It’s Different When I Do It

If you go by the words of non-hysterical non-extremists like Michael Reagan and Dean Esmay, Iraq doubters and war critics deserve to be hung. Terrorists listen, we were told. There’s nothing that a terrorist loves more than a little dissent, just ask Scott McClellan, or Dick Cheney, or Ken Mehlman or any other rightwing pundit worth his seat at FOX. Newt Gingrich, for example:

I think it’s quite clear as you point out, Sean, that from this tape, that bin Laden and his lieutenants are monitoring the American news media, they’re monitoring public opinion polling, and I suspect they take a great deal of comfort when they see people attacking United States policies.

That word, comfort, comes up surprisingly often in rightwing discourse. Aid as well. Any knuckle-chewing retard can figure out the reference:

Section 3: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

Folks like Esmay and Reagan at least had the integrity to stand behind their words. People with weaker spines tossed around aid-and-comfort as if they had no idea that it came from a statute that, gosh, wouldn’t you know it carries a sentence of death. Strangely enough I have some respect for Reagan and Esmay for following through on their rhetoric, and I will have even more if they show a bipartisan spirit and call for Gingrich’s traitorous head on a red-white-and-blue platter. How about it, guys?

Greenwald has the must-read on this. You will die of old age before Esmay and Reagan call for Gingrich’s head.

How is the latest round of criticism from Buckley, Fukuyama or Gingrich qualitatively different from the tantamount-to-terrorism stuff that you heard two years ago from Howard Dean? Save your energy, it is not. Howard Dean, Newt Gingrich and Frances Fukuyama, among others, have now gone on record as saying that invading and occupying Iraq was a counterproductive mistake. Yet unless you count the ongoing Krauthammer-Fukuyama cage match, silence. Treason apparently is only treason if a Democrat does it.

If you wondered why I point and laugh whenever a Republican accuses Democrats of poisoning the pristine well of political rhetoric, now you know.

***Update***

For the sake of accuracy I should point out that Dean Esmay was criticizing a leak concerning the NSA program rather than criticism of the Iraq war. I understand the degree to which those two things are different and apologize for not making that clear above.

The action of leaking sensitive information is every bit as much a two-way street as criticizing the Iraq war. Republicans leak sensitive information all the time when it suits their political interests. Should they hang as well? I doubt that many who agreed with Esmay will take that stance. Many will use the dishonest dodge that nothing that any Republican has leaked amounts to damaging information, or as they say IOKIYAR. On the theoretical level, should a Republican hang for leaking genuinely damaging information? I expect that the shoe does not fit so well on the other foot.

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164 replies
  1. 1
    tBone says:

    So why do I point and laugh whenever a Republican accuses Democrats of poisoning the pristine well of political rhetoric?

    Obviously because you hate America, you filthy hippy.

  2. 2
    Tim F. says:

    Heh, you caught me before an edit. I have a bad habit of proofreading after posting.

  3. 3
    LITBMueller says:

    Thing is, though, Tim, is that guys like Reagan and Eismay are in on the “scam.” Gingrich is a NeoCon through and through: an AEI and Hoover Institute Fellow, and Defense Policy Board member (along with the Prince fo Darkness, Richard Perle).t was guys like Powell, and the State Dept., that fucked it up.

    He is a card-carrying member of the “Faster, Please!” cabal. So, the Gingrich “scam” is clear: get the troops out of Iraq so we can move on to the next target: Iran.

  4. 4
    Mona says:

    Little Benny Shapiro – favorite GOP young pundit and professional virgin — will certainly soon be screaming for the hanging of Gingrich and George Conway:

    Much of the language of the “loyal opposition” has been anything but loyal. In September 2002, Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) called President Bush a liar on Saddam Hussein’s turf, then added that Hussein’s regime was worthy of American trust. On “Face the Nation” back in December, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) stated that American troops were “going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the — of, of, of historical customs, religious customs …” Howard Dean, the head of the DNC, averred in December that the “idea that we’re going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.”
    At some point, opposition must be considered disloyal. At some point, the American people must say “enough.” At some point, Republicans in Congress must stop delicately tiptoeing with regard to sedition and must pass legislation to prosecute such sedition.

  5. 5
    Faux News says:

    Little Benny Shapiro – favorite GOP young pundit and professional virgin— will certainly soon be screaming for the hanging of Gingrich and George Conway:

    Looks like Brown Shirt Benny is gonna throw tens of millions of registered democrats into the re-education camps along with the 11 to 12 million illegal aliens who will soon be deported back to Mexico.

  6. 6
    A Patriot says:

    Man, I had no idea what a piece of scum Dean Esmay was. I certainly hope that everyone he loves (if he is capable of that emotion) dies painfuly before his eyes. Then, of course, he needs to be raped to death by 20 AIDs ridden convicts.

  7. 7
    Pooh says:

    Honestly, I try to avoid needless profanity (with varying degrees of success) on these intrawebs, but I’m pretty close to the point of responding to taunts of “america hating” or “treason” or “disloyalty” with a simple “Fuck You” because it’s essentially the same thing with the same feeling, venom and level of analysis behind it. I’m just removing the faux veneer of reasonableness and/or sophistication.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    To someone like Benny there is no such thing as “loyal opposition” to anything Bush and the GOP want to do. This opposition is by it’s very nature, disloyal.

  9. 9
    Mona says:

    Honestly, I try to avoid needless profanity (with varying degrees of success) on these intrawebs, but I’m pretty close to the point of responding to taunts of “america hating” or “treason” or “disloyalty” with a simple “Fuck You” because it’s essentially the same thing with the same feeling, venom and level of analysis behind it. I’m just removing the faux veneer of reasonableness and/or sophistication.

    Same here. I very seldom talk foul online, but I totally lost it last nite over at Goldstein’s when someone declared he “knew” that I hate the United States and long for its military to be defeated. The “F” word, it did come a flyin’ from my keyboard.

    I’m sort of embarrassed; I pretty much had a meltdown. But something just snapped. I’m so sick of it.

    And they should know better over there. I voted for Bush in ’04, and didn’t start to turn around until the Schiavo thing, when I also began reexamining the Padilla and Hamdi matters. Then after the warrantless spying matter came out last December, well, it was time for sane people to WAKE THE EFF UP. Add in that by February it was beyond clear that Iraq is a mess with no end in sight, that the war was prosecuted in the most incompetent manner possible, and I cannot get my head wrapped around folks who think the GOP is still pretty swell.

    And if saying all that gets people to telling me I hate my country, it seems I lose my temper!

  10. 10
    Steve says:

    Let’s remember, even the name of your dog can be a clue that you’re a treasonous America-hater. And if you admit to liking someone who gave their dog an inappropriate name, well then, you’re equally guilty…

  11. 11
    Kimmitt says:

    I fail to understand why I should take the foreign policy — or any other — ideas of the “Freedom Fries” Party seriously. These are not grownups.

  12. 12
    tBone says:

    Let’s remember, even the name of your dog can be a clue that you’re a treasonous America-hater.

    And if you sneak into Republican’s yards and give their dogs forced prostate exams? You’re a HUGE America hater.

    Also, not someone I want to shake hands with.

  13. 13
    Andrew says:

    And if you sneak into Republican’s yards and give their dogs forced prostate exams?

    Actually, I think that’s the GOP induction process.

  14. 14

    I’m not sure if Gingrich’s call for withdrawl is an evil plot to redeploy troops into Iran, or if he’s simply sticking his finger in the wind and realizing that the Republican party has discredited itself and he wants to catch the next wave of consumer sentiment.

    I lean towards poll watching.

    Gingrich never struck me as an evil mastermind, but rather a clever master of exploiting trends.

  15. 15
    Kazinski says:

    So Gingrich says that al Qaeda “take a great deal of comfort”, and Tim morphs that into an acusation against liberals of “giving them Aid and Comfort”.

    That’s why conservatives laugh and point at Tim’s posts. Except about beer.

  16. 16
    Steve says:

    Huh?

  17. 17

    All I can say is if anyone called me a traitor, or even implied it, I would have filed a slander suit on the bastard. Um, do *do* still have slander laws in this country, don’t we…?

    You see, that’s part of the problem: people can go and accuse others of stuff like ‘treason’ when they know that the ones they attack won’t fight back with the law. What has happened to our slander and libel laws in this country?

  18. 18
    BB says:

    It would be nice if you could convince your associate, Mr. Cole, to go say something this lucid and clear to the pricks over at Redstate who continue to have his name on their website and call all of us treasonous.

  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    What if we told these 11 mill illegals that a 2 year stint in the military would give them citizenship? Wouldn’t that solve both their prob and ours?

  20. 20
    Al Maviva says:

    I feel terrible for all the vitriol that gets directed at you poor people. It must be terrible having to withstand these vicious attacks. I don’t know how you do it.

    Just speaking as one Taliban Republican who hates blacks, welfare mothers, hispanics, and people with disabilities, but especially hispanics but most of all blacks, and who is a slavering warmonger, I feel terrible that all of your feelings have been so terribly hurt by vicious Republicans. It makes me feel awful so I apologize to you on behalf of all other corrupt money drenched plutocratic hatemonger fascist evil corrupt and brain dead rightwingers.

    I wouldn’t want anybody to engage in nasty name calling or anything. All of the people on your side of the aisle really are pristine, wonderful, lovely folks when I think about it, and I just can’t believe I could ever think bad thoughts about anybody to my left. All the problems in this country are due to me and my ilk, and what gave people like me to use rhetoric that might upset you is beyond me. Frankly, I’m ashamed about my past behavior. But then, you know, I just come by it honestly. I’m a bastard by nature, so are all 55 million or so conservative leaning folks in the US. I can understand your discomfiture with having to put up with all of us subhuman Republican filth. Moreover, as ethicist Steven Metcalfe proved conclusively in the very first sentence of his article today, there’s only one person among the 55 million or so conservative leaning people in the U.S. who is actually likeable. So any minor disagreement directed at my side of the aisle from your side of the aisle is completely understandable, and don’t let anybody of us retard republicans make you think otherwise.

  21. 21
    jg says:

    Kazinski Says:

    So Gingrich says that al Qaeda “take a great deal of comfort”, and Tim morphs that into an acusation against liberals of “giving them Aid and Comfort”.

    That’s why conservatives laugh and point at Tim’s posts. Except about beer.

    Actaully Tim was pointing out that conservatives have done that morphing. And then use that morphing to call him a traitor.

  22. 22
    Krista says:

    I’m sort of embarrassed; I pretty much had a meltdown. But something just snapped. I’m so sick of it.

    It happens. Don’t be embarassed.

    And I’m very happy that you have realized how dangerous and incompetent this administration is. Disillusionment can be a very bitter pill to swallow, but you appear to have done so quite gracefully.

  23. 23
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    The Great Loon Tide has risen, peaked, and is now flowing rapidly back into the sea. And what we see flopping on the beach are all sorts of exotic fishies, glistening in the sun and just gasping their little sad lives away.

    Look at it this way: How many Loon Site posts have you seen lately that deal with hanging, shooting or nuking people? Lots, right? It’s sick and it’s sad, and what better indication of how wretched and weak their lot has become?

  24. 24
    stickler says:

    Oh, let’s don’t forget the other reason why big-state rightwingers are braying about treason: they need a scapegoat to blame when the war goes south. Otherwise the failed war might get blamed on the idiots who started it.

    Re-read Trevino’s laughable “No End but Victory” site. He identifies a bunch of enemies over there, but biggest Enemy of them all is the Enemy Within: the amorphous Left. The Media. Hollywood. The longhaired Hippies. Abortionists.

    After all, how could a mighty superpower like America have lost the Vietnam War? Our Army was stabbed in the back, of course! And those dirty long-hairs (and I’ll let the reader guess which identifiable ethnic group is associated with the derogatory term “Hollywood” …) are doing it again!

    “Unser glorreiches Heer ist vom hinten erdolcht worden!”

  25. 25
    Eric says:

    You said, “If you go by the words of non-hysterical non-extremists like Michael Reagan and Dean Esmay, Iraq doubters and war critics deserve to be hung.”

    I doubt they think Iraq war critics deserve to have large genitalia. You meant to say “deserve to be hanged.”

  26. 26
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Somebody has to take the blame for Georgie’s Iraq War loss.

    November Criminals, anyone?

  27. 27
    Darrell says:

    If you go by the words of non-hysterical non-extremists like Michael Reagan and Dean Esmay, Iraq doubters and war critics deserve to be hung

    I agree that Micheal Reagan’s accusations of traitorous behvior on the part of Howard Dean are way over the top.. but Dean Esmay’s post you linked to was not directed at “Iraq doubters” and “war critics” as you claim, but specifically toward those who leaked information on a secret NSA program on our national security.

    Again, Dean Esmay’s charges of treason were directed not at war critics in general, many of whom I believe him to respect, but at those responsible for leaking info on a classified program involving national security.. a helluva distinction, don’t you think?

  28. 28
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Dawwell: Leaking information that has helped to expose the distortions and flat-out lies put out by the Bush administration in order to sell this disastrous misadventure in Iraq to the American people is an act of great patriotism.

    True is the iodine, Bush is the boil.

  29. 29
    Carpbasman says:

    All I can say is if anyone called me a traitor, or even implied it, I would have filed a slander suit on the bastard. Um, do do still have slander laws in this country, don’t we…?

    You see, that’s part of the problem: people can go and accuse others of stuff like ‘treason’ when they know that the ones they attack won’t fight back with the law. What has happened to our slander and libel laws in this country?

    An essential part of any suit is damages. An outright accusation of treason (as an allegation of criminal misconduct) would probably be per se defamatory in jurisdictions that distinguish between per se and per quod defamation. While a suit for per se defamation doesn’t require a showing of actual economic harm resulting from the defamation, if you can’t show actual economic harm, you are likely only to win a token judgment (think one dollar, literally). While this might be emotionally satisfying, ultimately it wouldn’t be worth the time and resources to pursue it unless, for instance, you lost your job because someone called you a traitor.

  30. 30
    Darrell says:

    I think Dem congressional leaders Jim McDermott and John Bonior going overseas to Iraq on the eve of war, giving credence to Saddam’s propaganda while calling our President a liar surely qualifies as unpatriotic at best.. Wouldn’t you lefties agree?

    Or were they speaking ‘truth to power’?

  31. 31
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Bush IS a liar.

    What’s your point? Truth is politically incorrect on the right these days?

  32. 32
    Darrell says:

    ‘David’ Bonior, not John Bonior

  33. 33
    stickler says:

    I think Dem congressional leaders Jim McDermott and John Bonior going overseas to Iraq on the eve of war, giving credence to Saddam’s propaganda while calling our President a liar surely qualifies as unpatriotic at best.. Wouldn’t you lefties agree?

    Well, not being a “Leftie” maybe I shouldn’t answer this. But you remember how Jim McDermott said that Saddam was complying with the inspectors, and thus the war wasn’t justified?

    He was telling the truth. And the President was, um, you know. Lying. “Sure we’ll go back to the Security Council. Get ’em all to show their cards…”

  34. 34
    Pooh says:

    Senator, your shouldn’t speak ill of your colleagues in public like that.

  35. 35
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Thank you for pointing out who was on the right side of the Iraq issue…

    “The sanctions have punished the Iraq people; they have not affected the leadership, they have not brought ‘regime change,’ and to go to war again would simply punish the Iraqi people again and put our own soldiers in harm’s way in this country for a problem that I think can be handled diplomatically.”
    […]
    McDermott is sure how he will vote. “I don’t see any reason to give Bush any new authority,” he said. “We should allow the inspections to proceed.”

    And thank you for doing the right thing, Congressman McDermott. After all, you saw it coming:

    Stephanopoulos asked McDermott about his recent comment that “the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.”

    McDermott didn’t backpedal at all: “I believe that sometimes they give out misinformation. . . . It would not surprise me if they came out with some information that is not provable, and they, they shift it. First they said it was al Qaeda, then they said it was weapons of mass destruction. Now they’re going back to and saying it’s al Qaeda again.” When Stephanopoulos pressed McDermott about whether he had any evidence that Bush had lied, the congressman replied, “I think the president would mislead the American people.”

    Of course, despite your candor, the biggest idiots on the right are still jeering in the face of truth–but at least the rest of America has woken up to their duplicitous idiocy.

  36. 36
    Darrell says:

    Well, not being a “Leftie” maybe I shouldn’t answer this. But you remember how Jim McDermott said that Saddam was complying with the inspectors, and thus the war wasn’t justified?

    The burden was on Saddam to prove they destroyed WMDs which Iraq had previously admitted they had.. that is, before ejecting inspectors out of the country in ’98.

    But Bonior and McDermott went to Iraq to denounce President Bush in front of Saddam out of patriotism, right? Did any Dems denounce McDermott and Bonior for this? just curious

  37. 37
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Punchy Says:

    What if we told these 11 mill illegals that a 2 year stint in the military would give them citizenship? Wouldn’t that solve both their prob and ours?

    April 12th, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    Isn’t this done already?

  38. 38
    Steve says:

    Saying that whoever leaked the NSA spy program should be executed for treason is fringe nuttiness. I’m sorry that you feel it makes Esmay more reasonable than Michael Reagan, but it really doesn’t.

  39. 39
    Darrell says:

    As Pb and stickly make clear, you lefties support and embrace what Bonior and McDermott did. But don’t dare question your patriotism, right?

    “The sanctions have punished the Iraq people; they have not affected the leadership, they have not brought ‘regime change,’ and to go to war again would simply punish the Iraqi people again and put our own soldiers in harm’s way in this country for a problem that I think can be handled diplomatically.”

    The ‘sanctions’ didn’t punish the Iraqi people. Saddam did. He stole the money sent for sick children and starving Iraqis, and with it built palaces stacked to the rafters with guns and cash. But they were on the ‘right side’, right according to you..and no doubt many, many others on your side

  40. 40
    Darrell says:

    Saying that whoever leaked the NSA spy program should be executed for treason is fringe nuttiness

    Leaking classified information on a secret program in violation of their secrecy oath would seem to qualify as treason. Why is that such a “nutty” accusation?

  41. 41
    Steve says:

    Because something doesn’t harm national security just because a bunch of partisan politicians go “wah, you’re harming national security.” You probably think Jay Rockefeller outed a classified satellite program on the Senate floor, too.

  42. 42
    Andrei says:

    All the problems in this country are due to me and my ilk, and what gave people like me to use rhetoric that might upset you is beyond me.

    More whining from people who support the party in power.

    Really… start leading already. Start showing some real goddamned results instead endless and pointless rhetorical masturbation we get from you all the time. As the crude saying goes: Shit or get off the pot already.

    No one could complain whatsoever with all you rah-rah GOPers if your party just did something worthwhile that had some real friggin’ tangible results.

    Places to start:

    1. Fix Iraq. Fix it now. It’s going into its fourth year.
    2. Fix the poisonous rhetorical commentary that pits American against American like some blood riddled sporting event. Be the better guy. Tell Sean, Ann, Rush and Bill to tone it down already, regardless what Air America does.
    3. Fix the budget deficit. Start figuring out a real way to pay for all the spending your party has put into place. INCLUDING the Iraq War. Better yet, start taxing people finally to pay for all this crap isntead of the constant borrowing against future generations.
    4. Fix the mixing of religion and politics. Get the Christian Coalition out of trying to influence policy making decisions.
    5. Fix the pork spending in congress. Get the president to veto something for real already.
    6. Fix the lobbying corruption that is plaguing your party.
    7. Fix your own personal Idaho that has you think America == The World, when it’s quite clear we aren’t keeping up with competition. Don’t beleive me? Check out China and India and see how well they are doing lately and how soon they will catchup.
    8. Fix the whole stupid ID versus Evolution “debate.” Cut that shit out already.
    9. Finally.. and probably most important: Fix the policies around the environment. When Kennedy said “we’re going to the moon” the government moved mountains to make that happen. Make the same bet: Challenege Americans to get a real energy polciy that is not only better for the planet and us as inhabitants of it, but creates entirely new industries that make lots of money while getting our young people involved in their educations again.

    You’re in charge. The only people STOPPING you from doing that are YOU. Not us “naysayers” or “moonbats” or whatever pathetic excuse you want to use to shuck responsibility for whatever you lack in leadership skills.

    Repeat: If you are right and we are wrong, then things would get BETTER, not worse. But it doesn’t feel like its getting better to a good many of us now. Especially with regard to forgein policy.

    If you’re not willing to lead and do those sorts of things, then really… just shut up already. We’re (read: probably at least 2/3 of the American public given general approval ratings of this administration) all really just getting sick of it.

  43. 43
    Otto Man says:

    Leaking classified information on a secret program in violation of their secrecy oath would seem to qualify as treason. Why is that such a “nutty” accusation?

    So by extension of your argument, Sen. Cornyn, you’d believe that Bush and Cheney are guilty of treason too?

  44. 44
    Darrell says:

    Like Dean Esmay said, those leakers “have exposed a perfectly legal, perfectly sensible government operation that has undoubtedly helped round up hundreds of members of Al Qaeda and saved the lives of countless Americans. Exposing such a secret program is not whistle-blowing”

  45. 45
    Andrei says:

    And FWIW, yes, I really wish the Dems would the damn same thing. That they don’t speaks volumes about their own ineptitude.

    The difference is that they are not in power.

    I’m an “American” first and registered independent second. I don’t care about party leadership or who is in charge nearly as much as I care about RESULTS.

    Someone, for the love of God… lead already. I no longer care who anymore. Just that someone does.

  46. 46
    Steve says:

    Oh, undoubtedly. It’s the old “your’e guilty of treason because a blogger used the word undoubtedly” argument. No wonder you think it’s a perfectly sensible and mainstream argument.

  47. 47
    jg says:

    The burden was on Saddam to prove they destroyed WMDs which Iraq had previously admitted they had.. that is, before ejecting inspectors out of the country in ‘98.

    Setting aside that you’re asking Saddam to prove a negative (not like you’d believe he destroyed it anyway), he did let inspectors back in who reported that he didn’t have any wmd or the means to create any. This is the point where the talking point ‘the whole world thought he had wmd’, falls down. After this point only a handful of countries still thought he had wmds.

    Leaking classified information on a secret program in violation of their secrecy oath would seem to qualify as treason. Why is that such a “nutty” accusation?

    Its a violation of the secrecy agreement but I think treason depands on more factors than just breaking a confidentiality clause. In this case the leaker betrayed Bush not the country.

  48. 48
    Darrell says:

    Steve Says:

    Oh, undoubtedly. It’s the old “your’e guilty of treason because a blogger used the word undoubtedly” argument. No wonder you think it’s a perfectly sensible and mainstream argument.

    Oh I see, in your view it all hinges on the word “undoubtedly”. Leaking details of a classified national security program is no problem.. that is what you have stated here

  49. 49
    Pb says:

    Darrell,

    Saddam didn’t destabilize the Middle East–Bush did. And McDermott was entirely right about him too. Now what’s your excuse for being so very wrong on this one?

    But they were on the ‘right side’, right according to you..and no doubt many, many others on your side

    Also including some family and friends of thousands of dead troops, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, hundreds of millions of rational and disgusted American taxpayers, and billions of citizens of Earth.

  50. 50
    Ancient Purple says:

    Shorter Al Maviva: I write really long paragraphs to hide the fact I really have nothing to contribute.

  51. 51
    Darrell says:

    In this case the leaker betrayed Bush not the country.

    How could they have betrayed Bush when it’s not known, and doubtful, that they ever supported him to begin with. When you leak classified info. on a secret program involving national security, you’re betraying your country

  52. 52
    Darrell says:

    and billions of citizens of Earth.

    I love that part

  53. 53
    jg says:

    Like Dean Esmay said, those leakers “have exposed a perfectly legal, perfectly sensible government operation that has undoubtedly helped round up hundreds of members of Al Qaeda and saved the lives of countless Americans. Exposing such a secret program is not whistle-blowing”

    But there is debate that the program was legal. And without oversight is it really undoubtable that its led to capture of hundreds of Al Qaeda and saved countless american lives? Isn’t that opinion rather than fact?

  54. 54
    Darrell says:

    Saddam didn’t destabilize the Middle East—Bush did

    I see, by invading two of his neighbors, murdering tens or hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen and supporting terrorism, he was in no way responsible for destabilizing the middle east.. Bush is the one to blame.

    We can all certainly see the ‘logic’ in that argument

  55. 55
    Steve says:

    Oh I see, in your view it all hinges on the word “undoubtedly”. Leaking details of a classified national security program is no problem.. that is what you have stated here

    Yeah, I guess, if you ignore the previous post where I stated that it’s not a “national security program” just because partisan politicians say so. I remember full well how badly you and your ilk failed to identify any way whatsoever in which national security could be harmed by the revelation that we sometimes secretly spy on phone calls without a warrant, as opposed to secretly spying with a warrant.

    Richard Nixon used the “national security” excuse, too, in case you’ve forgotten. Good thing Dean Esmay didn’t make the rules back then, or we might have hung the wrong folks for treason.

  56. 56
    jg says:

    Darrell Says:

    In this case the leaker betrayed Bush not the country.

    How could they have betrayed Bush when it’s not known, and doubtful, that they ever supported him to begin with. When you leak classified info. on a secret program involving national security, you’re betraying your country

    Bush isn’t the country, he’s just the guy half the people chose as president. It was his program that got leaked so he was betrayed. Since what Bush was doing is arguably unconstitutional the leaker was protecting the country by getting the facts out there. If the president believes he has unfettered powers he is a danger to the country since this country was set up to avoid executives with unfettered powers.

    This country is not its leaders, its the people. We give gov’t its power through our consent. Gov’t declaring they have powers we didn’t grant is dangerous to the country I don’t care what political party the current administration pretends to be a part of.

  57. 57
    Darrell says:

    Yeah, I guess, if you ignore the previous post where I stated that it’s not a “national security program” just because partisan politicians say so.

    Oh I see, the NSA program wasn’t ‘really’ a classified national security program (in scare quotes, of course).. that’s just what the partisan wingnuts tell everyone.. got it

  58. 58
    Mona says:

    How could they have betrayed Bush when it’s not known, and doubtful, that they ever supported him to begin with. When you leak classified info. on a secret program involving national security, you’re betraying your country

    Codswollop. The NYT did not reveal any operational details; merely the fact that the surveillance is going on in violation of a federal criminal statute. Bush is literally a criminal. FISA carries penalties of 5 yrs in prison for what he is doing.

    The idea tha AQ didn’t know we were monitoring their electronic communications until the NYT reported that this was going on illegally, is beyond absurd.

    Bush is moving heaven and Earth to keep his warrantless spying program from coming before the federal courts. Because it is illegal, as even most if not all of the conservative SCOTUS members would rule. Indeed, I think Scalia would ream Bush’s ass, as he did in Hamdi.

  59. 59
    Darrell says:

    Richard Nixon used the “national security” excuse, too, in case you’ve forgotten.

    He did, and he was wrong to do so.. just like you’re wrong to say that the classified NSA program we’re discussing now isn’t “really” a national security program..

  60. 60
    Steve says:

    So, Darrell, do you believe the editors of the New York Times should be hanged for treason too, or just whoever leaked to them?

  61. 61
    Darrell says:

    merely the fact that the surveillance is going on in violation of a federal criminal statute.

    Yeah? In which court was that established?

    Bush is literally a criminal

    And you are literally a whackjob for making that accusation

    The idea tha AQ didn’t know we were monitoring their electronic communications until the NYT reported that this was going on illegally, is beyond absurd.

    It was a big reminder/wake-up call for those who had let their guard down, and it made them them think about the possibilities involving communications..

  62. 62
    jg says:

    Darrell Says:

    Richard Nixon used the “national security” excuse, too, in case you’ve forgotten.

    He did, and he was wrong to do so.. just like you’re wrong to say that the classified NSA program we’re discussing now isn’t “really” a national security program..

    I think its pretty obvious Steve’s point is that you guys use the term ‘national security’ as a blunt weapon. Couching all the issues in the terms ‘national security’ is a way to make people feel maybe they shouldn’t be discussing this out loud. Its a way to get people to stop talking about an issue. Same with ‘america hater’, ‘traitor’ ‘liberal’. It gets people to shut up out of shame or gets them to drop the real issue while they waste time defending their patriotism.

  63. 63
    Darrell says:

    Since what Bush was doing is arguably unconstitutional the leaker was protecting the country by getting the facts out there.

    C’mon man. You can’t go around leaking details of classified military and national security programs just because you feel like it..

  64. 64
    jg says:

    “The idea tha AQ didn’t know we were monitoring their electronic communications until the NYT reported that this was going on illegally, is beyond absurd.”

    It was a big reminder/wake-up call for those who had let their guard down, and it made them them think about the possibilities involving communications..

    Any proof of this? Just your feelings here? Sounds truthy but is it actually true? Are they so stupid that they almost let their guard down and stopped communication in code and we almost caught them?

  65. 65
    Darrell says:

    I think its pretty obvious Steve’s point is that you guys use the term ‘national security’ as a blunt weapon. Couching all the issues in the terms ‘national security’ is a way to make people feel maybe they shouldn’t be discussing this out loud

    Point taken. But this classified program really was, and really is, a secret program to monitor foreign enemies. It is a national security program by any reasonable definition.

  66. 66
    Steve says:

    It was a big reminder/wake-up call for those who had let their guard down, and it made them them think about the possibilities involving communications..

    Oh, that’s brilliant! Darrell knows what the terrorists were thinking, and he knows they had forgotten about the idea their communications might be monitored until they read about it in the NYT!

    By this “logic,” it would have been equally treasonous if the NYT, knowing nothing whatsoever about the warrantless wiretapping program, had printed an article mentioning that the NSA has the power to tap phone conversations WITH a warrant! Heck, let’s hang LEXIS/NEXIS for making the text of the FISA statute publicly available.

    Thanks for illustrating what the Right considers to be a rational, mainstream argument, Darrell. I seriously wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t read it with my own two eyes.

  67. 67
    jg says:

    Darrell Says:

    Since what Bush was doing is arguably unconstitutional the leaker was protecting the country by getting the facts out there.

    C’mon man. You can’t go around leaking details of classified military and national security programs just because you feel like it..

    True that. There are consequences. But we’ll worry about that after we determine if the president was doing what he’s not allowed to do.

  68. 68
    Darrell says:

    Any proof of this?

    It was a classified secret program which was leaked. I was not aware that point was disputed by anyone. And no, there is no way to “prove” that some/many foreign enemies let their guard down from time to time

  69. 69
    jg says:

    But this classified program really was, and really is, a secret program to monitor foreign enemies.

    Tha’s what we keep hearing. The issue though is not its intent, its the application. If Bush had just gone along with FISA there would be no problem at all. He decided instead that he doesn’t need to go along with the FISA court. He decided he didn’t have to submit to oversight. This is where the problem lies. How do we know he’s only listening to certain communications if he won’t tell us who he’s spying on? Trust? In gov’t? Oversight is what separates our country from others. Each bracnh watches the other so no one branch (especially the executive) gets ahead.

    The issue is the legality/illegality of the program, not its intent. Screaming that the left is against its intent when they clearly aren’t raises the distrust.

  70. 70
    Darrell says:

    Steve, as an example, the NY Times article mentioned an Iranian doctor in the South with ties to Al Queda as well as a truck driver trying to destroy the Brooklyn bridge.

    Do you think it took Al Queda very long to figure out that they had better not be contacting any Iranian doctors in the south? And all those in contact with the truck driver will no doubt be laying low now as well, thanks to the NY Times and the leakers.

  71. 71
    jg says:

    And no, there is no way to “prove” that some/many foreign enemies let their guard down from time to time

    Then why did you use it to justify your argument? Frankly I’m of the opinion that most jihadis are uneducated zealots so its not hard to imagine they can let their guard down or just plain screw up in a communication, they’re not brain surgeons or even highly trained agents. But I won’t give up 4th amendment rights because Bush has a profram that might capture the most bottom feeding idiots of Al Qaeda. I want the big fish. Haji bin Turban means nothing to me.

  72. 72
    Slide says:

    watching a film clip of the Liar-in-Chief discussing mobile bio labs on Keith Olbermann’s show. Hysterical. Fucking degenerate liars. Does anybody belive this guy anymore? Oh, other than Darrell of course…lol Every week brings another revelation of this administrations dishonest and incompetence. Ya just gotta love it.

  73. 73
    tBone says:

    You know, I finally figured out what bothers me about Darrell. It’s not the ridiculous, insulting bullshit that he endlessly spouts, it’s not the way he constantly sends everyone chasing after jackalopes, it’s not the incessant use of “lefties” and “kooks” and “whackjobs”.

    It’s that he doesn’t use periods at the end of his posts.

    It’s really annoying

  74. 74
    jg says:

    And all those in contact with the truck driver will no doubt be laying low now as well, thanks to the NY Times and the leakers.

    And all those who had ever been in contact with Brewster Jennings INC. or Valerie Plame when she was overseas are also lying low. As well as all those Al Qaeda members who used that guy the pakistanis captured as a go between on communications. All laying low as agents are burned.

  75. 75
    Darrell says:

    He decided instead that he doesn’t need to go along with the FISA court.

    It is a debateable point whether or not Bush exceeded his authority in doing so. There are good arguments on both sides.. but it is not a settled matter

    He decided he didn’t have to submit to oversight.

    It definitely has oversight, congressional and judicial. You can argue that there should be more oversight, but there is oversight on that program

  76. 76
    Slide says:

    Bio labs that weren’t

    New Hampshire phone jamming scandal

    Bush leaking selective cherry picked NIE info

    Tom Delay resigning

    Homeland security sex sting arrests

    Censure debate

    four generals calling for Rummy’s resignation

    leak of administrations belief that nuking Iran will make the Iranians turn against their own govenment.

    and that was just this past week. Lol.. you gotta just love it.

  77. 77
    Darrell says:

    tBone Says:

    You know, I finally figured out what bothers me about Darrell. It’s not the ridiculous, insulting bullshit that he endlessly spouts, it’s not the way he constantly sends everyone chasing after jackalopes, it’s not the incessant use of “lefties” and “kooks” and “whackjobs”.

    Think of them as apt, colorful characterizations. But tBone, didn’t you come on these threads about a month ago yourself complaing about ‘lefty whackjobs’ or similar such language? As I recall, Steve objected to your choice of words in describing his side.

    I could be mistaken, maybe it wasn’t you.

  78. 78
    stickler says:

    The lying is just so irrestistable that even Darrell is doing it now:

    It definitely has oversight, congressional and judicial. You can argue that there should be more oversight, but there is oversight on that program

    No, there isn’t. A few members of Congress were “briefed” about parts of the program, and then told that they were forbidden from discussing any part of what they learned in public. How in the hell is that “oversight?”

    It isn’t. And Darrell knows this. But he repeats the lie anyhow.

  79. 79
    Broken says:

    Darrell says:

    How could they have betrayed Bush when it’s not known, and doubtful, that they ever supported him to begin with. When you leak classified info. on a secret program involving national security, you’re betraying your country

    Heh. Where, exactly, do you see the compromise of national security in the NYT leak? Do you think Al Queda doesn’t know NSA is trying to eavesdrop on them? Do you think Al Queda really gives a rats ass about whether warrents are issued or not? Does Al Queda care if there is FISA oversight?

    However, I, as an American citizen, certainly do care if Bush is eavesdropping on Americans without any oversight. That was why FISA was put in place to begin with. A certain previous president WAS spying on his political opponents. The FISA act was put in place to prevent that from happening again.

    FISA worked fine through Cold War and peace time for 30 years. Until Bush, that is. Bush deems it unnecessary for HIS administration to have oversight. And he doesn’t tell anyone until he’s caught. And then he claims that national security has been jeopardized. Did he change his name to “national”?

  80. 80
    tBone says:

    But tBone, didn’t you come on these threads about a month ago yourself complaing about ‘lefty whackjobs’ or similar such language? As I recall, Steve objected to your choice of words in describing his side.

    I could be mistaken, maybe it wasn’t you.

    Who gives a rat’s ass what Steve thinks, he’s just another hippy-dippy moonbat.

    Actually I don’t remember Steve complaining, but I have been known to throw out typical wingnut insults in the interest of spoofing. Successfully, it would appear.

    Thanks for the period, by the way.

  81. 81
    Pooh says:

    Sometimes Balloon Juice reminds me of nothing so much as Fenway Park during the ’86 World Series, when Strawberry was struggling a little bit. The faithful were heard to singsong

    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl

    In that mocking foghorn voice. I think RedSox Nation had it right then, and it would probably be an appropriate response now.

    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl

    The soundtrack to any and all NSA related threads around here.

    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl

    Eventually you want to just claw your ears out, the sound becomes so maddening. Not Billy Packer maddening but close.

    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl

    Glad you all of it stuck in your head as well.

  82. 82
    Kazinski says:

    I’m not one to accuse people of treason, but I do agree with Jeanne Kirkpatrick’s indictment of “the blame America first” crowd. I’m sure there are many posters here that think it was America’s fault that Saddam was in power in the first place. And that we provided him the means and the money to build his conventional and WMD arsenal in the 80’s. Well fine, if Saddam was our dog then it was up to us to shoot him once he turned rabid. It isn’t treasonous that many on the left that would like us to lose the war in Iraq, have a recession, have a hurricane devastate N.O., etc, etc, just to give George Bush and the Republicans a black eye. It is just immaturity.

    Although it certainly looks like the Republicans are having trouble now, and they will probably lose a few seats in both the Senate and the House in November, I think it will be just a few and both houses will retain a Republican majority. For all the problems we are faced with it is going to be hard for the average voter to concieve of how voting Democratic is going to provide a solution to any of them. It already looks like the Republicans have a lock on retaining Duke Cunningham’s seat in June. And if that seat wasn’t ripe for a pickup then very few are.

  83. 83
    Darrell says:

    And Darrell knows this. But he repeats the lie anyhow.

    Bush has to brief 8 (or is it the entire membership of the intelligence committee?) elected congressman from both parties every 45 days.

    But under FISA, he only has to tell in secret, 1 appointed judge every 90 days

    Draw your own conclusions as to which program offers the most oversight

    “But ChimpyBush is shredding the constitution!”

  84. 84
    tBone says:

    It isn’t treasonous that many on the left that would like us to lose the war in Iraq, have a recession, have a hurricane devastate N.O., etc, etc, just to give George Bush and the Republicans a black eye. It is just immaturity.

    Yeah. The Left is just like a junior high sleepover. They sit around and paint their nails and giggle and say things like “Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if thousands of people died and we lost the war in Iraq?” “Wouldn’t it be HILARIOUS if a major American city was destroyed by a hurricane?” “Wouldn’t it be SO COOL if the economy went in the shitter?”

    How do you type that shit with a straight face?

  85. 85
    Pooh says:

    Funny how the only ones who use such terms as “Chimpy” around here are the Bushies…

    (getting gummed by an angry wingnut in 5…4…3…)

    BTW, Tim, belated POTD on that one

  86. 86
    Mona says:

    Darrell is an idiot:

    Bush has to brief 8 (or is it the entire membership of the intelligence committee?) elected congressman from both parties every 45 days.

    But under FISA, he only has to tell in secret, 1 appointed judge every 90 days

    That is so wrong on so many levels. Per FISA he has to get a WARRANT for each tap– at least, you know, if he decides that day that the law applies to him. There is not this 90 day BS you are pulling out of your ass.

    Judicial oversight was given us by our founders for a reason.

  87. 87
    Eural says:

    And just to throw more fluid on the fire –

    Didn’t our own AG Mr. Gonzelez recently state that he would actually consider secret wire-taps without warrent on purely domestic communications?

    Yes, Al-Qaeda is a much worse threat to the US than any former enemy in 200+years. Not because they are so dangerous, but because our leaders are so deranged.

  88. 88
    stickler says:

    Mona hit on part of the further adventures of Darrell’s Misinformation Quest. But here’s another one:

    Bush has to brief 8 (or is it the entire membership of the intelligence committee?) elected congressman from both parties every 45 days.

    No. Bush so far has deigned to brief 8 (and no, it’s not the entire membership of the committee) Congressmen. He maintains that this was strictly voluntary. There’s no indication whatsoever that those Congressmen could force the President to alter the program in any way.

    This is many things, but “oversight” it sure as hell ain’t.

  89. 89
    Al Maviva says:

    I’m probably voting straight Dem ticket this fall. Don’t get excited, Pooh, I haven’t changed any of my beliefs. It’s just going to be my tiny protest vote against the R’s, who have systematically betrayed every libertarian or conservative belief they claim to hold dear, and which they pay lip service to. I’m only doing it because after the Dem controlled congress impeaches us through the line of Presidential succession, President Pelosi will run the country into a wall much faster, more honestly and less painfully than the Republicans. I’d rather have good, honest San Francisco-style dithering left liberalism-pacifism rammed down my throat and suffer the consequences, than watch the country burn up slowly while several thousand Republican pols and lobbyists get rich and fat. The hypocrites dishonestly calling themselves conservatives and lovers of liberty and this country but betraying us at every turn. If this was conservatives and libertarians’ shot at doing governance right, they blew it and I’m pretty sure nobody can do it. Shit, the Republicans can’t do even conservative or liberal right – the only reason they show up at work any more is for the perks – cash, interns, better seats at nice restaurants. Whatever pays the bills, that’s what they favor. It really won’t matter that much anyways, compliments of those reasonable chaps in Tehran that the reasonable and sophisticated Europeans had so much luck negotiating with, so it’s not like today’s political fights outside of defense policy really matter at all. Even the stupid fights over defense policy and foreign affairs are probably irrelevant; were the more hawkish pols are right, they still don’t have the heart (nor do we, the people have the heart) to pay the price in money or blood to do what it takes to defend the country. Congress quivers when 10 million non-voters wave a bunch of mexican flags; what makes you think they are going to stare down a bunch of religious lunatics with nuclear weapons who vow roughly twice a week to blow us off the map?

    And no, I don’t think y’all are unpatriotic. We just have different visions. Most conservatives envision something like a 20th Century America, or maybe late 19th Century America minus the civil rights problems and brutal material conditions as the political landscape they’d prefer to live in; most of y’all envision something like 21st Century France with better hygiene or maybe Sweden with better weather as the place you’d prefer to live in. It’s not treasonous to try to achieve that through the courts and occasionally by electoral politics. Bogus treason allegations really sort of undercut the case for charging really treasonous people with that crime.

  90. 90
    Brian says:

    Get a message, you lefties.

    Money quote from this fellow traveler of yours:
    “The Left [is demonstrating] the partisanship of fools”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  91. 91

    That Bull Moose Blogger guy isn’t right in the head.

    That’s not something I say because I disagree with him, it’s based on my observations of a long pattern of behavior over several years.

    Sorry Brian, if you got your hopes up over that piece. But he starts off with a strawman and then whines endlessly from there.

  92. 92

    I’d rather have good, honest San Francisco-style dithering left liberalism-pacifism rammed down my throat and suffer the consequences, than watch the country burn up slowly while several thousand Republican pols and lobbyists get rich and fat.

    Funny quote. I may have to use that one in the future.

  93. 93
    Pooh says:

    Brian,

    El Mooso has been weighed, measured, and found wanting.

  94. 94
    Pooh says:

    Al,

    Don’t get excited, Pooh, I haven’t changed any of my beliefs.

    Not sure why I got singled out, but I don’t expect you to change your beliefs because you got duped by people pretending to share them.

    In the abstract, there are many things commendable about ‘true conservatism’ – it doesn’t neccesarily work for me because there are a few too many places where ‘respect’ for ‘tradition’ in practice is just code for defending prejudice and inequality. That’s my normative judgment of course, but I’m glad you recognize that I can make such a distinction in good faith.

  95. 95
    Caroline says:

    It already looks like the Republicans have a lock on retaining Duke Cunningham’s seat in June.

    This district is heavily Republican. LOL, you can’t use it as an example of what is going to happen. It’s like looking at a GOP congressional seat in SC! LOL

    It’s amazing to me that the GOP has managed to turn the term “treason” into a punch line. Also, “america haters” has become another punchline. The GOP is definitely proving that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  96. 96
    jg says:

    There was a time when the words ’86 World Series’ made me want to kill someone.

    Thank you Dave Roberts. And Papi, can’t forget Papi.

  97. 97
    jg says:

    Sorry, forgot the quote.

    Sometimes Balloon Juice reminds me of nothing so much as Fenway Park during the ‘86 World Series, when Strawberry was struggling a little bit. The faithful were heard to singsong

    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl
    Da-ryl

  98. 98
    ppGaz says:

    Brian has been outed as a spoof.

    Time for the reveal, Brian. Who are you, really?

    More importantly, who put you up to this?

  99. 99
    tBone says:

    It’s just going to be my tiny protest vote against the R’s, who have systematically betrayed every libertarian or conservative belief they claim to hold dear, and which they pay lip service to.

    A conservative who votes on principle, not party – what a concept. Wish it would catch on again.

  100. 100
    ppGaz says:

    Al, good job. I take back every rotten thing I’ve ever said about you.

    Get these bums outta there, and then later you can hopefully get some responsible conservatives again. There are plenty of them out there.

  101. 101
    Brian says:

    El Mooso has been weighed….

    Hey, man, he’s one from your side. You dis the GOP, and eat your own. And this leads me to Caroline’s comment about Cunningham’s seat in San Diego.

    This special election was completely stacked in favor of the Dem’s and yet they missed the opportunity to take the seat, and now must face a runoff election. Just another example of how the Dem’s snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Maybe El Mooso was onto something, my little pea-brained friend.

  102. 102
    Brian says:

    pea-brained friend

    BTW, this was reserved for Caroline, not you, Other Steve.

    Brian has been outed as a spoof….who put you up to this?

    Prof. Irwin Corey

  103. 103
    ppGaz says:

    Prof. Irwin Corey

    Okay, good job. Now get lost.

  104. 104
    Remfin says:

    For what it’s worth I’d like to say I agree 90-100% with Al Maviva on the electoral part, but from the other side (the variable is depending on how exactly left he’s going in his example)

    Politics doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game (at least for individual voters). I don’t think I would have voted for any of them, but BushI woulda been fine, Dole most likely would have been fine (his attack dog style didn’t make me very comfortable tho), McCain2000 would have been fine assuming he avoided his 2002 spinectomy aimed at securing a primary win once he had actually made it to the big office. If you leave out some of the pragmatic things they had to do, I don’t think anyone could even think of calling those people liberal

    Those all could have been days where the candidate I voted for lost, but it wouldn’t have felt like I lost.

    In the interest of full disclosure I should point out I felt a little that way in 2000, and a lot in 2004. You’ll notice how that correlates to the winning/losing generally (not that the Dem candidates are even close to my 100% choice). I don’t know if that means I’m a partisan hack of the “angry left” or if it just means my threshold for the dishonesty stuff is lower than others – in my own defense however I think the 2000 feeling being on that side of the marker is due to the election problems, I can’t make that excuse for 2004 tho

    Any righties recommend someone who’s showing up as a 2008 possibility(I know it’s early) I can root for?

  105. 105

    Hey, man, he’s one from your side.

    Not really. As I said he’s not right in the head.

    Anybody who would align himself with Ralph Reed to begin with has mental problems. I don’t care if I occasionally agree with him or not.

  106. 106
    Jcricket says:

    Shorter Darrell: Look, a non sequitur! And over there, a red herring!

    It’s not one judge, it’s a panel, and it meets in secret for all the reasons you keep harping about (you know, not immediately telling enemies they’re being surveilled). But FISA was set up, and continues to exist, to provide a consistent level of oversight (not dependent on the political leanings of whatever senators are briefed). It also provides a paper trail that allows us to assure that what the president isn’t lying about who he’s surveilling and ensures our legal system functions effectively (chain of evidence, due process, etc.). It exists because historically Presidents have proven eager to abuse their surveillance powers. And FISA served Reagan & Bush 1 just fine.

    Given historical and recent revelations about who gets spied on when oversight is lax (read: political enemies of whomever is in power), there’s absolutely no reason to trust any chief executive, let alone Bush, with unfettered surveillance power.

    To claim that FISA just “doesn’t apply” to this cases and briefing some senators is somehow “better” shows your unbelievable lack of understanding of the legal system. As you keep pointing out in your harangue against “leaking”, if you don’t like the way a law works, you don’t just get to break it. Good intentions do not count for squat. Repeating “It’s about national security, and only for terrorists, I swear” does not obviate the need for Bush to follow the existing law. How hard is that for you to understand?

    For fuck’s sake, several Senators offered to broaden the President’s surveillance abilities, while still under FISA, during the original debate on the PATRIOT, and the White House declined to seek those powers. Now we see that’s because the WH has a fundamental fear of oversight due to their pathological belief in their own infallibility.

    For someone who claims to be a conservative (by that I mean someone who regularly says government is “part of the problem”) you are amazingly quick to give up all of our and your rights to the government (although I’ll bet your right to bear arms isn’t one of them) when there just might be terrorism involved. Of course you’ll keep saying “I have nothing to hide”.

    You’re a pathetic student of history Darrell.

  107. 107
    Ancient Purple says:

    You’re a pathetic student of history Darrell.

    To be fair, Darrell is just pathetic.

    Oh, and a bigot and a homophobe, too.

  108. 108
    fwiffo says:

    Hey, man, he’s one from your side.

    No, he’s really, really not. Seriously.

  109. 109
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I see, by invading two of his neighbors, murdering tens or hundreds of thousands of his own countrymen and supporting terrorism, he was in no way responsible for destabilizing the middle east.. Bush is the one to blame.

    Reagan actually since WE backed him in that particular war. Quick, which Secratary of Defense is seen shaking hands with the evil-doer Saddam even after he gassed the Kurds?

  110. 110
    carpeicthus says:

    Oh, they are hung.

  111. 111
    Lee says:

    I used to read Moose.

    Then I figured out little more slowly than The Other Steve that there was something just not right about him.

    There were a couple of posts regarding the NSA scandle where he wrote things that were blantently false. Not just difference of opinion false but things that made you re-read it 3 or 4 times to make sure you were understanding it right.

  112. 112
    Davebo says:

    I’m probably voting straight Dem ticket this fall.

    Don’t do it Al.

    Because despite the vitriol you see in these comments, we really don’t need another lying idiot voting democrat this fall.

  113. 113
    GOP4Me says:

    To be fair, Darrell is just pathetic.

    Oh, and a bigot and a homophobe, too.

    Coming from the people who wanted to leave Saddam Hussein in power, and who now fight tooth and nail on behalf of his mullah adversaries, charges of bigotry and homophobia are priceless. So you think Saddam and the Iranis are beacons of tolerance? If not, why are you friends with them? Or is this all about George Bush with you people? If George Bush badmouths the Devil next week, will you write posts in praise of Satan?

    Personally, I think Darrell is one of the few sensible commenters remaining in this cesspool of a blog commentariat. I realize this view makes me unpopular with the majority of cesspool inhabitants, but luckily the real world runs on more than this cesspool. In the real world, 51% of my fellow Americans (and about 90% of the non-treasonous ones) agree with me. They just don’t stop by this cesspool and complain about the muck as often as Darrell and I do, that’s all.

    It’s a 51% thing. You 49% wouldn’t understand. Come November, maybe you will begin to learn. But then, if the last 3 major election losses didn’t teach you anything, what’s one more going to accomplish?

  114. 114
    Ancient Purple says:

    Coming from the people who wanted to leave Saddam Hussein in power, and who now fight tooth and nail on behalf of his mullah adversaries, charges of bigotry and homophobia are priceless.

    Well, since you are a spoof, this won’t mean much, but I need something to do this morning before I head to work.

    So….

    Care to link to where I have ever said that I wanted Saddam to remain in power? Any link at all? Just one maybe? One?

    Now, shouldn’t you get back into bed? Darrell needs some cuddling.

  115. 115
    Faux News says:

    Has anyone decided what to do about all these retired Generals who are calling for Rumsfield to resign?

    The retired commander of key forces in Iraq called yesterday for Donald H. Rumsfeld to step down, joining several other former top military commanders who have harshly criticized the defense secretary’s authoritarian style for making the military’s job more difficult.

    “I think we need a fresh start” at the top of the Pentagon, retired Army Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who commanded the 1st Infantry Division in Iraq in 2004-2005, said in an interview. “We need leadership up there that respects the military as they expect the military to respect them. And that leadership needs to understand teamwork.”

    Batiste noted that many of his peers feel the same way. “It speaks volumes that guys like me are speaking out from retirement about the leadership climate in the Department of Defense,” he said earlier yesterday on CNN.

    His comments follow similar recent high-profile attacks on Rumsfeld by three other retired flag officers, amid indications that many of their peers feel the same way.

    “We won’t get fooled again,” retired Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who held the key post of director of operations on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2000 to 2002, wrote in an essay in Time magazine this week. Listing a series of mistakes such as “McNamara-like micromanagement,” a reference to the Vietnam War-era secretary of defense, Newbold called for “replacing Rumsfeld and many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach.”

    Last month, another top officer who served in Iraq, retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times in which he called Rumsfeld “incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically.” Eaton, who oversaw the training of Iraqi army troops in 2003-2004, said that “Mr. Rumsfeld must step down.”

    Also, retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, a longtime critic of Rumsfeld and the administration’s handling of the Iraq war, has been more vocal lately as he publicizes a new book, “The Battle for Peace.”

    “The problem is that we’ve wasted three years” in Iraq, said Zinni, who was the chief of the U.S. Central Command, which oversees Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, in the late 1990s. He added that he “absolutely” thinks Rumsfeld should resign.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....14_pf.html

  116. 116
    Andrew says:

    Has anyone decided what to do about all these retired Generals who are calling for Rumsfield to resign?

    Shoot them? I mean, they’re objectively pro-terrorist, America hating libruls.

  117. 117

    I’m probably voting straight Dem ticket this fall.

    Yikes. After 2004 I swore I’d never vote Democrat again.

  118. 118
    Faux News says:

    Shoot them? I mean, they’re objectively pro-terrorist, America hating libruls

    Brown Shirt Benny Shapiro would approve.

  119. 119
    GOP4Me says:

    Care to link to where I have ever said that I wanted Saddam to remain in power? Any link at all? Just one maybe? One?

    I wasn’t referring to you specifically, purple-nurple. I was talking about the Left in general, of which you are a part. The coalition of the Shrilling, which includes everyone from Michael Moore to John Cole. All of you who oppose the Iraq war are objectively pro-Saddam. All of you. (If you support the war, purple, I apologize for casting you amidst this unpleasant, motley riff-raff. But I seem to recall reading your chastisements of the Administration from time to time, so I hereby append you to the flock of Saddamist-Americans until I hear from you reason why your association with them is unfounded.)

    The same people who are objectively pro-Saddam are also objectively pro-Mullah. They oppose the nuclear option vis-a-vis Iran. They support negotiation. There can be no negoatiation with terrorist regimes, and Iran has had one of those since the fall of the Shah. The Shah was a man who understood the importance of freedom and civilization, and his people repaid him by setting up a theocracy with pro-Soviet leanings. Saddam was right to invade them, although his own evil leanings became clearer once his power was solidified by the conflict. In retrospect, a lot of problems have arisen from the fall of the Shah. But enough about ancient history. The irony is that leftist support both sides in the Iran-Iraq war, and oppose America. Presumably, you’d also oppose the Shah, if his government were offered as a viable alternative to the mad mullahs of Tehran today. What more is there to say about the beliefs of the Left? To call them sheer madness does not do the wild-eyed lunacy of their rantings adequate justice.

  120. 120
    GOP4Me says:

    Yikes. After 2004 I swore I’d never vote Democrat again.

    Better late than never. Welcome away from the fold of fools, friend.

  121. 121

    Has anyone decided what to do about all these retired Generals who are calling for Rumsfield to resign?

    Exile? To Elba?

    No, seriously… I think they’re right.

    I also thought the post the other day stating that Rumsfeld is pretty much running things and removing him would cause Bush to cry uncontrollably is probably accurate.

    That being said, there are surely better candidates out there. And I don’t happen to believe in the crap about instability giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

    Right now, the thing any enemy wants most dearly is to have the incompetent stay in power. If we replaced him with someone who knew what he was doing, they would quiver in fear.

  122. 122

    Yikes. After 2004 I swore I’d never vote Democrat again.

    The Pot Smoking Party appreciates your vote.

  123. 123

    Now, shouldn’t you get back into bed? Darrell needs some cuddling.

    I don’t think GOP4Me is a 12 year old girl.

  124. 124
    GOP4Me says:

    The Pot Smoking Party appreciates your vote.

    Oh. Those guys.

    Are you sure that’s where he went?

    If you’re right, oh well. Still better to be one of them than to be a Dumb DemoRat.

  125. 125
    Andrew says:

    I don’t think GOP4Me is a 12 year old girl.

    Or Jeff Goldstein’s dog.

  126. 126
    SeesThroughIt says:

    In the abstract, there are many things commendable about ‘true conservatism’ – it doesn’t neccesarily work for me because there are a few too many places where ‘respect’ for ‘tradition’ in practice is just code for defending prejudice and inequality.

    True indeed. That’s why I make an effort to separate social conservatism, which I find repugnant, from political and economic conservatism, both of which I do think provide some solid ideas (though to be clear, trickle-down economics is not one of them–what a miserable failure that is).

    The thing is, Bush is none of the above. He’s socially conservative (blech), and politically and economically retarded.

  127. 127
    GOP4Me says:

    Or Jeff Goldstein’s dog.

    Where are you perverts going with this? Why are you libelling Darrell like this?

  128. 128
    RSA says:

    All of you who oppose the Iraq war are objectively pro-Saddam.

    (When did the word “objectively” become popular as an intensifier? I think it’s objectively quite stupid usage.)

    In any case, GOP4me, unless you immediately call for the ousting of Kim Jong Il by any means, including dropping nuclear bombs on North Korea, I’ll think of you as being objectively one of his supporters.

  129. 129
    Davebo says:

    Trust me GOP4ME, we’ve got plenty of idiots in the party.

    And frankly, I don’t think John’s heart could take another Cindy Sheehan.

    Stay where you are.

  130. 130
    Darrell says:

    To claim that FISA just “doesn’t apply” to this cases and briefing some senators is somehow “better” shows your unbelievable lack of understanding of the legal system

    No one, except a very few number of your fellow whackjobs, disputes the fact that the POTUS can monitor foreign enemies outside the country without warrant.

    So given the relative unanimity of agreement on that point, yes, it’s entirely reasonable to assert that FISA does not apply if that same foreign enemy monitored without warrant in Tripoli, receives a call from Brooklyn. I mean, what an overreach, right?

  131. 131
    GOP4Me says:

    In any case, GOP4me, unless you immediately call for the ousting of Kim Jong Il by any means, including dropping nuclear bombs on North Korea, I’ll think of you as being objectively one of his supporters.

    I actually wouldn’t have a problem with that, as long as we pull our forces out of the fallout zone first.

    Trust me GOP4ME, we’ve got plenty of idiots in the party

    In the Libertarians? No kidding.

    And frankly, I don’t think John’s heart could take another Cindy Sheehan.

    Stay where you are.

    This confuses me. What are you talking about?

  132. 132

    So given the relative unanimity of agreement on that point, yes, it’s entirely reasonable to assert that FISA does not apply if that same foreign enemy monitored without warrant in Tripoli, receives a call from Brooklyn. I mean, what an overreach, right?

    But wouldn’t you want to monitor that phone line in Brooklyn to see who else they are calling?

    At which point, FISA applies.

  133. 133
    Darrell says:

    But wouldn’t you want to monitor that phone line in Brooklyn to see who else they are calling?

    At which point, FISA applies.

    Not without a warrant. I’ve seen no evidence that is the case. If evidence exists, I agree with you that would be an overreach, a big one.

    What you don’t acknowledge is the most on your side object, even thought the target of the monitoring is a suspected foreign enemy overseas

  134. 134
    RSA says:

    I actually wouldn’t have a problem with that, as long as we pull our forces out of the fallout zone first.

    Well, I’m at least impressed by your consistency.

    On the other hand, even if the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, I think there are other plausible alternatives out there. . .

  135. 135
    Broken says:

    What you don’t acknowledge is the most on your side object, even thought the target of the monitoring is a suspected foreign enemy overseas

    BS.

    NO ONE on any “side” that I know of objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents. Red herring.

    There is strong objection from across the political spectrum to eavesdropping without oversight. The FISA law was put in place by Congress specifically to prevent Presidents from abusing electronic surveilance. Like the way Nixon did. This President has unilaterally placed himself above this law.

  136. 136
    Broken says:

    Faux News Says:

    Has anyone decided what to do about all these retired Generals who are calling for Rumsfield to resign?

    The military hates America.

  137. 137
    GOP4Me says:

    Well, I’m at least impressed by your consistency.

    Thanks, I guess.

    On the other hand, even if the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, I think there are other plausible alternatives out there. . .

    Besides the Constitution? What are you jabbering about?

  138. 138
    SeesThroughIt says:

    (When did the word “objectively” become popular as an intensifier? I think it’s objectively quite stupid usage.)

    Oh this sort of thing has been going on for a while–it’s some Frank Luntz shit, really. As a word nerd, I’m at once disgusted and impressed; they’re able to make words mean the opposite of what they actually mean. It’s a pretty amazing thing–the word “objectively” in the hands of spoofs/know-nots like GOP4Me means the exact opposite of what the word “objectively” really does mean. Having inverted the definition, they come up with these nifty catch-phrases that they then spout like Turing machines in lieu of actually having a point to make.

    Tim has already pointed out the catch phrase “aid and comfort,” which makes me think there’s some guy named Aiden Comfort who is the most popular man in America. We’ve also got “objectively pro-terrorist” and its cousin, “objectively anti-America.” GOP4Me thinks it’s a brilliant argument; the rest of us wonder just how far he got in English class before flunking out. The really clever one that’s been going on for a while is “the war on [insert noun here].” Of course there’s no war on Christianity, for example, but if you tell Christians that there is, then the suckers of the group will buy it and think that the ones who point out this alleged war are the only ones who can protect them from it.

  139. 139
    Darrell says:

    The really clever one that’s been going on for a while is “the war on [insert noun here].” Of course there’s no war on Christianity, for example, but if you tell Christians that there is, then the suckers of the group will buy it and think that the ones who point out this alleged war are the only ones who can protect them from it.

    kind of like Dems and their ‘War on Poverty’

  140. 140
    Andrew says:

    On the other hand, even if the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, I think there are other plausible alternatives out there. . .

    This one confuses me. If you say that the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, that means you’d rather commit treason, which is an offense punishable by death, than die.

  141. 141
    Darrell says:

    NO ONE on any “side” that I know of objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents. Red herring.


    Yeah? Ok, if it’s such a “red herring”, and ‘NO ONE’ on your side objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents, then explain for us the ‘logic’ in how it’s ok to monitor suspected foreign enemies overseas w/o warrant, but suddenly Bush is “shredding the constititution” if we listen in when those same exact suspected foreign enemies make or receive calls to a US telephone number?

  142. 142
    jg says:

    Darrell Says:

    NO ONE on any “side” that I know of objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents. Red herring.

    Yeah? Ok, if it’s such a “red herring”, and ‘NO ONE’ on your side objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents, then explain for us the ‘logic’ in how it’s ok to monitor suspected foreign enemies overseas w/o warrant, but suddenly Bush is “shredding the constititution” if we listen in when those same exact suspected foreign enemies make or receive calls to a US telephone number?

    because they are now eavesdropping on an american citizen. They should get a warrant. No one will deny them the warrant.

    Again how do you know they are only spying on foreigners and only when related to terrorism? Trust?

  143. 143
    Darrell says:

    because they are now eavesdropping on an american citizen. They should get a warrant. No one will deny them the warrant.

    They are spying on suspected foreign enemie overseas, but suddenly have to drop everything in the middle of surveillance if the foreign suspect receives a call or email from the US.

    Again how do you know they are only spying on foreigners and only when related to terrorism? Trust?

    ANY and every government program is vulnerable to abuse. What is your point? This was/is a classified NSA program targeting Foreigners.. and not just foreigners, but foreigners outside the US. This is not Nixon-like tapping of US citizens as the left on this thread and elsewhere hysterically screams

  144. 144
    SeesThroughIt says:

    but suddenly have to drop everything in the middle of surveillance

    No they don’t. They can get the warrant after the fact.

  145. 145
    Broken says:

    Darrell Says:

    “NO ONE on any “side” that I know of objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents. Red herring.”

    Yeah? Ok, if it’s such a “red herring”, and ‘NO ONE’ on your side objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents, then explain for us the ‘logic’ in how it’s ok to monitor suspected foreign enemies overseas w/o warrant, but suddenly Bush is “shredding the constititution” if we listen in when those same exact suspected foreign enemies make or receive calls to a US telephone number?

    That is a complete distortion of the critic’s position, but it’s what I would expect from a shill for the White House. No one knows which Americans the Admin is spying on.

    The executive branch has removed oversight. Oversight intended to prevent abuse of NSA’s surveilance system. Oversight does not block surveilance. Oversight holds the Administration accountable.

    We already have examples of surveilance being abused:

    People being monitored simply because they oppose the war. Quakers for Chrissake. Yeah, there must be Taliban members in the Quaker organization.

    Last week, AG Gonzales let out the little tidbit that he “wouldn’t rule out” that there are other eavesdropping programs on purely domestic calls.

    Also last week, a whistle-blower at ATT says that the NSA installed a large data-tap on a major ATT domestic interchange.

    But, shills like you would have us believe we should trust these guys. Unpatriotic not to. Yeah, Big Brother will keep us SAFE.

  146. 146
    jg says:

    ANY and every government program is vulnerable to abuse. What is your point?

    My point is that because the programs are vulnerable to abuse we need oversight. Not Bush telling a couple senators what he;s planning to do, real oversight. He needs to be reporting to someone. The president is not above anyone or any law. He still needs to act within the law and within the boundaries of the constitution. So far no one has produced any doc or link that shows Bush has this constitutional power in wartime or otherwise.

    They are spying on suspected foreign enemie overseas, but suddenly have to drop everything in the middle of surveillance if the foreign suspect receives a call or email from the US.

    No. Again they don;t have to drop anything. They can keep on surveiling but now that an american citizen is involved we need to get a warrant. The surveilance doesn’t stop while a warrant is processed. this is where I think the Bush supporters are lost. They don”t understand that the FISA court works well, its not a hindrance at all. Bush says it is because he naturally wants more power and the base always agrees with him. Especially if the right can spin it that the only people who think Bush shouldn’t get this power are commie, pinko, leftist, unwashed, dishonest, leftist leftys.

  147. 147
    willem says:

    I just wanted to remark on the generally poor quality of discourse that dominates your site. We live in complicated, compressed world in desperate need of mitzvah. It saddens me that you would take the time to create a blog and not endeavor to offer something more than malice, or do more to encourage others to rise above the vitriol. Life is fleeting. Chronic narcissistic distemper is a poor substitute for a good faith pursuit of problem resolution, and to encourage people to approach life in this way seems more predatory than appropriate.

  148. 148
    Darrell says:

    He still needs to act within the law and within the boundaries of the constitution.

    No one disputes he has constitutional powers to monitor suspected foreign enemies overseas without warrant. I, and others who share my postion, are not “lost” on FISA. There are several issues with it

    1) Does FISA legitimately apply to the monitoring of foreign enemies oveseas just because they get a phonecall from Atlanta? This is a fair issue. Bill Clinton’s former asst. AG John Schmidt and others have persuasively argued that Bush has power to monitor foreign enemies without warrant, even if they receive phone calls or other communication from the US. Others disagree, but the Bush administration does have a solid case. Your side needs to admit as much instead of shrieking how Bush involved in Nixon-like wiretapping

    2) FISA has had problems in the past processing requests. There have been hearings on this. That, in and of itself, is no argument for circumventing it.. But let’s not pretend it was this well-oiled machine. It most definitely is/was not

    3) With spy plane sweeps and other high tech electronic nets surveying the middle east, Europe, and elsewhere, it is very unlikely that FISA could possibly deal with the shear volumne of data being mined out there.. much less deal with it in a timely fashion. That is likely the reason Bush did what he did

    4) This is a pissing match between constitutional powers given to the President and Congressional oversight. Again, the Bush administration has a solid case. Your side pretends there is no case to be made and that’s dishonest as hell

    Those are the real issues, but all I read from the left are “Bush is shredding the Constitution”, “Bush thinks he’s above the law like Nixon”, blah, blah.

    Address those issues in a coherent and honest fashion, or admit you have no argument

  149. 149
    Pooh says:

    Darrell, in the faint possibility that you care what anyone who doesn’t already agree with you thinks, consider this and how it might apply to this:

    Yeah? Ok, if it’s such a “red herring”, and ‘NO ONE’ on your side objects to the eavesdropping on foreign agents, then explain for us the ‘logic’ in how it’s ok to monitor suspected foreign enemies overseas w/o warrant, but suddenly Bush is “shredding the constititution” if we listen in when those same exact suspected foreign enemies make or receive calls to a US telephone number?

    The oversight is to assure that they are in fact listening to who they say they are.

    But if you don’t have anything to hide…

  150. 150
    GOP4Me says:

    I just wanted to remark on the generally poor quality of discourse that dominates your site. We live in complicated, compressed world in desperate need of mitzvah. It saddens me that you would take the time to create a blog and not endeavor to offer something more than malice, or do more to encourage others to rise above the vitriol. Life is fleeting. Chronic narcissistic distemper is a poor substitute for a good faith pursuit of problem resolution, and to encourage people to approach life in this way seems more predatory than appropriate.

    I agree. That’s what I’ve been saying all along. The problem with this commentariat is that 99.9% of them are moronic Michael Moore-ish moonbat maniacs manipulating malicious media while morosely moaning mantras of madness. Without these foul, vitriolic fools running around here, this would be a decent place to have a discussion. I came over here to clean the place up, and I think Darrell and I and a few others are doing an okay job. But we need more help from you and the other members of the Silent Majority. Come help us out!

  151. 151
    Darrell says:

    The oversight is to assure that they are in fact listening to who they say they are.

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume the Bush admin had never initiated such a special NSA program. Would the Bush admin then be obligated to obtain a warrant, even if they were monitoring only foreign enemies overseas? Because after all, according to your logic, who then would know for sure if there was no judicial oversight? Not trying to be snarky.. but do you see my point here?

    But if you don’t have anything to hide…

    yes of course, because that would be the ONLY possible argument against the FISA wiretaps, right?

  152. 152
    Pooh says:

    but do you see my point here?

    No, because your counterfactual is decidedly and admittedly not the issue. We’ve been through this at least 5 times before, but the the person with the plenary power in one limited area (strictly foreign surveillance) cannot have the power to also determine the are covered by that power, else the limit is illusory.

  153. 153
    Darrell says:

    You’re changing the subject. Not sure if you’re being willfully dishonest, or whether we’re just talking past one another. You posted this

    The oversight is to assure that they are in fact listening to who they say they are.

    The Bush admin can monitor suspected foreign enemies overseas without warrant. If a key component of your argument is that Bush admin must be “checked” by the judicial warrant process to ensure they are doing what they say they are doing, then let’s acknowledge there is, and has been, a vast amount of warrantless taps going on, of foreign enemies overseas, fully within the Bush admin’s rights (and the rights of his predecessors), unchecked by the judicial warrant process.

    Point is, the Bush administration has authority to monitor certain parties (foreigners overseas) without first obtaining a court warrant. It’s also clear that the Bush admin does not have this same authority to run warrantless taps in the US. You’re throwing out a strawman with that, which is why I think you’re being dishonest

    The question is, in the process of running warrantless surveillance of foreign enemies, should the Bush administration because required to drop everything and obtain a warrant, each time that foreign enemy sends or receives a phone call or email from the US

  154. 154
    Faux News says:

    kind of like Dems and their ‘War on Poverty’

    A real issue, unlike the Republican’s “War on Christmas”

  155. 155
    jg says:

    The question is, in the process of running warrantless surveillance of foreign enemies, should the Bush administration because required to drop everything and obtain a warrant, each time that foreign enemy sends or receives a phone call or email from the US

    If its determined a US citizen is involved, YES. Except the added part about ‘dropping everything’. Thats where you get lost again. He doesn’t have to stop the tap. The tap can continue while he gets a warrant.

  156. 156
    RSA says:

    When I said:

    On the other hand, even if the Constitution isn’t a suicide pact, I think there are other plausible alternatives out there. . .

    it was in the context of having just heard GOP4Me advocate nuking North Korea, just as long as our troops were outside the blast zone. Putting your faith in nuclear war now to solve potential problems in the future strikes me as suicidal thinking.

  157. 157
    Darrell says:

    If its determined a US citizen is involved, YES. Except the added part about ‘dropping everything’

    Well, looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree then. The NSA couldn’t act on intel w/o getting a warrant, even if they obtained it retroactively.. that’s not how it works. So yes, to a large extent, it would cause them to slam on the breaks and drop everything to obtain a warrant. What’s more, given the likely volume of data from signal intel from monitoring foreigners, I don’t see anyway the FISA system could work… and what’s more, I don’t see why they should be involved as along as the target is a foreign enemy outside the US.

  158. 158
    Pooh says:

    If its determined a US citizen is involved, YES. Except the added part about ‘dropping everything’. Thats where you get lost again. He doesn’t have to stop the tap. The tap can continue while he gets a warrant.

    What jg said. 72 hours.

  159. 159
    Pooh says:

    Alternatively, if you think the law requiring warrants is stupid, try to get the law changed. A hint, that involves Congress. And voting. All that good government bs we learned watching Saturday morning cartoons.

    We may indeed be talking past each other at this point, but I’m frankly tired of making the same points to counter the same tangential arguments every time it comes up.

    “I’m just a billsigning statement, on Capitol Hill…”

  160. 160
    jg says:

    The NSA couldn’t act on intel w/o getting a warrant, even if they obtained it retroactively.. that’s not how it works. /blockquote>

    Huh? The NSA couldn’t act without a warrant even if they got one?

    So yes, to a large extent, it would cause them to slam on the breaks and drop everything to obtain a warrant

    No they don’t have to drop anything. They can continue to tap while going for the warrant. Once they have the warrant they can act on any intel they get because the intel was obtained legally. They can also just sit and listen for as long as it takes, they have a warrant, thats what having a warrant means.
    No one would ever stop them from getting a warrant if they showed a US citizen was engaged in communications with a known Al Qaeda operative.

    Its simple. The US is spying on a known operative. At some point the operative makes contact with a US citizen. At this time the US must get a warrant. They don’t have to stop listening while they get the warrant. Once they get the warrant (which won’t take weeks or months) they are now free to charge this US citizen with anything he happens to mention.
    There is no reason not to get a warrant. It only helps since US citizens might be involved and as we all know, to prosecute a US citizen requires due process, we fought a war to get that.

  161. 161
    jg says:

    Correction to the first block quote above:

    Darrell Says:
    The NSA couldn’t act on intel w/o getting a warrant, even if they obtained it retroactively.. that’s not how it works.

    Huh? The NSA couldn’t act without a warrant even if they got one?

  162. 162
    terry chay says:

    Brian,

    I actually own a house in CA-50 (the district that you upbraid Caroline for defending). Perhaps you are one of those people who feel that California is just the “left coast”, but Caroline is mostly correct: CA-50 is one of the heaviest pro-Republican districts in California (45-30 edge in registration), behind Orange County and the districts in the San Joiquin valley. (Note, I don’t think it was always this way, but the gerrymander of the 90’s turned out bad for the Democratic party in CA-50 as San Diego got bigger and wealthier.)

    If you look at the numbers, the Democratic candidate, Busby, got the same numbers for Democratic performance (around 43.8%), that’s pretty respectable for a Democratic candidate in a special election.

    Lucky for the Republican Party that they are not nearly so dismissive of the polling as you are. The recent emergency ad buy and other moves show that they think CA-50 is in contention and show that when it comes to political strategy, at least, the party isn’t run by as many incompetents as the Democratic Party is.

    I think other’s have addressed Marshall Whitman’s conversion to the Democratic party far better than I have. Claiming that “we are eating one of our own” because most anyone not on the far Right politely disagrees with his views on national security is a bit of a stretch.

  163. 163
    JunkYardBlog says:

    What’s the Difference?

    John Cole asks: How is the latest round of criticism from Buckley, Fukuyama or Gingrich qualitatively different from the tantamount-to-terrorism stuff that you heard two years ago from Howard Dean? Save your energy, it is not. Howard Dean, Newt Gingric…

  164. 164
    TallDave says:

    What a load of crap. What Dean said was that people who leaked a program that was critical to national security should be hung. I personally oppose the death penalty, but that is in fact the traditional punishment for high treason, and that’s what this was.

    That crap about “Republicans leak sensitive materials all the time” is just asinine. Plame was not undercover, her name was already known to Woodward and others in the press, and her identity meant nothing to anyone except those advancing arguments discredited by the revelation Joe Wilson was sent to Africa by his wife and not by Dick Cheney. Bush declassified old briefings. If you can’t understand the differences between those things and revealing a secret program that monitored Al Qaeda…

    Don’t get your hopes up for 2008. You’re still a political movement mired in delusion.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. JunkYardBlog says:

    What’s the Difference?

    John Cole asks: How is the latest round of criticism from Buckley, Fukuyama or Gingrich qualitatively different from the tantamount-to-terrorism stuff that you heard two years ago from Howard Dean? Save your energy, it is not. Howard Dean, Newt Gingric…

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