Third Party & Independents Archives

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Break The Law and Spy on Americans

Well the (domestic spying) plot thickens and so do the lies told by the Bush Administration in an effort to deceive the American people. In case you haven’t heard, Bush authorized (in his secret Executive Order) the NSA to tap into telecommunication hubs throughout the United States—all without a warran—in an effort to get those ever elusive terrorists.

To its credit, the Administration reluctantly admitted half of the truth, but of course left the juicer tidbits on the White House basement floor for the real patriots to shift through and expose the appalling truth to the world. Yes, fellow American, our President (and I use the term very, very loosely) has morphed into an un-enlightened despot while the majority of us were cowering in our basements muttering “give me security, make me safe Mr. President, I’m afraid of everything. I don’t give a damn about my Fundamental or Civil Rights; the Bill of Rights, what is that?” But I digress.

From the New York Times Article:

“Citing current and former government officials, the Times said the information was collected by tapping directly into some of the U.S. telecommunication system’s main arteries. The officials said the NSA won the cooperation of telecommunications companies to obtain access to both domestic and international communications without first gaining warrants.”

As other enlightened pundits have pointed out, liberty is stolen from the populace in bits and pieces usually under the guise of protecting national security. But I ask you, fellow Americans, if we loose our freedom, will this American society, this American Republic be worth defending? Our government, led by our slow-witted and malleable President is slowly turning America into what we are supposed to be fighting, and in the process defecating on the very Constitution they have sworn to uphold and protect. Never forget, the Nazi’s were voted into office, and those who ignore history’s life-affirming lessons do so at their peril. Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Posted by V. Edward Martin at December 24, 2005 11:19 AM
Comments
Comment #107126

So - how do we argue against the ‘huh hu! no way’ argument people will obviously put forward? They will ask to see proof of what you say. Never mind the track record, never mind that has been presented and printed and proven. The conrgress has held hearing, people have done in-depth investigative reporting - Bush has contradicted his own statements (and those one level down have done so even more…)

It seems to me that there a very few people sitting on the fence with this discussion… but there also seems to be no way the ‘other’ side will ever see things without bias.

Thoughts?

Posted by: tony at December 24, 2005 12:44 PM
Comment #107129

The Nazis being voted into office is one of history’s life-affirming lessons? I won’t even begin to speculate on what you mean by that. It’s just another point where your arguments aren’t adding up.

But I’m glad to see another violation of Godwin’s Law—a sure marker of hysterical and unreasonable argument. Yep, we get it. Bush is like Hitler (yawn).

But it doesn’t change the fact that none of this so called “spying” is illegal, untoward, or in any way unusual. Not only is it the consensus of most legal observors that it’s all normal and fine, but former Clinton officials are saying the same thing—and saying that they did the same things, but against PURELY DOMESTIC groups, which goes far beyond what Bush is doing.

Some people have just decided that they may get some political advantage by pretending that heightened alertness is the same thing as spying. But where are the lines being drawn here? I don’t see critics drawing any lines at all.

It’s almost as if some think that law enforcement itself should be illegal. After all, for the law to be enforced, it means that the government is watching us.

In any case, let adminstration critics keep this making this case and see how far it gets them with the public—the case that Al Qaida and its associates should have a greater right to privacy WITHIN OUR BORDERS than do child molestors, militia groups or even a great many private companies.

Let’s see if they can an other ten or twenty points to Bush’s rising approval ratings by pointing out how energeticatlly law enforcement is pursuing terrorists under his watch.

And let his critics keep discreding themselves in the public eyes by instisting that we don’t have a right to defend ourselves or even watch or listen to those who want to kill us.

Posted by: sanger at December 24, 2005 1:13 PM
Comment #107133

sanger:

Still no reply on all the “F” Grades the 9/11 Commission gave your Dear Leader, eh?

FYI… Al Queda uses couriers to send messages. The only thing the NSA is spying on is you.

Posted by: Aldous at December 24, 2005 1:31 PM
Comment #107137

V. Edward,
I agree with your sentiments here completely, and yes, I am tired of this administration crapping all over our Constitution and lying to us.
(btw, nice to see an article by you, it’s been awhile.)

tony, you wrote:
“They will ask to see proof of what you say.”
I’ve reached the stage where I’m always thinking: Why Bother? Even when we provide all kinds proof, the Bush Apologist’s will automatically claim that it is invalid and proves nothing.
See no evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no evil is their game, so trying to reach them is really rather pointless, you know?

Posted by: Adrienne at December 24, 2005 1:56 PM
Comment #107154

Adrienne, considering the amount of “proof” that you give which is nothing more than links to far left web rumor-mills like Raw Story (when you’re not repeating partisan talking points and unsubstantiated rumors), it comes as no suprise that you’re tired of defending indefensible points of view. That tends to happen when you don’t have a leg to stand on. It can be very frustrating for the “true believers” when they encounter those who don’t take their marching orders from Howard Dean and Michael Moore.

Posted by: sanger at December 24, 2005 3:02 PM
Comment #107157

Sanger wrote
“Not only is it the consensus of most legal observors that it’s all normal and fine, but former Clinton officials are saying the same thing—and saying that they did the same things, but against PURELY DOMESTIC groups, which goes far beyond what Bush is doing.”


can you provide a link to this since it is the fisrt I heard of it, if that is true it is just as disgraceful as what the Bush adminsteration has been up to. I do have my doubts that you can provide this evidence becaue I’m sure if Clinton attempted to do this he would have been impeached for it.

As far as your comment to Adrienne You should get your own house in order before you spout off garbage you heard Rush say. Your comments I quoted above are unsubstantiated, and will likely remain so.

The president has amazing latitude when it comes to wiretaps and this blog has pointed it out dozens of times. If a 72 grace period isn’t enough than I don’t know what is.

Posted by: Jeff Gannon at December 24, 2005 3:28 PM
Comment #107159

Sanger—

The point isn’t that Bush is Hitler (the later was mentally touch but could still no doubt think squares around the later), rather that the German people allowed their democracy to be hijacked and taken away out of fear and ignorance.

And I don’t know what “legal observers” you’ve been listening to, but most of the ones I’ve read and listened to have state almost to a man and woman that what Bush did and is doing is wrong and yes illegal. When I was in the service I had occasion to work for the NSA and whenever we collected intelligence, it was drummed into our heads the we not to target American citizens because it was illegal to do so. No amount of posturing and protestations to the contrary will make it legal. Nor will Bush’s claim that Article Two of the Constitution nor the powers granted to him after 9/11 to use whatever force necessary, will make it legal. Nor will claiming that technology has outstripped the FISA Court make spying on American citizens without proper warrants defensible!

As for law enforcement, they have to get a warrant before listening in on your telephone conversations, or arrested you, or busting in on your dinner. Next (illogical) point?

Adrienne—

I know it’s been a while; I just started a new job, and they have been keeping me very, very busy! Hopefully I can slip in an article or two between breaths.

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at December 24, 2005 3:32 PM
Comment #107172

Mr. Martin, you hit the central point. Authoritarian governments exist because the people allow them to come into being. Once they exist, they are damned hard to get rid of. Excellent warning. I hope enough American voters heed the warning in 2006.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 24, 2005 5:49 PM
Comment #107176

Regardless of who is in office. The voters put them there. We, the consumers, the bosses, the citizens of this country decide who our leaders will be. We get what we pay for. Certainly, the current administration is secretive, they have made questionable decisions, and have made obfuscation an art form. They have behaved just about the same as every presidential administration I’ve seen in my adult life and that’s been since Carter.

However, the American Public has seen fit to put them in office twice.

If we as a general public have had enough of this administration, then it will show up in next year’s election. The beauty of this country is that we can change things if we want. The last two elections (2002,2004) have been about security. The Republicans put forth the best message regarding keeping us secure. We bought it and get to live with the consequences until the next election. If we affirm this administration’s policies in 2006 by sending a majority of supporters of President Bush back to congress, then we get what we deserve.

The best possible way for us to insure that we have a government that is responsive to our requirements is to send the appropriate message at election time. We need to get people thinking about voting and what their vote means, and encourage people to go vote in the upcoming election. Votes are currency, they are valuable, we can make a difference by investing our currency next November.

Posted by: Dennis at December 24, 2005 6:22 PM
Comment #107265

“We are an EMPIRE now, and when we act, we CREATE our own reality”
Bush administration official

Posted by: synecdoche at December 25, 2005 2:56 AM
Comment #107358

sanger:
“Adrienne, considering the amount of “proof” that you give which is nothing more than links to far left web rumor-mills like Raw Story (when you’re not repeating partisan talking points and unsubstantiated rumors),”

This is a lie.

“it comes as no suprise that you’re tired of defending indefensible points of view.”

I’m tired of those who would rather hide from what is obviously the truth, simply for the sake of their political party.
Deluded people are always a waste of everybody’s time.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 25, 2005 1:13 PM
Comment #107389

V.

Never forget, the Nazi’s were voted into office, and those who ignore history’s life-affirming lessons do so at their peril. Aren’t you tired of being lied to?

Amazing! Nazi’s, liars, and despot all in the same post. But I’m sure with a little more practice you could do better, V. You need to troll around at democrats.com for a while to get the hang of it. Far-leftist rants are usually a little more… shall we say, ‘screechy’. Your tone is entirely too laid back for a Paul Revere ride warning us of the impending gulags and reeducation camps over the near horizon. (If you’re nice to me I’ll put in a good word for you— that brainwashing stuff can be painful if you don’t know anyone in ‘the party’.)


But on a point of fact, if I’m not mistaken, the Nazi’s were not voted into office as you seem to insinuate. National Socialists did get elected but not on a referendum for dictatorship, and not with an across the board majority without the use of force and intimidation. They essentially took power by force.

Taken by itself the insinuation that since Nazi’s were elected to government, and that Bush was elected to government, this somehow leads you to the conclusion that Bush is a Nazi is, if not entirely falacious is an outright slander.

By the same reasoning you might say that anyone who is elected is a Nazi. Including Democrats and liberals. Probably more so, since the definition of Fascism involves the state running everything including all industry and that Hitler railed against capitalists as well as communists. Profit not in service to the national interest is after all an evil, is it not? Walmart should be ashamed.

I find that your position finds itself at odds with other accusations against Bush that have the same tenor and frequency as this post.

Wasn’t Bush’s biggest mistake that he refuses to protect the homeland? The war on terror, the left tells us, is about stopping terrorists trying to kill Americans in America and not Iraq? “Protect us here at home!”

And yet the prescription democrats seem to put forward to fight the war on terror is to gear up the ACLU to ‘protect the rights of terrorists’. Future Mohammed Atta’s should not be subjected to phone taps without a warrant. The NSA can’t just listen in on Al Qaeda without first proving that there is probable cause and the suspect’s due process is adhered to strictly.

I’m afraid that this tactic will backfire on the left, and not because the American People are cowering in fear generated by the the Administration’s Goebell-like propaganda. The American people are not cowards, and it’s somewhat insulting for you to say so.

It would be more accurate to the character of Americans and the situation itself to attribute a willingness to ‘bend the rules’ (if that is what it is), on the willingness of Americans to fight rather than their willingness to be cowed and demand a strict police state.

On your last question— Yes, we are tired of being lied to. The quickness of Bush’s critics resortation to such lies is a clear manifestation of their bancrupcty in the realm of ideas.

Posted by: esimonson at December 25, 2005 7:00 PM
Comment #107503

Dennis:

Wish I had as much confidence in our voting system, but the last two have proved otherwise, and in a perfect world, it could be the solution. After these last elections, I’ve awoken to the fact that voting is another right we’ve lost. The problem isn’t so much getting people to vote, it’s who we’ve got to choice from - you want a right hook or a left jab? They are both of the same ‘corporate’ beast. ‘Buying’ candidates isn’t exactly how you find honest, non-corruptable people to put in office! The system is far too messed up to represent what the majority of American people really want…..or we wouldn’t be deprived of (or loosing) some basic things, like health care, good education, etc.

Posted by: Ann at December 26, 2005 10:37 AM
Comment #107663

Edward,
You are missing a critical point here..what the Administration did was constitutional here.
I am not a serious constitutional scholar, but it appears the relevant case law would support the Bush policy. For an excellent review of the case law, I would suggest you read an excellent article by John Schmidt, who was an associate attorney general under Clinton, in the Chicago Tribune or read the debate at the Volokh Conspiracy.
A series of court decisions starting with United States vs. United States District Court (1972) have noted the distinction between electronic surveillance on citizens for dometic purposes and electronic surveillance for foreign affairs. The gist of the argument is that since Article II gives the executive branch near exclusive powers for national security and foreign affairs, the 4th amendment does not apply to here. The courts have determined that the President can use warrentless searches for gathering foreign intelligence. Furthermore, since the President does have exclusive war-making powers, it would be part of the executive branch’s inherent powers.
When it comes to FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), the courts have decided FISA could not limit the ability of the executive branch to gather foreign intelligence, since this is not a delegated power to Congress. If anything, I would suspect the Courts would rule that parts of FISA maybe unconstitutional.
For the most part, I can agree with the Bush position. Should the executive branch need a court’s permission to place bug in the UN or for a wiretap of a foreign embassy or consulate?
This whole issue shows how naive and to be blunt incompetent many democrats and journalists are. The initial New York Times articles insinuated that Bush’s actions were illegal, but the journalists did not make even a cursory examination of the relevant constitutional law. What is even worse is the blanket rounds of condemnation from leading Democrats and the cries of impeachment. I am by no means happy with the Bush administration, but this latest round of cries from the democratic leadership again makes me question their ability to govern this country.

Posted by: Thucydides at December 26, 2005 9:07 PM
Comment #108957

esimonson,

“But on a point of fact, if I’m not mistaken, the Nazi’s were not voted into office as you seem to insinuate. National Socialists did get elected but not on a referendum for dictatorship, and not with an across the board majority without the use of force and intimidation. They essentially took power by force.”

Sir, would that not be the crux of the argument? A pary elected which is not necessairly a refferendum yet attains power through, shall we say, questionable means?

Where were the people that ojected? They were the nay-sayers… the malcontents, the minorities and the “intellectuals”. This, sir, is not my opinion, but fact.

The opposition became nothing more than labels which made it easy to disregard what they had to say.

Our system of government is designed with an “air” of intentional mistrust. The 3 braches avaiable to monitor and remedy the abuse of the other? Especially a stong and powerful executive branch was feared by the founding fathers. This was based on experience and a study of history.

It is my wish that each party were to be especially diligent of their own party to the principles of American Democracy… including the adherence to the law. Instead of labeling the other side, they should focus on what their own party is doing.

It is as with children… we tell them not to worry so much about what they other child is doing. What the other child does not jusify what our children are doing. Imagine if each person dealt with the questionable behavior of their own party rather than search for “like” behavior in the other party to rationalize bad behavior?

As was taught to me while in the service, we need to not only conform with the ethics, but we must work to prevent an “appearance” of violating ethics. This is an incredibly hard standard to live by, but I do believe that the results are worth the effort.

While the courts have been mentioned we might want to explore the Supreme Court’s rulings on the use of power by a Commander-in-Chief during times of war we can look to Truman in 1952 and the Korean war when he attempted to take over the steel mills. The Court ruled that these powers and even the reality of a war do not constitute the right for a President to violate the law.

Some may not understand and say this has nothing to do with steel. The point here is that the Supreme Court ruled that the President does not have the Constitutional power as Commander-in-Chief during war time to violate a law.

America means either the rule by law or it doesn’t. That is not a “Liberal” concept. That is an American concept.

72 hours to retrocatively attain a warrant (which has been denied, what 5 times out of 15,000) should meet the needs of the administration. If it doesn’t, then they are supposed to request a change in the law or a new law… this leaves the responsibility up to the Congress to do their job.

Expediency in the war on terror may mean a time lag between performing survellinces against the questioning of whether it is illegal or not… but after a certain period of time… they should have requested the specific poweres they needed instead of relying on the shading of what they “thought” or “believed” they law said.

As has been noted before about the President, he has a tendency of surrounding himself with people that are not comfortable with disagreeing or presenting opposing views. His interpretations are all based on a circle that is dedicated to him personally and his agenda. That does not make it condusive to exploring different viewpoints.

LIES
As has been pointed out so many times on this website… CLINTON LIED TO CONGRESS

Yes, he did. I did not support him and I was extremely disappointed (See above as to why). He was impeached, lost his license and had the resulting blemish on his character and career by being labeled a “LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!”

Before people cast stones or aspersions or comparisons, please be intellectually honest if you wish to cite Clinton… that is all I ask.

If you do cite him, then you do open yourself up to the comparing of his lies and their real effects on people’s lives versus possible lies of someone you support. If a Lie is a LIE, then it applies to both sides. Be sure you are not being hypocritical if you point a finger.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 29, 2005 1:34 PM
Comment #114226

If it was suspected that a US citizen was communicating - whether by phone, internet, or snailmail - was communicating to a member of Al Qaeda, a senior member of Al Qaeda, or actually Bin Laden himself (AKA those we are at war with), is it a good or bad thing that we investigate this chatter “reasonably” and as instantaneously as possible in this technology age? And then have that survellience reviewed by the same secret courts that grant secret warrants within 45 days of that original national security-related search? It is something Clinton, Reagan, Carter, and probably every president of the US has done in the past. The answer is most likely Yes, it is a good thing, it is a legal thing, to do this. I am not a lawyer so I cannot give an affirmative Yes, like I hope none of you can truly give an affirmative No without having much more information on the issue in the first place.

In a day in age where those who are seeking to harm us are using technology to their advantage, must we not use those same tools against them?

This was used to prevent the bombing of the Brooklyn Bridge post-9/11. It could have been used to prevent 9/11. It has been used to prevent the spying by US citizen’s working for other countries like the former Soviet Union and Vietnam, pre-9/11.

The biggest problem everyone really has is - well, well, well, what is their definition of suspected agents of terrorists like Al Qaeda. Unfortunately, a lot relies upon trust. Fortunately, every instance of this is reviewed by secret courts and members of the Senate Intelligence Committee (both Democrats and Republicans). Do you trust your officials? I know a lot of you don’t. But, until we can prove something illegal did occur, let’s affirm what is legal and what is not. Let’s affirm not only what we do know, but what we don’t know. And if what we do know is not enough information, do not make ridiculous calls of conclusion. Let’s affirm that we have no substantial evidence that whatever Bush has done is illegale and let’s affirm that we do know that what he intended to do - was most likely done in the interest of National Security and with the understanding that past presidents and past precedents have approved his actions.

If you think Bush is a liar, then wouldn’t it just be easier to deny the existance of this program rather than him blatently affirming the existance of this program?

The final question is then - how do we know this instantaneous survellience of pre-suspected terrorist agents is being properly reviewed later? I don’t know the answer, but a lot comes down to trust. Some more comes down to appropriate legislative safeguards that we need to make sure are in place.

The Internet has allowed us to communicate these issues in mass form - Bush gets the, heh, “privilege”, of being the first president of the USA to serve a term where broadband connections are cheap, and the human users of computers are smart enough to browse around user-friendly computer systems. It’s a good thing, that can be used in a bad way. Basically, I always conclude to this: if what our current President is doing today, has been done by Presidents of the past - let’s give him some benefit of the doubt - it what he is doing, as well as what other Presidents have done, is wrong, illegal, and even unconstitutional - let’s evaluate this objectively - change what needs to be changed - but still give the benefit of past precedent and the benefit that we truly do not want another 9/11. And the benefit that we now have the Internet, a limitless medium - which has called for more calls of openness and more calls for privacy - where we can finally seek answers to these questions with potentially less bias in our media. Balance can often be hard to achieve. The entertainment media makes it more easy to deceive.

Posted by: Wix at January 18, 2006 6:38 AM
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