State Secrets

A football coach once said that if you make a big play, keep calling it until it stops working. I don’t know enough about football to say whether it’s a great idea, an apocryphal story or a crappy coach, but at least somebody listened:

The Bush administration asked federal judges in New York and Michigan to dismiss a pair of lawsuits filed over the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program, saying litigation would jeopardize state secrets.

In legal papers filed late Friday, Justice Department lawyers said it would be impossible to defend the legality of the spying program without disclosing classified information that could be of value to suspected terrorists.

National Intelligence Director John Negroponte invoked the state secrets privilege on behalf of the administration, writing that disclosure of such information would cause “exceptionally grave damage” to national security.

The administration laid out some of its supporting arguments in classified memoranda that were filed under seal.

Apparently all the government has to do is invoke the term ‘State Secrets’ and the lawsuit hits in impassable brick wall. Boom, gone! Sounds like a handy tool that less-than-scrupulous administrations might be tempted to abuse. The problem is, how could you tell? One giveaway might be if the rate of invoking the priviledge went up by quite a lot relative to normal usage (via Drum):

When the government claims the “state secrets privilege,” the courts tend to look no further, and the cases are dismissed. It was invoked only four times in the first 23 years after the U.S. Supreme Court created the privilege in 1953, but now the government is claiming the privilege to dismiss lawsuits at a rate of more than three a year. The Justice Department describes this tactic as an “absolute privilege” — in effect, a neutron bomb that leaves no plaintiff standing.

So yes, the use of “State Secrets” has gone up by a hell of a lot, and assuming that the NSA litigation is far from over this could be the Secret-est year yet. If only I had the same tool when/if the IRS guy shows up to audit me. So you say that I failed to declare a second income as a tech consultant? Sorry, State Secrets. Bye now, thanks for stopping by.

Let’s pose a question for you constitutional scholars out there. Picture a hypothetical scenario where the president beat the crap out of an eight-year-old and then stole his bike, sans witnesses. It seems like he can either answer a bunch of embarrassing questions, or else just classify everything about the encounter and then invoke State Secrets when the kid’s parents sue. Boom, gone, as far as I can tell it might as well have never happened.

Of course most of the investigations right now have nothing to do with beating up an eight-year-old. Mainly they involve serial violations of Americans’ constitutional rights, which on the balance seems just as bad. Quite possibly these investigations don’t actually pose much threat to national security but they do pose an obvious threat to the administration’s job security. One way or the other we only have the word of the people under investigation to go on. Right, question. Obviously the administration would love to throw up this neutron-bomb roadblock whenever they feel like it. Can they? Does any third party ever judge whether a State Secrets invocation actually has merit? As far as I can tell the answer is no.

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126 replies
  1. 1
    Pooh says:

    IIRC, courts have traditionally been very deferential to an invocation of the privilege, but largely because it was so rare. As far as articulable standards for evaluating, I’m less sure. My guess is that we’re going to see judges, even very conservative ones, start to get off the bus and be very skeptical, a la Luttig on the Padilla shennanigans.

    I imagine that judges will start asking for in camera review of the information supporting the privilege. The admin will refuse, the privilege will be denied, admin will throw a fit and petition for interim review. Delays will ensue until at least Jan ’09.

    As far as an “absolute privilege”, that’s laughable in light of the Nixon cases.

    [The above represents largely speculation, rather than a considered opinion.]

  2. 2
    Par R says:

    I rather suspect that the increased “volume” may have something to do with the dramatically changed environment in which we live today as compared with some years ago prior to 9/11.

    Tim says:

    Of course most of the investigations right now have nothing to do with beating up an eight-year-old. Mainly they involve serial violations of Americans’ constitutional rights, which on the balance seems just as bad.

    I assume that in the first sentence he meant to use the word, “none,” rather than “most.” Additionally, I would be interested in seeing your proof for this conclusion.

  3. 3
    Punchy says:

    Tim–

    A really good additional wrap-up of this is here, from Slate.com. Explains quite a lot, with some good commentary. After reading it, it sure seems like the Bush Admin has found the Magic Bullet needed to dismiss, well, pretty much anything.

  4. 4

    I rather suspect that the increased “volume” may have something to do with the dramatically changed environment in which we live today as compared with some years ago prior to 9/11.

    Yeah, because a bunch of idiots with box cutters is a million times worse than that big old country that had thousands of nukes that once upon a time wanted to “bury” us.

    Things are so much more dangerous these days.

  5. 5
    Otto Man says:

    Once you remember that this crowd equates “President Bush” with “the State,” it’s easy to understand how they consider so much of their political dirty laundry to be “state secrets.”

    I rather suspect that the increased “volume” may have something to do with the dramatically changed environment in which we live today as compared with some years ago prior to 9/11.

    Read the blockquote again, Par. Between 1953 and 1976, when the United States was engaged in a heated Cold War with the Soviet Union, a major military superpower with an impressive espionage apparatus and the United States was also fighting a protracted hot war in Vietnam, the “state secrets” rationale was only invoked four times.

    Despite the arms race, the space race, and the war in Indochina, the combined administrations of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon only used the excuse four times — a rate of 0.17 a year. But now that we’re at war with a bunch of cave-dwelling loners, the Bush administration has increased the rate seventeenfold.

    Do you seriously believe that al Qaeda poses 17 times as much of an intelligence threat as the KGB?

  6. 6
    D. Mason says:

    Do you seriously believe that al Qaeda poses 17 times as much of an intelligence threat as the KGB?

    When you’re president George W. Bush even Skippy the neighborhood stray cat poses an “intelligence threat”.

  7. 7
    Pooh says:

    Do you seriously believe that al QaedaDemoncrats poses 17 times as much of an intelligence threat as the KGB?

    Fixed. If you put it that way, Par clearly answers in the affirmative.

  8. 8
    Catsy says:

    At the risk of having this commentary mistaken for a defense of Bush et al, my suspicion is that at least part of the increase is due to the Internet, and to a lesser degree mass media–and how readily searchable and available potentially sensitive information can be made. Thus things that might never have seen the light of day are suddenly spread to the entire world starting with one blogger’s source, so to speak.

    The fact that America is currently blighted with the most secretive and Constitutionally ignorant administration in its history doesn’t help.

  9. 9
    Par R says:

    You folks are too stupid for words. There is one hell of a difference between the Cold War environment and the current one in which the need for these NSA programs are needed. In the old days, the “enemy” was largely identified in terms of location, e.g., embassy buildings and other more or less fixed locations. Today, with the “enemy” largely hidden in the shadows and able to communicate with new, mobil technologies, the NSA surveillance programs are critical as a means of learning what they are up to…a wholly different environment than during the Cold War.

  10. 10
    Pooh says:

    There is one hell of a difference between the Cold War environment and the current one in which the need for these NSA programs are needed.

    Well argued. And it’s all downhill from there.

  11. 11
    Par R says:

    PoopHead, do you even have a functioning brain?

  12. 12
    chopper says:

    You folks are too stupid for words. There is one hell of a difference between the Cold War environment and the current one in which the need for these NSA programs are needed. In the old days, the “enemy” was largely identified in terms of location, e.g., embassy buildings and other more or less fixed locations. Today, with the “enemy” largely hidden in the shadows and able to communicate with new, mobil technologies, the NSA surveillance programs are critical as a means of learning what they are up to…a wholly different environment than during the Cold War.

    you’re kidding, right? are you talking about the same soviet union that had spies operating inside the US? that stole the atomic bomb? these dudes weren’t relegated to frickin embassies. soviet spies were hiding in the shadows too, and they were able to communicate with new technologies as well. look at the early days of the internet and the massive amount of data the soviets stole via hacking into US systems in the 80’s. this wasn’t done out of embassies, it was done out of a distributed series of KGB safehouses all along east germany.

    i find it funny, the lengths to which bush supporters will go to make it out like the cold war was some cheery happy-go-lucky episode in modern US history. what i find funniest is how conservatives were so adamant about the grave threat the soviet union posed to our security, that they had secretly infiltrated this and that and were around every corner, but when asked to explain how the government could invoke state secrets so much more today, they backpedal and act like communism was no big threat compared to a bunch of cave-dwelling troglodytes in pakistan.

  13. 13
    Punchy says:

    a wholly different environment than during the Cold War

    Yep, because Islamic extremists didn’t exist prior to..say…1993. They suddenly evolved (damn you Darwin!) from regular people, and so we didn’t need to be concerned about them before then. Munich 1972 was just one big sleight of hand magic show…

  14. 14
    Par R says:

    No, chopper, I made no such claims as you ascribe to me in your comment. The point at issue has to do with a different environnment in which we live today versus in the earlier period. By this I mean both technological, as well as political.

    Today we are facing an enemy that is almost invisible in that it has no central focus, i.e., a centrally located and identifiable location…it exists in the shadows and caves and is largely out of sight. In the earlier era, the central focus was the Soviets in Moscow who had numerous agents deployed in this country and elsewhere. But more to the point, there was a certain presumed rationality to the enemy of the past; the concept of mass murder (9/11 style) in the US was not in the Soviet playbook. Today, the principal means of “attacking” us is some form of terrorist action that leads to the loss of large numbers of lives, and such acts can be undertaken by relatively small numbers of individuals. Clearly, the threat to us was potentially horrific in the Cold War era just as it is today, with the potential of nuclear attack held at bay by our ability to mount an overwhelming retaliatory strike, achieving a form of deterrence. That concept is virtually nonexistent today. The identification of potential “attackers” is in that sense more difficult and time critical today than in the past.

    As an aside, I would quarrel with your view that technology has not changed the equation today versus the past.

  15. 15
    PeterJ says:

    Par R said:

    Clearly, the threat to us was potentially horrific in the Cold War era just as it is today, with the potential of nuclear attack held at bay by our ability to mount an overwhelming retaliatory strike, achieving a form of deterrence. That concept is virtually nonexistent today. The identification of potential “attackers” is in that sense more difficult and time critical today than in the past.

    So, what’s your view about the threat of a nuclear Iran? We know who they are and if they actually would nuke anyone they would cease to exist.

  16. 16
    Andrew says:

    Par R, are you more afraid of Osama or gay scout masters?

    I just want to clarify where everyone stands on these important issues.

  17. 17
    Dustbin Of History says:

    PoopHead

    Par loses the debate, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

  18. 18
    Slide says:

    I’m always amazed at how unabashedly cowardly the right wing has become in this country. They are sooooooo afraid.. Apparently they live in a state of constant fear. Trembling at the hoards of brown skinned terrorists coming after them. What little bedwetters. Its almost sad to see how fearful these little boys are and how, as a result of their unrelenting fear, they are willing to give up every right and freedom that made this country what it was.

    Reality check: We lived for years with the threat of a Soviet Union that had tens of thousands of nuclear warheads targeting US cities. Mutual Assured Destruction it was called. One wrong move and this country could have been obliterated. We lived through World War II when the very existence of the free world hung in the balance. We got through the Civil war where hundreds of thousands of Americans died and the very union was at stake.. But our little bedwetters, in their selfish self-absorption, think that the events of 911, where al Qaeda, in an attack that took years and years to plan, and in which they were spectacularly successful beyond their own hopes, managed to kill fewer than 3,000 Americans. A couple months worth of casualties during the Vietnam war fighting the menace of communism.

    We have always lived in a dangerous world. And in my opinion, a much, much more dangerous world in the past. Terrorism is being USED by this administration. USED to bypass our normal checks and balances. USED to subvert the will of Congress. USED to amass power in the Executive branch. USED to intimidate the opposition. USED to justify illegal wars. USED for crass political reasons. USED to create an America that is slowly changing into something I don’t recognize any more. Torture. Imprisonment without charges. Rendition. Pre-emptive wars. Warrant less wiretapping. Amassing of huge databases on its citizens. Spying on anti-war groups like the Quakers. And the really sad thing is that they are doing it all with the approval and acquiescence of the Darrells and Par R’s of the world. Selfish bedwetters of the highest order.

  19. 19
    Jon H says:

    Par R writes: ” There is one hell of a difference between the Cold War environment and the current one in which the need for these NSA programs are needed. ”

    Yeah, in the old days, we could at least claim to be the ‘good guys’. Now, we’re an aggressive, secretive, torture-using state with no use for basic human rights held sacred since the fucking Magna Carta.

    We’re basically China with property rights and a southern drawl. Happy?

  20. 20
    Par R says:

    Well, Slide, I hope you’re sitting in the next equivalent to the World Trade Towers when one of your beloved “brown skins” manages to succeed because fools like yourself are more concerned with protecting their rights than those of other potential future occupants of WWT’s.

  21. 21
    Jon H says:

    “Well, Slide, I hope you’re sitting in the next equivalent to the World Trade Towers when one of your beloved “brown skins” manages to succeed because fools like yourself are more concerned with protecting their rights than those of other potential future occupants of WWT’s.”

    Well, at least Slide would have died for your freedom, rather than taking the cowardly, unAmerican approach of forfeiting freedoms in exchange for empty promises of protection from something less dangerous than peanut butter.

  22. 22
    Kimmitt says:

    I’m always amazed at how unabashedly cowardly the right wing has become in this country.

    They’ve always been afraid. Fear is very much the driving force behind the conservative movement. Fear of change, fear of persons of color, fear of homosexuality, fear of terrorism — and almost always unfounded.

  23. 23
    Slide says:

    Well, Slide, I hope you’re sitting in the next equivalent to the World Trade Towers when one of your beloved “brown skins” manages to succeed because fools like yourself are more concerned with protecting their rights than those of other potential future occupants of WWT’s

    Don’t lecture me Par. I’m a New Yorker. I’m a cop. I was there at ground zero. I still have the sights and smells very vivid in my mind. I don’t need the likes of a moron like you to tell me what I am more concerned about. Your argument can always be used to justify any governmental intrusion. I can turn your stupid comment around and say, “I hope you are the next American citizen scooped up, deemed an enemy combatant without any evidence, and imprisoned without the ability to talk to a lawyer or have judicial review”

    Thomas Jefferson:

    people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both

    Patrick Henry:

    Give me liberty or give me death

    Par R:

    I’m scared, I’m scared

  24. 24
    PeterJ says:

    My guess, if Par R lived in Iraq during Saddam, he would probably be working for Saddam instead of against him. Cause his life is more important than the freedom and rights of the citizens of his country…

  25. 25
    Par R says:

    Jon H says, in part:

    “…protection from something less dangerous than peanut butter.”

    If one starts with the premise that terrorists and potential terrorist attacks are of such little worry as Jon H feels they are, then one would have to agree that we should suspend all NSA activities directed at uncovering potential plans. I suspect that most thinking Americans, and that undoubtedly excludes most commenters here, feel otherwise and do not accept Jon’s premise.

  26. 26

    Par R, this is probably something you are incapable of fathoming, but here goes: I would rather live with the slightly increased chance of being killed by an idiot with a boxcutter than live in a country where there is no oversight over the executive branch. Hell, even if illegal programs like the NSA spying program reduced the chance of being killed by a terrorist by tenfold, I still would rather live without it.

    Why? Ask those people who fought a little revolutionary war a bit over two hundred years ago.

    There are lots of legal ways to fight terrorists. Here are the first two things I would do: A) upgrade all law enforcement computer systems so they can talk to each other. Almost five years after 9/11, and we STILL have 100 different law enforcement systems. B) Get the FBI, CIA, ICE, and all other law enforcement agencies to stop their stupid little turf wars and start talking to each other already.

    We don’t need more spying on citizens. We need grownups who share information. There is no evidence that this illegal NSA spying program has found any useful information that couldn’t have been gotten with a warrant signed by a judge.

  27. 27
    Slide says:

    My guess, if Par R lived in Iraq during Saddam, he would probably be working for Saddam instead of against him. Cause his life is more important than the freedom and rights of the citizens of his country

    …Exactly. Every totalitarian regime depends on people like Par R because they always frame their repressive tactics as ‘security measures’. Fear is a potent weapon.

  28. 28
    Par R says:

    Slide, you are too stupid to qualify to work as a New York City cop. You are LYING in some feeble attempt to have your cowardly comments taken seriously and given more weight. And I also have a residence in Manhattan so go peddle your crap to someone else; I’m not buying.

  29. 29
    Slide says:

    then one would have to agree that we should suspend all NSA activities directed at uncovering potential plans

    No Par, once again you are just repeating rhetoric. No one is suggesting that we shouldn’t have an agressive program to uncover terrorists. Just do it LEGALLY. If you think the laws are outdated or need change then CHANGE the law. But you cannot just do whatever you want, in direct violaton of what Congress (representing teh PEOPLE of this country) has mandated, by saying you are doing it for the right reasons.

    Again, I have been in law enforcement for most of my adult lifetime. I have no problem using the tools at our disposal. Wiretapping calls from Al Qaeda into the USA? DAMN YES… just go to a judge and show why you think this is an Al Qaeda call.

    We are (were?) a nation of laws. If the President can decide to disregard a law, no matter how well intentioned he may be, we are in deep trouble because we may have a President someday with less well intentioned motives.

  30. 30
    Punchy says:

    Terrorism is being USED by this administration. USED to bypass our normal checks and balances. USED to subvert the will of Congress. USED to amass power in the Executive branch. USED to intimidate the opposition. USED to justify illegal wars. USED for crass political reasons. USED to create an America that is slowly changing into something I don’t recognize any more.

    NICELY stated. Brilliant.

  31. 31
    Slide says:

    Par those that know me on here know my backgroud. If you don’t want to believe it I could give a shit less. I mean your the type that doesn’t belive in global warming, believes we are winning in Iraq, and that evolution is a debatable theory. I would be worried if you believed what I said.

    Oh, and the “Y” does not count as a Manhattan residence.

  32. 32
    Par R says:

    Come on, Slide, who are you trying to fool? You are no more a NYC cop than ppGaz is a decent human being.

    And what does the code letter, “Y,” mean?

  33. 33
    ppGaz says:

    Slide, you are talking to a spoof.

  34. 34
    Par R says:

    Slide, the alleged NYC cop says:

    Just do it LEGALLY. If you think the laws are outdated or need change then CHANGE the law. But you cannot just do whatever you want, in direct violaton of what Congress (representing teh PEOPLE of this country) has mandated, by saying you are doing it for the right reasons.

    I believe Slide claims credibility as a cop, not as a constitutional lawyer. There are numerous and prominent lawyers who support the Administration’s view that the NSA programs have been conducted LEGALLY.

  35. 35
    Slide says:

    spoofs…. ahhh.. I see… someone that just plays at being incredibly dumb? got it. Thanks ppGaz. But I don’t quite get the logic. Why spoof? Guess I’m too serious about the issues that confront our nation. (or so my wife keeps telling me)

    Well Par R this is all I have to say,

    I knew DougJ, DougJ was a friend of mine, Par you are no DougJ.

    .

  36. 36
    Par R says:

    Good evening, ppGaz. I thought that you must have passed away to spoof heaven, since I hadn’t seen your signature comments here tonight.

    Well, one can always hope.

  37. 37
    Par R says:

    Slide, the alleged NYC cop plagarizes a recently deceased American:

    I knew DougJ, DougJ was a friend of mine, Par you are no DougJ.

    To which I can only say, THANK GOD.

  38. 38

    I believe Slide claims credibility as a cop, not as a constitutional lawyer. There are numerous and prominent lawyers who support the Administration’s view that the NSA programs have been conducted LEGALLY.

    How is it legal to get information on all phone calls made in the U.S. without a warrant? How is it legal to intercept all internet traffic as AT&T is alleged to do?

    Hindrocket does not count as a knowledgable lawyer.

  39. 39
    bago says:

    America was founded by people all willing to die for their liberty.

    The cowards who defend the administration curtailing liberty in the name of security are ANTI-american when viewed in this light.

  40. 40
    demimondian says:

    Actually, Slide, I suspect the Par R *is* a DougJ. The only question is whether Brian is, too.

  41. 41
    Slide says:

    The cowards who defend the administration curtailing liberty in the name of security are ANTI-american when viewed in this light

    kind of a common theme isn’t it with this administration. Nearly all of them are chicken hawks. Its really startling when you list administration officals that have NOT had the courage to serve their nation in combat even though most of them were just about the right age for VietNam. These same cowards are the ones now that what to change what this country has stood for for over 200 years out of bedwetting fear.

    Lets see if we can list all the BRAVE administration officials, and their supporters, that have so courageously sent your sons and daughters into battle and yet found ways to avoid serving in combat themselves.

    George W. Bush
    Dick Cheney
    Don Rumsfeld (no he didn’t fly combat missions)
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Scooter Libby
    Doug Feith
    John Bolton
    Condi Rice
    Lawrence DiRita
    Karl Rove
    Frank Gaffney
    Bill Bennett
    Newt Gingrich
    Gary Bauer
    Elliot Abrams
    Andy Card
    Don Evans
    Tony Snow
    John Ashcroft
    Trent Lott
    Tom Delay
    Rush Limbaugh
    Joe Scarborough
    Richard Perle
    Bill O’reilly
    Sean Vannity
    Mike Savage

    Oh well… I can go on and on forever it seems. But I know someone is going to ask… what about Bill Clinton. Well, what exactly is a Chickenhawk:

    Chickenhawk n. A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.

    ahhh.. yes.. the brave brave men of the Bush administration.

  42. 42
    Slide says:

    Monday is Memorial Day. A day to honor those that served this nation when they were needed. Their sacrifice stands in stark contrast to the chickenhawk war profiteers that have enriched themselves at the cost of our brave young men and women. I have nothing but utter contempt for the criminal enterprise that used these wonderful patriots as cannon fodder for their naive policy objectives.

    Remember our troops. They are going to be in for a rough time with the story of the massacre at Haditha about to become front page news. The vast majority of our troops are doing what is asked of them in a very very dangerous environment. Two, three and even four tours worth. With too few troops. Poor equipment. No planning. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice.

  43. 43
    Par R says:

    Slide, the alleged NYC cop, tries out the tired old chickenhawk meme. It’s laughable to get this crap from a person that not only claims to be a NYC cop, but to have been a hero on 9/11, bravely helping attempt to save the WTC victims. It appears far more likely that he’s a simpleton sitting alone at the back of his trailer typing onto his keyboard from the light flickering from his PC screen. Shame.

  44. 44
    Par R says:

    As they used to say on Monty Python….Now for something totally different…and Slide says:

    “Remember our troops. They are going to be in for a rough time with the story of the massacre at Haditha about to become front page news. The vast majority of our troops are doing what is asked of them in a very very dangerous environment. Two, three and even four tours worth. With too few troops. Poor equipment. No planning. We owe them all a debt of gratitude for their sacrifice.”

    What utter hypocrisy. Coming from Slide, these comments sound about as sincere as when Joseph Goebbels was quoted as saying that “..he felt sympathy for the Warsaw Jews.”

  45. 45
    PeterJ says:

    Par R, you are the one who’d happily give away the freedom they fought and died for.

    Oh and since you brought it up, I guess you would fit like a hand in glove in Nazi Germany.

  46. 46
    Par R says:

    PeterJ, an alleged patriot, says:

    “..you are the one who’d happily give away the freedom they fought and died for.”

    And you, PeterJ, are the kind of fool that likely still contends that the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss were innocent victims of right-wing hysteria. I can easily envision you turning over atomic secrets to Iran, if you were to possess them, since you probably feel we have more to fear from peanut butter than the current Iranian leadership.

  47. 47

    Par R, you are the one who believes that the government can do no wrong when it comes to “protecting” us, even if that means throwing away the Constitution and everything this country stands for. Nobody here thinks that we should be “turning over atomic secrets to Iran” or defending the Rosenbergs.

    Everybody here wants law enforcement to track and catch terrorists. The only difference is that you want the government to be able to do anything without oversight, believing that they will never abuse their power. We think that there is no reason to throw away our freedoms to catch terrorists.

  48. 48
    demimondian says:

    these comments sound about as sincere as when Joseph Goebbels was quoted as saying that “..he felt sympathy for the Warsaw Jews.

    Godwin!

  49. 49
    PeterJ says:

    Par R, just because there are traitors among us doesn’t mean that the entire population should be distrusted and spied on, nor that they should have their rights and freedom removed. That’s more like how it was done in the Soviet Union…

    And according to what you said earlier, a nuclear Iran wouldn’t be a danger:

    Clearly, the threat to us was potentially horrific in the Cold War era just as it is today, with the potential of nuclear attack held at bay by our ability to mount an overwhelming retaliatory strike, achieving a form of deterrence. That concept is virtually nonexistent today. The identification of potential “attackers” is in that sense more difficult and time critical today than in the past.

  50. 50
    ppGaz says:

    Par you are no DougJ

    Perhaps, but he is a spoof. Just so you know.

    As for Brian …. probably. Either a spoof or inept, hard to say which.

    Try to send them email, or have them send email to you. Then do the same with me. Compare, contrast.

    Simple, not rocket science.

  51. 51
    Ancient Purple says:

    Hindrocket does not count as a knowledgable lawyer.

    No, but he is, like a lot of people on the right, a cowardly, urine-soaked pants, chickenhawk.

    He would rather give up the entire Bill of Rights than face death. All because he is too much of a coward to stand up for what he believes in.

    Either that or he is such an egomaniac he believes that his life is the lynchpin that keeps the Earth from smashing into the sun.

    My guess is it is probably the former.

  52. 52
    r4d20 says:

    Damn. I like the mental picture of GWB beating and 8-yr-old and stealing his wheels.

    The unfortunate thing is that the rage seems to be directed more at WHAT bush did (invade Iraq, cut social spending, etc.) that HOW he did it (by ignoring the law of the land again and again). I’m hoping, but hardly optimistic, that the next president will set a precident of repudiating some of the precedents set by Bush. More likely they will just give in to the temptation of using them for their vision of “the good”.

  53. 53
    r4d20 says:

    “I assume that in the first sentence he meant to use the word, “none,” rather than “most.””

    “Frank Figueroa, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security’s program to stop child predators (Operation Predator), today pleaded no contest to charges he exposed himself to a 16-year-old girl. According to the victim, “Figueroa pulled up a leg of his shorts, exposed himself and masturbated for about 10 minutes” in front of her”

    No, its worse than stealing a bike from an 8 year old.

  54. 54
    Zifnab says:

    Everybody here wants law enforcement to track and catch terrorists. The only difference is that you want the government to be able to do anything without oversight, believing that they will never abuse their power. We think that there is no reason to throw away our freedoms to catch terrorists.

    There’s a fundamental catch here. ParR and Brian don’t want just any government stealing their rights, it has to be Republicans. The idea being that Republicans might abuse their priviledge every now and again, but they’ll always do it for their team. Republicans will only spy on terrorists, socialists, or Greenpeace.

    It’s the same naive thinking the Soviets and the Maoists had back in the 40s and 50s. Consolidate all the power in a single figurehead – Stalin, Mao, whomever – and he may imprision people or torture them or kill them, but he’ll only do that to the “enemies of the people”. Since we’re true blue Republicans/Soviets/Maoists, he’ll never cross us. People said that sort of thing all the way up to the firing squad.

    At least the Democrats/Socialists/Terrorists get to go down looking their firing squads in the eye. The Republicans… they all get it in the back.

  55. 55
    MJ says:

    Don Rumsfeld (no he didn’t fly combat missions

    He served as a Naval Aviator from 1954-57. Your whole list and the premise of it is silly.

  56. 56
    demimondian says:

    he is such an egomaniac he believes that his life is the lynchpin that keeps the Earth from smashing into the sun.

    He’s wrong, of course. It’s my life which is the lynchpin.

    Why aren’t the rest of you working harder to make me immortal?

  57. 57
    Pooh says:

    There are numerous and prominent lawyers who support the Administration’s view that the NSA programs have been conducted LEGALLY.

    Name one who doesn’t work for the admin, or is a de facto operative ala the Rocket. I don’t even think Al Maviva defended the legal basis outside of demanding factual proof of domestic surveilance.

  58. 58
    Slide. says:

    What does a Bush supporter believe you ask? Some examples of their analytical thinking:

    the don’t believe in global warming.
    the do believe in intelligent design
    the don’t believe in evolution
    the do believe the earth is only 4,000 years old
    they believe it was the right thing to do to invade Iraq
    they don’t believe intelligence was cherry picked
    they believe we are “winning” in Iraq
    they don’t believe their is a civil war going on
    they believe the Dubai deal was just A-OK
    they don’t belive our ports are vulnurable
    they believe Harriet Meyers was a great candidate
    they believe the Medicare bill was good legislation
    they don’t believe that the deficit matters
    they believe Bush did all he could during Katrina
    they don’t believe anybody thought the levies would breech
    they believe the insurgency is in the last throes

    now to be able to suspend reality in such a breathtaking way is truly quite staggering. Only the sharpest of minds can accomplish that and proudly proclaim to be a Bush supporter.

  59. 59
    PeterJ says:

    MJ,

    Mr. Rumsfeld attended Princeton University on academic and NROTC scholarships (A.B., 1954) and served in the U.S. Navy (1954-57) as an aviator and flight instructor. In 1957, he transferred to the Ready Reserve and continued his Naval service in flying and administrative assignments as a drilling reservist until 1975. He transferred to the Standby Reserve when he became Secretary of Defense in 1975 and to the Retired Reserve with the rank of Captain in 1989.

    It’s from the DoD btw.

    So he saw as much combat as Bush Jr. did.

  60. 60
    ppGaz says:

    add:

    they believe that soaring healthcare costs are caused by malpractice suits, and not by the corrupt corporate monopoly created by the Republicans’ huge contributors called Pharma and HMOs.

    they don’t believe that Iraq is already in the first … not last .. throes of a civil war, and that the US presence there is almost irrlevant to that fact now.

    they think that the story of GWB’s ANG service is about CBS news, and not the fact that Bush didn’t fulfill the rquirements of his service but got away with it thanks to his powerful family connections.

    they think that the fact that GWB had a drug and alcohol problem well into adulthood has no relevance to his ability to do his job as POTUS.

    they think that sick fuck intellectuals like Wolfowitz and fools like Rumsfeld knew more about the realities of war than Colin Powell.

    they think that intrasigence in the face of a complete collapse of public support and public trust is a sign of strength, and not the obvious sign of egomania and delusion that it really is.

    they think that it makes sense to trust “national security” to people who believe in the Rapture and End Times.

  61. 61
    Slide. says:

    Your whole list and the premise of it is silly.

    yes.. oh so very silly of me to think that having an administration so devoid of military service and yet so arrogantly sure of themselves to override our Generals in the Pentagon is just silly of me. Silly, silly, silly.

  62. 62
    Slide. says:

    listen this is not even about liberal and conservative anymore, right or left. These guys are just bad. Fucking bad. They don’t give two shits about anything but themselves. They are the most un-american leaders we have ever had. They have done severe damage to our Pentagon. The Generals are disgusted. they have done severe damage to the CIA. They have done severe damage to the State Department. FEMA. Homeland Security. FDA. etc etc. Cronies. Incompetents. Political Hacks. Religious nuts. Crooks. Thieves. These are the people that have been put in charge of our great institutions of government. Again, this has nothing to do with right or left but rather right and wrong.It makes me first sad. Then angry. We all better get angry.

  63. 63
    ppGaz says:

    We all better get angry

    Ahem ….

  64. 64
    Slide. says:

    that was Amen that you meant to say right ppGaz?

  65. 65
    ppGaz says:

    No, but it would work.

    I was just suggesting that some of us have been angry for a long time.

  66. 66
    tBone says:

    Of course most of the investigations right now have nothing to do with beating up an eight-year-old.

    Look, that eight-year-old had lunch money. Dick Cheney needed lunch. If that eight-year-old didn’t want to do his patriotic duty, fuck him.

    I’m sure Par Rot would agree.

  67. 67
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    Par R says: No, chopper, I made no such claims as you ascribe to me in your comment. The point at issue has to do with a different environnment in which we live today versus in the earlier period. By this I mean both technological, as well as political.

    You need to read some history of the Middle East. Say a thousand years, give or take a decade or two. Sheesh.

  68. 68

    All Hail the Decider!

    Jesus-tapdancing-Christ.

  69. 69
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    Slide Says: Selfish bedwetters of the highest order.

    Most excellent, all around, comment.

  70. 70
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    Ancient Purple says: Hindrocket does not count as a knowledgable lawyer.

    No, but he is, like a lot of people on the right, a cowardly, urine-soaked pants, chickenhawk.

    OMG, that is so perfect!

  71. 71
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    demimondian Says:He’s wrong, of course. It’s my life which is the lynchpin.

    Why aren’t the rest of you working harder to make me immortal?

    You could try this woman’s techniques: “The Memoirs of Cora Pearl: The Erotic Reminiscences of a Flamboyant 19th Century Courtesan”

  72. 72
    Col. Bat Guano (Ret.) says:

    Damn it! When did we become such a bunch of consumerist pussies! How is it that we let a single dude, living in a f-ing cave turn us into a bunch of tap-dancing-marionette-puppetbitches. We’re all gonna die from something fer christs sake and terrorism will always be sharing odds with some crazy shit like asphyxiation by plastic smurf or injuries sustained from being gang-raped by a group of meterologists.
    My fervent prayer is that if anyone takes anything to heart from what I’ve said here it’s that you must avoid meterologists at all costs. I just don’t think it can be stated in strong enough terms.

    “The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants beyond everything else is safety.” – H. L. Mencken

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” – H. L. Mencken

  73. 73
    Slide. says:

    A general speaks out on what the coward chickenhawks in the White House have done:

    Whatever the ultimate historical judgment, it is established fact that documents justifying and authorizing the abusive treatment of detainees during interrogation were approved and distributed. These authorizations rested on three beliefs: that no law prohibited the application of cruelty; that no law should be adopted that would do so; and that our government could choose to apply the cruelty — or not — as a matter of policy depending on the dictates of perceived military necessity.

    The fact that we adopted this policy demonstrates that this war has tested more than our nation’s ability to defend itself. It has tested our response to our fears and the measure of our courage. It has tested our commitment to our most fundamental values and our constitutional principles.

    In this war, we have come to a crossroads — much as we did in the events that led to Korematsu : Will we continue to regard the protection and promotion of human dignity as the essence of our national character and purpose, or will we bargain away human and national dignity in return for an additional possible measure of physical security?

    .

  74. 74
    ppGaz says:

    will we bargain away human and national dignity in return for an additional possible measure of physical security?

    I just talked to Decider Darrell, and he said: Yes.

    Sorry, that’s the end of that.

  75. 75
    demimondian says:

    Sine

    “The Memoirs of Cora Pearl: The Erotic Reminiscences of a Flamboyant 19th Century Courtesan”

    Priceless.

  76. 76
    rbl says:

    At least the Democrats/Socialists/Terrorists get to go down looking their firing squads in the eye. The Republicans… they all get it in the back.

    I’m so using that point in the future. After I go read “Gulag Archipelago” again. We’re not there yet.
    Hopefully all our worries about expanding executive power turn out to be completely unfounded, and we all look like idiots. Oh well, extremism in the defense of liberty, and all that.

  77. 77
    chopper says:

    Today we are facing an enemy that is almost invisible in that it has no central focus, i.e., a centrally located and identifiable location…it exists in the shadows and caves and is largely out of sight. In the earlier era, the central focus was the Soviets in Moscow who had numerous agents deployed in this country and elsewhere.

    but that’s just it; in its prime the ‘red menace’ was spread out over a number of countries, not just moscow. as i mentioned, they worked out of east germany and other eastern bloc nations. cuba, etc etc. there were soviet spies in pretty much every major country on earth. they weren’t very centralized.

    though its true that AQ is more decentralized than the reds were back then, so what? i think you’re ascribing such importance to the decentralization of AQ because it’s a noticable difference and you’re trying very hard to come up with some reason, any reason why it’s suddenly okay to listen in on conversations with US citizens or indefinitely hold US citizens w/o due process, or gather data on citizens, all w/o a warrant. but it’s bunk.

    ‘AQ is more decentralized than the soviets’ smacks of convenience, like someone desperate to come up with a reason to make it okay to do now, unlike back then.

  78. 78
    demimondian says:

    ‘AQ is more decentralized than the soviets’ smacks of convenience, like someone desperate to come up with a reason to make it okay to do now, unlike back then.

    I’m reminded of an interview with some talking head at the start of US v. Microsoft, in which said talking head said “Yes, well, every Sherman case starts with the defendant saying ‘This industry is _different_. I’m still waiting for one of the to be right.'”

    Some things never change: monopoly power leads to arrogance, which leads to stupidity.

  79. 79
    Zifnab says:

    I just remember one of my friends saying how he thought it was hypocritical for then-AG Janet Reno to write up a case against Microsoft on her IBM computer in a Word Document using the Windows OS. I’m not entirely clear on the logic, but apparently she should have been using Linux and Wordpad through the entire investigation or she was somehow being unfair.

    People come up with weird defenses for this sort of thing.

  80. 80
    MJ says:

    So he saw as much combat as Bush Jr. did.

    So what? If he shot down a few Migs you’d feel different about him? You want to criticize his policies go ahead make your case. But you seem to think only combat vets have valid opinions, that’s ludicrous.

  81. 81
    r4d20 says:

    “Mazda knoweth best the purposes that have been wrought already by demons and by mortals, and that shall be wrought hereafter. He, Ahura, is the decider. So shall it be as he shall will.”

    – Zend Avesta, Yasna 29:4

    Proof positive Bush has been sent by God and cannot do wrong.

  82. 82
    Punchy says:

    But you seem to think only combat vets have valid opinions, that’s ludicrous.

    So tired of this. Look, you wouldn’t undergo surgery with a doc that had only studied from books, right? Without hands-on training, he’s worthless. Would you hire a lawyer to defend you on murder charges if he’s one day out of school, never having seen a courtroom or a judge? No experience? Opinions not valid.

    So, yeah, combat experience is HUGE when one decides whether or not to put troops into combat. Experience in the battlefield is enormous when agreeing to an invasion plan. It gives one perspective, gravity, and understanding about the task at hand.

    The fact that nearly all of these clowns don’t have a LICK of actual combat experience speaks VOLUMES about why they fucked up so bad in Iraq. Vietnam would have told them ALL they needed to know about insurgency, civilian casualties, guerilla warfare…but ALAS…nearly 100% of them faked their way through it. And thus they’re blind to matching their actions with their results.

    Bush is a first-year med student trying to do a quadruple bypass, ignoring all the true experts hand over fist…

  83. 83
    Zifnab says:

    So what? If he shot down a few Migs you’d feel different about him? You want to criticize his policies go ahead make your case. But you seem to think only combat vets have valid opinions, that’s ludicrous.

    I think the point is that people who have shot down Migs feel alot different about war than BushCo. In particular, they’d probably have more respect for tenured Generals and other military experts. In general, they’d probably have more respect for the profession of a soldier.

    But you’re right, if Bush had flown Migs in ‘Nam and he was still making these same bonehead mistakes and military blunders, we’d probably look past his service record and call him a policy disaster anyway.

  84. 84
    ppGaz says:

    Bush is a first-year med student trying to do a quadruple bypass, ignoring all the true experts hand over fist…

    You are too kind to him. He’s a flunked-out Ag Science student trying to masquerade as a physicist and pretending to build an atomic reactor.

    If he doesn’t blow us all to hell, it’ll be a miracle.

  85. 85
    J. Michael Neal says:

    Par R is an idiot. However, so is ppGaz. Any time someone persists in disagreeing with him, his conclusion isn’t that he may not be as persuasive as he thinks he is, but that his opponent must be a spoof. He is no less cowardly than those he opposes.

  86. 86
    ppGaz says:

    his opponent must be a spoof

    Yes, of course, well argued.

    However, Par is a spoof. That fact, you see, makes your stupid post look … well, stupid.

    Ask John Cole if you don’t believe me.

    Cole knows my real name and has my real money to show for it. Ask him what he knows about Par.

    My email address is in plain sight. You can email me.

    Try emailing Par.

  87. 87
    ppGaz says:

    And BTW, I’d wager that you are the same spoof as Par.

    Not true? Send me an email and let’s talk about it.

  88. 88
    Par R says:

    ppGaz – You are one dumbass and silly shit. Who the Hell would want to initiate a private e-mail “dialogue” with someone so totally lacking in education, fundamental knowledge and class as you? Get over it, poofter.

  89. 89
    ppGaz says:

    Who the Hell would want to initiate a private e-mail “dialogue

    You’d be surprised.

    My suggestion was that another poster and you exchange mail. You have no problem with that, do you? Does John Cole know who you are?

    It’s easy to prove you aren’t a spoof. What’s your problem?

    It’s not about me, Spoofass. I’m not the spoofer, you are.

  90. 90
    Sherard says:

    Three a year?!!??!?! Holy Jesus! Please get a grip. Even a small one would be a VAST improvement.

    Oh and for the record, ppGaz appears to me to be insane. So arguing with that is, well, also insane. Good hunting, though.

  91. 91
    Pb says:

    Bush is a first-year med student trying to do a quadruple bypass, ignoring all the true experts hand over fist

    Heh.

  92. 92
    Slide. says:

    the collected wit and wisdom of sub Par R:

    ppGaz – You are one dumbass and silly shit. Who the Hell would want to initiate a private e-mail “dialogue” with someone so totally lacking in education, fundamental knowledge and class as you?

    And you, PeterJ, are the kind of fool. . . I can easily envision you turning over atomic secrets to Iran, if you were to possess them, since you probably feel we have more to fear from peanut butter than the current Iranian leadership.

    You folks are too stupid for words.

    Slide, the alleged NYC cop, tries out the tired old chickenhawk meme. It’s laughable to get this crap from a person that not only claims to be a NYC cop, but to have been a hero on 9/11, bravely helping attempt to save the WTC victims. It appears far more likely that he’s a simpleton sitting alone at the back of his trailer typing onto his keyboard from the light flickering from his PC screen.

    Slide, you are too stupid to qualify to work as a New York City cop. You are LYING in some feeble attempt to have your cowardly comments taken seriously and given more weight.

    I hope you’re sitting in the next equivalent to the World Trade Towers when one of your beloved “brown skins” manages to succeed because fools like yourself are more concerned with protecting their rights than those of other potential future occupants of WWT’s

    PoopHead, do you even have a functioning brain?

    No need for further comment, sub Par’s own words tell us all we need to know about him, don’t ya think?

    But in sub Par’s defense there may be an underlying medical reason for his behavior.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.

    inferiority complex n.

    A persistent sense of inadequacy, sometimes resulting in excessive aggressiveness through overcompensation.

    .

  93. 93
    Par R says:

    Slide, the now proven whack job who falsely claims to ne a heroic NYC cop, shits in his pants when it’s shown that he’s such a liar and phony.

  94. 94
    Gray says:

    Slide, good job in exposing that foul mouth, but dontchathink it’s quite useless to try to have a serious discussion with trolls like Par?

  95. 95
    Krista says:

    Par – you know, a link is only useful if it actually backs up what you’re saying. Linking to the NYPD’s web site, while temporarily diverting, does nothing to prove or disprove Slide’s identity as a cop.

    BTW, this:

    And I also have a residence in Manhattan

    Well, it really just makes you sound like a pretentious snot. I’m sure that’s not how you mean to come across though, right?

  96. 96
    demimondian says:

    Yo, *Par*…you know, there’s a world of difference between saying “there’s no evidence that [person x] is a cop” and “[person x] falsely claims to be a heroic NYC cop”: the former is a statement about evidence. The latter? Well, if the person (a) actually is a cop or (b) has never claimed to be a hero…it’s a slander.

    Whether Slide is a former cop or not, I don’t know. However, he’s never claimed to be a hero in anything I’ve read here.

    Just sayin’

  97. 97
    Slide. says:

    Just to clear the record, I never said I was a NYC cop. Nor did I claim to have “rescued” WTC victims. I said I was New Yorker (born and raised in Brooklyn), that I was a cop (retired Captain from neighboring County Police Department) and that I was at ground zero (many police departments sent officers to assist the NYPD and FDNY with the gruesome task of recovery.

    Now I don’t know if Par is a spoof or not but it is relatively unimportant, but he certainly is a perfect example of the tactics of the right wing these days. If you can’t defeat your opponent on the merits of the argument call him a liar and throw discredit on his background. It is such a predominant tactic of the right wing it has now entered our offical lexicon:

    1. swift boating

    The act of discrediting a political opponent by making exaggurated or outrightly false claims about his/her character and past actions.

    It may have worked in the past but as Bush once said,

    There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

    couln’t have said it better myself.

  98. 98
    Krista says:

    couln’t have said it better myself.

    Actually, you probably could have said it much better, seeing as you’re not an inarticulate frat boy with a distrust of anybody with a triple-digit IQ.

    (I’m referring to the president, by the way, not Par.)

  99. 99
    demimondian says:

    Sherard mutters:

    Three a year??! Holy Jesus! Please get a grip. Even a small one would be a VAST improvement.

    We aren’t talking about your love life. We’re talking about extra-legal means the current administration is using to deny political opponents access to the courts.

  100. 100
    Slide. says:

    Why, some may I ask, did I even mention I was a NY cop? I don’t for a second suggest that my profession bestows on me any superior status in a debate of political philosophy or that my agruments should be given more weight than anyone else’s. I mentioned that I was a cop, and a New Yorker, because so many on the right want to pidgeon hole their political opponents as those that are “weak” on terrorism. Or that we somehow don’t comprehend the terrible consequences of a terror attack. All of that is, of course, rubbish.

    I know very very well, and from first hand experience, what we are up against. New York will always be the number one target of any terror attack. My whole family lives in NY. No one. REPEAT, no one is more interested in defeating al Qaeda and those that wish to do us harm than I am. My backgroud was offered to make that point crystal clear to those that wish to ascribe non-existant motivations (i.e. fools like yourself are more concerned with protecting their rights than those of other potential future occupants of WWT’s)

    That being said, I think this administration’s policies and actions have assisted bin Laden and Al Qaeda in their battle against us. This is a war of ideas. This “war” is about convincing moderate Muslims that we are not their enemy. That they should send their sons and daughters to MIT for education. Bush has done everything a president can do to convice them of the exact opposite. Invading Iraq on the lies of WMD. Abu Gharib. The sectarian bloodbath we have unleased in Iraq, and now the horrendous tragedy of Haditha.

    I wonder how many more moderate Muslims we are going to drive into the bin Laden camp.

    Those are my opinions. I wish to defeat al Qaeda. Disagree with my analysis. Disagree with my interpetation of events, but you have no right to disagree with my motivations and I will not allow it from some punk even if he is just a trolling spoof.

  101. 101
    chefrad says:

    The old Indian Rope Trick, this time into state secrets. Poof!

    Years ago I got into it with Eugene Rostow at Columbia over Vietnam. He simply said, “I have in within my power to refute you with evidence as to how well the war is going, but sadly it is classified and its disclosure would aid the enemies of freedom.”

    I cited the Indian Rope Trick and got a laugh from the crowd. Rostow remembered it 25 years later. The Rostow brothers never forgot an affront.

  102. 102
    vealshank says:

    Years ago I got into it with Eugene Rostow at Columbia over Vietnam. He simply said, “I have in within my power to refute you with evidence as to how well the war is going, but sadly it is classified and its disclosure would aid the enemies of freedom.”

    Whenever I hear a gummintmonkey say something about the “enemies of freedom” I know that he’s a liar.

    Can you say “Dulles Brothers?”

  103. 103
    Par R says:

    At 6:18 PM on May 27, 2006, Slide said: “Don’t lecture me Par. I’m a New Yorker. I’m a cop. I was there at ground zero. I still have the sights and smells very vivid in my mind.”

    Subsequently, after being called on his assertions, he says at 9:22 AM on May 29th that: “Just to clear the record, I never said I was a NYC cop. Nor did I claim to have “rescued” WTC victims. I said I was New Yorker (born and raised in Brooklyn), that I was a cop (retired Captain from neighboring County Police Department) and that I was at ground zero (many police departments sent officers to assist the NYPD and FDNY…”

    I guess it all turns on what the meaning of “is,” is.

    However, better late than never for clarifying the truth.

  104. 104
    vealshank says:

    guess it all turns on what the meaning of “is,” is.

    Or, on what the meaning of “spoof” is, eh?

  105. 105
    vealshank says:

    guess it all turns on what the meaning of “is,” is.

    Speaking as a cut of meat to a par-rot ….

    Be careful what you wish for.

  106. 106
    vealshank says:

    Sorry, sometimes us cuts of meat are a little ham-handed.

    Should have blockquoted this:

    better late than never for clarifying the truth

  107. 107
    demimondian says:

    Hey, Par…why is it that you want to talk about everything except the facts of this administration is doing the things the opponents of the 53 act feared — using “state secrets” to hide guilt, classifying inconvenient facts, declassifying the ones which serve their goals at any given time, and then “dehistoricizing” the ones which no longer server their purposes.

  108. 108
    vealshank says:

    I think Par’s position is Classified.

    “I have it within my power to refute you with evidence as to how well the war war on terror is going, but sadly it is classified and its disclosure would aid the enemies of freedom terrorists.”

  109. 109
    demimondian says:

    Whenever I hear a gummintmonkey say something about the “enemies of freedom” I know that he’s a liar.

    Can you say “DullesNegroponte Brothers?”

    There. Fixed.

  110. 110
    JoeTX says:

    Par R Says:

    At 6:18 PM on May 27, 2006, Slide said: “Don’t lecture me Par. I’m a New Yorker. I’m a cop. I was there at ground zero. I still have the sights and smells very vivid in my mind.”

    Your quote doesn’t even back you up.

    He said he was a New Yorker. I’m a cop.

    Notice that little dot thing after the sentence, its called a period. He didn’t say he was a “New York Cop”.

    I guess we are all fools for arguing with this troll!

  111. 111
    chopper says:

    sorry Par, but you got nothin’.

    At 6:18 PM on May 27, 2006, Slide said: “Don’t lecture me Par. I’m a New Yorker. I’m a cop. I was there at ground zero. I still have the sights and smells very vivid in my mind.”

    simpler: i’m a new yorker, i’m a cop, and i was at the WTC.

    Par’s interpretation: i’m a heroic NYC cop who bravely tried to pull people out of the burning wreckage.

    not even close.

    looks like you read what you wanted to read and are throwing a hissy fit when it was pointed out that you can’t read english properly. but keep trying, it sure makes you look better and better.

  112. 112
    demimondian says:

    Really, folks, why is it that Par won’t talk about the real issues here? We have an administration with a patter of manipulating state secrecy to remove any tools that its political opponents might use to find out what it’s been doing, which is selectively releasing and suppressing information, and Par wants you to talk about anything el—look, a Jackalope!

    Now, why do you think that is? Could it be that he’s…trying to change the subject?

  113. 113
    vealshank says:

    it sure makes you look better and better

    Still, he looks sub-Par, somehow.

  114. 114
    vealshank says:

    Well, The Shank got a whiff of Monday daytime tv today, a rare treat …. which included Charlie Rose, and some pundits.

    Rose is out for surgery, so David Brooks is hosting, and the panel is Bruce Reed, Andrew Sullivan, and David Frum.

    Fascinating stuff. Let me paraphrase a couple of points they’ve made!

    1) Reagan rode on a wave of dissatisfaction with big government. Bush is the ultimate big-government advocate.

    2) Bush has lost his public support because of the disconnect between what he says, and what he does. He says that a big strong government will protect against terrorism, but he shows that his big government is impotent against a real threat like Katrina, or oil prices, or even Social Security reform. So he sells big government but can’t deliver big successes.

    3) Immigration is forcing a disconnect between the GOP grass roots, and the GOP power leadership (Bush). Bush and Rove thought that they could appeal to Xtians and Hispanics, and have found out that they can’t deliver to the Xtians, and can’t keep their Xtian base placated about their immigration — Hispanic — policies. Big trouble.

    4) McCain’s postures and attitudes will not translate into policies and action that appeals to the base that elected Bush.

    5) The middle still determines who governs, and the middle is becoming very dissatisfied with the current GOP.

  115. 115
    Slide. says:

    hey shank I saw that Charlie Rose show too and it was pretty interesting. Frum tried his best to put the best spin on why Bush isn’t quite as bad as we all know he is but Sullivan wouldn’t let him get away with it. If I were a Republican watching that show I would be very depressed.

    I said way back when Kerry lost to bush that the one silver lining was that the country would get a good whiff of what Republican governance is all about. Republican President, House, Senate and a good chunk of the Judiciary. So how is it going America? Happy with GOP leadership? Thought not. The Republicans have done to themselves what no Democrat could have done to them – expose them. Expose them for the corrupt, venal, un-American incompetents that they are.

  116. 116
    vealshank says:

    If I were a Republican watching that show I would be very depressed.

    Indeed.

  117. 117
    MJ says:

    The fact that nearly all of these clowns don’t have a LICK of actual combat experience speaks VOLUMES

    The experience did LBJ a whole lot of good didn’t it? Go read some history of the United States and who it’s war time Presidents have been. Your analogies sucked. What did you get on your SATs?

  118. 118
    vealshank says:

    who it’s war time Presidents have been

    LBJ and his politically ambitious service

    Looks like LBJ and GWB had something in common … “service” that looks more like service to his own agenda than to his country.

    “I flew fighter jets in Alabama …. and I enjoyed it.”

    GWB to Tim Russert, MTP

    Well, at least he enjoyed it.

  119. 119
    Andrew says:

    The experience did LBJ a whole lot of good didn’t it? Go read some history of the United States and who it’s war time Presidents have been. Your analogies sucked. What did you get on your SATs?

    Shit, that commie-lovin’ Eisenhower wasn’t even man enough to keep a war going during his presidency. Them soldiers are a bunch of pussies who can’t be trusted to run the military.

    This was answer (B) for question 19 in the verbal section of the 1992 SATs.

  120. 120
    lard lad says:

    Sooooo, MJ… are you defending the superior job that Bush and Company have pulled off in Iraq, as compared to our stint in Nam? Touting the great results we got for our 300-plus billion dollars, 2300-plus dead, 20,000-plus wounded, and our now-squandered prestige and reputation as the world’s Good Guy? C’mon, friend… tell us all how worthwhile this li’l foray into “waging freedom” was.

    I’m certainly not maintaining that LBJ handled the Vietnam War well… but let’s face it, he inherited a bad situation from Kennedy – a war that was never meant to be a war in the first place.

    The main difference between the quagmire in Vietnam and the one in Iraq… is that OUR president and administration threw themselves (and the American people) in the muck head first.

  121. 121
    Pooh says:

    Now, why do you think that is? Could it be that he’s…trying to change the subject?

    The infestation of Jackalopes has been well documented – though my good friend ppGaz is often fooled into describing them as “spoofs.” The similarity is overwhelming to a non expert, think frogs and toads or dolphins and porpoises.

  122. 122

    Looks like LBJ and GWB had something in common … “service” that looks more like service to his own agenda than to his country.

    Nixon’s combat experience consisted of writing up cargo manifests. There is some claims that he was a damned fine Poker player though.

  123. 123
    ppGaz says:

    though my good friend ppGaz

    Nope. Not fooled.

  124. 124
    Pooh says:

    Nope. Not fooled.

    Never again, huh? Of course, that is a conservative anthem

  125. 125
    ppGaz says:

    Never again, huh?

    Never say never.

    Of course, that is a conservative anthem…

    Sorry, I’m not hip enough to understand this point. But anyway, good picture of The King.

  126. 126
    Pooh says:

    “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

    sorry for the obliqueness…

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