"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Saturday, December 31, 2005

QUESTION: WOULD YOU ALLOW YOUR PHONE CALLS AND EMAIL AND MAIL TO BE INTERCEPTED BY THE NSA?

I asked a really and truly "hard Left" Leftie friend of mine - (a major benefactor of the ACLU, THE NATION, "Businessmen for Sensible Priorities" and other Left-wing organizations, and a man who is most proud of having been on Nixon's enemies list. An honor which garnered him NEITHER an IRS audit, let alone an FBI phone call! IOW: being an enemy of Nixon netted him not a single negative occurrence, certainly not anything near what would have happened to an enemy of Stalin's or Castro's, or Arafat's, or Mugabe's - or any number of other LEFTIST tyrants! - BUT I DIGRESS!!) - ANYHOW.... I asked him the following questions:
Question #1: Would you allow your phones, email and and mail to be iontercepted by the NSA if it MIGHT save 3000 lives?

He answered: "YES."

Question #2: Would you allow the NSA to intercept ONLY your international communications (phone, email, and mail) if it MIGHT save 3000 lives? That would be a lot less communciations, wouldn't it!?

He answered, "Yes, of course - that would be fewer calls, and I wouldn't mind - if it could save lives."

Question #3: Would you allow all the communications you have with al Qaeda and their affiliates to be intercepted?

He answered, "OF COURSE! BUT I HAVE NO SUCH COMMUNICATIONS! MOST AMERICANS DON'T!"
And THAT'S the main point, albeit a POLITICAL point and NOT a legal/constitutional one: the NSA intercepts prograsm effected an extremely small number of US persons - IF ANY. According to the NYTIMES, perhaps as many as two thousand persons had their communications intercepted at one time or another since the program was instituted in 2001 - FOUR YEARS AGO. That's about 30 per month. In a country with nearly 300 MILLION people. That's TEN MILLION TIMES as many people overall as the number of people whose calls were intercepted. YET THIS DOESN'T STOP THE LEFT - AND THE MSM THEY DOMINATE - FROM CALLING THIS A "DOMESTIC SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL."

FURTHERMORE: If the NSA intercepts program which the POTUS authorized was solely intended, designed and executed to ONLY intercept communications between suspected al Qaeda (or affiliated) agents, (and for the primary purpose of national security and not criminal prosecution) then virtually EVERY American would agree that it is a fitting and proper program while we are at war with al Qaeda (and their affiliates).

THEREFORE: The sole controversy is really whether such a program REQUIRES a FISA court-order, or whether FISA, the 2001 AUMF, and the constitution permit (and even expect) the POTUS to directly authorize these kinds of intercepts (ones whose PROGRAMMATIC EFFORT IS DIRECTED AT A FOREIGN ENEMY) during wartime. After all, the POTUS is not merely or solely the chief law enforcement officer of the US government; he is also the CinC.

BOTTOM-LINE: The SCOTUS, the FISA Review Court, the Fisa Court, and several federal courts are on record as acknowledging that the POTUS has this right when it comes to gathering intelligence about foreign powers - and other presidents have used it in similar ways - though not in identical ways.

Therefore, this NSA intercepts program, is a GRAND SLAM: politically, legally, constitutionally and militarily, it was the right thing to do. I'D GO FURTHER. I'D SAY, (after Coulter) THAT IF BUSH DIDN'T AUTHORIZE SUCH A PROGRAM AFTER 9/11, THAT THIS NEGLIGENCE would be grounds for impeachment. After all, the primary responsibility of the POTUS is to protect and defend the USA.

BTW: since many of the cellphone and email communications are between one KNOWN suspected al Qaeda agent and an unkown cellphone number or email address - either of which can be accessed by any number of people, US persons or not - and can be accessed in any number of locations (in the USA or not), then it is VERY difficult for anyone (the POTUS, the USA AG, the CIA, or the NSA) to KNOW who the unkown communicator is and whether the UNKNOWN communicator is a US person or not. YOU'D HAVE TO LISTEN IN TO FIND OUT, WOULDN'T YOU?! (Ditto any data mining program designed to intercept emails which contain known code-words.)

Bottom-line: some people will do whatever it takes to win the war; other people won't - and perhaps don;t even think we need to be at war.

The Dem/Left seems to think that we'd be in a better position if: we weren't rough on any detainees; we closed GITMO; we immediately exited from Iraq; we stopped the decades old practice of rendition; we closed all secret prisons; and stopped giving Israel "unquestioned support" and be "more even-handed" in approach to the Arab-Israeli crisis. IOW: fight a "kinder and gentler" war on terror! HAH!

SURE: If Bush did what the Dem/Left wants then he'd be more seen as more "bi-partisan" and he'd be more "loved" by the euroweenies of Old Europe. But we'd be less effective in the war against our enemies, and be less feared by our enemies, too. I'd gladly sacrifice the love of Lefties here and in Europe for the upper hand in the GWOT.

I am grateful Bush has done just that. Waging war effectively is not a popularity contest. It never has been. Nixon - who ended the draft and the Vietnam War and opened up China and invented detente and signed the FIRST nuclear arms treaty with the USSR, and and saved the Soviet Dissidents --- and all in JUST 5 YEARS! - was HATED AND REVILED by the Left here and in Europe. Nixon was right, and the Left was wrong. (I KNOW: I was a a Lefty then!)

In the 1980's, Reagan deployed Pershing missiles to Europe and was greeted in Europe - who we were DEFENDING FROM THE USSR! - with the largest most angry demonstrations OF ALL TIME! Reagan was right, though, and the Left was wrong. (I KNOW; I WAS THERE IN NY'S CENTRAL PARK ALONG WITH MORE THAN A MILLION OTHER LEFTIES!

Bush's aggressive war against jihadoterrorism and islamofascism is being greeted with the same response by the SAME Lefties. They are as wrong now as they were then.

Thank God this time I am on the RIGHT SIDE THIS TIME! (Actually, I became a hawk in 1989, after the Wall fell. I was honest: I admitted that Reagan was right - about the USSR and tax cuts!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Pat in NC said...

Happy New Year. I appreciate your daily commentary.

Gandalin said...

Happy New Year! Great post. I'm surprised that only 30 calls/month were checked.

Anonymous said...

Let me ask YOU some questions. If it might save 17,000 lives each year, would you be willing to blow in a breathalizer to start your car? Here's another: If you might save thousands of lives each year of gun shot victims, would you register your handguns?

All of these questions, your's and mine, are related to civil liberties addressed by the Constitution. Messing with those rights deserves thought, discussion, and compromise. My two subjects have been extensively discussed. The Bush/Cheney ticket seems to feel your questions don't need discussed. I disagree.

I suggest that this Administration defines it's identity from 9/11. Go see the movie Munich if you want an example of a "measured response" to 9/11. Such a response would have saved 2,000 lives of American soldiers, 30,000 lives of Iraqi citizens and saved $400 BILLION for any number of other programs or deeper tax cuts.

This adminstration is relying on fear-mongering to retain and wield power. The only "war" we are in is a war of ideas. At every turn we have denigrated our most sacred principles and have lost the high ground. No one will listen to hubris.

Before you dismiss me as a flaming liberal, please recognize that I am not slandering all Republicans. My comments are directed to "this Administration." We are capable of better and to discuss incompetence is not unpatriotic.

Reliapundit said...

happy new year. even to you solomon!
really: thanks for reading and commenting.

of course; i disagree with just about everything you wrote.

not surprising.

i want to save lives. i want my government to. also.

gun control does NOT save lives. NO STUDY ANYWHERE EVEN SUGGESTS UT DOES.

i read a UN study on it - now publshed by cambridge university. the UN's conslusioon was: gun owership restricxtions does NOT effect crime rates, violent crimes rates or murder rates. anywhere in the world.

there is NO correlation between gun laws and crime. some states/nations have strict laws and low gun crime - others high.
some states/nations have no gun laws and have low crime; others high.

in priciple, i belive every hm,an everywhere has the inherent inaleinable human right to self defense.

WHY?

a jew without a gun wears a yellow juden-star.

a jew with a gun wear a blue and white star of David for the state of israel.

need another example?

there'd have been no genocide in rwanda if the Tutsis had been armed. abiut 800,ooo were slaughtered by Hutus with clubs and machetes (as the UN anwatched - and the french army HELPED!).

i think the iraq war was a VERY measured response; it was MORE THAN A DECADE in the making. there was no rush to war. and davoid Kay and Charles Duelfer testified that Saddam was IN VIOLATION OF UNSCR#1441 - even IF he had no stockpiles. by violating nearly all the UNSCR's whgich fucntioned as the armisticie for the 1991 war, Saddam caused a state of war to revert AUTOMATICALLY.

and i belive - in terms of lives SAVWED, that the Iraq War saved lives. It has saved Iraqi lives - statistic collected by an anti-war group IRAQ BODY COUNT - and compiled by GATEWAY PUNDIT - show that fewer iraqis have died each year soince the war begon, than would have died each year under Saddam's riuthless murderous genocidal tyranny.

And the courageous sacrifices of our brilliant and brave and all voulnteer military did that - and made the whole world safer.

also: munich seems like a lot of moral relativist pacifist SHIT to me. WHY? well, i think there is a MORAL difference between a murder who murder innocents and the retrubutional assassination/execution of the murderer.

to me (IMHO), people like you and spielberg - who make the false equivalence between murder and the execution of the murderer - are essentially AMORAL or IMMORAL. take your pick.I KNOW YOU DON'T SEE IT THAT WAY> I know you mean well. very well. your intentions are noble. but the results of false moral equivalences and APPEASEMENT are ALWAYS BAD. Lookit: Winston Churchill rightly RAILED against THE MUNICH AGREEMENT. he truned out to be 100% right. they made him PM. and yet, HE KEPT CHAMBERLAIN INTHE GOVT! he knew Neville was a well-intentioned idealist who bel;ived you could appease Herr Hitler and avoid war. Neville was wrong - as appeasers are ALWYS wrong. Churchill was right - and had the free world folwed WSC's advice in 1935 there'd have been no WW2.

After 9/11, GWB changed his foreign policy - a change which was - for the USA LONG OVERDUE. From Carter to reagan to Bush senior and Clinton the USa appeased the idslamofascists - and all it got us was worse ands worse attacks.

LOOKIT: i believe that seeking to exact justice is a good thing. letting murderers off is a bad thing. LOOK AT IT THIS WAY: Rudy's tough law enforcement practices SAVED NYC!

i didn't vote for him the first time - but i did the second. his crackdown on criminals worked.

I voted gore 2000 - becasue i thought he was hawkier than GWB. Ditto my vote for clinton in 1992 versus Bush senior - who I thought had left the job unfinished in the 1991 Gulf War.

SO....
getting back to the gist of this thread.... I think that most Americans don;'t mind losing SOME of their civil rights during wasr-time.

AFTER ALL, MANY WHO CLAIM THAT gwb broke the fisa law, ALSO CLAIM --- AS I WROTE INNTHIS POST - THAT HE could HAVE GOTTEN A COURT-ORDER. Meaning that the dgree of snooping was not so bad. not abused. it's just - in their mind - that he skipped an important procedure/check & balance.

i disagree. i think he followed ther FISA law and the AUMF law and the constitution.

and i think the amount/degree of snooping was actually quite small.

according to the (infamous/traitorous) nytimes article, only about 30 PEEPLE per month were looked at. this is hardly unfocused or a threat to the nation.

terrorism is a bigger threat. IMHO.

all the best.

keep reading and commenting here. and critiquing.

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