Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Whither Civil Liberties?

More interesting than Bush's SotU was the Democratic response. It was delivered by a soft young Democrat, Tim Kaine, who talked about Good News (cringe). But completely omitted from the address was any talk about the hearing scheduled to be held concerning the legality (and lack thereof) of Bushes warrantless wiretaps on millions of Americans. Is that just not an issue? Do overt and causeless invasions into the lives of average Americans not licit a response, when Pres. Bush reiterated his fervor for the practice. In the words of the revered Napoleon, "Gawd."


Yehuda said...

Causeless? 9-11!

Shmuli said...

Zev presumably means without "probable cause". This is a technical term with a high threshold. Either that or Zev actually believes that there is no cause to monitor Osama Bin Laden's calls to the US.

miriam said...

well, _I_ think zev meant (he is free to contradict me ;) ) that these invasions are "causeless" specifically when they invade "the lives of average americans."

miriam said...

ps -
"cause" from merriam webster online

1a: a reason for an action or condition: MOTIVE
1b: something that brings about an effect or a result
1c: a person or thing that is the occasion of an action or state; especially, and agent that brings something about
1d: sufficient reason [discharged for cause]

2 a : a ground of legal action
b : CASE
3 : a matter or question to be decided
4 a : a principle or movement militantly defended or supported
b : a charitable undertaking [for a good cause]

Yehuda seems to use definition 1a or perhaps 1c. 9-11 is most likely the "motive" for the wiretaps.(though some might make arguments about longstanding evil republican agendas or somesuch...) Shmuli, being a retired lawyer, seems to like 2a (?). I wiould guess Zev just meant 1d - does 9-11 really supply "sufficient reason" for any pooicy that it may motivate?

Maybe I should have been a pedantic high school English teacher...

Zev said...

Shmuli wins. And so does Miriam 2a (that's a pun too, if you were wondering).

Sam said...

Yeah, Kaine's response sucked. But he may have alluded to the progam in the middle of his speech:

"Working together, we have to give our troops the tools they need to win the war on terror. And we can do it without sacrificing the liberty that we've sent our troops abroad to defend."

On the other hand, maybe he was talking about the renewal of the PATRIOT act.

I wouldn't take the speech as a barometer of Democratic sentiment on the war or our new national intelligence apparatus. Did you watch Rockefeller on C-Span? Read the speech.