The dirty fucking hippies keep putting feathers in their caps:
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
“These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones,” said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA’s Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.
Kinne described the contents of the calls as “personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism.”
She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and “collected on” as they called their offices or homes in the United States.
The current administration and the Republicans in congress, with partial assists from the Democrats, have, over the past eight years, embraced a doctrine of torture, advocated and acted on a doctrine of pre-emptive war, put in place a surveillance state, looted the treasury, attempted to suspend habaes corpus, and are now attempting to nationalize the banking industry.
Meanwhile, the leading lights of the conservative movement are debating whether Obama is a Maoist and calling him a radical.
My only hope is that the Republicans, after getting it handed to them in the general election, will decide that they do not want Barack Hussein Obama listening in to their bulk orders to wetsuit manufacturers, rediscover their devotion to civil liberties and their fear of governtment, and work to roll back some of the crap that has taken place. And remember, many Democrats have been complicit in this.
Oh, John. The problem with the current domestic and international spying programs isn’t that they violate civil rights and infringe on our privacy. The problem is that the programs weren’t sufficiently outsourced to Republican-owned private corporations. If Blackwater was running all our wiretapping instead of the liberal fifth columnists at CIA and NSA, we wouldn’t have anything to worry about.
When will "The Dirty Fucking Hippies Were Right" be a tag?
I feel we deserve one.
none of this stuff is going away until the threat of terrorism is a distant fuzzy memory: the way the threat of global communism is today. no Dem administration is going to be the one to "drop our guard"; it’s just too politically dangerous.
So, the question becomes how do we keep Republicans in a permanent minority to ensure their eternal vigilance?
And how do we make sure Republicans force the dismantling what they built?
I will settle for having his reputation be similar to Nixon’s at this point. With one month till the election and three till the turnover of the administration, they have done their damage. As much as I want to impeach, it is probably best to simply clean the monstrous mess and move on.
SGEW comment #2: I’m too young to be a DFH, but you’re right on this one. W was Nixon on roids with roid rage, and the DFH instinct about W were on point all along.
But, John, you don’t have anything to hide, right? So what’s the big deal?
When the Dems win, Republicans will insist:
Government spending—of any sort—is reckless and must be stopped. Most spending is laden with earmarks (“Bridge to Nowhere”), bribes, kickbacks, etc. Cut the bullshit!
The US military is not to be used as a peacemaking/-keeping organization. The armed forces are not used to build nations and install democracy. Using the armed forces for anything other than to fight and win right/noble wars or to deliver humanitarian aid to devastated parts of the world is not in keeping with the finest traditions of the United States.
Conversely, there are numerous military programs requiring funding to continue the national defense of our great nation by modernization. Most military equipment is not sexy enough (like in the movies) and so must be updated to reflect advances in computer technology, engineering, space-age materials, and have voice-activated functions or tiny touchscreens, like iPhones. Our troops deserve communication/locator devices like in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Those are cool!
The US Department of State is the best means by which the USA is to connect with allied nations as well as those nations considered hostile to the US such as Venezuela, North Korea and Iran. Furthermore, it is wrong and immoral to list any sovereign nation on any sort of “Axis of Evil” list.
The United Nations is a quality organization with which the USA can meaningfully engage other nations of the world. Conflicts and other disputes require dialogue, not saber-rattling.
Terrorists at home and abroad are to be pursued, arrested and tried using a recognized judicial system. Military action is not the answer.
The US government has absolutely no cause or right to eavesdrop, search, detain, etc. any US citizen for any reason unless a legitimate US law enforcement agency demonstrates probable cause and with due warrant from a US court.
The International Court at the Hague is legitimate.
The President and Vice President of the US are definitely part of the Executive branch of the federal government. Further, Congress is obligated to check any US president deemed to be getting “uppity” in the execution of his or her duties. If necessary, Congress shall enact new laws to reign in the plenary powers of the US president.
Juan del Llano
Like MOST of ’em, and a lot of the big ones.
Uh, John? Dems brought up the subject long after it was dead. They crafted them damn New FISA bill mostly themselves. They forced their brethern to vote on it.
Not "many Dems". THE DEMS are responsible. If they do nothing, we have no such abortion of a bill.
Looking fwd to Elliot Spitzer as AG. A girl can dream,no?
@ray: Can’t wait for his diamond ratings of legal issues, then.
If Obama is really interested in reaching out to the other side that’s open to working with him, perhaps he could reverse all of these decisions, either by executive order if possible or by legislation through congress, as some of his first moves in office. There’s probably no better way to extend a hand to some of the more libertarian-minded members of the right and be on the right side of an issue out there. And if this column can be believed, bipartisanship is the key to not being a one-term president.
Brad put out the Sadly Signal, you probably saw it but don’t have time to go through all the comments. Would a good project cheer you up?
I see a single very large bill passing in both the house and senate in 2008 called the "Rollback All The Horrid Fucking Bullshit From The Last Eight Years" bill. A DFH can still dream.
Notice what’s missing from this latest fringe leftist outrage of the day?
None of the people whose calls were supposedly intercepted have been persecuted or harmed in any way. Only those who have something to hide have anything to worry about, which is only common sense.
Naturally, the Ayers-enabling left have a great deal to hide (namely treason), which explains all the hand-wring concern over privacy rights.
I hope you’re wrong. Because terrorism is a fucking tactic that has been around since the Romans – at least. It’s not an ideology that can be discredited (like global communism) – it’s a military and political tactic that can be used by any movement at any time. Look at the diverse groups who have used it to their advantage just in the modern era – Irish separatists, Nazi brownshirts, Palestinian insurgents, US anti-abortion activists, Tim McVeigh, the KKK. Right or left, the use of terrorism as a tactic isn’t EVER going to go away completely.
If our only hope to maintain our freedom is for terrorism to go away, we might as well just give up. Americans need to grow up and realize that they’re never going to be 100% safe from the world – or even from each other – and that the best we can do is try to minimize the risks in a manner consistent with our ideals.
And my hope is that leprechauns will leave pots of gold on my doorstep. I don’t see either of us being very happy.
Here’s what I see happening:
The GOP falls to in-fighting, with the true believers of national greatness conservatism insisting that the only reason they lost the election is because John McCain wasn’t ‘conservative’ enough. And by conservative, in this context, I mean more neo-conservative.
The small government cons, the fiscal cons, the libertarian-minded cons, the Paulians and the Buchananites will continue to be relegated to the sidelines and mocked until most of them defect to the Democratic party or various 3rd parties.
Small government rhetoric may return, as they complain about far lesser abuses of power and trust under an Obama administration, but the instant they smell the White House, this too will be happily abandoned as they return to their dream of giving us a powerful daddy authority figure and king.
Stuck in the Funhouse
You don’t have to hope, it’s money in the bank (loaded analogy) that wingnuts will turn back on day one, like the shallow Chameleons they are. It was good for an sickly laugh when the House flipped to dems in Jan 2007, and on the first day the firebreathers were braying about tax and spend liberals causing the budget deficit. They are soulless Carnival Barkers changing their tune with shifting political fortunes, biding their time until they can take up once again the only task they care about. And that is to pick the pocket of every working American to the point they own them lock, stock, and barrel.
But there is a lot to be said for providing competent management of the systems that need to exist. Even something as basic a cusrory review and purge of the No-Fly list would help. Just getting this stuff out of the paranoid hands of Bush/Cheney will be a huge leap forward.
I think you’re right on this but wrong on one detail. They’ll insist that he wasn’t conservative enough and by conservative they will mean more social conservative.
The neo-cons love McCain to death – it’s the social conservatives who hate him. The social conservatives will scream that their "base" didn’t turn out because the core of the GOP was more concerned with Big Business on Wall Street than with their concerns about Godly living in the Heartland. Post-election polling of "values voters" will probably back this up (because the way those polls are structured there are going to be few folks answering the "teh gayz" are the most important issue that they’re turning out for this cycle).
I predict a massive fight between the social conservatives and the neo-conservatives in the coming years. The Republican Party is getting set to double down on stupid and insist that the reason why McCain lost is because he was weak on the God, guns, gays and brown people coming in from Mexico and stealing our jobs area of the ticket. The neo-cons are going to be on the wane – the social conservatives are going to eat them alive. McCain’s pandering to them this cycle for votes is only the tip of the iceberg on the massive power grab these guys are going to manage to make after the election is over.
Fucking Romans. What kind of a society invents a word that means "kill ten percent of the population"?
Atanarjuat, we DFHs see you. We’re watching you right now. Go put some clean underwear on. Man, you’re gross.
The Moar You Know
Fixed. I’m a Democrat from day one, and largely proud of it, but with a few brave exceptions I’m disgusted to say that, on this issue, my party folded like a tent.
And they should be ashamed.
@SGEW: What kind of a society invents a word that means "kill ten percent of the population"?
Some liberal wimpy one that isn’t willing to do what it takes to achieve true and lasting peace. Only 10%?
Atanarjuat is Inuktitut for "spoof."
The Moar You Know
Not sure what point you’re trying to make here, but Mr. Spitzer will never be allowed, nor should he be allowed, to work in any law enforcement capacity again.
I believe the correct Latin is habeas corpus: ‘thou shalt have the [use of your] body,’ hence retain control over your movements—by not being arbitrarily detained.
Huh. I was always told it translated as "produce the body" (i.e., show us in a court of law that you have detained this person).
The Grand Panjandrum
Its too late to worry about reinstating civil rights. Isn’t Barack Hussein Obama going to put all the "Real Americans" is stalags or gulags? Jesus. I sure do hope I get Klink and Schultzy running mine because I don’t think we’re going to have cable TV and I hate watching reruns.
The Moar You Know
Finally, a decent quality troll. Pay attention, McCain Points earners – this is how it’s done.
Nails the dismount with a flourish! You, good troll, get a 10/10. What a finish!
True enough but a quick rundown of ACLU lifetime ratings:
Bob Barr [R/L] = 7%
Orrin Hatch [R] = 15%
Trent Lott [R] = 19%
John McCain [R] = 22%
Arlen Specter [R] = 45%
Ron Paul [R] = 58%
Dianne Feinstein (D) = 67%
Hillary Clinton (D) = 76%
Barack Obama (D) = 82%
Joe Biden (D) = 86%
Nancy Pelosi (D) = 92%
Bernie Sanders (I) = 93%
Barney Frank (D) = 97%
I know that the ACLU is anathema to Republicans but I’ve never really understood why. But the fact that even the "libertarian" Republicans are worse than Dianne Feinstein is pretty telling.
Here’s the real gem:
Just casually asserted as common sense. Masterful.
You say that like it’s a bad thing.
The conversion of party affiliation to registered trademarks in vaux-rien’s post was surely unintentional, but fabulous nevertheless.
Support the EFF! Buy stock in signal and line jamming technologies! Keep the digital burglars in the US ( The G. Gordon Liddy’s of cyberspace) out of your homes without a warrant! "I heard it through the Grapevine" isn’t probable cause!
Comrade Nixon Hailfire Palin
They don’t need it, they have their own now.
ACLU :: ACRU = Wikipedia :: Conservapedia.
Agreed (although I think it’s far more likely that A. is a spoof rather than a troll). Atanarjuat is concise and smooth — maybe a little too smooth sometimes, bordering on the dry, like a slightly overcooked mooseburger. It’s still some pretty fun stuff, though.
(And I’d love it if it were to turn out that Atanarjuat and Birdzilla were the same spoofer.)
No, you asshole troll, it isn’t.
Un-American facsism. Which, in case you haven’t noticed, goes against something like 200+ years of American legal tradition.
I guess you haven’t noticed, then.
Thank you for your concern.
I do understand (without condoning) the tribalistic responses against the ACLU, the mistaken sense that "the attorney of my enemy is my enemy." My mother-in-law has never forgiven the organization for Skokie; I suppose a lot of Republicans feel the same way about Casey.
But what really amazes me is the bizarre disconnect I see in some of the anti-ACLU rhetoric. Have you ever seen these tee shirts? No matter what you think about the organization, the ACLU bears absolutely no rational comparison to the Soviet Union or to Communists in general. They’re the exact opposite.
All those "conservative t-shirts" just further convince me that movement conservatives live their lives 100% viscerally.
When a government is only capable of inciting fear in its populace, the outcomes are evident.
This hippie hopes for HOPE.
The Grand Panjandrum
@The Moar You Know: Getting better but needs a bit of polish. However, I am encouraged by the improvements made. Practice makes perfect. I do agree the dismount is excellent.
Comrade Nixon Hailfire Palin
Everybody has something to hide, or something they can turn into something to hide. That’s how a police state works:
1. Have something on everybody.
2. Go after anyone you like.
May you end up on the no-fly list.
@Comrade Nixon Hailfire Palin:
…except for me and my monkey
Anybody see this Palin/McCain interview?
@SGEW: Here, Here!
Is there an acronym glossary or sumptin’ around here? I can’t keep up…
Kamishna ya Watu Xenos
No, asshole, it is CONSTITUTION First!
Country, absent a functioning constitution, is meaningless. At least as far as the USA is concerned.
Go find a monarchy to join if you want to assert "country first" as a virtue.
@David: I’m not too young to be a DFH. I was right about Reagan, Bush Sr, and W, and I’ve got the ulcer and the empty bank account to prove it.
Yeah, and "Deutschland über alles" while we’re at it. A gooper troll with a name like Atanarjuat? Whew, deep, deep cover. Agent Flowbee must have helped him/her come up with this one.
Or was it "That One"! D’oh!
If "Real Americans" = "Whitey", then yes.
That just shows how low the bar is. I found the trolling craptacular, but I couldn’t come up with a better example.
If "Real ‘muricans" = "Crackers", then yes.
…the ACLU bears absolutely no rational comparison to the Soviet Union or to Communists in general.
The best ACLU-demonization I ever saw was a letter to the editor in the Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner. The writer asserted that the ACLU was just like King Herod. No explanation or context or anything – that was his entire letter.
Real Americans are people who proudly wave Old Glory and stand bravely against those who wish to do our country harm. Real Americans are true patriots.
False Americans are those who’d rather wave the white flag of surrender and give aid and comfort to the enemy. In other words, Democrats and most Balloon Juice commentators.
i.e. pro-abortion, baby killers.
Okay, after that last outburst I call spoof. Too many meaningless slogans packed into one post.
Atanarjuat, don’t try to lecture us on what Real Americans do. I know what Real Americans do. Real Americans train, say their prayers, eat their vitamins, are true to themselves, and true to their country.
Getting spied upon by your country isn’t a right, it’s a privilege.
Draping yourself in the flag used to be seen as an act of gross disrespect to it and the country, which is why the hippies started wearing American flag dresses. Nowadays, the same dress that would’ve earned the wearer derision from the conservative camp would get patriotism bonus points from the people who think "My country, right or wrong" doesn’t mean what it sounds like because the USA is never wrong.
Oh, and McCain failed to wear a flag pin at the last debate. I think that means he’s no longer a Real American.
is that you, dougj?
i see that you have appeared again as yourself.
maybe you have also resumed your spoofing?
Writes Atanarjuat from his fox hole in Iraq, as he stands bravely against those who wish to do our country harm…
…You mean he’s not in Iraq?
Atanarjuat sounds like the kind of guy who puts fiber-optic cameras under toilet seats for spank material.
Also, the ghosts of Randy Weaver’s family and of the Branch Davidians would like to have a talk with you…
People at all levels of government and in every party have been complicit. During the cacophony of the bad people, the silence of the good people has been deafening. Except, for God Bless ’em, the DFHs.
We take more care to guard our computers from malware than we do to protect our government from human nature.
If everything goes the way it seems to be heading, big sweeps for Democrats in every arena–that is if they don’t manage to purge enough voters to steal the election, again–we are going to have plenty of opportunity to guard against government corruption from the left. Plenty of folks are going to get elected who are self-servants first, corporate servants second, and public servants last.
But, the upside of being a Democrat? We actually hold our politicians accountable. Nobody was madder at the Clenis than Democrats. We didn’t kick him out for a blow job BECAUSE HE WAS COMPETENT. The Republicans? Competence not necessary. Maybe that will change, but somehow I doubt it.
I do want to show the world the people showing up for Palin rallies and showing their unbelievable ignorance and willful stupidity. That is an embarrassment, and everyone needs to see it.
Bob In Pacifica
Our national security state was founded during Truman’s presidency, by Wall Street lawyers. While the Republicans have been the running dogs of the national security state the two aren’t the same, and they aren’t equals. It exists in a place above politics, and because things are getting tougher for the hoi polloi the reins have to be pulled harder.
The Republicans may have outlived their usefulness.
I think the FISA controversy is a bit of a canard – having done some prior reading on the FISA court, it looks like it was a rubber-stamp to make civil-liberties folks STFU while the CIA/NSA matrix did their thing. The public outrage over the new FISA bill is itself by far its best output – pity there was none over the previous kangaroo-court that was the top-secret FISA Star Chamber. The NSA has been intercepting mail & phone-calls alike since at least the 1970s. No love for BushCo here but this isn’t something they just came up with recently – it’s SOP.
What’s different is the rapid exposure … I think some folks in the CIA & NSA don’t think too highly of Bush & Cheney, & are more than happy to share the heat with them.
As for "if you’re innocent, you have nothing to fear" – yeah, sure.
Tell it to Maher Arar.
Dude was pulled off a Toronto street-corner for no reason known to mankind … & spent a year in a hole in the ground in Syria the size of a fucking coffin, when he wasn’t getting the shit beat out of him. He almost died & is undoubtedly mentally scarred for life. Innocent as a newborn babe.
Guilty of "Funny-Sounding Name In The 1st Degree"?
You could be next.
I want to make a distinction here, because there is a very basic error in the article above that is much more important than it sounds. You write about how the GOP has embraced "preemptive" war. Actually, they have embraced *preventive* war. Preemptive war is the doctrine that, when you have absolute proof that someone is about to attack you, you can "preempt" them by attacking first. That is actually a fairly common sense idea that everyone has always agreed with.
The Bush doctrine is "preventive" war, in which you don’t wait for the evidence. If you think someone might attack you (or, more to the point, cobble together a rationale for why they could), you attack them to "prevent" possible future action against you. That was the point of Condi Rice’s infamous statement about how the smoking gun might be a mushroom cloud. We couldn’t afford to wait for evidence that Saddam had WMDs, she was saying, because if he did, he could use them on us. Better to attack right now rather than risk waiting until it was already too late.
Preemptive war has always been a principle of every country, including America. Bush and his enablers have been pushing us into the uncharted waters of *preventive* war, and we’re seeing the horrible results of that.
In other words, the Republicans.
I dunno, having to listen to you blowing that goat was harmful to me.
Bleeding Gums Murphy
Oh you kids!
Here I thought dizzyingly deft and encouragingly smart snark disappeared with the 60s. I’ve been grieving its loss (along with that of the value of my portfolio and 70% of my mental faculties) but I am revitalized by your gay repartee.
I will now happily hobble off to my cardboard box to feast on this two-pack of "Pensioners Are Fucked" sodee crackers. (Cracker: a flat, square, pale unsweetened bisquit generally eaten with soup – when the Sally Ann hasn’t run out.)
Also a big "shout-out" to the agent who listens to my daily out-of-country calls to my 80-y-o brother. We’ve been wondering who the guy is who keeps breaking in to whine that we never have phone sex.