Tuesday, January 03, 2006

America Needs A Cork

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." --U.S. Constitution Article III, section 3

Well now at last, here's something to write about. German news outlets are reporting that The United States is planning to possibly launch military strikes against suspected Iranian Nuclear sites. Once again, the news outlets are citing "anonymous" sources. I say anonymous, they don't. They call them, "NATO intelligence sources" and "Western security sources".

A rose by any other name...

German? Could it be American news outlets are feeling a bit snakebit in light of the wiretap controversy that is about to turn and bite the Libs in the you-know-what? I think American news organizations will avoid these latest leakers like the proverbial plague. So now the talkative anonymous sources are farming their classified information out to the highest bidder, it would appear.

I am starting to think we can't go through the normal channels to ferret out the leakers. It seems as long as they are incommunicado, the more information will get out. The Justice Department needs to discover who is leaking information and they need to do it quickly. God only knows what else they can tell our enemies that will seriously compromise our National security.

Perhaps warrantless wiretapping of American Senators and Congressmen is in order here. Or NATO employees, or NSA agents, or someone. Or everyone.

Of course, that will only give the Liberals more fodder for their "Right to privacy/violation of civil rights" cannon.

But you know what? I am willing to put up with their rantings and ravings in the interest of National Security.

I don't know. I'm just a high school graduate with no degree in higher education so I probably don't know what I'm talking about. I never read a book on International relations.

I just have common sense.

And my common sense tells me that unless I am planning, with known al-Qaida members, more attacks against America, I don't really have to worry about anyone wiretapping my phone. Or maybe monitor my blog entries. In fact, I wish they would. Maybe they'd offer me a job.

The way this is playing out seems like a good plotline for a novel or a movie. Except in a book or a film, the hero ingeniously finds out within mere hours, who the guilty party is and then simply kills him, and everyone lives happily ever after.

Whoever is leaking this classified information should thank God he isn't a character in a book or a movie. The way our system is set up, he will at least get a chance to present his side.

But I don't see any justification for putting innocent American lives in danger.

32 comments:

Poison Pero said...

You are a radical Rightwinger, Mark.

How dare you challenge the German press......It is much better to have Americans blown to shreds in order to keep the sanctity of the press.

And don't even think of saying anything when CBS runs a similar story.......Got it??
------------
Tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Erudite Redneck said...

Pero, Mark is challenging your title with this pap.

"Could it be American news outlets are feeling a bit snakebit in light of the wiretap controversy that is about to turn and bite the Libs in the you-know-what?"

Not even close. This president will lose if he tries to take on the press AND the Congress. It's the presidential you-know-what that's in the sling. Do you really believe this?

"I think American news organizations will avoid these latest leakers like the proverbial plague."

Are you nuts? :-) When the government itself tries to control information that the people have the right to know -- like, say, oh, I don't know, that Bush & Co. have decided to wad up the Constitution and toss it in a shredder -- the press gets MORE active. And it should.

That's the main problem el presidente appears never to have understood about the press. The freest press in the world, esepcially the hardcore in the Beltway, are NOT reporters from the dadgum Waco Tribune. Or even the Austin American-Statesman.

Whether y'all on the righty right like it or not, the press is not called "the Fourth Estate" because it sounds cool. In times of crisis like this, it truly does act as a fourth branch of government.

Rock on, NYT.

Oh, hypocrisy alert: If the spying and wiretaps and all are all so tidy and legal, it's outrageous that the Justice Department is looking for the leaker. How could it have been "leaked" if it was legal in the first place?

Mark said...

"How could it have been "leaked" if it was legal in the first place?"

(sigh) Once again, we need to explain, the President was within his rights. It was secret because we don't want the terrorists to know we are spying on them. If it were possible to let the American citizens know what we are doing without tipping off the terrorists, I'm sure the President would be comfortable with it. Secrecy is the key to getting the info we need to prevent attacks.

Does anyone really think that if we told the terrorists in advance that we are planning to investigate them that we would still be able to get the info we need to protect us?

Once again, when someone conspires to murder innocent Americans we have the right to know that in advance.

And you know what? President Bush is in his final term. I don't think he gives a rat's patootie if the press likes that he is doing everything necessary to protect Americans. He is doing his job.

And so it the press. They are doing what they are supposed to do, which is report the news. It's the big mouths that are giving the press the info that is endangering Americans, and the Libs, as I mentioned, that are helping, either knowingly or not, the terrorists.

This post is not a slam against the press. it is a slam against whoever is giving aid to our enemies.

Actually, considering the controversy the first leaks did, it is unlikely the second leak wasn't a mistake. It would appear that someone is intentionally trying to compromise the security of America.

Put it this way: If you knew someone was secretly planning to murder your family, and it could be prevented by surreptiously spying on your enemies, would you say "Oh no, it isn't right to violate the murderers civil rights. Best to leave them alone and hope they decide not to go through with their plans".

Pu-leese.

By the way, if it weren't for getting secret info from our enemies throughout all this countries previous wars, there would be no free press in this country. Indeed, "This country" as we know it would not exist.

Mark said...

And I stand corrected. You are right, ER, the press won't avoid the leakers. It was late when I wrote that about the media avoiding the leakers. There is no way they would ever do that. It's news.But I think most of the rest of the post is pretty accurate.

Mark said...

By the way, ER, I know you like to study about the American Indians. Have you done much research into the story of Pocohantas? I read different versions of her story when I was thinking about posting on it and each version was as interesting as the others. What do you think?

Toad734 said...

I know Carl Rove and Scooter Libby have been doing a lot of leaking lately.

Erudite Redneck said...

I don't know much about Pocahontas, other than the facts about her are sparse and the legend is humongous. :-)

Two further points about extreme actions taken against liberty in the name of security:

I got chills when someone in the MSM actually compared the warrantless wiretaps and spying with Lincoln's suspension of liberties surrounding incarceration and the requirements for writs of habeous corpus. Holy shit. As a student of Southern history, mostly from the Southern perspective, that scares me to death. Lincoln was a tyrant, too, redeemed ONLY because circumstances made him out a success. Maybe Bush will be made out a historical success, too, but in the meantime his secret spying is as tyrannical in spirit as Lincoln!

Bush broke the law, both its spirit and its letter -- just like Lincoln.

Lores Rizkalla said...

You're exactly right, Mark. Calling it just what it is: treason.

When I read about all this, I often think that it's so over-the-top that it seems like a movie. A few characteristics of a Hollywood blockbuster. Good versus evil. Political ambition. Hatefulness. Treason

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, horse crap.

Treason is crumpling the Constitution and pee-peeing on liberty in the name of security.

This country does not DESERVE the freedoms it has if y'all are so ready to piss them away in defense of this regency pretending to be a presidency.

The gall.

Bring on Congress.

But dang it, if el presidente just wasn't so goldarn stubborn and stupid about it, he'd get 90 percent of what he, and the righty rights, want.

He's gonna lose, if he takes on the press and the Congress at the same time.

Mark said...

Again. If you knew someone was secretly planning to murder your family, and it could be prevented by surreptiously spying on your enemies, would you say "Oh no, it isn't right to violate the murderers civil rights. Best to leave them alone and hope they decide not to go through with their plans".

old soldier said...

What do you call disclosure of “classified” information or a “classified” program? Whistle blowing? Security classifications are lawful and exercised for the specific reason of providing national security. Unlawful disclosure of a “classified” program is punishable under the law. Those who work inside “classified” programs know how to correct or bring to light unlawful activity – and it ISN’T through the NYT.

The congress has no authority over the president in matters pertaining to national security when the nation is at war. So far, what I’ve read about is fully within the president’s authority and responsibility. IMHO it is far better to involuntarily void your lower bowels because you perceive a violation of law than to have all bodily functions stopped by another successful radical Islamic terrorist attack.

As for whistle blowing; anyone with the morals and ethics to blow a whistle should be so morally and ethically inclined to stand up openly and point the finger. This anonymous leaking garbage is nothing more than legal protection from shouting FIRE in a crowed theater. If “classified” information was passed to the press, then the “leaker” should be found and prosecuted. I worked with “classified” information long enough to know the value of the system. It protects our national interests; the preponderance of which is our people.

Erudite Redneck said...

"The congress has no authority over the president in matters pertaining to national security when the nation is at war."

That's simply proposterous, historically and when applied to the current situation.

And Mark, you're not asking a pertinent question. It's not murder, it's not my family and it's not another person on the next block. More important things are stake here -- like the dan rule of law.

The president wanted to do this right, he'd march down to the other by-God end of Pennsylvania Avenue and demand clear changes to ALLOW him the latitude he needs, or even a damn constitutional amendment, if need be, instead of being a stubborn punk and pretending that Congress has no role in the damn defense of this country.

I do agreew ith old solkdier that the whistle blower(s) should come clean and go public.

old soldier said...

"...pretending that Congress has no role in the damn defense of this country..."

Congress has a roll, all right, to fund the defense. Command belongs solely to the Chief Executive. At war, there is only one person in charge, and that person is not part of the legislature.

Off subject, but nonetheless, the roll that Congress does have in defending this nation has been flagrantly ignored. Article I, Section 8, states, “The Congress shall have the Power… To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel Invasions…” Both sides of the isle have bee derelict in their duty to stem the invasion from our south. The unlawful influx of 8 + - million people can only be termed an invasion.


By the way, the roll that Congress does have in defending this nation they have flagrantly ignored.

Erudite Redneck said...

There's something else we agree on , old soldier: the nonexistent southern border.

Two other things, tho, that I know we disagree on:

1. If this is a different kind of war, then we need a different kind of law to authorirze; the present legal structure doesn't work, apparently -- that, or the president is simnply ignoring it, which is my opinion.

2. I don't trust George W. Bush.

Erudite Redneck said...

Y'all, here is an excellent story from Newsweek giving historical perspective on presidents, congresses, the press and people when presidents trade security for liberty, from Lincoln to Wilson to Roosevelt to Nixon and others.

http://msnbc.msn.com
/id/10684015/site/newsweek/

We all are acting very typically.

Carry on.

Erudite Redneck said...

Uh, I misunderestimated and misquoted my own dang self. I meant "when presidents trade liberty for security."

Now, carry on.

Son of Lilith said...

It is not the spying per se that bothers me; after all I have nothing to hide. And these are strange and dangerous times.

However, there should be limits.

One, the President should order the spying within the legal parameters of the law. Do not act as if you are above the law; you are not.

Two, there should be some reason practiced here. Again I say--Greenpeace? PETA?

Three, this should not be the President's personal project. There should be numerous individuals overseeing the act, with as many opinions and viewpoints represented as possible.

And old soldier:
At war, there is only one person in charge, and that person is not part of the legislature.

Really? I wasn't aware that's the way our government functioned.

Perhaps we should all get together for a viewing of Revenge of the Sith and see what happens when citizens put too much power in the hands of one person.

Mark said...

ER, "It's not murder, it's not my family and it's not another person on the next block".

I beg to differ. It is exactly murder when terrorists fly airplanes into our buildings and explode bombs in our subways. etc.

And it definitely affects your family in the same way that it affects all Americans.

All Americans are in danger of future terrorist attacks. Tell me you don't think your safety and the safety of your famuly is not more important than the civil rights of those who want to murder you. If surveillance is not the solution, what is?

Terrorists do not deserve the right to privacy because they take advantage of it to deprive others of their right to life.

Erudite Redneck said...

God damn it -- and I use those words deliberately -- surveillance is the NOT the issue! THE LAW is the issue.

When your president, and YOU, get that through your damn heads, then we will find a way, all of us, to defend this country!!!!!!!!

I will GIVE UP this nation before I let it slide into the same amoral, illegal, outlaw attitude of our effing enemies!!!!!!

And YOU call ME asnd other like me traitors!!!! You selfish jerks.

You bank on freedom's won YESTERDAY to secure TODAY's freedoms at the Expense of TOMORROW's.

I want FREEDOM NOW. PERIOD. Because this is all just a big stupid joke otherwise.

Goat said...

Calm down ER, look, if it keeps innocent people from being blown to the nether world by some wierdo islamist or otherwise, I prefer preemptive measures to clean up mode. If you ain't emailing or calling terrorist groups you ain't got nothin' to worry about. I would certainly hope they intersect communications coming from known cells abroad. I understand where you are coming from ER, that is why we can vote and voice our opinion openly. I will say that if you or anyone is empathetic to terror I will do my best to expose you.

Clan Gunn, remember that Scots/Irish fire, it be in your gut and there is a reason for the burning, it is destined. Freedom is our mantra since the battles against the crown. No matter who or what we are, we are America and we make her great, the greatest nation on God's green earth. Mount up soldier, lets ride! We were "Born To Fight" as James Webb points out so well in his book of that title.

tugboatcapn said...

ER, Not to pick on you, but you are the most vocal representative of the Opposition Party here, and it is no mystery to you which side of this I fall on...

" surveillance is the NOT the issue! THE LAW is the issue."

Once again, the actions of the President were within the law, whether you trust him or not.

At least he didn't use the power of the IRS or the Justice Department to attack his political opponents like some former Presidents I could name...

I wouldn't call you a traitor, ER, not ever. But I do believe that you sometimes let your dislike for the President cloud your vision.(with all due respect.)

And there are those within your party and your profession who would without a backward glance skirt dangerously close to treason and traitorism if it would help their Party politically.

The bottom line is that whatever wiretapping the President has done has been in the pursuit of National Security and the protection of the American People (an assertion that I have not yet heard challenged by either side...) Not the relentless pursuit of political power for himself or his Party.

By comparison, the actions of the Democrat party lately seem to me to be solely motivated by their desire to return themselves to power, at all costs.

Just my opinion...

And calm down, my friend! No need to have a heart attack about it...

We are just having a discussion here...

Erudite Redneck said...

Repeat: 1. If this is a different kind of war, then we need a different kind of law to authoririze it; the present legal structure doesn't work, apparently -- that, or the president is simnply ignoring it, which is my opinion.

Congress will decide the above. I apololgize for my profanity. I am that close to crazy, again.

-- Erudite "Thomas Paine" Redneck

tugboatcapn said...

So, "THE LAW" isn't really "THE LAW", we need a "SPECIAL LAW" that applies only to President Bush, in your opinion, not to any DEMOCRATS who might become entangled in this latest avenue of attack against President Bush?

Things that have always been "within THE LAW" are not available to the current President because he is a Republican (BOO, HISS!!)??

ER, once again, I am not trying to pick on you, but that is a weak position, my friend...

Erudite Redneck said...

Damn it. Blogger just ate one helluva eloquent comment by yours truly. Suffice it to say that no, I don;t think that and I didn;t write that. I demned everyione from Lincoln to Wilson to Roosevelt to Nixon. Especially the tyrant Lincoln. But never mind. The Lord and Blogger, apparently, didn't want you to see the eloquent version. Eff all.

tugboatcapn said...

Well, ER, I'm sorry I missed it, because I would really have liked to have a clarification of your point.

It sure sounded to me like you said what I said you said, and I really don't believe that you believe that.

We all want Civil Liberties, and we all want National Security.

I just don't agree with you that this situation makes us choose between the two.

President Bush is not our enemy.

The Terrorists are. And the Terrorists are the only ones who have lost any Civil liberties as a result of the actions of President Bush in this situation.

The only reason that it has become such an issue is because the Democrat Party, and the Media sees it as a convenient way to embarrass President Bush, and I cannot get worked up over this issue because of that fact.

The only way that this whole thing affects me at all at this point is that it makes it harder for Terrorists to attack me and my family.

I will deal with threats to my Civil Liberties when they restrict me more directly.

I am much more concerned with the Government taking my money in the form of Taxes, and using it in ways that I do not agree with than I am with the President authorizing the wiretapping of known Terrorists. If you want to discuss the Government throwing the Constitution into the shredder, then let's start with the fact that Income Taxes, Social Security, and Welfare Programs are Unconstitutional, and we will go from there.

Sorry that I cannot share your outrage over this issue...

The President has not done anything outside the Law, or anything that has not been done before by previous Presidents.

As Mark said, this is a tempest in a teapot.

tugboatcapn said...

As have been most of the arguments against President Bush from the Democrats since his election in 2000.

Mark said...

Tug, "As Mark said, this is a tempest in a teapot".

I said that? Wow, I'm more erudite than I thought!

Mark said...

Toad, after 3 years and exhaustive investigations, No one has yet proven Karl Rove guilty of anything, and Libby is only accused of perjury, which is a far cry from leaking information. Especially when the subject of said leakage was not a covert agent at the time, thus making the charge not a charge at all.

So unless you have information no one else including the special prosecutor has, you don't "know" anything of the kind.

You may suspect, and you may want it to be true in the worst way, but there is no proof. Without proof you can't say it is fact without being dishonest.

I seem to remember you saying once that you never tell a lie. You just did.

KEvron said...

"You just did."

uh, what he just did was to make a joke. "leaking" has more than one meaning, dontchaknow....

KEvron, off to take a leak

KEvron said...

ooh, say, mark? since toad was simply making a joke, does that mean, based on your logic of stating things erroneously, that you are a liar? just wondering....

KEvron

Mark said...

Kevron, since you don't know what comment i was referring to when I said he lied, you don't have a dog in this hunt. Toad sneaks in here often, levies some ridiculous charge against Republicans and Bush in particiular and then slinks back out. He has no solitions. He has no ideas. he has no original thoughts of his own. He only has hate for Bush.

And no one knows why!

tugboatcapn said...

"Tug, "As Mark said, this is a tempest in a teapot".

I said that? Wow, I'm more erudite than I thought! "

Well, I thought you said it.

I'm giving you the credit for it, in any case...