Detention Bill passes Senate 65-34.

Netroots Graciously Permitted 72 hours of bitter resentment by Democratic Masters.

By Moe Lane Posted in Comments (322) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Well, they passed S. 3930 in the Senate:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate on Thursday endorsed President Bush's plans to prosecute and interrogate terror suspects, all but sealing congressional approval for legislation that Republicans intend to use on the campaign trail to assert their toughness on terrorism.

The 65-34 vote means the bill could reach the president's desk by week's end. The House passed nearly identical legislation on Wednesday and was expected to approve the Senate bill Friday, sending it to the White House.

The bill would create military commissions to prosecute terrorism suspects. It also would prohibit blatant abuses of detainees but grant the president flexibility to decide what interrogation techniques are legally permissible.

65-34. Hey, aren't there only 55 Republicans in the Senate?

Read on.

So there are, so there are. We have an official list, now: Let's take a look at our Democratic allies, shall we?

Carper - DE
Johnson - SD
Landrieu - LA
Lautenberg - NJ
Lieberman - CT
Menendez - NJ
Pryor - AR
Rockefeller - WV
Salazar - CO
Stabenow - MI
Nelson - FL
Nelson - NE

(Chafee, of course, voted against the bill and Stowe didn't vote. Tsk, tsk, tsk.)

Bold are, of course, Senators up for re-election; Italics are Senators in what are called Red States. Lautenberg looks pretty lonely up there - of course, if I was a NJ Democratic Senator I'd be careful not to make Menendez's life any harder, either.

All in all, this pretty much gives you an idea of just how seriously the Democratic Party takes its activist base. Said base is just beginning to issue their usual screaming in response - I'm unsure why; this was hardly a surprise - which will probably continue tomorrow and throughout the weekend. Nice of them to accomodate the Netroots like this: this way they won't have to swallow their bile and tug their forelocks to their Party Leaders until Monday morning. Early Monday morning, mind you. Gotta get started bright and early if you want to defeat us evil, evil Republicans in elections, after all.

You know, I think that I'll go have a beer.

Moe

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Detention Bill passes Senate 65-34. 322 Comments (0 topical, 322 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Is the Democrats still do not get it.

Apparently, there response is it will be struck down by SCOTUS. I am sorry, but isn't this legislation the result of SCOTUS saying Congress should act? Do they think that no citizen knows what is going on anymore?

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

Can you believe the nerve of Snowe? All the hyperbole and she does not vote. What did she have an important meeting with the Lobster Fishermans Association?

At least Chaffee showed up. I just lost what little respect I had left for her.

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

You're right as usual, MT. Unless she had some health emergency, what she did this afternoon was refuse to take any responsibility as a US Senator for a policy the SCOTUS had directly asked her to address.

Pathetic.

"I'm kind of old-fashioned. I like to engage my brain before my mouth." Donald Rumsfeld

Checked her website, email, The Hill and all usual sources. Nothing.

Any Maine constituents that may be able to get a faster answer?

"Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori"

They don't seem to get anything. They still haven't figured out it's a war and the enemy wants to kill all Americans.

What I wonder is ... is Bush going to make this election a referendum on Iraq? His speech today sure had that fire in it ... cut and run Democrats. Works for me.

is just reenforcing his stated belief: The battle in Iraq is an integral part of the War on Terror. It seems to be working.

The money quote from the president's speech today will surely inflame the nutroots, and prove his point:

"The stakes in this war are high, and so are the stakes this November. Americans face the choice between two parties with two different attitudes on this war on terror. Five years after 9/11, the worst attack on American homeland in our history, the Democrats offer nothing but criticism and obstruction, and endless second-guessing. The party of FDR and the party of Harry Truman has become the party of cut-and-run."

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

...and I get it. I get that this is no longer the country founded on "Give me liberty or give me death." This is now a country where we will sacrifice any amount of liberty to save our skins.

To wit: What liberty is it that you believe you, or I, have sacrificed? The right to blow up bus stops?

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

Look here, poopyface, that seems a little extreme. This bill does not sacrifice ANY of our liberty. It simply restores the status quo which existed before the SC decided to meddle in matters outside its sphere of responsibility, and allows the military to hold, interrogate and try illegal combatants and foreign terrorists.

Glad to see you back. You are the only person I can call poopyface without getting banned.

so I thought about abbreviating: PFFH, but that sounds like...well, I better not go there. How about just "poopy"?

Retire Lindsey Graham. Support Thomas Ravenel for Senate 2008

A name change inflicted on her which she bore with some dignity.

I'd offer to switch it back, but she'd probably think that it was another of our fiendish fascist schemes.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

I have certainly tried.

I later got a hopeful suggestion from the powers that be that I might want to change it, but I politely declined. I have to say that I think makes RedState, not me, look a tad ridiculous (not to be confused with any desire on my part to make RedState look ridiculous) and, I would guess, so do they.

But recently I have thought of a new one that suits me well, so when/if I ever have time to figure out how one changes one's blog name, I will do them this small mercy at long last. No hard feelings, but people should be prepared to live with the consequences of their own actions, no?

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

...it's one of those "wrong side of the sheets" kinships. :-)

To clarify, this is not a blogname I choose for myself. My own blogname was changed to this one by the powers that be. I think this was because they felt it violated their rule against profanity. I think that this was because it included a word often heard in church. Mostly, though, I think it was because my first diary was about unreliable evoting machines, so of course I must be a left-wing conspiracy theorist...just like every single one of my Republican (red) state legislators, who voted unanimously last year to require paper audit trails. And God bless them, every one.

But that's a story for my next diary...

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

We had a frontpager named Tiltowait, for the love of High Heaven. There is nothing in your name that could make us look sillier than that.

I believe someone was being generous, not trying to back off a limb.

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

I don't know their motives and can't see that it matter much, but...

Someone throws mud on you and is then being generous by suggesting you might want to wash up? I guess we use different dictionaries.

I was there when the initial cleaning was done. Your initial involvement in this site led me to nix your account; a nicer man than I simply renamed you.

Given your posting history, I don't find your bemusement surprising.

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

It probably is extreme for this one vote. But it's not just this vote...I think the Patriot Act was cowardly. I think a pre-emptive attack on another country...no matter what kinds of weapons they have...is cowardly.

When the Soviet Union parked nuclear warheads (real ones, actually there, photos and everything) 90 miles off our coast, we didn't sell out to save our skins. We said, "Fine, you want to kill us...do it. We aren't afraid to die." And I know, because I spent those three days at ground zero.

I think most of what our government has been doing to "protect" us since 9/11 is cowardly. But mostly that's how I see it whenever anyone sputters, "But, but...they are trying to KILL us!" Clearly, saving your butt justifies anything. Reminds me of nothing so much as "Better Red than Dead."

I always knew that a lot of Democrats were wimps, but I never thought I'd live to see the day when Republicans turned cowardly on us. That was the one thing I always thought we could count on Republicans for...absolute, unflinching courage in the face of physical danger. But now I see that I was horribly, horribly wrong about that.

but you did not get around to saying what actual liberty we have lost on account of the fraidy-cat Republicans.

But that is so much a matter of perspective, it is an argument that is almost not worth having. You will see it how you see it, and I will see it how I see it. Plus it's getting late here and I'm tired. I've seen this country through many things over the decades, but this is the saddest day.

In any case, if you read what I said very carefully, I didn't say we had lost any liberties, I simply said that this is now a country where we will sacrifice any amount of liberty to save our skins. It is a country where "But, but...they are trying to *KILL* us" is our new, all-purpose explanation/justification for doing anything and everything. So without arguing that we have lost any liberties, I stand by my perception that this is no longer the country founded on "Give me liberty or give me death." It is the country of "Saving my butt is the most important thing."

As Patrick Henry said -

There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable--and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

...

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

These words seem to me to be a powerful call to arms against the tyranny which would enslave us. I think all of us on this site would lay claim to the sentiments contained here. But perhaps you believe that this tyranny is hatching in the White House and not in the Middle East. If so, and you sincerely believe it, then how can you not take up arms against us?

I don't think it's hatching in the White House. I think it has hatched in the faint hearts of We the People.

And this is not a form of tyranny you can take up arms against.

Then perhaps Patrick Henry is not the best person to be invoking in your cause, against whatever you believe lurks in our hearts. His words were a literal call to arms against a foreign foe, while you seem to be calling for a moral crusade against ourselves.

I am simply making an observation: When a population harps on and on about how "They are trying to KILL us!" and yammers on and on about security, then what I "get" is that this population values physical safety far above all else. And "all else" would certainly include liberty. I think Henry's quote is perfect; it is one of the best known quote about valuing something more than your own hide.

The irony is that being safe and secure is about as close to being dead as you can get and still have a pulse. I am as enthused about politicians that are eager to keep me safe as I would be about politicians eager to keep me in a coma. Spme thing goes for politicians that want to take care of me.

.. is calling for a war, while you are saying (rather oddly) that calls for war are a sign of cowardice and a sign that we fear death.

this population values physical safety far above all else

I think its pretty well established that "this population" includes the people who actually serve in the military, so your notion that we value physical safty above all else is downright bizarre.

You seem to be suggesting that we need to allow the terrorists to succeed in killing large numbers of us, simply to demonstrate our "courage".

Read my lips: I think pre-emptive war is cowardly, not war.

But I think you already knew that.

this straight.

You think that when a country has a record of supporting terrorism, of using WMD on their neighbors and their own countrymen, of hatching a plot to murder a former US President, who EVERY country in the world believes has an active WMD program and stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, who has an active nuclear weapons development program and has a track record of supporting those who would and have attacked the US, you think we should just wait around for them to murder a few thousand or a few hundred thousand US citizens before we take them out?

You just aren't very bright. Posting rules forbid my real opinion.

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

This description is a pretty good fit for a number of countries today, as well as the old USSR...except that the USSR didn't just have a nuclear weapons development program, it was armed to the teeth with actual nuclear weapons, all armed and ready to kill millions of US citizens at the touch of a button, not just thousands or a few hundred thousand. Yet we didn't fly into a panic and attack them. Instead, Americans lived calmly with that level of imminent threat for over two decades. Why should we now attack Iraq, which is a far, far lesser threat?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Even if the intel had been 100% accurate, it would not have made Iraq a bigger threat now than the USSR was then. Or a bigger threat than a number of other countries are now.

So I ask again, why Iraq and not the USSR?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

we would have pre-empted the red bomb much as we have pre-empted the would be Afghan and Iraqi bombs.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Ever hear of the nuclear missile crisis? We had photos showing they had parked nuclear missiles 90 miles off our coast and had them aimed straight at us. We never thought Iraq was anything like that close.

Beyond that, no...in those times, it was our often-stated policy (by leaders of both parties) that America would never strike first.

That's part of what made living in those times so invigorating...if you were an American, you knew that the USSR might choose to attack us at any time, and, if they did, a few million Americans would die before we returned the strike...and one of them might be you! (Probabilities varied depending on geographic location, of course.) On the other hand, given that the USSR had so many missiles, it was acknowledged that, even if the US struck first, millions of Americans would probably die in the counterattack, because the USSR could launch most, if not all, of their missiles before ours reached theirs. Plus many millions would die of radiation poisoning in the coming days and weeks, and then it was thought that more millions might die due to starvation and thirst (since lots of livestock would die too and the food and would probably become radioactive), plus a lot of people might end up killing each other for the last remaining edible food and potable water supplies. On top of that, a lot of scientists predicted that the impact of that many nuclear weapons going off would be so devastating to the planet's weather ("global winter") and ecology that all life on the planet might be extinguished in a matter of time. So everyone I knew thought the lucky ones would be those who got taken out in the initial blast.

The bummer part about being the primary target during the Cuban Missile Crisis was that we would never find out what happened next. That scenario was different...and not previously thought of. Would the USSR fire just the missiles in Cuba? Or would they launch a full strike? If they just launched the few missiles in Cuba, it would be with the knowledge that, when the US responded (and there was never any doubt we would respond), we could do much more damage to them with a full strike than they had done to us with a few lousy warheads. So what would the US do? Would we respond by firing at Cuba? Or directly at the USSR? Would we respond with full strike, given that the USSR did not launch a full strike at us? If we responded with the exact same number of missiles that they launched at us, would that be it? Would they then "turn it off"? Or would both countries exchange strikes until all missiles were launched? If it was a limited exchange, would either country survive? Or at least the human race? Sigh...we would never know.

Whew! This is getting long. Getting nostalgic for the good old days...when no one was safe and it was good to be alive every day and risks were worth taking. I miss them.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

That's part of what made living in those times so invigorating...if you were an American, you knew that the USSR might choose to attack us at any time, and, if they did, a few million Americans would die before we returned the strike...and one of them might be you! (Probabilities varied depending on geographic location, of course.)

Seek some kind of help.

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

I have seen the "normal" people, and I'll pass.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

about getting in urinating contests with skunks!

In Vino Veritas

This is a complete waste of time.

Please be assured that I hold the wimpy Dems equally responsible. I'm an equal opportunity anti-partisan.

Most articles I have read on the bill claim that it gives authority to the President or the Secretary of Defense to detain anyone (i.e.: you and me) indefinitely if they slap them with the label "enemy combatant." Now maybe I misread the articles (I'm a busy guy) or maybe that's just not true, but if it is true the right to speedy - or any - trial seems like a fairly large lost liberty.

Care to enlighten me?

Most articles, you say? Why don't you post links to some and I'll have a look. I'd guess that you are misreading them, or the articles are from some dodgy web sites.

Here ya go:

The legislation broadens the definition of enemy combatants beyond the traditional definition used in wartime, to include noncitizens living legally in this country as well as those in foreign countries, and also anyone determined to be an enemy combatant under criteria defined by the president or secretary of defense.

Retire Lindsey Graham. Support Thomas Ravenel for Senate 2008

Trial of non-citizens living in the US who have been determined to be enemy combatants - yes.

US citizens - no. The bill only applies to "alien" unlawful combatants. Alien is defined in the bill as "not a US citizen." Full text S 3930 is only a google away. Check it out.

Now, to make it all the way to "unlawful combatant" status - you have already had one military review (per the Geneva Conventions.) You can't just round up prisoners, declare them unlawful combatants on the spot, and try them at these military tribunals.

IMHO - this bill actually gives those unlawful combatants MORE rights and protections than they deserve. Many pols have argued (McCain for instance) that not granting Geneva protections to terrorists will endanger our own troops since other nations will deny these protections to our troops. I couldn't disagree more. The conventions deliberately fail to provide very many protections for unlawful combatants in order to discourage unlawful combatants. It's "carrot and stick." Follow the laws of war and you will be entitled to rights and protection. Do not follow the laws of war and you will not.

By providing these "rights" to unlawful combatants I believe that we are actually encouraging would-be terrorists.

Government is best that governs least...

But who cares what happens to our troops, as long as we are safe?

Don't you get it? Those terrorists want to kill ALL Americans...not just our troops. That's why we are so terrified of them.

My point was: the Geneva conventions deliberately provide very little protection for unlawful combatants. They were explicitly written that way to discourage the behavior that these terrorists are now engaging in. By providing them Geneva-like protections - in spite of their behavior - we are encouraging other would-be terrorists to take up arms against us. Not a fact, just my opinion.

OBTW - the so-called "torture" that we've been reading about in the NYT are the same techniques that were applied to me during survival training (a long time ago). I think it will be tough to convince a reasonable person that there are things we can do to military officers that we can't do to Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Finally, our adherence to the Geneva conventions has never prevented other nations from violating them. In fact, the last nation we've fought to (almost) adhere to the Conventions was Nazi Germany.

Government is best that governs least...

...should non-citizens who unlawfully take up arms against us be treated any differently than citizens who unlawfully take up arms against us?

Because they aren't citizens.

Long answer:
The protections of the constitution (IMO) apply to US citizens.

Non-citizens, on the other hand, will not have the same protections.

Citizens who take up arms against the US are traitors - the only crime defined in the US constitution. They should be tried as traitors - albeit with the full protections/rights of the US constitution - and, if convicted, be executed or imprisoned.

Non-citizens, again IMO, should not automatically be granted the full protection of the constitution - especially when they take up arms against the US in a time of war.

Personally, when it comes to consipiring with the enemy during time of war, I would punish the US citizen more harshly than the non-citizen (assuming they committed the same crime.)

[cough...Jane Fonda...cough]

Government is best that governs least...

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

...putting aside your personal opinion, what do you think the signers of the Declaration of Independence meant by the statement that all men have been endowed by the Creator with certain "inalienable" rights?

Do you think they meant that the Creator endowed these rights only to US citizens?

Do think they meant these rights can be abrogated simply because some is an alien?

Or what?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

the paper it is written on. The ideals it setsforth were only obtained by Washington's army and every person who has been willing to defend its ideals with their own blood since. You only have rights that you can defend or that are defended through the collective force of society. Think of the progression as: I have a club, my family has clubs, my fiends have clubs, my band has clubs, my tribe has clubs, my government has clubs.

People have their "Rights" violated everyday because someone was stronger or better armed or their government was unable to defend them. Think of a battered woman with a restraining order. If the ex comes looking for her, that restraining order is worthless compared to a Smith and Wesson because the cops( her government), may not get there in time.

This is what liberals fail to understand. Sometimes you have to fight and die for your rights or the rights of others. It's a selfish thing on the liberal's part.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

I've thought about posting the Declaration of Independence in its entirety as a diary, without comment.

I wonder how many people would think that I was criticizing the current administration by doing so. More than none, I'm sure.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

...rather more extreme than yours, I guess. I don't think those things which we secure through physical means are "rights," either.
_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

you procure advantages.
Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

Yes. by Trunk

However,

"these rights can be abrogated simply because some is an alien?" - is not an accurate statement of what is actually being proposed.

An alien who takes up arms, or conspires with those that do, during time of war will have some of the rights they might normally have enjoyed taken away - and rightly so - only after they have been found to be unlawful combatants. I make no distinction between non-citizen terrorists captured in Afghanistan and non-citizen terrorists captured in Utah.

Further, the fact that the right to life is inalienable didn't stop the signers of the Declaration of Independence from killing thousands of British troops and American loyalists during the Revolutionary War. It also didn't stop them from trying those American-loyalists by military tribunal after the war, and hanging/shooting/imprisoning many of them.

So, to answer your question - I don't believe that every person on earth is entitled to the protections of the US Constitution. I don't believe that aliens should vote. I believe that aliens can be deported, which is something that can't be done to an American citizen.

Basically, I don't understand why it's okay for the military to shoot and kill unlawful combatants on the battlefield but when that same military tries them by tribunal - it's the end of our civilization. We tried war-criminals by military tribunal after the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and WWII. I don't remember anyone reading Miranda rights to Goerbels or Goering, do you?

Government is best that governs least...

We are angry at them. Righteous, deliberate, willful, determined, intentional, indefatigable anger.

And it's not all about them killing us. It's about their attempt to destroy our culture, and force us not merely to tolerate their faith, but to adopt it for ourselves.

This shall not be.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

You don't decide whether to engage in a pre-emptive war based on whether you are angry. This country has been attacked and threatened by many enemies in its history, and Americans have been very angry each and every time. But no one jumped up and said, "Oh! Let's attack them first because we are so angry!"

it is merely the emotion you are mistaking for fear.

Our motivation is wisdom. This enemy is different from all the others. Can't you see that? This enemy has no responsibilities to attend back home, no soil to defend. It's a whole new ballgame, and we can't afford to play by the old rules.

As conservatives, we really would like to play by the old rules. Playing by the old rules is our whole deal. As a matter of fact, that's as good a definition of Conservative as any: one who desires to play by the same old rules.

But our desire to have our nation continue to exist in some form is stronger than our desire to pretend we can simply do so while ignoring the current threat.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

...but "We can't afford to play by the old rules" is ancient.

But we argue from different premises...I am not willing to settle for our nation continuing in "some" form.

And the time for that is long since past. It passed us five years, two weeks, four days, and fourteen hours ago, give or take.

We must now take stock, and see what can be preserved while we demolish a foe who would preserve nothing.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

...that the terrorists who attacked the WTC on 9/11 succeeded in destroying the country "in some form"?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Britain in 1775
Germany in 1917
Germany in 1943
N Korea in 1951
Vietnam in 1963
Iraq in 1989
Bosnia and Kosovo in the 90s

Now, one could argue that Germany and Iraq attacked us first in fring on shipping prior to 1941 and fring on US planes in the 90s and 2000s respectively.

Al Qaida attacked us first in 1993. Iran's hezbos attacked us in 1996. Iraq fired at our planes in the 90s.

and???

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

... of the fad-driven American education system where the teaching of actual history is considered a waste of time.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

...that America has attacked other countries first. I never said that they hadn't. I don't recall reading anywhere in actual history that anyone ever suggested a pre-emptive strike was in order because we were so angry. And certainly I never heard the Bush Administration put forth that rationale for attacking Iraq.

...what was actually written, instead of what my imagination read into it.

so when the BigRoundup starts we know where to find you.

You might want to pack a case of SPF 50 sunscreen for your impending trip to Guantanamo.

Gitmo is akin to a Sandals Resort. My vote is for one of the Eastern European contract sites with the CIA. Cold. Dark. Dank. No Int'l RC. No lawyers. Yay.

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

I'm hanging out with my parents for the week. Sounds like they'll be screwed.

they felt that way.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

I think that one left a mark.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

The Bush administration has fought to severely limit several fumdamental constitutional rights.

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

You as well as Socrates may look below in this thread for my full response to a similar question. Here's the Patriot Act part:

When bush signed the Patriot Act in 2001, I lost the following rights:

I lost the right to consult an attorney if I receive a demand for information from the government via a National Security Letter.

I lost the right to challenge a government-issued subpoena (via NSL) in court, as well the gag order that prevents me from seeking councel.

The Patriot Act, in conjunction with a justice department rule encated by John Ashcroft in October of 2001, deprived me of the right to engage in private communication with an attorney. And if the government compels my attorney to release private information, the attorney couldn't even tell me about it. Ever.

None of the above even requires that I be suspected of terrorism. Section 505 of USAPA allows the FBI to demand records, outside of judicial review, from people who are not even suspected of wrongdoing, let alone terrorism. Some of these provisions were struck down as unconstitutional by various courts (notably some of NSL provisions), and others had to be fought over in the renewal legislation passed this year. In all cases, the changes were fiercely resisted by the Bush administration.

I lost the right to challenge a government-issued subpoena (via [National Security Letter]) in court, as well the gag order that prevents me from seeking councel.

You do understand the intended purpose of that provision, right? It's a control against the notion that "loose lips sink ships". I am not particularly happy with the potential side effects of that, which is that those erroneously targeted as suspects or holders of evidence are unable to retain some Fourth Amendment rights, but what, really, are even they losing? That material has to be kept secret anyway, if only because the whole point is keeping the enemy from knowing that the government knows anything. Getting around the gag order could harm national security in ways neither you, your lawyer, a judge, nor even the government itself could anticipate.

And if someone is involved in aiding terrorists, I don't care about their Fourth Amendment rights. In that particular case, it's "if you're not doing anything wrong, don't worry".

Hypothetical: suppose the government reveals, or otherwise misuses some information that an NSA letter investigation revealed -- something embarrassing, or illegal in some non-terrorist context. Again, this is conduct unrelated to national security that the spooks have somehow given to non-spooks, so there won't be a gag order in effect. If it's illegal activity, you'll be afforded every opportunity to defend yourself, except of course not having the information get out in the first place.

(I think I am missing some classes of people here, so I'll let you fill them in in your devastating rejoinder. I have to go to the nursing home. An 90-year-old lady against whom I play a fierce game of Scrabble is having a birthday party.)

So essentially, the totalitarian plot that is the USA PATRIOT Act has cost you, and every other citizen, the right to hire a lawyer to undermine the security of the nation?

Shiver.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

Rejoinder's a great word. I had to look it up. I hope your scrabbling nemesis had a fine birthday today.

In your response, I don't perceive any disagreement with my assertion that the Patriot Act abridged some constitutional rights. Rather, you seem to be arguing that these abridgements are justified by the severity of the crises we currently face. Have I judged rightly? Several problems:

Your response is laced with references to Terrorism and Terrorists, but as I noted above, the Patriot Act allowed these rights to be withheld from any citizen, regardless of whether or not they were suspected of ANY criminal activity, let alone terrorism.

You, Socrates, appear to be saying that the threat of Terrorism justifies some loss of liberty. There are government officials at all levels who would agree you, and who have a long list of other Threats that do as well. John Ashcroft, for example, is well known as a crusader in the War on Drugs. Ashcroft's zeal is shared by a multitude of state government officials, who, together with the DEA, FBI, and the DOJ, have no reservation about using the threat of drugs to justify all sorts of questionable (by the supreme court's standards) law enforcement practices. The very common practice of civil asset forfeiture in the absence of criminal convictions comes to mind.

The point is this: to you, Socrates, terrorism is the big threat right now, and you seems to think that the government shares your view, that it is rather carefully aiming these controversial actions at Terrorists. But they don't, and they are not, and the proof is in writing in many other places besides section 505 of the USAPA.

For some in government, yes, the biggest threat is terrorism. For others, it's drugs. For yet others it's communism. For some even, the threat of music piracy is on a level with terrorism (I'll find you the quote if you want). There are members of each group that fully intended to use the powers of the Patriot Act to fight their own "War on ___". The bill of rights exists to protect us from all of them.

Another assertion you seem to be making is that the infringements that I outline are really just not that important. That's fair, and I appreciate your honesty, but then your argument implies that everyone should feel the way you do, which is ridiculous. To some people, the right to privacy is of great importance, as is the ability to confide in an attorney, or to know when you're being investigated, etc. And these things would all be important to you in their cirumstance.

I'll give you a hyothetical of my own to demonstrate: Suppose that, by way of warrantless wiretap or inducement of information from your attorney, the DOJ and the state of __ find out that your son is a small-time crook and pot dealer. Suppose that, as part of the investigation of your son, the state seizes your house because they claim that your son was keeping money there. You are faced with the very real possibility that your house is gone, for good, even if your son is never convicted. The people you are now fighting have used law enforcement tactics designed to combat terrorism, and they furthermore believe that they are completely justified, because to many, drugs = domestic terrorism, and War on Drugs must be won at all costs.

This is not a very far-fetched scenario; things like it happen fairly regularly, and again, civil forfeitures are routinely done in the absence of any kind of conviction.

This scenario is also important to discuss because, again, what makes laws like the Patriot Act so dangerous is the demonstrated willingness of our government (and most others too) to circumvent due process in a wide variety of situations, most of which have nothing to do with terrorism.

So my question to Socrates is, what other threats besides terrorism do you feel justify suspending some of our constitutional rights, and how far may those suspensions go?

Here's my final quarrel with your response. At all times in history, the less intelligent sort of tyrrants have sought to allay people's fears of tyranical laws with phrases like, "If you're not doing anything illegal, you'll have nothing to worry about". I don't mean to challenge your intelligence, because I find the little interaction that you and I have so far had to be extremely thoughtful. Perhaps because of this, I am distressed that such a phrase emitted from your pen.

I'm tired of writing, so I'll finish by recasting your statement into the form in which I think you meant it:

If you're not accused of doing anything wrong, don't worry.

And then I'll ask, in a land full of elected zealots for all kinds of causes, what to do about those who are falsely accused?

I appreciate your response, and it did clarify which and whose rights you believe are threatened.

And yes, I know that it's accepted as error to say "if you're doing nothing wrong, don't worry". That principle has gotten a worse rep than it deserves, and hence my use of it caused you some confusion.

But I think we are not so far apart. I'm for drug legalization of some kind, anwhere from medicalization or full-on freedom-to-use-hemlock legalization. And independent of that, the forfeiture rules are anathema to me. I hadn't thought of the combination of NSA gag letters and forfeiture. My only response is to point to the 2nd Amendment.

Here's the basic question: do you want to respond more to the hypothetical threat of the USAPA and the RICO laws used (in error or in conspiracy) against innocent citizens on one hand, or the very real threat of Al Qaeda and friends on the other?

For you see, my lenience toward the government in dealing with our enemies is backed by a confidence, a confidence echoed in these words:

... But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

While I don't think it will come to that, at this point the enemy from without is far more dangerous than the enemy within.
--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

Socrates, your response is a breath of fresh air, especially the part about the 2nd Amendment. I wholeheartedly agree. As they say, it's second for a reason.

I also agree now that you and I are probably not so far apart. I think our major difference is revealed in what you said here:

"...at this point the enemy from without is far more dangerous than the enemy within."

I don't agree with this, but supporting my opinion would involve a long discussion where I would likely be in over my head. Let me just say that, historically, the greatest empires have mostly failed by implosion, rather than being conquered by enemies from without.

I am thoroughly unimpressed by the threat of terrorism, just as I was unimpressed in the decade before 9/11. I cannot buy the argument that Terrorism poses a greater threat to our society then do illegal drugs, drunk driving, obesity, or diabetes. Let me be on record as stating that Acts of Terrorism will NEVER cause the damage that illegal drugs do in terms of lives lost, cost to the economy, or by any other useful metric. Same goes for obesity.

Yes, the comparison is laughable, but I feel it works. It could be argued rather convincingly that our government could save hundreds of thousands of American lives each year by declaring a War on Obesity. It could use all of the power of the Patriot Act to gather information on those who deal in fattening, cholesterol-raising foods. Such foods would be declared illegal substances, and they would be fiendishly difficult to control, making it necessary, perhaps, to restrict some of the consitutional rights of the people who are suspected of manufacturing and distributing the stuff. It would, of course, be extremely useful to track and even prosecute the users of fatty substances, and to use them to ferret out the dealers and growers.

Again, we could save millions of lives. The obvious difference between the Wars on Obesity&Drugs and the War on Terrorism is that the War on Terrorism doesn't involve the always problematic element of material prohibition, but that's not really important here. What's important is that there are far greater threats to American society that could benefit from some sacrifice of constitutional protections. The notable absence of a War on Obesity proves that our perception of "threat" is highly subjective, and not at all tied to reality in an empirical way. And the War on Drugs proves (to you and me, at least) that even when the government deems some of our constitutional protections to be worthy sacrifices, victory against our enemies is not at all guaranteed.

As for your quoting the Declaration of Independence's prescription for rebellion, I say Amen, not in the paranoid survivalist sort of way, but in the praying-to-God-that-it-never-happens sort of way. It is not a prescription that reassures me; I see it as the most threatening outcome, far more costly and painful than any war against outside enemies.

I guess that last bit gives you the answer to your question: I give a higher priority to the strict preservation of our contitutional liberties than to eliminating the threat currently posed by terrorism (and drugs and communism and fat people, and on and on...)

Not meaning to intrude on your fruitful dialogue, but I would like to offer the observation that your conclusion is a very insightful one. I've heard it said that 90% of the disagreements between people are due to a difference in perceptions.

This community has had a lot of discussion about the threat of jihadism. Those of us who have studied it on our own come here and find it confirmed by others. I suppose it is possible that we are missing out on the facts that provide a thoroughgoing refutation of our perception. Perhaps you will continue to engage here and bring such facts into those discussions and as a consequence put our fears to rest. I for one would not feel so strongly about the necessity of this bill as is (or stronger than it is) if not for the extreme concern I have over the threat posed by Islamic jihadism. I.e., I would probably think about it like you do and perhaps vice a verse.
John E.

I'm sorry John, I can't offer you any reassurance on the threat of Jihadism. You and I and the others here are of the same opinion.

I think where we differ is on the threat of tyranny here at home. I don't think that ANY enemy justifies the loss of our consitutional freedoms. Live free or die, as they say.

You seriously misconstrue and misapply the meaning of that statement. It has nothing to do with the choice of either having our freedoms or allowing the b*astards to kill us.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

Please explain to me the actual meaning of Stark's orginial toast,
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.

I also would be interested in hearing your interpretation. It has always seemed pretty unambiguous to me.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

That throws me for a loop. In your previous comment you indicated that you thought it was less dangerous/harmful than the threat of illegal drugs.

Conversely, many of us see it as an existential threat to our civilization, our culture, our government, our way of life, our values and our very lives. Do you?

If so, then I guess what we are arguing about is a matter of principle. You would rather die, and have me die...or more to the point have our civilization die while you or at least I may yet live... than in some abstract way presently give up some of the liberties you think we presently possess...for the sake of preserving our civilization. Some how that would in principle make our civilization not worth preserving so if that's what it takes, you would rather it die.

Look, i think there is a rather obvious problem with that argument, but I won't go into it seems I might be confused about what you are saying.
John E.

what is wrong with my perceptions of what is going on here at home. I don't perceive any threat of tyranny here at home. I feel as free as ever. What I don't feel is as secure as ever. Where is this tyranny that Nate feels so acutely that he is ready to die rather than submit to. Why am I so blind to this Nate? Or is it greatly exaggerated? Which of us has the right fears? :)

I would argue that even if we have taken some small step toward tyranny, which I am not at all convinced of, there is plenty of time and ample procedural protection to prevent a slide to the state of tyranny that you so fear, the one that would make our lives not worth living. The jihadist threat is just such a threat. Just as our tradition causes us to take up arms against the jihadist, it would cause us to take up arms against a full scale slide into the homegrown tyranny you fear. Its just that we aren't anywhere close to that. If I thought we were, you could count on me to join you.
John E.

-"Conversely, many of us see it as an existential threat to our civilization, our culture, our government, our way of life, our values and our very lives. Do you?"

Yes, I definitely do. And I see illegal drugs in just the same way. I have enough personal experience with methamphetamine to be very, very scared of it. And given that America now has the highest proportion of our citizens in prison, mostly on drug-related offenses, I think that my feelings on the matter are common.

That said, I could hardly disagree more with the way our country is fighting the drug problem. I hate that we put so many people in prison, and I feel that every step taken away from our constitutional freedoms has made the fight more difficult.

This is threatening to become a discussion about drugs (my fault, not yours), so I'll try to address our essential quarrel.

In your last paragraph, you seem to paint me as accepting only one outcome at the expense of the other, that is, either winning the War on Terror or preserving our democracy. My reality is quite the opposite. I believe very strongly that, as we compromise our own principles, we make ourselves more vulnerable to outside attack. As I said before, history demonstrates the tendency for great empires to fall by implosion.

Rebellion is born of discontent, and there is no greater source of discontent than the violation of a peoples' rights and dignity. America is made strong by our our unity, and this doesn't mean that we all think alike. It means that our constitution provides a powerful deterent to the alienation of groups within the group. The constitution provides some transparency needed to reveal problems, some reasonable methods to minimize wrongful indictments, and some degree of recource when something does go wrong.

Bush is clearly not sold on the transparency part, right?

Bush makes due process subject to more condidtions then I would like, clearly.

And the recourse part, I don't know. I need ot think about that some more.

So, John, it's important to me that you understand that I don't exactly will for us to die before we win any wars. I want both. No, wait, neither. No, wait, I want the latter but not the former.

Really, I believe that we can't accomplish the latter unless our freedoms stay strong in the ways that I stated.

I may come off as sounding like a total alarmist, but I spouted just as many of these diatribes against the the Clinton administration, what with Janet Reno, Echelon, Clipper chips, etc.

Well, so maybe I am an alarmist.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

You include in your list of grievences some things which never came to pass. That strikes me as reaching.

I also disagree with your characterisation of the changes to the law as being a violation of fundamental constitutional rights. Since it survived court challenge the SCOTUS at least disagrees with you on this.

As I noted, some of the provisions in the Patriot Act were struck down as unconstitutional, which very much reinforces my argument. The point of all of this is that our government has demonstrated its willingness to "reinterpret" the constitution in very controversial, and sometimes blatantly illegal ways.

As for your assertions that the Patriot Act "survived court challenge" and that "SCOTUS at least disagrees with [me] on this",

This is patently false. The Patriot Act has most definitely NOT survived its challenges intact, in court or otherwise. Furthermore, the supreme court has never decided a case involving the Patriot Act; it hasn't yet had to. The two major lower court decisions against it were left to stand, and the 2006 renewal was cleansed of some of the Act's more treacherous provisions, due largely to widespread acknowledgement that those parts would probably not survive further court challenges.

I must point out again that, at every step along the way, the Bush administration has FIERCELY opposed any challenges to the Patriot Act. They fought every court challenge, and the battle for the Act's renewal in 2005 and 2006 was famously bitter. I don't believe there is any aspect of the adminstration's fight that involved compromise, even where the Act was found to be blatantly illegal. Hence my original argument that Bush (and many others before him) has demonstrated a clear willingess to ignore/restrict our constitutional freedoms.

Hence my original argument that Bush (and many others before him) has demonstrated a clear willingness to ignore/restrict our constitutional freedoms

I don't see how this conclusion follows from your claims. The Bush administration may genuinely believe that all the provisions that they were pushing for are constitutional. If the court contradicts their position and they consequently modify it then they have completely fulfilled their constitutional role. Hamdan decision provides the case in point. Despite the fact that the Court's reasoning that Geneva common article III applies because our conflict with al Qaeda is a non-international conflict confined to Afghanistan... is incomprehensible... the Administration complied. BTW that wasn't the only incomprehensible step they had to take in order to reach that decision.

I don't see how you have offered any proof to substantiate your claim that the Bush administration is intentionally attempting to roll back our constitutional rights. Its well and good if that is you opinion, but it is not substantiated.
John E.

I'm not sure that I'm ascribing any particular motivations to Bush. I have become suspicious of his motivations in some ways, but I also have come to believe that he's a good man at heart. Vague terms, I know, but if I come across as questioning his motivations, that's not my real intent.

Regardless of Bush's motivations, the effect is the same, and that is (or should be) the essence of my contention. Whether they intend to or not, the Bush administration has acted to curtail a number of constitutional freedoms. The threat to me remains just as real.

You are correct in that compromise has been reached, but it certainly hasn't been compromise performed in the spirit of compromise. As I noted, the Bush administration has fought every challenge tooth-and-nail. They have fulfilled their constitutional role, as you say, only because the system forced that outcome.

The courts do not exist to negotiate compromises, but to choose winners. You would therefore reasonably expect both sides to fight pretty hard for their point of view.

You might well go home from a sports match believing that the final result was a 'fair' reflection of the match. But you could not reasonably complain that one of the teams had not wanted a fair result, but had play to score as many times as possible while trying to prevent the other side from scoring.

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

I agree. To me, the court fights are not an illustration of the intractibility of the administration's stance, but rather of the degree to which their stance could be called "radical" in the first place. That as opposed to, say, the position taken by Sens. McCain, Warner, et al.

The legislature most certainly does exist to affect compromise, and it is that fight which best illustrates the intractible nature of Bush's stances.

Sorry for the multiple posts. Just need to add that I recognize the intractibility of my own positions in this matter. I tend to see things in black-and-white, just as Bush does. I attribute my opinions to a deep faith in Christianity, and I believe that does too, albeit via a somewhat different interpretation.

I give you credit for a thoughtful and honest response...and that makes you a valuable partner in dialogue. At the risk of being overbearing I am going to push back a little bit on what lingers of your ascriptions...

"but it certainly hasn't been compromise performed in the spirit of compromise. As I noted, the Bush administration has fought every challenge tooth-and-nail."

If that's true, don't we have to make the same judgments about those who opposed him, including you? I can see that you vigorously believe you are right about the matter and hopefully you can see that he and I vigorously believe that we are right. We engage in a vigorous dialogue with the intent of reaching common ground. If we identify vigor as bad faith or "spirit" then our dialogue is going to be occupied by finger pointing rather than thoughtful discussion. So I don't think even that characterization you are making is appropriate. It requires some additional reach into his motivations, which unfortunately has become a carelessly accepted practice due to the narrative created by partisanship playing out in the MSM.

I am bitter when I don't think my government got the right answer and no doubt you are too. It appears the compromise came out closer to my liking than it did yours. Elections may have stacked the deck against you but the thing is not written in stone and so a national dialogue may yet change it. I can agree that a dialogue in the spirit of compromise is one where we are both open to changes in our views.

You started out believing and still do that he has acted to curtail our freedoms. Discussing that in the "spirit" of compromise has implications for your attitude as well as ours. Taking the common measure of that leaves me hopeful about dialogue.
John E.

I must admit that I must, as you say, "make the same judgments about those who opposed [Bush]", including myself.

Indeed, my opinions are strong here, and my positions sometime leave little room for compromise, which is perhaps a weakness.

to adequately explain, at least to my satisfaction, this assertion

... the Bush administration has acted to curtail a number of constitutional freedoms. The threat to me remains just as real.

What Constitutional freedoms have been curtailed? Specifics please. You say this with great conviction so you must certainly have some proof, some concrete examples, not some vague "the threat to me remains just as real." Are you truly in fear that you, or your family members or friends, will be spirited away in the night or arrested and detained incommunicado because some Bush functionary thinks you are a threat to national security?

Surely you must recognize that there are very large numbers of people who do not see this; I submit that aside from the wingnuts on the extreme left the vast majority of Americans do not see this happening. With all the polling the Democrats do this has yet to show up as even a blip on the radar.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

-"Are you truly in fear that you, or your family members or friends, will be spirited away in the night..."

I am continuously challenged by defenders of Bush to justify my fears with empirical evidence that terrible things are Already Happening. It's as though I am expected to postpone my concern until the weight of the tyranny falls upon my very person.

This same defense was used by some in favor of McCarthyism in the 50's. Critics were enjoined to provide proof that the average American was under some palpable threat of persecution. No such proof was forthcoming, and the response then becomes, "well, then, if you're not a communist, you have nothing to worry about." I give McCarthy more credit for his good work than do most other people, but I assume that we can agree on the unconstitutionality of the movement which bears his name.

My point is, must I wait until I or someone I know can actually fear arrest before I voice my concern over laws which I deem tyrannical?

If your answer is Yes, then please look at the hypothetical situation I posed to Socrates in our dialogue above. I would be interested to know what you think of it, because it hits rather close to home for me.

In addition, I must ask you if you read my objections to Patriot Act, also posted above. What do you think about those?

-"I submit that aside from the wingnuts on the extreme left the vast majority of Americans do not see this happening."

Well I certainly don't want you to think I'm a left winger. I voted for Bush, twice. I vote largely republican, and I hope that don't come across as anything more radical than a constitutional textualist.

I don't know about a "vast majority", but my own little view of the world leads me to think that many, many, Americans are leary of the Bush administration's pursuits.

fall back on charges of McCarthyism.

This is nothing even remotely like McCarthyism. Its a simple enough request for some proof that the evil that you fear actually exists. You claim the right to be concerned about these infringements of liberties and curtailment of Constitutional rights yet can offer no evidence other than a vague feeling that we are marching down that path. Flash, we've "been marching down that path" for 200+ years.

My point is, must I wait until I or someone I know can actually fear arrest before I voice my concern over laws which I deem tyrannical?

Actually it would be helpful to have some evidence --- I'd think it would be helpful to you also. I don't have such fears and it isn't because a) I'm a pollyanna-ish fool; or b) because I'm part of the "power structure" that will eventually be in control. The things you fear are chimera without some kind of evidence; "feelings" don't make policy --- or at least they don't make good policy.

Well I certainly don't want you to think I'm a left winger. I voted for Bush, twice. I vote largely republican, and I hope that don't come across as anything more radical than a constitutional textualist.

Well, I for one am glad you voted for Bush and vote largely Republican. However, as a Constitutional textualist myself you and I clearly see "textualism" from significantly different perspectives.

For example, I am deeply offended by what passes for transportation security. But that's largely because I know the history of this stupidity, and the recent "efforts" have not improved my viewpoint. I view airport security in Franklintonian terms because I think we actually have traded civil liberties for security --- phony security; if the security were real then a temporary trade is not a serious problem in my view. But recall that what we now have as "airport security" actually started back in the 1960s when we were faced with a rash of hijackings to Cuba. Well, we dealt with that problem but the magentometers and X-ray machines stayed. Now we've compounded that insanity by treating every American as a serious criminal. I view that as a significant problem, but not as Bush's doing, it goes a lot further back than George Bush.

Unlike the left, I do not feel at risk of some imaginary infringment of my liberties; this is still far and away the free-est (?) country in the world.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

I did not mean to compare our current situation to that of McCarthy's era. I meant to say that your logic has regularly been used to defend bits of tyranny (like McCarthy's) that did not initially yield "widespread" persecution.

-"Flash, we've "been marching down that path" for 200+ years."

Agreed. ALL of that notwithstanding, you and I seem to have hit a barrier in our dialogue. You remain steadfast in discounting my fears in the absence of an actual arrest record, or something equivalent. I maintain that it is foolish to wait until the sh*t actually hits the fan before we start protesting bad laws. I am grateful, for instance, that the courts struck down sections 505 and 805 of the Patriot Act BEFORE the public became aware of widespread violations.

So I can now only respond to your challenge by reiterating my own. I ask you once again to kindly review my assertions regarding the Patriot Act, as well as the hypthetical scenario which I posed to Socrates, and give me your analysis. Also, you may find something to dispute in my condemnations of John Ashcroft and his ilke which appear toward the bottom of this thread.

I will paste that little senario here for your convenience. As I said, it hits rather close to home for me:

Suppose that, by way of warrantless wiretap or inducement of information from your attorney, the DOJ and the state of __ find out that your son is a small-time crook and pot dealer. Suppose that, as part of the investigation of your son, the state seizes your house because they claim that your son was keeping money there. You are faced with the very real possibility that your house is gone, for good, even if your son is never convicted. The people you are now fighting have used law enforcement tactics designed to combat terrorism, and they furthermore believe that they are completely justified, because to many, drugs = domestic terrorism, and War on Drugs must be won at all costs. This is not a very far-fetched scenario; things like it happen fairly regularly, and again, civil forfeitures are routinely done in the absence of any kind of conviction.

What think you sir?

PS, I agree with your assessment of our transportation security, as well as your generous assignment of blame.

I run across very few people of any political persuasion who are not leary of the Bush administration's pursuits now, as they were in November 2004.

In 2004, almost everyone voted for a presidential candidate that they were leary of; they voted the way they did because they were more leary of other guy. It seems that people who want to think that at least 49% or 51% of the country agrees with them like to make the leap that, just because 49% or 51% of the country voted for the same candidate they did, they must see things pretty much the same way they do. Just ain't so.

Most Bush and Kerry voters have been looking forward to 2008 for a long time now. Most Bush and Kerry voters hope that both parties will do better next time. But they doubt it.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

If you are a techically-minded person, and you read around a little in forums like ArsTechnica or Slashdot, you will see what I mean by "my own little view of the world". In these places you will find that the Bush administration's abuse of power is a frequently proffered topic. I find this to be true in my professional world as well; it seems that the areas which our experiences and interests encompass give us, as a group, much to worry about.

I'm a Linux sysadmin and consultant in real life, and I don't think GWB has a pattern of abusing power. Slashdot et al reward a certain liberal / libertarian stance. It isn't PC, it's just the way the culture has evolved. I'd say more, but you know what I mean.

As Emerson said, "Whoso would be a man must be a non-conformist". Trust in your own instincts, and not necessarily those of your coworkers or online correspondents (including me (except right now)).

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

if I could identify some of those "Bush administration abuses of power."

I submit you can't either.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

Yes, we understand that you disagree, but you have stubbornly refused to answer my challenges posed earlier. You have not answered any of my questions, nor have you offered any retort to my analyses or hypotheses. You can't answer even the simplest of questions, such as what the "real" meaning of Live Free or Die is.

You may certainly continue to tell me that you disagree, though, that's a lot of fun.

The US is a "Constitutional Republic". That means that we are ruled by the Constitution, NOT the DoI or state mottos. "Live Free or Die" doesn't matter any more than the "real" meaning of "Don't Tread on Me".

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

What was asked was "what liberties have been lost?", and you answered

Patriot Act?
The Bush administration has fought to severely limit several fumdamental constitutional rights.

In logic, that's called "begging the question". (It means you have assumed the truth to your thesis in order to prove it, or stated your thesis as its own evidence).

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

All you would need to do is ask me, "How has the Patriot Act served to limit constitutional protections?".

Pretty easy to ask, right? Or am I to assume that you already know the answer, and therefore have no need of asking?

If you care to look, someone already asked your question yesterday, and my answer appears below in this same thread. Thanks for the debate lesson!

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

You thought Milosevic was planning to attack us with WMDs?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Liberty means the right to self government.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

This is now a country where we will sacrifice any amount of liberty to save our skins.

Aside from the idiocy involving transportaction* (planes, trains and subways) name some sacrifice of your liberty that you have actually made.
- Name someone you personally know that has been spirited off to the dreaded Halliburtion re-education camps that you guys on the left are always whining about.
- Name some instance of political or personal abuse that you or someone you know personally has suffered at the hands of the fascist Bush administration.
- Name some situation where you or someone you know personally has suffered an infringement of their liberties at the hands of the new Bush theocracy.
- Name one!
- Just one!
- Any one will do!
- Come on, I know you can do it. You guys are always claiming this stuff is happening every day so you won't have to think long and hard for an example.
(One limitation, you are not allowed to include anything that was going on under previous administrations!)

-----------------
* I exclude the transportation idiocy because I really don't know how to explain that. When the airport "security" cr*p started it was because idiots were hijacking airplanes to Cuba. But once we stopped that problem I knew the "security" was never going away and I was right. It has only gotten worse and less sensible by the event. But mostly its like it is because the liberals and do-gooders won't let us discriminate --- everyone has to be treated as if they are criminals.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

As I have pointed out, I have not claimed to have lost any liberties, nor to know anyone who has lost any liberties. I have not claimed that any liberties have been sacrificed. I have simply expressed my opinion that the people of this country value physical safety above all else and therefore will to do anything in order to be physically safe. This includes sacrificing liberty.

If the muslims weren't annoying us, they would be left alone. When we aren't left alone, we fight and kill those who made the mistake of annoying us. Cowardice in pursuit of personal safety and comfort is exclusive to the Left.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

I find it hard to believe that you even believe what you are spewing. My physical safety isn't much at risk. I'm don't live in the city and I don't work in one of the top tier targets. I really don't have much to be afraid of. I do care about preventing attacks on my countrymen, however... apparently a concept that is alien to liberals. I do think its worth making it as difficult as possible for them to kill our people, when the price to pay is that Osama's grandma might have her coversation recorded.
---
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

...of your fellow countrymen, MYOB. No one anointed you our protector. Vote for yourself and let us do the same. To me, you sound exactly like a bleeding heart liberal. "Oh, no...I don't want universal healthcare for me, I want it for all those other people."

And stop kidding yourself...you have no idea what your level of risk is. It's been opined in the MSM many times that the terrorists understand very well how frightened Americans are for their own safety, and that they could easily decide the most politically effective target next time would be a nice sleepy, unprotected little town in the heartland.

Certainly many Americans who live outside of what the "experts" (those same geniuses who "never imagined" that terrorists might use an airliner as a weapon) tell us are the "top-tier" targets don't feel at all safe. The duct tape didn't fly off the shelves just in NYC and DC. I don't live in a city either, nor near a "top-tier" target either, and on Halloween 2001, many of the parents in my town wouldn't let their kids attend a Halloween at our local mall, because they were afraid that the terrorists might strike there.

So you aren't going to convince me that this is all about other people. Or Osama's grandma.

Partisanship...so 20th Century.

It's always about me with liberals. Even when it comes to life and death. You are fine with letting million of other more likely-to-be-killed Americans be your shield. Nothing cowardly about that, eh? Nothing cowardly about burying your head in the sand, either, eh? The cowardly thing is actually doing something to deal with the people who are so eager to kill us. Yea, you make a lot of sense. You've totally convinced me.

As far as me personally being in danger, there is always a tiny chance, but the odds of me being killed be a tree landing on me or getting struck by lightning are a lot greater than me being directly involved in a terrorist attack. Even with WMDs being involved, since I'm not in an area they would waste a WMD on.
---
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

I was living at ground zero in Florida during those three days in October. We weren't shielding anyone then, and no one is shielding us now. Our government leaders didn't fall all over themselves in a pathetic panic to assure us that they would protect us. Instead, they officially informed us that, if the shooting started, we were all going to die.

Up until the day those famous satellite photos were released, everyone "knew" that the "top-tier" targets for a Soviet first strike were DC and NYC, and my little town was nowhere on the list of places that the Russians would "waste" a nuclear missile on. So don't talk to me about sticking my head in the sand. I know far better than you do about that of which I speak. YOU may be able to delude yourself that your level of risk is tinier than someone else's, but my history makes me incapable of indulging in such delusions.

If you were informed that some terrorists had planted a nuclear weapon somewhere close to you and could set it off at any time, what would you do?

What is it that makes you think the people living in the "top-tier" areas want your protection? Those areas went solidly for Kerry...not exactly a show of gratitude, at the very least. Moreover, there were 30,000 registered Republicans living in DC (surely a "top-tier" area!) in November, 2004, yet only 20,000 votes were cast for GWB. That means 1 out of 3 Republicans living in that top-tier area were so undesiring of your protection, they didn't even go to the polls...unless you think they voted for Kerry, too? (I doubt it.) Or maybe Diebold ate their votes? (I doubt it.) But perhaps you follow the "government as big brother" model, where you are going to do what YOU think is best for other people, whether they like it or not? Isn't that all about you?

What makes you think I'm a liberal?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

... just one of the many, many advantages of winning the lottery of life and being blessed to be an American citizen.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

They just really think that there is no war on terror, that BushLied™, that they know better than everyone else, and that all the country needs is to hold hands and cash gummint checks.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

The Democrats will only get it by continuous defeats at the polls! Unfortunately, they are blinded by their own hysteria. They can wait for relief from SCOTUS till the cows come home...

Congress should (and will) have the last word on this issue!

and because the SCOTUS asked Congress to act on this, that means they have to accept whatever bill Congress enacts, even if they plan to take Lenin's brain and install into the President's head.

Just because the Court asked Congress to deal with something does not obligate the Court to accept whatever piece of nonsense the Congress creates. That's just plain disingenuous.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

Lautenberg must surely be trying to provide cover for Menendez. All of the recent polling reflects a dead heat between Kean and Menendez in a blue state. Makes one wonder about Robin Toner's "New Hope for Democrats" article in the NYTimes.

If anybody's interested, the Roll Call is now up on the Senate's website.

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

Menendez, the "king" of Hudson County, probably had quite a few of his constituents die in the World Trade Center, and didn't want to be known for voting to set terrorists free. Somehow Hillary and Chuckie of New York didn't get that message. Is Hillary REALLY hawkish enough to be President, after her husband said he'd send 20,000 troops to kill Bin Laden? We need to remind voters of this in 2008!

The bad news: Conservatism is hard to sell. The good news is that it works.

"Hey, aren't there only 55 Republicans in the Senate?"

WORD: "And this is why we need to elect more [hapless tools] like Junior Casey and Ned to the U.S. Senate!"

My friends in Pennsylvania in Vermont, the two examples I gave, please, please, do your stuff on election day.

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

This means that you and I are for torture, of course. And that America is "about" torture. And the America that kos kids "knew" is now "dead" and we live in a "fascist theocracy" run by "racists" who are alternately motivated by "unmitigated evil" and a "quest for profits" as well as a "hatred" for "the religion of peace".

All of this we will be assured of all weekend long.

Oh also, you just made new terrorists. In fact, every time a bell rings, a terrorist gets his wings. From now on. Or something like that.

absentee

It's not often that I laugh audibly. Not a belly laugh, no floor rolling or tears flowing, mind you, but hey, you scored.

"Look Mommy -- Teacher said, 'Whenever you hear a bell ring, a terrorist gets his 72 virgins!'"

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

What about the machinations that preceded the vote? Specter is so far out of step with his tag line of Republican. Why does he feel the terrorists are entitled to constitutional rights? The habeas corpus amendment he floated earlier today was only narrowly defeated, 48-51.

And then you throw in....

"The habeas corpus language in this bill is as legally abusive of rights guaranteed in the Constitution as the actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons that were physically abusive of detainees," Sen Carl Levin - Mr Compassion Himself.

What are our right's? Where do Senator's Levin & Specter draw the line when it comes to American lives and freedoms? Does the constitution of America, that "We the People" document include Jihadi's from other countries that are fighting to the death to prevent democracy in the arab world?

What section of America do these politicians represent? Who do they speak for?

If ever there was a failure on the part of republicans in congress, it was with term limits. It really is time for a change, that doesn't mean the deomoncrats.... but the power these people hold has to taken back to the people, by the people, for the people.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

and the power to enforce them occur bi-annually.

The solution is to work harder to nominate conservative candidates and build a stronger, conservative congressional majority.

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

are drawn by your state legislators. Organize a comprehensive GOTV structure to solve that problem.

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

I should organize a GOTV effort to get out the vote against my gerrymandering legislators? Great...and who do I get out the vote for? I don't recall any candidate representing any party ever running on the promise to ungerrymander our voting districts.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Why does he feel the terrorists are entitled to constitutional rights?

I don't know, maybe he felt that "inalienable rights" are in fact inalienable. Nope, that couldn't be it; as Congress certainly disproved that theory today.

may have missed the whole part about "to secure these rights Governments are established among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Governed..." and all that.

Meaning, the Jihadists are more than welcome to establish their own government to "secure these rights" in a way that is comfy-cozy for them in their own land - and they can optimally so do without any help from us when at all possible. But they should expect no such treatment when in the course of their attacks against us and our interests they chose means that demonstrate they are decidedly not among those "Governed" by this particular document.

That they also violate the established protocols for legitimate armed conflict is a bonus that is obviously lost on those in the "Constitution as Suicide Pact" crowd.

Savy?

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

Do you believe that we need to shut down all prisions, which violate the inalienable right to freedom?

READ the Constitution sometime. It'll surprise you.
--
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

I've seen you post here for a few days now, saying generally that human rights, Constitutional rights, and legal rights are all the same. And you also appear to be conflating the concepts of justice and sovereignty.

There are certain rights that inhere in the individual by virtue of being human. We ought not interfere with those, for they are sacred. Life, freedom of religion, freedom to reproduce, these we do not deny except in the most extreme cases, or by way of setting boundaries for their exercise. Sometimes those rights conflict with one another, but that's for another day.

Other rights only belong to the citizen: the right to vote, and the right to travel among and inhabit any of the States, for instance. Again, these rights are ours by virtue of citizenship, and we lose them if we renounce it.

And then there are legal rights, such as the right to a jury trial, to plea for habeas corpus, to confront our accusers and their evidence, and to privacy with counsel. These rights are legal creations, made necessary by the existence of the legal system. For that reason, they are subject to it and to changes made within it. In particular, they do not necessarily belong to everyone on Earth, and their denial to one class of people or another is only of consequence to the rest of us for its impact on the legal system itself.

I am not sure that last point is persuasive, but I'll stop here on the off chance you will reply sensibly to what I've written thus far, not even having touched on your biggest issue, which appears to be national sovereignty.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

Isn't liberty a basic human right that shouldn't be taken away, citizen or not, without due (and open) process. I'm all for detaining terrorists, but we should have to prove that someone is a terrorist within a reasonable timeframe. Infinite detention without establishing actual hostile actions and with no way to prove innocence is fine if you assume that every person ever detained by the U.S. is in fact a terrorist. If some percentage of detainees are not terrorists, are we right in depriving them of liberty? I don't think we should let terrorists go or give them special rights. However, shouldn't we have to demonstrate some level of confidence that the people we detain are actually intending to harm us? Shouldn't innocent people have some recourse to challenge their detainment?

As far as the legal right argument, the "existence of the legal system" is not simply a procedural mechanism to deal with minute details of regulations and rules. There is a fundamental philosophy that protects basic rights, deemed by the founders to be inalienable, given by "their Creator". Do you agree that our legal system protects our rights, and that legal rights enforce fairness in the process? If so, how can you really deny legal rights to even non-citizens to make sure their human rights haven't been infringed upon?

Due process is what we apply to each other in the domestic arena where we have made trade-offs between liberty and security in a crime problem context.

When it comes to facing a foreign enemy or a domestic enemy or ally of a foreign enemy bent on our destruction or to exact political results through attacks on the country as a whole, our Constitution vests the responsibility for WAGING war in one man so as to maximize efficiency and accountability.

It is the President that is given the power to KILL those he deems to be the enemy. When Congress authorizes or approves and acquiesces thru inaction, then the President and he alone WAGES war. The congressional act is the indictment, if you will.

For a court to stand between his own country and an enemy is anathema to nationhood.

The courts exist to interpret law in the domestic arena.

War powers are for the president and Congress.

And the power to WAGE war, ie identify the enemy, intl gathering, killing, breaking things and detaining the enemy, is the President's power, and if congress disapproves they can cut off $$, impeach and the people can vote them out.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

There have been a number of cases of imprisonment of people who had no connection to terrorism and weren't at war with us (Maher Arar, for one). Those people were identified not by fighting us but by being misidentified or turned in by "allies" with questionable motives. Since fighting terrorism means that we have to work in a "civilian" environment (we don't just look for terrorist training camps), isn't there a good chance that we are going to apprehend a number of people who aren't at war with us? Is that just "collateral damage"? Do those people have no rights? It just seems sad that we put all of "them" together in the same category - murderous terrorist assassins - and decide that their lives don't mean anything compared to our well-being. If that's the case, we should just nuke the entire region and be done with it...

If that's the case, we should just nuke the entire region and be done with it...

And since domestic law enforcement here in America sometimes arrests and imprisions an innocent person, we should nuke America as well. Do you people take some sort of college course in illogic and faulty reasoning?

it is true that innocent people are wrongly imprisoned in this country. No system is perfect. However, citizens of this country are not wrongly imprisoned on the decision of one person. There is a whole system the can be used to attempt to get at the truth. That is what is missing when looking at the detainee bill.

The nuke comment had nothing to do with the rights issue, it was a comment on how it seems that when we're talking about detainment, everyone is assumed to be the worst kind of murderous terrorist, and that our well-being trumps any consideration of the humanity of those we suspect. Taken to the extreme, one might come to the conclusion that it's just too darn hard to separate the bad from the good, and we're just too important to worry about details. It wasn't logic, just an opinion. I said earlier that those that try to harm us should be dealt with. I'm just wondering how to reconcile self-defense and the principles of liberty when we are in such a non-conventional conflict. If that makes me loony, so be it.

I'm aware that it was not logic, thanks.

Your efforts to argue that everyone on earth must be treated by America as if they were American citizens is lacking a certain something. A historical basis, perhaps. Or any grounding in law. A foreigner captured by the military does not have the same rights as an American arrested for shoplifting. I gather that this distrubs you greatly for some reason, but I think the best corrective is for you to get a clue.

Here's a specific scenario: I have relatives in Europe that visit every couple of years. Let's say that one of them is identified by mistake as someone who has provided material support to a terrorist group. When at the airport, this person is picked up by the government and is detained, is not provided access to a lawyer and has no ability to challenge the detainment. Based on flawed information, this person is designated an enemy combatant. Is this right, wrong or an unfortunate side effect of the necessity of protecting ourselves? I'm just asking, at this point I'm not trying to prove any side of it.

Do you think this scenario is unlikely and the concern is unwarranted?

Based on flawed information, this person is designated an enemy combatant.

It is wrong anytime anyone is imprisoned based on incorrect information. But it happens, even within the everyday legal system. People spend a dozen years in jail, in conditions a lot harsher than Club Gitmo, and then we say Whoops! Sorry, you can go now.

How about WWII?

No, you say...because that wasn't a war against terror, that was traditional warfare? Right, but that didn't make it any easier to tell which people living in this country as civilians were friend or foe. And a lot of seeming civilians were suspected of being foe. Some were citizens of this country; some were not. Some were known to be of "enemy" extraction (German, Italian, Japanese), but others were not. And some US citizens undoubtedly betrayed their country.

So how did we treat citizen versus non-citizens living as civilians who were suspected of being Nazi spies ("enemy combatants) during WWII? Do you think we handled the issue appropriately then? And how does that relate to what we're doing now?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

trying to sabotage bridges, were tried by military tribunal and executed after SCOTUS refused to take jurisdiction leaving the matter to the Commander in Cheif's discretion under war powers.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

...were treated exactly the same, regardless of whether or not they were citizens?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Even this SCOTUS has ruled that the President, as he has been able to do since 1776, can hold all pows and illegal enemy combatants until hostilities cease, whether they be citizens or not. That was the HAMDI case. The HAMDEN case is the one that pertained, not to the right to detain, but rather the standards of a war crimes trial. Congress has CHOSEN to give citizens greater rights in a trial.

I'm a lawyer btw, and was one of the first columnists in America after 911 to predict the disparate treatment of illegal combatants. Allow me some pride here....

Geneva actually was written in large part to cement the distinction to try and discourage fighting among civilians. Spies, who are illegal combatants, have always been able to be shot on sight so as to remove the danger to civilians.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Perhaps this was already explained (these threads are getting a little hard to follow), but...what is the difference between a "legal" and "illegal" combatant?
_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

whether (legal), or not (illegal), one subscribes and adheres to Common Article 4 of the Geneva Convention.

Article 4

A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy:

1. Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces.

2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates;

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance;

(c) That of carrying arms openly;

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

You know, even in domestic law proof must not be beyond ALL doubt, only beyond a resonable doubt, ie OJ is free.

Perfect justice comes from God.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I never said we had to be perfect, I just think we have to be careful not to give up our principles in order to feel like we can win this conflict.

You might make a start by ceasing to lecture others on what you imagine "our principles" to be. Here is a hint; we don't have any principle which says foreigners have the same rights as Americans.

But the Declaration of Independence unambiguously sets down the principle that ALL men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It did not say that "we" think it is self-evident that only Americans are endowed with these inalienable rights.

It does not say that Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights only for their own citizens, simply that they are institute to secure these rights. In fact, the use of the term "inalienable" to describe these rights carries with it the connotation that they must be accorded equally to citizens and aliens alike.

What do you think they meant by "inalienable," if not that?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

The Declaration set forth that they were fighting for the right to govern THEMSELVES to secure THEIR rights. They did this because they believed they have the inalienable right to do so, as do other peoples have the same right. But "government" is necessarily geographically limited by its very definition. hence GovernmentS for for peopleS

We can't secure everyones, but then you don;t care do you. We are trying to help Iraqis secure theirs but you were in favor of Saddam as dictator, not Iraqi self rule and a government to secure their rights were you. So you say to hell with freedom loving allies rights but cry tears for jihadist enemy rights.

pathetic

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

...this level of argument is pretty pathetic. I have said nothing to support anything you say in your second paragraph, and you know it.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

The reference "inalienable rights" and "all men" both come from the Declaration, not from the Bill of Rights. Nowhere does the Constition or the Declaration say that the rights defined in the Bill of Rights apply to all people or that they are inalienable. They are restrictions on the balance of rights between the government of the US and US citizens. The Fourteenth Amendment applies them also to the states.

The "inalienable rights" are those concerned with the right to overthrow your government. By sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan the US was not undermining the right of the Afghan and Iraqi people to overthrow their governments, but supporting those rights.

Furthermore, you have that right too. You are welcome to try to overthrow the government of the US though I, as a non-citizen, do not have that right, only the right to overthrow my own government. Before entering the US I have to pledge that I am NOT intending to overthrow the government of US by force. However, a word of advice: if you set out to overthrow your government, you had better succeed. Trying and failing is not an inalienable right and you may find that a government you have tried and failed to overthrow holds a grudge.

Treason never prospers, here's the reason
For if it prospers, none do call it treason.

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

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Nowhere does the Constition or the Declaration say that the rights defined in the Bill of Rights apply to all people or that they are inalienable.

I have said nothing about the rights in the Bill of Rights. The rights I refer to are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The "inalienable rights" are those concerned with the right to overthrow your government.

To paraphrase someone else on this thread...try reading the Declaration of Independence sometime, it might surprise you:

"...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I don't see how that could be stated any clearer.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

...many times. Here's what it says to me, in brief:

We embrace principle X (all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights). We have observed Y (King George's behavior and assessed it in light of principle X. Based on this assesment, we conclude that we have the right to take action Z (overthrowing his rule), because King George has not only failed to secure our inalienable rights, he has violated them.

If you think that this means X = Z, I can't help you with that.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Basically, your logic is (and correct me if I'm wrong):

A) Some accused are not aliens, or are not terrorists
B) Detaining them infringes their rights
C) Infringing their rights does harm to us
D) Infringing their rights does harm to them
E) The sum of C and D exceeds the value of holding them
F) We won't recognize that value in all cases

to which I add

G) Of those we release, some should have been held

To conclude, you have to be saying that of the injust cases in F, the sum of all harm done exceeds the harm done by those we are made to regret releasing in G.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I apologize, I think I replied to gamecock when I intended to reply to Socrates

Pardon me if I screw things up, I never studied formal logic, but that was a good assessment of my posting.

I don't think I included non-aliens in your 'A'

So, if you remove non-aliens from 'A', then I agree that B, C, and D are true.

About E, I don't know if there is value in holding them. If you assert that the value of holding them is that we may or may not be absolutely sure they are really innocent, then I understand it as preventing G. What I'm not sure I understand is F. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the problem is that we *at times* overestimate the value. I'm not sure what "won't recognize that value in all cases" means.

How about if we change A to be "Some accused have not been proven to be terrorists"?

As for B, detaining them does not per se infringe their rights. If we have evidence that someone is a terrorist, then we should be allowed to investigate that possibility. Detaining someone indefinitely without establishing proof of hostile action - said proof having to be made to an appropriate impartial party - does, in my view, infringe their rights. So I would modify B to be "Detaining them indefinitely with out proving harm infringes their rights" or something like that.

My position is that if we are diligent about establishing actual hostile action, then we can minimize the sum of C + D while also minimizing the cost of G.

This must be somewhat pathetic, does it make any sense? I'm serious, I'm not claiming to have formalized a rational position, a lot of my thinking is based on emotion and partial information. I think it's worth discussing this, and I like to think I'm open to different points of view...

Don't be intimidated by my fancy pseudonym (or pseudologic, for that matter). I just tried to quote you concisely; the logic was basically yours.

Including "not aliens" actually makes your case stronger, because it enlarges the pool of people who could be mistakenly targeted or affected. If someone is a citizen, guilty or not, they should not be treated the same as a foreign terrorist, should they?

The value in holding terror suspects is gaining information about their organization. Terrorists, especially religious fanatics, derive martyrdom and notoriety benefits from being captured and punished. They achieve shame and loss of organizational confidentiality and integrity by being forced to divulge secrets.

And the only rights I'm concerned about infringing are those of non-terrorists. We just don't know before interrogating them who is who.

It also presents a false dichotomy to say there are only innocents and terrorists, when in fact there is a range of guilt from Joe Citizen to Osama's Imam. If only for efficiency's sake, it behooves us to use the least amount of effective duress we can to discern a given suspect's level.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

"it is better one hundred guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer"
Benjamin Franklin

"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"
Willam Blackstone

"Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?"
Genesis 18:23

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

What I mean by the subject is that Franklin and Blackstone were both talking about citizens, not enemy combatants. The primary mistake the left, and some libertarians, are making lately is to assume that we are the target of the (")draconian, tyrannical, totalitarian(") laws the Bush administration has helped create, rather than the nation's enemies being the target.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

...of laws created by their government.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

come and live in the real world and stop trying to figure out haow many terrorists can dance on the head of a pin.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

the Constitution says that one of the duties of the Federal government is to "provide for the common defense" of "we the People of the United States". If that means giving foreign murderers who want to kill our people a rough time, so be it.

The bad news: Conservatism is hard to sell. The good news is that it works.

There is nothing about anything being a duty:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I went to the grocery store today in order to buy eggs; that doesn't mean it's my duty to buy them.

If you would go to the grocery store to buy eggs and then, deliberately NOT buy them.

One of the purposes of establishing the Constitution was to provide for the common defense.

The states are prohibited from engaging in war (unless actually invaded) - therefore the defense of the United States is a federal responsibility.

In addition, the federal government is tasked to do the following:
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion;" Article V.
- I'm sure you'll tell me that since it says "invasion" and not "terrorism" that it doesn't count, but that sounds like a responsibility or "duty" to me.

Must be that pesky word: "shall" right before the word "protect."

Government is best that governs least...

...if, upon arriving at the store, I bought eggs even though I discovered that the price was much too high for my budget or that the only ones left on the shelf were cracked, on the amazing premise that, having set out to the store "in order to" buy eggs, I was now "duty-bound" to buy them.

More to the point...that is the Preamble to the Constitution; it is not the Constitution itself. The Preamble is clearly a personal statement by its authors about why they personally had chosen to gather in that time and place to write a Constitution which would spell out what the government of the United States of America was duty bound to do (or not do). Those were simply their personal motives...not dictums to the government they were founding. They spelled out the duties of the government in the Constitution.

Well said. You are.

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

biting sarcasm, I suspect that defacationhellvisage will refuse to respond to you as he has to me. But I suspect the other great minds here are killing him via a thousand cuts.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I'm expecting John McCain to demand that the site be shut down because it violates the spirit of the torture amendment.

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

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I may have missed a comment or two, or maybe had nothing in particular to say to others, but I have certainly responded to you many times.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

The rest was from the body of the document. Any answer will do:

Do you believe that when the constitution says: The United States..."shall protect each of them [the several states] from invasion." that it implies a responsibility (duty, even!) to provide for the common defense?

Doesn't the prohibition on the states making war (again, in the body of the Constitution) imply that the responsibility for defense lies with the federal government?

Also, the consitution grants the legislature the power to make war, grant letters of Marque and Reprisal.

Your arguments are semantic and non-substantive. If the right to life is enshrined in the Constitution[which it is, in the 5th amendment and elsewhere] - AND the states are prohibited from engaging in warfare to protect that life - AND the federal government is specifically authorized, and directed to protect said life: then it's a duty. To argue otherwise is specious.

Government is best that governs least...

The sentence I took issue with was not in your reply, unless you are SteveZ. I stated it was inaccurate, and I stand by that. I have made no argument with regard to whether it is actually a duty or not. On that point, you are arguing with your own imaginings.

If you want to consider my pointing out that someone quoted the preamble inaccurately to be engaging in a "semantic" argument, feel free.

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Partisanship...so 20th Century.

I wasn't making SteveZ's argument, I was making my own using quotes from the body of the US Constitution. If you wish to refute something SteveZ said, then click reply in his post. The placement of post #184 clearly shows that you were replying to my post.

Furthermore, you most certainly did argue that the defense of the US is not a duty in post #182:
"There is nothing about anything being a duty:" [quotes preamble]
"I went to the grocery store today in order to buy eggs; that doesn't mean it's my duty to buy them."

And since I already anticipate your reply to be:
"I didn't say I don't believe it's a duty, I just said that it doesn't say duty in the Preamble..."

I repeat my assertion that you are here to play word-games and not to make any substantive statements that you are willing to justify with either facts or your own beliefs.

And of course, you have still not answered the question. Given the quoted sections from the body of the US constitution[post 183] - do you, or do you not, believe that defending the Republic is the duty of the Federal Government? If the answer is:"no", why not?

Ciao.

Government is best that governs least...

I was reading your comments last night and decided not to engage you because I thought maybe you were just mad and that this might be clouding your judgment. But today, it seems that these are things you really do believe.

What you seem to be saying boils down to: we are cowards unless we demand that our government policy be in the pacifist tradition, essentially turn the other cheek all the way to martyrdom, because we will ultimately win by maintaining our moral superiority.

I can understand your idea as an individual choice regarding the way one's self approaches the world. I presently don't see how a government official can make such a choice for its people. Care to elaborate?

There is related line of questioning I would like you to address as well. In your philosophy, where do rights come from? I.e., I was hoping you would pick up on Socrates' discussion above.

John E.

You mean the one about being misguided?

My position is that any country founded on the principle that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and specifying that these include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is clearly obligated to apply all laws relating to those rights equally to citizens and aliens alike. To do otherwise is sheer hypocrisy, and makes a twisted mockery of those fine-sounding words, to say nothing of the country itself.

Moreover, if you accept the premise that these rights were endowed by the Creator (which I do not, but many do) it seems to me that anyone who would do otherwise must surely do so at the peril of their own immortal souls.

This is not so much my philosophy as simple logic, IMO.

Emphasis on "simple".

You don't seem to have much to contribute around here.

.. it was hypocritical and a peril to the Founders mortal souls to actually fight a war against the British, imprisoning some of them and killing others, all violations of their inalienable rights. After all, if they were willing to treat the British that way, they had to behave in the same fashion towards their fellow Americans.

Did they not imprison and kill their fellow Americans who fought on the side of the British exactly the same way they imprisoned and killed the British soldiers?

PS I have never said that imprisoning or killing someone is a violation of their inalienable rights. Our government imprisons and kills its own citizens on a regular basis.

except those he can defend by force of arms either singularly or collectively.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

I do understand that you think that those of us [who believe that the rights to life and liberty are endowed by our Creator] are hypocrites because we take away life or liberty from those [who we think we have sufficient evidence and process to classify as terrorists seeking to take those rights away from us]. I am prepared to engage in a honest and self-critical dialogue about that, though I currently think you are wrong. But setting that aside for the moment. What I don't understand is where you [who don't think a Creator endows] think those rights come from and thus why you are so indignant about the possible failure of this/our policy to provide them. I start with this because I have assumed that the motivation behind your considerable effort is not simply about addressing our hypocrisy?

And regarding the first point in my previous post, one you did not respond to, I am prepared to argue that government leaders who are willing to sacrifice the lives of the public in order to achieve some Gandhiesqe moral high ground are actually acting immorally. An individual can make that choice regarding their own life, but a leader is obligated to defend the consitutents not martyr them. So a turn the other cheek policy for the sake of moral high ground is actually immoral.

I do understand that you think that those of us [who believe that the rights to life and liberty are endowed by our Creator] are hypocrites because we take away life or liberty from those [who we think we have sufficient evidence and process to classify as terrorists seeking to take those rights away from us].

I think no such thing.

I think these rights come from the Declaration of Independence...that the signers established the principle that, in this newly established, independent country, we would recognize certain rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as inalienable rights. Whether these or any other rights were actually endowed by the Creator is to me a moot point. That was the principle they established. I think the use of the term "unalienable" makes it clear that they meant all men, not just the citizens of this country. But even more so, the statement that these were rights endowed by the Creator (not by government). That is, I think they believed that the Creator endowed all men with the same rights...that citizenship in one country or another had nothing to do with it.

I am already up way too late tonight, so I will have to postpone responding to your comment on turning the other cheek tomorrow.

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Partisanship...so 20th Century.

The essential Lockean philosophy, on which the Declaration draws, is that, being endowed with these rights by natural law or by the Creator, we voluntarily allow a government to make some infringement upon them, being better able so to enjoy them then when subject to the arbitrary actions of others. The contract between the governed and the government is (IMO) only fully realized in citizenship: citizenship indicates an indefinite commitment to obey, or if tyrannous, to right, a particular government. The alien's commitment to the state is by nature transitory: though he place himself under the government of its laws, those which he intends to return to, and which he may be called upon to defend, are another's. Is it so strange, then, that the state should be partial to those who have pledged themselves to who have pledged themselves to it with undivided heart?

Although we are given these rights by natural law, in practice their exercise is always infringed to some degree or another. In a "state of nature", the actions of other individuals curtail or natural rights; in a state of government, the government to some degree infringes upon them, hopefully in a manner more restricted and judicious than in a state of nature. It does so for the general good, aiming particularly to restrict the rights of those who would interfere with the rights of others. Given then that no person, citizen or alien, is able to enjoy the full exercise of their natural rights, I think the universality of your claim is false, and it is possible to make distinctions between citizens and aliens in the course of governing, there being a great deal of latitude in what may or may not be considered a just government by the governed. (For that matter, even if we're committed to the same process in curtailing the liberty of all citizens, the degree to which we curtail that liberty--that is, the length of a prison sentence!--is hardly universal, and may make distinctions between citizens who have or have not committed previous crimes, and so forth.)

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

But I salute your ability to so cogently lay out your own reasoning on the matter.

To clarify (hopefully, but with precious little hope at this point, I'm afraid):

1. I almost started my late-night reply to Johne with "I don't think they "come from" anywhere." But I thought that was drifing off point. I am not arguing, nor have I ever argued, that men are endowed with these rights by the Creator, natural law, or by any other entity. I am very lukewarm on the whole idear of rights. I don't think anyone "has" any rights, including life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness.

2. The VERY FIRST THING I posted about the rights under discussion was, "Not Constitutional, but "inalienable." Yet I have read reply after reply after reply in which I am lectured on what rights the Constitution does and does not grant, by people who seem to be thinking they are laying waste to my argument that these are Constitutional rights. What part of "Not Constitutional" do folks around here not get?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Look, I know in a honest dialogue I owe you a defense of our position, and I am not trying to duck that. The mutant starts down the track I would take. But I want to delay that until I understand the positive argument you are making regarding your own beliefs and how that leads to your indignance.

You may feel like I am trying to mischaracterize you, but this is an honest attempt on my part to phrase my understanding of what you argued above. Help me refine it.

The DoI reflects our founders attempt to identify the principle upon which a new/this country should be founded. This principle is that there are the enumerated unalienable rights which belong to all men. The existence of these rights is merely a matter of faith. As Americans (the beneficiaries of the system of government founded on this principle} we must accept and guard this principle as a matter of loyalty to this American faith.

If I have understood you correctly, I do have some observations I would like to offer for your consideration.
John E.

I don't think you are trying to mischaracterize me. I think you don't understand me. So welcome to the human race, lol.

I just went on a little rant in my reply to CM; see if it helps or hinders. As for what you have written, yeah, that works, except for the "must" part. I'm not big on that word. However, I think you will probably follow me well enough if I say that, IMO, if this principle were actually in the Constitution, then we would be legally required to to accept and guard it. Since it isn't, we are in no way required to do so.

What I have realized in thinking about the matter over the course of the day is that (I am talking about the difference between "America" and "the United States of America." Which is very exciting to me, as this is an issue that I've always considered very murky. Moreover, it's been my experience that most of the people who blather on all glowy about "America" haven't given the distinction much thought. Or any thought at all. Or want to.

So here I will stop to counter my little rant by saying that I missed you guys (well, some of you). You (well, some of you) challenge me to think. And I love that.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Well I am trying to understand you. Its an effort akin to trying to understand my own self.

I read your reply to CM earlier and it doesn't really help. I was trying to give your position a little more cogency than that because it exposes you to a pretty harsh challenge. Namely, if you don't believe unalienable rights exist then what are you jumping up and down on our chest for, berating us for not extending them to illegal combatants. That makes your indignance seem insincere and your criticism sophistic, like you are just after calling those of us who believe in such rights hypocrites because you think our policies are inconsistent with our beliefs.

Do you identify enough with my description, sans 'must', that you would defend it as your position? And what word would you substitute for 'must'? Perhaps 'ought'? Just what level of direction are you suggesting those words in the DoI impose upon you, me and the USA? And if you elaborate on the new distinction you offered between America and the USA, would that offer me some clarification on these issues? I am ashamed to have to admit that I didn't grasp the meaning of that distinction, probably because my analytical bent often blocks out associational thinking.

Oh, and the distinction you draw about the constitution and law being the source of our 'musts' makes sense to me when I think of it in terms of a social contract. In this way, the bill of rights of rights boot straps our rights and of course it consequently does not require us to extend them to folks that don't recognize them or agree to honor our Constitution. Nevertheless, the 9th amendment http://www.redstate.com/blogs/neil_stevens/2006/sep/22/denying_and_dispa... does refer to unenumerated rights retained by the people.

Personally, I do tune into the the natural law and creator endowed sourcing, but I can see how you could bootstrap a belief in rights based upon the success of the American experiment...the beliefs are confirmed by the success they have led to. But in that case, the tradition has to contiune to succeed in order to be validated. But I need to be more certain of my understanding of your thinking before I push into this territory.
John E.

...I must ask your patience until tomorrow. I simply can't stay up late again tonight.
_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

I am prepared to argue that government leaders who are willing to sacrifice the lives of the public in order to achieve some Gandhiesqe moral high ground are actually acting immorally.

Not much argument here, except that I don't think "moral" is a particularly appropriate standard for evaluating the official actions of our government leaders. "Legally" is the most appropriate, and when that standard is difficult to apply, then something like "consistent with..." would probably be my next choice.

An individual can make that choice regarding their own life, but a leader is obligated to defend the consitutents not martyr them.

Well...a leader can make that choice too. I may or may not accept the premise that the leaders of this country are legally obligated to defend the contituents, but, either way, I would argue that, in actual practice, they do indeed marytr them.

a turn the other cheek policy for the sake of moral high ground is actually immoral.

OK, but that doesn't apply here. "Turning the other cheek" refers to one way you (or a government official) can choose to respond after someone has slapped the first cheek. Iraq didn't "slap" us; we "slapped" Iraq. And from the moment that we did, there was no longer any possibility of us turning the other cheek.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

American soldiers died to acheive the ceasefire agreement that Iraq violated numerous times and numerous ways, icluding trying to kill 41 and firing on our planes, both of which are causus bellis for war. Aloowing Saddam to stay in power was a grave mistake and allowing him to stay in power after 911 would ahve been impeachable. America had to be feared esp after 911. would be terror state sponsors had to know that to defy us after 911 meant their demise.

Moral was the right word. A president can legally do anything or do nothing.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Oh, if only we had said we were attacking Iraq because they violated the ceasefire agreement...that would have been a different matter entirely. But this was not among the reasons given, not even those offered up belatedly, after no WMDs were found.

On the other hand, I find abhorrent the idea that we would attack another country for the purpose of making people afraid of us.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

resolution links? The ceasefire authorized the no-fly zones, required Saddam to openly disarm, not fund terror, etc. He violated the ceaseire in many ways and these were all in the rersolution and in Bush's speeches.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

self with this post just when I thought you were at least a little bit serious.

punk

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

and back away from the keyboard.

--
Evil men hide from the truth, but good men stand upon it.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

This "please excuse my inanity since I was busy in the 90's" is lame, getting old, and irrelevant, especially when you fail to provide incentives to dialogue (don't you lefties love that word and concept?). I want to learn something or see evidence that my pearls of wisdom aren't wasted on porcine poop.

The reason you are still here is that you bat more than menendez and care about honor, apparently. But loving living under MAD and yet not seeing the value of being feared and the deterrant effect producing incalculable peace,

kills you credibility.

I, and 99% of humanity was "busy" in the 90s. Stifle on that. All God's clillins' got problems. hence the use of the term "punk" which I reserve for juveniles that don't yet understand that life is hell and most of human history is the story of tyranny, and that the USA is a miracle!!!

Being a Christian, though, I apologize for the use of the term. I didn't know you from a culture that reveres feces!

hahah

be cool
we kinda like you
but try to bat at least .300. The playoffs started.

and change your name to Hec Ramsey!!!

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I've been called worse. And suspect you would have called me worse, but for Da Redstate Rules, lol.

Life is how we see it. The way I see it, human history is a story of astonishing hope and resilience in the face of much pain. From which comes the joy. I love the human adventure.

The USA is not a miracle, but...a pretty darn good idear, all the same. America...maybe; her story isn't told yet. I wonder if it will have a happy ending. Or just fade away in a whimper.

PS Getting old? I think I said it once? You have talked about it more than I have. And I didn't offer it up as a defense. Or a justification. I was simply saying that I am in no position to talk about the 90s intelligently, so I don't. I can, however, give you detailed instructions on how to change clothes while driving...a trick I learned in the 90s. If you haven't learned it yet, don't talk to me about busy.

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Partisanship...so 20th Century.

I spent much time reading articles from all sources, watching speeches and press briefings, listened to Powell's presentation to the UN live as it happened. There was indeed considerable talk of Saddam's bad acts and violation of the ceasefire, but...these were offered up as evidence that he was a bad man, not to be trusted with those WMDs. It was not identified as the *reason* we were attacking, only as evidence that we were justified in our reasoning. The Bush Administration made this very clear (and much later stated that they had a number of reasons, but that they chose to focus on WMDs because they thought it was the most likely to gain support).
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Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Over time, the context for our statements sort of gets lost. I tried to go back and see why I said that to you. Its now pretty clear to me that you don't like to talk in terms of morality and I confused your criticism with those who think we are losing the moral high ground by putting such priority on our security. You aren't claiming to have a more moral position, just a less cowardly one. I do think in terms of morals but I won't impose that on you. So I'll rephrase it.

It may be brave of an individual to sacrifice his/her own life instead of infringing on someone elses liberty. That's pretty squarely in the pacifistic tradition, and I can follow your line of thinking there. I don't see how you would consider it brave of me or a leader to sacrifice your life, for example, in order to refrain from infringing on the liberty of the people trying to kill you. So I don't see where you get off calling us cowards for that.

Elsewhere the point has been made that the Constitution does require the common defense from our leaders. You may disagree with that, but I think P. Bush has made it fairly clear that he interprets it to assign that obligation. Furthermore, he takes an oath to defend the Constitution, so he has to combat hostile forces who are trying to destroy our Constitution and our institutions.

Your claim that we have proven ourselves to be cowards because we will are willing to sacrifice liberties in order to save lives, does translate into something like what I have challenged above, as contrary to common sense and to law. It is equivalent to calling a leader a coward for not scarifying the lives of constituents in order to refrain from infringing liberties. And please note, that it was in this context that i used 'turn the other cheek', not Iraq, but I agree with what gamecock says in the preceding post (and in all his other ones as well)
John E.

...I have not suggested that anyone sacrifice their life to avoid infringing on someone else's liberty. I have not suggested that anyone place themselves squarely and defenseless in front of an oncoming tank (although my hopes for America would considerably bouyed if someone did), like the young man in Tiananman Square. His life was not lost, although it could have been. Not one life was lost during the Cuban Missile Crisis, although milliions could have been.

My position is that sacrificing liberties to avoid the mere threat of death...a threat we face every day regardless, a threat, as the other nate has so cogently argued, is potentially negligible...both in absolute terms and as an increment over the many threats we face otherwise...and is certainly unknown, is cowardly, just as the act of the young man in Tiananman was courageous.

I am suggesting that sacrificing liberties because of what we think might happen is cowardly. It is making sacrifices to ward off shadows. It is offering up liberty on the alter of pure fear, and not defending anything at all.

Yes, I disagree that Constitution requires the common defense from our leaders, because I don't recognize the Preamble as being part of the Constitution, and because, even if I did, it is does not require the common defense, but promoting the common defense. (Ever consider that distinction?) And, even if I did, it would then require them to do a bunch of other things that aren't much talked about these days. We have become a johnny one-note country these days.

"...he takes an oath to defend the Constitution, so he has to combat..." Sigh...I sometimes think "a failure of imagination" may well be America's epitaph. If that is the only way he can imagine defending something, then I guess he does. And I can only hope, with most of the rest of the country, that both parties do better next time. But, like most of the rest of the country, I doubt it.

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Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Look thepoopyfacefromheck, I have done my best to understand exactly what you are saying and find the way to give your points the most merit. If I had said 'willing' to sacrifice perhaps that would have been better but with only a modest bit of effort I think you would have filled that gap. Mighten you have realized that I am thinking of actual attacks that the president's policies have thwarted.

"I am suggesting that sacrificing liberties because of what we think might happen is cowardly."

I know, and making might the operative word doesn't give me a way to grant your claim any more merit. The work you are trying to make that word do defies my common sense. Talking about motor cycle helmets, or seat belts or why reporters don't roam the streets of Bagdhad searching for Zarqawi's successor so they can tell him what we all think about him...I just don't have the energy for it.

We could talk about the nature of the threat from jihadists, but I think you can read about and have that discussion on this forum in diaries that are devoted to it.

So I give up. I'll check your other post to see if there is something we are better connecting on.
John E.

And furthermore, I think gamecock has more eloquently made the same point that I have attempted to make; i'm referring to his reply to you at http://www.redstate.com/stories/the_parties/detention_bill_passes_senate...

I have been referring to liberties, not Liberty, but I think it is particularly insightful on his part to make that distinction explicit. When an american president decides to go to war, I do think it is typically related to defending Liberty; and Americans are typically willing to sacrifice for that cause. Ironically, I think that Mr. Bush's actions are aimed at preserving and promoting Liberty. And thank goodness he realizes that preserving the temporal expression of specific individual liberties doesn't supercede preserving Liberty. And one must bear in mind that the only liberties he intends to constrain are ones that might be claimed by those who don't believe in Liberty...who are trying to take it away from us. He won't last long in office if he is actually trying to usurp power and abuse citizens or innocents.

If you reply to gc I really see no need for you to reply to me here as well.

John E.

liberties and Liberty. A distinction demonstrated by wartime leaders such as Lincoln and FDR who were prepared to make some short term compromises in the interest of the long term preservation of Liberty. They were smart enough to know that short term "compromise of liberties" could be remedied so long as Liberty was preserved; absent Liberty the existence of the right of free speech or Habeus Corpus was pretty meaningless.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

I hear that Sherrod Brown and Harold Ford also voted Yea. The Kossack rebellion is fizzling out.

Paul Hackett was the 'Netroots' guy in Ohio that Markos Moulitsas was originally supporting. He only switched to supporting Sherrod Brown in the D primary sometime after Jerome Armstrong became a campaign astrologist advisor for Brown, thus fueling speculation that MyDD is just Armstrong's old stock touting scam moved to politics.

As for Ford, I'd never heard of him being one of their guys, either, but I could be wrong there. It's not like I visit there, heh.
--
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

makes Brown one of theirs, surely. Using the sort of free association they are so fond of, it's as if Kos himself voted for torture and the end of human rights.

--
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

Nice.

--------
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. -The Fray, "All At Once"

The Kossacks don't really follow Kos the other front pagers in their politics all that much. They share a desire to mold their party more to suit them, but they don't necessarily agree on what that looks like. I would agree that few of the netroots support Brown, and no small number quite the contrary.

The remaining Ds not in Class I are in Class II - up for re-election in 2008 - with the exception of Salazar of Colorado. The Class II senators that voted against the Military Commissions Act are:

Baucus - MO
Biden - DE
Durbin - IL
Harkin - IO
Johnson - SD
Kerry - Cambodia
Levin - MI
Reed - RI

Salazar is up for re-election in 2010. No other Democratic senator in Class III voted for the MCA.

Class I senators that voted against the MCA:

Akaka - HI
Bingaman - NM
Byrd - WV
Cantwell - WA (+6)
Clinton - NY
Conrad - ND
Dayton - MN
Feinstein - CA
Kennedy - MA
Kohl - WI
Sarbanes - MD

Out of the Class I list, Sen. Cantwell of Washington seems to be in the closest race. She leads Republican candidate Mike McGavick by 6 points, according to the September 26 Rasmussen poll.

Senators, because of their six-year terms, used to be shielded by time. Now there are too many politically active groups and too much readily available information to make that assumption. If senators continue to think their votes won't be trotted out in 2008 and 2010, they are in for a shock.

The right will make every effort to defeat those who voted against it, while the left will make every effort to defeat those who voted for it.

This could turn out to be waaay better than term limits.

Partisanship...so 20th Century.

The bill passed, after all. Why declare kanly when you don't have to?

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

Thought that you were talking strictly about own-goals.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

I certainly wouldn't shed any tears if we voted out pretty much this entire Congress over the next four years and started over with a clean slate. I doubt a lot of other voters would, either.
_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

Baucas, though is from Montana (MT, not MO) and appears to be doing exactly what you imply: setting up his re-election in 2008. The guy's one of the most liberal senators in one of the most conservative states in the country. He sprinkles his super-lib voting record with just enough of these kinds of votes in order to get re-elected every six years.

The guy's been there for 28 years... has multiple 100 percent ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, a 23 percent from the National Taxpayers Union, a 78 from the ACLU, an 85 from the NAACP, a 24 from the ACU, 0 from the Christian Coalition, a 100 percent from the NEA, a 0 from the Family Research Council and the AFA, a 75 from PeacePAC, and a 100 percent from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He garners a 75 from NOW, a 17 from Citizens Against Government Waste, and a 0 from Gun Owners of America.

What in the world is wrong with the Montana GOP that we couldn't oust this guy in any of the four elections he's been in? Are Montana voters really that easily fooled that a couple of votes on high-visibility issues like this cons them into believing the guy is conservative? We need to make his seat one of our priorities in 2008.

--------
Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. -The Fray, "All At Once"

Thanks for the correction. I posted the wrong postal code. MO is Missuori - not Montana

_Baucas, though is from Montana (MT, not MO) and appears to be doing exactly what you imply: setting up his re-election in 2008. The guy's one of the most liberal senators in one of the most conservative states in the country. He sprinkles his super-lib voting record with just enough of these kinds of votes in order to get re-elected every six years._

It's important to note that Sen. Baucas voted _against_ the Military Commissions Act.

John Kerry to be delivering munitions to them sometime soon?

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

Carper by Oz

Let's give Carper some due on this.

He is not vulnerable (even if up for re-election). He is not in a red state. He is bucking his party and the netroots whackos on the left.

I propose a standing ovation.

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

but from this single case study, I'll second that motion.

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Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. -The Fray, "All At Once"

is to make Congress vote on it right before elections.

What does this tell us of the Democrat Party? They know they are so far out of the mainstream of American values that they have to shift the way they vote in the months leading up to November every two years.

One of these days, you'd think they'd wake up to that stark fact and realize they don't represent America any longer. Of course, you'd also think that America'd wake up to that stark fact and realize their Congressmen don't represent them any longer, but that hasn't happened yet. Reason number one why we need term limits.

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Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. -The Fray, "All At Once"

A long time ago I heard a phrase that has stuck with me since...

"You Can't put your foot down if you don't have a leg to stand on"

I'm happy to see my post garnered some thought, although a fair amount of it was contrived blather. Since I was most clearly talking about the Senate and the lack of representation by certain members I thought it appropriate to back up my thoughts with additional info since there is some dissention.

From the Senate's own website in regards to the Constitution, http://www.senate.gov/civics/constitution_item/constitution.htm

"Its first three words – “We The People” – affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens."

"The Constitution assigned to Congress responsibility for organizing the executive and judicial branches, raising revenue, declaring war, and making all laws necessary for executing these powers."

For those who claimed that there is no "duty", called for in the constition, I'd suggest getting out a dictionary and looking up some of the big hard words, although many on the left have cut words like, responsibility, duty and integrity out and more's the shame as I suspect that many past democrats if alive today would find a new party to associate with.

but I digress......

From the Constitution, on Habeas Corpus as written..

"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

The explaination on the site.....

"Habeas corpus is a judicial device by which jailed people may require their jailer to justify their imprisonment to a court. It is a fundamental safeguard of individual liberty, and the Supreme Court has interpreted it to give federal courts review over state court convictions and to enforce federal constitutional guarantees. It is generally accepted that only Congress has the power to suspend habeas corpus. President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the right during the Civil War met with strong opposition."

OK, so anyone with basic reading skills should be able to comprehend that number one, the constitution is an outline of the governments responsibilities or duties to the "citizens" of America and number two that habeas corpus by the admission of congress is clearly intended to be defended as a right of a "citizen".

Congress has a duty/responsibility to the citizens of our country as outlined in the constitution. Seemingly forgotten or ignored by the democratic party and some so called republicans.

As far as my thoughts on term limits, according to a senate report on the 109th congress, the average length of service in the house is about 9.3 years, or just over 4.5 terms and in the senate 12.1 years, or two terms. With the buildup of their war chest's to fight off challengers in primaries each election cycle sees less turnover in these entrenched, less accountable, politicians.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Strange__guy,

The argument over constitutional intent is certainly an important one, but your comment seems to ignore the fact that the Bush administration wants the ability to restrice Habeas for citizens as well as aliens.

The relevant section (found here) seems clear enough in defining this as applying to aliens, not citizens:

SEC. 6. HABEAS CORPUS MATTERS.

(a) In General- Section 2241 of title 28, United States Code, is amended--

(1) by striking subsection (e) (as added by section 1005(e)(1) of Public Law 109-148 (119 Stat. 2742)) and by striking subsection (e) (as added by added by section 1405(e)(1) of Public Law 109-163 (119 Stat. 3477)); and

(2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

`(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who--

`(A) is currently in United States custody; and

`(B) has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.

`(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 1005(e) of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (10 U.S.C. 801 note), no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any other action against the United States or its agents relating to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of confinement of an alien detained by the United States who--

`(A) is currently in United States custody; and

`(B) has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.'.

(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply to all cases, without exception, pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act which relate to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of detention of an alien detained by the United States since September 11, 2001.

What text are you using that contradicts that? Please quote the section in full and link to the primary source material in your reply.

Moe

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

I've gone so far as to hold my nose and delve into the case as presented by the ACLU against this bill and while they decrie much of it, there is no mention of citizens and the habeas corpus issue.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

was specifically worded to prohibit Justice John Paul Stevens from repeating Hamdi v Rumsfeld where he manufactured the Terrorist Bill of Rights™ from whole-cloth.

Here:

(e)(1) No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States...

And, here:

(b) Effective Date- The amendments made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply to all cases, without exception, pending on or after the date of the enactment of this Act which relate to any aspect of the detention, transfer, treatment, trial, or conditions of detention of an alien detained by the United States since September 11, 2001.

(emphasis added)

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

that should be Hamdan v Rumsfeld.

***

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan

You're quite right. I seem to have erroneously read your comment as a defense of the president's position on the issue, even though you never mentioned Bush.

My discomfort with the interrogation bill has its source in the Bush adminstration's overall willingness to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens nearly as much as non-citizens. I'm no constitutional scholar, but if someone could assure me that the interrogation bill will properly confine Bush's actions as it is written (ie., affecting only aliens), I would feel better. Not great, but better. So far, I have heard no such assurances.

what are the factual constitiutional encroachments you refer to? Or is this "fear mongering"? Much like the talk of the draft that was floated by the democrats, but almost all of the talk in the 7,700,000 hit on google refers to anti-bush anti-republican pontification by democrats and left leaning blogs and articles.

Gee, now what if the democrats do take over congress, would this come back up? Will the democrats enact a draft? This is something that maybe we should be talking about along with the facts about their position on taxation and national retreat, um er,I mean defense...

The facts in my argument...

bill s 89 link http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:s.89:

introduced by Earnest Hollings in the senate (hint not a republican)

bill HR 163 link http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:h.r.163:

Introduced by RANGEL(hint not a republican) for himself and MCDERMOTT, CONYERS, LEWIS of Georgia, STARK and ABERCROMBIE

Once again, not to be redundant or overly obnoxious...

BUT

You can't put your foot down if you don't have a leg to stand on.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

I must say it again, you are correct about the current interrogation bill. I never claimed that the bill is written to affect citizens. Once again, my discomfort with giving this president more of this kind of power comes from his demonstrated willingness to abuse such power.

So, are you asking me to provide evidence of this willingness? It's a fair question, although I must admit to some confusion, because I thought that the answers would have already been discussed at length in a forum like this.

To save myself some typing, I'm going to paste in my answer to a similar question from another forum. The questioner asked me what of constitutional rights were threatened by the Bush administration:

When bush signed the Patriot Act in 2001, I lost the following rights:

I lost the right to consult an attorney if I receive a demand for information from the government via a National Security Letter.

I lost the right to challenge a government-issued subpoena (via NSL) in court, as well the gag order that prevents me from seeking councel.

I lost the right to engage in private communication with an attorney. And if the government compels my attorney to release private information, the attorney cannot even tell me about it. Ever.

And none of the above even requires that I be suspected of terrorism. Section 505 of USAPA allows the FBI to demand records, outside of judicial review, from people who are not even suspected of wrongdoing, let alone terrorism. Some of these provisions were struck down as unconstitutional by various courts (notably some of NSL provisions), and others had to be fought over in the renewal legislation passed this year. In all cases, the changes were fiercely resisted by the Bush administration.

Concerning my right to Habeas, according to presidential briefs filed during prosecution of Yaser Hamdi, I have lost the right to Habeas Corpus if the government can accuse me of acting as an "enemy combatant". The defintion of enemy combatant is, of course, left a bit vague. Here's an excerpt from a brief filed on June 19, 2002 in the case:

"The military has the authority to capture and detain individuals whom it has determined are enemy combatants, including enemy combatants claiming American citizenship. Such combatants, moreover, have no right of access to counsel to challenge their detention."

A very smart fellow in the B4B forum has argued with me on this point, saying that the above quote is taken out of context and that "enemy combatant" is meant to designate only those fighters captured on the battlefield. The problem is that in the entire 46 page brief, Bush never pins down the definition of the word "battlefield" in a way meant to be applied generally (not that I can see, anyway). In other words, he wants to be the one who decides what "battlefield" means.

And the administration's prosecution of Jose Padilla makes it clear to me that Bush cares little for the definition anyway. Padilla was arrested in Chicago, nowhere near anything that could be called a battlefield.

A slight correction to my comment just now:

The abrogation of attorney-client privilege was not a part a the Patriot Act, but rather of a justice department rule encated by John Ashcroft in October of 2001.

The effect, however, was the same.

and Lincoln before patriot Act and actvist SCOTUS: reading all mail, suspend habeous, detain potential spies, deporting dissenting congressmen, trying german and US spies in maryland in military tribunal and hanging them in 8 days...

the good ole days

more on Clinton will be known when Hillary announces
see fbi-irs files
stalking
etc

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

My discomfort with the interrogation bill has its source in the Bush adminstration's overall willingness to restrict the constitutional rights of citizens nearly as much as non-citizens.

Sure, we all know how the Bush administration tramples on constitutional rights. It's a Known Fact. But at least you acknwlege that non-citizens don't have the same rights as citizens, which many commenters from across the aisle can't seem to wrap their heads around.

I read yesterday, I don't remember where, that the U.S. military currently has over 14,000 detainees in custody. I understand that we cannot reasonably expect to process them all as we would citizens, that is, using our civil justice system (is that right? Civil vs, criminal, am I using that term correctly?).

On the other hand, I am not totally comfortable with the idea of denying these detainees POW status either. I don't like the idea that Bush can re-designate them, and then be allowed to hold them indefinitely, possible long after the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are finished.

You're right, Jon, that democrats are mostly not distinguishing between citizens and non-citizens in their discussions of this issue. Many of them do this because the chaos and confusion work in their favor right now. Many others feel genuinely that America owes constitutional protection to everyone in the world. I find both motivations to be repugnant.

BTW, I am not a democrat. I am registered as, and I mostly vote, republican.

the distinction is as to interrogation methods allowed

plus, spies can be shot on sight

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Nate Nate... you may be the "other Nate" but you make the same exact arguments as Nate on another blog. No mention of Padilla here or did I just not bother to pay enough attention.

As to the 14,000 detainees, the article you refer to might be the one by the ever impartial AP "U.S. war prisons legal vacuum for 14,000". I can sum it up for for quickly, America is evil, blah blah, these poor guys who were killing American's didn't know better, even though when tens of thousands were released and were found to have re-joined the fighting the poor things got picked up again. Boo hoo.. ect ect

I'm a fairly smart guy but I don't get your point, are you just anti everything and no matter what you'll take the negative stance no matter how "fact's" are presented or what's the deal?

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Read carefully; I am AGREEING with Jon. I agree that processing 14,000 enemy combatant through the criminal justice system may not be the best thing to do, and I agree that the democrats are not making useful some distinctions in this debate. Earlier, I even conceeded your point that the interrogation bill is not written to apply to citizens.

Now, I notice that you have not engaged any of the points that I made in those earlier comments. You asked for evidence of consitutional encroachments; do you have a response to any of the statements I made concerning the Patriot Act, Ashcroft, and the Padilla case?

On the B4B forum, you claimed that my use of Padilla is illegitimate because Padilla deserves to be stripped of his citizenship before even being charged. I offered a retort, but you have so far not reponded to it. Do you need more time?

*************************

I will post my retort here, just to make it easy:

Strange_guy, I understand that Jose Padilla is a suspected terrorist. I understand that he is accused of plotting a catastrophic attack. And I understand that the crimes of which he is accused would, if true, make him a more dangerous criminal than your average rapist/murder/thief.

The problem here is I don't know if these things are true. And neither do you. We haven't seen the evidence against him. We only know what we've seen from the media. And if the Bush administration had it's way, you and I would never have heard about Padilla, and neither would his lawyers.

You seem to be proposing that some accusations are SO SERIOUS that we need to strip the accused of their citizenship FIRST, with no due process, and then try the accused outside of the justice system. Is that what you're saying?

How many other accusations are so serious to you, that they warrant stripping the accused of their citizenship as a first step?

Let's try this: What if I propose to you that anyone accused of major dealings in illegal drugs should also be stripped of their citizenship, not allowed to speak to a laywer, and be tried and judged in secret without ever seeing the evidence against them. Would you agree? Can you argue that illegal drugs are less dangerous or damaging to America than international terrorism?

BTW, Nate and Other_nate are both me.

Although when you want to speak of him as an American it's much better to speak of him as the Brooklyn born Jose Padilla as is done in all the media reporting. Funny how that is.

What about him? Do you equate him on a par with a drug dealer? While you can certainly make the argument that drugs do kill a great many Americans each and every day, I think that although addiction is a horrible thing, those Americans made a decision at some point to participate in that activity.

The nearly 3000 people that died five years ago as a result of the actions of people like Abdullah al-Muhajir did NOT make any such choice.

But YOU speak of STRIPPING Abdullah al-Muhajir of his rights, for you, what would he have to do to make it any more clear that he had ALREADY renounced his citizenship and committed treason against his country?

But you assert that I have no proof of his alleged behavior, so how do I KNOW, according to the government they claim to have factual evidence concerning his travels and intentions. That's enough for me, while they are not perfect, with their record of prevention SINCE 9/11, it works for me.

Just so we don't have to argue over meanings... treason, a violation of allegiance to one's sovereign or to one's state

Now, more specifically, Abdullah has not been charged with anything yet and to the best of my knowledge he is being held under provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the same way that some of our own military people are being held, although they are treated far harsher, with no media standing up demanding better for them. So due to the way the system works as outlined by congress in the 50's, if he's not charged with anything, he can be held. You see there are applicable laws, they've been with us a long time.

People like Kerry did nothing to change these laws that are applicable to our men and women in the military, the cut and runners in congress are content to let them sit and rot, but god forbid the same laws apply to illegal combatants or as Abdullah al-Muhajir is described, unlawful belligerency, all hells gonna break out.

Abdullah al-Muhajir came here on a mission to kill Americans according to everything I've read!!

The people in uniform, uncharged, were defending our rights to sit here and talk crap.

Look up the "Pendleton 8" if you want something real to get passionate about, it's the same thing but at least IMO you can do it with dignity.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

I don't care what his name is; I'll call him Abdullah if you want me to.

You said,

-"those Americans [victims of illegal drugs] made a decision at some point to participate in that activity."

What? Even if that were true in all cases, so what? Are you saying that illegal drugs are somehow less damaging because the victims are voluntary? Or that the drug dealer's crime should be considered less severe? Should we consider drugs and drug dealers to be a lesser threat to our society?

Even if you answer yes, it doesn't matter; your initial assertion is completely divorced from reality. What about the children of addicts, are they not innocent? What about children who are KILLED by addicts (mostly parents; look up the numbers if you're interested). What about the spouses, parents, siblings, friends... What about the multitudes of innocent bystanders killed/injured in drug-related violence, or drug-related accidents? Did any of these people make a choice? What about the rest of society that has to foot the enormous bill for the damage, how much of a choice did we have?

You haven't had much experience with addiction have you? It doesn't matter, this is ridiculous. If you want to argue about which criminal activity claims more "innocent" lives, we can do that. I guarantee you will lose that argument no matter what sort of standards you want to apply to the vicitms. Innocent, coerced, complicit, whatever. Filter the victims however you want, but I would love to hear you propose that Terrorism threatens more damage to our society than do illegal drugs.

-"according to the government they claim to have factual evidence concerning [Abdullah's] travels and intentions. That's enough for me"

Great, that's just great. The government ALWAYS claims to have "factual evidence" concerning defendants. So if we can trust the goverment implicitly, if we can take them at the word that people accused of crime are guilty, then why do we even bother with a criminal justice system? Why would we not take EVERYONE accused of international terrorism, or treason or sedition or whatever, assume them to be guilty based on the word of the feds, and then strip them of citizenship so that we can try them in secret courts using secret evidence. Does that sound reasonable?

If so, then I'll take you back to the War on Drugs, and propose that we do the same for the REALLY damaging criminals, the drug runners. And while were at it, lets draw up a list with all the other crimes bad enough that we don't have to allow the accused due process. Abdullah might be bad, but I' promise you that we can find a whole grip of worse-baddies.

-"while they are not perfect, with their record of prevention SINCE 9/11, it works for me."

God Almighty, what are you saying? Are you saying that if there were MORE terrorist attacks, you would would expect the government to be LESS aggressive with accused terrorists? If we had a whole bunch of terrorist attacks in the last five years, would your trust in the government be lowered so much that you would demand due process for Abdullah?

-"So due to the way the system works as outlined by congress in the 50's, if he's not charged with anything, he can be held. You see there are applicable laws, they've been with us a long time."

Which laws are these? Whatever they are, Bush must not have too much confidence in them, because the adminstration changed course dramatically before the case could go to the supreme court.

-"People like Kerry did nothing to change these laws that are applicable to our men and women in the military, the cut and runners in congress are content to let them sit and rot, but god forbid the same laws apply to illegal combatants or..."

Ok, well, you've stopped arguing with me here. You now seem to be arguing with someone else who likes John Kerry, wants to "cut and run" from Iraq, and doesn't care about due process for American soldiers. Please note that none of these describes me.

One last thing: I notice that you have STILL not addressed my earlier points about the Patriot Act. You asked for evidence of "factual constitiutional encroachments", which I fashioned in good faith, and so far your response has consisted entirely of repeated emotional condemnations of Abdullah al-Muhajir. Is this all I'm going to get out of you?

Don't you think it useful to step back to the insight you achieved above with Socrates? The disconnect between us and you is that you perceive the GWoT as a metaphorical war, like the war on drugs. To you the military involvement is more like an extension of the reach of our law enforcement overseas. So you see all the legal measures in the Detainee treatment act as changes to our criminal code. We, on the other hand, see the GWoT as a real war with an enemy who is determined bring our civilization into submission to theirs. So we see the DTA as a judicial system for military foes and thus rightly very different from the legal system for criminals. The PA is for criminals, but I didn't think that was the subject of this diary. From your perspective, I can see why you deal with them under the same rubric. From my perspective, that is a conflation.
John E.

You are partially correct. I see the war in Iraq as a quite real war, and I submit to the administration's placement of the Iraq war as a part of a larger War on Terror. So in that sense, I perceive the GWoT in a very visceral way, every bit as much as I perceived the Cold War, for example.

The War on Drugs is, as you say, quite metaphorical to me, but I think that this little conversation here is superfluous, because the people in charge don't necessarily share either of our opinions. Someone like John Ashcroft would positively bristle if you told him that the War on Drugs is only a metaphorical war. To him, it's yet more than a war; it is a crusade in most senses of the word, and his view is certainly shared by the bulk of executives in charge of the DEA, DOJ, and police at all levels of government.

So it doesn't really matter what I think. Let's just assume, for the sake of argument, that I consider the War on Terror to be a real war in every sense, and that I ascribe the same character to the War on Drugs, the Cold War, the War on Crime (which is nothing more than a War on Gun Ownership, IMO), etc.

For each of these causes, there's some group in government (and society) that feels it is the Most Serious Threat this nation has ever faced. They have the statitstics and the expert predictions to support their assertions, and they can very fairly label their cause the "War on ___".

My personal opinion on the severity of each threat aside, I don't believe that ANY of these groups is justified in curtailing my constitutional liberties in order to fight their Wars.

The conflation of which you speak is not mine. It is entirely the work of the current administration, and most other administrations before it. Ashcroft had NO reservations about linking the War on Terror to the War on Drugs and the War on Crime. He even had a name for it: the Nexus. Nice, huh? By and large, our states' and federal governments have strived to take legislation crafted for one War, and apply it to the other wars, and the Patriot Act is a brilliant example of this. Its drafting and marketing were clothed in sweeping pronouncements about the threat of terrorism, and yet, internally the legislation made very few distinctions between "terrorists" and other sorts of criminals.

The DTA is indeed a more focused bit of legislation. But this was, I fear, the product of bitterly fought compromise, and not the principles of the Bush administration. If the administration had been allowed its way, I fully believe that the DTA would make just as few useful distinctions as the Patriot Act did.

Replying on this thread may be a little bit anachronistic given our exchanges on the thread above. Anyway...

I understand the sense in which you say it doesn't really matter what you think. What all the people in power think dwarfs you and me. But in another sense it does matter how you think about the GWoT and the War on Drugs. And that sense is the one I was after. Namely the mental framework we use for processing information will impact how we perceive that information. When I make my framework explicit to you, it gives you the opportunity to see how I see things, to show me how it might jade my perceptions and also to ask me to think critically about my framework. When you tell me your framework it allows me to understand how you see things, etc. So I think it is relevant to our dialogue even it doesn't allow us to answer questions about how everybody else sees it. Anyway, Enumerating the extant variety of views is a bit beyond my ambition.

I don't know whether you don't want to be pinned down on this or you just don't really know what you think about it. Perhaps I am being too binary about this but despite your viscera you do still seem to be equating the GWoT with anything else that can be called a war, even the ones which are metaphorical and of legal character. To my mind that is a conflation. In that you see no distinction between World War II for example and the War on Drugs, then you don't see a conflation. But I think the differences should be obvious and anyway I started to get at that in the other thread. And i am not going to belabor here my quibbles with your beliefs about the BA.

John E.

Belabor all you want. You have earned the privilege.

Let me see if I can clear my thoughts up for you. The war in Iraq is quite real to me, as real as any other military conflict. The War on Terrorism is somewhat more nebulous to me, but I am willing to conceed its integration, part and parcel, with the war in Iraq for the sake of discussion. To this end, I will treat the GWoT as though it were an absolutely concrete thing in this forum.

The War on Drugs and the War on Crime are contraptions. They are channels for propaganda (I think that the War on Crime could just as accurately be called the War on Private Gun Ownership). They are tools for the furtherance of whatever government agenda for which they might provide plausible cover.

My essential displeasure with the Bush administration in this light comes from the way in which they try to mix all this crap up into one big mess of regulation. Again, Ashcroft even gave it a name.

Between B4B and here I had been only working our interaction for the most part since my initial post and had totally missed your previous posts on Ashcroft and the Patriot Act, so no I had nothing to say. In fact I was wondering what the heck you were talking about!

I have now taken a few moments to backtrack on this rather now lengthy thread to read your thoughts and will give them due diligence and reply. My quick response is that I'm not a huge Ashcroft fan, I believe he was well intentioned, but perhaps some of his plans were not well laid out. More on that to follow.

On the Patriot Act, a quick, off the cuff response, the courts have spoken, it still stands, parts yes have been revised, some thrown out, other provisions added.

But back to Abdullah al-Muhajir, the administration was out of time. The choices were, to charge him, which would, as I outlined, give him court access, or to re-designate him, thereby denying him that access under the UCMJ. It's a loophole, I agree, but it's been there for fifty years unaddressed.

So this is NOT something the Bush administration made up to take away our rights. Again there has been no action on this issue in congress or the courts for that matter in over fifty years, by democrats or republicans. This is where my reference to Kerry and the cut and runners fits in. I'll admit ignorance of this myself, until recently, through research of the military tribunal system.

The section of the UCMJ that was used deals with military tribunals so that's were it's pertinent. As to the transfer of him to the criminal court system after the fourth circuit held that he was in fact subject to those laws, that's not for me to figure out.

So while you may not like the precedent under which he was held initially it has been held up by the courts for over half a century.

It's not that I'm emotional about this, rather I'm somewhat indifferent to it. There is long standing precedent established in law, upheld by the courts.

As far as my faith in the administration pertaining to the prevention of terrorism, for one thing while it didn't get any press the same week Abdullah was picked up, the administration prevented an attack....

It concerned three Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda operatives recently relocated to Morocco, who had planned to use a rubber dinghy packed with explosives to attack U.S. Navy vessels passing through the Strait of Gibraltar.

Since it didn't come to pass though, does it not matter?

or what about these?

The West Coast Airliner Plot: In mid-2002 the U.S. disrupted a plot to attack targets on the West Coast of the United States using hijacked airplanes. The plotters included at least one major operational planner involved in planning the events of 9/11.

The East Coast Airliner Plot: In mid-2003 the U.S. and a partner disrupted a plot to attack targets on the East Coast of the United States using hijacked commercial airplanes.

The 2004 UK Urban Targets Plot: In mid-2004 the U.S. and partners disrupted a plot that involved urban targets in the United Kingdom. These plots involved using explosives against a variety of sites.

The 2003 Karachi Plot: In the Spring of 2003 the U.S. and a partner disrupted a plot to attack Westerners at several targets in Karachi, Pakistan.

The Heathrow Airport Plot: In 2003 the U.S. and several partners disrupted a plot to attack Heathrow Airport using hijacked commercial airliners. The planning for this attack was undertaken by a major 9/11 operational figure.

The 2004 UK Plot: In the Spring of 2004 the U.S. and partners, using a combination of law enforcement and intelligence resources, disrupted a plot to conduct large-scale bombings in the UK.

The 2002 Arabian Gulf Shipping Plot: In late 2002 and 2003 the U.S. and a partner nation disrupted a plot by al-Qa'ida operatives to attack ships in the Arabian Gulf.

The 2002 Straits of Hormuz Plot: In 2002 the U.S. and partners disrupted a plot to attack ships transiting the Straits of Hormuz.

The 2003 Tourist Site Plot: In 2003 the U.S. and a partner nation disrupted a plot to attack a tourist site outside the United States.

Drugs, alcohol, drunken driving, smoking, fast food, soda, speeding, I'll post on that one by itself thank you.

Well so much for a quick post, more later, I have a business to run...

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Fair enough; I might stop commenting on the B4B forum altogether. I find the discussions over here at Redstate to be far more thoughtful and productive. Thank you very much for that, Strange_guy, Johne, Socrates, Jon Sandor, others.

I've been too busy to check, and I agree that the discussion here is more cognent and with less of the one liner misfit personal attacks.

Well done is better than well said. —Benjamin Franklin

Discussions with the depth that I see here are very rare at B4B.

But POW's have always been held "indefinitely", meaning until the war ends. That may be a very long time in some cases, but the alternative is to just shoot them.

You're right, perhaps "indefinitely" was not quite the right word.

I have not by any means read every word of your interesting discussion, but...it just struck me upon reading this statement that you might have meant something more like "to a definable endpoint." POWs are held until the war ends (at least in theory). But these detainees...if there is a definable end to their detention, I haven't heard about it. And I think that relates to the fact that there seems to be no definable end to the War on Terror, either.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

a German soldier captured in North Africa in 1942 had no idea when his imprisonment would end. And if he thought the answer was on or about VE-Day he would have been sorely disappointed because we continued to hold Germam PWs as late as 1951 and th e Soviets did not begin releasing PWs until 1955.

I assume you're referring to the 40 or 50 Germans who survived Soviet PW camps...

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

of not knowing any actual history, only that stuff they teach in schools today.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

No matter what you wish for, the beyond a reasonable doubt stndard is not going to be applied to war, either as to detainees or those we try for war crimes. In domestic matters we apply that standard as a tradeoff for freedom vs security. But in domestic mattes, the consequences of a guilty person going free are not 911s!

unlike some conservatives here, I do values the DoI and its priciples, much of which explains the 9th amendment.

But your attempt to use the DoT to cry out for relasing war detainees is a non sequitur. First, the DoT does not obligate the US to secure all persons in the world's inalienable rights. governmentSSSSSSSS do it

and it has no relation to war in any event

The US Constitution is the meat on the bones of exactly HOW

WE THE PEOPLE formed a government to secure those rights for US.

But when WE THE PEOPLE go war with OTHER PEOPLE in war, we pass judgement, like in a criminal trial, to kill, even if we kill innocents. The dead's parents can't sue us.

See the problem you have. In war we kill and cant be challenged. So of cousrse we can do LESS than kill, and detain.

Prisoners have inalienable rights too, that they forfeit by their acts.

When the president with or without congress wages war, the verdict is in.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

And an especially important point given the difficulty that we face in trying to define the scope of the War on Terror. I would like to believe that the Bush administration intends to release the detainees captured in Iraq when the hostilies *in Iraq* come to an end. I don't know that I have read or heard one way or another, but I have my doubts.

I guess this sort of goes along with my overall distaste for the "enemy combatant" designation in the first place. I understand the concept of illegal combatants, but it seems to me that if we allow the administration do be so coy in its definitions of the War on Terror (for example, allowing the "battlefield" to be anywhere at any time, including here in the U.S.), then we are excusing it to declare ALL of its prisoners as enemy combatants, and thereby deny them the "definite" detention period usually guaranteed to POWs.

I would like to believe that the Bush administration intends to release the detainees captured in Iraq when the hostilies *in Iraq* come to an end.

1. If they are illegal combatants there is no obligation to release them;
2. Why do you like to think this? They can continue the fight and personally I'd rather have them moldering in the Cuban soil than confronting US troops somewhere;
3. "Hostilities" came to an end a long time ago. We are no longer at war with Iraq.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

...if we allow the administration do be so coy in its definitions of the War on Terror (for example, allowing the "battlefield" to be anywhere at any time, including here in the U.S.), then we are excusing it to declare ALL of its prisoners as enemy combatants, and thereby deny them the "definite" detention period usually guaranteed to POWs.

1. Interesting that you chose to refer to "the administration" rather than "the US government."
2. Unlike the folks at Gitmo, there is a clear, precise definition of a POW and the rules are very clear. They are not POWs and are not entitled to the protections granted to POWs. It would be nice if people stopped trying to dignify what they do by making them equal to American and allied soldiers.


John
---------
True, you can sit outside in Paris and drink little cups of coffee, but why this is more stylish than sitting inside and drinking large glasses of whisky, I don't know.
P.J O'Rourke

I'm going to ignore you until you can answer at least some of my earlier questions and challenges. See my last response to you above.

as we like to say....it's a KnownFact™ ;-)

he said he's:

not willing to settle for our nation continuing in "some" form.

Liberals love other forms more than they love America. They love America alright, just not the one that actually exists and has existed since 1776. They love a vision of America they imagine they could create if trusted with total power for a long enough time to hire the right bureaucrats to create what the USSR failed to create.

But if they can't have the "form" of America they prefer, they would just as soon the actual America fall. As they could just as soon create the America they prefer from the ashes of a fallen America as from within the democratic process.

Hence, the Liberals love affair with dictators. They envy the power in elitist hands. That's the "form" they prefer.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

...of a conservative is someone who is so desparate to survive, they are willing to settle for America continuing as an autocracy or an oligarchy? Because, according to Socrates, the old form (which my "fad-driven" American education taught me was democracy, but apparently to conservatives democracy was just a passing fad) was destroyed by the terrorists on 9/11, which is why we now have to continue in "some" form if we want to survive. And your definition of a "liberal" is someone who will not settle for this country being anything but democracy?

I have never considered myself a liberal...and no liberal I know considers me one, either. But, to paraphrase Howard Dean, if not being willing to accept this country becoming an autocracy or oligarchy means I'm a liberal, then you bet your boots I'm a liberal. And believe me, it is not at all "rare" for me to "admit" that I will not settle for an America that is anything but a democracy.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

WHO SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO WHOM?
by Amir Taheri
Arab News
March 5, 2005
Where is the country that Bill Clinton, a former president of the United States, feels ideologically most at home?

Before you answer, here is the condition that such a country must fulfill: It must hold several consecutive elections that produce 70 percent majorities for "liberals and progressives."

Well, if you thought of one of the Scandinavian countries or, perhaps, New Zealand or Canada, you are wrong.

Believe it or not, the country Bill Clinton so admires is the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Here is what Clinton said at a meeting on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, just a few weeks ago: "Iran today is, in a sense, the only country where progressive ideas enjoy a vast constituency. It is there that the ideas that I subscribe to are defended by a majority."

And here is what Clinton had to say in a recent television interview with Charlie Rose:

"Iran is the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami (in 1997). (It is) the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: Two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own."

Read the whole thing. It gets "better."

http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/12677

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

What did I "admit" to?

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I thought it would help me understand your post about Clinton and elections and liberal and progressives, but I don't see what one has to do with the other.

No, I am not willing to settle for our country surviving in "some form." I see that as the same philosophy held by the radical left of the Sixties, which they expressed in their slogan, "Better Red Than Dead"...and the very antithesis of "Give me liberty or give me death."

BTW, liberals and progressives don't consider Clinton to be one of them, although he might consider himself as such. They consider him to be a centrist or a corporatist. He, Hill, "the DLCers," and the DINOs are the people they have solemnly sworn to take their party back from.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

the British to win Independence, the Confederacy to save the Union, the Nazis and the Communists, ie a form of government that empowers its Commander in Chief to wage war to include aggressive interrogation to prevent attacks, save lives and preserve our freedom.

Apparently your love for America as it is and has been, is not as strong as your aversion to its faults as you see them, and the virtues of an imagined America you would like to re-make that you would be willing to fight for, with all the tools necessary to do so.

Clinton, likewise, pines for a progressive government like the one in Iran. That "form" is the one he loves above this "form".

Liberals and progressives are mad at Clinton for the compromises he made with the GOP congress. But he is their ideological soul mate. Its just that he loves Bill Clinton more than he loves Iran, America or progressive liberalism.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

...the comment about "in some form" came from Socrates who, if I understand him correctly, informed me that what you call "the form that defeated the British to win Independence, the Confederacy to save the Union, the Nazis and the Communists" was irrevocably destroyed by the terrorists on 9/11. And that, if we want this country to continue, it can only be in "some" form other than the one of which you speak. And that this is why we no longer need to extend "inalienable" rights to aliens, only to US citizens.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

commit crimes or wage war against us. We don't and have never "extended" inalienable rights to anyone. God gives them. Governments secure them. But that has NOTHING to do with the disparate tratment of legitimate POWs vs illegal spies and terrorists in war. In war we KILL the enemy, and less if its expedient.

Illegal enemy combatents have never had the same rights under the law of war as legitimate solfiers of a nation.

You are mived up on "rights" in a specific situation, "Liberty" and the right of men to self goverbnmet and the inalienable rghts they secure.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

fights for a governmental entity that controls a defined geographic area, etc.

Illegal combatents mix in with civilians.

Legal combatents get POW treatment under geneva. That means name rank and serial number only can be asked.

Your other recent posts were non-responsice. If we could have prevented the USSR from obtaining nukes before they tested their first bomb, we would have of course. Te only tangential relevance Cuba has to that is that we did try to pre-empt the arming of the nukes once we saw the missiles and we blockaded the island, not wanting to live undera permanent 5 minute warning from an ICBM.

Clinton created ECHELON with other nations to eavesdrop on terrorists to prevent attacks and he authorized redition of captured terrorists to other countries to stop terrorism.

The joke was that we went to Bosnia and Kosovo even though they had not attacked us, were not in violation of a ceasefire, didnt sponsor terror or have wmd and were not a threat to the US.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

Somehow the idear of "legal" versus "illegal" combatants strikes me as a little...I dunno...darkly humorous?

Forgive me if I decline to take up the Iraq vs. USSR argument with you. Unless you conservatives consider yourselves to be Borg-like (all sharing the exact same thoughts/opinions/perspectives), responses to one person's posts are often going not going to be responsive to someone else's perspective. And it's way too late in the evening to pick up this discussion anew with someone else.

I was busy in the 90s and missed a good chunk of that decade. All references to Bosnia and Kosovo and to many other events of that time will escape me. I don't know that much about the Clinton presidency, although I know a fair bit about him from having lived in Arkansas in the 80s. The main impression I got of his presidency was that, however deeply some people (on both the left and right) despised him, most Americans were happy to have him as their president.

When I was canvassing for The Nominee and Pretty Boy in 2004, I came across the liberal's stereotypical image of a Republican (grumpy white-haired male) who snapped that he couldn't stand either candidate and wasn't going to vote at all. I sympathized, but said I was committed to voting, and that I always keep my commitments. Then I asked him if he could have his choice of any other candidate to vote for that year, who would it be? I expected him to name another Republican, but he surprised me when he replied, without a second's hesitation, "Bill Clinton. He was smart. I didn't like him when he started, but...he was smart." On the flip side of the spectrum, a Dean Democrat told me she didn't like him at first either, but that, "in the end, he didn't do any of the things he ran on" and she was glad that "he did the right thing." Intriguing. My gut instinct is that, had he been able to run for a third term, Clinton would have been re-elected, blue dress and all.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

are both defective. I would suggest a combination of attention, study and thinking rather than resort to guts and feeleings and combinations thereof.

http://devine-gamecock.townhall.com
www.race42008.com
"Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." - Ronald Reagan

I'm rather fond of deductive reasoning, and gut feelings sometimes surprise me. But I'm also very fond of attention, study, and thinking. (Isn't deductive reasoning usually considered a form of thinking.) Since I was not able to attend or study the 90s, I'm pretty hamstrung when it comes to thinking about them. I was not trying to make an argument about/for/against anything here, just clarifying my situation with regard to that particular decade.

As for the gut feeling about Clinton being re-elected, I'm not inclined to put in the effort to attend, study, or think about this topic, since it's moot. I have a gut feeling about it, for what it's worth. If you think it's not worth anything, I would not be inclined to argue against that assessment. It's just a gut feeling, not worth defending.

_______________________________
Partisanship...so 20th Century.

 
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