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December 17, 2005



Ah, the Central Intelligence Agency continues its war against the Bush Administration.

You know, if they weren't so incompetent, they might actually have been able to bag bin Laden by now. Instead, the CIA is good at one thing; leaking highly classified information in order to damage a President with whom they disagree.

They tried the coup d'etat route already. That was the origin of the Joe Wilson thing; but their guy Kerry lost. It's as if Bush were Arbenz, Mossadegh, or Diem. Too bad they're too incompetent to actually fight the enemy.


I'm no expert in communications technology, but I have a friend who is quite knowledgeable. He sent me this e-mail thia morning:
"My thoughts on the NSA wire taps go something like this: This is an area where the Law is a way behind the current telephonic technology. The need to tap a person not hardware, is one of the key issues. As for time, the tappers have to move rapidly to keep up with the switching of devices, there is no time, not even minutes to present things to a judge who, even if expedient, is not fast enough to keep up. So while technology has rapidly evolved the Law has remained static - stuck somewhere around the Al Capone - J. Edgar Hoover 1930's era. This failure to keep up has put the US in a very dangerous position and those who fail to recognize it are going to get a large number of us killed and injured."
If he's correct then I hope Congress will get the message and work with the administration on this.


This is odd - Trent Lott is quoted by the WaPo as supporting the program:

Some prominent Republicans defended the surveillance, arguing it was necessary to combat terrorism. "I don't agree with the libertarians," said Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.). "I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that."

However, he should have been briefed on it, right? Lott stepped down as Majority Leader just after the 2002 elections.

fred lapides

Aside from the Congressional leaders, only a small group of people, including several cabinet members and officials at the N.S.A., the C.I.A. and the Justice Department, know of the program.--which meansw: we do not know who was told what and therefore must assume only those sympatico had been told.
Fact: NSA is not to spy on American citizens domestically. Fact: under the Bush program, even the courts are not to be used as safeguard. That means: trust us. It is for your good. Fact: the FBI is not to tap phones without court orders. Question: are they too allowed now to circumvent court ok?

That a few people in congress were told about something like this does not make it many in Nazi Germany knew about the plans for the final extermination of the


Able Danger is not going through a judge.


The NYTimes might have complied with the administration perhaps only because they wanted to wait to spring this when things were starting to go upwards for Bush, as they are now. Right after the Iraq election, they try to nail him with this.

Sitting here in Norway, the Norwegian press is leaving out virtually all the finer details, such as how many times eavesdropping was conducted, that members of Congress were briefed, etc, etc. None of these facts get told abroad, which makes Bush virtually look like Hitler to the rest of the world. Brilliant work, I must say, for a propaganda enterprise.

creepy dude

Bush briefed Congressional leaders. And you buy that at face value?

Didn't the Congressional Research Service just prove was Bush lying about his repeated assertions that Congress saw the same intelligence he did? Short answwer-yes.

Bush will back down from this because he is wrong-just like he just surrendered completely on the Mccain amendment after an earlier veto threat.

And for all you Bush lovers-tell me when Bush was wrong re: the Mccain amendment-when he threatened to veto it or when he agreed to it? He can't be right both times-though I can't wait to see how the master ass-kissers here will square that circle.


It's not a matter of Bush briefing congressional leaders that there is a program, the DETAILS of every tap are presented to a committee EVERY 45 DAYS for oversight.

These are communications with numbers found on terrorists computers, etc. They are not domestic phone numbers. A call comes in from that number, or a call goes out to that number overseas, we tap it.

Is that so hard to understand?

All the details are passed to a congressional oversight committee.

What part of that don't you understand?

The Pakistanis capture and al Qaeda guy in Karachi. We're there, get the computer, get the numbers and email addresses. No time to wait for a judge in the states. Tap the lines before the goons on the other end even know this guy was captured.

What part of that don't you understand?


Creepy Dude:
Elevate the debate, please. Give it a try.

You make some good points (on occasion) but they're lost in your less-than-Dale Carnegie-how-to-win-friends-and-influence people style of arguing.



Syl, not much time to work with that Pakistani computer before the New York Times spills that one, too. I remember.


Bush is fighting a war against a trans-national terrorist organization that uses stealth with impunity with a intelligence agency he simply cannot trust to keep a secret.

Good luck with that one W.

JFK (reportedly) threatened to break the CIA into a thousands pieces after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. That may be a story planted by Schlesinger or another Kennedy hagiographer to provide cover for the disaster. But too bad he didn't follow through.

Probably would have won the Cold War in the early 70s.

Too bad Bush's father isn't young enough to go to Langley and take names.



Ben Franklin's statement that 'those who would give up some liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security' be observed in all seriousness.

This moron in the W-H has a autocratic streak -- Be afraid, be VERY afraid. If the 'use of force' resolution gives the Pres. the power to set aside laws as has been stated. Then we are NOT, for the duration of this war, a nation of laws, but of men, or rather of ONE MAN. G.Bush, Le Loi? C'est moi!

John Thacker

The NSA is not to spy on US persons. (Not just citizens; this includes anyone currently present in the country.) This includes US citizens abroad. However, the US also captures plenty of signals abroad, including those which are encrypted. After capturing those signals, it may turn out that some of the communications were by US citizens, whom the NSA is barred by law on spying on without a warrant.

Now, the NSA could refuse to intercept any signals at all that might be used by US citizens. This would of course curtail signals intelligence incredibly, to not be able to intercept any foreign communications. Therefore, the NSA's solution, which they have done for years, is to intercept foreign communications and then, after decoding, discarding all intercepts which deal with US persons (if there is no warrant). This must be discarded within a narrow (24 to 48 hours) timeframe after interception.

Previously, the NSA did not intercept any international communications between US persons and non-US persons. However, it appears that the Administration has decided to place international communications that originate domestically by US citizens under the same sort of restrictions as purely international communications. That is, the communications may be gathered, and then the parts of the conversation performed by US persons must be discarded, although the part spoken by non-US persons does not have to be.

That is sensible and only legal thing that the NSA could do that follows its mission, has precedent in its earlier treatment of international communications, and could be described by the newspaper articles.

People are often unaware that purely international communications by US citizens can be tapped by the NSA without a warrant, though their own communications must be discarded. That is because the NSA cannot always identify who is using a signal before capturing and decrypting it. Previously, communications where one end was domestic were not intercepted without a warrant at all, because of the guarantee that one end would be a US person and ineligible for spying. However, what they are doing is essentially identical to what they've done for years with purely international calls made by US citizens; capture the signal and then discard the things said/sent by US citizens.


The Congressional mewls about this tell me that the Dems realize that we have won the war in Iraq--And I think it is a dreadful miscalculation.I think the Middle will never trust them on national defense. Ever.

In any event it reminds me of Europe's made up shock at the rendition program:

"LONDON (Reuters) - Rendition, the controversial practice of moving terrorism suspects from one country to another, is not new and European governments should not be surprised by it, Colin Powell said on Saturday.

The former U.S. Secretary of State was speaking to the BBC after his successor, Condoleezza Rice was forced to defend the practice during a recent trip to Europe.

The trip was overshadowed by allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency ran secret prisons in eastern Europe and covertly transferred suspects via European airports.

"Most of our European friends cannot be shocked that this kind of thing takes place," Powell told BBC World.

"The fact that we have, over the years, had procedures in place that would deal with people who are responsible for terrorist activities, or suspected of terrorist activities."

Take that as a hint--that if they continue, there will be leaks at how much they cooperated with that program. Diploblab and the people who can translate it.


Dr.Sanity has put it all to music
for the Merry Allah-mas season:


Inspired by the National Review cover, Dr. Pat Santy presents
Mr. Abu Musab Al Zarkawi singing
"These Are a Few Of My Fave Infidels"
(sung to the tune of "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things") **

Senator Murtha and Ms. Cindy Sheehan
ANSWER and MOVEON and Boxer and Dean
All those who buy what the NY Times sells--
These are a few of my fave infidels!

Nancy Pelosi and Georgio Clooney;
Moonbats and Lefties and all that are looney;
All those who protest with loud, angry yells--
These are a few of my fave infidels!

Feminist nazis and darling Code Pinkers;
Kerry and Kos and those other deep thinkers;
Secular nuts in their own little hells--
These are a few of my fave infidels!

When The Bush speaks,
When Iraq votes,
When I'm feeling sad;
I simply remember the the brave DNC
And then I don't feel so bad!

Give Dr. Sanity a big hand!
Click here: Dr. Sanity

With her inspiration I offer these:

Craig and Murkowski, joined Sununu and Hagel,
Taking roving wiretaps off the FBI's table,
Restoring our ease in ringing our cells,
They are the fav of our fav infidels!

And Senator Johnny "Secret Santa" McCain
Puts in the "pleasure" and takes out the pain.
We thank him sincerely for"Don't ask, we won't tell"
He is one of our favorite naive infidels!

We have hardly tapped the possiblities here.



Take that as a hint--that if they continue, there will be leaks at how much they cooperated with that program. Diploblab and the people who can translate it.

Heh. Thanks for your insight.


TM, is there anything Bush could do to piss you off? Anything "testable"? Anyway, I'm sure he's only secretly spying on terrorists -- not on anything else. That would be a *shock*. As we all know, Patriot Act Provisions haven't been used for _anything_ but terrorism. There are plenty of reasons why your BS doesn't even stand up to a second of though -- i.e. FISA. At least start making up some long-winded-highly-implausible theory about that.


I know TM didn't find it important to mention, because he couldn't construct some bullshit theory yet to account for it -- but you conservatives do realize there is a special court to expedite warrants that has only rejected 4 applications in a quarter century, right? (via TPM). Bush doesn't need to specifically, secretly spy on anyone. There is a process already in place to do it. SEPERATION OF POWERS IDIOTS.


The President at all times must do what is necessary to protect and preserve the nation. But certain points raised by Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy and cited by Glenn Reynolds today are troubling: it wasn't necessary to skip the Courts since the special FISA Court tasked to handle these matters has only once denied a govt request in its 20 year history, and that was granted anyway on immediate appeal. Further, even emergency situations are actually covered by existing laws and recent case history, for when it is impractical to see the Judge. At Volokh is a nice link to USA vs. Usama bin Laden (decision was Dec. 19, 2000) which will be fundamental to the coming debates, IMO. [My first time here, saw your link on Memeorandum, thanks]


Oh, dear--why bother reading the disalogue above when you're drive by posting in a swarm?


If the choice is between liberty or security, I'll take liberty. If the choice is security or privacy by government restraint, I'll take security and make my own privacy. I just don't believe in hampering the government of the people in it's primary function on the basis of make believe privacy any two bit private investigator can get around.

Going ballistic over monitoring international communications with suspected terrorists is lame. The change represents little more than reduction in red tape as the quantity of links after 911 swamped anything resembling actual judicial oversight. Data mining is a far greater intrusion into the illusion of privacy anyway and as it turns out, the only realistic way 911 could have been prevented.


It is finally revealed that the names of MAD Magazine's Spy vs Spy are Able Danger and Danger Able.


Jay Rockefeller's connection to this leak is troubling. I thought his famous memo said there was only one opportunity to use intelligence gathering controversies to launch an investigation against the administration. I guess he is trying to take a second bite at the apple.


Poor Jay. He might look at the present actions of the administration now that the purpose is nearly accomplished for the action against Saddam for insight into the motivation for it.

He is several horses behind the cart.

Rick Ballard

Rockefeller is simply raising the stakes. The Deaniac wing has been putting party above country for two years now and they just aren't getting the return that was promised. There aren't any strategists involved in this - just a bunch of tacticians with limited imaginations.

The Dems have marginal seats up in GA, LA, TX, IN, IA, KS, MO, SD, TN, and UT for the House and FL, NE, MI, MN and NM in the Senate. I wonder if any of those incumbents got to vote on whether leaking classified information to Paunch's fishwrap was a good idea?

Small minds generating small ideas wind up with small results. The blowback on the Defeatocrat wing is going to be entertaining to watch.


The FISA process can take up to a month to produce a warrent, this can render intelligence that requires timley action useless and put American lives at risk. During post 911 times, the Administration would not be doing it's duty if it failed to act on time crucial intel and the same hypocrites who say that Bush didn't connect the dots would be asking for his head.


I wonder if the people at the Times would like police to wait for a warrant if there were an escaped homicidal maniac in their homes?

The term "exigent circumstances" has been in the law of search and seizure long enough, and interpreted by enough courts that the FBI knows what it means. Why are we letting the NYTimes be the judge?

I used to think that Republicans and Democrats only differed in the kind of policies they think would be good for society. Now I don't believe the Democrats should ever be trusted again. They've shown that they'll say anything for political ends. They make Tom Delay look like a saint, and most of the media are worse.

Rick Ballard


There will come a time (possibly sooner than anyone thinks) when the Democrats will split. The moderates still outnumber the Deaniacs/Defeatocrats even today. They can't put up with this crap much longer or they aren't going to be able to protect their seats. Dean's not even generating the money he promised so why in the world should they allow him and the Blue Castle lefties to call the shots?


RB, the trouble is that the moderate Democrats are easing into moderate Republicanism. There will be two wings of the Republican Party, sooner than two of the Democratic. The two wings will agree on a President.


Mark, Where is the link saying FISA can take a month?


fred and creepy,

If congressional leaders were not briefed, as even the NYT has stated, then why aren't they lining up at the microphones to deny it? Simple. They were. And if they knew about it, and thought it was wrong, then why didn't they come forward then? The forest for the trees......


Well, they can stop me with no cause at a drunk driving checkpoint. They can take pictures of my car going through intersections. Those are scary over-reaches of government that should outrage normal folks. But tapping some phones of people who talk overseas with those known to want to make holes in NY skyline and take as many Americans with them as possible... well... what do you folks think about driving checkpoints? Is this a fair comparison?


"That a few people in congress were told about something like this does not make it many in Nazi Germany knew about the plans for the final extermination of the

When they came for the Al Queda terrorists, I was silent, for I was not an Al Queda terrorist.

When they came for the Mafiosi, I was silent, for I was not a Mafiosi.


From the tone of the criticism on this thread and elsewhere on the web, you would think the Commander In Chief were conducting a war on the American People or the Democratic Party or other domestic political foes rather than the Islamic Jihadists who have for nearly twenty years been carrying out plots against this country's people, its property and its institutions.

If there were any scintilla of evidence supporting that proposition, I would switch sides immediately. So long as the evidence remains that these activities are conducted to continue the prevention of other attacks like the one on September 11, I will support them.

Legitimate, creative interpretation of the law to protect the country is warranted in my opinion.

A careful reading of its reportage reveals that even the NYT did not offer a witness who would state for the record that these activities were unlawful.

Those who claim that they were have the burden of proof, and they have not met it.

Mark, Where is the link saying FISA can take a month?

Only in the deep dark recess of Mark's mind.

Point 1. There's no need for it. They can already tap for 3 days without a warrant, and even use information from that tap to obtain a warrant.

Point 2. It's illegal. Period. And presidents cannot circumvent law by executive order secret or otherwise.

Point 3. Crawl out from under your freakin beds for just a second and at least PRETEND to be an American.



Maybe they should have tattooed it on her botoxed butt:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she had been told on several occasions that Bush had authorized unspecified activities by the National Security Agency, the nation's largest spy agency. She said she had expressed strong concerns at the time, and that Bush's statement Saturday "raises serious questions as to what the activities were and whether the activities were lawful." < a href="">Dumber than dust

Buddy Larsen

Jed Babbin just made that point on in a TV interview--speed, timeliness, helped nail several plots in time. And Jor, if you're going to captalize and call people IDIOTS, you really should spell separation correctly. otherwise, you look like the idiot--not for the mis-spell, but for the carelessness right at the tight moment of establishing your superiority. It's almost as bad as calling someone an "idoit" or something.


dumber than dust


There's no need for it. They can already tap for 3 days without a warrant, and even use information from that tap to obtain a warrant.

Then there should be no objection to the new policy because it simply removes meaningless red tape.


UnBOLD I Command!



Thanks for providing the information that the MSM and their Democratic Party owners refuse to provide to the rest of us!


You are spot on in your analysis of the situation. President Bush had to remind Jim Lehrer that the big story was the Iraq election not that we do necessary security work. The people who are outraged just don't 'get' the current war on terrorism that we are fighting.


Flenser. Maybe I am too dumb to understand what you are saying. What makes the Jews like the Nazis and Mafiosi?



Well, young grasshopper, the question you should be asking is "What makes Bush like Adolf Hitler?"

It's the poster upthread who likened the spying on terrorists to the Holocaust.



Rick Ballard


I imagine that President Bush is capable of maintaining oversight on more than one aspect of national security at any given time.

After all, BJ Clinton could conduct congressional relations while being serviced by an intern - that might be considered by some to be a more difficult attempt at multitasking. I've often wondered if Clinton was overtaxed at the time that he ordered the incineration of the children at Waco - it's quite possible that he delegated that task to Hilary and we certainly don't know who was servicing him at the time but his casual breaking of the Posse Comitatus act in ordering the use of the Ft. Hood armor has always seemed to me to be evidence of distraction.


To the left everything is exactly like the Holocaust--except the Holocaust.

I should tell you that not only did I lose family in the Holocaust (indeed, my father's village, Rejowiec) was made a transit area to hold more once his village was wiped out, but that for a number of years I worked at DoJ's Office of Special Investigations, prosecuting those who assisted the Nazis, and the very notion that what the President did was illegal, let alone like the Holocaust , is so outrageous as to be beneath comment.

The law --as it is not a total ass-- permitted the President in time of war to issue this Executive Order. The power is used sparingly and under constant review (internal, judicial and Congressional).And (unlike, say, those 400 FBI files or the IRS--See Barrett report fandango--the President had no personal interest whatsoever in this).



I had to laugh...

After all, BJ Clinton could conduct congressional relations...

Not that the concept was funny - just that the word "relations" in conjunction with Bill C is hillaryious.


I guess I had forgotten that Bush is Hitler. I suppose that makes Saddam and OBL Churchill and Roosevelt.

Beto Ochoa

My God. If you all only knew what went out the back door between 1993 and 2001.


The way I see it is democrats want to go back to pre-9/11 and fight terrorism with law enforcement measures. Tie it up all nice and neat for a court of law. That got us 9/11. They have yet to realize that war was declared on us. We either fight the war or go back to pre-9/11 and hope we can get them in front of a judge with all our ducks in a row.

creepy dude

The problem I have is I really don't think there's enough space on the New Hampshire license to revise "Live Free or Die" to "Live with Sufficient Government Supervision or Die"


I'm not sure why all the leftoids are so shocked to discover that the countries intelligence agencies are (gasp) spying on suspected terrorists. It makes you seem rather clueless.


The most dangerous "war on america" these days lies with the intense Republican need to mislead the public, to occupy political territory irresponsibly or illegally (via the "Patriot Act," legally doubtful wiretaps, gross exaggeration of Sadam's threat, an invasion of a largely innocent country, the routine smearing of political opponents' reputations by high officials, and just the everyday Republican Party efforts to mislead a benign public as more and more examples of Republican dishonesty and public irresponsiblilty slowly become public).

Why does TM focus on the NYTimes, a media leader for the minority opposition?

Well, TM is a wholely-owned Republican party apologist, er, lets just say he's otherwise occupied by an alien power. Sorry TM, let's get real here.



Too bad you cannot point to any actual illegal activities on the part of the administration. In fact the only illegal activity in this case was on the part of those who leaked classified information. And their friends in the New York Times who received it.


There's a lot of invective here but very few facts. Lets start with definitions. The legal definition of a terrorist is found in USC Title 50, 1801 which I have pasted below. Read it and you will find that persons in the United States who are involved with terrorist activities are defined as terrorists (hard to believe, huh?). And the same law defines those involved in international terrorism as 'foreign powers':

This law explicitly allows electronic surveillance of foreign powers.

Ergo, what President Bush did was lawful and aimed at protecting against terrorism.

I know that many of you would like a nice juicy terrorist strike on your fellow citizens to prove what a fascist emperor Bush is, but a majority of the country would like their children to live.


(2) any person who— (A) knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States; (B) pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States; (C) knowingly engages in sabotage or international terrorism, or activities that are in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power; (D) knowingly enters the United States under a false or fraudulent identity for or on behalf of a foreign power or, while in the United States, knowingly assumes a false or fraudulent identity for or on behalf of a foreign power; or (E) knowingly aids or abets any person in the conduct of activities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) or knowingly conspires with any person to engage in activities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C


Okay, how many of you guys who are pissed at Bush about this NSA story actually went out and bought the "Director's Cut" of Farenheit 9/11?

But seriously, folks, this entire episode gets us back to a CIA that cannot function as a serious intelligence agency in the modern world. It needs to be destroyed and replaced with something smaller and highly secretive, like the Mossad.

I mean, what do these clowns do best? Peddle leaks against Chimpy McBushitler. That's all they seem to be good for!


The left has become a caricature of itself only now the artist can't keep up

I equate it to spoiled children. The older ones have never grown up and the younger have never felt anything remotely uncomfortable enough to warrant growing up.

Last year I was at a Christmas party where the most celebrated leftist in the city was loudly ranting on and on about the government and his desire to leave the retched evil US

The very polite guest he happened to blabbing to, sort of nonchalantly reached inside his coat and while politely listening pulled out his checkbook. Still politely listening he started to write in the checkbook. Finally the blabber asked the polite listener (even if he wanted to engage in the conversation the blabber wouldn't have given him an opportunity ==if you get what I mean) what he was doing,

The polite listener said deadly serious "I am writing you a check for a first class one way ticket to the country of your choice, really, anywhere you want" The loud blabber suddenly went completely silent.

9-11 was not a terrorist attack to the left in congress, it was a US mismanaged public relations matter and a political annoyance because it forced them to be accountable in a serious manner to the citizens---they had NO choice or their ass's would be railroaded out bad that it didn't serve as the wake-up call they needed. They will regret this.

Ask yourself, which Dem in Congress will prevail from this time in our history? There is one.



Ask yourself, which Dem in Congress will prevail from this time in our history? There is one.

Perhaps not even one. Lieberman voted against the Patriot Act renewal.


Is it 'Crap Free or Die'? I guess you're safe as long as you are not on the cell phone with a foreign power, doing your duty.

Which reminds me of a great joke. Little Jonhny was bored one day so he pushed over the outhouse, cackling with glee. Hours later, his father found him and asked if he had done it, he admitted it and got the tar whaled out of him. In the midst of discovery he had objected that George Washington wasn't punished for chopping down a cherry tree and admitting it, but his father reminded him,between strokes and clenched teeth, that George Washington's father wasn't in the cherry tree when it got chopped down.


Privacy, Liberty, Security ...

Choose two.

BTW due to personal and commercial electronic technology actual physical privacy is rapidly disappearing. There will be changes to legal use of such "public" information as the culture adapts to this reality.


Writing Ergo does not make it true. How about reading the statute next time.

What part of apply for a warrant within 72 hours don’t you understand?

You can be safe as you want (maybe GW can even come and tuck you in at night), but follow the rules if you have nothing to hide.

§ 1805. Issuance of order

(f) Emergency orders

he may authorize the emergency employment of electronic surveillance if a judge having jurisdiction under section 1803 of this title is informed by the Attorney General or his designee at the time of such authorization that the decision has been made to employ emergency electronic surveillance and if an application in accordance with this subchapter is made to that judge as soon as practicable, but not more than 72 hours after the Attorney General authorizes such surveillance.


What part of apply for a warrant

What part of executive order is unclear?
The executive and congress can agree to change applicable law during wartime. It's in the constitution.

John Thacker

It's illegal. Period. And presidents cannot circumvent law by executive order secret or otherwise.

If, as I suspect, the situation is similar to the monitoring of communications by Americans abroad (happens without a warrant, must be discarded within 24 to 72 hours, but the other side of the conversation with a non-US person can be preserved so long as nothing remains of the US person's conversation), and is merely allowing the intercept of calls between domestic and international locations, with the domestic half of the conversation being discarded without a warrant, then it's not illegal. Or at least, it's not different from a practice of the NSA's that goes as far back as the Church amendments themselves, and has been practiced continuously since then. Considering the massive number of lawyers and others who have commented on and shaped the policy, I am strongly convinced that that must be the policy.


Everything has been done according to the Law of the Land. To tell yourself anything else smacks of paranoia or in the dems case, trying once again to get over on President Bush . These tactics are going to backfire on them big time.


Everything has been done according to the Law of the Land. To tell yourself anything else smacks of paranoia or in the dems case, trying once again to get over on President Bush .

Sorry, that's not right. We don't know for sure that they didn't, inadvertently at the very least, misapply the law or laws.

There are some legitimate questions that have been raised; and not everyone raising them are paranoids or infections of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

As you noted before, in some cases - because of the secrecy involved - we'll have to trust that the proper procedures were followed. But once a program has been revealed, I think we can ask for more details as to the legality of the measures.



misapply the law or laws

Since the executive and congress can agree to modify laws during time of war, how does this even make sense.

The law maker and the law enforcer set up a national seurity procedure ... how exactly does previous written statute constrain them? The judicial is for determination of guilt, not law making or enforcement.


Isn't it obvious. The solution is to let the UN and the World Court take care of international communications. Let them police it all.

There's the real delusion, and ironically illustrates that there will always be Saddams for Bushes to squish, that is that there is enough diversity in the world to prevent world government, but not enough to prevent world commerce. Not even war can stop that.


Very ironically, a world without barbarism is a fearsome prospect. Without even the possibility of spontaneous generation of barbaric impulses and movements a la al Qaeda, it will be a dull and potentially stultifying world. I can see the tour buses of Bamiyan, Mazar-y-Sharif, and Alexandrahar, AKA Kandahar.

It won't be Islam that produces the first heroic film of bin Laden. Michael Moore, report for duty. we have alternatives if You're AWOL.


Since the executive and congress can agree to modify laws during time of war, how does this even make sense.

"Modified" laws in the form of Executive Orders or other Presidential declarations can be "misapplied" or improperly enforced just as well as other statutes.

One of the questions here is whether the president's EO following 9/11 or the Congressional authorization for him to conduct the war against terrorism were not properly followed.

If Bush said the NSA can do "A" and they do "B", that's not acceptable.



Though I appreciate your statements, I am comfortable in my position on this issue. I enjoy reading the different blogs on this and do not think I am wrong. I think I just see the whole matter in a different way than you do.


I think I just see the whole matter in a different way than you do.

I don't think we're that far apart.

I voted for Bush twice and support most of his policies (well, at least his foreign policies; we can debate domestic stuff later).

Not to sound too preachy, but we can't always assume that the men and women running the government will always use that power responsibly.

Madison talked about the need for checks and balances when he said:

If men were angels, these checks would not be necessary. But if men were angels we wouldn't need government.

We both trust Bush here. But can we be sure that we can trust the next person in the Oval Office?

He or she just might not be an angel. Right?


Rick Ballard


The Rockefeller memo outlined Dem strategy regarding the political use (and abuse) of intelligence matters. It is absolutely clear in its main objective - to do political damage to the administration. It placed the potential to inflict political damage above any potential damage that might be inflicted upon the US security apparatus.

The current leaks appear have occured in the same spirit - there has been no specific allegation of any wrongdoing, merely the allegation that certain practices might be misused. Absent evidence of misuse, why is this matter of even marginal interest?

Checks and balances come into play when identifiable transgressions have occured. There is no area of governance that I can think of that does not possess the attribute of allowing potential misuse. Aside from that, the burial of the Barrett Report makes it clear that neither side has any interest in seeing actual abuse of executive abuse identified and corrected.


I'm not sure why all the leftoids are so shocked to discover that the countries intelligence agencies are (gasp) spying on suspected terrorists. It makes you seem rather clueless. (flenser)

the leftoids are not really shocked....they are just pretending and posing...its what they do best


not sure why all the leftoids are so shocked to discover that the countries intelligence agencies are (gasp) spying on suspected terrorists

Especially after the intense criticism for not CONNECTING dots before 911 and not IGNORING constitutional procedures to intercede over Katrina to SAVE LIVES.

Sometimes it just seems that they want it both ways. Go figure.


Aside from that, the burial of the Barrett Report makes it clear that neither side has any interest in seeing actual abuse of executive abuse identified and corrected.

I think the burial is more stunning than the actual contents (as far as actual consequences stemming from the contents)


Sometimes it just seems that they want it both ways. Go figure.

It seems. I think absent anything else to offer, protesting anything BushCoHitlerChimp is all that's left.

And you know, just so Creepy et al don't blow gaskets, I do not say that maliciously...I just marvel that the issue devolved into katrina. I think the devolution speaks volumes, and when pointing out obviousness like "not IGNORING constitutional procedures to intercede over Katrina to SAVE LIVES." when it's raised causes name calling, well then what's your point?

SMG is really a good model for honest debate.


The Rockefeller memo outlined Dem strategy regarding the political use (and abuse) of intelligence matters

You're shocked that politics is being played in Washington? Let's be honest here, the Republicans have been known to play hardball on occasion. No?

Granted, the Democrats - pushed by their increasingly vocal leftwing nuts - have taken this to a new level (or down to use a more appopriate term).

But this is more than just usual Washington politics with parties trying to gain advantage. As we can tell from the people posting here, the Left sincerely believe that the terrorist threat has been exagerrated and that the real danger, as they see it, comes from the White House using this (almost non-existent) danger to consolidate power.

This latest controversy illustrates this about as clearly as anything over the past five years. Actions taken by Bush are viewed through this cynical lens. Bush isn't really trying to lessen the terrorist threat (which really doesn't endanger us much anyway); he's simply using it to increase his power and ripup the Constitution.

Up is down and down is up. And no amount of arguing from us will convince them otherwise.

It's almost like we're re-fighting the Cold War, Part II. To the Left, anti-communists are the danger, not the communists.

Having said that, I certainly find some of the Administration's actions (the Padilla case for example) "troubling". Let's face it, the people serving in government are simply humans. And humans are known to screw things up. I'd like to minimize those screwups with the understanding at the same time that we're in a war where we can't always be told about what our government is doing.

Trust but (try to, if possible) verify.



I agree with TS you have conducted a fair and good debate today. I especially like your 'trust but verify' statement. As to the Barret report that is a tragedy but we know anything that would taint Billor Hill in any way is never going to see the light of day. I just hope people are awake and aware of this cover-up and will write their congressman so that it can be publicized. I understand Senator Grassley is none too pleased about these latest developments.


Let us find out if this is really

"As we can tell from the people posting here, the Left sincerely believe that the terrorist threat has been exagerrated and that the real danger, as they see it, comes from the White House using this (almost non-existent) danger to consolidate"

If either one of your Senators have voted against the Patriot Act renewal - and are only expressing thru their vote that they do not believe terrorism is a "real danger"

$$$$$$$HOMELAND SECURITY $$$$$$$$

Sorry, in case of a tie - you give it back - we won't fall for a split
state vote by the Senators.



Loved your comments. It reminds me of Nancy Pelosi voting against the tax cuts and the budget and then bragging to her constituents onhow many good things she got for them while in congress. Totally disingenuious.


Personally, I'd rather we keep order than anyone else.


Kim..."Isn't it obvious. The solution is to let the UN and the World Court take care of international communications. Let them police it all."

Now you have done it. Think I have heard a lot of Dems say they have good allies there.


Who ya' gonna call, Terror Busters.

Rev. Thomas S. Painter (R-FL)

Does anyone actually expect a country to *survive* without espionage?

We should give Nixon a medal.

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