Skip to comments.The National-Security Right Goes Silent
Posted on 06/15/2013 10:15:34 AM PDT by kristinn
The jihad rages on, but the War on Terror is over.
There is no longer a national-security consensus no longer the political support for wartime defense measures, much less offensive combat operations. While the enemy continues to fight, our will to break the enemys will has vanished. After a contentious week, that much is clear. The controversy swirling around shadowy intelligence programs hasnt gotten to the bottom of those programs, but it tells us everything we need to know about . . . us.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyles dog that did not bark is a metaphor worn out by journalists. This week, though, the lack of a bark was loud and clear: The bark of the national-security Right defending the wartime powers of the presidency. For a variety of reasons, many of the protagonists have developed amnesia about how we came to have the programs now provoking all the cavil: the debates over the PATRIOT Act and FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act).
After a series of attacks through the Nineties, the 9/11 atrocities destroyed the World Trade Center, struck the Pentagon, and killed nearly 3,000 Americans. In the savage clarity, our nation finally realized that what Ive called kinetic Islam a combination of militant jihadists and their sharia-supremacist enablers was at war with the United States. The PATRIOT Act was a product of our vigorous and persuasive contention, on the national-security right, that the challenge was an enemy force, not a criminal-justice problem. That challenge demanded a national war-footing, not judicial due process.
It was precisely this contention, moreover, that beat back the Lefts effort to intrude the judiciary into the collection of foreign intelligence constitutionally, a paradigm executive function when FISA was overhauled in 2008.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Whatever our decision is from this point forward, to wage war or not, it must be seen as something we decided to do, not because of fatigue, but because of success and realizing it was simply time to move on.
Our resolve is of primary importance, rather the perception of it overseas.
We must make it clear, any more nonsense and we’ll be right back in bigger numbers and causing much more havoc.
Paper tigers invite their enemies to attack. Stern, determined tigers are feared and avoided.
(1) Obama/Jarrett/Axelrod/Emanuel's communiques making lucrative deals with enemies of the US in exchange for foreign aid.
(2) The Gang of Eight colluding---getting their marching orders from Third World hellholes WRT immigration reform--- the gang exchanging aye votes for insider deals.
(3) Eric Holder and Obama deciding which "troublesome" news organizations and reporters to surveil.
(4) Hillary Clinton reading to Susan Rice what to say on TV talk WRT Benghazi.
Memo to NSA, please copy the Join Chiefs of Staff w/ all communiques.
Oh, I dunno. Think it might have something to do with the allegiances of the Current pResident?
Indeed. Arming Al Quaeda isn't exactly most citizens idea of American military might or right. He may be CiC but he has zero moral authority or credibility to me.
As we have bent over backwards to absorb the foreigner peasants who have invaded our homeland, American citizens are forced to foot the bills to pay for the invaders' welfare benefits. And as we avoid offending Muslim pressure groups by profiling our actual enemies, we are turning America into a police state for its own citizens - while our visitors enjoy the freedoms that were once our birthright.
Arguing against excessive government secrecy, JFK warned that it wouldn't matter if our nation survived if its traditions of freedom and independence did not survive with it. How right he was!
I loath big government, have contempt for statism, and quite libertarian save sovereignty and social. I also refuse to condemn the NSA and fully support its efforts to track threats. While Snowden’s allegations demand hearings, I am definitely not “silent” on natsec as a consequence of his revelations — the subtext of McCarthy’s article.
The Country’s greatest obstacle to security and liberty is the body of elected officials that claim to represent the Citizens and Constitution.
There, I fixed it that sentence.
The PATRIOT Act was a product of our vigorous and persuasive contention, on the national-security right, that the challenge was an enemy force, not a criminal-justice problem.
The PATRIOT Act was a hysterical, Tyrannical abomination, Orwellian in both name and (as we have now seen) in practice...
When the left controls national security, it is the right that is targeted, not foreign threats. That is why the concern, Andy.
I, did not support FISA when it was overhauled nor the Patriot ACT and PA II.
I knew that they would be used by those who don’t see the Constitution as a barrier to their self serving nefarious ambitions.
Sure enough, that is what we have going on here.
A trawling net for any information under the rubik of National Security and then making it available across a wide swath of agencies.
Further, here is where I have always parted ways on the issue of access to my records:
“Records of subscriber usage maintained by service providers such as telephone companies called third-party records because they are the property of the provider, not the subscriber enjoy no Fourth Amendment protection”
That always been so much BS to me as the records, in fact, belong to the service provider and to the subscriber. You don’t get to bifurcated because you found a way to do so and no one challenged you on this.
Why not make the argument the bank owns my house and all you have to do is go to them for permission to search it?
Or my car. Just ask the leasing company for permission.
Hey, why stop there? What about all those computers and multi-function printers? They’re leased a good many times.
Why, just ask the leasing company for permission to peruse “their” equipment and ask the landlord for permission to enter the premises?
That argument never made sense to me that the service provider is the holder of the records.
They are also the responsible organization(resporg) for managing my phone numbers and toll free numbers. Does that make them the owners? No, the numbers belong to me. They are only responsible for maintaining service and routing traffic “As I direct”.
They cannot use those lines or numbers for their own. They belong to me.
That argument still does not hold water today.
But if American terrorists account for maybe .00000001% of the population, why do they need %100 of our phone records?
Now, I know that one terrorist can potential kill and sicken tens of thousands of people but aren't the security personel in our government smart enough to stop terrorists without intruding into our innermost private matters, where the government can make any of us absolutely vulnerable to its power even if we didn't do anything wrong?
Mr. McCarthy, the constitution isn’t optional.
All this government spying isn’t about making us safe from terrorists. It’s about making the elites safe from us.
Seems like I’m seeing lots of defense of the NSA surveillance in the press—NY Post and Wall Street Journal anyway. Of the amnesty bill too. Am I reading this right? So where do we go for constitutional defense, besides FR and the left-wing press?
Liberty Valance: “Arming Al Quaeda isn’t exactly most citizens idea of American military might or right.”
We are providing aid to our enemies. It’s a simple as that. It’s been going on for a long time, at least since Operation Allied Force when we waged war against the Serbians on behalf of the Muslim Kosovar Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998.
Too bad Common Sense no longer exists in the majority of this people that have made government their god.
They don’t care, as long as they are provided for.
The rest - simply shrug their shoulders and say “What can we do about it?”
And truly - what can we?
Leadership has sold our liberties out from under us. We’ve done nothing in the face of overt subjugation of our rights. The Oligarchy tells us that we have no Rights, and that they do not apply to us in this or that circumstance.
How long before they rule that our rights do not apply to us because of our faith or our political affiliations?
History teaches that this is indeed what always happens in Leftist totalitarian dictatorships.
OK, here’s my retort to yahoos like Excitable Andy:
We’re not and, with the exception of overthrowing the Taliban in ‘02, haven’t been engaged in a real “war on terror.”
We’ve been engaged in this idiotic, twisted pretzel logic of “Islam is a religion of peace” one the one hand, while acting surprised when it isn’t on the other. In between, we’ve done seriously stupid things like allowing terrorists to escape our grasp while we worry about “building coalitions” and “respecting our partners.”
Blah, blah, blah, blah.
If there were a real “war on terror,” we’d see the same level of activity as we saw in ‘02: B-52’s dropping very large munitions on the enemy.
My new litmus test of whether or not we’re truly making “war” on something is “Are there B-52’s involved? No? Then it’s a ‘war’ only in the minds and mouths of politicians.”
“War on drugs?” Not a war, unless we’re talking about the shredding of the Constitution.
“War on terror?” Not a war, and again, we’re talking of shredding the Constitution.
“War on poverty?” Yea, that’s a huge grifting off of future generations of Americans.
When I hear or use the noun “war,” I’m referring to a situation where we don’t give a rat’s ass about being nice to people. In my version of the word “war,” we kill people, stack their bodies into trenches and wreck real estate by the square mile.
Somewhere, these weasel lawyers who now run everything have ruined our ability to make real war. Oh, we want to “pursue” terrorists, and “bring them to justice.”
Bullcrap. We need to simply kill them, not bring them into court. There’s no point in “bringing them to justice” in Gitmo. We’re just building a more complicated problem. We should simply kill them in the field.
The lesson to be learned from the Bush/Obama era is this: Never send a lawyer to do the job of the US military. That’s what these “wars” have now become: public policy debates by Ivy Leaguers, enforced by our military. When the “enforcement” goes wrong, the lawyers never suffer. Our people in the military suffer.
This is bullcrap. Want to talk about “war?” Then cry havoc and turn loose the dogs of war. Watch the funeral pyres’ smoke rise into the sky, drive the enemy into a corner and kill him. That’s war.
If we want to win the war against Islam (and that’s what we’re fighting - not some “radical strain of Islam”) then it is high time we tell the lawyers from the Ivy League to go powder their noses and play their intellectual word game onanism with each other while hard men go forth to kill people and break things.
We need to wage war on “waging war”.
I suggest GOD through prayer. Washington thought so too.
So you agree with Obama that the war is over when he says it is over. The enemy apparently not getting a vote on the issue.
Do you therefore propose that Islamic terrorism is not war but rather criminal activity?
There is no confidence that the administration uses its power and intelligence data against our enemies instead of us.
Obama has shown more hate and disdain for working class and middle class American citizens than he has shown toward Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Taliban
It'd also shown that whole crowd that it wasn't just the Russians who knew how to deal with their kind.
I like McCarthy and respect his view.
The problem is I really don’t know if he understands we have other enemies than foreign ...we are fighting enemies domestic as well.
I don’t trust my government to protect our people or our interests.
No, I don't agree with that. I also don't agree that the surveillance that is going on is proper in America.
Do you therefore propose that Islamic terrorism is not war but rather criminal activity?
No, I do not propose such a thing. I'm simply asserting that a Nazi-esque police state is not what's necessary or proper to fight terrorism. Surveillance should be based on reasonable suspicion and probable cause.
As a matter of fact, this extreme proliferation of surveillance data might well serve to prevent investigators from narrowing their focus to those who really do need to be watched.
>> So where do we go for constitutional defense
Vote for it.
It’s the Senate/Congress that is legislating and funding natsec policy — a fact that’s not resonating very well.
The purpose of gathering intelligence is to locate the threats, which are then placed under surveillance to gather evidence. "Surveillance ... based on reasonable suspicion and probable cause" means that we have already identified the threat and it is in general not really a threat anymore.
The purpose of intelligence gathering is to identify unknown threats. None of the 9/11 hijackers could have been under surveillance based on reasonable suspicion and probable cause, for the simple reason that they had not been identified as threats.
Whether the NSA activities under discussion here are reasonable and appropriate is very debatable. But I do know that limiting surveillance to being "based on reasonable suspicion and probable cause" will result in us primarily gathering evidence after an attack succeeds. It will do very little to prevent new attacks by unknown threats.
The gulf arabs will stop funding al queda when the price of oil falls due to rising US oil production.
Any intelligence gathered, therefore, should be subject to the exclusionary rule, meaning that it could never be used as evidence in a criminal prosecution of a non-terrorist act. Somehow, I doubt that safeguard has been considered.
The American system is not based on casting an all-encompassing net over every citizen. Not even when we are at War. We have already seen how this information can potentially be misused by those in power to persecute their political opponents. The Founders' vision of America precludes ever granting government such absolute power, even in time of (perpetual) War.
Using your argument, why draw the line at just meta-data, since even MORE terrorism could be thwarted by actually archiving the content of every American's conversation, text, email, etc. What you appear to be advocating is a totalitarian police state.
That is simply too much power to grant government, and results in a situation far less desirable than even having a terrorist attack occur once in a while.
Barring "Total Information Awareness" there will always be the possibility that a terrorist attack might succeed. We already routinely tolerate such a situation with respect to criminal behavior, and criminal behavior causes far more loss of life and property in our country than all terrorist acts combined.
It's the price of living in a Free society. You advocate destroying our open society, all in the name of fighting terrorism. A society where every conversation is recorded and processed by an all-powerful state is far worse than a society which experiences the occasional terrorist attack. A police state is a police state.
Nobody who truly believes in minimal government could ever embrace such a totalitarian view of modern society. If they did, the same arguments would apply with respect to everyday crime.
If the alternative to such tyranny is the necessity of wiping out all those who espouse terror, then so be it. Better for that to happen and our free society continue, than to turn America into something which has no resemblance to a free society. You have apparently forgotten that, if America is turned into a police state due to the War on Terror, then the terrorists have already won.
The Constitution still governs, and the Fourth Amendment is still the Fourth Amendment, and those who find it a nuisance should go ahead and be honest and advocate its repeal, claiming that it's been outdated, rather than trying to pretend they value any right to privacy at all.
A simple equation: The enemy are over there, not here.
So national security should focus on the enemy over there, not here. Leave here for the police and FBI, with the normal tools they used for the last 100 years. They don’t have to have dossiers and wiretaps on every American.
Other than that, stop having really stupid policies, that go out of their way from offending Muslims. There is no easy way to tell bad Muslims from good Muslims, so ALL Muslims should get extra scrutiny. Scrutiny that everyone else DOES NOT get, because everyone else are not at war with us.
America persecuted some Germans during World War I, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t give them extra scrutiny during World War II. Americans were unfair to blacks a long time ago. This doesn’t mean we should not give Muslims of all colors extra scrutiny today.
There is NOTHING, ZERO, wrong with profiling, if you are at war with the people you are profiling. And their families and friends. Nothing.
Treating the enemy the same as everyone else during wartime is just stupid.
The even average intelligence security people know that Muslims are the ones creating all the fuss. Making them pretend that’s not the case just forces them to figure out a way around the system, so they can give extra scrutiny to Muslims.
So not only is the system wasteful and inefficient, it forces the authorities to cheat to do their job. So get rid of it.
I am advocating nothing. I am merely pointing out that there is a huge difference between gathering intelligence to detect future threats and gathering evidence for prosecution of known threats.
By definition, gathering intelligence involves acquiring information about huge numbers of people and sifting through it to try to find that tiny percentage who are genuinely dangerous. If we only ever gather data on those for whom we have sufficient evidence to get warrants, I can guarantee you we will NOT detect future threats in time to head them off.
The problem here, I think, is we’re stuck in a false dichotomy. Our present conflict is EITHER war, in which case the rules of war and of military intelligence apply. OR it is peacetime, and the laws of civil and criminal justice apply.
Seems to me we’re faced with a situation that is neither fish nor fowl. Trying to force one or the other of the paradigms to fit only ensure that bad things will happen.
What I would like to see is a re-examination of what is needed to strike a balance between gathering intelligence on those who wish to kill us, and protecting the civil rights of Americans. Those who are dead because our enemies blew them up have also had their civil rights infringed.
I fully recognize that these operations are highly susceptible to misuse. And I am agnostic on where exactly the line should be drawn. I do know, as we saw after the Boston bomb, that many of those who object to the gathering of intelligence are among the first to criticize a failure of intelligence. Fairly obviously, putting greater restrictions on those gathering intelligence will not increase their efficiency.