Carol Platt Liebau: Too "Good" <i>Not</i> To Be True?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Too "Good" Not To Be True?

Writing at Real Clear Politics tomorrow, Professor Ronald Cass puts the reports of alleged NSA collection of phone records into perspective.

First, as he points out, the story may not even be true -- it was just, apparently, too "good" not to print.

Second, Professor Cass castigates the convenient memory loss on the part of the President's detractors:

Congress expressly authorized the President to use "all necessary and appropriate military force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines" were involved in 9/11. All force necessary and proper to make us secure. Not all force consistent with prior legislation. Not all force consistent with scruples about individuals' privacy concerns. Military force historically has included intelligence-gathering as well as front-line combat.

It is, perhaps, a tribute to how well the President has done his job that his political adversaries feel safe enough from terrorists to criticize the measures he has taken to protect us.

And it's worth asking them: How, exactly, would they conduct foreign policy differently? Would they not trace calls from Al Qaeda to those inside this country? Even if it meant that their decision could result in another successful attack on the homeland?

It's pretty cheap and easy for the left to use the President as a "privacy" whipping boy right now, when it's costless. They know that he'll continue to protect their precious hides, so they can complain about the policies without having to surrender the protection that they offer. When it comes to the left's "privacy principles," it's time for the rubber to meet the road. Let's hear what measures they'd eliminate, and which they'd keep. And then the American people can decide for themselves who's most serious about protecting this country.

13 Comments:

Blogger wrabkin said...

I'm fascinated, Carol -- do you, as a lawyer, really believe that the congressional resolution was intended to give Bush ANY power he chooses to claim? If he were randomly murdering civillians and claiming they were terrorists, would you stand up and say "It's what congress authorized"? Do you see no limits to presidential power?

I ask you this as the strict constructionist you claim to be. How do you find these powers in the constitution?

Oh, and for my part, I hereby declare: Mr. President, you may stop protecting me now. I did now ask for this level of "protection," if it requires shredding everything the country stands for, I reject it. Go back to protecting the oil companies. That you do pretty well.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

In the event of a Congressional declaration of war, FISA outlines specific procedures to follow in its interpretation. In other words, it is clear that Congress intended FISA to even supercede the authority of the Commander in Chief during a time of war, and this was signed into law by the President of the United States. Unless you are claiming that the AUMF provided the President more borad ranging power as Commander in Chief than an offical declaration of war, your entire argument of fallacious.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Wrabkin asked, "Do you see no limits to presidential power?"

Wrabkin, Carol sees no limits to the power of a Republican President.

For example, if a Republican President orders the NSA to gather the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, that is his Constitutional perogative. If, on the other hand, a Democratic administration is accidentally given access to FBI files to a number of low-level personages who worked in the White House previously*, then the President should be strung up for invading those individuals privacy.

I'm sure this distinction will become much clearer following the 2008 election.

*That's pretty much the Independent Prosecutors summary of filegate when he declined to prosecute.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

So answer the question, guys. How, exactly, would you go about fighting the terrorists?

Would you fight them at all?

Would you try to find them?

Do you believe they desire to attack us from within our own borders?

What would you do? Be specific.

7:36 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

I would go back to actually fighting terrorists, instead of invading states that have no connection to them.

I would treat terrorism as a criminal conspiracy, which it is, using the military only when there is an army large enough to fight againt.

I would culture relationships with the other nations in the world whose people and institutions are targets of the terrorists in order to work with them to break up terror networks. I would not gratuitously insult other governments by allowing our intelligence services to act with impunity on their soil, ignoring their laws.

I would have America act as the exemplar of moral good we claim to be, so that we present a clear alternative to fanatics across the world. I would stop supporting dictators who torture their citizens because it gives us a short-term political gain. I would support real democratic movements across the world, instead of instililng "democracy" by invading and killing.

And I'd implement the plan the Clinton administration handed to Bush. You know, the one he ignored in favor of pushing for Star Wars...

7:54 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

well, at least we know wrabkin does indeed live in that comfy state of idealistic liberalism.

I would treat terrorism as a criminal conspiracy, which it is, using the military only when there is an army large enough to fight againt.

So, forget about 19 terrorists who killed 3,000+ Americans, because they're dead anyway, and we wouldn't need an Army to fight 'em.

Here's an idea, why not give 90% of our weapons to the UN so they can fight for us? Oh, I forgot they're all still in shock from the radiant white light around that Iranian over there.... Let's go have tea with him shall we?

I would have America act as the exemplar of moral good we claim to be, so that we present a clear alternative to fanatics across the world.

Sure, since we provide more humanitarian aid than any other country in the history of the world, let's invite them in and show them the plans of some of our other sky scrapers. The women in our country are free to show their faces AND belly buttons in public. And many of them even have "tramp patches" in clear view just sexily above their tight jeans. It's no wonder that Islamic dictatorship countries are the number 1 consumers of pornography.

I would stop supporting dictators who torture their citizens because it gives us a short-term political gain. I would support real democratic movements across the world, instead of instililng "democracy" by invading and killing.

So please tell your ignorant liberal friends to stop supporting Castro and Chavez.

Clinton's policy? What was that? Oh yeah, copulate whenever convenient. And who cares if they've bombed the World Trade Center and the US Cole, it's just a few of them, we don't need a military to fight them. The liberals are protecting us by instituting organic gardening and using tax free illegal aliens to keep down the prices at Whole Foods. God forbid we should have to shop at WalMart.

Sounds like a plan to me.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Please, Wrabkin, please get the Democratic Party to publicly proclaim this as their foreign policy platform - PLEASE!

It actually IS the Democratic Platform. They're just hiding from it because they KNOW the American public would reject it immediately.

I, for one, believe the American people are not so fooled by the Democrats. No doubt the recent polls are indicating some weariness in the American public with the war. But I'm confident when votes are cast in 2006 and 2008 Americans will once again choose leaders who will aggressively seek out and kill terrorists anywhere on the globe.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

CoPioneer in a typically CoPioneerian display of half-witted idiocy writes, "Clinton's policy? What was that? Oh yeah, copulate whenever convenient. And who cares if they've bombed the World Trade Center and the US Cole, it's just a few of them, we don't need a military to fight them."

Within three months of the bombing of the World Trade Center, the Clinton administration had already caught the person directly responsible. Within three years of the bombing all of the people responsible, including the terrorist mastermind, were left rotting in jail. (By way of contrast, less than a year after the 9/11 attack, President Bush said he wasn't all that interested in the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.)

With respect to the USS Cole, the Clinton administration had no direct conclusive evidence that al Quaeda was involved until late November of 2000. Feeling it was not in the nation's interest to foist a war on a predecessor just prior to the change of administrations, the Clinton administration turned over the evidence to the incoming Bush team. When asked during her 9/11 committee testimony why they had not acted on the information, Condi Rice said it was because President Bush didn't want to swat at flies.

CoPioneer, what is the cause of your unreasoning Clinton hatred? Does competence just tick you off? If that is the case, I understand why you love Dubya.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Greg asked, "So answer the question, guys. How, exactly, would you go about fighting the terrorists?"

We defeated the Nazis and Imperial Japan--all without throwing the Constitution out the window.

We defeated the Soviet Union, a global superpower armed with nuclear weapons and dedicated to destroying our way of life--all without throwing the Constitution out the window.

Now we are faced by a bunch of goat-herding cave-dwellers, armed with box cutters. According to Greg, it logically follows that the only way we can defeat such an implacable foe is to declare George W. Bush to be King--above all laws and with no check on his powers.

Oh well, I'm sure Greg will see the light when President Hillary Clinton claims the same powers.

9:13 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

Mr. Copioneer:

How does treating terrorist plots like the criminal conspiracy they are "forget about 19 terrorists who killed 3,000+ Americans, because they're dead anyway, and we wouldn't need an Army to fight 'em." (Although it does seem to me there is much left that we CAN do to those 19 now. I don't see how invading Iraq after 19 Saudis died hurts them at all...)

In fact, if the Bush administration had considered terrorist plots a terrorist conspiracy, there never would have been a 9/11. Because we knew about several of the hijackers. Two of them were rooming with an FBI informant. We knew about the flight schools. Had anyone in the administration been looking for terrorists, we had all the info we needed. How would an army have stopped 9/11?

I can't respond to your prattle about how American women are sluts and the UN is evil, because it's incoherent, so I'll pass on that.

But I will bring up Hugo Chavez. While there's no denying the Castro is a dictator (although unlike those we support in the various Stans, one that doesn't boil his political enemies to death), Chavez is the legitimately elected president of a democracy. You may hate his policies, and you may hate the fact he was elected primarily by the poor in the face of the wealthy elites who hate him, but he was democratically elected. You claim to support democracy, but this man is a dicatator we should over throw.

So what is a democracy to you? Is it a puppet state that does whatever we tell it to?

8:18 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Forgive me for my prattle. My point being (you have to be smart enough to read between the lines in COPioneerian), I'm glad that we are free enough that women in America can choose to be sluts...or not.

Al-Queda and Bin Laden were responsible for the 1st World Trade Center bombing, and when Clinton was offered him, he rejected it. In Twisterian, you leave out salient points.

And thank God we can't really tell how many terrorist attacks that have been thwarted because of our military action in the WoT. But if the Dems have their way, we will be hamstrung in finding those who want to attack.

9:06 AM  
Blogger COPioneer said...

Certainly you can tell that Hugo Chavez is trying very hard to dismantle the Democracy that put him in power?

And do you really believe the UN is worthwhile? It has got to be the most corrupt institution on the face of the earth.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

CoPioneer, just out of curiousity, why don't you ever answer the points raised in favor of spewing long disproven right-wing hack talking points like, "when Clinton was offered him [bin Laden], he rejected it?"

Clinton never rejected an offfer of bin Laden, because no such offer was ever made. It is a looney conspiracy theory put forward by a Sudanese con-man and kept alive by right-wing hate mongers, such as yourself.

Since you seemed to have missed it, here is the point of this whole mess, in two simple questions and answers.

Where is Ramzi Yousef now, CoPioneer? Rotting in a super-max in Colorado.

Where is Osama bin Laden now, CoPioneer? We don't know because of the apathy and incompetence of the Bush administration.

It's that simple, really. Your unremitting hatred of Bill Clinton is causing you to forget the fact that his administration was a time of unparallelled peace and prosperity for this country.

10:16 PM  

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