Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Got Their Headline

USA Today, front page above the fold: "Wiretap program illegal"

Powerline, yesterday: "...the ACLU and the Democrats got the headlines they wanted from one of their own."

[T]he federal courts have held on a number of occasions that the President has the constitutional power under Article II to order warrantless surveillance for national security purposes. The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Circuits have so held, as has the special FISA Court of Review. And those cases dealt with domestic warrantless intercepts, as opposed to the international communications that fall within the NSA program.

Consistent with unanimous precedent in the Federal Courts of Appeal, I would expect the 6th Circuit to reverse Judge Taylor's ruling and uphold the NSA program.

If that happens, we'll see if it comes with its own front-page headline.

The judge's decision analyzed by Powerline and surveyed by Patterico.

Related Moment of Irony: looking for the article on USAToday's web-site (not posted as of 6am), I find this story's headline instead: 9/11 panel heads: FBI lags on promised improvements.

Update, 8/23: Via JustOneMinute:

[Ann Althouse writes] It suggests that there are no good legal arguments against the program, just petulance and outrage and antipathy toward President Bush. It helps those who have been arguing for years about result-oriented, activist judges.

He notes the New York Times' about-face, and the judge's potential conflict of interest with the ACLU. More headlines than they bargained for.


Comments:

(Please keep in mind that each commenter's opinions are only his/her own.)



I'm pretty sure that the promised improvements in national security didn't involve the Soviet Unionization of the United States. I'm not sure why you would be in favor of sending our boys overseas to fight for our freedoms from extremists and then lose some of those freedoms to the executive branch without a fight. Patriotism involves making some tough choices sometimes. Could we be potentially less safe without the wire tapping? Sure. Is it the same America once that slippery slope is allowed? Definitly not.

As for the headline. You'll get yours too I'm sure. The idea that the media is liberal is so 20th century.
 


MM: Thanks for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment.

I'm glad you recognize the Soviet Union for the repressive state it was.

MM: "... then lose some of those freedoms to the executive branch without a fight."

The freedom we're talking about is for people in the U.S. to make phone calls to al Qaida.

If Powerline is right, "unanimous precedent" suggests the executive branch already has the right, so no freedom lost. No step taken down any slippery slope.

MM: "Patriotism involves making some tough choices sometimes. Could we be potentially less safe without the wire tapping? Sure."

I agree, though I have to say thinking in terms of "patriotism" sounds very strange to my ears. For example, I've never once asked myself, "what's the patriotic thing to do here?" Do you really think like that?

MM: The idea that the media is liberal is so 20th century.

In fact, the landmark work on the topic was first published in the 21st century.
 


Wow - I though that this was the actual landmark work on the topic of media bias. I mean - even most conservatives don't buy the media bias thing anymore. Here's an analysis of media bias that you might find interesting.

Let's also keep in mind that powerline might NOT be right. Have you found any documentation of how many actual al Qaida links have been actually explored through the wire tapping program? In fact, what are our assurances that only Al Qaida conversations were examinined? So far, we've not been offered any proof of this at all. Some have suggested that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of phone calls have been monitored. Wow - that's a lot of al Qaida members huh?

Yes, I actually do think in terms of "what's the patriotic thing to do here". What would our founding fathers have approved of in this situation? Why are we concerned more about who might be getting the "leg up" in the propaganda war rather than dead human beings? How can we condemn Iran for supplying war materials to Hezbollah and then have every bomb landing on the Lebanese people saying "Made in America"? I'm sure you can try to scramble for justification, but it's really just a simple matter of rampant hipocricy. The difference between a terrorist and a commando is that one as a bomb but no airplane. When we bomb, knowing the likelihood of civilian casualties, and bomb anyway - how is that not terrorism in the eyes of those being bombed?
 


Alterman's book doesn't seem to pass muster.

MM: "even most conservatives don't buy the media bias thing anymore"

You lead a more insulated life than you realize, and don't understand the appeal to popularity fallacy.

MM: "Some have suggested that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of phone calls have been monitored."

You should carefully define "monitored:" the contents heard vs. the call record itself data-mined?

MM: "Why are we concerned more about who might be getting the "leg up" in the propaganda war rather than dead human beings?"

Because in the long run, many more dead human beings will result.

MM: "I'm sure you can try to scramble for justification, but it's really just a simple matter of rampant hipocricy."

In fact, that's your scramble for justification. It's really just a simple matter of muddled thinking (or morality). I hope a serious contemplation of the Geneva Conventions would help you (the drastically abridged version here). Contemplate organizations like Hezbollah that take what those conventions forbid and use them as an insruction manual.
 

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