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ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging FISA 542

Posted by Soulskill
from the battle-of-the-four-letter-acronyms dept.
Wired's Threat Level blog reports that the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Recently passed by both the House and Senate, FISA was signed into law on Thursday by President Bush. The ACLU has fought aspects of FISA in the past. The new complaint (PDF) alleges the following: "The law challenged here supplies none of the safeguards that the Constitution demands. It permits the government to monitor the communications of U.S. Citizens and residents without identifying the people to be surveilled; without specifying the facilities, places, premises, or property to be monitored; without observing meaningful limitations on the retention, analysis, and dissemination of acquired information; without obtaining individualized warrants based on criminal or foreign intelligence probable cause; and, indeed, without even making prior administrative determinations that the targets of surveillance are foreign agents or connected in any way, however tenuously, to terrorism."
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ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging FISA

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  • At least (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:14AM (#24172211)

    there are people who still believe in the Constitution out there. They have my support.

  • hooray sortof (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mambosauce (1236224) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:14AM (#24172213)
    i'm glad to see someone still loves the constitution, but the aclu will fail as always
  • Re:hooray sortof (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:19AM (#24172243)
    As a non-American, watching from the sidelines, I have to say that it's nice to see someone at least try to stop the erosion of freedoms in your country. It may get to the point where you really wish you'd done something earlier.
  • by matthaak (707485) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:20AM (#24172247) Homepage Journal
    ...such complaints by the surveilled would be connected tenuously to terrorism.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:27AM (#24172285)
    Is this a reflection of middle America's concerns?

    Sadly, it's a reflection that middle America isn't concerned.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:27AM (#24172291)

    It's probably a reflection that there is really no choice for a forthcoming President, both are pretty rubbish candidates. It's a nice sentiment on telling everyone to vote for other candidates / parties, but that's not going to happen in reality.

  • by Adreno (1320303) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:28AM (#24172297)
    Never trade freedom for security, nor security for freedom. You can increase both with a little thought and creativity. Now we just need to get those thoughtful, creative people elected. THAT is the challenge.
  • Do it! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:41AM (#24172365)

    And be VERY specific about WHY you are doing so.

    Money is all that most of them understand. Money gets them elected. Money gets them re-elected.

  • Standing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by overshoot (39700) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:41AM (#24172369)
    We've been here before. The ACLU doesn't have standing to bring the case unless they have a plaintiff who can show that s/he's been the subject of an unConstitutional investigation, and the law allows the Government to claim a "State secret" basis for refusing to confirm that any particular individual fits the bill.

    Therefore, regardless of whether the law itself is Constitutional, it can't be reviewed by the courts.

  • Re:Hey Obama! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hey! (33014) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:42AM (#24172375) Homepage Journal

    I'd be too, except that the ACLU is going to be arguing its cases against an ideologically stacked court.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Solandri (704621) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:45AM (#24172401)
    FISA represents a shift of power from the people to the government. So politicians are more for it than the general population.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:49AM (#24172433)

    Sadly, it's a reflection that middle America isn't concerned.

    As a registered Republican who's disgusted with the New Aged GOP, I was fully planning on voting for Obama in November until this vote. I chatted with a pro-DFLer who is a huge Obama supporter and told him my change and why. You know what he said? He told me that because Obama is now the candidate he has to make sure he has support from both sides. Ugh. I'm not sure how you can support both sides when you vote for this intrusion and retroactive law. I just can't understand how they can uphold the Constitution (as required by them being elected to office by the people) when they vote for a law that goes against it.

    I cannot vote for any candidate that voted in favor of this and now I'm not sure what to do. I'm no longer voting for the lesser of two evils as they both are. I have lost what tiny little bit of faith that still remained following the failure of Congress/Senate and our fear-creating leader.

    The only option at this point is to begin militant action against our failed government institution. Unfortunately we would have no backing because the TV still spews its garbage and the people are sated.

  • by strelitsa (724743) * on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:52AM (#24172465) Journal
    I'll see your cute truism and raise you a boiled frog allegory. Nobody is disputing the wisdom of conducting surveillance on Joe Terrorist in BFE. Its when the surveillance is somehow also conducted on Peter "The Citizen" Pothead and Ulysses "The Citizen" Unsafedriver without bothering with little nitpicky things like warrants and Constitutional rights that sticks in one's craw.
  • Inconsistency (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vijayiyer (728590) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:53AM (#24172475)
    People have been trading freedom for security for decades now - whether it's in the form of expanded FISA powers, or in the form of restrictive gun control, Social Security, etc. People set up the slippery slope whenever they decided that the Constitution should be ignored for their benefit, and now we all pay the price.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:55AM (#24172483) Journal

    They've been impacted by it, they just don't realize it yet.

  • Re:Hey Obama! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:58AM (#24172499) Journal

    First response: how would making Supreme Court justices be elected remove ideology? It hasn't worked with Congress or the President.

    Second response: Justices are supposed to be above politics. It doesn't always work, but that's the goal. Having them be elected would run counter to that goal.

  • I'm curious... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gravesb (967413) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:03AM (#24172525) Homepage
    I'm curious how many people here have read the legislation instead of reacting to sound bites on TV. I mean, it does increase protection over what has been afforded since 2007, and while not the ideal of increasing protection back to pre-2001 levels, it at least restores some freedom.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ayeffkay (1139265) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:04AM (#24172527)

    The only option at this point is to begin militant action against our failed government institution. Unfortunately we would have no backing because the TV still spews its garbage and the people are sated.

    I think I hear the feds at my door for having read that.

  • by taxman_10m (41083) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:06AM (#24172543)

    Just because something makes sense doesn't make it constitutional. Congress can't make an end run around the Constitution. Don't like the way the Constitution prevents such and such? Amend the Constitution.

  • Re:Standing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:07AM (#24172551)

    Therefore, regardless of whether the law itself is Constitutional, it can't be reviewed by the courts.

    a self-locking exclusionary law. no way to prove any damages because - ITS ALL IN SECRET!

    niiiiice.

    we seem to have the best congress that money can buy.

    does anyone know which vendors sell constitution toilet paper? I'd like to buy some rolls and mail them to my congressman. I doubt they'll get the message but it would be more productive than just typing your feelings into a letter they'll just 'bin' anyway.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strabes (1075839) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:07AM (#24172555)

    just can't understand how they can uphold the Constitution (as required by them being elected to office by the people) when they vote for a law that goes against it.

    Because it's easier to get elected when you promise to give handouts, take action, tax the rich, etc, instead of trying to get elected on the position that you're going to eliminate the special interest benefits, shrink government, and lower taxes. People always want the Government to serve their special interests, but no one else's. This is one of the reasons why our Government has grown so large. Another reason is that we have forgotten the tyranny and oppression that in inevitable when the government controls close to 40% of the nation's income and when our rights are slowly being eliminated and put into the hands of a few powerful people at the top. "It's for your own good" they tell us. "We need to take away your rights to protect you from the terrorists." I must ask why is it not possible to both protect us from the terrorists (a proper role of government) and grant us our rights? The reason is that big government precedents have already been set which allow the government to get away with these kinds of shenanigans.

  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:08AM (#24172557)

    We all know the word. We all have an idea of what it means. But is there a legal definition of "terrorism" already? Something that clearly defines what a terrorist is, and under which someone can be charged for being terrorist?

    We have clear definitions of "rape", what has to be done to make an indecent assault become "rape". We are quite clear what is "indecent assault". Murder, in all it's gradations from criminal negligence causing death to first degree premeditated murder, it is clear. We know what someone has to do to become murderer. Or rapist. Or thief.

    But what does someone really have to do to become a terrorist? Be scary? Then everyone celebrating Halloween may be a terrorist. Being foreigner, and having ideas that oppose the American culture? Can't be enough to be a criminal.

    It is really high time to define: what is a terrorist. Then, and only then, we can make this kind of laws actually work, without all kinds of unintended(?) side effects. Then also the risk of being thrown in jail just for being "a terrorist" without clear accusations can go. And of course, only when we define "terrorist" we can accuse people of actually being one, and judge them accordingly.

  • In time of war (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:16AM (#24172599) Homepage Journal

    The rules change. The last i heard we are officially at war. ( and unfortunately will be for the foreseeable future ) During war, the federal government could even suspend the entire constitution and declare martial law, if they wanted/dare.

    Not that i agree with doing it, but its an option that could make all this 'rights' stuff moot.

  • Option (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bobbuck (675253) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:22AM (#24172645)
    "The only option at this point is to begin militant action against our failed government institution."

    Isn't voting for Libertarian Bob Barr an option?

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:22AM (#24172647)

    I am not an American citizen. I have never even visited America, not a single part of it. Yet I am seriously affected by the US anti-terror legislations, primarily through air travel. All these travel restrictions largely originate in USA (and their colony, the UK). Either directly, or indirectly (I consider the USA as one of the main causes of terrorism - which I loosely define as "violent attacks on civilian targets not taking place in a war zone").

    Also the enormous amount of information demanded by the USA on air travelers going there is an issue. Doing business with the USA is an issue as this enormous privacy intrusion for merely wanting to visit the territory is stopping me from going there. It sometimes makes me wonder whether mere phone calls and e-mails between me and US customers are safe from this. Though that does not hit me directly or visibly - yet.

    And of course, last but not least, the USA is pushing many other countries to implement intrusive laws similar to their own. And even in that way the USA legislation is reaching me.

    If only through air travel, middle class America has been impacted. Look at the state of the airliners: that they are still going bankrupt one after another can not be just because the fuel cost is up. It is also because there are so much less passengers: a direct effect of the anti-terror legislations, so much security hassle, and I can't stop thinking "oh, so much security, then really everyone is trying to get us! Must be dangerous in the skies!". Airlines going bankrupt means more unemployment, etc. It is not that the US economy is doing so well, and making people live in fear is not known to give a great stimulus to your economy.

    So middle class America is hit by these measures, they just probably do not realise how much, and their politicians will never dare to explain.

  • We all know the word. We all have an idea of what it means

    This bill has nothing to do with terrorism. It has everything to do with saying whether or not the USA can spy on people in other countries who may be talking to people in ours. Right now, this is in the cause of "fighting terrorism", but it could just as easily be used against drug trafficking, counter intelligence, quite literally, all the stuff the CIA/FBI does.

    Has anyone ever thought how much the government might be interested in monitoring the communications of people from China back to their homeland? The Chinese government essentially data mines all this stuff to get an aggregate picture of how the USA works, and I think we'd like to know what picture that they see.

  • Re:I'm curious... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anarke_Incarnate (733529) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:31AM (#24172711)
    Freedoms are NOT to be restored, granted or removed. Many of the Freedoms they are discussing are our inalienable rights. THEY DO NOT control them. They do not grant them, and as such they cannot take them away. The Constitution is not an enumeration of our rights, but the government's limitations and recognition of the rights or the people.
  • by wvmarle (1070040) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:32AM (#24172727)
    Then lets first treat Joe Terrorist as just any other criminal. Why is a terrorist different, anyway? They should be tracked down using the normal, existing and highly effective police methods, after which specific individuals (mind: specific) can be put under closer surveillance. Just like nowadays the drug cartels are being investigated. No need to randomly start to survey individuals because "they may be terrorists".

    There is no reason why "terrorists" should be treated differently, they are not worth it in either personal status, or the number of victims they make. Compare the number of victims of terrorism in the USA of the last, say, 10 years, with the number of victims from drug lords. Not convinced? Take the last, say, five years. See? Drug lords kill many many more. But do they get a special status? Are there special surveillance laws because of them? No!

  • George Bush (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stabiesoft (733417) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:37AM (#24172761) Homepage

    is the one who deserves the worst president title. Sorry Clinton kept the economy humming after GW's dad screwed it up. I seriously doubt *anyone* will be capable of fixing the current bush's economic disaster for a decade or more. Clinton was no god, but bush is the devil.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dpilot (134227) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:38AM (#24172773) Homepage Journal

    You've just cited the reason why Obama is very likely to lose in November - he isn't perfect. The people who began as excited about participating in politics and voting, no longer are.

    Therefore instead of getting someone who minced words on FISA, and ended up voting unhappily for it, we're going to get someone who is enthusiastic for it.

    Besides - there is one way Bush can deliver the November election to McCain - attack Iran. I have this funny feeling that if the nation is going to war, there's no way they will vote for Obama over McCain. If we're at the brink of war, people would likely vote for Obama over McCain, in order to reasonably pull us back. But if we're there, look for McCain to win. Look for an October attack on Iran. (Or - this President would NEVER use any of the government institutions for a purely political reason, would he?) (Note: that's sarcasm.)

  • Re:hooray sortof (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dodecalogue (1281666) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:45AM (#24172801)
    I think this is a good point, actually, in that it shows that many people around the globe like to come across as more informed about america than the americans, but when you're able to see the same sort of parroting that you see in the ignorant unwashed american masses or whatever ("americans are dumb, they elected george w bush twice and he is ruining the world" "lol yeah") you realize that hickitude and groupthink and reductive summaries of large groups of people is a worldwide bug/feature.
  • Re:Option (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sleigher (961421) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @10:45AM (#24172803)
    He may be an option like Nader was on option to get Bush in office. I like what Bob Barr has become but I hate where he came from. He has changed many of his policies recently for the better but that almost frightens me more. What might he become with power......
  • Re:George Bush (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cryptodan (1098165) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:03AM (#24172929) Homepage

    is the one who deserves the worst president title. Sorry Clinton kept the economy humming after GW's dad screwed it up. I seriously doubt *anyone* will be capable of fixing the current bush's economic disaster for a decade or more. Clinton was no god, but bush is the devil.

    He only kept it running by signing a budget that grossly underfunded the Department of Defense and hindered research and development. He also hindered equipment upgrades, and now our soldiers are over in Iraq and Afghanistan using piss poor equipment. its easy to have a surplus when you fail to give money to a very important part of the National Government and the National Infrastructure. Clinton also had a major economic crisis during his term remember the Dot Com Bubble Bursting and people losing jobs.

  • Re:Standing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rpillala (583965) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:40AM (#24173231)

    That's if the ACLU includes the wiretaps and surveillance that have been conducted in the past. A constitutional challenge to a law can be about what the law allows that the constitution prohibits. From reading the summary (I know I'll go read the complaint in a minute) it seems that the complaint is purely that the law gives powers to the executive that the constitution disallows. I didn't see any mention of the retroactive immunity in the summary.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:40AM (#24173235)

    I think I hear the feds at my door for having read that.

    Isn't it sad that you felt compelled to write that?

  • Partisan Politics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steveaustin1971 (1094329) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:47AM (#24173295)
    My biggest concern would be that these wiretaps would be used to promote one parties agenda. We have already seen how the administration has been "cleaning house" by going after democratic judges and attorneys, I wouldn't put it past them to use this to go after people who's views don't jibe with theirs. They used the National Security letters a few thousand times against people with no terrorist ties, and are not exactly transparent in much that they do, nevermind that they are taking away the right of people to have their day in court over the warrantless wiretapping that has already gone on, and new allegations of corruption pop up regularly.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DustoneGT (969310) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:50AM (#24173317)
    Look at insurgents in Iraq...they are making a mess of our 'modern military'.

    Our revolutionary war was similar in nature. The redcoats would go to battle, stand in formation, and get ready for a formal battle. The poor American militants, lacking popular support at times, would shoot at them from the trees, houses, fences, or anything they could hide behind. Guerilla warfare tactics won the revolutionary war.

    A relatively small insurgency with small arms can keep a tyrannical regime at bay today just as well as it could in 1776. Things just haven't gotten bad enough yet to make it happen here yet. I sincerely hope we don't see things get that bad, but I'm not betting against it happening at some point in the near future.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:52AM (#24173335)

    A certain B. Franklin once said, to paraphrase, that one who would trade security for freedom, deserves neither.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:53AM (#24173339)
    From what has happened in Iraq, I think the well armed populace in this country would probably kick the army's ass, considering that we have about ten times their population and each of us makes about 15 times as much (GDP per capita, $3,600 vs. $45800). We can afford much more and better weapons and bomb-making materials.

    Honestly, even if we recalled our entire military force, I doubt they would be able to deal with a nationwide insurgency, and the government would crumble within a year or two (especially given the relative ease with which one could take out various senators, judges, and lower people in the executive branch). Our military can't deal with military threats unless they come from a specific geological region (North Korea, Iran, etc). If the people are turned against them, there will be nothing they can do. Once the veneer is gone, they'll either have executions in the street or they'll flee for their lives.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mweather (1089505) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:03PM (#24173421)
    Gentlemen we must all hang together or we shall most assuredly all hang separately
  • Re:George Bush (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stabiesoft (733417) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:08PM (#24173467) Homepage

    Nope, I lived thru nixon. GW still wins worst prez in my lifetime. Nixon at least opened up china a bit. GW will have no positives. He killed the economy, started an unnecessary war, got 2 losers in the court, intermixed religion and govt, cut the knees off any science that didn't agree with his politics, wire tapped his own citizens, tortured people, encouraged exportation of jobs. Bush should have been impeached for the lies about WMD in Iraq, but the pussy congress didn't do anything. Nixon just didn't have a pussy congress and media.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymatt (1272506) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:24PM (#24173577)
    I am confident that if there were a violent revolution, then segments of the military would be on the side of the revolution.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:34PM (#24173647) Homepage Journal

    As a registered Republican who's disgusted with the New Aged GOP, I was fully planning on voting for Obama in November until this vote.

    Knock off the bullshit. If you are a "registered Republican" after 8 years of George Bush, there's no way you were "fully planning on voting for Obama in November until this vote".

    Any of you who read the political blogs have seen this kind of comment, and they are baloney, one and all. You know the kind: "I'm a life-long Democrat and I marched with Martin Luther King but I simply cannot vote for Barack Obama because..." or, "I'm a veteran of Viet Nam and the first Gulf War, and I've seen the horrors of war, and when I came back the dirty fucking hippies at the airport spit on me!" or "I'm a life-long [Democrat/Republican] and if [insert name here] is the [Democrat/Republican] nominee, I swear I will [not vote/vote for the opposition/not give money/give money to the opposition]. When you read these comments, you can practically smell the bullshit via ethernet.

    The fact is, FISA vote or not, it's been a long time since there was such a clear choice between two candidates for President. Barack Obama voted for a bill that I think might have been the worst law passed in the last 4 years and that bill passed 69-28. The FISA bill makes me sick and the part of it I object to most is of course, the immunity from prosecution for the telcos.

    There was an interesting exchange between AG Mukasey and Senator Leahy last week. It was about the horrible terrorist attack that occurred in the US a few months after 9/11. That was when someone(s) sent "weaponized" anthrax to Democratic lawmakers and liberal journalists. Five people died in this attack and seven years later it remains unsolved. A guy named Hatfill was charged by the FBI, but he was innocent and sued the government for millions of dollars and won. Anyway, Senator Pat Leahy was one of the guys to whom the anthrax envelopes were sent and his aide was one of the ones that got killed. His cryptic exchange with Mukasey clearly indicated that both men knew more about this case than they were willing to talk about (for different reasons, I bet). Remember, Pat Leahy was the guy that Vice President Cheney told to "Fuck Off" on the floor of the senate just before the anthrax attack (I wonder if Cheney was questioned). When we hear about how Bush has "prevented us from getting attacked since 9/11" this terrorist attack with biological weapons just doesn't seem to count. I guess if it's right-wing nuts who are the terrorists and not muslims, it just doesn't matter.

    The reason I bring this up is that I'm betting that Obama and many of the other Dems are well aware that a certain group of people on the Right in this country are perfectly capable of using tactics up to and possibly including a false-flag terrorist attack to win an election. If Barack votes against FISA and then one of these suspicious (and uninvestigated) attacks occurs, McCain becomes president and we are well and truly fucked.

    With the very slimmest majority in the Senate, 51-49 (including a sick Ted Kennedy and a prick with ears, Joe Lieberman) we're still going to have to swallow some shit before we can be rid of these vermin. I trust Obama to do the right thing when he gets in office, but first he's got to get there. Remember how George Bush first got "elected". Think about what the Governor of Alabama went through. Remember there are GOP operatives in jail because they were working to corrupt the 2000 and 2004 elections (and they're just the few who got caught). Obama knows that to win the election he's going to have to get a lot more than a simple majority and the necessary electoral votes. With a probably 15% "GOP fuckery-factor", he's going to have to win by a landslide just to squeak by. I don't blame him for having to walk a careful line between now and November. I know enough about his character from first-hand experience here in Hyde Park, Chicago and from his colleagues at the UofC that I trust he'll do the right thing when the time comes. Until then, I'm going to give him some slack.

  • by MarkusQ (450076) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:37PM (#24173679) Journal

    But now the attack has moved to a bill passed into law by congress that in and of itself violates the right to be secure against unreasonable searches of every American. You should, at least in theory, be able to establish standing by simply showing that you are one of the broad class of people who might now be subject to unwarranted surveillance at some point, since by that very fact the bill has violated your right to be secure against such an eventuality.

    However, I recall that it's still necessary to have an "actual case or controversy" where the plaintiff has a redressable wrong. "Maybe" and "could" don't count.

    You'd have to draw the line just right, but I can see how it could be done.

    The actual case is that I had something (the right to be secure) which the constitution explicitly granted me. Congress took it from me by passing the present law which provides a path around the constitutional protections. It is redressable by declaring the law void and unconstitutional.

    Many similar sounding cases fail because the plaintiffs can't show that the were actually personally effected (wiretapped, jailed, whatever). But were they law being runs up against a positive requirement (equal protection, security, etc.) it should be much easier to establish standing.

    For example, if they passed a law saying that it was OK to cook Scientologists and eat them for dinner, any Scientologist should be able to mount a challenge against that law as a violation of their right to equal protection, even if they haven't been eaten. They have a right not only not to be eaten, but to be protected from it by the law.

    Likewise, we have a right not only to privacy, but to be secure in that privacy. The present law is a direct assault on our constitutionally granted security.

    --MarkusQ

  • Re:Option (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @12:57PM (#24173837)

    When reasonable people disagree, the correct thing for government to do is err on the side of exerting less control over the actions and assets of adult citizens.

    That is the essence of Libertarianism, the idea that centralized decisionmaking is rarely best for either individuals or society as a whole. Barr simply doesn't get that.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by LaughingCoder (914424) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:02PM (#24173879)
    No, what's sad is that both of you were modded +5 insightful (as of when I wrote this comment). When I read his remark about the feds at the door I laughed, because I know the odds *against* that happening in the US are astronomical. We all love to talk like we live in some oppressive state with spies behind every door just waiting to pounce on us, torture us, and/or put us away in some unknown prison for the rest of our lives. But in reality, this just doesn't happen here. Sure, there are some non-citizens at Gitmo, but I happen to believe that most, if not all, were actively plotting against this country, or knowingly helping others who were. Now perhaps I am naive, but frankly, I know *lots* of people who are very vocal against the government, and *not one* of them has mysteriously disappeared. Do either of you have first-hand experience with someone who spoke out against the government and then "heard the fed knocking"?
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:35PM (#24174115) Homepage Journal

    Obama's just another shill for the parties; he has claimed to be a professor of constitutional law, but on the two issues that have really been public recently which depended on the bill of rights, he has amply demonstrated that he doesn't read the document as written, he reads it as convenient.

    For the 2nd amendment, where it says "shall not be infringed", he interprets that as "we can infringe if we want to", as witness his saying that the Washington law was a good law. He goes on to presume that the states have the power to infringe, but (a) the feds are forbidden via the 2nd, and the states are forbidden via the 14th, which states unequivocally "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States."

    For the 4th amendment, his vote on FISA shows he has absolutely no concern for the specific requirement that a warrant precede an invasion of a citizen's security, and the requirement that probable cause, oath or affirmation, and a description of the things being sought precede the warrant. FISA allows your security to be destroyed without any warrant at all; the difference between the old FISA and the new FISA is that the old provided a window of 72 hours without a tap; the new allows months at a time. Both are roundly unconstitutional, and blatantly, obviously so.

    Obama and McCain are both "big government" guys, all about creating the maximum possible nanny state and to hell with the constitution. Sadly, we're going to get one or the other and our slide downhill is going to continue apace.

    The constitutional republic is long gone. We live under an arbitrary system absolutely controlled by 545 privileged people. 435 in the house, 100 in the senate, 9 in the supreme court, and 1 in the executive. They're all directly or indirect selected by the political parties from a set of pre-qualified shills about twice that size. When someone comes along who is actually capable of competing in terms of the popular vote, they cut the media coverage from that person and so take them from them any possibility of success. Look at the Paul candidacy; on the net, where they couldn't control his media, he took over every poll, and he out fund-raised everyone. The MSM didn't bother to cover him except in a "hah-hah" kind of way, and bingo, his campaign was destroyed. This is our country: the system is 100% rigged.

    So while we may mutter about Obama or McCain, the fact is that it isn't going to make any difference. Our constitution will continue to be treated like an old rag, our personal liberties will be highlighted by no-warrant searches and seizures, and our economy will continue to wither under the mismanagement of these people. The MIC will continue to push for foreign wars to grow fat off of, corporations will continue to pay for law that favors them and throws the citizen to the wolves. There will be no rebellion; the USA is simply dying from the neglect and ignorance of the rank and file citizen. Considering the state of the government's lack of constitutional compliance, it might be fairer to say it has already died.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Qzukk (229616) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:54PM (#24174245) Journal

    Do either of you have first-hand experience with someone who spoke out against the government and then "heard the fed knocking"?

    If neither of them reply, does that mean the answer is yes?

    But in reality, this just doesn't happen here.

    Yet kids still get investigated by the Secret Service for singing Bob Dylan songs [boingboing.net] or drawing pictures of Bush's head on a spike or of him as a demon with rockets and a caption of "end the war on Errorism" [nwsource.com] (amusingly enough google warned me that the second page could be harmful to my computer). There's also the infamous case about the guy who was arrested for joking about God talking from a burning bush.

    It's quite obvious that the federal government does take this stuff seriously, and it's entirely possible there's a file somewhere tagged "slashdot+rebel" that lists everyone who suggests such things on the site.

  • by ThoreauHD (213527) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:56PM (#24174269)

    I don't like the ACLU- at all. Their communist roots and goals are not even close to being in line with me or this country. But they are occasionally right by accident, as it is in this case.

    Monitoring/invading/eavesdropping/stalking without a warrant is pretty much what separates us from the socialist toilets, dictatorships, and European countries of the world. It is completely illegal. No matter how much the executive branch wishes the Constitution didn't exist, it does- and it is the Supreme Law of the land.

    The FISA bill has no check or balance. It observes no warrant or oversight by another branch of government. It is completely illegal. It is in fact laws like the above that inspired our founders to overthrow the government, and start a new one.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by You are not listenin (1296345) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:56PM (#24174277)
    You're missing the point. They'll never stick to their words unless we make them, and we can only do that by voting for the other candidates in response to their lies. Unfortunately somoeone thinking of voting for obama can't bring themselves to vote for mccain and vise versa, so what we need is in fact voting for third parties.
  • McCain's Change... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FatSean (18753) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:57PM (#24174279) Homepage Journal

    1) I do not support torture

    changes to...

    2) Who the fuck are you, where am I?! DEATH!!

    McCain's tune-changing has been going on for years...he's flip-flopped more often than Obama. Besides, at least Obama can remember shit...like who the players are in Iraq, and what the fuck he voted on.

  • Re:Option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alsee (515537) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @01:58PM (#24174289) Homepage

    WTF is Bob Barr doing as the Libertarian candidate? Based on the linked record for him, he's more Republican than most Republicans.

    -

  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:06PM (#24174363) Homepage Journal

    ...communication is like air and water. we don't meter THOSE out. if you breath, you have a right to air and water.

    [stares at water bill]

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:11PM (#24174397) Journal

    The party member is the pervert who drives up and says, "Hey kid, if you touch me right *here*, I'll give you a piece of candy."

    The populace is the kid who says, "If I give you a blow job, can I have the whole box?"

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Symbiot (815778) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:38PM (#24174625)

    Is this a reflection of middle America's concerns?

    Sadly, it's a reflection that middle America isn't concerned.

    Middle America shouldn't need to be concerned and shouldn't be able to do anything about it anyway. This is basic stuff defined by the constitution. The only legal option any Senator or Representative (or President) had was to vote against it. One of the things we elect these people to do is to tell us: "no, you can't have that. It's against the law." The rule of law is supposed to put some things out of the reach of politics. It's the primary thing that allows us to even HAVE politics.

    Have I lost my mind? Are there really so few other people who see something obviously, glaringly wrong here? I don't understand why any old random person couldn't just stand up and say a few simple things like: "This is America, we don't torture people here." and instantly become wildly popular if only because they're saying something that is both familiar and wildly different than what other politicians are saying. I thought we were supposed to be willing to die for our freedom. Why are we letting the terrorists scare us into throwing it away? Why not punish them by refusing to be scared? That would be the American thing to do. It seems to me that we lost the Iraqi war at Abu Ghraib. That Guantanamo Bay is a direct affront to our own values. That we're destroying the airline industry by making it such a pain in the ass to travel. That going deeply into debt with China isn't really a very good idea. That having people in prison uses up prosperity and having them at work creates it. That feelings of hate and anger are bad foundations for public policy. Am I in such a small minority that no politician could hope to gain any support by saying these things? To me none of this seems extreme. I could imagine anyone at any point in the political spectrum agreeing with it, and I honestly expected to be seeing politicians rising to power by now just by pointing it out.

    It's like there was this family heirloom vase that got smashed onto the floor. Complaining about FISA is like picking up one of the shards and saying, "Oh no, a chip has come off the vase!".

    So, does anyone know someone that they admire and trust? Someone who they'd be willing to follow as a political leader? Maybe if we could find good leaders, long before the big media election season starts, we could leverage the best aspects of online social networking to make them prominent enough to challenge candidates who are backed by entrenched power. If we can suppress astroturfing and spam here, then maybe we could provide a political forum where it is also suppressed. We know some things now about how to extract wisdom from crowds instead of mob-rule. We have markets, peer review and (rolls eyes) even karma. Maybe if we could get people saying things here that are interesting, relevant and credible, people would stop by to listen. Maybe if there was some hope that the best plans would be implemented by the most competent people, then the drivel being peddled on TV these days wouldn't seem so palatable. Once people get the sense that their voices could actually get heard it will be impossible to get them to shut up, and if they could magnify the power of their voices by delegating their say to the most articulate carriers of their message then... well, that would be representative democracy wouldn't it.

    Maybe we should fork the government, create a new branch for the development of political leadership and let the market decide. After all, if software can be free, why can't politics?

  • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:48PM (#24174705) Homepage Journal

    Doesn't matter what Obama can remember. They're exactly the same. They'd both burn the constitution to roast a marshmallow. Don't kid yourself.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @02:51PM (#24174729)

    They haven't won, but they haven't lost either. Along the way they've managed to push heavy debts - currently over $500 billion - as well as other costs (e.g., lives, focus from domestic issues) on to their opponents. I wonder how much they've spent.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mr2001 (90979) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:03PM (#24175179) Homepage Journal

    Another reason is that we have forgotten the tyranny and oppression that in inevitable when the government controls close to 40% of the nation's income,

    Ah, that must be why Denmark is such an oppressive, tyrannical hellhole.

    Oh wait... it isn't. They have much higher taxes than we do in the US, but because they hold their government accountable, they actually get something in return, rather than having that money pissed away.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:22PM (#24175301)

    So as long as you "believe" that somebody is a bad person, and he's not a citizen, that makes it OK to violate one of the foundational rights of western civilization and hold him without a trial indefinitely?

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:50PM (#24175481) Homepage Journal

    Obama was smart to vote for this, even though he opposed it!

    Not necessarily. Obama's fundraising involves getting a lot of small donations from people who are excited about him as a candidate, because they think he represents a new kind of politics and/or they're sick of the Bush administration's abuses (like warrantless wiretapping).

    If he tarnishes his brand by doing stuff like this, he pisses those people off, and the money dries up.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 13, 2008 @04:58PM (#24175535)

    Does everything in this thread get modded Insightful?

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by terjeber (856226) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:00PM (#24175547)

    We all love to talk like we live in some oppressive state with spies behind every door just waiting to pounce on us, torture us, and/or put us away in some unknown prison for the rest of our lives. But in reality, this just doesn't happen here.

    Well, actually, that is not true. It does happen here, and over the past few years it has happened to a lot of people, the vast majority innocent. The problem is that you limit your view to US citizens, and that is absurd. GITMO is filled with people who have been kidnapped, tortured, abused and "vanished" by our government, and the fact that they are "fereigners" doesn't make that less so.

    Sure, there are some non-citizens at Gitmo, but I happen to believe that most, if not all, were actively plotting against this country

    Then you are either outrageously ignorant, stupid or both. Probably in conjunction with a healthy dose of paranoia. The majority of the people at GITMO probably had no clue where the US is let alone how to "plot against" it. Most of them were some sort of soldier in the Afghan version of an "army" when we invaded.

    Now, let's investigate that a little. Let's say you are a citizen of Afghanistan. Let's say you have a gun. For the argument let's assume you are of a fundamentalist religious persuasion, in other words, you are a fundamentalist muslim. All of that is fine in most countries. Nothing particularly bad about it. Let's, for arguments say that we are talking about two people here, you and your brother. Your brother is a member of the Taliban armed militia, the closest Afganistan of 2001 comes to a standing army. You are just a regular citizen, but you are good with a gun.

    Now, let's assume a foreign power invades. Let's call that foreign power USA. Let's assume they do so for their own reasons and that they are not invited by the current government of Afghanistan.

    Your brother, what is his duty then? As a member of the Taliban militia? It is his duty to shoot every american soldier he sees. On sight. It is his duty to kill as many of them as he can. If he can't kill them it is his duty to capture them. That is his duty. Should we punish him for performing his duty? Shall we whisk him away to a strange island in no-mans-land, torture him, deprive him of all his legal rights just because he performed his duty?

    Now, let's get back to you. You are a guy with a gun. A foreign power has (illegally according to your laws) invaded your country. What should you do (as opposed to your legal duty)? What is your moral obligation? Your moral obligation is to shoot every fucking American soldier you see. On sight. That is your moral obligation and if you don't stand up and defend your country against this invasion you are a coward. Should you go to jail, be tortured and deprived of all human rights for not being a coward?

    I totally supported, and still support, the US invasion of Afghanistan. Of course I do. That doesn't mean that I don't realize that it is every Afghan man and woman's right, and moral duty, to fight the invader though. If you do cooperate with the invasion force you are (technically, morally, legally) a collaborator. Now, you might be a collaborator for "the good side" but you are still a collaborator and a traitor of your country. The fact that your side won doesn't change that post-fact.

    Holding the prisoners at GITMO is legally insane, morally absurd, and it only serves one single purpose - it turns us into the bad guys and everybody else into the good guys. That is too absurd for words.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000.yahoo@com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:01PM (#24175553)

    Sure, there are some non-citizens at Gitmo, but I happen to believe that most, if not all, were actively plotting against this country, or knowingly helping others who were.

    First, the fact it can happen is troubling period! Next, many of those who were captured in Afghanistan had nothing to do with terrorism or fighting. Awards were handed out for those turned over. If you didn't like someone you could point them out and call them a terrorist then pick up some money. As for guilt, do you have ESP? You know without any doubt they were guilty so they could be locked up for years without even a trial?

    Falcon

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000.yahoo@com> on Sunday July 13, 2008 @05:06PM (#24175579)

    I must ask why is it not possible to both protect us from the terrorists (a proper role of government) and grant us our rights?

    The proper roll of the US government is to Protect the People and their Rights. Government DOES NOT grant rights, rights are unalienable, government only protects them.

    Falcon

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @06:06PM (#24175965)

    The problem is that people want 100% security. The government cannot provide this, no matter how hard they try. We may end up with INGSOC, we may end up with cameras on every street corner, but we will not be protected from the ability of one or several people to inflict ridiculous damage upon innocent people.

    You could kill 10 of your neighbors before someone would stop you. If you planned it right, you could kill 100. How can someone promise to stop you from doing that when they don't even know who you are or that you even are thinking about it at all?

    There is no ultimate safety net; there is no security. We have what we have, and we can deal with it as best as we can, but we're all gonna die, and some of us at the hands/causes of malicious others.

    Our ability to deal with terrorists and FIS has been as functional and necessary as it has ever needed to be since the late 90s. There is no further rights-breaking requirement to stop them. Simply put, the ability to do any and all types of surveillance have always been at our disposal, but only under the requirement of EVIDENCE.

    That's what bothers me. If we could do virtually anything, open mail, setup mics, etc, to someone in the past, with only a shred of evidence to support the action, what the hell do we need to surveil the innocent for? Sure we want evidence, and that's what investigation is for. You don't go data-mining the whole population looking for a reason to carry out serious procedures; you're supposed to find out WHO you want, WHY you want to, and then congress approves it. (that was the past, of course).

    The only purpose I see these new allowances serving is to collect incriminating information (whether the person is guilty or innocent) for future use against various citizens for political purposes, or to at least severely generate a fear of Federal Establishment; make us afraid of our government so we forget they work for us.

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by garcia (6573) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @07:18PM (#24176365)

    No, what's sad is that both of you were modded +5 insightful (as of when I wrote this comment). When I read his remark about the feds at the door I laughed, because I know the odds *against* that happening in the US are astronomical.

    Regardless of the action (or inaction) of the government on this type of matter is irrelevant. All that matters is that someone is fearful that there may be retaliation. That should be unacceptable in the United States of America.

    The fact that you are so blindly supporting the successes of the current administration's antics to cause exactly this fear is horrendous. While I could give a fuck less if I was modded -1 or +5 after what I said, the fact that anyone moderated your comment as insightful is anything but laughable. If anything you should moderated +5 (-1?) "If they don't come for us, it's ok."

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by terjeber (856226) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @09:53PM (#24177175)

    The whole point of a uniform is that it identifies you as a part of and organized military that belongs to a specific country

    So, it is your stated opinion that if we fight a regular war against a country that is somewhat backward, let's say like Afghanistan or several places in Africa, it is perfectly OK for us to torture, imprison and do whatever we want to the prisoners of that war just because they traditionally do not wear military uniform the way we define it?

    The Taliban never wore uniforms, not because they couldn't afford them or because they didn't like the colors. The Taliban didn't wear uniform in the traditional sense because their culture dictates otherwise. Doesn't mean they are not as close to a regular military though as you can come in those mountains though.

    My point is, when we start treating them as scum, they have the right to treat us as scum, and more problematically, we lose the right to complain about it.

    This is why you always go out of your way to make sure you have the moral high ground. We never even tried to take any kind of moral ground whatsoever.

    The purpose here is solely to make sure what we do is as correct and as morally acceptable as possible. In that way we ensure as much support as possible. In this bungled fuckup of a situation, all the countries who originally supported us wholeheartedly have abandoned that support long ago. The only people that currently support the US are people who expect some monetary reward at the end of it.

    What kind of moral authority does the US have today? After GITMO. After Abu Graib? After our mentally handicapped president couldn't tell the difference between Afghanistan and Iraq, between Belgium and Somalia. We have none. Whatsoever. How do we go about fixing the problems we are facing when our actions have made us the greatest villain on the planet, even in the eyes of our former allies?

    The problem of terrorism can not be fixed by using Tomahawks and Aircraft Carriers. The problem of terrorism needs to be handled by making sure as few as possible in the world wants to kill us, and those few that do want to kill us have little to no support in the general population. We did that very well after WWII, even after having bombed the crap out of Germany they still loved us (eventually).

    Since 9/11 we have made a handful of nutcases in some caves in Afghanistan into international martyrs of "the cause". We have made them a viable, and credible enemy of our way of life. They never were, and they still are not, but by giving them the credibility we gave them, in the eyes of the entire world we have lifted them up to a status they are not even close to deserving. When we do that, and in addition to that, in the eyes of the world, behave like the worst bully ever, they get more, not less support.

    No individual human being has ever damaged the US as much as our current president. Not only economically, which is a substantial damage, but also by enabling and building the reputation of those who want to destroy us he has caused untold damage to our country. He should go to jail for it. For the rest of his life. And his buddies should go with him.

    If the US extends rights to people who don't qualify for them, then there is no incentive for any future opponents to bother treating US soldiers according the to Convention since it won't affect the treatment of their soldiers one way or the other.

    It seems like you are trying to imply here that if we give them these rights the chance of them extending these rights to our soldiers is reduced. If that is the case, it is blatantly absurd. There is no reason to think that the Taliban, Al Quaeda or even the Iraqi army would change their behavior based on our behavior. That is not the point. War is about perception. The current perception in the world is that the US is an unruly bully who invades random countries because some lame ass idiot thinks that someone in that country was not ni

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday July 13, 2008 @11:06PM (#24177537)

    (I consider the USA as one of the main causes of terrorism - which I loosely define as "violent attacks on civilian targets not taking place in a war zone").

    The main cause of terrorism is from terrorists. I blame that all on your country, whatever it happens to be, because I feel like making a retarded statement too. While I'm at it, I'm defining your home as a war zone.

    Also the enormous amount of information demanded by the USA on air travelers going there is an issue. Doing business with the USA is an issue as this enormous privacy intrusion for merely wanting to visit the territory is stopping me from going there.

    Don't go to the USA then. If you, your country, and your goverment feel that strongly about it, and its really that important, the economic impact will likely be enough to cause a problem for America. But in reality, you don't care that much, neither does most everyone else, you care just enough to complain about it, but not really anything else.

    It sometimes makes me wonder whether mere phone calls and e-mails between me and US customers are safe from this. Though that does not hit me directly or visibly - yet.

    Let me get this straight. You send email over the Internet, unencrypted, going through any number of different providers which have no obligation to you, have no obligation to even keep your packets in the country you are in meaning your privacy laws are effectively useless if they want them to be, and you're worried about the American goverment getting their hands on them? Let me go ahead and help you out with this, you aren't doing anything important enough to matter, if you were, you'd already know that encryption solves this problem.

    And of course, last but not least, the USA is pushing many other countries to implement intrusive laws similar to their own. And even in that way the USA legislation is reaching me.

    Sounds like your goverment, or whatever countries you are refering too has some issues of their own. They get to make their own decisions you know? So if they rather reap economic or military benifits, ect from America rather than say no to a law that you don't agree with, then perhaps the problem is either with said goverment OR that you really don't understand the big picture.

    If only through air travel, middle class America has been impacted. Look at the state of the airliners: that they are still going bankrupt one after another can not be just because the fuel cost is up. It is also because there are so much less passengers: a direct effect of the anti-terror legislations

    Funny, the American airline industry has been screwed up for years, long before 9/11, but you think the new security is the reason why? The new 'security' crap isn't that bad. It can be a pain, but really, its not that horrible, and certainly isn't bad enough to make using some other form of travel a better choice. The whole security thing is more for appearences than anything else, if you look at the 'changes', many of them were things they were 'supposed' to do before 9/11, many of the others are just silly responses to something that has happen, like taking your shoes off. They are effectively useless, but the public at large thinks something has been done to protect them so they don't fear flying.

    Our passenger trains and buses for national travel are goverment subsidised as well, and every so often we hear about how they are in trouble. Don't confuse our inability to run these services without the upper management ripping off the company and screwing it up with an effect from terrorism.

    So middle class America is hit by these measures, they just probably do not realise how much, and their politicians will never dare to explain.

    As a middle class American, I can say that it really hasn't effected me. Our eco

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by terjeber (856226) on Monday July 14, 2008 @07:42AM (#24179775)

    Bzzzt! Wrong! If your country were ruled by a government that supports the mass murder of thousands of civilians

    The fact that you just gave every single muslim and catholic country in the world the right to attack the US and US citizens fails to register with you, doesn't it? You also morally gave any US citizen who assist in future terrorist attacks on US soil a "get out of jail" card. He can justify him self through our governments support of killing thousands of civilians.

    The fact that you fail to register that you just gave every European country the right to bomb Washington DC also failed to register.

    But your argument that these people were morally obligated to defend a government that supports the murder of civilians is way, way off.

    You can agree or disagree with the government, but it is still your government, and you handle that however regime change is handled in your country. On the ballot or at the point of a sword. When a foreign power invades, then you band together with your national foes though and you fight the foreign invader. At least as long as the concept of a country has any meaning to you.

    Oh, and in case you are slow. According to Muslim and catholic countries the US kills civilians by the bucket load every year in abortion clinics. According to all European countries the US government murders it's own citizens using the electric chair, lethal injections etc. From their point of view any government since Roe v. Wade and the re-introduction of the death penalty justifies regime change in the US, and you just gave them the right to do so forcefully. You also gave any US citizen opposing these two things the right to collaborate with these forces.

    Would you say that a US citizen who assisted Al Quaeda in killing Americans could use the "but we are killing thousands of children" defense?

  • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shoemilk (1008173) on Monday July 14, 2008 @09:38AM (#24181127) Journal
    Oh! I totally misunderstood. See I thought humans had foundational rights and citizens had a right to vote for the leaders charged with protecting them.

    Thanks for letting me know it's cool to have a slave as long as he's not American.
  • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Holi (250190) on Monday July 14, 2008 @10:06AM (#24181529)

    look up "inalienable rights" and tell me that the bill of rights applies to Americans only. My god when did we stop believing in this. Why is it so hard to understand that these ideas did not come from America, America came from these ideas.

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