Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I noticed

Source:"We have moved from the age where military capability depended on air supremacy to an age where the key capability is surveillance supremacy. Only a few -- the Kurzweilians -- seem to have noticed."

Some Tactics for fighting the shadows: Shed light on their movements. Control the land, sea, air, and information environments. To succeed in the wars in the shadow, we must shed light on the roaches. Transporting illegal goods must be nearly impossible. Transporting illegal money, must be even harder. We must be able to intercept their communications to find supplies, attack them in their sleep, and disrupt their carefully laid plans. How this can be done in without giving up our rights, I have no idea."



Mussolini said...

Is it giving up rights to have government monitor banks for money movement?

Is it giving up rights to have that monitoring target the movement of money from some sleazy Saudi bank to a US account?

Is it then giving up rights to have the government request info on that account and have them investigate?

Where in the Bill of Rights is there a privacy right guaranteed? Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Did I miss the "privacy" part in there? Liberty is not necessarily privacy.

Mussolini said...

Oh, and where is my "privacy" violated when I'm not investigated because my name is not Ibrihim al Muammar bin Blah and I haven't taken strange money deposits from foreign countries?

And so what if the government asks me where certain money came from or is going? If I have the proof I bought a yacht and not 100 tons of fissile material, does anyone think the government is going to waste any more time on ME?

In other words, the "rights" of the innocent are not being violated and their privacy survives just fine, even if the government has to ask you what you're doing.

Epithet on America's tombstone: We all died to Islamic extremism, but at least we respected everyone's privacy!

Cubicle said...

Damn bill you really know what you are talking about....heh...I am just joking with you. You are wrong.

There are laws against illeagal search (which i consider monitoring searching) and seasuire and due process. I even think some of those concpets are mentioned in the lovely bill of rights.

If the USA is conducting an investigation they have to get warrants to get info. Plain and simple.

Secondly, I doubt you are aware of the information that is in private hands. We are talking, electitricy usage, water usage, online activity, every single purchase you make, location of you vechile via GPS, location of your Cell phone via GPS, every single phone call you make, given the information it can probably be found out how much sex you have (based on how many condems you buy).

Do you want the goverment owning any of that info?

Bill, are you one of those people who belives that if you are innocent you have nothing to hide? Well I have news for you, given the amount of absurd laws, no one is innocent.

Everyone can be charged, fined, or arrested for somthign.

Sandcastle said...

Bill, you are assuming that all Arabs/Muslims are terrorists and therefore deserved to be denied the rights granted in the Constitution. How long will it take for this line of reasoning to affect you? What if the FBI discovers a link between violent crime and men with small penises? Then they will search your old credit card charges and you will be targeted as well Bill.

Bill said...

I absolutely have zero problem understanding and agreeing to both of your points.


Yes, I know about the property rights - the same ones that were shredded for eminent domain.

You mention all the info in private hands - do you honestly think and can you honestly assume that the government doesn't already know all that information? Please. To use it though, they would need to show a paper trail of conforming to the law via warrant.

The NSA tabs every single cell phone call for tagwords across the globe already.

We elect supposedly responsible congressman to pass laws that reflect what the public wants. We elect supposedly responsible executives to sign those laws into place. Our executives nominate justices, approved of by the congress, to oversee whether any of those laws written by the congress and signed by the president violate the constitution.

Thus, we have a vested interest in maintaining those members of elected government to safeguard our interests.

Am I frightened about them having information? Not as long as our elected govt continues to respect the freedom of the populace. They already have all that info you mentioned. They already know everything they need to know about me to determine that I'm not a threat by my habits. To assume the govt doesn't watch you/us is wishful thinking.

All muslims are not terrorists. However, ALL terrorists have been muslim. That speaks the loudest for racial profiling. We gender profile so don't act like racial profiling is something bad.

If every single terrorist is a young to middle-aged muslim male who recently attended some idiotic madrassah, then we better start looking at every single muslim male who went there. We can do it within the bounds of our current law without "trampling" rights.

OUR safety as Americans is at stake.

Cubicle said...

"Yes, I know about the property rights - the same ones that were shredded for eminent domain."

Can be overturned easily (once bush get his thrid replacement).

"Am I frightened about them having information? Not as long as our elected govt continues to respect the freedom of the populace."

What is the line and where do your draw it?

"However, ALL terrorists have been muslim. That speaks the loudest for racial profiling. We gender profile so don't act like racial profiling is something bad."

Timoth McVeigh was not a muslim and his act is the second worst terrorist act on american soil that I am aware of.

"OUR safety as Americans is at stake. "

I would agree, but safety does not need to come at all costs to rights. You can't shake down every single muslim who enters the country. That is against the core beliefs of America, and more importantly injust.

Sandcastle said...

Good point about the Oklahoma City Bombing. I would also like to point out the Unabomber, the Weathermen in the 1970s, and every terrorist not targeting the World Trade Center. One admittedly devastating attack and you are not only ready to declare a holy war, but accept martial law in the US as well. Jefferson said something like "Liberty is when the government fears the people. Tyranny is when people fear the government." Who is drawing the line and make you a "good guy" and the rest of them "bad guys"?

Mussolini said...

Cubicle: Where is the line and where do I draw it?

There is no line I could draw that wasn't crossed long ago. Is there room for lines in a war? I think not - not if you want to win.

I'm already of the opinion that the American federal government is far too invasive, and has been so for almost 2 centuries.

Interesting to cite McVeigh. I remember following that whole process very closely - from the time of the actual bomb squad defusings to the trial and after. McVeigh did not act alone and met with arabic-descent people before and the day of the bombing. Also, I remember the bomb squad commander telling us as each bomb was found and defused. Then I remember my confusion as the next day the FBI reported that there was only one bomb - a fertilizer bomb - despite the bomb van coming and going defusing bombs from underneath the building. I also remember a demolitions expert having inspected the underground parking pillars and reporting that no fertilizer bomb could make rounded blast effects on those pillars - only multiply placed plastique charges. Ever notice the almost identical methods used by McVeigh and the muslim's first WTC attack - considering it wasn't just a fertilizer bomb as was fed us later?

Eh... getting off the topic.

McVeigh was a nut. So was Kosinski. So are the gang members that shoot up a place because the bouncers won't let them in. All are acts of terror.

When I say terrorists, I mean the foreigners who come here to kill, maim, and terrorize, having a religious and political purpose to attacking America. All have been muslims. Some have been muslim converts. Not a single one was a red-headed Scotsman who decided he didn't like McDonalds.

There's plenty of home-grown idiots who will gladly "terrorize" American citizens if you want to term it that - but you know exactly the difference I'm talking about.

Injust to search every muslim who comes into the country? I don't see what makes that injust. It's profiling - cops have done it for centuries. Only in the last decade have we decided that it is somehow bad.

Liberty... a lot of quotes are thrown around by the founders. Franklin and his quotes, etc. The question does become how much do we trade in freedom for security?

Is that a valid application of the question? Do you really think the founding fathers would say no to increased security when war has been declared on us and innocent people are dying?

If you have the audacity to claim that the founding fathers would willingly roll over and accept murders of the American populace just so we could continue to claim the "virtue" of being free (despite being HOSTAGES to terror and thus not free), then I say you are totally out of touch with who and what our fathers were.

Our war for independence was fought over TAXES. We fought and killed and died over TAXES. Would you pick up a gun if the capital gains taxrate went up? I think not. Americans have sunk to the depths of wimp-ass bleaters of platitudes and excuses.

How much more do you think our fathers would have fought and made sure we won by ANY means if the cause wasn't taxes, but MURDER?

During the Civil War, martial law was held in place by the Union with severely strict measures - often at the point of a gun. I don't see the US suffering for the temporary use of that during a war....

And that is my point.

Sandcastle said...

These are my big problems with your last argument. You use terror selectively. It only applies to foreigners attempting to kill Americans. Are you aware that the US is the only country to be indicted for terrorism by the International Criminal Court for our actions supporting and equipping the Sandanista rebels against the freely elected government of Nicaragua? And my other argument is not that we should roll over for the terrorists, but that we should work within the framework of the Constitution. If we start abandoning our basic rights, it may be hard to get them back. And once we agree that they can be applied selectively to only certain groups of people then we are all in danger in becoming one of those selected groups in the future.

Mussolini said...

Errr... Sandcastle.... The ICC is holding us liable for equipping the Sandanistas? Against an elected government?

Then the ICC can't find its ass with either hand.

The Sandanistas were communists who took the country by force in 1978 and was recognized in 1979. The US supplied arms to the persecuted rebels (contras) who were suffering from the roving death squads and total property confiscation. That's where Ollie came in.

We never supported the Sandanistas. We supported democratic forces against a government who took the country by force of arms.


If the ICC is holding us accountable for something we didn't do, then the ICC is a joke. So I'm not sure what your point is, except that the US is full of criminals? But only the conservatives, obviously? This is beginning to sound familiar.

I've already said I think the government has gone too far, but that war requires extraordinary measures. I can see from your response that any excuse to support our defeat is enough to claim the virtue of not "shredding" the constitution.

Not only is your argument without intellectual merit but it is self-defeating as an American. Or are you even American.

Did I stumble onto a French site?

Hmm. Never mind. Whether I did or not is immaterial. I don't believe watching my country die to murderers is somehow excusable because the constitution is "protected." That smacks of an anti-patriot using the excuse of the constitution to damage America's chances of surviving murderers.

I think I've obviously stumbled onto the wrong site.

Sandcastle said...

Excuse me for getting the names backwards. You are right that the Sandanistas were the government, and we supported the rebels. But the rebels were the ones responsible for the most civilian deaths. In 1985 we even sent a memo from the CIA advising the rebels to stop confronting the army and start attacking "soft targets" ie civilians. The rebels that we equipped killed hundreds of thousands of unarmed Nicaraguan citizens. The land reform measures taken by the government of Nicaragua were a response to the United Fruit Companies consolidation of land into the hands of a few wealthy (and foriegn) corporations. As for my being an American. I am in Iraq right now, finishing out my second tour in OIF. So what have you done for America? Put your money where your mouth is and join the forces that are fighting to keep us safe. I am all for defending our country, but my primary responsibility is defending the Constitution and our way of life, not allowing it to be subverted by terrorists, paranoid intelligence agencies, or anyone else.

transientforeigner said...

Bill, there are several merits to your arguments, namely expediency. Restricting the rights of a small, identifiable populace that is notable in proportion of terrorists to non-terrorists cuts through the bureaucratic red tape that slows down or otherwise impedes the accomplishment of the goal of safety espoused not only by the constitution but in the voiced desires of the American people. It is very similar in logic to the enemy combatant status so effectively utilized by the President. An identifiable, unique group that poses possible threats is deserving of unique and expedient rules and procedures. The logic of the Justice Department seems to be in your favor.

Narrowly considering terrorists as:

"the foreigners who come here to kill, maim, and terrorize, having a religious and political purpose to attacking America:

certainly has benefits. You do not have to consider an AWOL Israeli soldier shooting up a bus of innocent people in a Muslim town, the Tamil tigers bombing an international airport in Sri Lanka, Chechen rebels kidnapping schoolchildren, or...well you get the idea, this list could get very long. By identifying one ethnic group that contains a sub-group that operates with a specific agenda through violent means, we are better able to limit our scope to a particular problem and not entwine ourselves with the problems of other countries who have terrorists of other ethnicities. Basically, we get to view it as: "Not our problem". Again, expedient.

There are a few concerns that need to be raised however. The judicial system has at least two main threads in their philosophy: precedent and logic. The decisions of previous cases can be extended to other cases if the logic of the case is similar enough. The courts cannot and will not look at a law authorizing a "relaxation" of rights against every "young to middle-aged muslim male who recently attended some idiotic madrassah" as simply that. Logic requires they take the syntax of the case - small group, correlation with dangerous activity, costs at stake: life, liberty, pursuit of happiness; action taken: dismissal of freedoms normally enjoyed by the populace. Then the courts have to consider what precedent their ruling would set if the logic were extended. As Sandcastle noted, other groups and circumstances follow the syntax. Poverty and petty theft. Wealth and embezzlement. Education and felony crimes. Race and drug usage. Gender and violence toward children etc. It is simple to create a sub-group out of any population and one need not look far or hard for correlations to criminal activity and those sub-groups. In much more concise terms, its a slippery slope problem that concerns not only "young to middle-aged muslim male who recently attended some idiotic madrassah" but anyone who could conceivably belong to any sub-group that has any correlation to any crime. So what do you say when you are indefinitely detained or have your bank accounts frozen because you are a member of one of those groups in the future? You cannot claim any rights anymore, those were given up for the "safety of the people".

An aside: Information is power. The government has the obligation to not only safeguard the people from terrorists, but to safeguard the people from itself as well. Giving the government almost unimpeded access and powers to collect information, especially in a time of widely used secret judges, military tribunals and newly created statuses of criminals gives either rogue or corrupt officials and personnel unlimited blackmail material and the ability to steal identities. This would be additionally dangerous if the rights of dangerous sub-groups has already been sacrificed for American safety. The key question one has to ask about giving the government any new powers is: What recourses will the individual have if they are wronged? In all of these cases that answer is "not much". If the people have no recourse then its simply a bad idea.

Another aside:

"If you have the audacity to claim that the founding fathers would willingly roll over and accept murders of the American populace just so we could continue to claim the "virtue" of being free...."

Um....does the American Revolution come to mind to anyone else? You know, where the founding fathers actually encouraged the American populace to die so that a people could enjoy being free.... The American Revolution was about a lot of things. It is rather elementary to try to break down the war to one reason; to do so would completely misconstrue the dimensions of society, the problems they faced at that time and their personal values.

One more aside, why not:

"All muslims are not terrorists. However, ALL terrorists have been muslim. That speaks the loudest for racial profiling. We gender profile so don't act like racial profiling is something bad."

While these do not fit into your narrowly conceived definition of "terrorists" they are at least something to consider: Eric Rudolph - had both religious and political motives; anarchists - I know they are not all violent but there are certainly violent ones among them and they certainly have a political purpose; Klu Klux Klan - remember the Jasper incident? If that wasn't designed to instill terror....; or ELF - there's a decent book called "Powder Burn" by Daniel Glick if you are not familiar with them. The list goes on. The only reason these people do not qualify for being a terrorist according to your definition is that they are all United States citizens.

I found this article recently, thought it related well.

You know what, maybe sacrificing our rights for expediency is not such a good idea afterall...

Katelyne said...

profiling upsets!

'In other words even if the government has to ask you what you're doing, the "rights" of the innocent are not being violated and their privacy survives just fine.' bill

privacy: survives?.. maybe
the innocent bliss of ignorance.. shattered!