Criminals, Terrorists and Everybody Else

Our intelligence gathering in the war on terror is nothing to be proud of. We overestimated Saddam’s WMD and underestimated the risk that led to the 9/11 attacks. We had a lot of the pieces, but we just didn’t assemble them properly. We caught the “20th hijacker”, Zacarias Moussaoui. FBI agents in Minneapolis had his laptop computer but didn’t search it. No warrant. You have to have probable cause for a warrant and you probably need a warrant to establish probable cause in a terrorism case. Maybe there is a problem.

Our laws on surveillance were designed to protect ordinary citizens from arbitrary government interference. They work very well when people are more or less obeying the law. They work reasonably well when people are breaking the law as individuals. When they organize themselves to commit crime we start to have some trouble, but organized criminals are interested in making money. They commit crime as a means of making money, so we can usually follow the money trail. (Without the money, we almost never crack organized crime.) Most members of organized crime are also motivated by greed and fear. With the proper incentives, they will turn on each other.

But what if the criminals are not particularly interested in money? What if their goal is crime itself? They want to kill and destroy. That's it. Even worse, what if they are not particularly influenced by money at all and not only do not fear death but seek it because their system of mythology promises posthumous rewards for the criminal behavior? How do you handle that?

Even someone whose goal is murder and reward is death needs resources to carry out his nefarious goals and he needs to plan. Planning in these cases usually means communicating with others, especially with his superiors, who tricked him into doing it in the first place. And since it is hard for the aspiring terrorist to hold down a normal steady job, he needs to communicate with the ones paying the bills. Communication is his only significant vulnerability. Even though he is not very smart, that much he understands, so he is circumspect. He uses the Internet at the public library. He buys a prepaid phone. If possible he tricks innocent people into passing his messages.

If you look at the totality of his activity, a pattern might emerge, but each of the individual steps looks perfectly innocent. A guy uses the Internet at the library. Is that probable cause for a warrant? Can you get a warrant if somebody buys a mobile phone with prepaid minutes? These things are perfectly innocent. In fact, you can't prove they are not until one of two things happens. Either you check out the phone or the computer and find something, or you don't and he achieves his goal of martyrdom.

Posted by Jack at December 27, 2005 3:56 PM
Comments
Comment #108138

Jack,

The simple fact is that I would rather take a chance on dying in a terrorist attack (almost 0%) than to have to be subjected to tyranny at every turn.

And that’s exactly what the terrorists want us to do, to become more and more like them (tyrannical bastards) than to have an open and free society where people are able to live their lives as they see fit not as some book tells them to live.

We’re becoming more and more like that every day, and we are losing to the terrorists every time we allow it to continue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 27, 2005 4:36 PM
Comment #108148

What I don’t understand is why the Right (and the Left too, just to a lesser degree, such as in defending Clinton) is justifying the President’s actions. Regardless of what has been done in the past, it is obvious from the uproar this is causing that some change is needed. So, let’s provide the statutory tools the President needs to wiretap when and how he sees fit; but he cannot be allowed to act at whim. In other words, we need transparency in the system. If FISA is no longer appropriate, then let’s design something that is. Otherwise, we truly are living under a tyrannical system.

Posted by: ant at December 27, 2005 4:53 PM
Comment #108160

I have to agree with Rhinegold’s great post. There needs to come a time when people need to stand on their own feet and stand up for themselves and say “I don’t need or want the government in this part of my life, and I’m willing to take responsibility for it.”

Again I find it ironic that the supposed party of “small government” is shouting for even more government involvement, when the republican party I used to know would be shouting that there’s too much as it is.

Posted by: chantico at December 27, 2005 5:12 PM
Comment #108183

ok, but putting human casualties aside, seeing that first poster doesn’t care about being protected from an attack, what about the damage to our economy? i don’t know the #s but i am sure they were high on 9/12/01. terrorism also has political implications, such as spains elections. arn’t these people taking away from basic domestic principles by influencing votes and the economy?

Posted by: jm1656 at December 27, 2005 6:57 PM
Comment #108184

Jack, you are confusing two sets of persons. Americans, and foreigners. Our war on terrorism is almost exclusively against foreign nationals. If our immigration service isn’t able to reject dubious foreigners through our ports of entry, then something needs to be beefed up there.

Then there are foreigners who would cross our borders away from ports of entry. These are illegal aliens, a class of people Bush, nor Democrats and Republicans in the Congress have desired to prevent entry to. Anyone with a lick of sense who cared about protecting Americans at home would have initiated broad sweeping border protection immediately after 9/11. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a person in the Whitehouse who cared, and we didn’t have anywhere near enough Congresspersons who cared to protect Americans from foreign illegals.

Now, the laws are far more permissive when it comes to dealing with foreigners entering our country. NO problem there.

Then there are the laws respecting American citizens, (or which should respect them) in terms of the Bill of Rights. When it comes to Americans who may be contemplating terrorism, there are two choices, seek them out under laws protecting citizen rights, or revoke all citizen’s rights in the hopes that blanket sweeps of monitoring of profiled Americans (start with those critical of administration policy) will uncover plots to blow up federal buildings. Of course, we may just as well burn the Constitution and allow Bush to remain as dictator until death at which time power should succeed to his brother or one of his daughters with the full power of our military to defend such a move against the American people who may object.

Takes your choice.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 27, 2005 7:01 PM
Comment #108185

I have no problem IN THESE TIMES, if the NSA looked at my e-mail or listened in on my conversations. I don’t want to explain away an American city after it disintegrated…if only I had given up some of my privacy…

Surveillance is entirely appropriate without conditions during times of war. The necessity for discovery overrides the temporary discomfort and possible violation of civil liberties if a society desires to remain free. That is, freedom sometimes has a price — and that price is a possible temporary violation of that freedom. Freedom is not an absolute. To think otherwise is utopian.

Posted by: AGB at December 27, 2005 7:07 PM
Comment #108187

Time of war? What the hell! Please explain. Last I heard of Al Qaida, we caught their #3 man in a mud house in the boondocks of Pakistan. Not DC. Not even Lahore. A mud house in an extremely remote location. That doesn’t sound like much of a war to me.

No one believes “the use of force” includes surveillance. No one authorized the president to conduct surveillance without probable cause on US citizens. The president’s own lawyers, such as John Yoo, gave the president their opinions. Their opinions are not authorizations. That shit-for-brains John Yoo concluded a president could do whatever he wanted. What a first class jackass.

Not using your rights, so you don’t need them? My god. What happened to this country?

Posted by: phx8 at December 27, 2005 7:33 PM
Comment #108188

Hi Jack,

“Our intelligence gathering in the war on terror is nothing to be proud of.”

The Bush administration has a lot to be ashamed of with respect to intelligence.

They systamatically lied to us about Iraq’s aluminum tubes and other intelligence.

The Bush admistration also used the NSA to spy on diplomats before the Iraq invasion.

Why anybody trusts the Bush administration to gather intelligence is beyond me. Their track record on intelligence is extremely sleazy.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 27, 2005 7:33 PM
Comment #108190

The question of what surveillance was done must be answered before we can know what rights might have been violated.

Since FISA, wiretaps have been done in a legal way, given that there have been no written articles of knowledge, law suits of merit, or congressional complaints of merit.

The recent news of questionable surveillance has to do with other types of intercepts. The NSA has the capability to listen in on virtually all phone messages. They can also monitor computer activity. They don’t do this though. They use a more selective approach of knowing which messages and sources to listen to. Some of those need FISA court judges to issues warrants to achieve this. In other cases they have existing warrants to cover their actions. There is no assurance that anybody is going to go “outside the box”. People in authority many times misuse their position and power to get information. A good example is from Sen Chuck Schumer’s office where some employees illegally got credit information on Lt. Gov. Michael Steele from MD. This happens more than it should. The laws in existence did no stop the people from breaking them to get the information they sought.

The bottome line is we do have oversight and we must trust those in authority to have the integrity to do the right thing.

Posted by: tomh at December 27, 2005 7:37 PM
Comment #108192

AGB
While surveillence is need to catch these assholes, I don’t think the Government needs to evesdroping on it’s citizens without a warrant.
While I’m not up to anything illegal. I don’t think it’s any business of the Government what I’m saying on the phone, or here for that matter.
I personnaly don’t have a problem with the Government evesdroping on noncitizens sense they have no rights under the Constitution.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 27, 2005 7:44 PM
Comment #108193

Chantico - Let me explain what “small government” means. Less intrusion in our daily lives through mandating our actions. Also, taking less of our money to give to others who could and should do for themselves. Even those who do need a hand up should be helped ‘voluntarily’ and not at the demand of a wasteful government. The one thing that the government should be doing, is to protect us from enemies, foreign and domestic, that want to kill us. Even our own police may search without a warrant if they feel they don’t have time to get it. I fully support this use of Presidential Power to defend us. One last question, were you one of the many who asked the President why more wasn’t done to stop the 9/11 terrorists?

Posted by: Gary at December 27, 2005 7:45 PM
Comment #108194

Tom,
Agreed, as tempting as it may be to jump to conclusions, the matter needs to be investigated before any conclusions can be drawn. But I will say this, and jump anyway; if it turns out to be the way it is currently being presented, that the president ignored the concept of oversight in order to conduct limitless, warrantless searches without probable cause on American citizens, then Bush most certainly should be impeached.

I can barely stand to read some of the comments these days… the number of people who would happily surrender their constitutional rights is profoundly disappointing.

Posted by: phx8 at December 27, 2005 7:49 PM
Comment #108210

Gary,
You and I must have very different definitions of what “Less intrusion in our daily lives through mandating our actions.” To me warrantless searches are the very definiton of intrusion. As for “Even our own police may search without a warrant if they feel they don’t have time to get it.” I remember being a kid and growing up the republicans would never had said such a thing. The republicans were the biggest proponents of the 4th admendment and I always admired that (though not the rest of the philosophy). As for your last question, no, I wasn’t. So you can’t so easily discount what I said.

Posted by: chantico at December 27, 2005 9:12 PM
Comment #108221

Chantico, where is this concern over “warrantless searches” coming from? Nobody is out there advocating for new measures which allow searches without warrants. It’s not in the Patriot Act. It’s not anywhere.

For a very long time, however, there have been provisions which allow for warrantless searches with probable cause, and that’s nothing new. If a cop sees you with drugs or firearms and suspects the commission of a crime, he might very well not get a search warrant (though he might get one, under certain circcumstances), and any evidence he obtains will be completely admissable in court.

An don’t forget: at airports, thousands upon thousands of people are searched every day without a warrant.

Posted by: sanger at December 27, 2005 10:04 PM
Comment #108225

The necessity for discovery overrides the temporary discomfort and possible violation of civil liberties if a society desires to remain free.

I don’t think so. And how do you know that violations of civil liberties will be “temporary”?

Posted by: bigkenzombie at December 27, 2005 10:52 PM
Comment #108231
The necessity for discovery overrides the temporary discomfort and possible violation of civil liberties if a society desires to remain free.

That is not even close to the choice we have to make, unless you want to say that the very existence of ANY law enforcement poses a potential risk to civil liberties.

Will a traffic cop somewhere in this country at some time potentially overstep his bounds and make an illegal search of an automobile?

Absolutely. Does that mean that traffic cops should have to secure a warrant every time they pull somebody over on the highway? How about every time they search a trunk? Should we even have traffic cops?

This is a good debate to have—don’t get me wrong—but when it comes to the war on terror, too many people are making far too much over far too little.

Even measures like the Patriot Act, which include all kinds of checks, are seen as “too much.”

It used to just be the kinds of folks who live on Ruby Ridge who maintained that the government has absolutely no right whatsoever to monitor or interfere with anything an American citizen wanted to do.

One of the stranger ironies of our times is that many of those who had no problem with what happened at Ruby Ridge (or Waco for that matter) are now the ones making that case.

Posted by: sanger at December 27, 2005 11:30 PM
Comment #108236

AGB, your argument that freedom has a price and that price is freedom, is a tautology straight out of a Russian Gulag or G. Orwell’s, 1984.

Amazing that Americans can possibly hold to such ideas, given the blood and limbs sacrificed over the centuries for those freedoms which folks like AGB are so easily and willing to surrender. Simply amazing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 27, 2005 11:42 PM
Comment #108241

David, what a remarkable statement. Do you really speak for those who have sacrified blood and limbs over the centuries to protect American freedoms?

Is your idea of “freedom”—which is apparently TOTAL freedom from any observation from law enforcement—what our war heroes have fought and died for?

Are you really so confident that they bled and died to prevent court-ordered wire taps or presidentially-authorized eavesdropping of those with known Al-Qaida ties who make phone calls to Iran and Syria?

Freedom, contrary to what Janis Joplin might say, is not just another word for nothing left to lose.

It is, as AGB says, something to be defended at a price. And so far, we American citizens have been asked to sacrifice NONE of our actual freedoms, despite all the noise and nonsense which suggests otherwise.

You can criticize the President to your heart’s content. You can support candidates who run against his party. You can say that he’s a tyrant, a monkey, a fool, and have no fear whatsoever that anybody will do anything about it or even pay you a moment’s atteniton.

You can’t train at an Al Qaida camp, I suppose, and hope to be ignored (like you could have before 2001). Neither can you make phonecalls and write emails to terrorist associates any more.

But you won’t find many American servicemen, especially those who have made real sacrifices to defend us, who will strike up the violins to lament these few minor abridgments of what some may consider their “freedoms.”

Nobody who is willing to go on a mission under enemy fire on the orders of his commander (without court-review or the presence of a judge or lawyer) has to be told that a person’s rights during war time are different from their rights during a time of peace.

There is no freedom to be a terrorist or to associate with terrorists, and that’s all we’re talking about here.

Freedom for Al Qaida is not freedom for you and me.

Posted by: sanger at December 28, 2005 12:24 AM
Comment #108245

After reading each post on this page I would like all of you liberal republican and any one in between to consider this .

Bin Laden defeated russia in afganistan ,with tunnels and a predetermined plan ,he’s a brilliant engineer and has shown the abilty to conduct multiple attacks simultaniously.

What pray tell will each of us say on the day (that i believe will occur in 2006) that bin laden releases a new tape ,that has coded photgraphs in it that each terrorist was trained at thier training area to await that will set up a specifc time line for them to conduct thier attack .

11,000,000 million currently known Illegal aliens
if only .0003684% are actual terrorists brought in and waiting for orders we have 3684 available once notified .

and this is how they’ll attempt to do this

1.tape is released setting time line

2. first group is activated 3 days prior to main attack,this group consists of 4 people per state
small farm owners,or migrant workers,thier mission is to take contaminated soil,,,yes dirt that is contaminated with mad cow desease and go to predetermined ranches ,and cattle holding pens waiting slaughter or auction and spread this dirt around the ground and then leave. Main supply would be stored at 1 small rural farm in each state where every day normal muslims who have blended into our society have lived for years and are known and liked by thier nieghbors.Total used for this is 192 people in 48 states.

2.second group would be activated at the same time attack day -3 and this group completly different from first group would again use our freedoms against us and originate from one small farm in each state where the farmer has built a small probibly unprofitable operation growing food and worm casting’s which hes exposed to biological agents Spores that continue to grow with in the living organisms that make worm castings so effective an organic fertilizer.
these are then dumped into predetermined water supplys ,as this would take several days once contiminated would not become evident until after main attack begins.Total used for this is 192 per state for 48 states.

3.next group would begin at attack -2 days and would have been placing small 5 gallon metal cans filled with a mixture of gas and dish detergant with either a cell phone or dog training device sealed with in can enabling it to be set off by simply driving near location and pressing remote control that then would cause a magor fire in desolate very woody dry areas,after each completes his run he then goes back into his mole in hiding existance meanwhile multiple large fires have been started in every state ,total used 4 per state or 192 people

4.next group would begin 1 day prior to main attacks and would all be true suicide Jihadists working in teams of 2 with 5 groups per state and going to locations set up near where first responders to fires would set up base camps using 222 rifles with scopes mounted inside the back of 4 wheel drive vehicles with holes cut in vehicle enabling them to fire and remain virtually undetected they would attack and hinder those fighting fires while bringing to bear vast nubers of police fbi and other law enforcement agencys to try to stop attacks.
Total numer used in this group is 10 per state total of 480.

5.next group would be activated 1 day prior to attacks and having used the internet to obtain critical power line maps showing where main lines will shut of vast power supplys and would sabatoge using dynimite stolen from construction sites to blow main carrier lines effectively shutting off power to large areas of each state and with sniper attacks occuring would make it difficult to get linemen to fix lines after several are shot attempting to do this,again tying up more police and law enforcement to protect linemen as repairs are done.total used for this is 4 per state total of 192

6.by now each state has reached truly chaotic situations with huge fires sniper attacks and power outages next group would consist of 4 per state whos job wold be to place 1 stick of dynimite or other easily aquired explosive under the tracks of main passenger rail trains and timed with remote control to go off as train approches either a blind spot or bridge.this group would consist of 4 per state total of 192

7.next group would consist of 4 per state and they would set off 5 gallon fire bombs combined with rifle attacks on large fuel storage sites .
Total used 192

8.this would consist of 240 people with 10 per group attacking oil refinerys nationwide once inside opening valves and destroying as much as possible

9.day of main attack teams of 12 per cell would attack all nuclear facitilties with all 103 sites attacked at exactly the same time this would use main group and require the most advance intelligence and if any were sucessful create the most damage ,this would use 1236 people .

10.day of attack baggage handlers would conceal 5 gallon metal cans within the baggage compartments and these would then be set off by cell phone that would be called by those who already completed there mission days ealier probibly a few hours prior to attacks on nuclear sites .total used to sabatoge as many flights as possible would be 192

11.final stage would be 4 small crop dusters per state flying over populated areas dusting them with anthrax ,by main day of attack mainy would start getting sick from the water ,and with the chaos created by all of these occurances would be a virtual free for all with no law enforcement hospital or emergancy personel left

12.final part would be the detonation of 1 or more back pack nucks with omaha nebraska hit first for this would virtually shut down all phone communications within the US …
Total used in this attack would be 3,684-3800
or less than 80 people per state.
so when i hear people state theyd rather die than allow our intelligence agencys to listen and attempt to stop attacks prior to occuring it really bothers me for it shows a total lack of knowledge in what our enemys will or if allowed can do …other than last item using nuke everything else is easly obtained ….we may need additional oversight to continue this NSA program however with an enemy willing to die to destroy the US and a leader who has already beaten the russian army we underestimate him and his minions at our own peril.please think about all the implications and what really would occur if this was thier attack plan.

Posted by: rylee at December 28, 2005 12:45 AM
Comment #108246

Sanger,
Freedom is not a commodity to be bartered in exchange for security. Freedom is an inablienable right. We freely give consent to our government, since it represents ‘We the People.’ The president is not our ruler. He represents us in the government’s Executive Branch. Should a president decide he needs to exceed the constraining laws of the constitution, he will be prevented by the checks and balances of the the Judicial & Legislative Branches.

Yes, by inalienable rightwe intend to be totally free of observation by our government’s law enforcement. Absolutely, yes. Should law enforcement have a probable cause to observe, a search warrant can be obtained.

This is part of what it means to be an American citizen. We stand for the rights enumerated in the Constitution. We stand for those inalienable rights, those human rights.

It is a stance which must not be compromised by fear.

Posted by: phx8 at December 28, 2005 12:50 AM
Comment #108247

Can anyone tell me who the government has eavesdropped on besides people known to have connections with Al-Qaida? I don’t care if they are US citizens or not. There are a lot of US citizens that are nuts and don’t care about this country. I am sick and tired of hearing people run down this country and whine and complain. I guarantee they would be the first to complain that Bush didn’t do enough if another attack had happened on US soil. Because of the monitoring of people calling outside this country they have already foiled several plans of terrorism and rounded up several terrorists.

I so Go “W”!

Posted by: Christina at December 28, 2005 12:51 AM
Comment #108249

>>so when i hear people state theyd rather die than allow our intelligence agencys to listen and attempt to stop attacks prior to occuring it really bothers me for it shows a total lack of knowledge in what our enemys will or if allowed can do

Nope…you have a very active mind, but all we are really asking is that wiretapping be done within the parameters of the law.

Posted by: Marysdude at December 28, 2005 12:55 AM
Comment #108252

Phx8, “freedom” is just a noise made by the mouth until you define it.

Freedom for one person is tyranny to another, so it’s just nonsense to say that freedom is an “inalienable right.” It is not. It is a very “alienable” right.

You do not have the freedom to burn down my house or steal my property, and I don’t have the freedom to do those things to you.

To advocate on behalf of absolute freedom is to advocate on behalf of anarchy, the law of the jungle.

What about Ted Bundy’s freedoms? What about Timothy McVeigh’s? Is it freedom for you and me to leave people like that to do as they wish in the name of some vaguely defined concept of “freedom”.

Absolutely not.

And I’m sick and tired of listening to the same people who insist on the right to rape the Second Amendment and property rigts, ban free speech in the work place and on college campuses, defend the rights of Al Qaida to operate without interruption or interference in this country. Which is ALL that any recent measures have permitted, contrary to the absurdities perpetuated by the violin section on the left.

Posted by: sanger at December 28, 2005 1:07 AM
Comment #108253

Sanger,
Gee, Sanger. Sorry to hear you hate freedom so much.

Posted by: phx8 at December 28, 2005 1:15 AM
Comment #108254

Hmm
kinda like the democratic senate minority leader Harry Reid who stated we have killed the patriot act.yet you can bet your bottom dollar were an attack to accur hed be one of the first to demand the impeachment of president bush for not protecting us.you really do not understand the problems that are occuring ,lets try this ,,,in 1978 did you have a personal home computor?….

were you able to have calls made to your home number skipped to your cell phone…ah didnt have a cell phone then either did ya…?
could ya get on yahoo chat line and make a virtually untracable call …..ah thats right did not have computor then,its already been stated that attorney general gonzales went to top leaders and explained some of these difficultys yet was told no wat they would be approved.so president bush did what was needed to attempt to stop them ,make no mistake bin laden has already stated next attack will make 9-11 look like a holiday ,and whethor your willing to acknowledge this or not an attack simalar to what i outlined would bring this country to its knees,while destoying our econimy simultainiously.

Posted by: Rylee at December 28, 2005 1:16 AM
Comment #108256

and one other thing they estimate over 40,000 people went through the terrorist training camps in afganistan whilepresident clinton was playing with an intern and ignoring what they were doing.so an amount of 3800 terrorists particapating in indivual cells is far from impossible.and of those screaming loudest now i wonder whether they were also some of the ones who stated that if president bush is re-elected they were moving to canada.heheheh…is funny to hear some of these posts….reminds me alot of the vichy during world war 2…

Posted by: rylee at December 28, 2005 1:26 AM
Comment #108257

Sanger,
Freedom. Liberty. If I understand you correctly, these are not inalienable rights. Apparently you’re asserting they are “alienable,” and not absolutes; that one person can deprive another person of these rights through violence. I find it curious that a Bush supporter would turn to moral relativism, and against absolutes enshrined in the constitution. Truly, “Freedom is Slavery” for a Bush apologist.

Freedom and liberty are concepts which are self-contained. Each person possesses these inalienable rights, which means people cannot impose upon one another through violence or other means of oppression, because that violates another’s rights. Therefore, ‘We the People’ form a government to create laws, & adjudicate such conflicts. The freely given consent of the governed to form a government, and create laws, does not invalidate the fundamental premise: we are free, and that freedom is a natural right.

Posted by: phx8 at December 28, 2005 1:35 AM
Comment #108259

Guys,

IF we are truly worried about Muslim extremists and our nation has or feels the need to put them on national watchlists, why do we allow them into this country? Strangely the question draws to immigration and naturalization. Did we do anything to keep muslims and/or middle easterners out of our country? It is just the most binary mathematics.

Sanger—
Banning of free speech in the workplace? That’s as far as I know, not federalized. I understand the property rights as it refers to overbearing environmental regulations and even to things such as the ASPCA which have no place in various rural areas.I do believe in not allowing people from third world Muslim countries to immigrate here or keeping it very (if not extremely) minimal. And yes many college campuses have a strong left bent concensus although not entirely. But supposedly banning free speech in the workplace? There is no regulation on speech issues other than that of the employer.

Christina—
the problem wasn’t that the NSA spied, the problem is that the administration went outside of FISA regulations and did so without warrants. I concur with some spying as to after 9-11, yes but we are a nation of laws and it IS those laws that make us superior as a nation. secondly there is evidence that the spying was not entirely contained to radical Islamic suspects.

Posted by: Novenge at December 28, 2005 1:39 AM
Comment #108267

RYLEE—

I don’t think you get the left and the right. they both squeeky-wheel for the sake of control. Republicans in the early nineties hated to be the world-policeman when the dems held the congress now they like it and take pride in it. They are bringing democracy (which WILL go theocraticly retrograde) to a near psychopathic nation, talk about pearls before swine. See both sides change sides as an assertion for power, left and right equally.

Bush derided nation building in 2000 now they hold all three arenas, now it is a sense of GOP pride that they nation build. those people are bonkers, Shia Sunni and kurd all a bunch of theocratic goofballs many of which are bent on violence and totalitarian. Why can’t we just understand that some people are just religious savages? Look how we gloss over Islam now? they are a good and noble religion? BULL-SHIT!!! Read the Quran sometime, Muhamad was a brutal warlord and tyrant making up a religion as he went on murder sprees across Arabia. He was a plunderer, rapist, murderer, psychopath and we can’t bend over fast enough for their manipulative religion. Republicans have policy shifted to be inclusive to placating their theocratic savagery.

Posted by: Novenge at December 28, 2005 1:56 AM
Comment #108346

Hi rylee,

“reminds me alot of the vichy during world war 2…”

Bush is the greatest appeaser of all time. He gave aid to Pakistan who was selling nuclear weapons to Pakistan.

Most of you right wingers believe in supporting terrorists in Iraq. You guys go in for the idea of our troops fighting and dying to support terrorists in the Iraqi government and security forces.

Given that your side is supporting terrorists you’re in no position to go in for that sort of nastiness about Democrats.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 7:41 AM
Comment #108347

Hi Novenge,

“Republicans have policy shifted to be inclusive to placating their theocratic savagery.”

Thanks to Bush and the idiots who lead him Republicans are the party that supports terrorists. We’re now aiding terrorists throughout the Middle East….Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, and we’re providing a lot of help to Iran by giving them a terrorist ally in Iraq.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 7:58 AM
Comment #108348

Hi Jack,

A couple of weeks ago we were arguing about the Iraqi elections.

Given that they have elected a bunch of terrorists that we have to support do you still think that the elections were something for us to celebrate?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 8:00 AM
Comment #108357

I agree with those here who have stated that the uproar over the alleged illegal wiretappings is a gateway to the exposure of greater weaknesses in America. First of all, in my opinion, a weakness can not be called such until it has been exposed and consequently ignored. Then it can be called a weakness. Take our policies on border patrol and immigration. How do you think these perps are entering our country? They have to get here before they can be monitored on US soil. So why has this weakness not been dealt with?
Does anyone really believe that we are fighting in Iraq to set Iraq free of Saddam and establish a democracy there? Is it that simple? Or does that only appeal to the simple minded? Saudi Arabia is the power house in the Middle East and foolish are those who think they would surrender their power to the US. It is our lobbyists who, with greedy hands, snatch up the gold that is tossed at their feet by the royal Saudi family. They are the ones who sell us out. Allow me to quote King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia when he spoke in Jeddeh in 1993, “I summon my blue-eyed slaves anytime it please me. I command the Americans to send me their bravest soldiers to die for me. Anytime I clap my hands a stupid genie called the American ambassador appears to do my bidding. When the Americans die in my service, their bodies are frozen in metal boxes by the US Embassy and American planes carry them away, as if they never existed. Truly, America is my favorite slave.”
We are not just fighting a war against terror. We are fighting a war to secure the Middle East. But for whose benefit? Ours? Come now. You don’t believe that, do you? How easily we would cry out for the loss of life from a “terrorist” attack here on US soil, but how blind we are to the “terrorist” attacks on our own soldiers. Again I ask, why are REALLY in Iraq? If it’s a complicated issue, then the reason can’t be simple.
Jack, you are absolutely correct, “…..but organized criminals are interested in making money. They commit crime as a means of making money, so we can usually follow the money trail…….Most members of organized crime are also motivated by greed and fear. With the proper incentives, they will turn on each other.” This couldn’t be any truer of the power behind the Middle East.

Posted by: Karen at December 28, 2005 9:15 AM
Comment #108358

Hi Karen,

“Truly, America is my favorite slave.”

There is truth in that. Bush bestows hugs and kisses on the Saudi Royal family. He walks around holding hands with them.

The fact is that the Saudis could easily bring us to our knees by cutting back on oil exports a bit.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 9:25 AM
Comment #108384

This post starts with…

“Our intelligence gathering in the war on terror is nothing to be proud of.
- We overestimated Saddam’s WMD
- Underestimated the risk leading to 9/11.
- Had a lot of pieces, but didn’t assemble them.”

This is one big reason for me why the government should not be able to pry indiscriminately into people’s private lives. They make mistakes. They’ve already made terrible mistakes where innocent people have been abducted and tortured.

Before we adamantly give up every right we have, shouldn’t the government make it a priority to fix the intelligence problems it has now? Giving up our right to privacy should be a last resort. Something about the argument that the government seriuosly screwed up, so we should give them unlimited power doesn’t sit well with me.

“We caught the “20th hijacker”, Zacarias Moussaoui. FBI agents in Minneapolis had his laptop computer but didn’t search it. No warrant.”

You’re implying they never did search the computer, but I bet they simply had to wait for a warrant, as they should. What negative consequence resulted from this?

Many here seem to believe that precious seconds or days will make or break our ability to wage war, that the laptop bomb will be defused only seconds from detonation by capturing and torturing a prisoner into giving up the password. That’s TV. This is a real war, one that needs to be fought with a long term strategy.

Short term benefits reaped from torture or abridging rights are not as important as winning the hearts and minds of dissidents. Supporting measures like torture or wiretapping simply convinces many the war is being waged incorrectly, and casts doubt on our intentions.

Posted by: Max at December 28, 2005 10:39 AM
Comment #108385

Louis, That statement is true but not for long,Iraq has just as much oil as do the Saudis.We should also be driling in the artic. Also when the next terriost attack happens i am sure only repbulicans will die. In the twin towers i am sure their were only rep. in their. They wont kill liberals, you people understand them

Posted by: philipz at December 28, 2005 10:43 AM
Comment #108387

The biggest difference,,,,, bush is fighting terriost, Liberals are fighting bush, And dont care about the terriost.

Posted by: philipz at December 28, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #108388

Louis, would you please come up with another talking point rather than that of “Republicans are supporting terrorists in Iraq”. I feel like I am in a time warp when I read your posts over and over and over again. Please tell me a time when we DIDN’T support terrorists in the middle east? That is their culture and the terrorism “tentacles” are long, also certainly using your definition of terrorists (everyone in the middle east) would it be possible to not deal with terrorists?

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:53 AM
Comment #108389

The problem was the recognition of the probable cause, not the need to get it. The fourth Amendment is built around forcing a government to prove that a need is there to trespass on property and person. This is a necessary protection from those who wield great power at our request, by our election of them.

It also provides our law enforcement agents and constables with the credibility to do their job, and know they are doing it rightly. If you got a warrant, the law is on your side.

If we build a system on black-ops and covert action on our own citizens, and the inevitable abuses occur, those who defend us will have less, not more ability to defend us, and their character and morality will suffer for the evil that the absence of law permits.

We need to improve the system we have, such that our law enforcement officers have the powers and policies we need, and that such power will only come back against us if there is demonstrable reason to do so, or a real emergency permits no other course of action.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 28, 2005 10:53 AM
Comment #108391

Thank you, Philipz. You just gave an example of how the war propoganda has influenced the simple minded.

Posted by: Karen at December 28, 2005 10:56 AM
Comment #108399

Karen, anyone can sit back and decry America’s intentions, and the mess that the middle east is. What is needed is someone with solutions. Are we fighting now in the middle east to help make our future safer? Yes. Is there corruption in many of the middle east regimes? Absolutely yes. So what you have effectively done is point out the obvious. Our intentions (the allies) are noble and hopefully our efforts today in the middle east will bring about a better tomorrow, yet there are always inherent risks, there are no guarantees. One thing is certain and that is by doing nothing, we would have definitely had a less safe future.

The middle east has been a festering boil on the buttocks of society for a very long time and it will take time, patience and unwavering strength to defeat this cancer. America MUST lead this effort because we are the only country on this planet that has the resources to win this battle. The rest of the world will rally behind us if we remain resolved, if we become impatient and lose our will the rest of world will abandon for fear of reprisal from the Islamo fascist murderers. IMHO, the main problem the world faces in the middle east is a perverted interpretation of the Koran and very little opportunity for the average people of that region. Change the institutional attitude of the middle east and change will be the result. Syria, Iran, N. Korea and yes, Saudi Arabia are still imposing countries with many problematic institutions, that is where the time and patience factor plays a role.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #108401

Stephen, you may want to remember back in the day J. Edgar Hoover and Robert Kennedy and their wire tapping of any and all mob bosses, in fact they were the kings of wire tapping. They even wire tapped Martin Luther King. This was all done in the “guise” to keep America safe and yet our institutions are still pretty healthy. You might even recall that it was Thurgood Marshall who advised Kennedy and Hoover to wire tap MLK. Those were egregious examples of domestic wire tapping. What Bush is doing is surveilling foreign communique in an effort to uncover terrorist cells in our country. You may recall that it was a terrorist cell in our country that went undetected and successfully killed 3000 people on Sept. 11, 2001. Let’s keep a perspective of history before we cite the breakdown of law and order.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 11:21 AM
Comment #108402

I don’t think the government should be eavesdropping on its citizens either way without a warrant. While I am not too sure that they are listening to your or my phone conversations, I am reasonably sure they have the ability to know every detail about what it said on the internet and in forums such as this.

Somewhere between as few as 11,000,000 and as many as 18,000,000 illegal immigrants/aliens are living among us.

A child born to an illegal alien automatically becomes an American Citizen BTW.

Most, if not all of these people have the ability to walk into any public building and a large majority of government buildings in the country. They can shop in any store, visit a doctor or hospital, etc.

We are told that the government is spying on various people suspected of terrorist activities and, may very well be spying on Mr. and Mrs. “normal” citizen.

I have a theory that the figure may be much higher than 11 to 18 million people in this “illegal alien” count. By that I mean that there may be a large number of “green card” and/or naturalized citizens who have come ahead to establish a “normal” routine and in fact then are able to lead the way for the illegal relatives and friends.(These people would be added to the illegal alien number)

This makes the “illegal aliens” more difficult to ferret out, identify and spy on.

These terrorists are highly motivated with hate, well trained in latest technology, well informed and educated regarding when, where and how we do things (thanks media)and, are available in endless supply.

Do the tens of thousands of telemarketers who call us from various Middle East countries really care if we buy magazines, etc. or, are they making selected geographic calls to determine poulation numbers, times that people come and go, income levels, how widely used is a product (contamination possibility), etc. Perhaps the electronic repair “help” they give us (computers especially) are in fact contaminating instead of fixing.

Posted by: steve smith at December 28, 2005 11:22 AM
Comment #108403

Max

The problem is that they did not have probable cause until after 9/11.

All others

This debate has actually gone wrong in many ways. Let’s consider what we know and what we don’t.

We are not sure exactly what kind of surveillance the President authorized. Public details come from the NYT and it looks like it was mostly data mining, looking for patterns using mathematical algorithms. Americans were not the primary targets and many of the Americans involved were unknown to those gathering the information. This is the kind of connect the dots intelligence we are always saying we want.

About the same time this story came out, there was a story about the Pentagon gathering information about anti-war activist. This is NOT the same story.

As of today, it is not clear the President did anything illegal or unethical. The Constitution does not specifically address the issue and arguments can be made on both sides (implied powers/privacy). This has NOT been fully testing in the courts and the times when it has come close the courts have decided for the executive.

So people are jumping to two wrong conclusions: They assume they know what was done and that it was illegal.

What should we do?

We have developed powerful new tools that could keep us safer from terrorist and maybe even ENHANCE our privacy by mitigating the need for various checkpoints and searches that we go through every day. We need to develop a legal framework to use these things while preserving our liberties.

But don’t jump the gun and assume you have been violated already.

It is very uncertain here who holds the moral high ground or even if there is any moral high ground to hold. Cicero (and Barry Goldwater) was right when he said that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. But maybe we can find a workable solution that avoids the need for extremism.

Posted by: Jack at December 28, 2005 11:25 AM
Comment #108412
Chantico, where is this concern over “warrantless searches” coming from?

The concern is coming from most intelligent individuals.

Nobody is out there advocating for new measures which allow searches without warrants.

Really? Amazing that you can so completely miss the crux of a huge news story so completely. The Bush administration is not only advocating new measures which allow searches of American citizens without warrants, it’s doing it without authorization from Congress or the courts.

It’s not in the Patriot Act. It’s not anywhere.

Well, here we agree. It’s not in the Patriot Act. It’s not in any law. In fact, it’s specifically prohibited by the law. That’s why it’s against the law. Got it?

Make no mistake, Sanger. You are the one who is misunderstanding the issue and the debate. The Bush administration is advocating, and actually doing, warrantless searches of American citizens. That is a fact. They have admitted it. They intend to keep doing it. Now, you can make a half-assed argument that it’s really legal, or an even worse argument that it is necessary, but you can’t deny that it’s happening.

Posted by: Burt at December 28, 2005 11:46 AM
Comment #108413

I know it is unpopular on this blog to talk about futility and the waste that this war is. Please note the following from today’s Houston Chronicle, one of our more conservative daily papers, and certainly in the top three newspapers least likely to print stories unfavorable to Bush.

Kurdish Rebellion Coud Rip State Apart

Per my repeated posts, this is exactly the outcome that awaits us regardless of how long we remain in Iraq.

I’ve said we should pull out because there is nothing for us to win as the country will breakdown the second we leave and I stand by that.

However, I do want to correct that. Given that our credibility is at stake, and other countries are watching us, we should continue in this insane, futile exercise long enough to prove that we won’t abandon Iraq as we have abandonded others in the past (like the first Gulf war and Vietnam).

phillipz - just ignoring you; the incomprehensible deserve neither liberty nor attention

Jay - per my link, it sure makes it hard to clean up the Middle East when the locals there refuse to do what we tell them to do, doesn’t it?

Stephen - very well said

Power corrupts everyone, not just the “other side”. You want to point to Clinton and his Whitewater cohorts, OK, how about DeLay and Frist and Cheney and Rumsfeld?

I do not want ANY adminstration with plenary surveillance powers(nor did the framers).

The United States of America is a vision, not a name. That vision, in the form of the Constitution, must be defended against all enemies, foreign and domestic(that includes protection from abuses of power by the executive).

When we stop defending the constitution, we might as well live in the Federal State of America, because we won’t be the USA anymore.

Posted by: CPAdams at December 28, 2005 11:46 AM
Comment #108415

Steve Smith,

telemarketers from the Middle East??? Are you for real? the telemarketers from INDIA (which most consider the Near East) are calling us as a result of either free enterprise (if you are an internationalist) or OUTSOURCING (if you are protectionist).

Since the Bush administration tacitly supports the outsourcing of jobs overseas and the profits it adds to American corporations, I guess you can blame Bush for that telemarketing call during dinner from the person whose accent you don’t recognize.

Posted by: CPAdams at December 28, 2005 11:52 AM
Comment #108420

Burt and CP, Clinton actually effectively used a “warrant less” search against an American Citizen (Aldrich Ames) in “peace time”. I don’t remember anybody from the left (specifically you Burt) decrying the breakdown of law and order and that tyranny was taking hold, of course I know it is fun and convenient to do now the GW is in office. Bush has not conducted one warrant less search of any US citizen so please keep history in perspective before you begin your ignorant rants.

CP, You’re complete lack of faith in the good people of the middle east is despicable. You, and many on the left, give them no chance for forming a peaceful country because in your collective opinion they neither deserve it or have the intelligence to bring it about. This is a common trait among liberals who consider themselves so high and mighty that it will result in another lost election in 08. Per your post, “we” are not telling them to “do” anything except elect the people they want to represent them. It took America over 100 years and a civil war to have the country we have today and you are not satisfied that Iraq hasn’t been able to accomplish that in two years. Pity, isn’t it? Give them time and a little respect. Or are your rants more politically motivated?

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 12:00 PM
Comment #108421

Jay,
Forgive me, but no where in this thread did I read where someone had pointed out the “obvious” as you referred to my post. When has anyone mentioned the Saudi royal family’s influence on the “war on terror’? I have stated a resolution to the issue of terrorists in the US. I will gladly state it again. Secure our borders and strengthen our immigration policies. How is that not a solution?
Thank you for answering my question of, “But for whose benefit?” I’m afraid, however, that we will have to agree to disagree on that subject. We have far less to gain than Saudi Arabia. You, however, are the first person who stated IN DETAIL the reason for continued support in Iraq. Thank you. I do believe that we can “defeat this cancer” but I doubt it can be done with the lack of support. It is far too easy to rally the people of the majority’s political affilliation, but what of the other people who share the brand of American citizen? We should all be in unity on this or, at least damn near close. The problem, I believe, is there are people like me who don’t care too much for simplistic explanations and rallies. I don’t respond well to the type of propoganda that has been used. I want to know the real truth, the whole truth. I DO want an explanation for our true, long term intentions in the Middle East. Are we going to eventually remove all the dictators in that region? I just want the truth, no matter whether it’s hard for the President to state through the media or not. Does anyone know or understand what I mean?

Posted by: Karen at December 28, 2005 12:04 PM
Comment #108423

Jack

organized criminals are interested in making money. They commit crime as a means of making money, so we can usually follow the money trail. (Without the money, we almost never crack organized crime.) Most members of organized crime are also motivated by greed and fear. With the proper incentives, they will turn on each other.
So, by your standards, the heads of Enron, Worldcom, Qwest, and other companies are organized criminals, right?

Then you said:

Public details come from the NYT and it looks like it was mostly data mining, looking for patterns using mathematical algorithms.
Do you know what data mining is? I have 30 years experience in the telecommunications industry (both the wired and the wireless side) and I can tell you from experience that in this case it’s the Bush administration accessing central routing computers for telephone networks, and going through hundreds of thousands of telephone conversations, searching for anythging of interest. THAT MEANS THAT THEY ACCESS EVERY CONVERSATION GOING THROUGH THAT ROUTING POINT. Every conversation, Jack. Not just a few.

They hear you when you’re sleeping
They hear when you’re awake
They hear if you’ve been bad or good
So be good — because they’re listening to you

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 28, 2005 12:06 PM
Comment #108426

Karen, the Saudi Royal family’s influence (both positive and negative) and been well rehearsed in these posts in the past. I don’t believe for one minute the goal is to remove every dictator in the world as that is quite the daunting task neither is it our role to determine what governments other nations have. I believe our role and that of the rest of the civilized world (our allies) is to expect that what ever the government is of any nation, that they respect other countries sovereignty and respect human rights amongst all people. Those are two conditions that should be non-negotiable. As far as knowing the “truth”, I am sure that we will never know that in our lifetime. Corruption, nepotism and tyranny dates back centuries in the middle east and the “truth” will never come to light anytime soon, but with patience and strength, it will eventually. Think for a moment of the young men and women fighting the civil war in this country, do you think that they at all envisioned what a great country their efforts resulted in? Probably not. We can not be so myopic and expect to see the fruits of our labor in the short term, it took centuries for the mess of the middle east to become the problem it is today, hopefull it won;t take that long to help turn it around.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #108428

Jack,

Why bring up the Moussaoui case? As you are well aware, he isn’t an American citizen and has no relevance to the case or debate at hand.

Furthermore, neither you, nor any other Bush defender has made even a slight case for Bush’s rationale to go around the court. No believable justfication can even be fabricated.

The fact of the matter is that the FISA court - full of judges appointed by William Rhenquist - had modified 179 warrant requests of the Bush administration through 2004, while modifying only 1 request in the previous 4 years. So, for some reason, the court wasn’t too happy with a lot of the Bush administration FISA requests, so BushCo just decided to bypass the law and disregard the court. That’s a no no.

Posted by: Burt at December 28, 2005 12:19 PM
Comment #108431

Jay,

thank you, your characterization of my remarks is painfully myopic and only supports my point.

I have an unwavering faith in the power of people to pursue the life they want, even if it takes decades.

Our problem is our inability to understand what the people in the Middle East want and our unwillingness to listen to anyone who says anything contrary to our vision of what people are supposed to want.

The Kurds, a distinct ethnic people without a country, have pursued an autonomous state for MORE THAN A CENTURY.

The Turks could not take away there dream.

Saddam could not take away there dream.

The Syrians cannot take away there dream (Kurds are not permitted citizenship in Syria).

But you believe that after all they have suffered, they will give up their dream to us, because the Middle East will be better for us if they are part of united Iraq.

Here’s the problem, as I mentioned above - the Kurds THINK FOR THEMSELVES and have THEIR OWN NEEDS AND WANTS. They’ve wanted independence since Teddy Roosevelt’s adminstration and the only remaining barrier is our presence (the Shiites will not stop them, as they will be busy gobbling up territory in the south).

All your posts about this conflict speak only from an American point of view. You denounce any point of view that does believe a multicultural Iraq is possible as somehow unpatriotic.

I am realistic and understand that the rest of the planet is as nationalistic as we are. We can impose our will militarily, but people will choose there own way as soon as we let them go.

Posted by: CPAdams at December 28, 2005 12:21 PM
Comment #108436

Burt, Clinton bypassed the FISA court, was that a no-no too? I might also submit to you that had Clinton been a little more aggressive with the FISA process (specifically Moussaoui’s laptop), we may have learned of Atta and his plans. We are battling an enemy that covertly plans death and destruction and that requires covert methods to stop them, and while doing so, not one US citizen has had their civil rights violated. Your panties are getting in a bunch about nothing (that is so typical liberal though). And I will point out again, Clinton bypassed the FISA process (and he was right in doing it) to nab Ames. Your rants are transparently politically motivated. Nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 12:28 PM
Comment #108438

CP, maybe you mis-typed, but I think you meant to say that the:
“Turks did take away their dream” and that
“Saddam did take away their dream”. I don’t believe that we are standing in their way at all and neither do they (Kurds) as proven by their incredible turn out on election day. They understand that by voting and joining the process of a democratic state, the norhtern region of Iraq will be theirs unconditionally to govern as they see fit. That has been their dream and nobody has given them that opportunity until now. They realize that, I don’t know why you can’t.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 12:33 PM
Comment #108440
Freedom is not an absolute. To think otherwise is utopian.

Funny, AGB, I think it’s quite the reverse in fact: Freedom is an utopian absolute. You always can have more freedom, like it’s very easy to lost many.
But you’ll never have enough…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 28, 2005 12:40 PM
Comment #108445

Jay,

Burt and CP, Clinton actually effectively used a “warrant less” search against an American Citizen (Aldrich Ames) in “peace time”. I don’t remember anybody from the left (specifically you Burt) decrying the breakdown of law and order and that tyranny was taking hold,

You probably don’t remember me objecting because WatchBlog didn’t exist in the mid 90’s. In fact, physical searches did not fall under FISA authority in 1994, and as a result, the Clinton administration could not be accused of going around the court at the time, because it didn’t fall under their authority. Wiretapping did fall under FISA authority, then as now, and there is every indication that the Clinton administration complied with that policy. In addition, the administration then moved at the time to put physical searches under the authority of FISA after the Ames case, and that became the law in 1995 - a law which has been circumvented by the Bush administration.


of course I know it is fun and convenient to do now the GW is in office.

It is neither fun nor convenient to see this adminstration go off in another thick-headed direction and watch a large number of Americans blindly support his idiotic policies.

Bush has not conducted one warrant less search of any US citizen so please keep history in perspective before you begin your ignorant rants.

To date, your rants appear to be the ones ignorant. Please provide a link showing evidence that the Bush administration has not conducted warrantless searches of any U.S. citizens. Thank you.

Posted by: Burt at December 28, 2005 12:48 PM
Comment #108449

Jay,
I know people in the military do not enjoy the same rights as civilians. I don’t know the answer to this, but because of his job, was Ames entitled to the same rights as other civilians?

Posted by: phx8 at December 28, 2005 12:54 PM
Comment #108450

Jay,

I might also submit to you that had Clinton been a little more aggressive with the FISA process (specifically Moussaoui’s laptop), we may have learned of Atta and his plans.

I disagree with you here. Had Clinton done that it would have been HIGHLY illegal! Specifically, because he wasn’t President at the time. I might submit to you that Moussouai did his “flight training” and was captured in 2001 - a year in which Mr. Bush was President.

I know you like to blame Clinton for a lot. But blaming him for not doing enough with Moussouai while he wasn’t President is a bit over the top - even for you guys.

And I will point out again, Clinton bypassed the FISA process (and he was right in doing it) to nab Ames. Your rants are transparently politically motivated. Nothing more, nothing less.

You can point it out again and again, but you’re simply wrong. The FISA court did not have jurisdiction over physical searches in 1994. The Clinton adminstration helped change the law in 1995.

Posted by: Burt at December 28, 2005 12:55 PM
Comment #108452

Jay,

I didn’t mistype. Despite being thwarted and repressed, the Kurds have continued to want an autonomous state. Now some simple math for you:

minority in a shiite majority Iraq is not equal to autonomous state (the Kurds are in fact one of the largest ethnic groups in the world without their own country).

your posts continue to ignore reality and ignore the most basic item of knowledge required for diplomacy and negotiation - that you can count on people to act in their own best interests, not yours.

Just answer two questions:

1 - who benefits more from a united Iraq - us or the Kurds?

2 - If the United States now included all of the territory of Mexico, Central and South America, would you support democracy or autonomy for the 50 states?

Posted by: CPAdams at December 28, 2005 1:00 PM
Comment #108453

Clinton did not obtain a warrant to search the private residence of Aldrich Ames through the FISA court or any other court primarily because it was an extreme situation requiring measures. Time was of the essence in that case as it is in today’s cases involving foreign communique. Also, the FISA court is hardly a rubber stamp process, meaning that they have the right to deny the administration of acquiring the needed information, they also have the ability to drag their heels in the approval process nullifying any time sensitive material. I trusted Clinton acted on the best behalf of the safety of this country and I also trust the current administration and until that trust is violated, I will place that trust with any administration (democrat or republican) to help secure this country against domestic and foreign enemy’s.

Burt, it is impossible to prove the absence of something, however it is quite easy to prove the existence so if you have proof of any innocent US citizen that has had their civil rights violated by the FISA process or the Patriot ACT, I am all ears.

PH, Aldrich Ames was a CIA employee and a private citizen with all of the inherent rights thereof.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 1:08 PM
Comment #108454

1. A united Iraq benefits the entire civilized world including us and the Kurds provided they respect others soveriegnty and comply with human rights for all. How could a peaceful united Iraq not benefit the Kurds or ourselves?

2. I would support autonomy for all 53 states, including the states of Mexico, Central and South America. While there are federal provisions and laws that all states must abide by, there still remains a lot of centralized power within the state to govern themselves.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 1:13 PM
Comment #108491

Sanger said: freedom has a price and that price is freedom as outlined in the Bill of Rights.

Incredible. Yes, I speak for a very large number of veterans who sacrificed for the preservation of that Bill of Rights and the Constitution they are part of.

You are saying we should relinquish our protections from our government which is what the Bill of Rights are, turn our backs on our founder’s wisdom, in the name of preventing attacks from outsiders while giving away our protections to insiders. That, Sanger, is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

You want security, demand your Republican government secure our borders. That is how you halt the threat from outsiders, not by taking away the Bill of Rights protections of citizens at home. Don’t know about you, but when I enlisted, I took an oath to defend our Constitution and country. The Bill of Rights is a part of that Constitution. I didn’t swear to protect only the parts I understood or agreed with. I know my fellow veterans took that same oath as well.

So, yes, I speak for them.

Truly incredible, Sanger.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 28, 2005 2:46 PM
Comment #108503

Jay,
“I don’t believe for one minute the role is to remove every dicator in the world as that is quite the daunting task neither is it our role to determine what governments other nations have……As far as knowing the ‘truth’, I am sure we will never know that in our lifetime.”
Apparently, I need a link to show me where the Kurds begged us to establish a democratic state in Iraq. I think you misunderstood what “truth” I’m searching for. I want the REAL reasons we are in Iraq to begin with, not just the paper thin reasons. Who is truly benefiting from this? The ones with the most power in the Middle East, that’s who! Newsflash! It’s not us! So you really buy into the fact that because Saddam Hussein is out of power, we are somehow safer in our beds at night? It’s more complicated than that and you know it! At least I was hoping you did. Maybe the simplistic propoganda has worked again.

Posted by: Karen at December 28, 2005 3:07 PM
Comment #108505
Clinton did not obtain a warrant to search the private residence of Aldrich Ames through the FISA court or any other court primarily because it was an extreme situation requiring measures.

No. Clinton did not obtain a warrant from the FISA court for Ames because the FISA court had no authority over physical searches at the time. But Clinton did get warrants through FISA for wiretaps in the case, as was required by law.

Time was of the essence in that case as it is in today’s cases involving foreign communique. Also, the FISA court is hardly a rubber stamp process, meaning that they have the right to deny the administration of acquiring the needed information, they also have the ability to drag their heels in the approval process nullifying any time sensitive material.

This is absolutely untrue. And considering it has been so fully and repeatedly discredited, I have to believe that you know it is untrue.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, knows by this point that the FISA court allows for immediate searches as long as a warrant is applied for within 72 hours (and in some circumstances 15 days). The FISA court regulations were intentionally constructed to not create any timing problems.

And to say that the FISA court is not a rubber stamp is to completely misundertand the meaning of “rubber stamp”.

I trusted Clinton acted on the best behalf of the safety of this country and I also trust the current administration and until that trust is violated,

This administration has violated my trust more times than I care to count. And even if it were another administration, they would have no excuse to break the law as this one has done.

Burt, it is impossible to prove the absence of something, however it is quite easy to prove the existence so if you have proof of any innocent US citizen that has had their civil rights violated by the FISA process or the Patriot ACT, I am all ears.

Well, you spoke definitively that “Bush has not conducted one warrant less search of any US citizen” so I assume you had some source to back up that bold assertion. If not, I guess you were just talking out of your backside.

Meanwhile, although the targets of the spying program are kept completely confidential for good reason, there is every reason to believe that U.S. citizens have indeed been targeted - specifically because the administration has refused to deny it.

Look at this quote from Alberto Gonzales in trying to defend the program:

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales also emphasized that the order only applied to international communications. “People are running around saying that the United States is somehow spying on American citizens calling their neighbors,” he said. “Very, very important to understand that one party to the communication has to be outside the United States.”

So he doesn’t take the opportunity to deny that American citizens are being spied on, he simply says that whoever they are talking to must be outside of the U.S. That is as much of a tacit admission as you’ll get.

Posted by: Burt at December 28, 2005 3:11 PM
Comment #108507

David,

Thank you so much for your service to our country and the virtues we live for every day! I am so glad to hear from a soldier who understands that we don’t sacrafice freedom in the name of freedom. I couldn’t agree more with you about securing our borders. I also believe that we need to tighten our restrictions on immigration policies as well. Since this weakness in our security has not been dealt with, I am led to believe that the war isn’t about our safety. It’s much darker and complicated than that.

Posted by: Kareb at December 28, 2005 3:13 PM
Comment #108512

Karen, where did I suggest the Kurds “begged” us to establish a democratic state, never once did I imply that and I don’t appreciate you misquoting me. I stated that it is not our role to determine what government any nation establishes but it is our right to expect those governments to respect sovereignty and human rights. BTW, I know some expatriated Kurds and Assyrians here in the states and they are thrilled that the US finally did something.

Secondly, the “truth” why we are in Iraq:
1. The 1995 adoption of “regime change” as it pertains to Iraq and Saddam Hussein under the Clinton Administration stemming from the Gulf War.
2. 17 UN resolution violations stemming from the Gulf War citing that if any of the agreed upon resolutions were violated (Saddam signed this agreement), the allied forces had the right to continue hostilities towards the Iraq regime. Every single resolution was violated.
3. Continued hostilities towards British and American patrol planes over the no-fly zone.
4. Saddam’s refusal to become transparent with his weapons programs.
5. And considering the actions of 911 and Al Qaeda, we could no longer afford to keep our head in the sand when it comes to rogue dictators with a penchant for violence.
Tell me this Karen, had we not done anything in Iraq and Saddam eventually unleashed some horrific event towards his own people (BTW have you seen the recent news of another mass grave in Baquba), Israel, or America, what then would you be saying about this administration?

The people that will benefit the most are always the “most powerful”, history has proven that time and time again, don’t be so naive or so idealistic to think that somehow all of the little people will reap all the rewards. And yes, we are all a little more safe with Saddam out of power, not much but a little. The people that are truly more safe are the Israeli’s. Have you noticed the decline in Palestinian suicide bombers since Saddam is no longer sending checks to their families. I am also sure the Kuwaiti’s are sleeping a little more sound these days.


Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 3:27 PM
Comment #108520

Burt, not one law has been broken, period. I am quite confident that when the Senate convenes yet another panel to investigate, they will conclude the same. Also, just because one of the parties is in the US does not mean that they are a US citizen. Your jump to conclusion that the party on this side of the conversation was a innocent US citizen is strictly partisan. Also, if you feel this strongly about due process and wire tapping, please let me know how you feel about Robert Kennedy, Hoover and all of their shenanigans? It seems as though our country and our civil rights remained intact following those egregious violations.

Clinton did not obtain a warrant to search Ames’s home from any court. Yet because of the sensitive nature of the case, he was right in doing what he did and Bush is right for doing what he is doing. Clinton severly violated my trust (and I voted for him twice) yet I will still trust the President of the United Staes (whomever that is) to act on the best behalf of the security of the United States unless and until that trust is violated.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 3:41 PM
Comment #108545

Thank you, Kareb. Yes, you are absolutely right. Tough, thorough, and secure immigration policy must go hand in hand with securing the borders.

Many have used the illogical argument that our fighting in Iraq keeps our enemies from coming here. If that were the case, our enemies would not be blowing people up in Great Britian, France, Amman, Indonesia, Australia, etc., etc. We may be in Iraq, but, clearly that is not preventing our enemies from spreading out elsewhere as well. And with porous borders, there is little to stop them, sleepers or otherwise, from coming here. Given all the surveillance going on in this country is a pretty good sign our government believes they are already here. Not surprising since our borders have been wide open since 9/11, and still are.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 28, 2005 4:06 PM
Comment #108557

If the rationalization for illegal actiuvity is the “war on Terror” requires it, then we need to take a closer look at this supposed war. First of all this war has an enemy known to be in Pakistan/Afghanistan. It was never Iraq until we allowed them there. If this president has failed to even keep this war from being side tracked why on earth would we believe he would not get side tracked on the survellence side of it?
Second. If breaking our constitution is indeed necessary it must be demostrated that without the power to do so would seriously hurt our ability to remain free. Statistically speaking that is not even remotely the case. In 2001 it was more likely we would have been murdered 1 in 17,799 vs a terrorist attack 1 in 94,932. Since that time needless to say that likelyhood of a terrorist attack has decreased to almost nil. Since the last attack succeeded due to the surprise element it is also much less likely to work agian since we now have safeguards in place to make sure they can’t use a commercial airliner as a weapon agian. Not to mention no passenger would allow that to happen as was demostrated in the 4th plane that failed in reaching it’s target. It is far more likely to get hit by lightning 1 in 240,000 annually. Unless you’re willing to say we should suspend our civil rights for virtually anything that could be a danger to us you cannot use it as rationalization for terrorism. Our way of life is not threatened by these people nearly as much as it is by the person who claims to be protecting it. The fact that we are at war rings hollow since we have been at war in one way or another since 1942. Count them, WWII, Cold war (encompassing both Korea and Vietnam), the war on drugs now the war on terror. The only thing that has changed is the “wars” are getting more abstract without any clear definition of victory or even a clear enemy. It should take more than the usual war cry to deter our freedoms. Our way of life is too precious to endanger on a 1 in a million chance we may be harmed.

Posted by: zakquiet at December 28, 2005 4:24 PM
Comment #108571
Burt, not one law has been broken, period.

Period? Like your other assertions, you have absolutely no evidence to back up this opinion of yours - period.

Also, just because one of the parties is in the US does not mean that they are a US citizen. Your jump to conclusion that the party on this side of the conversation was a innocent US citizen is strictly partisan.

Sorry to not have quoted the original article that broke this story, but I’m too cheap to pay to access it.

Here’s an article that reports on the original one.

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

They make it very clear that U.S. citizens have been subject to the domestic eavesdropping. Like I said, if you have any evidence to the contrary, even a public denial by an administration official, please present it. Otherwise, you’re simply stating what you wish to be true.

Also, if the program didn’t involve U.S. citizens, then this whole matter would just go away. There would be no controversy. No one has a problem with these actions against foreigners, even those presently in this country. The entire reason why people - both Democrats and Republicans mind you - are upset about this is because it does indeed involve U.S. citizens. To deny that is to just stick your head further in the sand.

Also, if you feel this strongly about due process and wire tapping, please let me know how you feel about Robert Kennedy, Hoover and all of their shenanigans?

Those activities took place before the laws of the 1970’s following the disclosure of Nixon’s problems. So I can’t speak to their legality or not. However, Kennedy’s wiretaps of MLK was a dark chapter of his legacy. And Hoover - well he was a complete nut. A truly horrifying figure in American history. As a closet homosexual who thrived on persecuting other homosexuals, he would have fit in quite well with this administration - Rove, Mehlman, et al. Thank goodness that we have better laws in place now to protect the American people.

Yet because of the sensitive nature of the case, he was right in doing what he did and Bush is right for doing what he is doing.

Please rise to my challenge and give me one good reason why Bush should have gone around the FISA court. We know that the FISA regulations weren’t in place during Clinton’s time. So what is Bush’s rationale? (Hint: The need for expediency isn’t a viable reason.)

Posted by: Burt at December 28, 2005 4:33 PM
Comment #108576

Hi Phillipz,

“bush is fighting terriost, Liberals are fighting bush”

Bush is supporting terrorists in the Iraqi government and security forces.

Our troops are fighting and dying to support terrorists in the Iraqi government and Iraqi security forces.

Supporting terrorists is Bush’s policy. You’re in no position to criticize Democrats.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 4:38 PM
Comment #108585

zakquite, excellent argument and facts to back it up. Well done.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 28, 2005 4:46 PM
Comment #108597

Jay,
I don’t think LouisXIV read your post - same tired old crap…

Posted by: THC at December 28, 2005 5:04 PM
Comment #108610

Hi THC,

You can’t deal witht the truth right?

Our troops are fighting and dying to support terrorists and you aren’t able to address that obvious fact.

Do you think it’s good policy for our troops to be supporting terrorists in Iraq?

I don’t think you’ve got enough integrity to answer that question but I’ll be pleased if you prove me wrong.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 5:29 PM
Comment #108618

Louis,
I don’t need to prove you wrong, you need to prove yourself right - why would the burdon be on me? I don’t think it is good policy, because I don’t think it is our policy. I don’t believe we are supporting terrorists in Iraq. I think this a left wing talking point that you picked up on some time ago and can’t get it out of your head. Is there anyone in the middle east who you do not consider to be a terrorist? All you ever do is throw out “we’re supporting terroists!” - where is your proof? Like they say, paranoia will destroy ya.

Posted by: THC at December 28, 2005 5:37 PM
Comment #108619

Hi Jay,

“would it be possible to not deal with terrorists?”

It would be possible for our troops not to be fighting and dying to support a terrorist government in Iraq.

Our troops are fighing and dying to support a terrorist government and you claim that it’s business as usual……you are wrong.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 5:38 PM
Comment #108623

Hi THC,

“I don’t need to prove you wrong, you need to prove yourself right”

I stated a fact. The Iraqi government is full of terrorists and we are supporting them.

“This week, Iraqis were set to go to the polls to elect a new parliament. At least two of the radical Islamist parties on the ballot, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Sadr Organization, maintain large and active militias.
Washington is fully aware that these Islamists maintain private armies and that this is a violation of one of the most basic principles of democracy, wherein there must be a single elected source of authority that maintains a monopoly on the use of force. It also knows that many of the Islamists are closely allied with Iran, a member of the “axis of evil.” It has decided to ignore these travesties on the double assumption that, first, the democratic process can only operate if it is inclusive, and second, inclusion of the armed Islamists in the governmental process eventually will cause them to moderate their policies and disarm.”
http://www.forward.com/articles/7031

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 5:41 PM
Comment #108632

Louis,
Thanks for the editorial - how about a real new source? If you indeed stated a “fact”, then it should be easy for you to back it up with real news. According to your past statements, everyone over there is a terrorist - who should we be dealing with at this point? Or should we just leave and let them figure it out?

Posted by: THC at December 28, 2005 5:51 PM
Comment #108666

Hi THC,

“According to your past statements, everyone over there is a terrorist”

I said nothing of the sort. Can you discuss this without lying about what I said?

You are unable to aknowledge the obvious fact that the Iraqi government is full of terrorists.

“He noted that Muqtada al-Sadr, a rebellious Shiite cleric who had been coaxed to join the Shiite list, appeared to have fielded successful candidates in a separate slate as well. A list associated with his Mahdi Army militia came in fourth in Baghdad with enough votes to probably guarantee him a seat in parliament.”
http://www.charlotte.com/mld/mercurynews/news/nation/13447899.htm?source=rss&channel=mercurynews_nation

“BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iranian-backed militia the Badr Organization has taken over many of the Iraqi Interior Ministry’s intelligence activities and infiltrated its elite commando units, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

That’s enabled the Shiite Muslim militia to use Interior Ministry vehicles and equipment - much of it bought with American money - to carry out revenge attacks against the minority Sunni Muslims, who persecuted the Shiites under Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, current and former Ministry of Interior employees told Knight Ridder.

The officials, some of whom agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity for fear of violent reprisals, said the Interior Ministry had become what amounted to an Iranian fifth column inside the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, running death squads and operating a network of secret prisons.”
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13391616.htm

“MUQTADA AL-SADR: A popular leader among poor Shiites and son of a grand ayatollah believed killed by Saddam’s forces in 1999, al-Sadr has become a major player in Iraq two years after thousands of his militiamen battled U.S. troops in two major uprisings. He was sought in the 2003 slaying of a senior Shiite cleric in Najaf but the warrant was shelved under a deal to end the fighting. Unlike mainstream Shiite parties, he wants an immediate end to the U.S. presence. Candidates from his movement, some participating in al-Hakim’s alliance, are expected to fare well. “
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-iraq-key-players-iq1,1,436104.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 8:23 PM
Comment #108667

Hi THC,

You’ll let me know when you’re able to aknowledge the obvious fact that our soldiers are fighting and dying to support terrorists in Iraq?

When (if?) you aknowledge the obvious facts of the matter perhaps you have enough integrity to answer my question.

Do you think it’s good policy for our troops to be supporting terrorists in Iraq?

http://www.cfr.org/publication/9391/

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/Iraq/2005/12/10/1347340-ap.html

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 8:32 PM
Comment #108671

Louis,
You really enjoy running to the “lying” thing, don’t you? I’m sorry, I should have stated “According to your past statements, I have come to the conclusion that you think everyone over there is a terrorist.” Is that better?

OK Louis (and ANY other Dem) - we’re all listening…

Give us your ideas/solutions for what we should do next.

If they are all terrorists over there and we can’t trust any of them - what do we do? (“Cutting and running” and “We shouldn’t even be there” don’t count.) I really hope you take this seriously (you didn’t answer my last questions). I doubt you can pull it off, though, there aren’t many ideas coming from your side (I don’t need to tell you that) and you don’t seem to be able to get off your one-track talking point.

Also, I’d like to try out a little left-wing tactic here…

All you Dems are ignoring the “obvious fact” that Bush has done nothing wrong, illegal or immoral, and going into Iraq was the right thing to do. (as everyone knows)

Please, enlighten me with more of your “facts”.

Posted by: THC at December 28, 2005 8:42 PM
Comment #108673

Hi THC,

“According to your past statements, I have come to the conclusion that you think everyone over there is a terrorist.”

Your conclusion is based on bullshit. I never said that everyone over there is a terrorist. Is comprehension your problem here or are you being dishonest?


“If they are all terrorists over there and we can’t trust any of them”

I didn’t say that they are all terrorists over there.

I didn’t say that they are all terrorists over there.

I didn’t say that they are all terrorists over there.

“what do we do?”

I suspect we’ll be supporting terrorists over there for years to come. Bush’s plan is to continue to support a terrorist government in Iraq.

“there aren’t many ideas coming from your side”

As opposed to your side who insists on supporting a terrorist government. The ideas coming from your side are extremely stupid ones.

“Please, enlighten me with more of your “facts”.”

You aren’t able to aknowledge obvious facts. Are you so brainwashed by right wing hate spin that you aren’t able to comprehend obvious facts?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 8:50 PM
Comment #108693

Louis, I do think it is a good idea that we are supporting this new “terrorist” government in Iraq on the sole basis that they have yet to conduct any terrorist activity. But apparently that doesn’t stop you from labeling them as we are all aware of your prejudice. I have also stated this before but apparently your mental acuity prohibits you from moving onto the next talking point. You’d make a fine DNC chairman. THC asked you a question that you successfully dodged, what would you do? And I put all options on the table, do you want to cut and run, would you have had the cajones to go there in the first place, or would you keep your head in the sand and pretend that all the world is a terrorist so why even try?

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 9:34 PM
Comment #108697

Louis, I just have to point this out too. Your whole assumption of a “terrorist” government is based on the UIA’s close affilitation with SCIRI. Well in that part of the world, what affilitations would you expect? Close ties with the ACLU, the Freedom Council, or possibly Green Peace? Secondly, although they occupy a large number of seats, they are just one representative group and again, have yet to conduct any terrorist activity.

Finally, I thought the liberals were all about the idea that there were no terrorists in Iraq before we went in. So, how does that work? Did they all just wait and move in after the war and started running for government? You are so up on this I am sure you can enlighten us all.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 9:46 PM
Comment #108700

Hi Jay,

“they have yet to conduct any terrorist activity.”

They have been running death squads. They have been conducting terrorist activity.

“But apparently that doesn’t stop you from labeling them as we are all aware of your prejudice.”

If you aren’t aware that al Sadr is a terrorist you aren’t well informed.

I call a terrorist a terrorist and you go in for spin and obfuscation.

“what would you do?”

We’ll be supporting terrorists in Iraq for years to come.

I thought going into Iraq was going to be the worst strategic mistake in the history of the country. Unfortunately it looks like I was right.

I knew that once we went into Iraq we’d be stuck there for a very long time. I don’t see any way around us being in Iraq for a long time to come.

“pretend that all the world is a terrorist so why even try?”

I do no such thing. Why are you being dishonest about my vies like that?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 9:47 PM
Comment #108703

zak, you need to talk with Louis. Your assertion is that there were no terrorists in Iraq before the war, yet Louis claims now that they all occupy the government. If this is the case, these guys are master politicians. They should forget terrorism because they have politics nailed. Or could there have possibly been terrorists in Iraq before the war? You guys might want to “coalesce” with Howard Dean, I am sure you’ll come up with the politically correct answer at some point.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 9:52 PM
Comment #108704

Hi Jay,

“Your whole assumption of a “terrorist” government is based on the UIA’s close affilitation with SCIRI.”

That’s not at all true. It’s also based on the close affiliation with the Dawa party and al Sadr.

You’re not going to suggest that al Sadr isn’t a terrorist are you?

“I thought the liberals were all about the idea that there were no terrorists in Iraq before we went in.”

The terrorists in the Iraqi government are Shiites. They weren’t active in Iraq under Saddam because Saddam murdered them.

The Sunni terrorists in Iraq weren’t going in for bombings and whatnot because they were in power.

“You are so up on this I am sure you can enlighten us all.”

Given that you’re unable to come to grips with obvious facts I’m, relatively speaking, up on the situation as you put it.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 9:53 PM
Comment #108707

Louis, ANSWER THE QUESTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What would you have done or what would you do? Quit dodging. Also please explain how these guys now occupy the government when the left’s position is that there were no terrorists in Iraq before the war. And I am sure you have proof positive links to the people in the government running death squads. So in your next post I will EXPECT names of those individuals, their position in the Iraqi government and the dates and places of the death squad activity. If you can not provide these details, we will all know what you are (as if we don’t already)

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 9:56 PM
Comment #108708

Hi Jay,

“Louis claims now that they all occupy the government.”

That’s a well documented fact. It’s not a claim. I’m merely pointing out what the facts are.

Would you care to aknowledge the facts here or do you plan to keep spinning here?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 9:56 PM
Comment #108711

Hi Jay,

“What would you have done or what would you do?”

I wouldn’t have gone into Iraq. Our occupation has been a total disaster and it was a disaster that was very predictable.

“Also please explain how these guys now occupy the government”

They were elected. They were recruited into the Iraqi security forces. They have massive support in the Iraqi population.

“And I am sure you have proof positive links to the people in the government running death squads.”

That’s extremely well documented. I can provide more links if you like.

http://www.cfr.org/publication/9391/

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/Iraq/2005/12/10/1347340-ap.html

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/wire/sns-ap-iraq-key-players-iq1,1,436104.story?coll=sns-ap-world-headlines

http://www.charlotte.com/mld/mercurynews/news/nation/13447899.htm?source=rss&channel=mercurynews_nation

“If you can not provide these details, we will all know what you are”

I’m a truth teller. I’m stating facts here. You are unable to aknowledge the facts so you are spinning like a top.

Why don’t you aknowledge the facts of the matter so we can move on?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:02 PM
Comment #108712

“They weren’t active (terroristly speaking of course) because Saddam murdered them”. But they were the majority and I thought terrorists went straight to heaven to enjoy 72 virgins and all that other bullshit when they became martyrs. But yet you assert that although they were the majority and did not want the rewards of martyrdom, they laid dormant until Bush arrived?
This does conflict with the talking points of the left Louis, you may not get that DNC chair position. So you do asknowledge there were terrorists in Iraq before the war, good to know.

Al Sadr has had past terrorist activity and so did Tookie Williams. Tell me Louis, was it right to execute Tookie, or do you believe he was a changed man and we should have let him live? Can people change Louis or is it once a terrorist, always a terrorist. And the DAWA affiliation, again were you expecting Green Peace?

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:03 PM
Comment #108713

Hi Jay,

“Iraqi gov’t minister faces ouster over torture charges
By Paul Martin
The Washington Times
Published December 27, 2005


LONDON — Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr, whose ministry is accused of operating clandestine prisons where some detainees were tortured, will vacate his job shortly, security and political sources in Baghdad said yesterday.

Mr. Jabr has been under pressure to step down since a Nov. 15 raid by U.S. forces of a secret prison in the Baghdad neighborhood of Jadriyah, where 166 prisoners were discovered, most of them Sunni Muslims and some showing signs of torture”
http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20051227-093504-3528r

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:05 PM
Comment #108715

Hi Jay,

“The Shi’ite coalition commands two large militia, the SCIRI-linked Badr forces and the Mehdi Army, loyal to Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, while some Sunni politicians are believed to have links to militant groups fighting the U.S. occupation.”
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051224/ts_nm/iraq_shiites_dc_2

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:07 PM
Comment #108716

I love “what if” logic trails. That’s what got us into Iraq and now it’s what’s being used to justify illegal acts by our administration. If I ever run over a child molester in my get-away car after robbing a bank, remind me to use this defense. I must be innocent of robbing a bank. Brilliant.

Posted by: Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout at December 28, 2005 10:08 PM
Comment #108721

Louis, NOT ONE of those posts states anything of what you claim. There are no accounts of terrorism or death squads, neither are there any listings of time and places of those “terrorist” activities. Terrorism Louis is suicide bombers and blowing up nightclubs and transit trains. Not one of your links even mildly suggests that any of those people listed are even remotely involved in those activites.

I know you wouldn’t have gone to Iraq, you would have kept your head in the sand and followed the policy of containment while Saddam and the French got more and more wealthy at the expense of the decent men, women and children of Iraq. How noble (and cowardly) of you. BTW, Three successful elections, a 200,000 strong security and military force, a constitution and our troops begining to come home all after just two years hardly suggests that this effort was a “disaster”.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:12 PM
Comment #108723

Hi Jay,

“But yet you assert that although they were the majority and did not want the rewards of martyrdom, they laid dormant until Bush arrived?”

I asserted no such thing. Can you stop spinning here?

I stated that the Shiites were suppressed by Saddam. This is an extremely obvious fact.

“So you do asknowledge there were terrorists in Iraq before the war, good to know.”

If you’re suggesting that the Shiites in the governemtn were a threat to us before we invavded you’re extremely confused about the situation in Iraq.

“Al Sadr has had past terrorist activity”

Al Sadr is a terrorist who is are avowed enemy.

“And the DAWA affiliation, again were you expecting Green Peace?”

You have no problem with our troops fighting and dying to support an Iranian anti-American terrorist group?

You’re actually defending an Iranian anti-American terrorist group.

You are aware that our stated purpose in Iraq is to fight terrorists?

You are aware that our stated goal in Iraq isn’t to support Iranian anti-American terrorist groups?




Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:14 PM
Comment #108724

Louis, that’s a great article, someone in government who was caught operating outside the law is now being forced to resign. Doesn’t that conflict with your assertion that terrorists run the government, I would think that they would support that activity.

Also, if it is in Reuters, well then it must be true. Huh???????

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:15 PM
Comment #108726

Hi Jay,

“Louis, NOT ONE of those posts states anything of what you claim.”

Link#1: “The UIA also includes some supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-U.S. cleric who heads the Mahdi Army.”
http://www.cfr.org/publication/9391/

Link#2: “MUQTADA AL-SADR: A popular leader among poor Shiites and son of a grand ayatollah believed killed by Saddam’s forces in 1999, al-Sadr has become a major player in Iraq two years after thousands of his militiamen battled U.S. troops in two major uprisings. He was sought in the 2003 slaying of a senior Shiite cleric in Najaf but the warrant was shelved under a deal to end the fighting. Unlike mainstream Shiite parties, he wants an immediate end to the U.S. presence. Candidates from his movement, some participating in al-Hakim’s alliance, are expected to fare well.”
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/Iraq/2005/12/10/1347340-ap.html


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:20 PM
Comment #108728

Again Louis, I think you are the one confused about Iraq. Of course these people will have ties to the insurgency, it is not that big of a country. And I really like how you cherry picked (that’s a word you liberals like these days) the article. The main jest of the article is how the two factions DAWA and SCIRI are apt to put aside arms and work together and the very last two sentences of the article states that there are ties to the insurgency. Again of course there are and that is a good thing, because them (al Jafaari and Al Sadr) and only them could persuade the insurgents to lay down arms. Or have you figured that one out yet.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:22 PM
Comment #108729

Louis, link #1 and link #2 are NOT TERRORISM.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:23 PM
Comment #108730

Hi Jay,

“There are no accounts of terrorism or death squads, neither are there any listings of time and places of those “terrorist” activities.”

That’s bullshit Jay. How much longer do you plan to go in for this sort of nonsense?

“How noble (and cowardly) of you. BTW”

Blow it out your ass there Jay. Spoken like a real loser there Jay. You’ve got no case so you go in for sleaze and insults.

When you’re able to aknowledge the facts you’ll let me know?

How long do you plan to go in for bullshit and insults here Jay?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:25 PM
Comment #108731

Louis you are a liberal piece of shit. Goodbye.

Posted by: Jay at December 28, 2005 10:27 PM
Comment #108732

Hi Jay,

You’re claiming that al Sadr isn’t a terrorist. Why don’t you go back to insulting me Jay? You obviously don’t have a clue about the facts here.

“This week, Iraqis were set to go to the polls to elect a new parliament. At least two of the radical Islamist parties on the ballot, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and the Sadr Organization, maintain large and active militias.

Washington is fully aware that these Islamists maintain private armies and that this is a violation of one of the most basic principles of democracy, wherein there must be a single elected source of authority that maintains a monopoly on the use of force. It also knows that many of the Islamists are closely allied with Iran, a member of the “axis of evil.” It has decided to ignore these travesties on the double assumption that, first, the democratic process can only operate if it is inclusive, and second, inclusion of the armed Islamists in the governmental process eventually will cause them to moderate their policies and disarm.”
http://www.forward.com/articles/7031

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:28 PM
Comment #108733

Hi Jay,

“Louis you are a liberal piece of shit.”

Labeling is about as good as it gets from you isn’t it?

The closest you have to an idea is to label those you disagree with as if it constitutes reasoning.

Calling someone liberal represents your best “logic” doesn’t it?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:31 PM
Comment #108735

Hi Jay,

“I think you are the one confused about Iraq.”

This is coming from someone who thinks that al Sadr is our friend.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 10:33 PM
Comment #108879

THC and Jay

Louis supports terrorists also. He supports the swimming and diving champion from MA who killed a young lady. That was an act of terrorism by a left wing liberal whose loved by LouisXIV. Therefore LouisXIV supports terrorism. It all fits.

Posted by: tomh at December 29, 2005 9:29 AM
Comment #108907

tomh
I think it is a pretty “obvious fact”

Posted by: THC at December 29, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #108927

Tomh & THC,
Can always count on you guys to take the high road. Sounds like you really dislike Ted Kennedy for killing that poor girl in a car accident. In fact, Tom, you quite wittily refer to Ted Kennedy as a “swimming and diving champion,” and suggest that makes liberals supporters of terrorism.

Did you know about this vehicular homicide?

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - At 17, Laura Bush ran a stop sign and crashed into another car, killing her boyfriend who was driving it, according to an accident report released to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Feel free to let loose with the witticisms about conservatives who support murderers and are therefore terrorists.

Posted by: phx8 at December 29, 2005 12:19 PM
Comment #108976

ph, Laura Bush does not hold any office, has never run for office and does not make judgement calls on other peoples decisions and activities, nor does she make policy decisions. Nice try though.

Posted by: Jay at December 29, 2005 2:52 PM
Comment #108990

Jay,
The First Lady is unelected, but influential. Here is the official government web site for her:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/firstlady/

Also, I seem to recall conservatives regularly castigating Hillary while she was First Lady- more than Ted Kennedy.

Personally, I don’t have much use for that kind of thing. I’d much rather discuss issues rather than the personal foibles of public figures. I’ve always thought attacks comparing Bush to a chimp, or the endless slurs against Clinton as useless, noise-making wastes of space. If tomh will give it a rest, I’d be happy to do the same… it’s not much of a deal, though, since I’m really not interested in pursuing those kinds of attacks anyway.

Posted by: phx8 at December 29, 2005 4:13 PM
Comment #108996

Uh oh!

Louis and Jay, you can probably say goodbye to watchblog. Getting personal there, aren’t you?

Posted by: womanmarine at December 29, 2005 4:56 PM
Comment #109023

I love the righties who bring up Kennedy’s problems considering there is a booze and coke fiend sitting in the oval office.

Posted by: Burt at December 29, 2005 6:49 PM
Comment #109049

Hi Tomh,

“Louis supports terrorists also.”

You’re lying. Were you raised to lie like that or is it something you picked up along the way?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 29, 2005 9:58 PM
Comment #109051

Hi Jay,

“(al Jafaari and Al Sadr) and only them could persuade the insurgents to lay down arms.”

Al Sadr is encouraging people to take up arms. You seem to think that he’s our friend.

“Girlie men like you are best planted behind their computer.”

You have me confused with your father Jay. Your transvestite father has no place in this discussion.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 29, 2005 10:01 PM
Comment #109172

Burt, dallying with coke (unproven) and alcohol as a youth and driving off of a bridge with a female companion, walking away and not notifying anyone on accident resulting in the death of the female companion. Yeah, that’s comparable. Maybe to the brain dead.

Posted by: Jay at December 30, 2005 9:53 AM
Comment #109233

LouisXIV and Jay,, your name calling and violations of our policy require your privileges to participate here be revoked.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at December 30, 2005 3:44 PM
Comment #109293

Hi Jay,

“as a youth”

He stopped drinking when he was 40.

Posted by: Louis at December 30, 2005 10:19 PM
Comment #109650

jm1656,

You made an excellent point and I am sorry to see that it was pretty much ignored… I will give you my opinion.

“… arn’t these people taking away from basic domestic principles by influencing votes and the economy?”

The actions of terrorists really may seem insane but that does not mean that they do not have a goal.

Terrorists hate all that America stands for. A secular government (to the degree that we may keep it such), freedom of speech, religion you name it.

Their goal is to force us to change to their world view. It is not to destory the twin towers, that was a means to an end… not the end itself.

Evidence their murdering of members of their own religous opposition. It is not just to kill Christains and Jews, the oft quoted “infidels”.

They are in this for the long haul. As some have noted, this will not be over in our lifetime and it is unknown how far into the future, if ever, it will be concluded.

Bit by bit… one attack at a time… one response at a time by us, they are trying to whittle away at America and all it stands for.

This can be economic… disrupt our financial security.

This can be political… disrupt our open debate about legitimate questions.

This can be law enforcement… disrupt our faith in law enforcement to protect us.

They are working towards forcing us to change. To surrender, one bit at a time, that which makes us so special in the world.

My analogy is standing before a bully. He wants you to change your beliefs through intimidation and fear of physical harm. We have a choice, we can cower and change to conform with his demands because we fear the physical reaction from him… or we can stand firm and believe that what we believe is more important. Even if it does evoke a physical reaction on his part aginst us, he cannot take away the core essence of who we are, unless we surrender it.

This we must not do. We must not surrender to fear and resort to questionable means.

We are a nation of laws, wishing to show the rest of the world that differences can be accepted without bloodshed, that each person is free to voice their opinion, that we have an expectation of our government acting legally.

This, I believe is the core of the whole issue. Do we surrender in fear? Do we lable others as to their viewpoints? Do we want to bypass the legitimate roles of the government branches to monitor the other because we are willing to cower and hope that this all ends soon and we can regain our integrity later?

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 1, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #109655

Darren

There are different sorts of terrorists. The Moscow financed terrorists of the 1970s were trying to get us to change in some of the ways you outline.

That is not the goal of the Islamic terrorists. They are not trying to provoke us into becoming less democratic. They don’t care if we support free speech or not. There goal is very simply to weaken us so that we cannot or will not interfere in their crazy schemes to establish Islamic states first in the Middle East and then farther into Europe and Africa. We are NOT their goal. We are just an obstacle in front of it.

In some ways we don’t even have a speaking role their drama. The attack on the World Trade Center was as much spectacle aimed at their own people as it was an attack on us. These guys believe in a fantasy ideology. It requires attacking and a lot of sound and fury. It is like Mussolini attacking Ethiopia. It was part of his fantasy. Or like Hitler attacking Jews. In either case, is there any thing those attacked could have done to avoid their fate, other than just somehow getting out of the way?

Also don’t overestimate the terrorist wisdom and foresight. The terrorists are able to cause destruction. They are dangerous, but dangerous doesn’t always mean smart. If you were fanatical and well financed, you could do the same. It doesn’t mean you know anything besides that. Osama was surprised by the ferocious response after 9/11. He thought he could hit us hard and we would capitulate. It was the same sort of miscalculation that Japanese made at Pearl Harbor.

Finally, remember what we are talking about with this “spying”. It is mostly data mining. Much of it doesn’t even involve American citizens and is merely communications routed through the U.S.. But what if it is wiretapping of Americans talking to foreigners? In the worst case scenario, we are employing the kind of tactics we used routinely until the middle of the 1970s. We would be doing things most European governments do today. The 1970s sucked in many ways, but we were not particularly oppressed back then, and while I like to make fun of the French, I don’t think they are living in hell either.

This story is more noise than substance.


Posted by: Jack at January 1, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #109671

Jack,
I do not know if I would underestimate them. This could be an error on our part. Each country wants to demonize the enemy. The “Huns” of WWI bringing into mind the bloodiness of Atilla and his Huns.

When I say democracy and what we stand for, this I belive to be true. It is a battle of ideology. Ultimately, what do they want? A theocracy. An Agfanistan or an Iran… what do we have to offer other than a democracy with all the things I have mentioned as an alternative.

What have we offered Afganistan to fill the void of the Taliban. What are we trying to estabilsh in Iraq? What do we continually hope to see in Iran each time they elect a new President.

Even President Bush believes that democracy and the rule of law within Iraq may be a means to eventual stability in this area. We cannot just write them off as crazies without something to counter them.

Then it just becomes a body count and we hope to eventually kill them off… but without an alternative what do we offer the rest of the people of that area??? Nothing? Would this not just create more terrorists?

We can win the battles by continuing to increase the body count as we did in Iraq, but we could lose the war because of new recruits.

One problem with what we offer is that we do not understand Islam or the culture and long memory of the peoples of this area.

Otherwise, how can we explain President Bush’s declaration of this being a crusade. They took this to be with a captial “C” crusade… with all the religion and bloodshed that this word means to them. Was there no one in his administration smart enough or courageous enough to question the assumption of Arab reaction?

Islam is also a religion of society versus a personal relationship between man and God. This was not understood and it was reflected in the belief that we would be welcome as liberators.

Study Turkey if you wish to see the steps necessary to separate Islam from the government. It really has been the only successful one so far. But, Kemel Attaturk did have to use some pretty drastic actions to accomplish it.

Even today they are having dicciculty becoming a partner in the European Union. They have always looked to the West. One of the reasons they joined on the side of the Germans in WWI.

We need to do whatever we can to counter these extemists, but we need to keep in mind, they are not the majority in most countries. The majority has no recourse against these militants… they have no system such as democracy.

I would say… the means and methods of how we were mining information was not very secret… anyone, even someone not smart enough to fly airplanes, use encrypted messages and satellite phones would know that the American intelligence agencies were smart enough to listen in to phone calls….

What was secret was the attempt to skirt around our laws.

This reaches the level of the need for investigation. Also, investigation of who leaked. Sure. Possibly we may find out if there were reasons why these concerns could not, or were not addressed within the adminstration.

If “much of it does not even involve American citizens”, why couldn’t they get the warrants?

This, in this topic is the unavoidable issue that people dance around….

*Could FISA meet their needs with a 72 hour retroactive warrant?
*If not, then why after 4 years was there no request for the legal means needed?
*Where was the oversight? I do not mean congressmen briefed and sworn to secrecy… that is not checks and balances?
*Should there be an investigation of the possibility of the President violating the law?
*If not, why not?

The last question is where the argument becomes circular… but when it does we need definitive answers to the previous questions.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 1, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #109851

Jack-
Your argument seems to be built on the idea that we don’t recognize the purpose and utility of spying on al-Qaeda this way.

Try this angle instead: the law is the law, and we have to keep the integrity of our laws if we want to keep our integrity as a nation. The law allows for surveillance without warrant when two foreign nationals are involved. It’s only when our own citizens are involved that the distinction becomes important.

And it should be important. Once you start letting it happen to one American citizen, it can start happening to anybody else, so long as the Warrant safeguard is not in place, because without the necessity to get the warrants, everyone else can be kept in the dark as to both the targets and the purpose of the surveillance. The program can go rogue if the immediate or distant superiors (like the president) wish to take it in that direction.

The purpose of the warrant is to convey meaningful information to the people or their representatives of what their government is doing and why. Without that accountability, the only way they find out is if somebody tells them after the fact, and such is rare with secret programs, of course.

I was a fan of the X-Files for the longest time, and by the time I’d matured as a young man, I no longer found the grand, overcomplicated conspiracies as plausible as I once did. There have been, though, and still are governments where conspiracies do exist, and whose purposes are far more mundane, yet no less dangerous than those of our scariest fiction.

We are fortunate that ours is a government that we can mostly see in front of us. We don’t live in fear of being disappeared. Most of us do not fear to speak our minds because our government might retaliate against us for our dissent. Most of us know that if we keep our noses clean, we will not be railroaded for crimes we didn’t commit. Most of us will never have to fear that some official in government might use their power against us in some sick or enterprising game. Our freedoms are more than just some state of mind, they are the foundations of lives lived without fear of the government.

It is a sad day when the promises of the constitution are betrayed. We are better than this. That has been our saving grace. We give up power in American more than we take it up, and for that, we are much happier.

Why? Because having so much control over another person’s life is inherently corrupting, when there are no defined limits as to what can be done. Life gets meaner and harsher when people have such control. People wander how people can tolerate life under dictators and other despots- the answer is simple: first, the truth is kept hidden, second, people get use to the horror, and learn to be helpless before it, lest the horror overwhelm and destroy them and those that they love.

In Apocalypse Now, Colonel Kurtz talks about making a friend of horror. We can look and see in the midst of all those dictatorships and tyrannies the lives of those who have made a friend of horror, and those who must suffer its consequences, like the children with the severed arms from Kurtz’s story.

The question is, do we want to even begin to make friends with the horror that exists when one part of a nation essentially gets the license to make war on a part of itself?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 2, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #109933

It is unclear whether the president broke any laws. In fact the only person who clearly broke any laws is the one who leaked to the NYT.

The Congress’s Use of Force resolution clearly authorized the president to use his constitutional powers during wartime to protect against attacks by al Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations. During times of war, every president has felt it prudent to intercept communications between foreign enemies and potential agents in the U.S. FISA does not trump this Constitutional power and when it has been tested in the courts, the executive has prevailed.

The Supreme Court also does not share your interpretation of the Constitution. It plainly has not been decided at this time whether this comes under the president’s powers.

The President, in short, cannot have broken the law because the law is not established. It is part of the give and take between the branches of our government.

So we have a policy, not a legal, dispute and not much of one at that. Congress, the President and the Courts need to sort this out so that we protect both our safety and our liberties.

Posted by: Jack at January 3, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #109935

It is unclear whether the president broke any laws. In fact the only person who clearly broke any laws is the one who leaked to the NYT.

The Congress’s Use of Force resolution clearly authorized the president to use his constitutional powers during wartime to protect against attacks by al Qaeda and similar terrorist organizations. During times of war, every president has felt it prudent to intercept communications between foreign enemies and potential agents in the U.S. FISA does not trump this Constitutional power and when it has been tested in the courts, the executive has prevailed.

The Supreme Court also does not share your interpretation of the Constitution. It plainly has not been decided at this time whether this comes under the president’s powers.

The President, in short, cannot have broken the law because the law is not established. It is part of the give and take between the branches of our government.

So we have a policy, not a legal, dispute and not much of one at that. Congress, the President and the Courts need to sort this out so that we protect both our safety and our liberties.

Posted by: Jack at January 3, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #110070
One thing is certain and that is by doing nothing, we would have definitely had a less safe future.

Jay, the future is in NO way certain. Never was.
That’s just your opinion here, not a fact.

One could think that America will again use her nukes in near future against civilians and that something should be done to block it. After all, that’s the only country on this little planet that had already done it (two times!) before…
But that fear is just one’s opinion, not a fact. Let’s hope it will never be one.

That’s the real issue behind this pre-emptive doctrine: everything is possible in the future. So every pre-emptive action become legal by this doctrine. Should one nuke US before US nuke some country/ies? Because, well, you know, it’s a possible future threat…

Past is time of knowledge;
Present is time of action;
Future is time of hope (and fear).

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at January 4, 2006 6:25 AM
Comment #110198

Liberal moonbats hasten their own demise!!!!! Incredible!!!

>


The real reason the West is in danger of extinction.

BY MARK STEYN
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110007760


“Patriotism is stupid!”……Cindy Sheehan

Posted by: Lug at January 4, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #110266

I have posted this argument before, but I will do it one more time.

In Youngstown vs. Sawyer (1952) the Surpreme Court ruled that a President did not have the authority to violate the law…. Even as a Commander-in-Chief during a time of war (Korean).

The issue is not about the steel mills… it is about the powers of the President and the court ruled against the President.

I am including a link that shows some of the parallels between the Truman and Bush actions.

http://www.constitutioncenter.org/education/TeachingwithCurrentEvents/ConstitutionNewswire/15529.shtml

You may disagree with political shading of the author, but I do see this case law coming up more in the future.

If nothing else, it will sure impress people if you can say,”Well, in 1952, the Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown v. Sawyer that…”

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 4, 2006 8:39 PM
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