Sunday, May 29, 2011

Surveillance

You probably already know about this, but...
Two senators claimed on Thursday that the Justice Department had secretly interpreted the so-called Patriot Act in a twisted way, enabling domestic surveillance activities that many members of Congress do not understand.
During the debate, Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and a member of the Intelligence Committee, said that the executive branch had come up with a secret legal theory about what it could collect under a provision of the Patriot Act that did not seem to dovetail with a plain reading of the text. “I want to deliver a warning this afternoon: When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they will be stunned and they will be angry,” Mr. Wyden said.
Another member of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, backed Mr. Wyden’s account, saying, “Americans would be alarmed if they knew how this law is being carried out.”
Notice that we have not heard any such warnings from Dianne Feinstein, chair of the intelligence committee. This fact tells us who is and is not on our side. Obama's spokesperson, interestingly enough, is not denying that the Act is being used in ways that would seem to go against a plain reading of the text.

So what is the stunning, infuriating secret? Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute thinks that Uncle is using cell phones to track locations. Law enforcement normally can do that only if they have probable cause.

Let's have a word about the Cato Institute's stance on this issue. Lambert writes: "Strange bedfellows, and so what?"

Here's what's so what. The only Senators on the intel committee concerned about the problem are Democrats. We need a party where people like Wyden and Udall are in charge, not people like Feinstein and Obama. I think that this goal is doable. It's a hell of a lot more doable than are any of the "third party" alternatives that fill the silly hallucinations of the Corrente crowd.

Libertarians talk about criticizing both parties, but in the end, they always support the Republicans (except for those wonderful souls who actually vote for the Libertarian Party -- and may their tribe increase!).

Gore Vidal continually reminds us to pay attention to things which political actors do. Ignore what they say. Verbally, theoretically, Libertarians may oppose the Patriot Act. In practice, they support the politicians who support that legislation. I admit that Rand Paul acted with exemplary courage, but most of the Republicans agreed with the vile Mitch McConnell (who, incidentally, considers the Tea Partiers to be "reasonable")

We must be ruthless with Libertarians. When they enter the room, the topic must always be economics, economics, economics. Are you or are you not in favor of more deregulation for finance capitalists? If the answer is "more deregulation, please," then you are the Devil and must be treated as such. No compromise. No forgiveness. I will not be distracted by your claimed stances on things like the Patriot Act, the Iraq war, pot smoking or any of the rest of it. You are the Devil and that is that.

Back to the Patriot Act: The conservatives are bending history into weird, pretzel-like shapes to convince us all that it was created by liberals. As I've said before, I saw no evidence of conservative resistance to the Patriot Act when it was first debated. In fact, I saw liberal opponents of the Act routinely derided as traitors.

I don't think that I've ever seen a single expression of support for the Act on (say) Democratic Underground. Can the Freepers say the same of their own forum?

Here is a representative usenet posting from May 1, 2002; the author called himself "Liberals HATE America":
Unlike liberals I do not have contempt for and shudder at the sound of the word "patriot." I find nothing wrong with loving my country and realizing that with all it's problems it's still the greatest country in the history of the world.
It doesn't even phase me. Sorry. If I see some actual evidence of American citizens actually losing rights, I'll complain loudly and bitterly.
By the way, here's another usenet message, written in May, 2002. Very appropriate...
And where were you and the Libertarians when the Patriot Act was passed? You claim to support the Constitution, but we only hear from you when any danger of actually supporting it is long past.
Although much of the internet is stored somewhere or other, we do not have easy access to the commentary and debate of previous years. As a result, people "remember" those debates incorrectly. We now have conservatives who cannot recall a time when liberals were called traitors for opposing the Patriot Act. And we have liberals who cannot recall the innumerable occasions when Obama's left-wing opponents were "racist-baited" or threatened.

I'll say it again: History is not Calvinball. You can't make up the rules as you go along.
Comments:
Obama and Feinstein are playing 11th dimensional chess, Kos told me so.

If the above had R behind their names Tweety Matthews would be all over it, since it's a D, not so much.
 
Once again, Joseph, your blind hatred of all non-lefties gives you your own historical blind spot.

There were lots of righties who fulminated bitterly against the neocon plans for a domestic police state after the false-flag of 9/11 -- but they were systematically ignored or demonized by the mainstream media and the Republican/Corporate Establishment.
 
Okay, Anonymous. This is easily settled. Links...?

I think an anti-Patriot Act post or two on (say) Free Republic will do.

I used usenet, which I'm a little sorry isn't popular any more, because it provides an easy way to look at the national temperament within a given time period.
 
Oh...and don't repeat that "false flag" bullshit. You've already broken two of the rules for posting. But I am in a generous mood this day.
 
Anonymous just broke rules 2 and 4 -- again. Some people just don't GET it.
 
->
http://papersplease.org/wp/2011/05/27/european-commission-wants-to-immunize-dhs-collaborators-in-travel-surveillance-and-control/

"The European Parliament should look closely at all of these claims before ratifying them"

More of the same "trickery" debunked here.
If rulers have to digg so deep into
the trick-box, it only shows, how
desperate the situation really is.
(They know, the average citizen, not.)
Why are they so afraid and of whom?
Right-wing, "left".wing, patriot,
whatever.
Any US-american (politician)is materially based on the imperial power.
US homeland politics and global
politics are inherently connected.
One cannot exist nor be understood without the other.
US-americans have a problem to
see this.("patriotism").
The "rest" of the world rejects it.
(just an opinion)
 
I find my current Senator and former Congressman Mark Udall's concern for the Fourth Amendment touching - I just wonder where it was when he (as a "Boulder liberal" Congressman running for Senate in a purple state) voted in favor of telecom immunity.

It's a little late for him to be worried about this now.
 
Bravo, Joseph! Only the "third party" lust not limited to Corrente. Unfortunately, primaries are not being used as the tools they could be...and somehow when they are, such as in CT, the entrenched powers-that-be find a way to bung in the the likes of Liebermann despite his primary trouncing!
 
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