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Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned 670

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-me-see-what-you-got-there dept.
schwit1 writes "The Obama administration is seeking to reverse a federal appeals court decision that dramatically narrows the government’s search-and-seizure powers in the digital age. Solicitor General Elena Kagan and Justice Department officials are asking the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its August ruling that federal prosecutors went too far when seizing 104 professional baseball players’ drug results when they had a warrant for just 10. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
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Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned

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  • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:10PM (#30232054)

    and as such is just like pretty much all of the others. The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

  • Fr0st Pist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:13PM (#30232068)

    Seriously... When will Americans realize that both parties have exactly the same goal: To control and manipulate everything that every citizen possesses or can produce - even thoughts/minds/beliefs - for their own gain alone.

    Screw investing in gold - invest in lead and brass....

  • by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:15PM (#30232082) Journal

    Same as the old boss, indeed. What amazes me is that we're still a two party system and that people continue to think that their vote matters.

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <{skennedy} {at} {tpno-co.org}> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:17PM (#30232092) Homepage

    We don't vote FOR politicians in this country; we vote AGAINST "the other guy", and are left to deal with the results.

    Could anyone here have honestly voted for McCain with Palin on the ticket as well?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:19PM (#30232114)

    We're not much of a two party system when lobbyists buy up both sides of the aisle. More of a one-party system that swings between the radical and not so radical wings.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:20PM (#30232118)

    A vote for the lesser evil is still a vote for evil.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:22PM (#30232142)

    So, just because there is one are on which two administrations agree and you don't, does it mean that there are no meaningful differences between G.W.Bush and Obama at all?

  • by grasshoppa (657393) <{skennedy} {at} {tpno-co.org}> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:24PM (#30232160) Homepage

    Says the anonymous coward.

    Fitting I suppose.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:25PM (#30232168) Journal

    There are certainly meaningful differences, but at the end of the day the top prosecutors in the United States still want those X-Ray glasses so they can watch the citizens for criminal conduct.

  • by epine (68316) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:26PM (#30232184)

    I would regard it as a credible difference if, when you asked Obama the reason, he gave an intelligible answer, regardless of whether the answer was one you liked or not.

    What I'd like to see from Obama is saying to his insiders, "OK, I see why you want this and I'll back you on it, but you're going to have to explain yourself to the public a lot better than you used to".

    That's what I hated most about Bush, how entitled he felt about operating in the shadows. From a leadership perspective, bad policy is often better than no policy. I accept mistakes. The problem was that the little cretin never stood up for his reasons. That old excuse "national security" sounds exactly the same whether you pronounce it in English, Chinese, or North Korean.

    It's the surrounding discussion that makes the difference.

  • 2 Party (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:30PM (#30232230) Homepage Journal

    Some would argue that since we get the same basic results from either party, we really have a one party system and its all smoke and mirrors between the 2.

  • Asinine example (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:31PM (#30232240) Journal

    The government said the decision was already chilling at least one rape case in Washington State.

    "Federal agents received information from their counterparts in San Diego that two individuals had filmed themselves raping a 4-year-old girl and traded the images via the internet," the government wrote. "The agents did not obtain a warrant to search the suspects' computers, however, because of concerns that any evidence discovered about other potential victims could not be disclosed by the filter team. The agents therefore referred the case to state authorities."

    So, because a warrant won't let them go on a fishing expedition for other crimes, they don't pursue the crimes that they do know about? That's like a kid saying: "If you don't play by my rules, I'll take my ball away".

  • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:33PM (#30232254)

    The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

    Not really. The question HERE is whether the article writer has a shred of journalistic integrity at all.

    Seriously, first read the article and then post. I doubt Obama is even slightly involved beyond appointing key person who is involved to a broad role of which 'computer privacy law' is a drop in the bucket. This headline is as absurd as printing 'Obama wants to banish ketchup based on an incident where the secretary of defense complained there was too much ketchup on their McDonalds cheeseburger.

    Second, the dispute here is pretty benign. Federal investigators had a WARRANT to search a PC for evidence of steriod use for a handful of players, and uncovered evidence of some hundred other players using steroids in the same folder and files as the information for the players in question. The dispute is whether they should be allowed to use the additional evidence of the additional crime.

    The court ruled no, citing that the investigators 'actively scrolled the excel spreadsheet past the names of the players in question'. Come on. Even I, a privacy advocate, don't see anything wrong with what the agents did. I don't even think its wrong to admit this as evidence. I'd argue against being able to search inside every document, hack encrypted files, ... but they found evidence of additional instances of the same crime in the same files and folders that their warrant covered.

    Clearly this ruling probably should be overturned. I don't think agents should be given carte blanche to search your entire PC and charge you with unrelated crimes. But there is probably some middle ground where if they are investing the PC for evidence you ripped off the Smiths with ScamX, and they find evidence in the same file you that also ripped off the Jones... that SHOULD be allowed.

    But bottom line, declaring that Obama "wants" anything at all with respect to this case is absurd.

  • Re:Fr0st Pist (Score:2, Insightful)

    by youngone (975102) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:33PM (#30232262)
    I don't think that's quite right. I think that the US political parties' goal is actually to help American corporate interests. After all thats where most of their campaign money comes from isn't it? I don't think the citizens are really thought about much by those in charge.
  • by hiscross (1226636) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:37PM (#30232308)

    We don't vote FOR politicians in this country; we vote AGAINST "the other guy", and are left to deal with the results.

    Could anyone here have honestly voted for McCain with Palin on the ticket as well?

    Yea, I voted for the RINO because I saw what Barry was all about in 2007. If I had to do it all over again I would voted for the John Galt / Howard Roark ticket.

  • Eh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:38PM (#30232316)

    The problem with trying to apply old precedents to this matter is that digital databases can be so much vaster than any real place being searched. If the cops have a warrant to search the safe in someone's house for something illegal, they aren't allowed to go search the cupboards. Only if the evidence is in plain sight as they go about their business are they allowed to use it.

    This is very relevant. What if the cops bust in to your house looking for marijuana in your safe, based on an anonymous tip, and don't find anything? Maybe they find you've stored chemicals in your kitchen cabinets in violation of federal law for storage, or maybe you've got some prescription med bottles for a person who is no longer living in the house. If the cops are allowed to rifle through everything a private citizen owns, and they get creative, they can almost certainly find SOMETHING to charge you with. Their perspective is "since you were accused, you must be guilty of SOMETHING...let's find what it is because I don't want to go back to the station empty handed"

    Well, now, if suppose you were a credit bureau like Equifax. If the cops had the authority to search your database to get someone's credit record in order to prove illegal activity, they could search the records of every citizen in the united states because those records are in "plain sight" within the database! Bet they could find SOMETHING if they are allowed to basically open an investigation against every citizen of the country.

    And for those arguing "if we're soft on crime, we're letting teh criminals win". The U.S. has already declared and imprisoned more of its citizens for being 'criminals' than any other nation on earth as a % of population. Now, I'm not saying that a large percentage of those people are innocent, just that this extreme level of imprisonment is not an appropriate way for society to deal with those who misbehave. (I think the percentage of innocent people is probably between 3 and 10 percent)

  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:39PM (#30232322) Homepage
    More to the point, his slogan was "Change you can believe in," not "Change you're going to like."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:41PM (#30232328)

    Anyone who wants to give power to the state - like Obama, just about every Democrat, and way too many Republicans - has to TAKE it from WE THE PEOPLE.

    Want to lower health care costs and expand benefits? Take away the PEOPLE'S FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE CHOICES.

    Want to pay for giant social programs and/or wars? Take away the PEOPLE'S WEALTH.

  • by Omestes (471991) <omestes AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:42PM (#30232344) Homepage Journal

    Can't believe you got modded Troll instead of insightful.

    It's because I had something bad to say about The Anointed One.

    See? Got modded down again.

    Perhaps because talking about John Ashcroft is a wee bit off topic?

    Also, the last post was a troll, pure and simple. No one, that I know of at least, thinks Obama is "anointed" or any such crap, and most everyone I know is pretty far left. Actually, the further left you are, the more disappointed with Obama you probably are. Most people probably only voted for Obama because they were sick of the right, and deathly afraid of McCain/Palin, and not because he is some special super-politician who can save us from all our ills.

    In regards to your first post, it perhaps shouldn't be modded as a troll, but perhaps as "woohoo cliche hip cynicism!" Your vote as an individual counts as much as anyone else's, no, it will never actually count beyond your actual worth though. Now if you organized like minded people, and worked to convince others that your opinion was worthy, then that WOULD count more. But just whinging that your vote doesn't count because a majority of voters don't share your opinion and voted otherwise, thats just silly. The problem with America is that everyone's vote counts, and a vast majority of American's are uninformed idiots, or rabidly idealistic and naive. And worse, everyone "knows better" than everyone else, and would like to impose their views on the rest of us "for their own good".

  • by Kral_Blbec (1201285) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:47PM (#30232380)

    The question isn't whether he's everything the advertising billed him as, it's whether he was a better choice than the alternative.

    Not really. The question HERE is whether the article writer has a shred of journalistic integrity at all.

    Seriously, first read the article and then post. I doubt Obama is even slightly involved beyond appointing key person who is involved to a broad role of which 'computer privacy law' is a drop in the bucket. This headline is as absurd as printing 'Obama wants to banish ketchup based on an incident where the secretary of defense complained there was too much ketchup on their McDonalds cheeseburger.

    Second, the dispute here is pretty benign. Federal investigators had a WARRANT to search a PC for evidence of steriod use for a handful of players, and uncovered evidence of some hundred other players using steroids in the same folder and files as the information for the players in question. The dispute is whether they should be allowed to use the additional evidence of the additional crime.

    The court ruled no, citing that the investigators 'actively scrolled the excel spreadsheet past the names of the players in question'. Come on. Even I, a privacy advocate, don't see anything wrong with what the agents did. I don't even think its wrong to admit this as evidence. I'd argue against being able to search inside every document, hack encrypted files, ... but they found evidence of additional instances of the same crime in the same files and folders that their warrant covered.

    Clearly this ruling probably should be overturned. I don't think agents should be given carte blanche to search your entire PC and charge you with unrelated crimes. But there is probably some middle ground where if they are investing the PC for evidence you ripped off the Smiths with ScamX, and they find evidence in the same file you that also ripped off the Jones... that SHOULD be allowed.

    But bottom line, declaring that Obama "wants" anything at all with respect to this case is absurd.

    Hmmm, using that logic we could also clear Bush of many of the accusations layed on him.Thus, it must be false logic.

  • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:51PM (#30232418)

    What the current government want so far:

    • Increased government regulation of health care.
    • Increased government regulation of internet traffic.
    • Increased government regulation of aired political opinion through the Fairness Doctrine.
    • Wiretaps without warrants, a Bush policy.
    • Increased search-and-seizure powers.

    The current government is so power-crazy that it's become suicidal in its attempts to speed through legislation over half the country opposes, regardless of how it's going to affect the 2010 elections. You'd think they'd take their foot off the pedal and slow down a bit to address the #1 issue voters have right now, unemployment.

  • Funny... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Schnoogs (1087081) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:52PM (#30232428)

    ...if Bush had done this people would be reacting differently. Hope and Change is a joke.

  • by Icegryphon (715550) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:52PM (#30232430)

    Anyone who wants to give power to the state - like Obama, just about every Democrat, and way too many Republicans - has to TAKE it from WE THE PEOPLE. Want to lower health care costs and expand benefits? Take away the PEOPLE'S FREEDOM TO MAKE THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE CHOICES. Want to pay for giant social programs and/or wars? Take away the PEOPLE'S WEALTH.

    Need to be modded up for truth.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland.yahoo@com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:56PM (#30232466) Homepage Journal

    Wow, just...wow.

    gitmo is the the process of closing; sadly there ahs been republican push back as well as republican pundent FUD about containing them. Like we can't keep them locked up an American soil. sheesh

    Healthcare is moving along; again there is large republican pushback, and a very large insurance lobby fight it, again. So far he ahs gotten farther along then anyone else had. Did you expect him to just take office, close gitmo and institute healthcare day 1? One of the best qualities president Obama has, IMO, is his recodnition that these things need a smart plan.

    "But now he doesn't sign this landmine treaty thingie, he doesn't promise any kind of CO2 reduction goals, "

    Did you bother to read why? seriously, it would hamstring the US to agree to those goals. The joke here is that China still manages third world status because of all the benefits even though they are clearly no longer a third world.

    "he extends the PATRIOT Act and now this"
    That was disappointing.

    DO you do anything besides complain and show off your ignorance?

  • Hope/Change? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jwiegley (520444) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @08:56PM (#30232470)

    Happy now? This is what you all wanted... For the past decade I've read post after post after post about Bush spending too much or having too tight an iron fist on privacy issues.

    Well, you all voted for change...

    Now you have the highest spending EVER. Now you can see the beginning of security corruption as well. At least Bush had a war to justify his need to breach privacy. Obama has no legitimate reason and yet he's going to do it.

    When are you all going to learn that government is inherently bad; that it is inherently corrupt. And while there are a couple of functions it should provide to maintain civilization, the smaller we keep it the better... for all of us.

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:04PM (#30232524) Homepage
    Yeah, I voted for McCain because of Palin.

    What about it?
  • by macraig (621737) <mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:10PM (#30232558)

    ... but only for a while until the money-changers sneak back into the temple. That's why you have to have them periodically, like defragging and virus-scanning your hard drive. We seem to have fallen behind on the schedule... we haven't had a decent game-changing revolution in a while, have we? Now we have a bunch of people muttering "let them eat cake" again. Does anyone still know how to make guillotines? We'll need quite a few this time.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:11PM (#30232572) Homepage

    They all know their jobs and the limits of their office and mission. For various reasons, both good and bad, they seek more power and expansion of current power. I hold that there was great wisdom in the limiting of those powers from the very beginning. That wisdom was established by previous abuses of such overreaching powers of the previous government the founding fathers were living under. They knew where all the government power abuses lead to because they had lived with those abuses until they could tolerate it no longer. This is how the U.S. Revolution began!

    The people in various offices seek to repeat those same abuses by seeking to go beyond the limits that were artfully and successfully crafted by the authors of the U.S. Constitution. They may have good intentions, but the evils that can result from it outweighs the benefit of prosecuting one or two more child rapists. And yes, I said it. Protecting the constitution is FAR more important than protecting children from rapists.

  • by aplusjimages (939458) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:25PM (#30232672) Journal
    what upsets me more is that people defend politicians. When did this become okay? It sickens me when people talk politics and then it turns into a "your guy did this" "well he did it because". Fuck that. Never defend a politician. It's gross. And should be against the law. If the guy I voted for won, I would rag on his ass every day and I would call out all the dumb shit he did and totally ignore the good shit he did because it's his job. Let's get politicians scared of citizens.
  • by richieb (3277) <richieb@gm a i l .com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:27PM (#30232680) Homepage Journal
    Sigh! Obama is the President, not a freaking Emperor. The President's power is limited - as it should be. Somehow U.S. citizens don't understand how their government works. Laws and money are handled by Congress. The President can propose things (including budgets) but Congress is free to ignore him.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:30PM (#30232712) Homepage
    What's a thug? Somebody who uses violence and intimidation to get his way. (In the case of politics, it's not necessarily physical violence.) Things like flag@whitehouse.gov and the "Fox news are partisan hacks!!" and the "Rush Limbaugh is a partisan hack!!" and such diversions from the white house press office. If administration bullying doesn't count for some reason, look back to April and Obama's remarks to Rep. DeFazio (a Democrat who voted against the stimulus): "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother."

    Now hurry up and mod me Troll again, you partisan hacks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:31PM (#30232714)
    If you claim to vote conservative on this board you better be anonymous because the flames will fry you to a crisp if you don't. I suppose it is to be expected, most people here are young, and someone once said something like:

    In youth a man will lean to the left unless he has no heart. With age (and experience) a man will move right unless he has no intelligence.

    I voted for McCain/Palin too. I knew Mr. Obama would lead the country into socialism.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:39PM (#30232778)

    What a steaming pile of AC crap that is.

    In my experience, it is much more likely that posts of a left wing perspective will be modded down.

    Back before the Iraq war, when I was repeatedly
    warning that the US govt was lying about WMD, I was modded down so much I had to create a new UID.

    The feeling watching a war based on lies unfold was incredibly frustrating.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sycodon (149926) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:45PM (#30232832)

    How's that Hopey Changey thing going for ya?

  • Misleading Story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by angelbunny (1501333) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:49PM (#30232866)

    The title of the story is, "Obama Wants Computer Privacy Ruling Overturned" except that the story has nothing to do with Obama and calling this the 'Obama Administration' is a bit of a stretch as well.

    It is Elena Kagan, not Obama. Her job is the United States Solicitor General. She is represents the US as a prosecutor for the Supreme Court. Isn't she just doing her job?

    I don't understand how one person doing what they are suppose to be doing means Obama is against our rights. The connection just isn't there for me.

  • by khallow (566160) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:50PM (#30232880)

    Could anyone here have honestly voted for McCain with Palin on the ticket as well?

    I did. While I'm sure this locks in my nomination for the Slashdotter special needs award, it remains that McCain and Palin, while they talk scary, were more consistent and trustworthy than the Democrat team. Obama had already backtracked on promises ("positions" he calls them) particularly FISA and was throwing out promises that simply didn't make sense (we'll reduce health care costs by increasing costs through adding universal health care), hung around associates that made the Republican team look like a paragon of sanity, and had some Big Plans that would involve gutting the US economy for some sort of nebulous socialist gain.

    Well, all I can say is that Obama and the Democrats in Congress have not disappointed me. We may be in the "death spiral" of US history, but at least we're protected from the perils of incandescent light bulbs.

  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:53PM (#30232904) Homepage
    I suppose, just for completeness, somebody ought to point out that the headline says "Obama" wants the ruling overturned, whereas the actual text states, correctly, that it is Elena Kagan, the solicitor general, who wants the ruling overturned. While it is true that Kagan was appointed by Obama, nevertheless I expect that Obama himself probably has never actually given an opinion on the subject.
  • by DigMarx (1487459) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:56PM (#30232922)

    Here's an alternative: emigrate. That's what I did. Haven't looked back. To hell with the false dichotomy that is US politics. To hell with platitude-quoting sub-intellectual pundits and the morons who follow them. Here's one rat who realized the ship was sinking.

  • Re:Asinine example (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jim_v2000 (818799) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:56PM (#30232930)
    Nonsense. There's a pretty distinct difference between stumbling across evidence while serving a warrant and going beyond the scope of a warrant to see if there's any other crimes you can uncover.
  • Re:Hope/Change? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Atario (673917) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:00PM (#30232966) Homepage

    When are you all going to learn that government is inherently bad; that it is inherently corrupt. And while there are a couple of functions it should provide to maintain civilization, the smaller we keep it the better... for all of us.

    Why the backpedal? If government is inherently bad, then it can't be needed at all.

    Unless, that is, somewhere deep down, you do realize that statement is ludicrous. If we can use government to maintain civilization, then we can use it to improve daily life, prevent injustice, and all the other stuff that would make things better.

    In short, when your computer is infected with malware, the solution is not to just stop using computers, it's to clean the computer up.

  • by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:12PM (#30233038) Homepage
    By not contradicting his appointee's position, he's supporting it.
  • by ktappe (747125) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:26PM (#30233128)

    Hmmm, using that logic we could also clear Bush of many of the accusations layed on him.Thus, it must be false logic.

    If you don't see a difference between Obama's team objecting to disallowing a mouse scroll and Bush going before the world claiming there were absolutely WMD's in Iraq, then there is no hope of anyone ever talking any shred of logic to or with you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:28PM (#30233142)
    During the election, about 95% of African-Americans voted for Barack Hussein Obama due solely to the color of his skin. See the exit-polling data [cnn.com] by CNN.

    Note the voting pattern of Hispanics, Asian-Americans, etc. These non-Black minorities serve as a measurement of African-American racism against Whites (and other non-Black folks). Neither Barack Hussein Obama nor John McCain is Hispanic or Asian. So, Hispanics and Asian-Americans used only non-racial criteria in selecting a candidate and, hence, serve as the reference by which we detect a racist voting pattern. Only about 65% of Hispanics and Asian-Americans supported Obama. In other words, a maximum of 65% support by any ethnic or racial group for either McCain or Obama is not racist and, hence, is acceptable. (A maximum of 65% for McCain is okay. So, European-American support at 55% for McCain is well below this threshold and, hence, is not racist.)

    If African-Americans were not racist, then at most 65% of them would have supported Obama. At that level of support, McCain would have won the presidential race.

    At this point, African-American supremacists (and apologists) claim that African-Americans voted for Obama because he (1) is a member of the Democratic party and (2) supports its ideals. That claim is an outright lie. Look at the exit-polling data [cnn.com] for the Democratic primaries. Consider the case of North Carolina. Again, about 95% of African-Americans voted for him and against Hillary Clinton. Both Clinton and Obama are Democrats, and their official political positions on the campaign trail were nearly identical. Yet, 95% of African-Americans voted for Obama and against Hillary Clinton. Why? African-Americans supported Obama due solely to the color of his skin.

    Here is the bottom line. Barack Hussein Obama does not represent mainstream America. He won the election due to the racist voting pattern exhibited by African-Americans.

    African-Americans have established that expressing "racial pride" by voting on the basis of skin color is 100% acceptable. Neither the "Wall Street Journal" nor the "New York Times" complained about this racist behavior. Therefore, in future elections, please feel free to express your racial pride by voting on the basis of skin color. Feel free to vote for the non-Black candidates and against the Black candidates if you are not African-American. You need not defend your actions in any way. Voting on the basis of skin color is quite acceptable by today's moral standard.

  • by rlp (11898) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:30PM (#30233154)

    I see. Violence and intimidation. Minus the violence...

    Tell that to Kenneth Gladney who got beat up by Obama's SEIU pals.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:34PM (#30233172) Journal

    Which spent the last eight years insisting they weren't POWs. If they're not POWs, then why would they be tried in a military tribunal?

  • by reilwin (1303589) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:35PM (#30233176)

    By not contradicting his appointee's position, he's supporting it.

    That depends on whether he's even aware of what's happening. He's one guy, and bureaucracy can't keep you up to date on everything.

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:36PM (#30233180) Journal

    I voted for Obama because of Palin. I figure that with the stresses of Presidency, there would have been an 85% chance of McCain having to be hospitalized while in office for an extended period of time, and a not insignificant chance of him dying from a heart attack, stroke, or other catastrophe. With Obama, the worst case is a small chance of getting shot by a white supremacist or something. So weighing a small chance of Biden as President versus an 85% chance of Palin as President, I made the only choice that didn't feel like Russian roulette.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:43PM (#30233222) Journal

    That depends on what you call "meaningful". Barack Obama has done precisely squat to reverse Bush's mistakes. He put a different script on the teleprompter, but he still claims that he can violate the right of habeus corpus, commit acts of war against a US ally, send troops into harm's way without a declaration of war, imprison innocent people on the pretext of the unconstitutional "war on drugs"... You get the idea.

    I'll never be disappointed by him, though. It was clear to me long before he was elected that he's basically Mitt Romney with a better speechwriter.

    -jcr

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:48PM (#30233268)

    Which is pretty much the opposite of what the founders of the country had in mind. They wanted the people to have the x-ray glasses. You know Jefferson's saying about who fears whom and how the difference is that between liberty and tyranny...

  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:49PM (#30233274) Homepage Journal

    Umm, we pretty much are at 20% unemployment:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/34040009 [cnbc.com]

    17.5%. And getting closer every day. The stimulus spending is stealing future wealth to produce fake wealth today. It's stealing real savings today (which creates real wealth and investment) to produce fake wealth tomorrow.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:51PM (#30233286)
    Does it really matter WHO a slave's master is?

    There are obvious ways in which Bush and Obama differ. But I think the difference is only substantial if you think the reason you're being stripped of your rights is more important than the fact that you are being stripped of your rights.

    In the ways that matter, Obama is no change for the better.
  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:55PM (#30233312)

    I'm not so optimistic. I lost faith in people and especially their interest in politics long ago. An increasing number of people see voting as their "duty", much like some sort of other chore that must be done, so they simply let others decide for them. Or they simply vote the same way they always voted because it was good then and has to be good now.

    Most can't even imagine a third party, let alone vote for it.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:57PM (#30233324) Journal

    Here, Obama is pretty much giving the finger to his supporters who expected him to respect civil liberties.)

    Nobody with half a brain should have expected that Obama would respect civil liberties. This is the guy whose own platform called for the ban of so-called "assault weapons". It was on his campaign webpage and it was on the White House's webpage until they took it down. I don't see how you can claim to support civil liberties while simultaneously seeking to infringe on the 2nd amendment rights of every law abiding American citizen.

    Guns aren't your thing? Well, there's always his chickenshit reversal on FISA to consider.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @10:58PM (#30233338) Journal

    So how about respecting the established bankruptcy code rather than the Executive Branch picking winners and losers? If the bankruptcy code had been followed the union contracts would have been voided and the secured creditors (i.e: bondholders) would have come before them when it came time to split up the remaining assets.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:03PM (#30233362)

    Well, let's look at two of the biggest revolutions in the (more or less) recent history, the French one from 1789 and the Russian one from 1917. In both cases you see that you need two things for such a feat to work: People who are willing to fight and if necessary die for their conviction, actually not just "some" people but a sizable portion of the population. And second, you need the support of the army, or at the very least you need them to hold still and ignore orders to shoot you.

    I doubt we'll get to see either of those two happen any time soon.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:17PM (#30233438) Journal

    They also warned us against foreign entanglements but we stopped listening to that particular piece of advice a long time ago. Now we have a standing army and military-industrial complex that sucks up a large portion of our GDP while giving a large percentage of the world ample reason to hate us.

  • by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:18PM (#30233446) Journal

    He's one guy, and bureaucracy can't keep you up to date on everything.

    Interesting. So in the space of just 50 years we've gone from "The buck stops here" to "I can't possibly be expected to know about EVERYTHING that my appointee's are up to"

  • by postbigbang (761081) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:25PM (#30233482)

    correlation != causation.

    Lots of people voted for Obama that didn't care the color of his skin. Your bottom line is plainly counter to the actual outcome of the vote. Get your fingers out of your ears and listen to the people vote: Not McCain.

    Your racial profiling is truly silly.

  • by Rich0 (548339) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @11:51PM (#30233618) Homepage

    Well, it isn't like Bush personally performed warrantless searches on drug dealers under the Patriot Act. However, he can still be held accountable for the actions of his administration. The president sets the tone for the administration, and if he really wanted to send a message that stuff like this was not acceptable he could do so.

    The president can't be in all places in all times. However, he governs the largest budget on the entire planet, which means he can hire people to be in places for him. This subordinate was one of those people, and the people he chooses reflect on him...

  • Re:Hope/Change? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheEyes (1686556) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:13AM (#30233734)
    You know, I am heartily sick of hearing that lazy mantra of the Baby Boomer generation. "When are you all going to learn that government is inherently bad; that it is inherently corrupt." Back in the '60s this was followed by, "All you need is love, man." By the 80s it became "Just trust the corporations. Deregulate everything, and the free market will take care of us." By 2000 it was, "All you need is God."

    What the Boomers keep failing to understand is that government is not, and never has been, "The Man," some strange group controlled by an alien entity. Government is nothing more or less than the sum of its parts, namely the people who work to create and maintain it. In this country we happen to be blessed with a Democratic Republic, which means that group of people is everyone in the country. Everyone gets to participate, by running for office, by volunteering for a campaign or a cause, by discussing the issues with friends and family and coworkers, by voting.

    The problem isn't that government is run by someone else, it's that the Boomers, our parents and grandparents, sold their participation, and continue selling their participation, for the dollars and promises of corporations. These corporations have turned around and used those votes to build a government that responds to their needs. This has the unfortunate result of giving us a government that doesn't respond to our needs, which only makes sense because we're not the ones with the votes anymore.

    We CAN fix this, but we're not going to do it by staying in our parents' indolent fantasy land, and pretending that we can keep selling our votes every year and government will just go away if we ignore it enough. We have to stop selling our participation every election, and get out there and make the changes that we need. And we have to do it quickly: the EU and Japan and the BRIC nations aren't suffering from the same government-phobia that we are, and are poised to toss us into the dustbin of history.
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:24AM (#30233784)

    What's a thug? Somebody who uses violence and intimidation to get his way. (In the case of politics, it's not necessarily physical violence.) Things like flag@whitehouse.gov and the "Fox news are partisan hacks!!" and the "Rush Limbaugh is a partisan hack!!" and such diversions from the white house press office. If administration bullying doesn't count for some reason, look back to April and Obama's remarks to Rep. DeFazio (a Democrat who voted against the stimulus): "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother."

    Now hurry up and mod me Troll again, you partisan hacks.

    The right wing has fought dirty in this manner for decades now. Finally a democratic administration manages to fumble the same boxing gloves onto their hands and you proclaim it heresy, as if it's something new and savage.

    The right was the one which chose to go below the belt. The democrats tried to play it "honorably" for decades and continued to lose big. I still don't think they're doing nearly as good a job as republicans at playing dirty with political traps, fallacy, selective truth, and outright fabrication, but even standing up and saying "just wait one second!" is a start.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @12:55AM (#30233920)

    Is anything the founding fathers said sacred anymore?

    Should it be? Why not debate issues themselves instead of wasting time reinterpreting what some guys though about the issue a couple of hundred years ago in situations that were very different to those we live in today?

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:03AM (#30233964)

    It is Elena Kagan, not Obama. Her job is the United States Solicitor General.

    She works for him. The actions of underlings reflect on the president just as they do for any previous president.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:18AM (#30234054)
    It would have been interesting to post that exact same comment here two years ago, substituting only the word "Obama" for the word "Bush".

    The difference is how checks and balances work. It should be easy for the president to make something not happen. Clinton did that with the budget. He made the government shut down because Congress wouldn't give him a budget he liked. He made the government not happen. And there was nothing Congress could do, other than whine about how it was Clinton's fault they couldn't add numbers on a piece of paper. (that's an example and in no way support or condemnation of the act, but a clear example of the President making something not happen)

    Go to Obama. He can write legislation and submit it. The Office of the President does that all the time. But someone in Congress has to take it and run with it, or it's toilet paper. Obama can't "do" much, but he can stop things from happening. He's stopping some things slowly. He's not stopping others now. The few things he can do, like treaties, are a legitimate point. But he can't pass health care. He can propose, he can sign, but he's out of it for everything in the middle.

    Then, to Bush in the middle. He could have not invaded Iraq based on lies. He could have told the Executive to not revoke civil rights. He could have reigned in government power or stopped many things people complain about. He didn't. He helped them to happen.

    The difference in that statement now and before is that Bush could have stopped things people wanted stopped, and didn't. Obama can't make some things happen he promised, and he's not getting Congress to live up to his promises. Whether he is trying or not is what should be the issue. If he's putting up a light fight for a show, the he should be condemned. If he's doing all he can and Congress is fighting him (and that would be his own party, as they have the majority), then it's a Democratic Party issue where they got a president elected and abandoned him.
  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twiddlingbits (707452) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:27AM (#30234094)
    Because good common sense about Government and it's role doesn't change with the times. You have to realize that they wrote with a sense of history that had seen a lot of nations rise and fall for many of the reasons they rail against. We seem to have forgotten those lessons of history all of a sudden.
  • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:33AM (#30234128)
    That's an poor excuse. Policy decisions orginate in the Oval Office from the President and his inner council such as Chief of Staff. Then the various departments are charged to execute the policy in the areas they are responsible for. Obama may not know the details of the methods but he does know that his policies are being followed. If he doesn't know what is going on in his Government in context of his policies then he's even dumber than the "dumb" GWB everyone made fun of for years. If this had been GWB you would have been ready to impeach him, but the "Great One" gets excuses made for the same actions.
  • by ukyoCE (106879) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @01:35AM (#30234136) Journal

    Is network neutrality supposed to be scary?

    Media-ownership caps so that a small handful of corporations aren't controlling broadcast news?

    Kind of like how if we had limited the size of big banks (and their insurers), we might have been able to let capitalism run its course instead of Bush and Obama having to bail them out for being "too big"?

    Public broadcasting is scary? Do PBS, NPR, and the BBC make you quake in your boots? Seriously?

    Minority ownership sounds like racism, maybe thats the one you think is scary?

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:06AM (#30234262) Journal

    It was much easier, relatively speaking, for the United States to conceive of avoiding foreign entanglements at the end of the 18th century than it was to become even by the time of the Civil War. By WWI, the US's economic interests were so broad that the notion of avoiding entanglements became practically meaningless (the US entered WWI because of unrestricted submarine warfare by the Germans, which was a direct threat to US interests). By WWII, the notion that the US could hold itself above the ever-growing fray become utterly untenable. Does anybody for a moment believe that the US national interest would have been served by a fascist alliance of powers that covered much of the Old World? How long would the US as it stood have survived such a thing? Then came the Soviets, which were a direct threat in every possible way to the United States.

    To be honest, I'm not even really all that sure that Washington's warning meant all that much in the 18th century. I understand where he was coming from, to be sure, and I think everyone sort of had this vision of the United States as a peaceful trading power, a sort of politically liberalized version of Great Britain. But it was simply an untenable notion in a world rapidly shrinking and with empires falling and being formed and the old order collapsing.

  • by syousef (465911) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:17AM (#30234314) Journal

    If the guy I voted for won, I would rag on his ass every day and I would call out all the dumb shit he did and totally ignore the good shit he did because it's his job. Let's get politicians scared of citizens.

    If you had your way I imagine no one in their right mind would then go into politics. Under your solution - treat someone like dirt whether or not they do a good job - there is no longer an incentive to do a good job. Though it's hard to imagine, I think things would get much much worse. Only the scum of the earth would do the job and they'd find every possible way to benefit from the "ungrateful citizens". Even moreso than now.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sydneyfong (410107) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:39AM (#30234372) Homepage Journal

    RIghts to choose health care option under attack. RIght to keep our hard earned money under attack for increased federal debt. Private Enterprise under attack from TARP and limits on pay.

    Uh. You might as well claim a "right to being rich" under attack. I mean, there's no universal accepted notion of economic rights, and the very nature of these rights is that if you gain any of these so called "rights", somebody else has to pay for it.

    Take your health care example. Right to choose health care option, or right to health care? I think only in the USA would anybody think the former is a God given right, while the latter is an evil communist idea.

    Note that I'm obviously not an American, and I don't have a stake how the health care in your country is implemented. But I think I speak for many people when I say I'm really perplexed on how some of you guys approach the idea of state run health care.

    I always had the feeling that the argument against the health care reform is like... "the poor people should just die if they get sick" or something like that.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @02:44AM (#30234386)

    When Al Quada starts fighting in uniforms under a flag and taking steps to prevent civilian casualties (rather then setting out to cause them) then we can start treating them as POWs.

    Careful with that - next you'll be asking for all those thousands of US mercernaries in Afghanistan (who outnumber actually US troops) to wear military uniforms too and prevent civilian casualties. IT would be funny if it didn't make me cry. Or maybe some of those mercernaries in Iraq too, but then, that's apparently not Obama's war, that's no one's war any more ,so let's all pretend it isn't there any more, eh?.
    Blackwater USA, go go go , ra ra ra

    Sorry, P, you're not at fault, but the hypocrisy of the US nitpicking who or who does not merit POW treatment falls on deaf ears after X years of Guantanamo and who knows how many other secret rendition and torture bases across the world.

    http://counterpunch.org/roberts11232009.html is for you all, as you watch your precious "democracy" get its head flushed down the toilet for the final time as it gags on the shit your charming Attorneys General dumped whilst shredding your Constitution for the essentially meaningless trash that they've made it. USA - RIP. Good luck building your new republics, people, it's going to be a rough road, but I think you'll mostly all pull through.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jeeeb (1141117) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:02AM (#30234452)
    Okay you sound like a tape recorder for Fox news. So rather than sensational headlines how about some substantial criticism? Let's look at your points

    -- Gun legislation: I'm not so familiar with this. So how about telling us what legislation has been passed under Obama attacking gun rights? If there has been, can you provide an article giving us the details so we can make a rational judgment about it?

    -- Right to choose your Healthcare: I actually part agree with you here. Forcing people to get healthcare is somewhat questionable.

    -- "Right to keep your hard earned income": Firstly, do you have the right to keep the entirety of your income? I'm pretty sure the government is allowed to tax. That's part of living in a society. Now what I assume you're saying is that debt increases are going to raise your taxes and that you disagree with that. Now as far as increased federal debt goes, it's worth noting that by far the worst culprits when it comes to increasing it have been Bush and Reagan.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDebt.png [wikipedia.org] - Note the huge increase under Reagn and Bush I, the decrease under Clinton and the rapid increase under Bush II. Although if you look at it as a fraction of GDP, it's apparent that Bush II was far better than his farther and Reagan. All were far worse than Clinton. Now, there's forecast increase under Obama but then given the economic conditions under which he came to power that isn't so surprising.

    -- TARP: TARP was introduced during the Bush administration. Not sure how you can put the entire blame for that on Obama. I also must disagree that allowing companies to beg for government support is the equivalent of trampling on private enterprise rights. Although the economic wisdom of such a program is questionable.

    -- As for the rights of _Alleged_ Terrorists, what exactly is your problem with giving them a fair trial to determine if they're actually guilty or not? It seems utterly hypocritical to say that giving people the right to a trial is somehow a trampling of your rights.

    "Hell, I'd take Bill Clinton back before I'd let him have another term."
    You say that as if Clinton was terrible. Looking at his record though he oversaw a period of economic boom and debt reduction. Bush II inherited a nation with a newly regained confidence, reduced debt and no major wars. Look what he left Obama.
  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:05AM (#30234468)

    Like it or not there's multiple [cato.org] precedents [historynet.com] for doing exactly that. Enemy combatants are only accorded POW status if they obey the laws of war.

    The first link is about the execution of the conspirators in the Abraham Lincoln assassination.
    The second link is about German saboteurs from WWII who were executed as spies.

    1. What the fuck does that have to do with enemy combatants?
    2. Those were the first two times military tribunals had ever been convened and they were controversial then.
    Yes, 144 years ago, it was controversial to try non-POWs by the military.

    The lengths people go to justify the Bush definition of "enemy combatants" never fails to surprise me.

    When Al Quada starts fighting in uniforms under a flag and taking steps to prevent civilian casualties (rather then setting out to cause them) then we can start treating them as POWs.

    This was written in 1949 [icrc.org]
    Read the last paragraph.

    If they aren't POWs (3rd Geneva Convention), then they are civilians (4th Convention).
    International law is crystal clear that there is no intermediate status.
    How hard is it to comprehend that you cannot throw people down a legal black hole and torture them?

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@SLACKWAR ... org minus distro> on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:19AM (#30234530)

    Guantanamo Bay — “Because with enough rules, you can circumvent all common sense!”

    You made it a war, so they are prisoners of war. Period. But hey, double standards is what you are famous for, right? (E.g. beeping out “dick” on national television, but having the largest porn industry on the planet.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @03:55AM (#30234700)

    no, this is not her job. any court officials first job is to respect and protect the rights of citizens over and above any duty to prosecute. that's the duty of any public official as far as i know. most offices have an oath that includes an oath to the constitution. the purpose of the constitution is not just to ensure rights to the people but most importantly to *limit* the government, keeping it an organization that lacks the power to infringe upon rights.

  • by unix1 (1667411) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @07:13AM (#30235656)

    She is represents the US as a prosecutor for the Supreme Court. Isn't she just doing her job?

    Help me out here.

    How is a public official (appointed, elected or otherwise) is "just doing her job" by coming out and publicly asking the courts to rule against the Constitution of the United States that the said public official took an oath to support?

    Let me see - article VI, clause 3:

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

    In fact, the Constitution provides that if you violate that oath you have to be removed from office and can never be elected or serve any public office ever again (unless you can get 2/3 congress' support).

    So, we have media and politicians up in arms about some guy who is sharing a couple of hundred songs (which nobody wants to buy or sell anymore) who has to pay $150,000 or some outrageous number per file, plus serve XX number of years in federal prison. But on the other hand we have elected public officials (or those appointed by elected public officials), who have taken the Oath of Affirmation to support the Constitution, taking 30% of all of our income in taxes, wasting our money on needless "projects", accumulating our national debt to where most of them can't even count anymore, "bailing out" their billionaire buddies, and most importantly, spend nearly every day of their elected/appointed life not only failing to support, but publicly renouncing and fighting against the very constitution that got them elected/appointed and that they took the oath to support?

    And we just collectively say - oh, they are "just doing [their] job" and move on to more important stuff, like watching another episode of Kardiashians? +5 Insightful? This is why nothing will ever "change."

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EllisDees (268037) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @11:05AM (#30237050)

    How is it a lot less? We're still in Afghanistan and Iraq. We're only giving real trials to a handful of the people at Guantanamo, the rest are either getting military tribunals or will rot forever with no charges being brought. We're still getting our phones and email tapped without a warrant. What bad idea of Bush's has Obama actually changed so far?

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by j-beda (85386) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @11:25AM (#30237204) Homepage

    How hard is it for you to understand that spies are fucking spies and we're not going to sit by and have them use our own laws to fuck us in the ass?

    I think a strong argument can be made that by not using our own laws, legal traditions, and the like, we are doing much more self-damage than could ever have been accomplished by those external malevolent forces. I have seen no evidence that this type of behavior has increased our security in any way at all.

    We seem to be fucking ourselves quite fine without any help from others.

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cruciform (42896) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @11:30AM (#30237252) Homepage

    The "laws of war".

    The only reason war is acceptable is because we've put rules and laws in place that make the wholesale slaughter of "them" justifiable because it was done "humanely".
    Leaders want these rules because it allows them to expend citizens at no cost to themselves.
    Disregard the rules completely, and you have a war that no one wants.

    Shouldn't that be the point?

  • Re:I am shocked! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @11:39AM (#30237334) Journal

    The lengths people go to justify the Bush definition of "enemy combatants" never fails to surprise me.

    They are enemy combatants. Even if they were POWs they would still be considered enemy combatants. We didn't give the POWs we captured in WW2 access to our civilian justice system. We held them until the end of hostilities. The reason that the people in Gitmo didn't get POW status is because they refuse to follow the accepted laws of war. This really isn't that complicated to understand.

    If they aren't POWs (3rd Geneva Convention), then they are civilians (4th Convention).

    International law is crystal clear that there is no intermediate status.

    No, they aren't civilians. You lose your status as a civilian when you pick up a rifle and start shooting at our people. You might want to read about what happened to the German troops during the Battle of the Bulge that fought behind the line in Allied uniforms. By violating the laws of war they forfeited their right to POW status and were subject to summary execution upon capture. Perhaps we should have just done that to these Al Quada types and made the whole point of holding them moot. I would happily volunteer to put a bullet in KSM's head. I suspect many other Americans would do the same.

    How hard is it to comprehend that you cannot throw people down a legal black hole and torture them?

    Who was talking about torture? I'm talking about holding them. I find torture to be abhorrent but that doesn't mean we can't hold them until the end of hostilities and try them for whatever violations of the laws of war that they may have committed.

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