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Tilting at Windmills

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January 5, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE NSA AND CNN....I'm playing catchup here, but in case you haven't read about this yet check out AmericaBlog on Andrea Mitchell's interview with New York Times reporter James Risen. The topic was the NSA's domestic spying operation, and Mitchell asked Risen this question:

You don't have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?

Risen didn't know anything about this, but that's not what's interesting. What's interesting is that Mitchell asked the question at all. And what's even more interesting is that NBC deleted the question from its transcript shortly after it was posted.

Question: Why did Mitchell ask this? And why did NBC delete the exchange from its transcript? Josh Marshall speculates.

Kevin Drum 2:18 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (209)

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Comments

Additional point for the tin-foilers is that she is married to James Rubin, who was an integral part of the Kerry campaign.

Food for thought...you do the cooking.

Posted by: justmy2 on January 5, 2006 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

And as Josh Marshall posted a bit earlier, "But if this were to take a truly Nixonian turn and it turns out that this was being used against political enemies, anti-war groups or journalists then we're talking a whole 'nother ballgame."

Can't wait for the Defense of the Trolls. They'll probably take on the "your tin foil hat is slipping" approach.

Posted by: The Dad on January 5, 2006 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

Bushco wiretaps journalists.
They find out secrets.
They blackmail journalists.
Journalists turn into Bush loving toadies.
Connect the dots already people.

Posted by: hopeless pedant on January 5, 2006 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

1. Who was she calling?

2. Would NBC miss an opportunity to burn Bush without reason?

2. is no. So if the rumor is true, 1 must be embarassing.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 5, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

a few more for those still looking at football stats

1) 3 FEC recess apointments? Why not put in 4 and get a fresh quorum? No reason to involve the senate in regulating elections.

2) Middle east leaders dropping like flies?

3) Natural gas supply security in Eurasia. I know it's old but are there any good summary posts in the blogosphere?

Posted by: B on January 5, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

i have been wondering if the reason that the Bush admin did not or would not get warrents has to do with the technology that they are using for the wire taps.

Is it possible that they are using voice recognition and keyword flagging technology to wire tap massive numbers of phone calls. They bypassed FISA and other court structures because 1) they wanted to keep the methods they were using secret and 2) by casting the net widely they were going to end up spying on journalists, diplomats and other people who they could never get a warrent to tap.

Has anyone heard anything like this? Could this be why NBC and others are acting so strange about all this?

Posted by: carldec on January 5, 2006 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

Good God,
I disown him. The boy wallows in logical fallacies. Delights in moronic fantasies. If only I had practiced the restraint I preached. Ah well. That's what happens when you breed with a harpy - not that I am saying anything about his mother.

Posted by: Aristotle on January 5, 2006 at 3:09 AM | PERMALINK

Dad, I'm sorry. It's just that I was listening to Plato the other night, and he was so romantic, and then Mr. Jeff Gannon came by. You know he has a shaved head, and he was a marine. Sort of. Anyway, things are what they are. I'm sorry. I know Dr. James will be angry. Please don't tell him. Jeff and I are so happy.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 5, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

carldec >"i have been wondering if the reason that the Bush admin did not or would not get warrents has to do with the technology that they are using for the wire taps..."

What they have most likely been doing is some very fancy "packet sniffing"; logging ALL traffic to storage and then using software to filter the packets as they poke around for stuff "of interest"

think a very detailed & technical Find with lots of ANDs & ORs (a playground for the curious)

not much chance the FISA court would OK that sort of vacuum cleaner approach

"The wind blows over the surface of the lake. In this way, the effects of the invisible are made visible." - I Ching

Posted by: daCascadian on January 5, 2006 at 3:21 AM | PERMALINK

Amanpour is such a rare, complicated name and the NSA voice recognition so stupid that Amanpour was the only person in America the software could recognize.

Posted by: Matt on January 5, 2006 at 3:22 AM | PERMALINK

A) This is Andrea Mitchell, married to Allan Greenspan, perhaps not quite a Bush flack, or perhaps just very good at, who...

B) By informing all the sources of her rival, competitor, and possibly political enemy that the phone calls and emails may be property of Uncle Sam

c) ...may have just damaged or destroyed a career.

It strikes as Rovian in its brazenness, and feels much like the Plame leak. The Washington Press Corps just got threatened with having their sources and trustworthinss burned. Best be careful how you treat the wiretap story, dudes. That the WH used Mitchell to do it in an accidental slip is brilliant.

Posted by: bob mcmanus on January 5, 2006 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Did it hurt Kevin?

Did you burst out in tears when Vince Young scored with only seconds left?

Did it hurt Kevin?

Posted by: MorganParakeet on January 5, 2006 at 3:39 AM | PERMALINK

This incident suggests that the issue isn't so much the technology being employed as the people who are being subjected to surveillance. Recall that one of the reasons the Senate wouldn't confirm Bolton as U.N. ambassador was his alleged eavesdropping on his associates.

A good deal of the evidence suggests that they're tapping any conversation they choose, domestic or foreign.

Posted by: bad Jim on January 5, 2006 at 3:41 AM | PERMALINK

She spent a lot of time in Afghanistan. Maybe CNN was trying to interview some bad guys.

or maybe she just pissed off some republican hacks. this is from this past summer.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: You know the reaction of the British people was the reaction of the British people. These are people who have gone through terror, war bombings, the Nazi bombings of World War II, known then as the Blitz, and here we go, we have the British people intervening right here in --

LONDONER: Tell the truth about why this war happened! Dont touch my bike! Tell the truth about what happened here! Were in Iraq. That's why. That's why it happened.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Thank you.

LONDONER: There were fifty killed in Iraq.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: As you can tell, and this is actually important, you are seeing a live version of what is aggravating a lot of people here in England and around the world.

Posted by: B on January 5, 2006 at 3:47 AM | PERMALINK

If it's true they'll say they were trying to find out her sources among the 'bad guys', and, just incidentally, recorded all the phone calls and computer activity of her husband, James Rubin. And all the phone calls of everyone he talked to, and of everyone they talked to, because they were searching for, you know, 'connections'.

Posted by: cld on January 5, 2006 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK

So how come a programme searching for persons on the other line of an Al Qaeda spy find a journalist...

'A Source', maybe.

Posted by: McAristotle on January 5, 2006 at 6:22 AM | PERMALINK

"just incidentally, recorded all the phone calls and computer activity of her husband, James Rubin. And all the phone calls of everyone he talked to, and of everyone they talked to"

Which of course would include John Kerry, Bill Clinton, and Wesley Clark--Rubin was a top foreign policy advisor to all three.

Posted by: rea on January 5, 2006 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

"So how come a programme searching for persons on the other line of an Al Qaeda spy find a journalist..."

Silly McA-if you're data mining for references to al Qaeda, OF COURSE you're going to get a lot of people who have legitimate reason to talk about al Qaeda--like journalists covering terrorism issues, or opposition leaders.

(And what the hell is going on in America, when we're reduced to discussing whether people "have legitimate reason to talk about" a public issue?)

Posted by: rea on January 5, 2006 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

Tell me - Is Inkblot wearing all black now?

I am a Texas Aggie, so I don't qualify as a Texas fan. However, after the Thanksgiving day when Texas outscored my Aggies, I am glad they won this game because it shows they had to be a truely superb team to win over the Aggies.

Posted by: Rick B on January 5, 2006 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Bob McManus...

Sounds about right to me...Andrea Mitchell either subconsciously or consciously just gave Amanpour a warning...a "shot across the bow," if you will, that the Administration has stored away all your confidential info - and if it hasn't, it certainly has the capability to do so. And, if they'll do it to Amanpour, they'll do it to anyone...

That's why it's important that someone on the Democratic left commence with the old mantra "the administration broke the law, nobody - not even the President - is above the law"...

Posted by: ricardo on January 5, 2006 at 7:59 AM | PERMALINK

Bob McManus:

This warning shot of Andrea Mitchell's made me nostalgic for another Mitchell and the good old days of Watergate - when the Nixon Administration made known its displeasure in private, rather than in public...

I'm thinking, in particular, of Carl Bernstein's call to John Mitchell regarding WaPo's Watergate reporting - the following from John Mitchell's WaPo's obituary:

"When Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein reached Mitchell by phone at his New York apartment to get a response to the [Watergate]allegation, Mitchell listened to the story for a moment and said, "All that crap, you're putting it in the paper? It's all been denied. {Washington Post Publisher} Katie Graham's gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer if that's ever published..."

Posted by: ricardo on January 5, 2006 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

For Mitchell to have spoken this question, she'd have to have had some 'info' tipped to her, by someone she'd consider credible on the question of who has been monitored.

So someone said 'Amanpour' to her. That someone would have to be a highly-placed administration official or a contact in the intelligence community.

It's either someone who regards such a leak as whistleblowing or someone who is trying to manipulate the press...

Bob Mcmanus, you seem to have decided it's more likely an admin operation. Your point about this constituting a 'warning' to the press has an undeniable allure. I am almost seduced.

But the whistleblower angle also seems to have a lot of facial credibility. Mitchell would probably be a good candidate for such a leak, as her reported friendship with Amanpour would give her a personal reason to want to pursue it (against Mitchell's typical obsequeiousness toward power -- the very trait that also makes it likely she'd be used in a misinformation/manipulation campaign).

Hmmm.

Posted by: Your Guess on January 5, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't we just take NBC News at its word. They are still investigating and weren't willing to make a claim just yet.

That a talking head like Andrea Mitchell is aware of the Amanapour angle tells me that NBC News is pretty close to a big story. Wonder if they will report what they find? Wonder if they will simply bury it. Frankly, I am not sure they can given the reaction of the blogsphere. Much as I hate to say it, Mitchell might just have done us all a favor.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

McAnustotle: So if the rumor is true, 1 must be embarassing.

More faulty McAnus logic.

To reach McAnus's conclusion, the following must be true: The Bush administration never makes mistakes concerning the activities of the people it spies on or investigates.

From Padilla, the numerous Iraqis let out of US concentration camps, and others, we know this is not true.

Therefore, McAnus has deliberately assumed a false predicate to deliberately reach a false conclusion designed to impune NBC.

In other words, McAnus believes in defamation as a political tactic.

Just like his heroes in the Bush administration and GOP.

In other words, he's a little turd.


Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God, I hope you aren't talking about Bob McManus. He thinks this case smells of Valerie Plame. His reasoning is pretty good, and it seems to reflect an understanding of how the press functions. To him this little leak was a warning shot at working journalists everywhere.

I do think he is a little over the top. Terrorism is part of Amanapour's beat. That she could be caught in a data mining wiretap operation is not at all surprising.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

What exactly is the debate or mystery here? I'd posit the question should be "Is there anyone in the United States, or for that matter the entire world, who isn't being spied on by Bush to one degree or another?." He is vacuuming every single electronic utterance on the planet and running it through several supercomputers looking for threats. Military threats, economic threats and yes, political threats. Especially political threats. He'd rather the Golden Gate Bridge collpase into the bay than lose the House or Senate. He can't win California anyway. Every journalist is being spied on. Every politician is being spied on. You don't think the NSA knows where John Kerry has his dry cleaning done? Wanna bet Sy Hersh's latest Eddie Bauer catalog order wasn't logged somewhere on monitoring form #11567-B? Come on people, there are no secrets. If a reporter is working a story Bush is working it right along with him (her).

Posted by: steve duncan on January 5, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Ron: Advocate for God, I hope you aren't talking about Bob McManus.

I think the "McAnustotle" reference should adequately disclose the commenter I am talking about.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

There are 3 possible reasons for Bush to ignore FISA:

1 & 2) hubris and laziness
3) embarassing targets

We know they snooped on UN Security Council members. (Not against the law. Just embarrassing.) So, reporters and political enemies aren't a big surprise.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 5, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

I vaguely recall Amanpour herself suggesting that her calls from Iraq had been bugged. But too hard to find with Google, so I gave up. :D

Posted by: Gary Sugar on January 5, 2006 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

This goes back to Nixon. The Bush team was almost entirely trained under Nixon - e.g. Cheney and Rumsfeld. Most of the political operatives came through the college Republicans at the time, e.g. Rove, Abramhoff.

Nixon spied on his enemies - including journalists and leakers (e.g. Pentagon papers).

And the team has continued using Nixon's methods in war, politics and revenge.

Thus, it is highly probable that are spying on journalists right now. That's what they were trained to do.

One other note: the biggest news that seemed to percolate lately is hints that the Administration was doing this listening BEFORE 9-11. That would fit the Nixon theory and wipe away the excuse that "if we had listened, 9-11 wouldn't have happened"

Posted by: Samuel Knight on January 5, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

AND WHY DID THEY CALL HER "VERY PROMINENT"
and not a third rate semi-journalist with an axe to grind.

Posted by: Patton on January 5, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

the NBC suits don't want the Bush administration coming after them for "harming national security" by exposing more of the wiretapping program.

That's right. Bush wanted to put the fear of god into the press - hence the DOJ investigation into the NSA illegal wiretap leak - it's purpose was to "chill" any further investigation on the part of the press.

Great country we live in.


Posted by: holly on January 5, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

If the wiretaps are essentially following certian leads, then it would make sense to tap into the "wire" of someone as connected as Annapour. Let's not forget that there are journalists out there who have interviewed members of al Qaeda. The US government is at war with Al Qaeda, that much is clear. is it not in the interests of our government to spy on those who *might* be part of the enemies plan? (not that I believe that, but it is certainly one of many possibilities). Other things to consider: Andrea Mitchell asked a question. So did Dan Rather, who got it all rather wrong. Jumping to conclusions is one of the most grievous of mistakes anyone can make in these situations. The "fog of war" still surrounds much of what is happening here in the US and the world. Sit back, stay sceptical, remain logical in your analysis, and dont' jump to conclusions, my friends

Posted by: Chris on January 5, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see how it could possibly be a "warning across the bow" of the press, by the Admin, to shut them up (or whatever). By putting out such a statement about the NSA spying on reporters, sure, it may give reporters the idea that they should change their methods of contact, when, how, but it also puts out there a BIG RED FLAG that the Executive is out of control and really breaking the law and abusing civil and Constitutional rights, ala Nixon, and is committing felonies left and right. Impeachment written all over it. It would be insane to get a public statement like that out to warn reporters to change their ways (by the Admin). I screams, "Hey Congress! INVESTIGATE THE SHIT OUT OF US!" which WOULD lead to impeachment if this is true. It's flat-out illegal and beyond the scope of ANY President's power.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 5, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

NBC's explanation sounds to me like they're in the midst of searching for a Watergate level story. Something that will define their news organization for years go come.

No trolls as of yet. Hmmm.

I'm actually going to make their case for them. A lot of international journalists actually speak to people on the other side. Tapping their phones might be useful in stopping a terrorist act. But no judge in his right mind, (who cares one bit about his legacy or reputation) is going to approve this. Which is why they had to go without a warrent.

Bush could actually probably get away from this. But he has to come out *TODAY* and admit to this, and be prepared to take the flak for it. It's sort of like a political civil disobediance.

Mind you, I personally think, he showed himself ot think he's above the law, get him out of there ASAP. I'm just explaining how he could spin this.

Posted by: Karmakin on January 5, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

As a "news" organization, it is unforgivable for MSNBC to expunge their public record for ANY reason. What else has MSNBC massaged from their record? And what other news organizations have done the same? CNN? The New York Times? The Washington Post?

I don't need to know MSNBC's reason for sculpting the truth to be alarmed and outraged.

Posted by: Griff on January 5, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Help me, tbrosz, you're my only hope. Please save us from the ravages of free thought, civil public discourse, and those who would advocate for any kind of a social safety net. You are the only hero who can save meeeeeeeee.......

Posted by: Ayn Rand's Poltergeist on January 5, 2006 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK


Christina should file suit against the Bushies for invasion of privacy and 4th Amendment violations and seek class action status.

Destroy the Bush administration with lawsuits the way the right-wing destroyed the Clinton adminstration with them....

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on January 5, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

As a "news" organization, it is unforgivable for MSNBC to expunge their public record for ANY reason.

This bothers me as well.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Why is NBC investigating a CNN journalist. Who over at CNN is investigating this story?

Has CNN become so scared of this administration that it won't investigate such significant story?

Posted by: rcr on January 5, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Question from the peanut gallery: Are interview transcripts posted to the internet routinely truncated? If so, why? If I order a transcript for a TV show, I kinda expect the entirety of everything said on the show to appear in the transcript. Is that naive of me?

Posted by: Jeff Rients on January 5, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Bush WASN'T just wiretapping terrorist. He was wiretapping journalist. Bush is a liar.

Let the impeachment process begin. Bush's wiretapping had nothing to do with security - I mean, since when is wiretapping journlist a security issues, or at least, other than Bush's security as a lying US president.

Did anyone believe Bush's - I need to wiretap US citizens for security reasons?

It's impeachment time.

Posted by: Cheryl on January 5, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Good luck selling to the Americans in 2006 that Bush is evil because he wiretapped a CNN journalist named Amanpour.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 5, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK


"The US government is at war with Al Qaeda, that much is clear. "

It is? Then onward to Pakistan, I say, where the mass murderer of 3,000 Americans is frolicking in the mountains.

Darlin', you are naive. It's time to turn on your shit detector.

Posted by: lor on January 5, 2006 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

It's flat-out illegal and beyond the scope of ANY President's power.

Says you. I says the 2d Amendment gives our glorious Leader the power to do anything. Especially if it protects our national security (and that means saves the Leader from criticism and impeachment).

Posted by: Rumsfeld's Piles on January 5, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

"AND WHY DID THEY CALL HER "VERY PROMINENT"
and not a third rate semi-journalist with an axe to grind."

Because sometimes the media gets it right, loser. Or make that LOSER.

Posted by: brewmn on January 5, 2006 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

"Good luck selling to the Americans in 2006 that Bush is evil because he wiretapped a CNN journalist named Amanpour."

Nice try, but her husband is named "Rubin." Prominent democrat. Clinton state department guy. Worked in the Kerry campaign. I am pretty convinced that no Republican operative in his right mind wants to have this NSA wiretap story turn into a Republicans' spying on Democrats sort of thing. Even Red State America would be outraged. So long as Bush continues to say all he is doing is spying on Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliates he has a chance. Once it goes political, given his approval ratings, he is out the door and off to Leavenworth.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

1So, let's see:

Known Fact #1: the NSA program targets people linked to al Qaeda.

Known Fact #2: the NSA targetted Christiane Amanpour.

Put those two together, and what do we have...? Um, I get... Christiane Amanpour is linked to al Qaeda.

That pretty much confirms what many of us alrady suspected about the international, left-wing MSM.

Posted by: Al on January 5, 2006 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Nice try, but her husband is named "Rubin."

The transcript says that Amanpour was targetted, not her husband.

Posted by: Al on January 5, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

"The transcript says that Amanpour was targetted, not her husband."

My wife and I share the same home phone number. How long before the speculation would begin. Try thinking 2 steps ahead.

Forgot, you can't, your name is Al.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure that Amanpour would have been caught up in any fishing net for people with close connections to Alqueda.

Wasn't Able Danger supposedly killed because too many high-profile government people were similarly identified in a search for Chinese connections?

The problem, of course, is that the 'close connection' excuse could be used to monitor all sorts of 'potential enemies' - e.g. Rubin, Kerry, the press...

Posted by: tinfoil on January 5, 2006 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

The transcript says that Amanpour was targetted, not her husband.

Irrelevant and no less illegal. Irrelevant because the tap goes on the phone, not the person. ANYONE using the phone or on the receiving end, no matter where or who they are, get tapped and recorded. By extension, because Amanpour is illegally and unethically made a "person of interest" to be spied upon, anyone she contacts gets tapped as "people of interest associated with the person of interest". It snakes out and, as a fishing expedition rather than a clean program, it spreads like a cancer and starts recording matters that are none of the government's business in any way, shape, or form. It is abuse of power, a violation of FISA, and a violation of the 4th Amendment. That is all that matters. It is beyond the power of the President or ANYONE and EVERYONE in government.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 5, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

"Good luck selling to the Americans in 2006 that Bush is evil because he wiretapped a CNN journalist named Amanpour."

Bush isn't evil, he's brain dead, but he just happens to be working at the behest of evil people. Now the people he works for has done far more evil things than trample the Constitutional rights of reporters.

Posted by: G on January 5, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Patton is completely out of bullets, isn't he.

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 5, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, we'll leave aside the assumption many people are already making that it's an established fact, based on a single comment, that Amanpour has had her phone tapped by the White House. I've seen liberal "Known Facts" based on a lot less.

Can we at least keep our controversies straight?

The NSA program under discussion was, as far as I know, a wide-ranging computer-run method of tracking large numbers of phone calls and messages to and from suspected numbers outside the country, without specifically pulling out the content for human examination. A number of people have pointed out that one major reason for not being able to clear this operation using normal channels is that no specific target can be identified ahead of the operation.

These are not individual listening "wiretaps" placed on specific people in the U.S., which would definitely require court permission. If Amanpour was tapped without a warrant, this is an entirely new controversy.

I understand it's politically useful to blur all these methods and ideas, but it's not informative.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 5, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Trobz,

I am not willing to make any assumptions that the story is a proven fact. NBC isn't claiming it is confirmed. As to the rest, we have nothing to suggest anything about the source of the information. It just sounds like something that could have been turned up in a data mining operation. It also sounds like a tap a normal Article III court wouldn't approve without some real showing of probable cause and some serious safeguards. As to the FISA court, thier case to case requrirement are pretty secret, but the law is designed to require a probable cause type showing along with similar safeguards.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

So quit trying to rebut unsubstantiated claims about what the NSA program is with your unsubstantiated claims about what it isn't.

I think I'll just let that one sit there on its own.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 5, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't a transcript supposed to be, you know, a written copy of recorded material? As in an unedited record? Everybody is supposed to pretend that Andrea Mitchell did not ask the question she asked? NBC's practice of disappearing uncomfortable material from the transcript is uncomfortably reminiscent of Orwell's memory hole.

Posted by: nemo on January 5, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Ron,

Americans by 2/3's want this done. He could be wiretapping John Kerry and they won't impeach him.

Why would anyone give a crap about Christine or her husband for domestic political gain? To refute some Kerry plan? They refute themselves.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I'll say again, wiretapping for terrorism even using the vaccum approach will be ok with the Amer people, even though it looks clearly illegal and the excuses for not using FISA are lame. But the wiretaps goes beyond that. Tapping UN diplomats, tappping journalists, tapping whomever they want for whatever reason. And we all know this Admin has no respect for laws or restraint on the President. NBC has the tiger by the tail so they want to be very careful. Hopefully, deepthroat was emerged to help.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on January 5, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

rdw -
Are you seriously saying you wouldn't mind the wiretapping of political opponents by the president, so long as it is done in the name of 'safety from terrorists'?

Posted by: tinfoil on January 5, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Any facts or informed guesses are wrong if tbrosz can speculate that they are so. And whenever any facts do not conform to his world view, such as it is, he speculates them to be wrong, and is willing to bet that they are wrong, and ipso facto they are wrong.

Posted by: lib on January 5, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, maybe you wouldn't care, but I have a hunch the rest of us would.

Anyway haven't we beaten your misreading of a single badly drafted poll to death.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Can only hope NBC follows through with this - right or wrong, we need to know!

Posted by: alice motola on January 5, 2006 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway haven't we beaten your misreading of a single badly drafted poll to death.

You beat me to the punch. OF COURSE people would give an OK to a question: Do you support spying on known Al Qaeda members? Duh. It would become an entirely different answer if the question was: Do you support the government spying on you, your family, your friends, your coworkers, you neighbors, everyone and anyone in order to find a few people associated with, or supportive of, Al Qaeda? Different, more accurate question that would garner a totally different answer.

And another thing, it doesn't matter if the American public supports illegal activity by the President. It is illegal activity regardless of public opinion. The law is the law and this is (supposedly) a "Nation of Laws" wherein no one is above the law (NO ONE). If it is OK to give a pass to illegal activity in this case, why not also that case? Or that case? Or that and that and that and that...? No oversight, no legal blessing, no control. Dictatorship, in other words. Not OK, regardless of how you ask a question or what anyone's personal opinion is. The law is the law. End of story. Don't like the law? Then change it the proper Constitutionally dictated way.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 5, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Tinfoil Hattery?

Gannon/Guckert sets up male escort web site.
Prominent (closeted) Gay Republicans visit said site, and/or contract Gannon/Guckert's services.
Gannon/Guckert hands-off info to Karl Rove's toadies for Extortion Ops.

Gannon/Guckert is rewarded with lucrative White House access, changes careers from sex-whore to. . . news-whore.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on January 5, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz wrote: I've seen liberal "Known Facts" based on a lot less ... The NSA program under discussion was, as far as I know, a wide-ranging computer-run method of tracking large numbers of phone calls and messages to and from suspected numbers outside the country, without specifically pulling out the content for human examination.

This is hilarious, even for the always clownish tbrosz. He complains about "liberals" claiming as "known facts" that which is only speculation based on little evidence. Then in the next breath he begins an entirely speculative description of the NSA program with "as far as I know" when, in fact, he doesn't "know" anything, and certainly doesn't "know" whether the speculative description of the NSA program that he presents as fact has any relation to reality.

Is tbrosz competing with conspiracy nut to be the stupidest commenter on Kevin's site?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why would anyone give a crap about Christine or her husband for domestic political gain? To refute some Kerry plan? They refute themselves.
Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Quid pro quo. Christine could be following some hot tip into getting inside reporting information on connections between Muslim Charities and Terror groups (for example) - and with no oversight, this information could be handed over to FoxNews to allow them to scoop CNN on the story.

It's a proven fact that the US used Echelon in the 1980's to help Boeing win a contract against Airbus by passing on bidding information. True - part of the bidding information was bribes, which made it a criminal matter, and therefore fair game for international law enforcement. But you can't pretend that there's a free-market and robust competition when government-funded eavesdropping tools are used to grease the skids.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on January 5, 2006 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

tinfoil wrote: rdw - Are you seriously saying you wouldn't mind the wiretapping of political opponents by the president, so long as it is done in the name of 'safety from terrorists'?

tinfoil - are you seriously saying you think that anything rdw writes is "serious"? The guy is a clown, doing a clown act.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Ron,

Not even close. See Chucky on Fox this weekend? The pussycat stayed very, very far away from the "I" word.

What you and I have to say of the poll isn't all that consequential. What Chuckie says is. Impeachment is officially off the table.

Read Bob Novaks article on Nancy to see how the democratic house mainstream feels about her periodic walks with the whacky left. While it sells very well in San Francisco and New York other elitists centers it's not working past that 20% of the population. It's rather unfortunate California congressmen get to pick the house party leader.

Princess got way too far ahead of this story and may eventually pay a price for her inept leadership.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Read Bob Novaks article on Nancy to see how the democratic house mainstream feels about her periodic walks with the whacky left.

This is exactly what I mean about rdw being a clown doing a clown act.

rdw suggests you read a column by Robert Novak -- a bought-and-paid-for Bush shill, professional Republican propaganda mouthpiece, Fox News commentator, and exposer of covert CIA operatives to intimidate administration critics -- to find out what the "Democratic house mainstream" thinks about Nancy Pelosi.

rdw is just a goofball. His comments are lowbrow slapstick comedy.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 5, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

praedor,

The cow has left the barn. The story has been defined. The fact is no politician posturing for re-election can afford to take the chance Rasmussen is correct. Further, they know Rasmussen is no Zogby. This is a very credible pollster.

Most Americans have already tuned the story out. It's been 3 weeks without a single damaging relevation. They've made up their minds and they want this to happen. It's too late and Christine won't get you in the neighborhood of outraged anyway. To be honest, I'd wiretap her in a heartbeat. She'd take a call from Al Qaeda to get a story.

Here's another dilemma for you. This will be investigated in the Congress by either the intelligence committee or the finance committee. Pick your poison. Jay Rockerfeller has to be the dumbest person in the entire Congress save for Barbara Boxer. But then he's not as offensive as Biden or Kerry or Kennedy or leacky leahy. The judiciary committee has the worst combinations of blowhearts in Congress. I myself hope it's the judiciary committee. There won't be much made public but for those parts are most in the audience will be voting for the official under questioning to get up from their chair and walk over to the bench and snack every Senator stting there.

You cannot hope for ANY political gain. Your best hope is the public forgets the image of leading Democrats pleading or terrorist rights.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck selling to the Americans in 2006 that Bush is evil because he wiretapped a CNN journalist named Amanpour.

tbrosz, you forget that not everyone shares your painfully skewed right-wing thinking

I bet the hard-right couldn't imagine their hero Nixon falling either. Some of 'em are still justifying his behavior today.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

If I understand tbrosz' latest convoluted "argument" correctly, it's "You dumb libs assume this is a case of lawless, warrantless individual wiretapping, when really it's a case of warrantless, lawless datamining."

I'm glad we cleared that up. How will you take your Bush administration civil rights atrocity today, ma'am? Individual or mass incursion? Cream? Sugar?

Ron Byers: I am pretty convinced that no Republican operative in his right mind wants to have this NSA wiretap story turn into a Republicans' spying on Democrats sort of thing. Even Red State America would be outraged.

Cheerful, sunshiny shortstop says you're right. Today's shortshop is of a darker mode and mood, and thinks half this country doesn't give a good goddamn whether this crap is going on. These may be Nixon's men and MOs, but this isn't a Nixon-era country in which most people are still capable of righteous outrage.

I hope I'm wrong. Maybe CS shortstop will be back tomorrow.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

rdw is just a goofball. His comments are lowbrow slapstick comedy.

And not funny to boot.

Posted by: drjimcooper on January 5, 2006 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ignore rdw. He's here to distract. Nothing else.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, the same is true of tbrosz, so bad girl am I, as Yoda might put it.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: You cannot hope for ANY political gain.

Ahhhhh, the smell of conservative desperation as Bush remains mired well below Clinton's lowest second-term polling, the GOP leadership is being indicted right and left, and Republicans are behind in virtually every poll, both specific and general, when it comes to the 2006 mid-terms.

It smells like . . . VICTORY!

The Bush administration continues to implode.

Deal with it.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Secular,

Be kind to bobby. The man did 20 years at CNN. He's a martyr. I take him with a grain of salt as well but it's a very interesting story no one else is reporting.

Let's face it. Nancy has accomplished nothing aside from losing seats. The image of a SF Liberal does not have national popular appeal. Nancy is no doubt popular in CA and NY but do you really need more popularity there? She can't campaign in Kansas. And we can at least agree behind every party leader (either party, all the time) there are a dozen who think they can do a better job.

BTW: She's not bad in front of a camera but she's had no shortage of gaffe's. If Nancy can't do much better in these elections I'd bet she loses support.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop,

Long time no read your posts (or mine).

Yes, you are spot on in your assessment of the latest attempt from tbrosz to cloud a simple issue and bring silliness to a sober idea.

The central organizing principle of Republicanism, as filtered through the view of Ronald Wilson Reagan, is that 'Government is the problem.'

The tough guy image of a Republican standing up to a bureaucrat is gone. The bureaucrat receives the order from the Republican to eavesdrop, audit, collect information and look the other way when shenanigans occur. Whistleblower laws mean nothing when they can smear everyone at once. Who's the MVP of the Republican team? The opposition research manager who can destroy an opponent with less than three carefully placed tips to a gullible media outlet.

Government isn't the problem, fools running the government into the ground with no regard for civil liberties is the problem in this case.

I thought we were never, ever supposed to 'trust' the government to do the right thing. There is no 'trust' built into the Constitution, my dear strict constructionist friends. There is oversight, there are checks and balances, and there are clear guidelines. Sadly, there is no trust.

Never mind that America is not safer.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

"These are not individual listening "wiretaps" placed on specific people in the U.S..." Well, how the fuck do you know?

Because he trusts the Bush government to do only that which is good and holy in every circumstance?

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Good luck selling to the Americans in 2006 that Bush is evil because he wiretapped a CNN journalist named Amanpour.

This is beyond the pale. Are you liking our ride into authoritarianism?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 5, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK
The NSA program under discussion was, as far as I know, a wide-ranging computer-run method of tracking large numbers of phone calls and messages to and from suspected numbers outside the country, without specifically pulling out the content for human examination. A number of people have pointed out that one major reason for not being able to clear this operation using normal channels is that no specific target can be identified ahead of the operation.

A number of people who would know, including the director of the NSA, have indicated that before content intercepts particular numbers were identified and were attempted to be localized as to whether or not they were in the US (though, sometimes, errors were made here.) This clearly contradicts the description you make here.

I would suggest that your convenient defensive description is not merely unsubstantiated, but contradicts the available evidence and the statements of the very people you are defending with no justification for that contradiction, and should, therefore, be rejected out of hand without further consideration.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush regime, through that media whore Mitchell, has threatened all journalists with blackmail. The MSM or someone from the opposition (too bad Democrats are milquetoast weenies) needs to step up and challenge this terrible turn of events. But they won't because Bush is blackmailing them.

Posted by: Hostile on January 5, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly. What Praedor Atrebates said.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hear that sound?

It's the sound of rdw desperately clapping to save the Grand Old Party of tinkerbells who sit on the sidelines and mumble inanely while everybody else tries to fix their boo-boos.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

She'd take a call from Al Qaeda to get a story.
Is it illegal to take a call from Al Qaeda if you are a journalist seeking information for a story?

They've made up their minds and they want this to happen.
Maybe in your world, but in my little republican corner of the world I've yet to meet a single person that thinks warrantless wiretaps on Americans are OK. Not a single one.

This is a very credible pollster.
I agree, so let's repeat the poll with a properly worded question or series of questions.

You don't like Kennedy, Boxer, Kerry, Leahy, Rockefeller so they are the dumbest people in Congress. Personally I think there is a case to be made that Don Young, Jeff Sessions, Jean Schmidt,Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham and Tom Delay could 'outdumb' the above anytime and anyplace.

You cannot hope for ANY political gain.
Ok, then may we at least hope for the rule of law?

Posted by: WhoSays on January 5, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Amanpour was rightly wiretapped. She is sufficiently Middle Eastern-looking. I bet she's browner than she looks on TV, in fact.

And she attended the University of Rhode Island, which I happen to know is a hotbed of treasonous, liberal al Qaeda sympathizers.

Posted by: The faker fake Al on January 5, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

tinfoil,

Actually, no. My undertanding of the process is they have information an Al Qaeda member or suspect has called a number in the US they then listen in to that persons traffic. They can also find out other people in the US who have received calls from the same number and they listen in to them as well. If Christine received such a call they should listen.

I don't think they can or should decide they should listen in to Christine today just for the fun of it and if they did they should go to jail.

It does strike me as entirely plausable they might want to contact her. They are in this for the publicity. They want the attention. She can provide it. That they would have found her number in the 'wrong' place isn't shocking.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

She's not bad in front of a camera but she's had no shortage of gaffe's[sic].

Bush supporters seem to have their irony meters turned off. Way off.

rdw, as long as Bush could claim that this was just on al-qaeda members, he had cover, even if it were illegal (which it is). However, those of us who actually spent a few minutes thinking about the matter knew that, eventually, it would come out that the White House was illegally wiretapping people on their domestic political "enemies list." You want to support that, go ahead.

Posted by: Constantine on January 5, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

"To be honest, I'd wiretap her in a heartbeat." - rdw

So? All that means is you have a lot in common with W. Apparently, neither of you understand the law and both of you lack integrity.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Jim Talent, who has kept his head down as low as possible, and is a well known Bush towel boy, should be cakewalking to reelection in Roy Blunt's red state Missouri. He is currently running behind Claire McCaskill by 4 points. Nobody in the state is undecided. If he doesn't change the dynamic (run against Bush) he is toast. No, Republican professionals are really concerned by Bush's performance since reelection. He might have been able to get away with grabbing a little executive power if he were popular, but Iraq, Katrina, the deficit, social security, the drug benefit, and did I mention Iraq, have hurt him badly. The NSA story isn't going to be easy to beat down if it turns out that the targets are more than Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliates. Bush just doesn't have the support in the country to weather the storm. I don't think anybody in the government is going to risk much to save his sorry ass. I am not even sure there is going to be much congressional support for him beyond the house and senate republican leadership, who might not remain leaders for long.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 5, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

The NSA program under discussion was, as far as I know, a wide-ranging computer-run method of tracking large numbers of phone calls and messages to and from suspected numbers outside the country, without specifically pulling out the content for human examination. A number of people have pointed out that one major reason for not being able to clear this operation using normal channels is that no specific target can be identified ahead of the operation.

And just to add to what cmdicely said, the agency doesn't collect things in that manner. I pointed out before it was revealed that you collect things at the switches. Data mining is not a violation of civil liberties--target collection without a FISA warrant is. Targeted collection without a FISA warrant is what got the administration in hot water after Bush admitted to engaging in an impeachable offense. (See: John Dean.)

A specific target can be collected and tracked and identified long before any operation, based on a variety of factors.

The inability to get John Ashcroft on board with the program should indicate the level at which this was a gross and flagrant abuse of civil liberties.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK
The fact is no politician posturing for re-election can afford to take the chance Rasmussen is correct.

"Take the chance"? Rasmussen is almost certainly correct in its results -- that the vast majority of the American people think that the government should be able to spy on al-Qaeda members and affiliates. There is little dispute over the correctness of the poll itself, and most of the dispute of that is from your side, claiming that people thought they were answering a different question than the one asked.

What is in dispute is not whether Rasmussen's poll results are correct, but rather whether they imply specific and firm support for the President's positions. Other polls relating to the issue asking other questions fail to provide support for that hypothesis, with, e.g., a narrow plurality (according to Gallup) viewing Bush's actions as within his legal authority.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Data mining of telephone calls doesn't require human intervention for most of the process.

A call is recorded. Voice recognition trasnscribes it and the transcript is then scoured for pre-determined tokens. All machine driven. Commercial voice recognition software can hit 90% accuracy. I presume that the NSA's scientists have bettered that. I imagine the NSA has fairly flexible criteria for human review of the recording -- hit score, telephone number, identification of the participants.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on January 5, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Deadly day: 5 U.S. soldiers, 129 others killed in Iraq

Almost time for Cheney to make another public appearance to crow about how desperate the insurgents are and how close to collapse the insurgency is because of increased violence.

He's done that, what, maybe 7-8 times over the past two years.

I guess he hopes that if he continues to say it one day it might be true and all the times he lied previously will be forgotten.

He's a pathetic boob, but he's rdw's pathetic boob.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK
Data mining is not a violation of civil liberties--target collection without a FISA warrant is.

I wouldn't go that far. While data mining itself may not be a violation of civil liberties without the kind of reasonableness required by the Fourth Amendment (including, usually, a warrant), the collection of the data which is later mined will be such a violation unless it is supported by Fourth Amendment reasonableness, or is not protected by a legitimate expectation of privacy, whether it is "targetted" or "untargetted". Indeed, "untargetted" collection of private communication, whether for the purpose of data mining or other uses, I would argue, is, in and of itself, Constitutionally unreasonable.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

This is a very credible pollster.

I agree, so let's repeat the poll with a properly worded question or series of questions.

This isn't hard. He is a credible pollster BECAUSE he words his questions properly.

There's no need to retake the poll unless it's to see if opinions shift. But it's probably way too late to effect public opinion. You know about attention spans. Opinion are formed. And in this case nothing has changed except liberal politicians toning down their rhetoric and now they're stuck. Chuckie set his position on Sunday. If he sees a new poll going the way you want it to go he can't make a different speech just like that. The pundits will kill him for shameless pandering. Even Chuckie's not that bad.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Personally I think there is a case to be made that Don Young, Jeff Sessions, Jean Schmidt,Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham and Tom Delay could 'outdumb' the above anytime and anyplace.

Let's not forget Bill Frist and Rick Santorum and I mention them specifically because of their disdain for and lack of attention to science. (Oh, yeah, Bush, too.)

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: And we can at least agree . . .

I still think you do not understand when this phrase can be used and when it can't.

Just saying that we can agree won't make it so.

Any more than clapping your hands really, really hard will save Tinkerbell Bush.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't hard. He is a credible pollster BECAUSE he words his questions properly.

Boy, rdw, do you really not get it? Or are you simply a troll?

Folks have already done explained succinctly why it *was* a poorly worded question. At least in the context of people's understanding that *they* might be spied upon!

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: He is a credible pollster BECAUSE he words his questions properly.

Such a statement is beyond stupid, proving once again that rdw is some pimply teenage College Republican wannabe who's balls have yet to drop.

rdw: You know about attention spans. Opinion are formed.

Clearly then we can agree that this means that Bush is toast for the remainder of his second term and can't change public opinion.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

While data mining itself may not be a violation of civil liberties without the kind of reasonableness required by the Fourth Amendment (including, usually, a warrant), the collection of the data which is later mined will be such a violation unless it is supported by Fourth Amendment reasonableness, or is not protected by a legitimate expectation of privacy, whether it is "targetted" or "untargetted". Indeed, "untargetted" collection of private communication, whether for the purpose of data mining or other uses, I would argue, is, in and of itself, Constitutionally unreasonable.

Under the law, they can collect that stuff. They can't hold on to it, though. I should have added that.

For example, we would intercept things all the time that were legitimate. Then, once in a blue moon, we had a 'USSID 18' incident where the collected information was purged from the system because it involved a US person.

Data mining pulls in legitimate information along with information that cannot be stored or used. The sheer volume of the information makes it difficult to discern which is which. That does not let you off the hook; after the usefullness of the data that has been mined has passed, you have to get rid of it. You cannot database, process, store or otherwise collect that information. If the collected information did not meet search criteria, it has to be purged as well.

This is more for housekeeping than anything--storage capacity is not limitless.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK
This is a very credible pollster.

The credibility of Rasmussen as a polling outfit is not particularly in dispute here. And, insofar as anyone is questioning the reliability of the poll, it is you who are challenging it by claiming that the people answering the question were not, in fact, answering the question the poll asked but a completely different question about support for the President's particular actions.

He is a credible pollster BECAUSE he words his questions properly.

"Wording questions properly" in polling means wording them so that people tend to answer the question actually asked. Therefore, if this claim is correct, it refutes your claim that the overwhelming percentage of the respondents were asking a different and unrelated question about support for Bush's actions rather than the question Rasmussen actually asked.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

My my!

Now using data-minig to sy on people has become legal!

What happened to the conservatives beloved orginalist doctrine?

I suppose data-mining is enumerated in the Constitution.

Posted by: lib on January 5, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose data-mining is enumerated in the Constitution.

Data mining is fine. There's no threat to civil liberties from it, so long as there is credible oversight.

Credible oversight disappeared when the Bush Administration started going after journalists and couldn't get Ashcroft to reverse a decision made by a deputy.

As difficult as it may be for people of all political stripes to believe, nobody cares about the particulars of your life. No one cares what you talk to your spouse about, what your e-mails contain or what goes on inside your life. The government doesn't care, unless you're committing felonies and serious crimes.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose data-mining is enumerated in the Constitution.

It's not yet, but it may be by the time W gets out of office.

The 29th Amendment: No laws shall be enacted to prohibit the spying of the United States government over her peoples.

That should be the 28th, you say?

No, that'd be: No gay peoples shall be able to marry, cohabit or touch. Because its gross.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"This is a very credible pollster.
I agree, so let's repeat the poll with a properly worded question or series of questions."

Isn't Rsmussen the pollster that always has Bush 5-7 points higher than the other polls in approval ratings?

Posted by: brewmn on January 5, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

The government doesn't care, unless you're committing felonies and serious crimes.

Huh. This one guy name of McCarthy - he seemed to care. Just sayin'.

I'm guessing there have been others before and since.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK
Data mining is fine. There's no threat to civil liberties from it, so long as there is credible oversight.

"Data mining" operations that collects information unreasonably is, in itself, a violation of (not merely a "threat" to) civil liberties, specifically, it violates the Fourth Amendment.

Machines are not responsible entities under the law; it makes no difference Constitutionally whether private information that the government has no reasonable basis for collecting is gathered by government agents using a machine and then analyzed and, if not needed for the particular use, discarded, or if the same is done without a machine. The violation of the Fourth Amendment occurs with the unreasonable collection.

Inasmuch as what you say is correct, it merely reduces to "data mining is not a threat so long as it does not gather and operate on private information that is Constitutionally unreasonable
for the government to collect."

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it's just me, but whenever I read rdw's posts, I hear the Kim Jong-il "I'm So Ronery" song from Team America.

Posted by: E. Henry Thripshaw on January 5, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, PR. Hope you're well. Been mired in work. Still am, actually.

As difficult as it may be for people of all political stripes to believe, nobody cares about the particulars of your life. No one cares what you talk to your spouse about, what your e-mails contain or what goes on inside your life. The government doesn't care, unless you're committing felonies and serious crimes.

The "government" as a single body may not care, but this information is used for political advantage--from blackmail to gentle persuasion--all the time. See Hoover, J. Edgar, entire career of, not to mention nearly every president in living memory.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK
As difficult as it may be for people of all political stripes to believe, nobody cares about the particulars of your life. No one cares what you talk to your spouse about, what your e-mails contain or what goes on inside your life. The government doesn't care, unless you're committing felonies and serious crimes.

This is difficult to believe largely because of the host of abuses of surveillance power for reasons other than revealing felonies and serious crimes throughout the history of human society, including in the United States, reveal it to be entirely false.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The government doesn't care, unless you're committing felonies and serious crimes.

Huh. This one guy name of McCarthy

Well, that's a poor example. Nixon would be a better example of someone who wanted dirt on people.

McCarthy was a drunk trying to grab power and didn't care about lawbreakers, he cared about smearing people with phony accusations of 'communist sympathies.' He had no facts, no basis for his charges and nothing of substance.

Nixon's abuse of power led to the creation of the FISA laws and other checks on the power of the executive branch to use spy agencies against US persons.

When these checks on executive power failed to stop the Bush Administration, we ended up with another scandal.

Data mining doesn't really enter into this discussion; it isn't illegal. In fact, the most successful open source data mining operation, Able Danger, was only shut down because it embarrassed the Bush Administration. It wasn't shut down because it was illegal, although there are some people who tried to spin it that way.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

huh?

Before I said the poll was relevent and credible because of two questions.

68% said they were following the story. If they were follwing the story they knew about warrantless aspect because THAT WAS THE ENTIRE STORY.

64% said they were OK with the progoram.

You seem to think because Rasmussen when asking if they were OK with the wiretapping of foreign calls it was a serious defect he didn't highlight the 'warrantless'.

I would agree except for the fact he did ask if they were following the story and so many were.

I don't know exactly why Rasmussen left it off but I know him to be a credible pollster and know it wasn't an accident or an attempt to sway the result.

My opinion is they decided including the additional phrase would be more distortive than leaving it out and the 'extra' question was to add credibility by finding out if the pool knew the story, or not. I think 68% is a high number. I will agree the writing of poll questions is more art than science and you're charge is not without merit but Rasmussen is a pro. It was a best faith effort and it got Schumer's attention.

Again, this cow left the barn and our opinion of the poll isn't important. As a political matter the poll has obviously been decisive as Kevin Drum and Steve knew it would be.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

The Rev. Pat Robertson said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being punished by God for dividing the Land of Israel. Robertson, speaking on the 700 Club on Thursday, suggested Sharon, who is currently in an induced coma, and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, assassinated by an Israeli extremist in 1995, were being treated with enmity by God for dividing Israel. He was dividing Gods land, Robertson said. And I would say, Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the E.U., the United Nations or the United States of America. God says, This land belongs to me. You better leave it alone.

And conservatives claim that liberals are "moonbats"!

What a hoot!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK
Data mining doesn't really enter into this discussion; it isn't illegal.

"Data mining", per se, is legally neutral. What matters is the source of the data mined, whether there is a legitimate privacy interest in it, and whether the collection of the particular data is reasonable.

Data mining does enter this discussion, because its an excuse being offered for why the Bush Administration broke the law, though of course it excuses nothing.

In fact, the most successful open source data mining operation, Able Danger, was only shut down because it embarrassed the Bush Administration. It wasn't shut down because it was illegal, although there are some people who tried to spin it that way.

That it was shut down because it embarrassed the Bush Administration is not an indicator that it was actually legal to start with.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

This is difficult to believe largely because of the host of abuses of surveillance power for reasons other than revealing felonies and serious crimes throughout the history of human society, including in the United States, reveal it to be entirely false.

Granted, you are correct that the abuses that have occurred are difficult to deal with.

We attempted to correct the problem by instituting the FISA laws and Congressional oversight. When these laws were ignored and when the oversight broke down, abuses occurred.

I'm not arguing anything other than what I know to be legal and what I have seen for myself. For example, data mined information is not admissible in court unless a warrant was granted, and even then, it wouldn't stand up to a challenge. However, it is a useful tool that is legal under the FISA act and other laws governing the collection of intelligence.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

What fascinates me endlessly about Republicans is that the degree to which they are outraged by the actions and mannerisms of Democrats will proportional to the square of the degree to which Bush reflects the same habits. And said Bush-supporters will display a distinct lack of outrage about him.

Posted by: Constantine on January 5, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Rsmussen the pollster that always has Bush 5-7 points higher than the other polls in approval ratings?

More like 3 - 5 but consistently higher. Rasmussen is also the guy who came closest on the 2004 election. He's been around for many years and has a very good record.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

advocate,

Conservatives also claim Jerry is a moonbat. You keep good company. Check your sources. It's not unusual soe of the reports on him are wrong. Enough are correct to classify him as a moonbat.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

shorter rdw: some poll out there said that this is ok!

rdw, I couldn't care less. your man broke the law and is now implicated in spying on American citizens connected to Bush's political opposition. now you can actually reflect some moral outrage about this, or you can outright admit that you exist in a moral void. But don't try to sell us on the trash you're peddling that Kerry and Gore are "dicks," as you call them. Once again, we have established that they're better people than you.

Enjoy telling your grandkids that your political and moral philosophy revolves around repeating whatever Karl Rove tells you.

Posted by: Constantine on January 5, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

As Kleiman puts it . . . The change from capitalism (buffered by regulation and a welfare state) to kleptocratic crony capitalism where the way to wealth is through the power of the state, and from a political system based on votes to a political system based on money, is a profound change, and the current ruling group aims at nothing less.

rdw: Again, this cow left the barn and our opinion of the poll isn't important.

Again we can agree that the cow has left Bush's barn and he has no way to change his opinion polling. As a political matter the most recent approval polls re Bush have obviously been decisive as rdw knew it would be.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Again from Kleiman . . . Remember, no Republican in the House said "No" when Hastert trashed the Ethics Committee. Anyone who votes for a Republican this year is voting for corruption.

rdw: Conservatives also claim Jerry is a moonbat.

Since conservatives claim everybody who doesn't follow Bush like a lemming is a moonbat, this is hardly saying anything.

You'll get a better view of reality if you detach your lips from Bush's ass.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

McCarthy isn't a bad exmaple at all. The whole point of using him is to show that people talk about trusting the government as if it's one monolithic trsutworthy enterprise.

McCarthy is just one example of why that's not true. Crazy people have and will continue to make it into power, and we can't assume they can all be trusted with even the legitimate powers they may have.

Your explanation of why McCarthy was an oddball doesn't disprove that; only reinforces it.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Clearly then we can agree that this means that Bush is toast for the remainder of his second term and can't change public opinion.

Bush is definitely toast. That's why he had to nominate Sam Alito for the Supreme Court. He could not afford to nominate a conservative or even a moderate. He's so toast he had to find someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We're about to find out Sam Alito will make David Souter look like Clarence Thomas.

I hate it when that happens!

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Data mining does enter this discussion, because its an excuse being offered for why the Bush Administration broke the law, though of course it excuses nothing.

It exists, it's currently being used to extract information and there isn't an issue with the practice; there is an issue about the Bush Administration's abuse of the FISA law.

That it was shut down because it embarrassed the Bush Administration is not an indicator that it was actually legal to start with.

There's nobody in jail, or being threatened with jail, for data mining. There are people who have lost their jobs because their work embarrassed the Bush Administration, and they did it through data mining--that was Able Danger.

I think people need to separate a legitimate practice from the abuse that occurred--they're not related. Data mining is not illegal--collecting information on US persons FROM data mining and using it without a FISA warrant is illegal.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

As Kleiman puts it . . . The change from capitalism (buffered by regulation and a welfare state) to kleptocratic crony capitalism where the way to wealth is through the power of the state, and from a political system based on votes to a political system based on money, is a profound change, and the current ruling group aims at nothing less.


Advocate,

That's rather heavy stuff for a conservative like me isn't it?. You must have an even lower opinion of our European 'Allies' than I. After all, their states are roughly 2x's the size of ours.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Constantine,

I didn't realize Karl had spoken on this. too be honest I've been getting a bit worried about Karl. My idol dodged a major bullet and I thought we'd see him more. He's even less visible.

You'll get no outrage from me yet. A retracted rumor Christine may have been tapped will get your hair on fire but not mine.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

We're about to find out Sam Alito will make David Souter look like Clarence Thomas.

Somehow, I really, really doubt that, but let's hear what you have to say.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: That's rather heavy stuff for a conservative like me isn't it?. You must have an even lower opinion of our European 'Allies' than I.

Finding the result of 2 + 2 is heavy stuff for conservatives like you, rdw.

Facts and reality are hard stuff when you live in a world bounded by the outlines of Bush's behind.

And since my comment had nothing to do with Europe or any country there, I take it you are simply ranting incoherently as usual, replacing the "Look, there's the Clenis" with "Look, there's the French" mentality that drives conservative inanity.

Rasmussen poll re Bush:

Jan 5 -- Approve 46 Disapprove 53

Smokin'.

7 points below Clinton's second-term low and mired there.

LOL!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

You weren't denying that it occurred, you merely believed that it was a-ok with you which at the same time throwing a hissy fit over Democrats. We already know Bush broke the law. Now you can either claim this is unacceptable, or you can shut up. But your moral outrage against others merely because they had the temerity to oppose Bush is misplaced. Spare us your pearl-clutching.

(btw, Brokeback Mountain seems to have attracted quite the audience, for yet another weekend. It hasn't even gone into international release yet. I remember you getting all hot and bothered about that movie, too.)

Posted by: Constantine on January 5, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Folks have already done explained succinctly why it *was* a poorly worded question. At least in the context of people's understanding that *they* might be spied upon!

This is the weakest point of all. It's common knowledge they're tapping the phones of ANYONE who receives a call from an Al Qaeda suspect. Since we ALL fit into the category called *anyone* we then know if we get a call from Al Qaeda we will get tapped.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK
It exists, it's currently being used to extract information and there isn't an issue with the practice;

Wrong. A casual Googling will show that it is not remotely accurate to say that "there isn't an issue with the practice".

there is an issue about the Bush Administration's abuse of the FISA law.

Yes, and issues about data mining (including whether or not that is involved, and whether or not that changes anything) is part of that issue.

I think people need to separate a legitimate practice from the abuse that occurred--they're not related.

This presumes facts not in evidence. The relationship between the NSA program and data mining is unclear -- some comments by those involved indicate that the problems it has are not purely those associated with data mining, though some comments indicate that data mining may be involved as well.

Data mining is not illegal

Data mining may or may not be illegal, depending on why it is used, whose data is collected, and what reason there is to collect the data; though if the data isn't used in court, it is particularly unlikely that anything with both standing and interest to challenge it will ever know that the data mining was done, and thus the issue of its legality will never be anything, in practice, other than a moral issue for the executive branch.

--collecting information on US persons FROM data mining and using it without a FISA warrant is illegal.

Collecting such information electronically -- even before you get to the point of "using" it -- without a FISA warrant is a felony violation of FISA, but the executive branch is unlikely to prosecute such a violation. Using it in court is just the only way that anyone outside the executive branch with a legally cognizable interest in enforcing the restrictions in the law will ever find out about it, usually.


Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

We're about to find out Sam Alito will make David Souter look like Clarence Thomas.

Somehow, I really, really doubt that, but let's hear what you have to say.

You have to read the prior post referring to GWB as toast to get my point. I was being sarcastic. Sam Alito is Clarence Thomas with better grades. Bush doesn't seem to think he's toast.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Since we ALL fit into the category called *anyone* we then know if we get a call from Al Qaeda we will get tapped.

Seems unlikely since nobody knows every person in the al Queda organization or associated with it.

But since you seem to think that you do know every person in the al Queda organization or associated with it, please inform the NSA immediately so they can focus their efforts appropriately.

You also seem to think that every person an al Queda operative calls knows that they are an al Queda operative and that the call will involve some conspiracy to commit an act of terror.

Sorry to disappoint you, but even members of al Queda have lives outside of terrorism, just as Bush as a life outside his terroristic acts.

This thing called logic is, therefore, your weakest characteristic of all.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

Data mining, even though it looks bad, isn't illegal. I can't really go into it any more than I already have, but goes on every day within the parameters of the laws that are in place.

Data mining isn't the problem--oversight is the problem.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

We do find it fascinating that you end up in name-calling, dishonest tirades against your moral superiors, such as Al Gore, but yet claim that there's no reason to get upset at Bush at all. Like many Bush supporters you (a) lack any moral judgment, and (b) do not understand that government is supposed to be good and useful. Talking to you is like explaining to a communist the value of home ownership. They're just too dense and too lost in their own ideology to get it.

Posted by: Constantine on January 5, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

You're still not getting the point, rdw?

The point is, do you trust a government which creates such a program in secrecy, to avoid a proper legal review, to limit their spying activities in the way they claim to?

Apparently, despite the number of times this administration has actively hoodwinked the pulbic already, you still trust 'em. So I guess any arguments your proffer have to be considered against that backdrop.

But ask yourself, the government (in general, not just the Bush admin) has been see in the past to untrustworthy at times with the powers they've been *publicly* granted. Do you really think they're going to be trustworthy with powers they've granted themselves in *secret*?

My, my, you are a trusting lil' feller.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

You also seem to think that every person an al Queda operative calls knows that they are an al Queda operative and that the call will involve some conspiracy to commit an act of terror.

Actually, if you're the number three guy in Al Qaeda, there's a damn good chance the Bush Administration is gonna get you. Several times, if need be.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

And since my comment had nothing to do with Europe or any country there, I take it you are simply ranting incoherently as usual, replacing the "Look, there's the Clenis" with "Look, there's the French" mentality that drives conservative inanity.

Your comment had to with gaining wealth via corruption via the power of the state. It's not hard to figure out a state that has 2x's as much control over the economy has 2x's as much corruption. That would be Europe versus the USA.

Advocate,

what's your prediction on this President now down 7 points in the polls from Slick Willie getting Alito onto the Supreme Court?

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

We do find it fascinating that you end up in name-calling, dishonest tirades against your moral superiors, such as Al Gore, but yet claim that there's no reason to get upset at Bush at all. Like many Bush supporters you (a) lack any moral judgment, and (b) do not understand that government is supposed to be good and useful. Talking to you is like explaining to a communist the value of home ownership. They're just too dense and too lost in their own ideology to get it.

Posted by: Constantine on January 5, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sam Alito is Clarence Thomas with better grades. Bush doesn't seem to think he's toast.

Ah, well, we do agree on something then. ;)

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Bush doesn't seem to think he's toast.

That must make it so.

Pelosi doesn't think she's toast and neither do the Democrats.

Therefore, that must make it so.

Your logic is pretty smelly, rdw.

BTW, Bush has been forced to back down on numerous issues over the past year. That's damage. And Alito isn't confirmed yet. Not that you will have a point even if he is eventually.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

advocate,

this isn't hard. If the NSA knows or suspects a caller from iraq is al Qaeda they will tap EVERY CALL they make. If they call me I'm getting tapped. If they call you you're getting tapped. If they call Christine she is getting tapped. They'll continue to listen in to find out if you could be part of a sleeper cell or just their bookie. If you are just their bookie you are safe. They drop you.

If Rasmussen called me with that question I would have understood I could be tapped by the NSA without a warrant. Let's agee, if a blockhead like me can figure that out the entire 68% following the story had it figured out too.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK
Data mining, even though it looks bad, isn't illegal.

Data mining, per se, is neither definitively legal nor illegal; "data mining" does not make collecting information that would otherwise be illegal, as a violation of the Fourth Amendment or the FISA statute, to collect magically legal, either.

I can't really go into it any more than I already have, but goes on every day within the parameters of the laws that are in place.

I don't dispute that it goes on everyday. I don't dispute that some of the data mining that goes on is within the parameters of existing law. But the fact that it goes on daily is not evidence that it is legal, particularly since it is very unlikely that, where illegal collection occurs but is not used in court, anyone with any motive to enforce the law would ever learn that anything illegal had ever occurred.

Data mining isn't the problem--oversight is the problem.

You seem to be assuming, irrationally, that there is only one problem.


Data mining isn't the problem--oversight is the problem.


Posted by: cmdicely on January 5, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: It's not hard to figure out a state that has 2x's as much control over the economy has 2x's as much corruption.

Only in your twisted brain.

But, accepting for the sake of argument your inane proposition, then the GOP must be three times as corrupt as Clinton was, since they have 3x more control over the government than he did.

Stupidity is your strong suit.

Keep playing it, your hand is full.

rdw: . . . what's your prediction on this President now down 7 points in the polls from Slick Willie getting Alito onto the Supreme Court?

If that's all Bush has left, getting a conservative on the Supreme Court with a GOP majority in the Senate, then it's a pretty pathetic statement of his political power.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

The point is, do you trust a government which creates such a program in secrecy, to avoid a proper legal review, to limit their spying activities in the way they claim to?

No, I'd like some check and I never said other wise. My point has been it's politically stupid to call for impeachment and I think this is very probably legal.


Apparently, despite the number of times this administration has actively hoodwinked the pulbic already, you still trust 'em. So I guess any arguments your proffer have to be considered against that backdrop.

I trust this administration and the vast majority of people in government.

But ask yourself, the government (in general, not just the Bush admin) has been see in the past to untrustworthy at times with the powers they've been *publicly* granted. Do you really think they're going to be trustworthy with powers they've granted themselves in *secret*?

Except it wasn't in secret.

Rep. Jane Harman, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Dec. 21:

As the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to US national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.

This is the kind of over-the-top charge you make which destroys your own credibility. Jane didn't need a poll either. Expect that last sentence to be repeated early and often in the leak hearings.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Let's agee, if a blockhead like me can figure that out the entire 68% following the story had it figured out too.

We agree you're a blockhead, but that's about it.

I've spoken to two people in the past two days about the NSA story. Between the two of them, they didn't know that 1) there were warrantless searches, or 2) that Americans were being spied on.

The average person just doesn't know the details, even if they claim they're "following the story." The people I spoke with were "following the story" and here's what they got out of it: we have some "secret spy satellite" that's "over Iraq" that spies on terrorists there.

Oy.

How many millions of people still confuse Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in the polls? There's your answer on the reliability of that Rasmussen question.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 5, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Data mining isn't the problem--oversight is the problem.

You seem to be assuming, irrationally, that there is only one problem.

Data mining isn't the problem--oversight is the problem.

I think the Bush Administration is the real problem, don't you?

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . If the NSA knows or suspects a caller from iraq is al Qaeda they will tap EVERY CALL they make. If they call me I'm getting tapped. If they call you you're getting tapped. If they call Christine she is getting tapped. They'll continue to listen in to find out if you could be part of a sleeper cell or just their bookie.
Now it's know or suspects, not just knows.

Interesting that you keep changing the facts in order to make up for your poor logic in previous comments.

Sorta like Bush . . .

If you are just their bookie you are safe. They drop you.

Not true, of course, if they are tapping for partisan political purposes.

And given that we can surely agree that they've used the machinery of government in illegal ways for just the same purposes already, I think we can also agree they will use the wiretapping program in the same criminal manner.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

But, accepting for the sake of argument your inane proposition, then the GOP must be three times as corrupt as Clinton was, since they have 3x more control over the government than he did.


Very good point but I'm afraid it's not quite good enough. GWB might have 3x's as much control than Slick Willie but Bill is at least 9x's as smart as GWB. Therefore Clinton was 3x's as corrupt as the GOP.

BTW: A point regarding the GOP and corruption.
You do have a political opportunity here but there's one thing you cannot do. Use Bill Clinton to trash the GOP on corruption. Leave Mr. Pardons out of all conversations related in any way to corruption.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Er, rdw, how does showing that a Democrat was aware of the change prove it wasn't made in secret? You think I owe so much allegiance to the democratic party that I'm going to accept the fact that a handful of people knew about it (which I already knew) means it wasn't done in secret.

Now, you may be alluding to a case of groupthink on behalf of the House Intelligence Committee, but the fact that they agreed to it, doesn't mean it wasn't secret. You see, when something is done in secret, there are those involved, who, er, know about it.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

I've spoken to two people in the past two days about the NSA story. Between the two of them, they didn't know that 1) there were warrantless searches, or 2) that Americans were being spied on.

And I'm the blockhead. What did they think the NSA was, a bowl game?

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

If that's all Bush has left, getting a conservative on the Supreme Court with a GOP majority in the Senate, then it's a pretty pathetic statement of his political power.

And why do you think we elected him?

Here's somthing to cheer your heart, a number of pundits included in their '06 forecasts a prediction that at least 1 and possibly 2 justices would retire. Stevens is 85 and rumored to be getting frail and Ginsburg is 73 and rumored to be frail as well. She recently beat cancer but isn't the picture of heath.

If this happens think Prisilla Owens or Janice Rofgers brown.

That's 5 very conservative justices in Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Brown, plus a moderate conservative in kennedy plus 3 libs. 4 conservaties under 60.

My view is those two will die before quitting but that's why we elected Bush and that's why Miers was bounced.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Er, rdw, how does showing that a Democrat was aware of the change prove it wasn't made in secret? You think I owe so much allegiance to the democratic party that I'm going to accept the fact that a handful of people knew about it (which I already knew) means it wasn't done in secret

Er, bob, exactly what do you mean by secret? If secret means from the american people it was secret. If secret means from congress it wasn't done in secret. Everything classified is by definition secret.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

GWB might have 3x's as much control than Slick Willie but Bill is at least 9x's as smart as GWB.

LOL!!! Glad to hear a conservative finally admit it. Of course, the rest does not follow.

He's smarter, so he's naturally more corrupt?

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Now it's know or suspects, not just knows.

Interesting that you keep changing the facts in order to make up for your poor logic in previous comments.

Well I'm guessing they don't always know for sure and generally speaking we don't have membership lists nor do we hold hearing to prove they are Al Qaeda.

In any event I haven't changed a thing and I'm with the mainstream that says if a suspected Al Qaeda operative is calling the USA tap away.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Everything classified is by definition secret.

Duh. But how often to you hear about the government granting itself powers in secret which allow it to circumvent judicial review?

That's the point. Quit ignoring it.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

that's not what you said.

not many. and GWb is going to pull it off.

still think he's a dumb as a post?

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well I'm guessing they don't always know for sure and generally speaking we don't have membership lists nor do we hold hearing to prove they are Al Qaeda.

So, pretty much the government should be able to spy on *anyone* then right?

Because they *might* be Al Qaeda. And because you trust the government to gather sufficient proff that they *might* be Al Qaeda.

OK, I feel totally safe then.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I trust this administration . . .

That's your problem.

rdw: This is the kind of over-the-top charge you make which destroys your own credibility.

And it's this kind of stupidity that destroys your own.

The fact she was briefed doesn't mean anything if the White House hid significant aspects of the program from the briefing, just like they withheld significant intel regarding Iraq from Congress prior to the vote on the force authorization resolution.

There are also lots of laws and Constitutional rights that impede providing safety to people in this country.

We made a choice, however, when adopting the Constitution to place certain rights above the general welfare.

Executives and executive-loving lemmings who beleive the executive can set aside those laws and Constitutional provisions in favor of protecting an unspecified small number of Americans from possible death or harm are simply totalitarians in disguise, not true Americans and not true believers in our constitutional form of government.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Er, rdw, yes, that is what I said:

The point is, do you trust a government which creates such a program in secrecy, to avoid a proper legal review, to limit their spying activities in the way they claim to?

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Because they *might* be Al Qaeda. And because you trust the government to gather sufficient proff that they *might* be Al Qaeda.

We have to trust the govt no matter what. If they say they're known al qaeda we're taking there word for it. We assume they have evidence. If they say we 'think' they're Al Qaeda we're taking their word for it. We assume they have some evidence. Obviously they don't have as much evidence but their has to be something.

We agree there's got to be some process to keep them honest. But assuming this is all audited after the fact I am OK with tapping your phone if you get a call from a 'suspected' Al Qaeda operative and I am confident I am in the mainstream.

In other words the difference between 'known' and 'suspected' is not important.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Everything classified is by definition secret.

And that's my nomination for the stupidest line of the day...

Remember to vote early, and vote often.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 5, 2006 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . and GWb is going to pull it off.

Like he pulled off Social Security reform?

Or economic success?

Or welcoming parades in Iraq?

Or finding WMDs in Iraq?

Or getting Miers on the Supreme Court?

rdw: . . . still think he's a dumb as a post?

Yep.

And I know we will agree that being able to get things done because you have enough money or enought political clout because of money or blind loyalty is not the equivalent of smart.

rdw: If this happens think Prisilla Owens or Janice Rofgers brown.

Now we know you are smoking something strong!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

bob,

I stand corrected.

Didn't pick up the legal review.

In this case, as I understand it, they have problems meeting the test of probable cause. I'd want GWB to be ble to do this. The review I'd agree with is a judge look at what they're doing and make sure they really are al Qaeda suspects and the data collected isn't used for anything else and is destroyed when no usable.

There is a way to do this AND protect civil rights. I see this as the classic gray area not covered by current laws and I want the executive to have this extended right of warrantless searches.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

How many people are 'following' the Abramoff story? Alot I bet. By 'following' most of them mean they know there is some dude named Abramoff that is trouble for something. They might even know that some congressmen may be in trouble because of it. I bet that is the level of detail 90% of people 'following' the story have. Admitting that you are 'following' a story means nothing.

Posted by: WhoSays on January 5, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: We have to trust the govt no matter what.

Uh, no we don't.

More specifically, we don't have to trust the people currently in charge of the government.

And you are being dishonest again, since you would not have placed such unbridled trust in Clinton.

You've already said as much.

So, you don't really believe this crap you vomit forth.

In other words the difference between 'known' and 'suspected' is not important.

It wasn't important to the KGB either.

Nice to know where you stand.

I always knew that conservatives were really Soviet sympathizers in disguise.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

We have to trust the govt no matter what.

Hmm, me, I don't think so. And I'm all about trusting until you're given reason not too - which is far more generous than some would be. Your average libertarian, for example.

Posted by: Bob on January 5, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

advocate,

meirs was kicked off by conservatives. My guy got out of line and we put a foot up his ass.

the economy is doing very well. we had the lowest jobclaims in 5 years today and a report of a booming service sector. If we get the great jobs report I expect tomorrow you'll hear from me. If not you'll get the day off.

WMDs are inconsequential

SS reform is a loss and it's a shame. I thought his timing was off because people are still way too sensitive about stocks. I think it still did some good but it was not worth the effort.

What I like about GWB is he's a big thinker. This is no Bill Clinton with school uniforms.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: I see this as the classic gray area not covered by current laws and I want the executive to have this extended right of warrantless searches.

You see what you want to see.

Which is the overriding problem, along with basic corruption and mendacity, with conservatives in this country.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

rdw...why did you crop harman's comments?



From Harman's December 21 press release:

Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA), Ranking Member on the House Intelligence Committee, today issued the following statement:

"As the Ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, I have been briefed since 2003 on a highly classified NSA foreign collection program that targeted Al Qaeda. I believe the program is essential to US national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities.

"Due to its sensitive nature, I have been barred from discussing any aspect of this program, and until the President described certain parts of it on Saturday, I have made no comment whatsoever.

"Like many Americans, I am deeply concerned by reports that this program in fact goes far beyond the measures to target Al Qaeda about which I was briefed."


mediamatters.org

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 5, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Well done, thisspaceavailable - VERY well done. Care to retract that then rdw?

Posted by: bob on January 5, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

I understand the NSA overheard Bill O'Reilly having phone sex with Christiane Amanpour - except the buzz of his vibrator made everything in the conversation, except 'Spank me, Christiane', unintelligible.

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on January 5, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: WMDs are inconsequential

That pretty much says it all about conservative flip-flopping.

My guy got out of line and we put a foot up his ass.

Must have been hard with your lips blocking the way.

What I like about GWB is he's a big thinker.

Unfortunately, his big thinking is always about nothing other than where to get his next fix - whether it be cocaine or booze or ego-boosting.

I'm sure you can provide plenty of the latter, perhaps even the former should Bush regress.

. . . the economy is doing very well.

Not really. And what little good news there is was purchased, like with Reagan, through deficit-spending which will eventually produce, and already appears to be producing, the same economic result as it did for Bush 41.

. . . meirs was kicked off by conservatives.

Miers was kicked off by hypocrites and liars.

That they also happened to be conservatives is of no matter.

And it was still a loss for Bush.

You really do live in a bubble whose view is constricted by Bush's butt-cheeks.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Joshua John Jay Jingleheimer Marshallschmitt asks, "But think about it: who would be able to make such a claim and have enough credibility to make a major news organization take the suggestion seriously?

Bill Burkett?

Posted by: scott on January 5, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Most Americans have already tuned the story out. It's been 3 weeks without a single damaging relevation.

Hmmm...let's see...Xmas holiday, New Years, big Congressional Break... No reason at all that there would be a bare patch. Also, you might want to go over the timeline of the Nixon naughtiness. That story took a while to percolate into a full-blown impeachable offense and megascandal. THIS story wont take so long because we have 24 hour electronic media and bloggers working doggedly regardless of holidays or Congressional breaks.

Dream on, this one isn't going to die, it is a small fire crackling away right next to a pile of dry tinder while on the other side of that pile is another fire crackling away called ABRAMOFF. No matter which way the wind blows, that tinder pile is going to go up in a big woosh! and one way or another, the whole thing will be consumed in a mega fire.

There's that annoyingly dogged and ethical Plame investigation going on still too. That one hasn't really even hit its inevitable stride yet. Ka-boom!

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 5, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Data mining sans legal authority, the information within which is then used as a basis for getting a (improper) warrant for a tap against citizen X makes the warrant illegal and illegitimate and all fruits gathered from that tree illegitimate. The spying on Americans without warrant endangers virtually EVERY terrorist (and possibly non-terrorist) convictions that were guided by information from broad data mining/spying sans specific warrant.

You can't go on generic fishing expeditions to find illegal activity in the general populace and then use any information you (illegally) acquired to obtain otherwise legitimate wiretaps and other warrants. You poison the entire process, top to bottom.

EVERY single terror case brought before the courts can now subpoena NSA records, which will be denied, which will be used to bring into question the legitimacy of all the legal evidence against the accused. Nice job.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 5, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: . . . we had the lowest jobclaims in 5 years today . . .

Wow. Bush is actually better than, well, Bush.

The truth, however, is that the jobless rate under Bush has risen since Clinton's second term and that historically, with few exceptions, the jobless rate has risen under GOP leadership and fallen under Democratic leadership.

Bush has produced the same result so far and if he actually gets his tax cuts through he will continue to have a higher jobless rate than he inherited from Clinton.

Just as he's destroyed the surplus, Bush destroys jobs.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Most Americans have already tuned the story out.

That's exactly what conservatives said only days after Katrina.

Yet the story lasted and lasted.

They said the same thing about Fitzgerald's investigation, the Abramoff investigation, and Tom DeLay's indictment.

Yet the stories keep giving and giving.

Clap harder, rdw.

I know your hands are tired, but if you just keep clapping the GOP will live!

Bush says so, so it must be true!

But, you have to pull back from Bush's ass to have room to clap.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

praedor,

I don't want the story to die. I want NSA to remain front and central through to November. Let's keep the Plame story alive as well. I'd love for Joe Wilson to be an advisor to Hillary in 2008. He did such a good job for Kerry!

How long is it going to take you to figure out this stuff doesn't work. It's so classically liberal to celebrate GWBs low poll numbers. Allow me to explain to you how this works. The idea is to drive the poll numbers down BEFORE the election.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

speaking of clapping advocate....


i hear.....everytime someone claps for gwb...an angel gets its wings...


lol


Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 5, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Even Red State America would be outraged. "

Sorry, Ron, but you misunderestimate Red State America. To them Bush is annointed by God, so nothing he can do will outrage them.

How else to explain their voting for such an obvious idiot?

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 5, 2006 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

thisspace,

I didn't crop the comments. I copied what I had available. The additional comments add nothing. Here's what was cropped.

Due to its sensitive nature, I have been barred from discussing any aspect of this program, and until the President described certain parts of it on Saturday, I have made no comment whatsoever.

That's what being secret means. Good for her and ALL of the congresspeople who kept their word. They have my respect for this.

"Like many Americans, I am deeply concerned by reports that this program in fact goes far beyond the measures to target Al Qaeda about which I was briefed."

We are all concerned by these reports. But they are gossip and until we know otherwise they are meaningless.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Waitafrickinminnit!
If WMDs are inconsequential, why you got your knickers in a twist?
Over terrorism, I mean.

Posted by: kenga on January 5, 2006 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

We have to trust the govt no matter what.

Hmm, me, I don't think so. And I'm all about trusting until you're given reason not too - which is far more generous than some would be. Your average libertarian, for example.

Bob,

The entire discussion is predicated on the GWOT. This is a highly unusual war time situation against a ruthless enemy that doesn't play by any rules.

We need to give the executive the ability to manage these types of investigations and find a way to protect our rights. If we find Bush abused his 'rights' we get to impeach him as we would any President who abused their office.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

"What I like about GWB is he's a big thinker. "


HahaHahaHahaHAHAHAHahaHaha! Hoo-boy, that was good one. Big Thinker W, yeah, that's how he'll be remembered.

Posted by: Cal Gal on January 5, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: We are all concerned by these reports.

Clearly "we" does not include "you".

That's what being secret means.

Too bad the president didn't understand that.

The liberal Congresswoman kept her mouth shut; the conservative Bush didn't.

Says a lot about which party is really concerned with national security and which is more concerned with defending a partisan executiveship.

How long is it going to take you to figure out this stuff doesn't work.

Let's see. Since the Democrats have gone on the attack, the GOPs approval numbers have plummeted.

Since it's working, I guess it will take a long time for those of us dealing with reality to arrive at the same conclusions as those dealing with their own internal fantasies.

It's called the slow-drip of political death, rdw.

Death from a thousand pinpricks.

You only feel the last one.

Don't get too shaken. I hear the last one isn't that bad. It's coming soon for you and the waiting will be the hardest part.

Take comfort in the fact that America will be safer when conservatism dies its pre-ordained political death.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

kenga,

Th WMDs are inconsequential as a political issue. That's not an opinion. That's a fact. My proof is the elections in 2004. That's one of the reasons I find this continued focus on it so amusing. It's silly, unserious and pointless.

Your party is struggling to be taken seriously on national defense. So much so that 20 of your candidates in 2006 are Iraqi war vets. You need uniforms to buy some credibility because you can't get it otherwise. Looking backwords and focusing on a story in 2002 by definition means you are not looking forward fighting the GWOT.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

How long is it going to take you to figure out this stuff doesn't work.

Let's see. Since the Democrats have gone on the attack, the GOPs approval numbers have plummeted.

Quite true. Allow me to ask a question because I am stumped. Why didn't you drive his numbers down BEFORE the election?

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: The entire discussion is predicated on the GWOT. This is a highly unusual war time situation against a ruthless enemy that doesn't play by any rules.

You want it to be focused on a fantasized and invented from whole cloth GWOT.

I guess this also means the Nazis, the Viet Cong, and the North Koreans weren't ruthless and/or played by the rules, since this is a "highly unusual war time situation."

Man, you just can't make up stuff as good as spews forth from rdw.

Priceless.

The Nazis kill six million plus.

American conservatives butchered thousands of Native Americans, many with biological weapons, and aided Saddam in butchering the Kurds.

Islamic terrorists are at less than 10,000 all time at the most.

Yeah, the latter are the ruthless ones.

If we find Bush abused his 'rights' we get to impeach him as we would any President who abused their office.

Except you've stated clearly that we have to place absolute trust in the president to do what is right and have argued against a thorough investigation.

He can't be impeached if he gets to keep it secret from the courts and from Congress.

And btw, Bush has authority or powers that he may exercise, not executive rights.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Since it's working, I guess it will take a long time for those of us dealing with reality to arrive at the same conclusions as those dealing with their own internal fantasies.

It's called the slow-drip of political death, rdw.

Death from a thousand pinpricks.

You only feel the last one.

Don't get too shaken. I hear the last one isn't that bad. It's coming soon for you and the waiting will be the hardest part.

Take comfort in the fact that America will be safer when conservatism dies its pre-ordained political death.

I won't get too shaken. Here's why:

Dem in Senate Dems in house
1992 57 267
2005 44 202


If you think the political prowess of your party leadership instills fear in conservatives think again.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Except you've stated clearly that we have to place absolute trust in the president to do what is right and have argued against a thorough investigation.

I did? I don't remember that part. When did that happen?

I think you got your hair on fire with the imprchment nonsense and blew a trrific opportunity. You snached defeat from the jaws of victory.

I am fine with an audit here.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate,

Who said the others were not ruthless?

What do they have to do with anyting?

If the Nazi's were calling America to set up sleeper cells FDR would have rouned up ALL of the Germans and put them in camps.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: Looking backwords and focusing on a story in 2002 by definition means you are not looking forward fighting the GWOT.

It's pretty useless to fight a war that doesn't exist except in the fantasies of conservative minds.

You need uniforms to buy some credibility because you can't get it otherwise.

Apparently not even uniforms can buy credibility for the GOP.

rdw: Why didn't you drive his numbers down BEFORE the election?

We did. That they weren't driven down quite far enough doesn't mean it didn't happen. And the trend has continued since the election severely hampering an already lame duck presidency. You will continue to lie about it, though, I'm sure, just as you dissemble about most every other topic.

WMDs are inconsequential as a political issue. That's not an opinion. That's a fact. My proof is the elections in 2004.

Drip, drip, drip, drip . . .

Go ahead and believe in that inconsequentiality.

I'm sure you feel the same way about Libby's indictment, Abramoff's indictment, DeLay's indictment, the Miers fiasco, the Schiavo fiasco, the Frist trust fiasco, the wiretapping fiasco, the "Mission Accomplished" fiasco, the Plame fiasco, the fiasco of the economy, etc., etc., etc.

Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 5, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Minor correction rdw - it's not "my party".

Major correction - WMDs did figure in the 2004 election. It is a fact that most Bush voters were still under the impression that significant quantities had been found in Iraq, and that Iraq was involved in 9/11.
This explains why they continued to trust him and his administration. They didn't know any better.

Posted by: kenga on January 5, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

We did. That they weren't driven down quite far enough doesn't mean it didn't happen. And the trend has continued since the election severely hampering an already lame duck presidency. You will continue to lie about it, though, I'm sure, just as you dissemble about most every other topic.

If he can appoint stars like John Roberts and Sam Alito to the Supreme Court he can be as lame a duck as you'd like.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Saying that polls show Americans support spying on Al Qaeda is totally irrelevent and really stupid. The question is about the method employed and the Republicans attitude toward the method, which are both inherently corrupt and treasonous.

Don't allow yourself to be distracted by notions that 'polls show Americans support spying on Al-qaeda'. Polls also show that Americans support the death penalty, but if the death penalty involved being stripped naked, bolted to the floor and left in a dark pit with a hundred starving rats, would Americans support that?

Posted by: cld on January 5, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

This explains why they continued to trust him and his administration. They didn't know any better.

They have a long track record of not knowing any better. Since 1992 the Democrats have lost 13 Senate seats and 65 House seats. Your condescention is pitch perfect. Please keep it up.

Posted by: rdw on January 5, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

"I want the executive to have this extended right of warrantless searches."

Well. this used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

But I guess 9/11 changed everything for you guys . . .

Posted by: rea on January 5, 2006 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

The WMDs are inconsequential as a political issue. That's not an opinion. That's a fact. My proof is the elections in 2004. That's one of the reasons I find this continued focus on it so amusing. It's silly, unserious and pointless.

You're suggesting here that only power and politics ultimately matter -- not right or reason or law or morality.

Wasn't there a German political movement that had a similar philosophy?

Posted by: Windhorse on January 5, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

TWIMC,
To everyone about this topic, when you allow ANY entity to monitor communication traffic , it is rife for abuse! It is similar to the reaction of any person who runs a data analyzing tool. " Let's see who sold the most Nordica ski boots this week?" "WoW". "Let's see who sold the most of model Beast 10".
As you find out information, you want more information. "Who did she talk to? What did they say?" That is why you need VERY strict parameters on information access, people want to know.

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Posted by: Trade-a-Loan on January 6, 2006 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

You're suggesting here that only power and politics ultimately matter -- not right or reason or law or morality.

I suggest no such thing.

I am proving you hold a fringe position.

Despite non-stop coverage of warrantless searches and the ominous reminders of Nixon you have NO support. The Rasmussen report turned Chuckie into a Teddy Bear and you'll not find a better weather vane than Schumer.

This is just another example of the fringe left getting it's hair on fire screaming 'look at me' only to find out most people are bored with you.

Posted by: rdw on January 6, 2006 at 8:04 AM | PERMALINK

Well. this used to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.

You haven't seen the magnificant performance of our military? How about our police and firemen?

But I guess 9/11 changed everything for you guys . . .

The big change is the adults are in charge. No doubt Slick Willie would follow Speilbergs' pathetic advice to talk to Osama until we're 'blue to the gills' but GWB is no Slick Willie.

Posted by: rdw on January 6, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

windhorse responding to rdw, i think: You're suggesting here that only power and politics ultimately matter -- not right or reason or law or morality.


you mean like below?

"What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis. [They] consistently talked and acted as if the height of
political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible."

John DiIulio, a former high-level official in the Bush administration. October 2002

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 6, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

windhorse responding to rdw, i think: You're suggesting here that only power and politics ultimately matter -- not right or reason or law or morality

This is pure blather. The ONLY reason the NSA story became a big deal is because the libs thought it had impeachment potential.

This has never been anything BUT political.

Debating legal technicalities with non-lawyers is a fools errand. It has no value. There are smart, respected legal minds in the weeds on both sides of this issue. It's clear that if it gets litigated it will end up in the Supreme Court.

There are no moral issues here. Making up stories about Bush listening to reporter swap gossip and using it for partian purposes is pure gossip. It has zero merit.

There is a fair and necessary debate about the balance here between Prsidential power and civil protections. Put the fire in your hair out and we'll talk about it. Otherwise you'll just get crushed in elections AGAIN.

So many simple bastards on this post love preening about their moral and intellectual superiority. I merely point out the facts are at odds with that sentiment and ask them to keep at it

Posted by: rdw on January 6, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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