Right-wingers! Listen up!

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

This is a personal appeal to our right-wing readers:

So, the president of the United States has now admitted that he directed his national security staff to spy on American citizens - living in America - that they believed were plotting terrorism. The spying wasn't authorized by a court. Rather, it was authorized by executive branch staff who serve at the pleasure of the president (so, hardly a check on executive power).

I have only four words for our most right-wing friends who are jumping to the defense of this radical expansion of presidential power:

President Hillary Rodham Clinton

Just ponder that for a moment.

Now, I don't know if Hillary's ever going to be elected president, and that's not the point. But someday, somehow, whatever your definition of left-wing wacko looks like is going to get elected president - with whatever nightmares that means for you. (Guns? Gays? Hairy Feminists? Mass Transit Absolutists?)

And I ask you this: Are you really sure - really, really sure - that you want George W. Bush to have expanded presidential powers this far? To have established a precedent that the president's national security apparatus can spy on any American citizen, living anywhere in America, with only his or her own staff to provide a check on that power?

Comments

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Points well made about the dangers each of us face when our political leaders do damage to the letter or the substance of the rule of law. We don't know the full facts yet on what this Adminstration has really done to undermine our civil rights and the bedrock principle of due process, and we will only come to know that if the blogs, the mainstream media, and the people fulfill their obligations in a representative democracy and demand that the facts be fully investigated.

    And since you clearly are concerned about civil rights and due process as a fundamental progressive value, I am genuinely curious why you do not also at least ask that the facts behind official actions in the Wirth case be fully explored for the record? Remember, we had a duly elected official, whose last notable official action was to vote against a political meth war, essentially hounded from office to a charge she has pled "not guilty" (Doyle pled guilty so spare us that argument).

    And since you bring up Clinton, it is one of those strange coincidences that the story focus quickly became a sex scandal that drew public attention away from the odd circumstances of the criminal matter. Those circumstances are even odder now that we have seen a prosecutor fight hard to keep a warrant sealed improperly that itself raises more questions about official actions than it answers.

    We don't know what the true story will be in either case once the facts are out, and in the Wirth case those facts may yet vindicate the distressing official story. The challenge though is whether you Kari and the rest of the bloggers here are interested in discussing substantive progressive issues like a commitment to the principles of civil rights and due process, or just interested in dilettantish point-scoring.

  • bluedog (unverified)
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    Can you say impeachment?

    The president Has unilaterally decided that HE should provide oversight to his own decisions. He has admitted to breaking the law-- thus violating the constitution's system of check and balances (Congress created the FISA and the judicial branch is to grant authority to approve the eavesdropping)

    He should now be impeached. He knows he is in trouble-- why hold a rare press conference? Why hold an oval office address to the nation?

    He is now counting on the Dems to be weak. His strategy, if confronted by the Dems is to say we want to roll over and play dead for the terrorists. He is wrong. We must fight, we must make it very clear that now president is above the law and that this president clearly and unecessarily BROKE the law (over 19,000 FISA requests, only 5 have been turned down by court-- the law also has a provision to retroactively get permission from the court-- so his contention timeliness required it is BS).

  • Becky (unverified)
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    I don't think that's much of an answer to the question - more of blowing smoke to avoid answering the question. But, as a former right-winger, I will say I think it's important to remind everyone that under the Clinton Administration, there was endless talk in right wing circles of the IRS audit system being used to harrass and intimidate right wing groups. It appeared to be true, too; comparison of the lists of groups audited showed a heavy weighting toward conservative groups. My point is yes, conservatives ought to be very afraid of what these extra powers will mean if and when a liberal administration comes into power. I recall hearing deep concerns expressed within the past five years among conservative Christians that because their churches taught against homosexuality, they could face criminal penalties for going to church or owning a Bible (sounds crazy, but they told stories of how the law was changing in Canada and how the Bible could be banned because of its stance on the issue, and how people could go to jail for it - naturally, this was largely "last day persecution" paranoia, but it is believed by many people). My point is, the right wing is deeply concerned about infringements on their rights to expression and religious practice, and ought not to be lulled to sleep about potential dangers in the future just because they have their own guy in the Oval Office today.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)
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    That's a stretch of comparisons from askquestions1st. We have the president and the executive branch, according to legal scholars and Democrat and Republican lawmakers’ alike, violating constitutional protections against unwarranted government intrusion into citizens' lives and confiscation of private property. On the other hand, there's Wirth's negative vote on a couple bills that incidentally were approved overwhelmingly.

    In both cases, the parties are, according to law, presumed innocent until proved guilty. The difference is that Wirth can't prevent evidence from being disclosed by hiding behind executive privilege. The Republican-controlled Congress can prevent a special prosecutor from being appointed. At the same time, the President has admitted that the policy was adopted and carried out.

    Wirth is powerless. Democrats have no reason to protect her. The media is dogging the Wirth story. And if anything, the issue you raised is at most a violation of conflict of interest laws.

    The Bush-Wirth comparisons are laughable. A wise man and true patriot once said, “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” His name was Benjamin Franklin and apparently he was talking about present-day right-wingers.

  • sasha (unverified)
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    Is the program under which the Pres. authorized and conducted the eavesdropping illegal? Is it a new power, or is it one that existed and was used by prior presidents?

    I see a lot of hyperventilating by leftists, but have not seen any of them answer the above questions.

    I honestly do no know the answer. I've read plenty of right wing blogs that say this program is perfectly legal.

    If it IS legal, then isn't the REAL problem that someone leaked the program, and will make it easier for our enemies to avoid the eavesdropping? Why don't lefties ever hyperventilate about our national security being breached?

    Kari: you ask if conservatives would worry that a pres like Hillary Clinton might abuse these powers. Of course! Any power can be abused.

    Just look at Oregon's land use planning to see abuse of government power all over the place.

  • Jesse O (unverified)
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    This is, well, more signs of someone who think he's a dictator instead of an elected representative in a system of checks and balances. We have systems set up to provide for lawful surveillance of suspects. We have a constitution that requires people be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

    The President thinks he's above the law. The Supreme Court has ruled on this issue, but the Bush administration believes it is above the rule of the Supreme Court. And now he's defending the decision -- his argument is pretty much "I can do anything I want because I'm president and because 9-11 happened."

    That's not the country I want to live in.

  • Skip from Gresham (unverified)
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    I've given this issue a lot of thought. I'm sorry but on this one I find myself in the rare situation of supporting the President. GOD THAT WAS HARD TO TYPE!

    I think considering the threat we face from random murder of innocents by Al Queda, monitoring all phone calls in and out of the country to their operatives is justified....even prudent.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Perhaps askquestions is the new Bailie--finding any topic possible to insert pet issue.

    Bailie did it with "according to my statistics, teachers are overpaid".

    askquestions is doing it about how we are all supposed to drop everything we are doing and spend all our time investigating and talking about the Wirth case.

    I think Wirth is a tragic figure whose life was falling apart while serving as a legislator. Had the same facts (romantic triangle, attack by car, love letters, meth found in car) been true of an ordinary citizen, we might never have heard about it.

    Contrast that with GW Bush who seems to seems to be combining the worst elements of the LBJ and Nixon presidencies.

    Wirth may be found guilty, and more lives may be impacted in the process. OR she may just become a sad case of a woman who used to walk into the House chamber as a member but who sank to a woman on trial for meth who will be grateful to be walking at all by next summer.

    That is off topic from this consideration of presidential powers.

    As for Becky's point, she is wise to discuss the fact that just because Bush is in office now he won't be there forever.

    I wonder how many of those audits she mentioned were not deserved. I would love to see Dobson and Falwell's actions and finances gone into with the fine tooth comb some of their opponents have been subjected to over time (most recent example: that church where someone preached a sermon just before the 2004 election "take your values into the polling booth, and think of what Jesus would have thought about the Iraq war" and the church is now being investigated in regard to their tax exempt status).

    And then of course there are those "terrorists" the folks in this administration have either spoken out against or investigated: teachers who questioned NCLB librarians who wanted the Patriot Act revised Quakers who were being spied on as "terroists" because they had studied/ discussed Iraq war policy at their church

    And the Patriot Act is supposed to protect us from what?

    It would be interesting to know if the people who thought the Schaivo family dispute should have been all over the news would like that to happen to them and their families.

    For those too young to remember the Nixon years, and who may never even have seen the movie All The President's Men, I would suggest 3 books beyond that one.

    HOW THE GOOD GUYS FINALLY WON by Jimmy Breslin is very well written and not very long--how the impeachment process happened incl. how the members of that committee happened to be on the committee because someone won or lost an election.

    BREACH OF FAITH by Theodore White. He says that Nixon's breach of faith was that the president stands for upholding all laws.

    NIGHTMARE: The Underside of the Nixon Years by J Anthony Lukas which is more detail about what went on in the Nixon years than appears anyplace else in one place that I know of: close to 800 pages of text in the paperback, note on sources section, and more than 30 pages of index.

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    Skip -- sure, of course monitoring those phone calls would be justified. That's why there's a law that allows wiretapping of that nature. That's why there's even a special court designed just for that purpose (the FISA Court). And because sometimes they can be in a hurry, the government is allowed to wiretap and ask permission after-the-fact (within 72 hours).

    Their legal powers are amazingly broad.

    It is unclear why, then, the Bush Administration chose not to get court permission, not even after-the-fact. There can only be two possibilities. Either they thought the court would not grant permission, or they decided to ignore the law because they felt like it.

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)
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    The administration's substantive defense of wiretapping Americans evolves around the powers granted them by the 2001 congressional authorization for the use of force against al Qaeda. Apparently, the administration interprets that authorization as giving them limitless authority to circumvent U.S. law and international treaties.

    Many say the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) is the exclusive law to authorize such wiretaps. As Kari pointed out, FISA warrants can be obtained retroactively, up to 72 hours after the fact. This blows away the Bush administration's immediate danger argument.

    It comes down to this. The Bush administration has not given a satisfactory explanation as to why their policy was necessary in the first place.

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    And remember that the decisions of the FISA court are not reviewable by a higher court. This law is (to my mind) in direct conflict with the principle of judicial review, but the Bushies still find it unduly restrictive.

    Here's what Kevin Drum has to say on this issue:

    FISA FOLLOW-UP....Earlier this morning I noted that the FISA court is notorious for its willingness to approve any and all wiretap requests from the federal government. Via Josh, I see that EPIC has tallied up the record of FISA requests between 1980 and 2002, the year the NSA's secret domestic bugging program started, and has a hard number for the number of requests that had been turned down during that period:

    None.

    Since then, one or two applications have been turned down, but the basic point is still clear: FISA approves 99.98% of all surveillence applications presented to it. What's more, federal law already allows emergency wiretaps without a FISA warrant, as long as you apply for a warrant within 72 hours. Following the law wouldn't have hamstrung the administration in any way.

    And there's more: it wasn't even a matter of keeping the NSA program a secret from the FISA court. The judge knew all about it, and even warned the administration not to use information from the unapproved program as the basis for further wiretap requests.

    So what's the deal? It must be pretty obvious to everyone that there's more going on here than the administration is fessing up to. Since there was no apparent reason to bypass the law, there must be an unapparent one. But what? —Kevin Drum

    Nixon was impeached for a lesser crime. He had been surveilling dissidents, making enemies lists, and illegally taping conversations. Clinton was impeached for......well........lying about a blowjob........but any talk of impeaching this punk who has decided that whatever he wants to do is legal BECAUSE he wants to do it, is lefty hysteria.

  • Skip from Gresham (unverified)
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    The point about FISA is well taken....still, Ron Wyden did agree yesterday that Congress did indeed grant the executive branch the power to do just what he did. Wyden and other mainstream Dems realize that bashing Bush for something like this actually plays a role in making the red states redder and some blue states purple. Across the spectrum of American society there is one clear point....people are plenty scared of when/where the next 9/11 event will occur. There are FAR better issues to use if we are to gain anything in Nov 2006. Bush has left us quite a menu....but this issue shouldn't be on it.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    Another question for right-wingers: Because the president could have used provisions in the Patriot Act which would have allowed him to get the legal warrants to spy, why did he need his own special "Bush Spy Program"?

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    Skip -- do you have a source on that quote from Wyden?

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    p.s. Ignoring such clear violations of civil liberties in the service of electoral gain would be akin to ignoring cancer cuz the treatment might mess up your hairdo.

  • Wes Wagner (unverified)
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    ECHELON and CARNIVORE have provided these capabilities for a long time. This abuse of personal liberty and privacy is not new. Of course now carnivore has been abandoned because they use commercially available software (spying became mainstream).

    Echelon functions like a virtual wiretap on everyone's phone on the PSTN in all of america. It does voice and context analysis, records, and flags your conversations for agents to review (without any form of court order). This is not just a Bush thing, but an attack on civil liberties by both parties - ongoing - and will not change just because a D is in office.

    Wes Wagner Publisher NW Meridian

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)
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    By the way, FISA was enacted since Richard Nixon gave a whole new meaning to both surveillance and national security. It was acknowledged that "some" oversight needed to exist because the Fourth Amendment says the "the right ... against unreasonable searches and seizures … shall not be violated."

    I tend to believe that democracies die behind closed doors.

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    Good point Skip.

    Since "the people" don't give a damn about the evisceration of the United States Constitution, we should ignore the issue. I'm sure that's what Ben Franklin had in mind when he used the line:

    "A Republic if you can keep it".

    <hr/>

    Saturday night I was at a Christmas party where (as usual) I found myself talking about issues wa-a-a-a-a-ay more than is politically correct. As Christine and I were leaving, one cynic asked if there was any difference between our presidency as it is currently understood and a monarchy. My answer?

    Under a monarchy you have only as many options as there are personality differences among the Hapsburgs. None of the possible scenarios involve action on the part of the ruled. You get what you get based on the luck of the draw and there's no need to think or act.

    In a Republic, to remain passive is to invite the encroachment of totalitarian behavior on the part of your public SERVANTS, because the arrogant among them do not see themselves as being in any condition of servitude. On the contrary, they seek to rationalize the accumulation of power.

    <hr/>

    We have a duty as citizens to police our representatives in gummint. We always have and we always will.

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    Is the program under which the Pres. authorized and conducted the eavesdropping illegal? Is it a new power, or is it one that existed and was used by prior presidents?

    I see a lot of hyperventilating by leftists, but have not seen any of them answer the above questions.

    I honestly do no know the answer. I've read plenty of right wing blogs that say this program is perfectly legal.

    Condi Rice was on Meet the Press yesterday. Russert asked her which laws specifically give the POTUS the authority to do warrantless eavesdropping in the way that these were done. Rice had no answer. I find it difficult to believe that if there wasn't a specific law or laws that gave Bush the authority..she wouldn't be armed with that answer before an appearance on a major Sunday talk program.

    The rightwing blogs claiming that this is "perfectly legal" seem to be using FISA. The ones I've seen deliberately misquote the law or leave out the relevant requirements that Bush didn't meet.

  • CLP (unverified)
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    Okay, I will bite and address askquestions1st's concern:

    There is a big difference between Bush's wiretaps and the search of Wirth's car: the Wirth search was done pursuiant to a search warrant. A judge signed off on the Wirth search.

    Now, you might complain that the warrant didn't specify the were looking for drugs. Sure, but that doesn't mean if they find drugs in her car, they have to ignore them.

    I agree that the drug war is stupid and whatnot. But that doesn't make the prosecution of Wirth sketchy--my guess is that law enforcement would investigate anyone who owned a car they found meth in.

    As far as the warrant being sealed--well, the judge unsealed the warrant. Again, there was judicial oversight.

    By the way, Wirth lost a lot of sympathy in my eyes when she decided to milk every cent out of her budget in the days leading up to her resignation.

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    For what it's worth, Condi Rice's 'Meet the Press' answer, on the 8th or 9th time she gave it, was basically this: We find this power to be included in the constitutional "commander-in-chief" power. It's unenumerated, and previously undiscovered (not even by Nixon) but it's suddenly, magically, there.

    Basically, they're arguing that America is a battlefield, and that the people they're wiretapping are suspected enemy combatants - even if they're American citizens in America. Of course, it doesn't appear that government asserted this power during the Cold War - when there were a number of instances when American citizens in America were engaged in espionage against the United States.

    What's so bizarre to me is that it's clear that in early 2002, the Congress would have given this authority if they had been asked (remember, the Patriot Act passed 99-1) so why didn't they just ask for it?

  • Ernie Delmazzo (unverified)
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    A NY Times article includes this:

    The USA Patriot Act made it easier for the government to get warrants from the court for wiretaps and physical searches, changing the standards in some critical areas.

    But the law is specific in banning any searches without warrants on Americans except in extraordinary circumstances, like within 15 days of a formal declaration of war, said David D. Cole, a Georgetown University law professor who specializes in national security law.

    The Bush administration has not cited any of those exemptions for the domestic eavesdropping program. The White House and other defenders of the program maintain that the president has the authority to allow such searches in the interests of national security.

    "If the president thinks the process under FISA was insufficient in the wake of 9/11, the appropriate response would have been to go to Congress and expand it, not to blatantly violate the law," Mr. Cole said in an interview.

    It's here.

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    Wirth lost a lot of sympathy in my eyes with the budget thing as well. However, that doesn't change my views in regards to the search warrant & such.

    I'd like to know how searching for love notes and finding meth, then prosecuting her is any different than searching Damon Stoudamire's house for a burglar, finding pot, and prosecuting him is different. In both instances they had permission to look for one thing, but found drugs. In Damon's case the drug charge was thrown out as inadmissable because the cops weren't there to look for that. Yes in Wirth's case they had a search warrant-- for love notes. Just as in Damon's case the burglar alarm and open door were also permission to search. But in both cases the permission was for one thing and one thing only.

    I also don't judge Wirth for voting against Meth bills. I was highly against the meth bill that made those over-the-counter drugs require a prescription. I have a hard time believing those withought a doctor they visit semi-regularly will have an easy time getting a prescription. After all-- how does the doctor know they aren't calling 5 different doctors and getting prescriptions?

    Also, why would a person go through the hassle of getting a prescription for Claritin D, when they can go ahead and get a prescription for the full-strength version for the same price (if they have insurance), and it'll work better? This is a big reason why the pharmaceutical companies did not fight the bill.

    It's beginning to look like a non issue, though, since the bill won't go into effect until summre 2006 and by then the drugs should all be reformulated.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Our sad, lonely, alchoholic president used two Al Qaeda 9/11 flyboys to justify his spying on innocent people in America.

    But, the 9/11 Commission Report says the AQ flyboys were living openly in San Diego under their real names, in the phone book, even though they were on the Saudi Terror Watch List, shared with FBI, CIA and NSA.

    The flyboys landlord was an Arab man who was a paid FBI informant who did his job and informed the local FBI office of his possibly terrorist guests who had flunked out of flight training school for being feeble, like Rummy in Iraq.

    The FBI took the crucial information that could have STOPPED 9/11 and went to lunch at Hooters, over by Lindbergh Field, and then went back to sleep.

  • CLP (unverified)
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    Jenni: I agree that Wirth's budgetary actions shouldn't affect how you view the warrants. However, I think they are an independent reason to be glad that Wirth is no longer in the Legislature.

    I will admit ignorance about whether the meth evidence was properly obtained. However, the search itself was proper, and conducted with the sanction and oversight of the judiciary, which puts it in a very different category than Bush's warrantless being-commander-in-chief-means-I-can-do-whatever-I-want wiretaps.

    Kari: I think Bush didn't ask for the super-duper wiretap powers in the Patriot Act because he didn't want anyone to know he was exercising such powers. I am not a conspiracy theorist, but for the life of me, I can't understand why he wouldn't just use the FISA permissions if he was, as he claims, only conducting intellgence on suspected terrorists.

    By the way, as far as the electoral strategy of ignoring civil liberties violations, I am much less inclinded to support--or even vote for--candidates that ignore the threats to our civil liberties, and I supsect that I am not alone.

  • Skip from Gresham (unverified)
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    KARI...recording of Wyden statement wa aired during the Larry Elder show on KPAM. To be clear, he was not in favor of the NSA spying without a warrant. He was making a point of why the Patriot Act needs to be retooled with more protections and wanted less outrage over the fact the powers were used and more outrage over why they were granted in the first place.

    I do think that some of the posters here are going a bit over the top in acting like this incident (typical Bush bungling) will bring down the republic. Cmon....let's just get control of Congress in 2006 by appealing the the MODERATE branches of each party for a change. It's an easy road if we do.

  • Winston Wolfe (unverified)
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    The likelihood of H.R. Clinton becoming the Prezy is the same as Jessie Helms becoming the Commander and Chief.

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    ......some of the posters here are going a bit over the top in acting like this incident (typical Bush bungling) will bring down the republic

    It's not an "incident". It's a pattern of contempt for law, consitituents, citizens, allies, and anyone who has ever disagreed with them.

    If you haven't been paying attention to this pattern over the last five years, you won't be educated by reading a few comments on one Blue Oregon post.......

    <hr/>

    Lying about your opponents is a time honored tradition. Violating the constitution may also be a time honored tradition, but unlike political dirty tricks it's.......illegal and (whether you agree or not) dangerous to our democracy.

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    CLP--

    I agree about not wanting her in the legislature anymore. I'd been hoping she would be defeated since she was absent so much. Her district deserved to have a rep who was actually there.

    However, the search warrant was specifically for love notes/letters. I've seen other cases thrown out when the search warrant was for one thing, but the person was being prosecuted for something else.

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    I notice that Kari's initial question has gone unanswered. There's a reason hardcore right folks like Larry Craig (and others) are balking at the President's executive power land grab: they're looking a few moves down the line and choking at the prospect of a liberal president with those same powers.

    Kari frames it thus (I think) to highlight the "what's in it for us" side of the argument. If you're feeling particularly patriotic, you could frame the question a little differently: should partisan allegiance matter when any politician exceeds the power of the Constitution?

    Atrios was the first to draw this particular line in the sand, setting it as a test for seeing where the conservatives placed their true faith--in the republic or in the party. So far, many have failed the test. When Republicans drew that line in the sand for Dems (many, many times) in the Clinton adminstration, the Dems sided with the republic and called for investigations. Let's see what Republicans do.

    Anyone wanna place bets?

  • AvengingAngel (unverified)
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    The Bush wiretap revelations mean it's probably time to raise the Conservative Threat Level.

    The Conservative Threat Level (CTL) is currently Orange/Elevated: Church and State to Merge.

  • JTT (unverified)
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    Jenni Simonis said: I also don't judge Wirth for voting against Meth bills. I was highly against the meth bill that made those over-the-counter drugs require a prescription.

    Actually, that's a different bill that you're talking about (and she may have voted no on that one too). The Meth bill that Wirth voted against (and was the only legislator to do so, House or Senate) would have increased the penalties for cooking, transporting, and selling meth. The anti-Sudafed bill and the increased Meth penalties bill were separate issues.

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    I'd heard that she voted against both bills, although I could be wrong. I was actually talking about both bills in the first sentence. The rest of what I said was just on the one bill.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)
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    It seems odd to me that the President was so upset this morning at his press conference about the Senate not passing the renewal of the Patriot Act. Since he has taken it upon himself to just write out Presidential orders to violate the Constitution and due process, what does he need the Patriot Act for anyway?

    Kari is correct - Republicans should shake in their boots thinking about a Democrat with these powers. Imagine going after big oil with these powers to secretly investigate? Imagine getting to the bottom of the pharmaceutical industry with these secret powers? Imagine going back and investigating all the Bush Administration sweet heart deals with Halliburton, etc. using all these secret powers.

    In fact, when I look at this in the way Kari poses it, it means only one thing - these Republicans never envision giving up power - never ever. I suspect that bringing home troops for the 2008 election might be a dangerous thing. I won't hint at this, I'll come right out and say it. Our Republic is in terrible danger of being taken over by these crazy people, in fact they are already doing it one right at a time.

    Habeas Corpus - Gone Protection from Search and Seizure - Gone Due Process - Gone

    Secret Courts - Already have Secret Police - Already have Secret Jails/Prisons - Already have Government spying into mail, email, library books, etc. - Already have

    The ONLY thing we have left are elections, or do we ? ....

    What exactly is the difference between what we have now and totalitarianism? Not much really, mostly illusion.

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    I heard A quote attributed to Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham this AM stating in essence that its very dangerous when government decides to focus on outcomes rather than process. The essence of our republic is process. This is what has made us different from totalitarion states. Totalitarian states have many great laws on the books, they simply ignore them when it interferes with the outcome the government, or its leaders, desire.

    While we've had some great leaders, we've had some bads ones as well. And w'll have bad ones in the future. But the US has survived and evolved for the better because we citizens insist that we have to follow an agreed to legal process. Due Process. Fair elections. Warrants for arrest and searches. Probable cause. Reasonable doubt.

    Now we have a President who has decided that he can ignore process because he thinks it interferes with a desired outcome. I think this view comes from the terrible combination of his self-righteousness, and arrogance. He believes his outcome is just and therefore any means to that ends is justified. This is the way all zealots, totalitarians and even terrorists think.

    What process will be within the executive's venue to terminate next? Jury trials? (oops I forgot the corporations are already trying to get rid of them.) I'm really not one to see doom and gloom. But frankly, it our conservative fellow-citizens don't understand the seriousness of our President's decision to ignore the laws of the land, including the constitution, I'm not feeling so good about America's future.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    Jeff- When Republicans drew that line in the sand for Dems (many, many times) in the Clinton adminstration, the Dems sided with the republic and called for investigations. Let's see what Republicans do.

    That's the difference between liberal progressives and righties. We wouldn't stand for something like this even if it were Peter DeFazio P.E.R.I.O.D.

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    If I found the correct bill, House Bill 2485, Wirth did indeed vote against it, along with:

    House: Carried by Krieger,Macpherson. Passed. Ayes, 55; Nays, 4--Butler, Kropf, Nelson, Wirth; Excused, 1--Lim.

    Senate: Carried by Beyer, Burdick. Passed. Ayes, 25; Nays, 5--Carter, Deckert, Nelson, Walker, Westlund.

    I'm not sure what the other bill was, as I had a hard time locating another bill dealing with meth that was approved. All the others said they were in committee upon adjournment.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Jenni - Fortunately you found the information that those of us who read JTT's post knew to be true. In the log-rolling politics of the last days of the session, HB 2485 became the catchall for the meth legislation in the other bills. The long list of sponsors should give some idea of how this bill really was first and foremost about politics and re-election.

    Kari - To be honest, I find your curation of this thread you started disappointing. I say this only because you have put yourself out there in the media (e.g. Thom Hartmann's show) as one of the public faces and ostensibly intellectual leaders of Blue Oregon.

    Jeff - Kudos for pointing out the political heart of the question and not being drawn into meaningless debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin unlike most of the rest of the responses.

    Robert - As you point out the issue is about upholding due process guaranteed us by the Fourth Amendment. Sadly, as a progressive in this state the Wirth matter, which also has some serious Fourth Amendment problems, persuades me that we cannot look hopefully at our side for much leadership to get out of this mess. It is more than ironic that In your own post you had to quote one of the most conservative members of the Senate. I find it depressing that in recent days when I see him and a Democrat on the news, almost always he is the one who gets to the heart of the matter most effectively.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Don't know about other people's definition of "conservative" but I suspect many are unhappy with L. Graham for acting like the JAG lawyer he is instead of saying "Bush and the Repulicans, right or wrong, should be supported unquestioningly". I think he often speaks intelligently, something "conservatives" haven't done very often since Barry Goldwater died.

    And as for this: Sadly, as a progressive in this state the Wirth matter, which also has some serious Fourth Amendment problems, persuades me that we cannot look hopefully at our side for much leadership to get out of this mess. I wonder what "this mess" is and why "progressives" should care more about the details of a search warrant for a former state rep's car which found meth along with what they were looking for. Yes, I know the Fourth Ammendment is important, but I think there may be details of that case we don't know about yet. It will all come out in open court if there is a trial, esp. since the articles will have headlines like "today in former state rep's trial".

    Here is a question I think progressives should be thinking about which probably affects everyday life more than the details of the Wirth search warrant. My guess is that Wirth's health care for being smashed by that car is being paid for by insurance, or the headline would have been "Rep. Wirth, hit by car, has no health insurance".

    Today on the Statesman-Journal front page there was a story about single adults without health insurance who can't get on the Oregon Health Plan. Just now on their site I found a wire service story about a universal health care initiative http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OR_HEALTH_INITIATIVE_OROL-?SITE=ORSAL&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

    Now, if askquestions thinks 4th Amendment issues in the Wirth case are more important to ordinary Oregonians than how many citizens do not have health care coverage, go ahead and say so. But don't tell us that the "progressive side" should be outspoken on the Wirth search warrant and silent on health care coverage.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    What I want to know is "why" did Bush by-pass FISA laws? Was it possible that the FISA courts wouldn't have granted warrants for the situations the Bush adminstration wanted because such warrants would have been unconstitutional? As most of us know, time isn't the issue with FISA: the admin can begin spying right away for 72 hrs. without a warrant and when seeking a warrant it only takes a few hours. So who was the Bush administration spying on? Hopefully the answer to this will come out in the next year or so, because I just have this sickening feeling that it's something that will be unprecedented.

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    Ask, you wrote, "Kari - To be honest, I find your curation of this thread you started disappointing."

    Hmmm... I should be 'curating' this thread? I'm not even sure I know what that means.

    But, to avoid getting into a meta-conversation, I'll emphasize what Steve Bucknum said:

    Kari is correct - Republicans should shake in their boots thinking about a Democrat with these powers. Imagine going after big oil with these powers to secretly investigate? Imagine getting to the bottom of the pharmaceutical industry with these secret powers? Imagine going back and investigating all the Bush Administration sweet heart deals with Halliburton, etc. using all these secret powers.

    That said it much better than I did. Right-wingers should be very, very concerned that they're expanding the powers of the imperial presidency. Sooner or later, we'll be back in power. Or at least, a Republican with other ideas will be.

  • JTT (unverified)
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    While this post continues the (Wirth) side-conversation that is widely OFF-TOPIC (and has NOTHING to do with Republican culture of corruption and destruction of Americans precious civil liberties)...I feel compelled to respond again.

    Jenni & Questions:

    HB 2485 was half of the meth package. I found the bill that I was referring to.

    SB 907

    From the official staff summary: Modifies crimes of Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree and Child Neglect in the First Degree to include leaving individual in place where methamphetamine is manufactured. Modifies definition of abuse to include exposure to controlled substances. Clarifies court’s ability to suspend child visitation if parent’s controlled substance abuse not in best interests of child. Elevates Manufacture of Methamphetamine to a level 8 offense. Creates new sentencing scheme for certain repeat methamphetamine offenders. Authorizes Department of Corrections to modify programs based on need for drug treatment. Separates drug statute into multiple statutes for statistical purposes and makes conforming changes. Declares an emergency, effective on passage.

    Basically, increases penalties for meth users who expose their children or elderly parents. The bill passed the Senate 30-0, and the House 55-1 with 4 absent. That 1 no vote in the house was Wirth.

    Now you can make all the arguments you want to about the anit-Sudafed bill which several lawmakers voted against for valid reasons, and I think contained a lot more than just the pseudoephedrine provision (like drug treatment money and money for new drug courts and law enforcement, etc.). But they have nothing to do with the stand-alone increased penalties bill that Wirth alone voted against.

    Just want to get the facts straight.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    Kari - "curate" in this case means assiduously adding intelligent comments along the way as the discussion devolves away from how we need to defend the Fourth Amendment (and all the rest) whenever and wherever it comes under attack whether on the national level, or right here in our rapidly regressing state.

    JTT - I read Jenni's post as saying she agreed with Wirth on HB 2485 and not expressing an opinion on SB907. I honestly can't understand your muddled point in response to Jenni's documentation in support of her original statement. Do you have one?

    I'm a progressive Democrat and I find it interesting that the progressive posters (as opposed to the right wing nitwits who also seem to enjoy exhibiting their ignorance) here just don't seem to get it that you aren't convincing even folks like me of much. Except that it's understandable why the right wing has been able to steal our democracy, shred the Constitution, rob coming generations of their economic security, and launch an illegal war that will continue to devastate our society for decades to come.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Kelly Wirth? Republicans are so mired in their own malfeasance and incompetence that their only remaining method of argument is to CHANGE THE SUBJECT!

    In 1812 the British captured Washington. In the 1860's, the nation was torn asunder by bloody civil war. In the 1940's we fought German, Italian, and Japanese fascists intent on world domination. From the 1920's Through the 1980's, we fought - supposedly - for our way of life threatened by godless communism. But in the 21st century, faced with Islamic extremists - whose prominence, by the way, is thanks to US nurturing as a counterforce to Soviet influence and nationalism in the Moslem world - Shrub is justified, according to some, in trashing the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, ratified in 1787. Does anyone else smell a boogey man?

  • Skip from Gresham (unverified)
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    Sigh....I just think it's NOT about Bush....it's about Congress. If we fail in 2006 we can look forward to another 8-10 years of being out of power....no matter who is living in the Whitehouse. APPEAL TO THE MODERATES or we lose. It's not that complicated.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    Everyone tries to appeal to the moderates, Skip. The question is how to attract moderates while activating ones base. Too much movement to the center alienates the faithful, who then don't volunteer and don't vote. I believe Democrats have moved too far right, which is why voters question what the party stands for and what policies its candidates support.

  • JTT (unverified)
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    askquestions:

    My point to Jenni was nobody is making a fuss about Wirth voting against prescription Sudafed. The fuss in the media is about Wirth voting against tougher penalties for Meth-heads and dealers, and now come to find out, she's being charged with possession. It was a simple point not muddled, but maybe too complex for you to understand.

    Now one last question for you...('cause you sounded a wee bit condescending)--why the tone? And by the way...I still don't understand the relevance of your point to Kari's post. Meth was found in Wirth's car after a search warrant was executed. Wirth will have her day in court to argue the legality of the search. But, Bush isn't even bothering with search warrants, or courts, or due process, or checks, or balances. Big difference. So no, (even as a Democrat) I’m not going to cry a river for Wirth.

  • David English (unverified)
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    We are all suspected terrorists...every last one of us. If you make a phone call, I would bascially assume it's being recorded.

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    SkipfromGresham,

    I would not put any weight on Ron Wyden's interpretation of what powers congress gave to the executive branch.

    Wyden flunked the state bar exam three times after gradiating from law school. He became a lobbyist for the Grey Panther and used that as a path to a political career.

    Wyden's judgment on legal matters is not the most reliable.

  • Vonski (unverified)
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    If these powers had been available pre-9-11, taps would have produced conversations to Afghanistan by two of the terrorist hijackers and likely alerted authorities in time to stop the attack.

    As for your questions to us right-wingers,

    Am I really sure - really, really sure - that you want George W. Bush to have expanded presidential powers this far? Yes

    To have established a precedent that the president's national security apparatus can spy on any American citizen, living anywhere in America, with only his or her own staff to provide a check on that power? Yes

    If oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, or Halliburton are determined to hijack jetliners and ram them into buildings, you're darned skippy I hope the authorities find out about it by any means necessary before innocent lives are lost. The powers relate to terrorism.

    While looking to the future to what might happen, and planning your moves ahead of time in chess is a necessary talent, that doesn't apply in this case. The difference? You are playing your own game off the board entirely.

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    Kelley Wirth's stated reason for voting against the meth penalties bill was that she found it too destructive on families. this is entirely consistent with her political career. Kelley's faults and problems were entirely personal, from time management to the relationships she had and all the rest. politically, she was rock solid. that's why she got so many statewide endorsements in 2004. her vote was almost always a good vote, and that made voting against her so difficult for so many people here in her district; with her attendance record, she should have lost big. her politics helped her scrape out that win.

    i find repugnant the accusation that she voted against meth penalties out of self-interest. despite a lot of after-the-fact rumor mongering, there was no indication she was a user during the session. there's been no proof she did anything but possess. it's easy to mock and ridicule her and treat her as if she's a charicature with whom we are free to play as we want. she actually happens to be a person and a mother of two little girls. as her former constituent and neighbor, i think the time has come for the rest of the state to move along. we have here in Corvallis, and we now have an excellent state representative. Kelley and her family need to be left alone to repair their lives. we can have these discussions without continuing to slime Kelley -- after all, aren't we the ones who are better than that?

  • Sid (unverified)
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    Looks like Vonski doesn't know about FISA and how Bush could have used it to do his syping legally. Bush did not need his own special spy program; one already existed for him!

    So it makes one wonder why Bush wants the Patriot Act in its current form to be extended. He doesn't even need the PA... he created his own.

    One more question for Vonski: When Bush got a CIA memo on August 6, 2001 alerting him to the fact that bin Laden wanted to attack within the US, why didn't the adminstration use the FISA laws to wiretap the suspected terrorists who were living in the US? They could have put a wiretap on those guys right away. But they didn't, because Bush was on his coveted vacation.

  • Hamilton (unverified)
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    Unless Congress passed a constitutional amendment repealing the Fourth Amendment by the requisite two-thirds vote, and the states ratified the amendment, the President's actions would seem to be an obvious case of a warrantless search.

    For a description of the FISC's "oversight" of administration warrant requests in 2004, visit http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/2004rept.pdf

    And with all due respect for Skip's interest in appealing to moderates, I believe this should, at a minimum, elicit a special prosecutor (or whatever the law currently authorizes) which may then lead to articles of impeachment. Assuming that the Ds can hold their members in line and that there are still actual patriots in the GOP.

    Res ipso loquitor!

  • Skip from Gresham (unverified)
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    Tom Civiletti.....you and I agree. A party must appeal to it's base. We just disagree what comprises the true base for the Democratic party. The far left wing liberals in the coffee shops on Hawthorne Blvd are not, nor ever been "the base". They are a distraction and quite frankly an anchor around the Dem party's neck. A large percentage of this radical wing had no use for Clinton....because Clinton appealed to a moderate spectrum across both parties....and won.

    I sometime get the impression that the so called "Progressive" movement is actually VERY uncomfortable winning to an extent that they are actually in power. The party in power is responsible for accomplishing something and a good many ultra lefties prefer marching and whining to.....EGADS! GOVERNING.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Sneering sellouts like "Skip" are the reason that people turn to progressives to fight for their rights against constant encroachment by the huge multinational corporations and their rich-bastard frontmen. I love Bill Clinton, but he sold us down the river when it really counted, foisting programs like NAFTA on us, and getting stabbed in the back (read: impeached over NOTHING concerning his job) in return! That is not being a moderate, that's being a patsy!

    The hope is that the progressives can redirect the focus of the mainstream Democrats to the cause of the working people of America. That will never be accomplished by pandering to those who drink any of the flavors of Kool-Aid proffered by the Republicans and their corporate backers. I apologize if that causes you consternation, but the "moderation" you espouse will kill your constituents! You will have to work for their betterment and convince them that is your true intent if you really want to govern forthrightly.

  • LT (unverified)
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    The far left wing liberals in the coffee shops on Hawthorne Blvd are not, nor ever been "the base". No, and that is why rural Democrats helped elect the current DNC member and the former DPO chair was a United Steelworker from Albany.

    But on the other hand, the people I knew on the state central comm. were people who knew the value of hard work and independent thought, and weren't about to let any stranger tell them what they believed.

    Which is what makes me think that authors of quotes like this have never been to a state central comm. meeting held somewhere outside Portland or worked on a campaign in the great rest of the state.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Count LT firmly in the faction of the party that pushes people into the arms of the progressives. He seemingly says anyone that hasn't spent decades sucking up to party leadership is a stranger that has no business shaping party policy. You all would rather hang with folks that want to placate the Republican aristocracy than admit that progressives can have a voice in the Democratic Party.

  • CLP (unverified)
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    I don't think we have to choose between defending the Constitution and appealing to moderates. For one thing, protecting the Constutition is not solely a left-wing value. I happen to think that it is in the interest of everyone--left-wing, right-wing, moderate, whatever--to protect the Bill of Rights. In fact, wasn't that Kari's point to begin with: that Bush's newly asserted powers could just as easily be abused by a left-wing president to hurt conseratives? Frankly, I don't think moderates are going to be happy if we come up to them and say "We believe that some of our fundamental freedoms are under attack, but we're going to ignore our convictions in the hope of earning your vote." But I do think we can go to moderates and say "We find Bush's disrespect of the Constitution troubling--not as liberals--but as Americans."

  • syed (unverified)
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    The Left is at it again.

    Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy have accused President George W. Bush of lying about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, insisting that he "lied us into war." Some Demo wing nuts are even floating the idea of impeachment. Their charges have no substance, of course; they're merely contrived to keep Republicans off balance through next year's midterm elections. In other words, Democrat Party leaders are using the gravely serious matter of the Iraq War for trivial political fodder -- and their politicization of our mission there has put our Armed Forces in the region in greater peril.

    Let's be clear: There is nothing wrong with honest criticism of an American president; to the contrary, we have written extensively about President Bush's policy failures. The dishonest and politically motivated accusations of Kennedy, Reid, Durbin and their ilk, however, are nothing short of -- and we don't use this term lightly -- treasonous.

    Here are their accusations:

    Reid: "We all know the Vice President's office was the nerve center of an operation designed to sell the war and discredit those who challenged it. ... The manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in Iraq ... the Vice President is behind that." (Reid, you may recall, recently called the President "a loser" while speaking to a high-school civics class.)

    Durbin: "I seconded the motion Sen. Harry Reid made last week. Republicans in Congress have refused, despite repeated promises, to investigate the Bush administration's misuse of pre-war intelligence, so Senate Democrats are standing up and demanding the truth." (Durbin, you may recall, recently compared U.S. troops to the Nazis and Pol Pot.)

    Kennedy: "The Bush administration misrepresented and distorted the intelligence to justify a war that America should never have fought." (Kennedy, you may recall, got kicked out of Harvard for cheating. In addition, you may recall, he drunk-drove his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick, leaving Mary Jo Kopechne to drown while he went back to his hotel, called his lawyer, concocted an alibi and went to sleep.)

    Naturally, the Democrats' media lemmings are reporting these charges as de facto truth, but there is considerable evidence that these and other Demo-gogues believed Iraq had WMD long before President George Bush came to Washington.

    Leading the bogus "Bush lied" charge, Ted Kennedy proclaimed last week, "What was said before does matter. The President's words matter." Indeed they do, as do the words of Kennedy and his fellow revisionists. What follows, then, is a collection of words that will shine a bright light on their treachery. We'll begin with an important piece of Clinton-era legislation.

    The Iraq Liberation Act: Passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1998, the Act stated, "It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime." This legislation passed the House by a vote of 360 to 38, and it passed the Senate without a single vote in opposition. Here's what Democrats were saying before the 2000 election of George W. Bush:

    President Bill Clinton: "[M]ark my words, [Saddam] will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them. ... Iraq [is] a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed. If we fail to respond today, Saddam, and all those who would follow in his footsteps, will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity. ... Some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal."

    Clinton on Operation Desert Fox: "Our purpose is clear: We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program. ... Saddam must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons. Earlier today I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological-weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors. ... I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again." (That was Bill Clinton, two years before 9/11, announcing Operation Desert Fox. Question: If Iraq didn't have, or wasn't developing, WMD, then what on earth was Clinton attacking? Ah, that's right -- it was a "baby formula" factory.

    Vice President Albert Gore: "Saddam's ability to produce and deliver weapons of mass destruction poses a grave threat ... to the security of the world."

    Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State: "We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and the security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction. ... Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."

    Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Advisor and Plea-Copping Classified Document Thief: "[Saddam will] use those weapons of mass destruction again as he has ten times since 1983."

    Harry Reid: "The problem is not nuclear testing; it is nuclear weapons. ... The number of Third World countries with nuclear capabilities seems to grow daily. Saddam Hussein's near success with developing a nuclear weapon should be an eye-opener for us all. [Saddam] is too dangerous of a man to be given carte blanche with weapons of mass destruction."

    John Kerry: "If you don't believe...Saddam Hussein is a threat with nuclear weapons, then you shouldn't vote for me."

    John Edwards: "Serving on the Intelligence Committee and seeing day after day, week after week, briefings on Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and his plans on using those weapons, he cannot be allowed to have nuclear weapons, it's just that simple. The whole world changes if Saddam ever has nuclear weapons."

    Dick Durbin: "One of the most compelling threats we in this country face today is the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Threat assessments regularly warn us of the possibility that...Iraq...may acquire or develop nuclear weapons. [Saddam's] chemical and biological weapons capabilities are frightening."

    Nancy Pelosi: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons-inspection process."

    Sens. Levin, Lieberman, Lautenberg, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Mikulski, Daschle, Breaux, Johnson, Inouye, Landrieu, Ford and Kerry in a letter to Bill Clinton: "We urge you, after consulting with Congress and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions, including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."

    After the 2000 election:

    When President Bush was sworn into office in 2001, his administration was handed eight years' worth of intelligence analysis and policy positions from the Clinton years -- years of appeasement, when Saddam was tolerated, when opportunities to kill Osama bin Laden were refused, and when the 9/11 terrorists were free to get drivers licenses and take flying lessons. Notably, Mr. Bush retained Clinton's CIA director, George Tenet, who was the arbiter of Bush administration's position on Iraq's WMD.

    In the weeks prior to the invasion of Iraq, Democrats, who had access to the same intelligence used by the Bush administration (much of which was compiled under the Clinton administration), were clear in their concern about the threat of Iraq's WMD capability.

    Here's what Democrats were saying in advance of Operation Iraqi Freedom:

    Harry Reid: "Saddam has thumbed his nose at the world community and I think the President is approaching this in the right fashion."

    Ted Kennedy: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."

    John Kerry: "I will be voting to give the president of the U.S. the authority to use force if necessary to disarm Saddam because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security. ... Without question we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. ... These weapons represent an unacceptable threat."

    Hillary Clinton: "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists including al-Qa'ida members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. ... I can support the President because I think it is in the long-term interests of our national security."

    Nancy Pelosi: "Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons, there is no question about that."

    In October 2002, by a large margin, a bipartisan majority of the Congress authorized President Bush to use force to deal with the continued threat posed by Saddam Hussein. In the legislation, the U.S. Congress stated that Iraq "poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States ...[by] continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations."

    These assessments were echoed by intelligence agencies from countries that included Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia, and by the United Nations Security Council in more than a dozen different Security Council resolutions between 1990 and 2000.

    So, Ted, Dick and Harry € what's your real agenda?

    Clearly this Democrat "leadership" is willing to turn our national-security interests into political fodder by accusing the President of the United States of lying us into a war. Problem is, the President had no political motive for Operation Iraqi Freedom -- only a legitimate desire to fulfill the highest obligation of his office: that of defending our liberty against all threats.

    Ted, Dick and Harry, on the other hand, have plenty of political motivation for their perfidy -- and they've placed America's uniformed Patriots in the crossfire.

    For his part, President Bush has finally responded: "While it is perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war ... it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. ... We will never back down. We will never give in. We will never accept anything less than complete victory."

    "Deeply irresponsible"? He is much too kind.

    In the end, American Patriots must call out Kennedy, Durbin, Reid, et al., for what they are: TRAITORS. How else to describe political leaders who so eagerly embolden our Jihadi enemies and erode the morale of our fighting forces in Iraq and around the world?

    Perhaps the most distressing conclusion about this treachery, though, is that so many Democrats don't seem to care about the truth. For them, the end justifies any means.

    (Editor's Note: This essay is based on a Patriot Alert (http://federalistpatriot.us/alexander/edition.asp?id=340) that was circulated 11 November. If you are interested in exact quote sources, start by entering the words "Clinton Iraq 1998" into your Internet search engine.)

    One of only a few sane Democrat voices:

    "I strongly supported the war in Iraq. I was privileged to be the Democratic cosponsor, with the senator from Virginia, of the authorizing resolution, which received overwhelming bipartisan support. As I follow the debates about prewar intelligence, I have no regrets about having sponsored and supported that resolution because of all the other reasons we had in our national-security interest to remove Saddam Hussein from power -- a brutal, murdering dictator, an aggressive invader of his neighbors, a supporter of terrorism, a hater of the United States of America. He was, for us, a ticking time bomb that, if we did not remove him, I am convinced would have blown up, metaphorically speaking, in America's face. ... The questions raised about prewar intelligence are not irrelevant, they are not unimportant, but they are nowhere near as important and relevant as how we successfully complete our mission in Iraq and protect the 150,000 men and women in uniform who are fighting for us there." --Senator (and Gore's 2000 VP candidate) Joseph Lieberman on the Senate floor Tuesday (Kudos to you for taking the high road, Senator Lieberman.)

    UPDATE: December 2005 -- The Demos surrender, retreat and defeat plan:

    "The idea that we're going to win this war ... is just plain wrong." --DNC chairman Howard Dean

    "There is no reason that young american soldiers need to be going into Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, uh, uh, uh, women...." --John Kerry

    More sanity from Mr. Lieberman: "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander-in-chief for three more years. We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."

  • (Show?)

    Syed,

    It's a shame that you wasted all of those keystrokes explaining the administration spin as fact to us benighted Blue Oregonians.

    What you may not realize, although it seems pretty obvious to me, is that damned near all of us have basic competence in search engine use.

    <hr/>

    So don't despair if no one goes through the tedious process of debunking your diatribe point by point. If you want to find out the facts you'll just have to check out:

    Media Matters Newshounds Atrios Daily Kos Etcetera.

    To assist you in your reserch sheck for actual sources of news stories and how they are documented.

    <hr/>

    I imagine that I've wasted enough time on this one as it seems obious that you "know what you know", and facts will probably not change your mind.

  • (Show?)

    Syed,

    It's a shame that you wasted all of those keystrokes explaining the administration spin as fact to us benighted Blue Oregonians.

    What you may not realize, although it seems pretty obvious to me, is that damned near all of us have basic competence in search engine use.

    <hr/>

    So don't despair if no one goes through the tedious process of debunking your diatribe point by point. If you want to find out the facts you'll just have to check out:

    Media Matters Newshounds Atrios Daily Kos Salon Etcetera.

    To assist you in your research, check for actual sources of news stories and how they are documented.

    <hr/>

    I imagine that I've wasted enough time on this one as it seems obvious that you "know what you know", and facts will probably not change your mind.

    To Kari's point, you are the textbook example of the enabler mindset that we must continuously oppose as we try to save our Constitution.

    Merry Merry Christmas!! (or as they say over at Fox News and at the White House) Happy Holidays!!

  • (Show?)

    Sorry about the double (now triple) post. The first one has lots of spelling errors etc., and even though I hit "stop" it just wasn't fast enough to beat out Typepad.....

  • LT (unverified)
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    LT is the grandchild of an anti-machine Republican of the 1930s, old enough to have been a Eugene McCarthy college student, someone who has been an active Democrat for decades but not of the "my leadership, right or wrong" variety, and a registered Indep. and volunteer on 3rd party and nonpartisan campaigns at some point in the last couple decades.

    Also, a person who knows it is possible to be an active Democrat without ever having been to a coffeeshop on Hawthorne.

    There are those of us who have been active Democrats who thought for ourselves and refused to play along with "Democrats believe..." if we didn't agree. Such an issue split the State Central Comm. and Democrats in general when a St. Central Comm. resolution was passed in 1985 regarding a ballot measure and those State Central Comm. members who voted against it were called "not real Democrats", the infamous 19, etc.

    Except that Sen. Pres. (later Gov.) Kitzhaber was among those on our side. I remain a fan of Dr. John Kitzhaber.

    Eventually I dropped out of party politics at the state and district level and later registered Indep. because I was tired of being told that while hard work was appreciated, agreeing to the beliefs of certain people (often those not around to do the hard work) was also a requirement ----and then these people were shocked when some of us said "sorry, I have better uses of my time than to be told what to think".

    Well before 2000 I was only supporting those candidates who were friends of mine and issues I really care about. I don't believe we are required to choose a "side" and then give unquestioning allegiance to that "side".

    The people in party politics who didn't like my independence of thought would probably laugh if they saw this:

    Count LT firmly in the faction of the party that pushes people into the arms of the progressives. He seemingly says anyone that hasn't spent decades sucking up to party leadership is a stranger that has no business shaping party policy. You all would rather hang with folks that want to placate the Republican aristocracy than admit that progressives can have a voice in the Democratic Party.

    I think progressives are those who open up politics to everyone --think Howard Dean or new DNC member Jenny Greenleaf.

    I have helped defeat Republican incumbents. I am no fan of the DLC attitude. I admire Sen. Russ Feingold, former VP nominee Edwards, Gen. Wesley Clark. I also think Chuck Hagel is interesting, but given his voting record recently I doubt the Bush folks consider him part of the "Republican aristocracy".

  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    Here's an example of real government intrusion into the daily lives of citizens without any probable cause: they are planning to make a video record of every vehicle in motion.

    Makes monitoring of email and international telephone calls seems kind of trite, by comparison.

    According to The Independent of London Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.

    Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.

    The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    <h1></h1>

    Hey, Underhanded, why you hiding the British program to begin gasoline rationing there, next month, as a result of Bush nazies' dictatorship of oil dollars? Make that 'your' nazi dictatorship, Big Lie'er.

    Beyond that, why are you hiding the economic collapse, here, next month, by the pension fund fraud, militaristic Defense waste and 'national security' corruption, and capitalism's fascism you so Underhandedly champion and live in?

    <h1></h1>
  • W. Bruce Anderholt II (unverified)
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    It's past 6:00 p.m.

    Time for your meds Tenskey!

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Felicitations to LT!

    I admit I needled you in my last post to get an expansive reply, as I felt your post was obtuse. I regret the tactic, as reading many of your posts has inspired my grudging respect. My only excuse is that it was late and I was cranky.

    Thank you for telling us more about your experience, and for not dumping on me too hard.

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    OK, it has been amusing to watch folks bounce all over the walls.

    Anybody recognize this (Kari? since you started the post):

    No law shall violate the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search, or seizure; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath, or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.

    Careful, it's a trick question.

    So Kelley Wirth did not consent to a search of her car (which had not been in her control for six days - I know I would NEVER consent to a police search of my car that they had in their possession for six days under any circumstances). And without her consent a warrant meeting the stated conditions clearly was required.

    Was she suspected of a crime? Was she even in the car when the criminal assault by the party in whose case the warrant was requested occurred (the news account vary, at most she was leaning into the car)? Was Wirth's car instrumental in the crime or another possible crime like destruction of evidence in any way?

    The warrant said police wanted to search Wirth's car for "love letters". Which would be evidence of exactly what crime? Committed by whom? Did they need "love letters" to determine whether an unidentified large steel mass actually hit Wirth? Or to positively identify the driver, who also pretty much confessed to the crime and stated her motive at the scene? Starting to perceive why asking questions before stating conclusions about guilt and due process would have been well-warranted?

    Now, does anybody see in the above quote the word "judge" anywhere? As in just getting a judge to sign a warrant satisfies the requirements of "due process"? Or does it in fact define the constraints a judge must insure are met to sign a warrant? And therefore that a judge could violate "due process" protections by willingly signing an improper search warrant that doesn't meet those requirements?

    Why would a judge do that you ask? But is that even an honest question since it prejudges the facts? Rather, isn't it reasonable to think that folks who profess in this blog to be progressives concerned about civil rights and due process would want the judge asked why he or she signed the warrant under the presently known facts? And doesn't it seem that simply answering the system will work it out is just a bit of a cop-out in view of how the system has "worked" so far?

    There very well may be a good explanation for all this. But it certainly will have to be a very strange one to square with what we know now, won't it?

  • O. J. Simpson (unverified)
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    Ask1st:

    Now THATS what I'm talking about! I didn't consent to no search either. If the glove don't fit, you must acquit.

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