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Iraq War: 1,000 Days And A Million Questions

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This past fortnight the 1,000th day of the Iraq War passed. My greatest wish is that our government had not lied to us about virtually everything to get us into it.

I don’t like liars. I don’t like arrogance. I don’t like being taken for an idiot; too stupid to make up my own mind based upon “silly things” like facts.

And it’s not just me who feels this way, though all of those are very personal reasons.

The war started on March 19, 2003 with American bombs falling on Baghdad. I was one of those who didn’t trust much of anyone else saying we needed to go to war to protect America. The country of Iraq had sat there for more than 30 years without threatening to or planning to attack America or American interests.

It was my mistake to trust Colin Powell, then Secretary of State. How could what he said before the United Nations not be true; there were biological weapons labs and facilities everywhere; missiles were being built that could attack not only immediate neighbors but reach “Old Europe” – England, France and Germany. It was all grim.

Powell, since his retirement – after the re-election of George W. Bush (Why do politicians, Republican and Democrat alike, get their spines returned to them only when they’re out of office?) – has admitted he was wrong; that his assertions were based on shaky ground. That sitting in front of the UN reeling of a series of “facts” that turned out to be false, was one of the worst moments in his professional career.

I don’t think we should be there in Iraq, but now that we are, we as a country have a lot of questions and our government and our military has to come up with a lot of answers.

Also this month, elections were held in Iraq to elect members of Parliament and other offices. There are over 6,600 candidates.

This was the best plan to get democracy in Iraq?

There is now a lot of good happening in Iraq, but getting any place based on many lies isn’t something I accept. Getting there and losing the trust of people who are meant to govern us, isn’t a price worth paying. Getting there when it was clear so many of the assumptions made were not clearly thought through; that “Yes” men and women guided us into war without listening to those who said they had questions about why we were going and what we would do when we got there. More than 2,000 American soldiers, – more than two a day – are dead, at least 30,000 Iraqis are dead, through various means but mostly at the hands of insurgents. And because President Bush said it, I’m willing to bet the figure is at least double that. The Bush II administration famously said they weren’t counting Iraqi casualties. So how come there is a figure all of a sudden? It was a stated claim that it was an American goal to bring the terrorists together in Iraqi in a “flypaper strategy.”

It worked and apparently military planners were not ready. Whether it is a bad war depends on what you ask and who you ask. All war is bad some people say, though I don’t agree. Sometimes there is a just cause; a reason for American blood to spill. Bringing Iraqi democracy may in fact be a just cause. But if this were so, then why weren’t the American people told this was our reason for going; why couldn’t the American people have decided the argument on its full merits.

This is a war that is as hard to write an opinion about – for fear of missing some part of the discussion that when you look back you realize should have been there from the beginning.

(This editorial, written by me, first appeared in the Dec. 15 issue of the Eloy Enterprise)

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About temple

Always been a writer, always maintained an interest in politics, how people communicate and fantasy worlds within photography and books. Previously wrote for Blogcritics back in 2005 and interested in exploring the issues and topics I'm interested - the changing landscape of entertainment. all from the POV of a creator first, consumer, second.
  • http://screenrant.com Screen Rant

    What the heck, I haven’t gotten aggravated today yet, and I’m sure the replies here will accomodate me.

    Temple,

    Great article, well written, and unusually balanced for this site. None of my comments are directed at you personally… they’re just my thoughts on the subject.

    The country of Iraq had sat there for more than 30 years without threatening to or planning to attack America or American interests.

    I don’t know if technically Israel is an “American interest” but Saddam was certainly encouraging (via cash payments to families) suicide bombers who murdered Israelies.

    How could what he said before the United Nations not be true; there were biological weapons labs and facilities everywhere; missiles were being built that could attack not only immediate neighbors but reach “Old Europe” – England, France and Germany.

    Personally I believe that he had plenty of time to get weapons out of the country before we ever got there and his refusal to cooperate with inspections during the prior years of sanctions certainly doesn’t lend credence to the fact that he had nothing to hide (and what did he use to gas the Kurds?). He did lose the Gulf War after all (anyone remember that?) and it was incumbent upon him to comply with what was established at the outcome. Also part of the rationale for the war was that it was a consequence of a decade of non-compliance with UN sanctions.

    Of course these days the concept of consequences for wrongdoing seems to be an alien idea.

    More than 2,000 American soldiers, – more than two a day – are dead,

    More than 116 people died every day due to traffic accidents in the US in 2004. Where’s the daily body count in the News about that?

    All war is bad some people say, though I don’t agree. Sometimes there is a just cause; a reason for American blood to spill. Bringing Iraqi democracy may in fact be a just cause. But if this were so, then why weren’t the American people told this was our reason for going; why couldn’t the American people have decided the argument on its full merits.

    Very well said, and honestly I can’t speak to that point. I am certainly not an “end justifies the means” person, but I think we’ve done the right thing.

    It’s sad that most people on this site vilify Bush instead of Saddam, who took in millions of dollars during the embargo period and instead of taking care of his people, hoarded the money and built palaces. Yet somehow the US is the bad guy.

  • gonzo marx

    i’m only gonna slap around one bit here, cuz i am way tired of hearing this piece of bullshit tossed into the Mix…

    Screen Rant sez…
    *More than 116 people died every day due to traffic accidents in the US in 2004. Where’s the daily body count in the News about that?*

    ok..let’s take a look at the Math, shall we?

    116 per day in a population of approximately 375 million is a 1 in 3,232,758 chance

    2 per day in a population of 145,000 is a 1 in 72,500 chance

    note the exponential difference here?

    as the missing troll might say…
    “take your bullshit attempt at fake statistical data off my bridge”

    Excelsior!

  • tommyd

    Excellent and true, well done Temple Stark. And don’t worry about the shilling Neocon responses to your blog with their regurgitated Fox News/National Review talking points.

    America’s war on Iraq is illegal and unjustified and disastrous any way you look at it. It’s a national disgrace. Sorry, shilling neocons, the US is the bad guy in this one.

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    There is the belief that the war is justified, just to tell the Arab world that if they attack the US, they will be attacked in return, very heavily.

    Is there a connection between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein Iraq? Doesn’t matter, to those who believe the US had to retaliate against the Arab world. And who better to attack than Saddam? He’s evil incarnate, very easily beatable and the US government would be unified to go to war against him.

    Is the war against Iraq helping to create more bad guys and recruits for Al Queda? Can a country with three distinct populations, held together under a dictatorship, really embrace democracy and live together in peace?

    The war is all about sending a message to the Arab world as a response to 9/11.

    I personally don’t agree with the war and I agree with Temple’s views. But I do understand how others justify it in their minds.

  • zingzing

    gonzo, your numbers are off a bit. the official (note: not real) population of the united states is 297 mil. the troop levels are at or around 155,000. still, you are 33 times more likely to die today if you are an american soldier in iraq than you are if you’re in a car.

    triniman, i think the message we’re sending to the arab world is, “we’ll kill you and you’ll kill us, okay? go!” it’s like it’s a fucking game to those assholes in washington.

    here’s bush’s thought process:
    bush advisor: sir, there seems to have been an attack on the world trade center, and it looks like the arab world is responsible.
    bush: i’ll execute them all! just that simple…

  • Bliffle

    “And who better to attack than Saddam? He’s evil incarnate, very easily beatable and the US government would be unified to go to war against him.”

    Actually, I think we attacked him because he was the ugly kid on the playground and had no friends.

    “The war is all about sending a message to the Arab world as a response to 9/11.”

    I’m sorry: I find all these ‘message’ rationales spurious.

  • gonzo marx

    thanks zing, i was winging it at lunchtime, i appreciate the adjustment

    i am heartened that i was a snad closer than SR tho

    heh

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    TS: “There is now a lot of good happening in Iraq, but getting any place based on many lies isn’t something I accept. ”

    So you reject the good, no matter how good it is because it arose from deception? The flower that grows from a pile of fertile manure is tainted in your eyes even though it’s beautiful in its own right? What if you didn’t know about the questionable origins of the war and just saw the outcome? How would you feel about it then, because that’s how the people of Iraq see it.

    Bliffle: “Actually, I think we attacked him because he was the ugly kid on the playground and had no friends.”

    Dead on with that observation, Bliff.

    Zing: “gonzo, your numbers are off a bit. the official (note: not real) population of the united states is 297 mil. the troop levels are at or around 155,000. still, you are 33 times more likely to die today if you are an american soldier in iraq than you are if you’re in a car. ”

    People hate me for even touching this subject, but if you organize your casualties by age range the chance of dying is almost identical if you stay in the US or go to Iraq – about 1/5 of a percent higher in the US if you count all causes of death – mainly because the age group that makes up most of the military in Iraq is the age group that produces the overwhelming majority of the auto fatalities as well.

    Dave

  • Baronius

    The war started on August 2, 1990, with the invasion of Kuwait. A multi-national coalition drove Iraq out of Kuwait. Iraq signed a cease-fire agreement, then broke it repeatedly. Note: not a peace treaty, a cease-fire agreement. The war initiated in 1990 continued until the fall of the Iraqi government.

    Bush’s actions met all requirements of international law. Do the other 999,999 questions have obvious answers as well?

  • gonzo marx

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *People hate me for even touching this subject, but if you organize your casualties by age range the chance of dying is almost identical if you stay in the US or go to Iraq – about 1/5 of a percent higher in the US if you count all causes of death – mainly because the age group that makes up most of the military in Iraq is the age group that produces the overwhelming majority of the auto fatalities as well.*

    ok Mr Nalle…i saw ya palm the card…

    how MANY (as in total number) of folks are there in the US portion of your statistical group, and did you section off the folks in Iraq by the same brackett, and how many in that group?

    i know i fucked up on the numbers total..as i said, i was winging it, but the proportions hold to within a few percentage points

    i’m interested in seeing your math

    Excelsior!

  • gonzo marx

    oh yeah…Baronius..i’ll agree with you when you show me the Declaration of fucking War signed by the Congress…

    i ain’t seen one since WW2

    some “police actions”..and this nifty “use of force”

    but are you stating that the US declares War over UN violations?..is this the new Bolton Policy?

    and i guess we are to gather that not only was “Mission Accomplished” an outright lie about the “end of military hostilities” but that Bush Sr. didn’t reall call it over after winning so big in the first place?
    ( i said it then, and i am pissed..the night the first ulf War started, i said it woudl be a New Age if they dragged Saddam out of Baghdad and in front of the World Court…a fucking shame)

    aaaaRRRRRrRRRRRrRRRgGGGGgGGGggHHHHhHHhhh!!!!!!

    whatever ya do, STAY OFF THE PHONE!!!

    Excelsior!

  • http://screenrant.com Screen Rant

    whatever ya do, STAY OFF THE PHONE!!!

    Only if you’re calling an Muslim-dominated country.

    Vic

  • gonzo marx

    even the NSA has admitted to what…30 purely domestic surveillances?

    and do you have ANY concept of what Langly can do data mining? which is something that the NSA has also stated was part of the procedure…so they could sift info to find things that match the algorithm they wanted?

    so…the Question is how much info was “mined” and if ANYONE in the US has the ability to do so without Due Process as outlined by the Constitution and applicable Federal Laws >::cough::FISA::cough::<

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    how MANY (as in total number) of folks are there in the US portion of your statistical group, and did you section off the folks in Iraq by the same brackett, and how many in that group?

    i know i fucked up on the numbers total..as i said, i was winging it, but the proportions hold to within a few percentage points

    i’m interested in seeing your math

    So would I, gonzo. Unfortunately I originally did the math in a comment on BC about 6 months ago and since BC doesn’t let you search comments I have no idea how to find the data again.’

    What I can tell you is that I used data from the insurance industry which broke deaths down by age group and then compared those deaths to deaths in equivalent age groups in Iraq.

    If you can find the stuff let me know, but I hate redoing research I’ve already done once.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    i understand and completely accept your Intent here..it’s not that i don’t trust in your ability to do the math, my problem here is what i pointed out originally

    two completely different sets of scale when it comes to the numbers…as i tried to show by what i asked for

    at least i know neither of us are happy about ANY deaths for our MIlitary, if even we do disagree on how worthwhile this Conflict is

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Actually, I see that BC has replaced the MT search tool with google search, so I actually can search the comments. I’ll see if I can dig it up.

    Before I do that I want to make very clear that the comparison means absolutely nothing beyond a numerical curiosity and a comment on the dangerousness of being a young person in America.

    Dave

  • http://screenrant.com Screen Rant

    …and do you have ANY concept of what Langly can do data mining?

    Good point, they probably ALMOST have the capability of Google. ;-)

    Vic

  • gonzo marx

    actually Vic, they smoke Google in capability…since they can access not only what resides on web servrs, but EVERY phone line and EVERY bit of data travelling over them as well as all satellite communications

    hence the NEED for Judicial Review when turning that kind of Power loose…you know, the way it lays out in the 4th and 5th Amendments

    i know some folks find them pesky and inconvenient, but i kinda like them just the way they are….same with FISA, they ARe the Law

    and here i thought one of the Reason we were doing a lot of what we do, as a Nation, is because we advocated the Rule of Law over dictators and despots

    silly me

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Just got back from traveling.

    I have to say anyone who plays the numbers game with deaths is wasting their time – as mentioned – and trying to make a point that just isn’t there. I’m not really about the game ere. There are 2,000 EXTRA deaths. Statistically maybe five of them might have died stateside. So don’t do it. It isn’t worth doing. It’s not worth paying attention to.

    … about it then, because that’s how the people of Iraq see it.

    No, really they don’t. They like that Saddam is gone. They also want us gone and they don’t – unless named Ahmed Chalabi – believe we did the best we could and have done the job the right way. That adds up to a poisonous flower. My timetable idea looks better all the time. Set one. Those currently in charge even want one.

    I don’t want anything to fail there, but we went about it inciorrectly and we seem to have done little to avoid the failure of creating a more radical Islamic statement. That’s who got voted in. So even if the intentions were great, the Administration failed in its intent.

    The question of why the American people couldn’t be told straight up what was happening, seems to have been avoided , except by Screen Rant who didn’t live up to her/ his name. I didn’t consider the piece particularly balanced, but it was fair.

    There are more questions. No one posited an opinion on why America all of a sudden has a body count for dead Iraqis when we refused to count them before. How can anyone think the total given isn’t vastly under-reported?

    It’s another spin made to hide the truth. How can anyone with a functioning brain who uses it think otherwise. It’s logic and reason personified to distrust what we were told, are told and will continue to be told until we ask the questions. More and more people ARE asking, which is why we have started to get these embarassing admissions from the Administration. More people are less willing to fool themselves. Some keep on thinking the same old same old.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    Welcome back, Temple

    That’s a great comment – my vote for CoTD

  • gonzo marx

    it is also my Thought that sheer Volume of slime is surfacing when it comes to a lot of these transgressions we have seen of late ( do i hafta list them all?)

    why? party arrogance, i think…the GOP having totalitarian control has loosened the restraint from some folks, and they are getting even crazier than normal

    an expected side effect of removing “checks and balances” from the System due to single Party control

    the whole Abramhoff scandal should be breaking wide open soon, sources say he is close to cutting a deal and coppin a Plea…

    i bet that has some Senators/Congressmen/Senior Staffers and others lying awake at night in a cold sweat

    i’d like to get the Pay-per-View concession for after the whole thing settles, so i can broadcast on live Tv my tossing these bastards feet first into a wood chipper…which is still too good a Fate for them

    but it would make for Fun TV!!

    why feet first , some may Ask?…fair Question

    i want a close up of their faces as they go in

    but i’m macabre that way when it comes to meteing out Justice to flotsam

    that’s why i already have a nifty job offer from Hell…i get to have a pitchfork and play goalie on the shore of the Fire Lake

    i’m almost looking forward to it

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    No, really they don’t. They like that Saddam is gone. They also want us gone and they don’t – unless named Ahmed Chalabi – believe we did the best we could and have done the job the right way.

    Polls extensively explored in articles here on BC durng the pre-election period suggest that their attitudes across the board are a lot more positive than that and a lot more positive towards America.

    That adds up to a poisonous flower. My timetable idea looks better all the time. Set one. Those currently in charge even want one.

    Which is all pretty amusing since there is already a timetable and there has been one since earlier this year, no matter what the administration says publicly.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    no Offense to Mr Nalle here, but…

    after all that has come out recently about the Pentagon buying newspaper stories and journalists in Iraq, i have a lot of difficulty trusting ANY info from that country

    period

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Then you’re going to have to be just as skeptical of info from any source, gonzo, because every journalist has forces which influence him and every media outlet has some sort of agenda, whether conscious or not.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    #24 – you realize that’s a cop-out don’t you? Yep, figured you did.

    Good news from Iraq is great n’all. That’s not all there is and it gets reported far more than most people will admit – people just remember the negative.

  • MCH

    Nalle, Screen Rant, RJ, et al;
    Comparing traffic fatalities to being killed in combat is no different than pissing on the graves of those brave soldiers who had the courage to enlist and sacrifice their lives to help insure your freedom of speech, IMO.

  • http://screenrant.com Screen Rant

    MCH I meant no disrespect to the soldiers who have died in Iraq. I was just pointing out the media’s obsession with highlighting almost exclusively only the negative side of what’s going on over there.

    In any venue in which I’ve heard comments from soldiers who either are or have been there it has been nothing but positive comments from them on what they are doing and how they think things are going over there.

    I would be stunned if I were to encounter a thread on this site where all the energy and effort that goes into pointing out the foibles of the current administration went into highlighting the greivous acts committed by Hamas, the PLO and insurgents who have murdered Israeli women and children out for a day of shopping at a mall or out having dinner at a restaurant, or have hacked the heads off of numerous innocent kidnapped civilians (including young women).

    Vic

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    But Vic, isn’t all that about Hamas, PLO etc. rather obvious? I find this idea that I need to mention all the ills of the world to address one completely separate point absurd.

    But for the record – AIDS is a bad bad disease. …

  • SFC SKI

    Well, gonzo, I am not that worried strictly because of what you wrote, “since they can access not only what resides on web servrs, but EVERY phone line and EVERY bit of data travelling over them as well as all satellite communications”.
    They can COLLECT all kinds of data, but how many people do they actually have that can analyze it to make any meaningful information out of it?

    Case in point from an NYT article written in 2001; in 1991 documents written in a foreign language were obtained. These documents revealed a plot to bomb the WTC some time in the future. THe WTC was bombed in 1993. The documents revealing the plot were not translated into English so they could be analyzed until 1996. THis was one case were the eveidence was in hand. Extrapolate that across all the data that could be mined and I think you’ll see it’s more like needle in a haystack in a filed of haystacks than anything as Holywood precise as one might fear.

  • gonzo marx

    well Ski, first i’d like to say that i’m glad to “see” you and hope all is going well for ya..ya have been missed

    now Ski wrote…
    *They can COLLECT all kinds of data, but how many people do they actually have that can analyze it to make any meaningful information out of it?*

    and this is an excellent point…it shows the holes in how this technology is used when it comes to foreign language speakers

    however, the Concern here is NOT really about how it is used against the Foe…but how it is/can be/might be used in domestic surveilance

    and here is the thing, no “person” need to analyze english or pure data…search algorithms do the job MUCH better than any human could with that vast amount of data

    so, the Concern is…if you can NOT get decent data using this technique from Farsi speakers(or any arabic language) but you CAN get everything you want from english speakers (US residents especially since you have muscled the telecom and cable operators into not only mining activer servers, but the entire system logs)

    then HOW does this help in anything BUT domestic surveilance?

    convoluted, i know…and sorry for all the geek speak, but it IS what i do…and the Concern comes from having been in the Community in Question..the Capabilities were there way back when, they have only grown morte sophisticated over the years

    so fuck “hollywood’s fears”…i am talking REAL worry over the violation of US Citizen’s Rights

    basically because there has been NO Court order/Judicial Review…not Congressional oversight…and these action woudl be a clear violation of Constitutional as well as Federal Law

    as i have stated before, FISA was set up for EXACTLY these type circumstances, and are VERY friendly towards the Investigators in metrics, paradigm and conditions….

    so WHY bypass it if everything IS legit?

    i hope that explains it all…

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    Gonzo – here’s one take on why

  • gonzo marx

    troll…i’d heard this stuff, of course

    and from the Article you cite i find the relevant points to be…
    *The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act adopted by Congress in the wake of President Richard Nixon’s misuse of intelligence agencies before his Watergate resignation sets a high standard for court-approved wiretaps on Americans and resident aliens inside the United States.

    To win a court-approved wiretap, the government must show “probable cause” that the target of the surveillance is a member of a foreign terrorist organization or foreign power and is engaged in activities that “may” involve a violation of criminal law. *

    this sets up the possible problem..the Court not agreeing that they had been given enough to authorize SOME of the taps…

    the Article also provides some stats…
    *But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for court-ordered surveillance by the Bush administration. A total of 173 of those court-ordered “substantive modifications” took place in 2003 and 2004, the most recent years for which public records are available.*

    so they “modified” about what…2-3%?

    as for rejections…
    *The judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years — the first outright rejection of a wiretap request in the court’s history.*

    6 out of over 5000…again, it seems to be because those Requests did not come close to meeting the very loose Standards of the FISA Law…

    now, the AG…Alberto Gonzalez sez…
    *”FISA is very important in the war on terror, but it doesn’t provide the speed and the agility that we need in all circumstances to deal with this new kind of threat,” Gonzales said.*

    and this is the bullshit part, sice it has been established under FISA that the Administration can just set taps and have up to 72 hours to brnig the details before the FISA court for authorizatuion AFTER they are set…along with an up to 15 day extension for Review or for the Administration to provide additional Info, all the while, the taps are running

    how much more “flexibility” is desired by the Administration? what more could they possibly and reasonably Ask for? and for what purpose?

    my thinking is that Gonzalez’s explanation is pure bullshit, and the ONLY reason i can see for bypassing the FISA system is the Administration’s idea that they have carte blanche, and full Authority to bypass Due Process at their whim…so much so that they don’t even feel the need to comply with the relatively lax standards set by FISA…the very standards that were put in place to protect the American Public from similar possible Abuses that were perpetrated under the Nixon administration

    just my one sixth billionths of the World’s opinion

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    good points all IMO Gonzo…here’s another take on it

    troll

  • gonzo marx

    wow troll..i am Awed and astounded by the quality of Info that flows under yer Bridge

    i HIGHLY advise anyone Interested to read both links provided

    in the second cited Article, there are some VERy telling points made in the back and forth exchange between the AG and the FISA Court…

    a VERY pertinent bit is this…
    *The 2002 procedures appear to be designed to amend the law and substitute the FISA for Title III electronic surveillances and Rule 41 searches. This may be because the government is unable to meet the substantive requirements of these law enforcement tools, or because their administrative burdens are too onerous. In either case, the FISA’s definition of minimization procedures has not changed, and these procedures cannot be used by the government to amend the Act in ways Congress has not. We also find the provisions in section II.B and III. wanting because the prohibition in the 1995 procedures of criminal prosecutors ” directing or controlling ” FISA cases has been revoked by the proposed 2002 procedures. The government’s memorandum of law expends considerable effort justifying deletion of that bright line [[[1995 Reno directive]]], but the Court is not persuaded.*

    this is the FISA Court speaking about modifications proposed by then Ag Ashcroft to the FISA statues and useages of the data gathered under FISA…the main concern of the Court here appears to be the concern that the FISA statues(which are more lax than those applied to surveilance of domestic communications for criminal prosecutions) are/will be used to prosecute purely domestic criminal cases rather than foreign threats(read: terrorists or spies)

    this is drawn out further in this bit form the FISA Court…
    *”Notwithstanding the foregoing, law enforcement officials shall not make recommendations to intelligence officials concerning the initiation, operation, continuation or expansion of FISA searches or surveillances. Additionally, the FBI and the Criminal Division shall ensure that law enforcement officials do not direct or control the use of the FISA procedures to enhance criminal prosecution, and that advice intended to preserve the option of a criminal prosecution does not inadvertently result in the Criminal Division’s directing or controlling the investigation using FISA searches and surveillances toward law enforcement objectives.”*

    there’s more..but you can see the Concern of the FISA court here…the cited Article gives even more fo the back and forth between AG Ashcroft and the FISa court…including the final Decision and Agreement between the two

    the Final Decision and Agreement which has been subsequently bypassed by the Administration

    and THAT, kiddies…is the proverbial “smoking gun”

    /thunderous golfclap

    for both troll and his sources

    this is scary shit folks…read and heed

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Breaking domestic laws – it happened. That’s just one small aspect of the biiger FUBAR we’ve created. SKI always reminds me that my words can be read by those fighting the war over there and I would hope even if they don’t like to read it – they would understand that I am addressing the lack of rationale and the deception that got us and them to where they are.

    I have spoken to military families durign the course of my job. The soldiers love what they’re doing because they train to do something; at the same time about half the soldiers I’ve talked to directly about the war – most really don’t get into the politics. About 40 percent – that’s 8 from my personal interviews – are into thinking big picture and big picture they’re proud of what they are doing but they realize the violence is in large part created by the American presence there. They don’t think it will get a whole lot better if we leave, however. At least a few have used the words trapped. As in – rock and a hard place; damned if you do and damned if you don’t leave.

    The sheer volume, as gonzo mentioned, is what really pushed me over the edge. There’s only solong where I will be gullible. My time in gullible stasis seems to be much shorter than for most.

  • Baronius

    Screen Rant – I can understand MCH’s objection to your statements, but I know what you mean. A friend of mine who lives outside Washington explained this to me. Before the Vietnam Memorial, the war memorials in Washington featured the accomplishments and remembered those who fought and/or died for the cause. Even Arlington Cemetary has uplifting memorials. Military failures are remembered with dignity and even majesty.

    Then the Vietnam Memorial was built. It’s a dark memorial to death built in a hole. No mention of the cause. Since then (1981 maybe?), all war memorials have been focused on the lives lost. I know it’s dangerous to glamourize war, but the current tendency is to mourn war. That may prove just as dangerous.

  • http://screenrant.com Screen Rant

    Temple, actually I wasn’t directing my comment at you but at some of the “power commenters” who are denizens of this site.

    And in regards to this:

    But for the record – AIDS is a bad bad disease. …

    The amount of money being spent on AIDS research, which granted is a bad disease, is WAAAAY out of proportion with the amount spent on cancer and heart disease when you consider how many more people in the U.S are affected (and die) by all three.

    It’s just fascinating to me (in a bug in a jar sort of way) how people can spend time fuming over security measures when there are a group of people out there who are hell-bent (pardon the pun) on KILLING infidels (that would be, us) and those that have been killed have died in some of the most gruesome ways imaginable.

    But I guess that once one’s head is on the end of a stick (and libs/dems/Bush-haters certainly won’t get a pass) it’ll be too late to ruminate on the whole situation…

    Vic

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Baronius, that’s a slight diversion from but one I’ll take because you raise an interesting point.

    Of course, the first thing I thought was the most recent war memorial set into motion in 1993 by presidential request (it wasn’t an Exec. order) and championed by Sen. Bob Dole – and perhaps the biggest – the World War II Memorial on the National Mall as described both “commemorates the sacrifice and celebrates the victory of the WWII generation.”

    Here’s a listing of the inscriptions which seem to do much more than remember death, but in fact discuss the transformation of the country and a great many other subjects.

    The Vietnam War memorial is indeed a dark spectacle, literally. But people mostly go there to both mourn and remember their loved ones. I don’t know if that can be considered “dark.”

    Lastly, war and soldiers in America are not only remembered by memorials. A couple holidays a year, thousands of parades around the country and the reminder of many millions of grateful Americans for their presence and their duties, also takes place.

    We don’t need a May Day do we?

  • gonzo marx

    Baronius…

    decent point about the US and it’s War Memorials, might i suggest that part of the phenomenae revolves around the collective Consciousness of our Nation recognizing that no matter the Cause, no matter whether it was Won or Lost, no matter it’s Reasons…

    one Thing remains Constant…

    the ultimate Sacrifice of our Military personnel , giving their Lives for the rest of U.S.

    to Vic aka Screen Rant…
    as for the money spent and how…the proportions are skewed due to private donations, and hwo folks Wish to donate their cash…and to which Causes is intrinsically their business and Choice in a Free society…

    as for what some Commenters “fume” about, well i plead Guilty as charged to thinking that the Values held in our Rule of Law and Constitution are FAR more important than many other Issues, and i REFUSE to allow myself to be distracted from this very crucial Issue to the american People merely because a handful of psychopaths(terrorists) WANT me to change and decide to implement psy-ops in order to alter the Character of our Nation and force U.S. to live in Fear

    fuck that…i will NOT elevate the “threat” of these sickos to something that derails American Values…to use your own statistic from another Thread…if 116 people a day die in car accidents, and 3000 died 5 years ago in a terrorist Incident

    which is the greater Tragedy and larger Threat?

    add in the over 2000 american Troops dead in Iraq and your “equation” gets even more seriously skewed

    i am NOT saying we should not hunt down bin Laden, quite the contrary…part of my Criticism of this Administration’s handling of all this is that all the Resources spent in Iraq are NOT being used to catch Osama and Mullah Omar et al

    Screen Rant sez…
    *(and libs/dems/Bush-haters certainly won’t get a pass)*

    the very fact that you lump these folks together, and attempt to paint them as mere “haters” rather than Respect their Right to their excercise of Free Speech and Dissent loses you a few points in my book

    deal with the Issues, fuck the political “gangs”, otherwise the discussion becomes stale partisan bullshit that accomplishes nothing rather than discourse and discussion that might actually work towards solving some of these problems

    BTW, Baronius and Vic…did you scope troll’s linkages?

    what do you both think about THAT?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    nd this is the bullshit part, sice it has been established under FISA that the Administration can just set taps and have up to 72 hours to brnig the details before the FISA court for authorizatuion AFTER they are set…along with an up to 15 day extension for Review or for the Administration to provide additional Info, all the while, the taps are running

    What you are missing, and what is blatantly obvious from the links troll provided is that the administration and the DoJ do not think that the 72 hour window is sufficient to meet the requirements of FISA paperwork. I understand their concern, because translating and writing up large amounts of material is a time consuming process, and translators qualified to do the work with the necessary security clearance aren’t a dime a dozen and have a lot of demands on their time.

    how much more “flexibility” is desired by the Administration? what more could they possibly and reasonably Ask for? and for what purpose?

    What they should have done is just ask the FISA court for more time to do the paperwork, rather than effectively asking for a reduction in the overall paperwork requirements.

    my thinking is that Gonzalez’s explanation is pure bullshit, and the ONLY reason i can see for bypassing the FISA system is the Administration’s idea that they have carte blanche, and full Authority to bypass Due Process at their whim…so much so that they don’t even feel the need to comply with the relatively lax standards set by FISA…the very standards that were put in place to protect the American Public from similar possible Abuses that were perpetrated under the Nixon administration

    The reasoning is necessity. If a terror attack is imminent, having to go through a bunch of paperwork isn’t acceptable. They need to be able to act and act quickly. That’s the reasoning. When you start trying to extend this to some sort of Nixonian power-grab conspiracy or widespread attempt to abuse rights, that is where you start to go very wrong. We’re talking about less than 30 cases out of almost 2000 here. That’s not some sort of huge program, and there’s no evidence that this is part of a general attempt to expand executive power in any way beyond the desire to meet a very real need to be able to react to terrorist threats.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *What you are missing, and what is blatantly obvious from the links troll provided is that the administration and the DoJ do not think that the 72 hour window is sufficient to meet the requirements of FISA paperwork.*

    what they “think” doesn’t matter squat…it’s the fucking LAW!

    what part of that is so difficult? after all, they are SUPPOSED to have doen their fucking homework BEFORE tapping…the FISA rules allow that PLUS 72 hours for Justifying the tap to the Court..a MUCH wider window than anywhere else in US law

    notice the Concern of the FISA court that these lax Rules are being utilized for Criminal investigation(including those with NOTHING to do with terrorism, but are the RESULTS of fishing expeditions)

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *The reasoning is necessity. If a terror attack is imminent, having to go through a bunch of paperwork isn’t acceptable. They need to be able to act and act quickly.*

    again..they have FULL authority under FISA to set their taps and THEN bring it to the Court…how much more “flexibility” is required?

    the second link from troll shows the back and forth between the A.G. and the FISA court…showing all their concerns from BOTH sides

    if the Administration didn’t like the results, then there are plenty of LEGAL channels for them to pursue, instead they chose to fucking ignore and VIOLATE the Law

    you say “only 30 times”…yeah, well the LAST President was “crucified” and Impeached for only ONE incident of “perjury”, which harmed no one and Violated NO one’s Rights

    and here we have a willful breaking of Federal Law, as ordered and authorized by the President , that resulted in at least 30 Violations of not only the Law, but of american Citizen’s Constitutional Rights that we are Aware of at this time

    now, i’ll Cite another BC thread that shows a bunch of GOP lawmakers and how they feel about a President and Administration breaking the Law, here
    http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/12/28/161706.php

    goose and gander can be Invoked…but i won’t

    rather i gladly set aside that pseudo justification form a political standpoint, and instead place my Outrage and Concern with the Incidents i cite exclusively

    as would most Americans once they have read the second of troll’s links and then examined the Facts as they are known at this point

    at the VERY least, and Independant, non-partisan Investigation is required

    don’t you agree?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    what they “think” doesn’t matter squat…it’s the fucking LAW!

    what part of that is so difficult? after all, they are SUPPOSED to have doen their fucking homework BEFORE tapping…the FISA rules allow that PLUS 72 hours for Justifying the tap to the Court..a MUCH wider window than anywhere else in US law

    It doesn’t matter how much time there is if it’s not enough time. Especially when the investigation itself may last far more than the 72 hours in question.

    notice the Concern of the FISA court that these lax Rules are being utilized for Criminal investigation(including those with NOTHING to do with terrorism, but are the RESULTS of fishing expeditions)

    That’s a separate issue alltogether. If there’s no immediate threat to the nation, then FISA shouldn’t apply at all.

    again..they have FULL authority under FISA to set their taps and THEN bring it to the Court…how much more “flexibility” is required?

    More time and/or less paperwork. Paperwork is the bane of all effective law enforcement and being effective at just about anything else for that matter. It’s killing our schools, it’s already made our government enormously inefficient, and in law enforcement it’s a disaster.

    the second link from troll shows the back and forth between the A.G. and the FISA court…showing all their concerns from BOTH sides

    if the Administration didn’t like the results, then there are plenty of LEGAL channels for them to pursue, instead they chose to fucking ignore and VIOLATE the Law

    It’s not clear at all that they chose to systematically violate the law. It looks more like a few isolated instances where it was just impractical to meet the FISA requirements in a timely manner.

    you say “only 30 times”…yeah, well the LAST President was “crucified” and Impeached for only ONE incident of “perjury”, which harmed no one and Violated NO one’s Rights

    You know I don’t think Clinton should have been impeached, so why bring this up? It just makes you sound like you’re out for revenge like so many others. Do two wrongs make a right?

    and here we have a willful breaking of Federal Law, as ordered and authorized by the President, that resulted in at least 30 Violations of not only the Law, but of american Citizen’s Constitutional Rights that we are Aware of at this time

    The fatal flaw in this argument is that there wasn’t a change in policy as you suggest, there were isolated incedents of non-compliance while most investigations continued to go through the FISA procedures.

    at the VERY least, and Independant, non-partisan Investigation is required

    don’t you agree?

    I’ve posted this before, and I’ll reiterate it. I don’t think you can have a completely non-partisan investigation with one of these special prosecutors or a legislative committee or specially formed commission. I think we need to have a permanently empaneled non-partisan ethics review court similar to the Supreme Court to examine these issues, both in the administation and in the congress.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *It doesn’t matter how much time there is if it’s not enough time. Especially when the investigation itself may last far more than the 72 hours in question.*

    how long the Investigation lasts is NOT the Issue…the 72 hour extension is just for the REASONS to HAVE the tap being brought before the Court for Review

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *That’s a separate issue alltogether. If there’s no immediate threat to the nation, then FISA shouldn’t apply at all.*

    i totally Agree, as does the FISA Court…as shown in trolls second link, what the Court brought up was their Concern for this happening

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *It’s not clear at all that they chose to systematically violate the law. It looks more like a few isolated instances where it was just impractical to meet the FISA requirements in a timely manner.*

    the Facts disAgree with you here…the President’s own words, clearly stating he ordered FISA to be bypassed show a systematic Violation, since ALL of the taps since that Order have bypassed the Court…and this is crucial, ALL of them…not just the ones they felt were not “timely”…the Administration did NOT even try and comply, by their own Admission

    as for the comparison…i only mention it to show the 30 to 1 Ratio, as well as to show how silly one was as compared to how Important the other is

    and just to show that both of us are Reasonable, as well as that two different Views can come to viable Answers…

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *I think we need to have a permanently empaneled non-partisan ethics review court similar to the Supreme Court to examine these issues, both in the administation and in the congress.*

    /agree

    Excelsior!

  • MCH

    “But I guess that once one’s head is on the end of a stick (and libs/dems/Bush-haters certainly won’t get a pass) it’ll be too late to ruminate on the whole situation…”
    – Screen Rant

    Yeah, those “libs/dems/Bush-haters” are phonier than those chickenhawks…

  • troll

    *I think we need to have a permanently empaneled non-partisan ethics review court similar to the Supreme Court to examine these issues, both in the administration and in the congress.*

    interesting idea – but

    no such thing as non-partisan…even the Supreme’s impartiality is questionable – so whose ethics would be enforced?

    is the US is or is it ain’t a nation of law?

    did he did or did he didn’t authorize breaking the law?

    how do you ‘reign in a bit’ a president who acts as if the US is under martial law when none has been declared

    the whys and wherefores can all be sorted out in the hearings…but in the meantime – sorry Dave – take your apologetics off my bridge

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    ow long the Investigation lasts is NOT the Issue…the 72 hour extension is just for the REASONS to HAVE the tap being brought before the Court for Review

    So what happens when their reasons are rejected by the court, but the wiretap brings up information which suggests a tap is vitally important?

    the Facts disAgree with you here…the President’s own words, clearly stating he ordered FISA to be bypassed show a systematic Violation, since ALL of the taps since that Order have bypassed the Court…and this is crucial, ALL of them…not just the ones they felt were not “timely”…the Administration did NOT even try and comply, by their own Admission

    Where are these words from the president? In all of this I have yet to see a direct quote from President Bush authorizing a specific end-run of FISA.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *So what happens when their reasons are rejected by the court, but the wiretap brings up information which suggests a tap is vitally important?*

    you go back to the Court with the new info…FISA IS different than the levels required for purely domestic surveilance, and for just this Reason

    flip the Script..what happens when the tap is Authorized, but the given Reasons turn out to be bogus?

    Mr Nalle sez…
    *Where are these words from the president? *

    what was it, a week or so ago, press Conference..the Pres clearly stated he gave Authorization to the NSA to go ahead and tap WITHOUT going to the FISA court because he felt he had the Authority to do so…snice then the WH has re0iterated this position and attempted to give justifications for this….some of which you have Quoted elsewhere ( the “use of force” authorization is enough, Executive Powers, etc)

    oh yeah…troll….to quote Shark…

    “I luv you maaaaaan!”

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Baronius

    Did you scope troll’s linkages?

    Yes, just now. They’re not about the Iraq War, not about anything I was talking about, and frankly nothing that interests me. But I guess staying on-topic isn’t as important as criticizing the administration.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If you read the text of the president’s most recent press conference, you will see that he quite clearly does not say that he authorized end-running FISA, but that what he actually says is that he believes he has the authority to do so. He also says that they’ve been continuing to use FISA all along, with the implication that if they did bypass FISA it was only in emergency situations. He certainly doesn’t say what you’re suggesting.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    well Nalle, if you look at various press conferences between the 13th and now…you will see that the Pres has backtracked, reversed himself and contradicted himself numerous times…all of which have been pointed out in not only the MSM but even Jon Stewart

    Baronius…i will admit to drifting a bit from part of the main topic

    mea culpa

    but allow me to state that i think all of the things i have been discussion fall under the “1000 Questions” part of the Post’s title

    since Temple wrote the Piece, i will gladly leave it all alone if he requests…and i am saddened that the topics found in the aforementioned linkage holds “nothing that interests me.”

    ah well…

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    back at ya Gonzo – and happy new year to all

    troll

  • SFC SKI

    gonzo, I guess my point was not clear, it is that with so much data and so few analysts, the NSA or whomever is doing the searching has to focus its relatively limited resources on the terrorist threat rather than domestic crime unrelated to terrorism, or just against the rantings of disgruntled bloggers and cranks.

    COuld thes powers be abused? sure, and no law will prevent it. What I want to know is if these domestic surveillances werre used for purposes other than counter-terrorism, in lieu of the policies and procedures in place to protect US citizens, only THEN I would like to see action being taken against the responsible parties.

    Temple, Freedom of the Press is a great thing, no doubt. The problem that I and other Soldiers have is that there are news reporters and news agencies trhat cherry-pick our comments to suit their story/bias/slant etc. Those reporters are not honest brokers of the public trust, IMO. I have met a few reporters I felt I could speak with openly, but nowadays I feel that the best comment I can often give is “No comment” for fear that my name or words will be associated with some opinion piece disguised as factual reporting.
    Furthermore, why is it that, outside of MilBlogs and the Stars and Stripes, I have no way of finding out about the heroic actions of those serving in the military. Not even positive stuff about National Guard troops and Coast Guardsmen saving lives after Hurricane Katrina, let alone a very small story on SFC Paul Smith, first recipinet of the Medal of Honor in 10 years makes headlines, but is usually located several pages deep in all but the most local papers.
    The press does the readers a great disservice by not telling Americans what it is we are fighting for, and what we have accomplished so far.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    By the same measure, Ski, why do I have to go to Al Jazeera or people blogging directly from Iraq to find out about progress for the Iraqi people, or even just to get an accurate assessment of the post-election formation of the government. Where is coverage of any of that in the US papers? If we’re so concerned about the war and about Iraq and about getting out, shouldn’t these things be of concern too?

    As for out of control surveillance agencies, do any of you remember J. Edgar Hoover? His FBI wiretapped and observed and bugged people on a regular basis with no warrants at all, and included in their scrutiny people who were seen as dangerous only because Hoover didn’t like their politics. They even fabricated evidence to arrest people. Nothing was done then, and nothing even fractionally comparable to that is going on today in this administration.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    to Ski…i completely Understood what you are saying Ski…it’s just as a Technologist myself, i am trying to tell you that the vast Majority of that data is mined by Programs, NOT People

    weh should be freaking out about that Stuff that is NOT translated…one would think that is the most important info that needs to be covered and that the data mining filters woudl set it on highest Priority

    my problems deal with some of the things shown in trolls second link above, the FISA court’s worry that domestic criminal proseutors woudl be directing the much lowr standard for surveilance that FISA utilizes for purely domestic purposes

    an example…one of the first cases Prosecuted under the Patriot Act’s provisions, from data gathered via the expanded anti-terrorist data taps…was last year arrest and prosecution of a boy scout master for having illegal porn on his hard drive…no other crime…now, it IS a crime to do what he did, and he should be prosecuted for it

    my Question is, do you think that is/was a proper use of anti-terrorist rules? or was it a way for Ashcroft to utilize Hooverian tactics to fish the mined data ?

    it is interesting that Nalle brings up Hoover, and attempts to imply that since J. Edgar was o horrible and so blatantly violated citizen’s Rights that it makes it peachy keen to do so today

    please, fucking spare me…

    the whole bullshit Concept of “well he did worse” as anexcuse or justification for breaking the Law is such a weak and pathetic Apologist attempt that mere words fail me in an attempt to describe my personal disgust

    Ski sez…
    *What I want to know is if these domestic surveillances werre used for purposes other than counter-terrorism, in lieu of the policies and procedures in place to protect US citizens, only THEN I would like to see action being taken against the responsible parties.*

    and THAT is exactly what i am talking about, Ski
    as has come out so far, the NSA has admitted to at least 30 cases so far of purely domestic spying by “accident”

    what troll’s second link deals with are the back and forth between the FISA court and AG Ashcroft in clearly delineating the separation between utilizing the FISA provision for anti-terrorism(which no one has ANY problems with) and the possibility that the looser restrictions of the FISA provisions would/could be used for purely domestic criminal prosecutions circumventing Due Process

    a bit esoteric for some…but that’s the “nut”

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t mean to suggest that anything is excused just because Hoover or Nixon or Kennedy did worse. But what I am definitely saying is that we’ve moved the line of toleration and maybe we’ve moved it too far. Hoover was clearly way too abusive of the law, but in reaction to that we’ve gone to a zero tolerance policy, and you know how fair those are. Maybe we need to find a moderate position, where we don’t tolerate wrongdoing, but we understand that some things which are questionable may be done with good intentions and should be answered with a solution to the problem they represent rather than the death penalty.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Nalle sez…
    *Maybe we need to find a moderate position, where we don’t tolerate wrongdoing, but we understand that some things which are questionable may be done with good intentions and should be answered with a solution to the problem they represent rather than the death penalty.*

    yeah..it’s called the Law

    you want the kind of changes you are talking about, then it’s up to the Legislature to hammer it out, send it to the Senate…work out the differences, get signed by the Pres and stand the Constitutionality test of the Supreme Court

    THAT is the system in place by our Constitution

    NOT “excecutive orders” that bypass said System

    but we all know i am silly about shit like this…to me the “ends” NEVER justify the “means”…under the Rule of Law HOW we do something is just as Important as WHAT we do as a Nation

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • SFC SKI

    I understand that most of the accidental intercepts are just that, accidental, but what was done with the data that was collected? I, too, can imagine this technology and policy being abused, but has it been?

    As for the programs doing data mining, until some human gets eyes on the product, it just sits until it’s deleted or if necessary and meeting the criteria above, exploited.

  • SFC SKI

    Without an Executive Order, the Armed Forces might never have become integrated in 1948. Just one example of the Executive branch’s positive use of the Order.

    I don’t disagree with your comments, gonzo, but there are times when time is of the essence, that is why the Executive branch has the power it does, and the Legislative branch has to catch up in its often glacial pace.

  • gonzo marx

    Ski sez…
    *I don’t disagree with your comments, gonzo, but there are times when time is of the essence, that is why the Executive branch has the power it does, and the Legislative branch has to catch up in its often glacial pace.*

    good points, Ski..same with the order for integrating the Military

    might i point out that as Commander in Chief, such usage of executive orders is well within Constitutional authority….but that over our History…some of those “orders” have NOT been…and that is my Concern

    as for “time is of the essence”…as has been pointed out by myself and troll’s second link which has the transcripts of the dialogue between the AG and the FISA court…much latitude is built into that System…and i have yet to hear any clear Reasons to bypass the Law…

    the ONLY one given so far is that it is not “convenient” to follow

    fuck that

    hey..it’s not convenient for me to obey the Law when i go into a bank, much easier for me to just take some money rather than filling out that boring paperwork and waiting for approval…so why not?

    not the perfect Analogy, but it makes my point

    BTW…i’m glad to *see* you around again Ski, i’m hoping that you are safe and sound…keep yer fucking head down and yer powder dry, eh?

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    moderate positions can end up as no position at all…as E.E. wrote:

    “there is some shit I will not eat”

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    troll, was that E. E. Doc Smith?

    Gonzo:

    yeah..it’s called the Law

    No, the law is one thing. How the law is applied is another. Applying the law rigidly and with absolutism is what leads to the death sentence for reading porn. Applying it judiciously and with common sense means ruling Bush’s actions unconstitutional and telling him to go back and file the papers and find a better way to do it in the future.

    you want the kind of changes you are talking about, then it’s up to the Legislature to hammer it out, send it to the Senate…work out the differences, get signed by the Pres and stand the Constitutionality test of the Supreme Court

    Wrong. That’s if you want to change the law. All I’m suggesting is that the application of the law be made with consideration for the circumstances.

    THAT is the system in place by our Constitution

    NOT “excecutive orders” that bypass said System

    but we all know i am silly about shit like this…to me the “ends” NEVER justify the “means”…under the Rule of Law HOW we do something is just as Important as WHAT we do as a Nation

    Gonzo, if your attitude had prevailed during the Civil War, then the slaves would still be in bondage. Lincoln basically ran the country by executive order – including the emancipation proclaimation – and he did it that way because it was a crisis situation in which as commander in chief he had to exercise swift executive leadership.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Nalle…bullshit

    Lincoln had a fucking legally Declared War now didn’t he?

    that changes the Rules a bit

    do we have a Constitutionally defined Congressional Declaration of War here?

    fuck no

    nice try with the straw man…the President wants War Powers, then he should convince the Congress to legally Declare War

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    As we’ve been over before, Gonzo, that argument doesn’t fly for the two reasons we’ve outlined before:

    1. When the country is attacked you are defacto and dejure in a state of war whether it is declared or not.

    2. The courts have already ruled that the Congressional act authorizing the war in Iraq is legally equivalent to a declaration of war.

    You’re arguing the semantics of the name put on the war, because your position isn’t supported by reality here.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    and we will just have to agree to disagree

    me, i’ll stick with the Constitutional definitions

    and i don’t know what “court” you are talking about that has made this ruling, until it hits the Supreme Court..or they choose not to take it up, thus giving it their thumbs up…then as a Constitutional matter it has not been settled

    and it’s NOT semantics i am arguing about here, but legality

    why?…cuz i LIKE the Rule of Law for our Nation, and i distrust ANY politicians to define things themselves…when in doubt, the Constitution and Federal Law are the guidelines…when those get deliberately blurred by politicians, i tend to get a bit pissed

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    So a terrorist sinks a Washington ferry and the country is in war, in a state of liberty-striping that rivals Phelps Dodge mining practices? How does one set the level, the standard of war; is it just that a country is attacked? No; that’s brazenly nonsensical and trying to discuss with someone who wants you to argue for an hour about nonsense is just an treadmill exercise without the benefit of kilo joule burn.

    Gonza, I welcome and understand that you talk big principles because there are big principles involved; again obvious to anyone not trying to be obtuse for the sake of a sittign swivel ride. Maybe this realization comes naturally because I’ve never credited much waste of my time.

    Clearly there are distinctions to be made; clearly the law is there for a reason not to be gang-raped by people and politicians who don’t do anything right but are given unadulterated power to fight a never-ending war on terror. Keen. Who “think” they know better and whose path for our “security” is paved with good intentions.

    One way to sound reasonable Gonzo – and you should know better and be able to see and stop this ugly spectacle you waste so much time with here (and of course it’s your time) – is to say something outrageous and then backtrack and say, that’s really not what was meant. I never said that. It depends on what the definition of “bullshit” is.

    It’s all braggadocio.

    With respect for tactics to fight the war on terror, there is a complete process in place for changing laws as well as for emergency situations – that still involves checks and balances. Saying all politicians are scum so who cares if the one in office is coating the walls is another cop-out. And it’s not true. But it does beg the question why people run for office to become one; they MUST be different from each and every one now existing. Eitehr that or they plan to embrace the worst of what being a politician entails – the ends justfy the means – and won’t change anything.

    SKI – I have to agree with you. There is a breed of journalists who have a task and rather than report something they see, they report what they want; they have a storyline already. There are more good stories than bad reported – I have spent a lot of time wading through Newswires and local papers around the country – but I have to agree that the ones that speak to tragedy garner the bigger headlines. But just as one soldier’s torture of a prisoner is not indicative of the American military, don’t paint the entire field of journalism with the same broad brush. Big media is not my media. Broadcast media is not print media etc.

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Sorry gonzo, didn’t mean to feminize ya.

  • gonzo marx

    lol..no worries Temple, well do i understand the typo

    Temple sez…
    *It’s all braggadocio.*

    well now..i understand your thinking that some of my back and forth tirades are a “waste of time” but let me give ya my View on it

    you see, i get into them because i think that the Topic is an Important one that warrants Discussion

    i don’t mind some of the pedantic bullshit that flows form it, within that are smoe very salient Points that NEED to be made

    and, to me at least, if a single one of the gentle Readers out there come away with a bit of a better Understanding of what is being discussed, then i think it has been Time well spent, rather than wasted

    does that make any Sense? i dunno…but it’s the way i Operate around here

    and bits like troll’s links in the FISA discussion, as well as the back and forth, have provided MORE info for the readers than ANY of the MSM coverage on this subject that i have heard of so far

    now, i DO think it will be covered much deeper in the months to come…but when that happens, some of us will know that it was done HERE on BC…first, and that we did a damn fine job of it

    i have noticed, over the months that i have been hanging around here, this exact phenomena occurring…days, sometimes weeks after we have beaten a Topic into glue, i see them start to talk about it on the MSM political yell fests…and many of the same Arguments that we have had here are replayed to a much broader audience

    to me, that is a “good Thing”…and i’m kinda Proud of being some small part in that

    to me, that’s part of the Best in the blogosphere, and one of the things that BC does well

    and so i say unto thee…

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    braggadocio

    not meant for you Gonzo. It’s a nice word, though. I think you give too much credit. I could also obsfucate my way through an argument, changing POVs and facts and meanings as I go just to trivialize an issue or waste toomuch time. Or I could ignore that downward spiral. Or I could do what I do – provide launching points. I’ve usually shot my wad and have not much else to say unless others bring in something I hadn’t thought of. I wish others would partake of the discussion instead of the same old same old (was it you or Shark that said something similar?)

  • gonzo marx

    i know it wasn’t meant for me…and i do think both Shark and i have made the point about partisan bullshit overwhelming intelligent discussion

    as for “giving too much credit”…perhaps, but i woudl rather err on the side of being polite enough to take folks by what they fling onto the screen, and deal with it as honestly as i can

    silly of me, i know…but i do have my own “rules” to live by

    and i understand your not liking to get down and dirty in the comments…different strokes and all

    viva la differance!

    otherwise it would get pretty fucking boring, eh?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So a terrorist sinks a Washington ferry and the country is in war, in a state of liberty-striping that rivals Phelps Dodge mining practices?

    This is awfully hypothetical. We have a REAL situation to deal with. Why do we need to bring up alternative scenarios?

    How does one set the level, the standard of war; is it just that a country is attacked? No; that’s brazenly nonsensical and trying to discuss with someone who wants you to argue for an hour about nonsense is just an treadmill exercise without the benefit of kilo joule burn.

    I don’t think the question of whether the word of the law is absolute and rigid in the face of changing conditions is nonsense or a treadmill exercise. It’s at the heart of a major problem we face in our nation right now.

    Gonza, I welcome and understand that you talk big principles because there are big principles involved; again obvious to anyone not trying to be obtuse for the sake of a sittign swivel ride. Maybe this realization comes naturally because I’ve never credited much waste of my time.

    I don’t think Gonzo is wasting anyone’s time with his persistence. He has a position which is perfectly valid. It’s unfortunate he’s unwilling to at least consider an opposing point of view long enough to assess its validity, but moralistic absolutism is certainly a position to argue from.

    Clearly there are distinctions to be made; clearly the law is there for a reason not to be gang-raped by people and politicians who don’t do anything right but are given unadulterated power to fight a never-ending war on terror. Keen. Who “think” they know better and whose path for our “security” is paved with good intentions.

    God forbid we should have leaders with good intentions. The leader with good intentions will hopefully have a conscience and some sense of when he reaches the balancing point between necessity and doing the right thing and stop.

    One way to sound reasonable Gonzo – and you should know better and be able to see and stop this ugly spectacle you waste so much time with here (and of course it’s your time) – is to say something outrageous and then backtrack and say, that’s really not what was meant. I never said that. It depends on what the definition of “bullshit” is.

    I have yet to see gonzo backtrack. He’s got a position of principle, and he’s unwilling to consider anything else. A bit of realism thrown in with all that principle might not be a bad thing.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    Nalle sez…
    *It’s unfortunate he’s unwilling to at least consider an opposing point of view long enough to assess its validity,*

    oh, i consider it more than you might think…i just don’t agree to it’s “validity” in most cases, where i think there is some…i say so

    Nalle sez…
    *I have yet to see gonzo backtrack. He’s got a position of principle, and he’s unwilling to consider anything else. A bit of realism thrown in with all that principle might not be a bad thing.*

    again..i DO try my best to consider as many angles on an Issue as i can, then my own sense of Ethics kicks in and i go from there…as for “realism”…well, i have set my own Life on the line for my Ethics and Principles on numerous times….

    that “real” enough for you?

    but i DO appreciate that fact that you show some understanding of what i am attempting to do with my mad peckings at the keyboard, even if we do rarely agree on most Issues

    as i said above, i do think the actual Discussion has great Value in both the Abstract and the Practical

    but then again, this could all be an Illusion and i am alone in the Cosmos having some sick Joke played on me by a malevolent Deity/Devil who is trying to convince me that all this is “real”

    but i doubt it

    and so…i’ll just rant on as it amuses me

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Gonzo, I hope you do realize that you and I actually agree on the principle here, it’s just that I believe that principle has to be tempered by practicality. Experience has taught me that an unwillingness to compromise dooms you to failure.

    Dave

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Again, I know willful stupidity is oh so fun, but wasn’t saying Gonzo backtracks. He does though when he thinks he may be wrong. Politely and without getting anything on hi=s shoes.

    It’s not the down and dirty I particulalry object to, Gonzo it’s the indulgence of others egos and the beating over and over and over again of the same points so all threads come to be the same thing. As you said, 1,000 questions covers quite a lot so I’m not talking about this thread.

    Vive la difference.

    Que?

  • gonzo marx

    Temple sez…
    *Que?*

    i was merely stating that i enjoy and revel in the Differences of Opinion

    it is my Opinion that those very differences of View contribute to the actual strength of our Republic

    tell me ya can’t visualize me and Nalle in powdered wigs on the floor of the Continental Congress shouting at each other trying to hammer shit out while telling a Paine-in-the-ass to shut the fuck up and print more pamphelets?

    now THAT imagery should be enuff ta give ya the night sweats

    but i digress

    points taken , Temple…and no worries, each to their own Battle

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    Points understood completely. I would like to meet you Gonzo. … I could enjoyably disagree with you all day. Such is not always the case.

    My battles are not on BC – and most of them involve deadlines :-)
    No work tomorrow though astoundingly. Draft Guinness is on my horizon. Wait, beer before liquor. OK, that’ll come a little later …. LOL.

  • gonzo marx

    lol…fair warning Temple, there mere sight of me is enough to drive most away screaming

    be that as it may, if yer ever up in Maine….just holler

    and “battles” are everywhere…most just go unRecognized and thus unFought

    you keep tossing out the Post topics, and i’ll keep yammering away

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    tell me ya can’t visualize me and Nalle in powdered wigs on the floor of the Continental Congress shouting at each other trying to hammer shit out while telling a Paine-in-the-ass to shut the fuck up and print more pamphelets?

    Beautiful analogy. I’d be Franklin (who I look a bit like) and you’d be Sam Adams. But here’s the catch. When it came to the Constitutional Convention the Massachusetts Legislature pointedly chose not to send Sam Adams because they thought his rigid adherence to principle would make him unable to work with others – or more coloquially they decided he was a pain in the ass.

    Dave

  • SFC SKI

    Temple, I am not saying all reporters are bad, it’s only that one has to work harder than ever to find factual reporting rather than opinion pieces disguised as news. IT’s great that you speak with military members and there families and report what they say and thank, if only all reporters (and their editors) would do that. So, when are you going to Iraq to write your Pulitzer -winning piece? Also, if you have read Imperial Grunts, what’s your take on it. I thought it was a very good book,, tying together the challenges we face and those who face them first hand.

    Differences of opinion are fine, And if the person I dsagree with can state clearly what the didderence of opinion is, with facts and logic to back it up, I might even change my mind.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I read through all the comments on this piece, as well as Temple’s fine article. Temple, I especially admire your choice of books to push in connection with it.

    Vic aka Screen Rant: Please keep us out of this mess. Whatever America’s foreign policy is, it is not pro-Israel. The big shots in Washington – particlularly guys like Wolfowitz and Wolfenson and the other JEWISH neo-cons – don’t give a tinker’s dam if we die here at the hands of Arab terror. If they did, the Arab rebellion of 2000 would have been crushed in March 2001, there never would have been a withdrawal from Gush Katif, or even a bombardment there and Moshe Saperstein would still be writing funny pieces from his home in Nevé Dekalím. He is too depressed to write from his hotel room in Jerusalem.

    And this unfit middle aged man would not be on patrol twice a week with a rifle.

    In addition, any violence from Gaza would have been dealt with by simply shutting off the juice and the water – People with no drinking water or electricity don’t worry about firing off missiles.

    Quite frankly, I believe that there were WMD’s in Iraq and that they were moved out of the country six weeks before the Americans started bombing Baghdad. This waxz pikcked up from Debkafile and repeated to an audience in Jerualalem by John Loftus in Jan. 2003. And I have the nasty feeling that we will eventually see them used – to bombard Haifa and Tel Aviv.

    It is common in Israel to cover up a problematic truth with a scandal, and that is that I believe is happening in your country. And most of you are taking the bait and arguing about it.

    As for what is happening on the ground in Iraq now, I woulsd take my news from SFC SKI. He’s been there.

  • Bliffle

    WMD? What kind and where? Gas? Nukes? Hard for me to believe that nukes wouldn’t leave a trail that could be followed.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    To my knowledge, the WMDs were fitted with gas or chemical warheads, or didn’t have warheads, but the warheads were stored separately.

    Saddam Hussein never got to the nuclear stage, but some of the warheads may have “dirty” radioactive material.

    To my understanding, the missiles were moved to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    There’s no question that at one point Saddam had a great many gas warheads, a good portion of which were never definitively accounted for.

    But I think we’re pretty sure he never had nukes.

    Dave

  • Bliffle

    SFC SKI: “Temple, I am not saying all reporters are bad, it’s only that one has to work harder than ever to find factual reporting rather than opinion pieces disguised as news.”

    Not really. You can read Michael Yons frontline reports, and, admirably, he’s an entrepeneurial reporter living off PayPal contributions. Plus, he writes terrific articles on the Iraq war.

    If the admin is getting bad press it’s their own fault: they have everyones attention, they make the news. If they don’t hear what they’d like to hear it’s because they’ve mistreated and misinformed the press. They can lead but they can’t dictate. The only way the Vast Leftwing Conspiracy Of The Press can operate is if the admin leaves a vacuum of news or bad news which is easily disregarded.