Dec 20 2005

The Liberal Altered States

Published by at 12:31 pm under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

The buzz is all about NSA trying to catch overseas terrorists contacting their counterparts here in the US, and somehow the left has become more unhinged than I thought possible. The best example is Jonathan Alter’s fantasy piece in Newsweek (which begs the question of when did Newsweek start printing fiction?).

There are two bits of fact in this silly piece by Jonathan “Altered States”.

Fact One:

I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story.

Fact Two:

The Times will not comment on the meeting,
but one can only imagine the president’s desperation.

That’s it folks. The rest is Jonathan’s liberal wet dream splashed all over Newsweek’s pages, as if it has any basis in reality. Just check out how giddy Altered Boy is with the little world he has created in his head:

Finally we have a Washington scandal that goes beyond sex, corruption and political intrigue to big issues like security versus liberty and the reasonable bounds of presidential power

Apparently Altered Boy has been as desperate as Mary Mapes to find something to support his ego’s contention the world and country must be wrong – it is not Johnny Boy!

he made it seem as if those who didn’t agree with him wanted to leave us vulnerable to Al Qaeda

Altered Boy has some explaining on why all the leads we were getting will dry up now that everyone is aware that even a single phone call or email can be traced. That is because the 4-48 hour turn around for FISA review will not be the assumed limiting factor anymore. Until this story broke, most people would have assumed this was the time limit they would have before adjusting their communications paths. Not anymore. Now they have clear information on how their counter measures must perform to get around the NSA. Thanks NY Times. Hope your scoop was worth it.

But Altered Boy is not worried about that – he has something more!

His comparison to the damaging pre-9/11 revelation of Osama bin Laden’s use of a satellite phone, which caused bin Laden to change tactics, is fallacious; any Americans with ties to Muslim extremists—in fact, all American Muslims, period—have long since suspected that the U.S. government might be listening in to their conversations.

Again, pure fantasy on Altered Boy’s part. The terrorists need to communicate to coordinate. They need instantaneous communications provided by the internet, email and phones. They have and will develop tactics to exploit weaknesses in our defenses to use this electronic infrastructure safely. Including rotating through cell phones, multiple email addresses through multiple accounts and ISPs downloaded to a single PDA, and voice over IP. If you read what Boy Genius Johnny is talking about his example is limited to someone consistently using a phone or email account. He has no imagination. He probably is technically challenged to the point of being an idiot. Just like Mary Mapes cannot grasp why documents written in MS Word can never be confused with something written on a typewriter. Altered Boy has no concept of the methods and technologies that could be used to regularly change the topology of the communications paths between those terrorists who need to coordinate.

So, without the basic technical understanding, he dismisses the danger so he can wallow in his little fantasy:

But there is simply no evidence, or even reasonable presumption, that this is so. And rather than the leaking being a “shameful act,” it was the work of a patriot inside the government who was trying to stop a presidential power grab.

Altered Boy has found a hero! How quaint. Altered Boy finds taking down a Republican President is a much higher priority than stopping terrorists from killing people. I guess he feels ordinary Americans are expendable. Altered Boy then goes on a real tear of misunderstanding:

He insists he had “legal authority derived from the Constitution and congressional resolution authorizing force.” But the Constitution explicitly requires the president to obey the law. And the post 9/11 congressional resolution authorizing “all necessary force” in fighting terrorism was made in clear reference to military intervention. It did not scrap the Constitution and allow the president to do whatever he pleased in any area in the name of fighting terrorism.

What Johnny lacks in knowledge about communications he rivals with a lack of knowledge on the Constitution and the law. One of the best rebuttals to this silly rationalization is by at Powerline.

First, those who leap to the conclusion that the intercepts must be unconstitutional seem to assume that all searches require a warrant. That is not correct. The Fourth Amendment prohibits “unreasonable” searches and seizures. Warrantless searches are legal, and appropriately so, in a number of circumstances.

Second, the issue of speed is critical. When we capture a cell phone or laptop being used by a terrorist, it is usually because we captured or killed the terrorist. The amount of time we have to exploit the capture is very short. The terrorists will soon figure out that their confederate is out of business, and stop using his cell phone numbers and email addresses. So if we are to benefit from the capture, we must begin obtaining information right now. A delay of even a few days may render the information useless, as the terrorists will have realized that their colleague has been neutralized.

But Altered Boy is not concerned with the constitution, the law, terrorists or protecting Americans. His simple minded, near childish dismissal of these factors illustrate he is not focused on these trivial things. He has smote them down with a logic representing the IQ of a gnat. What he has in his little head is this:

This will all play out eventually in congressional committees and in the United States Supreme Court. If the Democrats regain control of Congress, there may even be articles of impeachment introduced. Similar abuse of power was part of the impeachment charge brought against Richard Nixon in 1974.

Poor, poor Altered Boy. He has BDS bad – really bad. And Newsweek must have it bad also to print this prime example of why liberals are can never be entrusted with the security of this nation. This kind of rampant day dreaming is dangerous, and probably helped the 9-11 terrorists get through our defenses in the first place.

While all this is pathetically silly, I will challenge one thing Johnny said

We’re seeing clearly now that Bush thought 9/11 gave him license to act like a dictator, or in his own mind, no doubt, like Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Altered Boy should never equate Abraham Lincoln with a dictator. Is it possible Johnny is ignorant of history too?

But while Altered Boy is wallowing in a fit of fantasy, the Senate Democrats are doing something astounding – they are admitting they are against stopping terrorist plots in the US, if those plots can be executed fast enough and with the proper dynamic communications plan to foil FISA. And of course, now this is out in the open it is clearer and clearer what it will take to develop a scheme to foil FISA now that we have parameters on FISA’s ability to react. So what do the Democrats do now that this leak has exposed a weakness in our defenses and tipped off the terrorists?

I simply cannot fathom this response:

Some Democrats say they never approved a domestic wiretapping program, undermining suggestions by President Bush and his senior advisers that the plan was fully vetted in a series of congressional briefings. “I feel unable to fully evaluate, much less endorse, these activities,” West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said in a handwritten letter to Vice President Dick Cheney in July 2003. “As you know, I am neither a technician nor an attorney.”

Did Rockefeller just recluse himself on the grounds he is ignorant? Are democrats saying the people of this country fear their phone or email be monitored when they are being contacted by an Al Qaeda agent?

Let me ask that one again – do Democrats feel that Americans, many who would die for this country and to protect their families, cannot deal with their communications being monitored when Al Qaeda contacts them – probably unbeknownst to them!

There is more

Rockefeller is among a small group of congressional leaders who have received briefings on the administration’s four-year-old program to eavesdrop _ without warrants _ on international calls and e-mails of Americans and others inside the United States with suspected ties to al-Qaida.

Actually, this is inaccurate (I know, it is the MSM so why do we expect some semblance of accuracy). Here is the scenarios which come to mind, which now the Democrats say we should not pursue:

(1) AQ terrorist books hotel reservations in a surveillance trip to the US to review targets. The US monitors the phone/emails coming from the terrorists to hotels being set up. But the Democrats and others like Alter Boy fear this is a fascist take over of the country and cry impeachment – why allowing this to happen

(2) AQ terrorists contact an unsuspecting US citizen who needs money and has a low moral threshold, and asks them to survey targets in return for wire transfers. The Altered-Democrats scream impeachment and would allow this to happen.

(3) AQ terrorists have infiltrated our borders for a distributed, timed attack involving geographically distributed cells. They need to check they are in position and have final details. The AQ mastermind coordinates from outside the country. The status check pre-go our a series of communications to the coordinator out of country – 60 minutes prior to the attack. The go signal will come then. Altered Democrats scream impeachment, and allow this to happen.

(4) AQ terrorist are executing a coordinated attack, but one cell is compromised. They need to activate the back up cell, so they contact the mastermind out of country, who in turn contacts the back up cell lead. He then contacts his team in order for them to run underground and get into position. The entire sequence from call for help to the disappearance of the back up cell members is 3 hours. Altered-Democrats scream impeachment and allow this to happen.

I can go on and on, but what is the point? We have to be right all the time and the terrorists need only be right once. And they are willing to die in waves trying to get that one time Hail Mary pass through. But the Altered Democrats are so paranoid they think the administration has nothing better to track down with limited resources than innocent Americans of the opposite political persuasion.

Funny thing is, the way the democrats are going the Republicans have nothing to fear. When paranoid fears of some mythical conspiracy are driving fantasies of impeachment and payback on the left, it is clear their attention is not on the emergency at hand: Al Qaeda.

Senators, of both parties, are demonstrating an unnerving lack of comprehension on this matter. They apparently do not understand the performance limits of FISA and how that can be exploited by an enemy far more imaginative than they appear to be. Altered Democrats and the MSM lackeys are illustrating our weaknesses quite well. But somehow I am not sure Americans who want their children safe are looking to impeach Bush at this moment.

Maybe Liberals should watch a little less West Wing and a little more 24!

Much, much more at Memeorandum


Can you believe these lemmings on the left are calling for Impeachment? They must really want to take a drubbing in next year’s elections! Bring it on. Let’s impeach Bush for trying to track down possible terrorist sympathizers, or at least learn some of their planning. That’ll work.

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “The Liberal Altered States”

  1. Snapple says:

    Thank you AJ,

    I knew that writer was off his rocker to think he is so much smarter than the men running the government and tracking Al Qaeda.

    I love your article; it is terrific. It’s a shame that you aren’t writing for Newsweek instead of this jerk. I am going to read this many times.

    I was so depressed when I read the Newsweek article. It is so ignorant, so arrogant, and so dismissive of the importance of my children’s lives.

  2. Snapple says:

    On TV, Cheney is quoted as saying that this program saved thousands of lives.

  3. Snapple says:

    AJ–This article says that a FISA Court Approved NSA’s spying.

    ” Bush’s so-called “illegal” spy program has indeed undergone judicial review…And a special foreign intelligence surveillance appeals court set up to review the case confirmed that such “warrantless searches” were completely legal.”

    “FISA appeals court decision cited a previous FISA case [U.S. v. Truong], where a federal court “held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information.”
    The court’s decision went on to say: “We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.”

  4. nar9350 says:

    DITTO – Great Piece

    See this related post and comments over at Atlas Shrugs. See my comments and scroll the thread:




  5. alcibiades says:

    Well Alter is a moonbat; he’s essentially a partisan hack, he never writes objectively. Does he ever stray from democrat talking points? That seems to be the idiom of his deep thoughts.

    I’m a lot more concerned, however, about the likes of Bruce Fein coming out this strongly against Bush. And Jonathan Turley, who I saw on tv, was very strongly against. And he’s a pretty fair/moderate voice.

  6. Snapple says:

    Here is a White House site that has the Attorney General Gonzalez and General Hayden (NSA) explaining their views on the intecepts between Americans and terrorists.

    It is complicated, but here is, I think, the gist of the argument:

    GONZALEZ says, “the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provides — requires a court order before engaging in this kind of surveillance that I’ve just discussed and the President announced on Saturday, unless there is somehow — there is — unless otherwise authorized by statute or by Congress. That’s what the law requires. Our position is, is that the authorization to use force, which was passed by the Congress in the days following September 11th, constitutes that other authorization, that other statute by Congress, to engage in this kind of signals intelligence……..there’s nothing in the authorization to use force that specifically mentions electronic surveillance. Let me take you back to a case that the Supreme Court reviewed this past — in 2004, the Hamdi decision. As you remember, in that case, Mr. Hamdi was a U.S. citizen who was contesting his detention by the United States government. What he said was that there is a statute, he said, that specifically prohibits the detention of American citizens without permission, an act by Congress — and he’s right, 18 USC 4001a requires that the United States government cannot detain an American citizen except by an act of Congress.

    We took the position — the United States government took the position that Congress had authorized that detention in the authorization to use force, even though the authorization to use force never mentions the word “detention.” And the Supreme Court, a plurality written by Justice O’Connor agreed. She said, it was clear and unmistakable that the Congress had authorized the detention of an American citizen captured on the battlefield as an enemy combatant for the remainder — the duration of the hostilities. So even though the authorization to use force did not mention the word, “detention,” she felt that detention of enemy soldiers captured on the battlefield was a fundamental incident of waging war, and therefore, had been authorized by Congress when they used the words, “authorize the President to use all necessary and appropriate force.”

    For the same reason, we believe signals intelligence is even more a fundamental incident of war, and we believe has been authorized by the Congress. And even though signals intelligence is not mentioned in the authorization to use force, we believe that the Court would apply the same reasoning to recognize the authorization by Congress to engage in this kind of electronic surveillance.

    I might also add that we also believe the President has the inherent authority under the Constitution, as Commander-in-Chief, to engage in this kind of activity. Signals intelligence has been a fundamental aspect of waging war since the Civil War, where we intercepted telegraphs, obviously, during the world wars, as we intercepted telegrams in and out of the United States. Signals intelligence is very important for the United States government to know what the enemy is doing, to know what the enemy is about to do. It is a fundamental incident of war, as Justice O’Connor talked about in the Hamdi decision. We believe that — and those two authorities exist to allow, permit the United States government to engage in this kind of surveillance. “

  7. Snapple says:

    Bush just gave a quick press conference. He said that a Senator bragged about “killing” the Patriot Act.

    Does anyone know who that Senator is so I can write him and ask him this:

    Will you be bragging when you see you voted to kill Americans?

  8. Snapple says:

    On TV the Attorney General Gonzalez said that the idea of getting legislation for the NSA evesdropping program without a court order was discussed, but they were advised that legistation would not be possible without compromising the program. I think that he meant that this advice came from legislators but I am not positive about that.

  9. dymphna says:

    The Left has been saying that they were going to impeach Bush since even before 9/11. They didn’t have a clue what they’d use, but they knew something could be invented eventually.

    This could be their chance. Hey, if you can make even a phantasm of a case with Wilson and Wife, you can do impeachment on this decision. Anything for a diversion.

    Plus ca change…the dems did the same to Lincoln. And when that didn’t get anywhere they shot him…which is why I worry for Bush. I’m glad he’s *finally* getting out there and speaking, but it ups the chances for the nutcakes.

  10. Snapple says:

    Here is what I think may be going on with the NSA story. The administration wanted to fool the terrorists into thinking they had more time to communicate than they did.

    If they change the law, that is a public process, and they would have to explain all their technological wizzardry. The terrorists would read the law and know what we can do to spy on them.

    So they talked to a few congressmen, as the law allows for. And who knows if these guys really got it.

    This is a war. We can have every spy tactic we might used published in the laws. We have enemies inside our country and the government has to be able to get them.

    At the same time, these allegations about the FBI spying on “activists” are designed to make people think that the FBI is trying to silence peaceful dissent.

    The terrorists camoflage themselves as dissidents, but really they are advocating and practicing violence.

    People will confuse the FBI activities with the NSA activities and get all paranoid about the government.

    It’s not the government that is out to destroy our rights; it’s the terrorists.

  11. […] Many on the left are calling for impeachment proceedings. I gleefully answer bring it on. […]

  12. […] Amazingly, the impeachment calls came out immediately and across the liberal spectrum, with little to no information on the issue itself! All of this staged outrage demonstrated this was probably a coordinated effort (here and here). […]