Joe Klein: How to Stay Out of Power (and undermine the war in the process)

Joe Klein, no friend of the administration, writes a critique on Democrats who he thinks are playing too fast and loose with national security issues:

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat, engaged in a small but cheesy bit of deception last week. She released a letter, which quickly found its way to the front page of the New York Times, that she had written on Oct. 11, 2001, to then National Security Agency director General Michael V. Hayden. In it she expressed concern that Hayden, who had briefed the House Intelligence Committee about the steps he was taking to track down al-Qaeda terrorists after the 9/11 attacks, was not acting with “specific presidential authorization.” Hayden wrote her back that he was acting under the powers granted to his agency in a 1981 Executive Order. In fact, a 2002 investigation by the Joint Intelligence Committees concluded that the NSA was not doing as much as it could have been doing under the law—and that the entire U.S. intelligence community operated in a hypercautious defensive crouch. “Hayden was taking reasonable steps,” a former committee member told me. “Our biggest concern was what more he could be doing.”

The Bush Administration had similar concerns. In the days after 9/11, it asked Hayden to push the edge of existing technology and come up with the best possible program to track the terrorists. The result was the now infamous NSA data-mining operation, which began months later, in early 2002. Vast amounts of phone and computer communications by al-Qaeda suspects overseas, including some messages to people in the U.S., could now be scooped up and quickly analyzed.

The release of Pelosi’s letter last week and the subsequent Times story (“Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show”) left the misleading impression that a) Hayden had launched the controversial data-mining operation on his own, and b) Pelosi had protested it. But clearly the program didn’t exist when Pelosi wrote the letter. When I asked the Congresswoman about this, she said, “Some in the government have accused me of confusing apples and oranges. My response is, it’s all fruit.”

A dodgy response at best, but one invested with a larger truth. For too many liberals, all secret intelligence activities are “fruit,” and bitter fruit at that. The government is presumed guilty of illegal electronic eavesdropping until proven innocent. This sort of civil-liberties fetishism is a hangover from the Vietnam era, when the Nixon Administration wildly exceeded all bounds of legality—spying on antiwar protesters and civil rights leaders.

Read the whole thing. Make sure to note his information on how there is evidence that, thanks to the leaker as well as the reporting of this story in the NYTimes, that the terrorists are modifying their behavior, which obviously hampers our ability to track them.

Looks like Orin Kerr was right.

To the (mostly) partisans who wanted this story pushed: are you happy now?

Read more via AJ Strata, Betsy Newmark, Powerline, Outside the Beltway, Say Anything

Related Toldjah So posts: Related Toldjah So posts:

76 thoughts on “Joe Klein: How to Stay Out of Power (and undermine the war in the process)

  1. The Left is against: >all domestic spying >a national ID Card >cameras mounted on light poles >any spying on domestic mail >voting machines that give no hard copy >any erosion of civil liberties for the sake of security. The Left believes in: privacy and choice(free will).

  2. steve, as long as the left believes in no-fault abortion at anytime in any fashion, including partial birth abortion, they do not support choice for the yet to be born.

    The left does not support choice on gun ownership.

    The left does not support choices that leave them out of power.

    The left censors public opinion.

  3. Hey PCD so you are telling us on the left that a woman who has paid taxes,served in her country’s military and votes has LESS rights to a decision regarding her choice to her body than a fetus? Is that what you saying? one word .FILLUBUSTER. I’m get sick and tired of the religious right talking abvout morals when they none themselves. Also once again Congrats to ST’s Panthers.They kicked my Giants tails up and down the field yesterday.

  4. Um, it’s not just religious folk who don’t like abortion, Tommy.

    BTW, let’s get this back on track to the real issue at hand, which is NOT abortion but Democrats and national security.

  5. Tommy, Why can’t you just answer directly one point? You shotgun accusations at everything but. You don’t prove anything but that you can’t debate. I just shot down steve’s assertion that the left believes in choices. They don’t.

    How does spouting unfounded accusations, repeating lies, and in general making yourself look like a spoiled brat in public advance any views of the left on the war or anything?

  6. Well as I said earlier ST this is a loser issue for us on the left. I’m in agreement with youse on the right that you gotta cut the feds slack in tracking terrorists. The current administration has very little credibility left when it comes to truth so the Dems get carried away sonmetimes in my opinion in questioning how the 43 Admin does business.

  7. Tommy, the constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Government protects life as one of it’s basic functions (not providing expensive to the taxpayers health care).

    When would you say Tommy that life begins?

    And if you say at birth, do you know that France, Germany, Britian disagree with you? You can’t get a social abortion after the 12th or 20th week in these countries.

    I’m not sure what is so extreme about what the Republicans in Congress has done in the last 10 years… I only know that the Democrats have demonized the Republicans on this issue and you’ve fell for it.

  8. Oops. Sorry ST. I’m back on track to the issue.

    The article is “How to Stay Out of Power” and I’d say Tommy’s pattern exemplified with this line, “The current administration has very little credibility left when it comes to truth is what will keep the Dems out of power.

    Intelligence from ALL around the world was incorrect and politicians ALL over believed the intelligence and then the Democrat leaders want to accuse Bush of misrepresenting or manipulating or lying.

    Tommy, How did Bush change intelligence before he was in office AND in other coutries? Your accusations are meritless. And the Democrats pattern of meritless accusations will keep them out of power.

    Tommy wrote, “Dems get carried away sonmetimes in my opinion in questioning how the 43 Admin does business

    Marriage Counseling 101 (if it was a course) would teach you that you that ONLY YOU are responsible for your words and actions. You can’t blame anyone else for the actions and words YOU choose. Yes. Dems get carried away. It is their own doing. Each and every one of their “concern” (lies/accusations) have been baseless. To keep it on topic… You see them doing it again with talks of impeachment proceedings. It’d be better if Democrats were forced to actually read dissenting opinion but they only reside in an echo chamber with their supporters egging them on.

  9. Tommy, you have a little problem. You are blind to your own prejudice. You say the Bush admin has not credibility, but in every instance you have cited since coming here, the only one with no proven credibility is you. You are continually shot down. Will you just open your closed mind and listen, not with your mouth (Incessant, baseless accusations in defencse of your last baseless statement) and listen with your ears. Just try it once. I promise you won’t die.

  10. I find Steve’s “the left is against” rant sorta funny. Aren’t these the same people that wanted to re-instate the draft a bill authored by Charlie Rangel. Where is the choice in that???

    But more than anything I just want to know what the left is for. It seems to me that they are not for our national security. I find it odd this whole leaker/whistleblower argument. If this person that uncovered the NSA was a whistleblower there are other agency they could of took their complaint to, they did not need to take it to the NY Times. Hell they could of took it to their senator old Hillary would of loved to be the person to break this story. Are they for the “little guy” well not with their whole taxation without representation ideology. Do they give a squat about…. Unions, minorities, justice….. this goes on and on and on. Seems to me they are only looking for the squeekiest wheel. Look at Cindy Sheehan and how so many Dems were with her in spirit. She takes a dive of the deep and and not a single dem mentions her. It is scares the daylights out of me the thought that the Dems might regain the white house and congress. – Lorica

  11. Robert,

    If Osama calls Pedilla and says “Execute!”, do you think the Administration will get the warrant to see if there is something in the next call Osama makes to Pedilla before Pedilla’s dirty bomb goes off in a major city?

  12. Pingback: Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » The Joe Klein Smackdown

  13. It’d be better if Democrats were forced to actually read dissenting opinion but they only reside in an echo chamber with their supporters egging them on.

    Unlike the Administration, of course.

  14. “It’d be better if Democrats were forced to actually read dissenting opinion but they only reside in an echo chamber with their supporters egging them on.”

    Unlike the right-wingers, of course…

    Evil Progressive, do you enjoy trying to post here under multiple IDs? Get a life. –ST

  15. shingles: “Unlike the Administration, of course.”

    Joe from Ohio: “Unlike the right-wingers, of course… ”

    ST: What was that about an echo chamber again? =))

  16. Sister,

    Are joe and shingles different posters? They are character for character identical. (God! I feel like that lame prosecutor in “My Cousin Vinny”.

  17. Are joe and shingles different posters? They are character for character identical.

    Except that I’m a much better dancer.

  18. This is not a discussion about security issues but a bash the dems game. I find it glib that some bloggers think there was another way to do this. Report the wrongdoing to another department of the executive, which itself denies that there was any violation.

    Since the FISA court is itself secret, and the law provides for retoractive application for warrants, why was the law circumvented.

    Should laws and the constitution be shredded in the name of information gathering.

    Is this any different than the debate on torture?

    Where does this stop?

    Should Pelosi be thrown into jail for her recklessness. Should all of the democrats be thrown in also? Should their families and friends follow?

    Where does it end?

    The Framers did not trust the abilities of any one man and built that into the Constitution. Are you willing to trust this man?

  19. Eddie,

    I trust Bush more than I trust ANY NATIONAL DEMOCRAT. He isn’t a hypocrite like every lib who has come here and not condemned Clinton and Carter for doing the same things. Now Clinton did use the NSA to snoop on Jesse Helms. Where is your condemnation of that, eddie?

    I really hate these blind partisan libs. They come here with their talking points, regurgitate them, and then think everyone else is stupid.

  20. PCD- your example “Padilla” still does not explain why 43 could not get a warrant.If as has been shown he or any other terror suspect for that matter should be wiretapped why no warrant? The courts can have warrants in a matter of an hour. Are you implying that 43 et al have a different criteira for what constitutes a terrorist? One closer say to that right-wing bloggers?

    As to the national security meme I am sure that Arab Americans and terrorists alike were shocked that it was so bald facedly admitted to, but not at the act itself. For most I would suspect warrantless wiretapping was a given. The people your party is really worried about is Joe and Jane lunchbucket who’s votes have been shamelessly pandered and who are the main victims of the rehashed tinkle-down economy.

  21. Let me play around w/logic for a minute:

    This story became a story because the Bush administration went beyond the law. The problem wasn’t with the NSA spying. The problem was with an unaccountable Executive Branch.

    So, technically, if the Bush administration had never taken the law into their own hands, this never would have become a story.

    So, if you have a problem the release of this information, then you should really be mad at the administration, not the press.

    Eh?

  22. The administration had no need to violate the 4th Amendment to the Constitution in order to protect the Constitution and the American people. FISA gave them the complete ability to wiretap whomever the suspected IMMEDIATELY and obtain the court order DAYS after the fact. Bush’s hubris is impeachable.
    No one is questioning the need for protection, but the bumbling meglomaniacs currently in office are destroying the country we love in order to save it.

  23. And next, shingles will tell us how a woman who’s been violently raped should blame herself or her dressmaker instead of the rapist…:-w

    Bet shingles has a completely different point of view with respect to, say, Clinton’s impeachement over lying about sex. That was obviously the fault of the vast right wing conspiracy, not Clinton for sticking his slick willy where it didn’t belong and then lying about it.

  24. So I believe that what you’ll be posting next is a list of all the convicted terrorists that have been caught due to all this “data-mining”. No? So Osama’s been caught, right? No.

    Well at least they’re not spying on Americans talking to other Americans?!? Right?

    “The ACLU said that the documents released today on Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) show the FBI expanding the definition of “domestic terrorism” to include citizens and groups that participate in lawful protests or civil disobedience.”

    Whoops…

    Well, I guess if we do catch someone at least we’ll have the evidence to convict them, right?

    “(C)riminal defense lawyers are looking for ways that their clients can avoid conviction. And Bush’s actions have given them an easy way to do it. The program violated federal criminal law — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. As a result, any information collected by the program is inadmissible in court. (This principle is called the exclusionary rule.) If that information is critical to the government’s case, a guilty terrorist might be found not guilty.”

    Whoops! And the final insult: The NSA could have gotten a warrant within 72 hours of the tap (a rubber-stamp court if there ever was one – approving over 99% of all requests) and made this all legal. Yea, Pelosi’s putting us in danger…

    I’d also like to hear an honest answer from a conservative about when the “War on Terror” (the “at War” that cons love to use to justify the spying) will end. When we’re out of Iraq? When we stop feeling “terror”? When a Democrat gets elected?

  25. JT: “So I believe that what you’ll be posting next is a list of all the convicted terrorists that have been caught due to all this “data-mining”. No? So Osama’s been caught, right? No.”

    ST: I believe what you’ll be posting next is concrete proof that the exposure of the NSA’s eavesdropping hasn’t hurt our chances of capturing terrorists, right? No. See how this silly little rhetorical questions game works?

    JT: “Whoops! And the final insult: The NSA could have gotten a warrant within 72 hours of the tap (a rubber-stamp court if there ever was one – approving over 99% of all requests) and made this all legal. Yea, Pelosi’s putting us in danger…”

    ST: Yeah, she is, and so are people like you who really don’t seem to give a fig about national security as long as you can damage the President in the process. So assuming for the purposes of conversation that the gov’t had attempted to get a warrant to wiretap Mohammed Atta a couple of days before 9-11, if we found out two days after 9-11 that that warrant had been approved, I’m sure we would have felt so much better. Kind of like I felt when I heard about the visas being approved for some of the 9-11 terrorists after the attacks.

    And the answer to your question about when the war on terror ends? I don’t think anyone can answer it with anything definitive, but one thing I feel pretty sure about: with the way that Democrats and the media are doing their level best to undermine this war, it’ll go on alot longer and be a lot harder to win.

    It is issues like these that make me so happy I’m not in the Democratic party anymore. Most of you guys simply do not have a clue on issues of national security. Not one. Which is probably one of the many reasons you couldn’t make any headway in the 02 and 04 elections.

  26. shingles: “This story became a story because the Bush administration went beyond the law. The problem wasn’t with the NSA spying. The problem was with an unaccountable Executive Branch.”

    ST: That’s not true either. When are you guys every going to get your facts straight on this issue?

  27. You break the law, you run the risk (among other things) of winding up with your private business on the front page of the newspaper. In this case, the Bush administration apparently chose to take that risk with our nation’s intelligence gathering instead of going to the trouble of seeking warrants–despite an extremely liberal law allowing wiretap warrants to be obtained after the fact and a court that has almost never rejected a warrant request.

  28. Keep this up, and I’ll report you to your ISP for harassment. Either that, or I’ll set it up so your messages go straight to the blacklist so no one here (including me) ever has to see your nonsense again. Your little comment about me “not liking dissent” was humorous, considering there are left and right wingers alike posting here. Fortunately, they manage to do it without creating multiple IDs, unlike you. For the record, you don’t have First Amendment rights at this blog, or any other one for that matter. My blog – MY rules. If you don’t like ’em, go find someone else’s blog to post your moronic rantings on because you are not welcomed here. Comprende? –ST

  29. “Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  30. PCD,

    You’re a hoot. Your trust of Bush, is this from the way he handled Katrina or the Presidential Briefings from August ’01?

    Oh no, it must be his close relationship with Rove. Yeah, he’s trustworthy alright. (rolling eyes here).

    As for Clinton: Terrible President. Allowed roving wiretaps and his Immigration policy from 1996 was a disaster.
    Forget Clinton. He’s not the issue.
    The issue is this: If Bush wanted to check someone’s phonecalls he could have done so LEGALLY by getting a warrant.

    Will you allow President Hillary Clinton to wiretap anyone she feels like as lomng as it’s during wartime?

    Try not to contort yourself into a pretzel trying to defend something so blatantly unconstitutional.

    Finally, ST, don’t play stupid about the ’02 and ’04 elections. Here’s a clue: Abramoff.

  31. ST: I believe what you’ll be posting next is concrete proof that the exposure of the NSA’s eavesdropping hasn’t hurt our chances of capturing terrorists, right? No. See how this silly little rhetorical questions game works?

    JT: No wonder you’re buying into the Bush-it so easily! Silly rabbit, you think that it’s possible to prove a negative. For all you King George lovers, listen up: One cannot prove a negative. Since negative is not susceptible to proof, the person posting the positive assertion has the burden of maintaining the assertion.

    Furthermore what’s rhetorical about a list of convicted terrorists? Your original post made the point that people who have “outed” the technique of wire-tapping a phone are endangering our ability to stop/arrest these terrorists. If this is true it is logical to assume that you have some proof that the technique was working: ergo – a list of convicted terrorists. How about I drop it down a level for you: a list of terrorists currently on trial. I mean its the internet, for God’s sake! Just do a google search and tell me what you come up with.

    ST: Yeah, (Pelosi) is, and so are people like you who really don’t seem to give a fig about national security as long as you can damage the President in the process. So assuming for the purposes of conversation that the gov’t had attempted to get a warrant to wiretap Mohammed Atta a couple of days before 9-11, if we found out two days after 9-11 that that warrant had been approved, I’m sure we would have felt so much better. Kind of like I felt when I heard about the visas being approved for some of the 9-11 terrorists after the attacks.

    JT: First of all, I could give a flying rat’s butt about “damaging” Bush. He (rightfully) doesn’t care about me (or you, for that matter) and will be relagated to history’s dustbin soon enough.

    The reason why I think this country is easily one of the best ever (OK, I admit, I am a bit biased) is because the entire history of our country is full of people who have (rhetorically or not) decided that their life should and could be easily traded for liberty. Hello… Patrick Henry. An earlier poster made the comment that the Prez is just fullfilling his duty to our “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Ignoring the fact that this is the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, which unlike the Constitution, does not proscibe actual duties to any branch of government, I tend to agree with the sentiment. We as a nation are great because we are a nation of laws, not men. In the grand scheme of things, ST, I would gladly give up my life and my family’s life in order to ensure that all of our liberties are maintained.

    That’s, I think, where you’re rubber meets the NEO-con road. NEO-Cons do you and me a great disservice when they think that the greatest thing that matters to us is enough sense of well-being to quietly eat our potato chips so we won’t miss the new episode of “Lost”. I’m assuming a bit here, but I’m quite sure that you understand when I say that I’d gladly suffer a hundred 9/11-sized attacks on our homeland in order to enjoy the liberties which our founding fathers, wisely, set apart from all others as the basis of a free society.

    That’s what we’re talking about when we say that we don’t see the NSA program (which has been used on PETA for God’s sake) as the answer. I don’t want to live in a Christo-fascist country and neither should you. Stop being so afraid of an “enemy” that is statistically less dangerous to you than driving your car or working on a construction site! Be afraid of what could really happen to you, quietly, subversively, incrementally, so that no one really notices until its too late: your liberty taken away from you in the name of something as fleeting as safety!

    ST: And the answer to your question about when the war on terror ends? I don’t think anyone can answer it with anything definitive, but one thing I feel pretty sure about: with the way that Democrats and the media are doing their level best to undermine this war, it’ll go on alot longer and be a lot harder to win.

    JT: The point of that question (which was, BTW ST, actually a rhetorical question) was to make a larger point. The Bush administration has used the “War on Terror” to justify everything from spying to torture to tax cuts. Their rhetoric apparently knows no bounds! The point being, I’d like to know what are the ends to Bush Co.’s means. In simpler terms, at what point does the “War on Terror” lose its power of justification in your mind? Would it have to affect you directly or are you able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see how easily you could be next if the “War on Terror” deems it so?

    ST: It is issues like these that make me so happy I’m not in the Democratic party anymore. Most of you guys simply do not have a clue on issues of national security. Not one. Which is probably one of the many reasons you couldn’t make any headway in the 02 and 04 elections.

    JT: Will you be so content to be a King George true-believer if he is the start of the end of this great nation of ours? At last count 9 of the 11 Iraq veterans running for Congress are Dems, so I’m not quite convinced that Repubs have a national security advantage. Scaring people with “Boo! Osama!” hardly counts as bigger NS chops. I mean, c’mon, 9/11 did happen while your boy was sittin’ at the desk.

    As far as winning elections are concerned, that a cyclical endeavor. If I were you I’d be hoping that the cycle would get a move on. Unless you’re really hoping for a one-party state – otherwise known as Communism or a Dictatorship… Not very American if you ask me…

    I’ve enjoyed this bit of back and forth we’ve had today Sister T. My boss would probably be annoyed to find out how many hours of non-capitalistic activity has gone into this today, but screw him – he’s “the man”. Stay sweet…

  32. The Left is for: Privacy and free will(choice). We also want Peace. What do the rightwing-Socialists want? Peace

  33. JT, the sooner you realize that I don’t “buy into the Bush-it so easily” and I (along with everyone else here) am not a “King George lover”, this conversation can advance. You can also put a lid on the patronization (“dropping it down a level” for me? Please.), while you’re at it.

    Your argument was so chicken-little, full of non sequiturs and strawman, I don’t know where to start – nor do I know if I care to.

    JT: “I’ve enjoyed this bit of back and forth we’ve had today Sister T. My boss would probably be annoyed to find out how many hours of non-capitalistic activity has gone into this today, but screw him – he’s “the man”. Stay sweet… ”

    I have a feeling that he’d probably be more annoyed if he actually read how lame your argument was. I think you can do better next time. No one here needs a lecture on the Constitution from you, especially not me, and your question about terrorists that have been caught via data-mining will be answered in the same way it was before: prove this hasn’t damaged our ability to track terrorists. Better yet, prove that it’s HELPED the NSA. How’s that?

    Again, this is how the rhetorical game works and I’m tired of playing it with you. Probably best if we move on from that point because I’m not budging from my position anymore than you are.

    BTW, if you want to talk about terror attacks on someone’s watch, how many happened on Clinton’s watch? Yeah, I didn’t think you wanted to go there.

  34. ST wrote, “it’ll go on alot longer and be a lot harder to win.

    YOU GOT THAT RIGHT!

    ST wrote, “That’s not true either.

    YOU TELL ‘EM !

    Robert wrote, “Try not to contort yourself into a pretzel trying to defend something so blatantly unconstitutional.

    That’s your uninformed opinion (good thing you aren’t running th ecountry). Many Democrats and constitutional lawyers disagree with your ASSERTION. Do you at least recognize a debate exists? Or are you going to give us your constituional law credentials that every other liber
    al on this site has FAILED to do?

    JT wrote, “I mean, c’mon, 9/11 did happen while your boy was sittin’ at the desk.

    Way to hate man! Let me double-check a second……. ok, I’m back and everyone I asked KNEW that Bush was in office when 9/11 happened. Treating us with that much disdain/contempt/condescension doesn’t advance your argument. It only shows how delusional you are and at what lengths you’ll go to politicize the attack against us. Now that no attacks have happened since then and Bush has acted with the constitutional authority he has had (in many people’s opinion), you folks will go to great lengths to LIE to make us LESS SAFE.

    ST, What a day of wackiness huh? Shoot, if I were on an international phone call with a terrorist I’d be proud that I helped this COUNTRY catch a terrorist before they succeeded in killing more people. How about you bloodBaathists on the left? OK. I ‘pologize for that one there (little Larry the Cable guy humor)

  35. Just to be clear, the “dropping it down a level” comment was about dropping down the burden of proof, not the level of discourse. I find it easier to maintain a sense of civility when trying to discuss issues with anyone, regardless of political persuasion. I despise people who just yell “Bush Sucks!” in a crowded comments section because it feeds into people’s stereotypes and I’d like to think that I’m doing my part to try and prove the “Liberals are naive idiots” stereotype wrong.

    As far as the always useless Clinton vs. Bush comparisons are concerned, I’m pretty sure Bush is ahead in as far as bodycount is concerned. Number of events; I suppose if we count Oklahoma City Clinton is ahead by 1. But those were basically the same people who are running the Minute Men operation on the border and its hard to wire-tap people who are afraid of phones (joke… camn down, people!) Or were you thinking there were more than that (and the first WTC bomb)?
    Either way, that comment was an effort to illustrate a point to wingers, like you, who seem to think that we’ve always hated Bush or hope for his demise. After 9/11, we gave him the benefit of the doubt. We didn’t have to. We could have blamed him. So could the ever-despised, corporately owned right-wing mainstream media. But GE had some goverment contracts to get. Money to be had, etc.

    We were with Bush in Afghanistan. Wish he would have “stayed that course” a bit longer, but liberals in general and the Dems in particular were behind him. A lot of us libs were also on board with Iraq, albeit a bit skeptical about the WMD claims, but as a humanitarian effort, we were for once glad that Bush had what Clinton never did. A rubberstamp Congress and a mandate to help foreign countries with oppressive leaders. We were always the “bleeding hearts” who didn’t want to “put America first”. Here was a Republican(!!) president who was willing to use America’s embarassment of riches to foment freedom and democracy around the world. Just what we’ve always wanted! From Republicans! Then came “shock and awe”…

    Somewhere between “Mission Accomplished” (you cons have to admit, regardless of who printed the banner, the flight suit thing was a huge photo-op that Rove couldn’t wait to use in 2004) and “Bring ’em on!” he lost me… and you can’t blame that on the MSM. Who am I kidding, yes you can.

    Sorry about the thread hijack. They hate that at RedState.org…
    Good Luck!

  36. JT wrote, ““We were with Bush in Afghanistan.

    A few select liberals. A good percentage weren’t and aren’t. Check out resident liberal Steve and ask him.

    JT wrote (with a straight face even) “albeit a bit skeptical about the WMD claims,

    I’m sorry. YOu obviously haven’t seen the quotes made by Kerry up to 2003 as well as the quotes made by Democrats like CLinton, Albright and Kennedy and many many many others BEFORE bush came into office as well as ongoing while Bush was in office. You come here woefully unprepared. And I’m sorry you do. Hey, I’m a centrist conservative. I was a very liberal person before 1991 and was converted after going to the library 3 times a week for a full year. I know where you are at. It’s hard having your core beliefs and facts challenged but you need to do plenty of research based on the WAY you debate and non-facts that you bring to the table. It’s ok.

    JT wrote, “Then came “shock and awe”…

    What? You are offended at seeing a Country taken over quickly? Rebulding Japan and Germany took 7 years and 10 years respectively. Toppling their governments took much longer than the few weeks it took to dispose of Iraq’s government. You dislike America? :-" No. Really. I don’t know here.

    JT wrote, “Somewhere between “Mission Accomplished”

    huh. Was the mission accomplished for the aircraft carrier that was leaving the persion gulf after completing their job? Yeppers. I’d say JT can’t stomach a few moments of truth and easily gets incensed. His hatred for G.O.P. comes shining through and tarnishes his ability to LOVE his country. What you SHOULD understand JT is to us conservatives (of which I’m a centrist) it isn’t about loyalty to party or blind loyalty to Bush. We could care less. If a Republican or Democrat committed a crime they should pay the price. We are interested in truth and results. And as this ST post is about Democrats as stated by Joe Klein will not advance solutions but instead be the party of disinformation and inaccurate accusations (which you continue as a pattern). I feel for you (and this country to the extent that we don’t have 2 strong parties offering good solutions – both parties are to the left of center)

    It’d be great if we can stop this 6 decade movement of this country towards bigger and bigger government (that means to the LEFT – for those of you in Rio Linda) and at least freeze it’s size

  37. It’d be great if we can stop this 6 decade movement of this country towards bigger and bigger government (that means to the LEFT – for those of you in Rio Linda) and at least freeze it’s size. – Baklava

    Um, who’s been in power for the last six years?

    I’m in complete agreement w/you on the fact that we need to decrease the size of government – however, I don’t see any sign of the supposed conservatives in government actually doing this.

  38. And another thing, ST – I’m not sure how the link you provided (NYT, Jan. 4) contradicts my fundamental point. So what if the NSA acted on its own accord? This expansion of powers was sanctioned by the administration, albeit retroactively.

    When are you guys every going to get your facts straight on this issue?

    Don’t lump me in w/kneejerk liberal boobs.

    My point is a Constitutional one.

  39. shingles, your points pertain to domestic courts, not the President’s War Powers and Constitutional duty to protect this country from attack.

  40. Steve, please stop kidding yourself. The only thing the left is for is ABB, anybody but Bush. Privacy?? LOL Yes I am sure that is true only after the 900 FBI files the Clinton’s had on AMERICAN citizens were returned. Free Will?? Only if you are not a Christian and you wish to hold a prayer meeting outdoors. Want an abortion, Not a problem, want to pray, GET OUT!!!! =))

    You know I think there are alot of opinions here and not enough information. I have a problem 1st and foremost with the whole American Citizen label.

    1) Were these natural born citizens or naturalized?? If you are a naturalized citizen, and the whole intent of you getting citizenship is to do this country harm from the inside are you still a citizen??
    2) If you are natural born citizen in league with an enemy of the state, do you then give up your citizenship, by your own actions??

    I think you all need alot more information than what you have before most of you can make accusations of “dictatorships”.

    Also are calls coming into the US from known terrorists covered under the constitution?? Since the interaction is initiated by someone not covered under 4th ammendment protections and the receiving “US Citizen” (see above points) is in league with an enemy of the state then I don’t believe that a warrant is needed.

    Lastly, does FISA cover the prosecution of the War. It was created in 1978 when we were not at war. I have not seen any place in it where it specifies intelligence gathered for the purposes the war. I know I am cutting a pretty fine line and I have no doubt that I could be corrected, reading the FISA act is abit dull and makes one sleepy, but I didn’t see it. I am moving onto the War Powers act tonight, and then the Patriot act if I can stay awake for all of it. – Lorica =))

  41. More beaurocracy or less. The number one thing our government is tasked with doing is providing for a defense.

    If you want to hamstring the government with beaurocracy to listen in on “international” calls with terrorists that is your choosing and I disagree with your big government solution.

    No law was broken see my earlier post in a reply to Mark for the applicable FISA text.

  42. I missed delen’s post, but it really applies to all you who can’t see the difference here.

    In my example, Pedilla is given his execute command. There will be no more communication for OBL. The bomb will go off in anywhere from a few seconds to ?

    What delen, Robert, and others are trying to do is to elevate the Judiciary into an unconstitutional role of Commander in Chief of our defense forces.

    They are short sighted if not worse.

  43. The Anybody But Bush thing is the stupidest I’ve ever heard.

    Can’t we say the same about anybody but Saddam?

    After all, who here doesn’t think a leader should do everything in his power to fight Islamofacist terrorists during time of war?
    I know, Saddam condoned torture, Bush…

    Show of hands plaese.

  44. Robert, boom, you are dead and so may be thousands of your fellow Americans. I suppose that is what you want.

  45. PCD,

    Boo, you’re easily scared and manipulated!!

    Do you know how to keep us safe from terrorists?

    Do you think we can stop this from happening by spying on phonecalls to and from American citizens?

    If so, please let the White House know which American’s citizens phonecalls we should wiretap.
    They can then request and get a warrant and listen in on the calls.

    Doesn’t seem that hard to me.
    But then again, I didn’t vote for “shit for brains” for President.

    Also, why did Cheney tell people in his speech that if we had done this before September 11th we might have stopped the planes from being hijacked, crashed and Americans killed?

    It wasn’t from a lack of inmformation. it was from a lack of communication.

    Also, it’s because Cheney never thought of a lie he wouldn’t try to push by the American people.

  46. Robert wrote with no regard to history, “Boo, you’re easily scared and manipulated!!

    Yeppers. That addresses that 9/11 happened. Do you have your head in the sand?

    Robert wrote, “Do you think we can stop this from happening by spying on phonecalls to and from American citizens?

    It’s 1 of a 1,000 tools. There is the financial aspect of the war on terror and there is this aspect and Robert I guess isn’t in favor of having his phone call monitored if he’s on an international call with a terrorist. Me? I don’t mind. I’d be HONORED to help the government uncover a plot or two. I’d want to pay the government for doing a good job. I’d say to people, “here’s a token of my appreciation”.

    Robert (aka sh*t for brains) wrote, “But then again, I didn’t vote for “shit for brains” for President.

    Nice name calling. Way to deal with substance. I dealt with your substance by holding up a mirror.

    Robert accused, “It wasn’t from a lack of inmformation. it was from a lack of communication.

    Without evidence and spouting off more accusations. Great pattern. Should we make accusations without evidence about you? \:d/

  47. Baklava,

    Sorry. Me use bad word.

    Thanks for admitting you’re easily scared and manipulated. A li’l honesty like that will go along way in helping others interact with you.

    You’re right that if I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I should be happy to let others know. Only those with something to hide would hide something like this.

    By the way, what went down at Cheney’s meeting with Energy executives in 2001?

  48. See Baklava,

    First those of us who are evil do something wrong. Then we rely on things like our civil rights as American citizens (me) or executive privilege (Cheney/ Bush) to be our shield.

    Then when we’re accused of maybe covering something up. We scream “where’s your proof?”

  49. Assumptions without evidence.

    Hmm, where have I heard those before?

    Oh yeah, in Cheney’s speech about how if we had wiretapped American citizens (without a warrant), we might have stopped what happened to us on 911.

    God, I hate those who make-up stuff without evidence.

    Ok kids, I’m off for a well needed vacation.

    Take care.

  50. “God, I hate those who make-up stuff without evidence.”

    Presuming you meant that about the people you are posting with here (even though I’m not sure why you’d say that), I hope on your vacation you get enough R&R to rethink about some of the things you’ve said about people “making up stuff” here as well as talking down to people by calling them “kids.” We’re all adults here, Robert, and just because everyone doesn’t automatically agree with you doesn’t mean their arguments are any less mature nor does it mean they are without merit. A willingness to consider the playing field level on your part will go a long way.

  51. The ABB comment is the stupidest thing you ever heard?? OMG Man try reading some of the stuff Steve posts.

    Also I am abit lost about your Saddam comment. You know it seems to me that I hear alot more leftist say this war should never of happened than I do on the right. The whole pull out now would only leave the Iraqi people helpless, and allow someone to either take over or put Saddam back in power. So whatever you are trying to say, it is not even close to reality.

    I know that Robert is on vacation, but I could not let his comment go unchallenged.

    Lastly, as far as the “poo poo for brains” comment. It really is in bad taste and it clearly shows a lack of intelligence to make such comments. It is not a good debate style to swear, and if you were on a debate team you would not last long. Of course I am abit old fashion and believe that swearing should be reserved for when you shoot your toe off. – Lorica

  52. “Lastly, does FISA cover the prosecution of the War?” – Lorica

    1) Yes. It does. It specifies 15 days of warrantless wiretapping. Reference the actual FISA section here

    ” It was created in 1978 when we were not at war. I have not seen any place in it where it specifies intelligence gathered for the purposes the war. I know I am cutting a pretty fine line and I have no doubt that I could be corrected, reading the FISA act is abit dull and makes one sleepy, but I didn’t see it. I am moving onto the War Powers act tonight, and then the Patriot act if I can stay awake for all of it. – Lorica =))

    and I know that you weren’t sure, so I’m really just using the post as a springboard to make the points that I’d like to make =)

    2) I’d also say that the “war on terror” being a never ending war is a very valid concern, if War Powers are being invoked for its duration and are being extended onto Domestic Soil against citizens.

    Part of that extension is unavoidable because of the very fact that we’re not in conflict with a foreign country, but against citizen militias with political/religious grievances; the conflict is not defined by national boundaries and so laws built upon the presumption of wars having national boundries are proving contentious.

    Traditionally, War is a very specific activity that takes place between two sovereign states. Thus it ends in either victory for one or a truce agreement.

    The Current “war” is an inappropriate use of the term. The actors of the conflict are neither prosecuted under international criminal law as Criminal Foreign Citizens, nor under Geneva Convention War Articles as Foreign Soldiers… a new term for the actors is created so that legal obligations can be selectively chosen, and yet the conflict is still trying to shoe-horn its way into the ill-suited “war” terminology.

    We did not declare a “War on Terror” after the Timothy McVeigh Oklahoma bombing, or the Unibomber. They were, rightly, seen as Law Enforcement issues even though both were actually acts of domestic Terrorism with very political agendas.

    International Law enforcement issues are a little more disturbing then domestic ones, because we don’t have any direct jurisdiction and those Nations might not be fully cooperative in their investigations. Being uncooperative enough suggests that the nations are aligning themselves with the terrorist organizations (which sets things more comfortably in the nation vs. nation frame of reference ie. Afghanistan – although the Al-Queda organization seemed to be dominated by Saudi-Arabian nationals).

    The “War on Terror” is more akin to the recent sloganeering of “War on Drugs”. It’s a war against an abstract concept, in this case an (ineffective) guerrilla technique of killing civilians in horrific ways to exert political influence.

    It is not possible to stop terrorism by killing everyone. A War on Terror should be more of a political/propopganda war against Terrorist recruiters, then a conventional ground war. Creating more martyrs only exacerbates the conflict.

    Accusations that “Liberals” are soft on National Security because some have the perspective outlined above are horrifically misguided. National Security is not just about macho posturing. Macho posturing just seems to poll better, especially when revenge impulses are directed against foreign nationals that are an ethnic minority in the States.

    3) To address the actual topic of the current Blog entry. Everyone in the world already knew that the United States was wiretapping everything and everyone. Al Queda did not suddenly learn of any new wiretapping techniques. Carnivore is sifting through digital communications, the U.S. is sifting through Satellite communications, and had been wiretapping U.S. citizens under FISA supervision. Everyone already knew FISA wiretaps existed, and people have no more likelihood of knowing they’re being tapped now then they did before. The only thing anyone knows that is new, is that there is no longer any oversight.

    Logically, the disclosure regarding the lack of FISA does not effect national security in any way. Anyone blankly asserting that it does is playing politics, and tugging on patriotic heartstrings.

  53. Robert wrote, “admitting you’re easily scared and manipulated

    Yeppers was sarcasm. Your pattern of accusations is amusing…. not really. I’m a realist. I recognize that 9/11 has happened and future attack s are being planned. Are you going to tell us with a straight face and deny that they are being planned? Nope. So. Why make inaccurate accusations? Why continue that pattern?

  54. Robert, ALL calls, email, and other forms of communications to and from known terrorists should be immediately examined. Forget the FISA crap. You aren’t thinking. I don’t know what world you live in, but it isn’t a real one.

    People like you, such as Jaime Gorelick, made it easy for 9/11 to happen, and if you have your way it will happen again and again…

  55. Give me a break PCD blaming people like Jamie Gorelick are making easier for terrorists easier to attack is country is bunk. We as a nation can’t keep drugs and illegial immigrants out of this nation after 5 years of a Bush 43 in charge but you’ll make left responsible for questioning the erosion of our civil-rights as a pretext for this nation’s failure to protect against another terrorist attack is simply unture. You fail to realize that we domestic terrorists also. Man dude wake up and smell the coffee.

  56. tommy, why should I do what you haven’t done?

    Gorelick put up the wall which kept DOJ from sharing information from the 84 bombing of the Trade Towers from the National Intelligence agencies. You must have been sleeping when this was brought up in the 9/11 hearings. Gorelick should have been kicked off the commission and put into the witness chair UNDER OATH, althogh she’d perjure herself like a true Clintonista. Also, remember Sandy Berger stealing and destroying documents that implicated the Clintons in weakening our defenses that allowed 9/11 to happen.

    You have to get a clue, Tommy.

  57. PCD, and you say that Tommy better get a clue?!

    Both the Gorelick and Berger allegations proved to be unfounded (do a cursory google search) even though their continual recitation among the faithful might make you think otherwise.
    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your IT’S ALL CLINTON’S FAULT conspiracy.

    Likewise, no one wants bureaucracy to get in the way of our safety. HOWEVER, the FISA court is NOT an example of bureaucracy. 1) It issues retroactive warrants, in the case of “boom, you’re dead” potential situations. 2) Its been a rubber stamp court that has rejected one or two possible warrents out of THOUSANDS over the years. So where’s the bureaucracy there? Bureaucracy is the setting up a hugely expensive prescription drug program that’s administered by the state.

    Its nice to keep repeating sentiments and talking points that sound good. But it helps if they’re also true.

  58. shingles,

    You couldn’t find anything on Berger like his conviction? True he got a slap on the wrist sentence, but he was convicted. Blows your credibility to crap, shingles.

  59. How did I miss that?! And where was I when that happened.
    Point taken, I was wrong.
    See, I can admit when evidence proves me wrong.
    My other point about the FISA court still stands though.

  60. No, it doesn’t shingles. Your point on Gorelick has been shotdown so many times, too.

    Baklava has shot you FISA misinterpreters down so many times here that it is not funny.

  61. Explain exactly how I am misinterpreting FISA. Do you even know what I said about FISA or are you mixing me up with someone else? All I said is that it allows for retroactive warrants. And that its historically acted like a rubber stamp. Both statements are true.

    From there I went on to question the NEED for the NSA to bypass the FISA courts. Who knows, maybe there IS a need to bypass them. My larger point was a larger Constitutional issue, about handing over unchecked power to the executive office (particularly during a potentially never ending war). I find it strange that conservatives seem to have no concerns about this at all. Particularly since governmental power will ALLWAYS expand, if given the opportunity.

    And for the record, I think its crap to blame Bush for not preventing 9/11 just as I think its crap to go further back in time and blame the Clinton administration.

  62. shingles, the left doesn’t want W to be able to exercise ANY of his Constitutional powers as Bush sees fit. The courts do not run wars, nor are they to try combatants. You might have an argument if the President was like Clinton and used the NSA to spy on Jesse Helms, but he’s not spying for personal political reasons or payback. It is for legitimate security reasons.

    FYI, Has former FISA judge Robertson heard any cases? You may see that he’s going to be identified as the leaker of the NSA stories to the NYTImes, and that is why he’s not hearing any cases.

    The courts are NOT the supreme power in the US, nor is Congress, nor is the President. It is just SOME people who can’t win an election with their ideas have to resort to the courts with unelected judges to implement them or thwart elected officials.

  63. PCD, this is turning into the “PCD and Shingles Show”.

    I didn’t say that the courts should run wars. You’re missing what I’m saying, which is that you don’t give the executive branch unlimited and unchecked powers. During a time of war, yes, powers should be broadened – I have no problem with this. My point is that there needs to be some sort of minimal, minimal, minimal, I repeat, minimal oversight. I simply do not trust giving the executive branch unlimited and unchecked powers. No matter who’s in charge. Period.

    No, the courts are not the supreme power in the US.
    But neither is the executive branch.

    It is just SOME people who can’t win an election with their ideas have to resort to the courts with unelected judges to implement them or thwart elected officials.

    I agree.
    But this has nothing to do with what I’m saying here.

  64. OK. So there’s speculation that Judge Roberson is the leaker who leaked information about the NSA bypassing the FISA courts. My question is, how could Judge Robertson leak something if the FISA court that he sat on was in the dark about the fact that they were in the dark?
    This doesn’t make any sense.
    In order for him to leak, someone from inside the executive branch would have had to leak it to him.

  65. Shingles, you’ve talked yourself in a circle. It’s not that hard. Robertson didn’t like the spying stuff at all. He couldn’t rule against it because he’d be overturned and too many overturns, and he’d be known as the 9th Circuit of FISA. He did what Democrats from Jim McDermott and David Bonior have done, taken secret stuff to the NYTimes and demanded to be an anonymous source. The Times probably started running Robertson like a KGB Spymaster runs his traitors.

  66. ..’This sort of civil-liberties fetishism is a hangover from the Vietnam era, when the Nixon Administration’..

    This type of thinking is not correct. We keep hearing this…somehow you writers always need another reason for not saying that the Dems are lying and doing what they do to get Bush, not some old theory to back you up. So..come on grow up and start stating what is really going on! We readers get it now, this is not the 70’s any more. Start writing without flourishes like above. You are beginning to sound like network news. You are smarter and need not use cruches as they do.

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