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Monday, December 19, 2005

 

Democracy In America 1776-2005

It seems that it does not matter if I trust George Bush or not. According to Alberto Gonzales, Congress voted to give him king-like powers and to suspend the Constitution when they voted for the war and granted Bush the power to use "all necessary and appropriate force" to combat terrorism.

I know that I am going to be accused of hyperbole, but if this flimsy argument stands the test of public opinion, and Congress does not act, it means the President is above the law. It means that America is no longer a Democracy.

Comments:
Congress should act. They should investigate and issue an opinion on this, as should the courts. But it's a strong argument. What does "all necessary and appropriate force" mean to you, J?

If it can be proven that this program was only used against "agents of foreign powers," I think the legal thought backs the President.

I'm not a reactionary. I don't know if Bush broke the law. I do think this is a great opportunity to firm up the gray areas surrounding this issue.

J -- Did you read US v. Bin Laden?
 
I have to admit that I have not read it, but will tonight.

In the meantime I will agree with you that this is a great opportunity to firm up the gray areas surrounding the intersection of security and privacy.

Just as you have (more or less) agreed with me that police states are started by people with good intentions, and that a strong executive branch that does not answer to the judicial branch is bad for Democracy.
 
Hey scourge: since the title of this post is 1776-2005, don't forget to include in the "suspension of the Constitution" those of "historically great" presidents -- Abe Lincoln (unilaterally suspended habeas corpus across the country) and FDR (internment of Japanese Americans).

Hmm...kind makes a nebulous spy charge seem like small potatoes now, eh?

Nah. After all, it's YOU.
 
correction:

...executive branch that is notaccountable to the judicial branch is bad for Democracy.
 
Hube,

Leave it to a pretend libertarian to defend the this. Why don't you pretend to be a Monarchist? You would not have to pretend so hard.
 
Why don't you answer the question? Or, if I didn't phrase properly for you: were Lincoln and FDR acting illegally? Should they have been impeached?
 
I think the opportunity here is to answer the question: Where do you draw the line?

After reveiwing the available information I will judge this episode as legal, justifiable, yet regrettable.
 
By the way -- You used to think I was Hube. It should be clear now that I'm not.
 
Goper,

It is abundantly clear.
.............................................
Hube,

FDR: Not illegal but regrettable. Censure not impeachment. History is on my side in this assessment.

Lincoln: Illegal but not regrettable. Niether censure nor impeachment. History is on my side in this assessment.

Bush: Illegal and regrettable. Censure or impeachment. (I'm fine with either) History WILL BE my side in this assessment.

To equate Bush with Lincoln or FDR you would have to elevate the threat posed to the Union by Al qaeda to the threat posed to the Union by southern secession and the Axis powers.

I don't think you can do that. Maybe Malkin could, but I don't think you can. I think you just wanted to see me type the word "secession" for old times sake.

The point is, you are a knee-jerk Bush defender. You will protest and say that I am a knee-jerk Bush hater. I will direct you to my "Woody Allen" post and you will say that proves nothing, and that I am a carnival of contradictions.

Why all the fuss? We agreed about Israel. We can agree about this. In your heart you want to be on the side of good, and not the side of evil. Just let the scales fall from your eyes and accept the fact that Bush sucks as President.

That goes for you too Goper. The part about wanting to be on the side of good and letting the scales fall from your eyes.
 
jason said..."I know that I am going to be accused of hyperbole, but......."

trinity says...I accuse you of hyperbole! :P
 
jason said......To equate Bush with Lincoln or FDR you would have to elevate the threat posed to the Union by Al qaeda to the threat posed to the Union by southern secession and the Axis powers."

Oh please! Elevate the al Qaeda threat? ELEVATE it??? As though it's a lesser threat you mean? Threat to the UNION??? How about the threat to Western Civilization as a whole??? It's not even just al Qaeda, justin, it's Islamo-Facism in general. Do you not grasp the immensity of the threat we are facing?

I'm sorry, but this just proves what I have suspected (and known, to be more accurate) about some of you libs for a long time. YOU DON'T GET IT!!! You do not even come close to understanding it.

Now, you can accuse ME of hyperbole. Unfortunately, you'd be wrong there, too.
 
Jason: how 'bout explaining your nonsensical "regrettable but not impeachable" and vice versa. What a bunch of crap. History "being on your side" is irrelevant. The current war is very much still ongoing.

The bottom line of what you're saying: "It may be illegal, but depending on the size of the threat, it doesn't warrant a penalty." WHO decides this? Your relying on 20/20 hindsight. What happens if al Qaeda sets off a nuke in doentown NYC tomorrow?

I knew it would be a waste of time and energy trying to debate this topic w/you. Thanks for proving me 110% correct.
 
It was 120% my pleasure. 10% more. Ha!

But seriously Hube, you are more hysterical than usual. I will take this as a sign that the truth about Bush is giving you labor pains as it is born into your head.

You note had wiff of finality to it. I don't think this is the end, but if I should not hear from you for a while - Happy Pretending !
..............................................................
As for you Trinity. I put you in a different class than Hube. I think Hube has the brain power to reason through all of this and come out on the right side. Your remarks tell me that you will go on being the happy tool of a small group of powerful men for the rest of your life.

So - Happy serfdom !
 
Don't let these nut jobs drag you into talking about Lincoln. The real bottom line is that we have no way of knowing who Bush was illegally spying on. And I don't want take them on their word on who they say is or is not an enemy. Not given how often they lie about things like who has WMD's, and who runs the secret torture camps.
 
Word! Even if we need a dictator to beat Osama (which I don't think we need) please not THIS dictator.
 
J - I didn't start this. You did. But how is FDR taking people from their homes and locking them in quarantine because of their ethnic origin NOT worse than Bush eavesdropping on phone conversations of terror subjects with ties to Al Qaeda where only one person is in the US?!?!?!?

FDR: Illegal and regrettable
Lincoln: Illegal, not regrettable
Bush: Jury's still out.

And anon: Two things. One: Get a name. Two: Those are Bill Clinton's torture camps you're talking about.
 
One: Get a name. Two: Those are Bill Clinton's torture camps you're talking about.

One: Make me.
Two: Yeah right. Clinton's WMD's too I imagine.
 
We are supposed to take Bushies at their word that the calls monitered are coming from "know terrorist foreigners" to Americans.

Pardon the cynicism...don't believe and want some court supervision...that goes with requests for library material as well.

Today Bush said that the need is for IMMEDIATE reaction and that the FISA does not go fast enough. OK,
Let's look at that.
What he did do to circumvent constitutional protections was off the charts.

AND, What is it about extending the present Patriot Act for a three month period for time to fully vet congressional concerns??

This ultimatum that GOPers are shoving out is BS. Grant an extension and keep the present PA powers Bush, or don't sign the extension and lose the powers in war time, your choice.
 
Anon - It was revealed last night on 60 Minutes that the plan for whisking away suspects on private jets to jail cells in countries with less than stellar civil rights records was created during the Clinton Administration.

And no, they were Saddam's WMD, and I shudder to think where they might be now. (Syria, maybe?)
 
I have no doubt there were renditions and quasi-torture in every administration, probably since the Republic began. Maybe I've been watching too many movies, but I always assumed black ops forces in every country did this kind of stuff, but on an extremely limited and secretive basis, run by the most experienced spies. Always with deniability, and making sure never to get caught. I'm not saying it was somehow more "moral" on a smaller scale - hey, the Cold War was long and nasty - but it wasn't done openly enough to attract any attention.

What Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney did was to expand and institutionalize it, make it routine, move it out of the shadows, and turn it into an open-air slamfest run by grinning morons like Graner and England.

Now, I'd really like to be against torture on moral grounds, and I am. But pragmatically, the reason the military doesn't like to do torture is because they don't want THEIR boys being routinely tortured when captured. But now that we have been caught running a torture operation, our troops are in very grave danger of torture if captured.

Plus, the spectacle of the American President one week defending torture TO THE FACE of torture victim McCain, and the next week defending domestic spying, is just too shameful and dishonorable to the office.
 
delathought said..."But how is FDR taking people from their homes and locking them in quarantine because of their ethnic origin NOT worse than Bush eavesdropping on phone conversations of terror subjects with ties to Al Qaeda where only one person is in the US?!?!?!?"

But of course the internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans was worse than eavesdropping on the phone conversations of terror subjects with ties to al Qaeda, delathought.

But that was okay, don't you know, because it was not President Bush who did it. Imagine what these clowns would be saying if it had been President Bush who did something like that!

Imagine if it were President Bush who had ordered his DOJ to send in armed federal agents to break down the doors of a private home in the pre-dawn hours of Easter Saturday, terrorizing a six-year-old boy and macing and beating anyone who was in their path, including a journalist.

And what if President Bush were president when US Marshals, armed to the teeth, killed a 14-year-old boy, as well as his mother, (who was holding a baby in her arms at the time she was shot) in a botched attempt to arrest Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge.

Or think if it had been Alberto Gonzales, and not Janet Reno, who was responsible for the Waco debacle, in which 80 people, including women and children lost their lives, burned alive in an inferno.

But no, it's President Bush who is trampling all over our civil liberties! If nothing else is clear from the things I've read here from some, it's that every opinion they hold is viewed through the prism of their hatred of George W. Bush, and that hatred affects their ability to see things clearly.

I began visiting here because I thought I might find some stimulating debate, but in all honesty, I think it's a waste of time. They're a bunch of looney tunes, imo, and they have a major "double standard" issue.

And on that note, I'll take my leave. In case anyone is interested, there's a lot of information related to court orders and wiretaps, etc. here:

The USA PATRIOT Act:
MYTH VS. REALITY

http://www.lifeandliberty.gov/subs/add_myths.htm#s

Also, here is the URL to the Iraq War Resolution, the JOINT Resolution that authorized the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq, because from the sound of it, at least one person here has never even read it.

http://www.yourcongress.com/ViewArticle.asp?article_id=2686

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
 
Blogging for information on flags is very interesting. Some of the posts I find are right on target. Others are completely way off. This Blogger thing takes you down some strange roads.
--american flag
 
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