Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm tired and mentally foggy but still have an itch to blog a little, so I'm going to do something I don't usually do outside of twitter - microblog!

Shloky was justly praised for Naxalite Rage. Not a conflict of which I know much about but Shlok will help get me up to speed.

Wikinomics is a book worth the time spent reading, despite my not being a fan of "business lit". It bridges those constraints to also be a " big idea" book.

Regarding the Mukasey hearings, the Left seems less interested in stopping intrusive electronic surveillance of Americans than it does of throwing up abstruse procedural delays to monitoring foreigners who are suspected Islamist terrorists living overseas in third countries. The Liberal Democrats in the House have so voted:

"Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter did something unusual however, in the hearing on legislation to extend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act--she announced at the start of the hearing that no amendments of any type would be allowed for debate. Committee Democrats followed Slaughter's lead and voted against amendments to: authorize surveillance of those engaged in the creation of Weapons of Mass Destruction; authorize surveillance of foreign terrorists outside the United States; extend liability protection to telecommunications companies that relied on government directives and shared information deemed necessary for protection from terrorist attack; and, allow a debate on the Bush administration's alternative."

Hat tip to Bruce Kesler.

This is why, despite everything the Bush administration has done wrong in Iraq, that the Democrats still have a " national security problem" with the public. Frankly, they always will ,so long as the Boomer-Left remains generationally dominant in that party.

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It's interesting that you identify this tactic of denying amendments - commonly used by the Repubs for the past four years - and not on the actual substance of the Repub amendments. If you check here, you'll see that the Repubs have no interest in passing the FISA bill unless it's basically opened up to allow any and all intelligence surveillance methods without warrents. At the least, the Repubs want to keep the status quo rather than let the Dems propose any reforms of the FISA.

So tell me again how the Repubs are such good defenders of national security...
Hi J.

Have not heard from you in a while. hope all is well.

"So tell me again how the Repubs are such good defenders of national security..."

That of course, was not my argument.

My argument was that the Democrats have a "problem" being perceived as good stewards of national security because the Boomer-Left faction that runs the House have a visceral twitch regarding SIGINT, even directed at foreigners overseas conspiring to kill us, coupled by a desire to turn foregn intelligence into a matter for domestic criminal legal standards.

This position is a political loser for the Democrats because it is nonsensical, regardless of any other positive reforms to FISA that they might also propose. Or abusive practices by the Bush administration. It's simply a dumb enough attitude on the merits to overcome other variables in terms of political perceptions.
You're on target about the boomer left. And boomer health and lack of term limits means these folks will be in charge of the Democratic Party for some time. There will be no relief after their demise though because the Gen X left has more than a "visceral twitch regarding SIGINT". They actually oppose any use of American military power under any circumstances. I often wonder how Thomas P M Barnett believes his strategic ideas will be implemented by any Democratic administration. I see no Democrat on the horizon who is willing to undertake what will be involved in "shrinking the Gap".
I have a bad habit of assuming that when someone says "the Dems do X" that they mean "the Repubs are opposite-X". If you're saying that the Repub spin on FISA reform will slime the Dems no matter what they do, I agree, that's the trend. However, I don't think that's rationale to let Bush's flagrant violations of federal and constitutional law continue. Gotta try to do something that makes sense.

Charles, I hope that you're consciously exaggerating with your statement "oppose any use of American military power under any circumstances." That's simply untrue, there are lots of liberal hawks, young and old, and Democratic-leaning soldiers/Marines out there. Just as I don't say "all Republicans are intent on destroying my Army by denying it appropriate resources", I would expect others to not make blanket statements about the left.

Assuming you buy into "The Gap" analysis (I don't particularly care for it), I would suggest that Gen (ret) Tony Zinni's approach of a strong joint task force approach of civilian and military experts can easily address "The Gap" issues. Check out Zinni's latest book.
Partisans will slime each other regardless of any merits, however, as a rule, good proposals are less of a target than are poor ones.

The IC is in the business of foreign intelligence. Monitoring overseas al Qaida targets and all who contact them, regardless of their point of origin or citizenship or if the transmission network by which foreign to foreign communication is occurring happens to physically go through American territory, should not require any judicial review. Period. To require FISA review here is, at best, pointless and at worst, dangerously self-defeating.

Monitoring American citizens communicating with one another in America? Different story. Judicial review is reasonable here and is Constitutionally required with the correct caveats as to whether the purpose of electronic eavesdropping is law enforcement or intelligence gathering.
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