10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

Below is today’s column in the Sunday Washington Post.  The column addresses how the continued rollbacks on civil liberties in the United States conflicts with the view of the country as the land of the free.  If we are going to adopt Chinese legal principles, we should at least have the integrity to adopt one Chinese proverb: “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.”  We seem as a country to be in denial as to the implications of these laws and policies.  Whether we are viewed as a free country with authoritarian inclinations or an authoritarian nation with free aspirations (or some other hybrid definition), we are clearly not what we once were. [Update: in addition to the column below, a later column in the Washington Post explores more closely the loss of free speech rights in the West].

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Assassination of U.S. citizens

President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists. (Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.)

Indefinite detention

Under the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain citizens accused of terrorism. While Sen. Carl Levin insisted the bill followed existing law “whatever the law is,” the Senate specifically rejected an amendment that would exempt citizens and the Administration has opposed efforts to challenge such authority in federal court. The Administration continues to claim the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole discretion. (China recently codified a more limited detention law for its citizens, while countries such as Cambodia have been singled out by the United States for “prolonged detention.”)

Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice. (Egypt and China have been denounced for maintaining separate military justice systems for selected defendants, including civilians.)

Warrantless searches

The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records. The government can use “national security letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure to the affected party. (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan operate under laws that allow the government to engage in widespread discretionary surveillance.)

Secret evidence

The government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified information that would harm national security — a claim made in a variety of privacy lawsuits and largely accepted by federal judges without question. Even legal opinions, cited as the basis for the government’s actions under the Bush and Obama administrations, have been classified. This allows the government to claim secret legal arguments to support secret proceedings using secret evidence. In addition, some cases never make it to court at all. The federal courts routinely deny constitutional challenges to policies and programs under a narrow definition of standing to bring a case.

War crimes

The world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged war criminals in other countries. (Various nations have resisted investigations of officials accused of war crimes and torture. Some, such as Serbia and Chile, eventually relented to comply with international law; countries that have denied independent investigations include Iran, Syria and China.)

Secret court

The government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an identifiable terrorist group. The administration has asserted the right to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance. (Pakistan places national security surveillance under the unchecked powers of the military or intelligence services.)

Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy. (Similarly, China has maintained sweeping immunity claims both inside and outside the country and routinely blocks lawsuits against private companies.)

Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. It is not defending the power before the Supreme Court — a power described by Justice Anthony Kennedy as “Orwellian.” (Saudi Arabia has installed massive public surveillance systems, while Cuba is notorious for active monitoring of selected citizens.)

Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.

These new laws have come with an infusion of money into an expanded security system on the state and federal levels, including more public surveillance cameras, tens of thousands of security personnel and a massive expansion of a terrorist-chasing bureaucracy.

Some politicians shrug and say these increased powers are merely a response to the times we live in. Thus, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) could declare in an interview last spring without objection that “free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war.” Of course, terrorism will never “surrender” and end this particular “war.”

Other politicians rationalize that, while such powers may exist, it really comes down to how they are used. This is a common response by liberals who cannot bring themselves to denounce Obama as they did Bush. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), for instance, has insisted that Congress is not making any decision on indefinite detention: “That is a decision which we leave where it belongs — in the executive branch.”

And in a signing statement with the defense authorization bill, Obama said he does not intend to use the latest power to indefinitely imprison citizens. Yet, he still accepted the power as a sort of regretful autocrat.

An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

Benjamin Franklin was more direct. In 1787, a Mrs. Powel confronted Franklin after the signing of the Constitution and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got — a republic or a monarchy?” His response was a bit chilling: “A republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

Since 9/11, we have created the very government the framers feared: a government with sweeping and largely unchecked powers resting on the hope that they will be used wisely.

The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.

Dishonesty from politicians is nothing new for Americans. The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University.

Washington Post (Sunday) January 15, 2012

755 thoughts on “10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free

  1. Wow! Hell of an article Professor. It is a sad commentary on the state of Civil rights here in the United States. I would like to see the AUMF be ended and force Congress to publicly debate each time any President wants to use military force. Secondly, the use of secret evidence is abhorrent to a real democracy and needs to end. I do not hold out much hope, however.

  2. Bravo, Professor.

    I was an enthusiastic supporter of Mr. President before he was elected, and broke all our hearts by turning into a smarter, handsomer version of the one we had before.

    My enthusiasm went bye-bye.

  3. The US has long lost it’s claim to be “land of liberty” – as Professor Turley’s review well shows.

    As for “freedom” in the sense of available actions – like degrees of freedom in physics/engineering, the choices to individuals that come into being can only be reduced by the very presence of an entity (government) that threatens and actually initiates physical force via authorized enforcers.

  4. This is a truly outstanding editorial. I hope that it appears in every publication belonging to the Washington Post syndicate.

  5. The NDAA doesn’t authorize indefinite detention, nor does it preclude it. If any president were to engage in indefinite detention of a US citizen, it could be challenged in court, because the Supreme Coirt has ruled that Habeas Corpus lives. Even if Congress had passed a law that forbade indefinite detention, any President might still do it anyhow, because of some inherent Executive power and Congress can’t limit that power because of separation of powers. Ultimately, if any US citizen is ever indefinitely detained, Habeas Corpus applies and the Supreme Court can decide if the President has abused his authority, which I again remind you does not come from NDAA because there is no such authorization. Please try to worry about reality, folks.

  6. The President – and any government legislator, executive or judge – simply issues words. It is the enforcers who do the threatening and initiating of physical force, who carry out the enforcement of those edicts/mandates/directives/laws/regulations/etc.

    As long as government enforcement is a job that a large number of individuals are willing to take because their friends/associates/relatives/neighbors/etc do not treat them any differently than actual value-producers, the harm caused by government will continue.

    Don’t want government-caused harm – whether inside or outside of the US – to continue?? Then make government enforcement unpopular. No voluntary association with those enforcers who refuse to be persuaded by reasoned logic to change to truly productive work (outside of government of course). No sales. No service. No camaraderie. No voluntary anything! (Including no violence.) When there are far fewer enforcers (domestic policing agencies and the military), government will be severely limited in the amount of harm it can actually do.

  7. Excellent article, Professor. I loved to read it, hate that you had basis for writing it. It is a story of creeping oppression oft repeated in the annals of history. Like all stories of its sort, it will end in tears.

  8. Apathy is the first step to tyranny. The people must awake to the disregard of our constitution by this treasonous government!

  9. Wilber J. Peatmos: you mean if “any President were to engage in indefinite detention of a US citizen”- that we are able to find out about.

    I doubt these people will get even one phone call.
    Do you think the local police will be able to tell you where they might be?

    Great article Professor Turley.

  10. I still believe that there is ample evidence that George W Bush, Dick Cheney and others should be prosecuted as war criminals.

  11. If anyone wants to work for the first amendment, I invite you to help work on the case to acquit the 38 people arrested on the sidewalk in front of the White House.


    If Obama cannot protect the first amendment five feet outside his front door, any aspirations to bring freedom to countries thousands of miles away are certainly doomed.

    It was a 36CFR7.96 (g)(5)(vii) violation – the ever popular center area bust.
    Think of it as a puzzle to be solved.

  12. We did not give these rights and freedoms away. They have been taken from us as if we are a conquered people living under the yoke of oppression.

  13. What a beautifully written one sided story…… For those of you that forgot, OVER 3,000 AMERICAN AND FOREIGN CITIZENS DIED ON 9/11 !!!! As a NY’er I will never forget the smell of burning FLESH….. but obviously the rest of you don’t get it…
    I will glady accept these these new laws:
    A: because I am a law abiding citizens that will not be arrested for Terrorism
    B: because I never want to smell burning flesh again…

    Thanks for your thoughts Professor!

  14. Also:

    – Arrest of protesters on bogus charges of “blocking pedestrian traffic” or “disorderly conduct”

    – Arrest of people in general for petty crimes. NYPD arrested 1,600 people last year for putting their feet on train seats.

    – People who are arrested are often jailed for more than 24 hours before getting to see a judge. If we’re arrested, we should get to see a judge BEFORE being brought to jail.

  15. First. Christopher, two words, power corrupts.

    Second. We have repeatedly defined the problem(s). What is the solution?

  16. No discussion of the state of the nation can be complete without someone saying “9/11”. Ten years ago, a relatively small number of people died in an incident more remarkable for its symbolism then the number of dead.
    The perpetrators were already known to various arms and sub-offices of the intelligence services. Intelligence existed to indicate that such a plan was in train. It was a failure of organisation and cooperation in FBI & CIA that prevented those men from boarding those flights. They didn’t need the massive level of surveillance introduced since then.
    Christopher remembers the smell of burning flesh. In the ten years since 9/11, US weapons have burned the flesh of hundred of thousands of completely innocent civilians.
    Consider the majority of the Guantanamo detainees. Just like Christopher, they were law abiding people who would not be arrested for Terrorism. Yet they were abducted, tortured and detained indefinitely. They were sold for a bounty or picked up based on false or malicious information. No due process for them.

  17. While it is true that we have “comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state,” both our political parties, the banks and leading corporate executives have supported the transformation. And with good reason. Corporations profit when the security state grows.

  18. So what do we do? I cringe at the thought of voting for Obama again. But, with the clowns the Republicans have put forth…

    I’m glad Obama says he won’t use indefinte detention for American citizens, but what about the next President? It is quite likely someone as evil and or dumb as Bush and Cheny could be on power next. And I don’t believe Obama counldn’t be persuaded to do it, either.

  19. Great Article…..

    Now when will we take those same liabilities…or some call remaining liberty’s……. and play both sides of the courtroom…is there not a conflict…based upon the current actions of the administration….including Bush….

  20. Our polititions are 100% of the problem. They make the laws. The president and judges don’t. But the president and judges ficilitate.Our government is slowly taking over. The government know how hard it is for the citizens to orginize and get petitions etc. to fight back. Were also being invaded by mexicans who could care less about our government. They don’t contribute any good; only illiterercy ,welfare, diseases, crime.

  21. Thank you, Professor. As disturbing as it is to be reminded of our loss of liberties in exchange for fearmongering (sorry, Christopher, but your presentation is not in the least persuasive), we need to be reminded and to get involved in solutions to restore these uniquely American liberties. Our freedoms and our liberties are what make (or made) America exceptional. Without them we’re just another land mass on the world map

  22. How will society even know how broadly these powers are used?

    Will we hear about the next al-Awlaqi? Or the 1000th?

    No doubt that the true patriot trusts that government uses these powers with just cause and discretion.

  23. The sad thing is the list could be a lot longer. Ten items is a literary convenience. We have lost much more than just ten items. The list above only hits the high spots.

    In response to Christopher’s comment at 4:11 AM. My wife and sister were supposed to be taking the rooftop tour of the WTC that morning. I could not reach them by cell phone and for all I knew they were up there. We did not hear from them until about dark that afternoon when I got a call they had a change of plans and did not go to the WTC that day. So for me the events of 9-11 are personal. My business partner, recently retired from the Navy, lost many friends in the Pentagon. So, don’t preach to me about what happened.

    The whole thing could have been avoided had the incurious boy president actually read or listened to his national security briefings. He wanted to militarize the event instead of doing what should have been done and made it a criminal justice police investigation. As as result, we now have wars that have been going on for a decade (don’t forget we won WW-II in only four years) against a global criminal organization whose leaders are now dead. We have DHS and TSA. We have warrantless wire taps and seizure of property. We have increasing wealth going to the top 1% while the rest of the country goes without health care insurance, dental care and more are having their very homes stolen from them by banks and anonymous investors. A confused young soldier who allegedly blew the whistle on military and diplomatic wrongdoing is head in torture-like conditions, citizens exercising their First Amendment rights are arrested and brutalized, and all the while war criminal walk free, knowing with confidence they will never be prosecuted.

    At the same time, the same crowd who wants “smaller” (in reality, non-existent), less intrusive government to prosecute and control what people do in their homes, bedrooms and doctor’s offices. They want to stifle the free exchange of information on electronic media, because they fear the media. Photograph a police officer manhandling a citizen from the safety of your front porch and risk getting arrested for “interfering.” Reveal to the authorities the agency you work for is misusing funds or violating the law. There will be consequences–for you–not the boss. Expect to be fired, your career ruined and the boss who fired you will get a raise and promotion instead of a one-way trip to a Grand Jury.

  24. This opens the door for a real conservative. The new civil rights battles will be waged against government intrusion and this high ground is yet unclaimed.

    The GOP can get back into the game overnight by demanding repeal of the Patriot Act, Authorization of Forces and overturn Citizens United. Demand an end to the drug war while you’re at it.

    I will now awake from this dream.

  25. “The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.” -Jonathan Turley


  26. “shano” posted the following to the article titled “British Find That Detainee Was Tortured As Part Of American Interrogation . . . Obama Administration Threatens To Cut Off Intelligence To England”:

    “Thomas Drake has encapsulated everything that has gone wrong with power and justice in America.” -shano



  27. You know…a lot of the moral decay in this country started after the end of the civil war…Not that there was not a great amount of decay already…but if you think of the power and the influence that the end of the war brought….it is astounding….It was the beginning of the western expansion….railroad…oh and yes we had lots of manipulations of the markets as well…and government stealing private land for public purpose…

    Think Pinkerton….think abrogation of civil rights that were not in place…in some way legally thinking I think we have and are rolling back the laws constitutionally both civilly and criminally…

  28. “The real question is whether we are lying to ourselves when we call this country the land of the free.” -Jonathan Turley

    No more so than when someone claims we have the best health care system in the world or that we are classless or that America is the land of opportunity. All of those things have been destroyed in the last 40 years and are just living on reputation. The truth become apparent very quickly when you look at the rest of the world but Americans are loath to do that.

  29. Well written article.

    The truth of it all is scary, especially for the future generations.

    I’m going to share this with some friends. I might share this on Facebook as well, if I can figure out how to do so from my phone(I’m probably the only 28 yr old out there with a smartphone who is clueless on how to do so).

  30. The professor points up some real threats to our freedom which were passed into law by our fellow citizens in their zeal to protect us from an enemy they neither knew nor understood. They were concerned about a nuclear attack on an American city in which hundreds of thousands would likely die. Like most fears, knowledge gradually lets them subside. al Qaeda is on the run and the Taliban seems ready to talk. To be sure there are other threats from Indonesia to Mexico to the Mid East but articles like Professor Turley’s help us overcome the fear and regain our senses including the one that promotes justice and freedom.

    Two things are true in crisis. First we will defend ourselves by whatever means and that is our right. Second, all crises will pass. It’s what we do afterward that matters and I think the good sense of the American people will prevail. It did after the Civil War and the suspension of habeas corpus, and it did after the Second World War when we first opened then apologized for imprisoning our fellow Americans who had the audacity to share an ethnicity with one of our enemies. If history be a judge, we are a free nation albeit one that retreats from the principle from time to time for expediency sake. It may not pristine, nor optimal, but it is who we are.

  31. Consider ~ “They hate our freedom” ~
    This means that the land is not just simply free. It’s fantastically, remarkably and really-really free.

    Clearly the high level of freedom in “the land” is such that it provokes the most profound offence, outrage and hatred in goat-herders on the far side of the planet. Why else would a tribesman from a remote mountain valley get motivated to travel to the USA and blow up stuff?
    Once those herders leave their flocks and start to meet up, “our freedoms” are under clear and present threat. This is why we need CIA drone “signature strikes” to zap groups of individuals over there. I understand that the decision to have a drone fire missiles is based on the human-to-goat ratio observed on the ground.

    It might be argued that it would be more effective to have security at international air and sea ports interview people who smell strongly of goat. A problem with that approach is that corporations would not be able to make billions out of the process.

  32. messpo,

    If I may…You have exceeded and succinctly stated in a style like Longfellow…a complement… to you…

  33. Thanks, AY. I’m an Emerson man as you know, but Longfellow works just the same.

    And if I may return the compliemnt in the words of Longfellow, “As to the pure mind all things are pure, so to the poetic mind all things are poetical.” You qualify twice.

  34. mespo,

    This is an appalling rational for murder, torture, indefinite detention and so on. Let me rewrite this for you: “Two things are true in crisis. First we will defend ourselves by whatever means and that is our right.” {corrected version} The people of the US have had our rights stripped from us and we will have the courage to peacefully regain our rights. We do not accept that torture, murder and the suspension of our Constitution, nor the false invasion of other nations, nor the murder of civilians is our “right”, nor does it constitute a form of defense. Rather, what the US govt has engaged in is a form of offense against our own and other people.

    “Second, all crises will pass. ” {corrected version} As the US govt. has declared a global war against anyone, anywhere, anytime we are guaranteed that a crisis can be manufactured by this govt. should they need one to: 1. make money for the financial/military/industrial complex and 2. keep the people in enough fear so that we refuse to stand up to the lies and face down these manufactured crises.

    “It’s what we do afterward that matters and I think the good sense of the American people will prevail…” {corrected version} I hope that good sense and more importantly, courage will prevail, but there is no guarantee of that fact. It will take a citizenry committed to their own and other people’s rights and well-being, to restoring the rule of law, to acting with courage in concert with other people to bring this about.

    We face a well-armed, propagandistic, and ruthless government who has turned against its own people. The US govt. has also been able to turn people in this nation against each other so that they will not fight their common enemy. It will take people being able to see through the propaganda and who will look the truth in the eye, without flinching and who will fight back.

  35. Well thank you….I think Emerson is quality…He was certainly looking for equality….and individuality…As you can tell, I am quite an individual…lol….But, in my earnest opinion…this morning your style was written much more in the H. W. Longfellow flowery substance…I was trying to state the same as in your words…but failed to convey as much in such a short number of words…

    As you are aware in picking a Jury…the less words the better…You loose them after 5 minutes of oratory….They like action….

  36. We are most certainly not a free nation. Some citizens may be a position that affords them the relative luxury of feeling that they are free… Some may be “left alone” by the powers that be because they are not perceived to be a threat… or for any number of other arbitrary reasons…, but those who believe that we are a free nation are in deep, deep denial and/or have not had the “benefit” of experiencing the heavy hand of the state in the post-9/11 era — and it is a different era.

  37. Jill,

    I did not like what happened either….But let me ask this…If someone broke into your house this very day….What would you do? Would you expect someone to say…oh…what did I do…or would you want the SOB caught….

    FYI…I have had a car stolen and a house broken into….

  38. Jill:

    You seem ever-willing to relinquish our right to preserve ourselves from murderers and anarchists bent on killing folks just like you over your world view. I have not accepted any of the crimes you list. I simply pointed out the undisputed history of the country and eschewed your gloomy Chicken Little approach to the homeland we all share. We are not the same as those who attacked us either morally or temperamentally. We are not intrinsically evil. We accept the rule of law and proportionality in response. Why else do you think the Mideast isn’t fused glass right now? Find me another superpower in all of history who didn’t lay waste to its enemies and innocents alike in revenge for a far less affront to its dignity than 9-11.

    You live in a world of absolutes, free of expediency where only normative conduct abounds. That is not the world I see. We are principled with principled people; we may be less so when faced with those who are willing to die to kill us and replace us with a savagery unknown for centuries. That is the truth you are so willing to ignore. You may do so, but I have no interest in joining the suicide pact you are peddling.

  39. AN,

    I think that that your points are valid…We are different and we are fighting a different battle…So far…except for the little things that have happened internally…we have never been subject to the type of attacks in 2001….for that forever changed the rules of engagement…

    Believe me you…I feel that Bush I had the Hostages held until after Carter lost the election….We have been fighting and using others to do our dirty side for decades….sometimes the rooster does come home to roost….and for that we kinda had to pay…..

    So how do we keep it out of America soil….without getting our hands dirty in the meantime…

    I think that my point in regards to the CW of the US….there were some abrogation of rights that eventually got put into laws that got reversed, to ignored to lots of other things…..

    If we can and think of it this way….fight a Barberry War as a young nation because American Merchants were getting robbed to hiring and sending out Bounty Hunters to search for renegades (inside and outside of the US) after the CW….is very telling of American capitalism…..and the US’s priority….

  40. Chrostopher: May I remind you of the Reichstag Fire? How about the Rechistag Decrees which followed the frie? The Holocaust? The Nuremberg Trials after WWII in 1945 and the U.S. Military Courts Martials Trials which immediately followed?
    No, I need not remind you because you do not know. You are the grandson of Herr Kris back in Berlin who was traumatized by the Reichstag fire and was willing to let Herr Hitler do what needed to be done to stop communitsts, then the gypsies, then the jews and when they got to your grandfather there was no one left to speak out or stand up for him.
    Ok class who wrote that last paraphrase? Come on, help us tell the menchen that history repeats itself and that each generation has gestapo coddlers.

  41. mespo,

    You have completely accepted the Bush/Obama doctrine that a terrorist attack requires not a law enforcement response but a war. From that doctrine of war comes the loss of liberty for our people and untold cruelty to others. Until 9/11 the US had responded to terrorist attacks under the rule of law, through law enforcement action.

    On the afternoon of 9/11 Dick Cheney and David Addington were in the basement of the WH discussing the use of gitmo to get around the rule of laws, including the Geneva Conventions. They were discussing torture.

    So to both you and A.Y. we certainly had a right to take action upon the attacks of 9/11. We did not have the right to go to war against either the nation of Afghanistan or Iraq.

    JT has just listed the destruction of the rule of law in the US. If you dispute the list, do so. And while we have not yet reduced the M.E. to a land of glass, we have done great damage to nations who do not cooperate with us. That is part of the propaganda that you don’t see how we have reduced entire cities to rubble. You do not know how we have blown apart mosques and reduced people to sporadic access to electricity, water and food per day. You do not understand that we have destroyed an entire culture in Iraq. Do to willful ignorance you refuse to acknowledge that the US engages in torture and illegal detention.

    I am stating facts. Do not turn away from these facts. Confront them and make this nation right again. We can’t do that if we keep hiding from the truth. We will never do that if we keep pushing endless war (or any war) on any part of the world, on any person.

  42. anon nurse:

    “We are most certainly not a free nation. Some citizens may be a position that affords them the relative luxury of feeling that they are free…”


    The mere fact that you feel no fear in positing this position publicly proves you are free. The fact that we may read it without censorship and either approve, disapprove, or ignore it without repercussion proves we are free, too. If the people in a country are free to think, express, and persuade others of their nongovernmental positions on issues of the day, in what sense can it really be said that it isn’t a free nation in which change can be affected by these powerful tools of thought?

  43. Jill:

    If you really think that terrorists are not the unranked arms of governments and pseudo-governments who supply and arm them you are no student of history. While terrorists come in many stripes they exist only by the largesse of governments who secretly or indirectly sanction them. This is a war– it’s a twilight war between those governments who sanction, support, and accept terrorists on their soil and the victims of the terror. It’s not a matter of accepting Bush’s rationale; it’s accepting history and everything we have learned about terror since 9-11. Terror is a tactic of warfare since ancient times; it always has a face and a paymaster.

  44. mespo,

    People do things in spite of fear. For example, attorneys for detainees in Gitmo know they are monitored as do groups such as the ACLU. They do their work anyway.

    There is plenty of censorship. Comments are removed from even so called “progressive” sites like Common Dreams. People are unable to publish articles on these sites which are too critical of the Obama administration. People were not allowed to publish criticism of him on CD before the 2008 election. I am, right now, not telling you everything I know about these things because I will harm others for speaking up. You can ask whistleblowers about speaking up under Obama. Peace groups have been infiltrated, that is a fact. Look into what Rahm Emmanuel wants to do in Chicago against the protesters. Look at what has happened to OWS press and protesters. This is not freedom of speech. This is people speaking and being illegally dealt with for doing so. This is people having the courage to speak out knowing they will be harmed for doing it.

    The right of free speech is absolutely critical. Yet, it has been abridged.

  45. “The mere fact that you feel no fear in positing this position publicly proves you are free.”

    lol, mespo.

    (We all have our blind spots…)

  46. Jill

    “You do not understand that we have destroyed an entire culture in Iraq. Do to willful ignorance you refuse to acknowledge that the US engages in torture and illegal detention.”


    And what might that culture be? A tribal nation horribly oppressed by a dictator who gassed them? if you are really defending that I suspect you won’t acknoledge the tortuire and illegal detention so rampant in that culture you seem to admire.

    By the way, I acknowledge that we do engage in torture and perhaps illegal detention. I don’t sweep that away. I simply say there are reasons for the bad conduct that don’t exist for our adversaries. You seem to think we are the same. Sorry, no one with any sense buying that.

  47. mespo,

    Terrorism has happened in the US before 9/11. We have always dealt with it as a law enforcement issue. Other nations have done the same. As I said, using 9/11 as a reason to invade Afghanistan and Iraq was not a legal or proper response. It has been integral to the complete erosion of our rights in the US and has resulted in untold death and destruction around the M.E.

  48. Who are the “Unreconstructed”? What does that term mean? How do they undermine our freedom? These are the questions posed to the 5th Graders today. We will report back this evening. Joe Bob has already reported back and says: “We dont need no Constitution down here.”

  49. Thomas Drake’s words:

    “It has been a long journey to our current state of affairs, and wars and conflicts have been a major catalyst in that journey, especially since World War II. Most wars fought by the United States have added power to the executive branch while taking away power from the Legislature. I consider—again, being a student of history, I consider the immediate aftermath of World War II as a real turning point, when the American dream began to go south, at the very moment when the U.S. sat astride the world at the pinnacle of power. And therein lies our problem, for this is when the American republic began its transformation to a national security state and then exponentially accelerated as a result of 9/11 into a top-secret America. Eisenhower warned us about the rise in this kind of a complex in his farewell address in 1961. Frank Church feared the future and that given the right circumstances, turning back might not be possible if the national security surveillance complex turned its enormous capabilities on the U.S. with even more advanced technology. We now live in a post-9/11 America, only suddenly to discover that we are not doing the driving, our brakes are failing, and others are in the front and back seat, and some are even following us.

    What country do we want to keep?

    We increasingly no longer govern ourselves, as in of, for, and by the people. Consider the nonstop number of U.S. military actions around the world these days. And when did Congress last issue a formal declaration of war, the only branch of government, the only body in the United States federal government system that can actually declare war? When was that? Consider the ramming through—is absolutely up-to-date, right now, in this moment, what’s going on. Consider the ramming through of the Patriot Act a bare month after 9/11, an act, I would add, that NSA was already violating with even more secret programs when it was obvious that not a single member of Congress read it through thoroughly. Does any single member of Congress read their bills through thoroughly?

    And have you wondered what is really the secret interpretation by the executive branch of section 215 in the Patriot Act?”

  50. (OT) Were also being invaded by mexicans who could care less about our government. They don’t contribute any good; only illiterercy ,welfare, diseases, crime.
    roger gunderson

    Excuse me, but one little fact- these undocumented people pay 11 billion in taxes each year, 6 billion into Social Security that they will never collect. They pay more in taxes than the top 10 Multinational corporations in America combined.
    You like that nice salad? Those jucy apples? Meat you can afford to buy? You should thank a Mexican worker…

  51. Jill:

    “Terrorism has happened in the US before 9/11.”


    That is hasn’t happened since we accepted it as an international problem, proves it is a war. The homegrown terrorists like in Oklahoma City showed no connections with foreign involvment. That’s why they were handled as police matters.

  52. mespo,

    Iraq is one of the oldest cultures around. It had some of the most priceless libraries of ancient knowledge, as well as artifacts in the world. I must refer you to archaeology for a brush up on that!

    So you think that when Americans torture it is because we are “good” people, so it’s O.K. whereas when other people torture we know they are bad so it is not O.K.? Is that correct? Are you also saying there is some fundamental difference of people in Iraq from the US? If so, what is that difference?

    Actually, since you follow the Bush/Obama doctrine, you would have to like Saddam, at least until you decided not to. We sold him chemical weapons which he used on his own people. We kept him in power after that, no problem. And Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

  53. Here’s some info from wikipedia: “The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb (606 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device[1] was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people.[2][3] It failed to do so, but did kill six people and injured more than a thousand.[4] The attack was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal A. Ayyad, Abdul Rahman
    Yasin and Ahmad Ajaj. They received financing from Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Yousef’s uncle. In March 1994, four men were convicted of carrying out the bombing: Abouhalima, Ajaj, Ayyad and Salameh. The charges included conspiracy, explosive destruction of property and interstate transportation of explosives. In November 1997, two more were convicted: Yousef, the mastermind behind the bombings, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the truck carrying the bomb.”

  54. mespo727272 1, January 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    anon nurse:

    I am the blindest of all.Read my critics!😀



    Ah, never mind the critics… We each have to own our own blind spots.

    I can assure you that many are not seeing the America that some of us are seeing. Walk a mile in my shoes and you will know just how limited our freedoms really are in this land-of-the-not-so-free. Someday the truth will come to light. In the meantime, watch out for those blind spots… (No one is immune… to blind spots, as you surely know.)

    I do thank you for my first very hearty laugh of the day!

  55. Ach. Fraulein Richter insist on reporting a piece now before the adults get too tired to read anymore. She says that the Bush people knew about their history and repeated it after 9/11. This is from wikipedia:

    The Reichstag fire (German: Der Reichstagsbrand (help·info)) was an arson attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin on 27 February 1933. The event is seen as pivotal in the establishment of Nazi Germany.

    At 21:25 (UTC +1), a Berlin fire station received an alarm call that the Reichstag building, the assembly location of the German Parliament, was ablaze. The fire started in the Session Chamber,[1] and, by the time the police and firefighters had arrived, the main Chamber of Deputies was engulfed in flames.

    Inside the building, a thorough search conducted by the police resulted in the finding of Marinus van der Lubbe. Van der Lubbe, council communist and unemployed bricklayer, had recently arrived in Germany, ostensibly to carry out his political activities. The fire was used as evidence by the Nazis that the Communists were beginning a plot against the German government. Van der Lubbe and four Communist leaders were subsequently arrested. Adolf Hitler, who had been sworn in as Chancellor of Germany four weeks before, on 30 January, urged President Paul von Hindenburg to pass an emergency decree to counter the “ruthless confrontation of the Communist Party of Germany”.[2] With civil liberties suspended, the government instituted mass arrests of Communists, including all of the Communist parliamentary delegates. With them gone and their seats empty, the Nazis went from being a plurality party to the majority; subsequent elections confirmed this position and thus allowed Hitler to consolidate his power.
    [end of wiki]

    The Chancellor von Hindenburg named his emergency decree The Reichstag Fire Decree. Kind of similar to the Patriot Act. Please pay attention adult bloggers. We will report back more this evening.

  56. Mr. Petemoss–“. . .which I again remind you does not come from NDAA because there is no such authorization. Please try to worry about reality, folks.”

    OK, I’ll bite, why is it that the president issued a signing statement that declared in part:

    “Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens.”


    Why would the president claim that he will not use the power granted by the NDAA if the act did not authorize it in the first place?

  57. “I consider the immediate aftermath of World War II as a real turning point, when the American dream began to go south, at the very moment when the U.S. sat astride the world at the pinnacle of power. And therein lies our problem, for this is when the American republic began its transformation to a national security state and then exponentially accelerated as a result of 9/11 into a top-secret America. Eisenhower warned us about the rise in this kind of a complex in his farewell address in 1961.” (Thomas Drake via anon nurse)

    The advent of the CIA …

    the same CIA who missed the 19 guys with boxcutters planning and carrying out 9/11. Shame at their own incompetence and a frantic desire to hide that shame with tough talk, they stampeded the Executive (remember ol’ deer-in-the-headlights Bush as his aid whispered to him that a second plane had hit the Towers and we were under attack) and the Legislative into giving them unprecedented powers which have been steadily increased over the last 10 years. Even now the Executive has refused to prosecute war crimes/torture to protect CIA personnel.

    Want to begin the process of correcting the over reaction to 9/11?

    Start with the CIA and their cover agency The Department of Homeland Security.

  58. Blouise,

    I don’t disagree with you about the CIA or DHS as well as a host of other entities such as JSOC and private mercenary corporations along with financial criminals through whom weapons are passed and money is laundered. I have already stated that I feel the only way to get to the shadow govt. is through the elected govt. That means the complete withdraw of consent/support to any elected official that supports or commits war and financial crimes. It also means banding together as citizens in peaceful groups such as OWS to restore our rights. It can also include affirmatively supporting someone like Rocky Anderson or any other politician who will take on the shadow govt. and refuses to commit/support war and financial crimes.

    My question becomes, what is your suggesting for restoring the rule of law and restraining the CIA and DHS?

  59. Jill,
    we won’t be able to restrain the CIA and DHS without a sea change in controlling the money in politics. Part of the reason why the CIA and DHS and other intelligence gathering agencies have so much power is the corporations selling their wares are backed by the politicians who get contributions and maybe kickbacks from the defense contractors. Without controlling the money into politics, I do not believe the CIA will be able to be reined in.

  60. Jill,

    The obvious answer to your question(s) would be legislation. Repealing the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the Patriot Act and dismantling the DHS would be a start. Give the job of combating domestic terrorism to the agency where that duty rightfully belongs – the FBI. If the FBI, CIA and NSA need to better share information? Improve their liaison, but there was no need to create a 200,000 employee discrete agency like DHS in the first place. Unless, of course, you were looking to create a Gestapo analog in the first place so you could reward your friends with contracting work as Bush did with Cherthoff and his connections to the airport scanner manufactures.

  61. Having recently read the book ‘Legacy of Ashes’ by Tim Weiner, the CIA is a very good place to start.
    I could only read this book in small segments because it was so depressing. I do not know how we can even begin to reign in this agency.

  62. shano,

    Another depressing book that is MUST reading is Jane Mayer’s “The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals.”

  63. rafflaw and Gene,

    I agree with you both, but we cannot do that by continuing to vote for politicians who have screwed us over. We can withdraw consent and I think we should do that. The people in power now are non-responsive to we the people. We can’t keep electing them.

    How would you deal with the fact that we have “representatives” who do not care about the people or the rule of law? These aren’t people who will defund elections or the 3 letters!

  64. re: Indefinite detention; detention without charges

    Consider the situation of Bradley Manning. He has been accused via press releases of releasing a video of the slaughter of civilians in Iraq by helicopter. Those involved in the attack were not charged and, to my knowledge, not even investigated. Manning is now, years after being held in atrocious conditions, finally getting a hearing.

    Consider the case of Susan Lindhauer who worked as a CIA asset who knew that Iraq was willing to comply with all US demands and who delivered info to John McCain, Colin Powell, Andy Card (chief of staff), all congresspeople. She spent years in prison without charges and with many attempts to force her to take drugs. Her court appointed attorney worked with the government to keep her locked up. e(Note to self: if ever put in prison, accept no “medications” unless you want to become numb to everything and unable to speak for yourself.)

    Jill, right on!

  65. “OVER 3,000 AMERICAN AND FOREIGN CITIZENS DIED ON 9/11 !!!! As a NY’er I will never forget the smell of burning FLESH….. but obviously the rest of you don’t get it…I will glady accept these these new laws:
    A: because I am a law abiding citizens that will not be arrested for Terrorism
    B: because I never want to smell burning flesh again…”

    A concise statement of all that is wrong with Right Wing Thinking (or lack of same). You obviously neither understand, nor care for the U.S. Constitution. Iraq wasn’t behind 9/11 and it had no weapons of mass destruction, yet you let your palpable fear and puerile need for revenge, allow you to support a policy that killed at least 100,000 Iraqi’s and more than 3,000 of our soldiers. Your thinking has allowed Bin Laden’s boast that he would destroy American Democracy to begin to achieve reality. Much worse is that you are too ignorant to even understand what is being destroyed.

    All of JT’s 10 points are valid and true. However, as AY wrote:

    “You know…a lot of the moral decay in this country started after the end of the civil war” and as AN’s quote from Thomas Drake continues:

    “It has been a long journey to our current state of affairs, and wars and conflicts have been a major catalyst in that journey, especially since World War II.”

    Using the false meme of 9/11 “This Changes Everything”, the Military/Industrial
    Complex has further solidified its stranglehold upon this country in search of increased profits. A major part of this “solidification” has been in restriction of freedom and invasion of personal privacy. The “War on Terrorism” is as empty a term as the “War on Drugs”. Considering the cost of both of these “wars” the price has not been worth it.

  66. Susan Lindauer is a second cousin of Andrew Card, the former White House Chief of Staff with the GWB admin. He was also the head of Bush’s White House Iraq Group.

  67. “I agree with you both, but we cannot do that by continuing to vote for politicians who have screwed us over. We can withdraw consent and I think we should do that. The people in power now are non-responsive to we the people. We can’t keep electing them.”


    Given you honestly feel this way, then would it be fair to say that a Republican election landslide will cause no greater negative effects on this country and the welfare of its people?

  68. The United States is a federal republic, a federation of states with a republican form of government, a representative democracy, where the citizens elect their representatives for fixed terms of office.

    The Constitution of the United States, Article IV – 4 : “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government….” 0r see Madison in The Federalist Papers, no. 39, 250–53 (January 16, 1788) … “we may define a republic to be, or at least may bestow that name on, a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behaviour.”

    If we are going to contrast the difference between a republican and a democratic form of government based on the latter’s being a direct wielding of power by the people with unrestricted majority rule, and the former’s being a government by representatives elected by the people with restrictions on the power of the majority then be clear that the restrictions on the power of the majority are contained in the Bill of Rights.

    So, one effects change through the process of electing to office those who one determines best represents one’s views. One does this by determining the strength of character in any given candidate and supporting said candidate through words, contributions to campaigns, and volunteerism within the campaign. It doesn’t matter if the candidate serves a district within which you do not live. If you agree with the candidate then you want him/her in D.C so contribute to his/her campaign in any way you can.

    Gene’s article “The DHS Wants to Know Who’s Spreading the News (or Expressing an Opinion), Your Rights Optional” is the exact thing a candidate needs to address.

    A representative democracy is frustratingly slow so patience and perseverance are vital. That’s how I do it ’cause I’m a law abiding citizen of the United States of America and believe, like mespo, that the system works. (I also like to march in protest)

  69. Jill,
    Which Republican or Independent candidates will overturn the money in politics and the abusive Patriot act and its progeny, without seriously damaging the social safety net and the freedom of women and retaining or worsening the give aways to corporations and the wealthy?

  70. Thanks for the post; WP doesn’t believe in single page articles and I was damned if I was going to open up a new page after every second point.
    When the US feels the need to come up with a meaningless term out of nothing- extraordinary renditions- when kidnapping and torture are understandable to all, then it clearly has something to hide and be embarrassed about.

  71. Jill,

    The fight for restoring the Rule of Law is going to be won or lost in one of two ways:

    1) Through changing the makeup of the House and Senate via the electoral process to put politicians in office who will restore our rights and the Rule of Law or

    2) the Marie Antoinette scenario if Congress continues to remain not only non-responsive but actively exacerbating the problem.

    The first scenario is one we citizens have some control over although that control is slipping away every day the twin abominations of Buckley and Citizens United are allowed to stand.

    The second scenario is entirely up to those in government. Once put in office, each individual pol is responsible for his or her actions; good or bad. History shows populations have tipping points for the tolerance of oppression. If those involved in this kind of brinkmanship go too far? Mathematically and historically speaking such tipping points are Rubicons that cannot uncrossed once breached.

    My express preference is to deal with the problem the first way mentioned, however, the second way of dealing with the problem is inevitable if the first course of action is not taken.

  72. I think that “Chinese proverb” should have taken effect back in 1776 or so. When has being a terrorist been “acceptable”? There are people who call the original Boston Tea Party as terrorism. From the birth of the KKK “night riders” to the Nazi’s, Skinheads, and Militia groups, the “Mob Wars”, the “bootleggers”, hijackers, the Weather Underground, Unabomber…it is not a new phenomenon but given 9/11/01, it is a worsening one. The “lone wolf” is one thing and they can do damage. The “silent cell” can do even more. My point is that “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. It would be ludicrous not to have mechanisms in place, roles defined and rules displayed in advance to avoid “entrapment” accusations. (As if…) We have not been “the land of the free” for a very, very, long time and out own abuses are to blame. Presidents and candidates, Dr. King — assassinated for daring to speak out, daring to serve, daring to support change.

    I think that given Professor Turley’s personal stance, he has painted the darkest picture he can but no one is going to pay attention until someone besides an actual terrorist is killed, detained or imprisoned. It is the same old idea, “they came for the Trade Unionists…” Anyone who balks right now who did not the past 10 years is “Obama bashing” and anyone who balks when a Republican is in the Oval will be “unAmerican” again. This game has already played out.

  73. “…I’m a law abiding citizen of the United States of America and believe, like mespo, that the system works.” -Blouise


    Only time will tell how well “the system works”… History may tell a different tale. I certainly hope that you’re right, though…

    (Lest there be any question, I, too, am “a law abiding citizen.” 😉 )

  74. In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
    Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran Pastor

  75. I think our system of government has become perverted. That’s why billions–probably trillions–of dollars of taxpayer money bailed out banks and those of the 1% who helped corrupt/continue to corrupt the system. Still, we hear politicians talking about cutting/changing social programs that benefit the 99%. That’s not indicative of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

  76. I’d add that the USA is no longer the land of the free. It’s fast becoming the land that often renders fealty to those who can afford to buy politicians and their services.

  77. “The fight for restoring the Rule of Law is going to be won or lost in one of two ways:
    1) Through changing the makeup of the House and Senate via the electoral process to put politicians in office who will restore our rights and the Rule of Law or
    2) the Marie Antoinette scenario if Congress continues to remain not only non-responsive but actively exacerbating the problem.”


    You forget the ever popular 3rd way:

    3) Voting for someone who won’t win like Nader or Roehmer and when they lose having the satisfaction of telling everyone else they sold out their ideals. It doesn’t change anything, but it’s so good to feel smugly pure.

  78. Thank you Mike.

    Elaine M.,

    It struck me as kinda funny today that we have all of these so called self indulgent folks running for office….blaming the other side for the huge deficits….I wonder how many of them would forgo any salary or perks that the office has to offer…..

  79. A 1,000 word article version of your typical leftwing “Bush did it” rant. Quite an accomplishment considering this is the Washington Post.

    Still nice to see someone calling out this tinpot dictator’s lack of attire even though such a fashion faux pas still excites his ever devoted minions both here.

  80. There’s actually only ONE reason that The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free.

    Look at the elected leaders – all of them. Executive, Congress, Senate, State. They represent the soul of the nation.

    What manner of persons are they? How did they get elected? How do they manage to stay elected?

  81. I lost a friend for posting this… good riddance! How that b***** thinks she knows more about the law than Professor Turley I don’t know, but she does and as an Obamabot, she will allow no criticism of life under Obama. These idiots have written off Michael Moore and the ACLU as well.

  82. Very good assessment of where we are, professor. Most Americans don’t seem to care much. Still prefer Obama to John Bolton’s candidate, Romney. Don’t think former Salt Lake City Mayor, Rocky, has any chance to carry even Utah’s electoral vote. Romney has a lock on them.

  83. “(Lest there be any question, I, too, am “a law abiding citizen.” :) )”

    Given the nature of our “complaints”, we have to mention that for to tell you the honest truth …. I think our Legislators and Executives are more afraid of the CIA than they are of actual terrorists … and wisely so.

    The whole point is to find candidates who will stand up to the black-ops lovers and take our country back.

  84. Mike, don’t know why you even bother to respond to the “because I am a law abiding citizens that will not be arrested for Terrorism” bait — because it’s either that (bait) or the most reductionist of ignorance that is 1) already disproved by the evidence and/or 2) mere wishful thinking.

    As to “I hope the system works”; wow, what can one say? What a naked, weak excuse for a rationale (though maybe the only one left since corrective measures seem not on the horizon). Well, Mespo and fellow navel gazers, carry on! Guess it works for you.

  85. Obama’s top donor is Goldman Sachs, Obama supports the patriot act , NDAA and the further destruction of our constitution and the road to AmeriKa the police state.He supports bombing third world nations while printing fiat currency to support this madness.
    Obama supports borrowing money from China to defend our nation from China while bribing dictators.

    Romney’s top donor is Goldman Sachs, Romney supports the patriot act , NDAA and the further destruction of our constitution and the road to AmeriKa the police state. He supports bombing third world nations while printing fiat currency to support this madness.
    Romney supports borrowing money from China to defend our nation from China while bribing dictators.

    Ron Paul’s top donor is the U.S. Air Force. He wants to stop the military industrial complex and special interest groups and lobbyist who profit from the perpetuation of wars and the take over of our media and press that has turned this nation into a police state..He wants to eliminate the patriot act and NDAA and the corruption in Washington.He wants to reign in the secret bankers of the Federal Reserve whose practice of printing fiat currency out of thin air while being unrestrained is a road to the collapse of the dollar.Ron Paul wants to stop the global expansion of the U.N. and the central banking system which is collapsing in Europe…
    The choice is clear to me folks…

  86. Mike,

    Here’s my real opinion. We need to go for broke and vote for the best candidate we can find. We risk a Republican landslide whether Democrats or Republicans win. We have tried voting in one major party, throwing them out and voting in the “other” one. It isn’t working and it won’t work this time either. It doesn’t work because it isn’t supposed to work. There are not two parties. There is one. They work for the same group and that group is not us.

    Along with voting our conscience for the best person we can find, we must realize that it is a citizen movement that is the only real hope of restoring the rule of law. We cannot wait for an election, we cannot wait to stand for our rights.

    MLK is a good reminder that, “power concedes nothing without a demand” (Frederick Douglas) and “… Anger at injustice is the political expression of love…”–MLK

    The injustice in this nation can only be brought to an end by the soul force of people who love enough to get angry when others are harmed, when we ourselves are harmed. Anger is important. It tells us something is terribly wrong and we need to act to make things right.

    If we want more of the same, we should keep doing the same thing. That’s what we’ll get. But I think many of us do not want more of the same. That’s going to require a risk, not of which lackey from a major party might get elected, but a risk to try something the overlords aren’t expecting–voting no to torture and murder and fighting like hell for everyone’s rights.

  87. rafflaw,

    Justice Party, Rocky Anderson. Green Party, Jill Stein. You may find others, those are two people to consider. Rocky Anderson has been strongly against torture under Bush and Obama. But see what you think of them. You may also want to look into Republican, Buddy Roemer.


    I am really hoping to avoid door number 2. I think a well organized peaceful citizen’s movement is the best way to go along with only voting for people who support the rule of law and social justice. The violent way could definitely happen if we don’t try like hell to stop it. Gene Sharp (and some say he’s CIA, I don’t know) has ideas about peaceful revolution. I say if the ideas are good I’ll use them whether he’s CIA or not, but others feel differently.

  88. Here’s what we face:

    “Last February, Democratic National Committee members chose Charlotte, NC for the party’s 2012 national convention.

    Called “Wall Street of the South,” city officials drafted an ordinance to make camping on public property a “public nuisance.” It also prohibits “noxious substances,” padlocks and other camping equipment, potentially able to impede traffic and create public safety concerns. In late January, it’s expected to pass.

    Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx claimed enactment doesn’t target specific groups, saying: “Unlike many cities that have well-developed regulations governing protest activity, our local regulations contain gaps that need to be filled.”

    However, an ordinance related memo states: “The recent issues related to camping on city property have further amplified the need to review whether the city wants to regulate this activity during the DNC.”

    A city councilman said once passed, overnight OWS stays will end. North Carolina’s National Lawyers Guild cited constitutional issues and possible “increased confrontation between protesters and police.”
    OWS organizer Luis Radriguez said everyone calls Charlotte’s DNC “ground zero. Everybody wants to be involved. We’re estimating several thousand coming from the Occupy community.” Organizing an alternative convention was proposed.

    Tampa will host the 2012 Republican National Convention. Thousands of police will secure convention site areas. Officials expect up to 15,000 protesters in town. Federal and local authorities have contingency plans for anything. Homeland Security (DHS) calls national conventions, as well as G-8/G-20, IMF, World Bank and similar summits “national special security events.”

    Whether or not Tampa plans anti-protest legislation, OWS and others present will be targeted, constrained and perhaps evicted. Constitutional rights will be denied. Freedom will take another body blow.

    On January 18, Chicago’s City Council will consider Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s anti-protest measures. Occupy neighborhood groups said provisions will chill constitutionally protected political speech. They reduce protest durations to two hours and double fines for arrests.
    Public parks and beaches would close until 6AM, two hours later than now. In addition, loud noise, amplified sound, and music at parades and public assemblies would be allowed only between 8 – 10PM.

    Other provisions restrict parade organizers and let city officials levy punitive fines. Chicago’s police commissioner also could deputize law enforcement officials from federal and state agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF, Illinois State Police, Illinois Attorney General, Justice Department, Cook County State’s Attorney, and others.

    Coordinated federal and local efforts target OWS protesters. Emanuel’s very much involved. Proposed Chicago measures escalate repression. OWS and other protests are targeted. So are fundamental rights.

    In May 2012, federal and state SWAT team shock forces and snipers will threaten them when G-8 and NATO summits convene. According to an unnamed source, “(T)hey’ll be able to shoot the head off a nickel from 500 feet.”…” (Warisacrime, Lenderman) Some of this info is also available at Common Dreams. (I don’t care for Lenderman’s work but these are facts in one place. Otherwise you must go to different articles to get the info)

  89. As many here realize, the fact that someone is “law abiding” doesn’t make a whit of difference — good, law abiding folks have been the targets of harassment (and much worse) for many years now. The truth really is stranger than fiction…

    We are in deep, deep trouble…


    Douglass, again…

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” -Frederick Douglass

  90. Magna carta, 1215

    (38) In future no official shall place a man on trial upon his own unsupported statement, without producing credible witnesses to the truth of it.

    (39) No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

    (40) To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

    Any questions?

  91. As a newbie to your blog, (since a recent cable news interview turned me on to you) I have to say that this one of your best contributions.

    The decline of this country vis-à-vis the Bill of Rights is not a left-right issue. It is the bedrock that supports everything that makes us — or at least used to make us — “exceptional”. I’m not sure that dog even hunts anymore. Short of our bloated military that is.

  92. Swathmore and Anon,
    Don’t forget to submit your time sheets, Dearies.

    Y’all might wanna come up with something new beside the Ron Paul newsletter retreads and the tedious ad hominems.

    Good luck with the new part-time job thingie, though.

  93. This article makes me happy that I don’t have much more time to live on this planet. I still remember when this WAS a great country. It breaks my heart to know what we have become.

  94. Ron, I missed the golden age that you remember. My Irish family was discriminated against when they came here. My Jewish father in law was faced with rental signs that said “no jews or dogs” when he returned from World War II. Black people were lynched not that many years ago. Women did not have equal rights or opportunities. Mexicans were and still are treated badly. Japanese Americans were detained.The red squad in Chicago kept files on protestors. J. Edgar Hoover kept even more under surveilliance. I could go on and on.

  95. Swarthmore mom

    Huntsman dropped out and endorsed Romney, Blouise.


    Too bad …. Huntsman had sunk a lot of money into N H … guess the Ron Paul thing is scaring the big boys.

  96. ron pauls scares big money
    mitts scares the religious
    santorum scares anyone with working braincells
    who does that leave, gingrich? only in his mind
    any repub that comes out of this will be bloody

    for dems and indie’s it might be a good time to vote for your conscience

  97. As i stated before, I am not concerned about these laws because I am not a terrorist nor do I act like one….. therefore I know these laws will not affect me..

    This article and all the responses are non needed rhetoric.

    If anyone on this forum, from author to me, feels like they are in fear of being imprisoned, arrested or or watched because of there views on anything they should contact local or federal authorities because your rights are being denied…

    As i stated before I am a NY’er and NOOOO ONE I KNOW (arabs, pakistanis, and a million other races) HAVE NEVER BEEN ARRESTED OR DETAINED for the article stated……

    AND I KNOW alot of people!!!!

    Anyone that has the time to speak about these issues in the way they do need to get their facts straight and understand the WORLD!

    There are a small amount of UNREASONABLE people in this world that WILL understand our systems and reach to break them however they can as in TERRORISM…..

    Terrorists are just that… they seek to terrify us….

    This article and its rhetoric only proceed their cause….

  98. And to follow up with regard to “it’s the fault of American intelligence agencies”‘

    REALLYYYY? Are you kidding me?

    A terrorist origination with financial backing flies a plane into a building with thousands of unARMED CIVILIANS……

    And our armed response is supposed to decided between innocent and NON!

    Your a joke! My best childhood friend died in 9/11 and she was NOT IN THE MILITARY you arrogant people…..


  99. Hey just thought i’d let you guys know this article ended up in my wheelhouse of daily perusal, which is to say, probably not the same as most of the regulars here. So good job. Seriously.

  100. My letter to the editor of The Palm Beach Post:

    Dear Sir:

    Jonathan Turley, a law professor at The George Washington University, recently published in The Washington Post an article entitled “10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free.” Every American citizen should give serious thought to the points brought out by Professor Turley.

    All officers serving in the US Armed Forces and all persons, elected and appointed, serving in government positions of any consequence swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and to “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” If Professor Turley is correct in his assertions, both our political and military leadership have failed dismally to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the citizens of the United States and, to put it succinctly, are a disgrace to the positions they hold.

    Somewhere along the way, America has forgotten the warning of Benjamin Franklin in 1759: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


  101. @Jill: For the most part, good work. I only disagree specifically with your Afghanistan point; I think the Taliban knowingly aided and abetted what they knew was a terrorist organization, giving Al Qaeda a government protected safe haven, and that makes the country of Afghanistan complicit in the crime. To me that is a justification for war; the government was an accomplice and that means they committed an act of war on American soil; little different from Nazi Germany bombing London civilians.

    In Iraq, there was no such evidence or government collusion by Hussein. Saudi princes may have financed it, Saudi citizens carried it out, but if an American multi-millionaire had paid American citizens to commit a terrorist attack in Iran, we would not rush to define that as an act of war by America.

    I find it appalling that Professor Turley can list so many instances in which Obama has been personally culpable and an active and willful force against us in this civil rights debacle, and the Obama apologists will rush to insist that Obama must be re-elected, apparently no matter what he does.

    And for proof that Ron Paul would be worse, we hear that, oh god, Ron Paul said unkind things about Martin Luther King! His name was on 240 newsletters written by ghost writers, and 9 of those contained racist allusions! he is pro-life! He is free market! So it would be better to re-elect the proven enemy of freedom and extend the above list of 10 to 20, because apparently they think that unkind words will hurt people more than living in a corporatist autocracy.

    As for books: Glenn Greenwald; With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful

  102. In addition to my earlier post, Native Americans did not fare so well either in the glorious days in the past.

  103. SM,

    My guess is that if Paul loses the primaries as projected he will not endorse this year, nor run as third party.

    If he did endorse it would be Governor Gary Johnson in the LP, and I think that’s unlikely because it would cause future complications for son Rand Paul’s political future.

  104. Tony,

    Not all the people who have said they plan to vote for Obama are Obama apologists.

    I’d guess that most people think Ron Paul will not be the Republican nominee.

    Some people have provided reasons other than the ones you noted for not wanting to vote for Ron Paul.

    You wrote: “And for proof that Ron Paul would be worse, we hear that, oh god, Ron Paul said unkind things about Martin Luther King! His name was on 240 newsletters written by ghost writers, and 9 of those contained racist allusions!”

    Ron Paul made money from the “Ron Paul” racist/homophobic newsletters. If he knew nothing about what was printed in them, why give them his seal of approval and lend credence to their content? Shouldn’t a person take responsibility for what is published under his name/masthead? I don’t think Paul is being honest about his newsletters. That makes me question his veracity.

  105. puzzling, I think he would endorse to get a speaking gig at the convention in prime time. They probably won’t want him on the stage though.

  106. @Swarthmore: I hope he doesn’t. But Dennis Kucinich in 2008 said his first choice for a vice presidential running mate would be Ron Paul, and this year (2012) when asked has said his opinion is not changed, that Ron Paul is a good American and an honorable man, even if they differ widely on social issues.

    So how does that work? Since Kucinich is a champion for the left, and Kucinich personally knows Ron Paul, and Kucinich has vouched for Ron Paul to the point if singling him out as his first choice for VP, I infer that to the knee-jerk left this means Kucinich has bad judgment in people. But apparently the bad judgment of Kucinich does not make him unelectable.

    So if Ron Paul has the bad judgment to actually endorse Romney, why wouldn’t the same standard apply to Ron Paul endorsing a member of his own party, as applies to Kucinich endorsing a member of the opposite party?

    I hope Ron Paul withholds any endorsement of Romney, but if he does I will not assume that means he agrees with everything Romney stands for, just as Kucinich’s endorsement of Ron Paul did not mean Kucinich agreed with everything Ron Paul stands for.

  107. Monday, Jan 16, 2012

    Who are the victims of civil liberties assaults and Endless War?

    By Glenn Greenwald

    “In The Washington Post yesterday, Law Professor Jonathan Turley has an Op-Ed in which he identifies ten major, ongoing assaults on core civil liberties in the U.S. Many of these abuses were accelerated during the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11, but all have been vigorously continued and/or expanded by President Obama. Turley points out that these powers have long been deemed (by the U.S.) as the hallmark of tyranny, and argues that their seizure by the U.S. Government has seriously called into question America’s status as a free nation: “They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian.” All ten of these powers are ones very familiar to readers here: Assassination of U.S. citizens; Indefinite detention; Arbitrary justice; Warrantless searches; Secret evidence; War crimes; Secret court; Immunity from judicial review; Continual monitoring of citizens; and Extraordinary renditions.” (and the article continues)

  108. Tony C.,

    The Taliban offered to turn over OBL for trial. We bombed Afghanistan anyway. The US has suffered multiple terrorist attacks. Until 9/11, even when members of the Taliban struck the twin towers in 1993, the US treated terrorist attacks as law enforcement matters.

    Al Qaeda was the CIA’s creation. The people of Afghanistan did not deserve to suffer for the actions of a few. The US had the good will of almost every nation on earth after 9/11. Instead of working with this enormous good will and following our own law, we declared war on a nation of largely innocent people. We utterly squandered the good will which might have created a whole different world.

    It was wrong to declare war. In doing so we abandoned our own law and our best and highest values. We have yet to recover from the effects of doing this.

  109. Marcy extends the list to issues beyond the article. Sadly, there is are more issues than can fit it one article:


    “Turley is right that the war on terror has chipped away at fundamental freedoms. But so has increased corporate power and related efforts to coerce the 99%.

    “It’s not just that Al Qaeda bombed the land of the brave; so, too, did America’s own corporations foreclose on the home of the free.

  110. @Elaine: Endorsement would not mean agreement, even on major issues.

    For proof, let me point at a champion of many Democrats, Dennis Kucinich. In 2008, Kucinich was running for the Democratic nomination, and asked who he would select for VP, answered without hesitation “Ron Paul.” He went on to say he knows Ron Paul, is friends with Ron Paul, and Ron Paul is on the right side of the Constitutional issues, ending the wars and restoring rights. Kucinich said he and Ron Paul did differ widely on social issues, but his first pick for a VP would be Ron Paul.

    When asked recently (2012) about Ron Paul, Kucinich said his opinion and friendship with Ron Paul had not changed, he considered Ron Paul a good American and an honorable man.

    So what does this mean? Does Kucinich have bad judgment in people, but remains an electable hero of the left? Or does Kucinich has good judgment in people, do the haters of Ron Paul have bad judgment?

    If endorsements meant complete agreement or even affinity or sympathy for the beliefs of the endorsed, Kucinich would be a pro-lifer, and according to most Ron Paul haters, a racist bigot misogynist.

    Kucinich is not guilty by association and his personal friendship with Ron Paul, and likewise, Ron Paul is not guilty by association if he gives a speech at a Bircher meeting.

  111. Well AN and Elaine,

    I suppose hope and wishes didn’t pan out this year for Huntsman…I suppose when RWR is being painted as a centrist that could not even win the GOP nomination today we have deep troubles…..


    I will have to read the book…Sounds interesting…

  112. @Elaine: Ron Paul made money from the “Ron Paul” racist/homophobic newsletters. If he knew nothing about what was printed in them, why give them his seal of approval and lend credence to their content?

    Your facts are simply wrong; there were 240 newsletters. Even according to the journalist that broke the story in the New Republic admits that only nine of them, less than 4%, in the middle and in sequence, contained racially derogatory writing. Those were written by James Powell; whose byline was at the bottom of the last such newsletter, and the one containing the majority of the racial slurs. However, when the New Republic magazine published a scan of that newsletter, they left off the byline with James Powell’s name, and attributed the letter to Ron Paul.

    What actually happened is that Ron Paul, a former Congressman, allowed his former chief of staff (Lew Rockwell) to use his name as the banner of a newsletter venture to raise funds and earn money. Rockwell ran the operation and did most of the ghost writing, but he says he had several writers he used when he was busy with other business.

    Besides that, you have answered your own question. The newsletters earned about a million a year, and Paul didn’t have to read them to get his cut, and he trusted his former chief of staff and friend, Lew Rockwell.

    @Elaine: Shouldn’t a person take responsibility for what is published under his name/masthead?

    Ron Paul has admitted moral responsibility for the content published under his name, and refuted the content and called it despicable; he has repeatedly claimed he is not a racist and does not believe anybody should be judged as a group, not based on race, gender, or religion.

    I do not know what is in Ron Paul’s heart, but what would you have him do? LIE, and admit to racism he doesn’t think he holds?

    96% of his newsletters contained no racial slurs, they were economic alarmism and arguments for libertarian free markets. 4% were due to a bad employee, and a lack of editorial oversight that wasn’t even Ron Paul’s duty, it was the duty of his business partner, Lew Rockwell.

    @Elaine: I don’t think Paul is being honest about his newsletters. That makes me question his veracity.

    I see, and Obama’s overt lies and actual crimes against the Constitution and the abrogation of his solemn oath to uphold and defend it do not make you question OBAMA’S veracity?

    I think you have revealed the flaw in your thinking. You believe the Democrats even if they lie or exaggerate the truth or accuse Ron Paul of something for which they have no evidence. You trust the Democrats even if they lie to you. It is a simple single standard: Lies do not matter, all that matters is whether they are Democrats or Republicans, and the only veracity that will ever be questioned is that of Republicans.

  113. @Elaine: Oh, and by the way, you have guest blogged under the Turley banner. Does he agree with every word you have written? Is Turley responsible for your words and opinions, and those of Gene and Rafflaw and Mike?

    Or are YOU as individuals responsible for your opinions that go out under the Turley banner?

    The banner is not an endorsement of views, for Turley OR for Paul.

  114. Tony,

    Not to speak for Elaine, but I have to take exception with the last part of your comment. As a whole, the guest bloggers (and many of the commentators) on this site don’t carte blanc trust pols based upon their party affiliation. Many if not most don’t trust pols in general. You misconstrue trust as being a prerequisite for solving a Morton’s Fork dilemma.

  115. “Kucinich is not guilty by association and his personal friendship with Ron Paul, and likewise, Ron Paul is not guilty by association if he gives a speech at a Bircher meeting.”


    Your analogy fails the smell test. They are not equivalent and as a man of science you should know it. One of my closest friends for many years is an unreconstructed Reagan Republican, we simply don’t talk politics. However, since at one time I worked closely with him I know for a fact that he is not a racist. He decries the JBS, because he’s Jewish.

    Now on the other hand we have Paul, an honored speaker at the JBS 40th anniversary bash. Knowing the racist and bigoted policies that were a basis for this groups founding and continue to be a large part of their agenda, it is inconceivable they would invite Paul if he wasn’t of their ilk. However, it doesn’t end there since for decades Mr. Paul’s newsletter was replete with racist and bigoted articles, of which he claims no knowledge. For a man you deem so perceptive, it is more than amazing that he was unaware of these tainted associations, it is downright specious.

    Now you and I agree on the dangers inherent in the 10 reasons given. Yet JT was dealing with the specific encroachment of freedoms engaged in by the government. I’m sure his list would be much longer if he were dealing with the full gamut of reasons that Americans are not free. Were he, no doubt high on the list would be our country’s institutional racism as evinced by incarceration; economic disparity; lack of health insurance; voting rights denial; stop, frisk, harassment of minorities; and the selective enforcement of laws. There are more but these are representative. Yet in your support of Paul, whose beliefs only would “possibly” affect the first of this list, you show that these are behaviors ranking lower on your scale to the point that you would support someone whose statements guarantee he would do nothing about them.

    You accuse those of us who would vote for Obama of behaving almost as partisan automatons, yet in your unfounded smug certitude you seem to be projecting your pre-judgments onto us, since you have rationalized ad minimized everything relating to Paul’s obvious racism, bigotry and disdain for any but the monied class. Since you like to cast aspersions, it seems appropriate that I cast them back, based on your own writings.

    Anyone who excuses racist/bigoted/misogynistic behavior, is no better than those they excuse. Beyond that, the threats to our liberty of racism, bigotry and the economic theory of greed unfettered, are equally as appalling and threatening as the 10 points mentioned above. To ignore that plain fact is to be complicit in it and exposes a severe case of tunnel-vision. This critique of your thinking has nothing to do with my support for Obama and everything to do with your support of Paul. Again to make it simple I offer this simple equation, which you can’t refute: JBS=KKK=Fascism.

  116. Tony C.,

    Have I written anything that was racist or homophobic for the Turley Blawg? I respect Professor Turley and felt honored to be asked to serve as a guest blogger. I would NEVER tarnish his name or reputation by writing vile things in my guest posts. I know Professor Turley trusted me not to do anything untoward.


    You wrote: “Endorsement would not mean agreement, even on major issues.”

    I agree. That holds true for people like Mike and Swarthmore mom who have said that they plan to vote for Obama.


    You wrote: “Your facts are simply wrong…”

    Which of my facts are “simply wrong?”

  117. http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_im_suing_barack_obama_20120116/

    Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

    Posted on Jan 16, 2012

    By Chris Hedges


    “Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

    The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties. ” (and the article continues…)

    The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing, once again, to grant Obama a pass. But I won’t. What he has done is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous. The threat and reach of al-Qaida—which I spent a year covering for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East—are marginal, despite the attacks of 9/11. The terrorist group poses no existential threat to the nation. It has been so disrupted and broken that it can barely function. Osama bin Laden was gunned down by commandos and his body dumped into the sea. Even the Pentagon says the organization is crippled. So why, a decade after the start of the so-called war on terror, do these draconian measures need to be implemented? Why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens, as he did in the killing of the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen? Why is this bill necessary when the government routinely ignores our Fifth Amendment rights—“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”—as well as our First Amendment right of free speech? How much more power do they need to fight “terrorism”?

    Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.

    The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

    But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can. (end of excerpt)

  118. I am from Bosnia. Politicians here use (abuse) national threats from past (Srebrenica and other) for their own interests. What happened in New York cannot justify these ‘Stalinistic’ measures against americans and others of course. In the same time US “helps” all around in freedom making, even where it’s not needed (For fun maybe? Of course not :-)) Here, the Serb and Bosniak (muslim) parliaments are using same rethorics to distance the people from economic sphere and make bonus points for elections, thus bulding the country for them by their own measure (corporate moneymaking). That state of politics is addictive for next mandates to come, hard to resist for newcomers, and destructive like communism. I am a Serb, not proud for myself, but even less for America. Every country that US helped look like Bosnia now (God help us, this is worse than we, ourselves could have done here if no one involved! That’s playin’ with devil, not freedom making!

  119. “@Elaine: Oh, and by the way, you have guest blogged under the Turley banner. Does he agree with every word you have written? Is Turley responsible for your words and opinions, and those of Gene and Rafflaw and Mike?”


    I’ve noticed you’ve gotten more hysterical in your defense of the indefensible as time passes. The views of all guest bloggers here are our own. Many of us have disagreed with JT in the past on different issues and he was aware of that when we were invited to become guest bloggers. Being the man he is, JT has put no conditions on our posts save that of civility and fairness. That is of course because JT’s support of freedom of thought/speech is a lifelong passion. So where you were going with this comment seems peculiar to say the least. I personally have no idea how much JT has agreed or disagreed with my guest blogs, or those of the others. We are all still doing it despite many critiques by commenters, so you can assume he hasn’t found any offensive to the point of comment. Since we all exchange E Mails with him I would think the lack of his negative comment to us personally is telling.

    “Or are YOU as individuals responsible for your opinions that go out under the Turley banner?”

    We write for the Turley Blog, as his guests and in keeping with our founder’s
    natural inclinations, our writings are not endorsed by him but are expressions of the freedom of speech/beliefs exemplified at this site. The guest bloggers do not embrace a homogeneity of viewpoint and range wide on the political spectrum, united only in our beliefs in the Rule of Law and in the Constitution.

    Finally though, I must take exception to your characterization of some of us and me in particular. I have been actively fighting for issues of freedom since I was in high school. Few people have had an entire High School Assembly called to admonish me for my support of free speech in high school. This was the same in college where I and a group of friends single-handedly destroyed the tradition of “freshman hazing” at our University and I attended the founding meeting of SDS in my school in 1964. The activism followed through in my working life where I was a Union Activist and in my private life as a member of the 60’s/70’s movement. Throughout my entire successful career in social services I often put my career at risk in the service of defending client’s and other workers freedom. Today while I Iive a comfortable, yet financially restricted retirement, I am still active using my own name and identity in my writings and in support of various causes such as MoveOn and the ACLU.

    Tony, you are by your own admission a “scientist” and successful capitalist. There is nothing wrong with being either, however, who the hell are you to question my “political ethics/purity”, especially when you have twisted logic to protect a misogynist, racist/bigot, whose policies would destroy the already weak financial security of the 99%. You can disagree with my logic to your heart’s content, but how can you an anonymous person with an anonymous background, question my deeply held beliefs and/or my ethical/moral fiber? I’ve given you my reasons for my beliefs and feel free to critique them, but “Mr. Scientist” my vision of this world is at least a clear as yours and I suspect far less biased.

  120. @Elaine: I explained which of your facts were wrong in the post; Ron Paul did not publish a racist newsletter, he was not even the publisher, Lew Rockwell was, and since 231 of the 240 newsletters published had no racist content whatsoever, the newsletter was not intended to be racist, it happened to employ a racist ghost writer that was subsequently fired.

    Does Arianna Huffington hold the same prejudices and views as everyone that writes for her? That is physically impossible.

    Your appeal to your own integrity begs the question, the question is not what you would do, the question is whether Turley, by allowing you to guest blog, can be personally indicted for anything you write. The obvious answer is NO, and the same answer applies to Ron Paul and the people that wrote for HIM. If, like Arianna Huffington, he did not personally write the nine racist newsletters (and all the evidence says he did not), and he was not the editor or responsible and did not read every newsletter that went out (as Arianna surely does not read every article published on her site), then what, exactly, do you want Ron Paul to do about the newsletters that he has not already done? He has admitted moral responsibility and a failure of oversight and condemned the content. What would you have Arianna do in a similar situation, with some writer on her site? What should Turley do, if he ever finds himself embarrassed by a guest blogger?

    You are indicting a man for something he did not write and he is convicted in your mind by 2nd degree association alone; Ron Paul gave his permission to use his name to a publisher, Lew Rockwell, who after some time hired James Powell as a writer, who turned out to be a racist and got fired.

    I think that is hypocritical, both for you and for others that buy it, because it is a standard I do not think any of you would apply to the people you like, such as Professor Turley or Democratic Party politicians.

    Guilt by tenuous association only applies to one’s enemies, I suppose.

  121. Tony C.,

    FACT CHECK: Ron Paul Personally Defended Racist Newsletters

    Recently, Ron Paul has been subject to intense criticism over controversial newsletters written under his name in the 80s and 90s that frequently included racism, bigotry, and conspiracy theories. Over the last few days, Paul has responded that he did not write the newsletters and disavowed their contents, claiming this has been his consistent position for 20 years. Here’s what Paul told CNN on December 21:

    PAUL: I never read that stuff. I never — I would never — I came — I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written… Well, you know, we talked about [the newsletters] twice yesterday at CNN. Why don’t you go back and look at what I said yesterday on CNN, and what I’ve said for 20-some years. It was 22 years ago. I didn’t write them. I disavow them and that’s it.

    Paul’s denials, however, are not supported by the public record. When the newsletters first arose as an issue in 1996, Paul didn’t deny authorship. Instead, Paul personally repeated and defended some of the most incendiary racial claims in the newsletters.

    In May 1996, Paul was confronted in an interview by the Dallas Morning News about a line that appeared in a 1992 newsletter, under the headline “Terrorist Update”: “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be.” His response:

    Dr. Paul denied suggestions that he was a racist and said he was not evoking stereotypes when he wrote the columns. He said they should be read and quoted in their entirety to avoid misrepresentation…

    In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

    “If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them,” Dr. Paul said.

    Paul also defended his claim, made in the same 1992 newsletter that “we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in [Washington, DC] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal” Paul told the Dallas Morning News the statistic was an “assumption” you can gather from published studies.

    Paul’s failure to deny authorship was not an oversight. He was repeatedly confronted about the newsletters during his 1996 campaign and consistently defended them as his own. A few examples:

    – In 1996, Ron Paul’s campaign defended his statements about the rationality of fearing black men. (“[W]e are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”) The Houston Chronicle reports, “A campaign spokesman for Paul said statements about the fear of black males mirror pronouncements by black leaders such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson.” [Houston Chronicle, 5/23/96]

    – Paul said that his comments on blacks contained in the newsletters should be viewed in the context of “current events and statistical reports of the time.” [Houston Chronicle, 5/23/96]

    – Paul defended statements from an August 12, 1992 newsletter calling the late Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) a “moron” and a “fraud.” Paul also said Jordon was “her race and sex protect her from criticism.” In response, Paul said “such opinions represented our clear philosophical difference.” [Roll Call, 7/29/96]

    – “Also in 1992, Paul wrote, ‘Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions.’ Sullivan said Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible. And most blacks, [Paul spokesman Michael] Sullivan said, do not share Paul’s views.” [Austin American Statesman, 5/23/96]

    Contrary to his statements to CNN last week, it was not until 2001, that he first claimed that newsletters were not written by him. He told the Texas Monthly in the October 2001 edition that “I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren’t really written by me.” The reporter noted, “until this surprising volte-face in our interview, he had never shared this secret.”

    There is no evidence that Paul denounced the newsletters in clear terms until he ran for president in 2008 when he said “I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.” Paul has never explained how this blanket denial squares with his vigorous defense of the writings in 1996.

    Further, some of the disturbing ideology embedded in the newsletters is reflected in Paul’s legislative record. In 1999, he was the only member of Congress to oppose the issuing on a Congressional Gold Medal to Rosa Parks. In May 2011, Ron Paul said in an interview that he opposes the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  122. Tony C.,

    ‘Racist newsletter’ timeline: What Ron Paul has said

    Ron Paul has had to explain racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in his name in the 1980s and 1990s. Here’s what he’s said over the years.
    By Mark Trumbull, Staff writer / December 29, 2011
    Christian Science Monitor

    It’s the biggest setback to hit Ron Paul’s candidacy for president: publicity about racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in Mr. Paul’s name in the 1980s and 1990s.

    On Thursday he responded at some length to the concerns during an Iowa radio interview, calling the newsletter statements “terrible” but insisting that he wasn’t the one who wrote them. He added that the offensive comments totaled about “about eight or 10 sentences.”

    Some journalists who have researched the newsletters say it was a lot more than 10 sentences, and that the Texas congressman’s response on the issue has changed over the years.

    Here, in timeline format, are some prominent Paul statements tied to the issue drawn from transcripts, video clips, and news reports.

    1985 to 1994

    The controversial statements that have surfaced stem largely from this period. They were contained in newsletters with titles like Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Political Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, and the Ron Paul Investment Letter, rarely under a byline (although many contained first-person references that readers would assume referred to Paul himself).

    Some samples: A December 1989 newsletter quoted by James Kirchick in the New Republic predicted “Racial Violence Will Fill Our Cities” because “mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white ‘haves.’ ”

    Another letter said “I think we can assume that 95 percent of the black men in that city [Washington] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”

    An August 1992 edition of the Ron Paul Report labeled former Rep. Barbara Jordan (D) of Texas “the archetypal half-educated victimologist,” according to the Houston Chronicle.

    1995 to 1996

    In a 1995 C-Span interview, Paul talks up his newsletter and espouses some familiarity with its contents. He says it deals a lot “with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending our government seems to continue to do.”

    Paul, having been out of office for a decade, ran for Congress in 1996 and the content of the newsletters were raised by his opponent as a campaign issue. Paul’s campaign doesn’t deny authorship of the newsletters, but says the Democratic rival is taking the message out of context.

    In a Dallas Morning News interview, Paul said the comment about black men in the District of Columbia arose from his study of a report by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank in Virginia.


    In a story published by Texas Monthly, Paul tells the magazine that he didn’t write “those words.” The magazine itself says the newsletter statements are not “remotely like” Paul’s public utterances.

    “I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren’t really written by me,” Paul said, according to Texas Monthly. “It wasn’t my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady.”

  123. Tony C.,

    Ron Paul and the racist newsletters (Fact Checker biography)
    Posted by Josh Hicksat 06:02 AM ET, 12/27/2011
    Washington Post


    Paul helped form the Ron Paul & Associates corporation in 1984, and the now-defunct company, for which he served as president, began publishing newsletters the following year. The monthly publications included Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

    Columnist Jonathan Chait noted in a recent column for New York magazine that statements of racist paranoia appeared regularly in Paul’s newsletters, representing a “consistent ideological theme.”

    Many of the derogatory comments came from a 1992 commentary in the Political Report titled “A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism.” The article blames African American men for the L.A. riots, saying, “The criminals who terrorized our cities — in riots and on every non-riot day — are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are.”

    Another passage from the article tries to explain how the tumult finally ended, saying, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began.” The writer gives no credit to police, state troopers or soldiers from the National Guard and Army and the Marines who helped end the chaos.

    That wasn’t an isolated incident with Paul’s newsletters. A separate article from the Survival Report said, “If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.”

    The Paul publications also criticized homosexuals, saying gays “enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick,” referring to AIDS.

    The articles contain no bylines and no signatures, just Ron Paul’s name in giant letters on the publications’ mastheads. This leaves a tiny bit of wiggle room for the Texas congressman to defend himself. That’s what he’s done, telling the media he has “no idea” how the inflammatory comments made it into print.

    “I honestly do not know who wrote those things,” he told CNN in January 2008.

    Paul has compared himself to a major publisher who had little time to review every article that went to press, even though his newsletters came out monthly — and were thin at that. He claims he was too busy practicing medicine and giving speeches across the country to pay attention to the bulletins.

    “It’s been rehashed for a long time, and it’s coming up now for political reasons,” Paul told CNN in January 2008. “Everybody in my district knows I didn’t write them, and I don’t speak like that. Nobody has ever heard me say anything like that.”

    Certain passages in the newsletters suggest that Paul, or at least someone using his persona, wrote for the publications. One article from October 1992 refers to the congressman’s hometown, saying, “even in my little town of Lake Jackson, Texas, I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense, for the animals are coming.”

    In an article earlier that year, the author — writing in the first person — announced his decision to chair the economic advisory committee for Pat Buchanan’s presidential bid, a post Paul took up at the time.

    The libertarian magazine Reason cited an anonymous source close to the 2008 Paul campaign attributing much of the content from Political Report to Lew Rockwell, founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian economics center.

    Rockwell, whose name appears on the newsletters under the title of contributing editor, told the New Republic that he did not write the controversial articles. He said that there were “seven or eight freelancers involved at various stages” during his tenure with the publishing outfit.

    As for Paul’s comments about Rosa Parks, the candidate didn’t show much love for his “hero” when he voted against a measure to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the civil rights icon in 1999. To be fair, he opposed giving the medal to Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II as well, so it doesn’t appear race had anything to do with his stance.

    Paul has generally applauded lawmakers for wanting to issue the Gold Medal, but he insists they should put up their own money instead of asking taxpayers to foot the bill, which typically runs about $30,000 for each award.

    As for King, a 1992 Ron Paul newsletter referred to the civil rights leader as a “world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours.”


    Paul offers implausible explanations for why so many derogatory statements made it into his publications, insisting he knew nothing about them. It’s hard to believe that a man who wants to oversee the entire U.S. government — albeit a smaller version — would provide zero oversight of his publications, or even bother to read them from time to time.

    The Texas congressman has to take responsibility for the newsletters that bear his name, or at least acknowledge negligence as the former head of the company that produced them. He earns three Pinocchios for failing to do so.

  124. News Bulletin: Ron Paul Is a Huge Racist
    New York Magazine


    With Ron Paul ascending in Iowa, winning the hearts of independents, and even the endorsement of Andrew Sullivan, it’s worth pointing something out: Ron Paul is not a kindly old libertarian who just wants everybody to be free. He’s a really creepy bigot.

    Around four years ago, James Kirchick reported a lengthy story delving into Paul’s worldview. As Kirchick writes, Paul comes out of an intellectual tradition called “paleolibertarianism,” which is a version of libertarianism heavily tinged with far-right cultural views. The gist is that Paul is tied in deep and extensive ways to neo-Confederates, and somewhat less tightly to the right-wing militia movement. His newsletter, which he wrote and edited for years, was a constant organ of vile racism and homophobia. This is not just picking out a phrase here and there. Fear and hatred of blacks and gays, along with a somewhat less pronounced paranoia about Jewish dual loyalty, are fundamental elements of his thinking. The most comparable figure to Paul is Pat Buchanan, the main differences being that Paul emphasizes economic issues more, and has more dogmatically pro-market views.

    How, then, has Paul become a figure of admiration among social liberals?

    One reason is that nobody is attacking him. Paul is (correctly) considered to have no chance to actually win the GOP nomination, so debate moderators have not bothered to research his past, instead tossing off generalized questions that allow him to portray himself on his preferred terms. The Republican Establishment is focusing all its fire on Newt Gingrich, and indeed, Paul’s rise in Iowa would greatly aid Mitt Romney’s campaign by preventing an acceptable alternative from emerging from the state with momentum.

  125. Tony C.,

    I happen to think that Professor Turley’s reputation could well be affected negatively if I, or any of the other guest bloggers, wrote racist or homophobic posts/rants for his blog. That’s just my opinion.

  126. Angry White Man
    The bigoted past of Ron Paul.
    By James Kirchick
    The New Republic
    January 8, 2008

    To understand Paul’s philosophy, the best place to start is probably the Ludwig von Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Auburn, Alabama. The institute is named for a libertarian Austrian economist, but it was founded by a man named Lew Rockwell, who also served as Paul’s congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982. Paul has had a long and prominent association with the institute, teaching at its seminars and serving as a “distinguished counselor.” The institute has also published his books.

    The politics of the organization are complicated–its philosophy derives largely from the work of the late Murray Rothbard, a Bronx-born son of Jewish immigrants from Poland and a self-described “anarcho-capitalist” who viewed the state as nothing more than “a criminal gang”–but one aspect of the institute’s worldview stands out as particularly disturbing: its attachment to the Confederacy. Thomas E. Woods Jr., a member of the institute’s senior faculty, is a founder of the League of the South, a secessionist group, and the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, a pro-Confederate, revisionist tract published in 2004. Paul enthusiastically blurbed Woods’s book, saying that it “heroically rescues real history from the politically correct memory hole.” Thomas DiLorenzo, another senior faculty member and author of The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, refers to the Civil War as the “War for Southern Independence” and attacks “Lincoln cultists”; Paul endorsed the book on MSNBC last month in a debate over whether the Civil War was necessary (Paul thinks it was not). In April 1995, the institute hosted a conference on secession at which Paul spoke; previewing the event, Rockwell wrote to supporters, “We’ll explore what causes [secession] and how to promote it.” Paul’s newsletters have themselves repeatedly expressed sympathy for the general concept of secession. In 1992, for instance, the Survival Report argued that “the right of secession should be ingrained in a free society” and that “there is nothing wrong with loosely banding together small units of government. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, we too should consider it.”

    The people surrounding the von Mises Institute–including Paul–may describe themselves as libertarians, but they are nothing like the urbane libertarians who staff the Cato Institute or the libertines at Reason magazine. Instead, they represent a strain of right-wing libertarianism that views the Civil War as a catastrophic turning point in American history–the moment when a tyrannical federal government established its supremacy over the states. As one prominent Washington libertarian told me, “There are too many libertarians in this country … who, because they are attracted to the great books of Mises, … find their way to the Mises Institute and then are told that a defense of the Confederacy is part of libertarian thought.”

    Paul’s alliance with neo-Confederates helps explain the views his newsletters have long espoused on race. Take, for instance, a special issue of the Ron Paul Political Report, published in June 1992, dedicated to explaining the Los Angeles riots of that year. “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began,” read one typical passage. According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with “‘civil rights,’ quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black tv shows, black tv anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda.” It also denounced “the media” for believing that “America’s number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks.” To be fair, the newsletter did praise Asian merchants in Los Angeles, but only because they had the gumption to resist political correctness and fight back. Koreans were “the only people to act like real Americans,” it explained, “mainly because they have not yet been assimilated into our rotten liberal culture, which admonishes whites faced by raging blacks to lie back and think of England.”

  127. @Mike S: I’ve noticed you’ve gotten more hysterical in your defense of the indefensible as time passes. The views of all guest bloggers here are our own.

    I notice you have gotten increasingly dense at understanding logic since I disagreed with you, or perhaps you have never understood logic.

    The logic was that Turley is NOT personally responsible for the content of what guests wrote under his banner, and similarly, Ron Paul was NOT personally responsible for the content that appeared under his banner.

    In the hypothetical case in which Turley found himself embarrassed by a guest blogger, I do not know what he could do about it that Ron Paul has not done about HIS embarrassment.

    @Mike: who the hell are you to question my “political ethics/purity”,

    I question your ability to comprehend reality, Mike, not your ethics or purity. I do not question your passion, I question your ability to put your emotions aside and analyze the situation dispassionately. I think there is a dangerous criminal in the White House, just as much as when Nixon was in there, or Bush Jr.

    You, apparently, do not, and that makes me question your ability to think rationally about this particular issue, because I think you irrationally dismiss or trivialize actions of Obama that you would be livid about if Bush did them, and probably were livid about when Bush did them, before Obama made a wholesale adoption of those policies and made them even more brazenly unconstitutional.

    The only thing you think I am “hysterical” about is my refusal to accept your raw assertion, without any damning evidence other than association, that Ron Paul is incontrovertibly a racist, bigot, or misogynist. Being pro-life does not make somebody a misogynist, as I have detailed with logic you stubbornly refuse to even consider.

    I am not insulting you or questioning your ethics, I broke this off previously because I thought you were too emotionally invested in the answer to discuss it rationally, and unlike Grossman, I like you. But I still think the same thing now. I have no doubt you will take irrational offense again.

    I do not like Ron Paul, I do not agree with Ron Paul’s social policy, or economic policy. But he is the only candidate in the race that is promising to overturn FISA and undo the Ten Reasons listed above; and in my view there is no social policy or economic policy more important than these Ten Reasons. If the only way forward demands social or economic pain, I will take it.

    It is also not true that I would be unaffected, my checkbook and my home are always open to a few dozen people in my extended family that might be affected. Nobody in this family goes without food, shelter, hired legal representation or necessary medical care, ever, and that would include travel for a legal and safe abortion if that became necessary. So I cannot say I would do that for anybody, but I can say I am not blithely immune to financial damage for my stance.

  128. @Elaine: The “special issue” quoted as an “example” was the final newsletter written by James Powell and had his byline, it is not an “example,” it is the exception. It is even reasonable to assume that is the letter for which James Powell was fired as a ghost writer for the newsletter. It is a misrepresentation to characterize it as an “example” of the newsletters, when it is by all accounts the worst of the 240 letters sent.

  129. Tony C.,

    Let’s say a publisher/owner of a newsletter or blog hires individuals to write for his/her newsletter/blog who are known to hold racist, homophobic, and/or bigoted views. Does said publisher/blogger bear no responsibilty if his/her writers write racist, homophobic, and/or bigoted articles?

  130. Tony,

    Have you read everything I posted? I’m not talking about just one “special issue.”

    TNR Exclusive: A Collection of Ron Paul’s Most Incendiary Newsletters

    For years, Ron Paul published a series of newsletters that dispensed political news and investment advice, but also routinely indulged in bigotry. Here’s a selection of some especially inflammatory passages, with links to scanned images of the original documents in which they appeared.


    “A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. … What if the checks had never arrived? No doubt the blacks would have fully privatized the welfare state through continued looting. But they were paid off and the violence subsided.”

    The November 1990 issue of the Political Report had kind words for David Duke.

    This December 1990 newsletter describes Martin Luther King Jr. as “a world-class adulterer” who “seduced underage girls and boys” and “replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

    A February 1991 newsletter attacks “The X-Rated Martin Luther King.”

    An October 1990 edition of the Political Report ridicules black activists, led by Al Sharpton, for demonstrating at the Statue of Liberty in favor of renaming New York City after Martin Luther King. The newsletter suggests that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,”and “Lazyopolis ” would be better alternatives—and says, “Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.”

    A May 1990 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report cites Jared Taylor, who six months later would go onto found the eugenicist and white supremacist periodical American Renaissance.

    The January 1993 issue of the Survival Report worries about America’s “disappearing white majority.”

    The July 1992 Ron Paul Political Report declares, “Jury verdicts, basketball games, and even music are enough to set off black rage, it seems,” and defends David Duke. The author of the newsletter—presumably Paul—writes, “My youngest son is starting his fourth year in medical school. He tells me there would be no way to persuade his fellow students of the case for economic liberty.”

    A March 1993 Survival Report describes Bill Clinton’s supposedly “illegitimate children, black and white: ‘woods colts’ in backwoods slang.”


    The December 1989 Ron Paul Political Report contains entries on a “new form of racial terrorism,” cites former Congressman Bill Dannemeyer’s claim that “the average homosexual has 1,000 or more partners in a lifetime,” and quotes Lew Rockwell, president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, in the third person.

    In January 1990, the Ron Paul Political Report cites “a well-known libertarian editor” who “told me: ‘The ACT-UP slogan on stickers plastered all over Manhattan is ‘Silence=Death.’ But shouldn’t it be Sodomy = Death’?”

    The September 1994 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report states that “those who don’t commit sodomy, who don’t get blood a transfusion, and who don’t swap needles, are virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay.”

    The June 1990 issue of the Political Report says: “I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

    A January 1994 edition of the Survival Report states that “gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense,” adding: “[T]hese men don’t really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners.” Also, “they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.”

    Survivalism and Militias

    The January 1995 issue of the Survival Report—released just three months before the Oklahoma City bombing—cites an anti-government militia’s advice to other militias, including, “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

    The October 1992 issue of the Political Report paraphrases an “ex-cop” who offers this strategy for protecting against “urban youth”: “If you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).”


    This 1978 newsletter says the Trilateral Commission is “no longer known only by those who are knowledgeable about international conspiracies, but is routinely mentioned in the daily news.”

    Middle East

    A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier.

    Anti-Government Paranoia/Conspiracy Theories/Survivalism

    A fundraising letter from Paul’s 1984 Senate campaign in which Paul complains about the “minions of Kissinger and Rockefeller” and “the big New York banks, and their pals in Texas” who “want me silenced.”

    The January 1988 Ron Paul Political Report approvingly cites Dr. William C. Douglass, who “believes that AIDS is a deliberately engineered hybrid” developed at a World Health Organization experiment conducted at Ft. Detrick. Douglass has long been a fringe medical guru, and today claims that “smoking can help you live longer!!!”

    The November 1989 Ron Paul Political Report reports on the Bohemian Grove and Ronald Reagan’s “old Trilateralist agenda item of four-year terms for Congressmen.”

    This 1993 Ron Paul Strategy Guide entitled, “How to Protect Yourself from Urban Violence,” is a special supplement to the Ron Paul Survival Report.

    In the April 1993 Ron Paul Survival Report, the author—writing in the first person—states, “Whether [the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.” The newsletters also warns readers to “do your very best to keep your family away from inner cities. If you can’t, have a haven remote from the metropolitan areas.”

    The May 1995 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report warns of “The Trilateralist Alan Greenspan” and its author writes, “Now that my five children are grown and educated, I’ve listened to the many supporters who’ve urged me to return to office. I can now give up my medical practice, and dedicate every fiber of my being to saving our country.” The newsletter also contains an advertisement for the Ron Paul congressional exploratory committee.

    The September 1995 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report asks about “Black Helicopters?”

    The June 1996 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report refers to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officers as “Jackbooted Thugs.”


    The November 1992 Ron Paul Survival Report defends chess champion and Holocaust-denier Bobby Fischer, saying that “the brilliant Fischer, who has all the makings of an American hero, is very politically incorrect on Jewish questions, for which he will never be forgiven, even though he is a Jew. Thus we are not supposed to herald him as the world’s greatest chess player.”

    Pat Buchanan

    In January 1992, Paul writes about his consideration of a presidential bid which he dashed after Pat Buchanan expressed his intention to run. Paul wrote of “the essential compatibility between [Buchanan’s] ideas and mine” and “agreed to serve as the chairman of his economic advisory committee.”

    A 1992 issue of the Rothbard-Rockwell-Report tells of Paul’s decision to defer to Pat Buchanan in the 1992 Republican presidential primary.

    Newsletter Authorship

    The masthead of March 1987 Ron Paul Investment Letter lists “the Hon. Ron Paul” as “Editor and Publisher” and “Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.” as one of several contributing editors.

    An undated personal solicitation letter—signed by Paul—asking the recipient to subscribe to his newsletter in anticipation of (presumably) the 1988 Libertarian Party Presidential nominating convention.

    The April 1988 Ron Paul Investment Letter lists Paul as Editor.

    The May 1988 Ron Paul Investment Letter lists Lew Rockwell as Editor. It also advertises books by the far-right conspiracy theorist Gary Allen, who was a contributing editor to the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

  131. What follows is an interesting exchange between Glenn Greenwald and Katha Pollitt (about her Jan. 23, 2012 article in “The Nation”). It’s well-worth the time, IMO. If it doesn’t embed, you’ll find it at the end of Glenn’s posting titled “Who are the victims of civil liberties assaults and Endless War?”


    Katha Pollitt’s article is titled “Ron Paul’s Strange Bedfellows”:


  132. For all those drooling neocons trying to find mud to sling at Ron Paul, one can only chuckle and say, “That all you got?”

    Failing to kiss the ring in Tel Aviv wins one lots of enemies in low places, apparently.

    The Bell Curve has a left half and people really do live there.

  133. Tony C.,

    I was a huge Kucinich supporter for years. Now I’m lukewarm.

    Most of the bigots who reside in my greater neighborhood have been Ron Paul supporters for a decade. For this reason I tended to dismiss Paul without much thought.

    Then the debate on Paul began on this blog and I read everything written and all links posted. I have now given a great deal of thought to Paul and am not able to support him for reasons having to do with civil rights and women. (just keeping it short and simple)

    Kucinich’s very real support for Paul is the reason my support for Kucinich has fallen to lukewarm.

    It is what it is.

  134. @Elaine: Let’s say a publisher/owner of a newsletter or blog hires individuals to write for his/her newsletter/blog who are known to hold racist, homophobic, and/or bigoted views.

    No, let us consider a hypothetical closer to the known facts: Let us say there is an investor in a newsletter, and the person running the newsletter hires a writer, and the writer turns out to be a racist and expreses those views. Does that mean the investor in the newsletter agrees in any way with those views?

    Ron Pau has said, and Lew Rockwell has confirmed, that Ron Paul’s “editor” title carried no duties to review or edit the newsletters, and Rockwell has elsewhere confirmed that he routinely published letters without clearing them with Ron Paul.

    I do not know if or what Ron Paul wrote or read in those newsletters, and neither do you, and neither does anybody else except Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell, if they even remember.

    Thus what I do know is that 100% of your effort is inferred guilt by association; I do not think you can produce any racial slur Ron Paul definitely wrote or any recording of Ron Paul uttering a racial slur.

    But the bigger issue, as you double down on innuendo, is that you ignore the proven lies of Obama we have on tape, and the damage they have caused to liberty, only some of which are detailed by Professor Turley above. Whatever Ron Paul’s racial beliefs may be, he has never, not once, proposed or supported any law that would have the government discriminate against citizens on the basis of their race.

    Which means not only has he has committed no crime, except in your mind, and if he IS a racist he has never once tried to advance that in his capacity as a lawmaker, while both the Obama and Bush administrations have committed countless crimes and violations of the Constitution leading to the deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of innocent foreigners and trillions of dollars of our wealth illegally looted from the treasury and transferred to private interests without any oversight; as detailed by Taibbi, Greenwald, and Turley.

    Those are not hysterical charges by me, they are backed up by the facts.

  135. As i’m reading this it sounds like their MAINLY focusing on TERRORIST. as a tax paying citizen i feel the government has THE RIGHT to look in on ppl of interest… how many ppl have been arrested after 9/11 because they were ppl of interest?? GET YOUR HEAD OUTTA YOUR ASSES PPL!! its for our own protection…

  136. Id just like to point out that in a post about how america is no longer free, the entire conversation has again devolved into whether or not ron paul doesnt like blacks, jews, and gays. Instead of focusing on the fact that everday there are more drug raids, drone strikes, surveillance, confiscation of property, illegal arrests, and with the vast accumulation of power in washington, we lose what incrimental freedom we may have had to live our lives as we see fit.

    Maybe thats how we ended up this far past the looking glass that noone can even recognize freedom and liberty.

  137. Yeah. It’s for your own protection. Never mind that your chances of being killed by a terrorist are minuscule.

    “But how afraid should Americans be of terrorist attacks? Not very, as some quick comparisons with other risks that we regularly run in our daily lives indicate. Your odds of dying of a specific cause in any year are calculated by dividing that year’s population by the number of deaths by that cause in that year. Your lifetime odds of dying of a particular cause are calculated by dividing the one-year odds by the life expectancy of a person born in that year. For example, in 2003 about 45,000 Americans died in motor accidents out of population of 291,000,000. So, according to the National Safety Council this means your one-year odds of dying in a car accident is about one out of 6500. Therefore your lifetime probability (6500 ÷ 78 years life expectancy) of dying in a motor accident are about one in 83.

    What about your chances of dying in an airplane crash? A one-year risk of one in 400,000 and one in 5,000 lifetime risk. What about walking across the street? A one-year risk of one in 48,500 and a lifetime risk of one in 625. Drowning? A one-year risk of one in 88,000 and a one in 1100 lifetime risk. In a fire? About the same risk as drowning. Murder? A one-year risk of one in 16,500 and a lifetime risk of one in 210. What about falling? Essentially the same as being murdered. And the proverbial being struck by lightning? A one-year risk of one in 6.2 million and a lifetime risk of one in 80,000. And what is the risk that you will die of a catastrophic asteroid strike? In 1994, astronomers calculated that the chance was one in 20,000. However, as they’ve gathered more data on the orbits of near earth objects, the lifetime risk has been reduced to one in 200,000 or more.

    So how do these common risks compare to your risk of dying in a terrorist attack? To try to calculate those odds realistically, Michael Rothschild, a former business professor at the University of Wisconsin, worked out a couple of plausible scenarios. For example, he figured that if terrorists were to destroy entirely one of America’s 40,000 shopping malls per week, your chances of being there at the wrong time would be about one in one million or more. Rothschild also estimated that if terrorists hijacked and crashed one of America’s 18,000 commercial flights per week that your chance of being on the crashed plane would be one in 135,000.

    Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered.” – reason.com

  138. ekeyra,

    It’s a presidential election year and every discussion regarding the candidates is germane to any thread dealing with the power those in D. C. have or wish to obtain over our lives.

  139. @Blouise: Ron Paul (and libertarians) appeal to bigots because bigots are literally stupid, and the libertarian policy of small government appeals to their mistaken belief that government assistance primarily comes from them (it doesn’t) and primarily goes to those they are bigoted against (it doesn’t, the majority of welfare recipients are white). I do not know if it still holds; but about five years ago I believe the largest single identifiable demographic on welfare were older white women without any college education or spouse (either divorced, widowed, or always single); in my view victims of the post-WWII systematic bias against females in work roles.

    Bigots also have the idea that minorities are riding the system; in fact over 50% of welfare recipients are on welfare less than two years, and only 20% are on it longer than five years.

    The fact that Ron Paul and libertarians attract bigots does not make a libertarian automatically a bigot, or their policies bigoted. For example, I happen to agree with Ron Paul that any college admission test that explicitly gives points to candidates based on their race is itself racist; it employs the racist stereotype that being Black or Hispanic automatically implies an under-privileged upbringing, when in fact the person in question may have attended exactly the same school at the same time as their White counterparts applying to the same college, so their extra points mean they are preferentially admitted over whites solely because of their race. That is racist.

    If we want to help the under-privileged that attended crappy schools (and I think it is a good idea to help level the playing field and to some extent at least consider how far a student has come with what they had rather than only consider where they ended up), we can get that done without resorting to racial stereotypes. We know how to grade on a curve based on historical performance that doesn’t demand any racial or gender stereotypes whatsoever.

    So when Ron Paul speaks out against using somebody’s declared race in an admissions decision, I think that is a rational position, not a bigoted one. But bigots will hear what they want. In general what Ron Paul advocates for is small government, and what the bigots imagine is greater freedom to exercise their bigotry; perhaps without realizing it isn’t the government suppressing it, it is the culture. And perhaps without realizing how much of what Ron Paul wants to eliminate is actually money in their stupid hands.

    I don’t know if it was a joke, but that Tea Party sign about “Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare!” comes to mind. Being endorsed by racists and bigots doesn’t mean Ron Paul is a racist or bigot, and endorsing Ron Paul does not mean a person is a racist or bigot.

    At least I don’t think so, I do not generally believe in guilt by association, and especially involuntary association (like who endorses a politician).

  140. @Elaine: Yes, sure, I am avoiding it. As you can tell, I am soooo afraid of what people might think of me. I think your hypothetical question is irrelevant and meaningless. If I answer it, you will take my answer as an agreement that it IS relevant and meaningful. So no, I am not avoiding it, I am ignoring it.

    But feel free to pose a hypothetical that actually has some relevance, and I will try to see it.

  141. […] The president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama extended the power, including searches of everything from business documents to library records. The government can use “national security letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure to the affected party. 10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free « JONATHAN TURLEY […]

  142. @Elaine: Why do you think it is relevant? Do you think Ron Paul personally hired James Powell? There is no evidence of that whatsoever. Do you think Ron Paul knew that somebody he didn’t know and didn’t hire was a racist? That doesn’t even make sense.

    So I am curious, why pose this hypothetical? What is the followup you hoped to accomplish?

  143. “I question your ability to comprehend reality, Mike, not your ethics or purity. I do not question your passion, I question your ability to put your emotions aside and analyze the situation dispassionately. I think there is a dangerous criminal in the White House, just as much as when Nixon was in there, or Bush Jr.”


    You have questioned my ethics and my reasoning when it comes to voting for Obama and I’m fair game for that, while I would disagree with your take. I explained my motivations as much as it is possible and have no need to defend my reasoning further. You project onto me a certain rigidity of belief that I think accurately describes your own feelings towards Paul. Turnabout is quite fair play. To my mind your defense of this foul human being, in spite of the ample evidence provided, evinces an inability to reason beyond your mistaken pre-judgments. That is the reality you fail to grasp it and in the process defend racism, bigotry, misogyny, homophobia and a total lack of
    constitutional understanding by Paul. This is not about voting for Obama, it is about specifically supporting Ron Paul and casting aspersions upon people who see the obvious truth to which you have emotionally blinded yourself.

    The Republican Party presents us with a Hobson’s choice. Romney the Corporatist Plutocrat, Santorum the potential Ayatollah and Paul the potential Hitler.

  144. This Counterpunch article by Paul Craig Roberts entitled “America’s Last Chance” is relevant. He suggests that only by electing Ron Paul president in 2012 can full blown tyranny be avoided. I think that those of you who believe in voting Democratic on the principle that Democrats are slightly less evil than Republicans need to read this. In particular he gives reasons why those of Ron Paul’s policies that progressives see as undesirable ar not a serious threat because he if elected would be totally lacking Congressonal and Senate support as the people who matter see him as an enemy.

  145. Dear Mr. Turley,

    You asked that I should “copy back to” you about any action I’ve taken in regard to your article. Well sir, this letter to you is identical to the action I take when I address others about certain actions the federal government takes, I ask them a question – What makes you think that such-n-such federal law automatically applies to you?

    The article heading says that you’re a professor of law. If so, how is it that you make it sound as though the federal government (or any other governmental body for that matter) can randomly use surveillance technology on the average man or woman as they go about their daily business? Do you not comprehend the difference between the words “public” and “private”? If you do, then you should understand that they are not the same. There is “private property” and there is “public property”. Private property is either “personal property” or “real property” that belongs to a particular man or woman. Public property is either “personal” or “real” property that belongs to a public entity. Since when do “public” laws apply to anyone outside government jurisdiction? Do you fail to comprehend that government jurisdiction stops at the boundary of any particular piece of real property that is “government owned”? That if the average man or woman is not partaking of, or involved in or with, some governmental object or business, then any particular governmental law has no bearing upon them?

    Don’t get Me wrong. I fully agree with the concept that governments are necessary in the support of a free society, but our governmental bodies in this country are of the “limited” variety and those limitations are first-‘n’-foremost of the “territorial” ilk, i.e., statutory (written) law applies only within the boundaries of land upon which a particular governmental body has permission to act.

    Take, for example, the hypothetical incident of a man being arrested for vagrancy. In a rural setting in my state (as I hope is true as well in yours) a man’s real property extends to the center of the street or highway which his land abuts, and, ergo, his neighbor’s land across the way does too and, therefore, each man is the “private” owner of his respective parcel and each allows his neighbors, i.e., the general population, an “easement” across their respective piece in anticipation that they would be granted such passage themselves further down the way. This would be no different in an urban setting, i.e., Sam’s Hardware owns the lot on his side of the street from the center of the alley in the rear to the center of the street out front, and Laura’s Apparel Shop across the street owns her lot in like manner. Therefore the sidewalk and street in front of either business on either side is private property and each owner allows the passing shoppers to cross their property in hope of attracting the odd buyer. Hence, if a particular man of vagrant character were to loiter about the front of either of these two shops they could be deemed by the owner as being or creating a nuisance. In that respect, it is actually the owner who would be “enforcing the law” if they were to call a cop to assist them in removing the vagrant. But, by no means, would such an officer have the authority to simply pull up to the curb in his cruiser and arrest such an ordinary man or woman based on a mere “suspicion” or “assumption” that such a person was such an offender simply because of the way it’s written in some city code or ordinance.

    Notice I used the phrase “general population” as opposed to “general public”. The general population, i.e., people at large, are not the the general public. Your average man or woman merely walking up and down the sidewalk or traveling down the highway in their auto are not “out in public”. How could they be? That would be equivalent to saying that every man or woman who walks about the countryside or travels the streets have somehow come to work for the government, or are somehow performing some government task or act, or doing so on or within government property. No, the “general public” would be the body of people who take the various “public positions”, such as your average city councilman, clerk, assessor, librarian, teacher, fireman, policeman, bus driver, park district lifeguard, etc. They’re the “general public” because they act or serve in a “public” capacity. It’s precisely this type of “dis-information” or misapplication of the meaning of these two entirely different words, “public” and “private”, that leads to the loss of our liberties. When the general population is led to believe that they are the “general public” then it creates a form of confusion upon which those in government, particularly cops today, can act upon or use against people to cause undue harm or distress. And they use it both often and well.

    You’ve written an otherwise informative and commendable article here, but in the future perhaps you could clarify, or rather substantiate, your comments by simply expanding on the topic a little. Public “laws” (statutes, codes, ordinances, executive orders, etc.) apply strictly to and/or upon public places, persons and objects. The “common law” applies to, or rather should be applied by, the general masses. Let’s keep that straight shall we? It would surely go a long way in an effort to retain one’s own liberties and help others do so, which in turn, enables them to reinforce your ability to do likewise.

  146. Carlyle,

    Although I respect you I would instead you read what Elaine has copiously posted o Ron Paul. I don’t believe he is what he says he is.

    “In particular he gives reasons why those of Ron Paul’s policies that progressives see as undesirable ar not a serious threat because he if elected would be totally lacking Congressonal and Senate support as the people who matter see him as an enemy.”

    Please understand I am deadly serious when I compare that kind of statement to those in 1930’s Germany political circles who said “so what if Hitler becomes
    Chancellor with his 34% of the vote, the Reichstag will tie his hands”.
    Commander In Chief of the US Military goes a long way towards imposing one’s will, especially if the military goes along with their CIC and after Iraq, why wouldn’t they? Obama hasn’t yet played that game and probably won’t. Ron Paul will look at his eyes, they are the eyes of a true believer convinced everyone else is crazy.

    Ron Paul=John Birch Society=KKK=Aryan Nation=Fascism.

  147. Mike Spindell:

    If Tony C says he is OK, he must be. On second thought you might be right, Tony C is a totalitarian at heart.

    Uh oh.

  148. Carlyle,

    Paul Craig Roberts article is frankly rubbish. He puts far too much faith in Paul, a man who is far too sleazy and disingenuous. I’m sure if you were publishing the Carlyle Moulton Newsletter you would read and approve everything that was in it, I know I would if I did the same. This set of lies alone, documented above by Elaine, disqualifies Paul from anyone’s trust. The Congress wasn’t able to control Bush, why would they be able to control Paul, especially if he was pushing fiscal conservatism, Right Wing Evangelism and racial hatred. It is sad that men like Roberts and Cockburn believe in good ideals, but don’t apply their dialectical thinking to what’s game really is afoot.

    Do you find it strange for instance that the only candidate Paul didn’t attack in New Hampshire was Romney? Yon Paul doth have a lean and hungry look.
    Sometimes much political capital can be gained by not winning a nomination.
    The father of the Koch Brothers, Fred Koch, was one of the founders of the John Birch Society. The main founder though was Robert Welch of the fruit juice family. Below are two interesting links regarding the JBS, with the Wikipedia link bending over backwards to be fair.



  149. Raff and Gene,

    I’ve always liked the term “Hobson’s Choice” and seek out situations where I can appropriately use it. “Morton’s Fork” just does’t have the same “je ne sait qua” and I’ll have you know that the only courses I ever failed in High School or university were French 1. It seems understanding grammar is a requisite I lack. Past Pluperfect etc. was beyond me.

  150. Mike,

    In a Paul presidency, what actions would you expect him to take to promote white supremacy that could possibly surpass the accomplishments of our current War on Drugs?

    The drug war has imprisoned millions of minorities, brought great violence on our communities, and even removes the convicted from the voting rolls for life in many states. Yet, Paul proposes to end the drug war and pardon all non-violent drug offenders. Is this a false promise? Does Obama have a larger plan to right these wrongs?

  151. What’s the next step? The next step is going to be the disarmament of the American people. To strip the firearms of the people means the path of least resistance.

    You’ve been conditioned to hate guns and the people who use them. You’ve been conditioned to think that only backward people cling to firearms.

    Willfully or not, this conditioning is to ensure that the day may sometime come that the 2nd Amendment may be stripped or “interpreted” in a way that makes the citizens of this nation completely defenseless against a tyrannical government.

  152. First of all, who’s in charge here. As I remember it, “We the People” are in charge. Since when are we going to let a bunch of half-witted nut’s rule, our life’s.
    The Bill of Rights, superceeds all and all of them. Those that attack our country and liberty need to be taught a lesson, and that lesson is the fact, we are all grandfather clause d. Which means, are you going to fall for their shit. I think not. Just stick together and help those fighters that get themselves wrapped up in this illegal battle. Time to make the For-fathers proud. Remember this is your country, not the traitors. No better battle to fight. Wake up America.

  153. Tony C.,

    “Do you think Ron Paul personally hired James Powell? ”

    Let me think. Gee…I dunno. Who do you suppose hired him to write for the Ron Paul newsletters? I have to wonder why they were called the Ron Paul newsletters if Ron Paul didn’t write the content, didn’t hire the people who wrote the content, and didn’t know what the content of the newsletters was.

  154. As far as Ron Paul goes. Vote and vote often. Come-on he’s the Statesman we need, not another politician.
    We will never again get the chance to bring back Liberty, never mind the Economy.
    With Paul you get a bargain. An Economist, a foreign policy expert, and a built in Doctor for what ever is ailing the US.

    God bless Ron Paul,

  155. On Ron Paul:
    “…But the notion that one can be a progressive, even merely a liberal, while praising some one who believes that companies should be allowed to post “NO Blacks Need Apply” signs if they wish, and only the market should determine whether that kind of bigotry will stand, is so stupefying that it should render even the most cynical of us utterly bereft of words. It is, or should be, a deal-breaker among decent people.”


  156. CEJ,

    Thank you for those great links. All those “leftists” supporting Paul should read them, but I think too many of them have drunk the Kool Aid and for them there is no going back. The hardest person to admit you are wrong to, is sometimes ones own self.

  157. Thank-you to all above who daily do the heavy lifting; and your welcome Mike, or as BIL would say “one lives to be of service.”

  158. You are looking at and commenting about symptoms. Well, except for the Chineese proverb, and a few other remarks. Enter the terms orwells boot and an article that I wrote addressing our descent into tyranny will be at the top of a list by all search engines. On Dogpile I am number 1, 2 and 5. Oh the love. But I digress. Go to xfoolnature.org and go to my foundations article for an even more exaustive read, along with some possible easy to implement solutions. Really.

  159. Mike Spindell.

    Maybe Ron Paul is a dangerous monster, but he is the only person running for US president who says that he is concerned with issues of costly, murderous and unnecessary wars, the racism of drug prohibition in an unjust system of criminal justice and civil liberties. True, he carries some very suspicious baggage but voting for him is the only way to send a message to the Democrats that one is upset by their betrayals on war, justice and civil liberties.

    It seems to me that Ron Paul has some very good and some very bad characteristics and voters have to choose which are more important to them.
    The consensus among Turley posters seems to be that the baggage is too heavy and ill smelling. However the present need to send a message to the political class on the lines of Ron Paul’s policy positions is dire. It is justifiable to vote for a hypocritical politician who espouse policies with which one agrees but which one does not expect him to implement as a means of sending a message.
    I think this may be what votes for Ron Paul would accomplish.

    Those arguing against voting for Paul in my view do not realize how dire the situation is in the US.

    This is Glen Greenwald’s response to the Professors editorial. article

  160. Carlyle,

    There’s a snowball’s chance in hell that Ron Paul is going to be the Republican nominee. The people that need to be convinced to vote for him aren’t the Democrats at this point in time. It’s the Republicans and Independents who plan to vote in the Republican primaries.

  161. @Elaine: Who do you suppose hired him to write for the Ron Paul newsletters? I have to wonder why they were called the Ron Paul newsletters if Ron Paul didn’t write the content, didn’t hire the people who wrote the content, and didn’t know what the content of the newsletters was.

    I think you are being purposely obtuse because I have a valid point.

    The person that hired James Powell, who wrote the racist content, was Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul’s former congressional chief of staff.

    Do you wonder why the Huffington Post is named after Arianna Huffington? Do you think she writes the content, hires the writers, and approves every one of the hundreds of articles they post every day?

    If you do, you are naive.

    You do not have to wonder why they were called the Ron Paul newsletters. Ron Paul was a name with national recognition and respect among a significant percentage of the population; namely he was a libertarian hero. In a time before the Internet and blogs, Lew Rockwell proposed cashing in on that recognition with the blog-equivalent of their time, an investment newsletter. That would be a business with a few built-in advantages; I imagine they owned a ready-made list of donors and campaign workers as their initial selling market, along with some detailed demographic and polling data on where the Ron Paul message was strong.

    I’d bet I could launch that business (at that time) with about $10K in financing. Just mail a sales letter and a few samples to the donor base and solicit subscriptions; you would be off and running.

    However, this is not a newsletter that works without the Ron Paul banner to market it. National recognition and respect for a national player is key, nobody will subscribe to a cold letter for the Lew Rockwell newsletter.

    So the deal was that Lew would do all the work of running the business, because he was a very successful publisher and business manager before he ever got involved with Ron Paul’s campaign.

    Ron Paul lent his name and fame to the newsletter, nothing more, the deal was he would continue his medical practice. He didn’t write them, it was Lew’s job to manage the business, write the letters, or hire freelancers to write them.

    Ron Paul did not come clean about not authoring the newsletters during his 1988 bid, because his campaign advisors (including Lew Rockwell) thought it would do more damage than good. I think that was disingenuous; but he wasn’t under oath, like Clinton was when lying about Monica Lewinsky, and I do not think Clinton’s perjury about an embarrassment rose to the level of disqualification either. And, I will note, even in the quotes above, he did not defend racism, he (laughably) tried to pretend the racism wasn’t there. (e.g. it is impossible to chase down a person that has stolen your purse.)

    He should have told the truth, he was economically exploiting his political fame after losing office. It was very little different from former Presidents giving six figure speeches, but Ron Paul screwed up in trusting Rockwell to run it. Not all lies are the same, and lies to avoid shame or public disdain over an otherwise legal activity (like Clinton’s) are just not as bad as lying to defraud or commit harm to others. One is akin to personal cowardice, the other is akin to a crime.

    And that is the problem, those that hold Ron Paul accountable for relatively minor lies with little impact, a little cowardice in facing the truth, simultaneously forgiving or trivializing major lies and major betrayals that amount to crimes with life-changing consequences by Obama.

    It is a double standard; because it doesn’t cost them anything to hold Paul to account, but it would cost them an election to hold Obama to account, so they hypocritically abandon their principles (and their rights) in the name of expediency. And then accuse anybody that calls them on their utter hypocrisy of being naive, unrealistic, dogmatic, and blind to the “obvious” truth; which are precisely the crimes of which they themselves are guilty.

  162. Tony C.,

    Wow. Arianna Huffington and Bill Clinton enter the discussion of the Ron Paul newsletters.


    “It is a double standard; because it doesn’t cost them anything to hold Paul to account, but it would cost them an election to hold Obama to account, so they hypocritically abandon their principles (and their rights) in the name of expediency. And then accuse anybody that calls them on their utter hypocrisy of being naive, unrealistic, dogmatic, and blind to the “obvious” truth; which are precisely the crimes of which they themselves are guilty.”

    Are you including me as one of “them?” I’ve made no argument in defense of President Obama. I’ve made no excuses for him either. I’ve just provided some information and articles about Ron Paul and his newsletters. I believe all candidates need to be called to account for their actions, their spoken words and writings, their lack of truthfulness, their positions on the issues.

    I have not hypocritically abandoned my principles.

    Obtuse? Me? And all these many years, I thought I was acute-y.

  163. Tony C:

    good post, I agree that at this point anyone who would vote for Obama is committing a crime against a free society, open society.

    The problem is that liberals are not going to vote for free markets and conservatives are not going to vote pro-choice. There is no perfect candidate and people have got to stop voting along party lines for their representatives.

    The conservatives want your body and the liberals want your pocket book, one is as bad as the other. Either way you get ruled. Conservatives want to tyrannize your genitals and liberals just want a little more than 75% of what you make. So you can either have a genital ring or a nose ring to be pulled around by.

    You could say since your work is a product of your mind and body and so is sex, both liberals and conservatives want to tyrannize your life.

  164. You have your reasons for not supporting Paul. That is fine and groovy. Do you not think that you are a racist for focusing on Ron Paul being a racist?

    Have you ever noticed, what anyone else is for you are against? Is that passive aggressive behavior? A house divided cannot stand. Emerson was quite the transcendentalist, you are very much not. You wish to divide the blog, but have no reason. What will it gain you but simple minded satisfaction.

  165. “I think you are being purposely obtuse because I have a valid point”.


    It is you who are being obtuse and unconsciously disingenuous to boot Between Elaine, SwM and myself overwhelming information has been presented to prove Paul is a racist, bigoted, homophobic, misogynist who would use his power to destroy this country and ensure it truly becomes the
    Feudal Corporatist State it has been heading for. You have sloughed it all off either by minimizing the threat he represents, using the “look at the other guy” defense as in:

    “those that hold Ron Paul accountable for relatively minor lies with little impact, a little cowardice in facing the truth, simultaneously forgiving or trivializing major lies and major betrayals that amount to crimes with life-changing consequences by Obama.”

    Or representing those that disagree with you negatively via supercilious ad hominem attacks:

    “It is a double standard; because it doesn’t cost them anything to hold Paul to account, but it would cost them an election to hold Obama to account, so they hypocritically abandon their principles (and their rights) in the name of expediency.”

    Tony, fuck you, Mr. Scientist/Successful Businessman. My respect for you has reached its nadir. You won’t be affected no matter who gets elected, so it is easy for you to balance out your pretended progressiveness, with focusing on certain issues and ignoring others that won’t affect you. I’m neither a hypocrite, nor am I lacking in ethics/morality. I’ve criticized Obama on this blog as much as you have and since I’ve actually spent a long career helping others, while you’ve spent it amassing money, who really has been true to the cause of freedom? All I’ve got is my SS and my pension, unlike you I have no investments, nor a 401K. Without Medicare I’d be dead.

    I don’t take kindly to having my integrity questioned by someone who rationalizes racism, bigotry, misogyny and homophobia. You are the hypocrite here Tony and the sad thing is that you lack the self awareness to know it. Elaine has never said she is voting for Obama, SwM and I have. This is not about Obama though, as much as you’d like to make it so. This is about playing with fire, as personified by a man who would thoroughly damage 99% of the people of this country, a Hitler in the making. Pathetically Tony, I could see you shouting “Sieg Heil” in its English equivalent as your businesses are freed up from regulation, while a private, Corporate Gestapo rounds up people like me who have really lived courageous lives questioning authority. If that sounds hyperbolic, it damn well is, because your failure to recognize the danger Paul represents is astoundingly stupid.

  166. “Maybe Ron Paul is a dangerous monster, but he is the only person running for US president who says that he is concerned with issues of costly, murderous and unnecessary wars, the racism of drug prohibition in an unjust system of criminal justice and civil liberties. True, he carries some very suspicious baggage but voting for him is the only way to send a message to the Democrats that one is upset by their betrayals on war, justice and civil liberties”.


    Are you serious? What message will be sent that won’t be too late. A Republican President and Congress will only continue the policies set in motion by Reagan, which will means more war, greater poverty, inequality and corporate control of America. Are the Democrats much better, no they’re not, but at least people will have enough remaining freedom to attempt to make things better. Republican are not known for their responsiveess to the need of the 99%. This country has moved so far towards Right Wing power that a right of center President is considered a communist. The Right Wing in America is controlled by religious fanatics and Feudal Corporate interests, there are no messages that they are capable of reading. To the Democrats the only message a loss in 2012 would bring, would be they have to move farther to the Right.

  167. “Do you not think that you are a racist for focusing on Ron Paul being a racist?”

    Not As Insane,

    Were you to drop the first two words of your sobriquet I think you would accurately describe yourself..

  168. @ Wilbur J Peatmoss

    Id like you to read the following ‘passage’….

    “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    sorry Wilbur, but no “inherent executive power” gives the president the the authority to indefinitely detain an american citizen without due process. the president’s powers are explicitly outlined in what i hope you recognized as the 5th amendment of our governing document. and that power is that limited to war. as i am sure you know, separation of powers requires congress to declare war. the NDAA sets in stone, the “inherent executive power” you think a president already has.

    while your ‘reality’ may not be concerned with the creeping loss of our rights, mine surely does.

  169. For those that claim: “If any president were to engage in indefinite detention of a US citizen, it could be challenged in court”. I ask: How does a person challenge their detention from the confines of a cell in a foreign country? How does their family know to make such a challenge when the local police have the detainee listed as a “missing person”?

    Prove to me that Ian Burnet hasn’t already been detained under the NDAA.

  170. You see you as well have avoided the very obvious. If your preoccupation is racism, would it not tend to make one think of classes and a caste system, therefore race as a predeterminate to social interaction abilities? To enjoy a person is not judging them, but enjoying them for who they are.

  171. Should a person be judged for how the toilet paper unrolls? There have been just as many debates on this as well. And Frankly, I do not care, so long as its available when I need it, right?

  172. I want to echo Mike’s comments. Ron Paul has proven himself to be a racist. He can’t run away from her own racist remarks that were repeated over a number of years.

  173. I agree that Ron Paul’s statements are racist. It just appears that if one is so preoccupied with a single issue that they may be guilty of the same, it is the hidden agenda whether consciously aware or not.

  174. I hope that we Americans will not remain distracted for too long. We need a Revolution something that will reach out and touch each and everyone of us becasue we are the people. This is our country as a whole we have the ability to stop this to shut down the government and move them from the corners of our homes. We the people are what makes this country run. .

  175. Not as Insane,

    Many of us who have criticized Ron Paul on this and other threads are not preoccupied with only his racism. We are critical of his positions on many other issues as well. That said, I’d say that voters should definitely be concerned if they believe a presidential candidate is a racist–or a bigot, or a homophobe.

  176. TPM2012
    New Batch Of Ron Paul Newsletters Just As Racist As The First
    By Benjy Sarlin

    A brand new batch of Ron Paul newsletters raises questions for the libertarian Republican — as well as a host of embarrassing fresh passages to go along with such classics as “the coming race war” and “the federal-homosexual cover up on AIDS” from earlier reports.

    Ron Paul claims “probably ten sentences out of 10,000 pages” were objectionable in his long-published newsletter series, even as he denies having ever written the content in question (or even having seen most of it). But, as TPM has reported and a new collection of Ron Paul newsletters posted by The New Republic confirms, racism, homophobia, and fringe conspiracy theories seem more like the newsletters’ raison d’etre than a rare aberration. In fact, even short promotional letters for the publication name-checked many of the most toxic passages.

    Once again, contempt for African Americans and warnings of a “race war” are central themes in the most recently released materials. One issue warned “every honest American should be armed” to prepare for the coming violence.

    “Today, gangs of young blacks bust into a bank lobby firing rounds at the ceiling,” one issue read, continuing: “We don’t think a child of 13 should be held as responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult, and should be treated as such.”

    Another issue from 1993 defended Marge Schott, who used to own the Cincinatti Reds, after she notoriously referred to her players as “million-dollar niggers.”

    “Remember the thought crimes from the novels of Orwell and Huxley?” the article reads. “It’s not fiction in America if the case of Cincinatti Reds owner Marge Schott is any evidence.”

    In one 1988 issue, the newsletters suggest Israeli involvement in a terrorist attack in Berlin, foreshadowing a similar suggestion in a previously released issue that Israel may have been behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

    Gays and especially AIDS victims were frequent targets, with a boatload of junk science cited to back up its hateful claims. Newsletters claimed the federal government was lying about how AIDS was transmitted and suggested it could be passed on through sneezes, breathing, or even contact with mail or delivery packages. An advertised book purported to tell the “the true and horrifying story of the witch-lesbo-feminists who are running America.”

    Then there are the usual conspiracy theories: FEMA camps set up to intern Americans, suspicion that Bill and Hillary Clinton murdered their friend Vince Foster, secret societies running the world, etc.

    TPM reached out to a Paul spokesman as to whether the candidate stands by his assertion that only eight to ten statements in the newsletters were offensive within a large body of work but did not receive an immediate reply.

  177. “Mike S, The newly released ones top the old ones”


    As the old disc jockeys used to say the hits keep coming. Between you and Elaine the case against Paul is overwhelming, yet all his supporters can do is rationalize his lies and accuse us of partisanship. Tony really knows our dislike of Paul has nothing to do with Obama, in fact Obama supporters would benefit from his getting the nomination. Tony’s problem is how to defend the indefensible and so attacking the messenger is his only defense. This man is so scary that even the possibility of his election, or leveraging his his support for another Republican to get a seat at the table, is really frightening. Your latest link moves the issue from certain to slam dunk status.

  178. Read what was said: I believe Ron Paul is a racist. That should be enough to decide to vote against him. Read also what I said: the single preoccupation with one topic, might be indicative of a persons true traits. It could be a hidden agenda too.

    I am sure there are people here that are familiar with psychology and personality disorders.

  179. @Mike: You won’t be affected no matter who gets elected,

    And you will not be indefinitely detained if Obama is elected, and you will not be the one unconstitutionally investigated, and you will not be the guy whose rights are violated, who will be under suspicion simply because you are a devout Muslim, whose private phone calls to family in the Middle East will be monitored, who will be denied jobs, both government and private, because you “look like a terrorist.” If you contribute to a charity to help Jewish children, or Christian children, you will not risk being charged by your government with aiding and abetting terrorism, having your assets seized and your freedom suspended; it is not YOU that will be declared guilty by association.

    It is not even you that is on the front lines Occupying Wall Street, getting tased and clubbed and pepper sprayed and dragged, it is not you that is getting physically punished for trying to exercise your first amendment rights. You will not become the third class citizen whose rights are violated, not for many years. Not until you again march and try to agitate for freedom, if ever.

    It is not ME, either. So why would I agitate to restore these rights? If I were speaking and acting to protect my OWN actions, I need not say anything! Why attract the attention? I can just watch TV, read books, and fish from the long pier for the rest of my life, the evil bastards won’t be coming after ME until about 2050, and I doubt I will even live that long.

    I agitate to restore the rights not because my rights are being directly violated, but because I care about others and I understand systems. The Bush/Obama abuses are there to destroy the principles embodied in our rights, they need to violate the axiomatic, bright line rules the Founders established with the Bill of Rights.

    Why? Because the rights have become a nuisance to their agenda. Freedom from unwarranted search is a nuisance for a police state, so they corrupt it for some “special cases,” but once that precedent is accepted by the public, because it does not affect them, the next step is expanding the “special cases” until the principle is abandoned completely, and you are effectively strip searched and exposed to unsafe levels of radiation before you can set foot on a plane. Unless, of course, you are wealthy enough to own or charter a plane, or connected enough to catch a private ride, so that little inconvenience does not affect YOU.

    The same thing with freedom of speech and assembly. Oh its free, except if it makes the rich uncomfortable or inconvenienced, then it is interfering with the economy, and now you can be confined (under threat of violence and arrest) to the Free Speech ZONE.

    Funny, can you believe the free speech zone used to be anywhere in the country at any time?

    Mike, you lose all the respect you want, you commit the crime you accuse me of. Others will suffer from the systematically increasing irrelevancy of the Bill of Rights long before you feel any effect, and by the time you do, it will be far too late.

  180. As long as a majority of the voting citizens of this USA, support, or just sit idly by, to a liberal agenda; then we get what we have coming. Not to say the other agenda isn’t bad also; it’s just the lesser of the two evils. Only desperation will cause a change from the norm and then it will be too, too, late. The only hope, is that of a personal nature based on a belief of redemption via prophetic freedom. Hope does not lie within a system geared for the elite. History does repeat itself and societies/empires based on greed and self-fulfillment will eventually fail. Is there time left to reclaim America or is the reclamation coming from above?

  181. @Rafflaw: In the fact-based community, it is not in dispute that the newsletters were written by Lew Rockwell and his freelancers, and it is not in dispute that Lew Rockwell hired them and supervised them and ran and promoted the publishing business; it was his pre-political profession.

    As a lawyer, exactly which statements unequivocally written by Ron Paul are you citing as proof of his racism?

  182. Tony C.,
    In the fact based world Ron Paul put his name on the newsletter for more than a decade. He even supported the newletter and its contents and went public in that support. “Published as far back as the late 1970s, under various mastheads bearing Paul’s name (Ron Paul Political Report, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report), the newsletters are, at times, virulently racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and conspiratorial. They dogged Paul’s 2008 campaign and threaten to do the same this time around, especially if the Texas congressman wins in Iowa. Paul and his staff’s scattershot responses to questions about the newsletters haven’t helped. Paul defended the newsletters in 1996, then said he didn’t write them in 2001. A campaign spokesman said in 2008 that Paul didn’t write “most of the incendiary stuff,” and last month, Paul personally disavowed them while pleading ignorance. “I never read that stuff; I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written,” he told CNN. However, the newsletters, many of which The New Republic has published on its website after reporting extensively on them in 2008, variously list Paul as “editor” or “editor and publisher.” http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/01/ron-paul-newsletter-iowa-caucus-republican
    What was that about the fact based world?

  183. Tony C.,
    While you are at it, read the entire Mother Jones article and read more factual statements attributed to Dr. Paul as Editor and Publisher of the newsletters.

  184. “As long as a majority of the voting citizens of this USA, support, or just sit idly by, to a liberal agenda; then we get what we have coming. Not to say the other agenda isn’t bad also; it’s just the lesser of the two evils.”

    What liberal agenda? There is no liberal political party in this country and only a handful of actually liberal politicians. There is only the center right conservative (the DNC) and the far right neoconservatives (the GOP).

  185. Tony C.,
    Here is a link to another New Republic article where even more outrageous statements are made under Ron Paul’s name, including more racist comments. http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/99666/ron-paul-newsletters-part-two Elaine and others have also provided links earlier that Ron Paul’s newsletters were regularly racist and homophobic. Would it take a normal person more than a decade to realize that the person who was allegedly writing this garbage should be stopped? I don’t think so.

  186. @Rafflaw: I see, so the evidence you cite for him writing it consists of him denying it. Well, case closed, then, guilt by innuendo, inference and association is going to make a lot of our prosecutions easier from here on out. No need to produce actual evidence, that should really cut down on court costs, I imagine.

  187. @Tony

    Ron Paul has repeatedly denied writing the racist & homophobic trash in his eponymous newsletter and yet he has also repeatedly refused to name who was responsible; tell me why?

    (Is it hard to make arrangements with yourself……tell me why?)

  188. There are clear reasons articulated to not support Ron Paul. If I choose not to support Obama, does that make me a racist?

  189. No Tony,
    if you read the articles you will see that he denies some of it, but not all and tries to explain it away. I ask you again, why did it take him running for office before he tries to disavow this incendiary nonsense? If a newsletter has my name on it, I sure as hell would make sure the words are at least consistent with my beliefs.
    CEJ’s question is a good one. Why won’t Ron Paul confirm the author?

  190. Tony,

    I think you are missing two very important words in the English language.



    A long track record of denying racist/homophobic/whatever rants in a newsletter bearing his name and listing him as “Editor” and/or “Editor and Publisher” may not make Ron Paul an explicit racist, but even so the length of time this problem has gone on uncorrected at an operational level and under his brand name certainly lends credence to the idea that at a minimum Paul is an implicit racist or simply incompetent to list himself as editor and/or publisher. Instead of a constant string of denials, if he were competent, he should have cleaned house so the problem did repeatedly recur. Or maybe it wasn’t incompetence. It could be considered naked political opportunism; a “plausibly” deniable routine of saying whatever it takes to get votes from anyone willing to accept pandering to hatred.

    Explicit racist.

    Implicit racist.

    Political panderer willing to use hatred or any other means to get votes.

    Now ask yourself what his pseudo-philosophy of choice might say about these options.

    Combined with all his other horrid policy baggage, do any of those options seem to make a reasonable person to put in charge?

    Again, I think you seriously underestimate the downside to Paul if elected. Two or three attractive policy planks for those interested in reform doesn’t mean that’s what he’ll deliver. America has already been sold that bill of goods once already by someone with more believable credentials than Paul.

  191. “There are clear reasons articulated to not support Ron Paul. If I choose not to support Obama, does that make me a racist?”

    No, because there are perfectly reasonable reasons not to vote for Obama either. The bottom line is that nobody running for the Office of the President is fit for the job. None of that changes that Ron Paul allowed his name to be used in spreading racist and homophobic articles which means he’s racist and homophobic, incompetent and/or simply a glad handing political opportunist willing to pander to any segment for votes.

  192. I am so on a list somewhere for this:

    The history of the present [government] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance

    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    For transporting us [and others] beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

    Assassinate or jail in an offshore prison for indefinite detention, American citizens with secret evidence.

    The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal

    Taking our land and giving it to private interests

    Forcing us into commerce against our wishes

    Preventing the people from using the illumination or toilet of their choosing in their own home.

    Prevents the recording of public actions of public officials

    Declares secret without oversight, information of import to the citizenry

    Restricts or bans the growing of plants for food and medicine.

    Arrest and convict a person of selling glass in a proscribed manner

    Subjects travelers on private transport to unreasonable, invasive and humiliating searches.

    Taxes the citizens of the States, and then requires the States to pass Laws as condition for the return of the funds

    Illegitimately imposes upon personal arms the police power of the state

    Incurs debt that the citizenry is unable to repay

    Debauches the currency on a daily basis

    Orders U.S. Military Forces into offensive actions without the approval of Congress.

    Institutes so many regulations and laws that it is impossible for a mortal to live a day without violating at least one if not a multiple of them.

    Uses the unlawful ownership of the airways to restrict speech.

    Takes the property of those not convicted but merely suspected of a crime.

    Enforces laws of other countries on US citizens engaged in peaceful commerce.

    May appoint anyone he wants to any appointed position he wants in the Executive branch, at anytime it pleases him to do so

    Does not protect the U.S. Constitution but at every turn tries to circumvent it.

  193. More Ron Paul Newsletters Surface
    Daily Kos

    The September 15, 1995 issue of The Ron Paul Survival Report speculated about the Oklahoma City bombing: “Were there, as some people now say, two bombs that went off in the building? And might the government have the wrong man? Who doubts the possibility that the government – which lied about Waco and Ruby Ridge – may also be covering up true information and planting false information about the Oklahoma bombing?” The newsletter then cited “a courageous cover story” from The New American, the official magazine of the John Birch Society, as evidence.

    The same article smears Kiri Jewell, a girl who testified before Congress about her molestation by Waco, Texas cult leader and right-wing hero David Koresh, as a liar. Kiri Jewell was 14 years old at the time. For good measure, this smear runs alongside the smiling headshot of Ron Paul… just in case there was any confusion about who was bringing you these happy words.

  194. “If I choose not to support Obama, does that make me a racist?”

    Not That Insane,

    Not supporting Obama is a valid choice and I wouldn’t call anyone per se a racist for not supporting him. I also owe you an apology because I misread your first comment here, but you have to admit it was somewhat unclear. Those that know me here know that when I am in the wrong I apologize for it unequivocally, in this instance though you contributed to the lack of clarity. Nevertheless, I assumed too much, too quickly and apologize for that.

  195. Ron Paul: Not So Much Denial Back in the 1990s (Plus: Newsletters 101)
    Steven L. Taylor · Monday, December 26, 2011

    All of this is worth continued coverage, because I still think a lot of reasonable people don’t grasp the overall story (and, of course, the Ronulans aren’t persuadable, but that’s another issue). And by “not grasp” I mean, have not seen all of the information in one comprehensive package. A lot of folks seem to envision the newsletters as something like the “Huffington Post” wherein there is a masthead with someone’s name on it, but where is it clear who wrote what. However, this is not the case, as the newsletters where all old-school, snail-mail documents presented as though they were written by Paul. Further,

    The basics:

    1. For some number of years, there were a number of newsletters published under Ron Paul’s name (and, at least in some example I have seen, the letters are ended with a facsimile of his signature.

    2. These newsletter contain, amongst other things, a great deal of “end of civilization as we know it” rhetoric alongside racists and homophobic rantings.

    3. These items originally emerged as campaign issues in Paul 1996 campaign to return to congress. At the time, Paul did not disavow the letters, nor did he claim that they were ghost-written. Instead, the defense that emerged at the time were along the lines of the “taken out of context” defense.

    4. In 2001, he told Texas Monthly: “I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren’t really written by me. It wasn’t my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady.”

    This admission, by the way, is hardly flattering because it suggests one or more of the following: a) Paul did not have much regard for the voters that he thought the concept of a ghost-writer was too complicated, b) was easily influenced by campaign staff, and/or c) thought that disavowing the newsletter would turn off some of his electoral support with the type of people who subscribed.

    5. In 2008 he told Wolf Blitzer:

    PAUL: It is. And of course it’s been rehashed for a long time and it’s coming up now for political reasons. But everybody in my district knows I didn’t write them. And I don’t speak like that


    BLITZER: Congressman, there’s a lot of material there. Let me just try figure out, how did this stuff get in these Ron Paul newsletters? Who wrote it?

    PAUL: I have no idea. Have you ever heard a publisher of a magazine not knowing every single thing? The editor is responsible for the daily activities. People came and gone. And there were people who were hired. I don’t know any of their names. I absolutely honestly do not know who wrote those things.

    BTW, calling an 8-page newsletter a “magazine” is misleading, to put it mildly. It creates the illusion, that many appear to have accepted, that we are talking here about a different type of publication than was the case.

    6. In 2011 he walked away from Gloria Borger, insisting that the story was settled. In that interview he said:

    PAUL: […] I didn’t write them. I disavow them. That’s it.

    BORGER: But you made money off of them?

    PAUL: I was still practicing medicine. That was probably why I wasn’t a very good publisher, because I had to make a living.

    BORGER: But there are reports that you made almost a million dollars off of them in — in 1993.

    PAUL: No. Who — I’d like to share — see that money.

    BORGER: So you read them, but you didn’t do anything about it at the time?

    PAUL: I never read that stuff. I never — I’ve never read it. I came — I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written. And it’s been going on 20 years, that people have pestered me about this. And CNN does it every single time. So when…

    If, by the way, Paul’s claims in #s 5 and 6 above are accurate, how do we explain the video linked above (or the one Doug provided or the contemporaneous newspaper account I noted above)? Is the 2001 admission to Texas Monthly sufficient? How and why would he allow content of any kind to go out under his name without reading it?

    Ok, so what’s the problem?

    Answer: Paul bears responsibility for their content because one of the following is the case: he wrote them, he wrote some of them, he wrote none of them but allowed them to be presented to his subscribers as though he did.

    If he wrote the passages in question, there is little doubt that he would be unelectable.

    If he did not write the passages in question, he has some serious explaining to do, as (at a minimum) it raises questions about his ability to function in a managerial position (e.g., POTUS). If Paul could not manage a relatively brief (8ish pages per issue as far as I can tell) publication with a small (thousands, I think) circulation rate, how in the world can he function as chief executive of the government of the largest and most powerful (economically and militarily) government in the world?

  196. Former staffer says Ron Paul lying about role in controversial newsletter
    Spokane Conservative Examiner
    December 27, 2011

    In a lengthy telephone interview with the Spokane Conservative Examiner Monday evening, Eric Dondero, former staffer to Texas Congressman Ron Paul, said the GOP candidate is not telling the whole truth about his role in the newsletters that contain a number of controversial statements.

    According to Dondero, Ron Paul “absolutely read every single article” in the newsletters that bear his name.

    In fact, Dondero went so far as to say Paul was “obsessed with the newsletter.”

    “Of all the things he’s fibbing about,” Dondero said, “this is the worst.”

    “He’s completely telling falsehoods about the newsletters – they were his babies,” Dondero said.

    Dondero, who served as Paul’s driver, said he had to map out every Kinko’s in the area to ensure the Congressman – who insists on punctuality – could get to a fax machine and still be on time for his appointments.

    Many have wondered if the articles – written in the first person – were actually written by Paul himself or by a ghost writer. Dondero said it was a joint effort between Paul and Lew Rockwell, and others joined in later on.

    He explained that Paul himself never actually sat down to a word processor, but would rather scribble copious notes on a yellow tablet that he would fax to an assistant. That person would collate the notes and forward them to Rockwell – or another associate – who would turn the notes into something resembling an article.

    Once the article was written it was faxed to Paul who would either approve or disprove the work. Once he approved the article, he would sign or initial the last page and fax it off to the printer. According to Dondero, while 20 – 30 percent of the article was penned by Paul, nothing was printed without his approval.

    Whether the controversial material was penned by Paul is unknown, but Dondero said Paul approved of everything that was published.

  197. “And you will not be indefinitely detained if Obama is elected, and you will not be the one unconstitutionally investigated, and you will not be the guy whose rights are violated”


    Just how in hell can you be so sure? You simply can’t have it both ways. You can’t bemoan prejudiced application of the law against Muslims as evidence of Obama’s totalitarian bent and then say that others will be exempt from the same totalitarianism you decry. Are you now saying that Obama’s policies are only anti-Muslim? Even I don’t think that about the possibilities inherent in NDAA and the Patriot Act as being limited to Muslims. You are “pretzelizing” yourself in your attempts to justify your support for a racist, bigoted, misogynist, homophobe, who would destroy any pretense of a government safety net.

    “It is not even you that is on the front lines Occupying Wall Street, getting tased and clubbed and pepper sprayed and dragged, it is not you that is getting physically punished for trying to exercise your first amendment rights. You will not become the third class citizen whose rights are violated, not for many years. Not until you again march and try to agitate for freedom, if ever.”

    How do you know that Tony. How do you know how I spend my time, or what causes I support? As far as getting hurt if the object of your idolatry gets in, or any of the rest of the Republican, the loss of SWS and Medicare would impoverish me, but your head will still be way above water. I had to bring back a relic of the 60’s, but Tony you are a classic “limousine liberal”, smarter than everyone else especially because you won’t have to suffer the harm caused by your mistakes.

    “I agitate to restore the rights not because my rights are being directly violated, but because I care about others and I understand systems.”

    Tony you care so much you are willing to support a NAZI to ensure those rights. You keep swatting that straw man Tony and throw in Obama, when my whole argument has been about Paul. Have’t you noticed that Gee and I haven’t been arguing ad his distaste for Obama equals yours. His solution though doesn’t seem to be to support a NAZI. Again Tony, made utterly simple for you:
    Ron Paul=JBS=KKK=AN=NAZI. You’re the scientist and that formula is true.

  198. “The only hope, is that of a personal nature based on a belief of redemption via prophetic freedom.”


    My normal prejudice has been that people with my name are smarter than average. You have shown me the light, my prejudice was unwarranted.

  199. @Rafflaw: Fair enough, I vote for “incompetent” to be a publisher or editor (or businessman in general), and naked financial opportunism as a private citizen, which I actually think is the most likely truth. I also think, due to the culture of his birth and young adulthood, there is a good chance he has a disturbing tolerance for racists and a disturbing tendency to dismiss racism as a non-issue. And I do mean disturbing to me.

    But whatever racism is or is not in his heart, there is no evidence I can find anywhere he intends to impose that on the country as a lawmaker or as a President. In fact, looking at his voting record and campaign promises to end the War on Drugs (within the power of the President), he would indirectly aid the black and other minority communities significantly, because (as Greenwald has documented) the War on Drugs is effectively racist in the extreme in its enforcement, and wildly tilted against the poor and lower middle class.

    Obama, on the other hand, has already betrayed us dramatically on the civil liberties front, probably irreversibly.

  200. I never liked Paul as a Texas politician. It has nothing to do with Obama. In 1996, Buchanan came to Texas to help him. He has been extremely anti-union all along. Steven Forbes has even assisted him here. Some of us might be more likely to be detained by Paul. Why does anyone think he would give up presidential power? Maybe I am too traditional but I don’t get the “progressive” anti semitic, racist ,anti-union, creationist and sexist thing? Maybe Glenn Greenwald needs to explain it further.

  201. @Mike: Are you now saying that Obama’s policies are only anti-Muslim?

    No, of course not. What I am saying is that they will be applied FIRST to Muslims, and Arabs, and citizens that exercise their free speech and property rights (monetary donations) in sympathy with Muslim oppression by US forces, because now that is “aiding and abetting” the “enemy.”

    And then whether the policies are Constitutional or not will fade away, they will become mainstream political dogma, and then someday a Scott Walker type Koch-brothers Republican will be elected President that chooses to use his sweeping authoritarian powers to destroy progressives without mercy, and all the programs you think you are protecting by electing Obama will be gone, because the people will have no civil liberties left with which to defend them.

  202. Tony C.,
    you are way too kind to Mr. Paul, in my opinion. Being an opportunist does not require one to be part of blatant racist and homophobic claims and allegations. Being a racist and not doing what we may like with privacy and civil rights are too different things.

  203. @Rafflaw: Being a racist and not doing what we may like with privacy and civil rights are too different things.

    Precisely; one is a repellent personal flaw, and the other is a crime.

  204. Thank you Mike Spindell. I am not a racist nor an apologist. I am Also very concerned with the positions of the current ones running for office. I will more than likely not vote this year.

  205. @Rafflaw: Yes. Obama took a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, he is a Harvard educated Constitutional scholar, and it is impossible he does not know what Turley knows, what Greenwald knows, what the entire ACLU knows; the laws passed by the Bush and Obama regimes are unconstitutional. Prima Facie.

    The primality of the Constitution is built into our country’s highest ofice by the Founders, hence the solemn oath to protect and defend it as a condition of office. He has knowingly broken his oath of office, and although I am not a lawyer I think that is what the Founders meant by an impeachable “high crime,” using the power granted by office to violate the Constitutional rights of citizens and persons within the United States.

  206. […] Click Here to Read More Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "333333"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "0066cc"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "cccccc"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "ff4b33"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "politics"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "religion"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "editorials"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Share this:TwitterFacebookDiggStumbleUponEmailPrintLinkedInRedditMoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  207. Gene, you make some good points. If Ron Paul is lying about his involvement concerning the article, it really doesn’t make any difference since he won’t be getting the nomination. His ideology of sticking to the constitution makes for a good arguement. The arguement over whether he is a racist or not is a moot point. Now, an arguement over whether our sitting pres. is a muslim and racist towards Americans is worth an argument. The statement by Romney about changing the constituition to include “gay” rights is also. Oh, Mike don’t be hating me. I’m on your side.Or maybe I read you wrong. Anyways, the liberals I was referring to are the ones that also include the fake conservatives. You know, the ones that are mere puppets for the “enlightened ones”; or have you been hiding under a rock for the past twenty years?

  208. However, there is one major conundrum: Pointing out the aspects of the Obama administration’s agenda that make us civil libertarians cringe is a valuable service. But, on the other hand, do we really want to drive away a lot of potential Obama voters so that we wind up with President Romney?? We really are stuck between Barack and a hard place.

  209. It seems to me that the drug war has done more damage to our civil rights than the war on terrorism and for what? To make sure American’s only get high on booze? At least the war on terrorism makes some sense which is more than I can say for the war on drugs. As usual in such instances the Supreme Court lets the prejudices of the majority overrule the principles in the constitution. Does ‘equal protection by the law’ mean anything when the majority doesn’t want it to?
    It may be that people are just getting dumber. With alcohol prohibition at least they figured out in 15 years or so that it was not going to accomplish its intended goal and just created and funded criminals – so they stopped it. The same is even more true with the drug war and 40+ years later the vast majority is still clueless and the Supreme Court couldn’t care less.


  210. @Rafflaw: I agree that was a crime, it was a violation of a treaty signed by Reagan. And unless we have secret pardons now, Obama did not pardon them, and they can still be prosecuted.

    Ron Paul has spoken out about the unconstitutionality of Torture and failing to prosecute by our treaties.

  211. “Obama did not pardon them, and they can still be prosecuted.”

    If they are prosecuted, they won’t need to be tortured themselves in order to make them sing their hearts out.
    – which might be a factor in the matter.

  212. Elaine:

    In watching that clip you posted, I marveled at the fact that I did not download a couple of books from amazon, free ones that dealt with sabatoge and waging a rebel insurgency. These books were written maybe 50 years ago and looked interesting but I did not because I was worried that I would be targeted and placed on some NSA watch list. Maybe I am just paranoid but I imagine the Germans in 1930’s Germany did the same self censoring.

    Turley is absolutely right on this subject.

    We need to vote out every single congressman who voted for the NDAA.

  213. Actually Elaine….

    The Official Tag line is 10…..But to be safe…according to a friend of mine in Treasury….keep it under 5…..the bank will notify the authorities about these transactions as well….

  214. And keep your bank transfers/deposits/withdrawals under $10,000.

    If you only knew. I’ve seen legal cash transactions in front of me for tens of thousands. I’ve seen people, not from this country, walk out of a check cashing establishment carrying tens of thousands of dollars after a transaction. BIG BUSINESS !!!!!!

  215. @Rafflaw: Why should Ron Paul speak out on racism? He has disavowed the letters, and repeatedly, he has repeatedly condemned racism, and he will again anytime anybody brings it up. I do not know what else Paul can possibly say that will change anybody’s mind. If somebody thinks he is lying about it, then they will think he is lying about anything he says that absolves him of racism. If he says something that suggests racism, they will assume he is telling the truth and that convicts him. So literally anything he says on the topic will be a strike against him; his veracity will be determined by whether his speech confirms their preconceived notion of him.

    Even if he says something truthful, the haters of Ron Paul will count it as just another lie they will gleefully attempt to use against him. They are convinced by innuendo and association and unconvinced by facts, truth, or deeds.

  216. maybe we should just run around like hippies without a care in the world, so we can be free! Oh that’s right, we live in the real world.

    The only thing I agree on in this entire page of worthless quotes; is that Obama is a terrible president.

    /the end

  217. In direct mail solicitation, Paul predicted ‘race war,’ touted newsletters
    December 23, 2011

    Texas Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul claims he never read the racism-tinged newsletters that bore his name in the 1980s and 1990s, but a direct-mail newsletter solicitation sent out over his signature claimed authorship and warned potential contributors of what he called an approaching “race war in our big cities” and claimed a “federal-homosexual” conspiracy to conceal the dangers of AIDS.

    “Save yourself and your family,” Paul urged in the letter, sent out after he lost a re-election bid and before he returned to Congress.

    He added:

    While on Capitol Hill, I developed extraordinary sources in House and Senate committees, the White House, the Treasury, the Fed, the Justice Department, and even the IRS. These patriotic Americans won’t talk to the liberal media but they do trust me and they want you to know what’s really happening.

    Paul continues:

    That’s why I wrote Surviving the New Money. That’s why I publish the Ron Paul Investment Letter and the Ron Paul Political Report. To protect middle-class Americans and their savings from the federal shears.

    The publications contained frequent racist remarks, anti-Semitic diatribes and flagrant homophobia.

    The newsletters referred to the Martin Luther King national holiday as “Hate Whitey Day,” called gays “fags” and “queers” and warned of a “Jewish conspiracy to destroy America.”

    Paul’s story about his involvement with the newsletters has changed over the last two decades, ranging from claims that his comments were “taken out of context” to the current spin that he didn’t write them, never read them and now disavows them.

    But former Paul aides tell Capitol Hill Blue the Texas Congressman and twice-failed Presidential candidate was “heavily involved” in deciding the themes of the newsletter and personally approved each issue before they went out in the mail.

    “He read them, every line of them,” says former aide Eric Dondero, who confirms each issue was faxed to Paul for review and approval.

    “He would sign them at the bottom of the last page, giving his OK before faxing them back to the printer,” Dondero says.

    Other former Paul aides confirm Dondero’s recollection of Paul’s involvement with the newsletters.

    When questions about the content of the newsletters arose during a Congressional election campaign in 1996, Paul did not deny writing or approving the content. Instead he told The Dallas Morning News that the content was “taken out of context.”

    In a 1995 interview with C-SPAN, Paul touted the newsletters he claimed he never read.

    The solicitation letter sent out by Paul urged subscribers to subscribe to the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

    “Each month I give you the trustworthy information, analysis and recommendations you need to protect yourself, and increase our wealth, in the 1990s,” Paul says in the letter. “As the only former high official to publish a financial letter, I supply facts and analysis available nowhere else.”

    The letter plays on paranoia, warning readers about “an IRS agent with an AK-47.”

    “While muggers, robbers and racists run free on the streets, the power of the state is focused on you.” the letter says.

    Paul continues:

    I’ve been told not to talk, but these stooges don’t scare me. Threats or no threats, I’ve laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. the federal-homosexual coverup on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one). The Bohemian Grove — perverted, pagan playground of the powerful. Skull & Bones: the demonic fraternity that includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress’s Mr. New Money. The Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.

    Paul also urges readers to cash in on catastrophe:

    A liberal clergyman sneered: “Isn’t it immoral to benefit from catastrophe?” I told him, “No, not if you didn’t cause it.” In fact, the few who preserve and even increase their wealth in the coming chaos will be needed to rebuild America.”

    Salvation and wealth, the letter says, is available for just $99, which in return will bring a special report (“Surviving the New Money) along with an annual subscription to the Ron Paul Investment Letter and the Ron Paul Political Report). A two-year subscription was available for $189 or readers could get three years for $279.

    While there is no evidence that subscribers got rich from information in the newsletter, Paul pulled down close to a million dollars a year in the heyday of the publications.

    When asked on CNN this week about the money he made from the newsletter, Paul walked off the set.

    When asked about the fundraising letter, Paul’s Iowa campaign chairman Drew Ivers said Paul does not deny material distributed over his signature but still claimed the candidate knew nothing about the actual content of the newsletters.

  218. @ Tony C:

    For argument sake, let us assume that all of Ron Paul’s letters were just one big mistake/oversight etc. (I find it difficult to believe this but…)
    His economic policies alone would crush this country (the 95+%) and probably reduce about 80% of us to utter poverty. That becomes a humanistic issue rather than just a race issue. His “gold standard” prescription will shrink our economy down to the 1960s level rapidly. Interest rates will be 20+ percent and food will be beyond reach for most. Imagine reducing the economic activity down to the level of available gold which is a very limited commodity on planet earth; even more than oil or gas or any other natural substance. And gold intrinsically has no value other than psychological; many rare elements fall in this category. It is food, energy, water, arable land that count…all over again. Study the consequences of the “Austrian School” carefully before you sign on to it. It is not as painless (or a temporary hardship) as you might think. His promise to end the drug war does not compensate for the huge impact his gold based non Federal Reserve policy would have. The loss of freedom from this would be enormous as we would not even have the “luxury” to think of the Bill of Rights. Reversing course back to an old era sounds good in theory but dangerous in practice as it is not 1960. The gold standard was done away with for good reasons. Of course I dont support these massive deficits for military spending and bailouts either. (I am assuming that he gets to be POTUS with a cooperative Congress. But then again voters were crazy enough to vote for “Tea Party” types so all bets are off.
    This is not to say that President Obama gets off the hook for signing NDAA. It is just that we still have a chance to reverse it with a new Congress. With Paul and Co it would all be over. Racism and “those letters” would be a non issue. And a moderate welfare state with small deficits is not a bad compromise. Heck we balanced our budget in 2000 and were headed in the correct direction. The duty of government is to protect the welfare (economic) and personal freedom of people. Why do Republicans hate government so much yet want bailouts for Corporations and a massive military? It seems like they want only their version of big government. ….

  219. Ron Paul, Take Two
    Katha Pollitt
    January 18, 2012

    These are important issues, and I’m glad Glenn follows them so energetically—and I’m glad someone, even if it’s Ron Paul, is talking them up in the campaign. But let’s not go crazy here. They are not the only issues. It makes no sense for progressive pundits who have devoted their lives to defending the welfare state, progressive taxation, labor unions and the federal government’s ability to protect citizens from abuses at the state level to heap praise on Paul, who vigorously opposes all those things as part of his Ayn Randian anti-government, every-man-is-an-island worldview. It is a fact that most of these pundit fans are white men (not all of them, obviously, as has been pointed out by literal-minded readers), as are (again not exclusively, but predominantly) Paul’s supporters. There are probably numerous reasons for this, but in my opinion, one of them is that some of the areas in which Ron Paul is truly awful are just not politically central to them. (Note by contrast feminist civil libertarian Wendy Kaminer’s carefully parsed discussion of Paul in The Atlantic.) You can’t praise Paul’s stance on “civil liberties” as pure and uncompromising if you see reproductive rights as a civil liberty. You can’t celebrate Paul for bemoaning the effect of the drug war on black America without noting that criminalizing abortion would put a different set of black people into the criminal justice system—not low-level drug users and dealers but ordinary women, mostly mothers. To those who say abortion rights are safe so Paul’s position doesn’t matter, I would suggest a brush-up on recent state developments. We are much closer to criminalizing abortion in the South and Midwest than we are to legalizing crack and heroin anywhere in the United States. And to those who say segregation is a dead letter, I’d say it’s not at all fantastic to see popular libertarianism tipping the balance in favor of allowing landlords, hoteliers, restaurant owners and such to exclude people on racial grounds. Informally, it already happens.

    Basically, I’m bewildered by progressives who embrace Paul. It’s as if there has to be a male leader, someone “uncompromising” and “pure” and “principled” to romanticize, and since obviously that can’t be a Democrat (sellouts! wimps!), the eye of the pundit wanders right. With Occupy Wall Street still animating the national conversation, this seems like exactly the wrong time to befriend the nation’s major proselytizer for “Austrian economics.”

    It’s not only that the messenger discredits the message—Paul’s wacky statements are not ancient history; just recently he told an evangelical gathering in South Carolina that the gold standard is mandated by the Bible. It’s that the message itself discredits the message. There has to be a better way to argue for diminishing America’s huge global military footprint than by connecting it to an isolationism so extreme it would mean quitting the United Nations and abolishing foreign aid, and a better way to protect civil liberties than by opposing them to civil rights. Positions don’t exist in isolation, either from who is advocating them or who is listening. Context is all. And the extreme-right, anti-government libertarian context is bad news for the left. As I said before, Paul is a reactionary crank, and by branding with his name positions that plenty of progressives take, we inadvertently strengthen the case against ourselves.

  220. Well said oncology. Ron Paul wants privacy as long as you are a corporation or male. If you are a women, your body is no longer private.
    Tony C.,
    I am a little late responding, but Paul himself needs to name who wrote every newsletter in question and to explain to you and me, why it took a political campaign for him to disavow them.

  221. sucks a long response elaine, and so many points you try to make about paul, and myself are pretty misguided. first off i am not a ‘progressive’, and while you don’t specifically state it in your response, you say it many time and imply that i am. second, you see ron paul’s ideas a ‘crank pot’ and ‘crazy’. well elaine, i see EVERY OTHER candidate out there besides paul as delusion crank pots. the sitting president claims the right to murder US citizens without any sort of semblance of due process or habeas corpus (hes got 3 kills this year!). he also believes the government can mandate that people buy a product (health care). and to top it all of he is running an illegal drove war in pakistan and yemen, and started an illegal war in lybia (ie illegal = no congressional declaration of war). sure, and ron paul’s ideas are ridiculous. riiiight.

    these poeple seem to think we can continue spending and spending money along with the slow creeping removal of our rights in the name of protecting us. and to me THESE are crazy and crankpot ideas that everyone seems to not care about.

    well elaine, the government’s job is not to protect us from every single one of life’s ill. the governments job’s is to keep us free. you call paul an isolationist. why? because its what you hear in the media. do you even understand his position on the subject? he wants to end the wars we are currently in, he wants to reduce the number of overseas US bases (there are currently 900) and he wants to freeze defense spending at 2006 levels. these are hardly isolationists policies.

    lets move on to your next example. comparing the so called ‘criminality’ brought about by paul’s stance on abortion to that of the drug war is a ridiculous comparison. ~1 million americans were arrested last year for drug offenses, the majority of them simple possession of marijuana. is it your belief that paul would be able to single handedly end 35 years of roe vs wade precedent, which would lead to 1 million US mothers receiving abortions and going to jail? I think not, and if you actually believe in that example you are the crank pot. But lets put this in some perspective. paul was an obstetrics physician. he has observed abortions himself. and his feelings on the subject are as follows… “t was pretty dramatic for me to see a two-and-a-half-pound baby taken out crying and breathing and put in a bucket.” Have you ever observed a late term abortion? i think you might have a change of opinion if you ever have.

    i could go on, and on, but what amazes me is the anti-paulite zealism of people like as yourself. a candidate who is more in touch with main stream America than any other candidate, who truly wishes to fix some of our problems is a terrible crank pot. yet politicians who consistently lie, violate the Constitution, wish to take your civil liberties, militarize our police and drive this country into the ground economically, they are the ones you think have good ideas? And keep in mind, there is no longer ANY difference between a democrat and a rebuplican at this point. obama is just a younger, smoother version of bush jr. and ronmey would be no different. so cling to your status quo, it obviously makes you feel safe, and feeling safe to you is apparently more important than being free. maybe that is where the major disconnect in our thinking lies….

    RON PAUL 2012!

  222. @Oncology: I understand (seriously) that nobody can be expected to read everything in one of these threads, so I am repeating here something I have said before, to others:

    If all that stands between us and utter disaster is ONE election and ONE office, we are lost anyway. If you seriously believe you cannot trust the Democrats in Congress to fight the destruction of Social Security, the destruction of Medicare, the abolishment of the EPA, OSHA laws, and on and on and on: If you seriously believe that Ron Paul, simply by virtue of being the President, can destroy the ENTIRE New Deal infrastructure passed by LAW and ruled Constitutional, then it is all lost soon anyway.

    I do not believe it is; and if you do, then you are lost too: You no longer even believe in checks and balances, you just think you are choosing a dictator that can do whatever he wants. You have lost all faith in Democracy; and you have already acceded to the demands that you surrender all of your rights to the discretion of the government.

    Ron Paul has never proposed an Unconstitutional fix to anything. Ron Paul has never aserted that the President has the right to simply repeal laws he doesn’t like, and he has never asserted that the President has the right to decree anything off limits forever; or to declare a law Unconstitutional, or to amend the Constitution to his liking, or anything remotely like that.

    So his power is limited; an actual Ron Paul Presidency would be a stalemate, except on a few issues where he does have Constitutionally granted unilateral power: Ron Paul really can pardon all non-violent drug offenders, end the wars, declassify a great deal of what has been classified, and do other such things.

    He cannot implement his free market ideology without a filibuster, and he won’t even be close to a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. Plus, since he would be a Republican, we should be able to count on Democrats to oppose his every legislative move on party principle alone.

    There is a huge gap between what Ron Paul wants to do and what Ron Paul actually could do.

  223. ceanf,

    What points did I try to make about you? When did I call you a progressive?

    FYI: I happen to agree with Ron Paul’s position on a number of issues–which I noted on another thread. That said, I also disagree with his positions on many other issues.

    I posted a number of excerpts from articles about Ron Paul that were written by other people. I hope you’re not mistaking their words for mine.

  224. @Rafflaw: nd to explain to you and me, why it took a political campaign for him to disavow them.

    Why do you think? Why did it take a political campaign for Obama to throw Reverend Wright under the bus? Either Obama was lying about how often he attended his supposed church, or he knew full well Reverend Wright was damning the American government and preaching reverse-racism against whites from the pulpit all along.

    In both cases, media attention inverts the calculus of talking about it. When there is no media attention, creating NEW attention by denouncing something only a few people knew or cared about does more harm than good. Once media attention is pervasive, refusing to denounce it creates continuing harm, denouncing it is the only thing that has any chance of stopping the harm.

    In both cases it is unprincipled self-serving politics; but do not paint Ron Paul with a brush you won’t paint Obama with (or Romney, or Hillary, or Bill Clinton).

  225. Tony C.,
    Rev. Wright has nothing to do with Ron Paul’s decision to hide who wrote the racist and homophobic and incendiary newsletters for years, under his name.

  226. Tony C.,
    I will paint Ron Paul with the brush of his own words whenever it makes sense to do so. Rev. Wright’s words were not published under the Obama name. Ron Paul’s garbage was written under his name.

  227. Tony C.,

    Ron Paul’s newsletters–a number of which contained racist and homophobic content–were published for many years under Ron Paul’s name. He made money from them. I’d say that’s quite a bit different from Obama attending a church where the pastor made anti-American comments in a couple of sermons.

  228. […] organizations to turn over information on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. 10 Reasons The U.S. Is No Longer The Land Of The Free « JONATHAN TURLEY World News News News en anglais 1 HEADLINES News ENG Politique 4 [+] Technology medical […]

  229. @Elaine: I didn’t think money was the issue. I thought the issue was whether Ron Paul is a racist, and his name on the letter or making money from the letter does not prove that in the least.

    In fact, if the money speaks to anything, the money makes it less likely he is a racist, because it raises the possibility he was just willing to let racist innuendos slide if it was selling letters; just like everybody else in the media is willing to compromise their principles in return for the political candy of interviews and access in Washington. Which all boil down to easy money, because there is no expensive fact checking or production or reporting, and no alienating pols that want to regurgitate some spin, just hire somebody to read the teleprompter and let the pols say whatever the hell they want.

    You would actually have a far stronger case (for his racism) if he had no money motive at all.

  230. So, let me get this straight, Tony.

    Racism, bad.

    Naked political opportunistic pandering to racists for cash, okay?

    Seriously, man. WTF.

  231. @Gene: Did I say it was okay? I said it was compromising principles in return for easy money, and it is common as dirt in media enterprises.

    Why rephrase what I said as a false dichotomy? Being a racist is one personality flaw, pandering to anybody (even racists) because they are paying customers is a different personality flaw, and a far more common one, especially in media. In Ron Paul’s case the effect is once removed: We can speculate he was letting somebody else (Lew Rockwell) pander to racists, because that was making him a lot of money.

    And it certainly is not like Obama is a stranger to pandering for money, he collected tens of millions of dollars in his campaign talking about transparency in the White House, with no secret meetings, and a rejection of lobbyists in his cabinet or on his staff, and a rejection of lobbyist money in Washington. Nothing, not one thing, forced him to abandon transparency or embrace lobbyists, but he did it. That wasn’t just pandering (telling us what we want to hear), it was outright fraud, promising us what we wanted to make himself look principled, and then reneging on that promise once he was safely in office.

    So which is the worse evil? Looking the other way while racists talk to racists because it is profitable, or explicitly lying in promises made to donors and supporters because it brings in the cash and then betraying them immediately upon taking office?

    Despite the efforts of others to make this discussion about Ron Paul alone, I have never seen it that way, it is about the relative benefits and evils of a Ron Paul Presidency, versus the relative benefits and evils of continuing the Obama Presidency. I didn’t bring up Paul, but my first post on this particular thread was specifically about the disparity of criticism; Paul gets damned to hell for trivialities while Obama gets a pass on gutting civil liberties and actually proposing, himself, to slash Medicare, Social Security and the funding of social programs to “get the debt under control,” as if that mattered in the least to anybody but the rich.

  232. “Why rephrase what I said as a false dichotomy? Being a racist is one personality flaw, pandering to anybody (even racists) because they are paying customers is a different personality flaw, and a far more common one, especially in media. In Ron Paul’s case the effect is once removed: We can speculate he was letting somebody else (Lew Rockwell) pander to racists, because that was making him a lot of money.”


    Why is overt racism, or even pandering to overt racism less evil than continuing noxious practices from a previous administration? Obviously, in your defense of this racist, bigot, misogynist, homophobe you are making a value judgment on what is less evil. You are also with zero evidence, making a prediction that this Hitler-like man will remain true to the rather limited set of standards for which he has gained your support. You keep bringing Obama into the discussion, when it is clearly directed against Paul.

    My belief is you do that as obfuscation, since you are unable to defend the indefensible. You set up an equivalency that is false to try to maintain a vestige of logic to your failed arguments. Is admitting the validity of another’s point of view really so difficult for you Tony? I am voting for Obama yet I’ve clearly said, on numerous occasions that I understand why and will not try to dissuade others, like Gene, who will not vote for Obama for moral/ethical/constitutional reasons. I feel the same way about you Tony, with the exception that you are offering up an undoubted racist, bigot, misogynist, homophobe as an alternative. Vote for whoever the hell you want against Obama, however, when you put up such a blatantly evil man such as Paul, I draw the line. I also must question your own commitment against bigotry, given that you have been performing twisted logical contortions in order to justify what to me is unjustifiable.

  233. “Paul gets damned to hell for trivialities”


    So you see racism, sexism and homophobia trivialities? You also see the destruction of SS, Medicare and the social safety net as trivialities? You see the complete unfettering of corporate greed as trivial? You see repeal of discrimination laws as trivial? You see separation of church and State as trivial? Yous see support from and breaking bread with the JBS and Aryan Nation as trivial ?

    I don’t see any of the egregious positions and actions by Obama as trivial and you couldn’t find one quote from me where I either dismissed them, or justified
    them. I have explained carefully though why I will nevertheless vote for what I see as the lesser of two evils, rather than voting for a third party, or not voting at all. You on the other hand, have basically made the overall political positions of a truly scary man unimportant, because you simply can’t face the negative evidence against him. Is this really your inability to admit you were wrong at play? If so that doesn’t bode well for your employment of the scientific method.

  234. Tony,

    It wasn’t a false dichotomy nor did I say they weren’t distinct character flaws, however racism or enabling/encouraging racism – as Mike pointed out – is in net effect racism. The man behind the curtain is the one to watch. He has his hands on the levers. Your defense of Paul had been weak up to the point of your comment preceding my initial comment. A comment spurred by your defense of Paul descending from weak into the absurd – the entire point of phrasing my comment as I did. Panderer, racist, what’s the difference when both are crippling ethical flaws on top of his many other ethical shortcomings? Merely icing on the cake and further evidence a Paul Presidency is a very bad idea.

  235. @Mike: Why is overt racism, or even pandering to overt racism less evil than continuing noxious practices from a previous administration?

    Because continuing the noxious practices from the Bush administration, after promising to end the same, has resulted in deaths and torture of tens of thousands of people, soldiers, civilians, children, women, men not engaged in anything more hostile than not understanding English. It is destroying civil liberties, it is a violation of human rights. It is a violation of the Constitution, and our treaties, and it has resulted in real harm to Whistleblowers like Bradley Manning, and why? Because the Obama administration wants to terrorize any other government workers that might be thinking about revealing their crimes, or just embarrassing them.

    Racism, though repellent, is a belief system, and whether you and I like it or not, it is not illegal, and is in fact a right. Show me some actual harm done in the name of the racism in Ron Paul’s letters, specifically. And I will show you the graves of thousands of child soldiers killed in Unconstitutional wars that have made matters worse instead of better, and diverted trillions of dollars away from social justice in our own country, into the pockets of war profiteers.

    I do not have to look far to find real individual victims that have physically suffered due to Obama’s duplicity and Unconstitutional actions, while I suspect you cannot produce any real individual victims of Ron Paul’s alleged racism that have physically suffered. What you have are hurt feelings, not lost limbs or lives.

    You do not vote for the lesser of two evils, you vote for the greater evil, because the man behind the greater evil, in his own words, has you bamboozled into thinking he is on your side, with a facade of liberalism and appeals to emotionalism that hides his systematic dismantling of your rights and transfer of our collective wealth to the rich and powerful.

  236. “Show me some actual harm done in the name of the racism in Ron Paul’s letters, specifically.”

    Yes, Mike, please be specific. Provide examples and don’t forget to show your work. See if you can find out how the racist and homophobic content of Ron Paul’s newsletters that were published over the course of decades may have caused physical harm to someone. Remember this, though, victims of racism and homophobia only suffer “hurt feelings.”

  237. @Elaine: You miss the point completely. The point is that there is no overt damage from Ron Paul’s newsletters. I am not talking about “may have caused,” I am talking about “HAS caused.” Obama falls in the latter category, and provably, and repeatedly.

    You cannot point at anybody harmed by the racism in the Ron Paul letters. And I did not say racism and homophobia ONLY causes hurt feelings, what I said was that when it comes to these letters, the only harm you CAN POINT AT is hurt feelings, there is no evidence anything else happened as a result of that speech.

    You do not have to resort to lies about what I have said to argue with me or disagree with me.

  238. Tony C.,

    “The point is that there is no overt damage from Ron Paul’s newsletters.”

    I see. Damage must be “overt.” Then I guess you wouldn’t consider psychological torture all that harmful because one can’t SEE it.

    “You cannot point at anybody harmed by the racism in the Ron Paul letters.”

    I’d like to know how you can prove that NO ONE was harmed by the racism in the Ron Paul newsletters.

  239. @rafflaw: It was not I that decided the “pyschological torture” of racism did not rise to the level of a crime, it was the founders, and reiterated by the courts: Speech is not a crime, even hateful, racist speech (or homophobic speech, or misogynist speech, or anti-Muslim speech) is simply not a crime if it cannot be shown to be inciting violence.

    What you call “psychological torture” is hurt feelings. Can I claim you are pyschologically torturing me because you don’t like me, you don’t respect me, you think I’m stupid or naive because I believe Obama is a criminal and Ron Paul is not?

    Can I claim that 95% of Americans are psychologically torturing me because I am an atheist, and they think I am therefore inherently evil and should be prevented from teaching their kids or being employed by their Christian government in any capacity at all?

    Of course not. The Constitution does not guarantee you or me or anybody else any presumption of respect or protection against the irrational thoughts and prejudices of others, nor should it. Everybody, including racists, is free to think what they want and say what they think regardless of the unhappiness it may inflict on others; ill words do not rise to the level of crime.

    While Obama’s activity certainly DOES, as Turley has amply documented time and again: Our government, and Obama’s administration in particular, is in direct, clear violation of the Constitution with lethal consequences.

    That is the crazy thing, the people arguing against me are essentially making the argument that freedom of speech is a crime when it comes to racism, that racist speech causes as much harm to a person as actually killing them. I guess I can see why they don’t mind if Obama guts the First Amendment, because there are a few kinds of speech they would like outlawed, too.

    I guess this old American rubric needs a new caveat: I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it (unless of course you are a racist, or a bigot, or if you think abortion is murder, or if you suggests America is committing a crime, or you are a Muslim — For the full list, see Appendix A, “1001 bullshit things you better not say.”)

  240. Tony C:

    you are on the wrong side on this one, I will not vote for Ron Paul if he gets the nomination. He is an anarchist and the other things people have been saying about him. Plus he would let the states decide which rights to do away with.

    Although he probably isnt a racist but so what, he has enough baggage without that to make him unfit for office. But the others have a point, if he isnt a racist why did he allow racist rants? If there is no more than 1, you have a point and maybe even with 2 but arent there more than that?

  241. First of all Tony, you are moving the goal posts. Ron Paul is a racist and his years of editing or writing a newsletter that continued to repeat racist and homophobic rants is evil, although not criminal. I don’t care if it is criminal. It shows the true spirit of Rep. Paul. That is what we have been talking about for days, not whether it was illegal. By the way, I did not refer to it as psychological torture.

  242. I think we have seen the effects of some forms of bullying and discrimination. They have caused people/teenagers such psychological anguish that they committed suicide.

    Just because racist speech isn’t considered a crime, it doesn’t prove that said speech hasn’t caused some people harm…or hasn’t incited some people to commit violent acts against others.

  243. @rafflaw: Well, I think Obama’s actions in the White House show the true spirit of Obama, and I will take the guy with zero history of voting for clearly unconstitutional acts.

  244. Tony C.,

    You misunderstood my comment about psychological torture.

    Do you believe there is such a thing as psychological torture? Can you see the effects of psychological torture? Are the effects of psychological torture overt? If they aren’t overt, are they still harmful?

  245. @Elaine: I can say the same thing about supporting Obama. It isn’t a crime. That doesn’t prove the support expressed has not encouraged Obama that there will be no political cost to his violations of the Constitution, his torture of Bradley Manning, his redefinition of the criminal justice system, his covert wars in Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, and who knows where else — In fact I think there is a good argument that the crowd that vocally supports Obama no matter how many laws he breaks or rights he violates is complicit in those crimes, the wind beneath his imperial wings.

  246. Tony,

    Quite frankly these last few sallies of yours are ridiculous and don’t deserve reply. All they prove is that you know nothing about the evils of racism/bigotry(he doesn’t like Jews either)and are insensitive to the effect. You’re not dumb, I’d hate to call you racist, but then I have no choice except to state that you will do anything not to lose any argument. You may not always be right, but you’re never wrong. By the way S. Grossman has more integrity than Ron Paul and S. Grossman is a selfish fool.

  247. @Elaine: I do believe there is such a thing as “psychological torture,” I do not think the type of “racism” in those letters rises to that level at all; I think that is a hyperbolic claim.

    Cryptic allusions to racially-derived differences like athleticism (the fleet of foot reference), or moral or intellectual differences are not torture. They are insults.

  248. Tony,
    You are welcome to vote for Rep. Paul in any Congressional race he may run in because he will never be the Republican Candidate for President. I guess he may still try to run as a third party candidate. If he does, you will see a return to these issues that he has tried to bury and that you have buried as well.

  249. @Mike: It isn’t that I am unwilling to lose the argument, it is that you are unwilling to answer to the point, as you again say my points are “ridiculous” and do not “deserve a reply.”

    You did the same thing about abortion; it is perfectly rational to admit that a normal, healthy fetus at 37 weeks is a human being. But you refuse to admit or deny that, you just reassert that a woman’s body is hers to do with as she pleases. Even if that means killing ANOTHER human being? Apparently, but you disengaged and stuck to your dogmatic view, I presume because you knew where that logic was going to end up. And it was logic, and if you think it isn’t, then prove it isn’t.

    But no, you will retreat to dogmatism, just like Grossman does for his selfishness. It is you guys that won’t ever admit you were wrong, no matter how many hypotheticals I put forward, no matter how much logic I provide, there is one and only one answer for you: Ron Paul is a racist and that disqualifies him from office (no matter WHAT Obama has done to us or how many people are dead because of it).

  250. Dogmatism like the best reason to vote for someone is they haven’t done anything overtly unconstitutional yet despite many other serious and glaring flaws both in their platform and personality? Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ, Tony. Paul’s platform in toto is an anti-egalitarian, State’s Rights driven, Constitutional wreck waiting to happen. He would gut Federal protections applied to citizens through the 14th Amendment and the Commerce Clause in his quest to allow local criminals to run their little fiefdoms at state level however they choose without any interference from Federal authorities. He never met an Equal Protection, Supremacy Clause or Commerce Clause issue he couldn’t mangle with his idiotic Originalist distorted view of the 10th Amendment in pursuit of his Objectivist/Libertarian fantasy and you’re going to rely on his voting record to say he doesn’t have Constitution problems? You spent many posts logically dismantling the fallacies of Objectivism thoroughly and competently and you’re going to go with that?

    Again . . . seriously, man. WTF. It’s like watching a brain cramp happen in slow motion.

  251. Tony C.,

    “I do believe there is such a thing as ‘psychological torture,’ I do not think the type of ‘racism’ in those letters rises to that level at all; I think that is a hyperbolic claim.”

    Did I mention anything about Ron Paul’s newsletters in my questions to you about psychological torture? What was my “hyperbolic claim?” Once again, you inferred something from one of my comments that I never implied. I do try to be careful about the way I use words. Do try to be careful in the way you interpret them.

  252. Tony C:

    The issue is more nuanced than you think. There is a dangerous underside to Paul’s thinking. Some say his entire language is just code worded racism etc. but I cant be 100% sure. Even if he gets 20% of what he wants (I am assuming he gets to be POTUS) that would be a disaster. There are enough of like minded Tea party types who like his sort of “reverse the clock thinking” on many government programs that it might just come to pass. What if he gets more of them in the Senate and House? Post Reagan de-regulations have been a disaster for the common man. An additional Paul style further reduction would decimate the country. The wealthy would become even wealthier and we would become officially a third word country. Why this romance with absolute liberty and freedom? That was the argument made during the pre civil rights era (and the slavery era). I dont want to go back and experiment with a 1850 or even a 1950s economic order. There are other ways to reduce the deficit, decriminalize drugs and reduce military spending/wars etc. We the people should act on multiple fronts, The House, Senate, and Presidential. While we are at it, we need to do it at the State and local level too. There is just too much apathy in this country. We as a people always find excuses and blame somebody else. Paul himself is doing that indirectly and directly on the News Letter fiasco. As a physician, why is he so lukewarm over evidence based science to the point that he takes a very lukewarm stance on proven science like evolution? People are free to have religious beliefs but cannot force it on us through the public school system. I could go on but I will stop here. For me the damage he can do with his crank economics and social policies is far greater than any benefits.

  253. Tony C.,

    “It is you guys that won’t ever admit you were wrong, no matter how many hypotheticals I put forward, no matter how much logic I provide, there is one and only one answer for you: Ron Paul is a racist and that disqualifies him from office (no matter WHAT Obama has done to us or how many people are dead because of it).”

    Some of us provided you with a myriad of reasons for why we would not vote for Ron Paul. You have fixated on ONE of those reasons. BTW, I provided you with a hypothetical earlier in this thread and asked you a question. YOU chose to ignore it.

    I’d say your logic is flawed. I’ll echo Gene: “…seriously, man. WTF.”

  254. “He would gut Federal protections applied to citizens through the 14th Amendment and the Commerce Clause in his quest to allow local criminals to run their little fiefdoms at state level however they choose without any interference from Federal authorities. He never met an Equal Protection, Supremacy Clause or Commerce Clause issue he couldn’t mangle with his idiotic Originalist distorted view of the 10th Amendment in pursuit of his Objectivist/Libertarian fantasy……..”

    ….Beautifully put Gene….

  255. Tony,
    It is you that is fixated on Ron Paul. As Gene stated, there are plenty of reasons to show that Ron Paul as President would be a disaster. His racist underpinnings is just one.

  256. “It’s like watching a brain cramp happen in slow motion.” (Gene H)

    I am not trying to take part in this debate as I won’t vote for Paul and have said so. Neither am I trying to infer anything about Tony C by quoting Gene’s line.

    I am simply remarking that those few words arranged in the manner Gene employed draws an incredible picture within one’s mind. Gene, beautifully done … word art!

  257. “Those who choose sercurity over liberty deserves niether”. Wake up americans “Rights arent rights if someone can just take them away. They’re more like temporary privaleges”.-George Carlin 2008 If you want to know about how your “rights” work when you need them the most research Japanese-americans 1942. This is why everyone should know their human history especially our own(nations history) so that another WW2 doesnt happen ever again!! I found people that say “worry about reality volks” and disgusting to actually have read that someone is glad to have their liberties taken away due to 9/11. Please do your homework sirs. Also look up testimony of former US marine general (2007 is when I believe this took place). Sorry unlike some of you so called “live in reallity” people obvoiusly dont do any RESEARCH. Also FYI congress passed 40,000 new laws last year! By the way I usually dont give a damn about fake elections but this time again RON PAUL is going for it. Please look up videos of his responses in these debates. He represent s the constitution not “unjustified wars”(Iraq/eventually Iran). I could write forever on this subject and all of it would be backed by research(evidence). Thanks for reading my comment people and no matter what happens giving up my liberties is NEVER a logical choice for me.

  258. Oncology/Blouise,

    Thank you. One does strive and, in the words of the departed, “one lives to be of service.”

  259. I’ve just read the information about Ron Pual that some of you have stated. I did not know of this rascism his been accused of or aware of all his other standings listed. So could some of you give the resources to this information of any kind. I would appreciate it very much so I can decide whether to support or not support him. Thank you very much people.

  260. James(Truepatriotsprotest),

    There are dozens of research links provided throughout several of the threads on Ron Paul.

    Simply start at the beginning of each thread and click on posters’ provided links within their comments used to support their arguments, both pro and con Paul.

    There are also several videos linked.

    The work you’ve requested has already been done. Now it’s your turn to do a little for yourself.

  261. shano,

    Unlawful entry for wearing a jacket with what I’m going to assume is protected political free speech in a public place?

    Unless the jacket said something expressly prohibited (like incitement to imminent lawless action – Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)), I’m going to say that doesn’t pass the smell test. The charge is unrelated to the clothing, but the officer’s threats of arrest were explicitly and directly tied to the man’s clothing. I’d really like to know what the jacket said. There are building regulations regarding signs and they are as follows:

    This regulation is issued under authority of 40 U.S.C. §6102 to protect the Supreme Court Building and grounds, and persons and property thereon, and to maintain suitable order and decorum within the Supreme Court Building and grounds. Any person who fails to comply with this Regulation may be subject to a fine and/or imprisonment pursuant to 40 U.S.C. §6137.

    The use of signs on the perimeter sidewalks on the Supreme Court grounds is regulated as follows:

    1) No signs shall be allowed except those made of cardboard, posterboard, or cloth.
    2) Supports for signs must be entirely made of wood, have dull ends, may not be hollow, and may not exceed 1 inch at their largest point. There shall be no nails, screws, or bolt-type fastening devices protruding from the wooden supports.
    3) Hand-carried signs are allowed regardless of size.
    4) Signs that are not hand-carried are allowed only if they are
    a) no larger than 4 feet in length, 4 feet in width, and 1/4 inch in thickness (exclusive of braces that are reasonably required to meet support and safety requirements, as set forth in section 2 above), and not elevated so as to exceed a height of 6 feet above the ground at their highest point;
    b) not used so as to form an enclosure of two or more sides;
    c) attended at all times (attended means that an individual must remain within 3 feet of each sign); and
    d) not arranged in such manner as to create a single sign that exceeds the size limitations in subsection (a).
    No individual may have more than two non-hand-carried signs at any one time.
    Notwithstanding the above, no person shall carry or place any sign in such a manner as to impede pedestrian traffic, access to and from the Supreme Court Plaza or Building, or to cause any safety or security hazard to any person.”

    I say a jacket is not a sign nor does wearing a jacket with protected political free speech constitute impeded pedestrian traffic, access to and from the Supreme Court Plaza or Building, or causes any safety or security hazard to any person. I think this is the regulation the “officer” was referring to and he was overreaching in doing so. The regulation isn’t about clothing. It’s about signage and crowd control, but clearly the “officer” thought it meant he gets to be the Thought and Fashion Police.

  262. Shano,
    That was a disturbing video. There may be a Federal regulation about demonstrating withing the Supreme Court building, but wearing a jacket that says OWS on it and calling that an illegal demonstration is disgusting and abusurd. Was this arrest covered anywhere else that you know of?

  263. Gene,
    you beat me to it. I think it is an especially heinous arrest since he was wearing the jacket in the public area of the Supreme Court and not in the court room. Do you know when Reg. 6 was adopted into law?

  264. Prof. Turley,

    I enjoyed your column on the ten reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free. I agree with your concern about and opposition to the laws and practices you cite. However, the basic premise of your article, that the U.S. was once the land of the free, is inaccurate.

    As you know, the purpose of government is to create law-and-order. The advantage of democratic government is that it allows each of us to participate equally in creating the laws by which we must live. We have yet to create a democracy in this country.

    The purpose of government is never freedom. The rights we have, or are supposed to have, are not freedoms. Rights are not freely available. They must be created and defended. Rights do not make us free. Rights create mutual constraints. For example, your right to your house is a limit on everyone else’s right to use your house. Your right to political speech is a limit on public officials’ ability to control your speech. Rights do not make anyone free.

    Libertarians like to think that, in the absence of government, people are free. However, that is also false, as Hobbes clearly pointed out. Even John Locke conceded that people leave the state of nature because of the mutual constraints that exist prior to government.

    We don’t want people to be free to do whatever they want. We want people to respect one another, to restrain from physically harming one another, to be honest, etc. We want decent, law-abiding citizens, not freedom.

    People claim to believe in freedom by re-defining freedom to include constraints. This is internally-inconsistent and illogical. It is also counter-productive for those of us who think that economic regulation is essential, since the “freedom” argument is used to combat any-and-all public policies.

    If we want good government, we should correct the false claim that freedom is a positive goal. We want rights. We want choices. We want individuality. None of these is freedom, in the clear meaning of the word.

    We don’t want totalitarian government, but we also don’t want anarchy. We want good government, which I think is most likely to be created democratically.

    Jesse Chanley

  265. On the contrary, my logic engine is not damaged, you just happen to LIKE the conclusions when I argued against Objectivism, and you DISLIKE my conclusions now, so there you thought I was smart and here you think I am stupid. Apparently nobody cares about my logic at all, because it clearly judged based solely on its conclusion, not on its own merits.

    I will tell you what I told the idiot Objectivists: When there is disagreement like this, the problem is invariably in the premises we each take as indisputably true without proof; we call those “axioms.”

    When we say something is axiomatic, we mean it does not HAVE to be proven, it is true on the face of it. In geometry, for example, there is no “proof” that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, we just accept that it is obviously true.

    In the political case, our disagreement undoubtedly rests upon axiomatic belief systems as well. I don’t know where the difference lies, precisely, but I think it doesn’t really have anything to do with Ron Paul. So the discussion below is NOT a defense or advocacy of Ron Paul, and if you read it that way you are wrong.

    What I suspect is the same thing as happened in 2010: I think the axiom you guys follow is adopted because it sounds reasonable, namely, that you are always better off if you vote for the lesser of two evils.

    And since the Democrat is always the lesser of two evils, in your mind, you will always vote for the Democrat. And yes, you can point at the various good things the Democrat will do that a non-Democrat would not do; and yes, you can point at all the bad things the Democrat will do (or continue) and believe the non-Democrat would do exactly the same or double down.

    I reject that axiom, I reject the premise of the “lesser of two evils:” It is precisely analogous to Grossman’s argument for selfishness, and fails for the same reason: The greatest good cannot be solved by a “greedy algorithm,” and the same holds true for our political problem.

    The greedy algorithm always focuses on the immediate choice, without considering future choices. That is exactly what the “lesser of two evils” rationale demands in every election: No matter how evil the two sides are, people must always vote for the lesser of two evils.

    This is usually accompanied by many, many empty caveats: We know we are voting for evil, but:

    Next time we will find better candidates to fight the system from within!
    We will communicate harder with petitions and phone calls!
    We will agitate, protest, and march, and occupy Wall Street!
    We will hold their feet to the fire!

    But the rationale remains the same, no matter how evil the Democrat is, the Democrat gets the vote. (and this is symmetrical, for committed Republicans, or committed Libertarians, no matter how corrupt or evil their candidate is, they think the alternatives are worse, so their evil candidate ends up with their vote.)

    The problem is not that the candidates are so stupid they really don’t know what you want. The problem is that your opinion does not matter: The candidate can ignore your protests, and phone calls, and petitions, and angry signs, and your marches, because as long as you are voting for the lesser of two evils the candidate is safe, and can act in their own self interest.

    What causes greedy algorithms to fail is the lack of consideration for the consequences of a choice. At every point they get the maximum they can get, that is the “greedy” part of the algorithm. But when a choice influences FUTURE choices, it is often true that choosing the least optimal choice NOW produces a far better choice in the future.

    That is the situation, not just with the Presidency, but with all of politics. The “lesser of two evils” approach ratchets UP the evil in every election, because the candidates are pushed (by their self-interest) to the right, by the rich. It is a uniform direction: The corporations and people that earn a lot of money are profit-driven, and greater profits lie in the direction of less regulation, less liability, less taxation, greater secrecy, greater immunity from prosecution, and more power to unilaterally shut down competition or just outright suppress competition.

    If you do not recognize it, this is the corporatist agenda. The politicians embrace it because the corporatists are their personal salvation; either with millions in campaign contributions, or cushy parties, the inside track on lucrative investments (sometimes set up just for them), favors, access, and — if all goes wrong — cushy big-money jobs with few duties, because the sitting politicians need to know that the corporatists always take good care of their dogs even after their hunting days are over.

    Thus the rub: The lesser of two evils will always produce more evil, because more evil is what really drives the pols, it is in their self-interest, and more evil means more profits.

    The answer to getting out of the trap was already provided to us by the Tea Party, although most did not recognize the lesson, because they hate the Tea Party.

    The Tea Party abandoned the lesser of two evils argument, and refused to vote for candidates that they deemed were not ideologically pure. They refused to vote for (their perception of) evil, period.

    They declared, and then proved, that they would rather lose the election than elect another moderate Republican. “Compromise” became a curse. That worked: there are no moderate Republicans left, they all lost, replaced by Democrats.

    But did the Tea Party really lose? No. Republicans still in office got scared, and suddenly became ideologically adamant and will roadblock just about everything. A few lost elections, a few screaming matches in town halls, and the Republican party is suddenly scared, and full of right wing nut-jobs spouting Ayn Rand.

    The response of Democrats? They can act on their self-interest, catering to corporate cash, and become even MORE evil. Who loses? The progressive/liberals. Because they insist upon the greedy choice, the lesser of two evils. The left has no inviolate principles; there is nothing, absolutely nothing that a Democrat can do to lose their vote.

    Of course a Democratic candidate is not going to promise to do something repellent to the progressives, that would be suicide in a primary. But once they are the only choice against a Republican, all is forgiven, and once they are the incumbent for re-election, all is forgiven again, because they are the lesser of two evils.

    The only way out of this ratchet is to have inviolate principles, and refuse to vote for somebody that violates them, even if that means allowing a Republican to take office. That was the lesson of the Tea Party, their intolerance for moderation drove moderation out of their Republican party. They lost some seats, more than made up for by scaring the crap out of the rest of the Republicans to the point they also abandoned all moderation and Compromise altogether. They were convinced there was a line they could not cross.

    Similarly, only our intolerance for violating progressive principles will ever drive our violators out of office, and if that means losing an election, so what? It will convince sitting Democrats they better stop their bad acts, and there is another election coming soon, and a flock of more obedient candidates with it, IF they know that disobedience has consequences.

    You cannot win at chess if you never sacrifice a piece, and you cannot win if you take every sacrifice offered. There is no greedy solution to chess, period, you cannot win at chess without looking a few moves ahead. Sacrificing some pieces, even important pieces, is critical to developing a winning situation later.

    Those that refuse to sacrifice are those that insist on voting for the lesser of two evils, and the result is inevitable: Just like in chess, they will be forced into unmitigated losses. The evil will increase, and no amount of screaming will ever make them matter, because they cannot bring themselves to suffer a temporary loss for a greater future gain. They have no escape.

    I reiterate I am not arguing for Paul in any way, but if progressives do not find some inviolate principles and sacrifice some Democrats for violating them, then progressivism will be entirely lost. If we continue to vote for the lesser of two evils, then evil will overtake us. We already have a President supposedly on our side saying Social Security and Medicare cuts are “on the table,” that agreed to end federal funds for abortion, that signed into law the suspension of our civil rights, and refused to prosecute war criminals, torturers, and banksters that together have defrauded us out of trillions of dollars and directly created the debt that even HE is now using as an excuse to cut social programs.

    I am the same brain talking in 2010, then against objectivism, and now about 2012: I wasn’t insane, cogent, then insane again: This is logic. We are not going to find or recruit “real” progressives. Activism and talk and petitions do not work. phone calls are ignored. Protests garner nothing but platitudes and promises that fade into wisps of nothing as soon as the crowd goes home. Because there is no teeth in any of that stuff if it isn’t backed up by the threat of losing the next election.

    What WILL work is Democratic politicians actually losing some elections for betraying progressive principles, and all the other Democratic politicians knowing that is why the politician lost. THEN all that activism would mean something, but not until then.

    That is the only message they will ever heed. We cannot win this fight with a Greedy algorithm. If we continue voting for the lesser of two evils, then be sure that evil will prevail and progressivism will die.

  266. “On the contrary, my logic engine is not damaged, you just happen to LIKE the conclusions when I argued against Objectivism, and you DISLIKE my conclusions now, so there you thought I was smart and here you think I am stupid. Apparently nobody cares about my logic at all, because it clearly judged based solely on its conclusion, not on its own merits.”

    No, Tony. I question both your metrics and your logic. “Paul’s platform in toto is an anti-egalitarian, State’s Rights driven, Constitutional wreck waiting to happen. He would gut Federal protections applied to citizens through the 14th Amendment and the Commerce Clause in his quest to allow local criminals to run their little fiefdoms at state level however they choose without any interference from Federal authorities. He never met an Equal Protection, Supremacy Clause or Commerce Clause issue he couldn’t mangle with his idiotic Originalist distorted view of the 10th Amendment in pursuit of his Objectivist/Libertarian fantasy and you’re going to rely on his voting record to say he doesn’t have Constitution problems? You spent many posts logically dismantling the fallacies of Objectivism thoroughly and competently and you’re going to go with that?” Or was there something about this questioning the narrow scope of your analysis that you didn’t understand?

    Your logic and the scope of your analysis are both flawed on this issue, Tony. You’ve dogmatically locked on to the narrow scope issue of Paul’s voting record not being manifestly unconstitutional and excluded all other evidence as to why he’s an unfit candidate. At best, it’s improper data collection due to restricted sample size, at worst, it’s confirmation bias in the form of cherry picking. Like and dislike don’t have squat to do with it. Agreeing with your analysis in one area doesn’t guarantee it is going to be agreed with in another area. That you don’t see the contradiction between the earlier and correct analysis of the deficiencies of Paul’s pseudo-philosophy and choice, the bulk of his campaign platform being based on that very same creature, and the consequent Constitutional problems inherent with said platform based upon said beliefs is entirely an analytical failure on your part.

  267. Tony, You are right on with the statement of voting for the lesser of the two evils. Sadly, that’s all we have. I do like Ron Paul and his speech on “sticking to the constitution”. Is he valid or is he the Ross Perot for 2012? Don’t know. We can only strive towards a reclaiming of conservative principals in order to remain as the policemen of the world. Any other ideology can only divide this country further. Together we Stand- Divided we Fall.

  268. As a nation, I must agree. As individuals and as a group of like minded, bible believing peoples we have hope and from that standpoint we are still “free” Americans. Never give up and never give in to the evil that lurks within our nation.Even if it means going down with the ship, we win in the end.

  269. “As individuals and as a group of like minded, bible believing peoples we have hope and from that standpoint we are still ‘free’ Americans.”

    Begs the question that we are all like minded Bible believing people when we are manifestly not and guaranteed the Constitutional right to freely exercise the religion of out choice be it Bible based or not; thus perpetuating the myth this is a Christian country when by the terms set forth in the Constitution it is not. Our form of government is a secular democratic representative Constitutional Presidential republic, but it is by the terms of the 1st Amendment a secular nation and the express intent of our Founders for it be so is found in the writings of Madison, Jefferson and Adams. We the People are Americans first and foremost. Your religion is your choice. You are free to exercise your religion of choice, but you are not free to use the mechanisms of government to force your religious beliefs upon other Americans. Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Shitte, Suni, Jew, Reformed Jew, Atheist, Satanist, Pagan, Buddhist, Shintoist, Hindu, Zarathustrian, Jainist, Agnostic, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Objectivist . . . whatever. All are secondary considerations in our social compact beyond the fact you are free to practice what you wish as long as that practice doesn’t violate a law with valid secular purpose (such as laws against murder prohibiting human sacrifice) and you are free from having the religion of others forced upon you by the government (which also concurrently and conversely means you can’t use government to force your religion upon others). This is a secular nation and by design. It’s really very easy to understand both the clear Constitutional language, the relevant jurisprudence, intent of the Founders and their wisdom in creating the Separation of Church and State as long as your personal agenda doesn’t include the forced conversion of others to your beliefs.

  270. @Michael: I am an atheist, I do not believe in anything supernatural, I think that anybody that believes in the Bible is a deluded child incapable of rational thought. That includes Ron Paul, by the way.

    I just wanted to make that clear.

  271. @Gene: and excluded all other evidence as to why he’s an unfit candidate.

    No, I have not, as I have repeatedly said I do not think he is capable of implementing the plan you claim he has, and I think any progress he makes towards it will have less impact on America than continuing the “lesser of two evils.”

    I do not concede that argument; but I will concede the futility of arguing any further about Paul. You and I start from different beliefs about both the actual powers he might have as President, and his intentions.

    Once again, what you find axiomatic, I do not concede or believe.

  272. Tony,

    I don’t care that you think he’ll be hobbled by Congress as I’ve already stipulated that’s a likelihood. However, it should be noted that to really screw up the country doesn’t require success of a plan. Very often, simply trying is enough. Even partial success of bad plans can lead to disaster and negative unintended consequences. Look at Karl Rove. Rove’s plan to give the GOP a permanent majority hasn’t been successful and look how much damage he did merely in attempting to implement it. He managed to drag the political discourse in this country so far to the right, center rightist are now accused of being on the left and those actually on the left are completely disenfranchised. Hitler, Himmler and Heydrich didn’t succeed in implementing the Final Solution but the end result was still 6,000,000 dead.

    “You and I start from different beliefs about both the actual powers he might have as President, and his intentions.” I understand perfectly and with professional training to hone that understanding what his actual powers of office are and what powers have been unlawfully subsumed into the office by the last two administrations pursuit of a unitary executive. It isn’t a belief. I understand it legally, sociologically and psychologically as well as you understand Boyle’s Law or the Theory of Evolution. As to Paul’s intentions? I understand his core beliefs. I know they are fatally flawed. The idea that you’d trust the intentions of an express Objectivist after putting so much effort into proving the belief system fatally flawed in both concept and execution and its practitioners not only delusional and untrustworthy in accepting those precepts as valid and good but dangerously delusional and untrustworthy is hilariously self-contradicting on your part.

    I respect your logical skills and intelligence when you properly apply them and proper application has nothing to do with outcome other than improper application can yield erroneous answers. Like or dislike has nothing to do with it. You are capable of logic and that is a trait I admire. However, when Ian Ketterling noted that “logic is a way to go wrong with absolute certainty”, he was acknowledging the axiomatic truth that logical does not always equate to correct or desirable. A formally logical argument can lead to a perfectly wrong answer. In this instance, however, your logic is formally flawed as previously pointed out.

    I don’t care if you concede. My goal wasn’t and isn’t your capitulation. It’s to illustrate the facile and contradictory nature of your analysis and conclusion to others. I’m not arguing with you with any expectation you would ever concede. I’m arguing to point out the fallacious nature of your analysis (simple cause and confirmation bias are still logical fallacies) and the contradiction of trusting a man to do the right thing by everyone when his core beliefs consist of looking out for Number One with zealous selfishness and disregard for the welfare of others.

    I rarely lose an argument, Tony. Why is that? Many times I win simply because the shape of my victory is inscrutable. “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.” Or my victory is different than what is expected because I will use misdirection as a tactic. “All war is deception.” I don’t win so often because I’m aggressively intelligent either, as are you, although that helps. I don’t win so often because I’m better than the average bear at applying logic, as are you, but again that helps. Strategy and tactics are married to each other. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” You saw what appeared on its surface to be a substantial hook on which to hang your hat. It was not. You saw a tactic and implemented it without strategy. I also wait for the right time. “He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.”

    Here’s the main difference between you and me.

    I win so often because I’m trained to argue all sides before opening my mouth. Victory comes before the first blow is struck.As Sun Tzu also said, “[i]n war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.” That’s the training. I had victory before I moved as surely as you had defeat by entering a fight and looking for victory where there was none to be had. However, a concession from you never crossed my mind as being the form of victory. I know from past experience that Hell would freeze first. It’s not in your nature. “Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” Your capitulation was not required.

  273. Tony C and Gene H, I am sorry to hear you are not part of our group. The like-minded,KJV bible believing,free Americans group. You are in a state of bondage otherwise. Peace.

  274. @Gene: Your capitulation was not required.

    Nor is yours, to me. You still argue against Paul without reference to the alternative, which is Obama or Romney. So in effect, at least from my point of view, you are claiming that Paul can do more permanent damage to the country than either Obama or Romney could accomplish.

    I do not see how. Paul will be saddled with an incredibly hostile Congress, Democrats will be charged with siding with a racist if they so much as shake his hand. Republicans do not really want a smaller government, or to hand their power to the states, their bread is buttered by exercising federal power on behalf of lobbyists.

    Which means Paul is not going to pass any amendments, and any laws he manages to get passed could be undone by the subsequent administration. But I would expect the Democrats to

    So tell me Gene, what permanent damage can Paul do, that you think cannot be undone by a liberal progressive President with a compliant Congress?

    Personally, I do not think there is much, but there are immediate effects that would cripple certain instances of wrong-doing by our government going forward. He can cripple the war on drugs, and I think he would, because I do not claim he is a stubborn ideologue in one sentence and that he will do the opposite of that ideology in the next sentence, he has stated repeatedly and on camera and TV that non-violent drug use is none of the government’s business at any level.

    Paul can cripple the war on the Middle East. He is an isolationist, which I think goes too far, but I will not claim he is a stubborn isolationist in one sentence and a warmonger in the next; as commander in chief I think his ideology will prevail and he will end the wars, and hopefully much of the surveillance state with it, but I am sure the latter will only expand under Obama or Romney.

    As for social programs and the Federal Reserve, I think Paul needs the consent of Congress to do anything significant there, and his actions will be tempered by a hostile Congress, so I do not think that effect is permanent.

    This seems to be another axiom of the Progressives: Anything we lose we will never get back.

    Is that how it is? Because it sounds to me like Progressives think FDR simply exploited the great depression to pass New Deal laws that the true majority of Americans, had they not been under such stress, would never have approved, and will never approve again, so if somehow the Republicans and conservatives and libertarians ever manage to take something away, it will never be restored, because Americans don’t want it.

    That seems pretty hypocritical to me, for people that live in a Democracy, the whole point is that we shouldn’t be doing something, no matter how laudable we think it is, unless the majority of us agree to it. The whole point of Democracy is to avoid minority rule, which in its extremes is despotism, monarchy, dictatorship, plutocracy, or rule by some other elitist group.

    I do not think that axiom is supportable, either we can get back what we lose, or by the rules of our Democracy we should not have had it because we do not have the consent of the governed.

    How do you know you understand Paul’s “core beliefs?” Based on what objective evidence? His speech? His voting record? Hearsay? Well either that evidence is trustworthy or it is not. That same evidence is what I use to claim he will cripple the war on drugs, attempt to restore civil rights, attempt to end the imperial presidency, and attempt to end the military engagements and shrink the intelligence agencies.

    It actually is in my nature to concede, it is just not in my nature to concede to ever more strident assertions that have no proof.

    @Gene: I win simply because the shape of my victory is inscrutable.

    Inscrutable to whom? Certainly not to me, and I do not believe logic is subject to a vote, so your victory being inscrutable to yourself must be the criterion you use. Congratulations, Gene! You think you won!

    Unlike you, I am trained, both formally and by decades of experience, to find flaws in complex systems with lots of interacting parts that prevent them from working as expected, even when their designers have racked their brains trying to find out what is going wrong.

    It is why Objectivism is dismantled, the system fails.

    I cannot win the argument over Paul with logic, the haters of Paul over his involvement with racists (and I concede involvement is indisputable) are so emotionally charged they will attribute any evil to him, whether it is supportable or not, contradictory or not, disputed by Liberal Progressive heroes or not. That includes you, Gene, you are irrational in what you claim Paul can do, whether you concede that or not.

    The issue, in my mind, is not the damage a Paul presidency can do, but whether the permanent damage of a Paul presidency will outweigh the permanent damage of an Obama or Romney presidency.

    I do not think it can, but I will concede one thing: The futility of continuing to argue with people that refuse to refute points of logic with anything more than emotionally charged assertions.

  275. @Michael: I am in a state of bondage? That is hilarious; aren’t YOU the guy that has turned his life over to the control of an imaginary patriarch and protector? Your delusion puts you in danger, both the danger of certitude in your decisions, when you feel they are made by a God with infinite foresight and knowledge instead of a subconscious with severe limitations, and the danger of believing in a safety mechanism that in fact does not exist. Not to mention the danger of child-like deference to authority, which really puts you in bondage. I will not wish you peace, instead I will wish that you wake up and grow up, before you are hurt.

  276. “So in effect, at least from my point of view, you are claiming that Paul can do more permanent damage to the country than either Obama or Romney could accomplish.”

    And your point of view would be wrong. It’s not “do more”, it’s “do as much or more”.

    “So tell me Gene, what permanent damage can Paul do, that you think cannot be undone by a liberal progressive President with a compliant Congress?”

    This begs the question that we’ll ever get a liberal progressive President and a compliant Congress. As to what damage can be done? Simply look at the damage done by Congress and the Courts already by allowing the expansive uses of signing statements to create and modify law by an expansively unitary executive. Police states don’t start in the courts or the legislatures, they start in an unchecked executive branch. Always have, always will. As President, Paul would control one (now overbalanced) third of the government’s functions including enforcement. Hobbled or not, if you can’t see the inherent danger and potential damage in that alone, I can’t help you.

    “This seems to be another axiom of the Progressives: Anything we lose we will never get back.”

    Not that I speak for all progressives, but it would be more accurate to say “Anything we lose we are likely not to get back without massive sacrifice, pain and suffering, and possibly bloodshed.” Because that is the lesson history teaches.

    “Inscrutable to whom? Certainly not to me, and I do not believe logic is subject to a vote, so your victory being inscrutable to yourself must be the criterion you use. Congratulations, Gene! You think you won!”

    No more than you think you did, Mr. Can’t Refute the Fundamental Fallacies of Simply Cause and Cherry Picking in his Logic. At least when I do lose an argument, I’m not an arrogant ass about it. But bad sportsmanship is your choice to make. Your mistake is in assuming I was arguing to “win” in the first place. Victory and winning are not always the same thing. Getting what you want is victory. Winning is simply one method to get what you want. What I wanted was to point out the fallacious and self-contradictory nature of your arguments, which I did. I guess that was too subtle a point for you to garner from my previous comment.

    ‘Unlike you, I am trained, both formally and by decades of experience, to find flaws in complex systems with lots of interacting parts that prevent them from working as expected, even when their designers have racked their brains trying to find out what is going wrong.”

    Actually, just like me. Law is an error-ridden complex system exactly as you describe, but this isn’t the first time you’ve displayed ignorance of the nature of laws and the foundations of legal systems, so I guess that’s just par for the course since you always know best. Understanding complex systems in general doesn’t mean you understand every complex system. I too am an expert on complex systems; precisely legal and governmental systems. I’m just not so full of my own expertise as to think I’m an expert on every complex system.

    “I cannot win the argument over Paul with logic, the haters of Paul over his involvement with racists (and I concede involvement is indisputable) are so emotionally charged they will attribute any evil to him, whether it is supportable or not, contradictory or not, disputed by Liberal Progressive heroes or not.”

    Proof and acceptance of proof are not the same thing. Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to paint others as arguing from emotion if I were you. You’ve been knee-jerk in your defense of Paul since you proclaimed him the Savior of the Constitution. You cannot win the argument over Paul because you are standing on a logical foundation of sand.

    “That includes you, Gene, you are irrational in what you claim Paul can do, whether you concede that or not.”

    Just because you think I’m irrational because I don’t agree with you doesn’t make it so. You are doing the exact thing you blame others of doing: you don’t like my conclusions ergo I must be wrong. If you think I’m wrong, prove it. Get your panties out of a bunch and get to work. “Paul’s platform in toto is an anti-egalitarian, State’s Rights driven, Constitutional wreck waiting to happen. He would gut Federal protections applied to citizens through the 14th Amendment and the Commerce Clause in his quest to allow local criminals to run their little fiefdoms at state level however they choose without any interference from Federal authorities. He never met an Equal Protection, Supremacy Clause or Commerce Clause issue he couldn’t mangle with his idiotic Originalist distorted view of the 10th Amendment in pursuit of his Objectivist/Libertarian fantasy[.]” This is a statement I can defend. This is a broad spectrum statement about the net effects of Paul’s total Objectivist/Libertarian platform. That damage can be done merely by trying to implement it is simply fact. Disprove what I’ve said about Paul’s platform, or in the alternative, prove that the damage Romney, Gingrich or Obama can/will do is potentially more destructive. You can’t. They are all disasters waiting to happen, just for different reasons. This boat is hitting the rocks whether you like it or not, Cap’n. To be clear, I don’t care who you endorse. I’ve opted not to endorse any of the candidates currently on the national stage, but others are free to choose their actions as their conscience (and hopefully evidentiary based reason) dictates. I wanted to expose that your reasons for supporting Paul were based on facile logic framed on cherry picked simplistic evidence that he would be what’s best for the country.

    I got exactly what I wanted.

    If you want something else? Go for it. But if you’re waiting for me to genuflect to your ego, you’re going to be waiting a really long time. I may respect some of your previously demonstrated skills, but I’m not nearly as impressed with you as you are. Your logic is faulty and your evidence is poor. For every one positive you name about Paul, one or usually more negative is easily displayed. Disagree all you like. Disagreement isn’t the thing. The proof is in the eating of the pudding.

  277. mespo,

    That raises the question of whether saints get free Internet in Heaven and what quality of service? Now there’s a cabling subcontract I’d like to get in on, but the question remains of who gets the bill? A church or would I bill God directly? If He’s a slow payer, what are my options? Hmmm. Maybe I wouldn’t want that contract. It’s a tangled web.😀

  278. Gene H:

    “That raises the question of whether saints get free Internet in Heaven and what quality of service?”


    I think they must. They do call it the “cloud” don’t they?

  279. The Constitution, like any other document, is largely based on one’s interpretation of it; especially when and where it is not specifically SPECIFIC. That’s why when there are questions regarding whether or not it has been violated, we go to the Supreme Court for a ruling. Unfortunately, even the Supreme Court, which is made up of “people” who are responsible for “interpreting” it as well, might possibly “get it wrong” from time to time. As long as we live in a world run by people, we will have differences of opinions as to what our laws specifically imply. For those who want to complain that we no longer have “freedom”, then please try living in another country where you feel your freedoms are better protected. I would be curious as to where exactly that might be, however. Laws are enacted for the good of the majority. To live in a world without them, would be to live as barbarians. The fact that you had the opportunity to even write this article pretty much debunks your claims that we no longer live in a free country. In many other countries, your “right” to freedom of speech is so curtailed that an article such as this would never see the light of day! I for one, am proud of the country I live in and would not consider living anywhere else. And after 9/11 I am less concerned with the rights of Americans who engage in co-horting with known terrorists than I am with attempting to insure that we never again will see another attack on U.S. soil. Just my opinion, of course.

  280. Oncology,

    From the article:

    “The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times, Andrew Adler, has suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu consider ordering a Mossad hit team to assassinate U.S. President Barack Obama so that his successor will defend Israel against Iran.

    Adler, who has since apologized for his article, listed three options for Israel to counter Iran’s nuclear weapons in an article published in his newspaper last Friday. The first is to launch a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, the second is to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities and the third is to ‘give the go-ahead for U.S.-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place and forcefully dictate that the United States’ policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies.'”

    Adler didn’t directly threaten the President or encourage imminent lawless action, but instead offered it as a possible scenario considered by PM Netanyahu. He may be getting a visit from the Secret Service, but I doubt he’ll be prosecuted. The person he’s really in trouble with – politically, but I doubt as a matter of Israeli law and almost certainly not as a matter of U.S. law – is Netanyahu and his neo-con warhawk supporters both here and abroad. If I were Adler, I’d be more worried about a “visit” from the Mossad. The State of Israel under Likhud control is our friend in name only based on their past actions. They’ve spied on us, stolen secrets from us, and frustrated any peace solution that involves a Palestinian state despite the very real fact a dual state solution is probably the only way to find real peace and stability in the region. They persist in treating Palestinians as if they are less than human. Despite comparisons to fiction from others in the article, honestly I think that such an assassination scenario would likely be on Netanyahu’s radar even if he didn’t have the chutzpah to put it into action. He’s a ruthless, amoral, warmonger. He would have no problem assassinating a foreign head of state to get what he wants . . . and he’d have no problem meddling with foreign elections for that matter. He’s a total scumbag and I have zero respect for him. It should be noted that I have no issue with Jews or the right for their homeland to exist. I’m a big fan of their culture and I have several friends who are Jews, many of whom who are just as displeased with the overall actions of the Israeli government since 1967 as I am. I would go so far as to say the majority of them are unhappy with the situations to varying degrees of dissatisfaction. I make no bones about saying the current faction holding governance in Israel acts abominably and often does so while hiding behind America’s skirt. They want all the power of sovereign statehood, but none of the responsibilities. This is not to downplay the real danger a nuclear Iran poses to the region though. Their leadership is, as the saying goes, crazier than a shithouse rat and dealing with them may eventually require violence, but that should not be the first response. We bought some of this mess when our own domestic neo-con warhawks invaded Iraq (for personal profit, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks) and in doing so removed the one secular state in the region that provided a brake on any potential Iranian aggression. However, when all you have is a hammer, the entire world looks like nails. Netanyahu has proven more than once that he is a hammerhead.

  281. Gene H.

    Assassinate a US president, maybe Israel has already done so. Kennedy was not as favorable to Israel as his successor Johnson.

  282. Gene: I agree with you but say if any body else (by that I mean a non-Jewish person) had written the same thing. Would he/she not face very serious consequences especially now that NDAA is law. Many secular Jews are worried that this raw language feeds dual loyalty charges etc. AIPAC etc. seem to be overusing the anti-semetism charge.

  283. Hilarious to see the people calling Ron Paul ‘fascist’ because of some newsletters. You realize he’s the only candidate fighting against the abuses of government in the article written by the author, right?

  284. CM,

    That’s a take on the Kennedy assassination I had not heard. Interesting.



    “I agree with you but say if any body else (by that I mean a non-Jewish person) had written the same thing. Would he/she not face very serious consequences especially now that NDAA is law.”

    Possibly, but the case law around this kind of language is pretty clear. I’m drawing a blank on the name of the case, but last year I recall a case where a blogger said something along the lines of “somebody’s going to shoot Obama” and was prosecuted for it, but on appeal they found that the charge was without merit because no direct threat was made or any action taken in furtherance of the act. The NDAA issue though? Well, given that the real danger in it is the vagueness of the language, I suppose any danger to Alder lies at the whim of anyone willing to try to misuse the detention provisions in the NDAA. So I have to go with a firm “maybe, but not likely”. The not likely modifier comes less from Alder’s religious affiliation but rather 1) the nature of the language being speculative and primarily about Netanyahu’s mindset and 2) that Alder is a member of the press; detaining him so close to the passage of NDAA on a charge not likely to hold up in court would draw a lot of attention and bad publicity and subject the NDAA to further immediate scrutiny. This is something I doubt the real bad guys in Washington wouldn’t want. It would tip their hand. And, yes, I do think there are actual villains in our government just as there are many people trying to do the right thing. Cheney was proof of that concept.

    “Many secular Jews are worried that this raw language feeds dual loyalty charges etc. AIPAC etc. seem to be overusing the anti-semetism charge.”

    Valid concerns. Honestly, I think in some instances, dual loyalty is an issue and not just for those citizens holding American/Israeli citizenship. I’m in a minority of those with legal backgrounds who think that holding dual citizenship should automatically preclude you from holding any elected or appointed office because of the inherent potential for conflict of interest. The best way to avoid trouble is not to be there when it starts.

    As far as AIPAC is concerned, I’ve said before that I don’t understand why that particular organization is allowed to continue to operate considering they’ve been busted harboring Israeli spies spying on us not once, but twice. The fact that they are neo-cons of the worst sort and often jump straight to charges of Antisemitism against anyone who criticizes Israel is simply par for the course for neo-cons and the Likhud. When valid, it is a potent criticism of opponents. Actual irrational racist or bigoted criticism should be identified as such and as criticism properly weighted in that light. However, when the counter charge of Antisemitism is not valid but simply used as an appeal to emotion to deflect any criticism, that’s ignoring the cautionary tale of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. If I were a Jew, I would be very concerned about overusing and/or misusing that claim against critics of Israel for a variety of reasons.

    By the way, welcome aboard. I find your posts a valuable addition to the Professor’s salon. You move the conversation. I hope you stick around.

  285. Carlyle,

    Being 20 at the time of the JFK Assassination it never smelled right to me. I have read all of the literature disputing the Warren Commission and believe that it was an MI Complex/Hoover/CIA “hit”. I’ve never heard, or read in all these years of an Israeli connection and I think it specious. Kennedy was far more Pro-Israel than the Eisenhower Administration. Indeed the Dulles Brothers (State Department/CIA) were Nazi funders and sympathizers. The Eisenhower Administration refused to sell the Israeli’s arms or Jets and stopped the Israeli’s from asserting their internationally legal right to use the Suez Canal in 1956.

    This article in Atlanta was an absurdity, written by a man with no secret “entre’” into the inner workings of the Netanyahu Administration. I’ve been writing here since Bibi’s ascent to power, that he is little more than a Republican Neocon operative, but as much as I dislike the man he is not stupid enough to consider a plot to assassinate an American President. This is the meanderings, of Mr. Adler and represents an extremely right wing political attitude, that were it implemented would destroy the country he purports to save.

    The Atlanta metro area has a current population of about 113,000 Jews and this weekly newspaper has a total estimated circulation of around 6,500 mostly via free distribution. If you take any population of people I think you will find that about 5% are batshit crazy. So while shocking as this writing is, it must be put into context, as the ravings of an small group of people.

    However, judging from the comments, there is more to be discussed. I am an
    American Jew and I do support the existence of Israel as a Jewish State. Nevertheless, I do not have dual loyalties since I’m American born and bred. I believe strongly in a two state solution and feel the occupied territories should be stripped of Jewish settlers as a means of finally obtaining peace. It is my belief that Netayahu has set back the course of peace and that he has done so because he is under the influence of American Neocons. There is a drive on among the Neocon Corporatists to go to war with Iran, that I believe is fueled by money/oil.

    My Mid-East view is rather unique, in that I don’t know of many who have even postulated it. I believe that America’s BFF in the ME is not Israel, but Saudi Arabia. I believe that this can be shown historically and that while administration after administration has espoused friendship towards Israel, in truth the US has played that role to control the Israeli’s and actually to see that the ME hostilities continue indefinitely. This is primarily because the Saudi’s need an ME bogeyman, to keep their people and the Arab people from focusing to closely on their regimes despotism.

    I believe that Israel does not need either US aid, or guidance to survive and should cut this chain that binds them. Israel must of course vote out Bibi first and lately that seems a large possibility. Like in all the world, the real ME situation is not as it seems to common folk such as ourselves, we must look beyond all the copious propaganda.

  286. Thanks Gene for your kind words. Also thanks for your explaining the legal nuances. I spend my time in medical research so it is refreshing to learn about the this aspect of law. I am writing a monograph about medical ethics and the law and the grey areas that one faces when major decisions have to be made. How does one write laws for unique situations? Vexing questions indeed.

    And Mike Spindell, thanks for your input. I agree 5% or maybe 10% of any community is “crazy” as you put it. There are many academics in Israel who are questioning and criticizing the ultra right government of Israel and fear that it may be ultimately self destructive. The late Prof. Tony Judt of NYU wrote eloquently about this. Another is Norman Finkelstein. (you may already know these writers). Is this all an end game being played out because the age of Big Oil is ending? I fear for the next generation.

    Shane: I never said that Ron Paul was a fascist etc. My argument was centered on the consequences of his economic policy which are outdated and unworkable today. His policy ideas of an even more de-regulated government would take us backwards. Raw libertarianism has never been tried anywhere in modern times and I sure as hell dont want that experiment done on us at this point in time. Reducing the military, getting out of wars, decriminalizing drugs and thereby reducing deficits can be done under our present dispensation without “Austrian economics/gold standard) etc. The problem to a significant extent is due to distorted tax law and special subsidies driven by lobbying by powerful corporations.

    Mrs Windy: You have a point. Freedom is not absolute and unlimited and most of us here recognize that. The issue however, is the introduction of legislation that is unnecessary and can have adverse unintended consequences at a future time. Prof. Turley as well as Gene and others are rightly concerned about the language of the law which is rather broad and vague. For example, questions like “Have you stopped beating your spouse..Yes or No” is not a permitted question in court by the prosecution. Such questions are designed to trap based on language alone, without an underlying crime. Similarly, all lies in court are not considered perjury. Lies that are material to the case in question are the only ones considered as such. Our prison population is already too large and is costing too much money and has even been privatized to boot! These are all unsustainable.

  287. @Mike: I believe that America’s BFF in the ME is not Israel, but Saudi Arabia.

    That’s where all the money is. Their monetary influence in this country is pervasive, the own all kinds of buildings, hospitals, toll roads, and businesses. I would not be surprised in the least to learn that Citizens United and SuperPacs are designed to allow the big foreign money to influence the elections as much as they want: If a corporation donates a million to a SuperPac, then suddenly runs short on operating capital, well the Saudis can inject another million into their corporation as an “investment.” It is nice clean money laundering.

    So yeah, follow the money.

  288. “That’s where all the money is. Their monetary influence in this country is pervasive, the own all kinds of buildings, hospitals, toll roads, and businesses.”


    I agree. It is interesting how little publicity the Saudi incursion gets. I understand they own a big chunk of CNN for instance. The fact that the powerful Saudi Prince Bandar is known as “Bandar Bush”, is as telling as the video of he and GW Bush strolling hand in hand. Our ME policy in my opinion is generally the Saudi policy and has been for 60 years, since Eisenhower appointed John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State.

  289. The USA was never the land of the free. It is and always has been an illusion. I live in Australia which has a Monarchy based constitution and we have far more freedom than the USA.
    What most people in the USA do not understand is the country is a dictatorship and the only difference between it and Nazi Germany is it has a constitution and elects it’s dictator.
    Only republics give executive power to one person. Real democracies give the power to the entire parliament.
    Only dictatorships give ultra power to organizations such as the CIA, FBI and SOPA.
    USA, the land of the free, what a joke

  290. Hello! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  291. Problem: Sports and celebrity worship provides the stimulus that the simple minds need to be lulled into fiefdom.

    The few, the very few, will be called traitors just as our forefathers were.

    The solution:

    “blood in the streets brother, blood in the streets” (George Carlin)

  292. interesting article and discussion
    my thanks to the editors of Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik, Berlin, Germany, for publishing the article in their March 2012 issue (plus an original article on the current transatlantic situation by Norman Birnbaum) http://www.blaetter.de/archiv/jahrgaenge/2012/maerz

    thank you, Jonathan, for doing occasional comparisons with states other than the U.S. (in brackets at the end of some of the paragraphs)

    could anyone point me to a resource which analyses the “civil rights” situation (or whatever it might suitably be called) country-by-country?

    thank you

  293. Face it, the U.S. has gone completely and totally insane, and we are now very much a “China-like” totalitarian militarized police state. But I am very tired of commenting on this state of affairs. We should not even have to be having any discussion(s) about such things because they shouldn’t exist, AT ALL, in the United States. It is complete and total anathema to the U.S. Constitution, and to any true liberty and freedom, that these draconian powers exist at all in this once, but absolutely no longer, free country. A country with is helping establish an extremely un-free world at large as well.

    No, the U.S. is NOT a free country at all anymore; and we are all extremely un-safe, particularly all those like Jonathan Turley who fulfill their DUTY(IES) to staunchly decry this state of affairs at the hands of “our” increasingly un-free nation’s government. This situation should scare ALL Americans to death; but most of them are completely unaware of it, or they blindly, traitorously and extremely stupidly defer to trusting such a more and more totalitarian government; because, obviously, that government giving themselves these powers ARE going to use them, and use them increasingly. It’s obviously already begun since 9-11, and thus been going on and getting worse and worse for over ten years.

    Therefore, there is absolutely no question anymore, except among the vast majority of the willfully brainwashed, ignorant, complacent, apathetic masses of “Amerikans” who refuse to wake up to this reality and fulfill their duty(ies) to stand up against it, that we are living in an increasingly draconian, blindly “trust Big Brother'” state in the U.S., where we all better bow down and not criticize it, “or else”. And if anyone thinks they can trust finite, errant, by-and-large evil government personnel not to use or abuse these Orwellian powers that government is giving themselves more and more, they live in an extreme non-reality fantasy world where true reality doesn’t really enter into their consciousness, which is the very definition of insanity. Thus, a mass-insanity has taken over most of the “Amerikan” people, which has been engineered and very successfully carried into actual existence by extremely intentional and methodical design by the powers-that-be behind the U.S. government; and, thus, they are no longer truly free anymore whatsoever.

  294. Great article. There is no doubt that with all the new laws and regulations, our country is no longer the free country it once was. People like Wilbur on this site and other people who refuse to see what is happening, will one day soon wake up and realize that we were right…but it will undoubtedly be too late. Hey Wilbur, you say the NDAA 2012 does not give the president the authority to kill or detain a US citizen without habeas corpus? Tell that to al Awalki (sp) and his 17 year old son who were killed with drones. Did they get the right to a fair trial, etc.? And they were killed before the NDAA law was passed. You sheep had better wake up. You’re living in la-la land. Put the pieces together. Nearly every week a new law or regulation is passed taking away more and more of our personal liberties. You can go back to sleep if you want to but if you really care about this country and our freedoms, you need to wake up to the realization that we’re not free anymore.

  295. The reason our country is doomed is because people are brainwashed by their Xbox video games so they don’t have *time* to research the truth and expect the media to provide everything for them truthfully.

    They don’t give an F about our liberties until it’s taken away from them in their daily life and Lord help them when that happens!

    I have a (beep) right to my views and I’m sticking to it so there!

  296. I was glad to see this article and, Otteray Scribe, glad to see your comment about it (although sorry about the stress you endured on 9/11 in addition to everything else!). It occurs to me that your sentence:

    “The whole thing could have been avoided had the incurious boy president actually read or listened to his national security briefings.”

    is one of the most important issues of this entire decade-long-and-counting march up Calvary that our freedoms have taken. Why does nobody focus on this? In August 2011 it was practically read aloud to W like the story of a goat who bumped his head:

    “Airplanes will be hijacked and smashed into a major American city center unless you do A, B and C right away” and he (and Rice) considered it a “historical background memo”? Let me say that any secretary making $11.67 per hour who had neglected her duties like that would have been fired on the spot and never hired again anywhere by anyone. What on earth? And then the event, instead of destroying the credibility of our leadership and bringing the government DOWN, works to hand them extraordinary powers that they never have to account for, that they misuse in the most inexplicable and intolerable ways, and that they never have to give up? It’s like, “Here, you really messed up, now you’re gonna be king of the world and nobody will ever say BOO to you, ever again!”

    OK, got that said, feel better.

    The Chinese quotation about the beginning of wisdom reminds me of a quotation from Gregory Lambrakis, the Greek Pacifist and freedom fighter who was memorialized in the movie “Z.” He said, “It is time to start giving words their real meaning again.” We cannot have freedom — any degree of it — until we give that word its real meaning and other words their real meanings, too. We are NOT free if we have no right to privacy; NOT free if we cannot protest government action that we feel wrongs us; NOT free if we cannot petition our government for redress of wrongs; NOT free if we can be restrained of our liberty without due process, NOT free if we can be spirited away or just plain killed at any time because someone, even a high-ranking someone, thinks we need to be disappeared. None of the tyrants in history would have agreed that the things they did to their people was unnecessary or wrong — it was all done for the best reasons by the best leaders to protect their national interests — who can deny that?

    It is time to start giving words their real meaning: Most of the people in this country are already living under greatly restricted, relatively unfree conditions that we accept because we are struggling to keep our bills paid and keep going. Most of us are either unable or scared to do anything meaningful about it. Among those who are “unable,” a certain proportion are unable because they can’t even bring themselves to admit it. It has caused a distortion in our thinking and acting that is horrifying to witness. We would rather continue to fear the dangerous terroristic threatening outsider than to realize the problems are here, they are OURS, and that they are getting worse. I remember once, public speaking in the early 1990s (even before 9/11 and the wholesale erosion of rights that descended upon us then), I asked, “What could a foreign invader do to all of us next year that a judge in any trial court in this country couldn’t do to any of us TOMORROW?”

  297. what did you expect?
    the second you accepted the laws that were passed after 911 and th second you accepted/turned a blind eye to the death and destruction the us caused in iraq and afghanistan and continue to accept until 1 econd ago
    the second you accepted protection against terrorists living under your beds and losing freedoms while driving a car is more dangerous
    the second you have been not doing anything and living with all these banksters and rothchilds and the likes
    they knew they can implement on you
    FREE AMERICANS did nothing out of shear intentional blindness due to pure hatred towards arabs and muslims as they dont matter

    it is your turn now

  298. I’m surprised that the 16th Amendment wasn’t in the top 3. The centralized bank, the Federal Reserve, ensures that we remain slaves to Britain. In order to regain our independence, we need to repeal the 16th Amendment and abolish the Fed.

  299. Charles Ferguson’s ‘Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America’

    AlterNet Executive Editor Don Hazen talks to Ferguson, the Academy Award winner for “Inside Job,” about his new book on the rapid rise of “Oligarchy America.”

    May 29, 2012

    Charles Ferguson has followed up his Academy Award-winning documentary film Inside Job, with a hot potato of a new book: Predator Nation: Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America (Crown Business).


  300. […] The U.S. has experienced “continuing rollbacks” of civil liberties, making crowd control easy for the government. They can arrest you for nothing, strip-search you, and throw you in a dungeon where they can torture you forever, without identifying any charges and without allowing you access to a lawyer, or anyone, ever. […]

  301. The U.S. was once free now that is news to me. Because I am pretty sure that the original founding fathers, being slave owners themselves and saying that all men are created equal. Kind of shows how the U.S. was never really free.

  302. I was sitting around a campfire with Three generations of people. My mother, My wife, myself, and our three children ages 9, 14 and 17. I asked a very simple question to see how different the answers would be. The questions is ” Do you think the government has the right to arrest and detain you without trial?” My mother and myself said absolutely not. My wife was hesitant on answering and the two oldest both answered resolutely Yes. Our freedom is not being taken from us in a single swipe of pen. It is being taken slowly and with deliberate care.

  303. COMING NDAA Hell for Americans’ Civil Liberties?

    Americans deemed by President Obama as Belligerent are vulnerable to Arrest and Indefinite Detention under the passed NDAA, National Defense Authorization Act.

    Late Monday 9-17-12 the Obama Administration was able to get Court of Appeals Judge (Raymond Lohier) for the Second Circuit to reauthorize the White House’s ability under (NDAA) The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 to (indefinitely detain American citizens) without charge or due process. Second Circuit Judge (Raymond Lohier) placed on hold Judge Katherine Forest’s permanent injunction that recently blocked Pres. Obama’s enforcement of NDAA Indefinite Detention provisions until 9-28-12 when a three-judge appeals court panel is expected to take up the issue. Prior the Obama administration stated to Judge Katherine Forest under NDAA the President had authorization to lock up belligerents indefinitely. That they (were justified) to lock belligerents up indefinitely—because cases involving belligerents directly-aligned with militants against the good of America—warrants such punishment.) Pres. Obama could use NDAA provisions unblocked 9-17-12 by Judge (Raymond Lohier) for the Second Circuit to order U.S. Military Forces to round up without evidence, millions of Americans alleging they are belligerents or threat to National Security. Many observers fear Obama intends to extend NDAA, imprison U.S. Citizens in Indefinite Detention not involved with or associated with enemy forces.

    Hitler included similar provisions in his fascist (Discriminatory Decrees signed February 28, 1933). Immediately after German Parliament passed Hitler’s laws, the Reich Government ordered the arrest of German Citizens without probable cause or evidence; delegated power to German Police and other authorities to arrest anyone Nazi authorities claimed attempted or incited public unrest: arrested among others were outspoken Germans, writers, journalists, peaceful protestors and artists. After World War II the East German Secret Police (Stasi) used the threat of Indefinite Detention to forcibly recruit thousands of informants.

    The U.S. 2012 NDAA legislation Obama signed 12-31-11 is similar to Hitler’s 1933 fascist laws the SS and Gestapo used to target persons in Germany for arrest, imprisonment and execution without probable cause; and confiscate millions of dollars of property. Hitler used his laws to suspend Parliament insuring his laws could not be rescinded.

    During the Obama Administration’s recent request for a (stay) to stop U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest blocking enforcement of vague NDAA provisions, the Federal Government—never clarified what constitutes a (belligerent); or militant; or what belligerent activities (directly aligned with a militant) to order a belligerent’s arrest or indefinite detention; or what is against the good of America. Under NDAA, the U.S. Government or President could claim anyone was (directly aligned with militants) e.g. any political or other association; charge any activity, statement, writing or communication was (directly aligned) with an individual or group the government deemed (militant) to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans. Writers, journalists, Americans that disagree with or question U.S. Government or its allies—may under NDAA be subject to arrest and indefinite detention.

    The 2012 and not yet passed 2013 NDAA, like Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees allow forced government censorship; warrant-less searches of private property and forfeiture of property from persons not charged with crime. Provisions in 2012 NDAA keep the door open for corrupt U.S. police; government agents and provocateurs which there are many, to falsify reports and statements to target any American, group or organization for arrest, indefinite detention, complete disappearance; civil asset forfeiture of their property.

    You may have noted NDAA referred to the USA Patriot Act. Under the Patriot Act, lending itself to Government / police corruption, the Federal Government may use secret witnesses and informants to cause arrests and civil asset forfeiture of Americans’ property. Witness(s) and informants may be paid up to 50% of assets forfeited. Federal Government under 18USC may use a preponderance of civil evidence, little more than hearsay to Civilly Forfeit Private Property. Under the Patriot Act innocent property owners may be barred by government knowing the evidence federal government uses to forfeit their property.

    Sections of 2012 NDAA are so broad, it appears U.S. Government or the President could (retroactively) deem an American’s past 1st Amendment activities prior to passage of 2012 NDAA—supported hostilities, terrorism or (Belligerents) to order the arrest and Indefinite Detention of any U.S. Citizen, writer, group or organization.

    Under NDAA It should be expected that indefinitely detained U.S. Citizens not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings when interrogated, not allowed legal counsel or habeas corpus may be prosecuted for non-terrorist (ordinary crimes) because of their (alleged admissions) while held in Indefinite Detention.

    See Below Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Decrees


    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reich marks.

    Who ever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).

    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;

    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;

    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6
    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.
    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice

  304. shano:

    I rarely enjoy salad, that juicy* apple you mention either costs to much or is not juicy and the meat is not affordable.
    I will not thank a mexican worker.

    shano, while I understand your sympathy to another human being you must also understand that they hurt the country already in place unless they take the time to stop being “mexican” and start being “american” this means that they take the time to learn english learn our history ect. –all that the average citizen “SHOULD” be able to know.

    My policy for mexicans in america:
    I am open to those who adopt our customs

    I am not open to those who change them.

    The sad truth is that if they dont adopt our customs then they DO contribute to illiteracy, stolen jobs ect.

    I can deal with diseases and religion…that type of thing is already built in to our country for being a melting pot of different people. and.. I am perfectly fine with a outside countrymen wanting to make a life here– it all depends on what they do once they get here. if they do learn english and our history “the oath” ect then WELCOME if they do not or do not make a good honest hard-working attempt to. GET OUT

    Hopefully you will understand this policy of mine and a policy I think is quite fair. I know you was a bit “steamed” when you wrote that so I also get that thinking as well of “giving him a piece of my mind”

    -Have a Good day😛

  305. If the Democratic Party didn’t exist, it would have to be invented given the current diversity of the nation and the consistent refusal of the GOP to recognize diversity of color, ethnicity, religion, and gender.

    All one ever hears about are the struggles of civil rights from the perspective of a segregated south that the north had to rescue through the Civil War. Yet, if one examines the rural south in the 1800’s census data, town after town must be considered integrated, not segregated. Unfair, perhaps, but segregated.

    It may not be the popular view, but geography must play a role in diversity integration if all of the cities and towns are included. Most were little more than enclaves of related peoples – though not necessarily across color lines, and perhaps the primary fear of both races. Little ethnicity existed then except for new arrivals and most didn’t go to small towns.

    The interdependent races of the old south between the races has never received the analysis and examination that produced the potential for tolerance among the races borne of intimacy and familiarity in working relationships mostly, much like those within the White House itself during that time.

    Little credence is given to those times, however, as America has struggled since, in part, because of white resistance more than colored resistance, but has anyone really researched the topic and placed it in perspective?

    Much of the current invidious racism of the current election seems to stem from those early roots, and it is obvious they’ve never been resolved.
    Alienation and isolationism used to deter integration – by gender, by race, by ethnicity, and by religion – is still used by most of those groups to provide the space that most feel is tolerable because of those early prejudicial roots. Few, however, are willing to engage these remnants of discriminatory effect, all too willing to “kick the can down the road,” in hopes that it or they will disappear before the issue must be dealt with.

    Because it is not strictly racial in nature, Americans should be big-hearted, and mature enough to handle such a debate without having to sweep it under the rug in order to avoid the topic.

  306. Whilst not all girls who socialize on Facebook
    are single, data recently published tells us there are more
    than 100 million single women who use social network sites
    on a regular basis, now that’s a massive pool of single women that you should be tapping into. This only drives the women as far absent as feasible from you. What Asian girls like in a guy: Asian girls like guys that are well dressed and neatly groomed.

  307. That is why any law that challenges the seperation and declaration of powers set forth in the Constitution needs to be repealed. The answer to this problem of erroding rights is not more government involvement. That is what has painted and pushed us into the tiny corner we are in now. No more income tax taken before the individual receives there pay. Power is taken with money. To start with no money until the end of the year and a BUDGET is passed that is BALANCED. Until that happens nobody is required to pay any income tax.Our freedom has been stolen on credit for the most part it is time to call in the debts. No more Fed charging me interest on my own currency creation. I am tired of all the Ron Paul pissing and moaning he is right we are being robbed ny the Fed. daily to the tune of billions. Politicians have to be held accountable for selling us down the river. There is no fear of the people anymore by our elected officials. I hate to say it but, we have to make the political machine afraid of crossing the people until that happens we are still going to have a degree of this totalitarianistic behavior. Getting the peoples money back under there control is an excellent start. no more paying out and trusting them to do the right thing. The Gov’t. is going to have to trust the people 1st in this deal.

  308. it’s almost like the constitution is getting to the point of almost being ignored entirely. and it seems ever since the beginning of America (and even before), discrimination has been a problem and has gotten worse over the years. i don’t understand how one can be discriminated against and still be free. so at this point, i don’t really think America will change much if China buys it (which might happen if we’re not able to pay our debts. of course, since we made a ‘rule’ about not breaking up into pieces, that means ALL of the US will go to China if that happens. I’m saying China because that’s who we owe most of our debt to). And this is how China ‘purchasing’ America relates to this:If America is ‘no longer the land of the free,’ there’s no reason for it’s existence. It’s like a scam of some sort. And don’t get me started about my cynical view of the US ‘helping’ other countries…

  309. […] In past columns, I have lamented how our government has not only stripped away core civil liberties from citizens, but that citizens have become increasing passive and accepting of the loss of such freedoms. A new poll conducted by Harris Interactive offers a particularly chilling measure of just how passive and accepting citizens have become to the new realities of our internal security system. The poll found almost one third of American adults would accept a “TSA body cavity search” in order to fly. Moreover a majority believes that it is reasonable to criminalize the act of disobeying any TSA agent.  […]

  310. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/28/drone-protesters-escalation-charges


    Anti-drone protesters knocked off course by broad restraining order

    Demonstrators who have gathered at New York air base for years say their constitutional right to protest has been compromised after colonel granted strict order of protection

    By Karen McVeigh

    Guardian UK

    Wednesday 28 November 2012

    Ever since the F16 fighters were replaced by Reaper drones at Hancock Air National Guard base in upstate New York three years ago, peace activists have engaged in regular anti-drone protests outside the facility. In that time they have learned what to expect: holding banners at a site across the road is tolerated; close proximity or blocking gates risks arrest for trespass or disorderly conduct, a fine, or at the most, a few uncomfortable nights in a cell.

    But now, in what appears to be a significant escalation by base authorities, the activists have been subjected to what they describe as an “absurd” restraining order which they say breaches their constitutional right to protest.

    The order was issued by a judge [PDF] following the arrest of 17 protesters accused of blocking all three base entrances to traffic last month. It bans them specifically from approaching the home, school or workplace of Colonel Earl A Evans, a commander at the base. Failure to comply is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in jail.

    Some of the activists are due to have the charges against them, including disorderly conduct and harassment, heard in Dewitt criminal court on Wednesday.

    The arrested protesters, three of whom spoke to the Guardian, said they had never heard of Evans, had never met him and did not know what he looked like. He is the mission support group commander of the 174th fighter wing group, according to court documents.

    Neither his home or school address is known to the defendants or detailed in the order, which names his place of work as 6001 East Molloy Road in Dewitt, New York – the military base. They are also banned from all forms of communication with Evans, including by email.

    In a deposition to the court dated 25 October, Evans called for an order of protection and prosecution of the arrested protesters to the “fullest extent”. He said the blocking of all three gates by the protesters was the “third time that protesters had done an unannounced protest” that resulted in a closure of the gate.

    Written by hand, in block capitals, Evans wrote: “As an authorised representative of Hancock Field, I request that the court issue an order of protection on each and every defendant arrested such that they are to stay away from Hancock Field and I request prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.”

    The order has created confusion among the activists involved, as they say they no longer know where they can legitimately protest against the unmanned drones, which are operated from the base.

    One of the 17 arrested, Elliott Adams, said: “This is a new tactic to deny us our first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and to petition our government.”

    Adams, a Vietnam veteran, past president of Veterans for Peace and former mayor of Sharon Springs, accused the military and local law enforcement of increasingly heavy-handed tactics against peaceful protests. In the last 18 months, more than 100 people have been arrested at the base, according to protesters, but in at least a third of the cases, the charges have been dropped.

    Last year, Adams was among 33 protesters arrested after marching in single file on the side of the road, in what he described as “frivolous charges” which were later dropped. But the latest order is the worst so far, he said.

    “We are committed to non-violence” said Adams. “It’s absurd that this order is all about Evans’ personal well being. He’s the guy who has spent a lifetime training in delivering violence and killing people and I say that as a veteran myself. Those inside Hancock are the ones with the M16s and assault rifles, the MQ9 drones. We as individuals are obligated to stop our government committing war crimes – that’s part of what came out of Nuremberg. This is a misuse of the law.”

    Adams said that he has repeatedly been arrested as he attempted to deliver a letter to the base commander, Colonel Greg Semmel, and others accusing the government of war crimes.

    The order of protection, issued by Donald Benack, a judge in the Dewitt town court, Onondaga, New York, on 25 October, forbids the 17 activists from contacting Evans, and, specifically, forbids them from the following:

    …assault, stalking, harassment, aggravated harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment, strangulation, criminal obstruction of breathing or circulation, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, forcible touching, intimidation, threats or any criminal offense or interference with the victim or victims of, or designated witnesses to the alleged offense and such members of the family or household of such victim(s) or witness(es) as shall be specifically named Earl A Evans.

  311. Hypocrisy isn’t limited to the GOP



    Glenn Greenwald on security and liberty

    Obama: a GOP president should have rules limiting the kill list

    The president’s flattering view of himself reflects the political sentiments in his party and the citizenry generally
    guardian.co.uk, Monday 26 November 2012 11.18 EST
    Jump to comments (1295)

    For the last four years, Barack Obama has not only asserted, but aggressively exercised, the power to target for execution anyone he wants, including US citizens, anywhere in the world. He has vigorously resisted not only legal limits on this assassination power, but even efforts to bring some minimal transparency to the execution orders he issues.

    This claimed power has resulted in four straight years of air bombings in multiple Muslim countries in which no war has been declared – using drones, cruise missiles and cluster bombs – ending the lives of more than 2,500 people, almost always far away from any actual battlefield. They are typically targeted while riding in cars, at work, at home, and even while rescuing or attending funerals for others whom Obama has targeted. A substantial portion of those whom he has killed – at the very least – have been civilians, including dozens of children.

    Worse still, his administration has worked to ensure that this power is subject to the fewest constraints possible. This was accomplished first by advocating the vague, sweeping Bush/Cheney interpretation of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) – whereby the President can target not only the groups which perpetrated the 9/11 attack (as the AUMF provides) but also those he claims are “associated” which such groups, and can target not only members of such groups (as the AUMF states) but also individuals he claims provide “substantial support” to those groups. Obama then entrenched these broad theories by signing into law the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which permanently codified those Bush/Cheney interpretation of these war powers.

    From the start, Obama officials have also ensured that these powers have no physical limits, as they unequivocally embraced what was once the core and highly controversial precept of Bush/Cheney radicalism: that the US is fighting a “global war” in which the “whole world is a battlefield”, which means there are no geographical constraints to the president’s war powers. In sum, we have had four straight years of a president who has wielded what is literally the most extreme and tyrannical power a government can claim – to execute anyone the leader wants, even his own citizens, in total secrecy and without a whiff of due process – and who has resisted all efforts to impose a framework of limits or even transparency.

    But finally, according to a new article on Sunday by The New York Times’ Scott Shane, President Obama was recently convinced that some limits and a real legal framework might be needed to govern the exercise of this assassination power. What was it that prompted Obama finally to reach this conclusion? It was the fear that he might lose the election, which meant that a Big, Bad Republican would wield these powers, rather than a benevolent, trustworthy, noble Democrat – i.e., himself [emphasis added]:

    “Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials. . . .

  312. The author limits himself to civil liberties issues. It’s far worse than that. Any competent analysis of the state of liberty must also include: 1) taxation (theft), 2) debt (slavery), 3) inflation (theft by congress and the banksters), 4) war (undeclared), and 5) mountains of unconstitutional laws and regulations (made by un-elected bureaucrats with checks and balances).

  313. On the other hand, the US Constitution is not a suicide pact. As the 9/11 Commission noted Al Qaeda was at war with us whereas we were not at war with them. Some 3,000 Americans paid with their lives on 9/11 for Bill Clinton’s inability to realize what was going on, thus misconstruing terrorists as criminals, severely restricting the CIA from sharing intel with the FBI, refusing to take Bin Laden from Sudan for a lack of probable cause and refusing to give the CIA permission to shoot Bin Laden in Afghanistan when they had him in their sights. George Bush decided to force Al Qaeda to defend themselves in their own backyards instead of on our streets and drew them into Afghanistan and Iraq like moths to a flame to die. The duplicitous Obama says one thing and does another – first banning the most humane and effective interrogation method ever devised, physician-assisted water-boarding by misconstruing it as “torture” even though it leaves the detainee unscathed and only with soiled underwear, then killing terrorists and and anyone around them with drones without due process, but treating any terrorists we capture like common criminals with the full protection of our Constitution.

  314. This is a long ago article but being that i read it entirely while trying to right a paper I’ve decided to weigh in my opinion though it will most likely seem to be ambivalent in your minds. I find it easy to say that America can no longer have the financial stability it had 40 years ago, however i find (though i am a republican) that though Mr. Obama is a diehard socialist he has seem to keep all of our freedoms intact yet again almost all presidents have seem to be able to do this simple tack because of the fact of the well structured checks and balances system. Yes, indeed we have in fact lost many of our right to the fourth-amendment because of the terrorist attack on 9/11 but we must come to realize that the world has changed! No longer can parents find a school to be a “safe-haven” for their children or even as well as their job to be a place where they can be protected! Even their homes! Terrorist are horribly minded men focused only on one thing! Destroying America!
    We must realize the world is no longer the ice place it use to be. Before we woke to the weather on a radio or T.V telling us a few car crashes here and there and a theft. Now we hear of more bank robberies, killings and suicides!
    The World needs to prepare for what is ahead because as of now, it seems people’s demonic minds are setting in and before we know it society will be a battleground and we will grow accustomed to hearing murders killing many people and see it as another “typical day” so yes we have lost rights we had 40 years ago but for a good reason.

  315. Justin, You say that Obama has kept all our freedoms intact, but you seem to have forgotten the huge power grab that Obamacare represents including forcing religious institutions to act against their own religious principles. When the government can control your health they can control pretty much everything about you.

  316. This is ok stuff but it seems to be a thinly disguised Obama is as bad as bush screed. Folks it started way before that with Clinton and restrictions on taking after tax currency out of the country, currency transaction receipts, fincen, carnivore and the like. It is bad but it isn’t George bush that started this. If I may remind you we were physically attacked in 2011 so there were real fears. Remember anthrax? Remember Muslims on our shores jumping for joy as watch imploded? No this went back to Wilson and the league of nations and the UN. Frankly I am way more sacred of our fifth column globalist press/media and a UN trying to monitor our elections and firearms ownership than I’ll ever be of George bush.

  317. I agree with your comments entirely, Professor, and very much enjoyed your occasional appearance with Olbermann.

    I’m Canadian. I fear and loathe the southern Empire so much that I refuse to set foot in it, even paying more to avoid stopover flights in the US on the way back from Europe.

    I would only add that you would have far more credibility if you would flee that wretched dictatorship forever. It is unsaveable, and will only get worse. Make the effort, and you can get a nice teaching position in Switzerland or New Zealand or maybe even Canada.

    Never, never, never have I understood impassioned and reasoned argument against the fascism of the US, and yet a refusal to make preparations to flee forever.

  318. Remember this when you need to come to the US for any medical treatment that is serious. BTW, you need to catch up with the systematic anti-Semitism at York University which seems to be a hotbed of Islamic radicalism.

  319. Hi Christopher – who wrote

    “What a beautifully written one sided story…… For those of you that forgot, OVER 3,000 AMERICAN AND FOREIGN CITIZENS DIED ON 9/11 !!!! As a NY’er I will never forget the smell of burning FLESH….. but obviously the rest of you don’t get it…
    I will glady accept these these new laws:
    A: because I am a law abiding citizens that will not be arrested for Terrorism
    B: because I never want to smell burning flesh again…

    Thanks for your thoughts Professor!”

    You obviously know nothing about the evil doings of your government regarding the whole 911 thing.

    You need to do some digging.

    Your own government was responsible.

    Just watch a video of the towers coming down – you can clearly see explosives blasting out horizontally in a perfectly executed demolition.

    The whole exercise was designed to allow the passage of the raft of laws brought in since 911 to enable exactly what the professor speaks of.

  320. I came upon your blog after reading a news article on our lost freedoms. This article clearly tells the story and the next time someone tells me that we are still the land of the free, that the acts passed since the September 11th terrorist attacks are for our own safety, or any other argument that we don’t live in a police state I will kindly point them to this article. After all, how free are we when the Government is warehousing all our emails, phone calls, and other electronic communications, we criticise other nations for indifinite detention but go ahead and pass NDAA. Both parties have never thought as part of their political platform of returning the powers that we have lost. Instead they are fighting over our budget, and issues that aren’t as important as our lost freedomss. The question is can our nation return to the nation that was once called “The home of the free”. All you have to do is take a look around and realize we are not as free as we once were and are moving even further to a police state. In a lot of cases you no longer have the right to due process. If you are accused of being a drug dealer, your house can be confiscated without due process. If you are accused of posting copyrighted work on your website, you website is automatically taken down without you being allowed to challenge the accusation of copyright infringement. Sadly, most Americans don’t realize this is happening or others argue that times are different and these actions are necessary for our safety.

  321. I left a reply here on an aspect of this subject that few dare mention. Yet, ignoring this aspect could lose us, the people, this war we are having with our already police state government. I’m not sure it got on the list as I don’t see it now. At any rate the last line seemed to be missing, which was by way of identification. I will add it again here & check later to see if this important but contraversial subject made it on the list. I refer to the huge role that the military plays in rolling back our freedoms, from just after WWII to present time. He who thought he was a ‘patriot’ may indeed be an ‘accidental traitor’! (traveling limey) (Ca Plates: NO NWO) Take out a $1 bill. See the all-seeing-eye, refered to as Illuminati, atop a Masonic pyramid. Note the words: Novus Ordo Seclorum, new secular order, more recently becoming New World Order; not a nice idea about Americas prominence in the world, but a planned one world slave state akin to Orwell’s ‘1984’ & a lot closer since 9/11 with Illuminati puppets Bush Jr & Obama in power. Did you know that prominent Illuminati puppet & player Bush Sr gave a speech about the New World Order on 9/11/90, precisely 11 years before the knocking down of the 11 (1+1) of the Twin Towers? (The ‘Thousand Points of Light’ speech that our irresponsible media reported, musing as to why it was that day but never saying, when the answer came 11 years later!)

  322. I guess we will always get the apologists who cannot imagine that 9/11 was an inside job, as obvious as that is. One thing hardly ever mentioned is the role that military & veterans play in the continuing wholesale loss of our freedoms. This game where Americans claim to be patriotic by flying a POW/MIA (prisoner of war/missing in action) flag, bragging about how they fought for their country & blindly did everything their sergeant or commander in chief asked them to do, is a very dangerous game, because it is 180 degrees reverse of fighting for the people of our country, even as it fits the agenda of the the New World Order. The best thing military & veterans could do is to wake up and realize that they have been a party to taking away freedoms of all here in America by blindly buying the PR & BS that goes with every foreign war since WWII. Of course the PR & BS comes almost daily to all of us, with mega doses on Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day and others. Sometimes I hear requests or offers for a military or veteran’s discount. The truth might sound very strange, but after WWII to the present, it might go like this: ‘Hey Bud! How about giving me a military discount for blindly doing everything the Illuminatti wants me to do! Killing on command, aprehending without question! Letting my Commander-In-Chief know that he & his bosses can count on me for WHATEVER they have in mind! Oh? Reducing your freedoms? Putting Bush’s Patriot Act & Obama’s Edicts against American citizens into place with my blind obedience? Well, yes, I guess so…’ This subject needs expanding on, but it IS a hard pill for a vet or serviceman to take. Its also a hard pill for every non-vet, being brainwashed & PR’d so long about how being in the service is the patriotic thing to do. There are exceptions; service men helping here in the States in natural disasters for example, but even National Guard enlistees have been sent to Afghanistan & Iraq. I will totally understand, with all the rhetoric going around if I’m branded a traitor. I said I have not heard much of this viewpoint; to be honest I have heard virtually nothing about this viewpoint! It shows HOW FAR WE HAVE TO GO! To get your mind around this, think of all the ‘heros’ as being ‘accidental traitors’ and to some degree vice versa. It will take a lot of courage to support this viewpoint, but it must come if we are to ever get out of this mess & return to real freedoms. I was lucky enough to get my lessons early. Now I challenge you to pick up this staff, this bitter pill, this TRUTH. (traveling limey) (Ca Plates: NO NWO)

  323. Okay, I found the later essay & have this time successfully posted it, albeit after the last one. Your comments or questions please. I have pursued this subject for around 40 years. (traveling limey)

  324. People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will loose both………..Ben Franklin

    The way I see it ,it applies for your country and ours. Lets do something!

  325. Just because Ben Franklin said something doesn’t mean it makes any sense. The US Constitution is not a suicide pact, especially in times of war. The first responsibility of a government is to protect its citizens. As a US citizen I have not experienced ANY loss of any freedoms – though those who mean us harm may feel somewhat constricted. 3,000 people paid with their lives on 9/11 and many more since then because Bill Clinton refused to go to war with Al Qaeda who had declared war on us and had attacked us throughout the 90’s. It took George W. Bush to push them back from our streets and keep us safe until Barack Obama came along and let our guard down, and the attacks on the US mainland started again.

  326. Your “likes” on facebook can lead to an indictment.

    ” Public items posted by Kabir to his social media accounts include photographs of himself, non-extremist content, radical Islamist content, and items reflecting a mistrust of mainstream media, abuses by the government, conspiracy theories, abuses by law enforcement, and the war in Afghanistan.”

    My fb has me “liking” and “sharing” items that show “a mistrust of mainstream media, abuses by the government, conspiracy theories, abuses by law enforcement, and the war in Afghanistan”, also the excessive use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen, the acceleration of the erosion of our civil right via the continuation of the PATRIOT Act and the addition of the NDAA, my objections to NAFTA, GATT and the planned new trade debacle for the south Pacific, and the tar sands pipeline.


    On Nov. 19, the FBI announced it had charged four men for plotting to join al-Qaeda and the Taliban and kill American targets.

    Perhaps the defendants, who are all either U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, deserved to be arrested. However, the way the FBI gathered evidence against them should send chills down the spine of anyone who values free speech and other civil liberties.

    To build their case, investigators relied heavily on content the four suspects posted, “liked,” commented on, and shared via their Facebook accounts.

    The case begs the question: What is stopping the Feds from building a terrorism case against Occupy participants, anti-war activists, or others for sharing – or just “liking” – content that the government views as radical or extremist?

    The defendants in this case are known by aliases listed in the criminal complaint:

    Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, a naturalized U.S. citizen, born in Afghanistan
    Ralph Deleon, 23, a lawful permanent resident alien, born in the Philippines
    Miguel Alejandro “Santana” Vidriales, 21, a lawful permanent resident, born in Mexico whose U.S. citizenship application is pending
    Arifeen David Gojali, 21, a United States citizen

    Four pages of the criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in California show how FBI agents combed through the defendants’ Facebook accounts looking for “radical pro-jihad content” to help build their case.

    Below are quoted excerpts from the complaint, some of which seems to impinge upon the defendants’ rights to vocally oppose government action in Afghanistan – or just review news reports.

    Public items posted by Kabir to his social media accounts include photographs of himself, non-extremist content, radical Islamist content, and items reflecting a mistrust of mainstream media, abuses by the government, conspiracy theories, abuses by law enforcement, and the war in Afghanistan.
    Kabir has “shared” several postings with Santana and/or Deleon, both of whom have “liked” or commented on several other postings by Kabir.
    Portions of the social media show that Deleon and Santana “liked”postings on Kabir’s Facebook page as early as May 2011.
    Radical postings include videos and links to videos of Al-Qa’ida leader Anwar Al-Awlaqi and his lectures, jihad-based videos regarding Afghanistan and elsewhere, videos depicting mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan and elsewhere, videos depicting terrorist training camps and related activities, videos depicting improvised explosive device (“IED”) attacks, and articles regarding the death of American soldiers in Afghanistan.

    The case against the defendants also includes other evidence, including remarks Santana and Deleon told a confidential FBI source about plans to travel to Afghanistan to engage in “violent jihad.” The defendants described potential targets for violent attacks, including overseas American military personnel and bases, according to the criminal complaint.

    Members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force apprehended Santana, Deleon, and Gojali on Nov. 16 without incident. Kabir is in custody in Afghanistan. If convicted, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison.

  327. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-30/oliver-stone-mocks-bush-s-u-s-terror-sites-lewis-lapham.html (with podcast)

    Oliver Stone Mocks Bush’s U.S. Terror Sites
    By Lewis Lapham – Dec 1, 2012 12:01 AM ET

    The Bush administration did not launch an investigation into the failure of U.S. intelligence after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. It did, however, rush the Patriot Act through Congress, expanding government surveillance and investigative powers.

    (To listen to the podcast:

    http://media.bloomberg.com/bb/avfile/Views/Lewis_Lapham/vwO19ZJcw1oE.mp3 )

    According to Oliver Stone, co-author with Peter Kuznick of “The Untold History of the United States” and director of the 10-part Showtime TV series, the government began sending out constant security alerts to keep fearful Americans from protesting their eroding civil liberties.

    Points of U.S. vulnerability were identified, beginning with 160 potential terrorist targets. The number jumped to 1,849 in 2003, a year later reaching more than 28,000.

    By 2007, 300,000 locations were on the list, with Indiana in the lead: It had 8,591, three times as many as California. The national targets included petting zoos, doughnut shops and the Mule Day Parade in Columbia, Tennessee.

    I spoke with Stone on the following topics:
    1. American Wars
    2. Supporting Tyrants
    3. Economic Penetration
    4. Dropping Nukes

    5. Why Vietnam?

    (Lewis Lapham is the founder of Lapham’s Quarterly and the former editor of Harper’s magazine. He hosts “The World in Time” interview series for Bloomberg News.)

  328. Wow! How far from the truth can you get! I certainly get the idea that AmericanEagle1392 thinks he is a patriot! Huh! The most charitable I can get is to call him an ‘accidental traitor’, being so totally unwilling to try to fix his country while there are still a few freedoms left to do so.
    Pray tell me, what are these attacks on the mainland from abroad that you are talking about? I’m not aware of any these past 80 years that were not assisted by our own government. Even Pearl Harbor (not the mainland, of course) was US government inspired, severely violating US Navy policy to pretend an unprovoked attack from abroad in order to keep up the pretense of democracy.
    Recently, however, there have been many attacks on the Mainland from inside. Some of the most insidious have been from Psychiatry & the big Pharma industries. Practically every murder/suicide in this country for the last several decades, has been committed with Psych drugs in the system or withdrawing from them! This is a massive assault on the freedom of our people, from schools to old folks homes & everything in between! Now THERE is real terrorism in this country & abroad! Much of it came from Nazi Germany.
    Nutcases like AM1392, who very well could be a hired blogger for TSA (Trying to Scare America) or Homeland Insecurity, but I think he’s just a brainwashed dummy who needs to open his eyes & get the facts & real reasons for things, before we slip into a ‘1984’ senario.
    To get the facts on the Killing Fields by Psychiatry in America & Europe, totally supported by Billions of YOUR TAX DOLLARS, along with the Nazi Germany connection, see the DVD ‘The Age Of Fear, Psychiatry’s Reign of Terror’. Contact CCHR, Citizens Commission on Human Rights @ 800 869 2247, the only organization doing anything effective about this scourge. For many of you, this is the missing link, the real ‘why’, the ‘Who knew?!’ head slapper.

  329. There was a 9/11 Commission which concluded that Al Qaeda was at war with us but we were not at war with them. Bill Clinton ignored all the attacks on us throughout the 90’s except one cruise missile attack that scattered some camels and destroyed some tents and an aspirin factory. This was fortuitously timed to distract out attention from his dalliance with Monica. Clinton refused to take Bin Laden from Sudan and refused to give the CIA permission to shoot him in Afghanistan when they had him in their sights over 10 times. At home he severely restricted communications between the CIA and FBI. All this emboldened Osama Bin Laden to declare us a “weak horse” unable or unwilling to defend our selves – and led directly to the attack on 9/11. Had Bush not pushed back we would have been fighting Al Qaeda on our streets shortly thereafter and they would have seen the benefits to us of the 2nd. Amendment.

  330. Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 8:16 PM UTC

    An online privacy invader gets caught

    Impotent? Infertile? Bankrupt? Online advertisers want to know, and they’ll break the law to find out

    By Andrew Leonard


    “News from the privacy wars: The Federal Trade Commission and Epic Marketing, an online ad network, have settled charges that Epic was secretly and illegally gathering information on the browsing history of Web users, a practice known as “history sniffing” or “history stealing.”

    And not just any kind of history. Epic was specifically looking for people who had visited websites searching for information on “fertility issues, impotence, menopause, incontinence, disability insurance, credit repair, debt relief, and personal bankruptcy.” Epic divided these people up into “interest groups” and targeted advertisements to them. So if, for example, you Googled “impotence” and visited a few Web pages with relevant information, the next time you checked out CNN.com you might suddenly be assaulted by a slew of Viagra and Cialis advertisements.

    Epic exploited one of the most basic attributes of traditional Web browsing — the function that changes the color of a Web URL if you have already visited it — to accomplish the sniffing. The strategy was simple, and sneaky. Epic created pages consisting solely of thousands of links to websites containing information on sensitive topics. But these link-only pages were invisible to users. If a person happened to visit a site in the Epic Marketing network, they would, without their knowledge, also be visiting these invisible pages. You would never know that your history was being tested, but in fractions of a second, Epic could see which links had been visited previously and store that information in a cookie that would facilitate future targeted advertising.

    The FTC settlement boils down to Epic promising to never engage in history sniffing again and to get rid of all the data generated by sniffing. That’s good news and we should applaud the FTC for protecting user privacy. And we should also applaud the researchers at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law Center who discovered the sneaky technique in the summer of 2011.

    But we should also be more on guard than ever, because what this incident tells us is that online advertisers place a premium on figuring out exactly what we’d probably desire to keep most secret from outside eyes, and they are willing to exploit any means necessary to get that information. For every new form of “history sniffing” that gets discovered and cracked down upon, how many are still under the radar? How many have yet to even be invented?”

  331. To Anon just now, I want to say, Keep up the good work. To AE1234, Cut the BS! Get the facts! Don’t listen to the lies! & learn how to tell the difference.

  332. I agree with C.Taylor, while were at it why don’t we abolish war and world poverty and next time I have a dispute with someone over twenty-one bucks I’ll demand a trial by jury, (seventh amendment).

  333. I know how to tell the difference – delete any intestinal waste products we get from you, you paranoid so-and-so.

  334. anonymous, the tracking is still being done. I’ve gone from an email (that I’ve requested) to the website it links to. Now I get ads galore about similar products. This happens frequently and currently. If Epic isn’t doing it, someone else is. For example, I made one stop at a needle work web site, looked around a bit, and left. For the next several days I saw several ads for various needle work web sights when I had not seen them previously. Coincidence? I think not.

  335. Well I haven’t had any illegal substances since 1972 but I might have an evening drink now & then. One has to be concerned about the legal but insidious psych drugs these days. So many are put on them, even little children. Its fact, not paranoia. Keep reading here. Some of the things you can check out.

  336. Or stand around telling everyone they live in the land of the free, home of the brave & everything is just great! David Ike had it right; America has become the land of the fee & the home of the slave.

  337. I’m more concerned about Obama and his Chicago thugs because there is nothing they would stop at. Obama learned his situational ethics well at the knees of Frank Marshall Davis, Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Derrick Bell, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Michael Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright, and his consigliere like Rahm Emmanuel and David Axelrod are the most vicious Ninjas in the business. If you don’t believe me ask Jack Ryan, who thought he had managed to have his divorce proceedings sealed. Not from these character assassins he didn’t. They tried again this year using the Wicked Witch of the West, Gloria Allred, to try and dig up some dirt on Mitt Romney, but were foiled in their attempt to invade his friend’s privacy.

  338. I have no love for Obama & his London School of Economics BS, but its not a Left/Right thing. Thats just the distraction so you won’t notice your freedoms stolen by the Illuminati, Bush & Obama’s bosses.

  339. Everything was great until Al Qaeda declared war on us and Bill Clinton pretended they were just common criminals. Then Barack Obama comes along and bans the most effective and humane interrogation method ever invented which works great on otherwise suicidal detainees while leaving them physically and mentally unscathed except for soiled underwear.

  340. London School of Economics? LOL! That’s like convent school to the crowd we have in power right now. Obama was schooled by seasoned communists, unrepentant domestic terrorists, Islamic radicals, racist black professors dedicated to keeping hate alive and vicious anti-American and anti-Semitic black liberation theologists. No shining city on a hill for these guys, it’s all down in the mines for everyone but themselves and their cronies.

  341. Yes, that’s where all this Keynesian nonsense came from. Income tax, of course, is straight from Marx, of course, especially graduated income tax. Its one of many Communist Manifesto planks the west has adopted. Don’t get too much in left field on the Muslim stuff though. Some of that was made up for the Republicans to look silly to the Left; hopefully you didn’t fall prey to that Birther trick. Look no matter what is said, Obama barely beat Romney if not as close as Bush’s slim & debated majority. The arseholes at the top want to keep it close & you bickering with Keith Oberman. That way they don’t even get seen. The Democrats have a lot of dead weight what with their adoration of homosexuals; but so too do the Republicans with their starting of silly wars that cost us taxpayers dearly, not to mention the poor suckers, our troops, & the apparently expendable civilians over there. The Dems get to keep it going to look ‘patriotic’ until they wind it down. I see you do see something wrong, but its a lot more widespread than where you’re looking. These days I would never support Tweedledum or Tweedledee but I did urge people to save their vote by voting Ron Paul; just write him in.

  342. “Income tax, of course, is straight from Marx, of course, especially graduated income tax.”

    That’s pretty funny since the first income tax in the US was instituted after the War of 1812, six years before Marx was born. The tax itself was based on the British Tax Act of 1798 which was a progressive income tax. The ancient Greeks has a similar tax during times of crisis called an eisphora.

    Funny how you Ron Paul fanatics ignore history and law when it is convenient to your agenda.

  343. Like I said, Keynesians are like convent girls versus the Marxists who have infiltrated Obama’s very soul starting with Frank Marshall Davis.

    Where did this myth get started that our wars to finally push Al Qaeda back from our shores and give two Muslim countries a real shot at freedom and democracy “cost us dearly”? This is pure poppycock.

    In 2007, the Bush tax rate cuts had been fully implemented, tax receipts were at their highest level in US history, two wars were still raging and the federal deficit was a “WHOPPING” – are you sitting down – $160 billion.

    Today, we are withdrawing from both wars, and the deficit is a measly $1.3 TRILLION – WITH NO END IN SIGHT.

    That’s what happens when you put a closet-Marxist like Obama in the White House with Babbling Joe Biden, Nasty Nancy Pelosi, Dirty Harry Reid and Debbie Blabbermouth-Schultz as key assistants.

    The “expendable” civilians over there could have taken advantage of the removal of the Taliban’s and Saddam’s boots on their necks to rebuild their countries with our help into viable, even thriving, democracies, just like the Germans, Japanese and Italians had done after WW-II. Instead, they let Al Qaeda goad them into an inter-Muslim-sect war between Sunnis and Shia, The US-led coalition, which had removed the brutal dictatorships withing a few weeks with little loss of life, were asked by the democratic governments they had helped create to stay and help them stabilize their nascent democracies.

    The US was not at war with Afghanistan and Iraq after we deposed their brutal dictatorships – we were their allies helping them survive against the Islamic extremists trying to deny them the democracies most of their citizens crave..

  344. http://truth-out.org/news/item/13176-no-warrant-no-problem-how-the-government-can-still-get-your-digital-data

    No Warrant, No Problem: How The Government Can Still Get Your Digital Data

    Thursday, 06 December 2012 11:15
    By Peter Maass, ProPublica | Report

    The U.S. government isn’t allowed to wiretap American citizens without a warrant from a judge. But there are plenty of legal ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. Authorities can often obtain your emails and texts by going to Google or AT&T with a simple subpoena. Usually you won’t even be notified.The Senate last week took a step toward updating privacy protection for emails, but it’s likely the issue will be kicked to the next Congress. Meantime, here’s how police can track you without a warrant now:
    Stuff They Can GetHow They Get ItWhat the Law Says

    Who You Called, When You Called

    Listening to your phone calls without a judge’s warrant is illegal if you’re a U.S. citizen. But police don’t need a warrant — which requires showing “probable cause” of a crime — to get just the numbers you called and when you called them, as well as incoming calls, from phone carriers. Instead, police can get courts to sign off on a subpoena, which only requires that the data they’re after is relevant to an investigation — a lesser standard of evidence.

    Police can get phone records without a warrant thanks toSmith v. Maryland, a Supreme Court ruling in 1979, which found that the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure doesn’t apply to a list of phone numbers. The New York Times reported last week that the New York’s police department “has quietly amassed a trove” of call records by routinely issuing subpoenas for them from phones that had been reported stolen. According to The Times, the records “could conceivably be used for any investigative purpose.”

    Your Phone Is a Tracker

    Many cell phone carriers provide authorities with a phone’s location and may charge a fee for doing so. Cell towers track where your phone is at any moment; so can the GPS features in some smartphones. The major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations, text messages and other data in 2011. Internet service providers can also provide location data that tracks users via their computer’s IP address — a unique number assigned to each computer.

    Many courts have ruled that police don’t need a warrant from a judge to get cell phone location data. They only have to show that, under the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (EPCA), the data contains “specific and articulable facts” related to an investigation — again, a lesser standard than probable cause.Delaware, Maryland and Oklahoma have proposed laws that would require police to obtain a warrant for location data; Gov. Jerry Brown of California, a Democrat, vetoed a similar bill in September. Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill championed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to update the ECPA, but it would not change how location data is treated.

    What Computers You Used

    Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other webmail providers accumulate massive amounts of data about our digital wanderings. A warrant is needed for access to some emails (see below), but not for the IP addresses of the computers used to log into your mail account or surf the Web. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, those records are kept for at least a year.

    Police can thank U.S. v. Forrester, a case involving two men trying to set up a drug lab in California, for the ease of access. In the 2007 case, the government successfully argued that tracking IP addresses was no different than installing a device to track every telephone number dialed by a given phone (which is legal). Police only need a court to sign off on a subpoena certifying that the data they’re after is relevant to an investigation — the same standard as for cell phone records.

    Messages You Sent Months Ago

    There’s a double standard when it comes to email, one of the most requested types of data. A warrant is needed to get recent emails, but law enforcement can obtain older ones with only a subpoena. Google says it received7,969 requests for data — including emails sent through its Gmail service — from U.S. law enforcement in the first half of 2012 alone. Other email providers have not made similar statistics available.

    This is another area where the ECPA comes into play. The law gives greater protection to recent messages than older ones, using a 180-day cutoff. Only a subpoena is required for emails older than that; otherwise, a warrant is necessary. The Leahy bill would require a warrant to get all emails regardless of age.

    Drafts Are Different

    Communicating through draft emails, à la David Petreaus and Paula Broadwell, seems sneaky. But drafts are actually easier for investigators to get than recently sent emails because the law treats them differently.

    The ECPA distinguishes between communications — emails, texts, etc. — and stored electronic data. Draft emails fall into the latter, which get less protection under the law. Authorities needs only a subpoena for them. The Leahy bill would change that by requiring a warrant to obtain them.

    As With Emails, So With Texts

    Investigators need only a subpoena, not a warrant, to get text messages more than 180 days old from a cell provider — the same standard as emails. Many carriers charge authorities a fee to provide texts and other information. For texts, Sprint charges $30, for example, while Verizon charges $50.

    The ECPA also applies to text messages, according to Hanni Fakhoury, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is why the rules are similar to those governing emails. But the ECPA doesn’t apply when it comes to actually reading texts on someone’s phone rather than getting them from a carrier. State courts havesplit on the issue. Ohio’s Supreme Court has ruled thatpolice need a warrant to view the contents of cell phones of people who’ve been arrested, including texts. But the California Supreme Court has said no warrant is needed. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 declined to clear up the matter.

    Documents, Photos, and Other Stuff Stored Online

    Authorities typically need only a subpoena to get data from Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, and other services that allow users to store data on their servers, or “in the cloud,” as it’s known.

    The law treats cloud data the same as draft emails — authorities don’t need a warrant to get it. But files that you’ve shared with others — say, a collaboration using Google Docs — might require a warrant under the ECPA if it’s considered “communication” rather than stored data. “That’s a very hard rule to apply,” says Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel with the Center for Democracy & Technology. “It actually makes no sense for the way we communicate today.”

    The New Privacy Frontier

    When it comes to sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the social networks’ privacy policies dictate how cooperative they are in handing over users’ data. Facebook says it requires a warrant from a judge to disclose a user’s “messages, photos, videos, wall posts, and location information.” But it will supply basic information, such as a user’s email address or the IP addresses of the computers from which someone recently accessed an account, under a subpoena. Twitter reported in July that it had received 679 requests for user information from U.S. authorities during the first six months of 2012. Twitter says that “non-public information about Twitter users is not released except as lawfully required by appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process.”

    Courts haven’t issued a definitive ruling on social media. In September, a Manhattan Criminal Court judge upheld a prosecutor’s subpoena for information from Twitter about an Occupy Wall Street protester arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2011. It was the first time a judge had allowed prosecutors to use a subpoena to get information from Twitter rather than forcing them to get a warrant; the case is ongoing.
    This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.
    Peter Maass

    Peter Maass is the author of “Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War,” which chronicled his experiences covering the war in Bosnia, and “Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil,” about the ways oil shapes the world. Maass has written in-depth magazine stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and other publications. He has taught at Princeton University, was a Visiting Regents Lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley, and a fellow at both the American Academy in Berlin and the Shorenstein Center at Harvard. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 for his forthcoming book on revolution, video and surveillance.

  345. “Anyone who walks and talks like a pre-911 American is in a heap of trouble.”

    “Those who walk and talk like a pre-9/11 American put the rest of us in a heap of trouble.”

    Anyone who writes sentences like the ones above has forgotten Pearl Harbor.

  346. Some good news:


    In a potentially precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a Guild lawyer’s challenge to military spying on peace activists can proceed. The ruling marks the first time a court has affirmed people’s ability to sue the military for violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

    “This has never been done before,” said NLG member attorney Larry Hildes, who is handling the case. “The U.S. government has spied on political dissidents throughout history and this particular plot lasted through two presidencies, but never before has a court said that we can challenge it the way we have.”

    The ruling is the latest development in the lawsuit, Panagacos v. Towery, first brought by Hildes in 2009 on behalf of a group of Washington state antiwar activists who found themselves infiltrated by John Towery, an employee at a fusion center inside a local Army base. Fusion centers are multi-jurisdictional intelligence facilities which house federal and local law enforcement agencies alongside military units and private security companies. Their operations are largely secret and unregulated. There are currently 77 fusion centers in the United States.

    The lawsuit names Towery as well as the Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, and other law enforcement agencies. For at least two years, Towery posed as an activist with the antiwar group Port Militarization Resistance (PMR), a group that sought to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through civil disobedience. The infiltration came to light when public records requests filed with the City of Olympia unearthed documents detailing an expansive surveillance operation. In addition to PMR, Towery targeted Students for a Democratic Society, the Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, the Industrial Workers of the World, Iraq Veterans Against the War, an anarchist bookstore in Tacoma, and other activist groups.

    The latest ruling denies the government’s appeal on the basis that the allegations of First and Fourth Amendment violations carried out by Towery are “plausible.” His lawyers have until December 31 to appeal the decision. If they do not appeal, the case will return to district court and the discovery phase will begin.”

  347. You are absolutely right. This is great news for every Al Qaeda cell in the country along with the impending gun controls after the Newtown massacre.

  348. Drop dead! There is practically no Al Quaeda here except by permision of our treasonous government for their next 9/11. HOWEVER, there are plenty of terrorists, white males, PDHed (pain drug hypnosis) under Psychiatric control. Here is my latest post. Take note if you give a hill of beans about this country and our eroding freedoms. By the way, most people think they have a good idea what Psychiatry is. Most of them do not have a clue. Psychiatry is a tool for totalitarian governments like Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Psychiatry Germany was forced to admit and appologise for their key roll in the Nazi Holocaust recently in 2012. Our scumbag media did not pick this up! Psychiatry is also a huge money maker for Psychiatrists & Big Pharma, all courtesy of our nasty government, appropriating Trillions in our tax dollars, as no one would pay for Psychiatry except for the Government.
    “The Plot To Take Your Guns, Drug Your Children & Impose ‘1984’ style Martial Law… Has Just Got Incredibly More Evil! From Columbine To Newtown, The Media Has Lied & Withheld The Truth, As Have Our Presidents. That’s A Lot Of Evil To Confront. There Is Only One Group Doing Anything Effective About It, While Our Rights Go Back To BEFORE The Magna Carta! It Is The Citizens’ Commission On Human Rights, CCHR: (800) 869 2247. The Answer May Surprise You. Do Your Part & Get The Truth Now: (800) 869 2247”

  349. CONFRONT THE EVIL! You did it on the killer, I’m sure. Now you have the full picture. Absorb it, sleep on it, but for Heaven’s sake! investigate it! There’s the number you need to call.

  350. Shano, good catch. It always surprised me to learn that we were supposed to have the right to free speech and assembly if we were getting together to pray to one god and sing god bless America, but that those rights diminished if we were getting together to complain or find out what happened to us or others in a government-supported action. In fact, I remember once being followed to the water fountain in a County Circuit Court to be informed by a social worker: “Mrs. [name omitted], you are not allowed to speak about what happens in court.”

    But she would have been fine with the notion that I dropped to my knees at that moment and said, “Dear god thank you for giving us judges; otherwise we would never know how to live.”

    I will watch this case closely. THANKS!

  351. we apologize, but Firstload is currently not available in your country.

    While we strive to provide a global service, we are not able to launch in literally every country for the time being. We hope to be at some point in the not so distant future.

    Thank you for your understanding,

    Your Firstload Team

  352. I know I have entered late but the best always is worth waiting for! Mr. Turley you are aware why your article is a form of fiction because what you call freedom in america has not been present since 1861, changed by those who have always wanted to overthrow the picture of milk and honey! God said it would occur and he confirmed it in 1933,FDR, and the HJR 192 was the finish and the deception and deceit flourished in the now existent Corporation, and you know the truth but tell only a portion of it! We all live in the matrix, and you have not taken the “Blue Pill” either for you are aware but do not tell the absolute truth for we sovereign are not stupid and are watching as GOD told us to do! Let man have the time of the flesh, we followers of Christ will have eternity! Your story is full of lies seen by the heavenly Father and he will remember your hesitants to tell the truth! JOHNTHEBAPTIST11

  353. Mass Murder/Suicide…This is a plot to take your guns, Drug your children & Impose ‘1984’ style martial law. If this makes our president a multiple mass murderer & child murderer, its time we woke up to this alarming fact, instead of listening to his smooth talk.

  354. ‘US government is not protecting its citizens’ civil liberties’

    http://rt.com/usa/news/court-law-obama-citizen-343/ (interview with Kevin Gosztola)

    KG: It’s fair to say that the United States should probably not be lecturing other countries about how they protect human rights or how they protect civil liberties, especially when many policies in the United States are not really good policies of their own. They are not protecting the civil liberties of US citizens, and they are not protecting the human rights of US citizens.

  355. Happy New Year.

    The ‘war on terror’ – by design – can never end

    As the Pentagon’s former top lawyer urges that the war be viewed as finite, the US moves in the opposite direction

    by Glenn Greenwald


    “If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.

    Just this week, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration need not respond to the New York Times and the ACLU’s mere request to disclose the government’s legal rationale for why the President believes he can target US citizens for assassination without due process. Even while recognizing how perverse her own ruling was – “The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me” and it imposes “a veritable Catch-22″ – the federal judge nonetheless explained that federal courts have constructed such a protective shield around the US government in the name of terrorism that it amounts to an unfettered license to violate even the most basic rights: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the executive branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret” (emphasis added).

    Why would anyone in the US government or its owners have any interest in putting an end to this sham bonanza of power and profit called “the war on terror”? Johnson is right that there must be an end to this war imminently, and Maddow is right that the failure to do so will render all the due-process-free and lawless killing and imprisoning and invading and bombing morally indefensible and historically unforgivable.

    But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.”

  356. Yes indeed, a War on Terror can only create more terror as seen this month & last in Mali where our wannabe totalitarian government, aided by UN bombing of Libya a short while ago, has helped create a monster nation, officially called Al Quaeda in northern Mali where justice is replaced by lopping off arms and legs.As terrible as this is, our own governments use of Psychiatry, a political tool for totalitarian governments & the admitted creator of the Nazi Holocaust, to drug our children, suck billions from taxpayers, & foist ever more frequent in house terrorist attacks on innocent adults & children, from Columbine to Newtown, Ct, is not far behind Mali, once our beautiful-but-covertly-despicable president puts into play the freedom crushing bills he signed at the end of 2011 & March 2012, by declaring martial law & removing our rights to BEFORE the Magna Carta.Make no mistake, this is a plan to 1. Take your guns.2. Drug your children with Psych drugs, & many adults & seniors as well. 3. Declare Martial Law in the wake of the Defense Act of 30 Dec 2012, where anyone can be imprisoned indefinitely without trial, with or without torture. The March bill made it illegal to hold a demonsrtaton anywhere close to a secret service agent, insulating the president & others from free speech; perhaps even bumper stickers. The time to speak up is now, while it is still possible. A revolution, quiet or otherwise, for the people, not the government, is paramount. We have one advantage over Europe & Japan. We have guns in the hands of the people. We may not have to use those guns if we are WILLING to use them. Surrender guns in America & expect an almost immediate declaration of Martial Law. As bad & suppressive as the US government has become, it may yet be America that saves the world. But only if many more of you wake up, accept 9/11 for what it was: an Inside Job to start the War on Terror &, sooner or later, declare Martial Law & a very evil version of the New World Order. Meanwhile you can do something real effective to combat these murder/suicides & remove Psychiatry from our shores: Call The Citizens Commission On Human Rights, CCHR 800 869 2247.

  357. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective.
    A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance. I must say you have done a very good job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Internet explorer. Excellent Blog!

  358. shano
    1, January 15, 2012 at 1:46 am

    “Wilber J. Peatmos: you mean if ‘any President were to engage in indefinite detention of a US citizen’- that we are able to find out about.

    “I doubt these people will get even one phone call.
    Do you think the local police will be able to tell you where they might be?”

    When I was snatched from my father in law’s front yard right in front of my wife and mother in law by US Marshals and taken away, I was not allowed even that customary “one phone call.” A couple of days later I was moved into a cell that did have a phone but I couldn’t hear anything from it. I called a friend ($10/minute collect) and spoke a message to him, hoping the mike of the phone was working. Turned out it was, but I was moved before anyone had time to respond to me. It was a couple of weeks and 3,000 miles of transport in chains before anyone could find me.

  359. Yes this is a good blog & the only really important subject right now. My heart goes out to the person kidnapped by the terrorist organization that is our government. While they have not got around to lopping off arms or legs & leaving their victims to die from their wounds or starvation, they are only slightly behind Al Qaeda & the Taliban in their level of darstardliness.
    If you have not called CCHR yet, call now: 800 869 2247. They live up to their name: Citizens Commission On Human Rights. Get their data. Give them your support. We need to abolish Psychiatry, not private gun ownership. And yes, my President is a Child Murderer and a Mass Murderer. I am neither Republican, nor Democrat. Neither should you be either; it is a smokescreen to get you to think the problem is ‘over there’. The problem is in your face but you have to open the eyes & confront the evil. The Germans failed in Nazi Germany. America is making a very similar mistake with potentially WORSE consequences! ‘1984’ is with us now but the gates are still open for most of us. Speak up now or lose all freedoms on planet Earth forever. This is no exageration. 800 869 2247.

  360. Are you an Accidental Traitor? This would be to your people, not your government, as, in the case of America, the government is opposed to its people & has an adjenda to further enslave them. If you are in the Services right now, you probably fit in this category, especially if you have been deployed abroad to increase terrorism in the world & give more excuses to take away Magna Carta rights at home. If you are a veteran perhaps you should rethink your thoughts as you put up that POW/MIA flag. Should you or anyone really be even considering blind obedience to their Commander-In-Chief?!