Judge Rules Defending US Citizens Unconstitutional

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A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy. more…

And who says democracy can’t be a suicide pact?

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"Anna Taylor has made her decision; now let her enforce it."

Get Rich Slowly

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"In this day and age, you're not going to get a fair shake in the media" -- Lance Armstrong

The Justice Department should reply to this ruling by announcing that they are really busy monitoring the race and sex of all government employees to comply with "diversity" requrements. This task will render the DOJ unable to comply with this ruling for several....years.

on dkos, I found out that the appeals court with the jurisdiction in Michigan is the 6th.

Glancing through the list of judges here I see that 6 out of 9, including chief, of the senior judges are GOP appointed. Also out of the regular judges 7 out of 13 are also GOP appointed. So, this seems to be an increasingly conservative court (a lot of new Bush appointed judges).

"To discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality, is to sanction it." AR

she was/is a Carter appointee. Also, the fact it's in E. Michigan, where Dearbornistan is located, should be telling.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

How do we know it won't reach SCOTUS, and we will see the Supreme Court now interfere in intelligence gathering?

The gift that keeps on giving.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

this judge was appointed by Carter in 1979.

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

The numbering system on comments seems to be not operating quite correctly - I posted the comment below ("Wouldn't ya know it") prior to posting the one above, but the one above got labeled #9 and the one below moved to #10 - opposite of what they should have been. Looks like the numbers just run down position on page instead of time posted.

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Anna Diggs Taylor - appointed May 1979 by President Jimmy Carter
Confirmed by Democratically-controlled Senate in October 1979

One of Carter's last actions to destroy this country before he was booted from office. Ugh.

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

hey genius, Carter was in office until January 1981

I was thinking 1980 as being his last year, not as being the election year. I mixed up my dates.

Watch your tone next time, though.

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

else she'd be a candidate to be Queen Hillary's first Supreme Court nominee.

I guess senior judges don't just take minor cases to help cut down the workload of the others.

Perhaps, a lawyer could comment. Aren't these things usually stayed until a higher court has a chance to rule?

give her much to work with:

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

Should have just bought her a subscription to the NYT.

That enough information had been made public already a ruling could be made by simply using the public information and not violate any state secrets.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

is more common than I realized.

It still strikes me as an anemic defense, but what do I know.

...one giant leap for terrorists.

Nice to know the ACLU filed the suit "on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs."

Perhaps it's time for a moment of introspection when the same NSA program that makes it hard for you to do your job, also makes it hard for the sworn enemies of civilization to do their jobs?

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor also found President Roosevelt's monitoring of all communications in and out of the United States during World War II to be unconstitutional, as well as President Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeus corpus during the Civil War.

A medium hired to contact the ghosts of Roosevelt and Lincoln could only relay that they were in fact rolling on the floor laughing.

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Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Washington intercepting private mail during the Revolutionary War and Wilson intercepting communications during WWI!

What a bunch of pathetic, America-hating, whiny liberals we have in this country.

There is no theory of evolution, just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

here is some good stuff:

Although Taylor is a liberal with Democratic roots and defended civil-rights workers in the South in the 1960s, people who know her say she will follow the law -- not her politics -- in deciding the case.

and!!!

In 1979, three years after she campaigned for Jimmy Carter's presidential bid, Carter rewarded Taylor with a lifetime appointment to U.S. District Court in Detroit.

"To discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality, is to sanction it." AR

the Justice Department was "...reviewing her ruling prior to commenting but apparently they are having some problems making heads or tails of most of it..."

This will certainly be the subject of an appeal and any remedy outlined in the decision should be stayed until the appeals process is complete.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

The bright side of this ruling will be seen November.

It's another nice thing for Republicans to run on, since the Democrats have succeeded in nationalizing the elections. It's a trifecta: liberal judge gives victory to journalists and lawyers, while making life easier for terrorists.

By the way:

Q: What do prominent liberal women and serial killers have in common?
A: Three names.

(Yes, I know that last snipe violates several rules of civil discourse, but a fella has weak moments.)

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More brilliance such as that can be found at the Academy. And yes, I know how pretentious I sound.

damn those activist judges and their lifetime appointments

how long you can make pointless comments before you are sent to ThePile™?

The problem isn't lifetime appointments, it's not even "activist" judges. It's the ability to shop federal jurisdictions to find a jurist who will toss you a favorable ruling, in the hopes that an appeal will be denied or not filed.

In this particular case, as soon as Justice can untangle the doddering old fools ruling, it will be appealed. Any remedy ordered will be stayed. And it will be overturned. This piece of foolishness might not even make it to SCOTUS because if the appellate court overturns, SCOTUS likely won't take further appeals.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Could you drop the "jurisdiction shopping" talking point? Any one of the 20 Judges in this district, including the seven appointed by republican presidents, could have been assigned this case.

Were they not forum shopping, they might have tried a judge in, say, I dunno, D.C., or somewhere most of these folks were located.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine on forum shopping and Judge Taylor:

One of the serious weaknesses of our federal judicial system is that in many cases, plaintiffs can forum-shop for a favorable district or judge. Here, the ACLU, the plaintiff in the case, could have brought the case anywhere in the United States. The ACLU naturally avoided the circuits that had already upheld warrantless surveillance as an executive power; the Sixth Circuit, which encompasses Michigan, has not ruled on the issue, to my knowledge. The ACLU was able to get its case before Judge Taylor, a 1979 Jimmy Carter appointee who was described by the Detroit Free Press as "a liberal with Democratic roots."

It is interesting, and possibly significant, that Judge Taylor was involved in a judge-shopping controversy in connection with her effort to preserve race discrimination at the University of Michigan, where her husband is a regent:

Chief Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the federal District Court in Detroit tried to take the suit against the law school away from Judge Bernard Freedman, who had been assigned it through a blind draw--and who was suspected of being skeptical about affirmative action--and consolidate it with a similar suit against the university's undergraduate admissions practice, which Judge Patrick Duggan was hearing. The chief judge dropped that effort after the judge hearing the law school complaint went public with a blistering opinion objecting to what he termed "the highly irregular" effort of the chief judge. Judge Duggan ruled in favor of the undergraduate racial preferences, while Judge Freedman ruled against the law school preferences.

Consistent with unanimous precedent in the Federal Courts of Appeal, I would expect the 6th Circuit to reverse Judge Taylor's ruling and uphold the NSA program. That's a year or more off, however, and in the meantime the ACLU and the Democrats got the headlines they wanted from one of their own.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

it is a waste of taxpayer dollars to boot, but I would like to see a lot more or the originalist types on the bench.

Also, these types of rulings I think won't do much to help the DNC. Polls indicate that the vast majority of people supported the NSA wire tap stuff.

Hey, all. Last time I checked our government was a system of checks and balances. The judiciary is finally doing its job, unlike the Republican led congress. Nixon tried to get away with spying on American citizens without a warrant. It was illegal then and is illegal now.

Don't let the boogey man scare you into giving up your rights.

Is not uniform. Thanks for stopping in and trolling (with incorrect "facts"!).

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

Can you explain the "incorrect facts" in ddthered's post? Our government is a system of checks and balances, is it not? Warrant less wiretapping is illegal, is it not?

we can address it when either an appellate court or SCOTUS overturns this exercise in activism.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

The NSA program is not wiretapping and the way it is conducted doesn't require a warrant. One would think that if members, both parties, of the Select Committee on Intelligence could agree on this fairly minor point we would no longer see it slung around as fact.

Not by zuiko

Would certainly be the position of the administration, most of congress, most of the people here and in the country as a whole, and some prominent and well qualified liberals such as this guy . We do a lot of eavesdropping that does not require a warrant. Don't let the actual facts of the case get in your way though.

1. Laird v. Tatum.
2. It's not wiretapping, and it's not spying.
3. Our government is many things, and that is neither the sum nor the total of it.
4. No boogey man is scaring me, or anyone else, into anything.

Next?

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Hey, all. Last time I checked our government was a system of checks and balances. This is true!
The judiciary is finally doing its job, unlike the Republican led congress. Who on RS would deny that the Roberts-led SC, new and improved with Alito, is doing a better job than is Congress?
Nixon tried to get away with spying on American citizens without a warrant. Also true!
It was illegal then and is illegal now. Still true! Perhaps not precisely what this case is about, but still.

So sad, to see such insight misunderstood...

1. And of independent duties! And one branch is not supposed to outweigh one, or two others!

2. I would, in this context.

3. So did Johnson! So did Kennedy! So did...

4. No, it's not.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

it was a joke.

Relax.

Bad three weeks.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

irony to new standard. :>)

Fooled me too, but I don't count.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

I happen to agree with his statement. With the exception of that last bit.
Government has the power to search through anything they want without a warrant but can't bring it to trial or use it to get a warrnt to search for something that they Want to bring to court...

"Always be honest with yourself even if you are honest with no one else...
...It helps you keep track of your lies..."
--Myself

From the ruling:

The Government appears to argue here that ... he has been granted inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution itself.

We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all "inherent powers" must derive from that Constitution."

The Government appears to argue here that ... he has been granted inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution itself.

The government argues no such thing. What she means is, This Court appears to interpret an argument (accepted, no less) that dates to the Civil War and before as noxious when made by this President.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

that the People have acquired "inherent rights" not granted by the Constitution and that all 3 branches of the government have acquired "inherent powers" not granted by the Constitution. And, if there was no hereditary aristocracy in America, Patrick Kennedy would be nothing more than an unemployable former parking lot attendant.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

then what in your opinion would G.W. be without G.H.W.?

One doesn't get elected to national office on name recognition alone, just ask Teddy "Buy me a drink and I'll give you a ride home" Kennedy.

In fact, G Dub has to considered as tough a campaigner as anyone who has come along having to run against the entire MSM while wipping the flabby butt of the Founder of the Internet and the sissy butt of Spandex John, Stretcher of the Truth.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

The decision reads sort of like a 4th grade civics paper (okay, they don't have civics in 4th grade, for all I know they don't have civics anymore at all). Some stellar tidbits:

- Establishing her ability to count, she notes that the 1st Amendment was "the very first which the American people required to be made to the new Constitution."

- Establishing that she understands our form of government, she reminds us that "[t]here are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all 'inherent powers' must derive from that Constitution."

My prediction is that it gets reversed on the state secrets issue and the Court never reaches the constitutionality.

To find that the state secrets privilege doesn't apply the Judge determines that enough information exists about the program (essentially the NY Times description) to determine its constitutionality. But what she ignores is that, in order to establish that FISA is not practical, the government can't reveal information regarding the practices of the persons they are attempting to track and in order to establish the "reasonableness" of the government's conduct, hasn't revealed the scope of the limitations and controls placed on the program. Without that information there is no way to determine whether the program is "reasonable" as the 4th Amendment requires.

The Judge avoids this problem by simplifying the 4th Amendment analysis to (1) "in its few words [the 4th Amendment] requires reasonableness in all searches", and (2) "[i]t also requires prior warrants for any reasonable search." The Judge does, at the end of the opinion, acknowledge the existence of exceptions to the warrant requirement, but addresses the issue with, what I think is the defining quote to understand her lack of appreciation of the nature of the war on terror: comparing the case to Youngstown (involving the seizure of steel mills) to the wiretapping, she finds that "the present Defendants' need for speed and agility is equally weightless." How she can compare the seizure of a steel mill in Ohio with efforts to track international terrorists is mind boggling.

She isn't comparing the seizure of a steel mill with efforts to track international terrorists. Its about violating the separation of powers.

From youngstown:

Nor can the seizure order be sustained because of the several constitutional provisions that grant executive power to the President. In the framework of our Constitution, the President's power to see that the laws are faithfully executed refutes the idea that he is to be a lawmaker. The Constitution limits his functions in the lawmaking process to the recommending of laws he thinks wise and the vetoing of laws he thinks bad. And the Constitution is neither silent nor equivocal about who make laws which the President is to execute. The first section of the first article says that `All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States * * *'

The President's order does not direct that a congressional policy be executed in a manner prescribed by Congress - it directs that a presidential policy be executed in a manner prescribed by the President. . . . The Constitution did not subject this law-making power of Congress to presidential or military supervision or control. Youngstown, 343 U.S. at 587-588

Or are you merely cutting and pasting for fun? And did you bother to read Page 42?

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

I'm no lawyer, but I'm fairly sure the issue at hand in Youngstown is not the same issue at hand here. The steel mill seizures were done without any explicit or implicit authorization from Congress or the Constitution. In the case of the NSA eavesdropping programs, President Bush has many such sources of authorization to draw from, among them:

1. FISA (which, yes, does allow warrantless searches in some instances) and FISA court precedents
2. AUMF (Authorization for the use of military force) together with his Commander-in-Chief powers during wartime - when we are at war, the Constitution demands and the courts have given the President wide latitude to execute the best possible defense of the nation
3. The Specter bill - as far as I know, this bill is not yet passed, but any non-activist judge might have stayed their decision until after the fate of this bill was decided

So, this is not comparable in any way to the underlying reasoning in Youngstown, nor is it a clear cut case of the executive overstepping its bounds by becoming a lawmaker. Bush has a solid argument that he is faithfully executing the laws set forth by Congress. To pretend the issue is so clear-cut here is either willful ignorance or willful bias.

In a section entitled "Practical Justifications for Exception", the Judge states:

"As long ago as the Youngstown case, the Truman administration argued that the cumbersome procedures required to obtain warrants made the process unworkable. The Youngstown court made short shift of that argument and, it appears, the present Defendants' need for speed and agility is equally weightless."

I'll concede that much of what the Honorable Judge writes borders on incomprehensible -- for example, she seems to treat concepts such as "hot pursuit" as exceptions to the application of the 4th Amendment, not exceptions to the warrant requirement -- but if the above sentences aren't an attempt to place the need for fast and flexible procedures to track terrorists in the same league as the need for fast and flexible procedures for the President to seize steel mills, I don't know what her point is.

BTW, the word "warrant" appears nowhere in either of the two opinions or the six concurrences. But pointing that out kinda seems like piling on the poor judge.

"Judge Rules Defending US Citizens Unconstitutional"
So getting a warrant before engaging in these activities will not protect the American people? All the judge said was that a warrant was required, I believe. The activities themselves are not wrong; just a warrant is required. This is bad how?

that are clearly arguable as fact. ...just a warrant is required.

There is a large body of legal authorities (I'm not one of them) who make a very strong case that no warrants are required for this particular program.

Your blanket statement is a DNC KnownFact™ and is understood here to be nonsensical. An appellate court will rule on this program and it may even make it's way to the SCOTUS. Until then, stifle the certainty of your conviction. It's more than offset by legal precedent.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

But, it seems to me that allowing our government to monitor "everyone's" phone records and internet activities at the sole discretion of the Executive branch is a violation of our right to privacy. Pure and simple. We live in America and we are granted a right to privacy.

The 4th amendment clearly states:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized".

The FISA court was established to allow our government to secretly monitor suspected criminals and terrorists. But the Executive cannot arbitrarily violate our right to privacy without judicial oversight. To allow such a thing opens the door to the abuse of power - all in the name of protecting us from terrorism. If we are willing to give up our rights because we are afraid, then my friends OBL is getting exactly what he wants - the destruction of our government.

But, it seems to me that allowing our government to monitor "everyone's" phone records and internet activities at the sole discretion of the Executive branch is a violation of our right to privacy. Pure and simple.

This is called begging a question. I'm not sure you have a reasonable expectation of privacy on the internet. I'm pretty sure you don't. I'm not at all sure you have a reasonable expectation of privacy on the phone.

I'm pretty sure, though, that what you describe isn't what's happening.

We live in America and we are granted a right to privacy.

Wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. We live in America, but insofar as we have a right of privacy -- I'd debate that, especially given the wording and history of the Fourth, but never mind that -- it inheres in us. It is not "granted." Furthermore, no right is absolute so long as you choose to live in society; your rights are subject to balance by the sovereign elected by and governing at the consent of the people.

The FISA court was established to allow our government to secretly monitor suspected criminals and terrorists.

This is not true.

But the Executive cannot arbitrarily violate our right to privacy without judicial oversight.

Can they arbitrarily violate it with judicial oversight? And why judicial, but not legislative oversight?

This assumes, arguendo, that your "right" has been "violated." We know no such thing.

To allow such a thing opens the door to the abuse of power - all in the name of protecting us from terrorism.

Every single exercise of sovereign power does this. Every time. To pretend otherwise is to be unserious.

If we are willing to give up our rights because we are afraid, then my friends OBL is getting exactly what he wants - the destruction of our government.

I thought the government is the problem here.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

... that as an American citizen I do not have a right to privacy? Are trying tell me the FISA court was not established to allow our government to secretly monitor criminal or terrorist activity?

"The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 prescribes procedures for requesting judicial authorization for electronic surveillance and physical search of persons engaged in espionage or international terrorism against the United States on behalf of a foreign power.
Requests are adjudicated by a special eleven member court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court".

Are you, in fact, Thomas, an American citizen or just pretending to be one whenever it's convenient?

I'm truly saddened there are people like you who have such disdain for our laws and rights in that you are so wiling to cede them to our elected officials whenever 'they' decide they are a little inconvenient to their liking.

to your good fortune, I'll toss in my two cents.

With respect to your Constitutional Right to Privacy... please note the sections of the Constitution that grant you some mystical, blanket RtP.

Other commenters have posted with respect to arguments that the Administration will make so I won't bother to beat that horse.

With respect to your last two paragraphs, in reverse order, I am saddened and irritated that there are people like you who have such disdain for our Constitutional process that you feel the need to inject your hobbyhorse of the moment (unconditional RtP) without regard to fact that there are very legitimate and powerful Constitutional arguments that favor the Administration.

Also, with regard to your final paragraph, the issue here is not "...whenever 'they' decide...". If that's your point, you have demonstrated a complete ignorance of the issue at hand or you are just plain stupid. (Note, I'm not accusing you of being stupid, just noting that there are only two choices based on your comment.) The NSA program in question is not a "whenever" program it is a very targeted program aimed at INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION.

With respect to the earlier paragraph, you used up any credibility you may have earned before this particular post. I wonder if you, in fact, theConservative, are an idiot or are you just pretending to be one to irritate us?

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

don't give a two-bit mostly inaccurate synopsis.

And don't chastise someone who you don't know when it is very clear that you are unacquainted with the subject you are arguing.

Just because I am by nature a kind and generous person I'll even give you a bit of free advice, your last two paragraphs, if repeated, are probably going to result in you not posting here again. So if you want to play nice, feel free to argue your points all you want, but your ignorance does not mean someone else has stopped being an American or given up their rights.

It seems that you have some ideas, and the ability to put a sentence or two together. Your perspective might add to the experience here.

Thomas is one of the Contributors and Editors here, with the mission to silence those who become uncivil. Picking a word fight with him here is like attacking the ocean with a water pistol.

Disagree all you want, but keep your tone more friendly.

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More brilliance such as that can be found at the Academy. And yes, I know how pretentious I sound.

that I'd term it a "mission"...

that as an American citizen I do not have a right to privacy?

Not what I said.

Are trying tell me the FISA court was not established to allow our government to secretly monitor criminal or terrorist activity?

I have actually read the enabling act. Have you?

Are you, in fact, Thomas, an American citizen or just pretending to be one whenever it's convenient?

I do both. I also do show tunes, though usually limited to Oklahoma! and Camelot.

I'm truly saddened there are people like you who have such disdain for our laws and rights in that you are so wiling to cede them to our elected officials whenever 'they' decide they are a little inconvenient to their liking.

I'm saddened that there are people like you with so little ability to read.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

You know, last night I was thinking to myself that I'm in danger of going overboard in trying to poke at the liars who come onto this forum and misrepresent themselves with the goal of impeding the Republican agenda of this site.

I thought that with my hair trigger and with my style of writing not always coming across very well in a social setting like this, that maybe I should just stop.

But posters like this make it very hard to agree today with what I thought last night.

--
"In this day and age, you're not going to get a fair shake in the media" -- Lance Armstrong

Well maybe that's what's wrong with the Republican agenda. It does not hold up well to facts and reality. It does not allow for argument or descent. It is less an agenda, but more an ideology. It is afraid to question its leadership. Either you're for it or against it. If you're not for it, you must then somehow be for the enemy (terrorists) and must be ostracized. It is blind to its own shortcomings, and borders on fanaticism. Today Barry Goldwater and Eisenhower would be labeled liberals, according to the Republican agenda.

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"I don't know." -- Helen Thomas, when asked by White House spokesman Scott McClellan, "Are we at war, Helen?"

Look, I don't kill those with whom I spar. Someone else will probably attend to this mess shortly.

But

It does not hold up well to facts and reality. It does not allow for argument or descent. It is less an agenda, but more an ideology. It is afraid to question its leadership. Either you're for it or against it. If you're not for it, you must then somehow be for the enemy (terrorists) and must be ostracized. It is blind to its own shortcomings, and borders on fanaticism.

(1) "Dissent."
(2) Then why call it an "agenda"?
(3) You might want to Google "Harriet Miers."
(4) Big fan of DU, huh?
(5) Yes, that would explain why Republicans are showing such high levels of dissatisfaction for their leadership. Brilliant.

Today Barry Goldwater and Eisenhower would be labeled liberals, according to the Republican agenda.

(1) Eisenhower was always a liberal Republican.
(2) Goldwater would be correctly called a libertarian.
(3) I'm guessing that, given your diction, it's you, not I, with dubious claims of American citizenship.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

That's how the country started in the first place.

Perhaps Republicans are showing such high levels of dissatisfaction for it's leadership because the leadership no longer represents the views of true moderate conservatives, but the radicals in it's party?

Perhaps there is dissatisfaction because of the $8 trillion national debt and our government is larger than it ever was?

Perhaps it's the over $3 a gallon gasoline while the oil companies take in record profits?

Perhaps it's the never ending war in Iraq?

Perhaps it's circumventing FISA?

"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" - Benjamin Franklin

The United States of America were founded not on dissent, but on a group of people with ideas, who were willing and ready to fight and die for those ideas.

They didn't sit at home, snickering as they called King George some mean names under the cover of anonymity. They laid out their case, and took up arms to win their freedom.

That's not dissent. That's revolution.

--
"In this day and age, you're not going to get a fair shake in the media" -- Lance Armstrong

That's a start.

That's how the country started in the first place.

Actually, it started because American colonists, who'd never been taxed as other British citizens, found themselves getting taxed, and got in a snit. In fact, their problem wasn't dissent, but either (1) irritation at having to carry their load, or (2) (my preferred version) irritation at a lack of representation while being told to carry their load.

In neither case was "dissent" the issue.

Perhaps Republicans are showing such high levels of dissatisfaction for it's leadership because the leadership no longer represents the views of true moderate conservatives, but the radicals in it's party?

Were that the case, they would have shoved through an amendment outlawing abortion except to save the life of the mother, abolished the Department of Education, cut the budget (or at least cut its rate of growth), and confirmed more conservative judges.

Given that this hasn't happened: Nope.

I suspect folks on your half of the political spectrum think Arlen Specter is a "moderate conservative." I further suspect that you have no idea what those words mean.

Perhaps there is dissatisfaction because of the $8 trillion national debt and our government is larger than it ever was?

Probably the second more than the former; we radicals haven't been listened to yet.

Perhaps it's the over $3 a gallon gasoline while the oil companies take in record profits?

I'm really not sure any plurality of Republicans is so stupid as to expect the Party to take China and India off line. Democrats, on the other hand, are born that slow.

Perhaps it's the never ending war in Iraq?

You exist outside of Time? Impressive.

Perhaps it's circumventing FISA?

Nah. Americans aren't upset about that. Democrats, on the other hand...

"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither" - Benjamin Franklin

Did you know this is apocryphal? No? Not surprising.

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Even those who learn from history are surrounded by those doomed to repeat it.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Acutually there is debate that Franklin even said it, but the quote is:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds"-Samuel Adams

How would you know, since you have yet to make an argument based on anything that even closely resembles a fact.

I will assume you are not a Constitutional Lawyer (since by the quality of your non-arguments presented here you would starve to death) so your opinion doesn't count for much. You have yet to point out a single issue with any specifics that would support your preconceived notion that if Bush ordered it, it's bad. And certainly unconstitutional. And probably impeachable (my stretch of your non-arguments).

No one here will "ostracize" a cogent argument. You just have yet to produce one. You will be ostracized for flaunting your apparently uninformed opinion as fact.

Goldwater would do well in today's party, he had real ideas that he could debate on the merits (unlike your statements that you are trying to pass off as arguments). And Ike would be fine, but he was no conservative.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Ike, i mean. Was an excellent president...

"Always be honest with yourself even if you are honest with no one else...
...It helps you keep track of your lies..."
--Myself

I was simply responding to a previous poster's comment about Ike and Goldwater not being comfortable in today's Republican Party. The implication was that the Party has shifted so far to the right there is no room for it's historical icons.

Kinda like the way the Dem's have shifted so far to the left that John Kennedy would be a Republican.
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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

I'm no lawyer, but there is a key word here. That word is "unreasonable", which is in front of the phrase "searches and seizures".

I submit that it is not an unreasonable search to listen in on the phone conservations from a number that shows up in a terrorist's little black book (or from some other source).

They are monitoring "all" phone calls, be the number in a little terrorist's little black book or not. That is unreasonable in my book.

The book kept by the appellate court or SCOTUS is the one that matters.

You don't seem to understand that there are cogent legal arguments in support of this particular program. The courts will rule, and this particular ruling will most likely not stand on review.

But until the review is complete and a competent court has ruled you should withhold your authoritative comments. Crow tastes terrible any way it's cooked.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

I have not seen any refference anywhere to the government listening to "all" transcontinental phone traffic. If that were the case then yes it would be a problem. If you can point to something that backs up your claim please provide.

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds"-Samuel Adams

…reference any public records of our government monitoring "all" our phone calls, as congress will not truly investigate and Bush stonewalls whenever congress tries.

The only reasonable thing I can do is put two and two together. If FISA has granted practically every request for a warrant since 1978, then why can't our President go to FISA and request a warrant unless what he is trying to pull off is legal? To monitor all or large swaths of our phone records is illegal. FISA would not allow it. So why isn't Bush going to FISA first?

The President is not allowed to circumvent FISA at his sole discretion. Can someone please point me to the law that allows him to do so?

>>…reference any public records of our government monitoring "all" our phone calls, as congress will not truly investigate and Bush stonewalls whenever congress tries.

Congress will not investigate something unless there is something to investigate. Outside the deranged ravings of a few whacked-out conspiracy theorists, nobody believes this. The government simply lacks the resources to do any such thing. I think you are confusing two separate stories in the mainstream media. One is about the monitoring of calls between identifiable terrorist suspects abroad and their contacts in the US and the other is a Washington Post story about identifying call patterns in billing records.

The Washington Post did not allege than anyone was tracking content of calls, just billing records, and only at the macro level not bills of individuals. They named three telephone companies which they said were co-operating with the government on this, two of which have denied it. The third company and the government have refused to comment, so the story looks weak on its face. *But even if true does not amount to monitoring calls*.

>>The only reasonable thing I can do is put two and two together.

Good. Now we are getting somewhere. If you repeat the exercise enough times you will get some idea of the resources that would be involved to have someone listen in on all phone calls in the US. How many people do you think work for the NSA?

>>The President is not allowed to circumvent FISA at his sole discretion. Can someone please point me to the law that allows him to do so?

Sure, it's the US Constitution. It trumps everything Congress has ever said. Monitoring calls between terrorist suspects and their contacts in the US is part of the defence of the USA. This comes under the President's inherent power as Commander in Chief. In the exercise of this power he is not restrained by Congress in the least.

The US Constitution recognises three separate branches of government. The President heads one of them and Congress another. It is no more in the power of Congress to vary the President's inherent powers as Commander in Chief than it is for the President to announce that henceforth Congress will not have the power to legislate on interstate commerce. That's how co-equal branches work.

There is a third branch, the judiciary. The Supreme Court ruled on warrantless wiretapping in 1972, and said it was unlawful in the case of investigating domestic crime, but specifically excepted international espionage as something that falls within executive authority.

Hope that clarifies things for you.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

tendentious argument with anything but opinion.

With respect to your last statement, please provide a basis for that. Those of who believe the NSA program to be legal and Constitutional will cite (among other things) the President's Article II powers and the AUMF. Additionally, the program "targets" INTERNATIONAL calls and electronic communication which NEVER requires a warrant, not DOMESTIC communication which might.

Drop by either Leon's or Cranks story on this subject and flog your opinion there. They have provided substantial specifics you can argue.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Why don't you drop by Crank's latest post HERE. He goes into some detail about the decision and the precedents that relate to this case.

You can have the opportunity to show that you can really make an argument to support your conclusion.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

Or, you go to Leon's well reasoned discussion about standing in this case HERE.

I'm sure you could make a good case for sitting or kneeling instead of standing, but Leon's argument is engaging anyway.

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If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what is the opposite of "progress"?

 
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