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« Defending kids or demagoguing? | Main | Progress and its enemies »

Jul 25, 2007

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John Burns

I would love to have seen John Edwards question him.

Danny Wright

Until the Democratic leadership in Congress decides to do something about Gonzalez, i.e., start impeachment proceedings against him, this is all just circus that provides good entertainment value and little else. The Senators questioning him looked almost as stupid as he did by their visible anger contrasted with his smirks.

Fred Gregory

Smirk x 1000 )-:

Fred Gregory

BTW who gives a shit Arlen the RINO sez. Smirkishly yours

Fred Gregory

Mick

Though crass... Fred's right this time.

It is my understanding the problem is there was nothing illegal about the firings. Unprecedented (timing wise) but is there anything else?

Roch101

For Pete's sake, Mick. How about lying to congress?

Ed Cone

Your willingness to dismiss on the basis of fairly narrow partisan differences any substantive discussion of the content of the Senate hearing may strike some as damning and others as chilling, Fred, but I find your honesty refreshing.

Mick, Gonzo's problems aren't just about the fired US Attys.

Mick

All these hearings, votes, blah blah and nothing. NOTHING. If AG lied under oath he needs to go. Felt the same about Libby and Clinton. To Congress: prove it or shut up. If you got the goods move toward impeachment. Stop trying for an on camera "gotcha". This is total BS.

How about the real question... What was illegal about the firings?

Roch101

Total BS? Publicly holding a public official to account? Riiiiight.

Some believe that seeing and hearing officials explain themselves in full view is a good thing. In this case, it made me want to puke, but still a good thing.

Danny Wright

Roch, I think the "total BS" comment echoes what a lot of people feel about Congress right now, what with approval ratings even lower than Bush's. I was excited back in November when the Democrats took over -- "Now there will finally be some real accountability", and I can't even begin to describe how incredibly disappointed I am with what little the new Congress has done. Sure, it can be chalked up to the need for supramajorities and 60-vote thresholds, thus putting a severe qualifier on the idea of a "Democratic Congress", but the way the Dems rolled over on Iraq funding combined with their running around in circles over Gonzalez only makes the latest round of testimony seem like more weakness on their part.

It may seem simplistic, but my frustrations with both parties right now could be described as viewing the Republicans as "all heart and no head" and the Democrats as "all head and no heart". It's tiresome. And I bet I am not alone -- I would love to know what has happened over the last two years to the percentage of likely voters who do not consider themselves a member of / identifying with either party. I can only hazard a guess that it is increasing.

Mick

What have they accomplished to date? Exposing shady govt dealings? Finding out that lawyers sometimes choose their words carefully and to their own favor? Why Im shocked!

I know I dont sound like it but I do agree with you on this and I am tired of it all and I mean all. I just donet believe the Dems are exposing ANYTHING new or foreign to them or to the way our Govt works in general.

Oh and thanks for answering the question about the illegalities of the firings.

Ed,
Same s%$# ... differant day. Maybe.

Mick

yeah! what he said.

Ed Cone

Ask and ye shall receive.

Fred Gregory

Some of you have a bad case of
Gonzales Derangement Syndrome

Sheesh !

Ed Cone

Ah, we're back to the idea that people with whom we disagree must be "deranged."

It does save one the effort of gathering facts and arranging them in some sort of logical order to make an argument.

And of course the cries of "Bush Derangement Syndrome" we heard in response to criticism of the occupation of Iraq turned out to be...oops, bad example.

Ed Cone

NYT: "The dispute over the truthfulness of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales reached a new intensity today as the F.B.I. Director, Robert S. Mueller 3rd, contradicted Mr. Gonzales’s sworn testimony before a Senate committee."

I'm sure this doesn't matter, as Mueller is no doubt the wrong sort of Republican, or deranged, and who cares anyway because Congress hasn't reversed 6.5 years of Bush already, but there ya go.

Bubba

As usual, Ed fails to get the point.....on purpose.

The continual piling and overhype is indicative that some people who like to find fault for political purposes have way too much free time on their hands.

Watch for the expected smarmy response.

I'll bet he's already got one loaded and ready.

Fred Gregory

Ed,

GDS was just the cool link . I just once you would read the facts in the links and deal with them instead of the same tired knee jerk " Ah Ha they are calling us names again ".

For example the AG offered to go into executive session and testify under oath as to which program he had been talking about. But no, your fool friends on the left were satisfied with the circus they had conducted and the damage it may do to our national security. Lower than whale poop. !!.

Anthony

From Fred's link:

"Warrantless 'wiretaps' were only used when matters were so time-sensitive that normal procedures could not be followed"

Considering that "normal procedures" allow for warrants to be issued *after* eavesdropping begins in time-sensitive cases, this sounds like a load of BS to me.

Roch101

Straight up question for those who don't object to warrantless wiretapping. Will it still be okay under President Clinton? Tell the truth now.

Fred Gregory

Hey Roch,

Did you sleep through the Bill Clinton years when his DOJ used warrentless searches ?

Can You Say Aldrich Ames ?

For insight into the reasoning claimed by Reno and Clinton Clinton read this by Byron York.

Inherent Authority Authority

Ged

Wow, Fred. You KNOW the law was amended by Clinton in his second term to correct what happened with Ames. So does everyone who pays attention, that is a totally false argument and you know it.

Roch101

So, what are you saying, Fred? Warrantless wiretapping okay or not okay?

Fred Gregory

Roch/Ged,

Yes of course I know the law was ammended and if you read the Byron York article and the Wapo quotes from Clinton Administration officials after that change you will find that they said they would go along with congress but they did not back down from their contention that the president had the act unitaterally when necessary.

Roch101

Don't know what you addressed that last comment to me, Fred. I was asking if you think warrentless wiretapping of Americans is okay?

Fred Gregory

Roch,

Before that YOU asked if those who have no problem with (certain limited ) warrantless wiretapping would be as uncritical of a ( Hillary ) Clinton Administration if they did it. Two for the price of one Capisce !

Fred Gregory

Viewed most favorably in the light of those who still doubt the president's inherent authority under Article II to authorize warrentless wiretaps, I must conclude that they don't understand the complexities of telecommunications today.

I urge all of you to read this and get back to me.

The Wiretap Debacle

It is infuriating to me for one party to consistently put their own political interests above the national security of the United States.

Percy Walker

Roch, warrantless wiretapping, like other warrantless searches, is perfectly appropriate in some circumstances and absolutely necessary in others. The 4th amendment bars UNREASONABLE searches and seizures, not warrantless searches and seizures. A warrant establishes reasonableness, but the issuance of one isn't the sine qua non of a reasonable search.

Demanding a warrant in all circumstances is bad policy. The 4th Amendment says a warrant can't be issued without probable cause and particularity. The reason for this is because warrants were considered a bad thing at the time the Bill of Rights was adopted. They immunize officials from liability and punishment and, therefore, shouldn't be too easy to get.

The showing one needs to make to obtain a warrant is precisely the reason why requiring one in all circumstances is foolish. What those circumstances should be is what we should be discussing, but they should be limited to circumstances involving legitimate national security concerns. I, for one, want an analyst at the NSA to follow up on his or her reasonable hunches, even when they don't rise to the level of probable cause.

You can protect Americans from abuse by making the misuse of gathered information a serious crime and by allowing Americans recourse against the government for such misuse. Americans, of course, are also protected because the search itself still has to be reasonable. I refuse to equate "warrantless" with "unreasonable."

Roch101

"Before that YOU asked if those who have no problem with (certain limited ) warrantless wiretapping would be as uncritical of a ( Hillary ) Clinton Administration if they did it."

Correct. And the answer is...?

Fred?

Percy?

Bubba

Speaking of the "circus" that passes for "oversight" on the part of the Democrat Congress, this WSJ editorial puts it into the proper perspsctive.

Noteworthy:

"So Americans should be alarmed that one of the best intelligence tools--warrantless wiretapping of al Qaeda suspects--has recently become far less effective and is in danger of being neutered by Congressional Democrats."

"Democratic leaders were briefed on the program from the first and never once tried to shut it down. But once it was exposed, these same Democrats accused Mr. Bush of breaking the law by not getting warrants from the special court created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. Mr. Bush has rightly defended the program's legality, but as a gesture of compromise in January he agreed to seek warrants under the FISA process."


"At least a few Democrats realize they may be setting themselves up for trouble if there's another terrorist attack. House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes wrote to Mr. Bush last week saying he was "very concerned" about the program and urging the Administration to "devote all the resources necessary to ensure that we are conducting maximum surveillance of the terrorist target abroad."

Mr. Reyes went on to note that "FISA does not require a warrant for communications between two individuals outside the United States. If clarifications to the law are necessary, we are prepared to deal with this." That'll serve Mr. Reyes well as political cover if the next 9/11 Commission asks who ruined the terrorist surveillance program. But if he's serious about national security, he should send his next letter to Senate Democrats."


Go ahead, gang.....put your political money where your political mouthes are.

Start impeachment proceedings against Gonzales.

Start impeachment proceedings against Bush.

It's a battle you won't win.


Percy Walker

Roch -- I don't care who the president is.

I also want to be clear that I don't think the President has inherent authority to violate FISA. I think as a policy matter, FISA should be fixed to give more flexibility.

Danny Wright

Well, for the record, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr thinks warrantless wiretaps are unconstitutional (and yes I am about to be guilty of the lazy cut-and-paste):

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1145243,00.html

Excerpts:

"Let's focus briefly on what the President has done here. Exactly like Nixon before him, Bush has ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct electronic snooping on communications of various people, including U.S. citizens. That action is unequivocally contrary to the express and implied requirements of federal law that such surveillance of U.S. persons inside the U.S. (regardless of whether their communications are going abroad) must be preceded by a court order. General Michael Hayden, a former director of the NSA and now second in command at the new Directorate of National Intelligence, testified to precisely that point at a congressional hearing in April 2000. In response, the President and his defenders have fallen back on the same rationale used by Nixon, saying essentially, "I am the Commander in Chief; I am responsible for the security of this country; the people expect me to do this; and I am going to do it." But the Supreme Court slapped Nixon's hands when he made the same point in 1972. And it slapped Bush's hands when, after 9/11, he asserted authority to indefinitely detain those he unilaterally deemed "enemy combatants"--without any court access."

Further:

"Bush's advocates also argue that the congressional resolution authorizing military force in Afghanistan and elsewhere--to bring to justice those responsible for the 9/11 attacks--authorized those no-warrant wiretaps. But there is absolutely nothing in the clear language of that resolution or in its legislative history suggesting that it was intended to override specific federal laws governing electronic surveillance."

And as to the theme of the WSJ article Fred links to:

"Finally, presidential defenders have argued that efficiency demands bypassing the courts. There again, the clear language of the law does them in. Even pre--Patriot Act law provided a very robust mechanism through which a President, facing what he believes is such an emergency that the short time needed to secure court approval for a wiretap would obviate the need for one, can order a tap without prior court approval as long as he eventually gets an O.K. within three days. If that degree of flexibility does not suit a President, it is hard to imagine what provision would. And if the President thought the law governing eavesdropping was misguided or impractical, he should have proposed amendments."

And finally:

"The Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the assertion that a President may conduct electronic surveillance without judicial approval for national security, noting in 1972 that our "Fourth Amendment freedoms cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances may be conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch.""

Roch101

"I, for one, want an analyst at the NSA to follow up on his or her reasonable hunches, even when they don't rise to the level of probable cause."

You're pulling my leg right?

Roch101

"as a gesture of compromise in January he (Bush) agreed to seek warrants under the FISA process."

The president decides to follow the law and it's a gesture of compromise? We have fallen so far, it's a damn disgraace.

Bubba

"The president decides to follow the law and it's a gesture of compromise? We have fallen so far, it's a damn disgraace."

Ah, yes.....the old "follow the law" talking point.

Good work, Roch........

Roch101

"Ah, yes.....the old "follow the law" talking point." -- Bubba

That some think that is trite adds to our shame. What the hell did serve in the Navy for, Bubba?

Bubba

"What the hell did serve in the Navy for, Bubba?"

To allow people like you to be as stupid and pig-headed as they want to be.

ashanti

Girls on the left. When "Leaking" Leahy and "Camera Hogging " Chuckie refused to take the AG's offer to testify in private, that's all we need to know. They don't care about gathering the truth but simply are , with their pompus grandstanding, trying to gain political advantage.

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