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The Unitary Executive Case For Impeachment

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Like most progressives — actually, like most Americans — I want to see an impeachment of George W. Bush once it is officially determined that his wiretapping scheme is illegal as implemented. I am very comfortable saying “when” rather than “if” because he is hanging his hat on the "unitary executive" theory of executive power.

As it turns out, George W. Bush has been flexing this theory since his inauguration. I am considerably behind professional scholars in considering this, but I figure since I’m right in step with professional journalists, I’m okay. So I set out to find just what is involved in the theory and the arguments based on it. I found pdf documents that explain each side of the scholarly debate, and an article on FindLaw taking the position that Bush overstepped his legal authority (it is very difficult to find someone outside the Bush regime who says unequivocally that the executive branch has the power to ignore the intent of Congress and the letter of the law at will). Here are the scholarly pdf documents:

And here is the FindLaw article.

The first pdf document is one of a series of four that provides the rational underpinnings of Bush’s power grab; the second reviews the actions he’s taken using this justification.

By now it’s pretty obvious which side I come down on. The four-part series was interesting but obviously not an unbiased analysis. I reject justification of a current outlook based on an extensive reinterpretation of century-old events immediately for much the same reason I don’t call Thomas Jefferson a White Supremacist.

I came to my own conclusion partly based on the official Progressive argument based on Justice Jackson’s concurrence in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, in which he noted the President’s power is at its lowest when acting against the stated will of Congress. I note in addition that, constitutionally, there are areas in which the President’s powers are non-existent. Regulating interstate commerce is one of those areas in which the Office of the President has only those powers that Congress delegates to it, and in this case there were numerous public statements that Congress delegated no new powers to the Office of the President prior to passage of the authorization to invade Iraq. There’s no question the Bush regime defied the intent and constitutional powers of Congress. There is no way to mistake the intent of Congress in this case.

The Constitution having established three co-equal branches of government, Congress and the Supreme Court have powers as unitary as the Office of the President. If the President can freely interpret the law, then Congress can enforce them directly and the courts can legislate. And there are times the Executive branch promotes that very viewpoint, most recently in considering New Hampshire’s abortion restriction laws (play the second audio file).

This unitary powers doctrine could lead to some really interesting conversations. For instance, the word of the Attorney General is not a "second opinion" when, under the unitary executive philosophy, the President can simply order the Attorney General to declare his orders legal on pain of termination. This is a task that could legitimately be claimed by the Judiciary; in fact, when there is a dispute between Congressional and Executive interpretation of the law it is the Supreme Court’s duty to resolve the dispute. But if each branch decides its own limits independently, we’ll have chaos, and the rule of law will simply end.

This is why we cannot allow the Bush regime to choose which laws it will follow, which philosophy it will espouse at any given moment. As Justice Douglass said in his concurrence in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer:

Legislative action may indeed often be cumbersome, time-consuming, and apparently inefficient. But as Mr. Justice Brandeis stated in his dissent in Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 293 :

    "The doctrine of the separation of powers was adopted by the Convention of 1787, not to promote efficiency but to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power. The purpose was, not to avoid friction, but, by means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of the governmental powers among three departments, to save the people from autocracy." [343 U.S. 579, 630]

We therefore cannot decide this case by determining which branch of government can deal most expeditiously with the present crisis. The answer must depend on the allocation of powers under the Constitution.

There is no authorization in the Constitution that allows the Office of the President to break, rather than enforce, the laws of the nation. Anyone that thinks otherwise is unfit to hold the office. Impeachment, which we came to understand during the Clinton administration is a mere investigation rather than an inevitable eviction, is more than appropriate when a President assumes powers categorically denied the office by the Constitution.

So I say, impeach Bush. Give him the same chance to explain and defend himself that Clinton had. To do less would be unfair to Bush.

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About Prometheus 6

  • zingzing

    snarky last statement, but fair. he should be grilled on this issue. maybe he can prove that it actually is in the best interest of the nation. maybe he’s a sneaky pigfucker who is just using “wartime powers” to spy on political enemies in the name of national security. it would be nice to hear him explain himself.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I had to vent, what can I say?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    why is it then that everyone believed Bill when he looked through that camera lens and told us all, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.” You mean, you don’t believe Bush when he looks in the camera and tells you he did nothing wrong? Or is it that since Clinton, you just expect the pres to lie to you?

  • Justin Berry

    P6 di you really mean to type this?

    but I figure since I’m right in step with professional journalists, I’m okay.

    pretty low standards even for a lib.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Andy, if you’re silly enough to have believed him you’re silly enough to have voted for Bush.

    I for one didn’t believe him for a second. I just didn’t find it relevant to his job performance…and as a man I’d have been shocked if he hadn’t lied to his wife about it.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Justin, if I had the resources your standard fully-employed-as-a-journalist person, I’d be way out ahead of them.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    I actually voted libertarian in the last presidential election…and I never believe any one that wags their finger in my face while they’re talking to me. I’ve always said that…if caught in the same situation…I’d lie through my teeth!

  • Justin Berry

    Point made, I was just waiting for the inevitable MSM, vast right-wing conspiracy, Spin doctor comments. You seem to be well informed.

    Misguided but well informed.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Not misguided.

    No guided in any way, in fact.

  • MCH

    **why is it then that everyone believed Bill when he looked through that camera lens and told us all, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica Lewinsky.”**

    I didn’t believe him, nor did I believe GW when he said, “(the reason) I wasn’t flying at Dannelly was because they didn’t have the same kind of airplanes.”

  • SK

    This isn’t an opinion in defense of Bush, but I say DON’T impeach him. If he’s removed from office, then Dick Cheney would become President. Now who would want that?

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Do you think that would be an increase in status and power for Cheney? Remember who they hid after 9/11.

  • think a head

    you people do realize that if bush is impeached, that dick cheney would be even more in control as president, and then the ranks of power shift up one level accordingly…

  • Dave Nalle

    You do realize that if Bush is impeached all you’re doing is vindicating the whiney ambition of a bunch of appeasers and self-promoters who value the welfare of the American people far below their own political careers, right?

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    think a head:

    See the comment directly above yours.

    Dave:

    No. All I’m doing is arguing the legal and Constitutional issues. If that justifies whiners, well, he shouldn’t have broken the law.

  • metal head

    I dont like big brother spying on its people. I also believe we should do everything in our power to find out who is involved in terrorist activities and eliminate them. That is the dicotomy. Freedom vs. protection. Benjerman Franklin once had a qoute that went something like this… Those who would choose protection over freedom deserve neither. My personal opinion is that you have to error on the side of personal liberties in this case. I think the president did have poor judgement on this although I belive this was not just a power grab the ends dont always justify the means. I do think this ought to be invstigated and argued out in a court. However I dont think with what information I have the case is there for impeachment just yet. He did not lie under oath or show a deriliction in duty. He was doing what he thought was the best way to proceed. Although I dont think he should be given a total free pass or anything as long as this behavior by the feds is stoped that would be good for now untill more can be found out. Anyhoo as of calling your self a progressive I realy dont see how raising taxes, Killing unborn children, and running away from any country that tries to bully us is progress can someone explain that too me? Its not an attack I just dont understand.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, have you seen the initial cause of action filed by the ACLU? It’s laughable. The plaintiffs they name have no reason to even believe they’ve been spied on.

    For any kind of impeachment over this issue to work there has to BE a crime. Good luck finding one.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, have you seen the initial cause of action filed by the ACLU?

    Obviously I’m not arguing that case. Do you see any flaws in my reasoning?

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    metal head:

    Anyhoo as of calling your self a progressive I realy dont see how raising taxes, Killing unborn children, and running away from any country that tries to bully us is progress can someone explain that too me? Its not an attack I just dont understand.

    Isn’t that way far afield of the topic? Would you like to start a seperate thread?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Flaws in your case? Yes, there needs to be a CRIME with a clearly identified victim and an intent to do harm for there to be an impeachment. For that matter there should probably be some sort of actual harm done, which certainly can’t be proven.

    And that’s not even taking into consideration the enormous amount of precedent for prior presidents doing exactly the same thing Bush did. Was Lincoln impeached? Was FDR? They did exactly the same sorts of things on a much larger scale and were not pursued for it.

    Lincoln arrested and illegally detained two thirds of the members of the Maryland state legislature with federal troops at one point. He implemented a national income tax in direct violation of the Constitution (the 16th amendment had not been passed yet). He freed all of the slaves in the south based solely on an executive order. These actions completely dwarf anything Bush did.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Flaws in your case? Yes, there needs to be a CRIME with a clearly identified victim and an intent to do harm for there to be an impeachment.

    Impeachment, which we came to understand during the Clinton administration is a mere investigation rather than an inevitable eviction, is more than appropriate when a President assumes powers categorically denied the office by the Constitution.

    For that matter there should probably be some sort of actual harm done, which certainly can’t be proven.

    Sorry, the standard simply isn’t that high.

  • troll

    Dave or anyone – can you explain the legal difference between a ‘declaration of war’ and a ‘authorization for the use of force’ as it relates to administration powers over US civil law – ?

    clearly this is important when deciding if a law has been broken

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    There is no legal difference, troll. That’s been established by the courts already. In addition, since we were attacked first by a foreign entity – Al Qaeda – making war on them doesn’t even require a declaration of war because a state of war exists whether declared or not.

    And P6, the powers are not denied the office by the Constitution. They are just not granted specifically by the Constitution. The Constitution leaves the granting of those powers up to the Congress and the Congress granted them pretty unambiguously.

    Oh and their DOES have to be a crime for impeachment – it’s not just a fishing expedition. If you read the constitution, impeachment is initiated when it has been proven that the president is guilty of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’. That means you have to prove the crime first.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    And P6, the powers are not denied the office by the Constitution. They are just not granted specifically by the Constitution. The Constitution leaves the granting of those powers up to the Congress and the Congress granted them pretty unambiguously.

    In the same way the Judiciary’s executive powers and Congress’ judicial powers are not specifically mentioned.

    If each branch decides its own limits independently, we’ll have chaos, and the rule of law will simply end.

    Oh and their DOES have to be a crime for impeachment

    Bush broke the FISA law which specifically states it is the only vehicle by which domestic wiretaps can be authorized. It even takes the state of war into account. And the Constitution DOES specifically state interstate commerce is in Congress’ domain.

    You may argue he had a good reason to break the law, but broken it is.

    Even by your standards, impeachment is called for.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    the Congress granted them pretty unambiguously.

    Almost forgot:

    In this case there were numerous public statements that Congress delegated no new powers to the Office of the President prior to passage of the authorization to invade Iraq. There’s no question the Bush regime defied the intent and constitutional powers of Congress. There is no way to mistake the intent of Congress in this case.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK):

    Some people say that is a broad change in authorization to the Commander in Chief of this country. It is not. It is a very limited concept of giving him the authority to pursue those who have brought this terrible destruction to our country and to pursue those who have harbored them or assisted them and conspired with them in any way. [Congressional Record, 9/14/01]

    Rep. James McGovern (D-MA):

    The body of this resolution is appropriately limited to those entities involved in the attacks that occurred on September 11th…It reiterates the existing constitutional powers of the President to take action to defend the United States, but provides no new or additional grant of powers to the President. [Congressional Record, 9/14/01]

    Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE):

    In extending this broad authority to cover those ‘planning, authorizing, committing, or aiding the attacks’ it should go without saying, however, that the resolution is directed only at using force abroad to combat acts of international terrorism. [Congressional Record, 9/14/01]

    Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ):

    The resolution is not a blank check. We do this with our eyes open and in fervent prayer, especially the prayer that President Bush and his national security team will be lavished with wisdom from God above to use only that force which is truly necessary and only that force which is truly appropriate. [Congressional Record, 9/14/01]

    Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX):

    The tension that we face tonight is to provide the President with enough authority to eradicate wrongdoing without wronging the carefully crafted systems of checks and balances so essential to our democracy. … As we vote for this important resolution with the lives of so many at stake in this important endeavor against terrorism, we cannot let the executive branch become the exclusive branch. [Congressional Record, 9/14/01]

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Bush broke the FISA law which specifically states it is the only vehicle by which domestic wiretaps can be authorized. It even takes the state of war into account. And the Constitution DOES specifically state interstate commerce is in Congress’ domain.

    You may argue he had a good reason to break the law, but broken it is.

    This has yet to be determined. Not applying the FISA law and breaking it are not the same thing. You may have judged and condemned Bush, but Congress hasn’t done it yet, nor has a jury or even a special investigatory committee. Bush has a case to make, and it’s not as cut and dried as you seem to have determined in what is clearly merely your opinion, not an established fact by any means.

    As for your quotes, did you actually read them? Let’s run it down in summary:

    Ted “I ought to be censured for corruption” Stevens clearly says that Bush is authorized to use extraordinary measures in pursuit of terrorists.

    Joe “I would have Invaded Iraq AND Syria” Biden doesn’t even address this issue in the vaguest way in his quote.

    Christopher “I’m a Bible Thumping Whacko” Smith talks about ‘appropriate’ force, which has zero to do with this issue, which doesn’t even involve the use of force.

    Lloyd “I Wish I Could Publicly Admit I’m a Socialist” Doggett – did you READ that paragraph of gibberish? He’s not only not discussing this issue, he’s not saying anything at all.

    Surely you can do better? I know that the Demos have backtracked a lot since 2001, I’m sure you can find some contemporary statements where they totally reverse their positions when they voted war powers to the president. These quotes certainly show that they knew what they did back then and knew what it meant.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Not applying the FISA law and breaking it are not the same thing.

    In this case, it is.

    TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1809 § 1809. Criminal sanctions
    Release date: 2005-03-17

    (a) Prohibited activities
    A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally—
    (1) engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute; or
    (2) discloses or uses information obtained under color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through electronic surveillance not authorized by statute.

    Notice it said “CRIMINAL sanctions” And this isn’t even a case of being ignorant of the law.

    Now, as you said, Congress would have to give up the power to disregard this, and we have many Congressmen ans Senators saying they didn’t have this in mind at all, with several making the specific public statement without contradiction of their peers at the time the force authorization was passed. All these things I can show you. Have, in fact.

    Now you show me the statute where Congress authorized the wiretaps.

    And I’m not discussing how upright any Congressman is or their delievery style. I’m discussing their publically stated intent.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I will, however, note:

    Christopher “I’m a Bible Thumping Whacko” Smith talks about ‘appropriate’ force, which has zero to do with this issue, which doesn’t even involve the use of force.

    The President, who says the authorization to use force included authorization to tap phones freely, disagrees with you.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    And of course they aren’t discussing this issue. They’re discussing the authorization they ACTUALLY gave to Bush.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, you seem to be overlooking the import of THIS phrase: “except as authorized by statute”

    What do you think the AUMF is? It includes wording specifically authorizing the president to use the measures he deems necessary to pursue and aprehend terrorists. Nothing ambiguous about that.

    ow, as you said, Congress would have to give up the power to disregard this, and we have many Congressmen ans Senators saying they didn’t have this in mind at all, with several making the specific public statement without contradiction of their peers at the time the force authorization was passed. All these things I can show you. Have, in fact.

    No, what you’ve quoted is a few congressmen and senators saying that the AUMF is limited, and one confirming that those limitations don’t apply to pursuing terrorists. But on the whole just vaguely asserting that it doesn’t make the president all powerful. No one’s arguing that. The argument comes down to whether a few wiretaps was an appropriate action under the extraordinary authorization to pursue terrorists includen in the AUMF.

    Let me quote to you from secton 3, part b of the AUMF:

    “In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that”

    This is why he contacted and briefed the speaker and the party leaders in both houses and getting their approval before engaging in any wiretaps.

    “(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations”

    This authorizes him to “take the necessary actions” which in this case means wiretapping known terrorists.

    Seems pretty cut and dried to me. Certainly a viable defense.

    Dave

  • metal head

    Its not off subject he starts his post by stating that he considers himslef a progressive wich has always been a way for a liberal to describe themselfs without all of the stigma atached to the label. Progressive always sounds so much better to the masses than socialist, comunist,ect.

  • troll

    Dave asks – *What do you think the AUMF is?*

    it’s an authorization to use US military forces…it is not an authorization to use wiretaps or any extra legal technique:

    *SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
    (a) AUTHORIZATION.—The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to—
    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.*

    nothing else is authorized…there is no b

    secition 3 (2) (from which you pull a partial line) is a determination and reporting requirement not an authorization…the Pres has to report that he has determined that the use of the US military:

    *acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.*

    (IMO an argument can be made that the Pres screwed that pooch)

    finally the resolution specifically bows to section 8(d)(1) of the War Powers Act:

    *(c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS.—
    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.—Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory
    authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS.—Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.*

    8(d)(1) reads:

    *SEC. 8. (d)
    Nothing in this joint resolution–
    (1)
    is intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President, or the provision of existing treaties;*

    where in all this do you see an authorization to ignore existing law – ?

    maybe the Pres should have used the military to perform the wiretaps

    troll

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Let me quote to you from secton 3, part b of the AUMF:

    “In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon there after as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that”

    Let me quote you:

    this issue, which doesn’t even involve the use of force.

    If you are right, then the authorization to use force, by definition, excludes “this isuue.”

    This is all word juggling. Troll gave the context you left out. Give it a plain text reading, like a strict constructionist would, remembering that the specific overrides the general.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Its not off subject he starts his post by stating that he considers himslef a progressive wich has always been a way for a liberal to describe themselfs without all of the stigma atached to the label. Progressive always sounds so much better to the masses than socialist, comunist,ect.

    Fine. I’m a liberal, socialist, “comunist,” etc.

    YOU, on the other hand, still seem unable to address the issue of the unitary executive principle, and constitutional law even on the amateur basis that Blogcritics support. And you seem to think distracting people with a discussion of which of your favorite labels will discredit LOGIC.

    Feel free to continue demonstrating the irrelevance of such an approach. Or prove me wrong with a serious discussion of the issue. I really don’t care which…this is more to address such silliness once so I can ignore it, and the purveyors thereof, forever more.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The AUMF clearly authorizes both the use of force and the use of other methods as needed to contravene terrorism. To say otherwise requires a really twisted reading of it. It’s not ‘word juggling’. Section 3 has two clear sections, one which covers the use of force and one which covers measures against terrorists not necessarily limited to force. It’s entirely unambiguous.

    Dave

  • troll

    Here’s the entirety of section 3

    (note that that 3(a) is the authorization…3(b)requires a Presidential determination and report…3(c) states that the requirements of the War Powers Act are met and are not to be exceeded)

    Dave writes – * Section 3 has two clear sections, one which covers the use of force and one which covers measures against terrorists not necessarily limited to force. It’s entirely unambiguous*

    just where in section 3 is the Pres authorized to use these claimed ‘measures against terrorists not necessarily limited to force’ – ?

    the reader will have to decide if Dave’s interpretation holds H2O

    —–

    SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION. The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to

    (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and

    (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.

    (b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION. In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter
    as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his
    determination that

    (1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either

    (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or

    (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council
    resolutions regarding Iraq; and

    (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist
    organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    (c) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS.

    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION. Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS. Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    What about Section 3/B/2 is in any way ambiguous to you, troll?

    Dave

  • troll

    there’s nothing ambiguous in it – it clearly states that the Pres must determine and report that the use of the US military is consistent with (ie does not conflict with) whatever other measures the US and other countries are employing to fight terrorists

    there is nothing in it that authorizes these ‘other measures’

    troll

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    I’d be ok with an impeachment hearing on these foundational issues if it weren’t for one thing… every single member of the House of Representitives (ok not all but most) are politicians. An impeachment won’t deal with these issues but will be partisan wrangling. It’d be a show trial, and in the end, the most vocal soundbites wins.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Troll, it also effecticvely states that the president is presumed to be authorized to take necessary action to combat terrorism and terrorist nations. He wouldn’t have to report on those actions if they weren’t authorizing him to take them.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    JB, all an impeachment is – as demonstrated by the Clinton impeachment – is an opportunity for politicians to grandstand and advance their own careers at the expense of the president.

    Dave

  • troll

    there is no reporting requirement in 3(b)(2) for these ‘necessary actions’ in use by the US and other countries – only that the use of US forces will not conflict with them

    by your reasoning

    1 – the resolution gives authorization (for example) for the Pres to initiate a program of assassination of foreign leaders…or any other measure that he decides is necessary

    2 – the Pres has to report on every action he uses to fight terrorists and in addition report on the actions that other countries use as well

    IMO this is an inaccurate reading of the resolution

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Yes, troll. I believe that as worded the AUMF would authorize the assassination of the leader of a terrorist sponsoring nation, and it does seem to require him to inform congress of actions he’s taken if they involve the use of the military. It’s not clear that something like a wiretap would require such notification.

    Neither the AUMF or the War Powers Resolution specifically addresses non-military and intelligence gathering activities associated with a war, but the intent of the AUMF is clearly to authorize the president to pursue those measures necessary to deal with terrorists and terrorist nations by whatever means are deemed necessary.

    Dave

  • troll

    so – if the Pres wants to go this route the resolution authorizes the assassination of US citizens who support terrorists – ? how ’bout suspending habeas corpus…is that authorized by 3(b)(2) as well – ?

    I guess we’ll just go round and round

    troll

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Dave:

    (2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

    Is obeying the law and respecting the seperation of powers that is the core of our form of government among the necessary actions the president must take?

    As you say, it’s not ambiguous.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    the intent of the AUMF is clearly to authorize the president to pursue those measures necessary to deal with terrorists and terrorist nations by whatever means are deemed necessary.

    And the intent of FISA is clearly to provide a means to do so via electronic data interception, and a means to adjust the rules as situations change. Congress has shown no intent to change those methods and they have not been shown to be insufficient.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I am completely mystified how you can quote that and then yet not apparently actually read it.

    Separation of powers has nothing at all to do with executive action authorized by the AUMF, because the passage of the AUMF constitutes the performance of the role of the legislative branch and acting on the authority given by the AUMF is the fulfillment of the role of the executive branch. There, all powers are involved and doing their part.

    And troll, yes habeas corpus is probably suspended as it applies to foreign terrorists and terrorist nations – but then it never applied to them in the first place.

    Dave

  • troll

    Dave says – *And troll, yes habeas corpus is probably suspended as it applies to foreign terrorists and terrorist nations – but then it never applied to them in the first place.*

    and here I thought we were doing so well at not distorting each other’s arguments

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m not distorting your argument, troll. I don’t think the AUMF suspends habeas corpus for US citizens who are not acting as agents of a foreign terrorist organizaton.

    Dave

  • troll

    but you think that the AUMF does authorize suspending habeas corpus for US citizens who are acting as agents of a foreign terrorist organization – ?

    (didn’t the court shoot down this argument in Padilla’s case)

    anyone have any links to discussions concerning the intent of the Congress behind the wording of the resolution – ?

    troll

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Separation of powers has nothing at all to do with executive action authorized by the AUMF, because the passage of the AUMF constitutes the performance of the role of the legislative branch and acting on the authority given by the AUMF is the fulfillment of the role of the executive branch. There, all powers are involved and doing their part.

    You don’t understand. There was no mention of changes to the existing law governing electronic data interception. Therefore the existing law stands.

    The law the Bush broke, justifying impeachment thereby.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Dave:

    To the point: I understand how you’re trying to interpret issues, but let me ask: if Congress authorized Bush to go around FISA, why don’t they just say so?

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

    P6, you brought some new facts to the table. Thank you for that at the very least. How refreshing.

    President Bush will not be impeached but he has done much more to earn – through illegal activities under “claimed” powers – than Clinton or even Nixon. Earned in the way that the Legislature and Judiciary don’t get bypassed on matters of national security just because three people say it’s a matter of national security. That path leads to darkness.

    You don’t get to claim powers, without going through the usual legal processes. Arrogance can take you to a certain spiteful point, but it always comes back to bite you in the ass. History will spit on this man as a leader, led by men of political hate, and laugh at his claims to be a uniter not a divider.

    Even in Texas his “unified’ leadership seems to be coming undone and being taken to the courts and disassembled. History may also hail him, yet, as bringing demoracy to Iraq and perhaps beyond … but . … if he doesn’t get there he and his defenders will have a million excuses why it didn’t work – all fingers will point outward – and they will start with bellicose name-calling and proceed not much beyond that.

    As a nation, that’s what we have to look forward. Anti-intellectual dishonesty.

    This is most neatly wrapped up in the FISA controversy. To boldy claim and admit to law-breaking and then to claim that a law authorizing force as a last resort – that doesn’t even mention wiretapping around the justice system already in place – does actually authorize it?

    It is to laugh. It is to cry that so many would come to defend that idiocy, without looking back in history or, especially, into the future.

  • lumpy

    I can make this all much simpler for you boys. Clinton got impeached and now it’s all about the revenge. If the demoncrats had a majority Bush would already be impeached. Since they don’t they’ll get their revenge by whining qbout it for 3 more years.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Lumpy, for every question there is an answer that is simple, direct and wrong. Thank you for identifying it in this case.

  • lumpy

    Your complex analysis makes a lot less sense. Ever hear of Occam’s razor?

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I prefer Einstein’s advice: make things as simple as possible…but no simpler.

    Your “analysis” ignores literally everything having anything to do with the constitutional issue. If that’s the level on which you must operate, fine. To me, your “argument” joins metal head’s…empty, and therefore to be ignored.

    And this is the last empty argument I will address.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    To the point: I understand how you’re trying to interpret issues, but let me ask: if Congress authorized Bush to go around FISA, why don’t they just say so?

    That’s a very valid question. My guess is that they really didn’t give FISA a second thought when passing the AUMF. There are a lot of regulations about intelligence and military deployment and the AUMF or for that matter a state of war pretty much overrides them all. The AUMF is extremely broad. It really doesn’t address any specifics, which opens the door for all sorts of potential excesses, but war is nothing if not excessive.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I see why we’re just not going to agree.

    During times of war do we cut the rule of law down to following orders necessary to win, and freedom down to doing whatever you want in the time not allocated to war preparations? Is that the country you live in?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I wish that were not the way the country worked, P6, but historically that is EXACTLY what we do. Not just in times of war, but in times of crisis in general we suspend the rule of law at the drop of a hat.

    Wilson did it during Lincoln did it in the Civil War. Wilson did it in WWI, FDR did it during the depression and during WWII, Nixon did it just to respond to a recession, Truman did it during the Communist scare. Compared to each of these examples the steps which Bush has taken are laughably insignificant, and none of these presidents – some of whom are considered among our greatest – were impeached.

    Dave

  • troll

    here’s an interesting post about detentions and the use of the 2001 AUMF as justification…some history of power grabbing and attempts to reign administrations in – (eg the Non-Detention Act of 1971)

    troll

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

    Even if interpreted incorrectly as has been done here (with full knowledge of the line blurring), the other presidents had one thing with them – the will of the people.

    None of them proffered the continual, increasing willful and where so comfortable in misleading the American people. None of them then denied when caught that it really was the law, if you just trusted their claims. And none of them asked the American peple to avoid the question of, if all this was legal, why they had drown in secrecy, and keep holding the baby down.

    An empyrean point, but nevertheless one rooted in the desire of a country. All examples given, also had much more clear, time-limted achievable goals. Lyndon Baines Johnson, for example, didn’t conduct the same runaround the established legal system to fight the War on Poverty; another unattainable goal.

    One also worth aiming for with equally grave conseqeuences and mortality, but the difference in approach is, I’m sure, quite obvious.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Temple, I hardly think Nixon had the will of the people on his side when he instituted wage and price controls and had Hoover begin wiretapping his enemies list.

    And I didn’t bring up LBJ. He worked by pretty acceptable methods even if some of his projects ended up being disastrous.

    But Franklin Roosevelt both engaged in massive deception of the public and literally shredded the Constition at his convenience.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Not just in times of war, but in times of crisis in general we suspend the rule of law at the drop of a hat.

    You know this.

    Then you know your entire argument depends on finding this not just acceptable but correct.

  • troll

    here’s a straight forward presentation of DOJ’s argument for those who haven’t seen it

    troll

  • troll

    and here’s Daschel’s statement of 12/22/05 concerning – in part – congressional intent…(again – for those who have not seen it already)

    troll

  • troll

    and lastly – here’s a counter argument to DOJ’s claims

    troll

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

    Nixon is the obvious exception (only the wiretapping is relevant here, however) and he was on his way to impeachment if he hadn’t resigned. One small point you’ve attached yourself to. Congrats.

    Except. …

    Obviously it was wrong when Nixon did it, but now, with the extra FISA law in place, its legally OK when President Bush does it to people – American citizens – he’s just guessing and claiming may be enemies? The scope of which we do not actually know, but we do know it is much broader than anyone in the Administration can bring themselves to admit.

    That’s a logically corrupt and mentally deficient position.

    Again, to repeat for all, claims do not laws make. Actions on this scale on the basis of claims, if proven illegal are impeachable offenses. As stated, I don’t think that will happen. And, at this point, I’d rather history be the judge.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You know this.

    Then you know your entire argument depends on finding this not just acceptable but correct.

    It’s certainly correct factually that it has been done again and again. Whether it was the correct (right) thing to do now or then is debatable. As for whether it’s acceptable, it may not be acceptable to me or you, but clearly it has been acceptable to the republic in the past for the president to act extra-constitutionally in times of crisis, so the question is whether we can legitimately hold Bush to a higher standard.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Nixon is the obvious exception (only the wiretapping is relevant here, however) and he was on his way to impeachment if he hadn’t resigned. One small point you’ve attached yourself to. Congrats.

    Wrong. The wiretapping is NOT the only relevant issue, and it’s not limited to the Nixon administration. Both Roosevelt and Truman authorized extensive surveillance of US citizens without warrants, to the degree that the FBI under Hoover assumed that it had the autonomous authority to wiretap and investigate people for political reasons without even getting presidential oversight. Every single action Bush has taken which has been called in question has been done by prior presidents and in fact to a much larger extent.

    Obviously it was wrong when Nixon did it, but now, with the extra FISA law in place, its legally OK when President Bush does it

    FISA isn’t the primary issue here, the violation of the 4th amendment is, and it’s been in place for two centuries. FISA doesn’t even really apply to domestic surveillance, because the 4th amendment does.

    to people – American citizens – he’s just guessing and claiming may be enemies?

    From what I’ve read surveillance was only done on people who had been directly tied to known terrorists overseas. If details contrary to this eventually come out then that might make some difference.

    Again, to repeat for all, claims do not laws make. Actions on this scale on the basis of claims, if proven illegal are impeachable offenses. As stated, I don’t think that will happen. And, at this point, I’d rather history be the judge.

    History HAS been the judge, and it’s generally excused these small acts of tyrrany. Just ask the members of the German American Bundt or scores of socialist groups or any Japanese American or members of the SDS in thr 60s, or for that matter anyone like me who was involved in protesting the draft registration in the early 80s.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    As for whether it’s acceptable, it may not be acceptable to me or you, but clearly it has been acceptable to the republic in the past for the president to act extra-constitutionally in times of crisis, so the question is whether we can legitimately hold Bush to a higher standard.

    Not only can we, we must for three reasons. First, the power of this particular reach is unprecedented, and he’s obviously been part of a plan to do this for quite a while. And I’m not talking about eavesdropping, I’m talking about centralizing the power of the government into a single person…undermining the very structure of the government.

    Secondly, we always hold ourselves to higher standards than our predecessors. That’s how advancement happens. If we don’t, we give up on the future.

    Finally, this is the standard that Bush himself says should be used to interpret law…original intent, textual, strict construction, no matter which label you choose you see Bush broke the letter of the law.

    I think Temple Stark is right…there will be no impeachment. And that might be for the best. I know humans and there’s a strong chance Republicans would reach to impeaching Bush in a way that would lead Congress to treat impeachment like California treats voter initiatives. That would really suck.

    But I make the obvious case for it because people should not be able to hide behind rhetoric or “that’s the way it’s always been.” Doing nothing is a choice too, and people should not be able to deny the results of their choices.

    Congress and the court can stop this.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Not only can we, we must for three reasons. First, the power of this particular reach is unprecedented, and he’s obviously been part of a plan to do this for quite a while. And I’m not talking about eavesdropping, I’m talking about centralizing the power of the government into a single person…undermining the very structure of the government.

    Any familiarity with US history shows this not to be true. The centralization of power in the hands of the executive is a trend which comes and goes. By no stretch of the imagination can Bush be considered even in the same league with Andrew Jackson, Lincoln or either Roosevelt in this area.

    Secondly, we always hold ourselves to higher standards than our predecessors. That’s how advancement happens. If we don’t, we give up on the future.

    That sounds great, but you can’t hold Bush to a higher standard retroactively. You can’t let everyone else geta way with something and then punish him for it. Slap him on the wrist, change the policy by passing a constitutional amendment defining presidential power in times of war and THEN hold him fully accountable after that.

    Finally, this is the standard that Bush himself says should be used to interpret law…original intent, textual, strict construction, no matter which label you choose you see Bush broke the letter of the law.

    Apparently he doesn’t see it that way, and it’s certainly debatable. And the ‘intent’ bit cuts both ways. He can argue that the intent of the framers was never to tie the executives hands in time of war, or that their intent in the 4th amendment was concerning property and physical safety and liberty, not information or communication – that could even be construed as a ‘strict construction’.

    I think Temple Stark is right…there will be no impeachment. And that might be for the best. I know humans and there’s a strong chance Republicans would reach to impeaching Bush in a way that would lead Congress to treat impeachment like California treats voter initiatives. That would really suck.

    I agree that there won’t be an impeachment. IMO if they want to make a real issue of this, they need to at the very least pass a comprehensive federal law on surveillance practices which goes beyond what FISA covers so that in the future this issue will not have room for ambiguity.

    But I make the obvious case for it because people should not be able to hide behind rhetoric or “that’s the way it’s always been.” Doing nothing is a choice too, and people should not be able to deny the results of their choices.

    A fundamental tenet of our legal system is precedent. Laws are actually overturned by courts if you can show that they were habitually not enforced. You can lose your property if someone else can show that they have possession of it an you’ve never tried to contest it. Same concept applies here.

    Dave

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Blah. Blah. Blah. Forget about impeaching this clown. He’s a lame duck. Make him more lame by a wholesale overthrow of Congress. It’s an election year, America. Get your asses out and vote. Rid Washington once and for all of the scum that has festered there.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Plus you don’t even have to wait until the general election in November. You can get a number of the lamers out in the primaries this spring.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I have to agree with Silas above at #74.

    Prometeus, it strikes me that what you are really saying is that the United States should have a parliamentary system of government like its neighbor to the north.

    That way, if the house of representatives lost confidence in the prime minister, they could boot him out. Votes of confidence are a lot cheaper than impeachment proceedings. A lot faster, too.

  • troll

    NSA should look into BC what with all the encrypted entries

    troll

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Silas:

    I agree with everything you said except “Forget about impeaching this clown.” I even agree with the “Blah. Blah. Blah.” part.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Ruvy:

    Not to be rude, but what I’m really saying is exactly what I wrote. Fact is, though, I think we should give our Constitutional form of government a try before we ape other countries.

  • Dave Nalle

    Prometeus, it strikes me that what you are really saying is that the United States should have a parliamentary system of government like its neighbor to the north.

    Yeah, but look at what a godawful mess their government is. What we need is the moderating power of three or more parties under the Constitution and legislative structure as it currently exists. That’s the answer.

    Dave

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Impeachment won’t happen but I think it would be great if Democrats did control at least one house of Congress after this year’s elections.

  • gonzo marx

    well well…first Post i look at when i come back from the UK..and it looks real comfy

    time for your friendly neighborhood “non-partisan contrarian” to hop in?….

    mebbe…

    but first, thanks P6 for the good linkage in the Post

    thanks troll for fighting the good fight, as usual, and giving us nice links to peruse and ponder

    thanks Silas for being the Voice of Reason, and stating the obvious….our Government works MUCH better when it is divided among the “gangs”…Scott gets points for noticing

    that’s all for now…no US news or internet for the weeks…i’ve got a lot to catch up on…

    miss me?

    Excelsior!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    P6 et al. Impeachment proceedings are a way to get rid of someone committing “high crimes and misdemeanors.” If your system of government produces only high criminals and miscreants in it highest position of power, it is time to get rid of the system.

    Read the preamble of your Declaration of Independence over once or twice. It explains the concept better than I ever could.

  • gonzo marx

    decently put Ruvy..and one i mention frequently as the “jeffersonian Option”

    but the problem is not that our form of government creates these miserable pigfuckers, it is a product of our current “two Party” system, and how THEY choose whom we are forced to choose FROM that does it

    big difference

    but you are correct in that it something the american People much decide on, and then work to create better Circumstances

    we will see, eh?

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    One possible solution is to see how the Germans elect the lower house of their parliament. Half of the seats are chosen on the basis of proportional representation and half from election districts.

    This would allow for smaller parties to actually show up in the house of representatives. It’s not a guarantee of success. But it would be an improvement. Introducing elements of a parliamentary system would be helpful also.

    As to the Canadian system, it must be remembered that it has two levels of political parties and attempts to somehow meld those two together.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    That’s not a solution because our form of government is defined by the Constitution, and that’s what we’re trying to respect here.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    How did I miss this?

    By no stretch of the imagination can Bush be considered even in the same league with Andrew Jackson, Lincoln or either Roosevelt in this area.

    We want to keep it that way.

    Secondly, we always hold ourselves to higher standards than our predecessors. That’s how advancement happens. If we don’t, we give up on the future.

    That sounds great, but you can’t hold Bush to a higher standard retroactively. You can’t let everyone else geta way with something and then punish him for it. Slap him on the wrist, change the policy by passing a constitutional amendment defining presidential power in times of war and THEN hold him fully accountable after that.

    First of all, it’s not retroactive…he’s breaking the law NOW. And control of interstate commerce is fully assigned and has been since before the Bill of Rights (sorta…I know it wasn’t ratified until the Bill of Rights was added but it sounds dramatic so there you are).

    And this has been in the works since before 9/11. If the military had finished with Afghanistan and caught bin Ladin when he was surrounded in the mountains, the purpose of the force authorization would have been fulfilled and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. War powers are no excuse.

    But I make the obvious case for it because people should not be able to hide behind rhetoric or “that’s the way it’s always been.” Doing nothing is a choice too, and people should not be able to deny the results of their choices.

    A fundamental tenet of our legal system is precedent. Laws are actually overturned by courts if you can show that they were habitually not enforced.

    Well, I was talking about voters and citizens being responsible. But you’re right, and that’s one more reason to impeach Bush.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    First of all, it’s not retroactive…he’s breaking the law NOW.

    He is? Could you demonstrate definitively what law he’s breaking? I don’t see anything in FISA about monitoring phonecalls by computer, for example. Nor do I see anything in FISA about email. There’s also nothing in the constitution about telecommunications of any kind being private. They could very well be the legal equivalent of shouting at a guy across the street.

    And control of interstate commerce is fully assigned and has been since before the Bill of Rights (sorta…I know it wasn’t ratified until the Bill of Rights was added but it sounds dramatic so there you are).

    Huh? What does this have to do with interstate commerce?

    And this has been in the works since before 9/11. If the military had finished with Afghanistan and caught bin Ladin when he was surrounded in the mountains, the purpose of the force authorization would have been fulfilled and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. War powers are no excuse.

    The AUMF specifically refers to Iraq, not Afghanistan.

    But I make the obvious case for it because people should not be able to hide behind rhetoric or “that’s the way it’s always been.” Doing nothing is a choice too, and people should not be able to deny the results of their choices.

    I agree that we should do something. Congress should say that what Bush is doing is not what they intended and either amend FISA or write a new comprehensive wiretap law.

    Well, I was talking about voters and citizens being responsible. But you’re right, and that’s one more reason to impeach Bush.

    I’m getting the feeling that merely drawing breath is a reason to impeach Bush in your book.

    Dave

  • troll

    *The AUMF specifically refers to Iraq, not Afghanistan.*

    which one are we talking about…there have been two – the first concerns terrorists(Sept 01); the second Iraq(Oct 02)

    troll

  • gonzo marx

    ummm…one quibble here…the FISA laws are about surveillance involving telecommunications

    the methodology of how such monitoring is done is immaterial…this is supported by numerous SCOTUS decisions…look them up yerself, ya will see

    ANY of these type of surveilances are covered by either FISA or other applicable statutes…again SCOTUSD has set precedents

    ALL of said precedents REQUIRE going before the appropriate Judicial branch review…this is INTENTIONALLY done to prevent abuses by Prosecutors or the State…

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I’m getting the feeling that merely drawing breath is a reason to impeach Bush in your book.

    Just making sure the point of my post doesn’t get lost in revolutionary talk.

    He is? Could you demonstrate definitively what law he’s breaking? I don’t see anything in FISA about monitoring phonecalls by computer, for example.

    sigh

    If you’re going to get silly and say that’s not covered under “electronic surveillance,” the conversationis over.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    *The AUMF specifically refers to Iraq, not Afghanistan.*

    which one are we talking about…there have been two – the first concerns terrorists(Sept 01); the second Iraq(Oct 02)

    Must be the first…everyone is talking about how this is to fight terrorists, and domestic spying over Iraq is anticlimactic.

  • Dave Nalle

    If you’re going to get silly and say that’s not covered under “electronic surveillance,” the conversationis over.

    Well, I guess the conversation ended sometime in the early 80s when telecommunications started to mean something entirely different than it did in 1978.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    again, you try and dodge around the technical and legal definitions of the actual Law

    sorry to break it to you, but “electronic surveilance” DOES cover this shit, as i shwo in another Thread

    how about you stick to fonts..and leave the technical shit to folks that have a clue?

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    In 1978 electronic surveillance meant planting physical bugs IN phones as shown in the picture attached to the article, or on the physical premises being bugged. How is that not clear to you? Today the means of communication and the methods of surveillance have changed radically.

    I’m not some sort of technological idiot, gonzo. I know what electronic surveillance is. But the means and the methods are different today than they were at the dawn of the telecommunications age. Yes, it’s all still electronic surveillance in the broadest sense, but what was adequate law in a time of simple wiretaps and crude radio frequency listening devices could easily be seen as outdated, inapplicable or even irrelevant today.

    Look, I believe in giving the greatest possible protection of all rights to all Americans. I’m fine with just prohibiting any form of wiretap or information gathering within the US. But I’m not running the country, that’s not the way things are being done, and I’m trying to deal with the reality.

    It’s fine for you to take a principled stand and reject everything else, but it does NOTHING to find a reasonable solution to the problems raised by this situation.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Electronic surveilance means either surveilance of, or using electronics. Take your pick.

    Telephone is electronics. Computer is electronics. And you are desperate to find reasonable doubt here. There is none.

    The letter of the law was broken, and the letter of the law is what Bush wants enforced everywhere but here? That seems kind of…arbitrary. Kind of king-like. And he’s been wrong so much, hidden so much information, there is no reason to believe what he says, even if HE does.

    And I don’t want him impeached for eavesdropping. This is just what brought it forth in undeniable fashion. It’s for a long-term effort to destabilize the government, undermining both the Judiciary and Congress, in order to concentrate power into the one office. Totally anti-American.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    P6 writes,

    “That’s not a solution because our form of government is defined by the Constitution, and that’s what we’re trying to respect here.”

    Then you shouldn’t be urging impeachment at all. It was a mistake to impeach Clinton. It would be a mistake to impeach Bush. One mistake does not justify another.

    Your argument boils down to devaluing impeachment so that it is a routine act – kind of like having the Praetorian Guard running the Roman Empire.

    Not smart. That’s like cutting a kid’s hand of for stealing a banana.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    It’s fine for you to take a principled stand and reject everything else, but it does NOTHING to find a reasonable solution to the problems raised by this situation.

    Too bad you weren’t around to council Bush before invading Iraq on the humble.

    A principled stand is necessary when you’re dealing with someone who openly declares he’s ignoring your ass and doing whatever he wants.

    I’m not some sort of technological idiot, gonzo. I know what electronic surveillance is. But the means and the methods are different today than they were at the dawn of the telecommunications age.

    Doesn’t matter. The law still applies.

    Yes, it’s all still electronic surveillance in the broadest sense, but what was adequate law in a time of simple wiretaps and crude radio frequency listening devices could easily be seen as outdated, inapplicable or even irrelevant today.

    That why you go to Congress and say, “Hey we got this new thing we can do” without waiting for some disaster to sneak it in behind.

    And again…the Total Information Awareness program, which was to use this technology started before 9/11. So whatever his reason is for supporting the domestic wiretaps, it’s not the “War on Terra.”

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Ruvy:

    Your argument boils down to devaluing impeachment so that it is a routine act – kind of like having the Praetorian Guard running the Roman Empire.

    Again, my argument doesn’t “boil down” to anything other than what I said.

    Notice I already said it would be bad

    I think Temple Stark is right…there will be no impeachment. And that might be for the best. I know humans and there’s a strong chance Republicans would reach to impeaching Bush in a way that would lead Congress to treat impeachment like California treats voter initiatives. That would really suck.

    (technically, I said it would suck) to treat impeachment like a voter referendum.

    My argument is about one President breaking the law, and the sole means our government provides to deal with such an event.

    Don’t try to put words in my mouth.

  • Nancy

    Clinton’s impeachment was for lying about having sex with a bimbo; Bush’s is about lying about reasons for going to war w/Iran – a big, BIG difference.

    Meanwhile, discussions concerning Bush violating the constitution, both here, in the media, & in congress, have been hijacked by lawyerly nittering about how many NSA agents can dance on the head of a pin. Where is the outrage? Are we so numb to government lies & violations of law that our attention deficit is limitless these days?

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Meanwhile, discussions concerning Bush violating the constitution, both here, in the media, & in congress, have been hijacked by lawyerly nittering about how many NSA agents can dance on the head of a pin. Where is the outrage?

    [P6 raises his hand]

    That’s why, at the risk of being accused of being obsessive, I drag the conversation back to the point, ignoring all name calling, rejecting all strawmen (interpreting one’s statement as you like and responding to the interpretation rather than the statement), denying all “salami slicing”, etc.

  • troll

    well done P6

    troll

  • Nancy

    I’m glad somebody is. I’m getting fed up with all the posturing by congress & the media as they pick-pick-pick, obviously with no intent whatsoever to actually act or do anything about something that should be a burning, hot-button issue that far outweighs Nixon’s abuses. I must conclude that congress isn’t interested in doing anything about anything except getting themselves re-elected so they can enrich themselves at the expense of the public. I have come to the conclusion that the only solution is congressional term limits: there should be NO ‘career’ congress whatsoever, and those who serve should be banned for a minimum of 5 years – not 1 or 2 – from engaging in lobbying (which I think should be totally illegal, anyway).

    But back to the issue. The nitpicking seems to be a tactic by Rove & Co. to prevent anyone from actually taking action against Bush: keep congress squabbling, and they’ll be too distracted to prosecute.

  • Dave Nalle

    Electronic surveilance means either surveilance of, or using electronics. Take your pick.

    Telephone is electronics. Computer is electronics. And you are desperate to find reasonable doubt here. There is none.

    Electronic surveillance means surveillance carried out by electronic means, not necessarily limited to electronic media.

    The letter of the law was broken, and the letter of the law is what Bush wants enforced everywhere but here? That seems kind of…arbitrary. Kind of king-like.

    No, it seems kind of expedient. It’s a word you should learn. In times of crisis the President’s role is to do what needs to be done and do it by the methods available and then sort out the ramifications later.

    And he’s been wrong so much, hidden so much information, there is no reason to believe what he says, even if HE does.

    And I don’t want him impeached for eavesdropping. This is just what brought it forth in undeniable fashion. It’s for a long-term effort to destabilize the government, undermining both the Judiciary and Congress, in order to concentrate power into the one office. Totally anti-American.

    Here’s where we’re never going to agree. This vague accusation that Bush is some sort of potential tyrant who’s systematically perverting our government just doesn’t fly. There’s no evidence to support it. It’s some sort of weird leftist fantasy which people keep bringing up but really can’t back up in any substantial way, and it colors all of your opinions and renders a lot of what you say just silly, because it’s coming from a perspective of weird prejudice because you see Bush as this wannabe dictator – a role which he fills only in your mind and in the groupthink culture you’re part of.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    as opposed to the groupthink culture of the GOP which thinks King Shrub sounds nice and they can never do anything wrong…that the Administration spends all their waking hours doing everything they can to being back the glory days of the Cleavers and Nelsons

    the Reality is more than likely some where in between

    how about we just take each thing as it’s own and work it from there?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    This vague accusation that Bush is some sort of potential tyrant who’s systematically perverting our government just doesn’t fly. There’s no evidence to support it.

    Two words:

    “Movement Conservative”

    The goal is to concentrate governmental power in the Office of the Presidency. It’s not Bush specifically who set it up, he’s just the guy who is on the spot at the critical point.

    No, it seems kind of expedient. It’s a word you should learn. In times of crisis the President’s role is to do what needs to be done and do it by the methods available and then sort out the ramifications later.

    Again, your argument is only reasonable if you admit the whole “rule of law” rhetoric is just that…rhetoric. You’re saying the rule of law exists only when convenient.

    And there is a public, coordinated effort to make it so. I dont have to prove anything, I just have to point to events and let people come to their own conclusions.

    When you admit there is no real rule of law in the United States of America, I will stop pursuing the issue (with you).

    in the groupthink culture you’re part of.

    Remember, I told you name-calling gets ignored. I don’t think I’ve referred to YOU at all.

    Please don’t become a disappointment. We were doing so well.

  • ss

    If the gov uses these new powers it has aprropriated itself to spy on an American citizen with no terrorist connections, and the gov uses this info in an inappropriate way, what legal remedy does the citizen have?
    Will they be able to subpeona records of the wiretap, or will the gov be able to hide behind the mantra of ‘national security’?
    I was willing to give to Bush some leeway on this at first, but having heard his ‘I talked to Congress and they thought it was ok’ explaination of why he should be trusted with this new power; instead of concrete steps that can be taken to make sure an individual who is wrongly spied on has legal rights…
    I’m starting to change my mind.

  • ss

    Whether Bush has or not, at some point the gov WILL abuse this power. It’s inevitable.
    The ‘I’m the President so I can order the NSA to do anything as long as I secretly inform Congress’ precedent that is being set here…
    In Russia, in Afghanistan, in Turkey, the presence of a democratic process seems to be used as cover for violating freedom of political speech.
    If they don’t set new limits on this new tech, the same thing is gonna happen here.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    SS has the best point anyone has made in a while. If you give the government too much power someone will eventually abuse it. That’s the real reason why whatever law eventually gets passed on this ought to err on the side of limiting wiretaps rather than enabling them.

    I still don’t think Bush has done the tyrranical things which the more paranoid among us fear that he has. If he were that out of control he would not have sought legal opinions and conferred with congressional leaders on what he was doing.

    Consider a comparison with Nixon.

    Bush: Wiretapped known Al Qaeda associates.
    Nixon: Wiretapped personal enemies.

    Bush: Had the appropriate government agency do the wiretaps.
    Nixon: Hired criminals and renegade black bag operatives.

    Bush: Conferred openly with judges and legislators.
    Nixon: Made every effort to cover up and conceal his actions

    Does this make the difference between an overly zealous chief executive and a half-crazed potential tyrant any clearer?

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    except for the fact that we don’t know who was “data mined” or what was done with the data and logs since…

    we don’t have any way to check the assertations by the Administration…since none of it went to any kind of outside review

    i don’t like comparing Nixon with Bush…it’s apples and oranges, really…we know what Nixon did, and it was pretty petty penny ante stuff…we don’t know the full extent of what this Administration has done/is doing…but the scale and implications are of a much grander scope, with the possibility of exponentially worse outcome for our Nation on what could be an epic scale

    not i am very careful with the qualifiers here, we are not certain yet…and i do hope quite fervently that it is all not as bad as it could be

    i would dearly love to be proven completely incorrect, and find everything is just rosy…and that i am just being overly suspicious based on what we do know so far…

    but i ain’t betting my lunch money on it

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Does this make the difference between an overly zealous chief executive and a half-crazed potential tyrant any clearer?

    Gonzo dealt with your first point. Assigning (ex?) Admiral Poindexter to head up the Total Information Awareness program counters your second. The current debate in Congress counters your third.

    If we were really keeping score. Actually, if only one of us believes in the rule of law there’s really no common frame of reference to judge by.

  • gonzo marx

    it is ex-Admiral Poindexter…a convicted felon, he was part of the Iran-Contra scandal

    just helping out with the score card

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, I never said I didn’t believe in the rule of law. That’s something you and gonzo came up with. I just realize that there are a lot of things our existing laws don’t address adequately, leaving room for actions like those Bush has taken.

    And Gonzo…

    i don’t like comparing Nixon with Bush…it’s apples and oranges, really…we know what Nixon did, and it was pretty petty penny ante stuff…we don’t know the full extent of what this Administration has done/is doing…but the scale and implications are of a much grander scope, with the possibility of exponentially worse outcome for our Nation on what could be an epic scale

    That’s all fairycake with wish icing, gonzo. We have no reason to believe Bush is anywhere near the same league as Nixon. That you call Nixon’s crimes ‘penny ante’ shows that you don’t understand this issue at all. Bush is accused of possibly taking advantage of a gray area in the 4th amendment. Nixon violated the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments repeatedly and did it in full knowledge that it was illegal. He was party to felonies for which people went to jail and he was spared as an ‘unindicted co-conspirator’. Give me a break.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Ruvy sadly looks out of his roost at the windy and cold day and shakes his head. Can all these people commenting really be people of substance? Oy vey!!

    Get real, folks! You no longer have a democracy! But if you went through all the energy and effort required to impeach George W. Bush, got him tried and convicted and kicked out – you get Cheney, who is just as bad, and from the same oil and banking plutocracy that Bush is!

    He would continue all the violations of your civil liberties that Bush is pursuing now, and just keep on going like the Energizer Bunny.

    In addition, he would continue the war in Iraq – because he couldn’t afford to move it to Saudi Arabia. It isn’t smart to pee on the boss’s shoes.

    What will you have accomplished?

    Gúrnisht, nada, niente, éfes – a big fat goose egg.

  • gonzo marx

    to comment #113…
    you appear to misunderstand me…i know how bad Nixon screwed up, but his offenses were truly petty and domestic

    i was stating that the possible infractions of this Administration could be far worse…why you ask?
    pre-emptive invasion
    diebold
    FISA

    and a few other things, NONE of which are proven and NONE of which have even been properly Investigated as of yet

    so we just don’t know, and as i stated quite clearly..i do honestly hope that when all of this IS looked into , that it won’t be anywhere near as bad as it could be

    to Ruvy…

    i know exactly what you mean..you will note that i have never aactually said to impeach him…for just the reasons you state

    far better if nothing happens until after November, and either House or Senate goes Dem…then some decent Investigations can be had, checks and balances will be restored

    then let things go as needed

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I don’t look at it the same way. I think that the thing which makes Nixon infinitely worse no matter what is that what he did was done for personal gain, while what Bush may have done was done for reasons of what he perceived as the best interests of the nation. It’s a lot easier to excuse an excess of zeal in a good cause than an abuse of rights which serves no one but yourself.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, I never said I didn’t believe in the rule of law. That’s something you and gonzo came up with. I just realize that there are a lot of things our existing laws don’t address adequately, leaving room for actions like those Bush has taken.

    This is not one of those cases. Honestly, you know that.

    I think you explained your real reason to gonzo.

    But I’m not running the country, that’s not the way things are being done, and I’m trying to deal with the reality.

  • gonzo marx

    for comment #116

    you raise some very good points, unfortunately i do NOT share your optimism as to the motivations of this Administration.

    i do NOT think they are looking out for the Nation’s best interests…hence the conflict of Opinion

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    so – Nixon didn’t believe that what he was doing was in the interest of national security – ?

    at the time of his criminal behavior we were in a conflict authorized by Congress and lots of Americans were acting in ways that looked traitorous to him

    I don’t see much difference between now and then in this aspect…

    and the fact is we don’t know what ops Bush has authorized – all we know is that he is willing to push the envelope of the law if not break it outright in the name of executive power

    troll

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    1: “most viciously debated thread”?

    2: The Cheney scare isn’t very scary. C’mon folks, if you impeach and remove from office a President over a given act there is no longer any doubt where the line is. A Vice President that ascends to the Presidency that way would be watched like a hawk…and that’s if he wasn’t removed for complicity.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    Bush impeached…
    Cheney indicted…
    Hastert in control?

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    And if something happens to Hastert…Ted Stevens is up next!

    ugh…*shudder*

  • Nancy

    The point is, we didn’t know about the NSA wiretapping, and Bush’s claim that he informed selected members of congress apparently doesn’t hold water, since at least some of them deny it. So … what ELSE is there he’s done that no one knows anything about? As far as I know, it’s entirely likely Bush has done all kinds of illegal things a la Nixon – it’s just no one’s found out about them yet. Also, as SS pointed out, even if Bush himself hasn’t abused it, who’s to say someone else – Cheney, perhaps? Some penny-ante self-appointed Oliver North wannabe in the NSA? – hasn’t? The WH continues to stonewall turning over any kind of memos or other information on the wiretapping as well as stuff like Hurricane Katrina on the laughable grounds of “protecting the privacy of WH advisors”. Privacy of WH advisors, my fat butt! If you work in the WH or government, there is and should be no privacy, especially in matters of adhering to the law. That BushCo is resisting on such ridiculous excuses says to me they do have something to hide. I do hope this goes to a full-fledged impeachment, if only because such a procedure will bring out the facts, without claims of executive privilege or pathetic excuses about Karl Rove’s privacy concerns.

  • gonzo marx

    and here
    is a nice bit of an article on the topic of the whole FISA bit for your perusal

    i doubt anyone could call this article, or the Chicago times, too blantantly partisan…it gives a decently balanced view

    yer welcome, yas know i live ta Serve

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    #117 + #118: I tend to view the cup as half full rather than half empty. And my empty half is a little different than yours. I’m much more concerned about the great ideas Bush had which he hasn’t been able to execute because of these manufactured crises, than I am about the supposed problems his opponents keep trumping up.

    so – Nixon didn’t believe that what he was doing was in the interest of national security – ?

    In his deranged mind he may have thought it was, but since he targeted people who were hurting his chances of reelection rather than threatening the country, that explanation doesn’t make much sense.

    1: “most viciously debated thread”?

    Well, it’s held the top of the discussion list in politics for quite a while, and that means a lot of back and forth.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I’m much more concerned about the great ideas Bush had which he hasn’t been able to execute because of these manufactured crises, than I am about the supposed problems his opponents keep trumping up.

    What was the first manufactured crisis? Who manufactured it?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Did you mean that in the grand historical context or just in the context of the history of the US or just in the context of the Bush administration?

    Manufacturing bogus crises and inflated scandals has been part of politics from the beginning of time. Doesn’t mean I have to like it when it gets in the way of implementing good ideas.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Did you mean that in the grand historical context or just in the context of the history of the US or just in the context of the Bush administration?

    I mean in the context you provided when you wrote

    I’m much more concerned about the great ideas Bush had which he hasn’t been able to execute because of these manufactured crises, than I am about the supposed problems his opponents keep trumping up.

    I’m following your lead.

  • Brandon

    What I don’t Get is the surveillance can only be used in a case involving terrorist activity, So what is everyone so scared of if your not a terrorist your safe not from electronic surveillance but from indictment. My Question is What do you know that America doesn’t need to know?

  • Russell

    I went to the democrat website and all it pretty much had was Bush bashing. Then I went to the Republican website and it had only one or two stories where they bashed Dems.I am seeing a pattern with the Dems. that started sence Bush won the first election. Dems. quit complaining 24/7 he is almost out!!!!

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    So what is everyone so scared of

    The destruction of our constitutional form of government.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I’ve supported a Constitutional Convention for the last 20 years. I believe that we’re ripe in this country for major political reform.

    With the apparent victory of the terrorist wing of Palestinian politics, we have some serious choices to consider in our Middle East policies. The Palestinians have chosen a new course for their cause. Israel is faced with the same thing in the wake of Sharon’s departure. Canadians have ousted Martin and his Liberals in favor of the Conservative Harper who many view as “Bush lite”.

    People around the globe are getting desperate. We lack leaders who inspire. We’ve failed our children for two generations here in the West with regard to education. And yet, at the end of the day, we Americans will close our eyes to the real problems confronting us here and abroad. It’s pretty sad that a President, an intern and a strategically placed cigar takes precedence over foreign policy and domestic security.

  • Nancy

    I’m willing to bet a hefty chunk that come the next presidential elections, BushCo will (or will try) to suspend or circumvent them to some degree, citing national security as justification. The pattern I’m seeing is that of more & more egregious & outrageous power grabbing, refusal to cooperate with congress or anyone else (especially in matters requiring the WH to turn over information), and increasing as well as increasingly blatant lies, evasions, and denials of wrongdoing. I also do not forget that Bush mentioned early on that “this would all be easier if I were Dictator”.

    Hope to God I’m wrong, but there it is.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Going back to the manufactured crises. The first one that really stands out in the Bush administration is the WMD issue, which was doubly meaningless because it was only one of 17 reasons why we invaded Iraq AND the democrats also signed off on it, yet it was blown up and flogged endlessly as a huge deception.

    That’s what a manufactured crisis is, something where no blame can really be attached specifically to the target, or where the actual issue is totally misrepresented, and it’s then made into a cause celebre by repeatedly misrepresenting it for partisan reasons.

    Another even better example is the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner, which obviously referred to the specific mission of invading and subduing the Iraqi army and the mission of the troops on that particular ship, not the long-term peacekeeping effort, but which has been played up totally out of context as some great misrepresentation by the administration.

    Classic manufactured crisis in the sense that it’s a transgression which could not possibly have been perceived as an error or a crime or a misstatement at the time and in the context where it was made, but which in retrospect and from a distorted perspective entirely out of context can be made into something negative.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So what is everyone so scared of

    The destruction of our constitutional form of government.

    Which there is absolutely no indication is actually happening.

    I’ve supported a Constitutional Convention for the last 20 years. I believe that we’re ripe in this country for major political reform.

    God what a terrifying idea. A constitutional convention with the current packs of jackals who are in charge of our two major political parties setting the agenda. Say goodbye to all of the rights we now have and open the door to every evil you’ve ever imagined. The one thing protecting us now is the constitution and the separation of powers. If it were rewritten now we’d have an enormously more powerful federal government, no gay marriage, no abortion and god knows what other bizarre restrictions on basic freedoms.

    I’m willing to bet a hefty chunk that come the next presidential elections, BushCo will (or will try) to suspend or circumvent them to some degree, citing national security as justification.

    A laughable concept. One of the redeeming qualities which the far right has is a real respect for the constitution and the rule of law. I could see this happening under a democrat administration – as it did under Roosevelt – but never with Republicans in charge. Their own party would destroy them if they tried.

    The pattern I’m seeing is that of more & more egregious & outrageous power grabbing, refusal to cooperate with congress or anyone else (especially in matters requiring the WH to turn over information), and increasing as well as increasingly blatant lies, evasions, and denials of wrongdoing. I also do not forget that Bush mentioned early on that “this would all be easier if I were Dictator”.

    How about some examples of this – good luck on that. The fact is that Congress has blocked the white house at every turn, even though it’s controlled by fellow Republicans, and even so the White House has tried very little that’s extra-constitutional compared to most prior administrations.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Dave, it isn’t just one or two episodes, as you are well aware; it’s the relentless occurrance of exaggerations, mechanations, and outright lies – frequently when such are entirely unnecessary and gratuitous. Almost like lying for the sake of lying. This administration is … I don’t know, they’re warped. There’s some sort of sick attitude that is over & above that most of that group live in la-la land to begin with, with exaggerated senses of entitlement, if not power. It’s almost as if they feel nothing is worth doing unless they can do it on the sly, or in defiance of established law, etc. This is my opinion, obviously, and many if not most won’t agree with it, but the pile of little things is mounting into one big humongous pile that adds up to more serious stuff, to me.

  • gonzo marx

    so..any time a politician sets up “plausible deniability” by covering his ass and then fucking up, it’s ok to give it a pass because it could have been a “manufactured” thingy?

    interesting take on it

    and i am fairly certain that in many cases it is a correct assesment…

    my Point is that it’s not the case in ALL circumstances, that it is unEthical and irresponsible for an elected representative to ALWAYS dodge accountability or responsibility for their OWN actions and policies

    on and on

    but as long as you hold BOTH sides to the SAME standard, then at least the approach is fair

    my experience has been that most tend to give the benefit of such a Doubt to their “gang” but are the first to “manufacture” when it comes to bashing their opponents

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I’m always ready to hold both sides accountable, gonzo. The reason the Dems are more liable to attack on the trumped up crisis issue is that they’re out of power and therefore it’s one of the top weapons in their opposition arsenal. The GOP would be doing the same kind of thing if they were in the minority and therefore on the offensive.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    can we get some Agreement that it appears the extent of violations is widespread and pervasive, from the “K street project”, the mistakes that lead to a pre-emptive invasion and the fuck ups in implementation since, the probabilities of violations concerning the FISA circumventions

    on and on?

    just to touch on the FISA bit again, does it strike anyone else that over and over again the Administration REFUSES to release Information requested on various topics – who was at Cheney’s “energy task force meetings, Roberts and Alito’s legal writings, 9/11 information, the Katrina investigation…tons of shit – all being held under “Executive Priveledge”…

    while at the SAME time, they claim the unhindered Right to wiretap and eavesdrop and arrest without due process ANYONE they want without Judicial Review or oversight?

    even if the Adminstration has done absolutely nothing wrong in any of these cases…which is definately a stretch of credulity…then just the methodology would be against the stated Principles of the GOP for smaller, fiscally responsible, citizen accountable government run by men of “values”

    your humble Narrator is quite curious exactly what those “values” are

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    That’s what a manufactured crisis is, something where no blame can really be attached specifically to the target, or where the actual issue is totally misrepresented, and it’s then made into a cause celebre by repeatedly misrepresenting it for partisan reasons.

    Hm.

    You said

    I’m much more concerned about the great ideas Bush had which he hasn’t been able to execute because of these manufactured crises, than I am about the supposed problems his opponents keep trumping up.

    Which of Bush’s great ideas was he unable to execute because of your two examples?

    I hate to say it, but your complaint looks like a manufactured crisis.

    So what is everyone so scared of

    The destruction of our constitutional form of government.

    Which there is absolutely no indication is actually happening.

    We’re heading them off at the pass, podnah.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Dave:

    The destruction of our constitutional form of government.

    Which there is absolutely no indication is actually happening.

    Suppose I told you the bill to extend the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act includes the creation of a uniformed branch of the secret police specifically empowered to make warrantless arrests and searches based on “reasonable belief” rather than “probable cause?”

    And I’m sure you’ve seen the news reports on the bill that would have released the very restrictions the White House claims necessitated going around FISA…that the White House opposed because, they said, it would be unconstitutional?

    Dude, the glass is MORE than half empty. You need to stop making the best of a bad situation. Seriously.

  • Dave Nalle

    P6, the link you posted just goes to your general blog. Not much help in finding this mysterious stormtrooper plan. Perhaps you could provide a link on the Thomas legislation index?

    The probable cause vs. reasonable suspicion link does work, and it’s interesting. Since a wiretap is an investigational tool setting reasonable suspicion as the standard seems like a sensible policy.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, the link you posted just goes to your general blog. Not much help in finding this mysterious stormtrooper plan.

    My apologies…though I appreciate your calling it a “stormtrooper plan.” THOMAS link below.

    Since a wiretap is an investigational tool setting reasonable suspicion as the standard seems like a sensible policy.

    Ignoring the fouth amendment is a sensible policy???

    Amendment 4 – Search and seizure

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

    What part of “no warrant shall issue without probable cause” is unclear?

    (oh, that’s right…they’re NOT GOING TO GET A FUGGIN WARRANT)

    The bill is unconstitutional, and there’s no escaping it.

    This Bush Worship is bizarre. And I can’t believe you’re still pretending warrantless searches without probable cause are legal under ANY circumstances.

    Here’s your stormtrooper plan. I swear, if you’re still defending this administration after that, the task is hopeless…and I have some serious thinking to do.


    House Report 109-333 – USA PATRIOT IMPROVEMENT AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005

    SEC. 605. THE UNIFORMED DIVISION, UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE.(a) In General- Chapter 203 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 3056 the following:

    `Sec. 3056A. Powers, authorities, and duties of United States Secret Service Uniformed Division
    `(a) There is hereby created and established a permanent police force, to be known as the `United States Secret Service Uniformed Division’. Subject to the supervision of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division shall perform such duties as the Director, United States Secret Service, may prescribe in connection with the protection of the following:

    (b)(1) Under the direction of the Director of the Secret Service, members of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division are authorized to–

    `(A) carry firearms;

    `(B) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    That Thomas link must, unfortunately, be pasted as plain text.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/?&
    dbname=cp109&sid=cp109WvwUu&refer=&r_n=hr333.109
    &item=&sel=TOC_208072&

  • Nancy

    Dave, the current GOP crowd in congress is not interested in stopping BushCo from grabbing power, especially if it entrenches their own. I’ll believe the GOP is still patriotic when I see them start coming down on King George for his very egregious violations & power grabs – which they haven’t so far.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Of course they want to stop an executive power-grab, Nancy, because the power he grabs is taken away from THEM, and self-interest is clearly the one value the representatives in Congress still believe in. Plus, if Bush increases the power of the presidency then the next president who they may like less can also exercise that expanded power, and that they’d never want to see.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, you seem to have misunderstood the section to which you are referring. It’s merely a formalization of an already existing practice.

    There has been a uniformed division of the Secret Service for more than 30 years. They serve as security for embassies in Washington DC and as security guards for federal buildings. They already carry guns and can arrest people. They drive around DC in distinctive police cars and make people walk through metal detectors at the capitol building. They’re basically jumped up federal security guards.

    This part of the bill is merely recognizing and formalizing their existence and it doesn’t seem to be extending their powers, just officially giving them the same powers as other law enforcement officers who can already – and have always been able to – arrest people committing a crime in their presence without a warrant.

    Do you think your local police or the FBI haven’t always been able to arrest you if they see you commiting a crime?

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    JESUS!

    B) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;

    That’s an OR, not and AND.

    B) make arrests without warrant for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony;

    They are removing probable cause. Removing a constitutional requirement. Do you honestly not understand this?

    Really?

    Honestly?

    You are not stupid. Please, please, parse this honestly.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Dave:

    So which good ideas has George W. Bush been unable to execute because people complained about his “Mission Accomplished” banner? Which has he been unable to execute because he is blamed for being wrong about WMD in Iraq?

  • Dave Nalle

    I’m not sure that what you’re quoting is that radical a departure from the current powers of law enforcement, P6. Arresting someone and getting them charged and convicted are hardly the same thing, so due process is not being suspended. I do think there’s grounds for concern over the possibility of warrantless arrests. But I believe that there is precedent for it. If you are a law enforcement officer and you see a criminal for whom you know there is a warrant in another state, you can arrest him on sight without actually possessing that warrant or getting a warrant in your jurisdiction. This is exactly the kind of gray area in the law which the courts would need to address on constitutional grounds.

    As for Bush’s good ideas, I’ve gone over that before. The loss of political capital resulting from relentless meritless attacks have cost us full-scale tax reform, privatization of social security and other necessary reforms.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Arresting someone and getting them charged and convicted are hardly the same thing, so due process is not being suspended.

    You cannot possibly be serious.

    God. My head hurts…

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Dave, are you jerking me to keep the conversation going?

  • Dave Nalle

    Mmmm no?

    Tell me do you actually think that under current law a cop on the street can’t arrest a known criminal suspect on sight if he thinks that suspect might pose any kind of flight risk, even if he has no active warrant?

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    the difference is between “probable cause” and “reasonable suspicion”

    a tiny difference, i know…but there it is

    the problem here is that under the statue in Question, it appears that tis particular Agency can nab folks under a lower threshold than is usually required…and whith this Administration’s precedent set at hold those it has merely accused of being “terror suspects” without due process…

    the case can be made for this bein ghte formation of a “secret police” who would not be answerable to checks and balances, but merely have to point their fingers and say “that’s a suspect” and whisk said person away under a cloud of secrecy

    add the idea that due to this “war” on a noun, the Administration believes it can bypass FISA or anything else it wants to

    and that’s a problem

    difference between a Republic and totalitarian regime?

    Rule of Law that includes checks and balances, as well as transparent justice system

    i do hope that makes the Concerns clear…

    it’s based around the innate sense of NOT “trusting” anyoen in government

    and here i had thought that was always a “conservative” trait…

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Tell me do you actually think that under current law a cop on the street can’t arrest a known criminal suspect on sight if he thinks that suspect might pose any kind of flight risk

    Yes, Dave. I’m telling you cops cannot arrest people who are suspected criminals merely on suspicion. They can’t even search them merely on suspicion.

    That’s the Fourth Amdendment in a nutshell.

    You don’t even know what you’re attacking/defending. You don’t know what you’re giving up.

    Unless you do…which would be even worse.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Now, I suppose you want to tell me they arrest people merely on suspicion all the time…and that’s fine with you. You just want to formalize it.

    Right, Dave?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, you live in a radically different America from the rest of us as far as I can tell. Do you not read or watch the news?

    And I didn’t say it’s ok with me, but I can at least see reality when it’s shoved in my face. We currently have warrantless roadblocks to check for drunk driving, arresting people for ‘questioning’ on nothing but suspicion, and myriad other infringements of the strict interpretation of the 4th amendment.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, you live in a radically different America from the rest of us as far as I can tell.

    I live in the America you’re about to be introduced to, courtesy of the Republican Party and the American Solid South.

    Do you not read or watch the news?

    Yes I do. That’s how I know this is where the line must be drawn.

    And I didn’t say it’s ok with me, but I can at least see reality when it’s shoved in my face.

    Dave, you’re doing more than accepting it, as bad as that is.

    You’re actively defending it…to the point of absurdity. Look at what you wrote:

    Tell me do you actually think that under current law a cop on the street can’t arrest a known criminal suspect on sight if he thinks that suspect might pose any kind of flight risk, even if he has no active warrant?

    Look at what you’re defending, Dave. Arresting people with no active warrant on sight? This is radically different than random stops for drunkeness on New Years.

    And please, stop making up stupid combinations like “warrantless roadblocks.” God, look how hard you have to squirm!

    Just admit it…you see no rule of law in the USofA, and you adjust your explanation of things so that’s okay because you don’t feel there’s a damn thing you can do about it.

    Welcome to being Black, folks. Welcome to my America.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, the problem here is that you are still living with your illusions and I no longer have them. You think there’s a fight to be won here and I know that it’s already been lost. We’re not in a situation of defending these rights, we’re facing the need to restore rights that have already been lost.

    And I’m not defending police excesses, I’m just acknowledging that they alread exist. You think that random stops to look for drunks are just fine. I don’t. Our rule of law is breached more than it’s observed, but we do still generally have justice after the fact once we get to the court system, and that’s a good thing.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    P6…due to my sordid Past, i have some Knowledge of what you are talking about

    part of the Reason i react the way i do to a lot of this shyte…

    the mechanisms are in place for We the People, to work against the coming shitstorm, but it involves folks waking the fuck up and deciding to actively get involved and not sit around and take it any more

    we will see after November just how bad the Apathy is, and whether the Cathode Ray Opiate has totally degenerated the american collective psyche into sheeple-ness

    but i do know, i will not go gently

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Personally, Gonzo, I’d prefer to see the apathy start to dissipate BEFORE november, or is that too much to hope for?

    On the apathy front I learned today that Gov. Mark Sanford of SC has definitely decided not to run for President in ’08. Another hope for reform and progress dashed.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    i hope the same, what i was speaking about are the Results…i am hopig that between the FISA and Abramoff bits floating around…many americans who are the middle fo the road swing voters will decide that gridlock is the best course of action and shift the electoral balance of Power enough to make either House or Senate go into Dem hands

    once checks and balances are Restored and we, as a Nation, are out form under one Party totalitarian rule…things shoudl begin to improve

    hope that explains it better

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I agree that gridlock is desirable, but don’t we already essentially HAVE gridlock, even with one party in power? It’s not like they’ve passed any meaningful legislation that didn’t have bipartisan support.

    The bad thing about having even more gridlock is that needed reforms of taxes and sociall security will be truly doomed in that environment.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    NO..we have a rubber stamp legislature..the only time things have been stopped are petty bullshit items that the greedheads in the GOP have not been able to work out their back door deals about…

    Patriot Acts, the lack of real investigations into so many things that have occured in the last 5 years…the budgetary mess

    on and on

    i understand that some folks don’t see how much the single party regime has harmed our Nation, i also understand the frustration some might feel in not seeing their personal pet projects not being implemented by the legislature/administration

    might i suggest that such occurances definitavely PROVE that those concerns are NOT a real priority within the GOP…look at what they actually have gotten done while in full control as opposed to what the Leadership states are it’s “goals”

    if one removes the wishful thinking blinders and examines the Actuality fo what has really happened, one cannot be pleased…i woudl think decent folks who desire the Principles espoused by the GOP platform as it has been traditionally known, woudl be outraged

    but so much has been subverted by the Straussian agenda and that of the Allies it has exploited to gain complete Power…and the real Crime are the well intentioned folks that have been duped by it

    and appear to still be under the Svengali like sway…

    my Hope is that those folks wake up and toss out those that have betrayed them, and that the Dems find their fucking spine and move away from the “professional” quislings within their own Faction

    much better that they each go towards their avowed Principles and actually do the People’s business, instead of being motivated only by their own greed and lusts

    don’t allow yourself to fall into the comfortable trap of thinking “all is well”…look at the reality and see that no matter what, a single Party regime is totalitarian, and that our System ONLY works properly when our “House” is divided, and thus creates the needed tension to ensure checks and balances are enforced by them watching each other like hawks…

    it is that very venal , internal bickering that keeps the inherently corrupt professional politicians even remotely “honest”

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    The reason we’re not going to rise up the way you hope is that no matter how awful things are, we KNOW FOR A FACT that they would only be worse if we opened the door for the democrats to get in power.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    no offense, but BULLSHIT…

    my observations indicate that there will be no internal revolution within the GOP because it is easier to believe the big Lie that the Factions within will get the measly crumbs they each want if they stick together and follow the Straussians who have cobbled the coalition together

    those neocons use that shortsighted greed to hold their power base, and whisper what they want to hear into each ear…

    the DNC is NO better, just less organized and even more fractional since they lacked the charismatic leader(Reagan) to spout the 11th Commandment of “speak no evil of other Republicans” and thus remain more balkanized

    again, i understand that from your own point of View, the lure of what you think might be accomplished by your staunch Loyalty to those who care not a whit for you or what you Believe in overwhelms the objective Facts of what they are actually doing and allows you to Rationalize your defense of the indefensible…

    i disAgree…and would rather see each “gang” at each others throats while sharing the balance of Power…thus allowing neither to foist their Agendas on our Nation

    my Hope is that more folks who are NOT so blinded to each “gang” see the same, and decide…as is their wont and evidenced by much of our political HIstory…to restore gridlock, and let the Wyrm eat it’s own tail…

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    *You think there’s a fight to be won here and I know that it’s already been lost. We’re not in a situation of defending these rights, we’re facing the need to restore rights that have already been lost.*

    singing to a martial beat:

    “We want our rights and we don’t care how…we want our revolution NOW”

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, the problem here is that you are still living with your illusions and I no longer have them. You think there’s a fight to be won here and I know that it’s already been lost.

    So there’s no rule of law in the USofA.

    Say it. Speak the Truth to Power.

    And I’m not defending police excesses, I’m just acknowledging that they already exist.

    …and arguing to accept it….that there’s no choice.

    You’re saying we have to win those rights back…that means there is a battle to fight. Right?

    Understand something, Dave…when I said “welcome to my America,” that was neither joke nor exaggeration. What you’re seeing is what Black people have faced in the USofA from day 1…we’ve dealt with worse, actually.

    I. CAN’T. Quit.

    Ever.

    You are all about to be treated the way Black people are. And YOU Dave, have put the best spin possible on all these deed you yourself admit are obnoxious.

    You keep saying you don’t approve…so when do you speak up? Where do you draw the line?

    YOU, Dave…not America, you.

  • JR

    Dave Nalle: The reason we’re not going to rise up the way you hope is that no matter how awful things are, we KNOW FOR A FACT that they would only be worse if we opened the door for the democrats to get in power.

    Perhaps you should refrain from using the f-word in a public forum. It doesn’t reflect well on you.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    The reason we’re not going to rise up the way you hope is that no matter how awful things are, we KNOW FOR A FACT that they would only be worse if we opened the door for the democrats to get in power.

    That’s not a rational statement. That’s a statement of pure faith.

  • Dave Nalle

    P6, it’s a conclusion based on years of undeniable evidence.

    On to more sensible comments. Gonzo wants to know where I draw the line.

    Well, the way I have always seen it, I need to fight the fights which can be won and accept those which can’t be won and keep them on file to be dealt with later. Making a glorious and pointless gesture gets you nowhere. We also need to avoid drowning in outrage over trivialities and distractions. If you think that FISA violations or the Neocons or the War in Iraq are the problem then you are fighting the wrong battles in the wrong war.

    Right now we’re faced with a situation where one party wants to restore many of our rights while restricting others, while the other party wants to oppose their positive efforts while supporting their negative efforts. That’s a pretty grim situation.

    We need to hold all lawmakers accountable for their actions, be they good or bad. Support those who do the right thing and oppose those who do the wrong thing. That’s a basic operating fact of life in a free republic.

    But here’s the key thing. You’ve got to pick your fights intelligently.

    Abramoff, who cares? Politicians are corrupt. That’s part of how they do what they do. I’d be more shocked if they weren’t corrupt. In fact, I suspect they wouldn’t be doing their job right if they weren’t on the take in at least some way. Some of our best, most effective and ultimately most laudable leaders have been unbelievably bent in many ways. Plus, inter-party rivalry and the press will take care of this kind of thing and keep it down to a reasonable level. It’s just part of the political ecosystem.

    FISA violations. This is not an issue, it’s a joke. Given the black ops which are going on every day with no one batting an eye, singling out this issue for scrutiny is like some sort of elaborate ssurrealist sitcom. We’re talking about a crisis over a ‘crime’ where you can’t tell whose rights have been violated or how, and if someone did get their toes stepped on it was a known terrorist associate. Sheesh, I’m weeping tears of blood.

    Just two negative examples. Here’s the real point. There are real, huge issues we should be concerned about and you think we should be dicking around with these trivialities.

    How about the national ID system that was passed by congress last year? It will allow the govrnment to track every financial transaction, every minor traffic violation, every time you purchase a fucking beer in a bar. You’re concerned about FISA when this kind of systematic violation of privacy rights is just around the corner and CAN be stopped? That’s just insane.

    Or perhaps corruption? How about corruption on the local level which actually destroys peoples lives. I’m a hell of a lot more concerned about planning commissions which are basically run by developers and are the only court of appeal for people whose property is being seized under eminent domain by municipalities and road projects and to be given to private developers all over the country. These are people losing their homes, their farms, their livelihoods to profit a wealthy, politicially connected elite. All Abramoff wanted to do was open up more ca$inos on tribal land. Meanwhile developers and their poltical cronies are dispossessing Americans the way the Indians were dispossessed a century and a half ago. This is where your outrage should focus.

    What it comes down to is that I’m a hell of a lot more concerned with the things which actually hurt people and violate their rights in a systematic way. All issues like Abramoff and FISA do is advance the interests of one party over another – pursuing them does NOTHING to help out real people facing serious problems.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    well now… decent points raised in comment #171

    would it suprise you to know that ALL of your mentioned items were of great concern to me?

    would it suprise you if i told you that i don’t consider any fight worthless, even if i can’t win?

    would it suprise you to consider the possibility that here on BC might not be the only place where i take those battles?

    would it suprise you to hear that i consider not just the incidents you speak of that outrage you and the ones you think aren’t worthwhile…but others you have yet to mention?

    example: those privacy Issues you mention, and the FISA bit you toss aside…would it suprise you to discover that among some of the tech-geek circles there is a consideration that the two are related? that the very data mining operation that you toss away as not worth considering is part and parcel of the very intrusion you rail about ?

    enjoy the nightmares, then wake up and ask yourself why you defend the very people that are not only setting this shit up, but trying to hide it and deny it

    Excelsior!

  • Dave Nalle

    example: those privacy Issues you mention, and the FISA bit you toss aside…would it suprise you to discover that among some of the tech-geek circles there is a consideration that the two are related? that the very data mining operation that you toss away as not worth considering is part and parcel of the very intrusion you rail about ?

    No, I’m aware of this, Gonzo. Remember my article on data mining. It’s the threat – when applied comprehensively – not the monitoring of a few terrorist contacts.

    And I by no means meant to suggest that the two examples I brought up were my only concerns. There are lots of other issues to worry about, but political corruption and excess zeal in pursuing terrorism are small potatoes.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, it’s a conclusion based on years of undeniable evidence.

    Then you admit the Rule of Law rhetoric is a fraud. Good.

    On to more sensible comments. Gonzo wants to know where I draw the line.

    That was me too. And I see you have no line.

    If you were Black in the 50’s, you’d have been one of the majority that told Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to stop making all that trouble. You’d have argued against Brown vs. Board of Ed…your reasoning is EXACTLY the same as theirs.

    That wasn’t hopeless…all that was required was international discussion of the hypocrasy of the combination of Jim Crow and America’s claims of Democratic Freedom to produce bad press internationally.

    This isn’t hopeless, except to people who have no hope. And it isn’t necessary to people who think those strictatures won’t fall on them.

    You think you have nothing to fear from the loss of those rights…you think your privileges will remain intact. And if you’re in the top 10-20% in wealth in this nation, you’re right. Otherwise…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I have no way to respond to that last one, P6. It bears no relationship in any regard to anything I’ve written here. You’re basically just arguing with the straw men you’re setting up and I’m not necessary.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I have no way to respond to that last one, P6.

    You actually think it’s okay for cops to arrest people with no active warrant. I’m not looking for a response.

    I’m just telling you why you’re wrong when you say I’m idealistic. Yes, people can force the government to behave itself. You’re telling me Black people under the lash of Jim Crow have more strength and courage than today’s Americans?

    I just hope y’all wake up before you need the same sort of courage that faced down attack dogs and firehoses.

  • Nancy

    Bush’s State of the Union address:

    Everything is peachy if you’re a straight, white, wealthy, WASP male….

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Only temporarily…there’s only so much room at the top, and a lot more people who THINK they’re at the top (because they can still pay their credit card bills) than actually are.

    The question is whether they will see they are helping to undermine their own freedoms as well as everyone else’s before it’s too late.

  • Nancy

    It all gets back to that old quote about not being alarmed by Authority coming for this or that one … until they came for me.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You actually think it’s okay for cops to arrest people with no active warrant. I’m not looking for a response.

    Well good, because since I never said that, I’m not going to respond to it either. Just keep on making things up and having a discussion with yourself.

    I’m just telling you why you’re wrong when you say I’m idealistic. Yes, people can force the government to behave itself. You’re telling me Black people under the lash of Jim Crow have more strength and courage than today’s Americans?

    Yes. Plus white liberals, including a great many Republicans played a large role in making it possible for them to fight back against Jim Crow.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    You actually think it’s okay for cops to arrest people with no active warrant. I’m not looking for a response.

    Well good, because since I never said that, I’m not going to respond to it either.

    Then speak…use the f-word.

    Tell me do you actually think that under current law a cop on the street can’t arrest a known criminal suspect on sight if he thinks that suspect might pose any kind of flight risk, even if he has no active warrant?

    Do YOU actually think that under current law a cop on the street can’t arrest a known criminal suspect on sight if he thinks that suspect might pose any kind of flight risk, even if he has no active warrant?

    Don’t hide by implying your statements behind questions. Speak plainly, openly, truthfully.

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    And remember, Dave…you asked about current law, not current practice.

    Does current law allow a cop to arrest a person with no actiuve warrant because he thinks the person is under suspicion for a crime?

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Plus white liberals, including a great many Republicans played a large role in making it possible for them to fight back against Jim Crow.

    That came later. The courage to start was all in Black folks. I was assuming white folks had the same courage, but it’s not looking like enough of them do.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6:

    Are you familiar with the term ‘exigent circumstances’?

    See below:

    Washington vs. Chrisman
    Johnson vs. US

    Basically, if an officer has a suspect and the evidence in the same place at the same time or he believes the suspect is presently engaged in an ongoing crime, or if he believes the suspect is a flight risk, he can arrest them without a warrant.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Are you familiar with the term ‘exigent circumstances’?

    Are you familiar with answering a question directly?

    Tell me do you actually think that under current law a cop on the street can’t arrest a known criminal suspect on sight if he thinks that suspect might pose any kind of flight risk, even if he has no active warrant?

    Yes or no?

    Basically, if an officer has a suspect and the evidence in the same place at the same time or he believes the suspect is presently engaged in an ongoing crime, or if he believes the suspect is a flight risk, he can arrest them without a warrant.

    Since the officer has the evidence on hand, there’s no search.Evidence on hand definitely qualifies as probable cause, wouldn’t you say?

    And which of these conditions apply to this domestic spying program?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I did answer your question, P6 – directly and more than once.

    As for probable cause, do you think that knowing a terrorist is calling someone is not probable cause?

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I did answer your question, P6 – directly and more than once.

    The problem is I judge by deeds, not words. Your vigorous defense of warrantless arrests, long stretches for things that, under the proper circumstances (which do not obtain at this point) might be precedent, far outweighs your denials. I was hoping for something direct (which, of course, would contradict all your other statements so I understand why you can’t just say “yes” or “no”…gotta avoid facts at all cost). Since I will not get any help reconciling your position with your actions I’ll just draw my conclusions and move on.

    As for probable cause, do you think that knowing a terrorist is calling someone is not probable cause?

    Do you think overwhelming the FBI with false leads is evidence they KNOW a terrorist is involved in the conversation?

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    Facts suck, don’t they?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    P6, you’re a very confused person. I’ve never defended warrantless arrests, I’ve merely stated that they happen and explained the circumstances under which they happen. There’s nothing to contradict since the facts are on my side.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    I’ve never defended warrantless arrests

    Oh?

    I’m not sure that what you’re quoting is that radical a departure from the current powers of law enforcement, P6. Arresting someone and getting them charged and convicted are hardly the same thing, so due process is not being suspended. I do think there’s grounds for concern over the possibility of warrantless arrests. But I believe that there is precedent for it.

    Then there was your confusion of AND and OR, which I simply don’t believe coming from a person of your obvious intelligence.

    Sorry, dude. It’s hard to get confused when your words show up by just scrolling the page.

  • Dave Nalle

    P6, did you somehow misunderstand what you quoted? Let me break it down for you.

    ‘m not sure that what you’re quoting is that radical a departure from the current powers of law enforcement, P6.

    Law enforcement is already engaging in warrantless arrests unchallenged in much worse circumstances than has been discussed here, therefore how is what Bush is doing making it any worse. If we want to deal with the problem we should start with instances where the rights of individuals are being genuinely violated. I’m not defending the practice here, I’m just saying it exists.

    Arresting someone and getting them charged and convicted are hardly the same thing, so due process is not being suspended.

    Pointing out that due process operates on more than one level isn’t defending warrantless arrests either, just pointing out that warrantless arrests alone don’t suspend due process.

    I do think there’s grounds for concern over the possibility of warrantless arrests. But I believe that there is precedent for it.

    How much clearer can I be here? I don’t like the idea of warrantless arrests, but I acknowledge that under the law they’re legal in some circumstances, even if I don’t like it.

    You might try acknowledging reality as a starting point sometime.

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    P6, did you somehow misunderstand what you quoted?

    No.

    How much clearer can I be here?

    A lot.But maybe you really don’t understand.

    Before any arrest is made (assuming a cop isn’t standing right on the spot at the time, hot pursuit, yadayada) somebody somewhere MUST ISSUE A WARRANT.

    ALL your defenses were “If a cop knows you’re wanted and doesn’t have a warrant in hand…”

    Pointing out that due process operates on more than one level isn’t defending warrantless arrests either, just pointing out that warrantless arrests alone don’t suspend due process.

    Holy crap, you repeated it…

    Dave, if this is valid, you can cancel all due process except the final appeal to the Supreme Court and it will still be valid. The whole process is due process.

    You might try acknowledging reality as a starting point sometime.

    I do…but mine, a Black guy. We got a whole different relationship to cops. They assume we are suspects and your interpretation would have even more crap happen to us.

    Just like it’s going to happen to YOU.

    Talk about acknowleging reality…there’s a vast swath of it you have NO FAMILIARITY WITH. Meanwhile, I’m surrounded by white folks.

    YOU can stop getting drunk in public, I can’t stop being Black. I’m not interested in doing so, either…I’d rather pursue the important stuff. That you will benefit from it as well is a fortuitous coincidence.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Before any arrest is made (assuming a cop isn’t standing right on the spot at the time, hot pursuit, yadayada) somebody somewhere MUST ISSUE A WARRANT.

    So you didn’t read either of the legal case links I provided. the ‘hot pursuit’ idea is just one of many situations in which a warrantless arrest can be made under our current legal rulings.

    Dave, if this is valid, you can cancel all due process except the final appeal to the Supreme Court and it will still be valid. The whole process is due process.

    There are a bunch of steps before you get to the Supreme Court. If an arrest is made that is invalid it’s going to get kicked way before that point.

    I do…but mine, a Black guy. We got a whole different relationship to cops. They assume we are suspects and your interpretation would have even more crap happen to us.

    Bullshit. No, pathetic bullshit. Get your mind into the 21st century. It takes more than just being black for the cops to go beyond just looking at you suspiciously, and they will look at a non-black suspiciously in plenty of arbitrary circumstances as well.

    Just like it’s going to happen to YOU.

    Talk about acknowleging reality…there’s a vast swath of it you have NO FAMILIARITY WITH. Meanwhile, I’m surrounded by white folks.

    And this is bad because they’re constantly oppressing you in some way?

    YOU can stop getting drunk in public,

    I’ve never been drunk in public. Why would you expect that I had been. Are you racially stereotyping me?

    I can’t stop being Black. I’m not interested in doing so, either…I’d rather pursue the important stuff. That you will benefit from it as well is a fortuitous coincidence.

    You can stop embracing the culture of victimhood and enabling the left to perpetuate it. Blacks as a group are advancing economically faster than any other group in society. Why not climb aboard the success train and get a more positive attitude?

    Dave

  • http://www.prometheus6.org/ P6

    So you didn’t read either of the legal case links I provided. the ‘hot pursuit’ idea is just one of many situations in which a warrantless arrest can be made under our current legal rulings.

    Warrantless because they saw the crime being committed.

    Consistency, please…

    There are a bunch of steps before you get to the Supreme Court.

    …and missing any of them is a denial of due process.

    Bullshit. No, pathetic bullshit. Get your mind into the 21st century. It takes more than just being black for the cops to go beyond just looking at you suspiciously, and they will look at a non-black suspiciously in plenty of arbitrary circumstances as well.

    Let’s get the bonafides in first.

    I worked my way from a messenger to assistant vice president of a Japanese bank. I was an early admissions candidate at Brooklyn College…admitted when I was 16.

    And I’ve been given the hairy eye by cops when I was wearing my double-breasted business best. I’ve had cops try to goad me into “suspicious” actions. They may have been…special in their precocious way but that’s something you’d not have to EVER deal with and so you’re semi-justified in not knowing it happens.

    You have no clue about what I’ve experienced, and I advanced anyway.

    Meanwhile, I’m surrounded by white folks.

    And this is bad because they’re constantly oppressing you in some way?

    I haven’t said it was bad. Some of my best friends have been white. It just puts me in a better position to understand white folks than most white folks are to understand Black folks.

    YOU can stop getting drunk in public,

    I’ve never been drunk in public. Why would you expect that I had been. Are you racially stereotyping me?

    Calm down. Where have I addressed your race? I addressed your stated concern over drunk driving stops.

    Facts, dude. Just scroll upward.

    You can stop embracing the culture of victimhood and enabling the left to perpetuate it. Blacks as a group are advancing economically faster than any other group in society. Why not climb aboard the success train and get a more positive attitude?

    See the bonafides above. There’s no victimhood here…but neither is there a denial or hiding from what I, myself, have experienced.

    Facts. Like the fact that the letter of the FISA law was broken by the Bush regime.

    I don’t expect you to know my life but IF you’re discussing I expect you to listen and respect, as I do.

    I listen to you here, and you explain away too much to accept your denial as sincere.

    I think we’re done.

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