Carol Platt Liebau: The Dems' Impeachment List

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Dems' Impeachment List

Barbara Boxer is apparently seeking counsel on whether President Bush has committed an "impeachable offense" by authorizing warrantless electronic surveillance of those with ties to Al Qaeda for national security purposes.

It's always a good thing when Barbara Boxer seeks guidance, because so far, there's been scanty evidence that she can figure out anything on her own.

The problem is that she's listening to moonbats like John Dean, who, having been a vocal critic of the Iraq war and the President -- aside from his own illegal behavior -- is hardly a reliable guide on anything. Even his calls for the President's impeachment are not new . . . and he's at it again.

Boxer, Dean and their ilk demonstrate just how little they care about the war on terror. Just imagine how it would encourage, delight, embolden and inspire Al Qaeda to see President Bush impeached for his efforts to deter their attacks, and distracted by the political garbage emanating from their willing handmaidens on the left!

I say to the Democrats: Go for it -- impeach Bush, and see how the public feels about the President's efforts to keep them from being attacked, vs. your efforts to protect the potential attackers. While you're at it, don't forget to impeach Carter ("Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order"); Reagan (who also signed an executive order allowing warrantless searches of "a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power"), and, of course, Clinton.

And in the impeachment articles, don't forget every legislator or judge who allowed the surveillance to go forward while believing it to be illegal (including the grandstanding Clinton appointee who now finds it prudent to resign from the FISA panel), who would also merit impeachment, having acted as accessories to the President's alleged lawbreaking.

Indeed, keeping silent in the face of the supposed rampant illegality is itself a failure of a senator or judge's oath to protect and defend the Constitution; those who attempt to escape blame by asserting that they remained silent in the face of the alleged illegal acts for "national security reasons" only emphasize the lack of judgment and total disregard for national security that The New York Times -- and the official who leaked to it -- displayed in publishing the story in the first place.


Blogger Terry Ott said...

Excellent post, Carol ...

Ramsey Clark is telling Sen. Boxer to go for it. It's really the only legal expertise Barbara should need, what with him having been AG back in the day that this electronic stuff got started (thanks to veep Al).

Clark is just hoping the Saddam trial will be over in time for him to defend W and friends during the impeachment process; or maybe he can do them simultaneously. And then he can hustle up to the Big Apple to take the side of the NYTimes in their treason proceedings.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is a clear-cut, unequivocal, written law that says the President cannot order warrantless wiretaps and/or physical searches of people living in the United States. President Bush has chosen to violate that law.

Carol's defense of this illegal conduct is to claim that Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton did the same things. Not surprisingly, Carol is not telling the whole truth here. Unfortunately, she is not even in the ballpark of factuality.

The Jimmy Carter Executive Order that Carol links to concludes with...

"1-105. Section 2-203 of Executive Order No. 12036 (set out under section 401 of this title) is amended by inserting the following at the end of that section: 'Any monitoring which constitutes electronic surveillance as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 shall be conducted in accordance with that Act as well as this Order.'.

Since President Bush is arguing he doesn't have to obey FISA, the fact that Jimmy Carter specifically notes that surveillance "shall be conducted in accordance" with FISA proves the exact opposite of what Carol claims it proves. (Yes, it was amended, because the original Executive Order was issued before there was such a thing as FISA. Once Congress passed FISA in 1978, Jimmy Carter chose to obey the law of the land.)

As far as Reagan goes, Carol is also not correct on this example either. I you read the Executive Order from the Reagan Administration that Carol links to, you will find this gem in Section 2.5. "Electronic surveillance, as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, shall be conducted in accordance with that Act, as well as this Order." Some liberal types may put Reagan down, but it's clear that Dutch had his administration choose to obey the law of the land.

The Bill Clinton case is the closest thing that Carol has to a real example, but it too is a farce. Did Bill Clinton and Jamie Gorelick argue that the power of the President extends to authorizing warrantless physical searches? Yes, but with one HUGE caveat... According to Bill Clinton's executive order, such searches could take place if and only if "there is no substantial likelihood that the physical search will involve the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person;..." Furthermore, Clinton and Gorelick put forth these arguments before Congress amended FISA to include physical searches. Once Congress did so, the Clinton administration chose to obey the law of the land.

As noted at the start, the uproar over the program President Bush authorized is that 1) it violated the law of the land and 2) it included warrantless searches of US residents.
As discussed above, Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton all chose to obey the law of the land. As demonstrated above, none of the Presidents sought to authorize a program of widespread unwarranted searches of US residents. If not for those two minor differences, the exmple would almost be the same thing.

For my own curiousity... Of those of you who read this far, how many of you think Carol was just honestly mistaken about these issues? How many of you think she knew the comparison were bogus to begin with?

10:13 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

If Bush broke any law impeach him! Or is this just another twist in the continuing legislature, judicial and executive debate that began with Madison and Marbury and Marshall.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Maybe twister should read Byron York's excellent piece at:

But, then, maybe not - wouldn't want to confuse him with reality!

5:33 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

The afore mentioned York piece was linked by Carol in her "Sauce for the Goose" post.

Just in case some one can't cut and paste the link I didn't use html on to make it work.

5:40 AM  
Blogger lbrosky said...

Here is an important message for the anti-Bush crowd:

We are at war. We have been since Sept. 11, 2001.

We must win this war.

If it means listening in to the phone calls of terrorists or potential terrorists or those helping them, then that's what we have to do.

It's no accident that there haven't been any attacks in the U.S. since 9/11. I like it that way.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

BAM! Great post, Carol.

Wait a minute. Now that I've read Mr. Twister's comment, maybe I should ammend my comment.

... thinking ...

BAM! Great post, Carol.

8:14 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

twister's bloviating again. But is he really saying anything? Naahhh!

8:27 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Mr. Twister:

When we are sitting in our bunkers after a terrorist-dirty bomb. Make sure that you let everyone know how you fought for the nitpicking letter of the law.

We are at war for our very survival. Protecting us is the President's Primary Responsibility! Anything less than that would be an impeachable offense.

Carol - ignore the little people, you're doing a great job.

8:29 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

I had a thought yesterday that the left-wing is really on the side of the terrorists because they are the party of death. And then I heard the same thing by Michael Savage on the radio last night! Things the left want for Christmas, ack!, winter solstice: 1) age of consent changed to 14 (Ruth Bader-Ginsberg); 2) More frontal nudity allowed in public; 3) More money for AIDS research; 4) Release of criminals from prison; 5) Making "Christianization" a crime (two men I know were imprisioned in Indonesia recently for that offense); 6) Allow terrorists to communicate freely; 7) taking guns away from law abiding citizens; 8) Abortion of all "unwanted" children; 9) Government handouts for anyone that has decided to retire at age 20 (my nephew, sadly); 10) Impeachment of Bush for trying to protect our it any wonder? They care less about the innocence of children and more and more about their own selfish hedonism. Merry Christmas to all!

9:02 AM  
Blogger secarr said...

Mr. My-panties-are-twisted-again is simply not very bright. FISA, quite explicitly, does not limit the president's authority to conduct warrantless surveillance of foreign enemies. But, with that said, get the impeachment ball rolling by all means! To quote Dirty Harry Callahan: go ahead, punk, make my day!

10:39 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

As you can see, Mr. Twister, the force field has been engaged, and has been for a long time. It’s an impenetrable shell comprised of intolerance for facts or rational discussion.

While those within the shell lob their dud Scuds in the form of “well Clinton did ___,” they continue to contort themselves every way imaginable in order to justify the actions of a president who, on every level, has demonstrated his ineptitude, his dishonesty, or his arrogance – and – his contempt for democracy.

Meanwhile they feast on their hatred of liberals, or rather their caricature of liberals. Dittoheads spout things they probably heard from The Oracle, like ridiculous liberal wish lists for Christmas. These are things they want to believe, indeed need to believe, because only if they are true will their allegiance to the Worst President Ever be logical.

As for my Christmas wish list, it consists of only one: that we can undo the damage done by the little man with the warped plan in my lifetime.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Duke-stir, thanks for your comment.

Carol lies to her readers, and they don't care.

The President of the United States decides that he is above the law, and they don't care.

The President decides he can spy on anyone he wants without a warrant, and they don't care.

Conservatism as Barry Goldwater knew it is dead and buried, replaced by some form of Bush-idol worship.

11:04 PM  

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