Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Burden Of Proof

"The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved." ~ Confucius

A couple of days ago, on another post, I stated my belief that no law has been broken in collecting records of phone calls by the NSA in wake of the attacks of 9/11. Liam, who is a very intelligent, insightful, thoughtful, and respectful commenter on this blog, posed this question:

Mark, can you post a link to the conclusive evidence that no law has been broken please?

It is a reasonable request, but to tell the truth, I haven't had lot of time to do a lot of research, since the recent changes in the operations where I work. So, I was going to just blow the request off. I still don't have time to do that, but I have given the matter some thought, and it occurs to me that it isn't my responsibilty to supply evidence.

Liam lives in England, so possibly the British Justice system is a bit different from ours, but over here in America, jurisprudence dictates that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Since the Bush haters are trying to say that his actions are illegal, they are his accusers. The gathering of evidence is their responsibility, not mine. I have defended the Presidents position on this matter. That makes me part of the defense team, as it were.

In other words, I do not have to look for proof that Bush is innocent. Those who accuse him of breaking the law have the burden of establishing whether or not he is culpable.

So go for it. Prove with conclusive evidence that he broke any law in allowing the NSA to collect phone records to ascertain where potential terrorists may be lurking right here in America.

And while your at it, try to find one American who has been arrested, detained, or otherwise inconvenienced by this so-called intrusion into their personal lives.

Just one.

And as long as we're on the subject, I might add that Verizon and Bellsouth are both saying now, that they never handed any phone records over to the NSA. But USA Today says they did! Maybe you should do the necessary research to discover who is telling the truth here. And if someone isn't telling the truth, why?

Then just ask yourself if you feel any safer knowing that terrorists now know about another of our tactics to thwart their attacks by searching through their phone records.

I know I don't.

While you're at it, try to find out what else the media will eventually do to undermine the NSA's efforts to keep America safe. And what other charges the Democrats will use to attack Bush and his attempts to keep terrorists out of our backyard and keep their hands tied. And why the Democrats are so determined to play fast and loose with National Security in the interest of making sure President Bush doesn't know about their late night phone calls to phone sex companies.

And see if you can find out why this story, that was originally reported in the New York Times back in December, has resurfaced now, scant hours after the announcement of Gen. Michael Hayden as head of the CIA. Seems a bit of a coincidence to me.

So roll up your sleeves, Bush haters. You've got a lot of work to do.

The burden of proof is upon you.


Lone Ranger said...

That's an old dodge liberals use to "win" arguments. When you make a point, they demand to know your source, as though they're going to go check it out for themselves. Since the average person doesn't carry around a reference library in his hip pocket, they smugly walk away, believing they have made a point. It's their fantasy world. It won't hurt to humor them.

Sheila said...


I don't think I have to prove it either.....LOL

Look, give it until the Heydan confirmation hearings. We're are going to get a lot of information from the horses mouth and from the witnesses for the other side. I read the other day, the whistleblower is going to testify. That's big, because he/she went through the right channels according to the WHistle Blowers Act of 1991.

By the way. Sad that you are controlling your posting again.

The word is; The Lawyers for the NSA even tried to stop the Vice President and Heydan tried to stop him from the program because of illegalities. they tried to convince him to go to the Hill for Amendment....there's that American thing I keep harping about....

So, I will watch the hearings like a sucker on the bottm of the pond and let you know what the hey when it's finished.

By the way, Heydan will get confirmed. The hearings will essentially be about the Program, I assure you and it will get hairy. SO get out your alluminum caps and get ready to don them. :)

Sheila said...


I've seen the same crap on your side of the railroad track.

YOur opint is moot!

Daffy76 said...

You read my mind, Mark. I started to comment on the exact same thing yesterday. Then I decided I didn't have time to jump into the fray.

I am amazed at how often the principle that one is "innocent until proven guilty" is forgotten. You can see blatant examples of this all over the media. Perhaps the most frustrating one to me recently is the Duke Lacrosse Team scandal. The boys indicted in this trial have had their pictures all over the newspapers for weeks while their accuser hasn't even had to give her name. The evidence is so minimal in this case it isn't even funny. But that doesn't stop news organizations from tarnishing the names of these young men. Until they are convicted of something, I wish the media would leave them alone.

Mark said...

Sheila, sorry about the comment moderation. I had a comment from an anonymous source yesterday that was extremely insulting to me personally, and had nothing to do with the post, plus it included personal information about me. Obviously someone who thinks they know me better than they do. At any rate< I can't have people doing stuff like that here. Hence, comment moderation has had to be re-enabled.

Lone Ranger said...

Any time you want to quote "the same crap" from me, Sheila, I'd be happy to clear it up for you. In other words, what's your source for that statement?

Sheila said...

My crap LR,

Is instead of stating things as fact from Newspapers or listening to cable news shows, I'll watch the hearings.
like your crap about how liberals think and what liberals do, and how we are so stupid and wussy, and cowards and all the rest of the CRAP you come up with, I at least don't say your anything more than CRAP!

I dare you to watch the hearings to see if I...A Stupid, lying, crazy Liberal come up with the same information you do and we both post our findings right here to see jsut how far off we both are.

Gotta go to work now Matalin,
Carville. :)

Lone Ranger said...

I'm sorry, but since you haven't been able to provide me with a specific quote of my "crap" it means you don't know what you're talking about. Hey, I'm just playing by your rules. What's your source? What's your source? What's your source? Before I state my CONVICTIONS (I don't have opinions) I make sure I am fully informed. I do, after all, work in a newsroom. There are still a few journalists who write facts, not opinions. We could both watch those hearings and come up with totally different conclusions because we base them on totally different world views. Perhaps you should read my take on the President's immigration speech. Since you disagree with me, you might find yourself in the uncomfortable position of siding with Bush.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I agree!!

Sheila said...


This is what I take offense with and I always will. You are rude and I don't care if you work in a news room. Your arrogance is just plane rude and I've read your blog. I may not agree with some things and I have seen some false information, but HEY it's you blog and I'm not a rude blogger like you've been.

If you want to me to show you where I read what I stated, you show me the proof too.
If you show me opinions of blog reterick, I don't buy it.

you said, "That's an old dodge liberals use to "win" arguments. When you make a point, they demand to know your source, as though they're going to go check it out for themselves. Since the average person doesn't carry around a reference library in his hip pocket, they smugly walk away, believing they have made a point. It's their fantasy world. It won't hurt to humor them"

Mean mean mean. I always research everything to see what is happening. And you can ask Mark this one, I don't side with Bush or against him. I side on the side of my country. If Bush is wrong then change it. If he's right I say so.

That fact is, you don't know me, but you have always put me and other people who don't fit nicely into your little conservative box, down.

If you met me on the street, you would never know. So, don't pull that BS just because I'm tired of seeing mean nasty prejudice comments from you, on this blog.

If I'm standing up to you, it's because I'm not afraid to show you, that I am not ashamed of who I am.
I'm an American and I'm a Christian, and I'm a registered Democrat.

By the way, I was with ABC News in Washington DC and in Broadcasting for 20 years. So you don't fluster me there either.
If you want to watch the hearings with me, it WOULD be interesting to see how we read it.

Now That's politics and not the ideological things your spouting.

Be a gentleman.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

"The word is"--sheila

That's a big problem real America has with the left. They take "the word is" and if it is against Bush or the right in general, it is automatically confirmed fact. All these accusations about Bush and the war in its varied forms are nothing more than just what "sheila" said--an instance of "the word is".

Kinda like Karl Rove's imminent indictment that hasn't happened.

Sheila said...


FOr the record, I have never said "What's Your Source." So there again, we all don't fit in your box.

Liam said...

Well, thank you for the generous ego-massage there Mark!

Actually the British legal system is not that dissimilar from the American one. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution here too. The reason I asked you to post the link was that you had said “It has been established conclusively that no law has been broken,” so I assumed you had something handy.

Oh my, Lone Ranger, what a low opinion you have of people who don’t share your outlook! When someone claims authority in a heated discussion like this one, I usually like to check their sources to make sure that neither of us is the victim of Internet hyperbole. If you go back to the post that Mark is referring to, you’ll see that I did check out the references quoted both for and against and came to the conclusion that Mark was right.

People may not carry a reference library around in their pocket, but most people are sitting in front of the biggest one on the planet while they are commenting on a blog. If someone really is certain of their facts then they should be able to either reel a reference off the top of their heads, or produce one after a bit of googling to find the authoritative source. If someone can’t do that, then they deserve the embarrassment when called on it.

For the record, I am happy to be challenged also if you think I may not have done my research thoroughly...

Pamela Reece said...

Mark, you should go to law school, you'd be one hell of an attorney!! What's that saying, um..... oh yeah, throw the ball back in their court, chances are they'll swing, miss and run away crying! Okay, I kinda made that up, but it works for me!

Lone Ranger said...

See what I mean? Every liberal "debate" ends up the same way -- with the liberal attacking and name-calling. I really don't have the patience for that nonsense. End of discussion. Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

Sheila said...

Yes Sir LR,

Afterall, silence is golden when they are not saying what you want to hear.

Erudite Redneck said...

This might help.


tugboatcapn said...

Mark, you are indeed on a roll.

Glad to see you coming out swinging again.

I have been having similar problems over at my place lately. A commentor posts a comment about my post, I counter him, and soon I find myself looking up articles to support my position on every single subject from Abortion to Yellow Cake Uranium, to the Legality of Fighting Worldwide Terrorism, to Religion, to you name it.

My opponent will post all manner of exagerations and accusations against anyone who might lean even a little to the Right, and when I cut off the attack in order to regain my own forum for myself, I am called a Coward, and a Fraud, and the other side claims Victory, even though they have proven nothing.

I have decided to delete ridiculous comments from now on, and I alone wil be the judge of what is ridiculous and what is not.

Anyone and everyone is free to set up their own Blog, and post whatever they want there. If anyone is interested in what they have to say, then they are free to go there and read it.

I am under no obligation whatsoever to provide a forum for anyone else, whether they agree with me or not.

Neither are you. Any of you.

Jim said...

The difference in this case, Mark, is that the ones who may have been damaged are the American People. The American People are represented by the Justice Department (supposedly). Problem is, the NSA and the administration will not grant security clearances to THEIR OWN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT so that the DOJ can actually investigate the charges.

So you are asking the people to what? Hire private attorneys to ALSO not be able to have any way to examine the evidence?

Oh yeah, and then there is the Congress who have the Constitutional duty to perform oversight of the government action, but then they are Republics, too, so ain't no Congressional investigatioins going on.

So I guess the American People are SOL when it comes to knowing whether or not they are being damaged.

But we should just trust an administration of incompetents, I suppose.

Mark said...

Sheila, you said, "If you met me on the street, you would never know."

Yes we would. You're the one wearing the Kerry-Edwards button!


Mark said...

Jim, once again I ask that you find one American citizen, just one, that has been arrested, detained, or otherwise violated by the NSA's collecting of lists of phone calls made.

Seems to me if Americans are being "Damaged", as you put it, you could find someone that fills the bill.

But in actuallity, the eventual damage caused by terrorists upon our soil, because the Democrats tied the NSA's hands, will be far worse than just embarrassing a few Democrats.

And a heckuva lot more permanent, too.

You want to be the one to tell the next victims' families that their privacy is more important than their security? Unless you are willing to stand before them and justify allowing terrorists to strike America at will, perhaps you should rethink your position.

And exactly how is this adnministration incompetent? How do you measure incompetence? By the number and ferocity of attacks on America since 9/11 by Islamic Jihadists?

Oh that's right. THERE HASN'T BEEN ANY! Is that your idea of incomptence? if it is, I shudder to think what would have happened if Kerry had been elected.

America could quite possibly be flying the French flag (white on white on a field of white) from the flagpoles all over our counrty now.

Sheila said...

Ahhh, Mark.....I giggled and then laughed out loud with that one.

But seriously, I did wear a Kerry/Edwards Button during the campaign.

A nice enough and respectible enough, elderly woman, came up (My best friend and I were having a conversaion in a park) and spit a large amount of whatever she had been saving up, all over my face and then started screaming obsenities while calling me a sinner. I'll never forget her banshee like scream, "You'll rot in hell!"

All for a Kerry/Edwards button.

I've forgiven her.

Ancient Clown said...

Daffy here's a look at INNOCENT until PROVEN Guilty. And here's a look at some of that PROOF from the get go...continuing to lie about a situation to gather information, add new rules, or anything else is STILL just propogating the LIE.
THIS is mankind's history...LIES..LIES..LIES.

Who discovered America for instance?
I was taught in school it was Columbus who discovered a nation FULL of people that had already been trading for centuries with the NORSE.
So who was it again? And how RELIABLE is your source?
I don't think I know..I just know I'm thinking.
your humble servant,
Ancient Clown

p.s. In case people are not aware, there is a BIG difference between a rule & a LAW. Man makes rules not LAWS.

Liam said...

Come on guys: Fact checking is essential in any discussion. If you aren’t certain of the facts then it’s just ‘garbage in, garbage out.’

That said, I can see how Tug’s frustrations could come about. Many blogs in this corner of the blogosphere seem to revolve around the taunting, denigration and verging on irrational hatred of ‘The Other Side’; actual facts don’t seem to come into it a lot. Both ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ are guilty of this. Sheila is busily baiting conservatives in her comments on this post and Mark is guilty of the same in his latest post, Democrat Dictionary.

The last time I saw such absolute refusal to deal with another person’s point of view, rather than dehumanise and fight them, was watching a documentary where Catholics and Protestants each described what they thought of the other community during ‘The Troubles’ in Ireland. Trust me; that is a road you do not want to go down.

Sheila said...


Your right. My Usual politness left the building. I admit to feeling hurt by the constant barrage of hurtfull things people say here.

Like I've always said, It's your blog and when in Rome, at least respect the culture. I believe I'll take a vacation or a breather from you all.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Sheila and Liam (and Jim and Jamie), sorry I vacated the earlier thread.

I was a bit blogged-out and had to take a break from all blogs and blogging. I even took a bit of break from the regular news cycle. It was a good discussion, and just wanted to let you know I appreciated the exchange. I did address a couple of points there.