Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘wiretapping’

The bipartisan surveillance state

In Barack Obama, Civil Liberties, Congress, Constitutional Rights, Courts and Justice System, Democrats, First Amendment, Fraud, George Bush, History, Human Rights Abuses, Iraq War, Law, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Middle East, People in the news, Personal Responsibility, Police State, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Terrorism, US Government, War on July 24, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Anthony Gregory in the San Diego Union Tribune:

The Democratic Congress passed and President Bush signed the “FISA Amendments Act of 2008,” legalizing the president’s illegal wiretapping program.

The law allows broad warrantless surveillance of Americans in the United States, so long as the call or e-mail is thought to be international.

Eavesdropping on domestic communications is legal for a week before court papers even have to be filed. The telecom companies that cooperated with Bush are immune from civil lawsuits. Most important, the administration’s illegal conduct has been retroactively approved and future administrations have wider powers than ever to spy on Americans.

The Democratic leadership and virtually all congressional Republicans approved the law. In a complete reversal of his campaign promise, so did Sen. Barack Obama. Last October, his campaign announced, “To be clear: Barack will support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.” Instead, he voted to prevent a filibuster and then he voted for the bill.

Democrats and Obama supporters defend the betrayal with hollow claims that the law actually protects civil liberties. Why then was Bush so eager to sign it? Missouri Republican Sen. Christopher Bond, a leader in this “compromise,” says “the White House got a better deal than even they had hoped.”

Two years ago, the Democrats seemed outraged after we learned Bush had ordered the National Security Agency, a military outfit, to spy on Americans without warrants, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Now they control Congress with good odds at the presidency. Power and the hope for more power corrupt.

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What positions does Bob Barr support?

In Congress, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Libertarian Politics, Libertarian Politics 2008, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Torture, War on May 14, 2008 at 8:10 pm

In politics, you can tell a lot about a candidate based upon the positions they champion. This is true whether they support the positions directly, or indirectly.

Bob Barr’s PAC raises money under his signature, and he supported a number of Republican Congressmen and Senators during the current election cycle. Supporting the campaign is the same as supporting the positions the Congressman or Senator takes, obviously.

The fact of the matter is that nine of ten Congressman Bob Barr supported oppose leaving Iraq, and support military kangaroo courts. Eight out of ten Congressmen he supported want Uncle Sam in your hospital bed, a’la Ms. Schiavo. Eight of ten Congressman he supported are in support of warrantless wiretaps, and want to ban flag burning. A majority support torture.

Here is a listing of ten Congressmen Barr has supported during the current election cycle, after Barr joined the LP. The numbers beside their names indicate their extremely unlibertarian votes in Congress; specifics are below.

CONGRESSMEN
Gingrey Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Ros-Lehtinen Florida 1 2 3 5 6
Jeff Flake Arizona 1 2 3 4
Robin Hayes North Carolina 2 3 4 5 6
Jeb Hensarling Texas 1 2 3 4 5 6
Jack Kingston Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Pryce for Congress Ohio 1 2 3 5 6
Rehberg for Congress Montana 1 2 3 4 5 6
Walter Jones North Carolina 5 6
Christopher Shays for Congress Connecticut 1 2 3

(1) Vote 836: S 1927: The bill gives U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States.

(2) 7/12/07 Vote 624: H R 2956: This bill would require the president to begin reducing the number of U.S. troops serving in Iraq 120 days after its enactment and would require most troops to be withdrawn by April 1, 2008.

(3) 9/29/06 Vote 508: S 3930: Military Commissions Act

(4) 12/14/05 Vote 630: H R 2863: Supported a ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees held by U.S. forces

(5) 6/22/05 Vote 296: H J RES 10: This vote approved the proposal of a Constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag.

(6) 3/21/05 Vote 90: S 686: Gave federal courts jurisdiction in the Terri Schiavo dispute.

Since 2007, Barr’s PAC supported nine U.S. Senators. Every one of the Senators he supported has voted to allow warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of virtually every form of communication in America; and every one of them voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act when it expired. Eight of nine voted for war funding. Seven of nine voted against an antiwar withdrawal motion. Every one of them voted for a Constitutional Amendment to ban flag burning. Six of nine voted to advance a constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Again, supporting the Senator is showing agreement with the positions the Senator takes. How can Bob Barr claim to be a libertarian, when he supports so many Senators who vote for such incredibly un-libertarian stances?

SENATORS
Saxby Chambliss Georgia 1 2 3 4 5 6
Arlen Specter 1 2 3 4 6
Norm Coleman Minnesota 1 3 4 5 6
Larry Craig Idaho 1 2 3 4 5 6
Lindsey Graham South Carolina 1 2 3 4 5 6
Hagel for Senate 1 2 4 6
Jeff Sessions Alabama 1 2 3 4 5 6
Gordon Smith for US Senate Committee 1 2 4 5 6
Team Sununu New Hampshire 1 2 3 4 6

(1) Vote 309: S 1927: This amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 passed 60-28 on August 3. Civil liberties and privacy advocates argue the bill jeopardizes the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and allows for the warrantless monitoring of virtually any form of communication originating in the United States.

(2) 5/24/07 Vote 181: On the Motion: Fund the war. This $120 billion dollar package was passed in the Senate by an 80-14 vote on May 24.

(3) 3/29/07 Vote 126: H R 1591: This $122 billion war spending bill calls for combat troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq this summer.

(4) 6/27/06 Vote 189: S J RES 12: This vote would have given Senate approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the authority to ban “desecration of the American flag”.

(5) 6/7/06 Vote 163: On the Cloture Motion: A Senate cloture vote on the gay marriage amendment failed, effectively killing the amendment.

(6) 3/2/06 Vote 29: H R 3199: Reauthorized a slightly modified version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act.

With the above in mind it is completely reasonable – based upon Barr’s own record in Congress and his continuing support of Congressmen and Senators who take those positions – to assume Bob Barr would vote in the same manner if he were still in Congress, despite his claim to have converted to libertarianism. After all, he has been supporting people making extremely un-libertarian decisions, even as he sat on the LNC and pondered seeking the LP’s presidential nomination. To believe otherwise would be to close one’s eyes to the painfully obvious truth, which is that we can put a hat on this Republican pig and call him Tillie, but that still won’t make him a Libertarian.