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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 176810  
Subject: Re: 100 million Americans cant be wrong Date: 2/16/2006 8:54 AM
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To say President Bush isn't "stopping terrorist activities" demands proof.

"...Now, the president isn't "stopping terrorist activities"..."
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A statement you can't back up.


I don't have to back it up. The Constitution clearly places the onus for government interference, seizure, wiretapping, arrest or detention on probable cause, not on "I'm the President, so whatever I say goes."

If anyone has to "back up" a statement, it is those who are making the claim that "the President is stopping terrorist activities." The PRESIDENT should have to "back up" his statement, not merely say it and have you slavishly fall in line. Do you not understand? If Hillary Clinton says "Those FBI files were nothing to worry about", were you not worried about them? Did you not demand an investigation? Did you not get one?

The Constitution "inconvenient"? Instead of a declarative statement, ask yourself a question, "Is the Constitution a national suicide pact?"

Then you think the Constitution should have been abrogated when the Black Panthers began killing people in the streets of America? How about when the right-wing militia of Montana began executing lawmen, or robbing banks? When organized crime was machine gunning people in the streets of Chicago and other cities? When the labor movement was fomenting riots in the 1920's? When the whiskey tax rebellion happened in the first days of the Republic? During the draft riots of the pre-civil war? When there were race riots in Los Angeles? What is the magic tripping point for you? That "this time it's different"?

This is quite simple. The Constitution is the Constitution. You follow it, or you don't live in America. Now if you want to change it, that's OK with me, there is a mechanism for doing so. You don't simply declare "I'm the President, and I don't have to follow it because it's old and inconvenient."

Were the actions at the time taken by Lincoln and Roosevelt appropriate?

My opinion is that they were not. It is also my opinion that this analogy is absurd. Lincoln suspended habeus corpus when he had an invading army a few miles from the nation's capital, when there was an armed insurrection within the borders of the country and tens of thousands of soldiers were marching on the citizens of the land, armed with artillery, cannon, and rifles. Roosevelt's ill-advised move was undoubtedly racist (we didn't bother interning German-American citizens, who happened to be white), and when we were in a declared war with three nation states equipped with the latest in war materiel and the means to deliver it.

I do not mean to minimize the threat of terrorism, but it's ridiculous to make a comparison to the situation today, particularly within the borders of the United States where more terrorist incidents over the past 20 years have been caused by politically extremist white men than by religious Arab fundamentalists.

It is not the policy of the US to torture. That said, the liberal jurist Alan Dershowitz makes a compelling case for when torture is appropriate.

Yes, he does. And, IIRC, he also believes it should be used only with the approval of the court, with appropriate checks and balances, by issuance of a "torture warrant", based on probable cause and the anticipated size of the terrorism threat, and done only under "extraordinary cirsumstances." You may note the difference between that position and what you imply, that "Alan Dershowitz says torture is OK", which is very close to your "wiretapping must be OK because the President says so."

One more question. When would you lose sleep, torturing someone with actionable knowledege of a catastrophic that could save lives or NOT torturing someone with actionable knowledge and knowing your inaction KILLED thousands of innocents?

I guess you're asking me if I feel like torturing people who might be innocent on the chance that they might have information which could be useful. The answer is no. We have had government who tried that: Joe Stalin comes to mind. Adolph Hitler. And the ever popular Saddam Hussein. Those are the role models for your theory of torture?

Oh, wait, I remember. It's George Bush, so we don't have to worry. Just a quick question. Who follows George Bush? You're OK if the next President after him also tortures people without any court intervention? And the guy after that?

You should read the history of the Roman Republic, which became a dictatorship replete with the worst excesses imaginable, just because people like you said "It's OK. Anyway, this 'Republic' thing is sometimes inconvenient, and this time the threat is really big.'" From that point forward, "citizens" such as you and I had no rights at all. And all because you didn't think enough of them to care about them when you had them.
 
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