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Campaspe

Lance, I have a Rumpole quote just for you:

What distresses me most about our times is the cheerful manner in which we seem prepared to chuck away those blessed freedoms we have fought for, bled for and got banged up in chokey for down the centuries.

("Rumpole and the Right to Silence", in Rumpole a la Carte)

I have thought of this one so often lately that I may put it up as my screen wallpaper.

Jennifer

Okay, someone remind me why or how a person can confess to a crime and nothing is done to him. It seems to me that George turned himself in... where are the people at the other end who then arrest him??? And is claiming you had the balls to commit the crime a defense? I am sure there are many cocksure prisoners in jail right now who thought they were above it all somehow. My memory is short when it comes to how one goes about "arresting the Prez".

DrPepper

I think Bush isn't just Nixon redux, but Nixon to the second power. Nixon was just an old-fashioned Machiavellian who thought of his administration as continuously embattled by potential threats. When Nixon referred to his "enemies," he was just talking about the people who happened to be his political opponents. There weren't really any values at stake; he generally wasn't talking about enemies of "freedom" and the supposed American providential mission. Bush has a similar paranoid mind, except that he has ingeniously enlisted God on his side. Unlike Nixon, Bush is less concerned about "subversives" per se than in forces he deems "evil." That's why I think Bush is far more dangerous than Nixon ever was.

Earl Bockenfeld

The Neocons never miss a chance to lie and blame Clinton for 9/11. He didn't order illegal wiretaps like Bush did.

Think Progress: BILL KRISTOL: I wish Bill Clinton had done this. I wish we had tapped the phones of people that Mohammed Atta, that Mohammed Atta here into the United States, if we discovered phone calls from Afghanistan to him. That’s why 9/11 happened. That’s what connecting the dots is.

The old rule was if you invoked Hitler during a discussion, you lost the argument. Now after 5 miserable years of control of all three branches of government, once a Neo-Con shreiks "Clinton," he's toast.

I think one of two reasons for the wiretaps, or maybe both.

1) the wiretaps were on democrats, Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Kerry, newsmen like Seymour Hersch and Helen Thomas, etc.

2) some advances in super computer allow NSA to scope EVERYBODY'S in US phone and email. The scoping would be a search for keywords like bomb, terror cell, what have you, but everybody's communications would be examined, and that would NOT be permitted under the FISA law which is an order to wiretap a single individual, and not wholesale taps on every citizen in the country.

Bush's speech the other day which defended his crime was Bush's great Fuck You moment. Bush is lecturing when he says, the American people HAVE to UNDERSTAND that BUSH is PROTECTING them. I think that BUSH has to UNDESTAND, what the DUTIES of a President are, which is a temp position at best, and BEGIN now to see that the LAWS of the US are FAITHFULLY executed.

Or else that job is totally beyond him, Jail to the Chief!

Pepper

Here's Bush's twist on Nixon's "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal." He means, "When the king does it, that means it's not illegal."

Because what he have on our hands is an elected king. In all his speeches, he wasn't coming out to comfort us or rally us or whatever. He was mad at us for not obeying. Every moment of that speech was censorious, a "wag of the finger" as Stephen Colbert saw it.

Heck, I thought he was "talking down" to me, and he got elected because most people were afraid Kerry would "talk down" to them.

Gotham Image

If you want some comic relief you may be amused by the exchange Bush has with his staff and Hitchem we just posted.

But this is more serious.

Consider this: They offer a jusfication based on inherent Presidential power. Do they believe that in their heart. Would they argue that general principle, if Carter or Clinton was President/

If not, then it is not a policy or view -it's a personality cult, of sorts, masquerading as point of view.

I think if Clinton did this, they would ask him to step down or be impeached - but they make exceptions for Bush, sotto vocce mostly, in an appeal to 'character,' which is both laughable and cryable.

If you read the Bushbot blogs - they really do, some of them, believe that Bush and Cheney have certain allowances that others do not.

When leftists cry fascism, I usually laugh, but there is a whiff of fascism in this attitude they have, revealed recently by leaks and then the attempt to direct blame to the whistleblower.

Gotham Image

Jennifer's point makes me think that they probably, somewhere along the way, asked themssleves, "What are they gonna do about it?" - Should they get caught.

It's a question worth answering.

In the appellate ct. decision upholding Fitzgerald against Cooper and Miller, Judge Tatel drew very specific lines between what consitutes protecting whistleblowers exposing illegal government activity (exposing illegal wiretaps), on the one hand, and partipating and furthering an illegal plot (against Wilson) and using the inherent press shield as protection, on the other hand.

Lance - those are the issues.

The Bushbots argue that they were using extreme means to tap terror suspects - but you have ever reason to doubt their version of events, even if you thought it was ok. They could have used the normal procedure, if these were real suspects.

But as has been noted, people like Bolton liked finding out what ordinary people were saying on raw intelligence. They may have used this to tap political enemies instead of terror suspects.

You have every reason to suspect as much, otherwise they would have used FISA - after all, they did use FISA in many cases.

Why was FISA used at all if Bush really believed he did not need to adhere to it.

You know why - You cannot prove it, yet, but you know.

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