‘Compromise’ does not allay threat to our basic constitutional rights

Last week, I wrote about legislation making its way through Congress that would allow U.S. citizens to be arrested on U.S. soil, stripped of their constitutional rights and transferred immediately into military custody for indefinite detention.

That threat remains very real, so I think it’s important to review where we stand and to clarify a few things.

Last Thursday, by a vote of 45-55, the Senate rejected an amendment proposed by Dianne Feinstein of California that would have exempted U.S. citizens from such treatment. “”We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge, prosecution, and conviction,” Feinstein said during debate, but a majority of her colleagues disagreed with her. (See roll call here.)

Later, however, the Senate approved another Feinstein amendment by a vote of 99-1 that was sold as a compromise solution. It reads:

“Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens or lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

In other words, the amendment states that the pending legislation would change nothing regarding how U.S. citizens are to be treated. With that language in place, the Senate then went on to approve the overall bill by a vote of 93-7.

However, I do not believe that “compromise” resolves the problem at all, for two reasons:

1.) Imagine yourself as a judge. You find yourself confronted by clear legislative language allowing U.S. citizens to be transferred to military custody without trial. You also find amorphous language stating that “nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law.” Most judges would and probably should resolve that contradiction by siding with the clear legislative language that allows detention of U.S. citizens without trial. In other words, I don’t think the “compromise” accomplishes a damn thing on this controversial issue. If it did, it wouldn’t have passed 99-1.

2.) According to Senators Carl Levin, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and others, existing law already allows U.S. citizens to be picked up on U.S. soil and transferred immediately into military custody, without benefit of trial. They believe the government holds what you might call a “throw them into jail free” card, and as proof they cite the 2004 Supreme Court case “Hamdi v. Rumsfeld.” In that case, justices allowed the U.S. government to treat Yaser Esam Hamdi, a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen, as an enemy combatant to be handled through the military justice system, not through civilian courts.

As Graham said during Senate debate:

“It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help al-Qaida to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next. And when they say ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer’.”

However, I think it’s important to note that Hamdi was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan, having joined the Taliban and taken up arms against the United States in a foreign land. I would propose that his case is fundamentally different than the case of a U.S. citizen who is arrested here in this country.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, one of three Republicans to vote in favor of Feinstein’s original amendment, put the question directly to McCain during floor debate, and in response McCain squirmed:

For those unable to watch video, Rand asks whether, under the legislation, it would be possible for a U.S. citizen to be arrested and shipped to Guantanamo Bay without trial for indefinite detention. Yes, McCain responds. “As long as that individual, no matter who they are, if they pose a threat to the security of the United States of America, they should not be allowed to continue that threat,” he says. “I think that’s the majority of American public opinion.”

I’m sorry. That is just fundamentally wrong. It is a de facto pronouncement of martial law.

In my post last week, I noted that the Obama administration has threatened to veto the overall bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, unless its problems with this particular section are addressed. So far, that remains its position. (The provisions in question can be read here.)

As the White House said in a statement earlier this month:

“Moreover, applying this military custody requirement to individuals inside the United States, as some Members of Congress have suggested is their intention, would raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

However, the civil-liberty implications of the bill are not the administration’s main concern and are not driving its veto threat. Its primary objection is a requirement that the federal government turn over all al-Qaida-related suspects to the military. Under that change, suspects arrested in this country could not be handled through civilian courts and civilian law enforcement unless the government invokes a rare “national security waiver.”

(Under the provision, U.S. citizens linked to al Qaida and arrested here would not be required to be transferred to military custody. In such cases, transfer would merely be allowed.)

These provisions are being pushed because of outrage in some quarters over the handling of Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab, the so-called “underwear bomber” who on Christmas Day 2009 tried to blow up an airliner. Abdulmuttalab, a citizen of Nigeria, was arrested, interrogated by FBI agents, confessed and later pleaded guilty. Information he divulged helped to link his attack to Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and radical cleric based in Yemen who was killed earlier this year in a Predator strike.

McCain and others were outraged that Abdulmuttalab’s case had been handled by civilian authorities. “That person should be tried as an enemy combatant; he’s a terrorist,” McCain told CNN. “To have a person be able to get lawyered up when we need that information very badly betrays or contradicts the president’s view that we are at war.”

The provisions in question, inspired by the Abdulmuttalab case, are an attempt to take that decision out of the hands of the executive branch and insist that such cases be handled by the military. The Obama administration, backed by the CIA, FBI, the Pentagon and others, believes it is mistake to take away that flexibility.

While I agree, I think the civil-liberty implications of the bill are even more chilling.

– Jay Bookman

251 comments Add your comment

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
11:49 am

Frankly, anyone who votes for a bill that allows citizens to be stripped of their Constitutional rights should IMMEDIATLY be drummed out of Congress as they are breaking their oath to uphold said Constitution.

stands for decibels

December 5th, 2011
11:51 am

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

For the record, I take back approximately .5% of all the nasty things I’ve said about him to date.

getalife

December 5th, 2011
11:52 am

Real Americans should demand their resignations for violating their oath of office.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 5th, 2011
11:52 am

Stupidity masquerading as “security”.

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
11:53 am

getalife – 11:52 – ZACKLY

stands for decibels

December 5th, 2011
11:54 am

Senators Carl Levin, John McCain, Lindsey Graham

…all need to have enhanced interrogation techniques performed on their kith and kin.

getalife

December 5th, 2011
11:54 am

At least one tea party member stood up.

All that liberty crap from the cons is another lie.

stands for decibels

December 5th, 2011
11:55 am

Levin’s comb-over was already a crime against humanity.

Stephenson Billings

December 5th, 2011
11:55 am

While I’m not familiar with the whole bill, I don’t see how this, what I’ve read so far, would pass muster under a Supreme Court review It seems to violate more than one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, particularly for US Citizens.

barking frog

December 5th, 2011
11:56 am

A fine line we are walking here, our constitutional rights versus
our public safety and the obligations our protectors must operate
under. If we are to have an executive that is commander in chief
and policeman in chief we must allow him to decide what arena
he is in with these individuals, within certain guidelines. Congress
has always, by statute, set these guidelines. Laws are not carved
in stone. If civil rights violations occur we can revisit this bill but if
both Congress and the President sign off on it, then the Courts will
have the opportunity to look at it light of the Constitution, but I think
you are correct in the liberty restraints it imposes.

RB from Gwinnett

December 5th, 2011
11:56 am

And to think just 3 years ago, you liberals were all giddy over the propect of ending Bush’s assault on out constitutional rights with your man Obama.

Seems as if he not only continued the patriot act you hated, but now he’s trying to trample on some more of your rights.

Do you think mayby reality got in the way of mindless campaign promises?

Normal

December 5th, 2011
11:56 am

I agree with USinUK and if the bill does get by President Obama, then RIP USA and hello to the United Communist States of America.

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
11:57 am

Stephenson – “would pass muster under a Supreme Court review It seems to violate more than one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, particularly for US Citizens”

gawd knows what this SC would consider acceptible … I mean, fercryingoutloud, COMPANIES are now considered individuals

Winston Smith

December 5th, 2011
11:57 am

If you’ve done nothing wrong, what’s the worry?

Jm

December 5th, 2011
11:58 am

And if Obama signs it, I wonder what Jay will say or so…..

I told Jay the US is going down the tubes. He didn’t believe me….

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
11:58 am

RB – “And to think just 3 years ago, you liberals were all giddy over the propect of ending Bush’s assault on out constitutional rights with your man Obama. ”

excuse me … HE’S trampling on rights???

HE’S the one threatening to veto, you numpty … or do you just not bother to read???

it’s the GOP that’s written this abortion of a bill …

hmmm.....

December 5th, 2011
11:58 am

notice that Democrats and Republicans voted yes on this, can’t just blame those extreme racist cons!

Adam

December 5th, 2011
11:58 am

I’m with you on this one. I wonder if this will translate into a veto by Obama. Since they sort of changed it, if they can somehow convince Obama that it means U.S. citizens won’t be locked up without trial or charge, then he might not veto it. Which would actually suck.

Adam

December 5th, 2011
11:59 am

Winston Smith: If you’ve done nothing wrong, what’s the worry?

I am sure that will be a comfort to you when you are unjustly picked up and locked up for life without charge or trial, based on nothing more than a whisper of your terrorist ties by a crazy ex.

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
11:59 am

“If you’ve done nothing wrong, what’s the worry?”

actually, that’s EXACTLY the reason you should worry … if you’ve done nothing wrong, they can STILL hold you, without access to a lawyer, for however long they want …

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:00 pm

…all need to have enhanced interrogation techniques performed on their kith and kin.

No, they really don’t.

mm

December 5th, 2011
12:00 pm

RB,

“And to think just 3 years ago, you liberals were all giddy over the propect of ending Bush’s assault on out constitutional rights with your man Obama.

Seems as if he not only continued the patriot act you hated, but now he’s trying to trample on some more of your rights.

Do you think mayby reality got in the way of mindless campaign promises?”

Is your problem you simply can’t read English? Blaming this on Obama? He’s already threatened a veto.

Normal

December 5th, 2011
12:00 pm

It seems to me that if I have a “beef” with my neighbor, all I have to do is call up and report that I’ve seen him using gasoline and fertilizer on his property (lawn mower and lawn care of course, but the authorities don’t need to know that) and I’ve seen him with batteries and electrical wire too! …and the black SUV’s come and take him away.

getalife

December 5th, 2011
12:02 pm

rb,

Your ods is eating you up.

Our President made torture illegal again and will veto this crap.

You do not even believe in freedom do you?

JamVet

December 5th, 2011
12:02 pm

Since 9/11, fascism has raised it’s ugly head in this country. And now is part and parcel of the United States government, particularly in the far right wing GOP.

And as much or more than any other kind of cowardice, I detest fascists.

http://tinyurl.com/d8wwmod

Paul

December 5th, 2011
12:02 pm

44-55.

Incredibly sad.

Sens Inouye and Levin voted against it?!!?

I need a break.

Jm

December 5th, 2011
12:03 pm

Sfd obviously isn’t aware McCain has already been tortured

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:03 pm

Our President made torture illegal again and will veto this crap.

I certainly hope so.

Normal

December 5th, 2011
12:06 pm

Jm

December 5th, 2011
12:03 pm

But not by us and that still doesn’t make it right.

TaxPayer

December 5th, 2011
12:06 pm


stands for decibels
December 5th, 2011
11:51 am

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

For the record, I take back approximately .5% of all the nasty things I’ve said about him to date.

And I second that emotion.

getalife

December 5th, 2011
12:06 pm

How many aq are left?

They are still allowing a small gang to change our country.

Cowards spit on all those who fought and died for our freedom.

Jay

December 5th, 2011
12:07 pm

Folks, “Winston Smith,” the author of that “if you’ve done nothing wrong ….” post, has pulled one over on you.

If you recall, that’s the name of the lead character of Orwell’s “1984″.

Aquagirl

December 5th, 2011
12:07 pm

Senators Carl Levin

WTF? You’d think a Jew would be more leery of the disappearing-act-via-government thingy.

Joe Hussein Mama

December 5th, 2011
12:09 pm

Was Rand Paul in fact one of the seven who voted against?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 5th, 2011
12:09 pm

Jay, Winston’s name goes well with Fox…..aka the “Ministry of Truth”

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
12:11 pm

“but now he’s trying to trample on some more of your rights.”

Obama’s threatening to veto the bill you dumb f*k.

Bruno

December 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

it’s the GOP that’s written this abortion of a bill …

Carl Levin is a Republican.

Folks, “Winston Smith,” the author of that “if you’ve done nothing wrong ….” post, has pulled one over on you.

A few of us over on the *cough*cough* right side of the aisle caught that, Jay. (wagging fingers in ears at Adam and USinUK). ;-)

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

USinUK: Companies are not considered individuals, that’s just the line people in the media use to fool… well, fools like you. In fact the Supreme Court decision specifically says that corporations are not individuals, but that does not mean that organizations should not also get the same free speech protections as individuals. That’s a big difference.

I ask you, if corporations cannot get free speech rights, then how are we able to read a newspaper? Shouldn’t this whole AJC corporation be shut down? After all, Jay is getting paid to write generally positive columns about the Democrats, isn’t that basically a campaign contribution?

Stephenson Billings

December 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. ”
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Aquagirl

December 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

Darn it, Jay, you ruined my post from “Julia.”

Bruno

December 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

Oops, that was meant to be a question:

Carl Levin is a Republican??

Misty Fyed

December 5th, 2011
12:12 pm

Never ever trust the military to do anything but what is in the interest of the military. That’s why the commander in chief is a civilian. It’s a sad day in my life when I realize the greatest defender of the constitution is Obama; even more so than the “conservatives” in the senate.

Brosephus

December 5th, 2011
12:13 pm

Frankly, anyone who votes for a bill that allows citizens to be stripped of their Constitutional rights should IMMEDIATLY be drummed out of Congress as they are breaking their oath to uphold said Constitution.

^^^^This^^^^

Jefferson

December 5th, 2011
12:14 pm

The GOP are frady cats at the end of the day.

barking frog

December 5th, 2011
12:14 pm

Our justice system is ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and designed
to free the accused as soon as possible. In the case of terrorists
or gangs of terrorists that should not necessarily be the goal. The
civilian police are not trained in the same manner as the military
and in some cases the military should deal even with US citizens.
I would trust the USDOJ to make that decision.

Brosephus

December 5th, 2011
12:14 pm

Obama’s threatening to veto the bill you dumb f*k.

Personal foul…
Unsportsmanlike Conduct for being too honest…
Fifteen yards from the end of the play…
1st Down!!!

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
12:16 pm

“Personal foul…
Unsportsmanlike Conduct for being too honest…
Fifteen yards from the end of the play…
1st Down!!!”

Sorry for not being “politically correct”. ;)

Brosephus

December 5th, 2011
12:17 pm

It’s a sad day in my life when I realize the greatest defender of the constitution is Obama; even more so than the “conservatives” in the senate.

Why so sad?? Is it because you’re finally seeing things for how they are as opposed to how you think things should be? It’s so much easier to view things when you remove the fog of partisanship.

getalife

December 5th, 2011
12:17 pm

Calm down pea.

He is mentally ill with ods.

He can’t help it.

Recon 0311 2533

December 5th, 2011
12:17 pm

This is confusing I’ve read descriptions and excerpts from this bill that conflict with Jay’s interpretation. I’ve read where U.S. citizens are indeed exempt. Hard to know without reading it in its entirety. I”m surprised if it’s that threatening to American civil liberties it would be under scrutiny and discussed a lot more than I’ve seen in the media.

Brosephus

December 5th, 2011
12:18 pm

Pea

That one made me almost fall out of my chair from laughing so hard. I don’t really care for PC, but sometimes it’s best to not steamroll someone with the truth. You hit him like Bo Jackson running over The Boz. :)

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
12:18 pm

“He is mentally ill with ods.

He can’t help it.”

Let’s hope that’s the reason. ‘Cause if he actually believed and fully understood some of the stuff he says…wow.

Jay

December 5th, 2011
12:19 pm

I ask you, if corporations cannot get free speech rights, then how are we able to read a newspaper? Shouldn’t this whole AJC corporation be shut down? After all, Jay is getting paid to write generally positive columns about the Democrats, isn’t that basically a campaign contribution?

Actually, the Constitution answers that quite nicely, Jimmy.

If your argument were valid, there would be no need for an express “freedom of the press” as contained in the First Amendment. The press is recognized as a separate entity requiring separate protection.

If you disagree, take it up with the Founding Fathers.

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:19 pm

JamVet: Your comments strongly indicate that you don’t know what fascism is. It’ll be interesting to see what twisted, false, biased definition you come up with, if you even bother to answer. I’ll give you a hint: Fascism is not defined as “anything I don’t like” nor is it defined as “the right wing.”

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:21 pm

If anything, the worship Obama and vote for him even though we know almost nothing about him and anyone who disagrees is evil and should leave this country attitude that so many had in 2007 was one of the most fascist movements I’ve seen in the US.

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
12:21 pm

“That one made me almost fall out of my chair from laughing so hard. I don’t really care for PC, but sometimes it’s best to not steamroll someone with the truth. You hit him like Bo Jackson running over The Boz.”

Yeah that one got through my filter…happens sometimes :) .

barking frog

December 5th, 2011
12:21 pm

I admire Ben Franklin but he never had a nuclear missile pointed
at his ass or a drone that could fly up it and explode.

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:22 pm

Jay: Who defines the press? I know a lot of people on here call Fox a mouthpiece of the right, and don’t consider them press. What about bloggers? Is there a “press” certification?

getalife

December 5th, 2011
12:25 pm

I watched them debate this crap with the premise of their arguments is a war with no end.

They think the American majority approve of losing freedom but the polls show they are not.

They think this is leadership.

It is cowardice but can be used against rw extremists too.

Winston Smith

December 5th, 2011
12:26 pm

freedom is slavery

Jay

December 5th, 2011
12:26 pm

Right, Barking. Franklin merely had the entire power of the British empire arrayed against him.

And Jimmy, no, there is not. Licensing of the press would contradict freedom of the press.

Sharde

December 5th, 2011
12:26 pm

Some things never change. In the late 18th Century the U.S. government used the Sedition Act to imprison citizens, mostly journalists (watch out Jay) who criticized government officials, all in the name of national security.

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
12:27 pm

B-dog – Levin wrote the original bill – this comes from R amendments to the original legislation

Keep Up the Good Fight!

December 5th, 2011
12:28 pm

Licensing of the press would contradict freedom of the press.

Like “licensing” or “permitting” of protest contradicts freedom of speech.

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:28 pm

RB from Gwinnett

December 5th, 2011
12:29 pm

“the Senate then went on to approve the overall bill by a vote of 93-7″

Yea, libs, blame this on republicans. Not only are there not 93 R’s in the senate, they don’t even have enough seats to overturn the lunch menu.

We’ll see about Obama vetoing a bill voted for by 93% of the senate.

Jay

December 5th, 2011
12:32 pm

Just to clarify, in case I was confusing:

The overall bill was passed 93-7. It’s a bill of hundreds of pages containing all the defense spending authorizations for the coming year. The provisions in question take up half a page of that bill.

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:32 pm

So if a big corporation that you hate, like say the Koch’s GA Pacific, decides to start a newspaper and dedicate it to positively covering extremely right wing politicians (which they wouldn’t the Kochs are libertarian and not big fans of the extreme right), you would be cool with that? You wouldn’t talk about how an evil corporation shouldn’t have free speech rights? Because this would be the press, right?

Mary Elizabeth

December 5th, 2011
12:33 pm

Perhaps the “civil-liberty implication” is part of the mix which is driving Obam’s veto possibililty, but the reasons – overtly stated by the administration (below) – for the veto might be more effective in justifying that veto than a simple civil-liberty argument, given the state of emotional concurrence to pass this bill in Congress.
————————————————————
“Its (the administration’s) primary objection is a requirement that the federal government turn over all al-Qaida-related suspects to the military. Under that change, suspects arrested in this country could not be handled through civilian courts and civilian law enforcement unless the government invokes a rare “national security waiver.”
————————————————————

Turning over “all al-Qaida-related suspects to the military,” directly, and out of the hand of the Executive Branch, would seriously impair one’s civil liberties.

I recall the Truman-MacArthur conflict as to who had final say in our nation – the Executive Branch or the Military’s Top Commander.

Normal

December 5th, 2011
12:34 pm

Oh, oh…

Pelosi: I’ve Got Dirt on Newt

Nancy Pelosi is downright gleeful that Newt Gingrich is surging in the polls, promising to reveal some damaging information about him if he clinches the Republican presidential nomination. “I know a lot about him,” the House minority leader told Talking Points Memo. “I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff.” Pelosi promised to dump the information “when the time’s right.” Gingrich, meanwhile, is heading to Donald Trump’s Manhattan home to curry favor with the future debate moderator.

Joe Hussein Mama

December 5th, 2011
12:34 pm

Keep Up — “Like “licensing” or “permitting” of protest contradicts freedom of speech.”

Some people do make that argument, yes.

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:34 pm

What if a blogger gets paid by a corporation to write favorable things? Would that count as an in-kind contribution? But the blogger is press, right? What if Coca Cola decides to call themselves the press? Why not, there’s no licensing, as that would go against freedom of the press. So if Coke wants to run a bunch of anti-Obama commercials, then that’s their right, they proclaimed they are the press.

Basically I’m not sure how you can deny some corporations free speech rights, but allow them to others merely because they say they are the press.

getalife

December 5th, 2011
12:35 pm

rb,

Yeah, being a blind partisan these days is really silly.

Do you agree or continue to give your corrupt unAmerican party a free pass?

Peadawg

December 5th, 2011
12:35 pm

“The overall bill was passed 93-7. It’s a bill of hundreds of pages containing all the defense spending authorizations for the coming year. The provisions in question take up half a page of that bill.”

Why do politicians do this? The same thing happened w/ DADT being put in a larger defense bill and it getting voted down the first time. Put it in its own bill and then vote for it.

Jay

December 5th, 2011
12:35 pm

That is correct, Jimmy. We already have examples of that in Fox News and the Moonie-owned Washington Times. It was also the common ownership pattern in colonial and post-revolutionary America.

Newtie and the Blowfish

December 5th, 2011
12:36 pm

The overall bill was passed 93-7. It’s a bill of hundreds of pages containing all the defense spending authorizations for the coming year. The provisions in question take up half a page of that bill.

I thought the repubs did away with ear-marks? The last thing we need is this bunch of self serving d-bags determining who can get picked up with no due process….

Normal

December 5th, 2011
12:37 pm

Pea…”Why do politicians do this? ”

Politicians ain’t honest… :)

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:37 pm

So if a big corporation that you hate…

Why does it always come down to the word “hate”?

Why should I invest that much passion?

And besides, Murdoch has his media empire, and I don’t see a massive push to silence him.

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:38 pm

Jay: So who gets to choose who gets to be called the press and get those free speech rights? I’ve got to agree with the Supremes. Since there is no legal dividing line between corporations that call themselves the press, and those that don’t, then you can’t really deny free speech rights for any of them.

Jimmy62

December 5th, 2011
12:39 pm

Kamchak: You must not spend much time reading liberal blogs, there’s plenty of calls to shut down and/or silence Fox by various methods.

Jm

December 5th, 2011
12:39 pm

Will Jay write a column if Obama signs it?

Hmmmmm. Probably. But he will still vote D.

jconservative

December 5th, 2011
12:39 pm

This series of amendments is just another case of liberal big government masquerading as conservatism. Increasing the power of the central government is liberalism. These amendments increase the power of the central government.

The American mind is a mystery. It is OK to get 40,000 people a year killed in auto accidents but the end of the world if one is killed by a terrorist.

“Fear is the mind killer.”

getalife

December 5th, 2011
12:39 pm

Where are the cons like rand paul standing up for his oath of office and American freedom?

Jay

December 5th, 2011
12:40 pm

Sure there is, Jimmy. One group performs the functions of the press; the other doesn’t. The laws and the courts make that kind of distinctions all the time.

carlosgvv

December 5th, 2011
12:41 pm

Maybe someone should ask Newt what he thinks of this. And, would he uphold it if elected President.
Two guesses.

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:42 pm

You must not spend much time reading liberal blogs, there’s plenty of calls to shut down and/or silence Fox by various methods.

Lotsa crap spewed on lotsa blogs.

When it becomes a real threat, I’ll take it seriously.

Until then, you just keep on playing the victim card.

Winston Smith

December 5th, 2011
12:43 pm

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:44 pm

“Fear is the mind killer.”

We got another Frank Herbert fan in our midst, cool.

Great quote!

TruthBe

December 5th, 2011
12:44 pm

Yeah, We are suppost to believe a corrupt liberal progressive democrat that hates the U.S.Constitution like Dianne Feinstein. Remember Waco and Ruby Ridge? Senator Dianne Feinstein took the side of the Feds and acted like their defense lawyer instead of defending the American People and the Rights and Protection given to us by the Constitution. Feinstein is dishonest and corrupt. Jay why don’t you ask her about her “No Bid Government Contracts” given to her husband’s company. In the multi-millions of dollars. Or her inside stock trading deals like her friend Nancy Pelosi and her got. Dianne Feinstein (CA-D) is a lifetime career corrupt liberal democrat politican. Shame on the people of California for contiuning voting this crook back in office. Term Limits a must.

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
12:45 pm

Term Limits = Democracy for the Lazy

TruthBe

December 5th, 2011
12:46 pm

Jay the mainstreet media doesn’t have any truth or honesty anymore. That includes this newspaper the ajc.

TruthBe

December 5th, 2011
12:47 pm

USinUk, No it limits the inside the beltway corruption.

Brosephus

December 5th, 2011
12:49 pm

I admire Ben Franklin but he never had a nuclear missile pointed
at his ass or a drone that could fly up it and explode.

:shock: :shock: :shock:
I’d hate to come across that version of the Predator!!!

barking frog

December 5th, 2011
12:49 pm

TruthBe, would not a thief steal more and faster if he had a
limited time in which to steal?

Kamchak

December 5th, 2011
12:50 pm

Term Limits a must.

This crap again?

With re-election rates for congress critters hovering in the 80-90% range, it’s a safe bet that anyone cry-babying about term limits isn’t talking about his/hers/its own congress critter.

barking frog

December 5th, 2011
12:50 pm

Brosephus, I imagine al-awalaki hated to come across it too.

TruthBe

December 5th, 2011
12:51 pm

Democrats and Republians = Career Corrupt Politics as usual.
Mainstreet Media = Mouthpiece Corruption Central for the Democrats.
Jay and the Ajc = More of the same.

Mary Elizabeth

December 5th, 2011
12:52 pm

Go here to contact President Obama, to ask him to veto this bill:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

I wrote him over the weekend urging him to veto the bill, through the form supplied on this link.

USinUK

December 5th, 2011
12:52 pm

“TruthBe, would not a thief steal more and faster if he had a limited time in which to steal?”

not to mention, it just gives more and more power to the Lobbyists – they’ll be the only one with any seniority in DC/know how the game is played

TruthBe

December 5th, 2011
12:52 pm

barking door, Maybe, but they would also have less time to steal as much and better chances of getting caught.