Sunday, August 20, 2006

they're just catching up with the people

* from lehrer:
"MARGARET WARNER: Now, also some noted conservative columnists, your own Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, George Will, have written some rather gloomy columns. I think George Will was called "the new unrealism," and Rich Lowry's was, what, "another Vietnam"? What is going on there?

RAMESH PONNURU: Well, I think they represent -- I mean, George Will, of course, sort of bailed out on support for the Iraq war some time ago. But my colleague, Rich Lowry, has been a supporter of it for a long time. And amongst serious and thoughtful supporters of this war, there is more gloom now than I've seen at any point during this war.

MARGARET WARNER: And where does...

MARK SHIELDS: Well, I'd say -- just to add to that -- that Rich had one line that struck me in his piece. He said, "Republicans are trying to win the election in November in this country on the war while they are losing the war in Iraq."

And I just have to say, with all due respect to Rich, whom I like enormously, and George Will, who's certainly a respected columnist, they're just catching up with the people. I mean, the politicians, the public opinion they're not leading it; they're following it.

This is not 1968. These are not Walter Cronkite changing the direction of the country. The country has changed, and the dinner parties at Washington are finally catching up with it."

* Laura:
"Has Bush called some people to inquire if they would be willing to replace Rumsfeld? In the past ten days?"

* talkleft:
"The GOP rhetoric is starting to sound like "if you are for the Constitution, you are for the terrorists." How low can we sink?
But, there are cues in the Bushspeak: "the nature of the world in which we live" is code for "it is time to repeal the Fourth Amendment if we can't ignore it anymore.""


oldschool said...

from Jeralyn's column:

"It does appear...that folks on all sides of the spectrum...say the decision is not strongly grounded in legal authority."

The standard for appellate review should be something along the lines of "if there is any rational basis in law upon which the underlying decision may be affirmed, even if such is basis differs from that used by the trial court, the decision should be affirmed.' (pardon the paraphrase, but I think that that's about right).

So I am not among those who are wailing and gnashing teeth about the quality of the decision, for it really should withstand appeal. This perhaps assumes, of course, more integrity of federal appeals courts than may be warranted, and might possibly be naive as to the true extent of political influence - but - if it's played by the book, the decision should stand.

*If*, however, the appellate court does find itself really wanting to overturn, but still unwilling to say that warrantless wiretapping is *not* a violation of FISA and the 4th, I'd look for 'em to hang their hat on the issue of 'standing'. - i.e. that none of the plaintiffs proved a harm personal to them, differing from that of the population at large. Standing could end up being the quiet knife-in-the-back to this case - I am a bit worried about that one.

noise said...

To this date the public has not been told of intentional blocking of intelligence, and has not been told that certain information, despite its direct links, impacts and ties to terrorist related activities, is not given to or shared with Counterterrorism units, their investigations, and countering terrorism related activities. This was the case prior to 9/11, and remains in effect after 9/11. If Counterintelligence receives information that contains money laundering, illegal arms sale, and illegal drug activities, directly linked to terrorist activities; and if that information involves certain nations, certain semi- legit organizations, and ties to certain lucrative or political relations in this country, then, that information is not shared with Counterterrorism, regardless of the possible severe consequences. (1)

Why should anyone trust the word of the Bush administration concerning the cause/prevention of terror attacks?

The Kean/Hamilton Commission came along and basically said "9/11 happened because the government lacked power." So the Bush admin. folks said "See. It's your fault Joe Public. You need to give us more power. And don't question us either. Questioning us distracts us and may help the terrorists pull off another attack."

1) Flawed investigation of 9/11.
2) Secrecy/limited oversight of TSP (Terrorist Surveillance spying).
3) No attacks since 9/11.

Thus, Bush Co. can CLAIM that their illegal tactics are getting the job done. Because of faulty logic.

The intended frame was Kean/Hamilton vs. the Bush administration. IMO, the correct frame is Kean/Hamilton/Bush Co. vs. the public. The hope all along was that the 9/11 Commission would be perceived to be the good guys who were misled/lied to by members of the Bush administration or other government officials. Why the lies? Supposedly, to cover for incompetence. Of course, nobody bothered to examine whether incompetence a) made any sense in relation to the overwhelming secrecy and stonewalling of Bush officials b) made any sense in relation to nobody being held people were promoted while failures were deemed "systemic."

LeeB said...

Oldschool, with respect to standing, do you happen to know if that Portland, Oregon attorney (I can't remember off the top of my head which 'terror' suspect he represents, dammit) who discovered his office was being searched during the night, and mebbe bugged, anyway, could he be one of the plaintiffs in this case?

This should be extremely easy for you to answer, inasmuch as I have given you very little to go on. ;-)

oldschool said...


I can't remember the specifics of the Oregon case either, but I can account for all of the plaintiffs: no one from Oregon is involved in this one.

lukery said...

noise - you'll love Press For Truth.


Kathleen said...

Well if the ACLU used any of the phone companies that set up spy shops and wiretapped any of their stuff, wouldn't that give them standing, in the invasion of privacy department? All you need is one customer, to do a class action suit, right?

LeeB said...

Thanks, Luke! That's him. Thomas Nelson.

Thanks, Oldschool! You did it in spite of me!

Kathleen: Oldschool may overrule me on this one, but from what I remember about class actions, you do need more than one plaintiff. In the cases I worked on, there were anywhere from 15 to 20+ named plaintiffs. After the suits were filed, there was a motion to certify as a class, which may or may not be approved by the judge.

This was in Washington State under state statutes, I think, not federal. I don't recall at all what the federal rules are. (I could look them up if I weren't so lazy . . . an old copy of the federal court rules are sitting about 3 feet away on a shelf.)