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Friday, December 23, 2005

Should Bush Be Impeached?

(Because it has generated a rather lively debate, this post will stay on top through the 23rd.
Read down the page for newer posts.)
More Good Info at People Covered in Fish.

I bring up this subject because a liberal opinion writer, Dan Froomkin, of the Washington Post's (misnamed) online blog "White House Briefing" has decided today to toss out every name he can find that has mentioned, as he calls it, the "I" word.

I pick on Dan, and the title of his online column, because his column is no more a White House Briefing than my blog is a home decorating idea center. Were he to name it "White House Bashing", then it would at least accurately convey his style.

Froomkin has rolled out anyone who's used the word "Impeachment" about Bush and the spying program for today's opinion piece. Newsweek, CNN, the NY Times, etc have all gone ga-ga over the idea of impeachment.

I for one think it might not be a bad idea. I agree with Jonah Goldberg at National Review, when he says:

"..The main reason Bush's poll numbers would skyrocket if he were impeached is that at the end of the day the American people will support what he did. The legal defense of Bush's ongoing use of warrantless wiretaps is debatable. But the political case for what he did is rock-solid."

In fact, much like the Clinton impeachment for getting a little in the Oval Office, I think most American's would see it not as trying to protect their rights, but instead as political retribution.
In fact, this is almost a perfect example of the Democrats being out of ideas of their own, and borrowing them from the GOP, even if they are bad ones.

So, if the Dem's take back the House in '06; which I believe is much less likely than they do; I say bring it on! And make sure when you do, you bring all the big guns with you. Get Hillary, John Edwards, John Warner, and everyone else who might run in '08 on tape supporting it.

I actually think one of the first bits of defense work by the President would be this quote:

Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, the Clinton administration believes the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes."

Then, when the Democrats realize that playing politics with national security is a very bad public relations move, especially when the same tactics were used in their "model" administration, it'll be too late for 2008.

Macsmind has a great piece on this issue over at his blog. Read it here.

12/23- Tom Daschle and Charles Krauthammer both have op/ed pieces on the NSA and impeachement issues.

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Blogger shoprat said...

From Jonah's article

Barbra Streisand: "Bush can't be president, I don't like him."

The voice fo the modern liberal.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

If Babs is the moderate liberal, I don't want to meet the far left :)

12:46 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Sure, she doesn't have to worry about terrorism--she built herself a fucking fortress!

1:19 PM  
Blogger Michele said...

Should Bush be impeached?
He doesn't have half the stuff Clinton did and HE did get impeached.
Buch is an angel comparatively speaking.

Just dropped by to say:

Merry Christmas!!!!

And if you're into P.C. then,
Happy Holidays....

I'm a Christmas gal myself.


3:09 PM  
Blogger asacan said...

I have to take exception with your statement that Clinton was impeached "for getting a little in the Oval Office". He was not impeached for having sex with an intern, he wasn't impeached for adultery, he was impeached for perjury. Yes, he perjured himself about his relations with "that" woman. He was impeached for purposefully lying to the court (and not to the country, when he stood up there on nationwide TV, pointed his finger at all of us, and said "I did not have....").

Perhaps Clinton could've said that he had bad intelligence, but that would be hard to pull off since he was right there. Bush, however, can say that he had bad intelligence, since it was the same intelligence that his predecessor had.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

No matter how good it could be politically Bush & impeached don't belong in the same sentence. I'm almost in shock at the audacity of liberals with the bazillion of scandals with the Clintons and they're upset with Bush for what?

5:52 PM  
Blogger Coyote said...

I have to say I don't get it. You say that he should not be impeached and then speak Clintons name like ti is some kind of defense.

Bush has admitted spying on American citizens. This is monumental. I think it is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment and FISA. First he said that FISA didn't give him the tools he needed to eavesdrop lawfully then the head of NSA said FISA was too much paperwork. Try that one on April 15th.

It has been called by many an impeachable offense. If they truly truly impartial hearing. If they find that the law was indeed broken then impeachment would have to follow.

By the way Nixon tried the same thing for the same reasons in '72. He was slapped down by the Supreme Court 9-0.

What would you be saying if this WAS Clinton trying to slide this one by. You have to remember this since it may be a Democratic President in the office before too much longer. How would you feel about President Hillary having the ability to bug anyone anytime.

And that is what it is. They first claimed that it was only international calls. Now they say that some state to state calls were listenened to as well. They said that they were targeting people with Al Queda ties. But, yesterday in the defense of the program the NSA head said that it would be hard to get a warrant for "listening on this magnitude". Doesn't sound very targeted to me.

This is not about liberal or conservative. This is not about Democrat or Republican. This is about American.

It is time to stop being so afraid of the terrorists that we give up what all of the preceding generations of Americans have fought for.

"Give me liberty or give me death" That was Patrick Henry. Obviously a left wing nut that is soft on national security.

"Live Free Or Die" That is on the New Hampshire license plate. That must be a whole state of people soft on security. And out to get the President.

It is time that we stop being so afraid, or we might lose who we are.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, no, no. This is just more gawddamned noise plugging up what could be the goals of a great country. We give the little voices way too much. If you're in the minority guess what -- the majority of world does not agree.

Impeachment is unthinkable as it will be what happens as revenge for eveyone who'd dare hold the office in future.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Coyote said...

The Bill Of Rights was added to the Constitution to protect the Minority from the Majority.

Democracy is great but Jefferson saw that the Majority could choose to take away equal rights from minorities so he damanded those first five Amendments be added.

Here are some nice Quotes from Jefferson

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.

Thomas Jefferson

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

Thomas Jefferson

No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will.

Thomas Jefferson

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

Thomas Jefferson

8:30 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Coyote, read down a few posts, you'll find a link to Clinton's executive order that allowed unannounced entry searches, roving wiretaps, etc, with both ends in the country.

Carters is also in that post. And he was Prez when FISA was made law!

Bush has been very clear, and a couple of FISA judges have agreed, that these taps were only when calls from terrorists were coming into the US, not general roving of conversations.

Finally, answer this honestly, if you can, would you be pissed if the Brooklyn Bridge had been dropped, and then found out that we could have stopped it, but didn't do a tap because we didn't know the name or phone number of who a call was going to when it was ordered?

10:46 PM  
Blogger Coyote said...

The Brooklyn Bridge fiasco was a group of people who planned to take it down..... with cutting torches. Hey, would have taken them a couple of years but maybe no one would have noticed.

This is what Carter Signed:

1-101. Pursuant to Section 102(a)(1) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1802(a)), the Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order, but only if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section.

This is what Clinton signed:

Section 1. Pursuant to section 302(a)(1) [50 U.S.C. 1822(a)] of the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Act, the Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order, to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year, if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that section.

I am sorry to have to pull out the actual text of the orders but it was necessary. As you can see both of them require that FISA be upheld. It says in FISA that the statute cannot be end run like the President is attempting. The power for unlimited searches was never meant to reside in the Executive branch. It is not in ANY branch for that matter.

If you want to tap a phone, tap a phone. You want to listen in, listen in. If you have to do it right away, do it right away. No one is stopping you. No one was stopping the President from doing it before. You just must show a judge why it was neccesary. You can go ahead and do it and then show the judge later if you have to. But, a judge must be involved to insure that you are not abusing it. What the President is saying that he did was there to be done lawfully. He just chose not to. I don't know why. The FISA judges have allowed over 10,000 warrants and only turned down 4. Who in the hell was he spying on and with what justification that he didn't think he could beat those odds?

No. I would not like to see anything happen to anyone or anything in this country. I personally would be willing to fight to see that not happen. But this is not just a country of structures. This is a country of citizens and laws. The rights that are currently being attacked are vitally important to this country. They are the structures our very society were built on. Are these no less important?

The Constitution was written before we had all this land and we had built all these buildings.

The war on terrorism is not going to go away. Probably never. Allowed now we may never be able to talk privately on the phone again. Or anywhere for that matter.

With no oversight to what lengths will people go? Any student of history will tell you that if the power is there to be abused someone will come along to abuse it. Will it be used to crush political opponents? Put people in power to get rid of that pesky 22nd Amendment (only two terms), and maybe the 1st while we are at it? And lets not forget the 2nd so that the people won't be armed. I mean, once you lose your right not to be searched at any time for no reason and your rights to assemble and discuss it it will be pretty easy to take the guns away.

Are we to let our fear bring an end to our society? Why can't we demand safety AND freedom. But if I have to choose give me a little more freedom and a little less safety. I fear it is the only way for our country to survive.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Chi-town Packa Backa said...

Go ahead, tap Mr. Al Queda's phone call, as long as it's between Imah Terra Ista and Igana Bloawa Sometinup, not between me and my buddy, who are just trying to work out the details of a trip to Lambeau.

and speaking of protecting the Minority from the Majority, what about the reverse? Someone needs to bitchslap the judges out in California for all their BS.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Coyote said...

I agree. Go ahead with the phone taps. I am all for it. Just do it under the FISA umbrella. Damn, it gives you 72 hours.

They said it was "too much paperwork". That has to be the most idiotic excuse to come out of this whole thing. You don't think Congress would have streamlined it if asked. And The Government says there is too much paperwork involved. They make it sound like they had to stand in line at the DMV......on a Friday......at lunch time. You would think they could bring in some temps or something.

The other thing I read was where they said that the would have asked for this power and had it pushed through Congress but they "thought it would be too hard to get passed". They didn't think it would be popular, after 911, and they did not think it was legal. Thats just priceless.

Another quote from this comes from Sen. McCain, who I usually like. He said about Sen. Jay Rockefeller after Rockefeller made his letter about the program (which he could not even have typed because of the rules of the breifing) public. "If I thought someone was breaking the law, I don't care if it was classified or unclassified, I would stand up and say 'the law's being broken here.'" Nice to say although he has never done it. Does say something about how he feels about the tapping though.

I was wrong in an earlier post about the numbers on FISA warrants. It stands at 19,000 to 5. Sorry I was so far off. Now that I see it like that it is easy for me to see why Bush did not want them signing off on their taps. Couldn't take a chance it would be turned down. Thats like lottery numbers.

5:18 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Coyote, you realize the reference section you posted, and the section referenced by Clinton are two different things, right?

Your lack of oversight fear is also misplaced. In 2001, 2002 and up to today the heads of the intel committees and House and Senate leadership have been briefed on this.

At any point in '01 through Jan 03, when the Democrats controlled the Senate committee Rockefeller, Graham or Leahy could have called for a hearing if this program was such a problem. They didn't. In fact it wasn't until July '03 that any (Rockefeller) said they had a problem. Even up to today, they could call them, based on the charter of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The idea that the Senate and House seemed to believe they were absolved of all oversight because the President said it was a secret program is what worries me more.

Rememeber, in a system of checks and balances, one only gains ultimate power by another abdicating it. In this case, congress seems to have abdicated their oversight power, possibly for political reasons.

What may ultimately bite congress, not the president, in the ass on this is Gonzalez's news conference, where he made it clear, 3 or 4 times, that the (at the time) leadership in congress made it clear they wouldn't attempt to alter FISA to work better against newer threats/technologies.

One other tidbit on this, from the Gonzalez news conference:
Sir, during his confirmation hearings, it came out that now-Ambassador Bolton had sought and obtained NSA intercepts of conversations between American citizens and others. Who gets the information from this program; how do you guarantee that it doesn't get too widely spread inside the government, and used for other purposes?

That question seems to indicate more than a few members of congress (and the press) knew something was going on with NSA and US Citizens much earlier this year,when Bolton's original hearings started. Why didn't they ask more then?

5:42 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Look, I think it's legitimate to say, hey, I'd rather be blown up by terrorists than take the chance some guvmint dude might listen in on my phone sex convos.

It's just that most peeps don't feel that way. They would trade a little phone freedom/privacy for more security. We all have to draw the line somewhere--and it's good to argue about where.

8:08 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I agree Paula, especially reading the limits they've put on it. It's not like they are tapping my calls to 1-976 numbers or my kids, but calls coming into the country from elsewhere.

I guess one of the things that bugs me are the same folks who bitch that Bush/Clinton screwed up by not getting good intel on this type of stuff Pre-9/11 are the ones who are now bitching about the type of stuff that would have been required to get that info.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Coyote said...

You have me at a loss for the time being as I have relocated in the interest of the Holiday. When I return I will have time to post in full.

One shot to think about. You say my fear of lack of oversight is misplaced. The whole question about oversight is so that some one who is not involved with the spying will say to me "No, it's allright. They aren't doing anything TOO bad." That I can live with. Having the people who are doing the spying say "Just Trust Us" I cannot. Why would I possibly trust someone with unchecked power. I seriously can't imagine.

How many people have said "Just Trust Me" to the detriment of the Human Race much less this country.

The Senate said it to Ceasar some time about the middle of March.

Talk to you Tuesday. Merry Christmas. Or whatever you want to do for the next few days.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Well, crap--where am I supposed to get home decorating ideas now, Mr. Politics?

9:59 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

"How many people have said "Just Trust Me" to the detriment of the Human Race much less this country?"

Jimmy Carter comes most readily to mind.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Oh, and Merry Christmas, Crazy!!!

10:02 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Jeff, you forgot Nixon/Ford with the price controls and Whip Inflation Now!

As for the decorating ideas, I'm too straight to give those :)

Merry Christmas.

10:21 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Crazy: Some great responses to the lib. Have a Merry Christmas!!!

10:56 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Seriously, I don't have any memory of either Nixon or Ford using the phrase "Trust me". But Carter used it all the time. And of course, he used daughter Amy as a source for ideas...

8:41 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Look, the government has limited resources. Why would they waste time and money listening to Paula's phone sex convos unless the guy on the other end was Bin Laden??? Get a grip, people.

Just kidding there, Paula, about the phone sex thing. I mean, I don't think people will figure out I wasn't joking. I think I covered up pretty good. ;o)>

9:50 AM  
Blogger Coyote said...

In case you missed it. This is exactly why I was afraid. This is typical of the administration.

"The officials said the NSA won the cooperation of telecommunications companies to obtain access to both domestic and international communications without first gainingwarrants."

They lied to you. and all of us. There will be days of spin to follow. Just remember that when they try to say that it was justififable and Constitutional.

Did you think that I meant the would actually have used the words "Just Trust Me'. You guys are way to literal, or you are just looking for any reason to say something.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Actually, Coyote, if you read the article, the one in the NYTimes, and the WaPo, it's a database of calling patterns they've given the feds. No personally identifiable info is given until they request it on a specific number.

Out of that database, they look for patterns of calls to/from out fo the US places, and then try and correlate them to the numbers they've captured in various instances.

BTW, I still think it's justifiable, and well within the constitution. Sorry.

BTW, the paranoia express is leaving for noon to head to Canada if you wanna catch a ride.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Jeff H said...

Coyote, perhaps you should howl up another tree.

It just MIGHT be that the reason your carcass is still hear to gripe about Bush is due to the fact that the NSA program worked as intended and thwarted terrorist attacks that would otherwise have turned you to a worthless pile of ashes.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Coyote said...

Sorry, I didn't read your post before I asked my questions, jeffh.

It turns out that I find that I firmly stand with Patrick Henry. I would not like to see this country changed to the extent that it is not the place where I grew up. To see a right granted to me by the Constitution perhaps breached forever angers me some. So, would I trade a little of my own personal safety for that to remain? I would rather be free with a little danger than safely in "chains". I cannot speak for anyone else or those around me. I hope I can talk a couple of people into listening. (not necessarily you guys)But if no one does I will just vote against whoever I didn't agree with and try not to use the wrong words on the telephone.

Ok, I'll say "If thats what happened"

I am perfectly willing to let a impartial hearing with people that know more about the law than I do investigate it. Doesn't that seem fair?

10:10 PM  
Blogger Coyote said...

Sorry. Earlier post deleted by accident.

Just a few questions.

Do you really call this targeted? Sweeping calls for patterns. Then narrowing the list and listeng to the few you have left. I will agree that is "targeted".

People with Al Queda ties only? That does not appear to be the case. They are searching eveyone that matches the pattern.

Only international calls. That is patently not true and even says so in the story that I read on MSNBC and CNN.

I count that three falsehoods that we know of. You will say they could not say because it was a top secret program. Will it always be a top secret program? Every time they are caught doing something? Well maybe the first one doesn't count because you could technically still call it "targeted".
This comes from the people you want me to trust. I have a problem with that.

It doesn't matter though. The central issue still remains. You have no reason, no matter how you obtained the target to be listened to, to not go through FISA. Fisa slow? How can you get any faster than instantaneous? Why would you need more leeway that 72 hours? Just how many people are they listening to?

I found an editorial from Tucker Carlson posted. I don't listen to guys talking on the TV much but I think he leans to the right.

"...There's no evidence the NSA hurt anyone. But the principle is troubling. Do we really want to empower the president to ignore Congress, our most democratic institution? Bush's defenders aren't bothered by the idea because they trust Bush. But Bush won't be in office forever.

Will they feel the same way when Hillary is president?"

This is the exact same point that I have trying to make. Do you think you can take the power away once it is given. The other side will scream that "you gave it to the other guy and there is still a war on terror". There will still be enough scared people in the middle to keep a majority. It will stay.

I read back and I had not seen that I was called paranoid at some point. That is a little ironic. You are willing to let someone take extreme measures with your rights to save you from the threat of a terrorist attack. However slim the chance of that. Yet I am labeled paranoid for saying that someone in the future might abuse power. What are the chances of that?

We have all been talking alot and I hope you can at least admit there is some question as to where this falls Constitutionaly. I see it one way you see it another. How about those hearings?

1:54 AM  
Blogger Coyote said...

I thought of other that have traded a little personal safty for their rights.

The Founding Fathers.

All of the soldiers from the Revoulutionary War till today.

Martin Luther King


Quite a few in South Africa

There are of course many. I am not saying that I am in any way the equal of any of these people. But they all stood up to say that it was freedom before safety.

And jeffh...personal attacks? That is cheap and you don't even know me. I won't attack you, I have no idea who you are. I can say I have no desire to meet you.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Coyote, they also traded a lot of their rights for personal safety, specifically the founders. You might go back and read about some of the things they did in the name of security to win a war. Granted, it was before they wrote the constitution.

Given the choice between the supposed loss of liberty I've suffered since 2001 or the actual feeling of safety and government involvement in gaining that safety, I'll take the actual, and deal with the supposed.

I understand your point of view, and in a hypothetical perfect world, I'd agree with you. Unfortunately, I live in an actual, imperfect world. I've carried dead bodies from terrorist attacks, and worse, the one's who didn't die.

If it takes checking phone call patterns and e-mail habits to prevent me from doing that again, I'll make sure they have the correct IP address to check on me from.

2:21 PM  

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