Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Warrantless COMINT

A hue and cry is being raised throughout the land over the recent disclosure by the New York Times about President Bush authorizing interception of communications between the U.S. and overseas. Michelle Malkin has most of the pertinent information; some people are claiming that this warrants impeachment. While it's understandable that people will debate whether this is right or wrong, people who are claiming that President Bush was operating with a reckless disregard for the law are just plain wrong, IMHO.

As President Bush himself pointed out today, the required people in Congress were informed about the program. If I remember right, for this type of "black" program, at a minimum the Intelligence committee chairman and vice chairman of both the House and the Senate (this would make a total of two Republicans and two Democrats for those keeping score) are briefed. If these people don't like the program, they have the power to do what needs to be done to stop it, if they're so inclined. Additionally, the Justice Department provides continuing legal reviews of programs of this type. This isn't Watergate -- it looks like all the hoops were jumped through to get this program up and running. And remember -- this isn't spying on people arranging trysts with their neighbor; it was overseas communications with people who were strongly suspected of associating with Al Qaeda. Sure, it has the potential for abuse, but from what I've heard so far, they tried to keep it as closely controlled as possible.

I just hope that people don't go off and start complaining about us intercepting communications overseas... that could put a lot of people I know out of business.


Blogger NCdt(II) Genest said...

Don't you just love the media? I'm not too happy about the thought of this kind of stuff happening (even though I'm not American, it's still not something I totally agree with) but I think the government should do whatever is necessary to protect it's people, even if it has the potential for abuse.

Also, one has to remember that if the ressources-which were available-had not been used, and something happened, (ie, another 9/11-type event) the government would have been pointed at as not having done enough.

Yet another one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" things, I guess.

12/17/2005 12:50 PM

Blogger Skippy-san said...

I guess the key issue is not whether Bush observed all the legal propieties or not, its that people believe that he would try to spy on me arranging my tryst with my big breasted neighbor.......

That's the real point, is that people can believe Bush is capable of subverting civil liberties to accomplish his own agenda. I know I believe he is capable of it.....

As for impeaching Bush well that is a liberal fantasy. To really impeach him they are going to need a lot smarter leadership then they have today...and what purpose would it serve? To give Cheney a shot? God forbid.

Too bad old George W. doesn't drink anymore, and sadly I can't picture him knocking the bottom out of an we are stuck with him for 3 more long years.......

And that is one of the reasons I continue to live overseas......

12/17/2005 6:54 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Skippy -- That's the thing; lots of people believe it, based on no real information other than "Bush is evil". I might be unsophisticated and naïve, and spend too much time laughing at Democratic Underground, but I really don't see Bush and his cronies sitting around the Oval Office, talking about how they can figure out which guy in Butte is banging the babysitter. I see them talking about how they can get re-elected -- and now, how they can get someone who will rehire those aides elected.
True, if you look at what Bush is doing, I suppose everything could be twisted to "he wants to control every aspect of our lives"; or, it could be looked at as "he's looking for ways to keep terrorist attacks from happening again". You've got your explanation, I've got mine.

12/18/2005 8:47 AM

Blogger Subsunk said...

My, my! You gents sure do seem to ascribe nefarious motives towards the leadership of the country. Either they are illegitimate silver spoon fed arrogant assholes, or they are just everyday politicians looking out for themselves and their cronies. Nothing honorable or trustworthy in any of them.

By that definition, you looking out for your Command Master Chief at retirement by getting your Dad to give him a job because he is really a good guy, or you taking a job from your recently retired Admiral boss because he wants your latest network of contacts to lobby would be just as bad as the President and VP authorizing wiretaps on Americans who sympathize with al Qaeda (and were in the terrorists' cell phone records as such) on Sept 14, 2001. Given that context, I'd say bully for W for showing some balls.

When I look at Bush, I see a guy who is in way over his head, and determined to meet the challenge no matter how many assholes say he's too stupid or incompetent to do the job. I've been in his shoes (sort of, only several sizes smaller). Everyone thought Subsunk would never amount to jack shit. Twenty one years later, they take advice from me on how to do their job better.

Same thing here. If every swingin' dick in the world is against you, its pretty hard to keep on swingin' back. And W ain't quit yet. That makes him a bigger Man than the rest of us could ever be.

My opinion, but you might consider cutting the guy some slack. He has enough problems being the Leader of the Free World and all, to have to listen to what you or I say is more important than what he is doing right now. And he has the smarter folks in the country working for him. So I think I'd take their advice on this too.


12/18/2005 4:21 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

I thought I had ascribed noble intentions to the Administration: my choice of the two I presented was the last one. I really liked the vision that President Bush showed in the year and a half after 9/11 (including extending the GWOT to Iraq) -- I'm just not as impressed by the follow-through (i.e good strategy, bad tactics). As far as having smart people work for him, I used to think that too, until I worked on the major staff. I didn't work with the appointees, but I worked with the level right under them, and from what I got from them, the bosses weren't exactly the "sharpest hammers in the bag" when it came to understanding how the world really worked; not that the appointees from the previous eight years were any better...
For Skippy, I hope that he will consider that there's another choice for why the Democratic leaders in Congress who were briefed signed off on the plan, other than those proposed by this DU poster: maybe they understood that this program was important in preventing future attacks in the U.S.

12/18/2005 4:35 PM

Blogger Subsunk said...


"I might be unsophisticated and naïve, and spend too much time laughing at Democratic Underground, but I really don't see Bush and his cronies sitting around the Oval Office, talking about how they can figure out which guy in Butte is banging the babysitter. I see them talking about how they can get re-elected -- and now, how they can get someone who will rehire those aides elected."

Somehow that characterization seems a little less noble than just doing your job because it IS your job. I really don't understand how so many folks think W is a shallow, evil underhanded person. If you watch the guy on TV, he is the epitome of cowboy. He says what he means. There is no guile, no dishonesty, and no "give in" in the man. I have served with many noble men who did their duty and had career ambitions and did things which might enhance that career with a little expense requested from the crew. And the crew was glad to give that expense.

I see none of that in W. He hasn't asked the country to help him out (until now, when Dhimmicrats want us to be defeated, and he asked for the country's sake, not his own). He hasn't done anything to further his personal wealth or set himself up as better than everyone else. He is a plain ordinary average American guy who loves military folks and small children, who feels his God must have something for him to be doing, so he is about doing it. He has American interests, not Bush's interests, foremost in his mind. I have watched a lot of politicians in my day. I've never seen one more humble and less self serving than W.

And the day America says an average guy can't be our leader, if he works hard enough at it, -- that hard work, faith in your God and your countrymen, and self reliance aren't what America is about, -- then that is the day I don't want to be American anymore.

Cowboys are the good guys. And they don't blow their own horn. They just do their job, love the ladies, be kind to little kids, and then they ride away without asking for anything other than a meal and a place to lay their head, and to be remembered in someone else's prayers at night.

W has a place in mine.


12/19/2005 9:34 AM


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