Carol Platt Liebau: Moment of Decision

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moment of Decision

Legislation ratifying the President's warrantless wiretapping of terrorist phone calls passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. What's more, legislation to establish terrorist tribunals is out, and likewise headed toward the floor.

People like John McCain and Lindsay Graham are enjoying their moment in the sun -- it's impossible that they're unaware of the press plaudits they receive for bucking the bills favored by the President. But regarding the terrorist tribunals, it strikes me as naive in the extreme for McCain and Graham to worry about the impact on our troops of the President's interpretation of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

Can McCain and Graham seriously believe that the way we interpret Article 3 will have any impact on the way our troops are treated by, say, terrorists? That the people who intended to torture and behead American troops will be constrained from doing so if the softer McCain approach prevails? Please.

In any case, it's time for illuminating contrasts to be drawn. Let's see who, like John Cornyn, is serious about fighting the war on terror, who's not -- like most Senate Democrats -- and who's really enjoying a little legislative grandstanding (and we all know who that is).


Blogger Duke-Stir said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

We saw a lot of grandstanding on Monday, September 11th.

McCain said it best: "It's not about who they are, it's about who we are."

None of this matters anyway, right? Bush will just use another signing statement to declare that he is above the law and the system of government as prescribed by the Constitution.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

How could someone so dumb graduate from Princeton and Harvard Law? Too bad there isn't a lemon law on tuition so your father could get his $ 300,000 returned. Get off the meds Carol!

Absolutely unbelievable.

10:24 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

I'm curious about the proposal by the GOP's leading Senate attention whores.

Who gets to see the classified information: the attorney or the accused? If it is the attorney only who gets to handle it, what attorneys will a be allowed at this military bar?

7:54 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

Thanks to critiques like Carol's we are attuned to grandstanders vs legislators.

A grandstander will send up trial balloons, knowing full well they will be shot down. Their goal is not to further serious legislation but to mock those with whom they disagree.

Unfortunately some of those trial balloons don't get shot down, witness the McCain-Feingold abrogation of the First Amendment. Witness the grandstanders on the Supreme Court who misunderstand basic constitutional principles that even eighth graders have been able to grasp, specifically the Kelo travesty.

My point is that most see beyond the grandstanders. Thank goodness.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

The real problem that started from the very beginning is that King George doesn't believe in US law, our country treaties, Geneva convention or our constitution. Thus he had CIA agents and military personel use torture to obtain evidence that is not allowed to be used in our courts. And all most all of the evidence was obtained this way and those who tortured and gave the orders to torture are war criminals.

You see Georgie thought he could get away with his dirty deeds by keeping those caputured off US soil so they'd never see a US courtroom. King George would just capture, torture and convict whoever he wanted.

Doing what he wants with his bizarre unitary executive beliefs means that in another 3 to 5 years SCOTUS could find the military tribunals illegal and turn over convictions on an appeal and then it would be 8 to 10 years after 9-11 that we had not convicted a single terrorist.

We also have to be concerned that the international community does not find the tribunal a big farse, a rigged kangaroo court or that other countries less sophisticated might use the same tribunal procedures against say a US CIA agent caught in a covert operation. So when we deny habeas corpus, block appeals by terrorist and prevent them from defending themselves by classifying torture so it doesn't see the day of light in a US courtroom, we really might be denying a fair trial for our own CIA agents and thus undermine their ability to do their work.

So finally we find Carol simply providing cover for King George, by name calling those who have serious concerns as weak, grandstanders, and treasonous.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Under what authority did President Roosevelt use during WW2, when he wire tapped overseas calls to Germany and Japan, since the FISA laws didn't exist at that time? Also, he OPENED mail from over seas
as well.

9:18 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

On the battlefield we would not question the use of intercepts of wireless communications to learn of troop movements of the enemy.

Terrorism operates globally, hence the globe is a battlefield.

Again, you have to be witless to not understand something so basic.

McCain, Powell, Warner, Graham, are witless. Let's pray cooler heads prevail.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Dodger, thank you for that.
The point is that ALL presidents have had that authority since the founding of this country. That authority is given by the Constitution.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Furthermore, the President
dosen't need FISA to give him the authority to wire tap, that authority is given by the Constition!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Editor said...

Cliff is there a reason to believe your happy talk over the decision of a federal judge.

I thought not! Good day.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Yes, and I'm very glad you asked. To put it simply,
Why should an UNELECTED Judge, have MORE power on this issue than our ELECTED president? Why do trust an UNELECTED judge over an ELECTED president?

Also, why don't you answer my question about president
Roosevelt? Where did he get his authority to wire
tap and open mail? Where?

11:24 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

...Well Ditto?

11:26 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Editor said...
"How could someone so dumb..."

You need to look in the mirror.

11:39 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

I think FISA itself was an unconstitutional move.

Just because Carter wanted to give up some presidential powers, doesn't mean he had the legal standing to do it. I think a Constitutional amendment would be in order.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

"I think a Constitutional amendment would be in order."

Good Idea!

8:36 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Under what authority did President Roosevelt use during WW2, when he wire tapped overseas calls to Germany and Japan, since the FISA laws didn't exist at that time? Also, he OPENED mail from over seas
as well.

That's a good question. There were also Censorship Committees that opened the US Mail.

If you are concerned about Civil Liberties, be happy you didn't live during the time of FDR.

11:58 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Whatever happened to holding onto the enemies captives until the conflict is over?

11:59 AM  

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