The Belmont Club: The tightrope

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Pajamas Media has a roundup of blog discussions, pro and con, on the subject of whether the President had the authority to conduct wiretaps, one end of which involves a US person, without a court order. However the legal arguments play out, a slightly different question already has a definite answer: the President does not, apparently, have the reliable ability to conduct surveillance of the enemy without the fact being revealed in the New York Times.—
The Belmont Club: The tightrope


Wretchard mentions the Medal of Honor citation of CAPT John P Cromwell. Useful reading. Especially for the Times' sources.

34 comments:

Knucklehead said...

Max Boot, in an LATimes.com op-ed today, notices that 'Plame Platoon' is AWOL on new leaks.

Just to grap a paragraph and suggest what the average American might feel about what has been "revealed"...

...Since then there have been some considerably more serious security breaches. Major media organs have broken news about secret prisons run by the CIA,...

We've got some folks running around capturing and securing the bastards. Good.


the interrogation techniques employed therein,...

If all it takes to crack the bastards is a five or ten second dunking, dunk away!

and the use of "renditions" to capture suspects,...

Capture them and get them to the dunking pool ASAP!

...right down to the tail numbers of covert CIA aircraft.

Yawn. Aircraft transport bastards from capture point to dunking pool pronto. Tell us they're wasting valuable time with rickshaws or mule trains and we might be upset.

They have also reported on a secret National Security Agency program to monitor calls and e-mails from people in the U.S. to suspected terrorists abroad,...

All the better to find 'em, grab 'em, air freight 'em, and dunk 'em.

and about the Pentagon's Counterintelligence Field Activity designed to protect military bases worldwide.

Gee, we're protecting military bases worldwide from terrorist bastards. What a scandal!

Doug said...

My criticism of the PJ piece is that it muddled the waters more than cleared them.
All kinds of fine legal points, when in fact the truth of the matter could be found reading only Hewitt and Hinderocket.

best summed up below:
Sorry ex, this is the 3rd and hopefully last.
The readers can consider the source.

BTW --- for those who argue that you can find lawyers to defend either side of any issue
I say, what's your point?

If there is no truth --- if the meaning of the law is whatever the loudest or highest paid elites say it is --- then let's drop all the high and mighty shouts of "law-breaker" and "impeach him."

Doug said...

The Volk Conspiracy guy was one of the lamest, imo.
Those who don't see the primacy of the Constitution as first and foremost have no grip on why we remained strong for 200 + years.

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doug said...

re: 3:05 PM

...and Seneca, of course!

Doug said...

OT,
Instapundit.com
LUTTIG SLAPS THE ADMINISTRATION in the Padilla case, suggesting that claims that the Fourth Circuit is a "constitution-free zone" were, um, premature.
---
Hope some of you legal beagles give your take on what this means/what happens next.

Lutig is clear, but I didn't take the time to try to find out what the concurrence is refering to.

Doug said...

TRAXLER, Circuit Judge, concurring in part:
I do not think Rule 36 is applicable to this situation. I
agree with my colleagues that we should not vacate our earlier
opinion.

Buddy Larsen said...

Knuck--LOL! ...and TROooo....

Buddy Larsen said...

Germans let that terrorist asshole loose today--I remember reading what he did to that sailor on that airplane back then. Had his hands tied behind his back, face up on the floor, and jumped up and down on his chest--then back into his seat, ribs broken, wheezing, bloodied. And then did the whole thing again a few hours later. Other passengers said he was shaking, in shock, but never broke and asked for mercy. Then he shot him, and dumped him 20' out onto the tarmac, where he died. I think he was 20 or so.

Buddy Larsen said...

Anybody worried about the dunking ought to imagine being inside that kid's head on the airplane the last day of his life.

Buddy Larsen said...

See NYTimes story and then see the sailor's friends' story, then for more, google "Stethem".

Knucklehead said...

For those who don't recall the event Buddy mentioned, see this Seattle Times article, Hijacker's release angers U.S., slain man's family.

Am I worried about agents of my government putting a towel over a terrorists head, turning the murdering scum heels over head, and pouring water in his nose? Nope. Not in the least. Would it bother me if President Bush personally authorized a US agent to search out Mohammed Ali Hamadi in his native Lebanon and put a bullet between his eyes? Nope. Not in the least.

We're at war with these scum. If we can't grab 'em, kill 'em. If we do grab 'em, dunk 'em till they provide the names and recent locations of at least three other murdering scum, then grab them and dunk them too.

And WTF is Germany up to releasing that scumbag? I once loved that country. Now I can't stand the thought of it.

Buddy Larsen said...

Scroll to the bottom, please, and tell SW2 Stethem that it ain't over yet.

Knucklehead said...

Buddy,

Is it me or could the NYT have somehow managed to provide a bit more information than this bit of ambiguous nonsense:

Mr. Hamadi was put on trial in Frankfurt in 1989, found guilty in Mr. Stethem's murder, and sentenced to the maximum allowable under the law of what was then West Germany, life in prison but with the possibility of parole after 15 years.

and later in the very same article:

Mr. Hamadi had not served out the entire term allowable by German law, which would have been 25 years.

Now it is entirely possible, I suppose, that under German law of the time a "life" sentence was (is?) capped at "25 years". Or maybe there was no such thing as a "life" sentence and the Germans set the absolute maximum penalty for murder at 25 years.

Couldn't the morons at the NYT at least take an extra 10 minutes, figure it out, and tell us?

Yeah, I know, I'm picking nits but dangit, they do claim to "report".

Buddy Larsen said...

sorry if link broken, try
this or
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rdstethe.htm

Knuck, yes--but what struck me was the bloodless report of the sailor's ordeal. As if the terrorists had just 'erased' him--no mess, no pain, no story.

Buddy Larsen said...

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/rdstethe.htm

(link trouble, sorry)

Buddy Larsen said...

http://www.arlington
cemetery.net
/rdstethe.htm

There...had to break it into three lines...remember, no spaces when paste-in. Go scroll down and visit the gravestone.

Knucklehead said...

Buddy,

Of course they made the sailor's story bloodless. Only the suffering of the poor renditioned, waterboarded terrorists matters to the NYT.

BTW, Tammy Bruce whose blog I don't recall ever looking at before, has a few kind words for our German friends regarding this.

Buddy Larsen said...

The killer is with his family tonight, the sailor's family is with the news.

Knucklehead said...

Buddy,

Davids Mediankritik is also on this one. He quotes DEBKA claiming that the Hammdi release was a deal for the release of the German hostage and was negotiated by the BND (German Intelligence Service).

Buddy Larsen said...

Sure enough good way to insure there'll be more hostages taken, eh, Knuck?

Peter UK said...

The problem is that the prison system and parole boards are designed to deal with criminals,in Europe the emphasis has been, for many years,aimed at rehabilitation.Hence psychiatric reports etc.
Tragically there is no means of dealing with those who are not deranged but murder deliberately,so the system will at some time regurgitate them.
No doubt Hamadi will have been debriefed and is busy intructing the next generation in how to behave when captured,show remorse,be a model prisoner,swear they will never offend again,out in no time.

Buddy Larsen said...

I just put this over at Roger's (5:26PM post)--repetitive, but--I'm trying to break thru a wall of invincible cluelessness.

Not mine, Mark.

markg8 said...

I looked at the site Buddy. Here's what his dad had to say:

"Kenneth Stethem faulted the government for not doing enough to ensure that Hamadi remained in prison. Citing President Bush's recent speeches to gather support for the war in Iraq and the fight against terrorism, Kenneth Stethem said the administration has shown a double standard.

"He needs American support for the war against terrorism, but a convicted terrorist goes free, the U.S. government knows it is coming, and they don't do anything to prevent it and afterward they don't say anything about it," Kenneth Stethem said."

Debka probably has it wrong again. If these guys are associated with Hezbollah (Shiite) the chances they're working with Sunni kidnappers in Iraq is practically nil.

Seneca the Younger said...


Debka probably has it wrong again. If these guys are associated with Hezbollah (Shiite) the chances they're working with Sunni kidnappers in Iraq is practically nil.


Mark, you say something like this fairly often. Do you actually have any support for it, outside of it being a running talking point that you've heard over and over again? Do you even have any idea of what the difference is? And how do you explain the money the Sunni Saudi charities run through the Sheat Hizbullah charities?

Seneca the Younger said...

Augh.

Arlington Cemetary link.

It's really quite easy, honest. Type

<a href="URL">link text</a> and put the whole link from "http:" to the end between the quotation marks.

Buddy Larsen said...

dunno why it wouldn't take, Seneca. I typed it just that way, but no worky.

Mark's mideast sources are just better than Debka's, Seneca. That's the only explanation that makes any sense.

Buddy Larsen said...

And i don't blame the sailor's dad for being heartbroken and bitter. I'm sure GWB is no happier than than anyone else on this side of the war, about the outcome. We're talking Germany--the third party. I know, "Why doesn't Bush have better relations with Germany, then?" Right. Let's impeach.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
It is the old playground logic,they can't understand that nation states don't have friends.Germany had a hostage it wanted releasing,it was politically expedient to exchange a prisoner of no value to them.
The would have done this no matter what the relationship was.

Syl said...

buddy

The secret to doing a link in here is not to preview. I always get an error on preview.

Look at it very closely to be sure you did it right then just post it.

Buddy Larsen said...

(*sob*)...nobody believes me the link was broken...but--thanks all for the nice bowl of mush, the 5 gallon tub of DentuCream, nice chrome bedpan, and the 8-track of "Fibber McGee and Molly"....\;-)

MeaninglessHotAir said...

How about al Qaida's "sacred right to know"? I'm sure I read that in the Constitution somewhere....

Syl said...

Screw al Qaeda's 'right to know', where is OURS in the constitution?

Buddy Larsen said...

off/thread, but Ron Silver's documentary of the UN: