Joe Lieberman: Big Brother

Senator Lieberman likes the use of close circuit television cameras (cctv) just like in England. He thinks that it would be a wise move from a security stand point.

“The Brits have got something smart going in England, and it was part of why I believe they were able to so quickly apprehend suspects in the terrorist acts over the weekend, and that is they have cameras all over London and other of their major cities,” Lieberman said.

“I think it’s just common sense to do that here much more widely,” he added. “And of course, we can do it without compromising anybody’s real privacy.”

[…]

“Right now, we’re at a partisan gridlock over the question of whether the American government can listen into conversations or follow e-mail trails of non-American citizen,” he said on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. “That’s wrong. We’ve got to solve that problem, pass a law to give the people working for us the ability to protect us.”

Reminds me of something Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

FILED UNDER: Government, Law and the Courts, National Security, Politicians, Terrorism, US Politics, , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. NoZe says:

    I’m as much of a civil libertarian as the next guy, but I pretty much agree with Lieberman and the Brits. We don’t think of it as Big Brother-ish if a policeman is standing on the street corner keeping an eye on things, and we don’t see it as violative of our civil liberties if a patrol car observes us running a red light and pulls us over. How is a camera any different? Perhaps its more efficient, but its still only observing what people are doing in public where they have a lesser expectation of privacy.

    Now of course, cameras in non-public places, where we do have a reasonable expectation of privacy, would be completely different. I’m with Orwell on that one!

  2. Bithead says:

    Steve,

    I must say that’s as absolutist a position as I’ve ever seen you take. Normally, I would find that commendable. In this case, I am dubious.

    First because I am unconvinced that the right to privacy extends itself to public areas, even in peacetime, a situation in which we do not currently find ourselves. Despite my instinctive disagreement, I will say that under different circumstances, I would be inclined to entertain the argument. Not these.

    It’s unfortunate, but the reality of the situation is that our concepts of law and of rights which super those laws assume a secure country in which to operate. That’s a luxury we’ve had for most of our history, First, thanks to the relative inability of most of the world to cross the oceans surrounding our country to get at us reasonably easily, and then thanks to our preeminence in the world, and, dare I say this, the preeminence of our military, as well.

    The result of these factors was, that even during wartime, the effect of worldwide reality on our rights and privileges as American citizens, was less than it might have been.

    However, that kind of security is a luxury we no longer have. That’s true, because of the missteps that we have made as a nation in opening ourselves up to those not wishing to be citizens, in terms of our own security , and because of ever advancing technology. Jets, for example easily overcome the natural protection the oceans provided us. If the 9/11 attacks proved anything, it is that the oceans, and our military, can no longer provide the level of security required to support the kind of freedoms under discussion, even assuming rights to privacy in a public street, even exist.

    Like it or not, Steve, we are on a wartime footing. There is a Latin Maxim which states: Inter arma silent leges. Loosely translated “in time of war the laws are silent”.

    And as I’ve argued in your comments section in the past, the definition of war, is the lack of morality, and the lack of law. The only way to reestablish those laws, and that morality, is to first win the war. In losing the war, we allow our opponents to establish their law, and their morality.

    If my assessment of the nature of war, as being the absence of law and morality, is correct, and if, as I suppose, civil rights are the results of morality, and the laws that descend from that morality, then why should it be such a surprise that during wartime our civil rights should be curtailed in the name of winning the war, which in turn is the only condition under which those rights can be restored? Why should it be such a surprise that the goal of winning the war, and the goal of maintaining civil rights during that war, run counter to each other?

    Chief justice William Rehnquist in his 1998 book “All Laws But One” speaks to the point of adjustment of civil liberties, during wartime:

    “It is neither desirable nor is it remotely likely that civil liberty will occupy as favored a position in wartime as it does in peacetime”

    History is certainly on the side of the comment of Justice Rehnquist. In every single war that America has fought over the years starting with the Civil War.. hell, starting with the Revolution, for that matter… Americans civil liberties were restricted, both by edict of the government, and as a matter of practicality , and of course the central issue being responded to was that of national security. Clearly, in every situation, the government has adopted the points I made about the first object being winning the war. Then reestablishing our rule of law, and our morality. At need, I can add specifics, of course, for each case eyesight from the Civil War going forward. However, I’ll leave them out for the sake of brevity, here.

    To speak to some of the fears that I know will be generated by my comments, I will point out that in each and every case those rights which were curtailed during wartime, were restored following the conclusion of the war.

    Of course, it should also be pointed out, we actually won those wars. This one, the one we’re currently fighting, is still in the balance.

  3. Billy says:

    I agree that there is not really a reasonable expectation of privacy on the public streets; this is kind of a common-sense proposition and the presence of cameras really wouldn’t change anything there. I do think that Lieberman’s basic proposition goes beyond this idea with his inclusion of warrantless surveillance, even if it is putatively limited to noncitizens (as if listeners will suddenly stop paying attention if a citizen is involved, or even more outrageous, that citizens forfeit their rights by engaging in discourse with a noncitizen).

    I also think the “wartime” rhetoric has to stop. The only thing in the last six years that has resembled a war is the misadventure in Iraq; the “war on terror” is and always has been an international law enforcement action, and the “war” nomenclature is no more legally relevant to civil liberties than it is in the “war on poverty” or the “war on drugs”. We do not forfeit basic rights because a few people decide to use semantics in defining a given executive action or policy; rather, “war” in the legal sense is a thinly and specifically defined constitutional term that with regard to basic civil rights must remain limited to that context. While I am no advocate of the ultra-strict constructionist philosophy that military conflict must be limited to constitutional war (indeed, that prospect was quaint as early as our actions against the Barbary Pirates), neither am I willing to cede the most basic rights enshrined by the founding fathers to what amounts to alarmist rhetoric. Nor am I denying that 9/11 is evidence that Islamofascist terror needs to be dealt with in the strongest terms, but Bithead unwittingly makes the case why we cannot fold to authoritarian pressures merely because some extremists wish us harm: if we desire to live in a truly free society, such freedom entails a necessary level of risk. You cannot live in a padded room and expect freedom.

    Liberty is not for the fearful or the weak; ultimately, though some fundamental differences in our societies with regard to liberty exist, the Brits have the right basic idea. They’re not afraid to walk the streets of London merely because some psychos wish them dead – they accept the dangers of freedom as a consequence thereof.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    If terrorism is to be opposed primarily with intelligence work and law enforcement (as many maintain), it’s really necessary for that level of surveillance (or beyond). Notice the rapidity with which the Brits began rounding up their terrorist suspects following the abortive London and Glasgow carbomb attempts. The reasonable conclusion is that they went back to their cameras and began tracing backwards.

    This has been my concern for the last six years: that if the problem with terrorism was a prolonged one the country would become unrecognizeable and what might have been unthinkable in 2001 would become a commonplace. Several of the comments above suggest that there are plenty of people who don’t find the measures unreasonable.

  5. Bithead says:

    If terrorism is to be opposed primarily with intelligence work and law enforcement (as many maintain), it’s really necessary for that level of surveillance (or beyond).

    And therein lies the conflict; Billy makes the argument that this is purely an issue of “law enforcement” , and then goes about removing the tools by which law enforcement does its job in the extreme situation that we find ourselves.

    Notice the rapidity with which the Brits began rounding up their terrorist suspects following the abortive London and Glasgow carbomb attempts. The reasonable conclusion is that they went back to their cameras and began tracing backwards.

    Which is, in fact, precisely what happened. Liberty is it for the faint of heart. That statement is correct as far as it goes. What Billy misses, is that it is for those who are willing to do what is required to beat back those who would impose their tyranny. In this case, that’s Muslim extremists.

  6. Dave Schuler says:

    To speak to some of the fears that I know will be generated by my comments, I will point out that in each and every case those rights which were curtailed during wartime, were restored following the conclusion of the war.

    Whether you characterize the situation we are in as a war, a problem, a pickle, or just a heightened level of insecurity, it’s unlikely that it ever will end.

    What we’re seeing is a consequence of the realities of modern life. Things like improved communications and travel and the ability for small numbers of people to create great amounts of mischief. Unless we’re willing to curtail those things we should expect the condition to persist indefinitely.

  7. Bithead says:

    I’m not quite so pessimistic, Dave. Certainly, such threats will always exist. That’s why we have a standing army.

    Indeed, to that point, Washington’s admonition against a standing army was made under the conditions of the natural protection of the oceans and galaxy, or the lack of it, of the time.

    But even in these mdern times, will we constantly be in a state of war, having been declared against us, as BinLaden and his mindless minions have?

    I don’t think so. Then again, that would seem to depend altogether, on how much we are willing to do, to win the war that’s been declared on us. Put another way, the sure fire way to be in a constant state of war, is to let your enemy know that you’re not willing to do what is necessary to win.

  8. fredw says:

    Our choice of role models in the “War On Terror” always amazes me. First we look to the Isrealies. These are people who have been fighting terrorism for at least the last 40 years. For that entire time they have had only one real success at Entebbe. They have lived as armed camp reduced to building a concrete curtain in an attempt to keep terrorism out.
    And then there are the British. Remember that terrorism in Briton meant IRA attack until recently. The cameras went in to protect from the Irish terrorists. That problem is largely resolved, not by anti-terrorism measures, but by a diplomatic solution. The big-brother mentality in Briton had not stopped the attacks of Irish or Islamist, it only seems to help identify the perpetrators after the attack.

    We need to find a new model for the “War On Terror” that does not emulate these two losers, or the costs of ignoring Franklin’s admonition will become painfully clear.

  9. floyd says:

    NoZe, You’re mixing two issues. 1] Cameras for observation with enforcement by human officers if a crime is observed.2]Cameras for automatic enforcement,as in the”red light” scenario.
    The difference is judgement.
    A live police officer can determine whether an action poses a threat to public safety or not. A camera can’t.
    Another difference is that high profile/low enforcement by live police has proven to provide the greatest public safety with the least intrusion.
    I have already seen “police protection” become “law enforcement” over the years.
    Removing “civilians on patrol” from direct contact with the public will further exacerbate the “them and us” mentality, which is all too prevalent today.
    I still prefer the idea of “to serve and protect” over what seems to be morphing into” to harass and arrest”.

  10. Billy says:

    And therein lies the conflict; Billy makes the argument that this is purely an issue of “law enforcement” , and then goes about removing the tools by which law enforcement does its job in the extreme situation that we find ourselves.

    All due respect, this is an overbroad mischaracterization of my position. I do not accept as a postulate that the legal pre-9/11 methods for observing and preventing terrorist activity are inadeuqate; indeed, it is widely accepted that intelligence and law enforcement officials were in possession of plenty of information regarding the impending attacks prior thereto. It was the failure to recognize and share this information that was responsible for it remaining relatively unknown until it was too late. PATRIOT did a lot of things, most of which I don’t agree with, but removing the wall between the CIA and domestic intelligence services was the obvious fix to that particular problem, and should have been implemented earlier. That said, not implementing sweeping and fundamental changes to the current system is not the same as “removing” the tools of law enforcement.

    My point is primarily (and if I’m reading Steve’s post correctly, he shares this point of view) that surrendering basic freedoms is not only unnecessary to fight the threat we face from Islamofascism, but doing so is also inherently ineffective with regard to that task. This does not even address the dangers of granting discretionary authority on an unprecedented scope to so few, a course that betrays the the bedrock principal on which this nation was founded: that too much power in any entity’s hands is a bad thing.

    Certainly there are those who are willing to “do what is required” and are capable of doing so within the robust legal framework that has evolved over the last two centuries.

  11. Bithead says:

    We need to find a new model for the “War On Terror” that does not emulate these two losers, or the costs of ignoring Franklin’s admonition will become painfully clear.

    The choice before us is being willing to repel attacks against us, or capitulation to the attackers. The one thing I notice in your response is the utter lack of the third solution that you call for. This would seem to be a tacit admission that such a solution doesn’t exist. And don’t tell me about negotiation. Unfortunately that requires sanity on both sides… Go and watch the attack at Glasgow again, and tell me they’re sane.

    All due respect, this is an overbroad mischaracterization of my position. I do not accept as a postulate that the legal pre-9/11 methods for observing and preventing terrorist activity are inadeuqate

    I don’t think it’s overbroad at all. Nor, do I take it a mischaracterization. Because, you see, the 9/10 methods for observing and preventing terrorist activity are indeed inadequate, as proved by 9/11 itself.

    Certainly there are those who are willing to “do what is required” and are capable of doing so within the robust legal framework that has evolved over the last two centuries.

    No, there are not. (Chuckle) You clearly missed the historical references in my original response. What has developed over the last two centuries, precisely what I indicated; individual liberties curtailed to the degree needed, for the duration of the war. Purpose; winning said war, so that individual liberties as we define them may be restored. Methods, I should add, without which we wouldn’t be having this pleasant little chat today.

  12. Billy says:

    You clearly missed the historical references in my original response.

    Not at all; I just happen to know a little something about the history that you painted over with broad brush-strokes. Specific examples would do your arguement well, particularly with respect to how suspension of our civil liberties ended after we won the war on drugs and the war on poverty.

    I don’t think it’s overbroad at all. Nor, do I take it a mischaracterization. Because, you see, the 9/10 methods for observing and preventing terrorist activity are indeed inadequate, as proved by 9/11 itself.

    Speaking of missing references…

  13. just me says:

    I honestly don’t have issues with this type of camera being in place, provided it is in a public place and its presence is made clear and obvious to those in the area. Wal-Mart and other private businesses already have them installed in parking lots and by registers to prevent theft and other crime.

  14. Anjin-San says:

    Go and watch the attack at Glasgow again, and tell me they’re sane.

    No doubt there are perfectly innocent civilians in Iraq who lost childern/spouses/parents/grandparents during “Shock & Awe”. I wonder what they think of our sanity.

  15. Bithead says:

    No doubt there are perfectly innocent civilians in Iraq who lost childern/spouses/parents/grandparents during “Shock & Awe”. I wonder what they think of our sanity.

    Doubtful, gievn the perspective of having to live under Saddam. THey knew what would be reired to remove the man.

    pecific examples would do your arguement well

    (Sigh) Fine. Courtesy of Wired, then:

    1798: In July 1798, Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts, ostensibly to respond to the possible threat posed by the French Revolution, but also in an attempt to punish Thomas Jefferson’s Republican party. The laws made it a crime to “write, print, utter or publish” any “false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States or the president of the United States.”

    That enraged Kentucky and Virginia. Kentucky’s legislature approved a statement saying, “This commonwealth does upon the most deliberate reconsideration declare, that the said alien and sedition laws, are in their opinion, palpable violations of the Constitution.” (An earlier draft, relying on libertarian principles, went so far as to say such laws were “void and of no force.”)

    Civil War: President Lincoln interfered with freedom of speech and of the press and ordered that suspected political criminals be tried before military tribunals. Much as President Bush now is concerned with protecting airplane safety, Lincoln wanted to preserve the railroads: Rebels were destroying railroad bridges near Baltimore in 1861.

    Probably Lincoln’s most controversial act was suspending the writ of habeas corpus, a safeguard of liberty that dates back to English common law and England’s Habeas Corpus Act of 1671. A vital check on the government’s power, habeas corpus says that authorities must bring a person they arrest before a judge who orders it.

    The U.S. Constitution says: “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” But Lincoln suspended habeas corpus without waiting for Congress to authorize it.

    Lincoln’s decision led to a showdown between the military and United States Chief Justice Roger Taney. After the U.S. Army arrested John Merryman on charges of destroying railroad bridges and imprisoned him in Fort McHenry, Merryman’s lawyer drew up a habeas corpus petition that Taney quickly signed.

    When the Army refused to bring Merryman before the high court, Taney said the U.S. marshals had the authority to haul Army General George Cadwalader into the courtroom on contempt charges — but Taney would not order it since the marshals would likely be outgunned. Instead, Taney protested and called on Lincoln “to perform his constitutional duty to enforce the laws” and the “process of this court.”

    This was a controversial decision: The New York Times described Taney’s decision the next day as one that “can only be regarded as at once officious and improper.”

    World War I: Soon after declaring war on Germany and its allies in 1917, Congress banned using the U.S. mail from sending any material urging “treason, insurrection or forcible resistance to any law.”

    It punished offenders with a fine of up to $5,000 and a five-year prison term, and the government used this new authority to ban magazines such as The Nation from the mail.

    President Wilson asked Congress to go even further: His draft of the Espionage Act included a $10,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment for anyone publishing information that could be useful to the enemy. The House of Representatives narrowly defeated it by a vote of 184-144.

    Even without Wilson’s proposals, the Espionage Act gave birth to a famous civil liberties case: U.S. v. Charles Schenck. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld his conviction for printing leaflets that urged Americans to resist the draft.

    The justices ruled: “When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.”

    While there were no trials before military tribunals, the Justice Department unsuccessfully asked Congress to enact a law — punishable by death — that would have authorized such trials for anyone “interfering with the war effort.”

    World War II: Civil liberties groups recently have repeatedly offered reminders of the internment of Japanese immigrants and their children in walled camps in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

    In Executive Order 9066, President Roosevelt authorized the military to remove Japanese-Americans from America’s west coast, home to many military bases and manufacturing plants — and viewed at the time as vulnerable to Japanese attack. In a remarkable silence, the American Civil Liberties Union did not object to the internment camps until years later.

    A collection of challenges to the internment camps found their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a brief supporting the camps, the states of Washington, Oregon and California noted that Japanese submarines had attacked oil platforms at Santa Barbara, California, the town of Brookings, Oregon, and a gun installation at Astoria, Oregon. On June 7, 1942, the brief said, the Japanese had invaded North America by occupying some Aleutian islands.

    In its response, drafted by Chief Justice Harlan Stone in 1943, the court ducked the constitutionality of internment camps, ruling only on a related curfew requirement.

    The justices upheld the action: “Whatever views we may entertain regarding the loyalty to this country of the citizens of Japanese ancestry, we cannot reject as unfounded the judgment of the military authorities and of Congress that there were disloyal members of that population.”

    Anything else you require?

  16. Anjin-San says:

    THey knew what would be reired to remove the man.

    And where does this insight into the thinking of the people of Iraq spring from? Have you ever lived there? Do you have a lot of friends in Iraq? Or did you just appoint yourself as their spokesperson?

  17. Bithead says:

    So pointing yourself spokesman, is only valid when you do it.

    Got it.

  18. Billy says:

    Anything else you require?

    By compiling what is almost certainly a list of the darkest points of American legislative history (other than ex parte Merryman, which undoubtedly met the constitutional requirements for the suspension of habeas no matter what Roger Taney thought), no, thank you, you’ve done quite enough. You’ve made my case as well as I could have.

    And just for the record, the Alien & Sedition Acts weren’t all repealed: the Alien Enemies Act remains in effect. By the way, how did that war with France turn out again?

  19. pudge says:

    just me said: “I honestly don’t have issues with this type of camera being in place, provided it is in a public place and its presence is made clear and obvious to those in the area. Wal-Mart and other private businesses already have them installed in parking lots and by registers to prevent theft and other crime.”

    Allowing for the right of Walmart to have security is mighty big of you my man, however,I must insist that my right to live supercedes a potential terrorists’ right to privacy. None of this will be perfect but America must err on the side of safety. Period,dot,BINGO.

    And as far as colonial times quotes go,me thinks one Ben Franklin would have been willing to adjust to an enemy that not only doesn’t recognize the rules of war, but who violate them as a matter of procedure. The fact that habeas corpus is even mentioned in the same breath with these sub-humans makes me want to intern someone.

    Isn’t it ironic that the same people who want to condemn policemen outright, when they’re seen doing questionable things on video, always rush to protect the liberty and “privacy” of those who want to slaughter us ?
    I get the desire to have double standards, I just don’t get it when those standards favor the lawless over the law abiding/enforcing people among us.

    To put your liberal mind at ease: Ben Franklin, 2007 -“Those who fret about ‘civil liberties’ at the expense of security, will eventually have neither.” Period,Dot and bingo is my pointo.

  20. pudge says:

    Hey Bit

    Can you put up some of the details of what FDR did regarding the publishing of military secrets (By The Chicago Sun Times I think ???),ALSO, just a note or 2 about the herm spies who came here to commit sabotage.

  21. Billy says:

    I must insist that my right to live supercedes a potential terrorists’ right to privacy. None of this will be perfect but America must err on the side of safety.

    Truly, the words of a feckless coward who deserves neither safety nor freedom.

  22. pudge says:

    Billy said, “Truly, the words of a feckless coward who deserves neither safety nor freedom.”, in response to my belief that “Life” is the first right mentioned in our great birth certificate for a reason. That reason being that without the right to life firmly in effect,the other rights are not guaranteed. The order you see,is not without significance.

    Choosing to hold the canard of a constitutionally protected “right to privacy” as a higher value than ones own security, (as it pertains to terrorism anyway) is something Billy can no more decide as an individual, than it is my ability to forfiet the right to “safety (and) freedom”, by desiring to prioritize them behind my basic right to be alive.

    You see Billy, there is a natural order to things, and only when you come to understand the fundemental premise of that order and from where it is derived, only then can you lay aside the foolish idealism of youth and all of the reactionary tendencies that make it such a burden to an actual desire for truth.

    Also,I looked up feckless. Man I thought you were making some sort of scatalogical reference or something. Boy, was I relieved to find out that you were just spouting a standard leftist platitude. Hey,no hard feelings bud,we were all young and angry once in our lives.But seriously,don’t you think some new material is in order ?

    Much luck in developing a desire to seek the truth and a happy Independence Day to one and all!
    pudge

  23. Bithead says:

    The list is that of the arguments Civil rights absolutists invariably cite as examples of ‘abuse’. But they never seem to get the idea that those all disappeared following the war.

    Your point, sir, was defeated, ere you made it.

  24. Anjin-san says:

    So pointing yourself spokesman, is only valid when you do it.

    Got it.

    Tell me Bit, how exactly did I appoint myself anyone’s spokesman? What I said was:

    I wonder what they think of our sanity.

    Wondering what someone thinks is pretty much the anthisis of trying to speak for them. Do try and organize your thoughts and arguments a bit better, Bit.

  25. DL says:

    Joe -the “big tent” conservative’s hero, has a far left streak in him (other than protecting his beloved Israel from it’s Islamic haters) there were those foolishly hoping he’d switch parties. (Who needs a husband who faithfully shovels the sidewalk on monday but cheats every night of the week?) Joe is a dyed in the wool liberal as we here in CT have known for years. He loves to play the fence sitting handwring -and then comes out voting for the left 90% of the time.

  26. Bithead says:

    Your implication, particularly given your long history here, left no doubt whatever. Don’t play the innocent now; I know better. So does everybody else.

  27. Jake says:

    I’m surprised by the responses to this column. You want to allow the federal government to flood our cities with cameras? Why stop there? Let’s implant every citizen with chips and put cameras in every home… If you have nothing to hide, why should it concern you?

    This is an obscene invasion of privacy and liberty. So are warrantless wiretaps, imprisonment without charges or legal representation, and torture. Our govt has kidnapped, imprisoned and often tortured innocent men–or extradited them to torture chambers with full knowledge of the consequences. We elected the architects of this “policy” and payed for the whole thing… Does this matter to you?

    Let’s ask Joe Lieberman if he is willing to submit himself or a family member to undergo the same tortures as those who were proven innocent. How about it Joe? Is it OK to send your daughter or wife to a Libyan torture chamber for 9 months if we get one wrong? C’mon buddy, take one for the team!

    Americans should be much more concerned about the federal government’s cavalier regard for their Constitution and Bill of Rights than they are of “terrorist threats”. Have any of you who agree with Lieberman ever wondered why these people are so hell-bent on centralizing power and building an Orwellian infrastructure while they leave the borders and ports wide open for over five years?

    This govt scares me a hell of a lot more than ‘terrorists’.

  28. pudge says:

    This govt scares me a hell of a lot more than ‘terrorists’.

    Let’s hear it for Jake everyone!The lefts #1 one candidate to run homeland security when they occupy 1600 Penn. He almost makes Chertoff come off as one who cares about the borders and the security thereof. Sorry, I’m starting to well up…

  29. Billy says:

    The list is that of the arguments Civil rights absolutists invariably cite as examples of ‘abuse’. But they never seem to get the idea that those all disappeared following the war.

    If by “Civil rights absolutists” you mean “legal scholars,” then I agree with the first sentence. The second is irrelevant to this discussion, since we are not at war, which is the argument you have thus far failed to remotely address. However, that claim has already been rebutted in this thread at least once, and though some of the most egregious violations of the constitution (though they might have been judicially sanctioned at the time) were repealed, the fundamental powers claimed by government in its most overreaching moments were not necessarily fully scaled back; many of them simply changed form, or have laid dormant waiting to be resurrected when it is politically convenient.

    Billy said, “Truly, the words of a feckless coward who deserves neither safety nor freedom.”, in response to my belief that “Life” is the first right mentioned in our great birth certificate for a reason. That reason being that without the right to life firmly in effect,the other rights are not guaranteed.

    First, let me apologize for the apparent ad hominem attack; I meant to criticize the statement as a perfect expression of cowardice, but due to my own inarticulate framing it came across as though I were calling you a coward (I don’t know you, and you may well not be).

    However, you misinterpret my objection to your statement. It is not that I object to your wish to live; indeed, self-preservation is paramount to human existence. However, I do object to your subordination of the rights of others to your desire to claim a life threatening situation. If we discard basic rights every time some chicken-little decides the sky is falling, we’ll soon be without any freedom. You create a false dichotomy with your arguementum ad adsurdam that choosing not to allow government carte blanche to invade the fundamental spaces of private life that we as Americans hold most dear is tantamount to sentencing you to death. Such rhetoric defies the most basic logic and cannot stand up to the light of day, and at the very least anyone claiming a life-threatening situation as justification for chipping away at the foundation of our society must bear the extreme burden of proving the existence of the conditions claimed. Vague statements that extremists half a world away wish us harm do NOT meet the very particularized claim that you, Pudge, the individual, will DIE if we do not cancel civil liberties, and neither does the repeated and dogmatic assertion that 9/11 changed everything. I for one am unwilling to cede my basic rights because you choose to cower when evil rears its ugly head.

    You see Billy, there is a natural order to things, and only when you come to understand the fundemental premise of that order and from where it is derived, only then can you lay aside the foolish idealism of youth and all of the reactionary tendencies that make it such a burden to an actual desire for truth.

    I got a laugh from this, because I’m actually coming from a position of extreme cynicism. I would point out that the real idealism is believing that any government would be the perfect caretaker of such extreme powers as you would give them.

    You inject a lot of fear, of liberals, terrorists, whatever, into your comments, and it does your arguments a grave disservice. I for one and not so afraid of death that I would willingly waive the fundamental rights that our troops have died for in the past and continue to die for now. To change our society to the point of unrecognizability is to let the terrorists win; any other conclusion is borne of weakness and fear (terror?).

  30. John Thompson says:

    We could just horse-whip all liberals to death. Then we wouldn’t need any cameras around, as all the traitors will have gone to their reward already.

  31. Steve Verdon says:

    Pudge,

    Your comments remind me a bit of something Musollini said.

    We were the first to assert that the more complicated the forms assumed by civilization, the more restricted the freedom of the individual must become.—Benito Mussolini

    Noze,

    We don’t think of it as Big Brother-ish if a policeman is standing on the street corner keeping an eye on things,

    Quite, but that policeman is often in uniform and people see him. If we do the same with cameras, then what you’ll likely get is people avoiding areas with cameras. So, do you place them everywhere in public?

    and we don’t see it as violative of our civil liberties if a patrol car observes us running a red light and pulls us over. How is a camera any different?

    Actually, there are a slew of instances where these cameras have been used in disturbing ways. For one, shortening the time for yellow lights and thereby upping the number of tickets. This is actually illegal, but there is at least one instance of this happening. Also, these cameras malfunction, but the attitude seems to be, “Well, it has a picture of you, so therefore you must have done something wrong.” Short of having the city go and run some sort of diagnostics on the camera it is hard for the accused to defend themselves. So yeah, I don’t like them either.

    Bithead,

    Like it or not, Steve, we are on a wartime footing. There is a Latin Maxim which states: Inter arma silent leges. Loosely translated “in time of war the laws are silent”.

    And as I’ve argued in your comments section in the past, the definition of war, is the lack of morality, and the lack of law. The only way to reestablish those laws, and that morality, is to first win the war. In losing the war, we allow our opponents to establish their law, and their morality.

    This is a war that will never ever end. It is like declaring war on poverty, drugs, or sleeping. Terrorism is an extremely cheap and often times effective form of warfare. Even if Al Qaeda is defeated entirely there will be another organization springing up to take its place. As such, these “temporary” restrictions I don’t see as temporary, but as being permanent.

    Frankly, I’m with Billy. I find the “war time” rhetoric and permissiveness with regards to governmental powers tiring. In the words of H.L. Mencken,

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.–H. L. Mencken

    While terrorism isn’t imaginary, I do think that the risks of terrorism are overstated. Part of the problems pre-9/11 was that there were intelligence failures, not that there wasn’t enough intelligence, but that our intelligence agencies dropped the ball…repeatedly.

    The other problem I have is Britains continuing march towards a complete Nanny State. Are we starting down the same path? Is it really a slippery slope?

    And regarding this that Billy wrote,

    My point is primarily (and if I’m reading Steve’s post correctly, he shares this point of view) that surrendering basic freedoms is not only unnecessary to fight the threat we face from Islamofascism, but doing so is also inherently ineffective with regard to that task.

    Quite right. If you are going to start treating me like a criminal (video taping me whenever I go out in public) I might start acting in ways that are more like a criminal. Hence it will be harder to tell who is who so to speak. Hmmm, look Steve is doing someing furtive…is he a criminal or does he just not want to be observed doing something/going somewhere for other reasons?

    and though some of the most egregious violations of the constitution (though they might have been judicially sanctioned at the time) were repealed, the fundamental powers claimed by government in its most overreaching moments were not necessarily fully scaled back;

    I agree with this, as does Robert Higgs who wrote the book Crisis and Leviathan which looks at how government expands it powers during times of crisis (both real and imaginary) and how those powers are rarely if ever scaled back to the pre-crisis levels.

    However, I do object to your subordination of the rights of others to your desire to claim a life threatening situation. If we discard basic rights every time some chicken-little decides the sky is falling, we’ll soon be without any freedom.

    Again exactly right. What are the risks of dying in a terrorist attack? Pretty small or pretty large. If we are going to take say a utilitarian view point, we’d likely conclude that taking extra-ordinary measures (i.e. large scale curtailment of civil rights) to prevent a terrorist attack is not warranted. You are probably more at risk of dying in an auto accident, and while there are restrictions on one’s freedom while behind the wheel it isn’t that invasive.

  32. pudge says:

    If we discard basic rights every time some chicken-little decides the sky is falling

    That sentence alone could be used by a college prof. for half a semester to illustrate the willingness of your average lefty to obfuscate for the sake of making a point. For one,there is no advocating for the discarding of rights by myself or any other conservative, there is only the understanding that extreme situations require extreme responses as in,”The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Source: The Constitution of the U.S. (courtesy of Bithead)

    Which leads to the second and most glaring fact you wish to remain happily oblivious to the reality of,as illustrated in this little doozy,”some chicken-little decides the sky is falling”. This is why your side cannot be allowed to hold any power as relates to national security. You people simply are not serious. The fact that an apparently otherwise well informed person can even think such nonsensical hooey leaves the mind in such a state of boggle that it can barely be comprehended. It makes Chamberlains claim of “Peace in our time” seem like a well thought out conclusion to his meeting with Hitler. One thing that remains the same however, our enemies are grateful for such a great volume of impotent wussery as exists in America today.

    hooray for surrender, it’s the quickest way to the end of the game and even guys like Billy can do it.

    p.s. Way to “appologize” for the ad hominem and then go on to repeat the same insult all over your post again. Not whining, just found it amusing, the lengths to which lefties will go to prove to themselves that they are good and decent people while sniping over there shoulders in a manner reminiscent of the guy in the black hat making his get-away in the old cowboy flicks, it’s just funny, that’s all,dontcha think ?

  33. Steve Verdon says:

    pudge,

    To go from complaining about a logically challenged assertion to making a bucketfull yourself does not really help sway people to your view point. Let me see:

    You people simply are not serious. The fact that an apparently otherwise well informed person can even think such nonsensical hooey leaves the mind in such a state of boggle that it can barely be comprehended. It makes Chamberlains claim of “Peace in our time” seem like a well thought out conclusion to his meeting with Hitler. One thing that remains the same however, our enemies are grateful for such a great volume of impotent wussery as exists in America today.

    Well we have several ad hominems, a No True Scottsman, poisoning the well, and guilt by association.

    Way to “appologize” for the ad hominem and then go on to repeat the same insult all over your post again.

    I see you ignored his points though that if you are going to claim a life threatening justification for supressing the rights of others you have to at least back up the claim with credible evidence.

  34. Billy says:

    Way to “appologize” for the ad hominem and then go on to repeat the same insult all over your post again.

    I did sincerely mean the apology. I can only surmise that you are referring to my characterization of your arguments, to which I can only say “if the shoe fits…”

    I see you ignored his points

    It does seem to happen a lot, doesn’t it?

  35. pudge says:

    Steve Verdon,

    I never said that I don’t find insults to be without a legitimate use (not that I used any, a simple observation was in order so I made it),I was only noting the hypocrisy present in the nature of so many who pay visits to this place from the left.

    As for the requested “credible evidence”,again, the fact that monitoring calls from known terrorists,or, the banking activities of same,or,for that matter, keeping cameras in public places to guard against what we know they want to do is self evident to me as a credible “infringement” on civil liberties since it doesn’t involve the rights of the innocent (the “right to privacy”, at all cost, is a canard).

    Also, the fact that you would assign ulterior motives to our government sooner than you would legitimacy to the stated goals and intentions of our blood enemies is further proof that the maintainance contract on your reasoning system is in dyer need of renewal.

    Consider with me if you will sir(s): The writ of habeas corpus was not permanently removed from jurisprudence, #2)Nor were the internment camps made permanent,#C)You sirs have not,and can not,prove that civil liberties have been denied any law abiding American to the assuagement of the administrations inherent thirst to have us all in irons by noon tommorow, #666) “See the infidel run,See the infidel lose his head” could be the double entendred title of a not so ironical #1 best selling novel in the “nation of islam” right now, and you guys are more concerned with the “evil intent” of your own government!
    INCREDIBLE! How’d ya do that ? I’ve seen women in the throws of a fit of rage that didn’t twist up logic so completely and thoroughly as that! Okay, actually, I have.(Go ahead,have at it with the “He’s a sexist cleches”,I don’t care. As long as I can keep my head.)

    That’s the crux of this here issue folks. The answers are self evident, stodgy excercises of the academe not withstanding, to your average “Joe” who understands that everything has its limits. Even the rights of our enemies to blow us up before we do something about it, dig ?

  36. G.A.Phillips says:

    What are you Liberals so afraid of getting caught doing?

    smoking dope, stealing, selling dope, vandalism, mugging, raping,random killings, and car jacking and gay or any other type of sex in public are not civil liberties.

    So please tell me what rights or civil liberties are you going to lose because of security cameras?

    And it’s not like there ain’t a million of you freaks making a living running around taking pictures and videos of every God blessed thing and truly invading every ones privacy.

    more Donkeymockracy on another issue!

  37. Steve Verdon says:

    G.A. Phillips,

    The easy part first,

    And it’s not like there ain’t a million of you freaks making a living running around taking pictures and videos of every God blessed thing and truly invading every ones privacy.

    Well for starters, I don’t have the coercive power of the State.

    What are you Liberals so afraid of getting caught doing?

    smoking dope, stealing, selling dope, vandalism, mugging, raping,random killings, and car jacking and gay or any other type of sex in public are not civil liberties.

    Ahh yes, the old, “If you aren’t doing anything illegal, who cares…only the criminals care.” Now, tell us about that “principle issue” so many conservatives had with Bill Clinton and other liberals.

    Pudge,

    As for the requested “credible evidence”,again, the fact that monitoring calls from known terrorists,or, the banking activities of same,or,for that matter, keeping cameras in public places to guard against what we know they want to do is self evident to me as a credible “infringement” on civil liberties since it doesn’t involve the rights of the innocent (the “right to privacy”, at all cost, is a canard).

    This is not credible evidence; merely your beliefs. Your beliefs might be based, in part, on evidence, but evidence they are not.

    Also, the fact that you would assign ulterior motives to our government sooner than you would legitimacy to the stated goals and intentions of our blood enemies is further proof that the maintainance contract on your reasoning system is in dyer need of renewal.

    Our government has a rich history of taking powers in one area and applying them to others.

    As for the rest of your screed, I’d like to point to the 16th Amendment. That amendment basically gives the federal government (and consequently State governments) the right to you. Literally you spend time each day to pay for those taxes. You are not working for yourself, but for the government.

    Another example was the “Switch in time to save Nine” during FDRs tenure in the White House. That radical interpretation of the Commerce Clause has had a very significant impact on your life (via, once again, taxes). You pick a government program you like or don’t like and chances are it is justified via the Commerce Clause.

  38. Bithead says:

    I’ve been standing back and watching this, for most of a day, now. I’m going to make two points, the latter of which is by far the more important, and step back again.

    First:

    Ahh yes, the old, “If you aren’t doing anything illegal, who cares…only the criminals care.” Now, tell us about that “principle issue” so many conservatives had with Bill Clinton and other liberals.

    Mostly, that they were committing crimes, and getting away with it.

    Second:

    In all of this, the question of balance. It’s a question that keeps getting missed. To highlight this balance question, I’m going to toss a question to the room, for conversation.

    Forget the taunting phrases about chicken little, forget about the schoolbook text and the high school debating societies.

    At some point the need to grab those attacking us by the throat, is going to exceed the need for “privacy”. Where is that bright line in your view?

    For an extra ten points, tell us where this stance fits in with the very first mandate for ANY government including our own, which is securing the borders.

    Cheers

  39. Bithead says:

    This is a war that will never ever end.

    The same thing has been said about every other war in history, Stephen. Now who’s worried about the sky falling?

  40. pudge says:

    Billy,

    Does,”you choose to cower when evil rears its ugly head.” or,”You inject a lot of fear, of liberals, terrorists, whatever…”,or even still,”any other conclusion is borne of weakness and fear (terror?).” ring any bells for you ? They were all said by you after your appology. This is brought up not out of my natural yearning, as a fat and lazy American, to whine, but as an illustration,once again, of the average leftists total inability to attain the status of,”(state your name here)the straight talking American”. Again, this is just an observation. There is no vitriol leaking through these keyes. You can’t help it. The leftist doctrine is borne of lies (gov. enfored altruism is virtuous; The bill of rights is mandatory…accept for #2,which doen’t actually exist; On demand, state funded abortion is in the constitution…YOU SEE IT ?…IT’S RIGHT THERE! Behind the penundrum(sic)! NO! Not the conundrum…!; The U.S. fighting man should never be used to protect U.S. interests but rather,should be a tool of the U.N. only; and on,and on ad nauseum)so therefore, in order to maintain it,if lie you must,lie you will.

    “I see you ignored his points”

    “It does seem to happen a lot, doesn’t it?”

    Playing with dynamite is very productive.

    There, I just made a “point”. Shall we debate ? And that is how one with a sense of logic sees many of your “points”.

  41. Bithead says:

    If we are going to take say a utilitarian view point, we’d likely conclude that taking extra-ordinary measures (i.e. large scale curtailment of civil rights) to prevent a terrorist attack is not warranted. You are probably more at risk of dying in an auto accident, and while there are restrictions on one’s freedom while behind the wheel it isn’t that invasive.

    so it was in Hawaii, back in December of 1941, even during the height of the Japanese attack on the harbor. You stood far more chance of dying in a traffic accident, then you did of getting hit by Japanese planes. I’m not sure, therefore, which your comment gives us, except disconnected factoids.

  42. pudge says:

    This is not credible evidence; merely your beliefs. Your beliefs might be based, in part, on evidence, but evidence they are not.

    Not credible evidence of what ? You don’t believe the never ending threats of those who’ve already come here and slaughtered us in the thousands represents a credible threat , so how is one supposed to “prove” anything to one in such a blinding state of denial ? I did lay out the facts, you apparently believe, (much like the peacenix believed that communist russia was, just a boogyman, used by the gov. propogandists to “keep us in a state of fear”) that the threat of the islamo-facists is just the latest incarnation of the “boogyman” technique of reigning in the population. I hold that belief as utterly absurd.

    What makes you think that “big brother” gives a g-damn about what you are doing anyway ? Accepting, of course, as it pertains to his ability to tax you at confiscatory rates.

  43. G.A.Phillips says:

    Steve, telling me I dint have a point or some old or often used point then excusing the actions of what I believe are mostly liberals who do the same thing and are mostly the ones who are whining about it easily did what to my post?

  44. Billy says:

    In all of this, the question of balance. It’s a question that keeps getting missed.

    Couldn’t agree more. Good faith disagreements about where to draw the line are the healthy side of this coin.

    Pudge: take a deep breath, man. Seriously.

  45. pudge says:

    In all of this, the question of balance. It’s a question that keeps getting missed.

    Couldn’t agree more. Good faith disagreements about where to draw the line are the healthy side of this coin.

    I think the man was asking a question. Something to the affect of,”When it comes to,allowed by the constitution, limitations on liberty, how much more innocent American bloodshed would you tolerate before actually doing something about it ?” (paraphrase – no disrespect intended Bit)

  46. Bithead says:

    Billy;
    It was not a rhetorical question. I’m quite serious… where in your mind’s eye does that bright line get drawn?

    See here’s the problem that I have with the nature of the discussion was far; (and I grant that a lot of this isn’t even a part of this conversation but it has been part of the storyline thus far) the same people, and the very same groups, who were complaining that the president White House were not doing their job which is what led to 9/11, are with a few exceptions, the very same people who are telling us that we’re taking our security too seriously now.

    It’s late, and I’m headed for the snore shelf. But tomorrow I will dig up an article I wrote years ago, comparing these two points, from the same groups. The turn around was quite breathtaking, and as I wrote at the time, the only reason for such a turn-around was political opportunism. Democrats, mostly, of course.

    And so I ask again if we can please establish that definition. Where does this bright line between logical defense, and over expansion of government, exist, in each of your minds? And perhaps of greater import, where should it exist? It’s (only) at that point that we can logically discuss what the consequences of each scenario would be. I say all this because it appears to me that the moment we’re talking past each other and not getting anywhere.

  47. Jake says:

    Well well… Sorry I stumbled into this neocon dump. Gonna have to scrape the shit off my shoes when I leave.

    Reminder to the knuckle-dragging neocons on the board: your beloved Chimp-in-Chief will go down as one of the worst presidents in history. Four fifths of the citizenry now know how ignorant, careless and incompetent this administration is, and how devious and malevolent the neocon rats have been.

    It is sickening watching Republicans retreat from the catastrophe they helped create. Voting for the Chimp once is forgivable, twice is not. After Abu Graib and Katrina and the train wreck in Iraq…they still pulled the lever for Bush/Cheney. It’s like giving the captain of the Exxon Valdez another four years at the helm. Congratulations morons, you’ve handed your kids and grandkids a trillion dollar war bill, a decimated military, and a shattered reputation abroad. Well done.

    It’s hard to imagine how the Bush administration could have f-cked up the ‘war on terror’ worse than they did. What happened to the good will expressed throughout the world on 9/11? They took a giant shit on it, and we’re now the least trusted nation on Earth. Bravo.

    These cretins have managed to provoke more hatred and create more terrorists than Osama could in his wildest dreams. Abu Graib, Guantanimo, torture chambers in eastern Europe and the Middle East, supporting Israel’s belligerent bombing of Lebanon, and invading a nation that posed no credible threat to the U.S.

    Now they’re threatening Iran and dumping another pile of bullshit on the gullible sheep of America…the 20% who still believe in him. His zombie corps. How poetic. An eight-year catastrophe, engineered to perfection.

  48. pudge says:

    Jake everyone.

    Unfortunately he represents the left, not the left out. There he is,the absolute essence of the core of the liberal movement.

    To Jake, I hoist my goblet of common sense…up, up and as far away from you as is humanly possible. Hey Jake, there’s still time to call the troops “baby killers” if you’re not done yet. You were very efficient either way,but hey,why not cement yourself in the Hanoi Jane wing of the party ?(She knows the killing fields only happened because we were there in the first place, just like you probably do,huh Jake?)

    “Articulating every ‘principle’ of the democrat party since Vietnam, its, ‘The careening wildly leftward to the edge of the abyss kook fringe’!
    Remember, if there aint a ‘Jake’ residing deep within him (or her), then they aint an authenticly leftwing dem.” That’s an idea for a commercial you guys are free to use.

    Hooray for clarity.

  49. Bithead says:

    It is sickening watching Republicans retreat from the catastrophe they helped create. Voting for the Chimp once is forgivable, twice is not. After Abu Graib and Katrina and the train wreck in Iraq…they still pulled the lever for Bush/Cheney.

    If what you say is true, it would appear the democrats have a worse time with public relations than you are aware… Or, are willing to admit. Because, assuming they believe things are as bad as you say , they still found the democrats to be a worse deal.

    Why would they find so, do you suppose?

    While I have a certain level of disagreement in terms of style with Pudge, I am forced to agree with him when he says:

    There he is,the absolute essence of the core of the liberal movement.

    You’ll dismiss this out of hand, I’m sure, but it’s apparent to me that it is this, the essence of the Liberal movement, that you represent so well, from which the American people recoiled so in the last several elections.

  50. Steve Verdon says:

    Bithead,

    The same thing has been said about every other war in history, Stephen. Now who’s worried about the sky falling?

    I’m not worried about it in that it wont ever end. I thinking fighting terrorism is a good thing, but to compare it to previous wars such as the Civil War, WWII etc. is a bit off the mark. Those wars clearly had a defined enemy that when defeated the war was over. Not so with the War on Terror…somebody, in theory, will always be using it as a means of armed resistance.

    pudge,

    Does,”you choose to cower when evil rears its ugly head.” or,”You inject a lot of fear, of liberals, terrorists, whatever…”,or even still,”any other conclusion is borne of weakness and fear (terror?).” ring any bells for you ? They were all said by you after your appology.

    You’re right, but at the same time there is a grain of truth in all of the above. You fear a terrorist attack so you want to watch U.S. citizens via video cameras while out in public. Pretty much an open and shut case, IMO.

    Not credible evidence of what ?

    Well, anything really. I thought I was quite clear, beliefs are not evidence save of what your beliefs are, and certainly not of terrorists and their intentions.

    You don’t believe the never ending threats of those who’ve already come here and slaughtered us in the thousands represents a credible threat , so how is one supposed to “prove” anything to one in such a blinding state of denial ?

    You are completely and totally missing my point. Neither your beliefs nor mine are evidence of a terrorist attack. I believe they want to attack again, but that is very different from evidence of an attack. Evidence of an attack would be say, intercepted phone conversations, e-mails, etc. Believing they want to come here and kill us isn’t evidence, but simply belief.

    I did lay out the facts, you apparently believe, (much like the peacenix believed that communist russia was, just a boogyman, used by the gov. propogandists to “keep us in a state of fear”) that the threat of the islamo-facists is just the latest incarnation of the “boogyman” technique of reigning in the population. I hold that belief as utterly absurd.

    You have laid out few facts beyond, “they want to kill us.” I agree with that, but beyond that it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough to suggest we should change how our society operates in any fundamental way, IMO. Beyond that you have only beliefs. You used the word or a variant of it 4 times in your reply, but don’t seem to grasp that belief is not evidence.

    What makes you think that “big brother” gives a g-damn about what you are doing anyway ? Accepting, of course, as it pertains to his ability to tax you at confiscatory rates.

    Glaringly contradictory positions duly noted.

    I think the man was asking a question. Something to the affect of,”When it comes to,allowed by the constitution, limitations on liberty, how much more innocent American bloodshed would you tolerate before actually doing something about it ?”

    Without the Rights established in the Constitution then we aren’t American’s anymore, IMO. I’d hope we’d all be willing to die to protect are way of life…something that you, Pudge, seem all to willing to throw away for a sliver of security.

    Unfortunately he represents the left, not the left out. There he is,the absolute essence of the core of the liberal movement.

    Ahhh more of that guilt by association there, and next up pudge complaining about that apology a bit more. Want a little cheese there pudge?

    Bithead,

    so it was in Hawaii, back in December of 1941, even during the height of the Japanese attack on the harbor. You stood far more chance of dying in a traffic accident, then you did of getting hit by Japanese planes. I’m not sure, therefore, which your comment gives us, except disconnected factoids.

    Yes and it was wrong then to round up the Japanese-Americans and ship them off to concentration camps. Hysteria ran rampent back then with crazy stories of Japanese invading California, submarines landing to pick up oil, etc.

    Mostly, that they were committing crimes, and getting away with it.

    Are you sure you aren’t talking about the Republicans? They sure seem to have stepped in it a few times lately. I think it is ridiculous to complain that the other side engages in bad behavior, but your side doesn’t. And you still didn’t answer the point, does principle mean nothing?

    At some point the need to grab those attacking us by the throat, is going to exceed the need for “privacy”. Where is that bright line in your view?

    Basically you appear advocate a continuing movement towards a police state so long as security isn’t good enough for you. Rather depressing in that we could very well end up winning the “War on Terror” for the terrorists that way.

  51. Jake says:

    Interesting read on me. I represent “the essence of the liberal movement”… Uh huh. Please tell me more, Pudge. Like all liberals, I must want to:

    – Raise taxes
    – Increase govt spending on social programs
    – Give amnesty to all undocumented immigrants
    – Implement more regulations and governance of businesses
    – Give cradle-to-grave health, dental, and life insurance to every American
    – Limit or prohibit gun ownership

    These would be core liberal views held by any “authentically leftwing dem”, wouldn’t they Pudge? Like this “Jake” person you invented? Hurray for clarity, indeed. This must be the same clarity you used to pull the lever twice for George W. Bush (a.k.a. the Decider) and his neocon cabal, yes? That would explain quite a bit.

    The real question is, why are you trying to associate the desire to protect Constitutional laws with liberalism? This is a liberal idea? Objecting to government intrusions and expanded control over our lives is a liberal idea? I thought conservatives wanted to limit big government and keep them from expanding and centralizing power, like the Soviet Union and Communist China. Ring a bell, Pudge?

    The neocons Pudge is defending are a new breed of pseudo-conservatives who have slithered their way into the highest levels of the Republican party. They are the architects of the misinformation campaigns and the catastrophe in Iraq. They wrote up the plans to “democratize” the Middle East a few years before 9/11.

    General Clark’s Testimony

    They decided to take out seven countries just 10 days after 9/11. First Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan then Iran. Gen. Clark knows this came from PNAC… He’s playing dumb to avoid any confrontation with the neocon sociopaths.

    More importantly, isn’t it odd that this incredible announcement by the former Commander of NATO did not make the evening news? Either he’s making false statements and impugning the DoD (a felony), or the DoD is using 9/11 as an excuse to plan a PNAC jihad on seven countries without informing Congress or the American people (the people who granted them power and paid for their wet dream). I’m guessing that’s illegal and grounds for imprisonment as well… Either way, it’s a pretty big story… Fare more important and consequential than Iran/Contra or Watergate.

    So…why in the hell isn’t this being broadcast or written about?

  52. Bithead says:

    I’m not worried about it in that it wont ever end. I thinking fighting terrorism is a good thing, but to compare it to previous wars such as the Civil War, WWII etc. is a bit off the mark. Those wars clearly had a defined enemy that when defeated the war was over. Not so with the War on Terror…somebody, in theory, will always be using it as a means of armed resistance.

    That’s true enough, and this response seems far more reasonable than the one I regional responded to. But even there, I think the concern is overstated. We are, at the moment, and dealing with a religious fanaticism that has a political end element to it. I agree it may take years, decades, in fact, to quell. But quelled it will be. And you’re correct, that such terrorism will always be a threat. But how large a threat? It doesn’t seem to me reasonable to assume that Argentine communists, for example, will be using this method anytime soon. Nor, the Chinese.

    The issue before us, is a group of people who want to destroy the culture of the united states, not merely be that in this edition as regards a particular area of the world. That quality seems to me unique to fanatical Islam. Therefore, once that situation is dealt with, however if you is that worth, there will not be other comers using anywhere near the same style of attack.

  53. pudge says:

    You fear a terrorist attack so you want to watch U.S. citizens via video cameras while out in public.

    There he goes, presuming his brains out again.Okay, try sliding this up your brainstem and see if any cells salute: I’m in a fight.My opponent desires to kill me.I fight back. I know Steve Verdon will say that doing so is irrational and filled with fear, and yet I do it anyway! HORRORS! Not only that, but when we are not even engaged in the actual activity (that I’ll just call, “the war”,you know,for the heck of it) itself, again I do outrageous things like spying on him, and once,I accidently spied on someone who looked like him and as I went to appologize to the offended victim, he slit my throat. Hmm. I started off with the quandary of how to make you understand that we are in a fight to the death, and somehow have come around to your beautiful reasoning: If we all would just surrender our stupid little fear filled desires for safety and realize the absolute supremacy of the right to privacy over any semblance of security (and of course,that feeling is wrought with INsecurity. Not just a little ironic, ay ?I was such a fool) then we would realize what it’s all about. It’s not your puny little lives people, it’s ideals that make life worth the living.In colonial days,the Brits were just too idealistic to exploit our obviously,none too soft, underbelly of holding the right of our enemies to dress as women and slaughter us from behind, thus avoiding the need for all of that mindless bloodshed in the field of battle.I mean, you gotta have principles and if you’re not willing to die (Like a pig lead to slaughter) for them,how absolute can they be ? I for one will no longer bother with such pittances as “life”,or “security” or,”No, PLEASE DON’T CUT MY HEAD OFF” kinds of whining when dealing with those of different cultures.How narrow minded I was. We’re not even in a fight. So they write and publish manifestos of hate that promise our destruction on a regular basis, that proves,nothing,nothing more than our own whimpish little fearfulness when we actually respond to it. I get it now Mr. V, it’s just like in school,when my brave teacher answered my pleas for help from the bully with the wise and kindly instruction,”Just ignore him,then he’ll stop putting you in a headlock and pulling your underwear up over your head.” I wasn’t being wise when I blindsided him with a clip that would’ve put Refrigerator Perry on the IR, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me my youthful indiscretions, won’t you please Mr. Verdon ?

    I feel so much better now, I think I’ll go hug a murder-bomb…I mean, person of an interestingly divergent culture.(hack,hack,hack,hack. saw,saw,saw,saw.) “AY,YI-YI-YI-YI-YI-YI-YTI-YI !!! I have killed the sarcastic infidel! Look upon his head! And now, to Disneyland we go, to ‘recruit’ more ‘converts’!”

    (Oh, allah akbar indeed!)

  54. Billy says:

    Wow, it’s still going…

    It was not a rhetorical question. I’m quite serious… where in your mind’s eye does that bright line get drawn?

    To anyone with a semblance of understanding regarding the nature of the subject matter, it was by definition a rhetorical question. This is neither the venue in which to get into specifics, nor do I (or any of us) have the time to do so in the comprehensive manner such a question demands if it is to be answered to any real degree. This conversation began with a sweeping generality (“Why should it be such a surprise that the goal of winning the war, and the goal of maintaining civil rights during that war, run counter to each other?”) and for the most part has stayed in that realm.

    To answer your question as a matter of general principal, I don’t pretend to have an atlas that shows the location of a bright line rule for when the need for security becomes so urgent that it must temporarily trump liberty. Again, as a general rule, the constitutional requirement for the suspension of habeas is as good a blueprint as any from which to work. My point is and always has been that this nation is founded upon the idea of inalienable rights, and that no amount of rhetoric is sufficient to divest us of those rights. Inalienable. They are not “inalienable unless we get scared” or even “inalienable except in times of imminent danger.” Any suspension of those rights must be for a truly necessary purpose, and the burden of proof to demonstrate whether a purpose is or was indeed truly necessary must rest with those who advocate for and enact such suspensions. As it relates to our current situation, there is still no cognizent showing that this is a “war” or that America faces any real strategic threat from terrorism to the point where the suspension of liberties, outside of a few particularized situations for which the preexisting processes are wholly adequate, becomes even a feasible method for addressing the problems we now face.

    Shorter Bithead: “9/10 processes were a failure because we didn’t find the needle in the haystack. Solution: more hay. And also beat the crap out of the haystack.”

    Therefore, once that situation is dealt with, however if you is that worth, there will not be other comers using anywhere near the same style of attack.

    Exactly – just like no one used the same style of attacks after the first Intifadeh ended, or when the IRA and Britain signed peace accords. And y’all call me an idealist.

  55. Bithead says:

    To anyone with a semblance of understanding regarding the nature of the subject matter, it was by definition a rhetorical question. This is neither the venue in which to get into specifics, nor do I (or any of us) have the time to do so in the comprehensive manner such a question demands if it is to be answered to any real degree. This conversation began with a sweeping generality (“Why should it be such a surprise that the goal of winning the war, and the goal of maintaining civil rights during that war, run counter to each other?”) and for the most part has stayed in that realm.

    Which is precisely why I insist that definitions be drawn. Until such time as they are were arguing past each other, as I said.

    To answer your question as a matter of general principal, I don’t pretend to have an atlas that shows the location of a bright line rule for when the need for security becomes so urgent that it must temporarily trump liberty.

    I think you’ll find, that that’s precisely what’s being demanded of the White House of the moment stay within the bright lines. Well, where are they? Let’s define these demands we’re making. Oh… and of course, be prepared to defend those definitions, as we begin to discuss their ramifications.

    My point is and always has been that this nation is founded upon the idea of inalienable rights, and that no amount of rhetoric is sufficient to divest us of those rights. Inalienable.

    By that definition, nobody could ever be jailed. For any crime, including the ones under discussion. Period. Full stop.

    Any suspension of those rights must be for a truly necessary purpose, and the burden of proof to demonstrate whether a purpose is or was indeed truly necessary must rest with those who advocate for and enact such suspensions.

    I haven’t had a chance to read the ruling yet, but I noticed today that the sixth court disagrees with your assessment.

    As it relates to our current situation, there is still no cognizent showing that this is a “war” or that America faces any real strategic threat from terrorism to the point where the suspension of liberties, outside of a few particularized situations for which the preexisting processes are wholly adequate, becomes even a feasible method for addressing the problems we now face.

    If that is really your position, I’m forced to conclude you have no semblance of understanding regarding the nature of the subject matter.

  56. Billy says:

    I think you’ll find, that that’s precisely what’s being demanded of the White House of the moment stay within the bright lines. Well, where are they? Let’s define these demands we’re making. Oh… and of course, be prepared to defend those definitions, as we begin to discuss their ramifications.

    When the White House asks for my opinion, I’ll get into more specifics. However, you apparently did not understand what I was saying: that most such determinations really don’t lend themselves to bright line rules, and suspension of fundamental rights must be weighed individually for each particularized fact situation. It’s what the courts actually do when they’re asked the same questions. Replacing the current system with a policy of bright line divestment of these rights would be an unprecedented folly.

    By that definition, nobody could ever be jailed. For any crime, including the ones under discussion. Period. Full stop

    That’s a ridiculous conflation of what I said and you should know better. I did NOT say that any and all conceivable rights are inalienable. I said that there are inalienable rights. Neither did I equate inalienability with absolute immutability; if you would actually read what I wrote, you’d find no fewer than four references to “suspension.”

    I have never said here what I believed to be inalienable rights, but I’ll go ahead and defer to Jefferson for the most succinct definition.

    I haven’t had a chance to read the ruling yet, but I noticed today that the sixth court disagrees with your assessment.

    Not remotely correct. That ruling dealt solely with the issue of standing, and did not address any of the substance behind the challenge.

    If that is really your position, I’m forced to conclude you have no semblance of understanding regarding the nature of the subject matter.

    I wouldn’t expect you to start acknowledging my rejection of the as-of-yet unsupported foundation of your position at this point; much easier to substitute your own reality than to confront fact.

  57. Bithead says:

    When the White House asks for my opinion, I’ll get into more specifics. However, you apparently did not understand what I was saying: that most such determinations really don’t lend themselves to bright line rules, and suspension of fundamental rights must be weighed individually for each particularized fact situation.

    So what you’re telling me is, there are no hard and fast rules about this stuff. I mean, which way are we going with this? either we stop complaining about the White House breaking the rules, or we define the rules he supposed to follow.

    If you’re suggesting that the rules are sacrosanct, and should an no occasion be superseded by anybody but the courts, then say so, and have done, but be prepared to defend your position. If that’s not it, fine, let’s hear what you’ve got on your mind.

    And forget about the white house asking you, I’m asking you. You’ve made assertions, let’s back it up with a solid definition so we can move away from the rethoric.

    That’s a ridiculous conflation of what I said and you should know better. I did NOT say that any and all conceivable rights are inalienable. I said that there are inalienable rights. Neither did I equate inalienability with absolute immutability; if you would actually read what I wrote, you’d find no fewer than four references to “suspension.”

    Then why bring up “inalienability” at all? What happened here is you get caught out mouthing platitudes about rights, without specifics. I rather got the impression your brining it up was all about imagery. Certainly, violation of “inalienable rights” is the relative equivalent of the third rail. Yet, as you’ve just demonstrated, that isn’t the subject at all, is it? So again, I ask, why bring it up at all?

    Not remotely correct. That ruling dealt solely with the issue of standing, and did not address any of the substance behind the challenge

    As I said at the time, I hadn’t had the chance to read the specifics, and only caught a short blurb on the radio about it. But here again, we get into the specifics of the matter; the charge being brought by the ACLU was on behalf of a number of unspecific groups, (not individuals) who “might have” had their rights violated.

    Yet when it comes down to specifics, the ACLU, nor anyone else for that matter, can produce one single specific instance of someone’s rights being violated by this method. Not one.

    Essentially what the court was saying in that ruling (now that I’ve had a chance to go over it) seems to be, “when you get something specific, get back to us.”

    Now, of course, the rhetoric involved in the press releases we are now seeing from the ACLU in reaction to the ruling, and the screaming from the anti-war left, are suggesting that this ruling gives the president carte blanche to do whatever the hell he wants in terms of violation of privacy rights, insofar as phone communications. And yet, if you look closely at the ruling , that’s not true…. it would seem to suggest that all the ACLU would have to do would be to produce one person whose rights and been violated. The reason they are so angry about this ruling today in their press releases, because they know they can’t do that.

    What I’m suggesting to you here, in this entire response, and in each paragraph, is specifics have a tendency to kill off rhetoric.

    And I wonder if that factor alone isn’t why specifics are being so scrupulously avoided by so many…doing so would tend to defeat their entire argument.

  58. Bithead says:

    Exactly – just like no one used the same style of attacks after the first Intifadeh ended, or when the IRA and Britain signed peace accords. And y’all call me an idealist.

    Here we get in the specifics again.

    You’re not really suggesting that what we’re dealing with the terms of flying planes and buildings, and wholesale slaughter of women and children, is equivalent to what the IRA was doing? Look, the IRA may have been scum bags, I won’t argue that point. But not on their worst day did they descend to that level. I mean, are their mass Graves somewhere that we don’t know about?

  59. Grewgills says:

    Bit,
    You have asked for a bright line. You apparently feel that the line has been crossed. Where was that bright line for you? When and how did we cross it? You have demanded specifics in place of rhetoric, so its time for you to meet your own criteria.

    Yet when it comes down to specifics, the ACLU, nor anyone else for that matter, can produce one single specific instance of someone’s rights being violated by this method.

    That obviously has to do with the secrecy of the program. No one outside knows who is being monitored, so no one outside can prove that they are being monitored. Apparently the 6th, or at least 2 of the 3 judges who ruled on the case, think that one would have to prove that they had been monitored in violation of their rights by a program that has all of its details shrouded in secrecy to have standing. Surely you understand that there is the potential for abuse even if you feel it is not being abused. Can you think of an instance where someone whose rights were violated by this could prove it without a leak from within the program?

    What would you have said if Clinton had tried to claim these powers after the 1993 attack, what would others on the right have said? If you have any doubts look at what they said about US intervention in Somalia and Bosnia. BTW what was your opinion about those actions at the time?

    You have admitted that this “war” on terror, Islamist extremism or whatever the nom du jour is at any given moment will likely be a decades long endeavor and that you feel that curtailment of the right to habeas corpus, search warrants for physical searches and wiretaps and potentially other rights are appropriate for the length of this “war.” Before I continue, do you think this is a fair characterization of your position? If not in what particular is it wrong?

  60. Billy says:

    So what you’re telling me is, there are no hard and fast rules about this stuff.

    Before you respond again, please go back and read what I’ve actually written. The hard and fast rule IS that there is no violation of fundamental constitutional rights without a particularized showing of necessity (something more than “9/11 changed everything”). You’re asking for the rule as to when there is a necessity, and that is where a bright line test fails. I have been debating the former point.

    You’ve made assertions, let’s back it up with a solid definition so we can move away from the rethoric.

    You don’t get to do that when the basis of our disagreement started with your assertion that “civil liberties are incompatible with war.” YOU give specifics: 1st – why the islamofascist threat meets the criteria for “war” (a point you’ve ducked with platitudes when you’ve deigned to address it at all), and 2nd – of when civil liberties should be removed in that context. Provide those, I’ll give you specifics about whether or not I agree.

    You cannot demand that which you are unwilling to provide, and this conversation is so loosely defined that I wouldn’t even know where to begin were I to attempt providing specifics. As for a specific test, see my first paragraph.

    You’re not really suggesting that what we’re dealing with the terms of flying planes and buildings, and wholesale slaughter of women and children, is equivalent to what the IRA was doing?

    You said “anywhere near the same style of attack.” I was merely pointing out, with examples from the top of my head, how patently wrong you were. Also I noticed you conveniently glossed half of my example (the intefadeh), which is par for this discussion.

    Yet when it comes down to specifics, the ACLU, nor anyone else for that matter, can produce one single specific instance of someone’s rights being violated by this method. Not one.

    1. Discussion for another thread (see Dodd’s post from 7/6).

    2. Grewgills is correct.

  61. Bithead says:

    You have asked for a bright line. You apparently feel that the line has been crossed.

    Actually, no. It’s not a line I’m overly concerned about. The democrats, and the antiwar types, certainly seem to feel that there has been aligned crossed. However they refuse to identify it. So, my thinking is, let’s get them to tell us where the president has gone wrong and specifically why. Inherent in that question, is what they would do differently, and why. In here and in that discussion, of course, is the repercussions of those recommendations.

    I suspect that part of the reason that they refuse to define that bright line, is because they’d rather not discuss the repercussions of them.

    That obviously has to do with the secrecy of the program.

    No. What it has to do with, is the idea that nobody has had their rights violated. Think about the purpose involved with such a program; it would be to stop such people from doing what it is they are going to do against us. Such people would be jailed, possibly brought to trial. I suppose that even absent those events, word would get around that the government somehow knew about x conversation, or Y chat… eventually, such examples would come out. and given the state of mind list this of our press, we would all hear about it twenty minutes later. That hasn’t happened, mostly because the rights have not been violated.

    Surely you understand that there is the potential for abuse even if you feel it is not being abused.

    I understand that there is potential abuse in everything. Every power of government, for that matter, is potential for abuse. (Of course, that is true outside of government as well but let’s limit the conversation for simplicity.) The question to be asked is one of balance; whether or not granting certain powers to the government under certain conditions is to be considered a plus or minus under said conditions. Are such regulations are such government powers necessary?

    For the record, I think given the conditions that we find ourselves under at the moment those powers are indeed necessary. And yes there is like anything else the potential for abuse. But when you find such a case, come back to me.

    Can you think of an instance where someone whose rights were violated by this could prove it without a leak from within the program?

    Oh, please… we are talking about a government here, that is had one supposedly secret program after another show up in the headlines of the New York Times which is essentially an opposition paper. We have seen the press coughing up the slightest rumors in 24 points and lines as fact, all of them charging abuse. Most of which came to nothing. Facts, apparently at required for the press to jump to conclusions. Please explain to me, how any program would survive the kind of scrutiny that this administration has undergone. If there was the slightest whiff of abuse under those programs, don’t you think they would have been in headlines by now?

    What would you have said if Clinton had tried to claim these powers after the 1993 attack, what would others on the right have said? If you have any doubts look at what they said about US intervention in Somalia and Bosnia. BTW what was your opinion about those actions at the time?

    My comments would have been far more complimentary than they were about his merely checking a couple of cruise missiles at a couple of empty tents, On the very same day that he was supposed to be before a grand jury.

    You have admitted that this “war” on terror, Islamist extremism or whatever the nom du jour is at any given moment will likely be a decades long endeavor and that you feel that curtailment of the right to habeas corpus, search warrants for physical searches and wiretaps and potentially other rights are appropriate for the length of this “war.” Before I continue, do you think this is a fair characterization of your position? If not in what particular is it wrong?

    No problem with your description thus far. You do what you have to do to win the war. At which point you can restore those rights. The point that you seem to miss in all of this, is it the rights of which you speak our product of having won over those who would tyrannize us, such as the Islamic radicals. only after that war is one can we impose our version of rights and morality. If we don’t win, they get to impose their version of rights and morality. That’s the choice before us; and I wonder which you will choose.

  62. Billy says:

    No. What it has to do with, is the idea that nobody has had their rights violated. Think about the purpose involved with such a program; it would be to stop such people from doing what it is they are going to do against us. Such people would be jailed, possibly brought to trial. I suppose that even absent those events, word would get around that the government somehow knew about x conversation, or Y chat… eventually, such examples would come out. and given the state of mind list this of our press, we would all hear about it twenty minutes later. That hasn’t happened, mostly because the rights have not been violated.

    Shorter Bithead: “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”

  63. Bithead says:

    “Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”

    Exactly so. What you say with irony, I say with conviction. I notice you, for one, certainly seem willing to convict this white house in the absence of evidence.

    If there is in fact abuse, prosecute it. I’ve no problem with that. Indeed, I have a problem if you don’t. But at the same time, let’s not strip our leadership of the tools necessary to get the job done.

  64. Jake says:

    Bit – in response to your note, which I didn’t see until now…

    If what you say is true, it would appear the democrats have a worse time with public relations than you are aware… Or, are willing to admit. Because, assuming they believe things are as bad as you say , they still found the democrats to be a worse deal.

    Why would they find so, do you suppose?

    I agree. The leaders of the Democratic Party are weak-kneed, double-talking, impotent wimps. Their first priority is to accommodate their “special interests”…most notably the AARP, unions, trial lawyers and the Israel lobby. Then they look at the polls to see where the wind is blowing… This is the primary reason the Chimp won a second term. But that doesn’t mean they made the right choice. Far from it.

    George the Lesser is a dangerously stupid man. His life is a strewn with misjudgments and failures. He’s a loser who doesn’t know he’s a loser–the worst kind. Many of the people who reelected him now realize this and wish they had held their noses and voted for the flip-flopping eunuch (Kerry)… Is there any doubt Kerry would beat Bush handily if the election were held today?

    You’ll dismiss this out of hand, I’m sure, but it’s apparent to me that it is this, the essence of the Liberal movement, that you represent so well, from which the American people recoiled so in the last several elections.

    See my response to Pudge above. I’m not a Democrat.

    response to Pudge

    I’m a traditional conservative. My views lie somewhere between Goldwater and Ron Paul (who I strongly support over the others). Are these liberal views?

    –Secure the damn borders and build a tall fence

    –Give lawful immigrants priority to fill labor markets where necessary and strengthen the penalties for those who hire illegals. Pressure the Mexican govt to start using their plentiful wealth to take care of their people–like those we deport.

    –Bring the National Guard and Reserves back to the U.S. to guard the borders and ports.

    –Leave Iraq asap. If they still want to kill each other, so be it. It’s their country. Our military presence is putting an American face on every atrocity, regardless of who is responsible.

    –Shut down the private Federal Reserve and end fractional reserve banking. They’ve bled us enough.

    –Pull out of the World Bank, NAFTA and CAFTA. They’re writing laws and policies that directly affect Americans with almost no oversight.

    –Dramatically cut federal spending before we go broke. Our economy is floating on borrowed money, and our dollar is sinking. Any recession lasting a year or more could be catastrophic.

    –Bury the electoral college. Voters for president in Alaska have 3 times more voting power than voters in California. [Alaskans have 55 times more power than Californians in determining who goes to the Senate]

    –Make voting machines without paper trails illegal, and investigate the maggots who designed them and advocated their use.

    –Implement instant-runoff voting and publicly finance them. Significant third parties need to be empowered. Our candidates are being selected by trial lawyers, executives, media moguls, Hollywood drips and “special interests” with deep pockets.

  65. Billy says:

    Exactly so. What you say with irony, I say with conviction.

    I notice you, for one, certainly seem willing to convict this white house in the absence of evidence.

    When did I do that? I never once even mentioned the White House in the context of accusing it of violating anyone’s rights.

    Maybe you’re referring to previous threads?

    If there is in fact abuse, prosecute it. Indeed, I have a problem if you don’t. But at the same time, let’s not strip our leadership of the tools necessary to get the job done.

    You still haven’t addressed how one is supposed to ascertain whether there has been abuse. And it’s not stripping leadership of tools if we don’t add them in the first place.

  66. Grewgills says:

    It’s not a line I’m overly concerned about.

    You must have some rubric for deciding when it is acceptable to give up rights. What is it?
    In my view it is far easier to give up rights than it is to win them back, so the burden of proof should rest on those who propose to curtail rights, not for those who stand in opposition their curtailment.

    You have yet to come up with a scenario which does not involve a leak allowing for someone to know that they have standing to challenge illegal surveillance. You have just said that leaks are inevitable so we have nothing to worry about. This is far from sufficient.

    only after that war is one can we impose our version of rights and morality.

    The syntax here is telling. We are speaking here about Americans. Our version of rights need not be imposed upon us and cannot in any lasting way be imposed on any nation.

    You say with conviction that “absence of evidence of evidence is evidence of absence” and again you fail to meet the standard you set for others. Where has the evidence been presented that these curtailments of civil liberties are necessary? Thus far it has been absent from this discussion.

  67. Bithead says:

    You must have some rubric for deciding when it is acceptable to give up rights. What is it?

    Survival. Both individually, and as a country, as a culture.

    Our version of rights need not be imposed upon us and cannot in any lasting way be imposed on any nation.

    Then what, may I ask, are our laws?

    Where has the evidence been presented that these curtailments of civil liberties are necessary?

    Southern Manhattan.

  68. Grewgills says:

    You state that survival as an individual, a country and a culture is your rubric for determining if curtailment of civil liberties is acceptable. Presumably by this you mean that curtailment of civil liberties if there is a credible threat to the survival of one of the aforementioned. A credible threat to the survival to the survival of any of these entities has not been shown. Al Quaida and all other such groups are not likely ever to kill you and they are even less likely to destroy the US or American culture. Mabe you should refine that rubric, so that it supports your point.

    Our rights are enumerated by our laws, not imposed upon us by them. Our laws impose limits on our rights, ideally for the general benefit.

    A single attack, no matter how horrific, is not reason enough to curtail our civil liberties for the indefinite future. If you want to argue for the suspension of habeus corpus, the 4th amendment, and substantial portions of the 5th and 6th you need to do better than bumper sticker responses.

  69. Bithead says:

    A single attack, no matter how horrific, is not reason enough to curtail our civil liberties for the indefinite future.

    It was hardly a single event. It’s been going on, for some years. Perhaps you should do little research on the matter before you comment again?

    Al Quaida and all other such groups are not likely ever to kill you and they are even less likely to destroy the US or American culture.

    They have already begun to alter it. Or haven’t you noticed the politically correct nonsense that has sprung up around not angering Muslims, for fear of reprisal?

  70. Grewgills says:

    It was hardly a single event. It’s been going on, for some years. Perhaps you should do little research on the matter before you comment again?

    You listed a single event as your justification for curtailment of civil rights. I responded to your assertion. You have yet to provide a cohesive argument for the curtailment of our civil liberties.

    They have already begun to alter it. Or haven’t you noticed the politically correct nonsense that has sprung up around not angering Muslims, for fear of reprisal?

    The larger alteration by far is the abandoning of our civil liberties in the fear filled search for some extra measure of safety. The Islamist radicals can cause us harm, they can attack our interests, but they do not have the power to destroy our nation or our culture. This does not meet the rubric you put forward.

    Survival. Both individually, and as a country, as a culture.

    You need to either alter your rubric or your position.
    Please explain exactly how they could go about destroying this nation if you disagree.
    Franklin was right and thankfully more Americans are coming to that realization every day.

  71. pudge says:

    Holy cripes Bit,

    Can’t you see that you are talking to closed minds? The truth is not an opinion. These guys disagree with the principle of our right to do what it takes to continue to exist, and they facilitate that belief by saying that we are under no threat to begin with. I’ll say it once again: They are in denial,They hate their country,They don’t understand the basic premise that once a nation is in a fight,it matters not what led up to that fight,it only matters that we all unite to win and the details of how to meet that end are the only legit. subject of arguement.

    They have no allegiance to this or any other country. They are “citizens of the world”. Me and you understand that politics ends at the borders edge,they not only don’t,they are of the mindset that goes abroad and rips America a new one ala,Gore,Clinton,Michael Is-a-symp,Eason Jordan, whats his fu*k the reporter for (insert name of any cnn commie here). They are all cowards and a disgrace to the concepts of liberty,courage,loyalty,honor or any of the other American institutions that they hate so much. And to prove it, I would guarantee, if they read these facts that I have written, their first thought,their truly liberal thought, is how to shut me up.

    They like your polite arguing because it “proves” to them the legitimacy of their thoughtless points. The fact is, their constant ranting in denial of the existence of those The American Fighting Man protects us from every day is an insult to that very effort and the ones carrying it out. The cowards make me want to puke.

    Well, guess that’s it for me,it was interesting while it lasted.If there is no banning forthcoming however, look out libs,I aint shuttin’ up yet.

  72. Billy says:

    Southern Manhattan.

    [sigh]

    And the platitudes continue. You’re just not capable of a real argument, are you?

  73. Grewgills says:

    Can’t you see that you are talking to closed minds?

    That coming from you is truly funny.

    The truth is not an opinion.

    Quite true and neither is your opinion truth.

    These guys disagree with the principle of our right to do what it takes to continue to exist,

    No we ask for credible evidence of a threat to your/our right to exist before surrendering our civil liberties.

    and they facilitate that belief by saying that we are under no threat to begin with.

    Again no, we say the threat has been exaggerated. To classify Islamist extremists as an existential threat to America is hyperbole at best. We also disagree as to how the actual threat is best fought.

    They are in denial,They hate their country,They don’t understand the basic premise that once a nation is in a fight,it matters not what led up to that fight,it only matters that we all unite to win and the details of how to meet that end are the only legit. subject of arguement.

    A few quotes from Republicans during the active military campaign in Bosnia.

    “You can support the troops but not the president.”—Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

    “Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years.”—Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

    “Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”—Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

    “[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”—Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)”

    “If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy.”
    —Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

    “I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”—Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

    What filthy America haters these guys are. These are also the same people making your argument now and I would be willing to bet that you were bashing Clinton right along with them when our troops were in Bosnia. The hypocrisy is truly mind boggling.

    And to prove it, I would guarantee, if they read these facts that I have written, their first thought,their truly liberal thought, is how to shut me up.

    My first thought was that your post was parody, so by all means continue its always good for a laugh. You have written only opinion, heavy on ad hominem attacks, and have supported none of it with facts. I know your gut tells you they are facts but they are simply your rather ill informed opinions.

  74. Bithead says:

    And the platitudes continue. You’re just not capable of a real argument, are you?

    I understand fully why you’re trying to minimize the effects of that attack; if you don’t your entire argument is shot to hell.

    Newsflash ; You haven’t, and it is.

  75. G.A.Phillips says:

    Grewgills,

    It is unconstitutional to put our troops under U.N. control, so whats your point about statement’s from the Bosnia conflict.

  76. Grewgills says:

    My point about Bosnia is that we had American troops in harms way and many on the right were constantly attacking the commander in chief, his conduct of the conflict and our participation in it in general. Those same people are now saying that it is unpatriotic even un-American to do the same during this conflict.

    A distinction was made between command and operational control, I am uncertain how much of a difference rests in that distinction. It is certainly a matter of controversy. The war in Iraq involves several legally questionable actions by the administration. Regardless of this US troops were in harms way and Republicans were continuously hounding the commander in chief about every aspect of that conflict (not just the UN command vs operational control aspect). The complaints made by Republicans about that (largely successful and for Americans bloodless) conflict mirror the questions raised by Democrats about this conflict. Several differences are notable. The Democrats did not lambast the Republicans for being unpatriotic or un-American for their criticism, the effort in Bosnia was far more successful and enjoyed broad international support, and finally (and most important to the form the debate took) was led by a Democrat.

    If it were Clinton at the head of this disaster Republican would be shouting for his head regardless of were the troops were and there would be somewhat fewer (but still many) Democrats standing with them.

    Bit,
    You have still not put forward a useful rubric or a coherent argument. I await patiently.

  77. Bithead says:

    Oh, but I have… That you don’t accept it as such isn’t my problem, directly, though if you have your way about it, it’ll be ALL our problems, shortly.

    My point about Bosnia is that we had American troops in harms way and many on the right were constantly attacking the commander in chief, his conduct of the conflict and our participation in it in general. Those same people are now saying that it is unpatriotic even un-American to do the same during this conflict.

    Yeah, about that… there’s the other side of this coin, where we had Democrats telling us Bosnia was so important, (We’ve not left there, yet… and no protests about how long it’s gone on… did any Democrats notice?) ..yet are currently going against our involvement in Iraq. Are you sure this is a box you want opened, Pandora?

  78. G.A.Phillips says:

    Grewgills,

    My point about Bosnia is that we had American troops in harms way and many on the right were constantly attacking the commander in chief, his conduct of the conflict and our participation in it in general. Those same people are now saying that it is unpatriotic even un-American to do the same during this conflict.

    might have something to do with with constitutional and unconstitutional like I pointed out, putting our troops under U.N. command, a reason, voting for war then undermining it for political gain, a treason.

    dedicated to Andy and Michael, not a spoof but the truth.

  79. Grewgills says:

    Bit,
    The box is open compare away. Why don’t you start by comparing American and civilian casualties, American troop levels, and international support.

    GA,
    Go back and read the quotes. Not one of them had anything to do with the constitutionality of command vs operational control of US troops. You can even google them to find the context, but I’ll let you know now that it won’t help your case. The matter is simple, if US troops are in harms way due to Democratic decision making Hannity et al believe that dissent is necessary. If, on the other hand it was a Republican that ordered them into harms way then dissent is treasonous according to these same people.

    BTW Battlefield Earth was a trainwreck both as a book and a movie. The book was overlong, poorly written, and boring. The movie had the virtue of unintentional humor, but is only worth watching when incredibly bored and lazy.

  80. G.A.Phillips says:

    Grew,

    No it had to do with why we are there, under who’s command and why our troops were in harms way.

    And that was a good book, oh I forget the hero was not a Communist that’s why you found it boring.

    And democrats don’t make decision’s, they lick their hoofs, stick them in the air, get a feel for witch way the herd is running, and then try to gallop to the front of the stamped.

    Someone doing something similar for proper reasons to you doing what you think you need to do get your power back and saying but they did it to… is nothing more the another misdirected misdirection.

    So whatever, I’ll just say you liberal are always right and can do no wrong, because its the the only thing you believe.

    Are you happy now. you want me to just respond to all post like that now, will it make your world a little greener.

  81. Grewgills says:

    No it had to do with why we are there, under who’s command and why our troops were in harms way.

    Obviously you read none of the quotes. Once again, not one dealt even periferally with the issue you bring up. Even if that were the case American troops were in harms way and most of the people quoted have since said that opposing a war when troops are in harms way is unpatriotic, un-American and/or tantamount to treason. There is no two ways about it. By their own standard they are unpatriotic, un-American, and perhaps treasonous.

    If you are going to try to say that they were talking about the controversy surrounding command vs operational control then you need to explain how any of the quotes I supplied could be contrued that way.

    And that was a good book…

    Your taste in literature is about as refined as your rhetorical skills. At a minimum good science fiction needs to have either good science or good fiction, preferably both. Hubbard’s book had neither and managed to stretch a what by all rights should have been no more than 200 pages into over a thousand. I’m a bit surprised you liked given that the corporate overlords are overthrown by their workers with the poluted recourses they have been forced to extract. It is clearly a Leninist parable.

  82. G.A.Phillips says:

    so you can’t understand what I’m telling you so you think your smarter then me, fair enough.

    But then you twist an obviously great action story about a lone American hero facing an entire race of mind controlling space liberals who rule their civilization with a social elite hierarchy that that keeps total domination with its religion of science, not to mention that the companion to hero of story, is one these creatures, and the only reason he is not like them is because he is an abortion survivor……Leninist parable indeed.

    Plus now your are going to go and start belittling my tastes and regulating how science fiction books should be written.

    Its funny how every time one of donksters tries to tell me I’m wrong or wrong about you, you cant help but get that hoof a little farther past them big floppy ears and and down the throat that’s behind that big old buck tooth poop eating grin.

  83. Grewgills says:

    Another example of this same hypocrisy for you. These same Republicans vociferously criticized Clinton and his handling of the situation in Somalia calling for immediate withdrawal of US troops while American troops were in harms way. I await your excuse for this behavior.

    Re: Hubbard book
    The hero was a rebel in his own community and defied the traditions and religion of his community to set out into the world.
    The villains in general were a militaristic, authoritarian race with a rigidly hierarchical corporate power structure that was obsessed with security and extracting minerals from the land of conquered people.
    The primary villain was the head of security of one of their colonies. He was obsessed with secrecy and surveillance of everyone he perceived as a potential enemy.
    And you see the villains here as liberal and the hero as conservative. You truly see only what you wish to see.

    Re: my “regulating how science should be written.” I merely said that good science fiction should at a minimum have good science or good fiction. You apparently disagree and think that good science fiction requires neither good science nor good fiction.

    Your argumentation amounts to little more than middle school name calling. If you can’t win an argument on the merits you resort to some combination of donkey, poop, communist.

  84. Bithead says:

    Another example of this same hypocrisy for you. These same Republicans vociferously criticized Clinton and his handling of the situation in Somalia calling for immediate withdrawal of US troops while American troops were in harms way. I await your excuse for this behavior.

    Only if you’re prepared to explain the democrats supporting our military actions then, and not now.
    As I say, are you sure that’s a box you wanna open, Pandora?

  85. Grewgills says:

    Only if you’re prepared to explain the democrats supporting our military actions then, and not now.

    The Democrats were not uniformly on board with Clinton’s handling of Somalia and, more importantly to this discussion, the Democrats did not demonize opposition to this operation as unpatriotic and un-American or tantamount to treason. The Republicans until quite recently have backed Bush’s policies regardless of their merit and have demonized opposition to this conflict as unpatriotic, un-American, and tantamount to treason.

    If anyone has serious disagreement with any government policy they should speak out. This is the essence of being a good citizen in a representative democracy.

    So again the box is wide open and what has come out hurts your position and supports mine.

  86. Bithead says:

    The Democrats were not uniformly on board with Clinton’s handling of Somalia and, more importantly to this discussion, the Democrats did not demonize opposition to this operation as unpatriotic and un-American or tantamount to treason.

    I accept as a given that Bill Clinton had to deal with the “peace at all costs” idiots in his own party.

    I most certainly do not, however, accept the idea that the democrats didn’t demonize their opposition as anti American ; they most certainly did. I wrote about it at that time. The charge was also laid at the feet of the republicans that they were being political opportunist in the matter.

    Try again.

  87. G.A.Phillips says:

    Grew,

    you are are never going to get that I know what your doing and why, and have already explained to you that you are miss using the situations.

    and now your getting a little closer to Johny and Terl’s parts but you have missed what Johny becomes and why Terl is like he is. But that’s about it.

    The Pyclo, start as Hypnotists , who through mind implants use behavioral control to keep totalitarian Domination over their populace, not to mention that these same mind implants bring death to any who would betray and give away the secrets of their Religion of science and mathematics.

    Liberal or Conservative you tell me?

    the hero becomes, a warrior/scholar, a free-er of slaves and the leader of the resistance and then the father to the new would.

    wonder what communist manifesto L.Ron got the inspiration for this character from.

    but then you tell me I see only what I want to see when your whole interpretation of this book amounts to a handful of communist and or liberal talking points and or learned thought patterns:

    corporate overlords
    polluted resources
    hierarchical corporate power structure
    surveillance of everyone he perceived as a potential enemy.
    overthrown by their workers
    extracting minerals from the land of conquered people.
    militaristic

    once again you justify what I have said about you and most other indoctrinated liberals.

    oh and what in the great blue hell is a middle school?

    and because most of you liberals think your so much smarter then the rest of us is why you cant tell when your being insulting, and why you guys always say I was just stating…

    And I’m sorry you don’t like me Donkey lingo, oh And I know perfectly well that you cant win an argument with a liberal.

  88. Grewgills says:

    Bit,
    Why don’t you supply some quotes from prominent Democrats at the time demonizing Republicans as unpatriotic, un-American, or treasonous for criticizing the president when our troops were in harms way? I’ll be waiting.

    GA,

    Liberal or Conservative you tell me?

    Totalitarian, leaning towards conservative.

    The book is tripe. I would debate you further on it but that would necessitate me reading over it again and once was more than enough.

    If you want to read some quality science fiction you could try: Heinlein, Card, Stephenson, Herbert, and Doria to start.

    oh and what in the great blue hell is a middle school?

    7-9th grades. Between grammar school and high school, thus the designation middle. This distinction is made more in the West than the East.

    and because most of you liberals think your so much smarter then the rest of us is why you cant tell when your being insulting, and why you guys always say I was just stating…

    You’ve got mighty thin skin for someone with such a big mouth.
    I’m perfectly well aware of when and why I am being insulting. I generally avoid insulting comments with anyone who is engaging in honest debate and is not bandying about invective. From what I’ve seen here you rarely ever engage in honest debate and almost always go heavy on the invective thus my treatment of you.

  89. G.A.Phillips says:

    Grew,

    you show me a liberal, just one, engaged in a honest debate, I’ll vote for the Democrat of your choice.

    You’ve got mighty thin skin for someone with such a big mouth.
    I’m perfectly well aware of when and why I am being insulting. I generally avoid insulting comments with anyone who is engaging in honest debate and is not bandying about invective. From what I’ve seen here you rarely ever engage in honest debate and almost always go heavy on the invective thus my treatment of you.

    fun is fun, silly is silly, that crap you think is debate whatever, but..

    you are getting pretty bold with that middle school playground talk Gilly.

    Totalitarian:Designating or characteristic of a government controlled exclusively by one party or faction that suppresses political dissent by force or intimidation and whose power to control the economic,social, and intellectual life of the individuals is virtually unlimited. =liberal.

    Dude buy a dictionary.

    and welcome once again to words have meaning!

  90. Grewgills says:

    you show me a liberal, just one, engaged in a honest debate, I’ll vote for the Democrat of your choice.

    Kucinich for a relatively high profile example. For lower profile examples, from what I’ve seen here Tano and legion fit the bill. Now either prove that they are not engaging in honest debate, vote for a Democratic president in ’08, or prove that you are a liar.

    There totalitarians of both sides of the political spectrum. If you were at all honest you would admit this, but you are not so you won’t.

  91. G.A.Phillips says:

    Grew,

    *****Kucinich for a relatively high profile example. For lower profile examples, from what I’ve seen here Tano and legion fit the bill. Now either prove that they are not engaging in honest debate, vote for a Democratic president in ’08, or prove that you are a liar.*****

    haha

    OK, you got me, not that I believe that they are engaging in debate for honest reasons but that all three are crazy enough to believe that they are being honest when they say what they believe, and you will be happy to know I just voted in a poll that said I would prefer Obama over Clinton for pres. in 08, since once again you have changed the meaning of the offer, I was doing my best liberal interpretation of what you would have of me.

    ****There totalitarians of both sides of the political spectrum. If you were at all honest you would admit this, but you are not so you won’t.****

    On this point I will agree with you, but if you can not see the this,that all the democratic leader ship, the elite media, and the teachers unions, along with most of their supports(willingly or unknowingly) use this mode of operation as the main platform and daily way of going about gaining and keeping their power you really have a lot of waking up to do my friend.

  92. Bithead says:

    Bit,
    Why don’t you supply some quotes from prominent Democrats at the time demonizing Republicans as unpatriotic, un-American, or treasonous for criticizing the president when our troops were in harms way? I’ll be waiting.

    Perhaps you didn’t notice the difference involved in the criticism; Specifically, republicans were critical of the move in Bosnia before we went in, and before we had troops on the ground, after which the criticisms ceased. Not so, with the democrats. They were cheerleaders along with everybody else about how the policy in Iraq was the correct one. It was only after we became involved with the battle that they started turning their more traditional yellow hue.

  93. Grewgills says:

    Specifically, republicans were critical of the move in Bosnia before we went in, and before we had troops on the ground, after which the criticisms ceased.

    That is patently untrue. Several of the quotes I provided above were made when US troops were in harms way. The same is true of comments made by these same people and others during the conflict in Somalia. They are shameless hypocrites and by their own professed standard un-American.

  94. Bithead says:

    In that case, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to post the dates of the quotes, along with a linked source, correct?

    Or am I to accept your assertions as fact, without your having provided any?

  95. Grewgills says:

    The 2nd NATO intervention lasted from 3/24/1999-6/10/1999.

    The Hannity quote was made on his show of 4/6/99 after the US was involved. (Fox only links back to 2005) My memory is that this talk was continuous throughout the conflict but I don’t have access to LexisNexis where I am. If you have access it should be easy to find them.