Foreign and Defense Policy

Libertarians still wrong and confused on national security

Gage Skidmore (Flickr) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gage Skidmore (Flickr) (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Over at reason.com, Nick Gillespie takes issue with my post on the Christie vs. Paul contretemps of last week. To review the bidding, Christie ripped into Rand Paul and his fellow travelers at Reason and elsewhere for willfully misunderstanding and miscasting NSA surveillance programs. I piled on, adding a failed attempt by Representative Justin Amash to shut down certain NSA surveillance programs to the growing body of evidence that libertarians and their pals on the far left are gaining steam, mustering the courage of their ill-informed convictions. Gillespie, whom I have never known as a natsec type, believes the Amash amendment “would have brought NSA domestic surveillance of US citizens into rough compliance with the Constitution,” among other wonderful things. I am loath to pass myself off as an expert on the Constitution, so I’ll let others take on that particular aspect of the argument. Let’s just talk about the NSA for a moment.

My colleague Marc Thiessen took on those Republicans who sided with Amash and, um, John Conyers last week in the Washington Post yesterday:

The House voted down an amendment by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) that would have killed this vital intelligence program. The program survived by just seven votes. What changed? This time around 94 House Republicans voted against the NSA program — including 50 who had voted to authorize the exact same program two years before.

Does the NSA peer into the calls and emails of individual Americans, idly thumbing through them like prurient redditors? Ask Mike Hayden, the former NSA director:

Properly used, metadata collection was not about targeting Americans. It was about determining who in America deserved (in all meanings of the word: legally, morally, operationally) to be targeted.

And, as Steve Bradbury, the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department during this period, has pointed out, “At least 14 federal judges have approved the NSA’s acquisition of this data every 90 days since 2006 under the business records provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

And btw:

The data lies fallow until the NSA can put a question to it based on a predicate related to terrorism and only terrorism. A little more than 20 people at the NSA get to do this, under close supervision, and the agency reports that this happens about 300 times a year.

Would Amash’s amendment have “shut down” the metadata program, a tool that was a key missing piece in pre-9/11 counterterrorism efforts according to the joint intel committee report post 9/11? Yes. Read the text.

Now let’s take on the notion that part of the problem lies in bad communications between Congress and the executive on classified programs. Some, like Marc, argue that Bush and Obama alike have been more than proactive. Possibly, and perhaps the ignorance of so many members is due to their failure to attend briefings rather than the absence of briefings in the first place. But apparently my argument is a subterfuge; bad comms aren’t the problem. The problem is that the American people have WOKEN UP — grace à Snowden and the Pauls and Amashs — and really want to hightail it back to the 1930′s where bad people and bad stuff was someone else’s problem. Those were great times.

Let’s have this argument. My view is that the years since World War II were good years for the country. Or was our prosperity solely built upon the hard work of Americans at home without credit to the freer trade, freer nations, greater security, fewer tyrants, and global compact led by the United States of America? My view is that the most important role of government is to keep the American people safe. Not everything it does is good or right.  But it certainly isn’t, by definition, wrong. By all means, let’s talk about defense budgets and engagement and Syria and Libya and all that. And let’s do it based on honest arguments and facts. Let me know when you want to start a respectful and, er, reasoned colloquoy.

PS: Thanks for the title of your blog post, Nick, “Defender of Failed Interventions, Surveillance State Attacks Rand Paul, Justin Amash.” I toyed with “Isolationist Terrorist Lover Defends America Firsters, Other Isolationists” to headline this post, but it seemed rather mean.

51 thoughts on “Libertarians still wrong and confused on national security

  1. what is driving the revolt is two things:

    1. – people do not like the dragnet approach

    2. – the NSA and the FISA courts are not perceived as being honest… but rather defiant…

    The NSA seems to have lied … and they are playing word syntax games.. and the truth is that Congress itself did not seem to be aware of what NSA was really doing until Snow spilled the beans. In other words, the NSA had not made sure that Congress did know the extent of their activities – either that or a bunch of Congressman are lying…

    something is rotten in Denmark and the NSA seems to be the source of the stench.

      • we do what the Constitution tells us.

        we have the national dialogue about it and we communicate that to our elected and they act in our behalf and if they don’t we replace them.

        what would you do instead?

      • How about stop spying on ordinary citizens and get rid of ‘judges’ that act as rubber stamps? How about prohibiting the security agencies to write their own warrants? How about protecting liberty?

        • I thinking.. you got a guy sitting at a computer screen and a ‘pattern’ between two phone numbers emerges…

          and the guy/gal and their supervisor and management then say:

          ” stop. we have to get a warrant to go further” even though this guy might want to blow up something this afternoon.

          right…

          The NSA will admit this in a round a bout way…and they’ll even challenge you that they should halt from ‘protecting’ ….

          but what they don’t really do is admit they will pursue in real-time if they feel the need -and the warrants are downstream paperwork.

          • Only a fool thinks that spending this type of money on spy games is effective. Your agencies knew about the Boston Bombing suspects yet they supposedly did what they did unimpeded. They knew about the 9/11 people yet fell asleep at the switch. They have done very little to stop attacks and the ones that have been supposedly stopped have been entrapment games played on idiots who went along with suggestions made by the authorities.

            If you want more liberty and safety you want a smaller, less intrusive State.

          • the money? sheete.. I’m worried about some NSA weenie tapping my phone over some dumbass mistake…or sending a SWAT team to take down the terrorist in the basement….

          • That is not a solution, that is a rant. And on this subject that is pretty much all I have seen.

            It is not a rant. The solution is to stop treating everyone as a criminal and to put in jail the bureaucrats who violate the Constitution and the laws. Just because you are scared of your own shadow does not mean that everyone else should lose his/her privacy.

  2. No one is concerned with the metadata. Why did you bring it up? It is less relevant to the issue than “stand your ground” was to the GZ trial. I am concerned with the data data, you know the actual phone conversation and email content. The safe guards of which you speak are ephemeral at best and most likely non-existent. Let’s pretend for a moment that a HS dropout or a busted E3 were really, really bad people. Name one person who hasn’t published or spoken some phrase that can’t be used as a blackmail tool? Even if that person exists, with today’s technology that scenario could be manufactured. In closing, name one plot, the NSA has protected us from, via their intel. From the mid 60′s Walker spy ring to the 2013 Snowden, not one, nada, squato. We already know people have accessed this type of data for less than honorable reasons. Hint: a former FLOTUS not Roslyn, Nancy,Barbara, Laura.

  3. I would argue that both Libertarian and Conservative positions on foreign policy are more or less incomplete. The goal of foreign policy (in which I include anti-terrorism efforts) is three fold. Projecting US power abroad, protecting US interests abroad, and protecting US citizens at home and abroad. This last area is the most salient for dealing with the question of anti-terrorism efforts and funding. While this has been the primary focus or our nation’s foreign policy efforts over the last decade, putting this in to perspective, more American’s have been killed in the last ten years from domestic crimes than have been killed by terrorists in all of US history. This then leads to, what I consider to be, the most important question, if the goal is to save US lives, wouldn’t the trillions of dollars spent on anti-terrorism be better spent on curbing domestic crime, or cancer research, or other safety issues, all of which individually far outpace the death rate associated with terrorism. It is possible to maintain a certain elevated level of security against terrorism while allocating significantly more tax dollars to efforts which will save many more American lives, while preserving our international posture than we do with our current over concentration on terrorism. The goal of terrorism is not to kill people, it is to invoke terror and cause the enemy to “kill” itself. I would say that the terrorists have performed admirably while we have not. I feel no safer than I did on 9/12/01, yet I am in a position where I practically refuse to travel, not because of fear of terrorism, but because of fear of having my liberty and privacy deprived by my own government. While that is perhaps an over exaggeration, it is in accordance with the over exaggeration the US government has placed on security over liberty with respect to anti-terrorism measures.

    • The goal of foreign policy (in which I include anti-terrorism efforts) is three fold. Projecting US power abroad, protecting US interests abroad, and protecting US citizens at home and abroad.

      These goals are not compatible. To project power abroad you need a bigger government which is a bigger threat to your personal security than any terrorist hiding in some cave and trying to get you out of some foreign country. The last time I looked foreigners were not putting your kids in jail for smoking pot at home. They did not fine you because your shower head or toilet tank were not approved by the EPA. They did not break into your home in the middle of the night with guns and shoot your dog because some police informant gave them the wrong address. And they did not take 65% of everything that you earn in taxes.

      • You are correct. Foreigners are disrupting our trade routes, threatening our citizens with violence, and encroaching on our allies. To suggest that our foreign policy goals are incompatible because we do worse things to ourselves is extremely convoluted logic. Perhaps I needed to further clarify the definition of foreign policy to say that it protects US citizens at home and abroad from foreign threats. Protection from domestic threats would be domestic policy. Now it is certainly possible that the policy proscriptions provided by foreign and domestic policy could be (and more often than not are) in conflict, but the suggestion made above is a fault in logic, not in policy.

        • I’m going to agree with Vangel.

          We have a very, very large and domestically intrusive security footprint these days.

          we now spend for national defense virtually all of what we take in – in income taxes about 1.4T.

          here are JUST the Federal Agencies:

          United States Department of State (DOS)[edit]
          Bureau of Diplomatic Security
          Diplomatic Security Service (DSS)
          United States Department of the Treasury[edit]
          Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division (IRS-CID)
          Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA)
          United States Mint Police (USMP)
          United States Treasury Police – merged into the US Secret Service Uniformed Division in 1986.
          United States Department of Defense (DOD)[edit]
          Defense Criminal Investigative Service(DCIS)
          Pentagon Force Protection Agency
          Department of the Army
          United States Army Criminal Investigation Division (Army CID)
          United States Army Military Police Corps
          Department of the Air Force
          Air Force Office of Special Investigations (Airforce OSI)
          Air Force Security Forces
          Department of the Air Force Police
          Department of the Navy
          Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
          Office of Naval Intelligence Police (ONI Police)
          Marine Corps Provost Marshal’s Office
          United States Marine Corps Criminal Investigation Division (USMC CID)
          National Security Agency
          National Security Agency Police (NSA Police)
          United States Department of Justice (DOJ)[edit]
          Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
          Drug Enforcement Administration (since 1973)
          Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (1968–73)
          Federal Bureau of Narcotics (1930–68)
          Bureau of Prohibition (1927–33)
          Bureau of Drug Abuse Control (1966–68)
          Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
          Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
          United States Marshals Service (USMS)
          United States Department of the Interior (USDI)[edit]
          Bureau of Indian Affairs Police
          Bureau of Land Management Office of Law Enforcement & Security
          National Park Service
          National Park Rangers
          United States Park Police
          U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement
          United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)[edit]
          U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and Investigations
          Office of Inspector General
          United States Department of Commerce (DOC)[edit]
          National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement
          United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)[edit]
          Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
          Office of Criminal Investigations
          United States Department of Education (ED)[edit]
          Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
          United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)[edit]
          United States Department of Veterans Affairs Police
          United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)[edit]
          United States Coast Guard (USCG)
          Coast Guard Police (CGPD)
          Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS)
          United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
          United States Border Patrol (USBP)
          Federal Protective Service (FPS)
          United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
          United States Secret Service (USSS)
          Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
          Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS)
          Other Major Federal Law Enforcement Agencies[edit]
          Central Intelligence Agency Security Protective Service (SPS)
          Federal Reserve Police
          Library of Congress Police
          Smithsonian National Zoological Park Police
          United States Capitol Police (USCP)
          United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS)
          United States Probation Service (USPO)
          United States Supreme Court Police

          every one of these agencies is also providing taxpayer-funded=pensions and healthcare to their workforces which total in the millions.

          • Which is why we need a civilian security force as well eqipted and financed as our military, according to obama 2008……..that’s right on camera but I’m on my nook right now…….just go youtube and type in. Obama civilian security force.

          • Might be wrong but doesn’t the dept of education of all people have SWAT team, or atleast something very similar?

        • Foreigners are disrupting our trade routes, threatening our citizens with violence, and encroaching on our allies.

          Are they? Which foreigners are disrupting YOUR trade routes? And why do YOUR ALLIES need the American taxpayers to pay for their protection? It seems to me that the Chinese have done quite well using the same trade routes as you do without spending much to project their power abroad. They trade with the same countries that you consider YOUR ALLIES without spending money to build military bases abroad.

          To suggest that our foreign policy goals are incompatible because we do worse things to ourselves is extremely convoluted logic.

          It isn’t convoluted at all. The biggest threat to your personal liberty does not come from abroad but from the growth of the welfare/warfare state at home. It is the State the confiscates more than 65% of your earnings via taxes, fees, charges, etc. It is the State that regulates your property via thousands of mostly invisible regulations and regulates almost all of your daily activities. It is the State that reads your e-mail and listens to your phone calls. It is the State that determines whether you are to be stopped and searched as you go about your daily business. Whenever you decide that the State needs more money and support its meddling abroad you lose more of your freedom.

          Perhaps I needed to further clarify the definition of foreign policy to say that it protects US citizens at home and abroad from foreign threats. Protection from domestic threats would be domestic policy.

          I think that your problem is that you have no really clarified the definition of the word protection. Is that what you think that your government really does? How exactly does it protect you by occupying Afghanistan and Iraq or building military bases in Japan, Germany, Korea, or Lebanon?

          Now it is certainly possible that the policy proscriptions provided by foreign and domestic policy could be (and more often than not are) in conflict, but the suggestion made above is a fault in logic, not in policy.

          The logic is clear. The bigger the welfare/warfare State the less freedom that you have. After all, you are asked to pay for the State’s activities whether you approve of them or not. The State is a monopoly when it comes to such activities and cannot offer you the protection you seek in an efficient manner. If you want true protection you might want to encourage a market in protection just as we have a market that delivers our food, shelter, computers, and other goods. Your government threatens your security far more than the handful of imagined enemies that you imagine are threatening you abroad because that is what all governments do. It is their nature and it is built into the system. If you want true protection you would be demanding a 90% cut in military spending, a 90% cut in the size of government at all levels, and the end to monopoly power.

  4. AEI’s argument here is even weaker than I thought. This article basically says, “Well, yeah, the power is there. But there are like, super serious safeguards, m-kay? The Feds never break those! Judges whose only job is to say yes to these requests have said yes! Clearly it’s legit!”

    All so that the NSA can keep a program that no one denies is a serious violation of liberty, but it swears is very important in stopping the terrorist threat. Despite the almost complete lack of evidence. Or the almost complete lack of meaningful terrorism.

    Or the simple truth that security is supposed to secure things, namely liberty and life, and is therefore meaningless if it sacrifices more of either than it saves.

  5. I have never heard anyone accuse the ACLU of possessing libertarian tendencies, but this article on the ACLU website nails the metadata problem:

    Metadata, no matter what the detractors say, collected over time is an intimate repository of our lives–whom we love, whom we’re friends with, where we work, where we worship (or don’t), and whom we associate with politically. The right to privacy means our metadata shouldn’t be collected and analyzed without reasonable suspicion that we’ve done something wrong.

  6. People ( particularly those on the left) were suspicious of the Patriot Act, but wariness has increased under this administration. The IRS scandal and other intrusive acts by this government (over-criminalization, over-regulation) demonstrate that this administration will go after those who oppose their programs.

    The question becomes how do you separate the attempt to locate terrorist connections and those attempting to harm us — from those who are normal Americans who prize their privacy? Once trust is destroyed, it’s hard to get back. Yet trying to catch communications between someone in this country and known terrorism centers seems to me to be an essential task.

    We have significant numbers of those belonging to terrorist organizations in this country, and Political Correctness is doing immense damage to any effort to identify them. Our intelligence professionals are being hamstrung, and the Bradley Mannings and Edward Snowdens among them complicate matters. The American people need some evidence that their concerns are recognized and answered.

    • yeah I don’t think Obama had anything to do with it but that guy Mike Hayden did… and does.. and also supported torture and holding people without charges, etc.

      Obama has actually opposed those things.

      so we ought to be honest about who advocates for what and the American people are figuring this out and words from the pro-NSA surrogates are not going to fool them.

      Hayen is in this up to his neck IMHO.

  7. the first half of that was some kind of Post hoc ergo propter hoc, phenomenon that wasn’t even followed up by a principle other than proving this must literally be right or true outside of a D or R assumption process.

    Yeah MORE VOTED AGAINST IT THIS GO AROUND.

    This is a terrible article, not because of the opinion but because it’s very, extremely poorly put together in any sort of outline fashion.

    Theissen helped make people’s points on this point in terms of “data gathering” that apparently is so “successful” that it can be used for all sorts of reasons against any target chosen like let’s say WHISTLE BLOWERS and politicians working together behind the scenes.

    Then we go into some technical (parody) this is what has technically happened, that involves no actual end argument or principle.

    It’s like arguing with a liberal about marriage then they riddle you off technically the roll the government plays in marriage as if that makes some kind of point of principle or desire.

    Because a car is painted a color in this certain way doesn’t mean you have to like the color of the car or the car.

    I could go on and on and on about the structural problems of your article, much less the obvious more and more power problems of information WHICH IS POWER.

    Who proof read this?

  8. “yeah I don’t think Obama had anything to do with it but that guy Mike Hayden did… and does.. and also supported torture and holding people without charges, etc.”

    ‘Obama has actually opposed those things.” Larry throw whatever out there G……..and hope it sticks.

    CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN

    1. fought for, and won, the ability to keep detanies indefinitely.

    2. fought for, and won, the ability of extraordinary renditions… 9th circuit of appeals no less. Like the mobster driving the executee to the hole with the shooter waiting. They call this moral.

    3. put a death warrant on an american citizen overseas…..WE ALL SEE THE NATURAL PROGRESSION OF THIS CORRECT? Remember that america is now a “battlefield”, which = work around for habeus corpus. Key word…….”invasion”. And no he’s not the only one. never be fooled by the term “independent” or “liberal” on these issues. And yes bush did the same thing in terms of a hit board and I’m sure he’d agree with invasion and battlefield premises (constitutional points)

    4. GITMO STILL OPEN …………and will stay open. PRINCIPLES are great until the bill comes due. Liberals will just call THEIR FAILURE TO FOLLOW THROUGH an injustice created by SOMEONE ELSE.

    5. MILITARY TRIBUNALS after PREACHING to everyone else about “an open justice system for the world to see”….. Had a couple cases, one with some young guy that I think was a minor at the time of capture. outside that………sssshhhh…….don’t tell anyone.

    6. EXTENDED THE PATRIOT ACT on a saturday morning.

    • GITMO remains open why?

      Obama is trying to either put GIMTO prisoners in US prisons and who is opposed?

      or he wants to return them to their native countries and who is opposed?

      and he wants to try them and give them the opportunity to defend themselves and who is opposed?

      it’s pretty clear the folks who kidnapped people and put them in Gitmo without a trial and without any way to adjudicate their imprisonment – are not Obama….

      to this point, it’s crystal clear who the folks are that want to keep Gitmo open and keep people imprisoned without a trail…

      and it’s the same people who now defend the NSA…drag netting of innocent Americans…

      • Larryg just made gitmo a semantics argument. Not in gitmo but another prison. Signed an exec order promising a year, and dems didn’t go for it either when they had a super majority…….thus you the novice runs to a mere time argument, aka who’s in the house of reps currently. And obama knew all of this when he signed it. He knew he wouldn’t have the support, but children like ceremony and parades. It makes them feel all fuzzy inside, doesn’t it larryg? You have a lot of work to do larry.

      • That’s as bad as the out blaming reps for ZERO STIMULUS II, when dems needing only a simple majority WOULDNT PASS a tiny ,comparatively speaking, 30 billion stimulus measure. Of course those same dems, hide behind a known outcome, for the bigger package. Wouldn’t even pass 30 billion with only a simple majority needed………..and I can be honest and say, that dems over time are not the only guilty ones. Just stop trying to skate by rookie rackets is my suggestion to you larryg.

      • Also on camera is NANCY PELOSI CHUCKLING ,YOUTUBE, when she said……obama promised many things on the campaign trail (when she,reid and team obama were under fire for no cspan showings. Eventually they caved and put up what amount to a political show, both sides……..the creation was never seen actual. You really have no understanding of pr do you larryg, do you? But but but obama said, obama said, but but but…….lol

      • What’s even CLEARER, is that knowing you need legislative approval, that your parade ceremony EXEC ORDER WAS WORTHLESS…….and HE KNEW IT WHEN HE SIGNED IT.

        • “I’m a uniter not a divider”… “deficits don’t matter”, “I’m the decider”…

          “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”

          “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

          “I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.”

          “My answer is bring ‘em on.”

          “Mission Accomplished”

          Good GOD Chris!

          want more?

          • lol, poor larry, down to quotes that have nothing to do with gitmo policy ITSELF. LOL …………oh well has ran empty, so it’s time for diversion so folks assume this or that and just ramble on into something else.

            you are completely out of your league with me LarryG, it’s that simple. That quote, cliche dog won’t hunt my friend. :-)

          • Obama would close GITMO in a NY minute if it was up to him and all the liars know it.

            Obama has gotten the country out of Iraq and Afghanistan despite the loony NEOCONS that the liars seem to support.

            Obama took down the top guy in Al Qaeda when Mr. Bush fumbled around at Tora Bora and basically said he did not care.

            Obama did not create a prison like Abu Grieve

            ” “This is not the America I know,” President George W. Bush said after the first, horrifying pictures of U.S. troops torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq surfaced in April 2004. The President was not telling the truth. “This” was the America he had authorized on Feb. 7, 2002, when he signed a memorandum stating that the Third Geneva Convention — the one regarding the treatment of enemy prisoners taken in wartime — did not apply to members of al-Qaeda or the Taliban. That signature led directly to the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo….”

            Bush was an idiot. Obama delivered the goods and would have done even more if not for the feckless in Congress.

            truth.

          • “Obama would close GITMO in a NY minute if it was up to him and all the liars know it.”

            the exec order to jack off your mind was showboat worthless period. you know it. He said he would KNOWING HE COULDN’T and that folks like you would praise him for paper with names signed to it …… “LOOK WE HAVE PAPER WITH INK ON IT!….HALLELUJAH!”

            “Obama took down the top guy in Al Qaeda when Mr. Bush fumbled around at Tora Bora and basically said he did not care.”

            obama jumped out of no helicopter and killed noone. Also Carney gave some credit to information gathered for this end, to the bush administration. And even if bush was in office, he would still only say go do it. Bush wouldn’t have jumped out of no helicopter either.

            “Obama did not create a prison like Abu Grieve”

            that’s technically true……..so ok.

            So larryG please explain, how the combatants do fall under the geneva convention. HONEST question, being their isn’t a single sovereign thing about these types of forces. And the problem that team obama is facing is more than merely “a place of residence” IE ….which prison someone technically sits in. Even if they moved state side the legal problems are still there.

            now you’re going to ramble on with another set of quotes and cliches that mostly have no direct link to the subject. See you like doing that so folks chase the diversion thus you can keep arguing and throwing more quotes and cliches to chase. Then when pinned just say “nu uh that’s not true!” ……..lol.

          • “Obama would close GITMO in a NY minute if it was up to him and all the liars know it.”

            the exec order to jack off your mind was showboat worthless period. you know it. He said he would KNOWING HE COULDN’T and that folks like you would praise him for paper with names signed to it …… “LOOK WE HAVE PAPER WITH INK ON IT!….HALLELUJAH!” ”

            I would say he made clear his intentions and it was made clear to everyone why it did not happen.

            “Obama took down the top guy in Al Qaeda when Mr. Bush fumbled around at Tora Bora and basically said he did not care.”

            obama jumped out of no helicopter and killed noone. Also Carney gave some credit to information gathered for this end, to the bush administration. And even if bush was in office, he would still only say go do it. Bush wouldn’t have jumped out of no helicopter either.”

            Bush did do squat.. he was an idiot.. who got us into two wars on false pretenses, then set up kidnapping and torture, and walked away.

            “Obama did not create a prison like Abu Grieve”

            that’s technically true……..so ok.

            did not torture… did not hold people in secret without charges… did not tell the SCOTUS that Gitmo was outside their jurisdiction.. did not LIE about torture… etc…

            “So larryG please explain, how the combatants do fall under the geneva convention. HONEST question, being their isn’t a single sovereign thing about these types of forces. And the problem that team obama is facing is more than merely “a place of residence” IE ….which prison someone technically sits in. Even if they moved state side the legal problems are still there.”

            for a few, yes… for most, no. there were perfectly innocent people held in GITMO and no intention to deal with it from Bush and Company.

            now you’re going to ramble on with another set of quotes and cliches that mostly have no direct link to the subject. See you like doing that so folks chase the diversion thus you can keep arguing and throwing more quotes and cliches to chase. Then when pinned just say “nu uh that’s not true!” ……..lol.

            oh STFU fool.. Obama did not create that mess to start with and he has made substantial progress on resolving much of it … but you boys.. you don’t give credit unless he makes it all right – even though he created none of it.

            that’s how zealots think… lol? LMAO.. you guys are pitiful.

          • “Obama has gotten the country out of Iraq and Afghanistan”

            that just simply hands down period, isn’t true. Hands down that just isn’t true. So LarryG will say “NU UH THAT IS TRUE”………you can get on you tube and see that simply isn’t true in Afghanistan.

            But see, folks when people are willing to tell bold face lies like this…………………then you understand the mental issues that some of these people have.

          • “Obama has gotten the country out of Iraq and Afghanistan”

            that just simply hands down period, isn’t true. Hands down that just isn’t true. So LarryG will say “NU UH THAT IS TRUE”………you can get on you tube and see that simply isn’t true in Afghanistan.

            it’s in progress.. and the drawdown is significant and continuing.

            But see, folks when people are willing to tell bold face lies like this…………………then you understand the mental issues that some of these people have.

            no lie. the decision has been made and we are well on our way to having no significant military force in either country.

            where would we be if BUSH was still here?

          • There is LarryG trying to sound “reasonable” with no actual explanation. sound “reasonable” then start rambling again. Sound Reasonable yet give nothing.

            “for a few, yes… for most, no. there were perfectly innocent people held in GITMO and no intention to deal with it from Bush and Company.”

            thus obama is already given the out. There is just no way around this. OBAMA FIRST DAY said this WILL HAPPEN PERIOD. knowing he wasn’t telling the truth. IT’S THAT SIMPLE……….

          • I’ve said what I’ve had to say on this. I could care less about “beating YOU”………you’re just one person.

          • “no lie. the decision has been made and we are well on our way to having no significant military force in either country.”

            that’s not what you said. PERIOD.

            ok done. bye bye paw paw lol.

  9. Most people, I suspect, are willing (for now) to take the word of Hayden, Alexander et al. that such domestic data as is gathered is not being used in any way to target Americans — the ones anyway who aren’t actively communicating with known terrorists. But few people, I suspect, don’t also worry that down the road this apparatus could be used for domestic surveillance. Obviously it could. Its most passionate supporters have to face the truth: promises made now may be broken in the future. It’s the apparatus that’s the concern, not the intentions of those currently using it.

      • then people will just use more redundant measures. the game will just change. Then of course more strict laws must be forced in order to control even the most trivial of activities. Precisely what they want. If they can’t destroy us directly they’ll let us do it to ourselves.

        • 1. Thanks for the reply.
          2. I believe you are missing my point. That being any law or policy can (and has been) be abused.

          this is a part of a simple question I’ve been asking people.
          What Do You Want To do? Those who have problems with the NSA and this program. How Do We Fix It? What Do You Want To Do? I see a lot of complaints (both here and elsewhere), what i don’t see is anything like a practical solution.

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