Carol Platt Liebau: Tying Our Hands in Wartime

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tying Our Hands in Wartime

Senator Jon Kyl is so right in characterizing as "nuts" the outcry over the NSA domestic phone surveillance.

We're in a war. The government is charged with preventing attacks. No content of the calls has been recorded, and government officials (including the chairman and ranking chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee) have been apprised.

From the primarily Democratic opposition to this program, we are reminded of two things:

(1)If they win, programs like this will be abolished, and the country will be less safe.

(2) They care more about creating a political outcry than about protecting the country.

Fortunately, Americans are sensible people, which is why, according to this ABC News/Washington Post poll, fully 63% believe the program is justified.

So, by all means, let's have hearings. Let's have the Democrats smoke themselves out as the party that wants to tie the country's hands in prosecuting the war on terror.


Blogger wrabkin said...

You say no content of the calls has been recorded.

I might be tempted to believe this, except this is not the first iteration of this story to come out.

First we were told NSA was listening only to overseas calls. Absolutely no Americans were being monitored.

Then we found out NSA was listening to calls from suspicoius numbers into and out of the USA. Only those with proven Al Qaeda ties were being monitored.

Then we found out it was many, many -- all? -- calls into and out of the USA that were being monitored. But absolutely nothing that was strictly domestic.

Now we learn that tens of millions of people's calls are being tracked. But no one's listening.

I wait eagerly for the next correction.

And while we're waiting, maybe one of the staunch "conservatives" can answer a question:

When did conservatives stop caring about civil rights and start to believe that government should have no legal restrictions at all?

Will you still fight for the rights of the government to spy on its citizens when the Democrats are in power?

10:39 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Except for Joe Lieberman, the Democrats simply don't believe we are in a war for our survival.

Transpose what the Bush Administration is doing to the US position in World War II or the Civil War, and it would be insane to deny the government the power and the right to gather phone-call data.

For many Democrats, the glory days of their youth comprised Civil Rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. I think many on the left respond to the Bush Admninistration/Iraq as a chance to relive those times and to feel young and righteous again.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Dear Ms. Platt-Liebau:

It has recently come to our attention that you called your doctor early last month just as you have every April since 2002. Two weeks later, you made and received a number of calls to your original doctor, which was out of the ordinary. Following this, you placed numerous calls to one particularly well known surgery and oncology group. This was followed by approximately 11 phone calls placed to Johns Hopkins' world famous "Gamma-Knife" radiological treatment center, which preceded and coincided with a trip you took to Washington D.C. earlier this week.

We want to personally assure you that we absolutely did not record the content of any call. Nevertheless, we regret to inform you, that (for no particular reason) we are cancelling your life insurance policy effective immediately.

Mammoth Life Insurance Co.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

For wrabkin,

We shouldn't have heard of any of it. Keeping secret our intelligence gathering methods is vital to continued success in that arena. But wackjob libs like yourself are more concerned with removing Bush, that you can't concern yourselves with national security. But to answer your question, this admin has to weigh the protection of the rights you haven't lost one iota against winning the war. I recently heard again the steps FDR took during WWII and Bush doesn't compare. Your concern is false, your hatred for Bush apparent.

For Ms. Twisted,

That's a nice little story. It would be great if you could come up with a real one. Otherwise, you're jumping to conclusions. Credit Reporting Agencies have more info on you than the NSA. There's been no reports of anything remotely similar to your little fantasy. Your concern is false, your hatred for Bush apparent.

10:21 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...


If you have arguments, then make them. The name calling ("wackjob libs") does you no credit.

Please play nicely with other children (and don't run with scissors).

9:49 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol proclaims all is well with the world because "Fortunately, Americans are sensible people, which is why, according to this ABC News/Washington Post poll, fully 63% believe the program is justified."

The whole reason the fourth amendment is in the US Constitution is to put it outside of majoritarian concerns. On the other hand, if you think the polls decide the rightness, we can come back with more recent data from Newsweek...

14. Now on another subject… As you may know, there are reports that the NSA, a government intelligence agency, has been collecting the phone call records of Americans. The agency doesn't actually listen to the calls but logs in nearly every phone number to create a database of calls made within the United States. Which of the following comes CLOSER to your own view of this domestic surveillance program…(READ)

41% say necessary tool, 53% say goes too far.


15. In light of this news and other executive actions by the Bush-Cheney administration, in general, do you think they have gone too far in expanding presidential power, or not?

52% Yes, gone too far, 38% No have not


12:42 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

By claiming only that I haven't proven it already happened, it is clear that Marshall Art agrees with my contention that you don't actually need to record the content of a person's phone calls to invade their privacy.

I'm surprised a bright girl like Carol didn't realize that before posting such a ludicrous claim.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Not true Twisted. My point was clearly that your story, bland and unimaginative as it was in a Mr. Twisted sort of way, was total fiction meant to scare. But since the reality is that there are more indepth and routine collectors of personal info, you have more to fear from some marketing firm than from Bush, who's intention is to protect the people he swore to protect. What alternatives do the left have for gathering USEFUL info that can be acted upon quickly? Until any can be offered and Bush is proven to be abusing info gathered with the intention of fighting our enemies, scare tactics are counter-productive.

8:45 PM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

The funny thing is, the government had all the information it needed to stop 9/11. Of course, the pres had his daily brief explaining that Osama was determined to attack the US. The FBI was trailing the hijackers. And the NSA had recorded their phone calls from the 10th in which they talked about tomorrow being the big day.

All the information they needed. Except that Bush couldn't be bothered with the brief, because there was brush to clear. The FBI had no idea what it was doing. And the NSA, under the sterling leadership of General Hayden, DIDN'T BOTHER TO LISTEN TO THOSE RECORDINGS UNTIL 9/12.

Now please explain how tapping MY phone would help when all that didn't.

10:59 AM  

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