Let’s See the “Libertarian” Righties Defend This One

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Bush Administration

Leslie Cauley writes in USA Today:

The National Security Agency has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth, people with direct knowledge of the arrangement told USA TODAY.

The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren’t suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.

Sure they are.

“It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world,” said one person, who, like the others who agreed to talk about the NSA’s activities, declined to be identified by name or affiliation. The agency’s goal is “to create a database of every call ever made” within the nation’s borders, this person added.

For the customers of these companies, it means that the government has detailed records of calls they made — across town or across the country — to family members, co-workers, business contacts and others.

Cauley reminds us that

In defending the previously disclosed program, Bush insisted that the NSA was focused exclusively on international calls. “In other words,” Bush explained, “one end of the communication must be outside the United States.”

As a result, domestic call records — those of calls that originate and terminate within U.S. borders — were believed to be private.

In a related note, the Associated Press reports —

The government has abruptly ended an inquiry into the warrantless eavesdropping program because the National Security Agency refused to grant Justice Department lawyers the necessary security clearance to probe the matter.

The inquiry headed by the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, or OPR, sent a fax to Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., on Wednesday saying they were closing their inquiry because without clearance their lawyers cannot examine Justice lawyers’ role in the program.

Jane H. asks, “Can we call it a dictatorship yet?

Pretty close, I’d say.

Later in the day there will be more reaction from the Kool-Aiders, but so far we’ve got the NSA story must be a lie. This is coupled with “I bet a little research into the political leanings of the people who are making these claims will ferret out a motive.” Protecting the Fourth Amendment has become subversive.

Stephen Spruiell at NRO assures us that “this is not an eavesdropping program,” so what are we worried about? And cleverly anticipating objections from us liberals, Spruiell adds, “Data mining programs like this one might or might not be effective tools in the war on jihadists, but one thing we know for sure is that the left will not be joining us in a rational debate.” Be advised that any objection we lefties raise will be, by definition, irrational. On the other hand, it is perfectly rational to accept whatever the government tells us without question. They wouldn’t lie to us, right? Those righties are always so logical.

Another excuse — “this data is already available. The NSA could previously get it from the phone companies. The new program just cuts out the constant step of asking for updates.” Oh, and warrants. (We don’t need no steenking warrants!)

As for the other story on the NSA refusing clearance for the Justice Department — well, obviously the NSA must be free of legal oversight. If the Justice guys find violations of the Constitution, they’re just going to blab about it. I mean, duh.

What we’re observing is a textbook example of how people who have a choice allow themselves to become subject to dictatorship. We’re like one big social science demonstration of How Good Democracies Go Bad. I hope other nations are taking notes.

Update: Here’s a heartwarming story about a rightie who calls the leak of the phone call database “treasonous” and is rewarded with a biscuit and pat on the head by Laura Ingraham herself.

Noting that Qwest has so far refused to take part in the NSA program (unlike AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth), rightie blogger Sister Toldjah asks, “Thanks to this whistleblown leaked story, if you’re a terrorist and you don’t want to worry about your call being datamined, what telecommunications company are you going to turn to? Hmmmm … I wonder.” The Sister totalitarian toady links to other rightie blogs, so I don’t have to.

Update update: Glenn Greenwald discusses the legal issues.

Update update update:
Jack Cafferty rocks.

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42 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Donna  •  May 11, 2006 @8:43 am

    How can there be a ‘rational debate’ when one side refuses to even recognize, let alone acknowledge through discussion the definitive signs of dictatorial behavior?
    On what basis could there be a ‘rational debate’ with Bushies who have proven their willingness to denigrate and imperil our Constitution [the basis for all our laws] by hurrying forth with ‘national security’ excuses for their imperial ‘decider’?

    A old saying which I’d repeat to righties, “Be careful what you ask for, for someday it will be yours.”

  2. Rick  •  May 11, 2006 @10:03 am

    Sooooo…rational debate must, in this case equal Rovian tactics? Should we start out by marginalizing the righties the white house or the NSA? Should our first move be slander or libel? Or should we just hit the lies and say that this is actually just the tip of the iceburg concerning the takover of anything not already outright owned by this administration and corporate America?(Ok, that one is not techinically a lie…)

  3. Sean Hackbarth  •  May 11, 2006 @10:33 am

    Far from drinking any kool-aid I am concerned about this story. I’m critical of it in the post you linked to.

  4. Scott M  •  May 11, 2006 @10:39 am

    It’s interesting to note that Right Thoughts has already constructed a strawman for this particular scandal. He doesn’t believe it because “[i]t’s impossible to sift through that much information in any meaningful way. It would take every computer and every government employee to sift through that much recorded voice data with software that could turn it into words a machine could recognize.” While this is a good point, that’s *not* the program that USA Today is describing. The *actual* program simply collects records of calls made, not the contents of those calls. Pattern-sifting through that info is well within the reach of the computing technology available to the agencies right now. And in the meantime, the government knows when and how many times you’ve called your spouse, your office, your best friend….

  5. Daniel DiRito  •  May 11, 2006 @11:55 am

    So if I follow the latest logic…gee, we aren’t doing anything illegal even though we aren’t using the FISA system…and we are talking to “some” members of congress…but they can’t tell you anything because the information is totally classified….and gee, we are ok with some investigative oversight…but unfortunately we can’t grant security clearance to the investigators.

    Gee…it looks to me like we have a dictator in charge. He breaks the rules, he rewrites the rules, he changes the rules, and he answers to no one.

    I only hope we can soon finish exporting our “democracy” to Iraq and the rest of the oppressed world so they can have the same rights that we do.

    more observations here:

    http://www.thoughttheater.com

  6. Ernie  •  May 11, 2006 @12:34 pm

    How can there be a rational debate when one side refuses to understand what it is like to live under a dictorial regime?

    To misquote Lloyd Benson: “Mr. W. Bush, I knew Josef Stalin. I lived under Joe Stalin’s regime. Mr. W, you’re no Joe Stalin.”

    You people wouldn’t know a dictator if he bit you on the ankle.

    Let me get this straight: you’ve got no problems with massive, oppressive private corporations following the details of your life through telephone records, but as soon as a government org builds a database based on them, you wet your pants?

    You and I are not that important. Unless you are a member of Al-Qaeda, you aren’t going to interest a bureaucrat. This database has been used for years to sell you crap that you didn’t need. That’s a lot more intrusive then a cursory government scan to make sure you aren’t commiting dangerous crimes.

    Anyone who is scared of this news is a criminal or a terrorist. Or an idiot. But you all seem too smart for the latter, right?

  7. Libertarian Jason  •  May 11, 2006 @12:41 pm

    You won’t find this Libertarian defending this. I don’t know of any who would, either.

    Or was your point simply made out of ignorance as to what libertarians actually believe?

  8. Scott M  •  May 11, 2006 @12:45 pm

    Ernie: what part of “new program following 9/11” or “violation of Section 222 of the Communications Act” did you not understand? This is *not* the same old crap that marketers have been doing for years. This is a new government initiative, and it’s illegal. Oh, hang on…the clue phone’s ringing. It’s for you.

  9. Ernie  •  May 11, 2006 @12:57 pm

    I’ve read no one here who understands the telephone business, and very few who even know what a “dictatorship” is.

    If we were under an effective dictatorship, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Half of us would be dead by now, the rest “disappeared.” The government has had access to phone activity since the invention of the dang thing.

    If you don’t like it, stop using the phone and stop posting to the Internet. Problem solved.

    People who live in real dictatorships don’t complain about the dictatorship. They can’t. Their tongues are gone.

  10. joanr16  •  May 11, 2006 @1:14 pm

    Ernie, real dictatorships often arise gradually, after warnings are sneered at by folks like you. And did you stop to think that folks who can’t use the phone or the Internet are in fact being silenced?

    An imperial president who disobeys the law and ignores the Constitution at his pleasure has unchecked power, and thus is a dictator/autocrat. Go ahead and quibble over words while democracy burns.

  11. Rick  •  May 11, 2006 @1:33 pm

    Well, Ernie, I guess we have a “compasionate” dictatorship. Though I do think you are right, Boosh would even screw up being a decent dictator through incompetance…

  12. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @2:32 pm

    Don’t bother trying to explain anything to Ernie. Some years ago I made several attempts to explain to some righties why nascent fascism is nearly the mirror opposite of nascent communism, even though they both eventually end up being totalitarian. I might as well have lectured rocks. They had made up their minds that fascism and communism were the same thing, and they both grew out of the extreme Left. And that was that.

    Just like righties cannot recognize how people who see themselves as “good” are seduced into being evil, just so they are utterly blind and deaf to the lessons of history and the manner in which free people willingly give up their freedom and wake up one day in a dictatorship. According to Rightie Revisionist History, this never happens.

    So Ernie, dumb ass that he clearly is, assumes that because we are not living in an “effective dictatorship” now, then we don’t have to worry about ever living in an effective dictatorship, no matter how many rights we flush down the toilet, or how many unconstitutional powers we hand off to the executive branch. Or how many secrets we allow them to keep.

  13. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @2:40 pm

    Oh, well, not that it’ll do any good, but for the record —

    Let me get this straight: you’ve got no problems with massive, oppressive private corporations following the details of your life

    Actually I have a big problem with that. If real liberals ever get representation in Congress again, I hope that we can put some limits on corporate intrusion of privacy.

    You and I are not that important. Unless you are a member of Al-Qaeda, you aren’t going to interest a bureaucrat.

    Yep, that’s how it starts. People tell themselves that if they aren’t doing anything wrong they don’t have to worry. Next thing they know they’re being monitored by the Statzi.

    Anyone who is scared of this news is a criminal or a terrorist.

    Words that have echoed through the ages … right before the jack boots march in. …

  14. Donna  •  May 11, 2006 @2:43 pm

    Ernie, #8, and #11….
    1] I am not made out of straw….so I do not fit the strawperson category you made up by saying ‘you got no problems with massive oppressive private corporations’ doing datamining.
    2] I do not buy crap I do not need….. my furniture was purchased decades ago, all for less than $100 at auctions, my clothes come from resale shops…..I have no television because of those noisy ads which target me as a stupid person who would believe that ‘what I have’ is ‘who I am’.
    3]Oh, but you and I ARE ‘that important’, maybe not to a bureacrat, but otherwise: we are citizens with the rights of free people and the responsibilities of staying alert to protecting our system of laws that ensure continued rights for all of us and our children and their children.
    4]Ernie….no one on this blog has said they were ‘scared of this news’ [and, even if some are scared, it sure does not mean, as per your faulty logic, that a scared person must be a criminal, a terrorist, or an idiot.] A lot of folks are very concerned about this news because of what it means in terms of ‘signs of dictatorship’
    5]Ernie….can you have a discussion about ‘signs of dictatorship’ without hyperbole like, “If we were under an effective dictatorship, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”? If you and I were in a car and I reported that the car was edging toward a cliff, what kind of answer would it be to say, “Well, but we are not yet off the cliff”? Well, I agree with you Ernie, we are not [yet] in an effective dictatorship…..but do let’s look at the direction we are heading toward when out leaders choose to disregard laws. Once over the cliff is not the time to change course.

  15. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @2:47 pm

    Jason, comment #9: Or was your point simply made out of ignorance as to what libertarians actually believe?

    See the quotation marks around “libertarian”? That means I’m using the word in an ironic sense, not in a literal sense. (Learn to speak English! It’s useful!) I’m making fun of righties who call themselves “libertarian” and then support whatever new infringement of the Constitution the Bushies think up. Don’t tell me you haven’t run into some of these guys. If not, just follow the trackback at #14. He’s one.

  16. James Stephenson  •  May 11, 2006 @3:07 pm

    Interesting, it knows how many times I called my wife?

    It says in the story they are not keeping track of Conversations, Addresses, people, just the numbers. Now granted if they had a reason to suspect my wife was a terrorist, than they might come talk to us. But really, they are not storing anything except the numbers.

    Explain to me how this is so bad? Phone companies do the same thing and they sell the info to telemarketers. Oh and they keep track of the people, addresses and businesses you call.

    Even better, Credit Card companies, the only true price gougers left in this country ( 19 cents on the dollar, compared to 8.5 for oil companies), track a hell of a lot more information than that.

  17. Dick Eagleson  •  May 11, 2006 @3:07 pm

    If a government computer searching for terrorist “wheat” looks at my phone records and puts me in the “chaff” pile, are my rights violated. This libertarian doesn’t think so.

    It’s called traffic analysis. Woodrow Wilson’s boys did it in WW1 and FDR’s boys did it in WW2. In those days, the enemy’s communications went via shortwave radio – which most civilians had no access to – and wired telephones. These days, the enemy uses cell phones and the Web – which everyone has access to. The US government could, and did, tap anything it wanted to without legal formalities back in the day – censored the newspapers and the mail too. FDR was even “President for Life.” Somehow the jackboots never showed up. By the standards of past wars – even Vietnam – the “infringements” of civil liberties in the GWOT have been laughably small. As Orwell famously said, fascism is always descending on America, but somehow always manages to actually land elsewhere.

  18. Donna  •  May 11, 2006 @3:27 pm

    #20…..aren’t all your examples about events before the FISA law? As a matter of fact, aren’t your examples also of what took place before government leaders politically misused such power by targeting MLK [Justice department] and the opposing party [Nixon, Watergate]?

    If so, please offer your position about today’s government/administration behavior as it relates to FISA and prior abusive use of secret power over citizens and political opponents.

  19. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @3:36 pm

    But really, they are not storing anything except the numbers.

    That’s what they say. And you believe them because they’ve been so TRUTHFUL in the past, right?

    Explain to me how this is so bad? Phone companies do the same thing and they sell the info to telemarketers.

    If the Bushies were to actually limit themselves to nothing but phone numbers possibly it wouldn’t do any harm. But I don’t trust them to limit themselves to that. If the NSA were under proper judicial or congressional oversight, this program would be much less of an issue.

    Even better, Credit Card companies, the only true price gougers left in this country ( 19 cents on the dollar, compared to 8.5 for oil companies), track a hell of a lot more information than that.

    I don’t like that, either.

  20. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @3:38 pm

    Dick Eagleton, FYI: You’re not a real libertarian according to Jason, comment #9. Not according to me, either.

  21. Joseph Hertzlinger  •  May 11, 2006 @3:43 pm

    If information wants to be free, doesn’t that include information on who you’re calling?

    The real question is whether the Other Side has infiltrated the NSA. (It’s possible. They might have known all about this for years.) It might be safer to turn this data over to ordinary citizens. In any case, three hundred million people can analyze this better than a handful of NSA staff.

  22. Britwit  •  May 11, 2006 @4:47 pm

    Do Not Call List

    Remember this one where you could either log on or call a 1800 number to get on the list to prevent nuisance calls from telemarketers?

    I am now wondering if this was just a front to get a list of numbers initially up front.

  23. justme  •  May 11, 2006 @5:13 pm

    I can hardly even write about this issue without becoming”unhinged”…..

    Before I say anything else I want to point out AGAIN, this program is fine and dandy with the right NOW,,, but they will be screaming at the top of their lungs at how unjust this is when a Dem takes office…and lets talk about intellectual dishonesty for a minute I found this document on the “FREE REPUBLIC” in 2000 called “The Secret FISA Court: Rubber Stamping Our Rights” here is a link (I hope) http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3a27337612f5.htm

    As I noted, this was written in Nov of 2000 by a VERY right wing idiot , after Oklahoma city(at that time the worst terrorist attack on our soil)….The rightie who wrote this, philip colangelo, was VERY VERY (5 PAGES WORTH ) UPSET over “7 judges on a SECRET court who were “rubber stamping” the spying of Bill Clinton” JUST the FISA court, working as it should have ,sent them into a 5 page tizzy , with a total of 21 pages including comments…..they discuss how “The aftershock of the Oklahoma city bombing sent congress scurrying to trade off civil liberties for an illusion of public safety”….but today IOKIYAR……..

    This is a MUST read to believe…they were upset WITH due process and the FISA court BEFORE the law breaker/decider took office…the only explaination for righties behavior today is total dishonesty….even to the point where this FREE REPUBLIC piece cites the ALCU ,, I swear!!

    Let me know if the link does not work for some reason…I came across this document several months ago at the start of SPYGATE…and I printed it..if the link doesn’t work please let me know and I will RETYPE the entire thing on my blog and link to it here….as I believe it is THAT important and insightful.

    Now on to another thing to keep in mind…NONE of us knows the extent to which these programs go…the right looks most foolish trying to defend them… and even more foolish after reading their talking points in Nov, 2000…I think a HUGE issue in Nov for the left should be to point out the lack of oversight on these matters until we are clear that either laws have been broken or not..the left must not step aside from this problem and avoid bringing it up.. they should make it clear they are going to congress to RESTORE checks and balance…and OVERSIGHT.I think people are ready to hear that “If you send me to congress I will keep an out of control whitehouse BACK under control.”Instead dems want to run from the issue , afraid rove will make it about them being soft,,,BULLY ! I say!As someone earlier in the comments said , basically, how can dems take on security if they are too timid to take on the right?..The left can make a HUGE issue about all the things that we (congress AND the American people) don’t know.

    The next time you hear/read a rightie saying bush is within the law, or that datamining is not really happening ask them to PROVE IT!The next time they say domestic calls are not being listened to or that political parties are not being spied upon ask them to PROVE IT!…The next time they say our constitutional rights are not being violated ask them to PROVE IT! They lack a single fact to back up their dishonest bullshit and it’s time someone call them out..

    I hope you enjoy the free republic article,, and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.

  24. Donna  •  May 11, 2006 @5:29 pm

    yes Britwit, the do not call legislation got telemarketers out of the sanctity of our homes, and what a relief that was. I hate to imagine that being a front to allow the government to invade the sanctity of our homes.

  25. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @7:17 pm

    justme — good catch. All the rightie trolls I’ve been bouncing all day should read it. It’s always fun to hear their creative rationalizations as to why something that was bad when Clinton did it is just fine when Bush does it.

  26. justme  •  May 11, 2006 @7:38 pm

    Perhaps you missed the point Joseph…I notice you don’t dispute the points I made, you instead comment on me personally (and poorly at best)…try reading my post again…my point was the right was upset when there was still judicial and congressional oversight , right after a terrible terrorist attack in Oklahoma city, but now they seem to have no problem making excuses for the programs bush is undertaken in SECRET…the extent of which NEITHER of us knows.We know there is more than one program from the testimony of Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary,I suggest you read it…Black helicopters are the least of our worries when our government is conducting “secret programs” without reasonable oversight..especially when those programs may deny the constitutional rights of Americans who have no intent on being involved with terrorist activities.. don’t make a joke out of an issue as vital to our country as the constitution by filing the concern in the “black helicopter” dept…it is very sad to see an American trivialize something as important and in need of protection as our constitution..But if your in the Bush camp I will guess you find that to be “old law” and not worthy of your attention.
    Protection of the constitution and our civil rights shouldn’t be a right or left issue , but rather an American one.Privacy is at the core of what we hold dear in this country.It should be highly disturbing to you that WE the PEOPLE cannot know who attended an energy meeting in OUR government, a meeting that shaped the policy we all have to live under, but we are not entitled to make a private phone call without the chance it will be listened in on unless a court has decided there is a darn good reason…whats wrong with this picture?…
    Don’t get me started … it will ruin my dinner….speaking of black helicopters , how much of your pay are you sending to bush so he can have a new helicopter?It’s kinda black looking.

  27. Patrick  •  May 11, 2006 @7:40 pm

    Maha and Britwit, et al,

    So the phone company can keep your records, and sell them, telemarketers can get the records, we all give the government our phone numbers for the “do not call lists” and thats all ok. Just on onto the internet and google locatecell, and see all of the phone record searches anyone can buy. But if the NSA wants to run a statistical analysis on calling paterns while we are in the middle of a war that is SHOCKING.

    As for creative rationalizations, this exerpt below is from just after the bombing in London last year,

    The Observer said UK home secretary, Charles Clarke, will this week propose new data retention measures covering mobile phone and internet service providers at an emergency meeting of European Union interior ministers on the implications of the bombings. Clarke will also apply pressure on areas such as law enforcement databases, tracking passports and movements of explosives. Clarke has said he believes authorities might have been able to prevent the bombings if they had access to such data.

    “The Observer said UK home secretary, Charles Clarke, will this week propose new data retention measures covering mobile phone and internet service providers at an emergency meeting of European Union interior ministers on the implications of the bombings. Clarke will also apply pressure on areas such as law enforcement databases, tracking passports and movements of explosives. Clarke has said he believes authorities might have been able to prevent the bombings if they had access to such data.”

  28. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @8:43 pm

    Clarke has said he believes authorities might have been able to prevent the bombings if they had access to such data.

    One: Nobody here is saying that the feds should not conduct surveillance, including wiretaps, of possible terrorists. We just want the Bush Administration to conduct surveillance within the law.

    Second: The Brits are not subject to Fourth Amendment protections. We are.

    Third: Before 9/11 the Bushies had copious warning that a major act of terrorism was about to take place, that al Qaeda was behind it, and that this act would involve highjacked airplanes, and they didn’t do a damn thing. What makes you think one more shred of information would have made any difference when Bush, Condi, et al. obviously had their oblivious heads firmly shoved up their butts?

  29. maha  •  May 11, 2006 @9:30 pm

    justme — I think Joseph’s comment was among those I dumped out of the thread this afternoon.

  30. Swami  •  May 11, 2006 @9:47 pm

    But…WHERE’S OSAMA?

  31. justme  •  May 11, 2006 @10:32 pm

    Sorry Maha, I should know better then to feed the trolls…

  32. Steve from Canuckistan  •  May 11, 2006 @11:09 pm

    Three years ago bush said “trust me” …. accept the patriot act as a necessary intrusion on civil liberties that’s urgently needed to protect America…..he stated that he would never monitor the phone calls or emails of American citizens. After the eavesdropping scandal broke last fall he said again “trust us”….we only monitor calls that terminate outside of the USA. Today we hear about this data mining thing that’s been going on since 2001. Today your president said “The privacy of all Americans is fiercely protected in all our activities”. Do you see pattern here? Does anyone trust anything this geek has to say about anything? Some reporter needs to do some serious digging to see if all this monitoring business is nothing but a smoke screen for something more sinister…..LIKE FINDING OUT WHO POSES THE MOST SERIOUS POLITICAL THREAT IN THE 2006 MID-TERMS? (like…if the dems take congress george gets impeached) .I wonder how many confidential NSA reports get shipped to rove on a weekly basis and who the hell he’s spying on?! Nixon almost got away with it….rove stands a good chance of shutting the dems out for another generation and maybe even getting circus boy his third term in office. What the hell…why not go for PRES FOR LIFE! That’ll show ‘ol Poppy Bush! The scam is: “we’re doing it to protect America”. This is a big lie! It’s so sad to see such a great nation go to the dark side.

  33. maha  •  May 12, 2006 @6:41 am

    In fact, the kinds of patterns NSA analysts are looking for may be the key to winning the War on Terror.

    The issue is not whether surveillance or data mining can be used to protect America from terrorism. The issue is that it’s being done outside the law. If this program is so blameless, why is the Department of Justice locked out?

  34. Donna  •  May 12, 2006 @8:59 am

    Maha, in #38, you once again repeat that the issue is about legality.

    I read again all the comments…..I see a pattern from the commenters who seem ok with or even supportive of this domestic spying.
    In every instance, the ‘supporters’ make some kind of ‘no big deal’ argument. But what does it signify that they each and all ignore and refuse to address the very issue which is the theme of this post……”it’s being done outside the law”……which theme you patiently repeat for them?

    I guess those posters don’t give a hoot about laws…..which makes me pleased to see Bush’s latest polled approval level drop to 29%. More and more folks are deciding to reject the ‘no big deal’ meme.

  35. zeuS  •  May 13, 2006 @2:54 am

    #27 justme – Great Find – I’m copying some of the responses to the Free Repuplic article that you linked to:

    “don’t see that as a possibility. This is wherein the danger lies in the precedent set by the Clinton criminal administration. God only knows who will be in power next, but there are no checks and balances anymore. This is exactly the SORT of thing I’ve been protesting all along. Libs just don’t see this!
    But when and where do they find this in the major media? They don’t even know!”

    “As quietly as possible (although it sometimes breaks out into the open, usually with the sound of gunfire and the death of innocents), a “shadow government” has been set up all around us my friend. It’s foundation is not the constitution, but Executive Orders, Presidential Procalamations, Secret Acts, and Emergency Powers.
    It has all the tools to be an absolute tyranny and those behind it (on both sides of the aisle) who crave power and their form of “governance” continue to move towards it while we are distracted by so many other goings on.”

    “This is one of those ideas that has a valid purpose behind it, but is wide open to terrible abuse. And there’s no way to check to see if it is abused.
    Like all things that don’t have the light of day shining on them, you can be sure that it is being twisted to suit the purposes of those who hold the power.”

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  36. jailerjay  •  May 13, 2006 @3:32 am

    It’s irresponsible to use the term “Libertarian” in your (otherwise) meritorious piece. You would be wise to examine some “Libertarian” newsletters, and other posits available. We are closer then you think. Ross Perot (until he devolved) demonstrated the viability and legitimacy of an alternate party. One not beholden to the current Animal Farm we’ve got going now. We can only hope for the reality-based community to converge and throw ALL the bums out.

  37. maha  •  May 13, 2006 @6:58 am

    It’s irresponsible to use the term “Libertarian” in your (otherwise) meritorious piece.

    Wow, don’t they teach English any more? I’ll repeat to you what I said to Jason, comment #9:

    See the quotation marks around “libertarian”? That means I’m using the word in an ironic sense, not in a literal sense. (Learn to speak English! It’s useful!) I’m making fun of righties who call themselves “libertarian” and then support whatever new infringement of the Constitution the Bushies think up. Don’t tell me you haven’t run into some of these guys. If not, just follow the trackback at #14. He’s one.

    Or is the problem that libertarians are irony-deaf? Here’s a definition of irony if that’s the case. Go here for a discussion of quotation marks and irony.

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