Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Saturday, February 04, 2006



Kermit the Technologically Impaired

Friday, February 03, 2006

If the words...

...exist that can define the Frog's 'disgruntledness', Ann Coulter can usually find them. To quote from this week's quotable essay...

Only because of the grassroots revolt against Miers were Republicans in Washington finally forced to face their worst nightmare.

Terror, thy name is Samuel Alito. Or as he is now known: "Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito."

The New York Times recently described the Republican campaign to get Alito on the court as a calculated strategy similar to Gen. Eisenhower's execution of the Normandy invasion. The meticulous plan, according to the Times, was mapped out by a secret conspiracy of Republicans similar to the Illuminati, also known as "the same weenies who gave us Harriet Miers."

According to Times reporter David Kirkpatrick, the weenies "laid out a two-part strategy to roll out behind whomever the president picked, people present said. The plan: First, extol the nonpartisan legal credentials of the nominee, steering the debate away from the nominee's possible influence over hot-button issues. Second, attack the liberal groups they expected to oppose any Bush nominee."

At no point in the article exposing the secret Republican plan did Kirkpatrick mention that the nominee ignored the plan. Sam Alito was a walking hot-button issue. I believe his sainted mother's remarks put a quick end to the Republicans' genius "stealth" campaign. Alito is everything Washington weenies have been petrified of since – well, probably since the Bork nomination.

And yet, despite the NARAL ladies running around Capitol Hill with machetes, Alito was confirmed by the Senate in the exact same 58-42 vote that Robert Bork got (except reversed this time!).

That's what happens when you win elections. No wonder Democrats don't get this – they've only won a couple of elections in the last quarter-century.

Finding words again!


Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm beginning to feel... the pig that lost its voice.


Monday, January 30, 2006

The Knee Jerk Times...

the NSA and the Law...

The following longish quote is from a John Hinderaker piece at the Powerline Blog. I recommend reading the whole thing, but the quite (long though it may be) is a good summary.

If the Times is happy with what the administration is doing, but just wants it to follow a procedure that will yield exactly the same result with virtually no inconvenience, why is the paper so hysterical?

The answer is that the Times purports to be making a technical legal argument. Its point is that following an easy, foolproof procedure will make the necessary surveillance legal instead of illegal.

As a lawyer, I can relate to technical legal arguments. But, if you're going to rely on a legal argument, isn't it necessary to actually...make a legal argument? One would think so, but the Times can't be bothered. Instead, it simply denounces the administration's program because it "violates the law as currently written." But does it? When lawyers make technical legal arguments, we generally cite case law. Like, for example, United States v. Clay, 430 F.2d 165 (5th Cir. 1970), in which the court held that federal statutes prohibiting wiretapping do not "[forbid] he President, or his representative, from ordering wiretap surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence in the national interest." That seems obviously pertinent; what does the Times have to say about the Clay case? Nothing. It doesn't mention it.

Another relevant case is United States v. Butenko, 494 F.2d 593 (3rd Cir. 1974), where the court held that no judicial warrant was necessary where "surveillances ... were 'conducted and maintained solely for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information.'" Butenko blows a giant hole in the Times' legal theory. What does the Times have to say about the Butenko case? Nothing. It doesn't mention it.

Then there's United States v. Truong, 629 F.2d 908 (4th Cir. 1980), where the court sustained the federal government's position, which it summarized as follows:
In the area of foreign intelligence, the government contends, the President may authorize surveillance without seeking a judicial warrant because of his constitutional prerogatives in the area of foreign affairs.

The court explained why the President has the inherent constitutional authority to order warrantless electronic surveillance:

For several reasons, the needs of the executive are so compelling in the area of foreign intelligence, unlike the area of domestic security, that a uniform warrant requirement would, following [United States v. United States District Court, 407 U.S. 297 (1972)], "unduly frustrate" the President in carrying out his foreign affairs responsibilities. First of all, attempts to counter foreign threats to the national security require the utmost stealth, speed and secrecy. A warrant requirement would add a procedural hurdle that would reduce the flexibility of executive foreign intelligence activities, in some cases delay executive response to foreign intelligence threats, and increase the chance of leaks regarding sensitive executive operations.

If the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was right, then the New York Times is wrong. So, surely the Times must have some persuasive rebuttal to the Truong decision in support of its technical legal argument? No. The Times never refers to Truong.

United States v. Duggan, 743 F.2d 59 (2nd Cir. 1984), was a terrorism case in which the court, among other rulings, upheld the constitutionality of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The court wrote: Prior to the enactment of FISA, virtually every court that had addressed the issue had concluded that the President had the inherent power to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance to collect foreign intelligence information, and that such surveillances constituted an exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment.

A damning summary. Surely the Times has a rejoinder to the court's statement that the universal weight of authority is against the paper's position? Nope.

Free Web Counter