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Mistletoe Angel
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125 posted 03-24-2007 11:20 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Noah, since you want to key in on the Attorney General, I refer you to my previous points concerning Janet Reno. Please spend as much of your time on her as you did on Gonzales. You may be surprised at all you find out. Yes, you may call it simple finger-pointing to get away from the current topic but they actually relate to the same subject......the witch hunt going on. Then ask yourself why the Democrats and liberal press would be content to give her free passes with no publicity while making Gonzales Freddy Kreuger's brother, at the least.

I am now firmly convinced that certain key Democrats are all direct descendants of Salem residents.


Sure, I've read about Janet Reno and I absolutely agree that Janet Reno made many decisions that were blatantly politically-motivated, especially the firing of all 93 Attorney Generals once she assumed the role of Attorney General in 1993. In fact, I believe she was the single greatest embarassing figure in the Clinton Administration and that she too should have been fired especially after her horrid decision-making in that Branch-Davidian standoff incident in Waco, which because of the tear-gas offensive as many as 80 of the Davidians (22 of which were children) were incapacitated to death. I thought Reno also didn't hire enough independent counsels herself.

I hope you can see we're not that far apart in identifying and seeing the Clinton Administration's closet skeletons, my friend, and you are correct that it does tie in with the same issue at hand; the politicization of the Justice Department primarily.

Having said that, I continue to question why, whenever something here even merely questions the decisions or motives of this current administration, you seem to compulsively respond by saying, "Yeah, well, Clinton did that..." and use it as an excuse for free passing and/or pardoning any of the Bush Administration's own questionable acts, making Gonzales or Rumsfeld or anyone that has anything to do with the administration like Stanley Zbornak from "The Golden Girls", Spence Olchin from "The King of Queens" or any other archetypal, harmless lovable loser on television.

I hope you can see that with any administration there will be those familiar characters right out of any quintessential sitcom; the protagonist, the antagonist, the self-actualized wise man, the quirky neighbor, the fool, the wisecracker, the one always lurking behind the fencepost and the one that got away just to name a few. I don't believe we are that far apart in understanding the injustices the clowns that make up the cast of every administration perform. I just hope you can put aside your instant partisan force-field manuevering and acknowledge that officials under this administration and the current GOP act up too, which frankly I don't see you spending nearly as much of your time on as you would to anything related to the Democrats.

I was only ten when the Waco incident happened, and I wasn't politically-conscious them, but I've read about her and absolutely believe she should never have been hired to begin with and it's embarrassing how tenacious Clinton was in keeping her around. We're in total agreement there. Now I hope you can cultivate your ability to live in the present and accept that Gonzales himself has made decisions which are questionable and even unconstitutional in their own regard, particularly trying to redefine Article III of the Geneva Conventions and his involvement shaping the Military Commissions Act.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Ron
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126 posted 03-25-2007 12:43 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
... but, oh no, you would then be saying that the ends justify the means, wouldn't you?

Say again?

The ends, Mike, would be to insure that partisan politics aren't allowed to influence justice. If I was to suggest we should shoot Gonzales that would be an example of inappropriate means that didn't justify the end. It would be an example of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. Bringing a searchlight to bear on a poorly handled situation is the right thing to do -- even if it's done for the wrong reasons. The concept of the end being used to justify the means has nothing to do with motive.

Adversarial systems, such as we have in the court rooms and in Washington, are specifically designed to eliminate motive as an issue. Prosecuting attorneys don't have to hate the defendant (though they might), don't have to despise the crime (though they might), and don't have to have wings sprouting from there backside (though they ... nah). We don't care why they do their jobs. We just care that they do them.
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127 posted 03-25-2007 01:29 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bringing a searchlight to bear on a poorly handled situation is the right thing to do -- even if it's done for the wrong reasons.

Ah, Ron, that is a major contradiction of yours. I don't really care to but, if you would like, I'll find and bring up the thread where you said the exact opposite. It was in reference to a friend telling you a lie in the spirit of friendship to ultimately help you and your response was that you would never consider that person trustworthy again, regardless. Then you felt that lying to you or deceiving you was the ultimate issue and not the objective the deception was geared to produce. Apparently you don't feel that way any longer. Interesting, also, how you refer to a "poorly handled" situation. That's very generous of you....wonder why. I doubt they consider it poorly handled.....it's handled just the way they want - loudly, publicly, media-backed, and antagonistic.

Noah, I certainly WILL bring up similarities from  the past when the cast of characters are basically the same. Maybe I have a problem with the "Do what I say and not what I do" motherly demands   My point is not that Gonzales has done nothing wrong. My point is that the Democrats and liberal media are going bonkers over it when they have a record of doing absolutely nothing when a member of their party was on the firing line.   There are no 'let bygones be bygones" here. They are posturing about doing "what's good for the country" when they themselves have a record for ignoring the very things they are complaining about. It is, as I said, nothing more than a witch hunt that they conduct as loudly as possible with complete disregard over what harm it can do to the image of the country or anything else. They are, as I have said many times, despicable.
Brad
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128 posted 03-25-2007 04:43 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Mike,

I don't see the contradiction there. Both comments have the same goal in mind -- to find the truth or shed light or whatever. Not that Ron hasn't contradicted himself over the years, I'm sure he has, I know you have, I know I have, but I'm not sure it's that important. We all have the 'right' to change our minds.

Janet Reno?

The investigation, I guess, is about alleged partisanship by partisans investigated by partisans and the defense is the accusation of partisanship?

I throw up my hands and say so what.

"Hey, you do it too." Doesn't that argument just get boring after a while.

If you were really concerned about all this stuff, wouldn't you have at least commented on the disproportionate number of Dems being investigated by the justice department?

Of course not. Nor would you expect me to jump on the  bandwagon when it comes to dems committing crimes (go to jail, of course, but no cheerleading on this end.)

Why? Because we are partisan.

Balladeer
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129 posted 03-25-2007 10:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Both comments have the same goal in mind -- to find the truth or shed light or whatever

Sorry, Brad, I must have explained it badly for you to get that impression. Ron has stated in the past that the results of finding the truth is valid ONLY when it is done correctly and, if not,  the results are secondary or, at best, tainted. Geez, he's gonna deny this now and I'm going to have to go archive digging but I will, if necessary. I can say holding a gun to a terrorist's head and threatening to blow it off (as a bluff) would be "poorly done" but if it got information which averted an attack on an American soldier camp, would this be condoned? Ron has claimed no.....and he is not alone. That was the actual scenario of the army soldier in Iraq who was relieved of duty and sent back to face charges. The terrorist had not been harmed but I guess he had been "scared" and lied to. Go figure...(the attack on the camp was averted, if that matters)

"Hey, you do it too." Doesn't that argument just get boring after a while.

Afraid you missed my point, Brad. I will concede that, no, it doesn't get old. The Democrat congress is remindful of the boy convicted for killing his parents who tells the judge to go easy on him because he's an orphan. That is not the case here, however. It's not "Hey, you do it, too". It's "Hey, you DON'T do it when it's one of yours".  If your brother picked a flower from the garden and gave it to your mother, who gave him a kiss and the next day you did the same and your mother slapped you for messing up the garden, you would have the right to say "What's going on here???"  When the Democrat Attorney General, arguably the worst in history, was given free passes by the Democrat party and the press for her many questionable activities and yet these same people and organizations go after the Republican Attorney General with such vigor and publicity, armed with glaring headlines and brass bands, one has the right to ask "What's going on here?", too. The question, of course, is unnecessary. We know what's going on.....another chapter in the "Get Bush and the Administration" handbook. There is no "..doing for the good of the country' noble cause here. The vigilantes are at it again....plain and simple.

Are Gonzales and Bush guilty of the accusations? Actually, I have no idea. I DO know that the President had the right to do it due to executive privilege without breaking the law. I haven't read the part of the constitution that gives him that right but, unless it is concluded with a ".....except in the case of" or some such conditional phrase, it is not a criminal activity. The Democrats, knowing this, have now resorted to the "...but is it moral?" defense. I don't recall them asking if it was moral for Clinton to misappropriate 900 FBI files to set up a Republican hit list. It's not a "you do it, too" issue, Brad. It's a "you only do it when it benefits you" issue.

All of the headlines...all of the hype, the news coverage, the interviews, the subpoenas, the calls for investigations......all for a non-criminal activity. When's the last time you saw that  (with the exception of the Bush surveillance investigation fiasco a few months ago)?

THAT is what gets boring, Brad....
Local Rebel
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130 posted 03-25-2007 12:34 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:


L.R., I don't think that those pieces qualify as substantive investigative reports on the uranium that was found. They are articles merely attempting to downplay the find, in my opinion.




After re-reading Jack's commentary in WND, the BBC story,  and then re-reading you -- I'm beginning to see why you're reacting this way -- and why he wrote his commentary the way he did -- which is a pass for you, but, not for him.

From my perspective -- I read Jack's column and the BBC article with the knowledge that the
Nuclear Facility at Tuwaitha was old news.  It's hardly a "find" at all.  It was bombed by the Israelis in 1981 and bombed again by us in 1991 and was kept under lock and key by the IAEA.

U.S. Marines found the facility in 2003 after the invasion and , in ignorance, broke the IAEA seals -- which made the site susceptible to looting -- which is what most of the stories that I've referenced are referring to.  This was obviously embarrassing to the Administration -- so making a press release about taking the material out of the research facility was necessary to quell the kerfuffle in the media about the bungled handling of nuclear materials.

So, it was actually the removal of the material that was used to try to downplay a botched military operation Denise -- not the other way around.  
The BBC column, because of it's title, "US reveals Iraq nuclear operation" gives the impression that this was a nuclear site that was previously unknown.  This is rather revealing about Jack because he chose this very poorly written story instead of a source such as Fox that correctly reported that the 'secret' here wasn't the facility or the material -- but the secret operation removing the material.

Jack further continues to mislead by merely referring to 'enriched uranium' instead of
'low-enriched uranium' which can't be used to make a nuclear device but is, instead, only applicable for nuclear fuel.

The bottom line here is that the IAEA had this site and this material under control and that we had Saddam in a 'box'.  He wasn't going to do anything with this stuff.  However -- if he had, indeed, been able to procure new yellowcake shipments from Niger and had found a way to build a centrifuge capable of making highly enriched uranium -- that would have indicated that he was on the verge of nuclear weapons -- which is why the yellowcake story and aluminum tube story were important to the Bush Whitehouse.

quote:


No, it is no red herring. Joe Wilson is probably the main issue in this whole affair. His contention that the White House outed his wife, in retalition for his op-ed piece (in which he himself revealed still-classified information), or for any other reason, has not been proven. I believe that it was his attempt (along with Valerie Plame and others in the CIA, assisted by some left wing media types) to create a scandal for the administration and to put himself in the spotlight, just as the Democrats are now trying to do with the Federal Prosecutor firings. Joe Wilson is the one whom I would love to see put under oath. I'd love to see how many versions of events he can recall and keep straight. Maybe he could start with whether or not he revealed to anyone that his wife worked at the CIA prior to Novak reporting it. I don't think that he would evade a perjury charge himself.




If your reaction to all evidence Denise is going to be 'did-not', then I'm not sure what the profit in this exercise is for anyone.
Ron
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131 posted 03-25-2007 12:41 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I can say holding a gun to a terrorist's head and threatening to blow it off (as a bluff) would be "poorly done" but if it got information which averted an attack on an American soldier camp, would this be condoned? Ron has claimed no.....and he is not alone.

Again, Mike, you're talking about doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. And, yea, I have a problem with that. I have much less of a problem with someone doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.

quote:
... and yet these same people and organizations go after the Republican Attorney General with such vigor and publicity, armed with glaring headlines and brass bands, one has the right to ask "What's going on here?", too.

Absolutely. When a suspected meth dealer turns in his bud for grand theft auto, there's certainly going to be cause to look at both motive and situation with a skeptical eye. At the end of the day, though, you're going to lock away the guy with a car that doesn't belong to him. Even if his accuser is less than squeaky clean.

Let's go after the meth dealer. Right after we get John Q. Public's Chevy back to him.

quote:
There is no "..doing for the good of the country' noble cause here.

I hope you're right, Mike.

There is nothing more dangerous than good men so convinced they are in the right that they'll lie, cheat, and victimize anyone who disagrees with them. There is nothing more dangerous than good men willing to do the wrong things even if in the name of the right reasons. Save me, please, from good men with noble causes and delusions of godhood.

We've already had more than enough of that.
Not A Poet
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132 posted 03-25-2007 02:52 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

quote:
There is nothing more dangerous than good men so convinced they are in the right that they'll lie, cheat, and victimize anyone who disagrees with them.

That is, of course, exactly what the democrat loud mouths are doing except they know they are wrong and are doing it for the wrong reasons. They know but they just don't give a damn. That's the dispicable part of this whole sordid afair.
Ron
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133 posted 03-25-2007 03:41 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

So, you don't think there's anything dangerous with politicizing our justice system, Pete? You think people who want to prevent that are wrong to try?
Local Rebel
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134 posted 03-25-2007 03:51 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

The March 13 Washington Post erupted on the front page with the revelation that the White House played a role in the dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. “Firings Had Genesis In White House,” screamed the headline. Documents showed that back in 2005, White House counsel Harriet Miers recommended the idea to the Justice Department that all 93 U.S. Attorneys be replaced. Instead, the Bush team dismissed only eight.


But something quite amazing was omitted by those hard-charging Post reporters Dan Eggen and John Solomon digging through White House E-mails for their scandalized front-page bombshell. Didn’t Bill Clinton’s brand new Attorney General Janet Reno demand resignations from all 93 U.S. attorneys on March 24, 1993? Wouldn’t that fact be relevant to the story? Wouldn’t it have the effect of lessening the oh-my-God hyperbole on the front page if the reader was shown that what Bush did was one-tenth as dramatic as what Team Clinton did? Yes, and yes.




My curiosity is now peaked at how these people become pundits with absolutley no understanding of our government.

Here's the scoop -- Reagan did it, Clinton did it, GW did it -- fire all 93 U.S. Attorneys that is -- and replace them with his own team.  That's what happens when new Presidents come into power -- particularly if they have taken the seat from the opposing party.  

What is unusual is firing Attorneys in the mid-terms -- and in particular -- with the Patriot act -- Senate confirmation was removed from the process of hiring new U.S. Attorneys for the purpose of rebuilding a decimated government in the event of a catastrophic terrorist attack.

Selective firing of U.S. Attorneys is certainly legal, sometimes done -- but these were fired for supposed 'performance' issues -- whereas most of these fired US Atts were actually among the highest in conviction rates.

The appointment of the Prosecutors is political -- but after they are in office a 'hands-off' approach is expected in order to facilitate an impartial justice system.  This is why the 'Saturday Night Massacre' during Watergate was a big issue and why the Independent Counsel position was created by Congress -- but allowed to lapse after Ken Starr.

Further -- Gonzales has apparently lied to-- I mean misled -- the Senate.

If this is merely a partisan assault -- why are Senators Specter, Hagel, and Graham calling for Gonzales to resign?
Brad
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135 posted 03-25-2007 04:50 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Through all the partisanship, it is often forgotten that there is another problem here. This administration claims an unprecedented amount of and seeks to increase executive power over the other two branches.

Now, if you agree with the expansion, well, I suppose it makes sense to blame everything on dems and ignore all the complaints coming from the paleo-conservative and libertarian crowd.

If you don't, well we have seen and I suspect will see more unlikely partnerships in the future.
Not A Poet
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136 posted 03-25-2007 06:25 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

quote:
So, you don't think there's anything dangerous with politicizing our justice system, Pete? You think people who want to prevent that are wrong to try?

Wrong. I think it is terribly dangerous. I also can see that is exactly what those outspoken democrats are trying to do.
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137 posted 03-25-2007 06:28 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

and what is the game of the outspoken Republicans?
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138 posted 03-25-2007 07:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I also can see that is exactly what those outspoken democrats are trying to do.

Pete, outspoken Democrats don't get to appoint U.S. Attorneys. Or fire them for political retribution. The only influence on the justice system they have . . . is to be outspoken.
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139 posted 03-25-2007 08:17 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

outspoken Democrats don't get to appoint U.S. Attorneys.

They do when they have a Democrat in the oval office and, should their appointed Attorney General be a nogoodnik, suddenly they are not outspoken but come down with laryngitus, or would that be lockjaw?

When a suspected meth dealer turns in his bud for grand theft auto, there's certainly going to be cause to look at both motive and situation with a skeptical eye.

Interesting comparison, Ron....drug dealing and grand theft auto used. Glad you used restraint in your examples
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140 posted 03-25-2007 08:29 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thanks for taking the time in trying to explain this all to me, L.R. I appreciate it. I'm still not sure I understand it all, but thanks for trying anyway.

I think I did read though that even the low-enriched uranium could be used in dirty bombs if terrorists got their hands on it, couldn't it? And didn't this all come from France to Iraq originally, and didn't Wilson have French clients whose interests in Iraq would have been disrupted by war, and didn't he try to have the French cut in on the reconstruction contracts?

I think I also read that the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the "16 words" in Bush's speech were in fact true, and that according to oral testimony by Wilson before the Committee, it was concluded by the Committee that Wilson was sent to Niger at the behest of his wife and the CIA and not the Vice President's office as he had contended. I also think I heard on Fox News that the email that she sent to her superiors inquiring about sending him to Niger was sent by her on February 12th, but that the Vice President's meeting in which he inquired about investigating the claim via the CIA didn't even happen until February 13th.

So I would still like to see Valerie and Joe questioned extensively and under oath, as well as others at the CIA.  
Not A Poet
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141 posted 03-25-2007 10:53 PM       View Profile for Not A Poet   Email Not A Poet   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Not A Poet's Home Page   View IP for Not A Poet

Then the questions still remains. Why were they notoriously not outsoken when Reno did the same dirty deed, times ten? Oh wait, she was part of a democrat administration. It was all right in that case. Besides, that was then and this is now. Vacuous argument. This is nothing but political hanky-panky, to clean up the language a bit.
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142 posted 03-26-2007 12:07 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Forget it, Pete. Neither you or I will get the acknowledgements that we consider obvious and logical. After the transparency of the Dubai port purchase outrage, complete with bold headlines that meant nothing, after the call for rolling heads concerning the surveillance programs which fizzled into nothing, after the calls for the firings of a large part of the administrative staff, to incluse the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Speaker of the House, and the impeachment of Bush....after years of the constant Democrat attacks, aided by the media with complete silence about the strength of the economy or even one single good thing that has happened in either the United States or Iraq.....after all of these things and more which you would think that any level-headed or reasonable mind would be able to recognized as personal and biased attacks, orchestrated by the Democrat congressional elite, still you are not going to get one person to concede that which is obvious to millions of people.....that it is all personal, biased rhetoric aimed at bringing down the rooster Bush and having nothing to do with the good of the country.

We may as well leave it at that.....

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143 posted 03-26-2007 12:18 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
They do when they have a Democrat in the oval office ...

Uh, they don't currently have a Democrat in the oval office, Mike.

quote:
Interesting comparison, Ron....drug dealing and grand theft auto used.

The interesting part, Mike, is that you want to deify one and demonize the other. Yet, from where I sit, it's increasingly hard to tell the difference. Both, I think, still require very careful review.

quote:
Why were they notoriously not outsoken when Reno did the same dirty deed, times ten?

It's questionable whether Reno did the same dirty deed, Pete. Remember, the problem isn't with firing Attorneys but rather with exacting political vengeance on them.

Still, even if you're convinced Reno did something horribly wrong, it's not necessarily the role of the Democrats to blow the whistle. Not in an adversarial system. That role falls to the opposing party. So, if wrongs were indeed committed, the question you should be asking is why the Republicans didn't do their jobs.

I honestly don't see the big deal, guys. We're talking about scrutinizing the actions of politicians to insure they are within acceptable parameters. When did that become a conspiracy? If they don't pass scrutiny, we'll have strengthened our country by making sure it doesn't continue. If they do pass scrutiny, if no fault is found, then no harm is done.

I repeat: No harm is done. That is, unless you really think everyone in this country except you is stupid?


iliana
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144 posted 03-26-2007 02:13 AM       View Profile for iliana   Email iliana   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for iliana

Thought I was through in here, but I just have to add one thing so the debate which has shifted to the so-called "political firings" of 8 U.S. attorneys, is based on a little fact.  According to the following article from "Time" those fired were Republican, not Democratic.  So if it isn't about party affiliation and it isn't about job performance as initially claimed, then there is definitely something worth investigating here and that is probably all I will say on the matter.   http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1597085,00.html
Mistletoe Angel
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145 posted 03-26-2007 02:51 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
I honestly don't see the big deal, guys. We're talking about scrutinizing the actions of politicians to insure they are within acceptable parameters. When did that become a conspiracy? If they don't pass scrutiny, we'll have strengthened our country by making sure it doesn't continue. If they do pass scrutiny, if no fault is found, then no harm is done.?


Absolutely agree.

Look, there are many Attorney Generals in recent history who have been caught up in notorious or at least questionable situations. Under the Reagan Era, Edwin Meese was highly involved in the Iran-Contra Affair and his legacy remains tainted by that episode. Under the Nixon Era, John Newton Mitchell became the first US Attorney General ever to be convicted and imprisoned due to his role in the Watergate break-in and cover-up. And under the Clinton Era, as has already been noted, Janet Reno and her poor leadership in the Waco incident.

Certainly I think we'd all like to keep those like Meese and Mitchell and Reno from again pervading these institutions and making a mockery of the judicial and executive power structures for political or superficial means. And I defend my belief that Gonzales has abused his power as well in heart, but I certainly believe he should be offered fair scrutiny organized in a bi-partisan manner.

*

quote:
Through all the partisanship, it is often forgotten that there is another problem here. This administration claims an unprecedented amount of and seeks to increase executive power over the other two branches.

Now, if you agree with the expansion, well, I suppose it makes sense to blame everything on dems and ignore all the complaints coming from the paleo-conservative and libertarian crowd.


I haven't forgotten, Brad, and that is exactly what's humming flourescently in my head when I started several particular posts in the past here around warrantless wiretapping, the John Yoo memo and the mass readings of e-mail and other personal information in particular.

I certainly agree some concerns of civil liberty erosions are exaggerated and propagandized just like threats of terrorism are sometimes, and as I've stated constantly before I believe neither of the two parties that make up our duopoly are divorced of those kind of propagandized scare tactics. However, I believe when most Americans do believe we are heading in the wrong direction, and do believe the scope of executive power is being exceeded and taken too far, Americans have the right to be upset and question our liberties are under attack.

June 15, 2006 Department of Defense Letter (In Response To January 5, 2006 FOIA Request)

*

One such example where I believe there is right to be concern is, as previously noted, revealed in this transcript of a letter from the Department of Defense as requested under a Freedom of Information Act response, and according to this transcript, the DOD appeared to admit to some degree that they have monitored a much wider spectrum of student organizations than was earlier acknowledged. Their admissions included conducting surveillance of groups protesting the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for gays and lesbians in the armed forces, as well as students protesting the war at State University of New York at Albany, William Paterson University in New Jersey, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of California at Berkeley (the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement), despite NONE of the reports in the documentation indicating any terrorist activity by the students who were monitored.

What you just brought up also hummed in my head (and, as you said, the heads of many traditional conservatives and libertarians as well) the Military Commissions Act of last year, which basically argues that: "The president has the authority for the United States to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions."

To put it another way, the central question of what CIA interrogators may do to suspects who might be innocent would be determined not by law but by the president himself, and that the president would have to release publicly those executive orders when he issues them. And though the final deal explicitly states the definition of torture as "severe physical or mental pain and suffering", it also seems to leave open the door ajar on alternative interrogation techniques such as waterboarding.

So the upshoot of that deal is that torture is not prohibited, and really leaves the president with a wide scope of executive power. Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor from George Washington University I thought gave a great analogy, where this is like "telling a teenager that I don‘t want you driving at 90 miles an hour" and then he thinks "Gosh, I can live with that, I‘d go to 89!"

This also gives an earlier torture memo some legitimacy, where Alberto Gonzales said in that memo that that they could do anything short of organ failure or death. And when you bundle it all up with that John Yoo memo following the September 11th attacks that basically suggested that the president could do anything he wants as long as he's fighting terrorism, it leaves our international law and treaties vulnerable to grave violations and moral cavities.

Moreover, in this case, the Geneva Convention cannot be cited in a federal case or trial. In terms of democracy, it basically tells everyone, "You can look, but you can't touch and you can't play!"  You also can't cite international sources in foreign cases under this.

It's exactly bills like that that reiterate why we have become so unpopular in the international community recently, and why again I speak out when I learn of such things. The bottom line is, I don't care who is in office, or what party the person in office is affliated with, or what shoe size that person has, or what that person's Junior League batting average was. I feel in heart when any such individual is attempting any such power grab or expansion of executive powet that undermines our checks and balances and democratic cornerstones, I have an obligatory conscience to speak out, and while it may seem I'm particularly tough toward this current administration in that I didn't start participating in discussions here until shortly after the war in Iraq began in March of 2003, I assure others here I would do just likewise should a Democratic president be elected in 2008 or any year in the near future when he/she attempts just that same sort of thing, or any form of immense corruption as I have already denounced of William Jefferson and his frozen chump change, or Jack Murtha and his Abscam days, or Alsea Hastings and his history of corruption, etc.

Cox Washington: July 30, 2006

The American Chronicle: March 21, 2007

Others can scoff at these concerns as "constant Democrat attacks" or "personal, biased rhetoric" as they wish, but I cannot betray my conscience when it feels that something is wrong with the picture, and I know I'm certainly not alone when I hear from conservatives and libertarians like Bruce Fein, John Dean, William Buckley, David Keene, Richard Viguerie and Ron Paul among many others have spoken out arguably even more audibly than I have on the exact same sort of thing; denouncing any sort of presidential power grab.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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146 posted 03-26-2007 03:10 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I want to highlight the "Freedom Pledge" here, organized by the conservative group American Freedom Agenda, which I hinted on in my previous response:

*

The American Chronicle: March 21, 2007


Freedom Pledge


I, (candidate), hereby pledge that if elected President of the United States I will undertake the following to restore the Constitution's checks and balances, to honor fundamental protections against injustice, and to eschew usurpations oflegislative or judicial power.These are keystones of national security and individual freedom:

1. No Military Commissions Except on the Battlefield. I will not employ military commissions to prosecute offenses against the laws of war except in places where active hostilities are ongoing and a battlefield tribunal is necessary to obtain fresh testimony and to prevent local anarchy or chaos.

2. No Evidence Extracted by Torture or Coercion. I will not permit the use of evidence obtained by torture or coercion to be admissible in a military commission or other tribunal.

3. No Detaining Citizens as Unlawful Enemy Combatants. I will not detain any American citizen as an unlawful enemy combatant. Citizens accused of terrorism-linked crimes will be prosecuted in federal civilian courts.

4. RestoringHabeas Corpus for Suspected Alien Enemy Combatants. I will detain non-citizens as enemy combatants only if they have actively participated in actual hostilities against the United States. I will urge Congress to amend the Military Commissions Act of 2006 to permit any individual detained under the custody or control of the United States government to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in federal courts.

5. Prohibiting Warrantless Spying bythe National Security Agency in Violation of Law. I will prohibit the National Security Agency from gathering foreign intelligence except in conformity with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, and end the NSA's domestic surveillance program that targets American citizens on American soil for warrantless electronic surveillance.

6. Renouncing Presidential Signing Statements. I will not issue presidential signing statements declaring the intent to disregard provisions of a bill that I have signed into law because I believe they are unconstitutional. Instead, I will veto any bill that I believe contains an unconstitutional provision and ask Congress to delete it and re-pass the legislation.

7. Ending Secret Government by Invoking State Secrets Privilege. I will not invoke the state secrets privilege to deny remedies to individuals victimized by constitutional violations perpetrated by government officials or agents. I will not assert executive privilege to deny Congress information relevant to oversight or legislation unless supreme state secrets are involved. In that case, I will submit the privilege claim to a legislative-executive committee for definitive resolution.

8. Stopping Extraordinary Renditions. I will order the cessation of extraordinary renditions except where the purpose of the capture and transportation of the suspected criminal is for prosecution according to internationally accepted standards of fairness and due process.

9. Stopping Threats to Prosecuting Journalists under the Espionage Act. I will urge Congress to amend the Espionage Act to create a journalistic exception for reporting on matters relating to the national defense. As a matter of prosecutorial discretion, until such an amendment is enacted I will not prosecute journalists for alleged Espionage Act violations except for the intentional disclosure of information that threatens immediate physical harm to American troops or citizens at home or abroad.

10. Ending the Listing of Individuals or Organizations as Terrorists Based on Secret Evidence. I will not list individuals or organizations as foreign terrorists or foreign terrorist organizations for purposes of United States or international law based on secret evidence.

I will issue a public report annually elaborating on how the actions enumerated in paragraphs 1-10 have strengthened the ability of the United States to defeat international terrorism, secure fundamental freedoms, and preserve the nation's democratic dispensation.

___________________________

(Candidate)

Date: ______________________

Presented by Bill haymin, 2007


*

*

So, indeed, it's traditional conservatives and libertarians that are equally as upset and angry with this executive power grab as liberals and progressives are, perhaps even moreso and rightfully so.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

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147 posted 03-26-2007 02:01 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I honestly don't see the big deal, guys. We're talking about scrutinizing the actions of politicians to insure they are within acceptable parameters. When did that become a conspiracy? If they don't pass scrutiny, we'll have strengthened our country by making sure it doesn't continue. If they do pass scrutiny, if no fault is found, then no harm is done.
I repeat: No harm is done. That is, unless you really think everyone in this country except you is stupid?


That's a very interesting statement, Ron, and I find it quite short-sighted, with all due respect. Hey, guys! I have an idea. Let's all get together and thrown mud at Ron Carnell's house! As long as no windows get broken there's no damage done and, besides, the next rain will wash it off so what the heck??

Your statement is right out of the Democrat playbook. The Democratic actions over the past couple of years have two facets. First, the charges themselves. They went bonkers over the Dubai port deal. They screamed about the dangers of foreign ownership of our ports at a time when they knew that over 60% of our ports are foreign-owned. Did that strengthen our country? Did that endear Dubai, a strong ally and supporter of ours in the Middle East, to us? Tell me again about the no harm done point you raise. What about the Bush surveillance actions they condemned and screamed for investigations over  at the same time they were saying that they were NOT saying that the actions were necessarily wrong? How exactly did that strengthen our country again? What about Bush's military service record they raised such a big stink about....this coming from a party who had just had a President for eight years who had left the country and made anti-American speeches in Europe while avoiding military service altogether. You claim that if they don't pass scrutiny, our country is strengthened. What if they DO pass scrutiny? What happens then? What happens is that the Democrats drop it and hope people will forget about it quickly without even the courtesy of an acknowledgement.

The second facet is their procedures. This is much more despicable. What would you do, Ron, if you felt a fellow worker was procedurally out of line? Would you ask for an explanation or would you run through the office screaming "Tom is out of line! He's doing things the wrong way!!!" Would you then stand on your desk and let everyone know within earshot that Tom is a jerk, disrespectful of the rules of the office and completely oblivious to how the work should be done? Would you post signs on the office bulletin boards demanding Tom be fired for such incredible behavior? If you would, then you would be following the same procedures the Democrats employ. They don't just see something they consider may be wrong and try to investigate it with the parties concerned. They make it glaring headlines the next morning. They line up to make speeches on prime time news condemning it before even knowing whether or not it is worthy of condemnation. They make no attempt to reconcile it first. They want the publicity, the hoopla. They want to publicly shout out their disdain. They want to scream CRIMINAL!, even when no criminal action has been committed.  No harm done, Ron? Well, I suppose not if you don't consider trying to tear the country apart as harmful or if you don't feel that the world opinion of the United States going downhill while watching these constant attacks on the administration is harmful. I guess it's just boys will be boys, right?

I understand what you're saying, Ron, and I don't disagree under normal conditions. In a perfect, or even  reasonable, atmosphere, you make sense. It's good to be vigilant and question and run checks and balances. If wrongdoing is found, it can be corrected and prevented in the future. If it is not found, the accuser or questioner can simply say, "Thank you . It was my duty to question and I appreciate your response and explanation."  We do not have that here. We have members of a political party on constant feeding frenzies, using whatever ammo they can find in the loudest possible way to meet their objective, which is NOT the good of the country or it's reputation, but to get Bush and the administration. When a point is satisfied, there is no "thank you", there is simply a walk away and a search for the next point they can bring up to continue the assault.....and, if you can't see that, I understand that laser surgery works great on short-sighted vision.
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148 posted 03-26-2007 02:07 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah, you are going to claim that is the thinking of all, or even a majority, of traditional conservatives just because one organization came up with it? Please....

Iliana, yes, there should indeed be an investigation....over why there is an investigation!
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149 posted 03-26-2007 02:35 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Still, even if you're convinced Reno did something horribly wrong, it's not necessarily the role of the Democrats to blow the whistle. Not in an adversarial system. That role falls to the opposing party. So, if wrongs were indeed committed, the question you should be asking is why the Republicans didn't do their jobs.

I see. So basically you are saying that members of Congress are not required to speak out  against any wrongdoing if committed by a member of their own party. What does that say about "doing what's good for the country? Do you teach that brand of philosophy in your classes, Ron? Would you raise your children to grow up with those guidelines?

They say golf is the sport with the most integrity because the players call fouls on themselves. I'll assume then that politicians do not play the sport
 
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