Thursday, December 29, 2005
Big Brother Security vs Freedom
Worried about a backlash due to their non-existent credibility on national security, centrist democrats are warning their liberal cohorts to stop attacking president Bush on the issue. Democrats have come to the sudden realization that the vast majority of American's trust president Bush and Republican's far more to do what is needed to keep the nation secure from terrorism.
"In shaping alternative policies -- particularly on national security, terrorism and Iraq -- Democrats have to be extremely careful to avoid reinforcing the negative stereotype that has cost us so much in the last two national elections," the DLC's recent memorandum said.
More howls by far-left liberals accusing Bush falsely of breaking the law are just not resonating with the public, especially when most honest law-abiding Americans understand that phones being tapped by the NSA are of those who plan to do harm to the country, and listening in on terrorist communications is of utmost importance to prevent another 9/11 or worse type of attack.
A new survey found nearly two-thirds of Americans believe the National Security Agency should monitor communications between terrorist suspects overseas and contacts inside the U.S.
According to Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports, 64 percent of respondents said the super-secret NSA should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. Just 23 percent disagreed, the survey found.
The president of the United States would be derelict in his duties to not authorize these security measures as required. Getting a court order takes far-too-long, leaving time gaps that help the enemy.
Earlier this month, Democrats filibustered against the Patriot Act and threatened to block security measures. It was later followed by a resounding gloat from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, who declared at a party rally, "We killed the Patriot Act." This anti-American glee by the senate minority leader is why so much nervousness has set-in among Democrats concerned about solidifying the public's (accurate) perception of the democratic party's weakness on national security.
President Bush sharply attacked Mr. Reid, saying lack of the Patriot Act "will leave us in a weaker position in the fight against brutal killers," Senate Democrats dropped their filibuster and accepted a six-month extension. A Republican-backed five-week extension was adopted last week by the House and Senate.
Let's remember how democrat's were whining about a lack of security prior to 9/11 and demanded action. The result was the Patriot Act agreed to by most democrats in congress.
"I think when you suggest that civil liberties are just as much at risk today as the country is from terrorism, you've gone too far if you leave that impression. I don't believe that's true," said Michael O'Hanlon, a national-security analyst at the Brookings Institution who advises Democrats on defense issues.
"I get nervous when I see the Democrats playing this [civil liberties] issue out too far. They had better be careful about the politics of it," said Mr. O'Hanlon, who says the Patriot Act is "good legislation."
These Democrats say attacks on anti-terrorist intelligence programs will deepen mistrust of their ability to protect the nation's security, a weakness that led in part to the defeat of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, last year.
"The Republicans still hold the advantage on every national-security issue we tested," said Mark Penn, a Democratic pollster and former adviser to President Clinton, who co-authored a Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) memo on the party's national-security weaknesses.
Excerpts from: FISA vs. the Constitution: "For nearly 200 years it was understood by all three branches that intelligence collection--especially in wartime--was an exclusive presidential prerogative vested in the president by Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution. Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, John Marshall and many others recognized that the grant of "executive power" to the president included control over intelligence gathering. It was not by chance that there was no provision for congressional oversight of intelligence matters in the National Security Act of 1947.
Space does not permit a discussion here of the congressional lawbreaking that took place in the wake of the Vietnam War. It is enough to observe that the Constitution is the highest law of the land, and when Congress attempts to usurp powers granted to the president, its members betray their oath of office. In certain cases, such as the War Powers Resolution and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it might well have crossed that line.
America is at war with a dangerous enemy. Since 9/11, the president, our intelligence services and our military forces have done a truly extraordinary job--taking the war to our enemies and keeping them from conducting a single attack within this country (so far). But we are still very much at risk, and those who seek partisan political advantage by portraying efforts to monitor communications between suspected foreign terrorists and (often unknown) Americans as being akin to Nixon's "enemies lists" are serving neither their party nor their country. The leakers of this sensitive national security activity and their Capitol Hill supporters seem determined to guarantee al Qaeda a secure communications channel into this country so long as they remember to include one sympathetic permanent resident alien not previously identified by NSA or the FBI as a foreign agent on their distribution list."
Many democrats realize the liberal left has cost them too much by being so radical and so far out of the mainstream, leading most Americans to disqualify the party outright, as the facts expose the real liberal agenda that goes against not only the U.S. Constitution, but family values, freedom of speech and religion.
Don't move, you're being trackedWhile democrats are whining about their civil liberties being encroched upon by the NSA in America, over in the European Union there is a much more aggressive infringement of civil rights going on.
The new national surveillance network for tracking car journeys, which has taken more than 25 years to develop, is only the beginning of plans to monitor the movements of all British citizens. The Home Office Scientific Development Branch in Hertfordshire is already working on ways of automatically recognising human faces by computer, which many people would see as truly introducing the prospect of Orwellian street surveillance, where our every move is recorded and stored by machines.
From 2006 Britain will be the first country where every journey by every car will be monitored
Britain is to become the first country in the world where the movements of all vehicles on the roads are recorded. A new national surveillance system will hold the records for at least two years.
Using a network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years.
The EU has also just launched their answer to America's Global Positioning System (GPS) with a Russian launch of the Galileo system.
European Space Agency formally agreed to go ahead with the project in 2002. A second test satellite will be launched next year, and an entire network of 30 satellites - 27 active ones and three spares - should be operational by 2010.
Galileo should offer greater accuracy - down to a metre and less; greater penetration - in urban centres, inside buildings, and under trees; and a faster fix.
The question for each person to answer is this: Do you now feel more secure knowing you are being tracked, or do you feel that your individual freedoms are being taken away by the same government that guaranteed them?
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4.
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