Report: Bush Considered Sending Troops Into Buffalo for Terror Sweep

225px-richard_cheney_2005_official_portrait180px-Cpt._J._Dow_Covey_and_Staff_Sgt._Justin_Evaristo_2nd_Infantry_Division,_IraqIn yet another indication of how extreme Bush officials were in their war on terrorism, the New York Times is reporting that Vice President Dick Cheney and others pushed former President George Bush to send troops into Buffalo New York to arrest a group of men accused of terrorism.

What is interesting about this story is that such use of military force was completely unnecessary and shows how Bush officials used terrorism to advance their agenda to expand the authority of the presidency. Many Bush officials like John Yoo, Viet Dinh and others had advocated radical views of presidential authority before 9-11. If true, this is the most obvious example of how 9-11 was viewed by Bush officials as an opportunity to achieve their objectives to re-structure the American presidency along the lines of what is often called an “imperial presidency.” The Bush people articulated a view that dwarfed even Richard Nixon who is most associated with the imperial presidency model.

The debate over a military intervention in the suburbs of Buffalo occurred in 2002 — precisely the time when the unlawful programs on torture and warrantless surveillance were ramping up. Indeed, the usual suspects were present in these meetings calling for extreme measures: the lawyers John C. Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty authored the primary memo supporting the move. They argued implausibly that the move would be supported by federal law since the president was recognized to have authority “to take military actions, domestic as well as foreign, if he determines such actions to be necessary to respond to the terrorist attacks upon the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, and before.”

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity, but Bush officials were highly antagonistic toward the act and its limitations. Congress allowed Bush to expand the domestic use of the military after 9-11 — part of its passive and infamous legacy in the aftermath of the attacks.

The targets were the Lackawanna Six and the Bush officials wanted them declared enemy combatants and a military intervention launched. These were relatively low-grade terrorist wannabes who were convicted of material support — a relatively easy charge for prosecutors when they cannot prove actual terror plots or conspiracies. Mukhtar Al-Bakri, Sahim Alwan, Faysal Galab, Shafal Mosed, Yaseinn Taher, and Yahya Goba all received sentences of ten years or less. The very idea of intervening with active military units for such a group is further evidence of the opportunistic conduct of Bush officials to achieve their vision of an all-powerful chief executive. To his credit, Bush refused to order the military intervention.

Notably, most of the framers opposed a standing army rather than a people’s militia because of their fear of the tendency of the military in history to exert political and social control over countries. We have seen how a domestic role of the military in other countries has produced instability and abuses.

What is truly frightening is how close we came. A single person stood in the way of tearing down one of our most important legal and political traditions. The bar on domestic law enforcement activities distinguishes this country from other countries where the military holds tremendous power like Iran. The recent military takeover in Honduras is an example of the dangers. We have long believed that people raised under our freedoms (and particularly trained in our laws) would be opposed to such attacks on our traditions and values. Yet, a vice president and top legal advisers facilitated an effort that was not just unlawful but unnecessary. It shows that, even in the most successful democracy in history, we can still stand just one vote away from a path of abuse or even tyranny. The alarm over this story is magnified by the utter failure of both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to exercise checks and balances during this period. We came down to George Bush — no civil libertarian — to block this effort — though this may have been more of a political and legal calculation.

For the full story, click here.

122 thoughts on “Report: Bush Considered Sending Troops Into Buffalo for Terror Sweep”

  1. Mike Spindell:

    “How that morality is achieved politically/sociologically requires a mind opened to the myriad possibilities of solutions to life’s dilemma’s. I think it clearly covers the
    typical depths of depravity like Child molestation, rape, murder, etc.. Manifestations which have been exhibited by today’s “free marketeers” and their historical brethren.”

    you call me “vituprative” when you accuse me and people like me of those acts. That’s pretty bold.

    I make a couple of jokes about you dropping acid and spinning Reagans tax cuts to which you replied in kind by calling me a geek with social limitations. Fair enough and funny.

    But I am pretty sure child molesters and rapist occur in all realms of political thought and not just on the right.

  2. Mike Spindell:

    thanks for the analysis, what do I owe you? Man you were all over the place and wrong on all counts. So much for your training.

    Your thoughts were to me, as original as mine were to you. Except I appear to understand why I think the way I do.

    I suggest you have a beer or glass of wine or a joint and watch the sun set, cool down and enjoy the balmy sea breezes.

  3. Mike,

    You’re not missing much not having read Hegel, except some context for Kierkegaard’s wit.

  4. IS,
    Yes we have to agree to disagree. What I do find fascinating about this dialogue though is how vituperative you get as the exchange goes along. I understand the reason for it. First of all you never read:

    “And I have read Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Nietzsche, Plato, Schopenhauer, Aristotle, Epicurus, Marx, Locke, and others.”

    any of those and neither have I and I know I’m a lot more knowledgeable than you. Why the hell would I read Marx when I could talk to Marxists? Please don’t disabuse my intelligence by saying you have read these tomes, since nothing in your writing indicates erudition. Besides, if you had you wouldn’t be calling people around here progressive/liberal/Marxists. The reason is that Marx hated what you would call liberals/progressives as much as he hated capitalists. Your only understanding of Marx comes from propaganda, disguised as fact, that you’ve read and which you parrot back at people, as if you have anything more than a totally superficial understanding of economics and politics.

    You have become more vituperative because you have moved further and further beyond your superficial depth of thought and you find it uncomfortable that you have nothing but the same old propaganda to debate with.

    As for reading philosophers I’ve already expressed the roots of my philosophy and all they could give me is their version of how it plays out. I’ve got my own. You unfortunately really are motivated by one philosophy and that could be described as infantile, self-centered greed. While it’s possible that you have actually made your money by the sweat of your brow, I somehow doubt it. I think you inherited it and everything else you’ve accomplished from Mommy and Daddy. You have the sensibility of a Donald Trump, who inherited half the real estate in Brooklyn, in a boom era in real estate only to think he was a financial genius. His lack of same was proven by managing to go into Chapter 11 twice in the Casino business, a place where it’s almost impossible not to make money.

    Then again perhaps you’re a physician, in which case I would suspect anesthesiologist or proctologist. You know those Doctors in it for the money and trying to find the easiest way to make it. This is not probable though because a Physician would give a better account of himself. Then again you might be a plumber, or other artisanal profession and a hardworking one, not willing to give up the sweat of your brow. That might have some sense to it, but my take on you, since like so many others here of your political ilk you give nothing of yourself with which to understand your context, I would say you talk of hard work but have it pretty easy.

    In any event you are by my lights immoral and greedy, you’ve already said you’re not your brother’s keeper and if you feel that way you’re just plain selfish and self involved. If you profess any religion, you are a hypocrite, or don’t understand basic principles, because all of them believe in the Golden Rule and in the oneness of humanity. I wouldn’t call you evil, despite your immorality, because I just think you haven’t matured beyond the self-centeredness of a five year old. I don’t call the terminally immature evil, just pathetic.

    So cheerio IS, it has been fun, I just wish you would have been more interesting, rather then parroting talking points that Rush, Glenn or Ayn would spout and exhibited an original thought process, but sadly from you that was not to be.

  5. IS writes: All the trippers from the 60’s relied on their conservative friends to bail them out of trouble. It carried over into adult life and that is why we have what we have. We can spend and spend to our hearts content and the capitalists will bail us out.

    Maybe a dissertation for a sociology doctorate?

    me: oh don’t be stupid. nothing can wreck a good high faster than being stuck with a YOung Republican who just did not get it then and never got it and still can’t get it.

  6. Mike Spindell:

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree, Bush was not a free market capitalist. Although he did pay it some lip service.

    You think I like social security? I have to pay 15% for it. It costs me more almost than federal taxes. I pay taxes out my arse for property, state, sales. I am an indentured servant. I think both parties are full of horse sh***.

    I dont want to work 5-6 months for someone else, I want to be able to keep what I make.

    Corporations hire people, probably help pay your retirement, buy goods and services. If they pay too much in tax they cant do all those things. This is just elementary economics.

    Gyges:

    No I dont like progressive/liberal/Marxist policies you are right 100%. They dont work.

  7. IS,

    This is where I get off. You’re not interested in conversation, you’re interested in insulting those damn liberals. Your backpedaling claims of innocent intent are about as convincing as the acting in an 5th grade class play.

  8. “Reagan certainly did raise revenues to the treasury by lowering the marginal tax rate for individuals and corps.’

    IS,
    So why the attempt at insulting names. Am I having some affect on you that increases your anger? I know you are trying hard to keep your mine pristine, but unfortunately you have the facts wrong. The largest tax increase in history was the Social Security Tax, that was assisted by Democratic shill and phony Daniel Moynihan. That tax, supposedly to help save social security actually was combined with mixing the funds in the general fund and not earmarking it for Social Security alone.

    That way the money was a “stealth tax” increase on the middle class. Back then you only paid into “Social Security” up to an income of $72,000 annually, so the burden fell exclusively on the middle class. That was when I noticed my SS tax withholding equaling or succeeding my Income Tax withholding. That’s how you guys work, screw everyone else but me and my guys. Also too you conveniently ignored how during Ronnie tripled the deficit, which I also noted. Do you also know that now 45% of the major US Corporations pay no taxes. As I said IS, unless you are really rich, you have no concept how you are getting screwed by those you admire. It would really help if you knew history and by the way I would never buy or read a book by Carville and Begala, I neither like them, nor the faux Democratic President they worked for, who was also a “free marketeer.” That’s another trouble with you IS, you assume things about people, when you can’t even comprehend where they are coming from.

    “You and Bush have more in common than me and Bush.”

    No, actually not. Bush literally mentioned his belief in free markets thousands of times. You guys are trying to cut him loose now because it became obvious that he ran the most inept
    administration in history, which was by the way economically indebted to all the economic ideas you espouse. You can call names IS, stick your fingers in your ears while shouting “La, La, La,” but George Bush and his administration were the essence of your “free market” philosophy economically, but the concept was such a failure, as “free market” economy’s always are, that you run from it now and try to disavow the man who championed your cause.

    You really do try to keep your mind “pristine” from facts and truth and by golly I think you’re accomplishing it.

  9. Mike Spinner:

    I think Bush was an idiot, compassionate conservatism is a pant load just like progressivism (read neo-Marxism).

    You and Bush have more in common than me and Bush.

  10. Mike Spindoctor:

    Reagan certainly did raise revenues to the treasury by lowering the marginal tax rate for individuals and corps. Thanks for making my point for me. I to want to raise the tax revenues to the treasury so we can take care of people that need to be taken care of and to pay for roads and bridges and police and a 600 ship navy and a 2 million man army and lots of nukes and a missile defense system so we don’t have to use the nukes. If Reagan’s little tax cut raised revenues as much as it did just think of all the money we could raise if we lowered all tax rates to about 10%.

    Begala and Carville tried to spin that one in the book they wrote together, which I read. Because I think Carville and Begala are pretty sharp just in the wrong way.

  11. Gyges:

    is pornography bad? I think that pornography is certainly ok I just dont look at it anymore.

  12. IS,

    I’m having a hard time reconciling your rhetoric:

    “So I stay away from progressive philosophical works and other such intellectual pornography if at all possible,”

    “I dont think “liberal”, “progressive” philosophy is bad…”

    Which is it? Something that’s not bad, or intellectual pornography?

    At some point you’re going to have to realize that when you’re talking to people who pay attention to what you’re saying you need to pay attention as well.

  13. “And as far as having an open mind goes, may one assume then you are open to all depths of depravity?”

    IS,

    Poor riposte at best. Having an open mind in the context I used it means being pragmatic and open to new ideas, it does not mean not having certain overarching principles of morality. Here are mine, once again:

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.”

    “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?”

    How that morality is achieved politically/sociologically requires a mind opened to the myriad possibilities of solutions to life’s dilemma’s. I think it clearly covers the
    typical depths of depravity like Child molestation, rape, murder, etc.. Manifestations which have been exhibited by today’s “free marketeers” and their historical brethren.

    While it is true that the psychologically healthy human being needs a moral compass, what they also need is the ability to respond appropriately to the needs of a constantly changing environment. Those humans have evolved successfully, while those who could not keep up with the changes around them, by clinging to unworkable solutions that exhibit constant failure
    have fallen by the wayside.

    “ah, just another example of liberals needing to be baled out after doing something stupid by a conservative/capitalist.’

    No actually a way for us to give the losers around us something to do while we were having fun. You see we knew they were losers, but humanists that we are, we felt sorry for them. They hung around us because we were where the fun was. As I said before many of my friends from back then became wealthy, or highly successful professionals, but remained true to their humanist principles.

    “All the trippers from the 60’s relied on their conservative friends to bail them out of trouble. It carried over into adult life and that is why we have what we have. We can spend and spend to our hearts content and the capitalists will bail us out.”

    IS, now there you go again, ignorant of the facts of history.
    It was a Republican “B” movie star responsible for the greatest tax increase in history and the tripling of the deficit. It was again GW Bush, who took a balanced budget and turned it into a trillion dollar deficit by giving the wealthiest a tax break, while raising taxes on the middle class. He then doubled, or tripled that deficit by getting us involved in an unjustified, unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq, to further help out his oil buddies. In the process he was responsible for the thousands of deaths and maiming of our soldiers and the hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocent Iraqi’s, who we were were supposedly trying to save.
    He also gave 700 hundred billion to the banks and his Treasury Secretary kept no record of it and asked for no accountability. The “free market” fiscal conservatives showed their belief in socialism for the rich in that debacle and also proved that they didn’t know how to correctly handle money by keeping detailed records.

    Your heroes are just a bunch of greedy bastards whose principal interest is their own wealth, perks and status. Perhaps you are one of the wealthy, so for you that makes sense, but I doubt you’re that well fixed, which means that you are clueless as to how these crooks are robbing you. The link below will give you a clue if you have an open mind, but I suppose you’ll just find the group detailed as heroic.

    http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/23004

  14. Mike Spindell:

    I actually may have stumbled on the current problem. All the trippers from the 60’s relied on their conservative friends to bail them out of trouble. It carried over into adult life and that is why we have what we have. We can spend and spend to our hearts content and the capitalists will bail us out.

    Maybe a dissertation for a sociology doctorate?

  15. Mike Spindell:

    your link did not come through.

    “By the way the deal was when you tripped to always have an uptight, straight friend around who wasn’t tripping, as a safety precaution.”

    ah, just another example of liberals needing to be baled out after doing something stupid by a conservative/capitalist.

  16. Gyges and Buddha:

    I dont think “liberal”, “progressive” philosophy is bad or that people that hold those tenants are evil. Pure and simple it does not appear to work and that is why I do not agree with it. Progressive philosophy may be good for the academy as they debate the number of angles that can dance on a pin head, but in reality it does not work because of human nature. Any true philosophy must take into account mans nature. You cannot turn a dog into a cat by virtue of social engineering.

    Any philosophy that tries to mold man into a certain preconceived image of what man ought to be is going to fail. And to keep trying to change man into some notion while ignoring the consequences is, in my mind, evil.

    And as far as having an open mind goes, may one assume then you are open to all depths of depravity? Child molestation, rape, murder, etc.? My guess is you probably are not, so why are you against these things? I further assume that neither one of you has partaken in any of these acts nor would you ever, again why wouldnt you if you have an open mind?

    My guess is that you dont because you understand these acts are harmful, both physically and mentally to an individual.

  17. “http://www.alternet.org/workplace/141615/it%27s_not_hard_to_be_a_job-slashing%2C_pension-grabbing_ceo_–_if_you%27re_a_sociopath/”

    IS,
    Another way of dealing with your corporations are not evil meme, but the CEO’s might be.

  18. That’ll teach me to multitask:

    …read that as saying that you’re afraid of picking up some of the dreaded liberal philosophy.

    As an aside, I hate reading most philosophy. It’s an aesthetic thing, maybe the translations are bad, but they (as a general rule) just don’t do anything for me.

  19. IS,

    My point is statements like “I try to keep my mind in as pristine a state as possible. So I stay away from progressive philosophical works and other such intellectual pornography if at all possible,” does not lead others to believe that you “test it all the time.”

    Now I realize that it was mainly meant as a gratuitous slam against the dreaded liberals, but you have to understand that we think you mean what you say. So when you say that you avoid reading philosophers you disagree with, we assume that you don’t read philosophers you disagree with. When you say that you avoid reading them to keep your mind pure, we assume that you feel that exposure to those philosophies will somehow taint your mind. Now I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that most of us read that as “

  20. mespo727272 1, July 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Patty C:

    “Ayah! Your yelling AND the turlee mojo…

    … You got friends in LOW places, if you know what I mean!”

    ************

    Ah, you mean the plumber!


    It COULD happen like that … 😉

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