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Message #1554 of 2187  *NEW*
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Chris Reed  
President Admits to Secret Spying on Americans
12/17/05, 11:00am
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Today, the president admited to authorizing the secret, unauthorized spying on American citizens and then critizized those who opposed it.

I read one conservative poster on another board say:
Spy on me all you want, if it makes me .0001% safer I'll trade some privacy.

If that becomes the attitude of a majority of Americans, then our freedoms, our democracy will truly be at an end.

For years, we've heard conservatives and civil libertarians express their fears of a government entering every aspect of their lives. Worrying about the UN spying on them or sympathizing with the militia movement and their fears of the U.S. government spying on them.

Those fears were based on a fantasy and fear of what could be.

That fantasy has turned to a reality. The president is now admitting listening to your conversations unfettered and without authorization. Yet some of these same conservatives - believing in a support of this president no matter what - are siding with the president.

I appeal to these conservatives: Remember your values. Are your values more important than blind allegiance? If allegiance is more important, put an armband with a “W” around your arm and raise your hand in salute of your leader.

When the right feared Communism, they used examples like secret spying on citizens and secret torture camps to justify the assertion the Soviet Union was an evil empire. What do they say now to the recent revelations that the Bush administration is doing just that now?

Thankfully, we’re hearing many conservative congressmen and senators realize this dichotomy and criticize this new KGB. This isn’t about politics, it’s about America. I just don’t think blind allegiance and spying on your people without due cause is what America is about.

I’ve heard some say that secret spying on U.S. citizens is fine with them, because those doing the spying “know they’re terrorists.“ How do we know that? How do we know that Bush isn’t using this fascist spying power to spy on those who oppose him politically or those who simply disagree with his views. Without proper authorization and checks and balances, we don't know.

In my mind, I’m trying not to blow this too far out of proportion. We still go to vote. We’re still free to move from place to place and say what we want. Let’s be realistic … this isn’t anything like the scary visions of the past of the great American democracy turning into a police state.

Yet, I temper that with the fact I heard the unthinkable this morning: A U.S. president say that opposing him was an illegal act. It's one of the scariest things I've heard in my lifetime.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself... and this is fear itself.

Just tell me if you agree with this statement from one of our forefathers… Benjamin Franklin:
“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This president disagrees with that statement. For the sake of American democracy, I hope he loses this argument.

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Message #1555 of 2187  *NEW*
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Chris Reed
Robert Jones  
Re: President Admits to Secret Spying on Americans
12/17/05, 12:36pm (Last Edited: 12/17/05, 2:09pm)
I think it all depends upon one's definition of spying. One could expand on that definition to any number of activities. The local police are running radar in my neighborhood...does this mean that my government is spying on me? An individual makes threats against the president...He in turn is visiting that area and the Secret Service tails this person to be sure he doesn't carry through a threat...I certainly feel that this would be justified. If an individual is suspected of Al-Queda ties and the government trails him...Yeah, I'd be okay with that too. The security screenings at the airport for those flying I have no issue with and am glad it is being done

I have not really had any issues of late where I felt my civil rights were being violated. I certainly do not feel that the government is prying into my life to spy on me and my activities. In fact I am pretty well content with my freedoms as an American citizen right now.

I think three of my biggest pressing political concerns right now would be certain interests are trying to open ANWR up for drilling and other political interests are always trying to place restrictions on gun ownership. As a gun owner I am always concerned that someone will pass legislation that will infringe upon my right to legally retain my possessions as related to firearms. One other concern is the preservation and funding for our public lands in particular National, State, and Local Parks/Preserves/Forests and Wetlands and wild places.

I am pretty much middle of the road in my political thoughts and leanings. I have no impending sense of paranoia or political doom surrounding my government at this point.

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Message #1556 of 2187  *NEW*
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Chris Reed
Rob Reed  
Re: President Admits to Secret Spying on Americans
12/17/05, 2:04pm
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This is why we liberals (and far right fundamentalists) get a bad rap, Chris. There is the law. There is the feeling of what is right. And, THEN, there is just plain common sense.

My only problem with this spying is the issue of "when does it stop?" And, when it does stop, are we going to suffer the consequences? Immediately post 9-11, I don't have any problems with this unconstitutional spying... just as I didn't with the Patriot Act (immediately post 9-11).

It is a different world than those days when the Constitution was written. There weren't as many kooks out there who were prepared to blow themselves up, killing many others with them, for the promise of a bunch of pretty and willing virgins up in the clouds.

On the same plain, it is like affirmative action, in a way. Affirmative action and race based preferences are also unconstitutional.

Again, I don't disagree with these kind of race-based preferences (hey, I am mostly liberal), but I am again concerned with the very same thing: just when does it stop... and if it does, do we go back to square one?

Then there is the other issue: this didn't really surprise you, did it? In the face of the Patriot Act, a LOT of this has been going on. I recall that it was a common discussion post 9-11 among clients and friends that we felt if we used the word "bomb" or "terrorist" in a phone call, that we would immediately start hearing the beeps of being recorded.

My two cents.

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"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Message #1557 of 2187  *NEW*
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Chris Reed
Robert Jones  
Re: President Admits to Secret Spying on Americans
12/19/05, 9:36pm
Chris,

After learning more about what was said, I tend to agree with you on this one. I disagree with the President on this issue. I think it is a dire trend.

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Message #1559 of 2187  *NEW*
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Robert Jones
BBlast
Re: President Admits to Secret Spying on Americans
12/20/05, 5:34am
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>Chris,
>
>After learning more about what was said, I tend to agree with
>you on this one. I disagree with the President on this issue.
> I think it is a dire trend.

Why, whatever do you mean? You mean, the President can't turn his back on the Constitution?

We'd have to impeach him for treason..if he'd only got a blowjob!

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Message #1565 of 2187  *NEW*
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murphy brown  
Re: President Admits to Secret Spying on Americans
12/20/05, 7:23pm
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>>Chris,
>>
>>After learning more about what was said, I tend to agree
>with
>>you on this one. I disagree with the President on this
>issue.
>> I think it is a dire trend.
>
>Why, whatever do you mean? You mean, the President can't turn
>his back on the Constitution?
>
>We'd have to impeach him for treason..if he'd only got a
>blowjob!
>

Ditto that!

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"Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave
safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in
sideways, totally worn out, shouting..Holy Shit!!
What a Ride!!"
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