Monday, February 06, 2006


I watched the NSA hearings today. I have seen many of the conservative blogs that are all ra-ra over it.

Take a second and think. Think about the amount of power you are vesting the in president with this "inherent constitutional authority." This issue is so much bigger than just tapping phones or reading e-mail.

This boils down to potentially giving the president unlimited authority in a time of war and for him to fight the war "as he sees fit."


The war on terrorism is a war that we will not see the end of in most of our lifetimes. We are not talking about another year or two. We are talking about your kids and possibly your grand kids. You want to grant the president the authority not only to ignore congress in the next session, but the next generation. Do you ever think there will be a declaration of victory? Not one that you or I will ever see.

And for all of you who are Bush fans and trust him. The next president will not be Bush. I can guarantee you that.

Guess what... it might not even be a Republican.

So, before you go ga-ga over NSA spying. Think about the amount of power that you will be vesting in one man (or woman). Think about the programs beyond terrorism that inherent power to protect us could incorporate. Think about what you are handing down to your kids.


Luckily, it is not just a right-left issue (Activists on Right, GOP Lawmakers Divided on Spying). But, apparently, the president considered making the program bigger but didn't because of 'negative publicity.' Not constitutional rights, mind you, but publicity (Gonzales Defends Surveillance)


tommy said...

I approach this completely different than the way you phrase the discussion. Are we, or are we not, going to support the military in the field?

I have been on the receiving end of a combat field brief by the JAG telling us that if the enemy was shooting at us, trying to kill us, we might be committing a crime by shooting back. It was further refreshing because he couldn't confirm for us any situation where we would be in possession of enough knowledge to know we were not committing a crime if we shot back.

The constitution is in conflict with itself over this issue I think. As a result I don't think the Courts are going to be willing to touch it.

Mikko Moilanen said...

'30 in Germany.

Only arguments vary.

Anonymous said...

imagine what might have happened if mccarthy were president and had that kind of power. too scary for words.

Dingo said...

"I approach this completely different than the way you phrase the discussion. Are we, or are we not, going to support the military in the field?"

You'll have to explain that a little bit more for me. For what I am talking about, it has no impact on the military in any way. And you right about the courts, but they may have to if Congress amends the law and Bush still acts contrary.

As for the JAG talk. Yeah, I have had a couple friends in JAG. They have said it is a pretty ridiculous situation, but on the most part, it is intended to slow down the guys who would fire without thinking and/or not assess the situation. A lot of it was due to Viet Nam. I actually volunteered for Air Force JAG in 2003, but got negged. They say it is because had over 200 people applying for 22 slots. I think it was because they knew I was a big ol' pinko commie bastard liberal.

tommy said...

Well it all comes back to what you think is going on (since the program is classified, no one who knows what is going on is talking, and so all of us talking about it are building up straw men to attack. The Senate hearings yesterday served absolutely no purpose since they were open to the public, the Senate knew it, it was simply an excuse to score points on TV.

But spying on the bad guys during a war is acceptable. If the bad guys happen to be US citizens on US soil, nothing changes. Being at war is different, the use of the military changes everything. It's why they aren't allowed to be used in civil actions.

The nature of programs classified at this level is such that the one thing you can be fairly certain of, is anyone willing to talk about it, doesn't know anything about it.

Dingo said...

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know really what is going on. That is what I dislike about it. I don't want to know the oporational details. I just want legal deliniation as to what is acceptable and what is abuse. I want there to be some form of oversight by the courts. Secret courts have worked for FISA. It can work here to. And, I want to know that if there is abuse, there will be punishment. Currently, there is none because there are no legal guidelines.

And, I reiterate, this war will outlast both of us. This is not WWII. We are not talking about emergancy powers for the short term, but building and institution into our framework of government.

MDConservative said...

"The nature of programs classified at this level is such that the one thing you can be fairly certain of, is anyone willing to talk about it, doesn't know anything about it."

I so wish that were true, but if it was then it would have never appeared on the front page.

I tell you that you can know about it and talk about it. It is now in the public, it is just the need to avoid operational details.

The President knows about it, General Hayden does, and they discuss it. Once something is in the public people are forced to talk about it, in order to gain support for it. Just because it is legal does not mean people will like it.

As for POTUS being gone in a number of years and who will follow, I don't fear. This program is being run by professionals, not by politicians.

As long as the threat is there I want this program, but more important we need it. Sometimes unpopular choices need to be made.

tommy said...

I guess I should have said willing to go on record talking about it. As far as I know, we still don't know who the original leakers were.

The hearings were a waste of time, because there was no chance anything would be discussed there that would amount to anything and they knew that ahead of time.

Carl said...

My belated reply and a related post.