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Bush Backed Spying On Americans 1092

Posted by Zonk
from the no-privacy-in-the-constitution-means-free-for-all dept.
jb.hl.com writes "President Bush allowed security agents to eavesdrop on people inside the U.S. without court approval after 9/11, the New York Times has reported. The report says that under a 2002 presidential order, the National Security Agency has been unconstitutionally and illegally monitoring international communications of hundreds in the U.S. When asked about the programme on U.S. TV, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said, 'The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken.'"
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Bush Backed Spying On Americans

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  • Palpatine loses one (Score:4, Informative)

    by beforewisdom (729725) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:34PM (#14274173)
    Palpatine loses one:
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10496539/ [msn.com]
  • by Skyshadow (508) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:35PM (#14274177) Homepage
    Whoa, wait: President Bush abusing his power? No, you've got to be kidding me. I can't believe it. After all, this is the guy who *wanted* to help New Orleans but just couldn't because of those darn rules maybe being in the way.

    That aside: Bad week for the Neocons.

    First, they're not allowed to torture people anymore (not that we ever did, right? I mean, I'm sure the folks at those secret CIA prisons in eastern Europe were Geneva Convention poster boys). Then the PATRIOT act gets blocked so they have to go deal with those darn activist judges to get warrants again. Now, people are acting like the President can't override statute with an executive order! Next thing you know, people will actually want leaders who follow the Constitution. Heck, this keeps up and nobody'll want to be President of the United States anymore - we're just takin' all the fun out of it.

    I personally look forward to the day when the GOP has something to do with, you know, conservatism again. "Spend responsibly" rolls off the tounge better than "constant wanton abuse of power". Still, at least it was just violation of the basic agreement that forms the basis of our government and not, you know, a blowjob. Otherwise the nation might have to sit through another impeachment.

    • by Savantissimo (893682) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:40PM (#14274262) Journal
      How many crimes does Monkeyboy have to commit before he is held to account? There isn't a single person on death row or executed in the history of the USA who has who has ordered so many killings, kidnappings and tortures. His utter contempt for the constitution and human rights is the root of the many forms of his criminality. Ordering illegal spying on thousands of Americans should by itself be enough to get him impeached, tried and sentenced to life in prison, but on the scale of his other misdeeds it barely deserves mention.

      Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and Gonzales should be quickly tried and promptly executed as a deterrent to our future officials who might think that they can use power for their own purposes rather than as servants of the electorate. We need to put our so-called leaders in permanent mortal fear of even getting close to violating their oaths to uphold the Constitution. Until then, they will continue to think that they can rule us rather than represent us.
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:56PM (#14274456) Journal
        I think he could quite convincingly plead diminished mental capacity as a defence. Take today's example when asked how one used an iPod:
        • I've got a good quote from Noam Chomsky regarding Bush's supposed "diminished mental capacity"...

          "Both political parties and the media are far to the right of the general population on a whole host of issues. And the population is just disorganized, atomized... And that's why the media and campaigns keep away from (political) issues. They know that on issues, they're going to lose people. So therefore you have... George Bush... this pampered kid who came from a rich family and went to prep school and an

      • by Seumas (6865) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:56PM (#14274462)
        How many crimes does Monkeyboy have to commit before he is held to account?

        As many as he likes, as long as they don't involve consensual sex and hummers.
      • by Jtheletter (686279) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:07PM (#14274599)
        Good show. I just posted almost the exact same thing. Death or at least life in prison should be the minimum sentence for mucking with constitutional rights. As it stands now there's no fear from the politicians, at worst they serve a year or two of a reduced sentence in some cush-job prison (compared to true federal prisons). Most first-offense everyday crimes carry stricter minimum sentencing guidelines than what polititcians get for abusing an entire nation's rights.
      • How many crimes does Monkeyboy have to commit before he is held to account?

        Just one. However, it has to be one that the majority of the USA cares about. Killings, kidnappings, torture? The average American doesn't care, as long as it doesn't happen to them. Now if Bush was caught getting a blowjob, it would be a different matter altogether.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I don't understand criticizing the president for not bringing troops into New Onleans, particularly if you don't like him.

      It seems to me that if you believe that Bush does habitually abuse his power, you would be especially supportive of a law that prevents him from using the military in that way.

      One day the military are brought in during an emergency to serve as a temporary police force without following proper legal procedure, the next day they're brought in during an "emergency" to "gaurd" polling places
    • by Onan (25162) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:46PM (#14274334)
      First, they're not allowed to torture people anymore...
      Sadly, they appear to have, at least for the moment, found a way around such onerous strictures as that expectation that we behave like human beings. McCain's bill mandates that all US interrogations conform to the methods laid out in the Army field manual.

      Given that it appears to be passing unvetoably, the Pentagon has simply changed the manual. [nytimes.com]

      And declared the new version classified.

    • by _KiTA_ (241027) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:56PM (#14274455) Homepage
      Unfortuantely, President Bush has proven quite well that the Republicans are anything BUT the party of responsibility -- be it Personal Responicibility, Financial Responsibility, Military Responsibility, what have you.

      Sad thing is, as much as the Republican PR machine would like you to to believe otherwise, the Democrats have been the party of at least financial responsibility for quite some time. Military Responsibility too, unfortunately -- at least the Democrats haven't sent people off to war with no plan other than "sit tight for a few years, we'll think of something."

      What I don't get is why the people in the Republican party who really do have morals and ethics don't speak out against the path that Bush, Rove, and Cheney are taking their party down. It's clearly a complete 180 from where they're claiming to be. An ethical person coming out and saying "Ok, I don't care what Bush says, he's NOT a Republican, we're disowning him" would solve so many problems...
    • by nizo (81281) *
      Then the PATRIOT act...

      This brings up something that really bothers me; I wish that all references to legislation would simply be a number, instead of some (usually misleading) title. I keep waiting for someone to create the "Stop clubbing baby seals act" that in truth cuts funding for all public programs. It is too easy for people introducing legislation to avoid putting a spin on the name.

    • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:16PM (#14274728) Homepage Journal
      I don't support Bush, but he's no better than Clinton or any President going back 3 generations. Both parties are power hungry and both push their powers as far as they can.

      Why do you think it took so long to release papers from Kennedy's time? National security?

      Lies. Everyone has secrets to hide.
      • by lawpoop (604919) on Friday December 16, 2005 @08:12PM (#14276640) Homepage Journal
        "I don't support Bush, but he's no better than Clinton..."

        I disagree. Look at their wars:

        Cliton got us into Kosovo.
        • We acted in concord with NATO, the UN, and our allies, and we got the job done without alienated every other country in the world.
        • We are *done* in Kosovo. When Clinton was selling the war to the American people, all the Republican congresspeople and right-wing pundits said this was going to be Clinton's Vietnam, that we were entering a quagmire, etc. etc. Guess what? Situation is peaceful.
        • We have had no combat fatalities in Kosovo. We are done and the war is over. Service people have died, but not because of enemy combatants and insurgents
        • Clinton never lied to the American people, and never relied on cooked up intelligence to sell the war. We went in to stop genocide and get rid of the bad guy. We did just that.
        Bush got us into Iraq.
        • Bush alienated every country except Britain getting us into Iraq. We are now a pariah at the UN.
        • Bush lied to us about why we were going in and used false intelligence to build the case. Bush's said reasons for going into Iraq have changed several times since he first started selling the war
        • Bush's team had absolutely no plan for reconstructing Iraq, and they have no plan to this day. This has resulted in about 9 billion dollars dissapearing from the budget in fraud and corruption.
        • 2000+ soldiers have died, and there is no end in sight. The violence it getting worse, not better. The military is stretched to their limits. This cannot continue without instituting a draft


        "Both parties are power hungry and both push their powers as far as they can."

        Yes, but power-hungry Democrats have actually helped this country and its people. FDR packed the supreme court and installed himself for an unprecedented 3rd time. Talk about abuse of power. But, he got us in a good position to win WWII, and his New Deal programs modernized the US, so that now America is a modern industrial country like those in Europe, instead of a corrupt, poor backwater bananna republic like in Central and South America.

        Yes, politicians are power-hungry and corruptable. However, your average American fares far better under Democratic presidents than they do under Republican presidents. Politicans aren't all the same. Bush is *much* worse than Clinton.
    • by willtsmith (466546) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:01PM (#14275297) Journal

      Yet another impeachment count if the Democrats can find the spine to win the 2006 elections.

      If you're not concerned about the president creating a US KGB, then you're a fascist and you don't deserve to be an American. You're an American hater because you hate the Constitution of the United States.

      Flying flags does not represent patriotism. Nor does sporting yellow magnetic stickers made in China. Belief and upholding the CONSTITUTION makes you an American.

      GW Bush is NOT an American. He is a demonic usurpur. He'd be far more comfortable living in Saudia Arabia.

  • Reminder (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:35PM (#14274187)
    Your posts are being recorded and may be used against you. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the President for all his hard work in protecting us from Eastasia, at great personal gain to himself.
  • by Jordan Catalano (915885) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:35PM (#14274191) Homepage
    lawfully != ethically
  • In related news.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:35PM (#14274193) Homepage
    The senate recently rejected [yahoo.com] extensions to the patriot act.
    • Great quote (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Josh Coalson (538042) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:38PM (#14274238) Homepage
      from here [yahoo.com]

      "God forbid that there be a terrorist attack that could have been prevented by the Patriot Act after it has expired," said Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican.

      Hell, why stop there, let's wipe with the constitution a little more and go straight to a Police State Act, then Sen. Kyl can argue "God forbid that there be a terrorist attack that could have been prevented by the Police State Act before it was passed." Yeah, a prison could be real safe too.

      If 47 senators are so for it, maybe they should just "opt-in" to giving up their rights, instead of passing another odious law that will apply to them too? Oh yeah, that's because it won't apply to them. They are elite. Their names will never be on a no-fly list. Their personal information will never be stored at a company like ChoicePoint (if you ran ChoicePoint, the first thing you'd do is create a blacklist so that no one who could mess with your business model could be affected by a scam). But they're oh-so-ready to shackle the common man to keep him safe.

      • Re:Great quote (Score:3, Informative)

        by Politburo (640618)
        Their names will never be on a no-fly list.

        Actually, Ted Kennedy showed up on a NFL. There is a Republican Congressman who is also on the List.. can't recall the name off the top of my head.

        Also, there's no mechanism for getting off of the NFL. What they claim to do is add a note next to your name on the list.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:36PM (#14274197)
    Thanks, Drudge Report. [drudgereport.com]
    • by Politburo (640618) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:10PM (#14274636)
      Does that somehow make the actions less wrong?
  • From TFS... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought (586631) <shadow.wroughtNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:37PM (#14274211) Homepage Journal
    "The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken." [emphasis added]

    But is it still legal when the steps are combined? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • by TripMaster Monkey (862126) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:37PM (#14274217)

    Hmm...wasn't there another president who got in trouble for spying on other americans? Watershed...waterfall...waterbed...definitely water-something...

    Oh yeah! Here [wikipedia.org] it is!

    And this is just the latest of Dubya and Company's shocking assaults against their own nation...sadly, an offence that would have been considered grounds for immediate impeachment (not to mention additional criminal prosecution) thirty years ago hardly raises an eyebrow today. Apparently, we're used to this sort of thing by now.

    I'm pretty sure that this is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they fought and died so that we might have a nation free from tyranny.
  • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:37PM (#14274219)
    I'm a little more concerned about http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/12/15/torture.bil l/index.html [cnn.com], which basically says that the Nuremburg trials are no longer valid precedents for US law.

    "(It) basically says that if a person, a reasonable person, would feel that someone was acting under orders ... then it could be a defense in case of accusation,"
  • Nothing new .. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Entropy (6967) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:37PM (#14274224)
    Not that I am defending Bush, but the NSA spying on Americans is nothing new. Read "The Puzzle Palace" and "Body of Secrets" by James Bamford if you want a good look inside "no such agency" .. the only things to change from the book would be the tech, not the policies, politics and yes, paranoia.
  • by 192939495969798999 (58312) <info@@@devinmoore...com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:38PM (#14274227) Homepage Journal
    He acted lawfully the same way that the mob boss doesn't actually "kill" someone, they just happen to know the guys that shot the victim. In the words of John Gotti, "It's good to have guns around ... but you don't want to carry a gun. You might get arrested."
  • This makes slashdot? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tpgp (48001) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:40PM (#14274260) Homepage
    Why does this make slashdot when in the last two days we've had bush resisting torture legislation [mercurynews.com] and his complicity in kidnapping citizens of allies [bbc.co.uk]

  • by mozumder (178398) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:41PM (#14274268)
    So what do we do now? Can we standardize on encrypted VoIP and email protocols now?

    I wonder how long it is before they use NSA intercepts to implement other authoritarian measures, such as drug/copyright/misc law enforcement.

    And, is anyone surprised that Vice President Dick "Go Fuck Yourself, we're gonna invade Iraq and torture/kidnap people for my profit" Cheney is pushing the whole spy-on-american-citizens philosophy as well? The guy is the single greatest point of all things evil in the world, and must be removed from power & influence immediately.
  • by wwwrench (464274) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:43PM (#14274294) Homepage
    The fact that the American government snoops on its citizens without any oversight is frightening, but perhaps not as freightening as this:

    "The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny. After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting. Some information that administration officials argued could be useful to terrorists has been omitted."

    And how exactly is knowing that the NSA isn't under court-oversight, gonna help terrorists???? I guess Bin Laden is now gonna hold off on making all those phone calls to the States, now that he knows the NSA doesn't need to call a judge before starting the wiretap.

    The New York Times simply cannot be stupid enough to believe that this knowledge will help terrorists. They are a bunch of sniveling, subservient, fart-catchers. They care less about informing the public, then in protecting their pathetic "access" to the powerful.

    That the government removed the provision that wiretaps should be (effectively) rubber-stamped is shameful. That they kept the people in the dark about this decision is even more shameful. But that the supposed free press also kept this massive decision secret?? That's so fucked, I don't even know where to begin.

    A vibrant democracy has a free press. In a democracy, you can speak your mind without fear. Your government is open, and their decisions are public and can be scrutinized. Heck, the public can even influence the decisions!

    What America has is a vote every few years to choose between one of two figureheads. There are certainly places in this world, where they don't even pretend to live in a democracy, but this shouldn't give one much comfort.

    America: Please. Do something. Your democracy is so shallow, it barely exists, except as some cheap idea evoked by your rulers to justify the invasion of other countries.

    Why we aren't all at the barricades is beyond me.

    • by Neph (5010) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:11PM (#14274654) Homepage
      After meeting with senior administration officials to hear their concerns, the newspaper delayed publication for a year to conduct additional reporting

      Oh crap, I want a firmer number here. Did they wait exactly a year? Was it a roughly a year? Was it maybe a bit more than a year? Was the article originally going to be printed before election day 2004?

  • by isotope23 (210590) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:44PM (#14274309) Homepage Journal
    When Bush can say the constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper" [capitolhillblue.com]
    how is anyone surprised?

    BTW, for those who didnt notice, the times held the story for a YEAR.

    And this guy [capitolhillblue.com] broke the story.
    • I'm against Bush as much as anyone else.. but CHB simply is not a reputable source.
    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:19PM (#14274776) Homepage Journal

      When Bush can say the constitution is "just a goddamned piece of paper"

      Did he really say that? Has it been reported by anyone other than Doug Thompson? Who is Doug Thompson, anyway? I'd actually like to pass this around to some people, but I need to know that it's for real.

      • by Cryptnotic (154382) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:29PM (#14275669) Homepage
        It is absolutely not real. It was from an editorial piece written by Doug Thompson. He was just making up a story describing what he thought a conversation with Bush would be like. Note in the article that Scalia says that the Constitution can mean "whatever we say it means". That is another ridiculous statement.

        Basically, if you go around repeating this quote as real (as many on the "blogosphere" have done), it makes you look like an idiot.

        • by isotope23 (210590) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:53PM (#14275961) Homepage Journal
          It is absolutely not real. It was from an editorial piece written by Doug Thompson.

          From the article :
          "I've talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution "a goddamned piece of paper." "

          from the followup [capitolhillblue.com]

          "When a GOP operative first emailed me about the White House meeting where Bush called the Constitution "just a goddamned piece of paper," I put it aside as one of many reports I get about the President's temper tantrums."

          "We get tips about Bush's temper and his comments all the time. Most of the tips don't get used because we don't go with information from just one source. The tip about "the goddamned piece of paper" seemed destined for the byte bin until a second aide, in casual conversation, mentioned the comment.

          So I called a third source who has confirmed information in the past. At first he was defensive.

          "Who told you about that?" I told him I'd picked it up from two other sources.

          "Look, you know how the President is," he said. "He gets agitated when people challenge him."

          All I wanted to know was did the President of the United States call the Constitution a "goddamned piece of paper."

          "Yeah. He did." "

          It was not an imaginary converstation [capitolhillblue.com]

          We were the first news outlet to identify the names of women who claimed sexual abuse by Bill Clinton when he was attorney general and later governor of Arkansas. We were the first news outlet to report on the ethical problems of many members of Congress in our series: America's Criminal Class: The Congress of the United States. And we were the first to report on the abuse of underage girls on teen model web sites. Links to all of these award-winning stories can be found on our home page.

          That doesn't mean you should take everything we print as gospel. Never do that with us or any other news source. Do your own research and reach your own conclusions. And consider the record of the sources you use for news and information. We've published more than 25,000 stories since going online on October 1, 1994, and we've had to retract two of them. That's a record I'm willing to stand on.

          My bio can be found on this link. I put my name on everything I write. And I stand behind what I write. I'm an arrogant, stubborn, driven bastard who takes no prisoners and backs down from no one. When I'm wrong, I admit it. Thankfully, I haven't had to do that very often. When I'm right I don't give a damn who doesn't like it or what they say about it.

          An editor who taught me a lot once said: "If you piss off both sides you're doing your job."

          That's good enough for me.

  • by rapierian (608068) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:44PM (#14274310)
    First of all, the news the article is relaying is a year old: the reporters witheld the information for a year for security reasons. Note they still released it after only removing "some" of the issues that the security people had with the article. Even the article acknowledges that since then Bush had the Department of Justice look over and revise the program. Second, the original eavesdropping was only on traffic into and out of the country, not on internal traffic. Also, the initial impetus for monitering some of this traffic was a couple of captured terrorist's cell phones and computers. The numbers that they recieved from those and several similar and related captures are the numbers that they've been monitering. Again, they've since limited their criteria even further. For an excellent view of the right-wing's side of the debate check out: http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004090.htm [michellemalkin.com]
    • Yeah. See, here's the problem:

      Regardless of the scope of the surveillance conducted by the NSA, the subjects they're allowed to snoop on are severely restricted [cornell.edu]. Here's the relevant bit:

      (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that... there is no substantial l

  • by NFNNMIDATA (449069) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:50PM (#14274379) Journal
    If treason isn't a good enough reason to be impeached, maybe we can come up some kind of blow-job scenario.
  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:53PM (#14274425)
    Condoleezza Rice said, 'The president acted lawfully in every step that he has taken.'

    If this is true, it only shows how corrupt our laws have become. No serious person could think that Jefferson, Franklin and the other Constitution authors would ever think it's OK for a president to do something like this.

  • by jamie (78724) <jamie@slashdot.org> on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:54PM (#14274436) Journal
    In the past 48 hours or so, it's been reported that the NSA, FBI [schneier.com] and DOD [msn.com] have all overreached into Americans' privacy.

    At some point the question becomes: which of Bush's TLAs [die.net] is not illegally spying on us?

  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Friday December 16, 2005 @04:54PM (#14274442)
    is that people seem to forget that the previous president was nearly impeached for lying about a blowjob in the oval office.

    Where are the calls to impeach Bush over his bloody lies?
  • by ENOENT (25325) on Friday December 16, 2005 @05:10PM (#14274648) Homepage Journal
    Why do you hate America?

  • by thule (9041) on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:27PM (#14275638) Homepage
    Hello people... the article mentions that the CIA and the Executive branch informed the Legislative branch this was happening. They were informed that phone number and email addresses collected during an arrest could be used to find ties to others. According to the article the information had to be acted on quickly. It worked. Others were ferreted out and arrested.

    Anyone ever hear of FISA [fas.org]? Since the calls and email were international communications, it is within the purview of the CIA to intercept them.

    The article also mentions that the government still has to get warrants for domestic taps.

    If you don't like it... get FISA repealed!
    • by swiftstream (782211) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:47PM (#14277432)
      The difference between this and FISA is that FISA requires prior approval by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, FISC, as you would have known had you actually read the first three lines of the page you linked to:

      Requests are adjudicated by a special eleven member court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

      These taps were done without any judicial permission, which even FISA requires. The time required for a FISC approval (as short as a few hours if a case is urgent) was claimed to be too short, justifiying this.

      One of the things I find most worrying about the entire thing, though, is summed up in this statement by Trent Lott:

      ``I want my security first. I'll deal with all the details after that.''

      (see e.g. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&si d=aJFRC0JDD0lY&refer=us [bloomberg.com])

      I don't want any man who puts security before freedom in my government. If I lived in Mississippi I'd try to do something about him; alas, I live in Utah, so I've got Orrin Hatch to worry about.
  • by koreth (409849) * on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:35PM (#14275725)
    Anyone who still likes Bush will do one of (a) not believe the report, (b) blame the situation on a liberal something-or-other (or focus on some bad thing a left-wing person did in the past, on the theory that two wrongs make a right), or (c) say "we're at war, so whatever he does is okay, even stuff we would have gone apoplectic about had a Democrat done them." Hmm, or (d) say "if this turns out to be true, I will be first in line to call Bush to account for it," then when it does turn out to be true, claim they never meant it. Those seem to be the four things a Bush loyalist does at the first sign that something might be rotten in Crawford.

    I have to admire, though, the way Bush has managed to run roughshod over just about every conservative ideal there is while still managing to keep a sizable percentage of the country fiercely loyal to him.

    • Moral behavior: Photographic evidence of torture by US troops. (With the Vice President lobbying strongly to stop torture from being banned by Congress, it takes a special kind of thinking to truly believe there was no official sanction.)
    • Isolationism: Nation-building exercises. (Remember the term "nation-building" from the Bush vs. Gore debates? Yeah, it was that thing Bush promised never to do, but shh!)
    • Frugality: The biggest, most expensive new social program in decades (the Medicare prescription drug plan) not to mention massive budget deficits.
    • Privacy: Surveillance with no court orders or oversight by other branches of the government, see current story.
    • Piety: Here's a fun quote for you. "But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." I defy any Bush supporter to name one instance in which Bush's foreign policy has followed this rather central tenet of the religion he claims is so important to him. I sure haven't seen it. Yet somehow he manages to hoodwink the religious right into thinking he's a born-again, devout believer.

    I could go on, but as I said, why bother? Anyone who doesn't already see the darkness is never going to be swayed by words.

    And before you say it: No, I'm not particularly left-leaning. I think conservatism has a lot of good things to offer. If only it were actually being practiced.

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