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Stuart Taylor: Obama Should Conduct Illegal Surveillance

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gogoplata Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:50 PM
Original message
Stuart Taylor: Obama Should Conduct Illegal Surveillance
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 04:01 PM by gogoplata
Civil libertarians are rightly outraged by the brutality of some Bush administration interrogation methods; by Bushs denial of fair hearings to hundreds of suspects at Guantanamo and elsewhere who claim that they are not terrorists; and by his years of secretly and perhaps illegally defying rather than asking Congress to amend the badly outdated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
But the civil libertarians outrage does not stop there. Indeed, the prospect of anyone in the U.S. being inappropriately wiretapped, surveilled, or data-mined seems to stir the viscera of many Bush critics more than the prospect of thousands of people being murdered by terrorists. This despite the paucity of evidence that any innocent person anywhere has been seriously harmed in recent decades by governmental abuse of wiretapping, surveillance, or data mining.

On these and similar issues, Obama will have a choice: He can give the Left what it wants and weaken our defenses. Or he can follow the advice of his more prudent advisers, recognize that Congress, the courts, and officials including Attorney General Michael Mukasey have already moved to end the worst Bush administration abuses and kick the hard Left gently in the teeth. Im betting that Obama is smart and tough enough to do the latter.

....Meanwhile, like the prospect of a hanging, the prospect of a terrorist nuclear bomb obliterating downtown Washington -- including the Obama family -- or Manhattan will concentrate the president-elect's mind wonderfully.

Everyone seems to want to kick the hard left in the teeth these days.

edit to add quote box.
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MasonJar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:53 PM
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1. Hardly a viable argument. Forget any illegal act and any act authorized by
Congress that is nonetheless unConstitutional.
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MarkInCA Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm sure he will make the clear choice
There are legal ways to wiretap etc. in certain situations. Bush admin. said fuck you to doing it legally.

Doing it legally will not endanger our country in the least.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:59 PM
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3. If Obama has any respect for the Constitution, he will do away with the Patriot Act
And all of the other other extra-Constitutional powers Bushco granted himself. Sadly, I doubt that he will, the Democrats have been chomping at the bit to play with these new toys ever since they became law. And thus we watch the two party/same corporate master system of government go into it's next phase, that of the "good cop", while all the while the Constitution, freedom and liberty become quaint notions relegated to the history books.
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fla nocount Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:06 PM
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4. If he had respect for the Constitution he wouldn't have voted for FISA. n/t
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gogoplata Donating Member (226 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. From Big Tent Democrat at TalkLeft-
The advisor to watch on this is Cass Sunstein, who is no doubt advising Obama to do precisely what Taylor wants. Yglesias is "stunned" to read this from Taylor - I have no idea why, Taylor has always defended Bush abuses. Will he be stunned to learn that Obama advisor Sunstein has defended Bush abuses too?
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anonymous171 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. He should spy on the republicans in congress.
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
7. The President's job is to defend the CONSTITUTION..not the country..
read Article I, read the Oath.. many a dictator has taken away liberty in the name of security and the founders understood this. They had their own encounter with "warrantless" search and seizures under the King's writs of assistance and understood rightly how dangerous this is. Moreover they lived in far more dangerous times than we do. Consider that that fledgling United States had largely disbanded the Contintental Army of the Revolution by the time they wrote the Bill of Rights and the Constitution yet we were surrounded on all sides by major Colonial powers and native American Indian tribes and there were many cases of high seas piracy against US flagged vessels in the early days of our Republic and threats of war from both the English and the French. Indeed we fought an undeclared war against the French and later a declared one against the Brits.

Today we are the world's lone remaining superpower both nuclear and conventional and spend more than the next 27 nations combined on defense - yet we don't feel secure and want to take away more rights?

How is it we managed to EXPAND rights during the Cold War when we were literally 45 minutes (or less) away from total nuclear annihilation? The answer is that we've let the fear mongers and war mongers and would be tyrants get away with re-writing our history to pretend that today we live in "the worst of times"... hardly so.

September 11th would have hardly even been the 20th largest battle of the Civil War when American Armies marched through the land and burned American cities to the ground: Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, and Richmond amongst others and fully 2% of the population died (685,000). What happened to Gettysberg, Shiloh, Cold Harbor, and the Wilderness when we cower in fear at whatever the talking heads on TV are saying today?

For that matter what about the D-Day battles, the Battle of the Bulge, or Iwo Jima? We don't live in the worst of times - that's our main stream lying to us again.

Whatever happened to the Great Depression? the Great Influenza? the Cold War? the Chosin Reservoir Retreat? the Cuban Missile Crisis? Khe Sahn or Tet?

Finally the FISA law is NOT "outdated" anticipated war specifically - the only thing out of date are the tyrannical thinking of the original article author.

Doug D.
Orlando FL
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