, IMO, because he could have simply gone to the special court and gotten warrantss. It’s not as if he would have been turned down.

No, I believe he knew he could get into trouble, but just figured that as President he could just sweep the whole matter under the figuratively rug.

I imagine the thoughts were something like these:

“Why should I take the chance of not getting all the wire-taps I want, (when I can just skip the rules and laws of the Nation) and order them myself. I can always claim Executive Privilege or something.”

Besides my friends in Congress will fix things if something goes wrong.
“Most likely no one will even notice the the lack of a warrants. If someone does find out about the wire-taps, and I get into trouble, no one will pay any real attention to fact that I didn’t get any warrants. They’ll just focus on the wire-taping.”
Besides, I only have another 18+ months or so, and then the New President can enjoy them… Now wouldn’t that be a joke on the Republicans - if the Democrats were to win!”
“Who knows, maybe I’ll set a prescient.”
Posted by: Linda H. at August 22, 2006 2:52 AM
Comment #176947

I’m extremely proud of this judge for coming to this decision. It shows that the constitutional checks and balances still work. I’m proud to be an American!

Posted by: Cole at August 22, 2006 4:12 AM
Comment #176948

And although Vice President Cheney repeatedly implied that an Iraqi intelligence agent met with a Sept. 11, 2001, hijacker five months before the attacks long after the story had been discredited, Bush said that “nobody has ever suggested that the attacks of September 11 were ordered by Iraq.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/21/AR2006082100209_2.html?sub=new

————————————————————————

King George will rule as long as he is allowed to rule. Simpel Machiavellan logic.

Any case, he’s still lying and deceiving the American people he’s supposed to be serving. Surely won’t help his support among the more moderate (i.e. objective/realistic/…) members of the GOP.

Posted by: Josh at August 22, 2006 5:18 AM
Comment #176965

You know, I am left of center on most issues. If you select a broad range of issues, you’ll find me mostly on the left side. But one thing that is clear to me … we often let political affiliation determine our stance on the individual rights in the Bill of Rights. A few years ago, I and a leftist friend decided to look at the Second Amendment. We both wanted to find justification for various gun bans. The damn amendment is worded very awkwardly, so the whole process wasn’t as easy as it sounds. We looked at the language, how similar language was used in state consitutions at the times, the court cases, etc., and concluded that it does give an unequivocal right to individuals to keep and bear arms and that right shall not be infringed. But the courts, for the most part, do not agree. It’s amazing how one sentence, no matter how awkwardly worded, can spark such divergent opinions, and I invite anyone interested to examine the issue. This Wiki entry seems like a balanced start.

The upshot. Although I want there to be gun control of some sort, I do not believe the second amendment warrants it. Thus because I believe that we have to support ALL of the numerated rights in the Bill of Rights, I cannot go along with any gun control that does not involve amending the Constitution. (As we all must, I make exceptions when we have conflicting rights.)

My point? Although we usually do look at an issue with a desired conclusion already in mind, we need to be open minded enough to change our opinion if the evidence warrants it. I really do believe that a factual examination of the FISA issue leads to the conclusion that Bush circumvented the law.

Posted by: Trent at August 22, 2006 10:09 AM
Comment #176976

Trent, I just looked at your last post, and like the way you put it all together. I do not own any guns, but feel that you should if you so desire.
As I stated before, I would have no problem with bush tapping into calls if he went thru the court as he was suppose to, but to just say executive priviledge and I am going to do it smack of arrogrant, self-serving person, who thinks he is above the law, and the constitution.

Posted by: KT at August 22, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #176982

j2t2,

There is an order, impeachment would fall to Cheney, if her were also impeached it would then fall to the speaker of the house and so on down the line.
The Dems need to win the house and elect a new speaker. Then if Impeachment is a direction they chose to go, they will need to impeach both Bush and Cheney to regain both the house and the White House.
Now, I’m not advocating impeachment of Bush, I am more afarid of Cheney than I am Bush. I’m just saying if the Dems regain the house and decide to send a message and impeach Bush, they need to impeach both Bush and Cheney.

As for power grabbing. Why stop with Bush. Now we have a duly elected Sheriff of a county who deciedes he has been elected by the majority of the voters in his county so he too will start to conduct wire taps and such with out going to the court for warrents. After all, he is doing this in the best interest of the people of his county. He is doing it for public safety reasons. He needs these drugs off the street, they are killing our young people. We may agree that drugs are a serious problem and needs to be delt with, but I’m not willing to allow my Sheriff the power to start to do these things without warrants and over site. Where do we stop?

Of course I’m using the same agument that people use against gun control and such, but you get the point. I know for a fact that Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, John Adams and company were much more foward thinking and intelligent than our current commander and chief. We should follow our rule of law first. If the law needs to be changed, such as slavery was, then change the law.

Posted by: Rusty at August 22, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #176983

You know what I really think? I can’t prove it, but this is what my gut tells me. I think Bush’s ear got bent after 9/11 by advocates of Wolfowitz’s pre-emptive attack strategy. He after all was now the War President, a phrase he repeated early on almost with a certain giddiness. Here was his chance for greatness. But things didn’t work out as he hoped, and now I suspect he regrets shifting from the relative isolationism he advocated during the 2000 campaign. Remember how this administration early on backed away from the Israel/Palestine problem. Right now he is getting tons of heat from the far right for not applying what came be known as the Bush Doctrine for forcefully in other countries.

I think all Bush really wanted to do was to retrogressively cut taxes.

Posted by: Trent at August 22, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #176986

Just thought some might be interested in seeing what is going around now through email. I just received this myself, so it’s clear that the idea/possibility/desire to impeach is still strong.

The Republican Party - the Case for Treason

The Republican Party has committed repeated acts of High Treason against the United States.

Demand that the Congress investigate them fully, in an open and public way, and take appropriate action if the investigation concludes that the accused are guilty:

Charge 1: That during the presidential campaign of 1968, members of the Republican Party, not then in office, did harm the safety and credibility of the United States, and did bring about the death of thousands of US military personnel, by making secret contact with and negotiating with an enemy of the United States, the government of North Vietnam, in an attempt to induce that foreign government to postpone peace negotiations with the rightful government of the United States, and thereby prolong the war, for the purpose of gaining political advantage from the failure of those talks.

Charge 2: That members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to, members of the Richard Nixon Administration, did abuse the power of their office and put the safety and credibility of the United States in jeopardy, in order to aid the interests of private political donors. To wit, that members of the Republican Party, as members of the Nixon Administration, interfered in the affairs of a sovereign nation, Chile, and did actively and illegally promote and participate in a coup d’etat in that country—including acts of murder—avowedly for the purpose of protecting the United States from the presumed threat of a Socialist government in Chile, but actually to protect the financial interests of several large corporate donors to the Republican Party who did business in that country.

Charge 3: That members of the Republican Party, including members of the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, harmed the safety and credibility of the United States by conducting an arms deal with the nation of Iran in direct violation of US law, then obstructed justice and lied to the Congress to cover for it, and subsequently abused their power of office by pardoning themselves to avoid criminal penalty.

Charge 4: That members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations, put the safety and credibility of the United States at risk by spending US treasure to provide military equipment and training to the nation of Iraq—a nation which the current Administration now claims presents a clear and present danger to the United States—despite the knowledge that the government of Iraq was a threat to peace, and had committed atrocities against its own people and against others, and despite the certainty that this military funding would undermine the moral authority of the United States to act in self defense against Iraq in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Charge 5. That members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of Congress, harmed the safety and credibility of the United States by diverting its treasure and attention to a partisan political pursuit of President William Clinton—which pursuit included:

a. the planting of a Republican party spy in the White House;
b. the misuse of the FBI and the Department of Justice for partisan political gain;
c. the bullying of witnesses known to be innocent;
d. the denying of counsel to witnesses;
e. the intentional leaking of erroneous information to the press;
f. the setting of a “perjury trap” for the President of the United States.

Further, I charge that this self-serving partisan attack divided and diverted the attention of the United States at a time that terrorist enemies were plotting against the nation. Indeed, when in 1998 President Clinton attempted to strike at a terrorist base in Sudan, the Republican Party openly mocked and attempted to undermine the credibility of the effort, doing so purely for the purposes of further partisan political gain.

Charge 6: That members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to, members of the Administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, harmed the safety and credibility of the United States by causing papers and documents related to their activities conducted in the name of the public to be removed from public view and access, for the avowed purpose of protecting the nation, but actually for the purpose of hiding from the public activities which, if revealed, would be politically damaging to themselves. The various acts of this nature by members of the Republican Party are in violation of both the letter and the spirit of the laws which require and demand transparency in our government, and without which freedom and democracy cannot survive.

Charge 7: That members of the Republican Party, acting as agents of The Halliburton Company, harmed the safety and credibility of the United States by covertly conducting business with the nation of Iraq, in direct violation of US law, and in doing so provided Iraq with the means to purchase the weapons of mass destruction with which it now threatens the United States and its citizens around the world.

Charge 8: That members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the George W. Bush Administration, did harm the safety, credibility, and financial well-being of the United States, by misrepresenting or obscuring the actions of their Administration and other government agencies before, during, and after the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, for the purpose of protecting themselves from political damage. Specifically, that:

a. members of the Republican party, as members of the Bush Administration, damaged the reputation of the Presidency of the United States by propagating a false story that the White House was a terrorist target on 9/11/2001;

b. members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the George W. Bush Administration, have failed to give the public a full and open accounting of the security and intelligence failures that allowed the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 to succeed in killing thousands of Americans;

c. members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the George W. Bush Administration, have so far held no individual or agency responsible for those gross failures, despite voluminous evidence that individuals and agencies responsible should have recognized that the attacks were coming;

d. members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the George W. Bush Administration, have attempted to thwart a thorough investigation into those gross failures, going as far as instigating an FBI probe to find who in the government “leaked” details of the failures to the press, without which leaks the public would have little knowledge of the failures;

e. members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the George W. Bush Administration, have harmed the safety and credibility of the United States by using the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 as a pretext to further their pre-existing political agenda, ignoring or misrepresenting the nature, causes, and sources of the attacks in order to lend support to their partisan arguments in favor of:

1. drilling for oil in ANWR;
2. continuing to fund a National Missile Defense Program;
3. invading the nation of Iraq;

f. members of the Republican Party, including but not limited to members of the George W. Bush Administration, have harmed the safety, credibility, and financial well-being of the United States by agitating publicly and vociferously for a military attack on Iraq, using the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001 as a pretext, despite the fact that they have presented no credible evidence to the American public or the world that a connection exists between those attacks and Iraq, and despite the fact that launching such an attack without proper evidence and without the support of a significant number of allied countries puts the United States and its citizens at tremendous risk, both by exacerbating the already inflamed anti-Americanism now found throughout the world, and by ignoring the potentially devastating economic effects of a flight from the US of foreign capital at a time when the country’s manufacturing is spread throughout the globe, and when its current trade deficit is $2.5 trillion, i.e., 25% of the GDP.

These charges, ample evidence of which can be found in the public record, demonstrate a pattern of treasonous behavior, by which the Republican Party has repeatedly put the safety, credibility and well-being of the United States and its citizens at risk for the purpose of partisan political gain.

The Congress of the United States owes a duty to the American people to aggressively investigate these charges, using all its legal authority and all available sources of information. And should it find the accused guilty, it owes a duty to the American people to mete out such justice as is required by law

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 22, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #176989

Ban the Republicans? and then the Dems, too, I suppose for aiding and abetting …..

The only reason I talked about revolution was a reminder of the reasons we supposedly established our independence.

“…But when you talk about destruction, don’t ya know that you can count me out….” J Lennon from Revolution.

Civil Disobedience and marching non-violently is more my speed.

Posted by: gergle at August 22, 2006 3:22 PM
Comment #176997

Sandra—-I am afraid over the past two hundred years,
most have lost that kind of patriotism.

Posted by: DAVID at August 22, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #177087

Judge Taylor did the right thing. I hope she won’t be overturned but I’m not counting on it. It would be good if the Supremes did the right thing this time. I sometimes think that the US Constitution is not really on some of their minds when they come to a decision; ideology has a lot of sway with some of them. That ideology is a danger to the American Republic. I’m an American military veteran who hasn’t been back in America for more years than I care to count and I don’t think I’ll be visiting it in the foreseeable future. It’s a shame; it had so much promise. Maybe the good judge will start a revolution of the mind. One can only hope.

Posted by: Bob at August 23, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #177129

Trent

The consitution does say we can have arms. But the conservatives would be the first to agree that I can’t have a nuclear missle. If the purpose is to defend myself even from the gov’t if need be why can’t I have a few ICBMs so that I can do it adaquately? Seems to me the document is a bit outdated.

Posted by: 037 at August 23, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #177132

037, I don’t disagree with you. I don’t want my neighbors playing with shoulder-launced missiles, either. There are lots of approaches one can take. You could insist that “arms” only applies to the arms available at the time of the writing of the Second Amendment. You can argue that it only gives militias the right. You can argue that the “people” does not refer to individuals.

I would prefer the Second Amendement to be revised.

Posted by: Trent at August 23, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #177160

In the movie, Return of the Jedi, the sith lord (Darth Sidious) never really died since his body was never recovered. He escaped and found his way to the Milky Way galaxy, then on to planet earth. He then used his powers from the dark side of the force to disguise himself as Budweiser “Bush” Skywalker and took control of congress and wreaked havic on the rest of the world. He got his name Budweiser because of his DUI’s which were hidden from public view during the 2000 election. Skywalker is the other part of his name because he wanted to initate the Star Wars Defense program at the cost of trillions in tax payer money and it just took some radical Arabs with $1 box cutter knives they probably bought at good old Wal-Mart, made in China of course. For those who don’t know about the Chinese, they are Commies. The terrorist were able to do some serious damage with these little knives. The North Korean missle test was probably conducted by the Bush administration. If our forces are spread out so thin because we are at war with Iraq and they could be landing on our shores anytime, if only they had a navy, why don’t we initiate the draft? Could it have something to do with millions of illegal immigrants from south of the boarder working here tax free and sending their money back home by Western Union, not spending much of it on our economy of course. They would never need to worry about the draft since they are not citizens. It would be like Viet Nam all over with men drafted out of H.S. You know what would happen? Everything Bush has done since 2000 would be under the microscope and he would get impeached for treason against the American People. A great man once said, “ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country.” Those words have meaning to me and it was a time when America had morals and values. Democracy was never given to us, but has been fought through out our history and must be protected since history always repeats, Hitler 1933 and Viet Nam. We live in the greatest country civilization has ever seen and I want to keep it, if not for me, then at least for my daughter and her future children. Without the Bill of Rights and the Constitution we would just be another 3rd world dictatorship. Another great president (R) once said in his farewell address, that democracy could be threatened if the military industrial complex has too much influence over politics. He was David Eisenhower.

Posted by: Brian at August 24, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #177259

Brian,

I think you gave me a great idea. Offer citizenship to illegal aliens and their immediate family (spouse & descendents) who are honorably discharged after 4 years in a US armed service!

Posted by: Dave1 at August 24, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #178343

—-Sandra Davidson— well presented post, thanks!

Posted by: DAVID at August 30, 2006 5:09 PM
Comment #178394

We live in a Republic, and like the Republic that our’s is modeled after, we rebelled and came into our own. Is history going to follow suite, that republic’s senators rolled over for Caesar and Augustus, will our senators and congressmen/congresswomen follow in that seville example???? Washington and Jefferson did not want a King and nor should we! If what I say smacks with treason, so be it, Down with the King!

Posted by: Christopher Harkonnen at August 30, 2006 7:55 PM
Post a comment