July 18, 2006 2:17 PM PDT

Attorney general: Bush blocked review of spy program

WASHINGTON--Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday resumed his defense of the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program, while admitting that the president prevented a review of the program earlier this year by Justice Department lawyers.

Gonzales reiterated the president's recent pledge to submit the National Security Agency program to review by a secret court as long as Congress passes a new law that satisfies the White House's demands.

"At the end of the day, we will have a decision by the court saying what the president is doing is, in fact, constitutional," Gonzales said in his second appearance before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee here since the secret surveillance came to light.

Gonzales said Bush refused to give the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility access to the classified program. The office announced in May that it was unable to conduct an investigation into the role department lawyers had played in developing the National Security Agency's eavesdropping program, which targets overseas telephone calls and the e-mails of Americans suspected of having ties to terrorists.

Several areas of inquiry
Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, asked Gonzales why Bush had declined access. "Many other lawyers in the Department of Justice had clearance. Why not OPR?" he asked.

Noting the importance of the program, Gonzales said: "The president of the United States makes decisions about who is ultimately given access."

The official faced more than three hours of at-times stern questioning from both political parties on a wide range of topics, ranging from funding for local law enforcement at the nation's Mexican borders to how the administration investigates leaks of sensitive information to the press.

The topic of the NSA spy program weighed heavy on the minds of many committee members, particularly Democrats inflamed about a draft bill negotiated by the Bush administration and Specter.

Specter said last week that the president agreed to submit the NSA program for review provided that Congress passed a "compromise" version of that legislation, which has not yet formally been made public.

Civil liberties groups have assailed the version they were able to obtain, calling it a "sham." They've criticized it on a number of fronts, such as failing to require that the current surveillance programs or any future ones be vetted by a court, sweeping all legal proceedings involving such eavesdropping to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and eroding Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by requiring less information before such activities can gain approval.

Democrats take aim
In a letter to Specter on Tuesday, the committee's eight Democrats urged him to hold another hearing on the new version of the bill before bringing it to a vote. Among other concerns, they said they had "little doubt" that "many types of surveillance that now require a warrant will no longer require one if your bill is enacted."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who serves as committee co-chairman, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, pressed the attorney general on why he didn't decide to submit the program for review earlier.

"You talk about the enormous authority he has...There's nothing to stop him from doing that today, is there?" Leahy asked.

"The president could submit an application, but the court may not have any jurisdiction or authority to rule on the application," Gonzales said. He was referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has the authority to approve individual wiretapping requests when at least one end of the communication is outside the United States.

Specter attempted to downplay the criticism of his compromise proposal and concessions to the president. Whatever bill the Congress may pass, he said, it can't override the president's wartime powers under the Constitution.

He also dismissed complaints that the statute wouldn't bind any president to have surveillance programs reviewed by courts. If the president "fulfills his commitment" to take the program to the secret court, "a future president could look back and see what President Bush did," Specter said. "He wouldn't be bound by what President Bush did, but it would be a very solid precedent."

Reuters contributed to this report.

See more CNET content tagged:
Alberto Gonzales, NSA, attorney general, Patrick Leahy, Democrat

125 comments

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Our President/Government
I wouldn't be suprised if our President did a lot of illegal things, so he's shielding him self and his buddies. That's what the Skull club is all about.

I thought that Government workers worked for the people, including the Persident, he is an Employee of the county and people, and he should be Fired.

I wish the laws were changed to make Presidents more accountable, because they get away with too much sh*&.
Posted by rmiecznik (224 comments )
Reply Link Flag
bush's blood is stained all over the middle east
him and his cronies will get what he deserves when he dies
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
It's time
Impeachment!

The man's current crimes and abuse of his constitutional authorised powers, literally make Richard M Nixon look like an angel!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
National Eavesdropping
So the administration is upset over an open mic at the G8 where President Bush slipped an expletive, but is less concerned about the egregious spying on the average American citizen <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.iwantmyess.com/?p=37" target="_newWindow">http://www.iwantmyess.com/?p=37</a>
Posted by marileev (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where in the constitution does it say or imply...
that president can conduct indefinite warrentless surveillance with in the U.S on American citizens? People point to Article 2 of the constitution as justification, but I see nothing in there giving carte blanche authority to conduct such a program within the U.S.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
not in constitution
The authority is in the Intelligence Surveillance Act. BUT, the Act specifically says the President must get a warrant within 7 days from the surveillance court and further says that no other law (other than the Constitution) can override or be created to override that responsibility.

As my other post says, I see nothing in the Constitution article two that mentions "wartime powers." All it says is the president is the commender in chief of the Army, Navy and State militias called to service.
Posted by Methuss (101 comments )
Link Flag
Fascism in the name of Freedom
This is nothing more than fascism in the name of Freedom. Of
course, our freedoms are gone in the name of security.

We are the frog in the water that is slowly being brought to a
boil.

Are we too late? Will we ever be able to recover as a country? I
really have my doubts. The abuses of power in Washington D.C.
may be too great to recover from. The President has taken over,
the Congress and Supreme Court aren't doing their job to check
his power. The result -- illegal searches and seizures, secret
prisons, secret courts, torture, and a perpetual state of war to
allow these abuses to continue.
Posted by m.meister (278 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Clueless
Mark, you have no idea what fascism is. Your entire comment is over the top and screams of ignorance. If fascism were a problem in the U.S., you would either be dead, or in prison being tortured for the comment you posted. If you were talking about China, India, North Korea, or Iran... then perhaps we could have an intelligent discussion about fascism.

Unfortunately, you are not expressing a logical argument. You are merely expressing anger at your country and you are using words that do not accurately reflect reality in the U.S.

I should also add that your paranoid delusions do not support your concluding arguments. WHO was illegally searched? WHERE are the secret prisons and why are they illegal? WHERE are the secret courts, and what is your problem with them? NAME JUST ONE PERSON that has been accused of actual TORTURE, and was not prosecuted.

Once you get over your emotional hatred for anything that disagrees with your idealistic view of reality, you may realize that our policy is not illegal, Americans are not being abused by a tyrranical government, and all your fears are merely speculative.

SOME PEOPLE... are working towards a very difficult goal to make you, your country, and the entire world safer. It isn't easy, and it isn't pretty, and it won't happen over night, but unless you want 9/11 to be a recurring nightmare, then change is required at the global level.

Someday, you will realize that through all your idealistic yelling and arguing... you rights haven't been infringed upon at all. Not one bit. And in the meantime, you have been protected and guarded in a world that people are working to make safer.

Drop the term fascism from your vocabulary. You have absolutely no clue what it means.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Is it too much to ask...
To say "President blocked review..."? Even with your obvious far-loony-left bias and venomous hatred, surely you could at least muster a bit of respect for the office. Try to at least pretend that you don't hate your own country, CNet.
Posted by Neo Con (428 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Those were the words of the AG...blame him
Neo Con, sweet Neo Con:

Why do you keep shooting the messenger??? Alberto Gonzales went to a hearing and explicitly told fellow REPUBLICAN Arlen Specter of the REPUBLICAN controlled judiciary commitee that the President blocked review.

Why are you trying to blame CNET for reporting the news? Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in an absolute monarchy, dictatorship, or Communist state. At least in such contries, no one is allowed to report on government misdeeds. King Abdullah al-Saud and Kim Jong-il would be proud to welcome a patriot such as yourself.
Posted by outofmanyone (6 comments )
Link Flag
you have it backwards
First, I do respect the office of the presidency, but I have
absolutely no respect for the man who holds the office now.
I also love my country.. At least what it used to be. Fact is, it is
not the same country as it was 6 years ago. It is no longer a free
and thriving democracy, a model to others, a beloved leader of
the free world and a respected patron of liberty and justice. The
land of opportunity now carries the addendum :opportunity (for
the wealthy and connected, only) Justice for all now reads
Justice for all (except the executive branch, any close friend,
supporter or financial contributor
Since the installment of this administration, since the coup ..
And since the corrupt and fixed second election..
This country has become a hated aggressor, a despised wielder
of irresponsible wealth and power. It is no longer a democracy,
no longer anything like what the founders intended, no longer
what countless have fought and died to defend.. It has become
exactly what they died trying to prevent.
And yes, neo con, you have it backwards. It is not my duty to
respect the president, but it is his to respect me and every other
American. It is not my duty to support the administration, but it
is the administrations to support me and every other American..
And is not the governments right to pry open citizens private
lives at their discretion, but it is the peoples right to know what
OUR government does. It is OUR right and, in fact, our obligation
to question and debate and challenge and dispute everything the
government and the president do and decide. It is the presidnets
obligation (and the governments) to be open, forthcoming,
honest and accountable.
How dare you confuse respect with the most fundamental right
of every American to question and challenge. And how dare the
president put himself above the law, above the constitution and
above the American people,
Posted by jbtps (9 comments )
Link Flag
Very Nixon-esque
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was chosen specifically for his office because President Bush knew that the new AG would never enforce the law when it came to his administration. Even John Ashcroft, well known as a Bush "team player", would not sign off on the President's domestic warrantless wiretapping scheme.

unfortunately As Arlen Spectre states "Whatever bill the Congress may pass, he said, it can't override the president's wartime powers under the Constitution."

George Bush has declared the he is no longer bound by any law. The GOP controlled Congress agrees.

Nixon was headed down this same path. We all know where it led him.
Posted by Arbalest05 (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
He's gotta go!
This guy has to goooooooooo... Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) I guess thats why I'm a member
Posted by kyle172 (65 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Gonzalez was Bush's DUI Attorney
Most people don't know this ... but Gonzalez (our U.S. attorney general) was also Bush's DUI attorney and was the guy who got him off the DUI in Maine.

That's about his only qualification to be in his job.
Posted by JoeCrow (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hahahahah
WRONG!!! For the love of god people will say anything with out checking it out.

Bush did not know Gonzalez 1976 when he was 30 and got a DUI.

Gonzales is rumored to have help Bush get out of Jury duty for a female stripper's DUI court case.

It was never proven that he actually helped him get out of jury duty.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Our Country is Dying
I, personally, used to really like my country.

However, I am very much resigned to the belief that I think we've topped out. About the only thing that was really good about America in the past was the "freedom" we were supposed to have.

And now, all that's happening is we have the same corruption &#38; rights violations and crime, and corrupt judiciary, and debt that all the other countries have had in the past.

I've believed, for most of my life that America was the best country in the world and best place to live. Since I've begun traveling a bit over the last couple years, I am not sure that is the case, and as the pendulum of debt from Reagan, Bush Sr., and now Jr. swings ever so closer, I really have to say that I've begun looking for other countries to live.

A lot of people moved to America over the last 100 years to escape this kind of stuff. To escape terrorism, to escape totalitarianism and dictatorship-ness. To escape being spied on and persecution. And now, here in this country, that is what is happening.

Our country is dying.

It wasn't 9/11 that did it, but ourselves (or the 20-40% of this country who really does want to see it turned into a dictatorship.
Posted by JoeCrow (83 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Please move
ASAP
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
A solution maybe...
I think a compromise could be reached. Set up a 24/7 secret federal court specifically for quickly issuing wiretap orders. Make a law that says the FBI/NSA/CIA/etc can immediately start recording data as soon as they suspect someone, but cannot look at it until a valid court order is issued.

Government gets their data, suspect gets due process.
Posted by johnphantom (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wartime powers
Explain to me where in article two of the constitution there is any mention of "wartime powers." The only thing it says is the President shall be the commander in chief of the Army and Navy and militias of States which are called to duty.
Posted by Methuss (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
wartime powers
like presidents before ( i am not agreeing with the statement just stating what it means) prior president have been able to take powers out of the constitution. Like lincoln took away habeus corpus and extended his power in wartime, FDR and Teddy did the same. But this is not really a war but a police action, because one a war needs two things one a nation that is our enemy (the extremists) are nor really a nation they are just outsiders trying to use political muscle to continue thier regime, and two you need a point. Whats the point with IRAQ? Still no WMD's that are less then 15 years old. Bush screwed up and it all goes to prove that if you have money and a club of friends that you can do anything. So end result the poor get poorer the rich get richer and the middle class die out. Doesnt life suck right now. Two more years and this terriable tyrant will be out. I really doubt the "bush doctrine" will continue to be used because his constituents will be jumping ship. Lets put it this way first we fear the russians then we fear the terrorists now we fear ourselves.

- Mike roth
Posted by mxrss (35 comments )
Link Flag
Bush has the authority
The constitution provides that Congress has the power to declare war, the President has the power to execute the war. This includes the power to gather intelligence, the power to clasify and declasify information, and determine who should and should not have access to that information.

These powers were further clarified by the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

This article quotes Senator Spector saying "Many other lawyers in the Department of Justice had clearance. Why not OPR". My question is if many others had access, why do those opposed to the President insist that review was blocked if only a few were denied access. I'm certain if the night janitor was denied access then the left would consider it a cover-up.

The facts are congress was briefed on the program. Several Democrats have stated as such. They even state the program should continue. The authors of the law have said that no law was broken and the President was acting within his authority.

Those that are histarical about these programs are the same people complaining right after 911 that the President should have connected the dots. Yet, they wish to deny him the tools to do so, even with oversite.
The NYT is a perfect example. They expose the efforts to track the funds of terror groups through the SWIFT newtork. Yet on Sept. 24 2001 they printed an editorial stating the President should track the funding.

Let us not forget that the NSA spy program intercepting calls, referred to as ECHELON, was started under the Clinton administration.
Posted by xcor057 (55 comments )
Link Flag
November is coming
If you are angry now, show it then. Vote 'em out. It might be replacing one set of disconnected criminals and thieves with another set, but at least the new criminals will know you are paying attention.
Posted by Im-Not-TED (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You can't win when a group decides...
to cheat, lie, steal, and deceive the American voters. The bottom line is anything and everything goes as long as you win.

What a role model our president shows our youth. Born and educated in the U.S. and still can not speak decent english. Lies about a soveign nation, deceives the public about spying, and uses 4 letter words. Nice going Mr. President.
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Link Flag
Totally agreed, but...
can YOU say 'Diebold'?!?!? And then there are those pesky "Chads"...........

Think about those and if you don't know about them...then LEARN about them!!!!!
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Back to technology
I frequently visit this site for technical news. Yet, I'm always surprised when it streaks off on a tangent with political articles such as this. Articles on global warming are other examples. There are plenty of politically oriented sites where people can read left leaning articles. CNet should stick to reporting on technology.

But what suprises me more is how the technology inclined audience throws its technical understanding out the window when these articles are printed. Despite all the security warnings, articles on spyware, key loggers, root kits, etc. they think their information on the net is private.

I hate to bust your bubble, but the internet is a PUBLIC NETWORK. You shouldn't expect any more privacy on the internet that you would if you were to pass a hand written not across a crowded room. Email is not private. Public phone records are not private. This is affirmed by the Supreme Court in 1978. This audience should know how data mining works.

Just because a database engine scans records looking for matches, say for TERRORISTS PHONE RECORDS, that doesn't mean all calls are being looked at by individual human beings. If you are concerned that your phone records are being reviewed, perhaps you should stop receiving calls from known terrorist phone numbers.
Posted by xcor057 (55 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank You
For proving my point so well. The American public supports war movements until the media starts showing caskets and talking about lives being lost. Then the people change their mind because hey... nobody wants to look like they don't care. You examples are perfect.. not all of them, but anybody educated can get the point. We look like morons when our government blindly follows the constantly shifting whim of the public. The administration launched an effort with the support of the people. To change course now would be foolish and ignorant.

You are flat wrong, however, that every war in American history was caused by a deceitful government, and that the people are honorable by changing their mind when they learn "the facts." The nobility of your suggestion is grand, but he reality is very different. Support for war never lasts long, especially on foreign soil... the reason is simple: We are no longer directly affected by it, even though it may be important.

In WWII, all the american people were affected directly, and for a decent length of time.. thus, we had tremendous support. But today, the government and our country has grown to the point where you no longer have to give up the tires on your car and send your children to work to protect our freedoms... so the American people become fickle. Sitting in their luxurious air conditioned homes, sipping iced tea, speaking as if they know about peace.

Name one group of people that has achieved and maintained peace and freedom without fighting for it.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Peace through War???
Thank you George Orwell for pointing out that peace is attained through war. Surely there is strength through ignorance to back that up with. Interesting our war heroes Bush &#38; Cheney had "other priorities" when it was their turn to wage war for peace. But what do we know, we're just sitting back sipping our tea. I guess we leave it to the experts that know better. After all, their superior wisdom has been proven time and again, right?
Posted by zanzzz (138 comments )
Link Flag
That's why America...
...works so well. Our president gets the drama not the American People. Considering the fact that a majority of the American people for a lack of a better word could careless, while a handful of nuts have an all out war with protest, which in todays day and age, no longer works.

But for all we know the President could be a figurehead.. wink wink
Posted by bobj123 (94 comments )
Link Flag
Name me one society that existed after expending their...
resources to fight on foriegn soil. Look at all the great societies from the Greeks to the British Empire. Where are they today, and why? Do you think we, the United States of America, have unlimited resources to continue to be the savior of humanity?

I'm not suggesting that we withdraw, but use our strenghs with a little more prudence, not cowboy antics, lying, cheating, stealing, and corruption is not the kind of examples we should showing our children and other nations.
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Link Flag
I'll give it to the Neo Cons
They are definitely consistent. Repeat something often enough and it becomes truth in the minds of the unquestioning followers.

They are the party of the religious. They say it, they repeat it, over and over and it becomes the new truth. Really now!!! Anyone can claim to be Christian but it is their actions that "out" them. People voted along religious lines for this president but would Jesus really endorse torture, secret prisons, human rights abuses, suppression of the truth, pointless deaths of American soldiers, wholesale slaughter of Iraqis, rape of Iraqi women, cover-ups of abuses in Iraq, cover-ups of abuses in Guantanamo, corruption, no-bid Halliburton contracts, sleazy senators, corrupt congressmen? Makes you really wonder about "Thou shall not kill", "Thou shall not steal/covet.... (our pension funds, our privacy, our rights etc.)" and a whole host of other deadly sins.

The president has wartime powers. Well another curious statement that has become "truth" in the minds of the believers (Congress, Senate, Judiciary, Boot-lickers etc.). I guess us non-believers will be banished to the pits of hell, spied on, monitored, electronically shackled for all eternity because that is how long this war will last and how long our rights will be firmly and consistently removed for our own protection.

WMDs, Al-Quaeda, 9/11 - curious how these things were focused with laser precision on a single target - Iraq. I'm still amazed at how many people still believe that Iraq and 9/11 were somehow related. But when you look back through Bush and Cheney's glib speeches it becomes clear how the gullible would come to believe they were associated. Gosh look at how many times 9/11, al-Quaeda, WMDs and Saddam Hussein were consistently mentioned in the same breath. Consistent. I'll give them that.

Tax Breaks are for the American People. Sounded really good didn't it when they talked it up, over and over and over again. They just conveniently forgot to mention that the largest portions of all of the tax breaks went to the George Bush base - Capitalist Pigs, Fund-Raisers, Campaign Contributors. Curious how so few people know that and even worse, even care.

Well they were consistent with their mind-control drivel and we the people were consistently apathetic. Abuse of Power and Apathy make such great bedfellows.
Posted by whatisgoingonnow (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just Another Doom and Gloom Liberal
What a joke. You whiners can't come up with any better ideas, so you sit back on your dumb ugly a**es and take pot shots at our president. Shame on you. Losers all of you, and you'll see that all over again in the next election. Liberals suck!
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
Link Flag
How convenient of socialist liberals
How can one be so wrong in one post. It is very convenient of socialist liberals to believe that history began on January 20, 2001.

Tax cuts for the rich. Thats all we hear. But when the so called rich pay 90% of the taxes, where will a majority of the tax cuts go. To send the benefits of a tax cut to those who don't pay taxes requires redefining the term to mean a redistribution of wealth.

It was very convienient for liberals to rais taxes on the wealthy under the Clinton administration. Remember? The rich were redefined to mean those that made more than $35,000 per year. Taxes were no longer taxes, but 'contributions' as stated by Stephenopolous. Now who is brainwashed, those who know what taxes are or those who follow those who have to redefine the terms.

Now, regarding 9/11. It was related to Iraq because it was terrorism. Iraq supported terrorism. This is proven by the training camps, $25,000 payments by Sadam to suicide bomber families, and the list goes on. It is very convenient to overlook these facts as well.

Besides, the whole point of going to Iraq was to enforce 16 UN resolutions ignored by Iraq over 12 years.
Posted by xcor057 (55 comments )
Link Flag
After I wrote the last comment it brought to...
mind another leader who decided that the Constitution of a nation needed to be reformed. He suspended all civil liberties, took control of the news media, declared that certain people were a threat to national security, censored all communications, and interned those who were a threat to his administration. He was Adolph Hitler.

Concentration camps anyone?
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My comment was censored by CNet because
I made a comparison of the Bush administration to the Nazi Party of the 30's
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
They didn't like it because you were CORRECT!!!;)
nuff said
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
As close as they may be...
As close as they may be to that, it is still very tasteless to compare them.

Plus, most of the internet (save random popular boards) abide by Godwin's Law vehemently.
Posted by Tomcat Adam (272 comments )
Link Flag
Your right - it centers around the JEWs again.
please bush - give up the zionist regime!
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
Instead of breaking-in the DNC Watergate headquarters...
you simply have the NSA and FBI intercept their communications. Nobody goes to prison cause it's all pefectly legal in order to protect national security
Posted by wtortorici (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A polite FYI
Remember, attacking the messenger directly or circumstantially
does nothing to reduce their argument if the premises are
independent of the person stating them. Though, apparently,
"swiftboating" works. It's a pathetic state of affairs when people
can't directly address the substance of an argument.

e.g., Person A pust forth the following argument (in so many
words):

The 4th Amendment states no warants for reasonable search can
be issued without "probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched,
and the persons or things to be seized."

The executive branch is operating a program that expressly
avoids a warrant process meeting those criteria.

Thus, the program is illegal vis-a-vis the letter of the
Constitution.


How can you refute the argument? Well, you can claim the
premises are not true... But that seems a like a tough road.

You could also claim that the conclusion doesn't necessarily
follow because of the President's authority, also in the
Constitution, to conduct war. Fine, but then you must argue that
(a) we are conducting a war (congress never technically
authorized war), and (b) the "all necessary force" clause included
the ability to violate the 4th amendment (it didn't, of course, and
the Supreme Court just affirmed that).

You CANNOT refute the argument by saying people will die
without the wiretapping.

You CANNOT refute the argument by saying Person A hates
America (holy false dichotomy, Batman).

You CANNOT refute the argument by saying, well, anything
about Person A. The status of person A is COMPLETELY
irrelevant to the soundness of the argument.

Ad hominem rebuttals may work well on ignorant voters, but
they leave the truth and validity of an argument untouched.

They are used when (a) someone is on the losing side and they
know it, (b) they're emotional and can't construct a real
argument quickly enough, or (c) they wrongly think attacking the
messenger is a real way to rebut an argument.


Likewise, although there are at least two sides to every debate,
they should not always be given equal weight.

e.g., the earth is flat VS the earth is spherical


Point? If you want to argue without looking like a fool, STICK TO
THE SUBSTANCE OF THE ARGUMENT.

Cheers.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But ad hominem attacks work so well for some!
You made some great points. But I have to say, ad hominem attacks work great for people who know nothing about what they're talking about, who can't be bothered with time-consuming things like "research" and "facts". Those are for "socialist liberals". (Anyone who knows more than Hannity about any subject is addressed as "Mr. Liberal", regardless of his political viewpoints)

I mean, where would Sean Hannity, Laura Ingrham and Bill O'Reilly be without the regular personal slams they do on their shows? You wouldn't want them to starve, now would you? It's really easy to tell when the other side has made a good argument, because Bill or Laura will say something like -- and I'm pretty much quoting here -- "your mother would be ashamed of you!!", or "This is just Looney Tunes... where's that Twilight Zone music?"
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
Link Flag
defend freedom, get rid of warrantless spying!
I have yet to see any evidence that this program makes anyone more secure. I HAVE seen evidence of it being used against reporters and whistle-blowers. In addition, Bush claims 9/11 as his excuse for anything and everything. The class-action lawsuit against AT&#38;T has uncovered the fact that the program was set up months before 9/11/2001.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&#38;sid=abIV0cO64zJE&#38;refer=#" target="_newWindow">http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&#38;sid=abIV0cO64zJE&#38;refer=#</a>

This implies either:
A. Bush knew of the impending attack. And then of course he did nothing to stop it.
B. It has nothing to do with protecting America from attack.

I've also been told by neo-cons that if you're "not doing anything wrong" you have nothing to worry about. These same people also tell everyone that if you demand that anyone in the administration be held accountable for anything, you are a treasonous traitor and should be dealt with accordingly. They're already screaming mad about freedom of the press. Why not just set up a Ministry Of Information?

So as long as you agree with the administration, you're safe. If you exercise free speech, the FBI will be on you like Bill Clinton on an overweight intern.

Regarding the fascism comments, I encourage everyone to research Michael Ledeen. He's advised the current administration. His studies and the books he's written are worth a look. Here's a starting point:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ledeen" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Ledeen</a>

By the way, don't call me a liberal. You neo-cons call everyone who doesn't agree with you a liberal, as if it's a cuss word. I happen to be a gun shooting, abortion hating, big government dispising, well, I guess conservative. NOT a Republican. Of course Bush is no conservative. He spends like a drunken sailor. He makes Clinton look like more of a penny-pincher than my grandma.

I'd like to invite all you neo-cons to move to North Korea. There, everyone supports the leader. Why? Because all the ones who didn't have been shot. Let us Americans have the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, and all the other freedoms that our founders fought for.

I don't know if you realize it, but when you have a leader who makes his own laws:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/" target="_newWindow">http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2006/04/30/bush_challenges_hundreds_of_laws/</a>

Who can interpret the Constitution... who can do everything in secret, who can imprison AMERICANS indefinitely without charging them, without letting them have their day in court, you are, by definition of the word, living in a dictatorship.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dictatorship" target="_newWindow">http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/dictatorship</a>
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
chris_d's post BEST in here yet!!!
I hope each and every one of you goes through every single link he gave and LEARN about the TRUE enemy of this country! ;)

Then help us decide what We The People are going to do as individuals AND collectively to take our Country back from those who are effectively enacting a slow but sure Coup upon Our United States.
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Link Flag
Bravo!
Although I personally consider myself a liberal, I must say that your post is excellent. If only the Republican party and all it's neo conservatives would see the light that most regular conservatives and liberals have seen for a long time.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
READ chris_d's post! It's the BEST in here ;)
You will learn a LOT if you just Read __ALL__ of the links provided there!!! ;)

The ONLY thing where I disagree with chris is that I am Pro-Choice whereas he is not..... after all, he's "just a GUY!"~Quoting Bill Engval :)
Posted by btljooz (401 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Impeachment is long overdue!
Impeachment is long overdue, for hes totally failed in his job !

Alberto Gonzales, presided over the grand massive increase in the execution of convicted criminals in Texas during little Bush's reign as state governor, a minority of whom, were totally innocent of the crimes convicted, based on DNA crime evidence after the fact( a combination of corrupt lazy/lying cops/crooked DA's/the usual inept prejudiced juries Texas style etc(the juries selected in Tulio, Texas, is a classic day to day sample of this incompetence)). So he has the blood of innocents on his hands!

He has shown, he has absolutely no respect for the oath of office he swore, when taking up this high office! For simply stated, he is employed to enforce and uphold all the laws of congress, without fear nor favour!

Oh well, those that remain closed minded to reality, and do not choose to learn from the lessons in history, are doomed to repeat them!

But then again, patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, incompetents and charlatans, when all said and done!

Strange is it not, for the government of the day, is failing to address many of it real problems, like the nine trillion dollar national debt, and many others to numerous to list, and using much window dressing to hide it's real intentions from prying eyes, something that facists dictators used routinely throughout their reigns of terror!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agree
Bush has acted out of greed for himself and his buddies and a lust for power.

He stands against everything that millions of americans have fought and died for over the past 225+ years.

He is the biggest threat to our country and has comitted many crimes against the constitution, yet still walk free.

Assuming that Bush steps down in Jan, 2009, will we be able to recover or even vote someone in that willing to return us to the freedoms that so many have fought and died for?
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
Liberals and _____?
Who are Liberals these days?

Anyone who is pro-administration calls everyone else a "Liberal."

I'm a registered independent who thinks many politicians are
nearly worthless, yet, apparently, I'm a Liberal because I think
Bush and his colleagues are mindless and/or spineless.

It's such a meaningless phrase. But it gets ratings and sells
books.

Try doing what the "other side" does:

Use specific phrases; like "the administration," "Republicans,"
"Democrats," "Critics," "Bush supporters," etc.

Perhaps "Me right, eveyone else America hating Liberal" fits the
false dichotomy world that "Bush apologists" call home.

Guess what? Over 60% of Americans think Bush can't do his job.
If you think they're all Liberals, you just signed your certification
of idiocy.
Posted by mgreere (332 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vote Democrat in 2008!
Our economy is going down the drain, I voted for Kerry in '04 and yet the dummie with no plan gets in. We need a democrat back in office, republicans don't seem to know how to manage the budget. We need to get out of the hole we are in before it gets too deep.
Posted by pentium4forever (192 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Even better idea
Although I plan to vote Democrat, I have a better idea (although impossible). Let's try starting from scratch.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
 

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