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Bush’s B.S.

I’m mostly on vacation this week, cramming in as many movies as possible. My semi- review of Brokeback Mountain, which I saw Monday night,  will be written and posted sometime in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the Bush/NSA spying story continues to fascinate me. I’m not at all surprised by the facts. This sort of abuse is something I’ve come to expect from Big Government. But I do confess to a certain naiveté about the reaction I had expected.

I applaud former Congressman Bob Barr’s principled, small-c-conservative stand against the President arrogating himself absolute power. Naively, I suppose, I expected many more conservatives to join in the criticism of a President who clearly and unquestionably breached all constitutional and legal safeguards.

Bush’s stated rationale for spying without any oversight by the courts– that this unchecked power was implicitly granted by the 2002 congressional vote to authorize war in Iraq—is absolutely preposterous. And equally dishonest, I might add.

When former Congressman Barr, who voted for the authorization, was asked whether Congress intended to approve this type of unaccountable surveillance of private citizens, Barr said no way. He added: “And Constitutional law and the rules of what’s called statutory construction in this country clearly do not support the arguments that the administration is making.”  Translation: Bush is bullshitting us.

Just as false is the notion that the Senate Intelligence Committee was fully folded into the process by the administration. Now we know, back in 2003 Senator Jay Rockefeller wrote a private letter to Dick Cheney  saying he was given such scant information about this spying program, he could make no honest evaluation.

I’m not ready to venture any guess how this matter is going to play out politically. The administration, in many ways, has shown a certain capacity to defy the partisan laws of gravity. This is all going to depend on to just what degree Americans are willing to have their civil liberties erased by fear.

Kevin Drum has about the best round-up of what’s behind the NSA story. It’s not a happy day for rule of law.

60 Responses to “Bush’s B.S.”

  1. David Cummings Says:

    The talking points memo link about Rockefeller was interesting. It will be ntriguing to know more about how much Congress was being apprised of the domestic spying program as the information begins to come out in the weeks (or months) ahead.

  2. mikey Says:

    At this point it is difficult to muster up the energy to get even more indignant about the Bush administration. I mean they have gotten away with so much already, why not keep pushing it, and telling us how good it is for us.

    This one is on us, the American people, as we continue to accept administration after administration that show their contempt for us by showing their contempt for the rule of law. What is wrong with this generation of Americans? How good could Christmas really be that we would want to spend it with our in-laws rather than marching on Washington screaming simply, “Enough!”

  3. lurker Says:

    I heard these three guys on Diane Rehm’s show yesterday. They were all outraged over the unauthorized wire taps. From their outrage I realized what a huge deal that this is going to be.

    Bruce Fein, former associate deputy attorney general, Republican counsel during the Iran-contra hearings, and founding partner with the Lichfield Group

    David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union

    Norman Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

  4. reg Says:

    The most interesting thing about the Rockefeller letter – other than the helpless tone – was the “I’m gonna put a copy of this in a safe box so when the shit hits the fan I can prove I let out a whimper” line.

  5. Mark Says:

    Please. Every administration has spied on its own people.

  6. Mark A. York Says:

    Please. Context. Get some. John Dean has called the offense impeachable. Nixon was denied similar tactics by the supreme court.

  7. Mark Says:

    Please. I am not saying it is right or wrong but every administration has done it. Torture is wrong, but no law is going to prevent it. You cannot legislate morality which you liberal wingnuts seem to always want to do. Context: get some other than your expected 3 sentence soundbite.

  8. reg Says:

    Also, I have to say that I hope the administration goes after the leaker in a big way. It’s about time this country had a real hero again in the mold of Daniel Ellsberg – someone who was willing to actually risk something to go against this administration’s persistent over-reaching and arrogance. Let’s see if Bush has the guts – or blind will – to play legal and political hardball on this one, because I predict it’ll blow back in his face.

  9. reg Says:

    “You cannot legislate morality which you liberal wingnuts seem to always want to do.”

    That’s just about the dumbest right-wingnut response to this I’ve seen yet. Of course you can’t “legislate morality” but you can sure has hell legislate sanctions on unacceptable behavior and you can impeach a goddam President who flaunts illegal acts. What the fuck are laws all about ??? You can’t guarantee morality through legislation, and some laws in the realm of purely personal morality are counterproductinve and senseless, but that particular shrug of the shoulders won’t wash. Tell it to Tookie Williams…

  10. reg Says:

    “Torture is wrong, but no law is going to prevent it.”

    Replace “torture” with “murder” in that sentence and then shrug your shoulders when the cops catch the next murderer. What absolute mindless drivel…

    “Liberal wingnuts” indeed…it’s getting to the point that if you stack all of the various politically contingent and morally relativistic right-wing talking points together, you end up with so many twists and turns it looks like a bag of pretzels.

  11. evets Says:

    lurker -

    Don’t know about the other 2 guys, but Norman Orenstein is no fan of George Bush. He attacks him regularly and seemingly without compunction. Not sure how he got to AEI, since he doesn’t seem like a big or little ‘c’ conservative. Maybe his politics were once different, or maybe he’s their house maverick.

  12. Mark Says:

    Reg, politics aside, you would be impeaching every president in the last 50 years. Thats not drivel that’s street smarts truth.

  13. too many steves Says:

    Sure we can hurl the wingnut insult, or shout “Echelon”, or say more of the same:

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/12/18/221452.shtml

    But I prefer those who contribute greatly to the discussion, as Orin Kerr has done, by using expertise and research to explore the question:

    http://volokh.com/posts/1135029722.shtml

    Me? I expect the government will watch me, surveil me, analyze me, anytime they think it is worthwhile. What friggin’ difference (in a substantive way) does it make whether a warrant was issued, by a damn secret court no less? Especially when you consider that they almost never refuse a request.

  14. Randy Paul Says:

    Shorter Mark:

    Any number of wrongs make a right.

  15. Michael Green Says:

    The other important point worth noting here is, who was spied on? If the administration is going to try to hide that it’s even doing this, why should we expect the only objects of spying to be potential terrorists? Marc might want to have his phone checked!

  16. reg Says:

    Bush in April 2004 – “Secondly, there are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.”

    As for “impeaching every President in the last 50 years”, maybe…maybe not. I can sure as hell tell you that we could have done worse than impeach at least four of them. And if we raised the bar that high and actually started to sanction illegal acts by the White House, I’d be happy to have thrown in Clinton for good measure. But that aside, have you heard about “the last straw” – the one that broke the camel’s back ?

  17. Mark A. York Says:

    Yeah Steve what difference do laws make? Who needs em.

    “I am not saying it is right or wrong but every administration has done it”

    Overgeneralization fallacy. When you want it dilutes unpleasantness of those you support.

  18. Abbas-Ali Abadani Says:

    evets: “…Norman Orenstein is no fan of George Bush. He attacks him regularly and seemingly without compunction. Not sure how he got to AEI, since he doesn’t seem like a big or little ‘c’ conservative. Maybe his politics were once different, or maybe he’s their house maverick.”

    Ornstein is one of only two AEI fellows/scholars that I have any respect for. The other, whom I have quite a bit of respect for (at least on domestic matters), is John R. Lott.

  19. too many steves Says:

    You continue to demonstrate an ample tendency toward tedious unseriousness.

    The question is: what difference does it make to me, john q. citizen? Answer: none. Which is not an argument against laws, it is an argument that there is no material difference between warrantless wiretaps and wiretaps approved by some “secret” court that almost never denies them.

  20. Abbas-Ali Abadani Says:

    Marc Cooper: “I applaud former Congressman Bob Barr’s principled, small-c-conservative stand against the President arrogating himself absolute power. Naively, I suppose, I expected many more conservatives to join in the criticism of a President who clearly and unquestionably breached all constitutional and legal safeguards.”

    I agree, but there is one huge paradox/inconsistency when it comes to Bob Barr championing civil liberties and Constitutional rights. You know what I’m talking about, Marc.

    Next time you’re hanging out with him try relating a personal anecdote like: “Oh, man. I was hangin’ out with some buddies in Vegas and one of ‘em pulled out this fat sack of Humboldt County’s finest. Dude, I rolled up a fattie and we got so fuckin’ wasted, let me tell you…. Hey, Bob… what’s wrong, man? Where’re you goin’? Why are you talking to that cop and pointing at me?”

    This past summer he was on Bill Maher’s show and the topic got around to Miami Dolphins’ running back Ricky Williams. Barr went off on a tirade that actually made me a little queasy. If someone had tuned in to his speech half way through they would have thought he was talking about Jeffrey Dahmer or someone of that ilk.

    Still, on balance I have a favourable opinion of him and hold him in much higher regard than at least 90% of his fellow Republicans.

    Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine wrote a great piece on Barr and his championing of civil liberties in the wake of his 2002 congressional defeat.

    And speaking of Reason, this interview with Barr, conducted by Jesse Walker, is also worth the read.

  21. Peter W. Says:

    As the weather changes so do the democrats…

    THE DRUDGE REPORT has uncovered a photograph of President Bush signing the Patriot Act in the East Room of the White House on October 26, 2001.

    And standing over the President’s shoulder with a smile on his face is Democratic Senate Minority Harry Reid (D-NV)!

    Reid is currently leading efforts in the Senate to block the renewal of the Patriot Act.

    After Reid successfully prevented the Patriot Act’s renewal late last week the Senator attended a Democrat political rally and proudly declared, “We killed the Patriot Act.”

    One Republican strategist familiar with the photo said, “Democrats think they can regain the majority? Not a chance if they continue to put politics above what’s best for the country. Harry Reid is making a colossal miscalculation, but it’s not the first time and thankfully for us, probably not the last.”

  22. Nell Says:

    The Bush quote from April 2004 is a remarkable find, reg. Thanks! What’s the source? Is it by any chance from his “I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done wrong” press conference?

  23. Peter W. Says:

    Overgeneralization fallacy. Can he be less intelligent?

  24. Mark A. York Says:

    No Bush can’t be less intelligent. He’s what you get with a legacy hire.

    I don’t misread anything up- to-my-armpits-in steves. The executive branch can decide they want to surveil anyone regardless of merit. Activists, dissenters, critics anyone even you. The evidence proves the opposite of what you claim. They didn’t have evidence to satisfy even that special court, hence the circumvention technique.

    I hate to break it to Peter W. but folks who didn’t support a bill sometimes show up for the signing. Reid and many others did so, but time can change minds that are open. Closed ones just hang tough regardless of facts.

    I don’t consider Drudge a source. He’s an amateur propagandist. If your sources suck so does your reporting.

  25. J Cummings Says:

    Any truth to the rumour that Bob Barr is hiding his African American identity, like J. Edgar Hoover?

    More seriously on this one, its funny to see this turn into an opportunity to debate the issue…first it was torture “well its OK,” and the other side saying “we must legislate it, warrants ala Dershowitz, etc.”…without a hint of the immorality. Then there’s this Hoover/KGB policy and its one side “The President shold have the authority” and the other “well he’s got to tell congress” and no side talking about immorality.

    Whats next, sacrificing human beings to the Owl at Bohemian Grove?

  26. John Moore Says:

    It’s not just those nasty Republican’s folks.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200512200946.asp

    In a little-remembered debate from 1994, the Clinton administration argued that the president has “inherent authority” to order physical searches — including break-ins at the homes of U.S. citizens — for foreign intelligence purposes without any warrant or permission from any outside body. Even after the administration ultimately agreed with Congress’s decision to place the authority to pre-approve such searches in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, President Clinton still maintained that he had sufficient authority to order such searches on his own.

    “The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes,” Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, “and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General.”

    So Clinton claimed an even stronger authority on even lesser grounds (no war in progress – that he knew about.

    As for Bush arrogating absolute power – spying on international communicagtions is very, very far from “absolute power.” Come on, Marc, must you go hyperbolic in order to get readers? I don’t think so, because you write so well. Sigh.

  27. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    From The Anchoress:
    Gorelick: 1994 “The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General.

    “It is important to understand, that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities.” – Jamie Gorelick testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, as quoted by Byron today elsewhere on NRO.

    Clinton got the power. Bush is just using it. A LOT. Maybe overusing it?

    But only a hypocrite would complain that Bush “didn’t do enough” BEFORE 9/11, AND complain that Bush is “doing TOO much” now. (Bush has pretty much been successful at stopping big terror in the US)

    Any Lefties wearing such a shoe? Marc? Reg?

  28. J Cummings Says:

    It blows my mind how many people are OK with this in principle or in practice.

  29. evets Says:

    J Cummings -

    Even sacrificing animals to the owl would be a problem. I, for one, could not support it.

  30. Mark A. York Says:

    “Bush has pretty much been successful at stopping big terror in the US”

    Well how much of it was there to begin with? It was stunt. A wild anomaly that they were warned about based on ongoing investigations in 2000. Clinton had an attack in 94 and a conviction. What’s this dipwad have besides an international nightmare? As for pushing for warrantless searches did Clinton circumvent the law and do it anyway? Please. But I guess you right-wing types can’t say he did nothing like you have been if that’s the case.

  31. Eleanore kjellberg Says:

    I totally agree with Barbara Boxer, that Bush’s unauthorized spying on Americans is an impeachable offense. We are living in a democracy and everyone deserves due process. Bush has unimpeded access to FISA court—the Judges are appointed by John Roberts, who himself was appointed by Bush. As a result, his requests would be immediately acted upon. Declaring “terror” as an excuse for invading privacy and spying on Americans is the stuff that leads to dictatorships. If we continue on this path, the words to our national anthem will no longer be Oh, say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming; but will be changed to: Every breath you take, and every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take, I’ll be watching you, every single day, and every word you say, every game you play, every night you stay, I’ll be watching you.

    Only last week, Bush stated that the information gathered on Iraq was false : “It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.”

    If ANYONE CAN BE SPIED ON AT ANY TIME; there is a good possibility that errors of mistaken identity will be made!

    WHO WILL ULTIMATELY DECIDE WHAT TERROR IS?
    Is terror a political activist?
    Is terror a natural disaster?
    Is terror a pandemic?
    How will all these laws designed to protect Americans ultimately be used against Americans?

    p.s.
    It doesn’t make a difference if wiretaps were implemented without court orders by previous adminstrations–it is still illegal and very “creepy.”

  32. reg Says:

    What the “Clinton did it” crowd don’t tell you is that this Gorelick argument was specifically in regard to foreign embassies and agents of foriegn powers. Of course this is all the stuff of slippery slopes – which is why the current uproar is not only justified but possibly too little too late, but the argument that this isn’t something that widens the net of presidential prerogatives rather dramatically and drastically just won’t wash. In fact, this “Clinton did it” smokescreen for clear and present violations of law is just proof of what a clown show the right-wing runs under cover of “intellectuals” and “pundits”. Also, isn’t it interesting that there’s a paper trail of ARGUMENTS BEFORE A COURT for the “Clinton did it crowd” to attempt to mine, as well as legislative initiatives. That’s a very significant difference on the face of it. If Bush had had his lawyers arguing for these powers, it would be a different ballgame and he could be accused of being wrong but not of surreptitious, patently illegal over-reaching to evade any oversight.

    Nell…Atrios has a bunch of those kinds of comparative Bush quotes posted, and Howard Dean has apparently issued them from the DNC.

  33. Dan O Says:

    It seems to me that a lot of the comments above illustrate an important point: The law is a delicate thing. If it does not have the respect of the people and the institutions that are subject to it and administer it, then it becomes undermined in serious ways. The “They all do it” sort of comments (which may well be true) is a shockingly passive response to a serious abuse of power. As I mused about the other day, this is the way democracies slip away. If we don’t value the right not to be spied upon, the ability to carve out a private space free from government intrusion, then no one else will, and we really don’t deserve it anymore.

    The Constitution has a deep distrust of government, and somewhere along the way many of us have come to the conclusion that government is a happy uncle who always has our best interests at heart.

    We’re not ordained to be a democracy. It can go away without proper care and feeding and vigilance. If at times like these we just decide it’s no big deal, then you should start to say your goodbyes now.

    It’s always emergencies that are used to justify this kind of law breaking. And those emergencies then go on to justify more and more lawlessness.

    And to the “They all do it” crowd: I don’t really give a damn if Clinton and Carter and Ford did it too. It’s just as objectionable.

  34. Michael Green Says:

    Peter W., you might want to recall that in October 2001, Bush had yet to lie in public about going to war with Iraq. Since he defines that as part of the war on terror–which it became, thanks to an invasion that opened up Iraq to Al Qaeda in ways that Saddam did not permit–then he is willing to define anything as being part of the war on terror, which hardly makes the PATRIOT Act worth saving.

  35. Nell Says:

    Thanks, reg. After my question here I saw the quote in a comment at Balkinization, with a link. It was part of a speech, therefore a premeditated lie. Unless now they want to say that whatever NSA has been doing at their request is not ‘wiretapping.’

    Katherine at Obsidian Wings sums up what’s at stake here in a way that I hope will spur readers to inform themselves and act:
    http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/12/sos.html

  36. John Moore Says:

    So the resolution, which is quite clear, has a hidden (i.e. only in the minds of at least one voter) prohibition: “you can wage war, minus the powers of every other wartime president to gather the necessary intelligence, but hey, we aren’t going to tell you about those limitations.”

    And Jay Rocketfellow produces a hand written and barely legible letter expressing “concern.” Did he do anything else in the 2.5 years since he wrote this? Not a bit. He knew about the program two and a half years ago and has remained silent!

    The letter is just a typical Washington CYA action – if things go sour, he wrote it, but if they don’t he still doesn’t look bad. Either way, he wins. RocketFellow wants to have his cake and eat it too. If the issue were as clear-cut as the Bush Haters wanted, shouldn’t he have come forward sooner?

    Consider how bad it would have looked if he got the program stopped, and then a massive terror attack happens, preventable by that that program. Well, he covered his behind on that… by writing a letter but not doing anything about the issue until there was political hay to be made and lots of politcal cover available.

    Barr says that he personally didn’t want the bill to authorize international intercepts. Then why didn’t he put it in the bill?. Oh that’s reight, he was one of hundreds who voted for it.

    We can also find, in the same article:

    Congressman Tom Price said the eavesdropping covered only non-citizens talking to suspected terrorists overseas. He said that’s different from monitoring innocent Americans talking to each other.

    “Had he not done this, and something had happened, you and the rest of the world would be clamoring,” Price said.

    As much as the left would love to pretend that Bush arrogantly and without legal justification took these actions, the evidence simply doesn’t support it. The legality of the actions is not clear: Bush had a variety of legal opinions from his administration (as he is required to get) all supporting the policy. Others have said the policy is illegal. The Volokh Conspiracy finds it “murky” – not clearly illegal.

    Only the Bushhaters say it is clearly and obviously illegal and that Bush was somehow arrogating dicatorial powers. The congressional opportunists, of course, behave as if this was a big surprise, and it is horrible… just horrible.. and Bush is obviously wrong. They are as childish as many commenters on this blog (or perhaps more cynical). Jay RocketFellow is among this crowd.

    Childish, as GM said.

  37. eddie Says:

    Rocky2 is a typical democrat pussy as John Moore points out.Now he is outraged like the Claude Raines charecter in Casablanca!

    What if Rocky2 learned about concentration camps? Write a letter and bring it out to show the rest of the whimps before they turned on the gas?

  38. Jim Rockford Says:

    The Generals who gave the briefing to Reid and Rockefeller say they were told IN DETAIL and flat out called them liars.

    So, good luck with that.

    Given Carl Levin blabbing on the Senate Floor about Osama’s Sat Phone enabling the NSA to track him; or Dick Durbin revealing on the Senate Floor a secret NRO sat program, Dems have a long and bad history of blabbing about secret intelligence on the Senate Floor. Levin and another Senator, I think Schumer, had their intelligence clearances yanked after too many of these episodes.

    Polls show Bush rebounding, for one simple reason. He’s taking care of business, which is ensuring that every step is taken to prevent 9/11 from happening again.

    The 9/11 Commission documented time after time how Civil Liberties concerns and the FISA slowness (FBI could not prepare a warrant for FISA court for Zacarias Mousaouie and his laptop in time) led to opportunities to stop 9/11 being missed.

    Dems have solidly said “your lives, ordinary people, are eminently dispensible. Only terrorists civil rights have importance for us.”

    That’s a losing argument. Bush lost a LOT of popularity because despite the facts that he wasn’t responsible for New Orleans levee failures, failures to evacuate, or the total incompetence of the locals, the public held him to be the man in charge and the one who had to backstop any failures and save people’s lives.

    In this issue he’s the reverse of Katrina inaction. Marc was RIGHT to excoriate Bush for failing to act in Katrina, and dead wrong here.

    I honestly don’t see how ANY ordinary person, you know who works every day, is going to have a problem with this? Bush isn’t spying on Moveon, or the DNC. He’s spying on people calling up known Al Qaeda contacts, or vice-versa. It’s very limited and this is the right call. I’d make it myself if I was President, so would have Kerry, Gore, or Clinton. Clinton in fact did so.

    You can google the FISA law at Cornell.edu. The process of having all the documents needed for FISA court is pretty onerous. [Once the steps are complete the warrants are granted immediately but the process by law is very lengthy to get to that point] About ELEVEN major steps and bottlenecks at the National Security Advisor’s office (lengthy certification) and AG’s office. Among other things there’s massive minimization plans required and if Joe Jihadi steps into an Internet Cafe and IM’s his cousin in Pakistan about killing Americans, a warrant can be applied for within 72 hours retroactively but it’s a massive effort requiring that documentation all over again. Multiply this by a hundred names in Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s phone book and FISA just FAILS.

    FISA was built to keep wiretapping to an absolute minimum, the Soviet Consulates and such during the late Cold War. It’s useless and a dead process for amorphous 9/11 plots with thousands of unknown players. Decide which you want: religious adherence to process and another 9/11, or saving lives with checks and balances (program was stopped and modified because of complaints).

    Mark A York — “Well how much of it was there to begin with? It was stunt. A wild anomaly that they were warned about based on ongoing investigations in 2000. Clinton had an attack in 94 and a conviction. What’s this dipwad have besides an international nightmare? As for pushing for warrantless searches did Clinton circumvent the law and do it anyway? Please. But I guess you right-wing types can’t say he did nothing like you have been if that’s the case.”

    This is a bad joke. What’s really being meant here is that “only ordinary people died in 9/11 so who cares?” We had pure good luck in 2000 (Ahmad Ressam was too nervous crossing over from Canada and arrested on the spot so LA wasn’t bombed); in 1993 (the twin towers were supposed to be toppled on top of each other) and in 1995 (the Blind Sheik bombing plot). The Bojinka Plot of 1996 and the failed plot by the GPSC to crash an airliner into the Eiffel tower were clear indications that something was up. Incompetence of our enemies and good luck on our part is not a strategy. What Mark A York is saying is that he’s OK with people he doesn’t know getting killed, so long as we have civil rights for terrorists.

    Mark I will submit to you that people WILL be safe one way or another and Liberal control of the population is nil. If Bush fails to do everything in his power and we get another 9/11, you’ll see lynchings of Muslims while police sit on their hands, every Mosque in flames, and Muslims beaten by an angry majority at every opportunity while Government looks the other way. You’ll see angry pilots, flight attendants, and passengers personally strip searching and watching every “Muslim looking” person because it’s THEIR LIVES just as it is THEIR LIVES for Israelis at the Supermarket, Disco, Pizza Place etc. All that PC garbage goes out the window if it’s kill or be killed which is where you want to take us. If the LAW exists only to give terrorists the rights to kill Americans then like Prohibition everyone will ignore the law and give way to the ugly mob. It was BECAUSE Bush was committed to doing everything that after 9/11 we did not get the mob. Sorry I’d rather live a nation of laws that act to protect people’s lives, not a Death Wish nation where every man and woman is Dirty Harry because the Liberal PC garbage hamstrings the executive from doing the obvious.

    Mark A York is exhibit A of why Liberals cannot be trusted with National Security no matter how much I might agree with them on other things: they deny the central reality (bin Laden is not done with us) so life won’t be uncomfortable for them; besides it’s only the little people who die in terror attacks.

  39. David Cummings Says:

    too many steves says:

    “Me? I expect the government will watch me, surveil me, analyze me, anytime they think it is worthwhile. What friggin’ difference (in a substantive way) does it make whether a warrant was issued”

    Oy Vay, not me, that is for sure. I shudder to imagine an agency filming me watching my daily fill of The Rugrats in my bathrobe with a bowl of cereal in my lap and a female Fed agent on the other end laughing her ass off. Or perhaps monitoring my phone calls to my parents, girlfriend, and everyone….JUST because I happened upon a Greenpeace website for recycling tips. I hope not very many people in this country feel the way you do.

  40. John Moore Says:

    David,

    You extrapolate into absurdity.

    Childish

  41. David Cummings Says:

    Is it? A friend of mine in Berkeley belongs to a group called “Food Not Bombs” (sounds real subversive, huh?

    Just like Greenpeace, FNB ended up on a “terrorist watch list.” FNB’s crime? Feeding the homeless. Apparently, if you are a non-faith-based charity, that is enough to get you on the “terrorist list” where this administration is concerned.

  42. David Cummings Says:

    Johnny boy,

    Just linked to your blog. “Progressive Cognitive Disorder” and its “symptoms?” Speaking of absurdity and childish….I don’t think Andrew Sullivan has much to worry about.

  43. reg Says:

    If you go to John’s “art gallery” you can see the creatures who live under Jim Rockford’s bed…

  44. lurker Says:

    ” On Aug. 21, 1998, the Washington Times, the capital’s unabashedly conservative newspaper, which regularly breaks more intelligence-related stories than any other daily, ran an article saying that Bin Laden “keeps in touch with the world via computers and satellite phones.” ”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2132922

    I guess when reality is inconvenient, you can revise it, inserting the names of Democratic Senators.

    No need to worry though, help is on the way.
    http://www.acfnewsource.org/science/smart_pills.html

  45. Mark A. York Says:

    “What Mark A York is saying is that he’s OK with people he doesn’t know getting killed, so long as we have civil rights for terrorists.”

    Listen butthead, that’s NOT what I mean. We have civil rights for all citizens. What part of that don’t you get? The stunt was an elaborate crime using criminal terrorist techniques not military operations. You can’t stop that with armies or listening to every dissenter monitoring PETA and Greenpeace. There are no hordes of muslims trying take our freedom. Just a handful of religious whacko crooks unrelated in Iraqi insuregents.

  46. Mark A. York Says:

    After reading the rest of your diatribe I’d personnally punch your lights out.

  47. too many steves Says:

    Hey, David, I didn’t say I want them to, just that I expect they will. I suspect they would be pretty bored with what goes on in my phone conversations, emails, etc. But, don’t tell anyone, boring is my strategy!

    My first real job, after graduating from college, required me to have a Secret clearance. Part of the vetting process involved me being interviewed by the FBI. I was shocked to learn that this FBI guy knew all about my youthful transgressions (which occured between the ages of 14 – 20 years old). Most shocking was that he had access to, and copies of, supposedly sealed court documents.

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

  48. Mark A. York Says:

    I’ve worked for the federal government since 1989 off and on. They’ve never surveilled me even on the job.

  49. Abbas-Ali Abadani Says:

    Jim Rockford: “Mark I will submit to you that people WILL be safe one way or another and Liberal control of the population is nil. If Bush fails to do everything in his power and we get another 9/11, you’ll see lynchings of Muslims while police sit on their hands, every Mosque in flames, and Muslims beaten by an angry majority at every opportunity while Government looks the other way. You’ll see angry pilots, flight attendants, and passengers personally strip searching and watching every “Muslim looking” person because it’s THEIR LIVES just as it is THEIR LIVES for Israelis at the Supermarket, Disco, Pizza Place etc. All that PC garbage goes out the window if it’s kill or be killed which is where you want to take us. If the LAW exists only to give terrorists the rights to kill Americans then like Prohibition everyone will ignore the law and give way to the ugly mob.”

    Folks, just so you know, this is Rockford’s version of cybersex. Twitchily typing out his violent, racist fantasies and posting them around, in the hopes that people will actually engage in a dialogue with him. But usually he just ends up having to clean a lot of spunk off his monitor.

  50. David Cummings Says:

    Hey steves,

    Thanks for clearing that up. I misinterpreted what you said earlier. Mea Culpa!

  51. David Cummings Says:

    And Marc,

    Sorry about the comment I made about another person’s blog…I remember what you had said about that earlier.

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