Carol Platt Liebau: It's All a Matter of Priorities

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's All a Matter of Priorities

While Republicans are focusing on this, Democrats are gleefully pointing to this (although it's largely irrelevant to the nub of the wiretapping argument for reasons laid out here and here).

Keep it up, Democrats. We appreciate your honesty about what really matters to you.

12 Comments:

Blogger Jesse Larner said...

Yes, Carol, you've once again completely unjustly smeared the Democrats as being soft on terror. Hey, guess what! Democrats can support the war on terror AND STILL CARE ABOUT CIVIL LIBERTIES AT HOME. Republicans don't seem to care much about the Bush administration's attacks on our civil liberties. Kind of makes you wonder what they want to fight the war on terror FOR.

I'd urge you to read Al Gore's recent MKL Day speech, posted at http://www.all-sites.us/gore.html. You think you know what's in it, but you don't; the details are really overwhelming.

Keep it up, Carol. The nastiness of your posts is very revealing.

12:00 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Yes Jesse, let's put aside our partisan differences and protect the country. Can you please tell me WHICH civil liberties are being infringed upon? And how those are causing you to have less liberty?

Here's a list of Civil Liberties the liberals would like to infringe upon and already do:
Right to choose our Education
Right to choose our Health Care
Right to own Property
Right to Public Land Use
Right to Employ whomever we choose
Right to Choose to stay at home and raise children
Right to express our Religion in public
Right to say that Sexual perversions shouldn't be bombarded upon our children

Now, if wiretapping cell phones of people with connections to Al-Queda offends you, then you need to move to France and quit saying you love this country.

In fact, in November 3 Algerian terrorists were arrested in Italy that were planning attacks on the US. They were caught because the Italian intelligence wiretapped their phones. Interestingly, it was world news, but not in our liberal controlled MSM. Oh the MSM reported it, but didn't say their targets were US, and didn't mention they were caught due to wiretapping, and it was on page 43. http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/news/060112c.asp

12:28 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

One more thing, MLK Jr. today would be a Republican. He wanted laws that were tied to the Morals as found in the Bible, as set forth by God. Do you ever hear a liberal say anything remotely close to that? All you liberals have such a myopic hate towards Bush that you'll latch onto any shred of propaganda that might lead to an impeachment. And after reading Al Gore's speech, propaganda was clearly the only intent.

12:37 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

The conversation to me on civil liberties is not whether, but how much and to what extent, they are surrendered for a greater good.

My position: Perfection is the enemy of good. We need a good plan with good results, not a perfect ideology as a plan which invites potentially horrific results.

If we bend over backwards completely for allowing all imaginable civil liberties to be honored, allowing (for example) absolutely no wiretapping of suspicious individuals whatsoever, then at some point we are prone to an attack. And if we are attacked?

If another attack happens near (or beyond? gulp) the scale of 9-11, it would be absolutely horrific. Moreover, in the aftermath, America as a matter of survival will become a much different place. The conversations about wiretapping and library books and what-not will come to seem ridiculously quaint. It is not an outcome I relish contemplating.

So how to proceed? We either curtail some civil liberties on our terms, now, or curtail none, thereby risking an attack later, a much worse, radical, nation-changing curtailment of civil liberties attack later. I favor the first option.

I do not take seriously the notion that we can be both serious about those who would attack us and also curtail no freedoms whatsoever.

I do take seriously a discussion of which freedoms are in play, and for what reason and to what extent.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

"And, according to Iranians I trust, Osama bin Laden finally departed this world in mid-December. The al Qaeda leader died of kidney failure and was buried in Iran, where he had spent most of his time since the destruction of al Qaeda in Afghanistan."--Michael Ledeen, National Review, 1/9/2006

Ooops.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Why are the Republicans focused on the bin Laden tape--didn't they get this memo from the Big Guy?

"And, again, I don't know where he [Osama bin Laden] is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him."--George W. Bush March 13, 2002

8:44 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

HouseOfSin writes, "If we bend over backwards completely for allowing all imaginable civil liberties to be honored, allowing (for example) absolutely no wiretapping of suspicious individuals whatsoever, then at some point we are prone to an attack."

HouseOfSin, this is not a correct statement of the situation. No one is proposing "absolutely no wiretapping of suspicious individuals whatsoever." What people of all political persuasions are claiming is that the President of the United States is not above the law. They hold that even during a time of war the President does not get to pick and choose which laws he wants to obey and which he gets to ignore.

Let there be no confusion on this point--FISA is clearly written to prohibit exactly the warrantless wiretapping the administration is engaged in and they made no serious attempt to get FISA modified to allow their wiretapping program. The National Security Act specifically requires that Congress be fully briefed about these types of activities, and the administration chose not to. In both case the Bush administration just decided that they didn't have to obey the law because they didn't want to.

"I do take seriously a discussion of which freedoms are in play, and for what reason and to what extent."

Fair enough, let's start a serious discussion on this issue...

The FISA statute created a secret court to issue classified wiretapping warrants for cases such as these. Since it was created in 1978, the FISA court has turned down exactly 4 government warrant requests. The government is even allowed to engage in wiretaps for 72 hours before they have to go to the FISA court and get a warrant. These seem to be eminently reasonable infringments of civil liberties, in my opinion.

The administration has yet to put forward a sensible case as to why following FISA would have been an impediment to our intelligence gathering. (No one is seriously arguing that the FISA court would have turned down a request for a warrant when there was evidence a person was in calling a known al Quaeda agent.) Nor have they put forward any logical reasons for failing to go to Congress and trying to get FISA modified to allow whatever it was they were doing. (The PATRIOT act had already modified FISA.)

Given the minimal national security impact of following the FISA requirements, I am hard pressed to believe that any curtailment of civil liberties are in order in this case. From your post, I take it your opinion differs, so please explain.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

twister is bloviating again - please continue, O learned one!

6:13 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Twister, here's one for you to chew on. Osama called his mother on 9/9/01 from his cell phone. He mentioned something about watching the news for a few days because something big was going to happen. We know what happened. The FISA court generally takes 3 days at a minimum to get approvals. It's ridiculous bureacracy in the time of war.

As for your other comments, you seem to have conveniently forgotten that Clinton had Osama on a silver platter, but was too busy with his selfish libido to do anything about it.

At least I'm glad to see you couldn't answer the question about which of your civil liberties are being trodden upon.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Copioneer, you were either misinformed or lying when you wrote, "The FISA court generally takes 3 days at a minimum to get approvals. It's ridiculous bureacracy in the time of war."

The FISA statute allows the Attorney General to authorize immediate eavesdropping in emergency situations. From that point the government can continue eavesdropping without a warrant for up to 72 hours (or 3 days), before the need to get a warrant from the FISA court.

Now the question is were you misinformed in your interpretation or were you deliberately lying?

7:12 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Copioneer you once again demonstrate either your ignorance or your mendacity by writing, " Twister, here's one for you to chew on. Osama called his mother on 9/9/01 from his cell phone."

If you took the time to learn something before you started commenting on it, you would already know this has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

At the time of the alleged call (US government officials deny that it occurred), Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan and his mother was living in Syria. Since FISA deals with US persons and/or calls originating or terminating in the United States, your whole story is irrelevant. No one is claiming the government can't spy on foreigners.

Thanks for playing.

7:47 PM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Misinformed, thanks for pointing that out, I don't have lots of time to research, I'm not a journalist. I'll admit my mistakes.

My point is clear however. The Democrats LOVE bureacracy!

6:53 AM  

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