TCS Daily


Patriot or Vigilante?

By Robert Haddick - October 17, 2007 12:00 AM

Did a group of experienced military officers, comprised of intelligence analysts, Iraq war veterans, and reservists, some who are also police officers in Los Angeles, form their own "vigilance committee" to hunt down al Qaeda suspects operating inside the U.S.?

If true, what drove these men to risk their careers, their reputations, and their personal freedom to break strict laws on the handling of top-secret documents?

The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper is uncovering some details from a secretive military court-martial that occurred in July:

"Marine Gunnery Sgt. Gary Maziarz said patriotism motivated him to join a spy ring, smuggle secret files from Camp Pendleton and give them to law enforcement officers for anti-terrorism work in Southern California.

"He knew his group was violating national security laws. But he said bureaucratic walls erected by the military and civilian agencies were hampering intelligence sharing and coordination, making the nation more vulnerable to terrorists.

[...]

"'I decided to make a difference and act,'" Maziarz testified during his court-martial in July at Camp Pendleton.

"Now Maziarz and his alleged conspirators are being investigated by the FBI, National Security Agency and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

"Details of Maziarz's case emerged after he pleaded guilty to mishandling more than 100 classified documents from 2004 to last year. The overall breach could be far larger: Investigators believe that as far back as the early 1990s, the intelligence-filching ring began taking hundreds of secret files from Camp Pendleton and the U.S. Northern Command, which tracks terrorist activity in the United States.

Among the alleged conspirators are two colonels in the Marine Corps Reserve, one a detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the other a veteran in the LAPD. A commander in the Naval Reserve who worked as an intelligence analyst at U.S. Northern Command headquarters is also an alleged conspirator.

What do they know that we don't?

Why did these men feel compelled to act outside the bounds of established procedures and break the law in this manner?

One possibility is that the conspirators all suffer from hyperactive imaginations. Reinforced by a group-think process that swirled out of control, they might have dreamed up an al Qaeda threat inside U.S. territory that the rest of the nation's law enforcement community just didn't see.

The other possibility is that Gunnery Sergeant Maziarz is right: that the 9/11 Commission and all of the other investigations following the 2001 attacks really have failed to achieve the kind of information-sharing among government agencies needed for effective protection against terrorist plots. The conspirators, experienced veterans in their fields and with much to lose, decided to do something effective, i.e. act outside the accepted system.

Another cultural divide in America

Over a million Americans have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones. That's a large number but it is only a tiny sliver of the U.S. population. Many of the war veterans return home and become aware of a large cultural divide in the country. They find out that most Americans don't have any experience or knowledge about military life. The war veterans are confused by how the media portrays them and their day-to-day life in the war zone. Many veterans complain about the lack of shared sacrifice in American society, about the depravations they suffer during a 15-month tour in Iraq compared to the casual and frivolous life enjoyed in suburban America.

Perhaps most important, many of the war veterans have actually seen real jihadists, either armed with an AK-47 or smirking from a street corner as the U.S. soldiers drive by. For the vast majority of Americans back home by contrast, an al Qaeda terrorist is an abstract and increasingly mythical concept as the harsh memories of September 2001 fade into misty oblivion.

Pay attention to the war veterans

There was apparently no such fading memory for Gunnery Sergeant Maziarz and his alleged conspirators. This is also likely the case for many thousands of additional U.S. combat veterans who have seen the violent face of the jihadists.

America's war veterans are for the most part intelligent, perceptive, and aware of the debates that go on about America's foreign policy. And they have far more practical experience to bring to these discussions than the vast majority of Americans.

Gunnery Sergeant Maziarz has confessed to crimes and will suffer criminal punishment as a result. His alleged conspirators are likely in legal jeopardy and may soon join him in the brig. This is as it should be for breaking the law.

But those government officials responsible for protecting the country against terrorist attack have a responsibility to perform their jobs diligently and competently. Rogue "vigilance committees" can form whenever this is not the case.

Let us hope that the strange case of Gunny Sergeant Maziarz occurs just this one time. Those leaders charged with protecting America have their responsibility in this regard. And those Americans who are back from fighting the jihadists may be monitoring the performance of America's law enforcement leaders closest of all.

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82 Comments

American death squad
We shouldn't be too surprised at this.

We should be thankful they were discovered before they started dragging people out into the desert and offing them. I assume, of course, that they did not get that far.

Tried and hung
by Judge Roy Bean.

They are both patriot and vigilante
They seem to also understand the true nature of patriotism. They will stand before a jury or courts martial of their peers and will willingly suffer whatever is served to them.

If they were a 'journalists' they couldn't be prosecuted.
If this recent bill is signed into law.

'Journalists' will be able publish top secret information wihtout fear of prosecution.

Rogue "vigilance committees"
Like the retired old ladies in lawn chairs watching the Mexican border for us?

Absolutely true
As a journalist or media outlet, it seems to be a prize (Pulitzer?) to sell our nations secrets to anyone for a couple of dollars, whereas, as a member of U.S. Armed Forces, under jurisdiction of the UCMJ - you can be executed by firing squad as a spy for the same offense.

roy's hatred of the US is still coloring his opinions
so roy, in your warped perverted opinion, all members of the military and police are just inches away from random acts of violence?

Roy, you are a sick man
Pease seek help. This post of yours is cold hatred of those who served and are trying to do the right thing, whether misguided or not. Nothing in this article points to a "death squad" mentality. It is all your overactive imagination.

Why is it surprising...
that a decentralized threat eventually begets a decentralized response ? On 9/11 it wasn't the Feds who responded effectively on Flight 93.

I'm more interested in the information that would drive people who by definition are very hierarchically oriented to buck that same hierarchy in this manner...

No Subject
Where did the informaton end up. Remember Pollard was giving info to the Israelis, but some ended up with the Soviets.

How much of the intelligence ended up across the border or in the hands of those who were the subject of the intelligence.

Government is more afraid of its citizens?
Is that why they tone down the rhetoric so all us gun toting rednecks don't start shooting Sikhs in turbans?

On the contrary
You need to take a closer look at the evidence. Death squad behavior has been observed in many countries. And it always originates with people who consider themselves patriotic and who are associated with uniformed service.

The obvious signs are the intent to take the law into their own hands, because the laws they work under are considered to be too restrictive. They are always police, armed forces or security forces, working secretly as a self-designated unit, away from the chain of command. (Although there are instances when their commanding officers wink and turn the other way.)

In this case, former military and LAPD have formed a clandestine unit among themselves. These people enjoy no government sanction and operate under no authority. Can you imagine a scenario where the next step is not the commission of self-directed executions?

God help us. I have a picture in my mind of you yourself, out of uniform, dressed in black, "trying to do the right thing" on your own, where the rules won't permit the boldest of actions. You obviously empathize with these zealous do-gooders.

Word usage
I think the word you're looking for is "hanged".

Pictures are hung. Stockings are hung, by the chimney with care.

Men are hanged by the neck until dead.

But that wasn't my sentence on them. I'm just observing that for them, the next step would have been to carry out extrajudicial executions, just as you're accusing me of imagining. That's the way real life death squads work.

They uncover people they don't like, on a clandestine basis. Then they can't turn them in to the authorities, because the unit would be unmasked. So they just kill them. Very satisfying, for that type of personality.

And I'm just saying we're really fortunate to have uncovered this unit in time, before the killing phase... presuming that has not happened yet.

Give them a medal, not a jail term.
The NYT and the WaPo have published detailed accounts of classified programs numerous times, they hand terrorists a "How NOT to Get Caught" manual, and the Justice Dept. shrugs. The papers, meanwhile, win Pulitzers.

Some vets come back from Iraq, and find out that the government is not giving local law enforcement the information it needs to pursue terrorists here at home, and decide to DO something about it, they face a court martial.

How about agents Ramos and Campion of the Border Patrol, arrested for shooting a drug smuggler who tried to shoot them, and then not filing all the paperwork?

Has the world gone nuts?

The real importance of this story is not that a few people fudged the law by giving vital intelligence to the people who could actually use it, but the fact that the government is so incompetent as to fail to do so in the first place. This is the same government that confiscates knitting needles from 70 year-old women in the line at the airport. The same government that tries to ensure an even number of people from all races are searched in those same lines so they can't be accused of "racial profiling."

This sort of thing is going to happen again, so long as our government is kept from facing reality by political correctness and idiots in Congress. In order to protect this nation, these men had to break the law. They deserve a medal for risking their freedom to see that we could live safe lives, and not a court martial.

roy's hatred colors his imagination
you are the only one who believes that the next step is extra judicial executions.

As pauled says, you need to seek help so that you can deal with this irrational paranoia you feel towards men and women in uniform.

no roy, for once, you need to look at the evidence
OK, in your mind, because death squads have occurred in other countries, all military men and women are within a hair trigger of forming death squads.

Depraved or deprived?

Many veterans complain about the lack of shared sacrifice in American society, about the depravations they suffer during a 15-month tour in Iraq compared to the casual and frivolous life enjoyed in suburban America.

Now that's either an interesting typo or a more interesting word choice. I think we would all agree that the circumstances of military life deprive one of frivolities. But does it inflict depravity? Well, the enemy often acts depraved, but is that the principle contrast of the sentence? Or do the soldiers suffer the intellectual and spiritual depravities of the Barking Left?

Is Robert Haddick an accidental poet? Or a deliberate one?

Pretty weak
Having no good argument, you concoct a bad one: that I think "all military men and women are within a hair trigger of forming death squads".

I don't.

The plain fact is that these people were tracking people they suspected of thinking bad thoughts. I say that as no terrorist activity has been actually occurring in southern Cal.

I ask you. Once they found one, what do you think they were going to do with him?

This is the result of total inaction on the part of the left.
The left in this nation has coddled and fought every attempt to actually fight terror.

That this type of activity would arise is no surprise born of total frustration. We have lawyers and politicians wanting to extend Constitutional rights to terrorists which means endless trials and appeals.

Take some blame Roy, it is not my side coddling the enemy, denegrating the troops and working actively for defeat despite what the MSM says.

I suspect you are one of the 20% that thinks lossing would be good?

Court Martial
Leavenworth.

However, as I pointed out, this is a symptom of a broken system in which inaction breeds frustration.

The state (States and Federal) have virtually stopped doing anything that is mandated by the Constitution and made a business of pandering for votes.

Thus illegal aliens are a protected class, criminals a protected class, gangs ignored and yet we worry about fivalities and vote buying pandering to these groups.

While both sides are guilty it is fascinating watching the Democrats run around promising everything under the sun to voter blocks (leave, tutition, bonds) but have the spoken of border control? Have they spoken of crime? Nooooo, we can't do that, we have to buy votes with my money. Soak the rich and business.

Can you say Wille Horton?

If these guys struck out on their own then they should punished. However, you would also think the powers to be might step back and wonder why this happened?

funny, you could never tell that by reading what you write
Are you honestly claiming that since no terrorist acts have been committed in Southern California, that it illogical for people in Southern California to be concerned about terrorists?

What could they do to him?

Many, many things that apparently escape your hatred of the US adled mind.

They could track him and learn who his contacts are.
They could turn him over to the authorities.

There are many options, but in your puny little mind, the most evil possibility is the only one you are capable of considering.

some kinda irony
Pretty much everbody complains the the various government agencies don't compare notes enough, for various reasons like inter service rivalry. But then when you get some people, who are like 'whistle-blowers', then they complain and say they're vigilantes etc. But it's to be expected that as crappy governments grow bigger and more incompetent, individuals and groups will try to rectify the situation. So when corrupt governments abrogate their responsiblility to even provide basic protection, people will always try themselves; that why they're different from sheep; at least in some countries.

You sure about that?
>"it is not my side coddling the enemy, denegrating the troops and working actively for defeat despite what the MSM says."

Whats more denegrating to troops? Sending them into combat with less armor than they need, extending their deployments multiple times, cutting their benefits, not being prepared to administer health care to injured vets, how about housing the injured in a rat and mold infested building, lowering admittance standards to meet recruiting goals, putting the entire burden of the Iraq war on soldiers' and their families' backs- as in not asking the rest of the country to make any sacrifice whatsoever for the war, how about hiring private contractors at 20 times the pay and zero accountability to work in the same war zone and do jobs military guys are perfectly capable to doing...

OR, criticizing the civilian leadership's war plan, rather, lack of planning and utter failure to deal with the reality in the war zone? We can add criticism of the generals who denied said reality and blew smoke up the American public's arses to please their civilian leaders and thus keep their jobs.

Which of those is more denegrating to the troops?

You're right about coddling though, your side doesn't coddle suspected enemies, your side tortures them, or sends them to another country to do the torture for them. Such actions tell our enemies we don't care if you torture and behead our guys, its just a part of war. You think that might denegrate our troops a little bit?


20% thinks losing would be good? Are you kidding or just stupid? I'd guess its more like 2% who are so driven to irrationality by Bush's incompetence and arrogance that they've truly come to a point they hate America and sincerely want us to lose in Iraq. Maybe even less than 2%. Being critical is not nearly the same as wishing we would lose. Seriously dbt, I think comments like yours are only a small step from the same level of irrationality, albeit on the opposite side, as those who want us to lose in Iraq.


>"We have lawyers and politicians wanting to extend Constitutional rights to terrorists which means endless trials and appeals."

Don't Constitutional rights extend to Americans automatically? Americans on American soil have been detained and accused of being terrorists, they were given zero rights to begin with. Is that not UnConstitutional?

For people captured on the battlefield, they've had zero rights also. They don't get the honor of Constitutional rights, thats why we have military laws, Geneva Conventions, etc., to be applied when our Constitution doesn't apply. None of those rights has been applied either! At least not until lawyers got involved and tried to stop our government from violating human rights. We wouldn't even define what kind of prisoner these guys were. Don't you get it dbt? Policies like this are acceptable in Saudi Arabia, not America. I say it is YOU who helps the terrorists win. The more we become like them, the more they win. Your FEAR is exactly what they want to achieve. They beat you. Bush was re-elected because he capitalized on your defeat. You did vote for him in 2004 right? You're trying to hand victory to the terrorists. Its much easier to cross the Syrian border and kill Americans in Iraq than to try and get into America and do it.

Denigration
You sir, like Roy Bean, are a degenerate who does not deserve the rights secured for you by others. Do you want to know what is truly denigrating to the U.S. Armed Forces? Lack of appreciation. Roy Bean has a distinct habit of rhetorically spitting on our service men and women. See his Death Squad posts. Al Qaida got some of us to fear their capability and move to action. Al Qaida also got some of us (YOU) to fear and act out against your government. Which do you think was their goal?

BTW, how much armor should an Army Infantryman be forced to carry? Current kit is about 70lbs. You are a military expert, right?

Killbuzz (Col. U.S. Army, retired)

If these guys are so great...
why didn't they stop 911? They were stealing classified documents going back to the early 90's! A decade before 911!


>"The NYT and the WaPo have published detailed accounts of classified programs numerous times, they hand terrorists a "How NOT to Get Caught" manual, and the Justice Dept. shrugs. The papers, meanwhile, win Pulitzers."

The problem started when the Justice Dept. shrugged the first time, when Bush/Cheney created these ILLEGAL programs. Which now we know, that was because the Executive controlled Justice. That would be 2 violations of American principles.
Your comment about handing terrorists a manual of how not to get caught is so naive. Terrorists knew we were watching and listening. You don't think they were paranoid? I'm sure they enjoyed seeing the classified illegal programs come to light, embarrassing Bush and sending America into a tailspin of further divisiveness and (proof of) fascism. Thats their goal you know. It confirmed for them their paranoia was justified. It also confirmed Bush/Cheney are willing to break the law, violate human rights and crap on their citizens to gain Executive power and establish eternal Republican domination. I'm sure terrorists enjoyed that circus, probably as much as critical thinking Americans were horrified by it.

You are hallucinating.
You suggest these officers were stealing documents going back tot he early 90's, I'd appreciate it if you could provide a source for that. I'd also appreciate it if you could tell me how they were supposed to have prevented 9/11, given that the article indicates that they started their operation in 2004? Time travel, perhaps?

Then, we come to your second set of hallucinatory accusations, that the President started the SWIFT program and the NSA spying program, and that they were illegal.

First, let's talk SWIFT. This program was not only entirely legal, it was effective at catching terrorists who are too dumb to read the "How NOT to Get Caught" manual the NYT provides. Even the man who gave the go-ahead to publish, Times Editor Byron, wrote a column on June 2nd, 2006, in which he acknowledged that the program was legal and that they should not have published the story. As to the effectiveness of the program, take a look at some of the people we caught with it: Al Qaeda money launderers in Brooklyn, the man responsible for the Bali bombings. The Treasury Department's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Stuart Levey, noted that we obtained at least one terrorist alert EVERY DAY from this program. When the NYT published, it hurt our chances to gather financial intelligence from a legal program, that was exceptionally effective.

Second, the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, there are far more points supporting its legality than opposing it. First, the President has the power, under Article II of the Constitution to gather intelligence on our enemies in a time of war. The NSA was monitoring calls from known Al Qaeda members and affiliates to people within the US. This was not a program to monitor calls from you to your grandmother, but a program to monitor agents of a hostile foreign power calling people within the United States. This was pretty clearly authorized by even the most casual reading of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Al Qaeda, passed by the Congress. If the AUMF isn't enough, we could talk about the unconstitutionality of the FISA court in the first place, the "border search" provisions of the Fourth Amendment, and the fact that all of the Circuit Court decisions prior to FISA indicated that absolutely no warrant was required for searches conducted on foreign intelligence agents and their affiliates. Similarly, don't forget that every President since Washington has exercised these same powers.

Fascism? Give me a break. This problem started because of two things:
1) Jamie Gorellick and her criminally negligent "wall."
2) Politically correct lawyers and judges, trying to restrict the ability of law enforcement to track down terrorists.

bobjones, you are living in a mystical, magical world, where every Republican is a fascist, and the terrorists don't really want to kill us. These guys are living in the real world, where the people who are trying to stop these fanatics from blowing Americans in to little bits are hamstrung by idiots who are more concerned with racial profiling and abstract walls separation between intelligence info and law enforcement than catching the bad guys.

How long before this happens in other spheres?
I ofter wonder how long it will be before sexual predators who attack children start ending up dead through vigilante action, or gang members who sell crack to kids on street corners.

Government's two basic duties are to protect us against enemies foreign and domestic. It seems to me that government is failing to do both, at the moment. When governments fail in their basic duties, they tend to be replaced. If this situation is not straightened out, probably by action from the bottom-up, I wonder how long Uncle Sam has left?

What are you smoking?
If you follow the evidence presented in this article, the whol thing was a few military guys giving classified documents on potential terrorist activities to liasions to then delivered them to LAPD. They weren't engaged in "hunting down" or "tracking" anyone. It seems they purposely kept this "within the organized chain of command" on everything but the information issue.

Tell me again about the "Death Squad" behavior? As Lemuel would say, "How many tin foil hats do you have?"

Yeah, I do empathize with people exchanging information to try and keep people safe. But I also agree with the author, they violated the law and need to pay the piper.

If these guys were caught running around "dressed in black" and armed to the teeth chasing phantom terrorists, I would agree that they are probably in need of mental health services.

I repeat, you are a sick man. You took a simple story of illegal transfer of information and concocted this looney mental image of guys in black PJs running around spying on people and discussing who needs killing.

Are you paranoid?

Do you think you might be one of those who needs killing?

Either way, you need mental help roy. Seriously, this is one where you really let your imagination run away over a simple bit of classified information mis-handling. Sure, it is still bad news; but they aren't putting together a "Death Squad" to come and get you - relax.

Amen, Killbuzz
***

bob, thinks that perfection is possible
so bob, should the military always wait until next years models are available?

Or do you just create impossible standards for those you don't like?

bob still believes that perfection is possible
he must, it's the standard that he demands for anyone he doesn't agree with.

how long?
It's another symptom of a breaddown of society. Often we see that cops and governments no longer even claim that they can protect you from crime. They suggest that you barade yourself in, don't go to certain areas, certain times, etc. My relatives in Canada tell me the policy there is: dial 911, and die. Of course they would never think of allowing people to actually defend themselves!

Shoring up our defenses
The concerns you cite are ones that loom over-large in your heated imagination. Criminals are not a protected class. In fact the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. Even in China, or Zimbabwe, you stand far less of a chance of being consigned to prison for long stretches of time.

Illegal aliens? No, the line between immigration enforcement (a civil matter) and law enforcement has been erased. And in the new grey area created, those people caught in the net find they are without much in the way of rights.

Here in NC, for instance, many thousands of Mexican workers have purchased identities so they can get jobs. This should be a minor offense, as they are not doing so to obtain money or goods through fraud, but just to have pay checks issued to them.

Nonetheless they are being prosecuted for "identity theft". Which is a grave felony implying moral turpitude (theft by fraud), and subjecting those found guilty to 25 year penalties in prison.

No, no one's being coddled. You may think they're all just playing squash or watching color television all day there. Maybe in the white collar prisons they are. But ordinary state and federal prisons are unpleasant, useless places to live.

"If these guys struck out on their own then they should punished. However, you would also think the powers to be might step back and wonder why this happened?"

Since 9/11 we have spent umpty billion dollars to put into Homeland Security, so the nation's wisest minds can think up ways to close up all the holes in our defenses. I'm with you... how come they haven't done a better job?

Dirty Harry
Apparently you're not really up to speed on the genesis of death squad activity. So instead I will ask you to recall a movie you must have seen... Dirty Harry.

Familiar? The stupid courts and legal system somehow fail to prosecute all these bad guys. Someone has to do it, to make the streets safe. So I guess I'll just have to do it myself.

What we're seeing in the incident cited is a conspiracy interrupted in the very early stages. At least from the evidence we can see, they didn't actually start tracking anyone. But what they DID do was to cross an important firewall: the one between military operations and domestic police work.

It's unsurprising that it would have been the LAPD caught up in all this. The only other ones I'd have thought of would be the NOPD and perhaps Boston. Most police forces are relatively clean.

I'll ask again: once they found people they considered to be subjects of interest, they couldn't just contact the FBI, Homeland Security or the LAPD. That would uncover their operation. So what, then, would have been their next step?

Not this time

Here is your time travel, from the very article upon which this discussion is based:

"Details of Maziarz's case emerged after he pleaded guilty to mishandling more than 100 classified documents from 2004 to last year. The overall breach could be far larger: Investigators believe that as far back as the early 1990s, the intelligence-filching ring began taking hundreds of secret files from Camp Pendleton and the U.S. Northern Command, which tracks terrorist activity in the United States.


I don't know jack about SWIFT, so I'll leave that one alone.

However, the NSA surveillance program was illegal. Bottom line: the law says you will get a warrant for X types of wiretaps. There are even provisions to allow for a quick deployment of surveillance and get the warrant after the fact. Fact: Our government implemented X types of wiretaps without a warrant. The media stories confirmed this, the Administration has confirmed this. They said they've wiretapped Americans, which led to the need to use a bogus argument like you're doing that the Authorization to use military force supercedes FISA. BS. I respect your comment that the program was not intended to wiretap my conversations with my grandma, indeed. Which is exactly why FISA is so very important- to keep the government from abusing this power. Bush not only abused the power, he broke the law. Why did the government need to obtain telecom company lists of their customers, including their customers' communications?

Why was FISA started in the first place? Because as you say, "every President since Washington has exercised these same powers." When FISA became law, it became illegal to continue these actions. Bush broke the law. Then he lied about it, I saw it right there on tv. He said right there that no Americans are wiretapped without a warrant, then we learned later that months before that speech, yes, Americans were being wiretapped without a warrant.


>"bobjones, you are living in a mystical, magical world, where every Republican is a fascist, and the terrorists don't really want to kill us."

Good one, way to use the talking points. I know terrorists want to kill us, but they don't scare me. I'm vigilant, but I don't accept the erosion of our society and laws so a government I don't trust can do whatever it wants and qualify its actions by saying terrorists want to kill us. Aren't you a tough-guy? Why are you so scared?

Not every Republican is a fascist. Bush/Cheney and their supporters are. Or maybe the supporters are just duped like you are to give Bush everything he wants. Its hard to believe Republicans in the Senate and House are fascists. Some are, they readily give the Executive more power. Most are not, they just play along because they bought into the dream of a permanent majority, therefore more power for themselves. They serve the Party, not the country. Democrats aren't much better. But NO ONE is as bad as Bush/Cheney. Worst President Ever.

Oh, and no, I don't live in a mystical, magical world. I'm in reality, and terrorists still don't scare me. They want us to be scared so we'll violate our principles, so we'll torture prisoners, spy on our own citizens, break our laws, squabble with each other and stop thinking critically. Guess what, YOU are handing the terrorists victory.

>"These guys are living in the real world, where the people who are trying to stop these fanatics from blowing Americans in to little bits are hamstrung by idiots who are more concerned with racial profiling and abstract walls separation between intelligence info and law enforcement than catching the bad guys."

Man, you have got the FEAR big time. Look at this language you're using. You are bought and sold, duped by The Decider. He doesn't have to keep telling us to be scared with surrogates like yourself warning us we'll be blown into little bits if we don't support his power grabs. Try pointing that sharp finger of yours at yourself once in a while. You need a reality check when you're willing to let Big Brother wiretap you with no oversight whatsoever. You think they only wiretap foreign agents. You better think again.

How so Mark? You forgot to include that part.

Ouch, you're killing my buzz
>"Do you want to know what is truly denigrating to the U.S. Armed Forces? Lack of appreciation."

Amen brother. I'm quite appreciative of our armed forces. In fact, I'm so appreciative I support the fact that the rest of us in this country should sacrifice for this war instead of it falling solely on soldiers and their families. Is that unAmerican of me? I don't have a magnet on my car, maybe thats why you think I'm unappreciative. You got a beef with Roy, so be it, I want nothing to do with it. I don't speak for him, he don't speak for me.

Here, I'll display again several ways Bush/Cheney do not show their appreciation to the armed forces, maybe you missed it last time:
"Sending them into combat with less armor than they need, extending their deployments multiple times, cutting their benefits, not being prepared to administer health care to injured vets, how about housing the injured in a rat and mold infested building, lowering admittance standards to meet recruiting goals, putting the entire burden of the Iraq war on soldiers' and their families' backs- as in not asking the rest of the country to make any sacrifice whatsoever for the war, how about hiring private contractors at 20 times the pay and zero accountability to work in the same war zone and do jobs military guys are perfectly capable to doing..."


>"Al Qaida got some of us to fear their capability and move to action. Al Qaida also got some of us (YOU) to fear and act out against your government. Which do you think was their goal?"

You know, seriously, don't be a moron. Al Qaida doesn't make me critical of our government. I've always been critical of our government, moreso with incompetent war mongers like Bush/Cheney. Do YOU think the war has been conducted competently?

I think the terrorists' goal is to bring down America. One way to accomplish that is by changing it from a democratic republic with oversight and balance of power into a fascist state controlled through FEAR and power focused in one branch. People who aren't critical, who willingly give Bush all the power he wants and require no oversight are giving the terrorists what they want. Another example: the terrorists want us in Iraq, its much easier to kill us there than here.


>"BTW, how much armor should an Army Infantryman be forced to carry? Current kit is about 70lbs. You are a military expert, right?"

They shouldn't be forced to carry any. Its their decision, or their commanders. However, if they want 90 pounds to be extra protected, it should be available. Heck, if the current kit is 70lbs, then 70lbs should available, right? They had to buy it themselves through the internet. Their families had to buy it and ship to them. You think thats the way it should be?

Speaking of willing dupes....
The NSA surveillance program involved no wiretaps. Wiretapping requires facility invasion and hardwire placement. The media and democratic propagandists use this term to evoke memories of Richard Nixon and his Plumbers. You have been duped by others to believe this. This program was based on electronic surveillance of cellular communications by persons of concern. No wires involved. Anybody can listen in. In fact, the only person to be convicted of illegal electronc surveillance is none other than Baghdad McDermott. He placed an operative outside of a political opponents house to listen to private conversations. There's your criminal fascist. Go after him.

Question
You say "So when corrupt governments abrogate their responsiblility to even provide basic protection, people will always try themselves".

When was the last time the people of southern Cal found themselves in need of basic protection? I don't recall there being any terrorist incidents there. Things seem pretty quiet.

" You have been duped by others..."
"The NSA surveillance program involved no wiretaps. Wiretapping requires facility invasion and hardwire placement."

Highly disingenuous. The activities are the exact equivalent of a wire tap, appropriate to modern technology.

Communications today go over satellites, and are monitored worldwide. There is no distinction possible between signals emanating from the United States and those from Patagonia.

More effectively, US signals are routed through switching stations in our major telecom companies. You will recall the NSA installation in AT&T's San Francisco office?

Every communication worldwide is subject to being monitored. This does not particularly help in keeping an eye on folks like Al Qaeda, as we only have a handful of NSA operatives who understand Arabic, Pashtu or Farsi. But it's very useful in keeping an eye on domestic malcontents.

This goes directly against the spirit of our Bill of Rights. We have the right to expect freedom from intrusive government activities and illegal searches. That includes freedom from surveillance, unless the courts grant their approval in advance.

That's our legal system. And the administration's intent to subvert it is the reason bobjones describes their activities as being fascist.

even if I accept your evasion
you are still proclaiming that just because somebody is willing to break one law, that they will automatically start committing murder.

That's a pretty weak argument on your part, and indicates what you really think, that anyone in a uniform is a potential murderer. They just need the right opportunity.

It's obvious
even a liberal should be able to see it.

You demand perfection from those you disagree with.
You don't for those you do agree with.

question
I guessed you missed some of the following; the muslim terrorist who attacked the El Al booth at LAX, the other muslim terrorists they cautht bringing in the explosives from Canada, in order to blow up LAX. Those a just a few of the one they caught. The ones they've given up on are the local gangster in many neighbourhood, where they shake you down, intimidate you, rape, pillage, swarm, house invade, etc. The cops most often act as 'historians'; you've been threatened, or robbed and some polite cop will come along at their convenience, and write a nice report and tell you they are taking all possible steps to apprend the perp, and they get back to you later. Apparently their record keeping of what they don't do is pretty darned good.

Proclaiming stupid universals
"you are still proclaiming that just because somebody is willing to break one law, that they will automatically start committing murder.
"

No, I'm not saying anything like that. And I will note here that this has been a big problem with you whenever we're arguing.

You always inflate everything up into some ridiculous universal statement. And I'm talking about something very specific: death squad formation.

This incident fits the pattern precisely, where the lines are blurred between police and armed forces activities and there is vigilantism. Usually, because the person feels the laws don't permit him to go "far enough".

The next step is quite obviously to act as judge, jury and executioner. Once again, once these people, acting illicitly, have found some perp, what exactly are they going to do about it? They can't turn him over to the police. You tell me what they're going to do.

I am specifically NOT saying that "anyone in a uniform is a potential murderer". What I am saying is that anyone who starts operating outside the chain of command, with no officially sanctioned mission, and who takes the law into his own hands, becomes a potential murderer.

No its not
And no I don't expect perfection.

I do however expect that when a leader is wrong about something he/she can accept that reality and has the courage to change.

If you send our troops to war and they don't have all the equipment they're supposed to have, I don't expect to hear a leader say thats too bad, we go in with what we got regardless. Thats what planning is for, so that you do go in prepared and equipped. And if you really think its acceptable that the troops for the richest country in the world go into a war without needed equipment, so the troops themselves or their families have to buy the equipment themselves... you're part of the problem.

I could continue but I think you get the point.


You said its obvious I expect perfection. I don't think it is. Please try to explain a little bit. Is it simply because I'm critical of the government that I expect perfection? Its obvious I'm critical of the Bush Administration. I don't expect perfection but I do expect better than they offer. Way better. At least be able to admit a mistake when it happens. Thats a true leader.

You are obfuscating
Come back to reality -- wiretapping is not electronic surveillance. Your attempt to delude and make them the same are phony.

You are the disingenuous one. You claim that it is the intent of the Bush administration to subvert FISA (as if that is the sole goal), when the true intent is to prevent another terrorist attack. That the archaic stipulations of FISA prevent timely action is the real problem.

Lets try again to get logic and reality to sink in...
"Come back to reality -- wiretapping is not electronic surveillance."

So what? I misspoke earlier. They're both spying. Wiretapping requires more work and privacy violations than electronic surveillance. And both actions were still illegal to conduct on Americans without a warrant when our government started conducting them.


>"That the archaic stipulations of FISA prevent timely action is the real problem."

Agreed, to an extent. So how should the President go about overcoming that archaic stipulation? Should he: A) go to Congress and get the law changed, or B) ignore the law, just break it and do what he "needs" to do. Patriot or vigilante?


"You claim that it is the intent of the Bush administration to subvert FISA (as if that is the sole goal), when the true intent is to prevent another terrorist attack."

Are you serious? Seems to me both of those were his intent. Unless you think he didn't know the law?

No evidence
You suggest that without the terrorist threat, the Bush administration would nevertheless, engage in electronic surveillance of private citizens. Where's your evidence of this? Would they do this just for jollies or would they do this like McDermot - for political advantage?

"Lets try again to get logic and reality to sink in..."
A most excellent suggestion, Bobby.

Why don't you be the first to try it out, since you came up with it?

Have fun and pack a lunch, PDI.

Eh?
Those hoser cannucks are, like, pacificists. Just knockin' back the Rolling Rock and eating Tim Horton's doughnuts.

Their hosehead neighbors to their, like, south, protect their snooty asses from everything hostile in the, like, wider world. So why worry?

Any hoser here for snowboarding?

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