Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 27, 2006
By: Paul Glastris

A QUESTION OF INCOMPETENCE II... I mentioned yesterday that, absent strict oversight, we can't trust the NSA especially when it's controlled by an administration of proven incompetence to carry out a domestic spying program that nabs terrorists but doesn't shred civil liberties. Let's just hope the NSA has its act together better than the CIA.

Paul Glastris 10:58 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (121)

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What would the founders of our country do if they had been faced with a King George who had the power of today's U.S. government?

Posted by: MarkH on January 27, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Heh, the CIA is the agency you lefties have already demanded oversight of, how's that working out?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Incompetence and inefficiency are secondary issues.

The main issue is that we don't want our government spying on us without probable cause as delineated explicitly stated in the constitution.

Why is it so hard for the 'moderate' pundits to understand this. Why do they insist on diluting the issues?

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry. It should be 'as delineated and explicitly stated'.

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Domestic spying? Not spying on international communications? Try claiming 4th amendment protection to keep your luggage private when you cross the border.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on January 27, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Well, you know all arabs look alike.

Posted by: beb on January 27, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

I assume you are referring to the White House propganda defining a call in which one of the participants is outside the US as 'international'.

Since we are splitting semantic hairs, by the same logic, it's perfectly rational to say that if one of the particpants is in the USA, the call is 'domestic'.

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Every war from the Civil War on has had communications into and out of the country intercepted. Of course, I realize that history, precedent, and keeping tabs on terrorists all pale in consideration to finding against Bush to whine about.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

And by the way, if both are in the US it's domestic (or intranational), if both are outside the US it's foreign (or extranational), if one is in and one is out it's international.

Merriam Webster is on-line, you know.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Conspiracy Numb Nuts,
So you don't care about liberty then?

And besides, with this current administration it doesn't matter what agency it is or their mission because Bushco is guaranteed to fuck it up.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 27, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

As soon as we declare war then we can talk about gutting civil liberties to fight it. Until the, it is just an excuse for criminals to break the law.

Posted by: on January 27, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Not only is it the wrong guy, the photo appears to
have been altered to make him seem darker(perhaps
so that it would be more difficult to ascertain
the actual indentity of the person?)

Posted by: Semanticleo on January 27, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

So you don't care about liberty then?
Sure do, but the left's argument isn't about liberty, it's about Bush. But if you want to talk about liberty and civil rights, I'm game. You start, explain why keeping tabs on terrorists is bad, and be sure to include your references to FDR locking up Japanese-Americans and the Echelon program.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I don't mean to sound pedantic, but while the head of NSA reports to political appointees who report in turn to the President it doesn't seem likely that officials below the level of NSA Director have "control" or even much input into how the surveillance program is run.

Note that I don't disagree with Glastris about the need for oversight, and can be persuaded that a change in the law is needed. One can even make a case that the actual situation is more serious than the one being denounced in the press, since it involves not the President's "inherent authority" but -- as a practical matter -- that of career officials of whose activities the President may be only dimly aware. I just think the question of whether one trusts Bush and Rove and so forth to run a program like this is the wrong one.

Posted by: Zathras on January 27, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Um, Dr. Morpheus, conspiracy nut's sole job (which is extranational, by the way--he's not in the U.S.) is to derail the thread and get us to debate him on his choice of topics, which coincidentally never include "Why the Bush Administration's Actions Are Defensible."

Don't give him the pleasure, please.

Posted by: shortstop on January 27, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"intranational" - Ooh, I get so turned on by them big words.
Of course when reading CN's blather, I think of "intramarginal" or "intramundane", or "intransigent" or even "intractable".

Kepp them big words a'comin' Mr Canada.

Posted by: stupid git on January 27, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Talking about fighting terrorism, the Republicans complained vociferously that Clinton bombed a camp in Afghanistan, and could not get Osama. Now that we have seen for ourselves the spectacle of George Bush starting a war based on false premises that killed at least 30000+2000 humans and still not getting Osama and pissed oway hundreds of billlions of dollars, I wonder if the Republicans' view of their self-proclaimed ability to fight terrorism vis-a-vis Clinton have changed a bit.

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Back to the topic at hand: It's always freshly amazing that people who like to argue that government can't get anything right, these idiots have a touching amount of faith in the ability of these programs to "protect" us from "terrorists."

I've never seen such a bunch of sniveling crybabies in my life. Are there any men in the Republican party? Other than Ann Coulter?

Posted by: shortstop on January 27, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Paul Glastris opined: absent strict oversight, we can't trust the NSA--especially when it's controlled by an administration of proven incompetence--to carry out a domestic spying program that nabs terrorists but doesn't shred civil liberties

This is not an issue of "incompetence" nor is the Bush regime the first administration that has presented this threat. We have abundant evidence going back decades that we cannot trust the NSA, the CIA or the FBI not to deliberately "shred civil liberties" under the guise of "nabbing terrorists".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly incompetence and inefficiency are the only things between us and 1984. If the administration could ever get their act together we are up a shit creek.

It is the administration's lack of commitment to civil liberties and to the separation of powers that have me very concerned.

Posted by: Ron Byers on January 27, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Sure do, but the left's argument isn't about liberty, it's about Bush."

Maybe I'm not part of "the left", because I don't give a flying fuck about Bush, as long as he refrains from rewriting good ol' Article 2. Even then, I just want him to knock it off, like I'd want anyone else to.

Posted by: Donkey_Punch on January 27, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

these idiots have a touching amount of faith in the ability of these programs to "protect" us from "terrorists."
Oh, I expect plenty of mistakes. But you've missed the major difference: Bush wants to do something about terrorists, Dems don't. I'll take a bad attempt over burying our head in the sand.

Yes, I know the left has their plan to capitulate to terrorists (sorry, sit down to cookies and soy based milk substitute and discuss why they hate us, then change our culture to fit their whims), and arrest a couple of them after they kill a few thousand of us. But I'm not particularly fond of that idea.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Yes, I know the left has their plan to capitulate to terrorists (sorry, sit down to cookies and soy based milk substitute and discuss why they hate us, then change our culture to fit their whims), and arrest a couple of them after they kill a few thousand of us. But I'm not particularly fond of that idea."

Okay, I'm definitely not a part of that "left", then.

Posted by: Donkey_Punch on January 27, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

yeah bush has a plan alright. it has been working so well.

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Darlings. Don't feed the trolls.

SecAn: This is not an issue of "incompetence" nor is the Bush regime the first administration that has presented this threat. We have abundant evidence going back decades that we cannot trust the NSA, the CIA or the FBI not to deliberately "shred civil liberties" under the guise of "nabbing terrorists".

Absolutely right. I'm still having nightmares from a J. Edgar Hoover biography I read last month. However, the Bush administration happens to be the one currently arguing that it can do whatever the fuck it wants because it's king of the hill and the pesky Constitution is just a piece of paper. So the Bush administration's unbroken record of incompetence, coupled with its propensity for telling the American people whoppers, is quite relevant here.

It's incompetence, corruption and disregard for individual liberties that resonates with people. Let's don't muddy the waters by turning it into one of our geeky liberal dialogues on the checkered histories of the agencies. He's a simple president; let's keep the message simple as well.

Posted by: shortstop on January 27, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

We're talking about Bush because he isn't spying on terrorists, he's spying on Americans. He's already stripped an American citizen of his rights claiming that Padillo was a terrible threat. Now that the case has been taken to court a conservative judge has even pointed out that they got nothing.

What does it take for you to realize the threat America faces from this incompetent and criminal administration? Bush declaring himself "President for life"? Of course it would probably be phrased as "President for the Duration of the War on Terror", which has no end.

And what does FDR have to do with the threat to our civil liberties today? Nobody can do anything about what FDR did or did not do. We CAN do something about what is happening today. So don't bring up the dead past, it's irrelevant.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 27, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Dr. Morpheus wrote: Hey Conspiracy Numb Nuts, So you don't care about liberty then?

With conspiracy nut, it's all about brain-dead, knee-jerk, robotic support for anything and everything Bush does. He's a stupid, ignorant, programmed, scripted, neo-brownshirt Bush-bootlicking goon, and that's all.

conspiracy nut wrote: the left's argument isn't about liberty, it's about Bush.

See, there you go. To conspiracy nut, it's always and only about defending the fake, phony little god-king that he slavishly worships; and anyone who criticizes George W. Bush is "the left" -- including, I guess, staunch hard-core conservative former Georgia Congressman Bob Barr, who has been one of the most outspoken critics of the illegal NSA spying. If conspiracy nut really paid attention to anything other than Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, he would know that conservative libertarian individuals and organizations are in the frontlines of the battle against this illegal and atrocious abuse of power.

conspiracy nut wrote: be sure to include your references to FDR locking up Japanese-Americans and the Echelon program.

So conspiracy nut is arguing that abuse of power in the past justifies abuse of power now.

Please, conspiracy nut, please move to North Korea. You'll be much happier living in a totalitarian dictatorship where everyone worships Dear Leader like you do.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I can't understand how this is an issue of competence. It's an issue of potential abuse of power, and, unfortunately, a competent administration is more likely to abuse its power more efficiently.

The point of getting a warrant for this type of thing is to guarantee that there's some minimal justification for eaves-dropping on someone. If we don't apply those standards, then what's to hold an unethical executive in check? How do you keep an unethical executive from using his powers to persecute his enemies?

And this isn't strictly about Bush, it's about all future Presidents. And this isn't paranoid-- we've had unethical Presidents in the past and we're bound to have unethical Presidents in the future. Do we really want to set a precedent that makes their potential abuse of power legal?

Posted by: Elgin on January 27, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I keep offering this question to the ninnies who back Fearless Leader's spying proclivities:

Would you back this if it were Hillary Clinton doing it?

... and if the answer is, "But she'll never win," you have already answered the question.


Ed

Posted by: Ed Drone on January 27, 2006 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe I'm not part of "the left", because I don't give a flying fuck about Bush
Well, you may not be part of the left, then. You'll notice, however, that this post is about Bush's incompetence, not the NSA program itself. His previous post was the same. The first commenter is worried about King George. Stick around, there'll be more.

I'll issue you the same challenge as Dr Morpheus, however. Discuss the trade off of civil libertys here with the benefit of keeping tabs on terrorists, and be sure to reference our intercepting international communications in all previous wars, FDR's locking up Japanese-Americans, and the Echelon program.

I think you'll find that while concern is in order, nothing out of the ordinary is happening here.

As for Mr Glastris' contention that Congressional oversight is needed, Congressional oversight has transformed the CIA into a useless organization (remember those WMDs that Saddam was supposed to have, and India wasn't?). I'd be interested in how gutting the NSA is supposed to help.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut plumbs ever greater depths of stupidity: But you've missed the major difference: Bush wants to do something about terrorists, Dems don't.

More regurgitation of Rush Limbaugh's vomit from conspiracy nut.

Sometimes conspiracy nut is so utterly ludicrous that I begin to think he must be a parody intended to make rightwingers look like morons. But no, sadly, he is really what he appears to be: a stupid, ignorant mental slave of right-wing propaganda, a poster child for the irreversible brain damage that the right-wing media machine inflicts on its victims.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that mistake with the photo would never have happened if John Kerry were president. Reaching a bit, aren't we?

Heck, if a Democrat were president, they might have picked someone like, oh, say, George Tenet to run the CIA. Then everything would have been just great.

One of the things that ticked me off about Bush was that he kept Tenet on.

Posted by: tbrosz on January 27, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Your right shortstop, sorry.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 27, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but we're going to give the guy who lost interest in Osama bin Laden ("not too concerned" about him), completely unfettered power over tne entire US government and United States' citizens because he now claims he needs this power to catch Osama bin Laden?

Um, what?

Posted by: theorajones on January 27, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: Congressional oversight has transformed the CIA into a useless organization (remember those WMDs that Saddam was supposed to have, and India wasn't?).

Your ignorance, stupidity and complete disconnection from reality is astounding. With regard to Saddam's nonexistent WMDs, it was not "Congressional oversight" that rendered the CIA "useless". It was Dick Cheney's adamant refusal to accept the CIA's judgement that Saddam probably had no WMD and the pressure that he and his office put on CIA analysts to give him the answers he wanted to hear that corrupted the CIA's analysis.

You are a pathetic clown.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Dick Cheney's adamant refusal to accept the CIA's judgement that Saddam probably had no WMD
Want me to drag up all the Clinton era quotes about Iraq and WMDs? I haven't done it for a while, you guys have probably forgotten that happened again. Where do you suppose Clinton was getting his information?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK
But you've missed the major difference: Bush wants to do something about terrorists, Dems don't.

No, you've got that backwards; Democrats are concerned about doing something effective about terrorism, whereas, as Dick Cheney explained, the Bush Administration is more concerned with using terrorism as an excuse to shred accountability measures put into place to guarantee the appropriate and effective use of national security resources after abuses of executive power led to misuse of those resources in the Vietnam and Watergate era.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats are concerned about doing something effective about terrorism
Using capitulation is effective? Win by defeat, I got ya.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

and the pressure that he and his office put on CIA analysts to give him the answers he wanted to hear
About missed this one. Of course it is entirely missable. We've already had that investigation, and your politicians signed off on the fact that this never happened.

But thanks for playing.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that mistake with the photo would never have happened if John Kerry were president. Reaching a bit, aren't we?

Funny thing about Kerry and photos...

I seem to recall NASA leaked a photo of Kerry...

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=967

More on the "bunny suit" case:

Amendments to a complaint filed against Special Counsel Scott J. Bloch in early March allege that OSC took no action on a complaint regarding then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's use of government funds to travel in the weeks before the 2004 presidential election, but vigorously pursued allegations against Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry's visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Posted by: Pale Rider on January 27, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK
Want me to drag up all the Clinton era quotes about Iraq and WMDs?

Sure, and then show the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives Clinton wasted based on that information.

Oh, wait, when Saddam was uncooperative with inspections, and Clinton had information which seemed to indicate he probably had WMD programs, Clinton executed a narrow, focussed campaign aimed at dealing with the specific problem indicated by that information.

He didn't use it to provide political fig leaf for a massive invasion that PNAC had wanted for a long time based on fantasies about recreating the Middle East as a free market capitalist pro-American democratic (the last being optional in any more than superficial sense) showcase and demonstration for America's hegemonic capacity.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Missed the news update - Is the Bush Administration hiring James Frey to write Twig's biography or work for the CIA?

Posted by: stupid git on January 27, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think you'll find that while concern is in order, nothing out of the ordinary is happening here.

CIVIL LIBERTIES ACT OF1988

Enacted by the United States Congress
August 10, 1988

The Congress recognizes that, as described in the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, a grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent residents of Japanese ancestry by the evacuation, relocation, and internment of civilians during World War II.

As the Commission documents, these actions were carried out without adequate security reasons and without any acts of espionage or sabotage documented by the Commission, and were motivated largely by racial prejudice, wartime hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.

Yes, if we're talking wartime hysteria causing an administration to ignore the Constitution and illegally deprive people of their rights, truly there is nothing out of the ordinary going on here.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 27, 2006 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK
We've already had that investigation, and your politicians signed off on the fact that this never happened.

Unlike Jack Abrahamoff, I -- and I suspect most of the liberals here -- don't actually own any politicians.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Lib -

This is See-No-Evil Drum you're talking about here. For him it's never a matter of anything more than incompetence. "Malfeasance" is not a word in his lexicon.

Posted by: cdj on January 27, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

He didn't use it to provide political fig leaf for a massive invasion that PNAC had wanted for a long time based on fantasies about recreating the Middle East as a free market capitalist pro-American democratic (the last being optional in any more than superficial sense) showcase and demonstration for America's hegemonic capacity.

Game, set, and match with that comment.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 27, 2006 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK
Using capitulation is effective?

Democrats don't want to use "capitulation". Unlike the shrinking minority that's bought into the BushCo propaganda, however, they recognize that preserving American security can be done -- and must be done, if it is to mean anything -- without abandoning American values of liberty and government of, by, and for the people.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, and then show the hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives Clinton wasted based on that information.
Ooh, I know I'm doing OK when you guys start shifting the argument on me. But I've already been down this one, too. So first I'll remind you that the topic that got this brought up was CIA failures. Not use of CIA failures.

Second, concerning your shift to use of CIA failures, tell me again how many Dems voted to authorize that war? And remember, most of these Dems were in office during Clinton, had they seen a radical shift in information they would have noticed.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Good point theorajones.

There's a reason there's a fourth admendment to the Constitution. One that was added even after the US face a far greater threat than we do today. And the Founders still didn't cave into the bed-wetting simpering fools that plague us today.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 27, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK
Sorry, but we're going to give the guy who lost interest in Osama bin Laden ("not too concerned" about him), completely unfettered power over tne entire US government and United States' citizens because he now claims he needs this power to catch Osama bin Laden?

Apparently, what Bush really needs to catch Osama bin Laden is Ritalin.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Democrats don't want to use "capitulation".
Then perhaps you should give me a better word to use. Your plan is to understand why the terrorists hate us, then modify our behavior to prevent that hate. Which I see as listening to terms and giving up our way of life for theirs. Which looks to me like plain old capitulation.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I've confess I've never understood "conservative" thought on this liberties vs. security stuff, as espoused here in the comments.

If the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, then in giving up those freedoms, we've surrendered.

Why do "conservatives" insist on surrendering to the terrorists?

Posted by: cdj on January 27, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut continues to churn out the same BS day after day: smug, vacuous, contentless sneers at "leftists" and "moonbats"; irrelevant mentions of right-wing bogeymen like Michael Moore; regurgitation of programmed, scripted right-wing talking points; and the occasional profound insight into the importance of "traditional marriage in which the man is dominant" that he got from watching Leave It To Beaver reruns.

conspiracy nut is a pathetic dumbass and the very apotheosis of the Bush-bootlicking mental midget whose robotic regurgitation of right-wing dogma gives him an inexplicable sense of superiority over people who actually inform themselves and think.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

cdj
Do you object to inspecting incoming cargo shipments? Inspecting airline luggage? Without warrants these, too, are a violation of the 4th amendment.

What difference to you see between international phone calls and international shipments?

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK
Ooh, I know I'm doing OK when you guys start shifting the argument on me. But I've already been down this one, too. So first I'll remind you that the topic that got this brought up was CIA failures.

No, actually, the topic that brought this up, from Paul Glastris's post and through the comment thread, is not merely CIA failures, but what failures in intelligence agencies have to say about how much trust we should put in them. That's why the post is in the context of the NSA spying program.

Relative to that, Clinton to prudent action that was a narrowly focussed and arguably, even factoring in the possibility that the intelligence was wrong, necessary precautionary step proportional to the apparent magnitude of the problem.

Bush used it as a political excuse for a massive and incredibly costly (in US and allied lives, Iraqi lives, and property on both sides) campaign with little rational bearing on the intelligence, that was not narrowly focussed on dealing with the problem it presented.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

"pathetic dumbass" - Geez, if only he had contributed more he would qualify for a top job with the Twiggies.

Posted by: stupid git on January 27, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Merriam Webster is on-line, you know.

so is the FISA law, which Bush proudly and admittedly violates, illegal actions that you defend, moron.

so is the Constitution, care to show us where it says that the president can violate the laws of Congress and the Constitution just because he's the president and he says he can?
waiting...

Posted by: haha on January 27, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nut, you really need to stop with the strawmen. Texas is still under a burn ban and you may be in danger of frying some future nutsack, fake cowboy, git of a Prezdint from that backwards stinkhole state....like our current "leader".

Posted by: ckelly on January 27, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

If Rush Limbaugh shit on a plate and handed it to conspiracy nut (the label's half right anyway), he'd eat it right up and swear it was filet mignon.

Posted by: brewmn on January 27, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

oh and absolutely nothing changed b/w the time Clinton was in office and Bush--of course you wouldn't expect conspiracy moron and his fellow conservatards to notice, since they were too busy demanding impeachment for a blowjob.
That's your Republican congress for you, always with their eye on the ball..er, balls.

Posted by: haha on January 27, 2006 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

That's why the post is in the context of the NSA spying program.
When I saw the spinning hair splitting, I knew it was you.

My bringing up Clinton's WMD quotes was in defense of the fact that the CIA failed, I also pointed out that the CIA failed to identify nukes for India (which has been conveniently ignored so far).

What Bush did with that failure is not connected to whether or not the CIA failed. They failed.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK
Then perhaps you should give me a better word to use.

Fighting effectively.

Your plan is to understand why the terrorists hate us, then modify our behavior to prevent that hate.

My plan is to use the full power of the US government -- including, but not limitd to, military, law enforcement, and intelligence action -- consistent with American values of liberty and limited government founded on consent of the governed expressed through the Constitution and laws, and with effectiveness, to fight actual terrorists, and simultaneously to work to address the problems that create terrorism, largely by working to spread those aforementioned American values through so-called "soft" power and financial influence, and by working to strengthen international institutions and cooperation, where possible.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, cm, I'll agree that Bush's misuse of that failure falls into Paul's post.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK
What Bush did with that failure is not connected to whether or not the CIA failed.

Well, yeah, actually, it is connected.

The more the CIA is demonstrated to have a history of failures, the more unjustified Bush's stretch of the intelligence as a political fig-leaf for a massive and costly invasion is.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

hey, Bush says he's only engaged in warrantless spying on al-qaeda communications, and we can all trust him on that.
that kind of blind faith from sheep like nutjob is what his whole administration is built on. Unfortunately it's starting to crumble, badly. The emperor has no clothes and everyone can see it now except for his most blind and obedient supporters.

Posted by: haha on January 27, 2006 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

My plan is to use the full power of the US government -- including, but not limitd to...
Bush is already using the military, law enforcement, and intelligence things; so let's see what else you have:

Bush isn't sitting down and singing Kumbya with terrorists (work to address the problems that create terrorism), what I said earlier about capitulation. And he's not relying enough on the UN (working to strengthen international institutions), when the UN was on the take from sanctions (ditto France, Germany, Russia, and Canada, you know, all the places that opposed the war).

You're not helping me put any faith in your plan.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Which looks to me like plain old capitulation.

"Capitulation" is a word that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News told you to use, so you slavishly and obediently use it over and over again.

You are the one who has capitulated to mental slavery.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

The more the CIA is demonstrated to have a history of failures, the more unjustified Bush's stretch of the intelligence
Good point.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut is just demonstrating what's wrong with conservatives generally and the republican party in particular. they defend the indefensible in the name of winning politics. if a democrat was doing what the current administration is doing, they'd be wailing from the mountaintops and rightly so. the problem is that a truly principled conservative would be wailing regardless of the party in charge because is it is just plain wrong, just plain unconstitutional. the point the dems are making isn't that the nsa shouldn't be listening to the bad guys; it's that it should be done through legal means as required by the constitution. what he wants is exactly what he claims so-called liberal appeasers want -- to turn us into our enemies.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on January 27, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

If the CIA and other intelligence agencies are broke, CN, then why hasn't Bush done anything to fix them?

Is that the smart thing to do? Wouldn't a competent president do that?

If the CIA kept screwing up then why give George Tenant the Congressional Medal of Honor?

Shouldn't he have been fired as soon as Bush took office? Or, at the very least, called on the carpet to explain the changes he was going to make to insure that the CIA wouldn't be making screw ups like they have in the past?

Strange behavior for a president you seem to think has done no wrong.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 27, 2006 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut wrote: You're not helping me put any faith in your plan.

Your fake, phony pretense that you are capable of actually considering ideas and therefore open to persuasion is as ludicrous as the absurd, bogus, scripted, programmed right-wing drivel-points that you constantly regurgitate, thereby demonstrating that you have no such ability.

You are a mental slave, conspiracy nut. A programmed, scripted robot. And you like it that way.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

If the CIA and other intelligence agencies are broke, CN, then why hasn't Bush done anything to fix them?
Now there's a damn good question. CIA and the State Department. Both of those are supposed to be instruments of the Executive Branch and both are rogue frigging agencies. I blame Congressional oversight of the CIA, and too much shopping at Bloomingdale's in the State Dept.

Both of those badly need cleaning out and Bush is busy expanding government (like that was needed).

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

a president you seem to think has done no wrong
Let me make this short, and I'll list the things Bush has done right:
1) He pursued terrorists
2) He irritated the hell out of moonbats

Everything else has been an abject failure.

The reason I'm always arguing against you guys is simple: your ideas are worse than Bush's! Let that soak in a while.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

cn: Oh, I expect plenty of mistakes.


To: Ron Suskind [ESQUIRE Magazine] From: John DiIulio Subject: Your next essay on the Bush administration Date: October 24, 2002


.....This gave rise to what you might call Mayberry Machiavellis-staff, senior and junior, who 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. These folks have their predecessors in previous administrations (left and right, Democrat and Republican), but, in the Bush administration, they were particularly unfettered.


mistakes = more dead americans

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 27, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK
Bush is already using the military, law enforcement, and intelligence things

But not, largely, to fight terrorism, or consistently with American values of liberty and government by consent expressed through Constitutional order. Instead, he's using the military, more than anything else, for a project conceived by PNAC for purposes unrelated to terrorism and which, in addition to diverting capacity from the fight on terror (which it did at a crucial time in the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Central Asia), contributes greatly to the sources of terrorism by playing into al-Qaeda and other extremist's propaganda of a general war of the West against the Islamic world which must be resisted, and by contributing to chaos and instability in the Arab and Muslim world which extremists demagogues are able to exploit.

He's using law enforcement and intelligence agencies in ways which stretch and, in many cases, directly and deliberately violate the law, with his administration stating that the intent is to push a preconceived agenda about the power the executive ought to have, rather than to focus on maximizing effectiveness in the war on terror. If he was willing to follow the law, and to push for changes to the law where he saw them necessary, the branches of government could together to common purpose. By deliberately violating the law to push an agenda unrelated to the campaign against terrorism, he weakens and unnecessarily divides the nation and the government in that fight.

Bush isn't sitting down and singing Kumbya with terrorists

No, instead he's letting them go to pursue other agendas. No one has advocated "sitting around singing Kumbya [sic] with terrorists". What has been advocated is, in addition to fighting existing terrorists, understanding the conditions that produce the next waves of terrorists, and stopping them from ever becoming terrorists in the first place.

And he's not relying enough on the UN...when the UN was on the take from sanctions (ditto France, Germany, Russia, and Canada, you know, all the places that opposed the war).

None of those countries opposed the war on terrorism; the war they opposed was the one that helped the terrorists and drew US resources away from dealing with the terrorists that actually attacked the United States. So, whatever their motives, that opposition was actually in the interests of the US war on terrorism, at any rate.

And the UN is hardly the only international institution. Particularly notably, the Bush Administration has worked intensely hard to undermine the effectiveness of international efforts to combat the conduct of war outside of international norms -- i.e., terrorism -- by seeking the early termination of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and working to undermine the International Criminal Court.

You're not helping me put any faith in your plan.

I don't expect you to have any faith except in the RNC, so this concerns me not in the slightest.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans in Congress should ask themselves: do they want Hillary to have the authority to do warrantless domestic spying after she's elected President?

If not, then they should take these powers away from President Bush, unless of course they think only Republicans should have these powers (which is probably the case).

Posted by: pj_in_jesusland on January 27, 2006 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Oh my God I woke up this morning to find out FDR(who i thought was dead)Is locking up Japanese,is this true,or is some moron living in the past instead of the present.

Posted by: pssst on January 27, 2006 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

mudwall jackson wrote: the problem is that a truly principled conservative would be wailing regardless of the party in charge because is it is just plain wrong, just plain unconstitutional.

A good example is Bob Barr, the former Georgia Congressman (and a leader of the Clinton impeachment effort), who is an outspoken critic of the NSA spying program and introduced Al Gore at Gore's recent speech on the issue. Personally, I regard Barr as a right-wing extremist on most issues, but it is a fact that he actually does have principles and a genuine political philosophy that values Constitutional limits on the power of the Executive branch, and is willing to stand up to an abuse of power by a President of his own party.

From Gore's speech:

Congressman Barr and I have disagreed many times over the years, but we have joined together today with thousands of our fellow citizens -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- to express our shared concern that America's Constitution is in grave danger.

In spite of our differences over ideology and politics, we are in strong agreement that the American values we hold most dear have been placed at serious risk by the unprecedented claims of the Administration to a truly breathtaking expansion of executive power.

As we begin this new year, the Executive Branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress to prevent such abuses.

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

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Congressional Medal of Honor"

That is the highest honor given to military personnel. Tenet received the civilian Medal of Freedom, probably on the advice of one Bush's many Consiglieres - A Consigliere does give advice to a crime lord.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on January 27, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK
Let me make this short, and I'll list the things Bush has done right: 1) He pursued terrorists

Uh, well, until he decided he wasn't really concerned about them, because he had to send virtually the entire combat power of the US military -- including the groups that had been tasked to locating senior al-Qaeda leadership in the campaign in Central Asia -- to pursue the PNAC imperial project in Iraq.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," [Ann] Coulter said.

The voice of the Right is truly ugly.

Repugnicans indeed.

At one point during her address, which was part of a lecture series, some audience members booed when she cut off two questioners. "I'm not going to be lectured to," Coulter told one man in a raised voice.

The voice of the Right is arrogant, it says

". . . shut up, shut up, we don't have to listen to you because we are the ethnic, racial, moral, political, intellectual, philosophical, political, religious, and economic elite whose viewpoint cannot be questioned or criticized by others we consider our inferiors."

Repugnicans indeed.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: The reason I'm always arguing against you guys is simple: your ideas are worse than Bush's!

Only because you entertain delusional versions of liberal ideas, rather than listening to the actual ones.

Must come from having your viewpoint restricted to the outline of Bush's buttcheeks.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: I'll list the things Bush has done right: 1) He pursued terrorists

For the first nine months of his administration, Bush, Cheney and other principals of the Bush administration not only failed to "pursue terrorists," they outright refused to take the threat of terrorism seriously despite numerous warnings, including from members of their own administration, of the urgency of the threat and the imminent danger of a major Al Qaeda attack.

Following the 9/11 attack, Cheney, Bush et al deliberately subverted the pursuit of actual terrorists in order to deceive and mislead America into their long-planned illegal war of unprovoked aggression against Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with any terrorist threat against America.

Second to their refusal to address the problem of global warming, which threatens the survival of the human species, the Bush administration's deliberate subversion of the struggle against terrorism in order to conduct an illegal war which has killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians for corrupt purposes of private financial gain is their worst atrocity.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

The real question is whether the FBI will investigate Coulter.

They've investigated the most ridiculous and obviously joking referrals to "killing" or "harming" the current resident of the Casa Blanca, so why would they hesitate here?

We know the answer . . .

. . . Repugnicans are above the laws everybody else has to follow.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

C.Nut Do you come here just to hear your self type? Do you think your gonna change our minds? Bin Laden sucked Bush into to this the same way Salidin drew the crusaders into the desert. Read your history bozo.

Posted by: morg on January 27, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God quotes: "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," [Ann] Coulter said.

So why is the Secret Service not taking her away in handcuffs for inciting the assassination of a Supreme Court justice? I guess they are too busy harrassing people with anti-Bush bumper stickers on their cars.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

"The reason I'm always arguing against you guys is simple: your ideas are worse than Bush's! Let that soak in a while."

Now that's how to insult somebody!

Posted by: Ace Franze on January 27, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

But not, largely, to fight terrorism
I disagree here. Libya gives up its WMDs (I know already, but you can't explain the timing). Syria withdraws from Lebanon. Egypt and Saudi Arabia make noises about free and fair elections. The Palis have them. Support for terrorists down in virtually all Muslim countries. I think there have been plenty of advances in the WoT.

Now I'm not going to argue that it couldn't have been done differently, and I'm not going to argue that it couldn't have been done more effectively.

What has been advocated is ...understanding the conditions that produce the next waves of terrorists
I know this, I have phrased it thusly "listen to their terms". They've stated what they want, world Caliphate. Power. Israel destroyed. And the fact that you want to address these outrageous demands doesn't impress me.

None of those countries opposed the war on terrorism
Since their next desired action was do to more of what got us where we are, I'll call that opposing the WoT.

the International Criminal Court
I support Bush's distain for the ICC. We don't have a world government, which makes a world court an idea whose time has not come.

I don't expect you to have any faith except in the RNC
Do I look like I haven't considered these items? The fact that you cannot convince me that you have a superior position is not a reflection on me.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Advocate for God: Only because you entertain delusional versions of liberal ideas, rather than listening to the actual ones.

Like most of the right-wing commenters who post here, conspiracy nut lives in a cartoon comic-book virtual reality constructed by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, delineated by scripted talking points and inhabited by one-dimensional stereotypes. The real world is too threatening in its complexity for his puny mentality, so he retreats into the mental slavery of simplistic delusion. Such is the soul of the neo-brownshirt goon.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 27, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

why would any of you guys engage in any argument with a guy who is under the delusion that bush as any idea?

Posted by: lib on January 27, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Do you come here just to hear your self type?
Sure, I've assigned musical notes to all my computer keys; and as I type, I create a symphony.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut lives in a cartoon comic-book virtual reality constructed by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News
You forgot Leave it to Beaver.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK
I know this, I have phrased it thusly "listen to their terms".

Yes, and your phrasing is wrong. First, because it deals with the wrong "they". My statement refers to the situations experienced by people who are not now terrorists that make them vulnerable to terrorist propaganda, yours is about actually acceding to terrorist demands (like "get US troops out of Saudi Arabia" -- mission accomplished!)

I'm not talking about doing what al-Qaeda says it wants. I'm talking about dealing with the problems that make people willing to listen (except for the purposes of opposition) to what al-Qaeda says in the first place.

And the fact that you want to address these outrageous demands doesn't impress me.

The fact that you can't distinguish between the situations faced by people who are not terrorists and the demands made by people who are terrorists leads me not to care very much what impresses you.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, any brown looking Arab will do. We kill them every day in Iraq and Afghanistan. Innocent bystanders? No, they all want to kill us don't you know.

Posted by: lilybart on January 27, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Guys. (And gals.)

Please. Come on. Don't feed the trolls.

The threads become noisy enough from the persistant idiots alone. More than a single, factual rebuttal serves no good purpose.

Unless and until Kevin changes things, they can and will post more than you and nothing you can say here will cause them to suddenly become even half-witted.

Posted by: S Ra on January 27, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut (fake, not fake, or who cares):

Libya gives up its WMDs.

Since Libya had not WMDs to give up, this is disingenuous at best.

Syria withdraws from Lebanon.

They made a facial withdrawal of troops, but actually didn't withdraw anything important, like influence and funding of certain Lebanese elements.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia make noises about free and fair elections.

So does Iran and they have for a while now.

So does Chavez.

Etc.

So, your point is meaningless.

Support for terrorists down in virtually all Muslim countries.

Previously you opined that this is because of the terrorists themselves attacking other Muslims, now you want to change your theory and give Bush the credit.

Ouch.

It hurts to get caught in a flip-flop like that I bet.

They've stated what they want, world Caliphate.

Link?

And who is "they" exactly? How far does "they" extend, so as to demonstrate is has any significance?

Do I look like I haven't considered these items?

Yes.

The fact that you cannot convince me that you have a superior position is not a reflection on me.

Yes, it is.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Support for terrorists down in virtually all Muslim countries. I think there have been plenty of advances in the WoT.

I guess it depends on how you look at it.

Egypt made noises about free and fair elections -- then jailed the only opposition candidate for president. When a few of his supporters spoke out against the government -- they were disbanded by police.

Iran has reversed direction from electing moderate leaders to electing extremely hard line ones and now talks about wiping Israel off the map.

Both insurgent attacks on our troops and al-Qaeda attacks on civilians in Iraq were up by huge percentages last year, as were the number of terrorist attacks worldwide.

Meanwhile, Iran has been exporting hard line clerics and security details to Basra to look after the oil assets there.

The Palestinians elected the hardcore Hamas to a majority in government.

And bin Laden and Zawahiri put out PR tapes at will.

This just doesn't look like success to me.

As Chris pointed out, we are creating worse conditions with our tactics. Every intelligence agency has reported that Iraq has become both a breeding and a training ground for future terrorists. Regional government are going more hard line. There are two groups under discussion here: terrorists and ordinary people who are potential terrorists. Had we not wrought the PNAC plan on the second group perhaps more of them would not be gravitating toward the first.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 27, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

The reason I'm always arguing against you guys is simple: your ideas are worse than Bush's! Let that soak in a while.

Upholding the Constitution is a worse idea than proudly violating it...interesting viewpoint.

That, ladies and gentleman, tells you all you need to know about our wingnut extraordinaire.

Posted by: haha on January 27, 2006 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Will Hamas get invited to Crawford.

Posted by: pssst on January 27, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

How are free and fair elections in the middle east working out for us lately? I know if I lived in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Palestine etc. I'd probably vote for a government that promised to protect me against Bush.

Posted by: cq on January 27, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

EVERY YEAR THE NUMBER OF TROOPS IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY AND RESERVES IS ON THE DECLINE SO BY THE TIME THE TROOPS ARE BROUGHT HOME FROM IRAQ THEY WILL BE DRAWING SOCIAL SECURITY . THE TERROIST WILL ALL HAVE MOVED TO THE U. S. A. AND OPENED UP
BUISSNESSES HERE , BECAUSE THERE ARE NO RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR ANYONE TO FOLLOW . HAVE A NICE DAY ! ! JOHN DOE BOY

Posted by: JOHN DOE BOY on January 27, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy fruitcake:

> Egypt and Saudi Arabia make noises about
> free and fair elections. The Palis have them.

And elect Hamas.

> Support for terrorists down in virtually all Muslim countries.

Tell it to Abu Mazen.

Dingus.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on January 27, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

by people who are not now terrorists that make them vulnerable to terrorist propaganda
OK, this I can buy, affect Mao's ocean. But what are you going to do? They're victims of largely totalitarian regimes, and we see that you're against changing that. But it seems to me that everything else that they are a victim of, is a result of the totalitarian rulers.

Now if you're not willing to effect a change there, what do you suggest we do? (And I'll remind you in advance how successful sanctions have been in Cuba)

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Lets see how our civil liberities did under a DEmocrat Congress:


The following limits were placed on the need for warrants while the Democrats ran Congress:

Detain American citizens for investigative purposes without a warrant;

Arrest American citizens, based on probable cause, without a warrant;

Conduct a warrantless search of the person of an American citizen who has been detained, with or without a warrant;

Conduct a warrantless search of the home of an American citizen in order to secure the premises while a warrant is being obtained;

Conduct a warrantless search of, and seize, items belonging to American citizens that are displayed in plain view and that are obviously criminal or dangerous in nature;

Conduct a warrantless search of anything belonging to an American citizen under exigent circumstances if considerations of public safety make obtaining a warrant impractical;

Conduct a warrantless search of an American citizen's home and belongings if another person, who has apparent authority over the premises, consents;

Conduct a warrantless search of an American citizen's car anytime there is probable cause to believe it contains contraband or any evidence of a crime;

Conduct a warrantless search of any closed container inside the car of an American citizen if there is probable cause to search the car regardless of whether there is probable cause to search the container itself;

Conduct a warrantless search of any property apparently abandoned by an American citizen;

Conduct a warrantless search of any property of an American citizen that has lawfully been seized in order to create an inventory and protect police from potential hazards or civil claims;

Conduct a warrantless search including a strip search at the border of any American citizen entering or leaving the United States;

Conduct a warrantless search at the border of the baggage and other property of any American citizen entering or leaving the United States;

Conduct a warrantless search of any American citizen seeking to enter a public building;

Conduct a warrantless search of random Americans at police checkpoints established for public-safety purposes (such as to detect and discourage drunk driving);

Conduct warrantless monitoring of common areas frequented by American citizens;

Conduct warrantless searches of American citizens and their vessels on the high seas;

Conduct warrantless monitoring of any telephone call or conversation of an American citizen as long as one participant in the conversation has consented to the monitoring;

Conduct warrantless searches of junkyards maintained by American citizens;

Conduct warrantless searches of docks maintained by American citizens;

Conduct warrantless searches of bars or nightclubs owned by American citizens to police underage drinking;

Conduct warrantless searches of auto-repair shops operated by American citizens;

Conduct warrantless searches of the books of American gem dealers in order to discourage traffic in stolen goods;

Conduct warrantless drug screening of American citizens working in government, emergency services, the transportation industry, and nuclear plants;

Conduct warrantless drug screening of American citizens who are school officials;

Conduct warrantless drug screening of American citizens who are school students;

Conduct warrantless searches of American citizens who are on bail, probation or parole.

Boy, Bush is a piker compared to the left

Posted by: Patton on January 27, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Had we not wrought the PNAC plan on the second group perhaps more of them would not be gravitating toward the first.
The majority of Iraqis and Afghanis have a more positive outlook on their future than you do. The Sunnis are taking part in the electoral process. The Sunnis are increasingly fighting al Qaeda in Iraq. And support for terrorism is still down in virtually all Muslim countries.

And I said "making noise" toward free and fair because I'm aware that making noise is all they're doing so far. They weren't doing that before. And it will probably turn out to be a shame that Hamas was elected; but given the choice between Hamas and Fatah, the Palis may have made the right choice for themselves. Hamas has given them more than the PLO ever did. It's probably a dark day for Israeli-Palestinian peace; but I'm a hopeful guy, since Hamas is now a government instead of a terrorist group, maybe they'll grow up.

This just doesn't look like success to me.
Hey, keep looking for the dark spots, you wouldn't want this to work out; Bush might look good. The fact that support for terrorism is down is the largest indicator that the WoT is making headway.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK


patton: Conduct a warrantless search of the home of an American citizen in order to secure the premises while a warrant is being obtained;

it wasnt illegal when clinton did it...in 1993

a warant was not needed under FISA back then...

but congress ..then...

changed the law...in 1995...


dead enders....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 27, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: . . . and we see that you're against changing that.

No, we aren't.

We're just against violating international law, hypocrisy, arming dictators and future terrorists, and using torture to do so.

Once again you lie about liberals.

Once again you are caught doing so.

It's a regular routine.

But it seems to me that everything else that they are a victim of, is a result of the totalitarian rulers.

Totalitarian rulers supported, armed, and financed for decades by smug American conservatives who are equally culpable for these victims due to that support and who are equally disingenous when pretending they've abandoned those methods in favor of democracy.

And I'll remind you in advance how successful sanctions have been in Cuba.

Then why do you support a GOP that supports those sanctions, which you imply are ineffective and therefore morally wrong, and refuse to invade Cuba?

Because you are intellectually dishonest.

Because you believe in loyal partisanship over your claimed national security and foreign policy principles.

If you are not willing to effect a change in Cuba, or Saudi Arabia, or the Sudan, or Pakistan, or the Balkans (back during the Clinton administration), North Korea, China, or everywhere else terroristic and totalitarian regimes are operating, then what do you suggest we do?

I know!

Clap really hard and say Bush is the best president ever and his mere presence in the White House and his mere fumbling, bumbling, sniveling and sneering visage will frighten these dictators into abandoning their totalitarian ways! Yea!

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry AfG, maybe cm will come along and give an actual response.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Hey, keep looking for the dark spots, you wouldn't want this to work out; Bush might look good.

We don't have to look either hard or long to find dark spots - they just leap forth from Bush's policies like a startled flock of birds.

It doesn't matter what we want - it's not going to work out. That's what happens when a corrupt and incompetent coward gets elected to the White House.

No amount of puffing of Bush's record will make Bush look good and no amount of silence by the Left will either.

Bush dooms Bush, not the Left and not the MSM - if it were the latter, then Bush would never have been above 50% approval.

The facts simply don't support the Right's whining about how the MSM and the criticism of the Left (dishonestly portrayed as hatred by the Right) are responsible for Bush's low polling and all of his failures.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry, AfG, maybe Windhorse will come along and give an actual response.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 27, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: The fact that support for terrorism is down . . . .

A dishonest subjective assessment not supported by reality.

Don't worry AfG, maybe cm will come along and give an actual response.

Since you will ignore or be unconvinced by any such a response, no matter how well it shows your own statements to be mendacious or idiotic, waiting for it is irrelevant.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

conspiracy nut: Don't worry, AfG, maybe Windhorse will come along and give an actual response.

Ditto - sub "Windhorse".

As substantive response to you is simply an invitation to yet more mendacity and rationalization from you.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I like the end of the article. It's going to be real tough to get a photo him now.

The only chemicals he'll see are the detergents that get him off the walls.

Posted by: aaron on January 27, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK
But what are you going to do? They're victims of largely totalitarian regimes, and we see that you're against changing that.


You know, everytime you've claimed to know what I'm for or against, you've been wrong.

Maybe you should stop doing that. I am not against changing the situation wherein people live under totalitarian regimes.

But it seems to me that everything else that they are a victim of, is a result of the totalitarian rulers.

"They" who? In the Middle East -- which is not where all radical Islamists come from -- that is a major problem, sure. In other places, the US/European advanced corporate "free trade" model of world trade which objectively has been shown to exacerbate existing racial and ethnic wealth inequalities, empowering narrow minorities and hurting majorities in many countries subjected to it, contributes a lot to the fertility of the ground for radical Islamists, just as the similar trade models advanced frequently have in the past half-century for a variety of other radical ideologies, such as Stalinist and Maoist extremism (this is also a problem in the Middle East, though the cleavages are sometimes not as stark in terms of ethnic distinctions.)

Don't worry AfG, maybe cm will come along and give an actual response.

There was nothing wrong with AfG's response.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 27, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Bush vows Hariri killers will 'be held to account'

A vow just as worthless as the one that he made to hold the 9/11 perpetrators to account.

Posted by: Advocate for God on January 27, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I was gone this afternoon.

The fact that support for terrorism is down is the largest indicator that the WoT is making headway

The two problems with this statement are that 1) it's not entirely true that support for terrorism is down and 2) to the extent that it is true it's not clear that it's due to the so-called WoT.

I'm not sure where you're getting your data from, but I looked at the Pew Global Attitudes Project.

In five countries polled, support for terrorism was significantly down in three, stayed the same in one, and went up significantly in one. All five declined in their support of terrorism in Iraq.

However, the conclusion to draw here is not that the WoT is "working" in any sense but that people are tired of attacks on civilians, including those in their own countries, and particularly civilians in Iraq.

How can we infer that? Because the same countries were also polled specifically to determine their support for the so-called WoT. Here are the results for each of the four years from 2002 to 2005:

Percent Oppose the War on Terror

Lebanon 56 67 _ 65
Jordan 85 97 78 86
Morocco - 84 56 66
Pakistan 45 74 60 52
Turkey 58 71 56 71

Hmmm, not a great track record, particularly in 2005, where a significant majority oppose our policies in the Middle East. Add that the results of the poll on Islamic extremism from the Pew page(huge numbers in some countries don't see it as a threat, others are split evenly) then it becomes even clearer that support for terrorism has little to do with U.S. policies and more to do with suicide-bomber fatigue.

And whatever you do, don't look at the percentages of people that support the U.S. They're so low they'll break your little heart.

As for Afghans and Iraqis being "hopeful," as I've noted before that it's a human survival reflex to be hopeful when things are bad. Afghan has had its bloodiest year since 2001, with the number of attacks doubling. Karzai is a prisoner in Kabul, the defense ministers are confessing to the BBC that the Taliban are on the rise again, and suicide bombings are on the rise. Iraq is going so poorly it's too difficult to enumerate here. It too has had its bloodiest year, the Sunnis have made it clear they're digging in for the long haul, we've abandoned our reconstructions projects -- it's just a mess.

It's not looking for "dark spots" to point out these trends. People suffering and dying in greater numbers than they were a few years ago are not "dark spots" they are terrible realities. To ignore these realities in favor of cheerful talk and jingoism is to evade perspective.

A substantive response to you is simply an invitation to yet more mendacity and rationalization from you.

Heh, he's got you there c-nut.

I think you're more open to ideas than people give you credit for, but you wreck opportunities for constructive dialogue by savaging your opponent and by finding fault with each and every argument, no matter how persuasive or decisive or factual it is. If I had to guess, I'd say that at some level because you believe we're all crazy that ultimately you could never bring yourself to accept an argument because then you'd be buying in -- and you too would be a moonbat.

Just my two cents, and I could be wrong.

Posted by: Windhorse on January 27, 2006 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Criminal incompetence. Did the person responsible for putting this fellow on the list even bother to check up on the public hunt for this guy. Seems not.

Posted by: parrot on January 27, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

I NOMINATE THIS POST AS THE DUMEST EVER:

Posted by: thisspaceavailable """"patton: Conduct a warrantless search of the home of an American citizen in order to secure the premises while a warrant is being obtained;


it wasnt illegal when clinton did it...in 1993

a warant was not needed under FISA back then...

but congress ..then...

changed the law...in 1995..."""""""


ARE YOU GUYS REALLY THIS DUMB...FISA, WHIH INVOLVED FORIEGN INTELLIGENCE AND SURVEILLANCE HAS ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING TO DO WITH PHYSICAL SEACHES OF AMERICANS HOMES...THIS IS THE DUMBEST ARGUMENT I'VE EVER HEARD. AND FISA CAN'T OVERRULE THE CONSTITUTION....DUH!


Posted by: Patton on January 28, 2006 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

patton.....

calling the facts..dumb...says more about you....

than the facts...

prior to 1995....fisa did not prohibit physical searches...

the law was changed...

and now it does...

but you already knew that...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on January 28, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

ARE YOU GUYS REALLY THIS DUMB...FISA, WHIH INVOLVED FORIEGN INTELLIGENCE AND SURVEILLANCE HAS ABSOLUTLEY NOTHING TO DO WITH PHYSICAL SEACHES OF AMERICANS HOMES

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, as amended, is 50 USC Chapter 36. Supchapter I concerns electronic surveillance. Subchapter II concerns physical searchs. Subchapter III concerns "pen registers and trap and trace devices". Subchapter IV concerns business records. All four subchapters concern mechanisms of surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes.

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

cmdicely
everytime you've claimed to know what I'm for or against
You opposed removing a totalitarian ruler. Simple enough. Dictators don't lay down power.

US/European advanced corporate "free trade" model of world trade which objectively has been shown to exacerbate existing racial and ethnic wealth inequalities
Well, here's a major source of disagreement. Free trade is the best thing that ever happened to working people worldwide. Where else are they supposed to get their money? If we give foreign aid, the ruling class keeps it all. But even they have to pay workers. Do you realize that our huge trade deficit with China pumps those dollars into their economy? Ditto everywhere else. Free trade is what the world's poor need.

just as the similar trade models advanced frequently have in the past half-century for a variety of other radical ideologies, such as Stalinist and Maoist extremism
And all based on the same "fixed wealth" fallacy that you base your idealogy on. Wealth is not fixed, even JFK realized that "A rising tide lifts all boats".

Windhorse
First, I don't care whether they like the US or not. Hell, France doesn't like us; and you lefties keep telling me they're our most important ally.

Second, you can add Jordan into the "oppose" category now. Your poll is slightly outdated.

but that people are tired of attacks on civilians, including those in their own countries
Imagine that, taking the war to them meant they got to see their own people blown up. Now they get to see terrorists up close and personal; and they also get to see why terrorists do what they do. And it's become apparent that saving Muslims isn't it. So these results you desire to wash away are the only results that will work.

If I had to guess, I'd say that at some level because you believe we're all crazy that ultimately you could never bring yourself to accept an argument because then you'd be buying in -- and you too would be a moonbat
Naw, you're overthinking the problem. I do think moonbats are crazy, but would you fear to be persuaded by a crazy man? No, moonbats are pure fun. Witness cmdicely hanging on to the badly disproven fixed wealth fallacy, and he's one of the saner moonbats.

I had hopes for this blog becoming something better not long ago; I didn't really expect it to pan out and it didn't. But for a brief period of time I actually behaved.

Posted by: conspiracy nut on January 30, 2006 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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