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Truthdigger of the Week: Ann Beeson

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Posted on Aug 19, 2006
Ann Beeson
AP / Carlos Osorio

Ann Beeson, the American Civil Liberties Union’s associate legal director and the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, addresses the media in Detroit on June 12.

Truthdig salutes Ann Beeson, the American Civil Liberties Union officer and lead attorney for the plaintiffs in ACLU v. NSA, the case that persuaded a Detroit judge to order a halt to the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

“By holding that even the president is not above the law, the court has done its duty under our Constitution to serve as a check on executive power,” Beeson said after the victory. “Throwing out the Constitution will not make Americans any safer.”

Integral to achieving her legal victory was the establishment of “standing”—the demonstration that plaintiffs in the case have been wronged by the Bush administration’s actions. To do this, Beeson and the ACLU assembled a collection of journalists, scholars, attorneys and nonprofit organizations that claimed that the NSA’s spying program was preventing them from communicating with clients or sources who may have been under government surveillance. (This was no mean feat, considering that because of the secretive nature of the program it was almost impossible to know which calls the NSA was tapping.)

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At the end, however, federal district Judge Anna Diggs Taylor accepted Beeson’s argument and ruled in favor of the ACLU, writing:

“It was never the intent of the Framers to give the president such unfettered control, particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. ... There are no hereditary Kings in America and no powers not created by the Constitution. So all ‘inherent powers’ must derive from that Constitution.”

Check out information on Beeson’s background from the ACLU website:

Based in New York, she has litigated numerous civil liberties cases across the country. In November 2001, she argued before the United States Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. ACLU, a challenge to the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), in which the lower courts had struck down Congress’s attempt to impose criminal sanctions on protected Internet speech.  The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Third Circuit but left the injunction in place, and the Third Circuit recently struck down the law a second time.

As counsel for plaintiffs in Reno v. ACLU, Beeson was a primary architect of the landmark case in which the Supreme Court in 1997 declared the Communications Decency Act (CDA)—the first federal Internet censorship law—unconstitutional and unequivocally affirmed free speech rights in cyberspace. “We’re defining the legal parameters of civil liberties in the digital age,” says Beeson, a former Litigation Director of the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program. “This continues to be a cutting-edge area of the law.”


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By Franco - An American Patriot, September 2, 2006 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks Dawg - I should have known that. Guess I should read up more on the organization’s history. Glad they stood up for Rush even if I think he’s a toad. The law needs to be applied equally liberal, conservative, in between or none of the above.

Now what’s next? According to the ACLU website “Judge Taylor will next consider a request from the government for a stay pending the government’s appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The ACLU will oppose the motion, but has agreed to a short temporary stay until the court can rule on the government’s request. That hearing is expected to be held on September 7th.”

We shall see… stay tuned. I know I will.

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By Tha Dawg, September 2, 2006 at 11:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Roger Baldwin was the founder of the ACLU.  As far as I can tell, he was one of the Boston turn-of-the-century progressives, along with Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Dewey, etc.

As far as White’s comment goes, it’s completely false. the ACLU actually did come to Rush’s defense. In fact, they have come to the defense of all kinds of right wing causes, including the KKK’s. It’s just that normally, it’s right wing, corporate groups who are fighting the ACLU, so most people think of the ACLU as a liberal group.

Tha Dawg

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By Franco - An American Patriot, September 2, 2006 at 3:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well folks - if anyone is still reading this thread - it was an exhausting exercise and it took a while but I believe that logic has finally crushed Mr. White’s specious argument. To prove my point he has resorted to the age old tactic, which I described in an earlier post, of changing the subject and resorting to name calling i.e. the “ACLU is out to destroy America.” And who the heck is Roger Baldwin anyway - never heard of him.

Please feel free to use these arguments in your discussions with other misguided “conservatives.”

And to Mr. Fadel Abdullah, who wrote the first post on this story - there is hope. There is hope when we stand up and speak the truth. Calm logic and efforts such as those by the ACLU in this case prove that America IS a nation of laws and IS a nation of justice but only if we speak up and not let the forces of darkness overwhelm the people with their money and their Faux News. If we sit idly by; as the saying goes “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So stand and be counted and don’t let the bastards wear you down.

peace -

Franco - An American Patriot

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By paul white, August 31, 2006 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To website browsers:

Be ware of those following Roger Baldwin, but claiming to be patriots.  This is a guise—like the frog in the kettle.  The ACLU did not come to Rush’s defense.  I wonder why?

The ACLU is out to destroy America.

Paul White
In the Right

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By Franco - An American Patriot, August 29, 2006 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Point #1: “The Constitution article describing the powers of the President” 

Which one? Please quote it here. The War Powers Act? Please quote the relevant sections here.

Point #2: “Why do you keep saying, “spying on Americans?” Because they are.

While I do not dispute the administration may be and should be listening in on conversations or recording telephone numbers of suspected terrorists on US and foreign soil I do not, like many other Americans, trust the government to do that and only that, especially when they are breaking the law to do it. There are too many instances of this and other administrations playing footloose and fancy free with the law and their power. Hence the inclusion, in my last post, of a list of organizations like PETA, Greenpeace, The Quakers (among the earliest religious groups to seek asylum in the New World) Montana ACLU members (who would have thought the ACLU was in Montana?) and others that are proven in court to be targets of this very same intelligence operation. There are government documents released through the FOIA proving it.  Please look them up; I’m not the greatest typist in the world and I don’t want to make a15-page article out of this. Anyway, these groups were among the plaintiffs in the case as were several prominent intellectuals and writers (not all of whom were lefties and Bush-haters as you put it) and the judge ruled in their favor. Therefore, ipso facto, cogito ergo sum, the administration is spying on Americans. The logic is inescapable.

Point #3

Yes – PETA and Greenpeace are mainstream. They are out in the open, soliciting funds legally and openly and espouse points of view that millions of Americans agree with. That is the very definition of mainstream. It doesn’t mean everyone agrees with them but they are certainly mainstream. Not everyone likes Brittany Spears either but she’s undeniably mainstream. Any reasonable person would grant that point. It’s self-evident and again the logic is inescapable.

Point #4

“…lots of other people are involved with getting a warrant.” First of all; what is “lots?” Quantify it – explain it. Is it 5 people? 20? 30? 3? What is “lots?” Secondly you seem to think that because several or many persons are involved there will automatically be a blabbermouth to leak the fact to the NYT who in turn will absolutely publish the fact right on the front page that they are after a specific person. And then the headlines, read by millions (a real mainstream paper the NYT), will tip he/she off to the fact that the government is trying to catch him/her and potentially listen in on their conversations. If that weren’t ludicrous on it’s merit I would mention that the bad guys already know they’re being surveilled. So according to your logic and assertions there must have been leaks of FISA Court warrant operational details that tipped off the bad guys.  Please cite one instance of a leak of a FISA Court Warrant to the media where it tipped off the bad guys and they got away. Look it up – do the legwork – please - put it in writing. 

Undoubtedly the illegal operation involves at least as many people as a FISA Court warrant would involve. Perhaps even more. So by your logic there must be leaks due to the numbers of people (especially Democrats and Bush-haters) involved. In the case of the illegal program you happen to be correct. Yes! It was leaked. Maybe even by Democrats and Bush-haters. The illegal intelligence operation was leaked. And that chum, that’s a good thing.

So now you know that the legal way, a way openly on the books and not in the shadows, has remained intact. No operational details of the subjects of FISA warrants have been leaked since 1979. Tell me which is the better way? To follow the law in this case the government had to give a little power and allow oversight (very Constitutional) and have legally obtained 20,000 warrants since 1979 with only 4 declined and no leaks for 27 years! Fuggedaboudit!

I repeat: the legal program after 20,000 warrants has had no leaks in 27 years. Bushes illegal program in its first few years has already resulted in a potential Constitutional crisis. So you tell me which is the better way?

You are worried about leaks? I pray for leaks – not of operational details of national security affairs – but the ones that expose government malfeasance and lawbreaking, which unfortunately, is an all too common occurrence.

Point #5

Yes – but the laws of the country must be obeyed. If they are not you have a dictatorship or a banana republic.

“Would you object to a government at war with an enemy (none of whom are citizens of that government’s country) finding out what telephone numbers the enemy (not citizens and not even residing in that country) was calling within the country (may or most likely may not be citizens of that country)? ”

No I don’t’ think I would object if I could trust the government to spy on only non-citizen terrorists. But I don’t trust the government because it is made up of humans and humans are greedy, self-righteous, egotistical and power hungry beings. That’s why we have a Constitution and laws in the first place, to oversee imperfection. Checks and balances. I don’t trust the government to make only non-citizens who exhibit probable cause to be the targets of their investigations. Neither did the plaintiffs in the case, the ACLU and neither did a Federal Judge.  So your hypothetical is specious. That which it assumes - that people are selfless only are capable of doing the right thing - is impossible.

That the target is a citizen or non-citizen in and of itself makes no difference. It’s well established law that non-citizens have essentially the same rights as citizens and except for voting and holding office there is very little that separates us, especially if they have a green card. The entire argument falls apart.

So with a specious illogical argument you ask me to agree that:

#1 - I should trust the government to break the law and then
#2 - Once they break the law trust them to only spy on our enemies.

Right? That’s what you are asking. Puleeze - I was born at night but not last night and I suspect neither were you.

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By paul white, August 29, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Franco comment 20400.

1) The Constitution Article describing the powers of the President.  More recently The War Powers Act. 

2)  Why do you keep saying “spying on Americans? ” That is not what is going on.  Again, for the fourth time.  Our govt. is spying on foreign terrorists who make cell calls from outside the USA into the USA.  It is attempting to find the telephone numbers in the USA that are being called.  It is not listening to the calls.  Franco, that is NOT (NOT) spying on Americans.  (by the way, legislation passed by Bill Clinton allows listening in on calls of Americans if such would be in the national interest, but that is not even what this issue is about).  My guess is that most of the cell phones in the USA that are being called are NOT (NOT) owned by Americans (legal Americans).  So we have non citizen terrorists outside the US calling non-citizen terrorists in the US.  W wants to know the names of the non-citizen terrorists in the US who are getting these calls.  He is not listening to the calls.  That is not the issue of the legal suit. W also wants to know the names of CITIZENS in the USa who are getting calls from our enemies.  Because we know from history that many “citizens” want to harm our country.  So, when terrorists start calling ACLU members in the USA (who are citizens),  I want my governement to know about that too.  We do have American citizens who are terrorists—who blow up government buildings in Oklahoma. 

3)  PETA, Greenpeace are mainstream?? Gasp!!!!

4)  You conveneniently (I suspect) never addressed my main point—that lots of other people are involved in getting a warrant—be it before or after the fact.  One of those people could be someone like you.  Your resentment of Bush could be so great that you would somehow reveal to the public that the Feds were on the track of El Ada Massar.  When this is published in the NY Times, the overseas terrorists stop calling El Ada Massar (planted here in the USA).  In my last offering, I never even mentioned the issue of timeliness.  Yet your last offering dwelled on the time issue.  I agree with you that time is not an issue.  What you did not respond to was the fact that where different bfolks are involved, there can be leaks.  We have democratic politicians who, because they wantb to get Bush, have leaked secrets.  Warrants = big potential for leaks and tipoff to enemy.  Enemy stops using that channel.  That’s what I wrote.

5) Franco, forgot the current US situation.  Let’s do a hypothetical.  Would you object to a government at war with an enemy (none of whom are citizens of that government’s country) finding out what telephone numbers the enemy (not citizens and not even residing in that country) was calling within the country (may or most likely may not be citizens of that country)?  If a country is at war, do you want that country’s government to know who non-citizens are calling in that country?  I do not see how you could possibly say no to that question, unless you are not what you say you are..  But you, Franco, are a patriot.  Show me one real patriot, who, when his country is at war, would not want to know who his enemty was calling in the country?  That is precisely the situation at hand today.  Anyone who feels otherwise is not a patriot, notwithstanding the self-given label.  That’s why most people feel that the ACLU is an enemy of the United States of America.  That’s why W will fight this war without warrants.

Paul White
In the Right

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By Tha Dawg, August 29, 2006 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

White—

First off, you’re totally right.  I don’t know shit about economics.  But to me the median income of Americans says a lot about how average Americans are doing.

Second, I honestly couldn’t find figures for 2006.  It’s not that I ignored them because I had some propagandistic point to make.  I looked for them, but simply don’t have the acumen to know where is the best place.  So, I opted for the census, google, etc.  Have any suggestions? I’m open to them, since one of my goals is to understand more about economics.

Third, I’m still not sure why the economy is so great. Aren’t the markets about where they were six years ago? It seems to me that deficits are a bad thing, since it means you’re spending more money than you’re taking in.  Yes, if I were president, I would want to have a budget surplus. To me, spending $350 billion on interest payments every year is bad. Is it really not that simple? Is what’s really important the relationship between the national debt and the GDP? I’m not being facetious here. I really don’t know.

Fourth, I’m not really a liberal.  I believe in some liberal doctrines, but overall, I’d have to say I’m more of a libertarian. I believe in the death penalty. I don’t like out-of-control welfare. I actually don’t even like the idea of a progressive tax system, it’s just that our budget is so bloated that only the rich can foot the bill. Ron Paul (R, Texas) is one of my favorite politicians. 

I’ll ignore your personal insults, because that has nothing to do with this conversation. If, as you say, you want to engage in the exchange of ideas, name-calling isn’t going to get us anywhere.

Remember, White, I love my country. I love my country more than I love my own ideas. I think the USA is the most amazing innovation that has happened in the history of government. That’s why it bothers me so much when I see us doing (what I consider to be) the wrong thing. If you have good ideas, I want to hear them. But University of Havanna? Come on, dude.

Tha Dawg

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By Franco - An American Patriot, August 28, 2006 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ok W. we are at war – point taken – here is your academic argument.

Show me where in the Constitution it says the president is allowed to break the law in time of war or any other time.  Come on… show me. Which article, which amendment?

You cannot because it says absolutely nothing of the kind. Argument over - you lose.

To elaborate - it’s illegal to spy on Americans without a warrant. If you believe it’s ok to do – obviously you do - then change the law. But the president is not allowed to spy on Americans without a warrant. It’s the law. Period, full stop, end of story.

You say the system is no good – fine -so change the law if you have the guts. But the argument that the FISA Court is inadequate is baseless.

Fact: The FISA court has denied 4 warrants out of 20,806 since 1979 when it was set up. How do I know? I bothered to look it up.

See this: http://www.epic.org/privacy/wiretap/stats/fisa_stats.html

I don’t care if Bill Clinton did it – that’s not the point. I don’t care if it was Mother Theresa – it’s still illegal.

Ok so you say it takes too long – that’s bull too.

Fact: The law allows WARRANTLESS EAVESDROPPING for 72 hours. So you get your wish to spy on anyone you want for 72 hours. What else do you want? I’ll tell you – you want unlimited warrantless eavesdropping. War or no war that *is* un-American.

See this from the Washington Post Thursday, December 22, 2005; Page A01

“The highly classified FISA court was set up in the 1970s to authorize secret surveillance of espionage and terrorism suspects within the United States. Under the law setting up the court, the Justice Department must show probable cause that its targets are foreign governments or their agents. The FISA law does include emergency provisions that allow warrantless eavesdropping for up to 72 hours if the attorney general certifies there is no other way to get the information.”

So much for the “it takes too long to get a warrant” theory. 

It’s true - there are people who want to kill Americans – once again your grasp of the obvious is astounding. My argument is not that we shouldn’t protect ourselves its just that we shouldn’t ruin the system we created in America to do it – otherwise the terrorists win. Don’t you get it? Turning the USA into a fascist police state would make us no better than the Taliban. So if perception matters why show the world we are so chicken shit that at the first sight of blood we throw all our hard earned freedoms out the window and sink to the level of a petty banana republic or the Taliban. Are we that wimpy anymore? There were 23,000 casualties at the battle of Antietam but that didn’t stop the liberals from prevailing over the conservatives. (Sorry… couldn’t resist)

If the government really wants to protect us they will play by the rules and get a warrant. Just because the other guys don’t play by the rules doesn’t make it ok for us not to; two wrongs don’t make a right. We didn’t exterminate people in concentration camps in WWII – the other guys did. Should we have done so? Is that the triumph of the will you are talking about? You are looking for us to be ruthless genocidal killers? Actually it wouldn’t be that out of character. We practically exterminated the Native Americans but that’s another story.

Spy on anyone you want just get a warrant. The law makes it dead easy to do so if you don’t have anything to hide why not get one? Because it’s not just the bad guys they are spying on that’s why. They are spying on honest American dissidents. It’s a classic abuse of power like Richard Nixon with Cointelpro in the 60’s & ‘70’s. People GWB doesn’t like are getting spied on, not just terrorists calling into the USA.

We are talking about mainstream groups here like PETA, Greenpeace, a bunch of Quaker Grannies in Maryland and many others… its a fact… look it up – it’s all there for you to see. These are just the ones we know about. I for one don’t want to live in a country that’s willing to give up its freedom for a little security because in the end we’ll have neither.

But that’s just what the right wing nuts want. An American Taliban where the Christian fundamentalists run the country. A place like Katherine Harris described the other day “where God chooses our leaders” and where there is “no separation of church and state.”

Not for me White, I suspect not for you either if you used your noggin and really thought it through.

And saying you don’t have anything to worry about if you aren’t doing anything wrong is ludicrous. I suppose those Quaker Grannies were doing something wrong when they were exercising their 1st Amendment rights.

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By Paul White, August 28, 2006 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dawg:

I too am confused.  My last piece (20281) did not extol the virtues of the Bush administration.  It put forth my logic for not getting warrants and then challenged Franco and any other thinking liberals (an oxymoron) to take a stab (with nothing except ideas, concepts, thoughts) without bashing Bush or denegration at explaining why we needed warrants during war to find out what cell numbers foreign (outside the US) terrorists were calling. My hypothesis was in 20281 that it was not possible for a liberal to respond without bashing Bush.

Okay, Dawg, but since you have opened a new subject, the economy. and as an Ivy League economics graduate (Brown U, Class), am I entitled to pontificate about the economy?  I hope so, since I suspect I know considerably more than you about it.  You expose yourself as a philosophy major by your ludicros comments that the surplus/deficit and median income are the two most important indicators of the strength of our economy.  Was your economic training on Shanghi U or perhaps the University of Havana??

As for your economic reaserach, we are in the third quarter of 2006.  Economic results have been published for the close of the second quarter 2006.  That being the case, why would you compare 2000 to the close of the year 2003.  The close of the year 2003 was 2 2/3 years ago.  Of course I know why you did it—to bash Bush.  You realize that the economy is SO (that’s SO) strong that you couldn’t use current numbers.  That’s why you are a liberal—you are not only an idiot, you are an insipid wennie. 

Why are you concerned about the size of the budget? When you make your decisions, do you use then-current dollars or real dollars.  Economists (WHICH YOU ARE NOT) USE REAL DOLLARS based in the same year.  Otherwise comparisons are meaningless.  If A has a $300 tillion busget in 2000 based dollars and inflation has been 25% annually for 6 years, a $650 trillion budget in 2007 is actually less in real 2000-based dollars and therfore, going the right way.  You, without addressing inflation, could come to (and you have) the exact opposite conclusions.  But who cares—as long as you can get a dig in on Bush.  When someone from the outside like me wanders into your world, you expose your true selves.  It is you, not Bush, who are idiots.  At least he got a gentlemen’s C in economics at Yale.  What did you get (using 2003 numbers in 2000; stating that surplus/deficits and median income are the most important economic factors) in economics at Yale? 

You asked why George Bush instituted a tax cut when we were fighting a war.  Could it be that he instituted it before 9/11??  DAHH….  And what’s wrong with a tax cut?  And what’s wrong with a deficit???  Other than the liberal playbook says , talk about the deficit (because you have nothing else negative to talk about in 2006).  Tell me economically, rationally why you would choose the factors you chose (other than our deficit is high—because of fighting terrorism and paying off—totally unnecessary—people who wouldn’t leave New Orleans.  Tell me (withouit referring to the liberal playbook—oh, go ahead, refer to it—the economic rationale as to why a deficit is bad?  Does that mean you believe a surplus is good??  If you were president would ypou nhave a huge surplus??  If so, why??  What would be your economic reason for so doing in light of the world environment we are in.  Please do not answer by bashing George Bushg first.  Try straight thought-process.  Can you do it.

Paul White
In the Right

ps: Dawag:  Try using 2006 fiigures, not 2003 figures.

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By Tha Dawg, August 28, 2006 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

White—I was a bit confused after reading your last piece extolling the virtues of the Bush administration. Particularly, I was surprised by your comment that the economy is “humming”, so I did some research on it. 

As you know, one of the big problems in any discussion about macro-economy is deciding which indicators are the most important.  Is it total income by all the people in the U.S.?
—-2000 - $6.424 trillion
—-2003 - $6.287 trilion

Is it the amount of tax revenue generated?
—-2000 - $980.5 billion
—-2003 - $748 billion

The country’s deficit/surplus level?
—-2000 - $264 billion (surplus)
—-2006 - $400 billion (deficit)

The country’s median income?
—-1993 - $40,500
—-2000 - $47,000
—-2003 - $44,400

In my opinion, the two most important figures are deficit/surplus level and median income.  Of course, since 2000, a few negative things which are no fault of W’s have happened - the NASDAQ crash, 9/11, etc.

However, the way that the White House/congress has handled these negatives is abominable.

Who cuts taxes before going to war? That simply doesn’t make sense. We’ve had a $650 billion budget turnaround (going the wrong way) in the last six years.

I assume that you are a conservative.  How, then, can you support W? He’s anything but conservative. Whatever happened to limited government, a staple of conservative doctrine? We’ve got a government spying on its own people, for chrissake.

Oh, I know we’re fighting a war. But who are we fighting it against?

Saddam Hussein? He’s in prison.

Bin Laden? Why let him escape on the Pakistani border?

Terrorism? That’s like trying to fight against teen angst or rebellion. Be very careful here. This war will never end. In a war against an idea, all dissenters are enemies.  And that, my friend, is not democracy.

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By paul white, August 28, 2006 at 6:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Franco and other ACLU card-carriers and Green Party Members:

I told you that you could NOT do it.  Read your 8/26 dribble.  You whimpered that I changed the subject.  You whinned that I used techinques all conservatives use.  You went right back to bashing Bush (on Iraq I believe).  Naturally, you never addressed what we should do in Iran—after I gave you my specific plan—because, of course, you have no ideas.  You apparently do not know how to engage without being negative.

One last time, Franco, and then I move on to liberals who want to enagage (people like Joe Lieberman)—your subject-the recent court decision—NO PUT-DOWNS.  Strictly academic discussion.  Can you do it?  I say you can’t because you are a pathetic liberal.  But we’ll find out.  Here goees.

We are at war. Today’s enemy tally (according to Reuters)—homicide bomber kills 38 (I believe) in Afganistan and another homicide bomber kills 18 (I believe) in Iraq.  Our enemy wants to kill us and kill any others not believeing the way he does.  So far, Franco, it would be hard for any rational man to disagree.

When you are at war, you protect yourself.  The enemy does whatever it takes.  The British were quite “above-board” and lost the American Revolution probably because they fought a civil, gentlemanly European style War.  The ACLU never compalined about their tactics.  They lost, but, hey, that happens in life.  “I do say, ole chap, let’s line up in a straight line here—as always—displaying our red coats and have a fire at these American rebs.”  In Vietnam ( a war I served in) we, at best, drew, and at worst, lost, because, in part, we had to fight a “civil” war—we had to be sure the New York Times wouldn’t second guess this or that.  WE sort of had one hand tied behind our backs.  NY Times reporters couldn’t wait to find another Lt. Calley situation.  And they were with our forces looking for one.  The enemy did whatever it took.  The enemy could care less about war atrocities.  The enemy knew that the UN had no sting.  More hilarious yet, the enemy did not take the UN seriously, seeing the makeup of the members on the UN’s Himan Rights Commission—China, North Korera, etc.  So we drew/lost in Vietnam. Nothing to badmouth yet, Franco, I hope.

Now we fight a whole new kind of war.  With three paradymes beyond any we could previously comprehend.  The first is that reality doesn’t matter—only perception matters.  Our enemey claims victory by perception only.  An absolute military whoopong is claimed by our enemy as a win and, astoundingly, our own media (the folks who are supposed to be on our side) perpetuate that myth.  So, we have our media and our enemy’s media, all pulling against us in the battle through the media.  The perception can become overwhelming. This is important because in this new war, the enemy only has to be right once.  Second, we have an enemy so crazzed, that he is willing to give his own life.  In fact, he can’t wait to die and even volunteers to die.  He wants to strap one around his waste and get to those 72 virgins asap.  There have been others willing to do that before (Japanese WWII zamakazzi pilots), but they were doing it for a state (Japan).  Here, leading us to the third paradyme, our enemy has no state.  He might be funded by various states, but he does not do what he does under any governmental authority.  Because of this, the UN can play no role.  Because of this, his enemy can’t put pressure on his state’s governement.  Because of this, when the territory where he resides is bombed, it has to be bombed (if you are an enemy allowing the ACLU to exit in your country) with precision.  Bottom line:  there is no way any government can control him.  He more or less acts alone.

Military intelligence has always been used.  It has helped us win many wars, avert many wars.  You’ve read story after story during WWI and WWII of our undercover, behind the secene, secret efforts.  Any suspicious American was spied on—anything to protect our country.  If we intruded, the rational was we’re sorry we intruded, but since you did nothing wrong, you had nothing to hide, so forget it.  Take a small one for the team.  We’re at war.  You do things differently when you are at war.  But we are right in many cases.  We stopped attacks in many cases.  The payoff is worth a minor inconvenience to a few.  We are at war!  Okay—that was the WWII mentality.  I know of no citizens during WWII upset about any of this.  For Pete sakes, we put Japanese-Americans in jail to ensure that they would not turn against us.  They were citizens and they had no rights during that war.  How do you think any Americans living in Japan fared?

So, here we are in 2006, fighting a war against an enemy that has no state flag that he fights under, wants to die when he takes us out, and knows that the NY Times hates Bush and actually feels that our enemies (with bomb belts) have the same rights as US citizens.  The homicide bomber knows that CNN and the ACLU will tear into Bush if he dare do anything other that fight a war by “reportable” means.  Unfortunately, this new war cannot be won by using reportable means.  Better than this, the crazzed bomber knows that NBC and much of liberal America is secretly hoping that we lose (that is Bush loses—we don’t want to lose a single American life, BUUTTTTT….Bush has got to lose). 
 
So, Franco, when those OUTSIDE THE US (whom we suspect are our enemy) call cell phone numbers in the US, we want to know who this is in the US that is being calledby our enemy.  We also should want to know what is being said.  If we don’t, something is wrong with our espionage.  Sometimes, the calls are going to be innocent.  And no attention is paid to them.  But sometimes those calls are not.  We need to know about that.  We need to keep following those continuing calls—associations.  It took, what, 5 months for the Brits to uncover the recent 10-plane scenario.  Imagine what would have happened if they stopped to get a warrant.  A Tony Blair hater in Parliment would let slip out one night ovver 5 Scotches that Blair is an idiot and that…and before you know it, the NY Times has a front-page article on it and the enemy is alerted and they shut down that line of communication, keeping us from gaining potentially valuable info.

You have to understand, Franco, that W does not care about your phone conversations—unless you are up to no good.  Unless you are trying to bring down the USA.  As an aside, I know many who think that the ACLU is.  But cutting you a break, if a terrorist called you truly to get a list of your favorite wines and the Feds know that, what do you care?  Why does that bother you that when a terrorist outside the USA calls you, that the Fed can find out that it is your cell phone that was called (never mind, gasp!!!, that they might be listening to what is said!!—a right granted them by Bill Clinton)?  As an American, why does this bother you, given that it’s is for your own potential protection?  These techniques do work.  We do uncover info that protects us.  So why should we stop doing it??  We’ve been doing this kind of thing illegally for years during wars.  During war, citizens are usually willing to give up some rights.  Only those who are doing something wrong aren’t.

If the govt. needs to find out whom in the US is being called by our enemy, it can proceed by getting a warrant or by not getting a warrant.  In the former case, it runs the risk of the ACLU, NY Times, a liberal judge, a Bush-hating typists in the CIA, a planted terrorist within our system ,etc, etc. finding out and spilling the beans to our enemy.  Result:  we do not get the info.  In the latter case, we get the information needed, possibly avert an attack and get Franco, the ACLU, the NY Times angry.  So what?  Who cares?  We are at war.  The overwhelming majority of folks could care less that the ACLU is upset, especially during a war.  The reality is that Bush administration is going to keep getting info without warrants anyway—we’re at war—this has to be done.  ALL OTHER ADMINISTRATIONS HAVE DONE THE SAME THING. It’s the RIGHT thing to do with this enemy.  The Clinton Administration listened without warrants.  No one spilled the beans.  They didn’t care.  The ACLU didn’t care.  So, why waste energy over Bush doing it now?  HE WOULD BE SHIRKING HIS RESPONSIBILITY AS OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF TO GET WARRANTS WITH ENEMIES LIKE WE HAVE (THE TERRORIST, THE MEDIA AND THE ACLU).

We are just wasting tax dollars because there is no way the Supreme Court will upold the decision by the Carter-appointee, given the war and the nature of our enemy.

Okay Franco.  Have at me ACADEMICALLY.  No bad mouthing Bush.  This topic only.  Ideas, arguments only.  Can you do it?  I say “no.”

Paul White
In the Right

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By Franco - an American Patriot, August 26, 2006 at 10:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. White - don’t change the subject - the subject is the court decision that declared GWB’s actions illegal.

Bulletin to all liberals: This is a typical right wing debate tactic - when faced with facts and the inevitability of losing the argument because their position is bankrupt they change the subject and resort to name calling accusing anyone who doesn’t agree with their narrow self-serving POV of being unpatriotic and wanting to tear down the administration. It’s no more than playground bully tactics – don’t let it scare you or divert you from the point being discussed.

Mr. White - As I said no amount of wishing, washing or prevarication and obfuscation by the right wing is going to change the fact that a distinguished jurist has declared the NSA spying program illegal.

So the question here is did GWB break the law? So far the answer is; absolutely, unequivocally … YES. What does the Constitution say about lawbreaking presidents? We all know the answer to that. Let’s see if, after the case winds up in the Supreme Court and they rule the program illegal, Congress has the will to enforce the Constitution. 

One point I will grant - you are correct in saying America proper has not been attacked since 9/11. Your grasp of the obvious is truly astounding. However, our new enemies (courtesy of the bungling boobs running this government) have managed thus far to kill, wound and maim 23,000 Americans not to mention 45,000 Iraqis and hundreds of thousands that we’ve helped to kill and maim.

This is an idea, a concept? We are better off? I’d say we are pretty well screwed and substantially worse off due to the incomprehensible policy of attacking Iraq because of 9/11. To quote a famous “liberal” (not!) Richard Clarke it was “like attacking Mexico for Pearl Harbor.”

This is foreign policy dilettantism at its worst… shoving democracy down someone’s throat at gunpoint is a very difficult thing to do. It takes magnitudes more intelligence and will than the present group of bungling neo-cons has. Expecting that such a wimpy effort as 130,000 soldiers would do the job is faith based foreign policy. If the Bushites and neo-cons really wanted to get the job done right they would have listened to Colin Powell and committed at least a half million soldiers to the effort. Then they may have had a chance. But the bungling neo-cons couldn’t muster the will. Now you want to do the same in Iran? You are truly deluded.

If you want to wring your hands about liberals and call us names go to some other playground. But I will say this: Yes! I am a liberal – a card-carrying member of the ACLU and a registered Green until registering as a Democrat to vote for Howard Dean in the California primary in ’04. I’m proud of being a liberal. Nobody is perfect but if it wasn’t for the liberals African Americans would still be slaves and the south would still be segregated, old people would be still be destitute without Social Security and 99% of the progress this country has made since the laissez faire days of the robber barons would not exist. The right has been trying to take us back to those bad old days ever since St. Ronald. Well you know what – America is finally waking up to the fact that this crowd led by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney are not for the people. They are for the ruling classes who just want to enrich themselves on the backs of the working folk of this country. And to make it even worse they use religion to divide us by whipping up a fundamentalist frenzy about gay marriage and wars on Christmas and a host of other non-issues to get the common folk to vote against their own self-interest. This is true class warfare.

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By paul white, August 25, 2006 at 6:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Franco and all you other liberals.

Franco, I read your piece 3 times.  There is not one single suggestion, new idea or concept in what you wrote.  It is 100% whimpering, whining and complaining.  Poor Franco.  His Daddy (W), who let there be no mistake, is in dee White House, is messing things up for poor Franco.  WHAAA…..  WHAAAAA…... WHAAAA!!!!  Now, now, Franco, don’t cry.  Let Daddy W help you.  He not only feels your pain, but he will calm you down.  Here, Franco, baby want a bottle.  Here, suck on this, little fella. 

You are liberals being liberals—doing what you do best—complaining, whimpering, whining and tearing others down.  When you can’t engage in the arena of ideas, you just resort to the ole liberal playbook and bash Bush, bash Santorum, bash me, bash Rush, bash Hannity, bash whomever, and now, even, bash one of your own Joe Liberman (a JFK liberal—social liberal, but still strong on defense).  Astoundingly, you never bash another liberal, though.  You just look the other way when they screw up.  You do not know how to react (it’s not in the playbook), when someone else uses your techniques on you. So, you just lash out and call someone an idiot or engage in self-pity.  Go back and read your own comments on this site-99% of them put forth no ideas, suggestions, counterarguments.  No, your writings are nothing more than divisive put-downs (e.g.:Bush is an idiot). 

By the way, Bush is NOT an idiot. He LOWERED your taxes (everybody’s, including the poor), we’ve had no attacks since 9/11, the economy is huming. he raised (did you hear me—raised Social Security—a decraese in the rate of increase is not a decrease), he introduce a Medicare Drug Plan—part D, he fathered an watershed education bill (with Teddy reluctantly having be be in the phot ops), and he is fighting a war (declared or not) about the survival of this country.  Because you only listen to CNN, you think Iraq is on the evrge of civil war—it isn’t.  It is on the verge of democracy.  W established democracies (you can argue they are not succesfful—but he did it) in Afgahnistan and Iraq.  W takes a position that you can’t negotiate with terrorists.  You can’t sit down and have meaningful discusssions with fascist terrorists.  Slick Willie did and that didn’t stop the planning for 9/11.  That is seen as a sign of weakness in the Arab world.  Has Bush made some mistakes, Yes.  No president hasn’t.  But no president has ever had to deal with a media that has an agenda against him.  The overwhelming, silent majority of Americans support him, notwithstanding what CNN tells you from their polls taken among citizens not likely to vote.  Watch Santorim in PA.  What are you going to do when he wins (the gap is closed to only 5% points)?  CNN told you 3 months ago that the gap was 35% points.

Let’s engage in ideas, concepts, etc. You despise Ann Colter because she goives it back to you and she does it with attitude and you can’t stand that. Why don’t you get involved in politics so that you can change the system.  Why rant and rave on a website?

Now then Franco, I say the UN institute a blockade on Iran and North Korea if they continue to ignore the UN resolution that they stop developing a nuclear weapon.  I say that the Iran regim is not of the will of the overwhelming majority of the people of Iran—we know that from intelligence.  We know that they want the regime overthrown, but they live in fear.  They want to be free, but they cherish their lives.  I say we seriously consider targeted bombing strikes in Tehran against key buildings inhabited by Iran’s president (who we know as a former terrorist who carried out attacks against the US).  Franco, what say you??

Franco, can you offer just one writing with constructed ideas (even if you disagree, which I’m sure you will), without calling me or Bush an idiot??? And without saying anything negative??  Can you just write your ideas on how to handle this WW3 situation without in any way being negative about someone else? 

I say, no, you can’t, because it’s part of your nature.  You are a liberal.  Give it a shot, Franco.  Please surprise me.  How would you handle Iran??

Paul White
In the Right

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By Brian, August 24, 2006 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr White,
I’m a registered Republican and you’re an idiot.
I voted for Bush the first time. I apologise to the world for doing so. If you can’t see that the ends( whatever the noecons think that is)do NOT justify the means then America is doomed because you’re a brainwashed Fascist. If this had been Clinton doing half of what Bush is doing, every day would be filled with Rush and Hannity and their ilk screaming blue murder and you and I would have been applauding vociferously. However, now that it’s Bush, you seem to forget that what the government’s doing is just plain flat out wrong. Why the dichotomy in your value system?

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By Tha Dawg, August 24, 2006 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey White—remember what the White House’s legal excuse for being able to torture prisoners was?

That since the U.S. is NOT TECHNICALLY AT WAR, its interrogators are not subject to the Geneva Convention. 

And that whole safety thing is a load of crap.  How safe do you think Hancock felt when he signed the Declaration?

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By chaseme, August 24, 2006 at 7:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Studies show that when a given norm is changed in the face of the
unchanging, the remaining contradictions will parallel the truth.

Equate rhyme with reason, Sun with season

Our cyclical relationship to phenomenon has encouraged scholars to erase the
centers of periods, thus symbolizing the non-linear character of cause and
effect
Reject mediocrity!

Your current frequencies of understanding outweigh that which as been given
for you to understand.
The current standard is the equivalent of an adolescent restricted to the
diet of an infant.
The rapidly changing body would acquire dysfunctional and deformative
symptoms and could not properly mature on a diet of apple sauce and crushed
pears
Light years are interchangeable with years of living in darkness.
The role of darkness is not to be seen as, or equated with, Ignorance, but
with the unknown, and the mysteries of the unseen.

Thus, in the name of:
ROBESON, GOD’S SON, HURSTON, AHKENATON, HATHSHEPUT, BLACKFOOT, HELEN,
LENNON, KHALO, KALI, THE THREE MARIAS, TARA, LILITHE, LOURDE, WHITMAN,
BALDWIN, GINSBERG, KAUFMAN, LUMUMBA, GHANDI, GIBRAN, SHABAZZ,
SIDDHARTHA,
MEDUSA, GUEVARA, GUARDSIEFF, RAND, WRIGHT, BANNEKER, TUBMAN, HAMER,
HOLIDAY,
DAVIS, COLTRANE, MORRISON, JOPLIN, DUBOIS, CLARKE, SHAKESPEARE,
RACHMNINOV,
ELLINGTON, CARTER, GAYE, HATHOWAY, HENDRIX, KUTL, DICKERSON, RIPPERTON,
MARY, ISIS, THERESA, PLATH, RUMI, FELLINI, MICHAUX, NOSTRADAMUS, NEFERTITI,
LA ROCK, SHIVA, GANESHA, YEMAJA, OSHUN, OBATALA, OGUN, KENNEDY, KING,
FOUR
LITTLE GIRLS, HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI, KELLER, BIKO, PERONE, MARLEY, COSBY,
SHAKUR, THOSE STILL AFLAMED, AND THE COUNTLESS UNNAMED

We claim the present as the pre-sent, as the hereafter.
We are unraveling our navels so that we may ingest the sun.
We are not afraid of the darkness, we trust that the moon shall guide us.
We are determining the future at this very moment.
We now know that the heart is the philosophers’ stone
Our music is our alchemy
We stand as the manifested equivalent of 3 buckets of water and a hand full
of minerals, thus realizing that those very buckets turned upside down
supply the percussion factor of forever.
If you must count to keep the beat then count.
Find you mantra and awaken your subconscious.
Curve your circles counterclockwise
Use your cipher to decipher, Coded Language, man made laws.
Climb waterfalls and trees, commune with nature, snakes and bees.
Let your children name themselves and claim themselves as the new day for
today we are determined to be the channelers of these changing frequencies
into songs, paintings, writings, dance, drama, photography, carpentry,
crafts, love, and love.
We enlist every instrument: Acoustic, electronic.
Every so-called race, gender, and sexual preference.
Every per-son as beings of sound to acknowledge their responsibility to
uplift the consciousness of the entire fucking World.
Any utterance will be un-aimed, will be disclaimed—Saul Williams

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By richmang, August 24, 2006 at 2:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

well Franco that’s what not being the bully is man, let these rage driven Americans who have been scared every which direction they turn, so they can react foolishly in time like this, wake them and show them that Democracy is not just a type of government but its also a way of life, as this administration is watering down the views of Americans, so as Americans, lets not stand by while a man no better than you are I, makes terrible decisions for the 289 million Americans who live in this country.

Lets tell these Bill O’Reilly anger infested rawwww rawww raws types that the commander and chief of the armed forces not of America not of you are I is leading us to abandon our allies, the UN, ignore laws, and lets tell them to stop putting a man on a pedestal as if he is better, smarter, know more about the happenings around the world than any other American. The same guy who got into Yale cause of who he know, son of , family of, avoids war like Clinton,  but likes to send others to meaningless war.

Wake them up cause they believe all that others they think should know best says, because of those others position of so call authority.

With no child behind left every public school has to report information(address, e-mail, even cell #) on all its students to the military so the recruiters can contact these young kids who are not getting taught properly, so therefore incapable of making rational decisions, to join the army with gassed up (pardon the pun) of all college paid for. 80 of these recruiters, last year was charged with rape and or sexual assaults, did you hear about that on the main stream news, no!!! girls age ranging from 16 up.

Where’s the out rage or are we distracted by propaganda and Ideologies that we have been taught, because everything we know, we have been taught, that’s why its so easy to scare a lot of people out of their freedom. yes we are at war but its not on terrorist why Iraq. Look at Cuba, Venezuela, ect. what have they done to us, but Saudi Arabia is ok . look deeper the truth shall set you free. its not as simple as they say. Iraq should have been a cake walk, right, sorry these people have been suffering for decades direct and most of all indirectly ,they are sick of it and this is their response. stay the course that hasn’t worked at all, we know what works but doing that would mean practicing Democracy, its not just a government its a way of life.

Hey Paul wake up man you are smarter than Fox, Cnn, MSNBC, abc, cbs expand your views and you will see. There is more than just supporting the president no matter what, he had no ideal what he was getting into all he knows is Midland, TX ,man what a small town. No one in the bush administration nor Blair administration knows about war, no one has any war experience, Powell knew about war but he left cause they didn’t want to listen to him. They are just going off of what they saw from Hollywood movies.

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By richmang, August 24, 2006 at 1:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

First of all leaking that we are watching, wirer tapping, looking at bank accounts, whatever it may be, does not matter, these people who are defending themselves, for mostly legitimate reasons, they already know that we the U.S is going to do everything in our power to find them, they are not stupid, why is there this notion that these people are stupid. A group of them did 911, these people are not dummies. Saying leaking is a problem, is garbage, its not important.

Franco, Paul what’s with this fighting are we not Americans. M. L. King says we need to save the “Soul” of America. What does this means, well stopping you guys from this ‘me conserv. u liberal. me no like u. rawwww rawwww raw

It seems to me that this republican and democrat crap seem to have become a religion type deal. It looks to me that people say to themselves that; my mother and father were democrat or republican so am going to be that, so then there are no motivation to perform research into knowing who to vote for( of course elections in the USA is like a heads or tails tossup ) and please don’t depend on the main stream media to help you decide who to vote cause they are no going to ask the real questions concerning Americans and how it affects us abroad.

I know we have been looking into that mirror, that always lies. So to get pass those lies lets start asking ourselves why did 911 happen. Its not because they hate our freedom(there are no Freedom(well at least not the ones we pretend to have), they know that, they are not stupid, remember)
  It seems to me that we think that these people just got up one day and just said look,  America, they have Freedom lets bomb them. Would you do something like that with such a stupid reason. remember they are not stupid.
We need to understand that there are things that happens before we were born, during our growing up, that pushes people to the edge. Russia invasion of Afghanistan, U.S using it to defeat Russia in the “Cold War” 1979 leaving Afghanistan destroyed no help worth mentioning given; U.S terrorist attack on Nicaragua, U.S the only country to drop nuclear weapons on people(Hiroshima and Nagasaki) And if we continue to use the same methods (WAR which= lots of innocent dead people) this type of terrorist thinking will continue. Lets be happy that Blacks did not choose these methods to counter act the terrorist acts placed on them, in this free nation, there’s much to learn from that decision. lets keep the passed in mind, learn a lot you can from pass.

So when a judge remind the American president and people this is suppose to be a democracy,  lets smile and thank her for not being stupid and jumping on the misguided bandwagon. We can’t be a bully in the world (no one likes a bully) we have to lead by example especially with having this great power, and lets have the Responsibility along with that.
 
And remember we want Renewal.

To get more real coverage on this decision go to democracynow.org and look at the August 18 news show its in the archives.  Listen to your P.E teacher “Be Well Balance”

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By Franco - An American Patriot, August 23, 2006 at 11:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. White - yes we are at war - ok I get it - you don’t need to give yourself carpal tunnel telling everybody. Actually Congress hasn’t declared war so technically we are not at war. They just gave an authorization for force – under false pretenses I might add which was just one of GWB’s impeachable offenses but I digress.

But no matter, war or peace the president still has to obey the law. The judge said the Constitution did not give him the power *even in time of war* to disobey the law. All governmental power flows from the Constitution including his and the Constitution is the people. There is nothing “inherent” to the president’s power the Constitution doesn’t give him and it doesn’t give him the power to disobey the law.

So it doesn’t matter how emotional you get - how many times you repeat it - or by typing IN ALL CAPS - it doesn’t change the fact that spying on Americans without a warrant is illegal. The ruling is clear and unless you’re on the Federal Bench or the Supreme Court you don’t have squat to say about it. Mr. B is in for some big trouble here as he is in flagrante delicto.  Using Bill O’Reilly shout down tactics cannot and will not change the reality of Bush’s criminality.

Yes, Bush is a fanatic and I don’t care for him but I do not hate him. I won’t give him that much power over me. But he is not protecting this nation… he is tearing it down. Everywhere you look he and his gang of thugs has ruined almost everything they have touched; education, the environment, Iraq, New Orleans, the budget and on and on. Like Reagan before him he can only act in the interest of his class with his obscene tax cuts spun to look like they stimulate the economy. The only thing they stimulate is a millionaire’s pocketbook.

Everything he’s doing to protect the nation will not work because he is not concentrating on the problems only the symptoms.

The administration doesn’t have to get a warrant before it spies - it can get it after the fact - this puts the lie to your argument about it taking too long.

Whether you trust me or not is irrelevant – the president broke the law – the judge ruled against him. He’s the one you shouldn’t trust he’s the one who’s abusing his power not me. Your concern is highly misplaced.

Let’s see what the full court says – this isn’t over yet.

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By regis.digiacomo@marquette.edu, August 23, 2006 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From the two photos of Ms. Beeson - Is she wearing the same clothes?
No uniform stipend from the ACLU?

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By Quy Tran, August 23, 2006 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t care what NSA wants. But I do care if it wire-taped under my bed and in my bathroom.

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By Paul White, August 23, 2006 at 9:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One more time Franco.  I forgot that this is a liberal website—it takes more than once. 

Franco, actually read the U S Constitution before pontificating about what you suspect it says or what you would like it to say.  WE ARE AT WAR!  WE ARE AT WAR!  WE ARE AT WAR!  Got it?  A president can exercise powers during war (WE ARE AT WAR, FRANCO!!!) to protect the United States of America.  The US Constitution allows the president to do that. 

That aside, it was your own Mr. Clinton who instituted and legalized spying on Americans.  No one from your side is telling you that, right?  BUT even forgetting Clinton’s legalization of “spying on Americans,”, W is not spying on Americans (notwithstanding what you are being told by experts like George Soros, Alex Baldwin, Barbara Striesand, Cindy Sheehan, etc., etc., ec.).  W IS SPYING ON FOREIGN TERRORISTS WHO ARE MAKING PHONE CALLS INTO THE USA.  GOT IT??  WE ARE AT WAR WITH THEM FRANCO.  To protect us, our government is trying to ascertain who these foreign terrorist (non-Americans) outside the US are talking to in the US.  My guess is that they are talking to non-citizen, non-American terrorists who are here in the US plotting and planning to kill you. 

I don’t want our government to have to take the time to go get a warrant.  And W doesn’t need a warrant Franco. (WE ARE AT WAR—again, cause I know you are a liberal—the Constitution gives the president special war-time powers to take quick, decisive action to protect the USA).  If our governement takes the time to get a warrant, the NY TIMES will published this on the front page before our governemnt can find out.  The terrorists will be forewarned.  The warrant process slow things down, Franco.  It is NOT instantaneous.  It involves numerous people—someone has to type it—someone has to copy it—someone has to deliver it.  Anf that someone might be you, Franco.  And quite frankly, Franco (pardon the aliteration), my family and I don;‘t trust you, because you hate George Bush so much, you become irrational.  Many Americans have an agenda (hating W) and will do anything to “get him,” including leaking knowledge of such warrants. You think that W is listening in to American citizen conversations so that he can GET them.  That’s not what’s going on here—if it were, I agree with you that warrants are required.  What’s going on here is stopping foreign fascist terrorists from killing us, NOT LISTENING IN ON YOUR Conversation.

I know you didn’t get this Franco, because you’re a liberal and you hate W.  But I tried.

Paul White
In The Right

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By Franco - An American Patriot, August 23, 2006 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Paul White maintains we are really at war. OK - you want to spy on Americans to protect us from the terrorists? Fine and dandy - I dont have one iota of a problem with that. Just get a frickin’ warrant like the law says and you can spy on anyone the FISA court agrees you have reasonable cause to suspect is a threat.

Turn his statement that his family have nothing to hide around and apply it to the Bushites: If they are all idealistically committed to protecting us from the terrorists then *they* have nothing to hide and should get a bloody warrant like the law says. Whassamatta? The law is too good for King George?

Someone please tell GWB that spying on Americans without a warrant is illegal. A high school history student could have told him that. But apparently his Attorney General and former counsel couldn’t and it took someone with much more legal acuity, wisdom and gravitas in their pinky finger than Bush’s entire Dept. Of Justice has in a gaggle of neo-cons to do the job.

Why won’t you all just wise up and realize that George can’t be King - ok? Sorry! We are a nation of laws not of C students that call themselves presidents. There is that pesky thing we call a Constitution that George just doesn’t care for because it gets in the way of his protecting “America.”

Someone needs to tell Mr. White and his Republican right wing buds that the President took an oath (twice) to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign AND domestic - not some neo-con “Leave it to Beaver” version of “America.” An America where the rich get fabulously richer and the poor get $1 outsourced T-Shirts at Wal-Mart, 99 cent burgers at McDonalds or end up in Femaville, Texas. As Pogo said “we have met the enemy and they is us…” It seems the the biggest enemies of the Constitution right now (of course there are others) are domestic and the administration and the Republican right wing fundies are at the top of the list.

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By mark, August 23, 2006 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Wikopedia - Fascism is a radical totalitarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism.
I guess one man’s fascist is another man’s conservative? But that would insult true conservatives and Bush is no conservative. Bigger government, fiscal irresponsibility… Wait, a new category - fascist conservative.
As far as 9/11, even the watered down bipartisan 9/11 commission found this admin asleep at the wheel. Kudos to Ms. Beeson and the courts for trying to salvage what’s left of our democracy.

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By richmang, August 23, 2006 at 2:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look people its not about republicans or democrats its about the American people and how we have been used and placed in mental slavery, We Americans, in this state of mind, black, white, Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese, Arab, ect ?

  Decorates have caused bad social problems and then the republicans come and put their two cents in the bucket too. When are we going to stop letting these leftist and rightist push and separate us against each other, they don’t care about us ordinary people or our kids, who keep this country running,  us!!! (ask yourselves who is fighting the war and dieing everyday), all they care about is making their pockets, their kids pockets, their corp. buddies pockets fatter, no matter if its repubs. or demos. We supported sadam in his most diabolical acts against Iraqis why stop him now, maybe because he’s getting bold and not listening to us anymore on how to conduct business, so lets get rid of him, we don’t care about terrorist sadam is a great scapegoat from Afghanistan. Start the propaganda please, scare people, it worked to control them before, they will not ask any questions and if they do, we have the main stream media in our hands to counter act their run for accountability by us, the administrations says.

  They don’t know who acted on 911 these terrorist work in small groups so they cant be penetrated, and if they do know, they are tell us “We The People” is this not a democracy? oh yeah my fault no its not.  And if anyone knows its the CIA, the CIA trained them to fight the Russians in Afghan. They hate the Russians but after the Russians left Afghan. They stop carrying out bombings in Russia and that’s what they say they would do and if you look and listen you will see that it goes right along with their actions, of course they start messing with us after we set up an army base in Saudi Arabia our Friends, who is the most radical state in West Asia (the middle east) but I don’t us saying anything about Saudi Arabia, oh wait a minute they have oil, and the money they get from oil they invest back into Europe and New York instead of using it to help the people of the region, unlike Venezuela (Hugo Chavez)Bolivia (Evo Morales’s - an ordinary guy like you and me elected in a Democratic election), who give the money from their oil back to The People.

  Everything we have in this country we and people before us have had to fight for, Freedom didn’t come out of the creation of this nation No!!! They, we, fought and die for it,  so why are we foolishly willing to let some old white Male, (the presidents, ceo’s, senators, Mayors, main stream media) no female, no Indians, no blacks, no Hispanic. come and pit us against each other. Making us give up our Freedom for so called security, security is not something that is constant in life we will never be secure, and our method of militarism will not bring us any closer to being secure, there is no renewal in that, renewal comes from things that are constant in life such as birth, death, struggle, and love (love for your mother, family, the people down the street, people in other countries, Human beings!!!) but you can’t have renewal when we try to make things that are not constant constant like money, power, security. This is why people are still try to murder each other their is no renewal that’s why they tried to bomb in ‘93 and just bomb in ‘01 because we have not shown people in and out of our society that there are logical changes being made to correct our Ideologies or stubbornness to understand each other. This waste of our potential is sad we are stuck, and running in place cause there is not and seem there won’t be any renewal going on, there should not be on gas car on the road of America right now but we have been so caught up in war and demonizing other inside and outside the great nation that we have lost sight of true progress.

And keep in mind that we are Americans not republicans, not democrats, not conservatives, not liberals, or any other crap they try to tell us we are, We are Americans who care for each other, and others across the world, not ourselves alone. “So I say to you wake up America”.

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By paul white, August 22, 2006 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You liberals just don’t realize that WE REALLY ARE AT WAR. The founders never contemplated homicide bombers with belts.  Preserving one’s own life has always been a tenant of any civilized society.  Thank God (I know….you don’t believe in Him), most thinking-people understand that for you, this is about bashing Bush (liberals being liberals), not protection. 

Most of you don’t even understand what this debate is about.  Just read your own comments on this very site.  W is NOT listening to you.  (Frankly, based upon what you write, he could care less about you whiners—he’s already been elected twice, and notwithstanding your insipid whimpering, is in the White House).  But W does, and should care about radical, militant Islamist fascits who are talking to their counterparts here in the States even as you read this.  And you should care too, except you’re too busy bashing him to see the trees in the forest. That’s why you conveniently forget or are not being told that it was your own Slick Willie who instituted and legalized wire listening in on American conversations.  Sorry folks, your animosity is misplaced.  Willie, not W, gave you that. 

W is merely trying to protect your children during a war.  Whoops—I forgot—you’re liberals—you don’t have children. 

As for me and my family, we have nothing to hide.  Do you?  I’m glad our country, when it has reasonable cause, has the foresight to track the USA phone numbers being called by certain militant, fascist non-citizen, elements calling from outside the USA.  DAAAHHHH…Do you think those calls from Iran radical terrorists are for setting up soccer practices or wine tastings? 
How in the world could you oppose the government tracking such calls from enemies outside the United States.  Their stated purpose is to wipe you and me out.  Just because John Kerry has whipped you into a frenzy about W listening to your conversations, doesn’t mean that’s what this issue is about. 

W is looking out for you.  Why shouldn’t he—he’s your Daddy.  Had Gore or Kerry been your Daddy, you would be praising them for their foresight.  Oh, by the way, how many attacks have we had here in the States since 9/11?  Do you think there just might possibly be a relationship between W’s practice and no post 9/11 attacks in the USA?  Remember, while YOU are at war with Bush, the USA is fighting a new kind, but nonetheless real WAR against terrorists. 

As for me, I’m glad that our government is looking out for my kids.

Look for Ms. Digg’s decision to be ignored or overturned quickly.  Do you think that maybe this Carter appointee might possibly have made a political decision to further the progressive agenda?  Do you think???  The silent majority will approve this reversal, notwithstanding your whimpering and whining.

Paul White
In the Right

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By rabblerowzer, August 20, 2006 at 12:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush isn’t an idiot . . . he’s a sociopath.

Many mistake him for an idiot because he’s oblivious to the commonplace ways of thinking, talking and behaving that normal people take for granted. Sociopaths don’t have a conscience or scruples to guide them and behave in ways that disgust normal people . . . but they do attract other sociopaths like flies.

George W. Bush is the current Lord of the Flies.

He inherited the title from Ronald Wilson Reagan.

The Republican party is a coalition of crooks, racists and religious fanatics. Pretty much all sociopaths. Think how birds of a feather flock together.

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By rabblerowzer, August 20, 2006 at 6:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

About the only segment of the population that regularly votes are senior citizens. As a senior citizen and social security recipient myself, I vote for Democrats every election to protect my sole source of income. The things that amazes me is the number of poor people my age who vote Republican. I used to remind them that Republicans have opposed Social Security from day one, and have done everything in their power to undermine and sabotage Social Security ever since. Incredibly, they dispute that assertion and vilify me!

Someone coined the term Invincible Ignorance to describe republican voters who ignore easily verifiable facts out of partisan idolatry. The Republican party is their religion and it’s leaders their Gods!

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I have proposal to put before Democratic voters. Call it a modern day Boston Tea Party.

Having rigged the last two elections with electronic voting machines they own and operate, Republicans will most assuredly rig the upcoming election. If they do, pickup a sledge hammer, return to the place where you voted and smash the machines.

The State owned media will no doubt call us criminals, but I call it patriotism. I hope you agree with me.

Republicans pay lip service to Jesus, but they worship Mammon.

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 19, 2006 at 9:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ann Beeson, her colleagues at the A.C.L.U. and judge Anna Diggs Taylor are couregeous freedom fighters, and I take my hat off to them in respect and admiration. However, I am not ready to celebrate yet. I know the evil ones ruling this country will put a big fight supported by huge amounts of money and devilish propaganda machine to overturn the judge’s ruling. They’ve been getting away with crimes against humanity worldwide, and I am sad to say that winning this one would be another piece of cake for them. Short of a popular bloody revolution, wrongs will not get righted at this place and time!

Sorry to be so pessimistic; but I don’t see light at the end of the tunnel soon as long as voting is determined by the power of money and as long as the average American is more concerned with sports and show biz than the future of this country.

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