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Law School Dropout Accuses President of Breaking the Law

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 6:37 pm - January 16, 2006.
Filed under: Bush-hatred,Liberals,War On Terror

Vanderbilt Law School Dropout Albert A. Gore Jr., accused President Bush of breaking the law when, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the president authorized wiretapping on international phone calls of terrorist suspects.

Before making another wild accusation against the man who defeated him in the 2000 presidential election, Gore should perhaps have consulted individuals who, unlike him, actually graduated from law school and studied the laws in question. Over at Powerline, one such attorney, John Hinderaker, analyzed the president’s program and surveyed the applicable law and found “under the Constitution and all controlling precedents, the NSA intercept program is legal.” In his update to that post, he provides a link to the Justice Department rationale upon which President Bush relied. (Unlike Mr. Gore, those who wrote that opinion graduated from law school.)

And it’s not just a conservative attorney like Mr. Hinderaker who has found the president’s program to be legal. As we have reported before, John Schmidt, associate attorney general in the Clinton Administration, in which Mr. Gore also served (but in a different capacity) found that the president had the legal authority to OK the wiretaps. Another left-of-center attorney to sign off on the president’s plan was Cass Sunstein, one of the nation’s most respected constitutional scholars.

Before accusing his erstwhile adversary of breaking the law, this disgruntled Democrat should have consulted with those who actually graduated from law school. And perhaps he should also consult with graduates of another type of professional school so he might finally get over his loss to President Bush now over five years ago.

UPDATE: Back in the day when he was working for Bill Clinton, Gore didn’t claim that his boss and his appointees were violating the law when they defended similar eavesdropping. Gateway Pundit provides comments supporting such programs from law school graduates. (Via: Glenn (who thinks I’m a meanie).)

UP-UPDATE: It helps to have Glenn Reynolds accuse you of “getting mean.” His link spiked our readership, pushing us up over 500,000 Visitors.

UP-UP-UPDATE: Astute Blogger fisks Gore’s speech here (H/t: Powerline).

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176 Comments

  1. [...] Gay Patriot [...]

    Pingback by Flopping Aces » Blog Archive » The Spying Hypocrisy — January 16, 2006 @ 8:20 pm - January 16, 2006

  2. Your argument seems to hang on the fact that Al Gore didn’t go to law school. He went to journalism school. Big deal. If you have to be a lawyer to know what’s legal and what isn’t, where does that leave the rest of us? I’m not a lawyer, but I think I understand the principles of the 4th Amendment and can figure out what’s legal and what isn’t. You also contend that Bush beat Gore in 2000. In fact, Bush stole that election, and journalists and historians in Florida have proven that. Gore was enough of a patriot to resist the urge to tear the country apart by conceding defeat, but Florida’s electoral votes should have gone to Gore. Had Bush’s brother not been governor of Florida, and had the Supreme Court not voted along strict partisan lines, Gore would have been president.

    Comment by Ed Deluzain — January 16, 2006 @ 8:51 pm - January 16, 2006

  3. Uh, excuse me, Ed Deluzional, but the AP and other historians PROVED that Bush indeed won the recount in Florida. Of course, the MSM ignored that fact because it was buried on page A34 of the New York (Liberal) Times…

    And furthermore, since we’re tallying the errors in your posting, it was also not journalism school that Algore went to. He went to divinity school, and his grades were so bad that they “invited” him not to come back. Yes, divinity school… which begs the question: “How can you flunk God 101?”

    Your argument is so full of holes that it is no wonder we don’t let “ordinary people” like yourself decide matters of policy.

    Regards,
    Peter Hughes

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 16, 2006 @ 8:55 pm - January 16, 2006

  4. I could be mistaken, but aren’t there a lot of people who never even attended any law school who believe Mr. Bush broke the law? I’m not sure why being a law school drop-out automatically disqualifies someone from making a statement. could be true, ya never know.

    Comment by Kevin — January 16, 2006 @ 9:05 pm - January 16, 2006

  5. Er, Ed, I’m sorry you can’t tell from the tone of the post that I was making an attempt at humor.

    And no, neither journalists nor historians have proven that Bush stole the election. In fact, just as Peter said above, journalists have shown quite the opposite, that had they recounted the ballots as Gore wanted, Bush still would’ve won.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 16, 2006 @ 9:05 pm - January 16, 2006

  6. Ed,
    So, are you saying that those members of the SCOTUS that voted in favor of Gore’s position did so guided only by partisan motivation?
    Any chance that any member of the court voted as they did guided entirely by their interpretation of the law?

    Comment by belloscm — January 16, 2006 @ 9:08 pm - January 16, 2006

  7. Hilarious.
    Hypocrit.
    Hateful.
    Handled.
    Hormonal.

    How many proper adjectives can we give former Vice President Hore, servant-extraordinaire of MoveOn.Hore?

    Comment by C R Scott — January 16, 2006 @ 9:12 pm - January 16, 2006

  8. Gosh Dan… you really are a meanie! You should be nicer to the man who conceived the Internet while making love to Ali McGraw…

    By the way, is his zinc mine still pouring pollutants into the Tennessee River?

    Comment by Clark Baker — January 16, 2006 @ 9:13 pm - January 16, 2006

  9. You can argue about the details all you want. The fact remains that Gore tried to get into office by counting only the ballots he wanted and ignoring the rest. That Chicago depression-era gangland tactic alone disqualifies him for the presidency, even if he hadn’t shown himself to be a total, neck-vein-popping lunatic since.

    You say voters were disenfranchised in Palm Beach? I say they were disenfranchised in the panhandle. Did SCOTUS decide along partisan lines? Not nearly as as blatantly as the aptly named SCOFLA. But, if that’s the way you want to play it, fine. Our justices were bigger than yours. Tough luck.

    Comment by Reid — January 16, 2006 @ 9:20 pm - January 16, 2006

  10. I wish people who complain that Bush “stole” the election would reflect that, if Gore had managed to carry his own bloody state, we wouldn’t be chewing this cud a’tall.

    Comment by Bill Peschel — January 16, 2006 @ 9:20 pm - January 16, 2006

  11. Ed writes: Your argument seems to hang on the fact that Al Gore didn’t go to law school. Big deal.

    Actually this is a big deal. How often does the left remind us that unless one actually served in the military, one cannot discuss military things with any credibility. The definition of this sort of anti-expert is a chickenhawk. The standard gets even worse when one was deemed unfit to serve in the military – this automatically disqualifies the persons opinion on military matters.

    So Al Gore, who was disqualified by law school experts as having no ability to comprehend legal thought, is immediately unable to speak meaningfully about matters of law. After all, professors booted him out as unqualified.

    Liberal expert rules aside, have we all forgotten that ol’ Al was the strongest proponent of domestic spying in the Clinton administration? Do your homework and google the Clipper chip – which Al said was necessary to give the NSA a back door into domestic encrypted voice communications. Gore pushed data encryption key escrow as well, saying the national security threat outweighted the privacy issues. Fortunately the efforts went down in flames when the experts explained that we have no way to force terrorists to actually use the weakened standards, and the key escrow method would eventually allow the bad guys to spy on us instead (if you still don’t get it, take a look at Microsoft’s WMF flaw – security by obscurity will eventually fail).

    All that’s left is a political has-been (and a has-been party) that’s been wrong about everything (which is what happens when you define yourself as whatever someone else isn’t, and that someone else happens to get all the good issues). Projection, nihlism and confusion… what a great strategy!

    Comment by Flyover Sam — January 16, 2006 @ 9:23 pm - January 16, 2006

  12. I guess you haven’t heard or read about FISA. Nothing big, just a law to curtail unwarranted, illegal wiretaps after Nixon abused them during Watergate. But, hey, GWB is gawd’s anointed. He can do anything he wants, according to Yoo. So much for our constitutional form of government and the separation of powers. THE Steward gets to make up the rules He wants. The Fourth Amendment and FISA be damned.

    Comment by Stephen — January 16, 2006 @ 9:32 pm - January 16, 2006

  13. More lines from Gore’s speech, over at Drudge.

    “It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored.”

    “Vigilant adherence to the rule of law strengthens our democracy and strengthens America.”

    “Once violated, the rule of law is in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows.”

    Al Gore, law and order advocate. Who knew? And Bush is compared to Hitler?

    And on a day that celebrates a man who used civil disobedience of laws for justice. And from a political tradition that continues to use it for many other issues, some less noble than others.

    Satire really is dead.

    Comment by Jim C. — January 16, 2006 @ 9:40 pm - January 16, 2006

  14. Stephen, FISA actually authorizes the President to do so under 50.USC.1804. This is an often overlooked clause. There is also another Carter contribution to it; an executive order from the spring of 1979 that re-affirms those powers under FISA.

    Comment by ElcubanitoKC — January 16, 2006 @ 9:45 pm - January 16, 2006

  15. er, um, Stephen in #12, in my post above, I linked a couple pieces written by real live law school graduates explaining the legality of the president’s program. Why don’t you check them out, then use this comment section to take issue with their arguments instead of repeating your old rants?

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 16, 2006 @ 9:47 pm - January 16, 2006

  16. Anyone remember ” No controlling Legal authority”?

    Also, Al Gore lost the election, no matter how you slice it. I distrust the sanity of anyone who continues with this canard that Bush was selected.

    Comment by ERic — January 16, 2006 @ 9:50 pm - January 16, 2006

  17. Bush stole the elction?!
    Did I pass out and wake up back in 2001?
    God, I hope so…I’ll make millions betting on baseball.
    Go Red Sox!

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — January 16, 2006 @ 9:53 pm - January 16, 2006

  18. So, are you saying that those members of the SCOTUS that voted in favor of Gore’s position did so guided only by partisan motivation?

    All nine justices complained of 14th amendment problems with the second FL Supreme Court ruling for Gore. Seven of nine voted to throw it out. Ginsberg and Stephens argued, inexplicably, that the unwritten tradition of deferring to state courts in state matters somehow trumped the 14th amendment of the US Constitution; and of course this particular state matter pertained to America’s only Federal election.

    Gore’s problem was that he ran out of time. When the Supreme Court was issuing this ruling, there was only 72 hours left before the Federal “safe harbor” deadline for submitting state election results to Congress, and there was no way that the State of FL could possibly recount every vote including spoiled “undervote” ballots, cast in the state in time for the Florida State Legislature to certify them and submit them to Congress. That being the case, five of the seven that threw out the FL Supreme Court’s ruling telegraphed in their written opinions that they weren’t going to set aside Federal election law for Gore the way that the FL Supreme Court set aside Florida’s election law; if I remember correctly it was Kennedy and Souter suggested in their opinions that perhaps some unspecified arrangment could be made to allow FL to submit new certified results in spite of Federal law. And of course the Democratic Party spun this as the five-member conservative majority “appointing” Bush POTUS.

    You should really go to FindLaw or the SCOTUS website and read the rulings and opinions. They’re not long and are suprisingly accessible to anyone who can read on a 12th-grade level or above.

    As far as after the fact recounts go, The Miami Herald in a consortium with other newspapers around the country audited every ballot cast in the election. They concluded that had the FL Supreme Court ruling had been complied with, Bush still would have won. The only scenario where Gore may have won would have been if overvotes as well as undervotes been counted statewide. As it happened, Gore’s petition to the FL courts never asked for overvotes to be reviewed and the FL Supreme Court’s ruling also failed to order the counting of overvotes.

    This is just my untrained opinion, but I think that history will eventtually characterized Gore’s actions in 2000 as an attempt to dumpster-dive for the US presidency by legally obliterating the difference between a ballot and a vote.

    :peter

    Comment by Peter Jackson — January 16, 2006 @ 9:55 pm - January 16, 2006

  19. I think you get your misinformation from Drudge. Hey, it happens.

    NO president since Nixon has used wiretaps illegally, except GWB. As is often the case, Drudge is an unreliable source.

    But, according to your mantra, if THEY did it, why not HIM? Oh, that’s precious. By your fallacious logic, we’d all be dead from “following the leader.”

    Is THAT really how “conservatives” think?

    In the GWB Age, the appellation “conservative” has become repugnant. But I do remember a time, say with Barry Goldwater, von Hayek, Oakshott, et alia, that “conservative” meant something else.

    Yes, my “dear” conservatives: Times have changed! And so have your “principles.”

    Comment by Stephen — January 16, 2006 @ 9:57 pm - January 16, 2006

  20. I really don’t get this. What’s wrong with listening to suspects talking to terrorists and trying to find out if they’re planning something else? Maybe if this had happened before, we could have avoided 9/11. Sounds like common sense to me.

    Comment by donna — January 16, 2006 @ 10:03 pm - January 16, 2006

  21. um, Stephen in #19, no I didn’t get this information from Drudge, but from a conservative lawyers’ blog (Powerline), a Clinton Administration official (John Schmidt) and one liberal constitutional scholar (Cass Sunstein).

    And donna in #20, it sounds like common sense to me too.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 16, 2006 @ 10:08 pm - January 16, 2006

  22. What’s wrong with listening to suspects talking to terrorists and trying to find out if they’re planning something else?

    Yeah, I know. One gets the distinct impression that the left hates American and/or Bush so much that they don’t want us to be spying on terrorists.

    Sure, the left supports fighting terrorism. So long as we don’t wiretap any calls to or from terrorist organizations. So long as we don’t conduct any domestic surveillance to see who is helping the terrorists. So long as we don’t subject any terrorists we happen to capture to anything stronger than stern questioning.

    Note, the left never states its position in the war against terrorists in terms of how we could be conducting it more effectively, but always in terms of how those actually fighting the war are “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags” or ought to be impeached.

    Anyone see anything ironic in this line from Gore’s speech, “A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government.” I guess that doesn’t apply when the law involves perjury in front of a Grandy Jury, or obstruction of justice.

    Comment by V the K — January 16, 2006 @ 10:13 pm - January 16, 2006

  23. When you don’t have an arguing point, resort to stuff that was proven true to everyone except the dems. Worse, what if Gore had been “selected”? The terrorists would be whacking our heads off hourly. Thank God for W, not perfect, but a man!

    Comment by Judith — January 16, 2006 @ 10:20 pm - January 16, 2006

  24. For the more liberal posters who somehow seem to think the 4th amendment is absolute, please reread it and note the term “unreasonable” before search and siezure in the amendment–As justice Jackson pointed out in the 1940s the constitution is not a suicide pact–we are always balancing the rights of one or a group against the rights of another or a group–Arguably the two greatest presidents of the republic are Lincoln and Roosevelt–it would be instructive for those defenders of individual liberties to look at the actions these presidents took in the light of external circumstances–

    but, of course, that would require an understanding of and a reading of history–too bad drudge wasnt around then–but the facts remain: Lincoln suspended the right of habeaus corpus, one of our most basic as pertains to liberty, and then ignored the chief justice’s order (that would be Roger B Taney)–Lincoln clapped reporters and editors in jail and shut down their papers–more gentile, certainly than Sherman, who wanted to shoot all reporters as spies; and in general ran roughshod over individual liberties.

    Roosevelt, conducted a war in the north atlantic on Nazi German for two years before pearl harbor; of course John Adams conducted an undeclared naval war with france in the late 1790–Roosevelt then threw thousands of Japanese Americans into concentration camps; and god only knows what he did that we dont know about, although you might ask Lucy Rutherford Mercer who probably did.

    So spare me the crap; read some history and get a sense of perspective–extraordinary people take extraordinary measures in extraordinary times. Its what makes them great. The big truth is that we live in times where fanatics dont mind flying airplanes in building to kill as many people as they can–and I, for one, dont really give a damn is someone wants to listen to my phone calls.

    Comment by Roger Arango — January 16, 2006 @ 10:21 pm - January 16, 2006

  25. Donna…. we could have also read the report “Bin Laden determined to attack” instead of “My Pet Goat”…..

    Comment by Come On! — January 16, 2006 @ 10:44 pm - January 16, 2006

  26. Gore. Gore. Is this the ‘no controlling legal authorities’ Gore?. The Gore who managed to fast-talk a Buddhist monk out of a check for $5K? The Gore who tried to have all those military absentee ballots disregarded, and who only wanted a recount in the three Florida counties that were most likely to produce heavy Democratic vote counts AND had election boards controlled by his party? The guy who invented the Intenet? The BUZZ LIGHTYEAR of 1990s American politics? That’s what I thought. If so, could somebody please remind me again why I should care what he said?

    Comment by Clioman — January 16, 2006 @ 10:48 pm - January 16, 2006

  27. The opinions of a conservative internet lawyer and the lawyers for the man who has authorized wiretapping without warrants are not convincing. One judge has resigned over this and there are plenty of others who think Bush has overstepped his authority.

    What remains to be seen is whether the administration has been collecting intelligence on ordinary Americans, not those suspected of being in touch with terrorists. In other words, has he returned to the policies of Nixon?

    The reason the post is called “mean” is because it’s the kind of ad hominem attack that the right claims to abhor. Saying that Gore has to be a lawyer to have an informed opinion is like saying the Bush chickhenhawks needed to serve in the military to make military decisions.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 16, 2006 @ 10:49 pm - January 16, 2006

  28. Whether you like Gore or not, he was Vice President for, like, 8 years. And that was 8 years longer than John Hinderwhatever who, like, went to law school or something. So, you know, they both bring a lot to the table I guess. Anyway, this is kind of boring.

    Comment by Andy — January 16, 2006 @ 10:50 pm - January 16, 2006

  29. Er, PeaceOut in #27, I link to opinions by two liberal lawyers. And you’ll have to ask why Glenn called me a meanie. I’m assuming he meant it in good fun and so took it that way.

    And if you and Andy want to take issue with the legal opinions which I’ve referenced, please follow the links in the post and take issue with the points they’ve raised.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 16, 2006 @ 11:01 pm - January 16, 2006

  30. “Gore. Gore. Is this the ‘no controlling legal authorities’ Gore?. The Gore who managed to fast-talk a Buddhist monk out of a check for $5K? The Gore who tried to have all those military absentee ballots disregarded, and who only wanted a recount in the three Florida counties that were most likely to produce heavy Democratic vote counts AND had election boards controlled by his party? The guy who invented the Intenet? The BUZZ LIGHTYEAR of 1990s American politics? That’s what I thought. If so, could somebody please remind me again why I should care what he said?”

    You’re so right. Better to trust the C-student who lied his way out of the guard, whose campaign manager used queer bashing to get him in the governor’s chair, who has consistently failed in every business venture and been bailed out by his daddy, who lied to the American people about WMD, who proposed a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage, who dumps billions into a war that has nothing to do with terrorism while he leaves the nation’s ports unprotected because there’s no money, who cynically agrees to sign a bill with an amendment to outlaw torture and then adds a statement that he, not the Geneva Accords, gets to define torture……etc….etc. Yeah, better to trust him than Al Gore.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 16, 2006 @ 11:06 pm - January 16, 2006

  31. Peaceout,

    I wonder if you are engaging in selective reading. It’s not just “the opinions of a conservative internet lawyer and the lawyers for the man who has authorized wiretapping.”

    The starting point for this discussion clearly states:”And it’s not just a conservative attorney like Mr. Hinderaker who has found the president’s program to be legal. As we have reported before, John Schmidt, associate attorney general in the Clinton Administration, in which Mr. Gore also served (but in a different capacity) found that the president had the legal authority to OK the wiretaps. Another left-of-center attorney to sign off on the president’s plan was Cass Sunstein, one of the nation’s most respected constitutional scholars.”

    Comment by belloscm — January 16, 2006 @ 11:14 pm - January 16, 2006

  32. Er, GayPatriotWest, I’m under no obligation to argue with the “liberal” lawyers you cite. Nor do I feel up to citing links to those arguing the other side, which I’m sure you can find quite easily on your own.

    I feel quite sure, regardless of the politics, the legality and the opinion of the American people, George Bush will continue to do exactly what he wants. In any case, while you direct me to a point-by-point argument, perhaps you’d like to address the rest of Gore’s points yourself. In typical fashion, you have focused on what’s convenient, ignoring Gore’s other points. But perhaps you are not a Geneva Accords scholar and have decided to withhold comment.

    I’m sure Glen did call you “mean” in jest. But the kernel of truth in that is your ad hominem attack.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 16, 2006 @ 11:14 pm - January 16, 2006

  33. #30: BUSH LIED!…Okay, so maybe I passed out and woke up in 2004? Sheesh! I can’t keep up with you people.

    Bush is a thief, a liar, a Nazi! It was a lot more fun when he was just an idiot. At least that stuff was funny sometimes.

    Comment by ColoradoPatriot — January 16, 2006 @ 11:35 pm - January 16, 2006

  34. Yes!

    I really want the Democrats to run as the Terrorist’s Rights Party in ’06.

    I bet that’s a winning ticket.

    Comment by MTK — January 16, 2006 @ 11:45 pm - January 16, 2006

  35. Belloscm: The fact that John Schmidt wrote an opinion piece in support of Bush’s actions means nothing. Here’s but one quick summary of Schmidt’s failed argument:

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200512220007

    Two lawsuits were announced today, one of them by the ACLU, joined by a motley crew of libertarians and liberals. I sincerely doubt they are filing a trivial lawsuit.

    It only takes as quick Google to see that Schmidt’s argument has been widely discredited. Another case of repugs passing off wishful thinking as absolute truth.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 16, 2006 @ 11:46 pm - January 16, 2006

  36. I really don’t think PeaceOut is reading selectively, neither is he interested in point-by-point argument. I’m afraid he’s going with that raw emotion thing that is pathognomonic of the left. Facts are irrelevant, discussion is useless. I FEEL, what could be more important?

    Comment by Robin4est — January 16, 2006 @ 11:50 pm - January 16, 2006

  37. [...] Gore’s speech Monday excoriating Bush’s domestic eavesdropping policy is receiving attention from all corners of the Internet. Less discussed than the politics have been his comments about Internet neutrality and what he portrayed as telecom companies’ responsibility to “cease and desist” from participating in the domestic surveillance: (The Raw Story has the transcript; Crooks and Liars points to politcs.com’s video coverage.) Any telecommunications company that has provided the government with access to private information concerning the communications of Americans without a proper warrant should immediately cease and desist their complicity in this apparently illegal invasion of the privacy of American citizens. It is particularly important that the freedom of the Internet be protected against either the encroachment of government or the efforts at control by large media conglomerates. The future of our democracy depends on it. [...]

    Pingback by Media SITREP » Gore’s Speech and Internet policy — January 16, 2006 @ 11:52 pm - January 16, 2006

  38. [...] Ol’ Al has been criticizing the President for his wiretapping. You can watch the video of his pontification here. GayPatriot suggests that maybe before accusing the President of breaking the law, Al should consult some folks who, unlike himself, actually graduated from law school. The Gateway Pundit poignantly explains why Al is so full of hypocrisy and, well… sh$#. [...]

    Pingback by StrangeThingsAfoot.com » — January 16, 2006 @ 11:55 pm - January 16, 2006

  39. Really, Robin? Perhaps you’d address the points in the link that discredits Schmidt’s op-ed. But maybe you’re just more interested in ad hominem attack too, like the rest of the right. *eyeroll* I mean: *emotional, skull-rattling eyeroll*

    [Since you didn’t address the points in the links we’ve provided, Robin’s only being fair. -Ed.]

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 12:00 am - January 17, 2006

  40. PeaceOut, of course, you’re under no obligation to take issue with the lawyers I cite unless you want to show that you’re interested in having a serious discussion about national policy and its legality than in name-calling.

    You seem so eager (in #35) to take issue with those who defend the president’s policies, you accuse that Democrat (John Schmidt) of being a Republican.

    I’m afraid that Robin4est in #36 seems to have nailed it, facts to you are irrelevant and discussion is useless.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 12:02 am - January 17, 2006

  41. Peaceout said in #32:
    ‘’…Nor do I feel up to citing links to those arguing the other side, which I’m sure you can find quite easily on your own’

    Which is to say that you will not expend the effort to support your position, and if the author will not expend the effort to support your position for you, then you must be considered correct.

    You also need to look up the definition of ad hominem in order to use it correctly. It boils down to rejecting someone’s argument by attacking some characteristic of or attributing some characteristic to that person unrelated to their argument without addressing the arguments substance. In the post this thread relates to, the author makes fun of Mr Gore, but takes care to support his argument with citations. The fact that you do not accept the citations does not remove them as the author’s counter to Mr Gore and somehow make the post an ad hominem attack.

    You rejected as partisan conservative opinions any consideration of the citations that might refute your position even when the citations were originally identified as being the opinions of liberal lawyers. You then reject them again when reminded that they are the opinions of liberal lawyers with no coherent reason for doing so.

    You really do not belong in any discussion where the participants are expecting logical reasoning. Talking points don’t belong in arguments about points of law.

    Comment by Just Passing Through — January 17, 2006 @ 12:05 am - January 17, 2006

  42. LOL, I supplied an argument — a borrowed one like your o wn, Mr. GPW, from media matters.

    Nitpick the def of “ad hominem” all you want. You support an argument that is nonsensical — that Mr. Gore has to be a lawyer to comment on a legal decision. IN other words your attack is ad hominem from the get-go. You support a nonsensical argument with “facts,” yes. Yours is precisely the argument of the Swiftboaters.

    I “reject” the arguments, Mr. GPW, because I have read arguments on both sides, find the left’s more convincing. See the media matters piece to get started.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 12:17 am - January 17, 2006

  43. Why is anybody paying attention to Al Gore? Can you imagine how much coverage Dan Quayle would have gotten if 5 years(!) after he and Bush 41 lost he gave a speech about Clinton/Gore?

    The man is irrelevant.

    Comment by Drew — January 17, 2006 @ 12:17 am - January 17, 2006

  44. We are a nation truely blessed.
    We came very close to having this frothing Gore character in the White House. He would have been simply unable to respond properly to the 9/11 attack.
    For him and some others I could mention, it is always all about him. That kind of navel gazing does not make for true leadership.

    Comment by Rob — January 17, 2006 @ 12:18 am - January 17, 2006

  45. “[Since you didn’t address the points in the links we’ve provided, Robin’s only being fair. -Ed.]“

    LOL….You people are a riot. I could link to 5 or 6 arguments on here and dismiss everything you say if you don’t respond to each point in the linked argument. And even if you made a decent point, I’d have to dismiss it unless you’re a lawyer. Wheeeeeeee.

    The NSA debacle is central to Gore’s speech but it is certainly not all he spoke about.

    I’m off to bed. May flocks of angels without warrants bear you to your sleep.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 12:22 am - January 17, 2006

  46. LOL, PeaceOut, there’s no NSA debacle. Thanks for providing a few laughs to our readers and another piece of evidence that some on the left would rather engage in name-calling than in making arguments.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 12:30 am - January 17, 2006

  47. #47

    Ummm….don’t you have to have character in the first place to have it assassinated?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 12:40 am - January 17, 2006

  48. I’m back. I don’t see you arguing with Media Matters, GPW. You’re holding up Schmidt’s argument as if it hasn’t already been discredited.

    And your Astute Blogger better check out this morning’s NYT front page: http://tinyurl.com/a22hc

    Looks about certain that, contrary to his claim, that thousands upon thousands of Americans have been tapped and investigated with no result — to the point that the FBI questioned the practice.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 12:40 am - January 17, 2006

  49. Al Gore’s a moron, and everyone knows it. President Bush is also a pretty big moron – I mean, what if President Bush were put in a real debate with Bill Clinton? Is there really any comparison? As we all know, President Bush barely made it through college with a C average.

    So, Just Passing Through, and most probably a few others around here agree, that, “[i]n the post this thread relates to, the author makes fun of Mr Gore, but takes care to support his argument with citations. (#41)” That’s great, the author can find specific instances to make fun of Al Gore. Congratulations. Given ten seconds with Google, I bet I could pull up at least ten times more material to make fun of President Bush. Though the satire of the article is not lost on me, I’ll take the high road and skip Bush Bashing. The author her/himself borders on laughable when it was stated that PeaceOut wasn’t “interested in having a serious discussion about national policy and its legality than in name-calling, (#40)” when the supposed point of the original post was to make fun of someone. Silly me, the point was to make fun of someone references specific instances. Sharp contrast there exists, to be sure.

    Due to the nature of my comment, I will undoubtedly be wrongly thought of as some kind of liberal, Democrat or otherwise. The point, however, of my comment is that regardless of what sources you can find on one side of an issue, there are always sources on the other side. The truth comes out when you actually read the law. Surprisingly enough, this hasn’t been brought up in this post yet, what with all the commenters knowing so much about the law. Title 50, subchapter I gives a pretty good explanation of what is and what is not allowed in wiretapping. There were several reports that Bill Clinton set precedent for warrantless wiretapping, but the reports misquoted what Bill Clinton signed. He signed into law a bill that supports warrantless wiretapping on foreigners only, not US citizens. Checking out that link I added on wiretapping (thank you, Cornell) makes it pretty clear that warrantless wiretapping is not within the law. I’ve read a lot of law, and I can’t find something otherwise. My ears are [genuinely] open to something contrary to that.

    You can call Al Gore an idiot all you want, but the fact of the matter is that any President is subject to the scrutiny of the American public. Regardless to what degree you hold, income bracket, social status, etc, every US citizen has a right to call for a critical look at the President’s policies. The fact that several people are questioning the legality of warrantless wiretapping, from judges to lawyers, Democrats to Republicans, only means that we should have a fair, unpartisan look at the policy. In the end, if President Bush is acting within the law, he loses nothing and gains credibility – something is 35% approval rating could afford.

    Comment by James — January 17, 2006 @ 12:50 am - January 17, 2006

  50. Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?

    Gore. Gore. Is this the ‘no controlling legal authorities’ Gore? (FACT). The Gore who managed to fast-talk a Buddhist monk out of a check for $5K? (FACT) The Gore who tried to have all those military absentee ballots disregarded (FACT), and who only wanted a recount in the three Florida counties that were most likely to produce heavy Democratic vote counts (FACT) AND had election boards controlled by his party? (FACT) The guy who invented the Intenet? (Cheap shot/urban myth) The BUZZ LIGHTYEAR of 1990s American politics? (Humor) That’s what I thought. If so, could somebody please remind me again why I should care what he said?”

    You’re so right. Better to trust the C-student (Cheap shot; actually had better grades than Kerry) who lied his way out of the guard (not true; don’t be relying on those Dan Rather docs now), whose campaign manager used queer bashing to get him in the governor’s chair (lived in Texas during Bush’s time as gov and have no earthly idea what this refers to), who has consistently failed in every business venture (pretty true except for Texas Rangers) and been bailed out by his daddy (true once), who lied to the American people about WMD (please – only true if you admit Clinton, Gore, Kerry, et al also lied), who proposed a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage (3/4 of Americans don’t want gay marriage and vote against it consistently), who dumps billions into a war that has nothing to do with terrorism (read any Stephen Hayes lately? Salman Pak?) while he leaves the nation’s ports unprotected because there’s no money (wild exaggeration), who cynically agrees to sign a bill with an amendment to outlaw torture and then adds a statement that he, not the Geneva Accords, gets to define torture……etc….etc (defining what torture is takes an entire legal department and isn’t just black and white simplistic). Yeah, better to trust him than Al Gore (agree with you here).

    BTW, using Media Matters as a credible source has very limited value on this side of the blogosphere.

    Comment by inmypajamas — January 17, 2006 @ 12:51 am - January 17, 2006

  51. A Few More

    #19
    But, according to your mantra, if THEY did it, why not HIM? Oh, that’s precious. By your fallacious logic, we’d all be dead from “following the leader.”
    Stephen

    It’s just amazing how the liberals didn’t get their panties in a bunch when their sweet lord B.J. was “eavesdropping” on folks during PEACETIME or that people’s houses were searched WITHOUT warrants. That was his duty after all.

    Think Bush is like Nixon? Wait till the Barrett Report comes out Thursday morning. Then ask your lord and master why there are over 100 redacted pages.


    #25

    Donna…. we could have also read the report “Bin Laden determined to attack” instead of “My Pet Goat”…..

    At least there was something of substance in “My Pet Goat” and wasn’t rehashed and vague 3 year old intelligence. Further, if you’re so worried about “connecting the dots”, why would you support hamstringing the government further?

    #27

    One judge has resigned over this and there are plenty of others who think Bush has overstepped his authority.

    Comment by PeaceOut

    One liberal judge resigns from FISA, but keeps his Federal Judgeship? I’m not impressed at all.

    #40

    You seem so eager (in #35) to take issue with those who defend the president’s policies, you accuse that Democrat (John Schmidt) of being a Republican.

    Funny how he has to run to a George Soros (who doesn’t pay taxes on his N.Y. business) funded spin machine so he can get his lying points.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 12:57 am - January 17, 2006

  52. Ah, so ThatGayConservative comments, “[i]t’s just amazing how the liberals didn’t get their panties in a bunch when their sweet lord B.J. was “eavesdropping” on folks during PEACETIME or that people’s houses were searched WITHOUT warrants. That was his duty after all. (#52)”

    Let’s not make statements without backing them up. Bill Clinton authorized warrantless wiretapping on foreigners, not on US citizens. If you ever actually read the bill he signed, you find that point pretty clear.

    Comment by James — January 17, 2006 @ 1:03 am - January 17, 2006

  53. #54

    I’ve read it, sweetie. Bush didn’t intentionally wiretap U.S. Citizens.

    Thanks for playing. You may return to the Al-Qaeda bleachers now.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 1:11 am - January 17, 2006

  54. #50

    Due to the nature of my comment, I will undoubtedly be wrongly thought of as some kind of liberal, Democrat or otherwise.

    How about long-winded dick?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 1:12 am - January 17, 2006

  55. It’s funny that ThatGayConservative says, “Bush didn’t intentionally wiretap U.S. Citizens. (#54)” President Bush’s wiretaps were broad nets over wide ranges of people. Specific persons were not always targeted. Therefore the NSA didn’t even consider weeding out US citizens. Besides, the fact that President Bush didn’t “intentionally wiretap US citizens” doesn’t change the fact that he did. If a investigation into his actions prove that he was acting within the law, he lost nothing by allowing the investigation, and gained credibility.

    Comment by James — January 17, 2006 @ 1:20 am - January 17, 2006

  56. Rather than call (me) people names, why don’t you help me by pointing out in law where it states the President can wiretap US citizens without warrants. I have shown a specific instance where it shows that it is illegal. If the President genuinely believes that he acted within the law, he should have no qualms with authorizing an investigation. It hurts no one.

    Comment by James — January 17, 2006 @ 1:25 am - January 17, 2006

  57. Um, PeaceOut, in #49, as inmypajamas suggested in #51, Media Matters is just not a credible source so the argument of Clinton appointee John Schmidt has not been discredited.

    I’ve also read the New York Times article you linked and found not one shred of evidence from a credible source that the president broke the law. Yes, FBI Director Mueller asked about the legality of the program, but it appears his questions were answered to his satisfaction.

    Not only that, it seems that the only prosecutors etc., questioning the program’s legality refused to be identified publicly, being identified only as sources or officials, so we don’t know whether they have an ideological ax to grind.

    I look forward to the congressional hearings as the truth will come out and it will not be pretty for those convinced that the president is a crook. And will prove that the president acted in the interest of our nation’s security and within the boundaries of the law.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 1:27 am - January 17, 2006

  58. It’d be funny if it weren’t so damn serious. The “conservatives” are moving the goal line about 50 yards, so that “other” malfeasants make GWB look less threatening. Reality check: GWB is a law unto himself. Even Yoo says so. If THIS is what “conservatives” want, then a BJ by Bill off the oval office is hardly apropros. Illegal vis-a-vis indiscretion is a distinction worth making, unless, of course, one is a GWB apologist. The latter get to make up the rules as they go along, merrily marching towards fascism. Fortunately, more than 60% of Americans GET IT. If the Repubs weren’t such hypocrits, GWB would be impeached. AH, there’s the rub! When you’re a theocrat with gawd on your side, you get to make all the rules, and ignore the ones you don’t like. That’s how Bill got snagged. Just wait until the 2006 elections kick the whackos out. Pat Robertson: Gawd’s calling! GWBs on the other end.

    Comment by Stephen — January 17, 2006 @ 1:27 am - January 17, 2006

  59. Uncle J fisks Al Gore’s latest delusional rant

    … We dodged a bullet, folks. “President Gore” is the stuff of nightmares.

    Trackback by Small Town Veteran — January 17, 2006 @ 1:31 am - January 17, 2006

  60. Um, James #57, in the post above and — in at least one comment, I linked this post on the Powerline Blog which addresses the legal issues.

    There will be congressional investigations and those issues will be addressed and as I said in #58, those investigations will show “that the president acted in the interest of our nation’s security and within the boundaries of the law.”

    Oh, and Stephen in #59, I’ve yet again failed to find an argument or a fact in one of you comments.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 1:32 am - January 17, 2006

  61. That makes the assumption, James, that you would accept the results of an investigation as conclusive.

    The history of the past five years has proven one thing; invariably those who would investigate the Bush administration are interested, not in what the facts found are, but whether or not those facts fit their preconceived notions. If they do not, then the investigation was “tainted” and another one must be ordered.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 1:36 am - January 17, 2006

  62. I cannot belive what I am reading. People who still
    are carrying on about the election where Gore lost.

    He lost, can you not understand this little word? LOST
    And thank God for that as he has become someone
    no-one knows or wants to know in America.

    His sick anger has been picked up by some liberals
    and they are not grown-up enough to think for themselves, as they still listen to the wild rantings of
    the people like Dean and Gore and the others in the
    group of liberals that must do as Move.on decides
    they must move.

    It is at the point where it is sad to watch them, as in
    the hearings with Alito. They make no sense, they
    fight over issues that have no real meaning in any
    important way and sadly, continue on with their
    dream of impeaching the president.

    Well, keep trying, because the more you behave like
    this, the more people turn to the conservatives.

    Sad.

    I would be weary all the time carrying around all
    the anger they feel. Maybe that is why they are losing
    it more and more. Hate and anger are heavy in the
    heart.

    Comment by cjg — January 17, 2006 @ 1:43 am - January 17, 2006

  63. I did graduate from law school, and I agree with every word of Gore’s speech. Many other lawyers agree as well including the lawyers at the Congressional Research Service, the former General Counsel of the CIA, the 14 constitutional law professors who sent a letter last week to Congress, etc. etc.

    And, for what it’s worth, Hinderaker doesn’t know his ass from his elbow.

    From a legal standpoint, the Bush administration’s justification for disregarding FISA is, at best, colorable, and I think even that characterization gives it too much credit. The arguments the DOJ is offering to defend this program are significantly weaker than the arguments offered by the DOJ in the Hamdi case (which they lost 8-1) and in the Padilla case, which they know they are going to lose (which is why they are trying so hard to moot the case). If this case ever gets before the court, I wouldn’t bet on it being decided in the administration’s favor.

    Comment by Anonymous Liberal — January 17, 2006 @ 1:52 am - January 17, 2006

  64. #59

    I’m guessing Stephen was jealous of Monica.

    Yeah. The majority of Americans do GET IT and that’s why the libs have to keep spinning it because the majority of the people, as usual, aren’t on their side.

    Give us a freakin’ break Stephen. If the liberal ass clowns had ANYTHING on Bush, he never would have been elected or he would have been impeached LONG ago. They keep trying and trying, even going so far as to fabricate documents and foist them on CBS (ruining whatever career Rather had) or even going so far as putting a book ad on the front page of The DNC Times.

    You want to make an issue of this during an election year and show whose side of the WOT the libs are on?

    BRING IT ON!!!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 1:53 am - January 17, 2006

  65. #64

    Thank you, John Edwards.

    Oh look! An ambulance!!!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 1:56 am - January 17, 2006

  66. #57

    How about you actually read the law you quoted instead of taking somebody else’s word for it.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 2:00 am - January 17, 2006

  67. Anonymous in #64, what then do you make of the arguments of Clinton appointee John Schmidt and liberal constitutional scholar Cass Sunstein.

    Of course, lawyers are going to have different interpretations of the law. But, the fact remains that the Administration did look into the legality of the program, prepared an opinion which passed muster with many top attorneys, on both sides of the political aisle and which squared with legal opinions of those signing off on similar programs in the Clinton Administration.

    If you believe that Hindraker (as you put it) “doesn’t know his ass from his elbow,” then please address show how his mislabels parts of his metaphorical anatomy.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 2:03 am - January 17, 2006

  68. #68

    Heck, Jaime Gorelick even approved it back in the 90s.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 2:05 am - January 17, 2006

  69. that had they recounted the ballots as Gore wanted. Right–but only because Gore was wrong to ask that only select counties be recounted. Had the whole state been recounted, Gore would have won.

    Comment by Beth B. — January 17, 2006 @ 2:05 am - January 17, 2006

  70. Has it even been determined that we’re talking about wiretaps here? Or is this a broad-net data mining operation that looks for patterns in word and phone usage?

    The former is different from the latter, and if it’s the case, then it’s in a legal – and functional – gray area that hasn’t been hashed out yet.

    I just hope that everyone who’s griping about this was equally forgiving when it came out that we weren’t doing as much as we could be to fight terrorism in the lead-up to 9/11 – or in the aftermath for that matter.

    Otherwise, these seem like arguments whose conclusions have already been determined, it’s just the stuff leading up to those conclusions that’s different.

    Although, now that I think of it and after reading a lot of the liberal arguments in this thread, I guess the stuff isn’t really different at all. Same old simplistic, uninformed, unnuanced and juvenile patter that’s completely unserious and does nothing to address some very compelex issues facing our country right now.

    Comment by Steve in Houston — January 17, 2006 @ 2:12 am - January 17, 2006

  71. #70

    2000 was the year I moved to Florida. I voted in Plant City and was able to figure out a butterfly ballot. I was amazed that evening when I found out that there were a lot of people going on the evening news to claim that they couldn’t figure it out.

    I can remember wondering if they could tie their own shoes.

    Does anybody else remember a news item where a test was done at an elementary school in Tennessee and even a bunch of 5th graders (TN education system jokes aside) could figure it out?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 2:13 am - January 17, 2006

  72. No, Beth B., had they recounted the whole state, the newspaper consortium found that Bush would have won under most recounting techniques. Under one or two recount methods, Gore would have won, but by a minuscule margin.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 2:16 am - January 17, 2006

  73. It still fascinates me that the liberals wanted to support the military by throwing out their votes.

    Oh yeah. They’ll use the old postmark arguement to justify it, but that was debunked right about the same time they brought it up.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 17, 2006 @ 2:21 am - January 17, 2006

  74. Er, Never, or is it Ridor, calling Al Gore a law school drop out may not be nice, but it’s true.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 2:39 am - January 17, 2006

  75. No, no, no. no, he dropped out of the army so he could attend divinity school so he could attend law school, then he dropped out of law school, so he could work as a journalist so he could smoke a lot of pot, then he did some phony real estate thing, then ran for his daddy’s old house seat, then he ran for his daddy’s senate seat, then he created the internet(not) and came up with the idea of the tax credit(not) then he became a bloated demented horse’s ass(yep).

    Did I leave anything out?

    Comment by m. watkins — January 17, 2006 @ 3:14 am - January 17, 2006

  76. Missed saying he dropped out divinity school so he could attend law school.

    Comment by m. watkins — January 17, 2006 @ 3:16 am - January 17, 2006

  77. Besides there is no legal controlling authority.

    Comment by m. watkins — January 17, 2006 @ 3:18 am - January 17, 2006

  78. Heck, I didn’t even apply to a law school, and I can find a couple holes in that Powerline essay straightaway:

    “Article II makes the President Commander in Chief of the armed forces. As such he is preeminent in foreign policy, and especially in military affairs.”

    Well, no. The President is preeminent in _conducting_ wars, I will grant, (and by this I mean real, actual wars), but Congress has the power to declare war and to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval Forces. Here is a link; I trust you will not find it too liberal. Look at section 8.

    Another obvious howler is that the President authorized spying on “terrorists”. But this isn’t about spying on terrorists – this is about spying on Americans even if there’s not enough evidence to satisfy the FISA court. Hinderaker mentions Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, trying to draw a line between the Executive’s power vs. a guy captured while fighting against US forces in Afghanistan, and the Executive’s power vs. randomfolks making international phone calls.

    I assume that the commenters here are decent, law-abiding people – so why are you folks so eager to have the government spy on you?

    Comment by CTD — January 17, 2006 @ 3:35 am - January 17, 2006

  79. People fail sometimes. People drop out sometimes. People smoke pot or do coke. People crash businesses into the ground. Shut up about that shit and try to identify legitimate points in all the crap you disagree with.

    Comment by Lone — January 17, 2006 @ 4:05 am - January 17, 2006

  80. I’m *in* law school, I’ve read a lot of law, including the relevant law in this NSA case. Most of the discussion in the punditry seems to be missing the point, IMO. The real legal issues here, IMO, are

    1) whether Congress can legislatively constrain the constitutional powers of the president through FISA (not whether Bush broke FISA); this is really just a power struggle between the legislative/executive branches; there is no applicable case law on this and so no real conclusion can be drawn; expect pundits on boths sides to argue according to their bias

    2) whether the post 9/11 authorization allows for *this*; something the administration claims and its detractors dispute; duh.

    Furthermore, 3) we don’t know the real facts of the case, only what has been leaked; the nature of the program at issue could affect the actual outcome; listening in to a particular phonecall is different from an automated data mining operation, and what the administration has said points to something like this

    I think the administration has a colorable claim that what they were doing is legal and justified; I think that people who want to nail this administration can find plenty of law to back them up on it. But what it really comes down to is this: lawyers advocate their clients positions, and when the legal issue isn’t a matter pertaining to their actual client and instead is being tried in the courts of public opinion and lawyers are actually acting as pundits, they tend to advocate for their “hypothetical clients” according to their own biases.

    There can’t be resolution to this until the courts have dealt with it in one way or the other, and it would probably be better to cool a lot of this absolutist talk until that day comes.

    The real crux of the matter is, what is the practical effect of this? Even *if* the NSA program is found to be unconstitutional, then what? All that happens is the gubberment is forced to stop. You’re not even talking about real plaintiffs here… and at the very least the administration has a justifiable position, even if the end result is that the courts decide the governments actions are unconstitutional. Any cases filed re: this NSA thing will be civil, not criminal, and the relief will be equitable/injunctive. A justified argument doesn’t change the fact that it was (hypothetically) an unconstitutional action, but niether does it make this the crime of the century either (or for that matter, a crime at all.)

    I don’t think the administration is concerned in the least about appearing overzealous in prosecuting the war on terror, although I think the possibility of this backfiring ought to be something of a concern for Democrats.

    Comment by Anonymous Law Student — January 17, 2006 @ 4:55 am - January 17, 2006

  81. As with so many of these faux-issue firestorms manufactured by MSM Left-liberals, the Administration will have to defend itself aggressively – or else the LL narrative will win out, no matter how unfair and wrong it is.

    This is a specially interesting one because the Administration can’t defend itself without further exposing (formerly) classified information. Which they may do, legally in the venue of Congressional hearings. But it will take awhile.

    From what we now know of the program, it sure looks like the Administration hasn’t done anything that previous Administrations haven’t done – especially Clinton-Gore. And that it was justified, after 9-11.

    To the layers of defense you have above, AnonLaw, you should add (4) Necessity Defense – that, if all else fails, any inadvertent lawbreaking in the Administration’s actions was necessary because of the real and present danger of al Qaeda terrorism.

    Comment by Calarato — January 17, 2006 @ 5:19 am - January 17, 2006

  82. The Fourth Amendment proscribes “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    The left claims that wiretapping phone calls to or from known terrorists after the 9-11 attacks violates the Fourth Amendment.

    One concludes from this that the left believes that listening in on the attack plans of enemies of the United States in a time of war is “unreasonable.”

    Therefore, it is the left either hates America or is completely nuts. Which is it?

    P.S. It has been noted that since the Times exposed this story, massive amounts of disposable cell phones have been purchased in bulk. Which brings to mind the line from Team America: World Police: ” “Wow, good going, FAG. You really made the world a better place, didntcha, FAG?”

    This would be like the Times publishing a front page story in World War II: Allies Break Enigma Code: Nazi Privacy Rights Violated.

    Comment by V the K — January 17, 2006 @ 5:44 am - January 17, 2006

  83. From #30 by Peaceout refering to W;
    “…who lied to the American people about WMD…”
    FYI, that false accusation has become very boring. And if you can’t see the connection between the Iraq war and the war on terror then you’re revealing yourself as a total ninny. Take a look at a map and maybe the pieces might begin to fall into place. But then again, any factual information is unlikely to sink into the noggin of a far left idealogue.

    Comment by Dave — January 17, 2006 @ 7:31 am - January 17, 2006

  84. The impeachment possibilities for this scenario don’t seem good to me… It sounds a whole lot as if the Bush administration recognized a need for a type of intelligence-gathering that might have been problematic under existing statute, didn’t want to telegraph their punch by getting a bill or an amendment to FISA introduced, undertook to determine to their satisfaction whether the proposed program could be conducted under the circumstances without a new or amended law, believed that they had in fact been satisfied on that point, regularly reviewed the program, and submitted it to the head of the FISC regularly. These are not the actions of scofflaws. The fact that a FISC judge resigned over the fracas and that “a number” of them spoke to the WaPo about it (what kind of judge speaks to the press about something like this?) certainly suggests that if the Bushies were afraid a full FISC review of the program would risk its secrecy, they were right. So, let’s say the Dems try to impeach. Their case is that Bush committed the high crime and/or misdemeanor of warrantless eavesdropping on… the conversations of people whose phone numbers showed up in al Qaeda members’ cellphones, some of whom might be American citizens, in a post-9/11 world in which US residents turned planes into long-range bombs…? (Are we going to assume that al Qaeda blew its entire wad, every single operative in the US, on one suicide attack almost five years ago?)

    Doesn’t seem like a winner for the Dems, even if they were to win. Sort of like when the big fracas was the most recent round of “Bush Lied!” when Dems in Congress were pretty much uniformly claiming to have been cozened by Bush about pre-war intelligence, and I saw, in a few places, statements to the effect that “We’re dumber than Bush” wasn’t exactly a great campaign slogan.

    Comment by Jamie — January 17, 2006 @ 8:34 am - January 17, 2006

  85. Bon jour. That’s evil French, for “good morning.”

    More regarding the lie that the Clinton administration conducted warrantless searches and wiretapping: http://tinyurl.com/9dgtq

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 9:04 am - January 17, 2006

  86. BTW, using Media Matters as a credible source has very limited value on this side of the blogosphere.

    LOL…What could be more predictable? GPW cites an op-ed as an argument on his behalf but you won’t entertain the FACTS in Media Matters’ analysis.

    I asume the NY Times is also not credible. Exactly who IS credible? Oh wait, I know. Ther credible people are the ones espousing your wishful thinking.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 9:10 am - January 17, 2006

  87. ‘…merrily marching towards fascism…’

    I always get a kick out of this one. Using the phrase to characterize the current administration is a sure fire marker that the user has absolutely no grasp of even the loosest definition of fascism and is nothing more that a conduit for buzz words and phrases. It’s right up there with spouting off about AWOL, lied about WMDs, etc etc – facts do not apply.

    Media Matters as a source for definitive analysis? Why not cut to the chase and just cite the front page drivel on MoveonOrg’s site as reference.

    Comment by Just Passing Through — January 17, 2006 @ 9:10 am - January 17, 2006

  88. Er, Never, or is it Ridor, calling Al Gore a law school drop out may not be nice, but it’s true.

    Then it would be fair to call you a lousy writer because you haven’t sold a screenplay, right?

    [Trying to puzzle out the meaning of this one. Al Gore did drop out of law school. That’s a fact, a thing which some on the left seem to have trouble with. It is also a fact that Dan hasn’t yet sold a screenplay. But, not sure how you get from that to calling him a lousy writer, unless your main purpose is to insult rather than to engage. Or perhaps it’s that you see insults of conservatives as facts. Yes, that must be it. –Ed.]

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 9:12 am - January 17, 2006

  89. Need some wood?

    Comment by GeorgeWBush — January 17, 2006 @ 9:12 am - January 17, 2006

  90. PeaceOut,

    Small problem with your link: ECHELON wasn’t a “targeted” system. It was a “filtering” system. So the denial they “targeted” people is meaningless; it only means they obtained a warrant before using standard wiretaps after receiving the initial information about those parties from the ECHELON filtering system, which was itself a warrantless search. And ECHELON wasn’t directed at Al Qaeda suspects; it spied on everyone.

    Meanwhile, big Dem donors were being sold the ECHELON information, a blatantly illegal partisan abuse of the system. Nothing like that has even been alleged re Bush.

    Comment by GeorgeWBush — January 17, 2006 @ 9:19 am - January 17, 2006

  91. Also, when the Clinton admin faced an actual threat, they felt free to ignore the 4th Amendment. The search of Aldrich Ames’ residence was carried out without a warrant.

    Comment by GeorgeWBush — January 17, 2006 @ 9:21 am - January 17, 2006

  92. How much of a crock can your headline read? If that’s the case – do an article on Bush’s dis-service during Vietnam…”Current President’s War record in Question…Where was Bush”? Please – Obviously you really did NOT listen to Al Gore’s speech. Notice the man had NO teleprompter…you didn’t hear any Ohhhs, Ummms…ahhhhh, dahhhh…uh….Al Gore spoke and can Speak Volumns around President Dick-head…..Push couldn’t speak himself out of a wet paper bag, a lying bag, yes…wet NO! You guys just can’t get over the fact that what Gore said was “RIGHT ON POINT”!!!!! No one is saying spying techniques can’t be used….they need and MUST be done LEGALLY – PERIOD!

    Comment by JRC — January 17, 2006 @ 9:31 am - January 17, 2006

  93. More pablum by the right to support a criminal president that is acting as if he should be emperor.

    Odd that so many right wingnuts use Clinton to justify their actions.

    Sorry though, Bushes crimes are not justified by Clinton’s actions.

    Remember the surplus anybody? Or Peace? Downing Street Memo? Bush being AWOL from the military?

    Comment by tom — January 17, 2006 @ 10:03 am - January 17, 2006

  94. “It’s right up there with spouting off about AWOL, lied about WMDs, etc etc – facts do not apply. ”

    “Remember the surplus anybody? Or Peace? Downing Street Memo? Bush being AWOL from the military? ”

    LMAO!! You called it dude!

    Comment by TallDave — January 17, 2006 @ 10:10 am - January 17, 2006

  95. Though I don’t agree whole-heartedly with tom’s statements, I can subscribe to one point. President Bush might have broken the law with the illegal wiretaps. Having an inquiry into the matter hurts no one at all — and if there is a solidly good reason for not having an investigation, post it here. Simply saying “because Bush didn’t break the law” isn’t good enough, because that’s what is in question.

    A few good reason to have an investigation include:
    1. The President might have broken the law. This obviously begs the question, “What happens next?”
    2. People on both sides of the political scale have issues with the wiretapping.
    3. If the President were found to be acting within the law, he gains credibility, and can probably use that credibility to whatever political means he wants.

    Comment by James — January 17, 2006 @ 10:18 am - January 17, 2006

  96. Another obvious howler is that the President authorized spying on “terrorists”. But this isn’t about spying on terrorists – this is about spying on Americans even if there’s not enough evidence to satisfy the FISA court.

    It is?
    How do you know this?
    What evidence to you have of this?

    I did graduate from law school, and I agree with every word of Gore’s speech. Many other lawyers agree as well including the lawyers at the Congressional Research Service,

    You obviously didn’t read what CRS actually said.

    The ignorance (as usual) from the left on this issue is stunning in it’s depth.

    Comment by The Ace — January 17, 2006 @ 10:32 am - January 17, 2006

  97. I’m back. I don’t see you arguing with Media Matters, GPW. You’re holding up Schmidt’s argument as if it hasn’t already been discredited.

    Actually, wishful thinking, which is what MM is doing, is not an “argument.”

    Comment by The Ace — January 17, 2006 @ 10:36 am - January 17, 2006

  98. >I guess you haven’t heard or read about FISA. Nothing big, just a law to curtail unwarranted, illegal wiretaps…

    I guess you, sir, have never heard of the Constitution, which FISA does not supersede. Congress can’t simply give itself control over the President’s powers.

    Thank god the ACLU is suing, because that will actually, finally, drag FISA before the Supreme Court, where it will finally be put to rest.

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 17, 2006 @ 10:45 am - January 17, 2006

  99. Why think you for reminding us of these un-warranted gov’t wiretaps. It was fairly well known in the 1950s that J Edgar Hoover was using un-warranted wiretaps against, for example, Martin Luther King to try to get information that he could use for blackmail.

    It should be evident to any idiot that any sophisticated terrorist would use scrambling, encryption and password protected ZIP files for their communications. I haven’t used scrambling (but I have used similar technology for my voice communications) but I have used encryption and password protected ZIP files. It would take the NSA years to unencrypt them.

    Comment by raj — January 17, 2006 @ 11:29 am - January 17, 2006

  100. ‘No one is saying spying techniques can’t be used….they need and MUST be done LEGALLY – PERIOD!’

    NO!!!!! That is not the issue here.

    All reasonable efforts to ascertain their legality were made beforehand. The ACLU or some other dog and pony show can bring suit in some court of their choosing and even get some clown to say it wasn’t legal, but would have to prove that the adminsitration went ahead after initially being advised that it was not legal for their agenda to be ultimately successful. If the left pushes this question further the courts will find that the administration only moved ahead after determining to their certain knowledge that it was legal. The left will lose another one and continue their pattern of ludicrous hysteria.

    The administration isn’t going to be found to have acted illegally at any rate, but you can strip that away from whether they will take any hits on this at all. The administration ascertained beforehand that the activities in question were legal. This completely escapes the idiots defending the relevant parts of Gore’s speech. This is at the core of what the author is calling out in the original post – that Gore or his handlers either do not have a clue or do and are pandering to the distorted worldview of the Stephen, Peaceout, or JRC types.

    Gore has served as one of Bush’s staunchest supporters the last few years. He continually uncovers the most idiotic memes on the left and holds them up to the light. Stephen, Peaceout, and JRC should be aghast at the damage this loose cannon does to their side, not defending his aim.

    Comment by Just Passing Through — January 17, 2006 @ 11:30 am - January 17, 2006

  101. This is about as stupid as if I were to suggest that those who couldn’t hack it in engineering school, and then transferred to business school (more than a few did) were somehow deficient.

    Oh, sorry, they were deficient.

    BTW, what business has GWBush ever made a profit from?

    Comment by raj — January 17, 2006 @ 11:35 am - January 17, 2006

  102. Baseball, Raj, for one.

    Comment by PatriotPal — January 17, 2006 @ 11:44 am - January 17, 2006

  103. Without having to get overly legalistic, a realm where Bush’s war powers would prevail, despite the foam-at-the-mouth ravings of Sore Loserman, let’s put it in a more simple context that even left-wing Bush bashers can grasp, but they simply refuse to give a straight answer:

    When you have captured phones from Al Qaeda leaders, and people from inside America are calling those phones, and for whatever reason, you can’t get a warrant, do you just let the call get away? Do you give up the chance to intercept a message about an imminent attack on the American people, just to keep a bunch of paranoid ACLU lawyers happy?

    Lefties will not just come out and say “yes,” because they know that is simply a stupid dereliction of duty, and will lead to needless deaths and destruction, and the ultimate deprivation of our “rights.” You can’t have Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness without the Life part. And mainstream America won’t put up with such straightforward aid and comfort for the enemy.

    OK, you’re with Army intelligence. You bust in on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and capture him. He has a cell phone. It starts ringing. Gee, no time to get a warrant. Do you (a) let it ring and miss the call, or (b) pick it up and find out whatever information you can?

    ACLU legal zombies will not admit to choosing (a). They will talk you into a persistent vegetative state with legal and philosophical mumbo jumbo until you finally realize they are beyond reason, and their goals do not match your own. They don’t want this country protected. They would rather miss the call.

    Anybody who is not a terrorist-supporting Galloway would say to pick up the phone. And that is the Bush position.

    Well, lefties? The phone is ringing? Do you just let it ring?

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 17, 2006 @ 12:14 pm - January 17, 2006

  104. The Democrat liberals all want al Qaida to be left alone. The President has used repeated judicial review and briefed members of Congress as many as twelve times. There is nothing underhanded here aside from the Democrat protection of al Qaida operatives. The ‘wiretapping’ is limited a few hundred individuals who make or receive calls from phone numbers picked up in Afganistan al Qaida operations.

    Oops, that means the whole program has probably been stopped because the leak of this classified information has caused a huge increase in the sale of disposable cell phones. The entire program is compromised because leftists are concerned that al Qaida operatives might get treated badly.

    Why do you lefties try so hard to let the Islamic Fanatics win? Why are you so eager for a defeat in the Middle East? Because you keep doing things like this; ruining intelligence operations and carrying propaganda promoting the enemy positions. The left and al Qaida say the same things almost in unison. There is no difference in their platforms…

    Comment by steve — January 17, 2006 @ 12:20 pm - January 17, 2006

  105. Again, this is not about terrorism, civil rights, or anything of the sort.
    This is about people whose hatred of Bush, the Bush administration, Republicans, and conservatives is so enormous, so all-consuming, that they will find any excuse or reason to justify it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 12:39 pm - January 17, 2006

  106. This is about people whose hatred of Bush, the Bush administration, Republicans, and conservatives is so enormous, so all-consuming, that they will find any excuse or reason to justify it.

    Although I am named in this suit in my own behalf, I am motivated to join it by concerns well beyond my own. I have been frankly appalled by the discrepant and contradictory positions taken by the Administration in this matter. First, the entire existence of the NSA’s monitoring was a secret, and its very disclosure denounced as a threat to national security.Then it was argued that Congress had already implicitly granted the power to conduct warrantless surveillance on the territory of the United States, which seemed to make the reason for the original secrecy more rather than less mysterious. (I think we may take it for granted that our deadly enemies understand that their communications may be intercepted.)

    This makes it critically important that we establish an understood line, and test the cases in which it may or may not be crossed.

    Let me give a very direct instance of what I mean. We have recently learned that the NSA used law enforcement agencies to track members of a pacifist organisation in Baltimore. This is, first of all, an appalling abuse of state power and an unjustified invasion of privacy, uncovered by any definition of “national security” however expansive. It is, no less importantly, a stupid diversion of scarce resources from the real target. It is a certainty that if all the facts were known we would become aware of many more such cases of misconduct and waste.

    We are, in essence, being asked to trust the state to know best. What reason do we have for such confidence? The agencies entrusted with our protection have repeatedly been shown, before and after the fall of 2001, to be conspicuous for their incompetence and venality. No serious reform of these institutions has been undertaken or even proposed: Mr George Tenet (whose underlings have generated leaks designed to sabotage the Administration’s own policy of regime-change in Iraq, and whose immense and unconstitutionally secret budget could not finance the infiltration of a group which John Walker Lindh could join with ease) was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    I believe the President when he says that this will be a very long war, and insofar as a mere civilian may say so, I consider myself enlisted in it. But this consideration in itself makes it imperative that we not take panic or emergency measures in the short term, and then permit them to become institutionalised. I need hardly add that wire-tapping is only one of the many areas in which this holds true.

    The better the ostensible justification for an infringement upon domestic liberty, the more suspicious one ought to be of it. We are hardly likely to be told that the government would feel less encumbered if it could dispense with the Bill of Rights. But a power or a right, once relinquished to one administration for one reason, will unfailingly be exploited by successor administrations, for quite other reasons. It is therefore of the first importance that we demarcate, clearly and immediately, the areas in which our government may or may not treat us as potential enemies.

    Christopher Hitchens’ statement on being plaintiff in the case.

    Comment by Jody — January 17, 2006 @ 12:45 pm - January 17, 2006

  107. By the way, the judge who “resigned” was more than likely forced out, because his petty politically motivated hampering of our intelligence war effort has now led to the compromise of the entire operation, giving the terrorists the advantage. Of course, I’m sure he’s miffed that his treacherous obstructionism was wisely bypassed by the President who wasn’t going to let some partisan Clintonista get in the way of defending the country.

    Maybe he can join the Saddam Hussein defense team to get his anti-American jollies.

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 17, 2006 @ 12:52 pm - January 17, 2006

  108. Let me give a very direct instance of what I mean. We have recently learned that the NSA used law enforcement agencies to track members of a pacifist organisation in Baltimore. This is, first of all, an appalling abuse of state power and an unjustified invasion of privacy, uncovered by any definition of “national security” however expansive. It is, no less importantly, a stupid diversion of scarce resources from the real target. It is a certainty that if all the facts were known we would become aware of many more such cases of misconduct and waste.

    By that logic, then, the United States government had no business investigating the Holy Land Foundation, another such “pacifist” group.

    Which, interestingly enough, under the cover of being a benevolent charity, was financing terrorist groups.

    Put simply, Hitchens, as well as other liberals, are naive enough to believe that al-Qaeda a) would never lie to them and b) aren’t manipulating them for their own purposes. Al-Qaeda knows full well that gullible liberals with a bone to pick against Bush are not the most credulous of people and are more than willing to come screaming with pitchforks. This is why their rhetoric is so specifically calculated to inflame these people and why they cloak themselves in the guise of “pacifist” and “antiwar” organizations.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 1:04 pm - January 17, 2006

  109. The left are knowingly, and otherwise, engaged in a conspiracy of support for the much more clever islamofascists.

    This argument cannot be won against ‘useful idiots and those who hate America.

    When the U.S. is attacked again, either in the U.S. or against our interests in the world, the left will either say:

    1. We asked for it;
    2. We had it coming;
    3. How could GWB allow this to happen (My personal favorite!;
    4. All of the above.

    The majority of Americans, living in the ‘fly-over’ states, understand the terrorists mind and will do the correct thing at the correct time.

    History reminds us that the Dems have lost the Presidency, not once but twice, lost Congress, and are about to lose control of the Judiciary.

    Common sense prevails!

    Comment by vet66 — January 17, 2006 @ 1:12 pm - January 17, 2006

  110. Never A Republican is really Ridor???

    I thought he’d clicked his heels three times and foreswore this place, these idiots, this dialogue?

    But nooooooooooooo, He’s back and the games are afoot. Ridor, you really should head over to OutSports –I hear they’re more to your liking. No pun.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — January 17, 2006 @ 1:24 pm - January 17, 2006

  111. #110 – Hitchens is a liberal who gets it (the War on Terror), and isn’t naive. Nonetheless, there are several flaws in his argument.

    Very briefly, he notes “I think we may take it for granted that our deadly enemies understand that their communications may be intercepted.” Bzzzzzzzzt. Wrong answer. If that were true, then (1) monitoring wouldn’t have prevented any attacks – when we know it most certainly has; and (2) sales of disposable cellphones to terrorist groups wouldn’t have surged after the program’s disclosure.

    In other words, the program was really secret and its betrayal HAS really harmed legitimate security interests of the people.

    He also leaps to a conclusion, by no means proven, that the “pacifist” group that was monitored was not connected to al Qaeda or actively working against the United States. Can anyone say International A.N.S.W.E.R.?

    Left-liberals seem to be losing their heads over the difference between an operation to gather plain intelligence (i.e., information) on what foreign enemies MIGHT be planning next, with God knows whom; vs. a specific criminal investigation intended to lead to criminal charges. The latter almost always requires warrants. The former frequently does not. Administrations of both parties have long said so.

    Comment by Calarato — January 17, 2006 @ 1:46 pm - January 17, 2006

  112. [...] Speaking – as we were – about mental illness and the Dems, Confederate Yankee suggests Al Gore is off his meds. Dr. Sanity is calling it selective amnesia. Relia (again) fisks him, GayPatriotWest talks law-school dropout. Ben Johnson is also kind of unkind in suggesting that Gore has become the Morton Downey Jr of politics. [...]

    Pingback by The Anchoress » NSA, the NY Times and Good Will — January 17, 2006 @ 2:01 pm - January 17, 2006

  113. “The Ace” -

    You ask how I can know that this is about spying on random Americans and has nothing to do with spying on terrorists.

    You have only to look at the Justice Department memo – it claims that the President has war powers against any “persons _he determines_ planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks of September 11″ and Congress and the courts can’t interfere. That is, it has nothing to do with even shreds of evidence. It’s all on the President’s say-so. So – why does he need to claim that power when it’s perfectly easy to go to FISA?

    And even if he doesn’t abuse this power, the amorphous nature of terrorism means there still exists an excuse for the next President to spy on anyone he (or she!) wants without bothering with the courts or with Congressional law.

    Comment by CTD — January 17, 2006 @ 2:41 pm - January 17, 2006

  114. So get Congress to tighten up the definitions, responsibly.

    Just cut the dumb, irresponsible “Bush is evil” crap. We have yet to see the Administration abusing the program for any partisan purpose. (Unlike certain things Clinton did with ECHELON! And of course Nixon.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 17, 2006 @ 3:04 pm - January 17, 2006

  115. Err, PeaceOut.

    Did you know that Al Gore dropped out of Vanderbilt Law School? And maybe that is the source of humor in the post, Maybe Instapundit thought it poor form to rub it in. “Dropped out”, not never attended. He left Viet Nam early, where he was a reporter for Stars and Stripes to attend Vanderbilt where he “took classes” in divinity and law. As was noted earlier, he was kicked out. He was in fact a “Senator’s Son”, and was more likely the model for the song “Fortunate Son” than he was for “Love Story”

    http://www.infoplease.com/spot/algore1.html

    One other thing, the certain knowledge that the warrent would be denied by FISA is why the 20th hi-jacker’s computer was not searched, where details of the plot could have been obtained prior to 9-11.

    Go for it, run as the party of terrorist’s rights.

    Comment by moptop — January 17, 2006 @ 4:05 pm - January 17, 2006

  116. The fact that John Schmidt wrote an opinion piece in support of Bush’s actions means nothing. Here’s but one quick summary of Schmidt’s failed argument:

    Ah, mediamatters, one of the most unreliable sources of information on the web, the site that claimed last week that no Democrats took money from Abramoff (too bad FEC records are open to the public, or they might have gotten away with that lie).

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 17, 2006 @ 4:08 pm - January 17, 2006

  117. After MediaMatters, they will quote the Wikipedia.

    I just wish that instead of providing links to other web sites that “prove” their point, they would point out specific arguments that that site makes, and explain why they find them convincing. Then we could have a discussion. Well, that assumes they can understand what they read, indication of which is sadly lacking in their postings.

    Comment by moptop — January 17, 2006 @ 4:26 pm - January 17, 2006

  118. Someone asked for a citation to the legal authority for warrantless national security wiretaps, so here’s a gen-u-wine law school grad (who’s still young enough to remember some of Con Law, which most attorneys tend to forget over years of dreary vanilla practice):

    The most recent and clearest authority is from In re Sealed Case, 31 F.3d 717, 742: “The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. It was incumbent upon the court, therefore, to determine the boundaries of that constitutional authority in the case before it. We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.”

    Congress, the President, and the courts are co-equal branches of government. Congress may not legislate to itself powers the Constitution reserves to the executive. Congress could not, for example, pass a law to make a Congressional appointee the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, or to allow Congress to nominate a Supreme Court justice.

    If national-security intelligence operations are within the quiver of military measures that may be ordered by the Commander in Chief, then Congress may not legislate to itself the right to limit the Commander in Chief’s options to any exclusive procedural framework, like the FISA court. At most, FISA provides one means by which warrantless national security surveillance may be put in motion.

    Congress does have the power to “declare War”, but unfortunately, the Founders left it vague what, exactly, this means. Court decisions beginning immediately after the Constitution’s ratification held that the President could conduct military operations absent a formal declaration of war. (If I remember right, the cases are the Talbot case in 1790-something or 1801 and the Civil War-vintage Prize Cases.)

    So there you go. It may be a little “mean” to tweak Gore’s failure to graduate from law school — but it’s not entirely unfair. Gore is declaring the NSA surveillance in question to be flatly, unambiguously illegal — despite the fact that people with far more understanding of the relevant legal issues either reach the opposite conclusion or declare the matter unsettled. Gore shows no sign that he has considered the aspects of this issue that seem to contradict his absolute statement. His lack of legal education is certainly relevant to support a conclusion that he has not considered them.

    Comment by Tom Eastmond — January 17, 2006 @ 4:30 pm - January 17, 2006

  119. 117: “He was in fact a “Senator’s Son”, and was more likely the model for the song “Fortunate Son” than he was for “Love Story”

    Whew…thanks for clearing that up. I’m glad that his experience is no way whatsoever related to George Bush, son of a member of congress who had a questionable national guard experience, training to fly aging fighter planes that would never have a chance of ever seeing active duty.

    Comment by Kevin — January 17, 2006 @ 4:33 pm - January 17, 2006

  120. What an exceptionally dumb comment… even for Kevin who thinks we’re about to all be put in extermination camps.

    George H.W. Bush, the father, was a WW2 fighter pilot and even kind of a hero. (You know what that is, Kevin, right?) He nearly died when he was downed over the Pacific. Not someone with “questionable National Guard service”.

    As for George W. supposedly flying “aging fighter planes that would never have a chance of ever seeing active duty” – again, Kevin, what a dumb comment, showing how little you know.

    W’s F-105 unit was in Vietnam at the time he volunteered; he volunteered fully expecting to go there himself. The year was 1968 – you know, the peak year of the war under Johnson? Under Johnson’s plan, troops were supposed to further increase in 1969 (from 500,000 to 700,000) so W’s unit would have absolutely stayed. That was what the state of the game when W volunteered.

    Only afterwards, under President Nixon in 1969, did the U.S. decide to go the opposite direction (reducing from 500,000 down to 2,000 over four years). W is hardly to blame for not being sent. So Kevin, time to grow up, OK?

    Comment by Calarato — January 17, 2006 @ 4:57 pm - January 17, 2006

  121. Has anyone commenting here had an overseas telephone call in the past year? If so, what did you discuss? Were you talking to Uncle Helmut about the weather in Dortmund? I don’t see a problem. Were you talking to a Filipino tranny, trying to arrange your pending nuptials in a gay-friendly state? I don’t see a problem. I can’t see the gov’t caring about either.

    However, if you discussed nefarious ideas or plans with someone known to our gov’t as having terrorist leanings or history, then why in the world should our gov’t not be able to listen to that? I think everyone is missing the point with this whole deal- including the headline writers constantly saying it’s “domestic spying”. Really? I don’t talk to people overseas. I am well domesticated in that sense. I seriously doubt my domestic activities ended up in a file in DC. Wouldn’t care if they did, either.

    Comment by Rob — January 17, 2006 @ 5:06 pm - January 17, 2006

  122. “Ah, mediamatters, one of the most unreliable sources of information on the web, the site that claimed last week that no Democrats took money from Abramoff (too bad FEC records are open to the public, or they might have gotten away with that lie).”

    Yes they are open. Who are you talking about?

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 5:43 pm - January 17, 2006

  123. Maybe Christiane Amanpour has something to worry about. CNN asked the government if she had been eavesdropped upon (gee, where did THAT one go?!), which indicates to me that they knew she had spoken to Al Qaeda on the phone. Which wouldn’t be surprising, considering CNN’s willingness to do the enemy a favor, or in the case of Saddam to look the other way, to get an exclusive.

    And if she did, just in theory, have a correspondence with Al Qaeda, and didn’t tip off the United States to terrorist information, then why the hell shouldn’t the government be listening in on such a conversation?

    And if they don’t, then what defense do we have against such communication? Dems want to give free and clear command and control capabilities to the enemy…AS LONG AS THEY ARE ON OUR SOIL.

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 17, 2006 @ 5:43 pm - January 17, 2006

  124. “I just wish that instead of providing links to other web sites that “prove” their point, they would point out specific arguments that that site makes, and explain why they find them convincing. Then we could have a discussion. Well, that assumes they can understand what they read, indication of which is sadly lacking in their postings.”

    LOL…Yep, we ain’t read so good, bubber. Then again, you must not either, since the thread was initiated by links without summation of their particular contents. Maybe we could have a real discussion had it begun that way.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 5:47 pm - January 17, 2006

  125. “Maybe Christiane Amanpour has something to worry about. CNN asked the government if she had been eavesdropped upon (gee, where did THAT one go?!), which indicates to me that they knew she had spoken to Al Qaeda on the phone. Which wouldn’t be surprising, considering CNN’s willingness to do the enemy a favor, or in the case of Saddam to look the other way, to get an exclusive.”

    You really want the government monitoring the press’ phones? How Nixonian.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 5:50 pm - January 17, 2006

  126. If the press is talking to al-Qaeda, you bet we do.

    I don’t think you understand, PeaceOut. Al-Qaeda will use and exploit any means necessary to get what they want. They depend on people like yourself who hate the Bush administration to the point that they will put abstract principles ahead of human life, neglecting the obvious fact that those abstract principles exist to protect human life.

    While I am amused by your “Nixonian” slur, I file it with the other names that you and your leftist friends throw around without any actual comprehension of what they mean, like “fascist” or “Nazi”. Eavesdropping on press members who are contacting foreign terrorists whose desire is to harm the United States and kill United States citizens is far different than eavesdropping on people whose only power to harm someone is to write a mean story. You are attempting to bully and scare me with a verbal smear, and frankly, the fact that you make equivalent those two things speaks far more about you than it does me.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 6:32 pm - January 17, 2006

  127. Rob,

    Someone who’s known to have terrorist leanings or history, you can get a warrant for. This is about spying on all of those other calls, “just in case”.

    Yes, once in a while, you might actually find something. Similarly, you might find a terrorist cell by going through the dresser drawers of every American. But the privacy concerns there are generally held to outweigh the low yield of information you might get.

    Comment by CTD — January 17, 2006 @ 6:55 pm - January 17, 2006

  128. I still don’t think the liberals commenting here understand.

    What al-Qaeda has figured out is that liberals will force us to take 72 hours to get a warrant to eavesdrop on their phone calls.

    With disposable cellphones, all that means is you use one for 48 hours and ditch it.

    Think you can’t get a lot done in 48 hours relative to communicating and plotting?

    And what I find particularly ironic is, had another terrorist attack occurred, the liberals who are now doing everything they can to put hurdles to protect “civil liberties” in place would be screaming that people weren’t responsive enough.

    This isn’t about civil liberties. It’s about finding excuses to Bush-bash.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 7:25 pm - January 17, 2006

  129. NDT, apparently you do not understand the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA allows the federal government to engage in surveillance for up to 72 hours before obtaining a warrant from the FISA court. See http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode50/usc_sec_50_00001801—-000-.html and scroll down to section (h)(4). The 72 hour time period should give the government time to obtain enough information to establish probable cause, if it is able to.

    Although disposable cell phones are available, it is far from clear that continual warrantless searches would alleviate the technical issue (in an electronic sense, not a legal sense). The federal government would still have to figure out–what cell phone to tap.

    Finally, it strikes me that these warrantless searches are little more than a tempest in a teapot. Any self-respecting terrorist operation would use scramblers for voice communication and encryption and/or password-protected zip files, which are almost impossible to open.

    Comment by raj — January 17, 2006 @ 7:59 pm - January 17, 2006

  130. WOW! I can’t add anything new. Except this:

    We must never forget, the reason that the 9/11 attacks succeeded was because laws and regulations prevented us from connecting the dots. But it is only in hindsight that we know which laws got in the way of preventing the attack. This is reminiscent of the scenario law students must ponder, where the defense attorney strongly suspects the guilt of the accused mass murderer, and thinks he will kill again, but still gets the charges dismissed through technicalities, only to have his client go on a killing spree upon release from custody. It’s not an exact match to this situation, but if the defense attorney bent the rule to keep the accused from getting back on the streets, lives would be saved. Just food for though.

    I think #82 has made the most sense. The courts will ultimately decide who has the correct constitutional perogative in this case. Interesting though, that Bush seems to have the same leaning toward strong executive power that FDR did.

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 17, 2006 @ 8:36 pm - January 17, 2006

  131. While Gore bloviated against the program, he admitted that “we still have much to learn” about it. Yetp, accusing the president of breaking the law, but admitting he doesn’t know much about the allegedly illegal activity.

    And ND30 nailed it in #130 when he wrote, “This isn’t about civil liberties. It’s about finding excuses to Bush-bash.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 17, 2006 @ 9:00 pm - January 17, 2006

  132. Why’s Bush worried about and independent investigation?

    As so many of his apologists have said to rebut those who object to the possibility of having their phones tapped without warrant:

    If he hasn’t done anything wrong, then he has nothing to worry about. Hmmmmmm – Never mind.

    Comment by Randomizer — January 17, 2006 @ 9:34 pm - January 17, 2006

  133. Comment by PatriotPal

    Baseball? That’s a joke, right? The only reason that GW might have made a profit at baseball was because he induced the taxpayers to build him stadium at the cost of many-milllions of dollars

    Comment by raj — January 17, 2006 @ 10:04 pm - January 17, 2006

  134. WEll, since Media Matters is such an awful source, here’s the AP’s beloved Nedra Pickler (often accused of a rightwing bias) correcting Mr. Gonzales’ and the White House’s charge of hypocrisy against Gore:

    ” McClellan said the Clinton-Gore administration had engaged in warrantless physical searches, and he cited an FBI search of the home of CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames without permission from a judge. He said Clinton’s deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, had testified before Congress that the president had the inherent authority to engage in physical searches without warrants.

    “’I think his hypocrisy knows no bounds,’ McClellan said of Gore.

    “But at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.

    ” Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, made the same arguments as McClellan during interviews Monday on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes.”

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 10:40 pm - January 17, 2006

  135. “We must never forget, the reason that the 9/11 attacks succeeded was because laws and regulations prevented us from connecting the dots. But it is only in hindsight that we know which laws got in the way of preventing the attack.”

    Huh? Have you read the 9/11 Commission’s report???

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 10:42 pm - January 17, 2006

  136. Going up a bit:

    Comment by Reid — January 16, 2006 @ 9:20 pm – January 16, 2006

    The fact remains that Gore tried to get into office by counting only the ballots he wanted and ignoring the rest.

    Apparently you have not read the FL state election statutes. I did during the recount issue and discussed them on various web sites. The FL state election statues gave Gore the right to select the counties in which he wanted a recount. If you don’t like that, get the statutes amended.

    You know, the “legal law.”

    Comment by Flyover Sam — January 16, 2006 @ 9:23 pm – January 16, 2006

    Actually this is a big deal. How often does the left remind us that unless one actually served in the military, one cannot discuss military things with any credibility.

    This is a joke, right? A ChickenHawk is someone who was willing to Rah! Rah! Raw! a war in which he himself was unwilling to serve in. Many of the high muckti-mucks on the right were Rah! Rah! Rahing! the Vietnam war, but they had “other priorities” or ways of getting out of serving in the military.

    You really should learn what a ChickenHawk is.

    Comment by ElcubanitoKC — January 16, 2006 @ 9:45 pm – January 16, 2006

    Stephen, FISA actually authorizes the President to do so under 50.USC.1804.

    You actually should read all of the sections of 50 USC 1800. Don’t be disingenuous.

    Comment by raj — January 17, 2006 @ 10:54 pm - January 17, 2006

  137. “I don’t think you understand, PeaceOut. Al-Qaeda will use and exploit any means necessary to get what they want. They depend on people like yourself who hate the Bush administration to the point that they will put abstract principles ahead of human life, neglecting the obvious fact that those abstract principles exist to protect human life….While I am amused by your “Nixonian” slur, I file it with the other names that you and your leftist friends throw around without any actual comprehension of what they mean, like “fascist” or “Nazi”. Eavesdropping on press members who are contacting foreign terrorists whose desire is to harm the United States and kill United States citizens is far different than eavesdropping on people whose only power to harm someone is to write a mean story. You are attempting to bully and scare me with a verbal smear, and frankly, the fact that you make equivalent those two things speaks far more about you than it does me. “

    Gasp! Well that was certainly free of the “verbal smear” of which you accuse me. The difference is, I guess, that you speak the truth and I am deluded.

    As always, NDT, I apologize for failing to remember that they are trying to sap and impurify our bodily fluids.

    By the way: Eavesdropping on the press is not eavesdropping on terrorists. I mean..oh never mind.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 11:01 pm - January 17, 2006

  138. NDT, apparently you do not understand the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA allows the federal government to engage in surveillance for up to 72 hours before obtaining a warrant from the FISA court.

    Can’t be. Liberals and Democrats like Al Gore insist ANY surveillance without a warrant is illegal.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 11:15 pm - January 17, 2006

  139. “The fact remains that Gore tried to get into office by counting only the ballots he wanted and ignoring the rest”.

    Apparently you have not read the FL state election statutes. I did during the recount issue and discussed them on various web sites. The FL state election statues gave Gore the right to select the counties in which he wanted a recount. If you don’t like that, get the statutes amended.

    Do you not understand the difference between “ballots” and “counties”, Raj?

    What Gore wanted is the divine power to say that someone who marked their ballot twice or didn’t mark it at all voted for him.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 11:22 pm - January 17, 2006

  140. Raj:NDT, apparently you do not understand the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. FISA allows the federal government to engage in surveillance for up to 72 hours before obtaining a warrant from the FISA court.
    NDT:Can’t be. Liberals and Democrats like Al Gore insist ANY surveillance without a warrant is illegal.
    Comment by North Dallas Thirty

    YEE HAWWWW….Make it up as you go along, NDT.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 11:52 pm - January 17, 2006

  141. North Dallas Thirty — January 17, 2006 @ 11:22 pm – January 17, 2006

    Some of us actually know how to do legal research. It is clear from the FL balloting statutes that the recounts are on a county-by-county basis. I’m not going to cite chapter and verse–I did that 5 years ago–but I will merely cite you to FL code chapter 102. It’s available on-line through Findlaw at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0102/titl0102.htm&StatuteYear=2005&Title=%2D%3E2005%2D%3EChapter%20102 Do some research.

    BTW, I don’t know whether or not you have a law degree, but I will let you know that I have two law degrees, and I do know how to do legal research.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 17, 2006 @ 11:52 pm – January 17, 2006

    YEE HAWWWW….Make it up as you go along, NDT.

    Some of us also know how to check out assertions of fact that strain credulity. I quite frankly don’t give a tinker’s damn what Al Gore says. I am interested in what the relevant statutes say. If NDT believes that he’s going to get brownie points with what apparently is his target audience by posting comments that make no sense, that is his business.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 12:31 am - January 18, 2006

  142. Eavesdropping on the press is eavesdropping on the terrorists if the press is talking to terrorists.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 18, 2006 @ 2:39 am - January 18, 2006

  143. You know the lefties have run out of arguments when they start the chickenhawk namecalling. But frankly, if the Democrats want to go into the 2006 elections under the banner of “Defending the Rights of Terrorists to Plot Murder and Mayhem Without Government Surveillance,” I say, Go for it.

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 5:35 am - January 18, 2006

  144. Yeah.

    I’m kind of hoping that 2006 will be a spiritual blowout year for the Dems where they finally, openly go with a full bore “Impeach Bush!” theme. Why? Because then it will be an electoral blowout year for the Republicans.

    And then, after that, all the dumb “Bush Lied!!!”, “Impeach Bush!”, etc. themes will be out-of-the-mainstream, probably forever. And the Dems will be 1 large step closer to hitting bottom and eventually recovering their sanity on national security issues.

    Comment by Calarato — January 18, 2006 @ 9:09 am - January 18, 2006

  145. FYI, I actually got here trolling the comments on a Slashdot story.

    Comment by fooMaster — January 18, 2006 @ 9:12 am - January 18, 2006

  146. BTW, I don’t know whether or not you have a law degree, but I will let you know that I have two law degrees, and I do know how to do legal research.

    I find that hard to believe, given that you weren’t able to comprehend this statement of mine:

    Do you not understand the difference between “ballots” and “counties”, Raj?

    What Gore wanted is the divine power to say that someone who marked their ballot twice or didn’t mark it at all voted for him.

    Next up:

    YEE HAWWWW….Make it up as you go along, NDT.

    I quite frankly don’t give a tinker’s damn what Al Gore says. I am interested in what the relevant statutes say.

    LOL….was that before or AFTER his remarks were shown to be ignorant spew?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 18, 2006 @ 10:55 am - January 18, 2006

  147. North Dallas Thirty — January 18, 2006 @ 10:55 am – January 18, 2006

    Apparently you still have not read the relevant Florida statutes. You might be well advised to stop bloviating and do some legal research. I did in 2000, for purposes of posting on a relatively conservative message board. I was surprised at what I found in my research regarding FL’s election statutes. You might, too, if you actually read the relevant statutes.

    I did the research to find out what the relevant legal regime in FL was, in response to postings on that web site. I didn’t vote for Gore, but I was curious enough about the subject matter that had been posted on the board to find out whether what was being posted had anything to do with reality. Surprise! surprise!, little of it did.

    Apparently you are not curious.

    V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 5:35 am – January 18, 2006

    You know the lefties have run out of arguments when they start the chickenhawk namecalling.

    Don’t be silly. “ChickenHawk” is a well-recognized description for people that I have mentioned. Pejorative? Most definitely yes, and it’s intended to be. The ChickenHawk Database http://www.nhgazette.com/cgi-bin/NHGstore.cgi?user_action=list&category=%20NEWS%3B%20Chickenhawks

    Oh, and, by the way, your comment about “lefties” is somewhat silly in stated view of “namecalling.” That strikes me as being more than a bit of “namecalling.” Apparently you have no arguments to make.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 11:43 am - January 18, 2006

  148. Famous “chickenhawks”:

    Lincoln
    FDR
    Reagan
    W

    All of whom made the world a better place and expanded freedom, while dealing the slave trade, nazism, communism and terrorism deadly blows.

    Lincoln, who temporarily suspended some rights, and who was commander in chief over the horrid Civil War, where Americans killed Americans, but he ended slavery and kept the country together. Worth it? Not according to libs.

    FDR, who subjected nazi saboteurs on American soil to military tribunal and executed them, and who herded Japanese-Americans into internment camps. Not nice. But overall, he whooped the fascists. The NY Times would have leaked that we had broken the Purple Code without telling Congress, and were listening in to imperial spy broadcasts without a warrant!

    Reagan, who defied the Commie-loving Dem-controlled Congress of Tip O’Neill and helped the Contras, which was “against the law,” but which made this hemisphere a better place for future generations. Reagan who dared to call the “evil empire” what it was, and brought about the collapse of the most prolific mass murdering regime in human history.

    And Dubya, who freed 50 million Muslims from the yoke of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, planted the seed of democracy in a region that had never known it, and is now having to deal with Syria, Iran and North Korea. All this while self-proclaimed “patriotic Americans” and our foreign “allies” have done nothing but throw obstacles and insults at the President.

    On the other hand, famous “peaceniks”:

    Buchanan
    Chamberlain
    Carter
    Clinton

    All of whom did everything they could to avoid the awkwardness and instability of conflict, at any cost, all in the name of “stability,” only to plunge the world into the great abyss from which the guys on the other list had to save us.

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 12:47 pm - January 18, 2006

  149. bush has willfully admitted his offenses…impeachment and prosecution are in his near-future.

    Comment by rightiswrong — January 18, 2006 @ 1:03 pm - January 18, 2006

  150. Considering the level the Dems have sunk to, it’s going to be a very red map during the election coverage in November. Say goodbye to your precious filibuster, you morally corrupt sleazebags, the last piece of political influence you had left.

    It’d be pretty funny seeing the lefties trying to impeach Bush with their shrinking minority in Congress.

    Say hello to the Whigs and the No-Nothings.

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 1:40 pm - January 18, 2006

  151. Lefty is an accurate label for people who embrace the politics of socialism, pacifism, and anti-Americanism. I don’t consider it a perjorative when someone labels me a right-winger because the connotation is I embrace capitalism and individual responsibility. “Chickenhawk” is an ignorant slur, whose logic goes along the lines of you unless you become a policeman, you’re not allowed to support law enforcement, unless you become a fire-fighter, you can’t support putting out house fires, and so on…

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 1:56 pm - January 18, 2006

  152. Rightiswrong:

    bush has willfully admitted his offenses

    He has openly declared he is doing something the relevant case law specifically states he has the authority to do. See post #120.

    Comment by Tom Eastmond — January 18, 2006 @ 2:08 pm - January 18, 2006

  153. Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 12:47 pm – January 18, 2006

    Your lists, except for W, are kind of silly. What wars did Lincoln, FDR and Reagan Rah! Rah! Rah! for (when they were of an age at which they reasonably could have served (in the military, not in office). Buchanan was definitely a ChickenHawk of the Vietnam war (and he was of an age at which he could have served). Neville Chamberlain was too old to have been a ChickenHawk. Carter had been in the military, but not at the relevant time. Clinton was a snake-oil salesman, and he still is, but from what I have read, he was not Rah! Rah! Rahing the Vietnam ward.

    V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 1:56 pm – January 18, 2006

    Typical silly rationalization from conservatives. People on the right can engage in name-calling (“leftist”) but they criticize others for what they themselves are doing. Grow up.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 2:29 pm - January 18, 2006

  154. My, see how they go down: wriggling uncomfortably, grasping at imaginary rungs in the air, babbling incoherently about the arbitrary parameters of the obscure epithets that occupy their cloistered existence. See how the mad dog, unaware of its madness, runs around frothing at the mouth, not conscious of its only salvation: a pistol’s merciful discharge.

    Smell ya later, commie dirtbags!

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 2:41 pm - January 18, 2006

  155. V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 1:56 pm – January 18, 2006

    I don’t consider it a perjorative when someone labels me a right-winger because the connotation is I embrace capitalism and individual responsibility.

    It would be nice if your fellow conservatives would embrace capitalism and individual responsibility. Apparently you haven’t been paying attention. Richard Nixon imposed wage & price controls, which exacerbated the inflation problems due to his continuation of the Vietnam War–despite the fact that he told us in 1968 that he had a “secret plan” to extricate the US from the war. He was a liar.

    Saint Reagan substantially expanded government–and so has GWBush, both by borrowing. They are both borrow-and spend liberals. More than a few self-described conservatives are actually “gimmes” (give me). Aside from no-bid contracts with Halliburton, the Republicans have expanded, for example, the price supports for agribusiness. During the late 1990s the Feds even expanded welfare for mohair producers–at the insistence of BugKiller DeLay.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 2:45 pm - January 18, 2006

  156. Unlike the left-wing shills on this forum who will not even criticize Democrats who oppose gay marriage, my criticisms of Bush on fiscal profligacy, domestic policy, and border neglect have been extensive, both in this forum and in others. I am not a Republican. I am registered Independent, which gives me the freedom to criticize either party wherever I see fit. My viewpoint is fiscally conservative and socially conservative/libertarian. I do not regard Nixon as a conservative, nor do most contemporary conservatives.

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 3:44 pm - January 18, 2006

  157. >I do not regard Nixon as a conservative, nor do most contemporary conservatives.

    Hell, no.

    But I also don’t consider so-called “liberals” to be liberals at all. Liberals would champion the toppling of the Taliban, Saddam and the Ayatollahs. They would never support Kim Jong Il. They would abhor islamofascism and any other form of fascism. They would not ask why dictators, terrorists and bigots hate us. They would be proud to be hated by such monsters.

    That’s why they are better referred to as lefties, commies and other terms that never adequately capture their moral bankruptcy and utter disingenuousness.

    I guess a rose by any other name…

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 4:59 pm - January 18, 2006

  158. Hey, breaking news! Last week’s airstrike on “civilians” in Pakistan killed, among other terrorists, Al Qaeda’s master bomb maker, who trained shoebomber Richard Reid and “20th hijacker” Zacharias Moussaui.

    Zing!

    Take that, asshats!

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 5:04 pm - January 18, 2006

  159. V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 3:44 pm – January 18, 2006

    This is a joke, right? You criticize others, using the epithet “leftist,” yet whine when others criticize conservatives who were ChickenHawks–calling it “name-calling.”

    I don’t particularly care whether or not you are a registered Republican. You do not practice what you preach. And that makes you something of a hypocrit.

    For your information, I have criticized Democrats who oppose gay marriage, and I will continue to do so. I haven’t seen the topic raised here (I don’t normally come here–I was prompted by a recent link on IndeGayForum) and so I haven’t posted on the topic here. Your “domestic policy” is so vague as to be virtually worthless to respond to. Border neglect is rather silly, since businesses on the US side of the borders with Canada and Mexico wants porous borders and resents the self-styled “militias” in Arizona that have been patrolling the border down there and who have migrated up to Northern Vermont to “patrol” the border with Canada. They are bad for business on the US side of the border.

    I really don’t care whether “contemporary conservatives” would consider Nixon to be a conservative–he was considered one when he ran for office, and that is what matters. Saint Reagan was too, and so was GWBush. Although it should be clear that the latter two were “bait and switch” conservatives: actually “borrow and spend” liberals, in my book.

    BTW, I am not a Democrat. I am what is, in Massachusetts, “unenrolled.” (There used to be an “Independent party” and so the state election authorities came up with the “unenrolled” category to distinguish them from the registered members of the Independent party.) I have resided in MA for 25 years, and I could give you a long list of Democratic politicians who are homophobes, some of whose names you might recognize. Especially Michael Dukakis. Remember him? Although there are others here in MA that I could name.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 5:17 pm - January 18, 2006

  160. Korla Pundit — January 18, 2006 @ 5:04 pm – January 18, 2006

    It was breaking news as of 3-4 hours ago.

    Just to let you know, it really isn’t that difficult to construct explosive devices. I made some in high-school chemistry class in the mid 1960s, and it was somewhat fun setting them off in the back. I suspect that instructions for making explosive devices can be found all over the internet. I doubt that Timothy McVeigh needed the assistance of al-Qaeda to generate the explosive device (which I will not describe) that he used to blow up the Murrah Federal Office Building in OK City. I also doubt that the Moroccans who blew up the Madrid subway needed al-Qaeda assistance to build the explosive devices. And I doubt that the IRA needed the assistance of al-Qaeda to build their bombs used in London, particularly since most IRA bombing occurred before al-Qaeda was formed.

    If this report is true, it is an interesting development, but it would be a mistake to read too much into it.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 5:35 pm - January 18, 2006

  161. But frankly, if the Democrats want to go into the 2006 elections under the banner of “Defending the Rights of Terrorists to Plot Murder and Mayhem Without Government Surveillance,” I say, Go for it.

    I guess they’ll be in the good company of Republicans then:

    Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

    “When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans’ private information,” said Barr. “However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans’ private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism.”

    Comment by Jody — January 18, 2006 @ 5:54 pm - January 18, 2006

  162. Actually, they won’t be. Bob Barr and Grover Norquist are not running in 2006. In fact, Bob Barr is no longer a congressman and is widely regarded as something of a nutter. In the GOP, that doesn’t get you much. In the DNC, it gets you the party chairmanship.

    However, his dissident viewpoint does highlight a difference between Donks and Reps. The Reps have a much higher tolerance for dissent within the party than Donks do. Just ask Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman.

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 6:10 pm - January 18, 2006

  163. V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 6:10 pm – January 18, 2006

    Oh, has something changed regarding Bob Barr since 1996? He was one of the chief sponsors of the federal Defense of (one of his three) Marriage(s) act. He was lauded by conservatives then.

    http://www.lectlaw.com/files/leg23.htm

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 6:29 pm - January 18, 2006

  164. I was never a big fan of Bob Barr, but conservatism is a philosphy of ideas, not a Cult of Personality. Saying, “Look, this guys claims to be a conservative, but he disagrees with you,” really doesn’t prove anything.

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 6:55 pm - January 18, 2006

  165. Oh, and if you read what Bob Barr actually said about wiretapping terrorists (according to wiki) he said it was ALWAYS wrong, under any circumstances.

    Nutter.

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 7:15 pm - January 18, 2006

  166. V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 6:55 pm – January 18, 2006

    I was never a big fan of Bob Barr, but conservatism is a philosphy of ideas, not a Cult of Personality.

    Sorry, this is incorrect. Conservatism, such as it is, is defined by the people who most people consider to be “conservatives” at any point in time. That is why Nixon was considered to be a conservative, that is why Reagan was considered to be a conservative, (who knows what GHWBush was?), that is why GWBush is considered to be a conservative.

    And that is why Bob Barr is considered a conservative.

    Conservatism isn’t a philosophy of ideas. Conservatism is a set of beliefs held by people who, at any particular point in time deign to call themselves conservatives.

    Liberalism is, too, by the way, but that hasn’t been raised here. So is libertarianism, for that matter.

    Much of this labelling is silly, but them’s the breaks. Conservatism as a “philosophy of ideas”? Give me a break. I was born at night, but not last night.

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 7:27 pm - January 18, 2006

  167. V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 7:15 pm – January 18, 2006

    Oh, and if you read what Bob Barr actually said about wiretapping terrorists (according to wiki) he said it was ALWAYS wrong, under any circumstances.

    I know full well that the ACLU hired Bob Barr as a “privacy expert” after he left the Congress. It caused quite a stir. That doesn’t denigrate from the fact that he was one of the chief sponsors of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. Of course, Barr was trying to embarrass Clinton. It didn’t work, did it?

    Comment by raj — January 18, 2006 @ 7:34 pm - January 18, 2006

  168. You couldn’t be more wrong, but I’m sure you’re used to that. When Bush embraced socialized health care (the prescription drug giveaway) he did not transmute it into a conservative idea.

    Comment by V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 8:22 pm - January 18, 2006

  169. “Eavesdropping on the press is eavesdropping on the terrorists if the press is talking to terrorists.

    Uh, think about the implications of that, boss.

    Comment by PeaceOut — January 18, 2006 @ 9:38 pm - January 18, 2006

  170. Um, I have, PeaceOut (in #171). I’d rather never eavesdrop on the press, but if they’re talking to terrorists and this could help us capture or kill someone who would otherwise murder civilians, then it’s a good thing.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 18, 2006 @ 10:49 pm - January 18, 2006

  171. V the K — January 18, 2006 @ 8:22 pm – January 18, 2006

    When Bush embraced socialized health care (the prescription drug giveaway) he did not transmute it into a conservative idea.

    Apparently you know little of history. When Otto von Bismarck (German Reichskanzler) instituted the German social security system in the 1880s–which included a government organized but not government provided health care funding system–he did it in an attempt to forestall the advance of the Social Democrats. Bismarck was very conservative, but he also understood politics.

    GWBush’s embrace of a rather complicated prescription drug program was also a defensive measure for Republicans, since it was clear that some form of government support for prescription drug payments was relatively popular with much of the citizenry. After GWBush opposed any form of prescription drug payment assistance for some time, his administration figured out a way to make it (i) ridiculously complicated, which might discourage participation and (ii) largely a welfare program for the pharmaceutical companies.

    Conservatives are as conservatives do. And as conservatives are widely considered. GWBush in 2000 ran on a public relations slogan of “compassionate conservatism.” Remember? And more than a few people who consider themselves conservatives apparently believe that he is a conservative. You do not believe that he is a conservative? Fine with me. I don’t really care. In large part because I don’t either–he’s a “borrow-and-spend” liberal. Except on social issues of course, on which he really toes the social conservative “party line.” But it is likely that most people in the country who would self-identify themselves as being conservative would consider GWBush as being conservative. That would mean that he is a conservative. But, bait&switch.

    Comment by raj — January 19, 2006 @ 2:45 am - January 19, 2006

  172. GayPatriotWest — January 18, 2006 @ 10:49 pm – January 18, 2006

    I’ve thought about the implications, too, but I have come to the conclusion that any terrorists who would talk to the press over unscrambled cell phone links would have to be idiots. Sophisticated terrorists might be vile, but it is unlikely that they are idiots. If a sophisticated terrorist wants to dialog with a news organization, it is likely that he would do so over a scrambled link. Or just do what bin Laden does, have audio or video tapes delivered.

    BTW, it has been reported that the Madrid rail bombings were coordinated by disposable cell phone links. Of course, since nobody was expected to answer the phones, scrambling would not have been necessary.

    Comment by raj — January 19, 2006 @ 2:58 am - January 19, 2006

  173. Calling liberal “ass clowns” is pathetic.

    Calling liberal ass clowns WHAT is pathetic?

    Comment by rightwingprof — January 19, 2006 @ 2:53 pm - January 19, 2006

  174. >Calling liberal ass clowns WHAT is pathetic?

    Calling them on the phone is pathetic.

    Comment by Korla Pundit — January 19, 2006 @ 3:01 pm - January 19, 2006

  175. debt consolidation

    Comment by debt consolidation — June 9, 2006 @ 5:53 am - June 9, 2006

  176. Thousands Now breast enhancement Who Never Thought They Could

    Comment by Breast Enhancement — October 27, 2006 @ 6:05 am - October 27, 2006

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