Killing the Patriot Act

Patriot Act by the Numbers has some interesting facts. Like any type of enforcement, you can get an idea of the crooks you catch, but you don’t know how many were deterred. It is a greater number, some multiple. I will stipulate that the number of innocent people oppressed by the act would also be greater than the number on record, but I don’t recall any serious abuses of innocent people. Nothing times nothing is still nothing.

It never hurts to fine tune a law, but the Democrats’ boast of killing the Patriot Act will come back to haunt them. The Act has generally been a success. It’s abuses are theoretical while its successes are concrete. We should mend it, but not end it.

And we should recall the words of the Democrats. They like to forget. You know that they voted for it before they voted against it. Keep the video on file. Statements like this should have consequences. Karl Rove gets a lot of heat for talking about a pre-9/11 mentality. If you want to see it, just play it again.

We need to defend our civil liberties, but we should not sacrifice our real rights for theoretical privacy. You have to be alive to enjoy your rights. There is no absolute standard to defend. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness are all worthy goals.

As the President says, if Al Qaeda is talking to someone in America, I want to know. No reasonable reading of the Constitution would disallow this. I recognize some legitimate disagreement on this issue and it may have to go to the courts, where our side will win.

Posted by Jack at February 1, 2006 10:54 PM
Comments
Comment #119349

Jack:

I have very mixed feelings about the patriot act. Do you have any more info on this:

I will stipulate that the number of innocent people oppressed by the act would be greater than the number on record, but I don�€™t recall any serious abuses of innocent people.

With so many people having been held so long at Guantanamo, and then never charged, there is much that worries me, but I admit to not knowing enough about it.

Any non-partison sites?

Any idea why the republicans are so against mending it?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 1, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #119360

Jack:

Why do you need to renew the Patriot Act when President Bush already claims he can act UNILATERALLY in the War on Terror? The Patriot Act is not needed since by your Leader’s own words he can already do whatever he wants!!!

Posted by: Aldous at February 1, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #119372

Jack, Democrats not only originally VOTED for the same Patriot Act that they now brag about killing, they voted to extend it for six more weeks after they said they’d already killed it.

This is pathetic.

It’s yet another example of the Democrats’ craven and completely cosmetic pandering to their far left-base while lacking the guts to actually match their votes to their rhetoric.

Posted by: sanger at February 1, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #119376

BUSH CAN INTERCEPT PHONE CALLS ALREADY UNDER EXISTING LAW. WITH THE PATRIOT ACT HE MERELY REMOVES THE REQUIREMENT THAT HE SPECIFY WHAT HE DID UP TO THREE DAYS LATER IN THE COURTS. THE ONLY REASON TO NOT DO THIS IS IF YOU DON’T WANT TO CREATE A PAPER TRAIL.

Apologize for the all caps, but come on, it’s been said in lots of other threads. Also, the mischaracterization of the current situation has got to stop. Bush can listen in on these calls now. It’s just that if he wants to take legal action he must get a warrant after the fact.

When Bush implies he can’t eavesdrop on these calls now, he’s saying that to basically hoodwink middle America into voting for this Patriot Act, which exists only to cover his actions.

Posted by: Jack at February 2, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #119383

I don’t see any need for the Patriot Act. The Government doesn’t need a law or warrants to spy on aliens as the don’t have the Constitutional Rights that citizens have.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 2, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #119388

Jack,

Can’t you find a non-partisan, unbiased link supporting the patriot act? Let’s not forget that an independent investigation found that over 90% of the prisoners interred in the infamous Guantamo bay are most likely innocent of all charges.

Aren’t a lot fo those “facts” reaching a bit? I mean, we were stopping the Ku Klux Klan from bombing abortion clinics before the Patriot act, and although it is terrorism, it is not the kind of foriegn attack the Patriot act was designed to prevent. Many of the other examples would have been stopped with or without the Patriot act.

Posted by: Max at February 2, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #119393

You know something? The very fact that I write on this site prevents terrorism. My words have magic mojo, which goes out and removes evil thoughts from the heads of terrorists. What, you don’t believe me? Well, we haven’t been attacked for five years, so it must be working!

Seriously, though, this is the logic by which we are supposed to praise the PATRIOT act. I think Richard Clarke said it right when he said that when you got people who just got attacked by terrorists worried about how far you’re going, then you have trouble.

Nobody, Left or Right, really read this doorstop/improvised lethal bludgeon of a bill. It was voted on and passed in the dead of the night in the midst of the post 9/11 panic. To talk about supporting this bill as a well considered piece of legislation is laughable.

We needed a real piece of legislation here, whose aim combines the two important goals of security and liberty. We need an act of congress that doesn’t need to call itself PATRIOT to sound good.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #119398

They need to remove the unconstitutional provisions within the Patriot Act. Then they need to have real bi-partisan Congressional debates on all the many issues concerning National Security. When they’re done drafting new legislation, they should re-name it, and then take a vote on it.

Sanger:
“Democrats not only originally VOTED for the same Patriot Act that they now brag about killing, they voted to extend it for six more weeks after they said they’d already killed it.”

Like I said to you in the blue column a few minutes ago, Democrats and Republicans voted on the Patriot Act without ever even reading it. And no, the fact that it was rushed to a vote immediately following 9/11 is not an excuse. Every single one of them should be ashamed of themselves, all except for Russ Feingold who did read it and who voted against it.
America needs GOOD legislation for matters of national security, but we don’t need the shoddy, unconstitutional kind.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 2, 2006 1:06 AM
Comment #119399

Darn, I was writing my post to sanger, got called away by my dog Ripley(to throw his toy for the gazillionth time in my life), meanwhile Stephen posts something that’s almost exactly like what I’d written and posts it. If I’d looked, I wouldn’t even have bothered to put mine up. :^/

Posted by: Adrienne at February 2, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #119408

Jack, this article is crap. You’re taking a snippet of Reid’s statement completely out of context to create a partisan bullshit attack ad.

Later in the day, [Reid] gave a speech on the Senate floor explaining that Democrats don’t want to kill the Patriot Act outright, but want to guarantee more safeguards.

Press Release:

“This Friday, a small number of provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are due to expire. Congress is already working to make sure that doesn’t happen. Work is underway on another 6-week extension, and Senate Democrats stand ready to provide law enforcement with all necessary tools to keep Americans safe from terrorism.” “Democrats supported the original Patriot Act that passed in 2001, we supported the reauthorization bill that passed the Senate unanimously last summer, and we support reauthorization of the Patriot Act now with modest improvements. We must give government the tools it needs to fight the terrorists, but the checks we need to stop it from abusing its powers” “Democrats are committed to protecting Americans from terrorism. We do not want the Patriot Act to expire, and there is no reason that it should.”

Democrats don’t want to kill the Patriot Act. In fact, Democrats by themselves CAN’T kill the Patriot Act. It took a lot of help from our Republican allies to finally sit down and debate it.

We want to “mend it, not end it,” to quote you and President Clinton. Your perpetuation of this piece of crap attack is just the kind of thing President Bush just pledged to end.

Shame on you.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #119413

American Pundit:

Come, come. You know President Bush was only lying about stopping Jack’s Crap Attack? Jack knows this so he has nothing to be ashamed of in Crap Attacking. Its like the pledge to reduce Oil Dependence and Reforming Lobbying. Bush needs America dependent on Oil and the Lobbyists. Bush needs Jack to make crap attacks. Its the only way they can win!!!

I mean… what are the Republicans gonna do? Run on a Competence and Ethical Government Platform?

The Crap Attacks are all they have left.

Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #119415

Killing the Patriot Act gets Bush and the Homeland Security department out of responsibility for any terrorist attacts on US soil.

People forget thye Patriot Act was a result of recomendations of the 911 commision. The 911 commision was set up to frame Bush for 911 and found the Clinton years as guilty for lax security and restrictive investigations due to civil rights.

Posted by: Reporter for Doody at February 2, 2006 2:06 AM
Comment #119418

Actually, none of the recommendations of the 911 Commission was implemented. That’s why the 911 Commission gave Bush all “F”s six months ago. The Patriot Act was passed BEFORE the 911 Commission even existed.

Sheesh… Republican Spin is getting desperate now.

Note to All: Kindly use Google before believing any claims from the Right.

Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 2:13 AM
Comment #119419

RFD-
Unless you have a flux capacitor handy, I doubt you could have seen the 9/11 commission’s finding come before the PATRIOT Act.

As for everything else? Political Butt Covering for the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 2:15 AM
Comment #119432

If Jack has the honesty and integrity I believe he does, he’ll take down this post.

The Democratic Party believes most provisions in the Patriot Act are necessary in our war on terrorism, and Jack knows that damned well.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 3:13 AM
Comment #119433
People forget thye Patriot Act was a result of recomendations of the 911 commision.

That’s because it’s not, Doody. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re thinking of intelligence reform.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 3:14 AM
Comment #119498

Jack,

If the Republicans want to extend the Patriot Act for 6 months, or a year, or 5 years, I’ll support it. But I don’t support making it permanent. It’s something we need to look at and reconsider every so often.

Why? Because it sets a precedent that opens the door for a slow eroding of rights. As soon as it becomes permanent law, the American people start to accept it as the new standard, and the next law can then push just a little bit further.

Don’t believe in the power of precedent? Look at the Shiavo case. Both parties jumped on it at a Federal level, when it should never have left the State. Why? Because of the precedent it could set in eventually overturning Roe v. Wade. To the politicians, the precedent was more important than the woman herself.

The Patriot Act sets a new standard for federal power — one that could easily be abused by a corrupt administration. That might not be this administration, but it could very easily be the next, or the one after that. If we want to remain free, we must be vigilant about the slow erosion of our rights.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #119502

Ok this is off topic, but I have to ask, to those on the left, I have tried to understand your position, but am unable to really decipher it.
So what is it you guys, gals, and other, want for this country?
I only hear the peace at any price guys speaking, and I know it is an old cliché but most of what I get from you is just communism in its nature, or socialist, I just really do not understand what you really want? I do not understand your fundamentals, I know you do not understand mine, you will claim that I am a (insert diatribe here) zealot for the right. I will be glad to expand on my position, but I already know we will not agree, but I really want to understand this venomous hatred of the right.

I am looking forward to the Revolution when all try and come for me.


Sean

Posted by: Sean at February 2, 2006 8:49 AM
Comment #119510
I just really do not understand what you really want? I do not understand your fundamentals

Sean, I know you’re confused because they don’t give you that information on FOX News. In fact, they tell you lies about us. Kinda like what Jack did in this article. It’s really very simple:

  • Real Security
  • Energy Independence 2020
  • It’s Time to Clean Up Washington
  • Strong Economy
  • Health Care

  • Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 9:00 AM
    Comment #119515

    Sean,

    So what is it you guys, gals, and other, want for this country?

    As an independent, I don’t speak for the “left”, but from what I’ve seen, they want the same things for this country as the “right” does — the two sides just disagree on how to get there. Look at AP’s list of 5 things the Democrats want, for example. Are the Republicans against any of them? Based on the State of the Union address, I would say no. But they disagree on HOW to reach these goals. For example:

    REAL SECURITY
    - The Republicans want to secure our country by actively promoting democracy in the world, at the point of a sword if necessary.
    - The Democrats want to secure our country by better patrolling our borders, stopping illegal immigration, and strengthening international ties.

    Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 9:21 AM
    Comment #119516

    Good post


    • Real Security
    I completely agree, I say militarize the borders and lock it down.

    • Energy Independence 2020
    Yes, but are you willing to drill for our oil? I have family in the oil rig construction industry, and they say we have plenty of it, but not the refining capacity and no one on the left seems to want any more built.

    • It’s Time to Clean Up Washington
    Totally agree, term limits on all positions, no pork for anybody the Federal government needs to go back to its original size.

    • Strong Economy
    Yes, but are you for a free economy? Or do you support government control?

    • Health Care
    This is where we differ; this is not the purview of government, or your employer. This is your own responsibility.

    Posted by: Sean at February 2, 2006 9:23 AM
    Comment #119522

    Sean-
    If you want to understand how we think, you’re closer to that goal than you think you are. The big myth here is that Republicans in modern America are really all that different than Democrats.

    The idea of Democrats as traitors is a self-serving notion for the Republicans. It allows them to feel that they are the only real Americans, the only ones carrying forward America’s true spirit.

    It has cost the Republicans dearly. When the choice is between the unpleasant and the abominable, one can get use to tolerating bad behavior. Therein lies the problem.

    The culture war mentality has made it to where Republican fear to clean house, as that, in their minds, could present vulnerabilities that folks like me could take advantage of. What Republicans fail to see is that as the atrocious behavior piles up, the Republican tolerance for it becomes the very vulnerability they are seeking to prevent: a reason for those who aren’t as ideologically committed to do the housecleaning that the Republicans have neglected.

    FOXnews and its contemporaries have become the enablers of this, allowing committed party members to believe that nothing is really going wrong, an attitude that makes it very easy for things to go wrong and continue to do so until it becomes impossible to apply a simple fix.

    That makes the Republican political strategy an eventual recipe for collapse. The Democrats, I honestly must say, are not taking as full advantage of this vulnerability as I would like. Sooner or later, though, one of two things will happen: You guys will admit you don’t necessarily know any better than us, and the political rancor will settle down, or somebody, Democrat or otherwise, will offer an agenda that will inspire mass defection of voters in their direction, much like the Republicans offered in 1994.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 9:30 AM
    Comment #119525

    Question:

    Why would we use our constitution to defend an enemy that wants to destroy our constitution (and way of life)?!

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 9:36 AM
    Comment #119528
    Energy Independence 2020 — Yes, but are you willing to drill for our oil?

    Why does it have to be oil? The President just said we need to get off our addiction to oil. He mentioned solar, wind, nuclear and ethanol. Sounded good to me.

    It’s Time to Clean Up Washington — …the Federal government needs to go back to its original size.

    President Clinton’s “Reinventing Government” program got rid of hundreds of thousands of government bureaucracy jobs and shrank the federal government back to to the size it was when Eisenhower was President.

    Democrats don’t want more government, they want more effective government. President Bush and the Republican Congress have since added all those bureaucratic jobs back.

    Strong Economy — Yes, but are you for a free economy? Or do you support government control?

    Neither side wants a totally free economy in the sense you’re talking about it. The debate is over the amount of control and where the controls are applied. Democrats would like to see less subsidies for large industries and more competition.

    Health Care — This is where we differ; this is not the purview of government, or your employer. This is your own responsibility.

    Then we don’t differ at all. Democrats want to make health care affordable so every individual can have their own portable health insurance and take the burden off of business.

    From the page I linked to before:

    If we want our companies to be ready to compete in the world economy, we have to hold down health care costs. Today, Starbucks spends more on health care than on coffee. GM spends more on health care than on steel. We can’t ask our companies to go head-to-head with foreign competitors with this burden on their backs.
    Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 9:38 AM
    Comment #119534
    Why would we use our constitution to defend an enemy that wants to destroy our constitution (and way of life)?!

    rah, if we subvert our Constitution to create a totalitarian state that keeps us safe, that destroys our way of life. Why do you want to destroy our American way of life?

    Freedom isn’t free. I’ll take my chances with the terrorists and keep my liberty, thank you very much.

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 9:44 AM
    Comment #119536

    AP,

    So, how many 9/11’s will it take for you to change your stance?

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 9:49 AM
    Comment #119541

    “FOXnews and its contemporaries have become the enablers of this, allowing committed party members to believe that nothing is really going wrong, an attitude that makes it very easy for things to go wrong and continue to do so until it becomes impossible to apply a simple fix.’

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 09:30 AM

    Do you actually watch FOX or is this just another talking point?
    FOX has plenty of Democratic mouthpieces on to counter the Republicans.
    The problem is… Whenever a Dem mouthpiece speaks, the first words out of their mouths are ‘Bush Sucks.’ or ‘The Republicans are liars.’

    They are asked, ‘What is the Democratic solution?’ The response is ‘Anything but what the Republicans are doing.’

    I haven’t heard any better solutions on the other networks either. Yes. I do watch them. HardBall, The Situation Room, …

    It would help if answers given did not start with some sort of a bash towards the right.
    It tends to tune people out.


    Posted by: bugcrazy at February 2, 2006 9:53 AM
    Comment #119543

    How many have there been with our current Constitution?

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 9:54 AM
    Comment #119545

    rahdigly,

    Why would we use our constitution to defend an enemy that wants to destroy our constitution (and way of life)?!

    I think most of us are using our Constitution to defend OURSELVES and OUR way of life. Where you and I differ, though, is in seeing the link between my rights and my enemy’s. I disagree with the actions of Timothy McVey, for example, but I support his right to a fair trial, because in doing so I support MY right to a fair trial.

    In the case of wiretapping, I fully support Bush listening in on terrorists. I just want him (and everyone who comes after him) to prove that they’re ONLY listening in on terrorists, and aren’t using that power to listen in on political opponents, civil rights activists, economic rivals, etc.

    This isn’t about the rights of the enemy. This is, and always has been, about MY rights.

    Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 9:57 AM
    Comment #119546
    They are asked, ‘What is the Democratic solution?’ The response is ‘Anything but what the Republicans are doing.’

    Perhaps you can provide an example, bugcrazy. I’ve never heard anything like that, even on FOX.

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 9:58 AM
    Comment #119547

    Sean-
    On borders, I think you should consider the logistics of locking down a border that runs for thousands of miles. Don’t get me wrong, I favor vigilance. But I think it will be far better to practice vigilance among the labor force,and within the various jurisdictions, to eliminate the advantage that those people gain by circumventing the market.

    On energy independence, the fact is that there is more oil out there, but less and less of it is sweet (low sulfur), easy to access, and economical to gather. We have learned a hard lesson with the SUV/Hybrid situation in Detroit: those who are behind the curve pay for their shortsightedness. If you want a commercially lucrative solution to the problem of energy independence, act now, and let us be ahead of the competition next time.

    On cleaning up Washington, I think it’s more a matter of cleaning up ourselves. We should expect better and ask more of our politicians. Term limits or no, if we don’t ask the best of our leaders, they will feel no need to give it. As long as we allow our politicians to buy us off with tax cuts and local projects, as long as we simply repeat the propaganda of special interests rather than make up our own minds, we will be in this pickle.

    On Government and the economy- A game without rules is no game at all. What most Democrats want isn’t control of the market, but a market where the risks are where they’re supposed to be. We should be able to trust the numbers we get on Wall Street, and not have to wonder how much the company cooked the books, or whether our stockbrokers are more loyal to the corporate finance division or themselves, rather than the health of our portfolios. Just like a moderate system of rules keeps Baseball, Football, and other games rewarding, so does a moderate system of rules keep the economic games we play beneficial for the country.

    Healthcare it an example. Costs have been artificially inflated, doctors have been hemmed in by corporate dictates of what they can and cannot diagnose. Insurance companies are charging exorbinant rates. All this is making it harder to stay healthy in this country. Unhealthy workers are not as productive as healthy ones. I have personal experience in this. Fact is, we’re riding our workforce into the ground. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. I would prefer a patient bill of rights, insurance reform, and HMO reform to government funded medicine.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 10:02 AM
    Comment #119549

    rahdigly,

    So, how many 9/11’s will it take for you to change your stance?

    Or, worded differently, how many times do the terrorists have to attack our freedoms before we give them up? And, for my answer, I’ll turn things over to my old friend, Patrick Henry, who said:

    “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

    Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 10:07 AM
    Comment #119551

    I believe I have heard Bob Beckel(sp) say it, or something similar, several times.
    Of course I don’t consider him a very good spokesman for the Dem. Party. He is there mostly to keep people fired up.

    What was that show on CNN? Novak and …
    The bald guy, married to the republican, said things like that a lot. Man. I can’t believe I spaced his name… probably because I think he is just a big mouth. I do try to listen when he spits, but it can be very difficult. Another who just throws more fuel on the fire.

    Of course there are those on the right who do the same thing, in reverse.

    Posted by: bugcrazy at February 2, 2006 10:12 AM
    Comment #119558

    So much for having Energy Independence:

    The Energy Department will begin laying off researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the next week or two because of cuts to its budget.

    A veteran researcher said the staff had been told that the cuts would be concentrated among researchers in wind and biomass, which includes ethanol. Those are two of the technologies that Mr. Bush cited on Tuesday night as holding the promise to replace part of the nation’s oil imports.


    Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 10:26 AM
    Comment #119559
    The bald guy, married to the republican, said things like that a lot.

    You’re thinking of James Carville. I don’t remember him saying anything like that either. In fact, I love his book, “Had Enough?” because he clearly and rationally articulates Democratic alternatives on the issues. You should read it.

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 10:28 AM
    Comment #119571

    AP,

    “How many [9/11’s] have there been with our current Constitution?”


    1 too many!!!

    Rob,
    “how many times do the terrorists have to attack our freedoms before we give them up? And, for my answer, I’ll turn things over to my old friend, Patrick Henry, who said:

    “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”“

    Bob, please, must we go through this again?! Enough with the Patrick Henry mantras; he was referring to war, something that most of the people that use his line aren’t even for.


    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 11:30 AM
    Comment #119573

    rahdigly,

    We can debate Patrick Henry’s intentions all you want, but it won’t change the fact that the quote describes my preference in the current situation perfectly.

    “How many [9/11’s] have there been with our current Constitution?”

    1 too many!!!

    So you’re saying that 200+ years of freedom wasn’t worth it because a few thousand people died in 2001?? I’ll have to disagree with you on that one.

    Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 11:36 AM
    Comment #119576

    Rob,
    “We can debate Patrick Henry’s intentions all you want, but it won’t change the fact that the quote describes my preference in the current situation perfectly.”

    Just look it up and see who (exactly) and what he was referring to; it wasn’t to our own gov’t, I’ll tell you that.


    “So you’re saying that 200+ years of freedom wasn’t worth it because a few thousand people died in 2001??”

    We haven’t lost our freedoms! The Patriot Act does not impede on OUR freedoms; just the terrorists. That’s what I was referring to when I said:

    “Why use our constitution to defend the rights and liberties of our enemies, when our enemies want to destroy our constitution and way of life?!!”.


    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 11:50 AM
    Comment #119581

    rahdigly,

    Just look it up and see who (exactly) and what he was referring to; it wasn’t to our own gov’t, I’ll tell you that.

    I don’t CARE who he was referring to. I am using it in reference to our government!

    We haven’t lost our freedoms! The Patriot Act does not impede on OUR freedoms; just the terrorists.

    And, like I said, I’m not worried about the terrorists’ freedoms; I’m worried about mine. But the precedent that the Patriot Act sets threatens MY freedoms. You seem to have missed (or ignored) my 09:57AM post today. I thought I explained that pretty well then.

    Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 12:00 PM
    Comment #119586
    President Clinton’s “Reinventing Government” program got rid of hundreds of thousands of government bureaucracy jobs and shrank the federal government back to to the size it was when Eisenhower was President.

    OH, Really?


    Question:

    Why would we use our constitution to defend an enemy that wants to destroy our constitution (and way of life)?!

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 09:36 AM

    That’s something I’d like to know too.

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 2, 2006 12:08 PM
    Comment #119587

    Therein lies the problem to the whole discussion: “Why use our constitution to defend the rights and liberties of our enemies, when our enemies want to destroy our constitution and way of life.” That is pure ideological right-wing propoganda designed to appeal to our nationalistic button.

    They don’t want to destroy our constitution and way of life at all!!! What they want us to do is change our foreign policy in regards to propping up puppet dictatorships that kowtow to our oil whims and needs. They want autonomy is their decision-making process.

    The US has, for many years, kept the Saudi royal family in power, and Saddam in place (until he stopped playng the game), and allowed them to accrue vast riches while the “regular” folks in those countries have lived like paupers.

    All they want is for the commodity oil to be market-based and priced, and the profits evenly distributed to the people…not to enrich the chosen few.

    This is nothing more than the Arab world’s version of the French Revolution or the US’s “revolt” againstthe robber-barons of the 1800’s.

    Change our foreign policy, and how we relate to the world, and their will be no need of Patriot Acts nor domestic spying.

    Posted by: DyedintheWoolDem at February 2, 2006 12:11 PM
    Comment #119588

    Rob,
    “And, like I said, I’m not worried about the terrorists’ freedoms; I’m worried about mine. But the precedent that the Patriot Act sets threatens MY freedoms. You seem to have missed (or ignored) my 09:57AM post today. I thought I explained that pretty well then.”


    I checked out your 9:57am post; it says nothing about which of your liberties were violated by the Patriot Act. Nothing! All I’ve been hearing is about the President wire tapping and some people (mostly libs and media) are making a stink about it. He was spying on Al Qaeda; so, until you prove he eavesdropped on US citizens, this will be about protecting terrorists rights.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 12:18 PM
    Comment #119593
    He was spying on Al Qaeda; so, until you prove he eavesdropped on US citizens, this will be about protecting terrorists rights.

    No, until you prove that he didn’t spy beyond Al Qaeda, this will be about the risk that he eavesdropped on you and me.

    If he had followed the law and allowed for judicial oversight, then you’d had your proof. However, Bush decided he didn’t want oversight. There’s no way to prove that he did or did not eavesdrop on you or me when he broke the law.

    That’s the problem.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 12:25 PM
    Comment #119601

    You’re saying that it doesn’t matter that Bush broke the law because we can’t prove that there’s harm. The problem with your logic is that law he broke was the one that ensured that he did no harm.

    The nice little Catch-22 you set up has nothing to do with the legal or moral consequences of Bush’s choices.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 12:29 PM
    Comment #119606

    rahdigly,

    He was spying on Al Qaeda; so, until you prove he eavesdropped on US citizens, this will be about protecting terrorists rights.

    When the president has the power to eavesdrop on people, doesn’t have to get a warrant from anyone, and the RECORDS ARE CLASSIFIED, there is absolutely no legal way to prove wrongdoing, or the absence thereof. It’s a recipe for disaster! The only thing the American people have to go on is the word of the President. There is absolutely no way (unless someone illegally releases classified information) to verify ANYTHING.

    How in the world can you be comfortable with this?? Even if you trust Bush, do you really like the idea that the next Democratic president will have that kind of power??

    Posted by: Rob Cottrell at February 2, 2006 12:33 PM
    Comment #119608

    Rahdigly-
    Just the terrorists? Well who decides who’s a terrorist and what’s terrorism? I heard about Justice Department officials teaching police and prosecutors how to stretch those definitions beyond the terrorists themselves. That’s how it starts.

    If the powerful can determine at will what is a crime and what is not, then we don’t have Democracy. The constitution lays out what is permitted and what is not. The Fourth Amendment is a important pillar of our freedoms, because on it rests the notion that unless you’re actually involved in something criminal or treacherous to our national security, the government will leave you and your property alone. This keeps our nation from being a kleptocracy, where the government can seize what it likes when it likes. It keeps it from being a police state, where the government can interfere as it pleases, and your freedoms are subjugated totally to the law. It keeps it from being a dictatorship, where one man’s will can mean life or death for any person he deems a threat or a nuisance. Under that roof of freedom, we build our separate lives, and find our own happiness.

    Once you start punching holes in that roof, the rain doesn’t magically miss you when it comes. The Terrorists may end up wet, but you’re all wet yourself. It is a devil’s bargain to trade your own freedom for the restraint of another.

    The constitution was laid out so that we could deprive those who broke the law of their freedoms without inflicting a similar, undeserved fate on the innocent. We should be as selective as the founding fathers are in how we seek justice. Enough innocent people suffer because of the terrorists, why grant them an additional victory by bringing suffering to more Americans on their account?

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 12:35 PM
    Comment #119609

    Dyedinthewomb dem,
    “That is pure ideological right-wing propoganda designed to appeal to our nationalistic button.”


    No, the islamofascists declaring war on us appeals to our nationalistic button!

    “They don’t want to destroy our constitution and way of life at all!!! What they want us to do is change our foreign policy in regards to propping up puppet dictatorships that kowtow to our oil whims and needs. They want autonomy is their decision-making process.”

    And you’re ok with them murdering Americans, Jews, other muslims and everyone else that don’t agree with their way of life?! Hmmmmm. You might want to think about that one, again.


    “The US has, for many years, kept the Saudi royal family in power, and Saddam in place (until he stopped playng the game), and allowed them to accrue vast riches while the “regular” folks in those countries have lived like paupers.”


    The terrorists want to murder the Saudi royal family and hoard that oil so they can destroy the World economy! Radical Islam has been waring for thousands of years, way before oil, so don’t try to pass that off here, pal.

    “All they want is for the commodity oil to be market-based and priced, and the profits evenly distributed to the people…not to enrich the chosen few.”


    No they don’t. They want their profits to go to them and their murdering, thug regimes that violate everyone that don’t go along with their fascist vision.


    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 12:37 PM
    Comment #119616

    rahdigly,

    Can you tell me who the largest contributors to OBL are?

    MEMBERS OF THE SAUDI ROYAL FAMILY!!!

    Posted by: DyedintheWoolDem at February 2, 2006 12:44 PM
    Comment #119620
    They don’t want to destroy our constitution and way of life at all!!! What they want us to do is change our foreign policy in regards to propping up puppet dictatorships that kowtow to our oil whims and needs. They want autonomy is their decision-making process.

    Bin Laden and his like threaten to destroy us and you say they don’t mean it. What flavor Kool Aid have you been drinking?

    Posted by: Ron Brown at February 2, 2006 12:51 PM
    Comment #119624

    Stephen,
    “I heard about Justice Department officials teaching police and prosecutors how to stretch those definitions beyond the terrorists themselves. That’s how it starts.”


    You heard?! Come on!! “just the facts, just the facts”

    “If the powerful can determine at will what is a crime and what is not, then we don’t have Democracy.”

    I concur. I want our law enforcement to have enough power to protect us; however, I do believe they ought to be watched, so that they don’t abuse the power. Now, with that said, I don’t believe the media and liberal think tanks ought to be the ones to watch law enforcement. I’ll still take the word of our president over the terrorists, anyday!


    “Enough innocent people suffer because of the terrorists, why grant them an additional victory by bringing suffering to more Americans on their account?”


    Exactly! That’s why we shouldn’t let the terrorists have rights and liberties that our fellow Americans and founding fathers fought so hard to establish. The Patriot Act allows us to “connect the dots” better, without violating the 4th, 5th & 6th Amendment.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 12:58 PM
    Comment #119623

    rahdigly,

    If it is a problem for the Jews, let Israel take care of the problem…they can, quite easily, without any help from us.

    If it is a problem for the other Arab nations, let them take care of it on their own…political uprisings occur all the time.

    The nomadic tribes of the Arab world have been at peace, relatively, for hundreds of years. Their uniting factor has been the Koran and the interpretation of its teachings.

    Warring started when Russia tried to control Afghanistan because it feared the spread of Muslim theology into the “Motherland.” To deny this is to deny history! Don’t forget, we propped OBL up with arms to defeat the Russians.

    “Destroy the world economy” my a**. The US has been the biggest contributor to under-priced oil for 40 years! We are there so we can keep cheap oil pumping into the US…nothing more! The problem is…China wants that oil and they are willing to pay our money for it.

    Posted by: DyedintheWoolDem at February 2, 2006 12:58 PM
    Comment #119626
    I want our law enforcement to have enough power to protect us; however, I do believe they ought to be watched, so that they don’t abuse the power. Now, with that said, I don’t believe the media and liberal think tanks ought to be the ones to watch law enforcement.

    Which is all completely irrelevant to the fact of what Bush did. He didn’t take the media or liberal think tanks out of the oversight; he took the judiciary. He met the letter of the law in notifying congressional leaders, but he violated the spirit of the law and prevented oversight by prohibiting them from doing anything about it.

    however, I do believe they ought to be watched, so that they don’t abuse the power.

    Then you have to be upset with Bush because he prevented this.

    I’ll still take the word of our president over the terrorists, anyday!

    Again, this has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 1:04 PM
    Comment #119627

    Rahdigly-
    The concept of Islamofascism is there to provide a license for Iraq to be part of the war on terror. Otherwise we would need to admit that there are very real separations between these different groups along lines of political philosophy, sectarianism, and secularism.

    Bunching them altogether ignores the complexities of the situation, which is a bad idea when you’re trying to get under the hood, if you will. You don’t want to confuse the crankshafts with with the pistons, the radiator with the power steering. Different groups are doing the different things that bring about the condition of the Middle East. If we get vague about this, we’re acting blindly, with the result that we could screw things up worse, or at least fail to anticipate the risks of what we do.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 1:05 PM
    Comment #119639

    rahdigly and Ron Brown,

    Ron, I have not been drinking any flavored Kool Aid..and I’m not having flashbacks from those days in the 60’s and 70’s.

    I would urge everyone on these posts to take the time to read these two books in this order:

    1) Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam and the Future of America, then
    2) Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror.

    Both are written by the same man…a 20+ year CIA analyst who specialized in Middle Eastern intelligence analysis. The first book is virtually everything that OBL has said, written, done and practiced…and the author’s analysis (and what he reported to his superiors) about OBL. Book 2 is the follow-up that looks at our government’s reactions and response to that analysis.

    I would much rather trust/dissect/pay attention to a knowledgeable analysis of the situation than listen to the blather of FAUX News and the O”Reilly Spin Zone.

    And drink a glass of Lemon-Lime Kool Aid while I read it!

    Posted by: DyedintheWoolDem at February 2, 2006 1:25 PM
    Comment #119641

    Lawnboy,
    “He met the letter of the law in notifying congressional leaders, but he violated the spirit of the law and prevented oversight by prohibiting them from doing anything about it.”

    The “spirit” of the law?? Were all the other Presidents, that used this same power, “spritless”?! The fact is, the President did his job and kept us safe. He should never have to let the enemy know what he’s doing; if that scares some Americans then so be it, at least it doesn’t murder them, like the terrorists want to do.


    Stephen,
    “The concept of Islamofascism is there to provide a license for Iraq to be part of the war on terror. Otherwise we would need to admit that there are very real separations between these different groups along lines of political philosophy, sectarianism, and secularism.”


    We don’t need to admit anything. The radical islamist want their way of life enforced on the world; everyone else, including fellow muslims, that don’t agree with them are “INFIDELS”. Period.


    “If we get vague about this, we’re acting blindly, with the result that we could screw things up worse, or at least fail to anticipate the risks of what we do.”


    It’s not about being “vague”; it’s about people dropping this PC crap and calling a “spade a spade”, these radical muslims are a bunch of fascist pigs and they will be stopped.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 1:31 PM
    Comment #119642

    I’m always so happy whenever Lawnboy shows up — he always gets right to his points, and knows how to cut perfectly through all the rightwing BS!

    Posted by: Adrienne at February 2, 2006 1:32 PM
    Comment #119645

    Jack,

    Most of the Patriot Act is already permanent law. The provisions being voted on now are the most controversial of the law that are set to expire. Democrats voted for these provisions just after 9/11, a very volatile time, with the understanding that they would be temporary and expire.

    There is no “I voted for it, before I voted against it.” That is just Republicans twisting the situation to suit them. Dems voted for temporary provisions, following the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, that would expire. Big difference. The provisions that are being debated now should expire and be killed. The major parts of the law that deal with interagency information sharing are already in place permanently.

    Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 2, 2006 1:35 PM
    Comment #119649
    The “spirit” of the law??

    Yes. It’s a common phrase. Is it new to you?

    Were all the other Presidents, that used this same power, “spritless”?!

    Well, since no other Presidents had ever broken this particular law before, the premise of your question is invalid.

    The fact is, the President did his job and kept us safe.

    That’s not a fact. His job is not to break the law. Further, there’s no evidence that we are more safe because of his lawbreaking than we would have been otherwise. Many speculate that his actions will have a detrimental effect to our efforts to fight terrorism, because previous convictions might be thrown out due to the illegal means of gathering evidence.

    He should never have to let the enemy know what he’s doing

    Within the context of the law, you’re right. That’s not what we’re talking about.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 1:45 PM
    Comment #119652

    All politics aside, the American people, including the President, better start to understand that Islam is the greated threat to the WORLD, of all time. Period. It is not a noble faith and it is not a peaceful religion. Never was, never will be. I heard an Arab man on the radio who was Muslim, and has since converted to Christianity say that the Muslim way is to assimilate, infiltrate and annialate any and all traces anything beside Islam. Look to Africa and Europe if you want proof. Piggy banks are forbidden in London banks because they are offensive…..shows you how reasonable Islam is. Better wake up!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: G A's girl at February 2, 2006 1:48 PM
    Comment #119654
    He should never have to let the enemy know what he’s doing

    If you see telling a secret high-ranking court as the same thing as telling the enemy, then you have bigger problems than Watchblog will be able to solve.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 1:51 PM
    Comment #119658

    Adrienne,

    Love your comments, too :)

    Thanks

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 1:55 PM
    Comment #119659

    I see the postings about the President and the statements he has made and how some are against and some are for. But lets talk about what the Patriot Act really does for the intelegence community. The main thing it allows is for the Army/Navy intelegence to talk to the NSA/FBI/CIA and etc. Without this act we will be right back where we were prior to 911 and ripe for another attack. Then when it happens people will be saying Bush did nothing to protect the country.
    As for as the people at GITMO, they are not POWs they are enemy combatants. That means they are not part of a countrys army, and they don’t meet the criteria of the Geniva Convention for POWs.
    They are being treated with repect concerning religous rights, special foods (twice as much money is spent on thier food than our military man for man) and if we turn them loose they will go out and do what they have vowed to do KILL ANY AMERICAN THEY CAN FIND!
    So I say keep up the fight and don’t back down. Take the fight to them don’t ever let them come to America and bring the fight to us again (remember 911?).

    Ron

    Posted by: Ron at February 2, 2006 1:56 PM
    Comment #119662
    Jack wrote: We need to defend our civil liberties, but we should not sacrifice our real rights for theoretical privacy. You have to be alive to enjoy your rights.

    Can’t argue with that very much.

    That’s not the real problem though.

    That’s just clever way to shift blame and responsibility, and distract voters from the obvious failure and incompetence of the federal government.

    Five years after 11-Sep-2001, 3,000 people murdered, Bush violates his oath of office, because he has not, and will not secure the borders. He’s a hypocrite. He won,t enforce immigration laws. He won,t pursue employers of illegal aliens. He won,t deport illegal aliens. He is clueless to the crime, drugs, school chaos, diseases and lawlessness facing all of us in every state in the Union. He insults Americans by telling them that Mexicans do the jobs that Americans won,t do. He is doing nothing more than inviting working slaves, into our country.

    So, what good is the Patriot Act if you don’t even do the most basic things first to secure the borders. Afterall, isn’t the supposed to be the primary function of government. Well, it used to be. I guess not anymore.

    Parts of the Patriot Act are really an excuse for not having done the job correctly. Incumbents and the Executive branch alike. The corruption is too rampant to really accomplish anything anymore.

    Our congress has voted time and time again to allow illegal aliens to come here illegally, burden our schools, hospitals, law enforcement, border patrol, health care, welfare, and insurance systems, and bring disease and crime with them. Some even vote in our elections using fake identification. And, they drive around without insurance.
    _______________________________________
    [] On 13-Nov-2005, Brian Jackson, a Dallas policeman was shot and killed by an illegal alien, Juan Lizcano. Lizcano had become drunk and went to the home of his ex-girfriend to threaten her. As the police pursued Lizcano after he fled the woman’s home, he shot Officer Jackson, who died later in the hospital. Officer Jackson was remembered by his fellow police as someone who loved his job and always went the extra mile.
    [] Then, there is Jorge Hernandez, aka Jorge Soto, who killed Min Soon Chang, an 18-year-old college freshman, in a terrible head-on wreck while Hernandez was driving drunk. He had been arrested 3 previous times for drunk driving in 3 other states, and he had been deported to Mexico 17 times! Don’t you wonder why illegal aliens aren’t deported instantly after being arrested for drunk driving?
    [] Debbie Thomas, who was the mother of three, was killed in a head-on collision on Christmas Eve 2003 when her car was struck by a car being driven in the wrong direction by illegal alien, Narciso Garcia-Jimenez. He later escaped from his hospital bed and is still at large. The car he drove had no inspection sticker and was registered to another person. When Debbie’s mom learned that her daughter’s killer survived and escaped after being treated at the hospital, she said she felt “angry, bitter and sad, all at once.”
    [] In Atlanta, Georgia: Mexican Miguel Carrasco raped a female victim in front of her four year old child and two minors; California Mexican Zacarias Camacho committed lewd acts upon a child under 14; El Salvadoran Oswaldo Martinez raped, sodomized and murdered a 16 year old; MS-13 gang member Reinaldo Ramos convicted of 2nd degree sexual offense for brutal gang rape of 16 year old girl.
    [] Jose Ramirez is every American father’s nightmare. The illegal alien beat up a 15-year-old girl after whistling at her. He broke her nose, fractured a bone in her face and produced cuts requring 30 stitches. The man worked in construction in Spotsylvania, Virginia, where the attack occurred, and resisted arrest to the point where police had to taser him.
    [] Jose Raul Pena, earlier deported for cocaine possession, used his little daughter as a human shield in an hours-long Los Angeles shootout with police on July 10. Pena and Suzie were both killed. During the incident, Pena used a 9-millimeter Beretta pistol which had been stolen last year in a burglary in Oregon. His office at the car dealership contained a bag of cocaine and a half-drunk bottle of Tequila — consistent with the illegal Pena’s previous deportation for cocaine possession. Videotape captured images of Pena shooting at the police while holding his daughter, yet his relatives are questioning not only whether he used his daughter as a shield, but whether he was even armed at all, according to the Los Angeles Times.
    [] Esmerelda Nava, age 4, was recently strangled, molested and killed by an illegal alien who had been deported in 2003. The accused killer is Cornelio Rivera Zamites, who had been residing in Gainsville, Georgia. Esmerelda went with her parents to visit the 24-year-old Zamites. At some point late Saturday night, the child’s mother realized the girl was missing. A police officer found her body early the next morning in nearby woods. An article of Zamites clothing was close by and he was gone. Zamites had been deported for driving under the influence, as well as having no license or insurance. At least his illegal status was duly noted.
    [] The nation’s highways have become far more dangerous since they have been turned into smuggling thruways for criminals. Nineteen-year-old Travis Smith of Mesa, Arizona, was killed in 2002 by a carload of illegal aliens being smuggled to Pennsylvania. The accident occurred near Monticello in southeastern Utah, as the car driven by illegal alien smuggler Isidro Aranda-Flores plowed head-on into Smith’s 1966 Mustang. The smuggler apparently fell asleep at the wheel.
    _______________________________________

    So, it is really difficult to take Bush or any incumbents in government serious about security, when they don’t even do the most basic things to make the nation secure. It’s simply laughable.

    Since government has grown so corrupt, the last thing we should do is give them more powers to abuse. We should first demand government do the basics first.

    The military could easily secure the borders with resources we already have.

    We could simply position a small percentage of troops along the borders where they could be more effective toward the goal of national security and defense.

    The U.S./Canada border (about 4500 miles) and the U.S./Mexico border (about 2000 miles) could both (about 6500 miles) be secured with 1300 posts (about 5 miles apart; denser in some areas than others), with 20 soldiers per post, which would only require 26000 soldiers (only 1% of the 2.6 million active military, guard, adn reserves), which is about 1 soldier per 1320 feet. What good is a massive armed forces (2.6 million active military, Guard, and Reserves) if we don’t even use a measley 1% of the troops to protect our nation’s borders?

    A biometrics IDentification system, patrols, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, remote cameras, radar, laser, sonar, thermal, seismic, and other sensors and technology could greatly enhance the ability to secure the borders also. And the Coast Guard could patrol the coast lines.

    See? It’s not as far fetched as some want you to believe it is.

    There’s no reason to have all the military at bases within the interior states, when a mere 1% could be stationed along the borders. And, there could be a rotation system too.

    This nation has many pressing problems, and there are many suitable, common-sense, no-brainer solutons for a lot of these problems, but government is so corrupt, FOR-SALE, bought-and-paid-for, and dysfunctional, it can’t accomplish anything, despite the $2.2 trillion cost per year to tax payers. They only care about trolling for big-money for their campaign war-chests, catering to their big-money-donors, and finding new opportunities for personal gain.

    Are we having fun yet?

    We can do a lot better.

    And, we’d better do it soon before it is too late.
    But, no reforms of any kind will occur until voters, first, vote out irresponsible incumbents, repeatedly, until some reforms are passed to show voters exactly what is going on, and who to hold accountable.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2006 2:04 PM
    Comment #119664

    Lawnboy,
    “[The “spirit” of the law?] Yes. It’s a common phrase. Is it new to you?”


    No, it’s not new to me, I just haven’t had anybody use it in the way you did. “Meeting the letter of the law” trumps the “spirit” of the law, anyday. You’re pretty much alone with that one, seeing as how the majority of Americans are ok with what the President did.

    “If you see telling a secret high-ranking court as the same thing as telling the enemy, then you have bigger problems than Watchblog will be able to solve.”

    It’s not the secret high-ranking court that outed him; it was the New York “TREASONOUS” Times!!! The rest of the media, and libs, have spun this story day and night (to no avail) and now Al Qaeda knows exactly what we’ve been doing to combat them; they prolly won’t call their terrorists cells anymore. Thanks libs, now you know why us Americans don’t trust you with National Security anymore.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 2:12 PM
    Comment #119670
    Question:

    Why would we use our constitution to defend an enemy that wants to destroy our constitution (and way of life)?!

    Now here’s a good question from a scholarly Republican! Way to Go Rahg! Those Democrats are just dangerous —aiding and abedding the terrorists. Bush should lock all the Democrats up at Guantanamo and use the constitution to give them all paper cuts before we execute them.

    Once we’re rid of those communist babykillers and homos we can get on to running America like it was meant— Just like a Church, the way Jesus wants it!

    Posted by: BushLover at February 2, 2006 2:19 PM
    Comment #119683
    You’re pretty much alone with that one, seeing as how the majority of Americans are ok with what the President did.

    Actually, it depends on how the question is asked. If it’s “Do you want the President to do everything he can to protect you?” - you win. If it’s “Do you think it’s ok for the President to break the law to spy on citizens?” - I win. When it’s a more fair question than either of those extremes, then it’s about 50-50.

    “Meeting the letter of the law” trumps the “spirit” of the law
    Usually, but not always. And since it’s the Congress that wrote the law and was prohibited from fulfilling it, then Congress might see it differently than you do.

    Of course, that would require a non-corrupt leadership in Congress. Oh well.

    Anyway, he broke both the letter and the spirit of the law requiring judicial oversight, so it doesn’t really matter.

    It’s not the secret high-ranking court that outed him; it was the New York “TREASONOUS” Times!!!

    So? What does it matter who printed the leak that the President was breaking the law and refusing to allow a secret high-ranking court to oversee law enforcement?

    If the President had simply followed the law and obtained the required warrants, then none of this would have been in the media.

    Disagreeing with the President does not make the NYTimes treasonous. In fact, living up to their responsibilities to be a check on abuse means that the NYTimes was doing exactly what they should have done.

    I’m so tired of dissent being labelled treason.

    The rest of the media, and libs, have spun this story day and night (to no avail) and now Al Qaeda knows exactly what we’ve been doing to combat them

    Do you honestly think that Al Qaeda was unaware that they might have been eavesdropped upon? What a ridiculous argument.

    Thanks libs, now you know why us Americans don’t trust you with National Security anymore.

    And you know why I won’t trust you personally with my civil liberties.

    Face it, the President didn’t want oversight for his activities, so he ignored laws that required oversight. In this thread you’ve blamed the media, the terrorist, liberals, the courts, and everyone else for Bush not following the law, but they aren’t the ones that made the choice for Bush. He broke the law. Maybe he did it for noble reasons, but that doesn’t matter.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 2:36 PM
    Comment #119710

    Trust the Bush administration not to abuse the PATRIOT act if you like,(that would be stupid) but it removes constitutional protections and grants powers not granted by the Constitution(something Congress has no authority to do). Bush already claims the powers of a king. Someone worse WILL come along someday.(probably in ‘08)

    Posted by: steve at February 2, 2006 3:25 PM
    Comment #119717

    Let’s just lay out those numbers, shall we?

    Total number of individuals who Islamic fanatics murdered in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America: 2,977

    Cash sum that Patriot Act Section 371 let Customs agents seize when terror-tied New Jersey imam Alaa al-Sadawi tried to smuggle funds into Egypt in his father’s airline luggage: $659,000.

    Pounds of heroin that three al-Qaeda- and Taliban-linked San Diego weapons dealers offered undercover FBI agents as partial payment for four Stinger anti-aircraft missiles until Patriot Act Sections 218 and 504 helped authorities unravel their conspiracy: 1,320.

    Total terror-related defendants captured with the help of Patriot Act provisions: 401.

    Number of U.S House members who supported the Patriot Act on October 24, 2001: 357, while 66 demurred.

    Total terror-related defendants who have pleaded guilty or been convicted with the aid of Patriot Act provisions: 212.

    Total feet the Brooklyn Bridge would have plunged into New York City’s East River had the Patriot Act not helped authorities stop Iyman Faris’ plan to sever the span’s cables with acetylene torches: 119.

    Tally of U.S. senators who backed the Patriot Act on October 25, 2001, including Massachusetts Democrats Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who voted for it before they filibustered against it: 98, with Wisconsin Democrat Russell Feingold as the sole dissenter.

    According to federal prosecutor Ken Wainstein’s January 3 comments after meeting with President Bush, number of U.S. attorneys who use “the Patriot Act tools each and every day in his or her efforts:” 93.

    As U.S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf notes, total years of prison time earned under the Patriot Act by Osama bin Laden’s self-proclaimed spiritual adviser, Mohammed al-Moayad, for trying to funnel $20 million to al Qaeda and Hamas: 75.

    Number of scholars, former Cabinet members, and other prominent Americans — including Democratic ex-CIA directors James Schlesinger and R. James Woolsey — who I joined in signing a January 25 open letter advocating the Patriot Act’s reauthorization: 68

    Years that David Wayne Hull, former Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, will spend behind bars after Patriot Act Section 201 helped convict him for plotting to blow up abortion clinics with hand grenades: 12.

    Number of northern Virginia Islamofascists jailed after the Patriot Act’s information-sharing provisions let spies and cops jointly determine that they had trained in Afghan and Pakistani terror camps between 1999 and 2001: Eight.

    Total al Qaeda associates in Lackawanna, New York who were jailed for seven to ten years after the Patriot Act finally let cops and intelligence officers sit in the same room to discuss each other’s investigations: Six.

    According to the Associated Press, number of tickets for American Airlines Flight 77 that Pentagon-bound 9/11 hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi purchased online, using William Patterson University’s library computers, that might have been detected were Patriot Act Section 215 in place: Two.

    Number of Portland Seven extremists who escaped the Patriot Act by being killed by Pakistani troops on October 3, 2003: One.

    Total number of individuals who Muslim terrorists have killed on American soil since adoption of the Patriot Act: Zero.

    My note: One day we should no longer require the Patriot Act, but anyone who sees that day coming soon is simply on a political kick and not recognizing the reality of our enemies.

    Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 2, 2006 3:42 PM
    Comment #119724
    Total number of individuals who Muslim terrorists have killed on American soil since adoption of the Patriot Act: Zero.

    Total number of individuals who Muslim terrorists have killed on American soil since the New York Yankees have won the World Series: Zero.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 3:54 PM
    Comment #119755

    DyedinthewoolDem,
    By their own words, the Islamists DO want to destroy our Constitution and way of life. They want to replace it with global Sharia based totalitarian theocracy, complete with the merciless brutality so common throughout the Arab world today.

    Posted by: sreve at February 2, 2006 4:58 PM
    Comment #119756

    Ken-
    Do us a favor and see whether those incidents could only have occurred under the new law. Some people assume that only under the PATRIOT Act could the FBI have searched Moussoaui’s computer, but in fact, such things were possible at the time, but the bureaucrats misinterpreted the law. I’m not saying the PATRIOT Act has done no good, I’m just saying that this kind of mindless support for is neither good counterterrorism, nor constitutionally sound.

    We need both. Nobody says the land of the free or The home of the brave. It’s and: both at once.

    Rahdigly-
    Don’t talk to me about political correctness when your people went in assuming that everybody would love Democracy in their hearts when you showed up. That’s about as politically correct as you can get: assuming the Iraqis are just Americans in disguise, waiting to be freed.

    Trust me, the last thing I want to do is entertain a pleasant illusion over a harsh reality. The Harsh reality is this: Most people in the Middle East do not know what to do with themselves in a fair election and a free speech society. Many of them are Islamists, some Shia, some Sunni. Many of them are subscribers to Baathism and Panarabism, and conspiracy theories about the Israelis. We’re dealing with divisions of language, divisions between ethnic groups and divisions between religions and attitudes toward modernism.

    We’re trying to wage a war on terrorism, and in any war, ignorance of the battlefield and the adversaries is a ticket to defeat. Know who you’re fighting, who your friends could be, whose interests you have to negotiate, and you stand a better chance of making positive change than if you approach this like they’re all the same, or as if one group is magically subduing the rest against their will. Such naivete will get people killed, and prolong conflicts we need to be resolving.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 5:04 PM
    Comment #119758

    Total number of ideas/solutions put forth by the Dems (other than “we hate bush”), 0.

    Posted by: pige at February 2, 2006 5:12 PM
    Comment #119760

    Total number of times the claim has been repeated that Democrats have no ideas: 73,229.

    Total number of times the claim has had any validity: Zero.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 5:20 PM
    Comment #119761

    Lawnboy,
    “Actually, it depends on how the question is asked. If it’s “Do you want the President to do everything he can to protect you?” - you win. If it’s “Do you think it’s ok for the President to break the law to spy on citizens?” - I win.”

    No, you lose. The first question is the correct one, the second question (the one you claim you “win” on) that’s incorrect; he didn’t break the law, he did the right thing. That’s why people agree with him. Your question is politically loaded (to the left).


    But, that’s a good point about asking the right question to get the answer you want. The other night, the MSM did their best to downplay the poll the 73% of Americans approved of the President’s speech, 23% did not.

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 5:22 PM
    Comment #119762

    If government is really worried about national security, then why don’t they secure the borders.

    Look at all the Americans being killed by illegal aliens.

    I don’t doubt the Patriot Act helped catch some bad guys, but what about illegal aliens killing Americans every day?

    Something is severely bass-ackwards here.

    The government could secure the borders with resources we already have.

    The military can and should secure the borders and coasts, because national security and defense is the basic purpose of the military. Securing our borders, the right of any sovereign nation, is not isolationism or xenophobia. It is simply national security and defense. The military could easily secure the borders with resources we already have. We could simply position a mere 1% of the total 2.6 million active military, guard, and reserves along the borders where they could be more effective toward the goal of national security and defense. The U.S./Canada border (about 4500 miles) and the U.S./Mexico border (about 2,000 miles) could both (about 6,500 miles) be secured with 1,300 posts (spaced about 5 miles apart; denser in some areas than others) with 20 soldiers per post, which would only require 26,000 soldiers (about 1 every 1320 feet).

    I don’t know about ya’ll , but there’s some severe misplaced priorities in the federal government. And, the events in the past decade prove it.

    Should we keep letting irresponsible incumbents ignore our pressing problems any longer ?

    How can anyone from any party defend the growing level of corruption in government ?

    pige,
    I voted for Bush once, and I have to tell you, he’s doing a crappy job of national defense. First of all, it’s not a problem caused by one party. They both did it. They’re both ridiculously irresponsible. The government is doing a crappy job as long as it ignores our near-wide-open borders, Americans being killed by illegal aliens, and insulting our intelligence by saying illegal aliens are just taking jobs we won’t do. What about the law ?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2006 5:31 PM
    Comment #119764

    Lawnboy,
    “Total number of times the claim has been repeated that Democrats have no ideas: 73,229.

    Total number of times the claim has had any validity: Zero.”

    Oh yeah, then what were some of their ideas and/or solutions (to complex problems) that the dems provided for the people?

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 5:39 PM
    Comment #119766

    Rah,

    You’re not even willing to admit that your way of looking at things is biased? How sad.

    Both questions are politically motivated. The arguments that he broke the law are much more compelling than those that claim he didn’t.

    The first question is far from a correct or useful question; it’s a fuzzy statement that doesn’t account for any legal or rights consequences. You could take a positive number from such an unbalanced question to say that the President should be able to lock up all redheads if he desires to.

    You don’t just get to claim that your opinion is correct and tell your opponents that they lose. I hope that doesn’t destroy your entire rhetorical approach.

    How about this way of asking the question:

    Do you think that the Bush administration should conduct wiretaps of American citizens who are suspected of having ties to terrorists without a court order, or do you think that the Bush administration should be required to get a court order before getting these wiretaps?

    Is that a fair question? After all, it doesn’t imply unlawfulness. What do you think the result would be?

    But, that’s a good point about asking the right question to get the answer you want. The other night, the MSM did their best to downplay the poll the 73% of Americans approved of the President’s speech, 23% did not.

    Any chance you have a source for that poll? I have the feeling you’re leaving out some important detail or two.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 5:43 PM
    Comment #119767
    Oh yeah, then what were some of their ideas and/or solutions (to complex problems) that the dems provided for the people?

    Are you serious?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 5:46 PM
    Comment #119769

    I could not agree with you more d.a.n.. BUT if ‘we’ tried to seal the borders and deport all the illegals here now we’d have every leftwingnut liberal lawyer in the land fighting every single deportation all the way to the Supreme Court. Then you’d have to do the same about closing the borders. Then you wouldn’t be able to close the borders because some endangered gnat would reputedly live somewhere near the border. Then you wouldn’t be able to station the manpower necessary near the border until an environmental impact study was done done, ad nauseum.

    Posted by: pige at February 2, 2006 5:50 PM
    Comment #119771

    You guys do realize that this conversation has been cyclic, and is as much fun as running head first into a brick wall.

    Though it does feel better when you stop.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 2, 2006 5:52 PM
    Comment #119772

    Bushlover,
    “Now here’s a good question from a scholarly Republican! Way to Go Rahg! Those Democrats are just dangerous —aiding and abedding the terrorists. Bush should lock all the Democrats up at Guantanamo and use the constitution to give them all paper cuts before we execute them. Once we’re rid of those communist babykillers and homos we can get on to running America like it was meant— Just like a Church, the way Jesus wants it!”

    Ok, I don’t agree with you at all. That is (way) over-the-top for me. And, I’m not a Republican; I’m an Independent. I’ve been siding with the Republicans ever since 9/11; that’s b/c they have been the only ones that will take action and protect us with National Security.


    Don’t think that I agree with executing dems and living with a bunch of “Jesus” freaks. Later!

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 5:53 PM
    Comment #119775

    If government is really worried about national security, then why don’t they secure the borders.

    Look at all the Americans being killed by illegal aliens.

    I don’t doubt the Patriot Act helped catch some bad guys, but what about illegal aliens killing Americans every day?

    Something is severely bass-ackwards here.

    The government could secure the borders with resources we already have.

    The military can and should secure the borders and coasts, because national security and defense is the basic purpose of the military. Securing our borders, the right of any sovereign nation, is not isolationism or xenophobia. It is simply national security and defense. The military could easily secure the borders with resources we already have. We could simply position a mere 1% of the total 2.6 million active military, guard, and reserves along the borders where they could be more effective toward the goal of national security and defense. The U.S./Canada border (about 4500 miles) and the U.S./Mexico border (about 2,000 miles) could both (about 6,500 miles) be secured with 1,300 posts (spaced about 5 miles apart; denser in some areas than others) with 20 soldiers per post, which would only require 26,000 soldiers (about 1 every 1320 feet).

    I don’t know about ya’ll , but there’s some severe misplaced priorities in the federal government. And, the events in the past decade prove it.

    Should we keep letting irresponsible incumbents ignore our pressing problems any longer ?

    How can anyone from any party defend the growing level of corruption in government ?

    pige,
    I voted for Bush once, and I have to tell you, he’s doing a crappy job of national defense. First of all, it’s not a problem caused by one party. They both did it. They’re both ridiculously irresponsible. The government is doing a crappy job as long as it ignores our near-wide-open borders, Americans being killed by illegal aliens, and insulting our intelligence by saying illegal aliens are just taking jobs we won’t do. What about the law ?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2006 5:56 PM
    Comment #119799

    Your Fearless Leader Bush is going to ask Congress for an additional $70 Billion to fight in Iraq. This is in addition to the $50 Billion already approved.

    The good news is Bush will make up the difference by cutting Student Loans and Healthcare. Oh… and the Tax Cuts for the rich will become permanent.

    We must all sacrifice to fight Bush’s War on Terror.

    Posted by: Aldous at February 2, 2006 8:12 PM
    Comment #119810

    Lawnboy,
    “The other night, the MSM did their best to downplay the poll the 73% of Americans approved of the President’s speech, 23% did not.
    Any chance you have a source for that poll? I have the feeling you’re leaving out some important detail or two.”

    It was a CBS flash poll and 77% approved of his proposals, 23% did not. Bob Scheiffer reported that it and he (totally) downplayed the poll when he prefaced it with “keep in mind that more republicans watch when a republican makes the speech”. Well, Bob, if it’s a slanted poll then why report it?! It just doesn’t make sense. The MSM are so biased and lazy that they debunk themselves.

    http://cbs4boston.com/keller/local_story_032163547.html

    “A whopping 77 percent of those polled approved of the various ideas the President laid out, on everything from reducing energy dependence to reforming health care and education. Only 23 percent disapproved.”

    So, Lawnboy, as you can see, I was a little off; I said 73% appoved and it was really 77%. Ha! Thanks for pointing that out. Later!

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 8:59 PM
    Comment #119822

    Approved of his speech?

    I just can take any of them serious anymore.

    They are so out-of-touch; all of them; Repugs and Dummicrats. It’s just ridiculous, and getting worse every day.

    Don’t think so?
    Look at what they do .

    And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 2, 2006 9:36 PM
    Comment #119824

    Rah,

    You provided the answer yourself. The poll was not a scientific random poll; it was a poll of a self-selected group, primarily Republicans. It is inherently useless. MSN wasn’t being biased when they downplayed it; they were showing a bit of integrity.

    MSN reported it because news organizations feed on instant polls. As to your claim that it must be meaningful because it was reported on the news… well, the less said, the better.

    What about the poll question I proposed?

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 2, 2006 9:47 PM
    Comment #119829

    Rahdigly-
    Which ones would you actually acknowledge? That’s the problem with your question. We’ve got an entire column of new ideas, and many comments worth of dialogue on the matter. Why don’t we get away from these childish claims of superiority and actually discuss the issue?

    I believe that if we’re having to sacrifice freedoms on a permanent basis to find security, somebody’s not thinking hard enough, not doing enough detective work. No solution’s going to be perfect, not even the ones that sacrifice our freedom. We might as well have an imperfect one that fulfills both ideals to the extent they can be fulfilled.

    Let me put it plainly. It isn’t that we lack the stomach to sacrifice for victory in the war on terror. It’s that we can stomach the abomination that it would be to give up our birthright of freedom out of fear of those bastards who brought down our building. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, and I find it cowardly that we would value our lives so highly that we’d give away that precious inheritence from our founding fathers to keep them.

    I would rather die a free man, victim of a terrorist attack, than rot away behind the “protections” of an invasive, unchecked government. That is where I draw the line. We should do our best to protect both America as a country, and America as land of freedom. To fail in the second is to gut the first of any meaning.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 10:05 PM
    Comment #119830
    The rest of the media, and libs, have spun this story day and night (to no avail) and now Al Qaeda knows exactly what we’ve been doing to combat them; they prolly won’t call their terrorists cells anymore. Thanks libs, now you know why us Americans don’t trust you with National Security anymore.

    rahdigly,

    WOW!, If this is the extent of what the Cons have been doing to combat terrorists (tapping cell phones) then that is the best reason I’ve heard not to trust the Cons with National Security. That’s pretty scary dude!

    Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 2, 2006 10:07 PM
    Comment #119831

    This:

    It’s that we can stomach the abomination that it would be to give up our birthright of freedom out of fear of those bastards who brought down our building.

    Should read:

    It’s that we can’t stomach the abomination that it would be to give up our birthright of freedom out of fear of those bastards who brought down our buildings.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 10:08 PM
    Comment #119848
    Total terror-related defendants who have pleaded guilty or been convicted with the aid of Patriot Act provisions: 212.

    Jack,

    I just don’t believe this. Who are these people? What are their names? What were they doing? I bet if you dig into it, this number will turn out to be basically made up.

    Posted by: Woody Mena at February 2, 2006 10:41 PM
    Comment #119850

    Jayjay,
    “WOW!, If this is the extent of what the Cons have been doing to combat terrorists (tapping cell phones) then that is the best reason I’ve heard not to trust the Cons with National Security. That’s pretty scary dude!”

    We know for a fact that one of those wiretaps led us to save the Brooklyn Bridge from being hit. You keep blaming and worrying about the Cons and don’t pay any attention to the terrorists. You’re playing right into their hands. That a boy Jayjay!

    Posted by: rahdigly at February 2, 2006 10:42 PM
    Comment #119851

    The death of the Patriot Act has been exagarrated.
    It was extended to 3/10.

    Posted by: Woody Mena at February 2, 2006 10:44 PM
    Comment #119853

    Speaking of the “pre-9/11” mindset, I like what Paul Begala said about the SOTU:

    It is President Bush who’s trapped in a pre-9/11 mindset. A pre-9/11 mindset sees the enemy as a large country we must invade and occupy. A post-9/11 mindset targets stateless terror networks like al Qaeda rather than invading Iraq.
    Posted by: Woody Mena at February 2, 2006 10:50 PM
    Comment #119854

    Rahdigly-
    I’m sort of skeptical about the bridge plot. First you have to lug the equipment around, gas tanks and all. Then, you’ve got to somehow sever or weaken a host of thick cables that hold up the bridge.

    All the while keeping your operations concealed. Maybe I’m not sufficiently informed, but that sounds like a tall order, requiring multiple attackers, and the willful ignorance of a city full of people taking the bridge. Not to mention the cops.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 2, 2006 10:55 PM
    Comment #119856
    We know for a fact that one of those wiretaps led us to save the Brooklyn Bridge from being hit. You keep blaming and worrying about the Cons and don’t pay any attention to the terrorists. You’re playing right into their hands. That a boy Jayjay!

    Rah,

    I couldn’t give a crap about the Cons, except that the quicker they are out of power, the better off the country will be. It is Bush who is not paying attention to the terrorists. He moved the war on terror to a war on Iraq. (unrelated, at least it in the begining.) Now instead of terror cells, Bush’s “nation building” has resulted in entire nations of terror. Instead of leading terror cells, the terrorists now lead entire countries. It is Bush and his cronies that have played right into the terrorists hands. If it wouldn’t have been for Bush, they wouldn’t have been able to recruit so many new “terrorists” to their ranks. Without Bush’s Middle East “democracy” the terrorist wouldn’t have been able to win elections. The terrorists thank him for all he has done for them. You’re doing a heckuva job, Bushie!

    Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 2, 2006 11:08 PM
    Comment #119863

    Stephen,

    “I’m sort of skeptical about the bridge plot. First you have to lug the equipment around, gas tanks and all. Then, you’ve got to somehow sever or weaken a host of thick cables that hold up the bridge.”


    This from the BROOKLYN BRIDGE
    FACTS, HISTORY, and INFORMATION;

    http://www.endex.com/gf/buildings/bbridge/bbridgefacts.htm

    “Suspension Cables - four 15 3/4” diameter wire ropes.
    Number of Strands in each cable - 19 (JSG)
    Total Length of Wire in cables - approximately 3600 miles (JSG)
    Miles of wrapping wire on each cable - 243 miles 943 feet (JSG)

    Number of Suspenders - 1520 (JSG)
    Number of Diagonal Stays - 400 (JSG)

    Inventor and manufacturer of steel wire cable - John A. Roebling
    Tested cable wire strength - 160 ksi
    Dead weight of deck and suspenders - 13,240 kips - 3,410 kips per cable.
    Maximum load on single cable (Live and Dead Load) - 6,000 kips

    Ultimate strength of cables - 24,600 kips
    Cable factor of safety - 24,600/6,000 = 4.1
    Maximum cable sag - 130 feet”

    “Length of each of four cables ……………………… 3,578 feet, 6 inches
    Diameter of each cable ……………………………… 15 ¾ inches
    Number of wires in each cable ……………………… 5,434 wires
    Total length of wires ………………………………… 14,060 miles


    Yeah, like you could cut these cables with an acetylene torch and no one asking what it is you’re doing?

    This from

    “Can Bush sell you a plot to down the Brooklyn Bridge?”
    By Jerry Mazza
    Online Journal Contributing Writer

    http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_395.shtml


    “Acetylene torches on that structure? Good luck. What’s more, the bridge has been open since May 23, 1883. It’s 123 years young and handles thousands of cars, pedestrians and bicyclists each day, zooming back and forth to Manhattan from Brooklyn. There are crews tending to the bridge’s well-being constantly. The very notion of some guy or guys stopping with acetylene torches to take it down day or night is ridiculous.”

    I haven’t been able to fact check this yet, but I too am skeptical enough to throw this in the urban legend bin.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 2, 2006 11:33 PM
    Comment #119904
    No, you lose. The first question is the correct one, the second question (the one you claim you “win” on) that’s incorrect; he didn’t break the law, he did the right thing. That’s why people agree with him. Your question is politically loaded (to the left).

    Rah & Lawnboy,

    I don’t think either of you nor any of us win. Like most issues today, the country is pretty well divided down the middle on this issue.

    CBS News/New York Times Poll. Jan. 20-25, 2006:

    “How concerned are you about losing some of your civil liberties as a result of the measures enacted by the Bush Administration to fight terrorism? Are you very concerned [34%], somewhat concerned [30%], not very concerned [17%], or not at all concerned [18%]?”

    “Which concerns you more right now — that the government will fail to enact strong anti-terrorism laws [40%], or that the government will enact new anti-terrorism laws which excessively restrict the average person’s civil liberties [48%]?”

    “In order to reduce the threat of terrorism, would you be willing [28%] or not willing [70%] to allow government agencies to monitor the telephone calls and e-mails of ordinary Americans on a regular basis?”

    “In order to reduce the threat of terrorism, would you be willing [68%] or not willing [29%] to allow government agencies to monitor the telephone calls and e-mails of Americans that the government is suspicious of?”

    “After 9/11, George W. Bush authorized government wiretaps on some phone calls in the U.S. without getting court warrants. Do you approve [46%] or disapprove [50%] of George W. Bush doing this?”

    CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Jan. 20-22, 2006:

    “Do you think the Bush Administration was right [46%] or wrong [51%] in wiretapping these conversations without obtaining a court order?”

    ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Jan. 5-8, 2006:

    “Would you consider this wiretapping of telephone calls and e-mails without court approval as an acceptable [51%] or unacceptable [47%] way for the federal government to investigate terrorism?”

    CBS News Poll. Jan. 5-8, 2006:

    “Do you think the Republican Party [33%] or the Democratic Party [42%] can do a better job of writing laws which help the government find terrorists without violating the average person’s rights?”

    “During wartime, some presidents have either received or assumed special war powers, which give the president more authority to act independently when he feels it is necessary. In the current campaign against terrorism, is it a good idea [36%] or a bad idea [57%] for the president to have the authority to make changes in the rights usually guaranteed by the Constitution?”

    “Do you think that in order to fight terrorism, the federal government should have more authority to use wiretaps [43%], or would this violate Americans’ constitutional rights [53%]?”

    “How concerned are you about losing some of your civil liberties as a result of the measures enacted by the Bush Administration to fight terrorism? Are you very concerned [29%], somewhat concerned [33%], not very concerned [22%], or not at all concerned? [16%]”

    Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 3, 2006 1:56 AM
    Comment #120000

    Jay Jay-
    With few exceptions, the view I see from those polls is that most Americans are both serious about security, but also serious about it being constitutional.

    That’s what I’d tell the Republicans, really. They assume that we Liberals just don’t have the guts to do what it takes to protect America. They’re wrong. We have the guts to stand up and say that protecting America means as much protecting our way of life, our constitutionally granted rights, as it does keeping bodies safe from harm. What’s more, it’s entirely possible to reach for greater security at the expense of rights, yet still come up short on security, in which case we are doubly worse off.

    The fact is, our rights actually help our national security. Our first amendment right keep America secure in the long run by keeping the government out of the business of forcing people to take on opinion or another. Because of that, we have few groups who have any real motivation to overthrow the government, and not so many people who have been radicalized by the tyrannical actions of the government. Our government doesn’t give folks here martyrs to the cause that one side can use to drum up support for greater violence. In short, we allow people in this country to live their beliefs largely unimpeded, and therefore largely unmotivated to change the government by violent means.

    The Second Amendment means that if our government does go too far, it will play hell trying to roll over the average American. I dont’ believe this is an absolute right, any more than free speech is, but I do believe its nice for anybody considering a takeover to consider the consequences of their actions.

    We have a collection of rights that protect our status as persons, start from the Fourth onwards, and its important to take note of its consequences. Our police forces are much more focused on law enforcement, rather than surpressing the populace.

    Now folks might think, especially after watching the slew of Hollywood actions films that all these rights are just an inconvenience and an annoyance that get in the way of folks enforcing the law. The opposite is the case.

    The necessary obstacles of Due Process are an implicit guarantee that our government has had to meet a standard of evidence in order to restrict a citizen’s freedom and invade their privacy. The average person lives secure in the knowledge that if they haven’t done anything wrong, that they don’t have to worry about being bothered by the police.

    Additionally, we see the police as more of an us than a them, because their powers are generally used to protect and serve others rather than harrass us and serve themselves.

    For that and other reasons, our rights serve to minimize the radicalism, conflict, and distrust of governing authorities that plague so many countries where rights are not so important. We don’t have the groups in our country so willing to overthrow the existing order. We have peace not because we force it on people, but because people have no stake in breaching it themselves. This is how the religions and the ethnicities that war bloodily in the rest of the world can live in peace here.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 3, 2006 8:03 AM
    Comment #120006

    Constitutionally speaking,the 2 goals of our government is to protect us from attacks foreign and domestic and make laws that help us to be productive members of this country.The bigger the government the less productivity because it takes away choices.Democrats are for controlling us and Repubs are for allowing us more freedom.I was a Dem until the 80’s when I realized how much control our government had over what we could teach at schools.The Dems have taken away many of the rights our Declaration of Independance declared as the reason we were declaring our independance from Great Britain which was the biggest of governments and there has been a movement to socialism since before Social Security which started with the income tax which was forbidden in the Constitution but was snuck in by Dems and was steadily grown with the social programs the Federal Dems created when the programs should have been a state program so each state could meet its own needs as they saw them not as Washington D C decided.Congress has forgotten ours is supposed to be a government of the people,by the people,and FOR THE PEOPLE,not for the elected.Uncontrolled spending doesn’t hurt them,they just dig deeper into our pockets and vote themselves a raise,however I got a raise from Our President in the form of lower taxes.Thank you Sir.Now git rid of the pork and give us back our government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: RDAVIDC at February 3, 2006 8:40 AM
    Comment #120030

    Looks like the Republicans “killed the Patriot Act” 95-1.

    Why do Republicans hate America? And why wouldn’t they give President Bush a straight up-or-down vote on Harriet Miers?

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 3, 2006 10:13 AM
    Comment #120039
    I could not agree with you more d.a.n.. BUT if ‘we’ tried to seal the borders and deport all the illegals here now we’d have every leftwingnut liberal lawyer in the land fighting every single deportation all the way to the Supreme Court. Then you’d have to do the same about closing the borders. Then you wouldn’t be able to close the borders because some endangered gnat would reputedly live somewhere near the border. Then you wouldn’t be able to station the manpower necessary near the border until an environmental impact study was done done, ad nauseum.

    That would be funny if it were not so close to the truth. Regarding the lawyers, let them sue. The law is not on their side, and I think most Americans want secured borders.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: The fact is, our rights actually help our national security. Our first amendment right keeps America secure in the long run …
    Absolutely. We take it for granted here. There are many people around the world that don’t agree with this most basic, fundamental philosophy.
    Because of that, we have few groups who have any real motivation to overthrow the government, and not so many people who have been radicalized by the tyrannical actions of the government. Our government doesn’t give folks here martyrs to the cause that one side can use to drum up support for greater violence. In short, we allow people in this country to live their beliefs largely unimpeded, and therefore largely unmotivated to change the government by violent means.
    I agree. Especially when voters have the right to vote out (or recall) irresponsible government. However, that may change someday if incumbents continue to reduce transparency, grow corruption and government ever larger, and make it more and more difficult for voters to unseat incumbents due to many unfair advantages, and continue to create barriers against access for third party candidates to ballots and debates.
    Additionally, we see the police as more of an us than a them, because their powers are generally used to protect and serve others rather than harrass us and serve themselves
    True. Most Americans are outraged when the see the abuse of police powers.

    Still, there’s still the fact that government chooses to selectively enforce laws. They want wire taps, but refuse to do the easy things first, refuse to secure the borders, refuse to deport illegal aliens, refused to secure cock-pit doors on airliners (despite countless warnings), refused to make FBI, CIA, etc. work together to connect the dots, and pretend that 9/11 came as a big surpise. You’d think $2.2+ trillion a year could buy better?

    How about some priorities ?

    Arguing the wire-tapping seems to be a huge distraction from the more serious deficiency of government to first do the most basic, common-sense, no-brainer things to increase national security.

    I’d be happy if they simply enforced existing laws better.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2006 10:42 AM
    Comment #120047

    RDAVIDC,

    “The Dems have taken away many of the rights our Declaration of Independance declared as the reason we were declaring our independance from Great Britain which was the biggest of governments and there has been a movement to socialism since before Social Security which started with the income tax which was forbidden in the Constitution but was snuck in by Dems and was steadily grown with the social programs the Federal Dems created when the programs should have been a state program so each state could meet its own needs as they saw them not as Washington D C decided.”

    Wow, income tax was forbiden by the Constitution?

    Which Constitution would that be??

    Article 1, section 8 of the US constitution states;

    “Section 8: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    From wikipedia;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States
    “Early efforts to tax income
    In order to help pay for its war effort in the American Civil War, the United States government imposed its first personal income tax, on August 5, 1861, as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US $800; rescinded in 1872). Other income taxes followed, although a 1895 United States Supreme Court ruling, Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co., held that taxes on capital gains, dividends, interest, and rents were direct taxes on property, and therefore had to be apportioned. Since apportionment of income taxes is impractical, this had the effect of prohibiting a federal tax on income from property—and due to the difficulties of separating individual wages from that type of income, made any federal income tax impractical.


    Also from wikipedia;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#Passage_of_the_Sixteenth_Amendment

    Passage of the Sixteenth Amendment
    In response, Congress proposed the Sixteenth Amendment (ratified by the requisite number of states in 1913), which states:

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
    As the Supreme Court held in Brushaber v. Union Pacific R. R. Co, 240 U.S. 1 (1916), the amendment did not expand the federal government’s existing taxing power but rather removed any requirement for apportionment of income taxes (meaning tax on profit or gain from any source) among the states on the basis of population (i.e., regardless of whether the tax was deemed direct or indirect”

    Gee, I’m not a lawyer, but this all seems legal to me.

    On social security;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_Act#History

    “A limited form of the Social Security program began as a measure to implement “social insurance” during the Great Depression of the 1930s, when poverty rates among senior citizens exceeded 50%.”

    Damn those unfeeling Democrats for forcing those poor old folks into poverty.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2006 11:12 AM
    Comment #120066

    Oh, and by the way, how do you propose to pay for the illusion of security that is provided by the Patriot act without the “un-Constitutional” income tax.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2006 1:04 PM
    Comment #120073
    the income tax which was forbidden in the Constitution but was snuck in by Dems

    RDAVIDC,

    The first income tax was instituted by a Republican President and a Republican controlled Congress.

    In 1862, in order to support the Civil War effort, Congress enacted the nation’s first income tax law. It was a forerunner of our modern income tax in that it was based on the principles of graduated, or progressive, taxation and of withholding income at the source. During the Civil War, a person earning from $600 to $10,000 per year paid tax at the rate of 3%. Those with incomes of more than $10,000 paid taxes at a higher rate. Additional sales and excise taxes were added, and an “inheritance” tax also made its debut. In 1866, internal revenue collections reached their highest point in the nation’s 90-year history—more than $310 million, an amount not reached again until 1911.

    The Act of 1862 established the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue. The Commissioner was given the power to assess, levy, and collect taxes, and the right to enforce the tax laws through seizure of property and income and through prosecution. The powers and authority remain very much the same today.

    The bigger the government the less productivity because it takes away choices.Democrats are for controlling us and Repubs are for allowing us more freedom.

    The Repubs are for more freedom? Sure, I guess, as long as you’re white, heterosexual, Christian and rich, then they’re all for your freedom!

    Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 3, 2006 1:20 PM
    Comment #120129

    Jay,

    Wow, deja Vu.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2006 3:16 PM
    Comment #120142

    Jack,

    I would submit that the Patriot Act is an illusion. That the security provided can be compared to the security of a home or car alarm.

    To illustrate, most people think of their car alarm as a security blanket, that no one will be able to breech their property and steal the contents.
    In reality, that little red light discourages only the amateur, the guy that is only interested in the packages on the front seat.
    The professional, the guy that actually wants the car, on the other hand could be into your car and gone, packages and all in seconds.

    The guys we are attempting to fight aren’t morons, they know that we will try do everything in our power to stop them, and they wait for just the right opportunity. Vigilence isn’t going to stop these guys.
    We have virtually open borders, the internet can be manipulated so as to change the origin of an e-mail, hell, you can buy tempory cell phones for next to nothing.

    This whole baloney act of a security leak over the NYT story is just crap. If the guys we are fighting didn’t already know that they were being monitored, this war would be over, because nobody is that stupid.

    If we really think that we are waging war on the type of guy that tries to light a shoe bomb on an airliner, we need to wake up and smell the coffee.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 3, 2006 3:41 PM
    Comment #120186

    “It is a devil’s bargain to trade your own freedom for the restraint of another.” Where were all these “give me liberty or give me death” types when the Clinton administration was building a database on LAW abiding citizens who PASSED the FBI instant background checks? A move which was expressly prohibited by law in the brady bill. Where were you then? This was perpetrated STRICTLY on Americans. Guess it only matters WHO is doing the watching and WHOM is being watched.

    Posted by: pige at February 3, 2006 5:24 PM
    Comment #120219

    Yes, pige, the “b-b-b-b-but Clinton did it!” defense is always the best rejoinder.

    Posted by: LawnBoy at February 3, 2006 6:52 PM
    Comment #120326

    “The nomadic tribes of the Arab world have been at peace, relatively, for hundreds of years. Their uniting factor has been the Koran and the interpretation of its teachings.”

    “Warring started when Russia tried to control Afghanistan because it feared the spread of Muslim theology into the “Motherland.” To deny this is to deny history!”

    Let’s examine some history of the peaceful islamic peoples.

    The peaceful nomadic tribes are peaceful because they are the underclass and they keep their asses away from the non-nomadic neighbors. When I was in Israel, arabic non-bedoins viewed the bedoins as second class citizens. The nomadic people are not the ones wanting to start jihad.

    BTW, how do you think that these peaceful people ended up with the concept of jihad being a central pillar of their belief structure? Do you think that they had a primative version of FOX news that contaminated their peaceful culture?

    These same peaceful jihadists strolled through Europe killing and converting (or just killing if time was short) the residents they met until Vlad the Impaler stopped their forward movement with a display of sufficient barbarity to get their attention. Their forces were routed and their leader entered a treaty allowing Europeans access to the Christian holy sites in the middle east which was what all the fighting was about in the first place.

    Not being an innovative people, the arab culture waned with it’s high point coming during Europe’s dark age. It wasn’t until they had access to oil revenue that they could mount a continuation of their holy quest for a Caliphate, a united muslem world.

    They still seek a united muslem world and it turns out that Russia wasn’t wrong to be concerned about a muslem concentration of power within her borders.

    Someone posted earlier that if the US changed her foreign policy, no Patriot Act would be necessary. That’s a naive belief because the extremist muslem philosophy that led to the 9/11 attacks exists independently of the foreign policies of nonmuslem nations. Nothing short of conversion and the implementation of government by sharia law would satisfy the radical muslem agenda.

    Posted by: goodkingned at February 3, 2006 11:10 PM
    Comment #120394

    The current environment can not be equated to a peaceful environment where every move needs to be anal-ized. There are moments in history where the leader of our nation has gone beyond the boundries of a peaceful environment to counter a wartime situation. To question the tactics used now is to question the person we put in charge. He has a job to do and none of us were told to do it. He was. Let’s get the job done and then start in with the questions.

    Posted by: Weary Willie` at February 4, 2006 2:05 AM
    Comment #120465
    To question the tactics used now is to question the person we put in charge.

    When Admiral Kimmel failed to take action at Pearl Harbor after being warned that Japan was about to attack US assets in the Pacific, he was sacked. And rightly so.

    Why would anyone not question a leader who ignores credible warnings… like “Bin Laden determined to strike in US,” for example.

    Posted by: American Pundit at February 4, 2006 6:23 AM
    Comment #120532

    It’s REAL simple folks.

    If we undermine our OWN constitution in order to find those who MIGHT harm us…

    We are handing victory to the terrorists.

    It seems obvious that those who support the Patriot Act simply don’t understand what America is all about.

    RGF

    Posted by: RGF at February 4, 2006 10:20 AM
    Comment #120549

    Patriot Act FACT.
    Libraries: They supply computers for research. Until the patriot act most libraries refused to keep records of the computer users.

    Who cares? The District Attorney cared. On a regular basis I received calls for information about the location of a specific “IP” address, the number that identifies a computer on the internet. It seems that prior to the patriot act, the best place to conduct illegal activities was the library computer. Since librarians refused to recognized the legitmate legal interests of the government, over some misplaced concern about privacy, lots of activities could occur safely there. The best place to execute fraud related to identity theft was the library. Use the library to fill out all those nasty little bogus applications. No one would ever know who actually did it.

    How do I know? I have been the IT guy for a major multi-branch library, I got the calls from the DA, when the librarians couldn’t figure out what the DA needed.

    Makes me wonder at the motivation of everyone against the patriot act. I know you can’t all be criminals, some of you are just denser than a rock.

    No one I know actually can name a single person effected by the patriot act (it has nothing to do with Gitmo). But I can tell you about a lot of people that were effected by the patriot act. Criminals that used to use the libraries as places to conduct illegal business. Haven’t seen them in a while, maybe they got arrested, maybe they just stop comming when they had to start producing ID before getting access to a computer. One thing is for dam sure, they were not innocent citizens. And of course, school children. There was a large increase in the number of school children who mentioned they weren’t afraid to come to the library anymore. Something that might have to do with not having to worry about the strange guy slumped in the seat next to you browsing kiddie porn sights following you out the door when you leave. Children really are the innocents in this, too bad that misplaced liberalism put them at risk.

    Now can anyone tell me about an innocent citizen that was abused under the patriot act. Emphasis on innocent please.

    Posted by: Wise_Skeptic at February 4, 2006 11:26 AM
    Comment #120558

    Oh, wise one,

    “Now can anyone tell me about an innocent citizen that was abused under the patriot act. Emphasis on innocent please.”

    This line gets trotted out more and more often.
    Why is it that you can’t point to any actual folks that have been prosecuted, you know, something besides anecdotal?
    How about that old saw about how we were protected from that guy with a blow torch at the Brooklyn Bridge?
    I can’t wait to hear that one again.

    Yeah, I am one of those “dumb as a rock” folks that you speak of.
    I like my rights as they are laid out in the Constitution, thank you.
    You folks on the right talk about being originalists, yet you want to “interput” the Constitution to suit your own agenda.

    Please, I don’t need to hear that tripe about “if your not doing anything wrong….”, yada, yada.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 4, 2006 12:00 PM
    Comment #120580

    Bush hatred removes the tools any President need to defend the country.

    What will be taken away next - CIA ? FBI ?

    Posted by: Reporter for Doody at February 4, 2006 12:34 PM
    Comment #120588

    Oh, Please!

    Posted by: Rocky at February 4, 2006 12:42 PM
    Comment #120682
    Now can anyone tell me about an innocent citizen that was abused under the patriot act. Emphasis on innocent please.

    Wise_Skeptic, here’s one:

    Brandon Mayfield

    For more: BEYOND THE PATRIOT ACT

    Posted by: JayJay Snowman at February 4, 2006 6:24 PM
    Comment #120787

    JayJay

    Evidence seemed to implicate him. When it was shown to be wrong, he was released. He wasn’t abused.

    Posted by: Jack at February 5, 2006 12:48 AM
    Comment #120810
    The current environment can not be equated to a peaceful environment where every move needs to be anal-ized… Let’s get the job done and then start in with the questions.

    And when exactly will the job be done? I don’t believe we’ll ever return to “normalcy”. We will always have enemies both foreign and domestic and that is no excuse for simply turning a blind eye to the actions of our government.

    Please, I don’t need to hear that tripe about “if your not doing anything wrong….”, yada, yada.

    It’s true, you’re much safer in a police state- until the criminals get into government, that is ;)

    Posted by: Amani at February 5, 2006 2:03 AM
    Comment #120975

    Jack,

    “Evidence seemed to implicate him. When it was shown to be wrong, he was released. He wasn’t abused.”

    Abuse is in the eye of the beholder!

    This man was forced to defend himself against a charge that, if a bit of intellegence had prevailed, would never had been filed.

    This is a case of presumed guilt before the evidence was even qualified.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 5, 2006 11:44 AM
    Comment #121211

    Rocky

    It is unfortunate. But in terror cases you always have flight risk, so you have to actually arrest the person. I suppose it would be as if there was a fatal hit and run with your car and you were a known flight risk. The authorities would have to hold you until you were cleared.

    It is a price I am willing to pay. If it happened to me, I would cooperate with the authorities, although I would probably be really annoyed. It is still not abuse.

    Posted by: Jack at February 5, 2006 9:42 PM
    Comment #121236

    Jack,

    He should have been investigated BEFORE he was arrested.
    I suppose that as a lawyer he probably wasn’t considered an upstanding member of society, but as an AMERICAN citizen he is presumed innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 5, 2006 11:16 PM
    Comment #121239

    There was an investigation before he was arrested. That is what produced the false positive. We are dealing with uncertainty. We have to set decision criteria that protects the innocent, but doesn’t endanger others.

    before 9/11 we thought the world was safer and we had more room for error.

    The system worked and cleared the guy.

    Posted by: Jack at February 5, 2006 11:25 PM
    Comment #121262

    Jack,

    Come on. Jailed as a “material witness”?

    ” FBI, for insisting his fingerprint had been found on a plastic bag used by the terrorists—even though Mayfield hadn’t traveled abroad in a decade and the Spanish authorities doubted the print match.”

    What part of the “Spanish authorities doubted the print match”, did the FBI not understand?

    Travel Visas are easy to verify, but apparently not easy enough for our “crack” FBI investigators.
    Were these the same guys that didn’t listen to their own agent here in Phoenix?
    Or the guys that couldn’t get a warrant for the laptop in Minnesota?

    How did this man get to Spain, by bus?

    Why, or, better yet how, would the fingerprint of a lawyer in Portland, Oregon be on a plastic bag from explosives used in Spain?

    These questions seem obvious to me and I am not trained in investigative science.

    And it took 14 days to clear this guy. Obviously he wasn’t a priority.

    No, Jack, the system “eventually” worked, and cleared the guy.

    Posted by: Rocky at February 6, 2006 12:42 AM
    Comment #121550

    The Brandon Mayfield case is a great illustration, Jack’s attempt to paint a smiley face on it notwithstanding. The informative part is the willingness of the Feds to exaggerate the evidence in order to convice a judge to issue a warrant. “They were telling the judge and the world that they’ve got a fingerprint that’s a 100 percent match …” They later admit they had nothing. We must be very careful how much power we give the executive branch, because whatever limits we put on them, they will push those limits as far as they can.

    So when someone says we have 4th amendment rights only as long as the executive branch says we have them, hold on to your pocketbook and don’t turn your back.

    Posted by: Mental Wimp at February 6, 2006 5:11 PM
    Comment #121619

    Jack,

    And I would add that this is one we have heard of. Countless others could have gone through the same situation but without the resources to fight the “system”.
    How long can we allow this to be our modus operandi?

    There is only so much that a citizen should have to put up with.

    Jack, have you ever been arrested?

    I have, when I was young and stupid, and it wasn’t an experience that I would want to have to go through again.

    No one should have to face the hassle and disruptions of life that this man had to go through just to have the FBI say oops.
    Regardless of the war on terror, we as citizens need to be able to retain our rights.

    Mr Bush and Ashcroft asked that we spy on each other.

    Is that how you want to live, under the constant scrutiny of some stranger, with who know what kind of axe to grind?

    Posted by: Rocky at February 6, 2006 8:21 PM
    Comment #122071

    pige-
    Where was I? WHERE was I? WHERE WAS I?

    In junior high, I think.

    Whatever Clinton did, if its anything illegal or unconstitutional, I’d say it was wrong. If you’re right, that’s the case. The real question here, which you avoid by asking us yours, is whether you support Bush’s actions. If you don’t, then I think we can join in the criticism of our president’s jointly. If you do, then we have a bit of potential hypocrisy here, seeing as how you are attempting to shame us over Clinton’s actions, in order to deflect criticism from Bush’s. If you don’t disapprove of them, then your treatment is as lacking in evenhandedness as you claim ours is.

    So which is it?

    Goodkingned-
    In case you haven’t noticed, we of the West were not exactly a peaceful people at that time, either. Eventually, we peaceful peoples went into their countries and played our little games of military conquest and economic control. We selectively raised and favored certain groups and pit them against each other.

    It’s revisionism that paints an sanitized picture of what kind of folks we were back then. This is what all those overheated pundits don’t stop to consider or confront.

    Wise_Skeptic-
    I know from folks I associate with that all computers are equipped with filtering software as per federal law on the subject. I also know that librarians, at least in the library I’m familiar with, are able to eject patrons that continue accessing objectionable material. I’m afraid pedophiles will stalk children whether or not they have “inspirational” material to access at the library or not.

    This notion that somehow by getting invasive with our investigations and our security methods, we’ll somehow managed to protect ourselves better. Truth is, such invasive measures often serve to diffuse investigations. Your vaunted surveillance system, after invading the privacy of thousands delivered less than ten. Some measures make it easier for authorities to pick up terrorists, but also innocent people as well. Anytime a system doesn’t require probable cause for investigation of U.S. citizens, the price for greater access is more focus on irrelevant targets.

    Investigations run best when they can determine relevant details, and where to narrow suspect lists and investigations down. The name of the game is to follow meaningful information to other meaningful information. The idea that unrestrained searches and seizures necessarily does better is really a power fantasy built on a misunderstanding of the human ability to process and filter information.

    Theoretically, all totalitarian governments have the right idea: control behavior totally, keep tabs on everybody. Trouble is, real life makes both ideas impractical, and tyrannical. Democracy, when it works, works better, because it doesn’t spend so much time trying to control what it can’t control.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 7, 2006 6:50 PM
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