« Poetry Contest | Main | Additional Comments on Gonzales at Georgetown and the Student Protest »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5dd053ef00d8345b5e2069e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gonzales and Georgetown - bad match:

» Sometimes... from Preaching to the Perverted
Law students do something to renew faith in the legal system. Ben Franklin said, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." But I don't see that as one of the administration's t... [Read More]

» Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. from Temple of Me
In the following photo we see the an act of true American patriotism. This protest of Attorney General Gonzales is a large part of what you can do to change your world. If you do not like something your government... [Read More]

» http://tonguebutnodoor.net/monica/archives/2006/01/check_out_how_a.html from Buzzwords
Check out how awesome the law students at Georgetown are! Yesterday, Alberto Gonzales went to Georgetown Law to back up the President and talk about how "legal" and "constitutional" and "necessary" it is to spy on Americans. But the students... [Read More]

Comments

Julie Carter

On behalf of my husband and me, thanks for protesting. We appreciate it.

FamousP

Came here via Ambivalent Imbroglio. Thank you and your cohort for your actions. It is heartening in this dark time to see that principle and conviction still move some to refuse the abuse of law. Your actions remind us once again that the ethical demand embodied in the law must forever refuse to concede expediency if it is to approach the just and the equitable. Again, this citizen says thank you.

Jack Chaffin

This citizen thinks that you are a boob. "Spying on Americans" sounds sinister. "Monitoring Al Quada calls no matter who is on the other end" doesn't sound sinister, and MOST AMERICANS ARE FOR THAT.

Scoplaw

Julie and Famous - Thanks.

Jack - You're obviously missing something here.  In this case, Americans have a perfectly legitimate right to and expectation of privacy (in our Fourth Amendment guarantee to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures).  We're concerned that right is being (or was) systematically violated. 

FISA was enacted to make sure that if the government thought they needed to monitor communications (wiretapping) and the government had probable cause to get a warrant then they could, after demonstrating that to a court of law.  For a quick breakdown of the nuts and bolts of the  issue, read this.

As many people have pointed out, if the administration had wanted to monitor communications and had met the very easy standard of "probable cause" then they could have gotten a warrant.  That's monitoring.

But they didn't (or so the wind seems to blow). 

They tried to amend the law (FISA) and some members of Congress suggested that an amendment wouldn't be possible. 

They tried to get wiretapping into the Patriot Act and a very compliant Congress didn't let them. 

So they ignored the law.  They ignored the courts.  They just decided to start monitoring phonecalls and fishing about in people's business.  That's what makes it Spying.  That's what makes it wrong and  illegal.

The President needs to obey the law.  It's written into the Constitution and is one of the things that makes the Presidency unlike a dictatorship.  This wasn't a slip or a gaffe or some obscure technical matter.  The Adminstration knew about the law, and they ignored it anyway and advanced some very shaky theories about "a unitary executive."  That's where things potentially get very scary, very Orwellian, very "I will assume these special powers only for the duration of the crisis" (which the Administration has shown, via their relative lack of interest in capturing Bin Laden, they have no interest in ending.)  It's why we have some "bright lines" - like "The President must obey the law."

Now, **OF COURSE** the government should be able to monitor phone calls of legitimately suspeced Al Qaeda operatives.  And they can - all they have to do is get a warrant. That makes it a "reasonable" search as opposed to an "unreasonable" search per the Fourth. 

Scoplaw

BTW, if you think I'm being alarmist and that we ought to let the rule slide just a little bit in these "dangerous times" consider this- http://www.antiwar.com/roberts/?articleid=8434

Denise

You guys so totally rock. You remind me of my youth, when we protested the Vietnam War. You make me proud to be a law student.

Glenn Ingersoll

You were part of that, [scoplaw]? Right on!

*edited by Scoplaw to change my name
(Sorry, Glenn, I'm trying to keep my actual name "googlenonymous" at this point - not that it's a big secret or anything. But yes, I helped out- there were a greater number of us that couldn't be in the room itself due to seating restrictions.)

Aimee Houser

You rock Scoplaw! I'm glad I looked you up (googled your name--followed some links--there is a trail, tho I won't use your real name). Look at you, taking a stand against the Dark Side. Thank you thank you thank you!!! Wow, it's been a long time. Good for you, going to law school.

William

It is amazing, these students from Georgetown, and yourself, cannot recognize your own folly.

These students did not present themseleves in a mature manner. This was juvenile, sophomoric, and only pushes people away. Not understanding the Constitution is a tragedy for law students, but to fail to provide the Attorney General a chance to present his position is pathetic. This was an invited guest of the University, and you tried to censor his expression. Far from progressive or liberal, simply more in tune with fascism. The students looked as if they were afraid to listen to the first Hispanic Attorney General in US History. And you insulted him...

The reality of 9-11, only makes your offensive behavior, even more banal.

Do the students wearing hoods recognize the context of the liberation of the 27 Million formerly Oppressed by a madman?

It appears, sadly, they do not.

Brooklyn

It is amazing, these students from Georgetown, and yourself, cannot recognize your own folly.

These students did not present themseleves in a mature manner. This was juvenile, sophomoric, and only pushes people away. Not understanding the Constitution is a tragedy for law students, but to fail to provide the Attorney General a chance to present his position is pathetic. This was an invited guest of the University, and you tried to censor his expression. Far from progressive or liberal, simply more in tune with fascism. The students looked as if they were afraid to listen to the first Hispanic Attorney General in US History. And you insulted him...

The reality of 9-11, only makes your offensive behavior, even more banal.

Do the students wearing hoods recognize the context of the liberation of the 27 Million formerly Oppressed by a madman?

It appears, sadly, they do not.

Scoplaw

Sigh.

William/Brooklyn - you ought to read a bit before posting. These issues have all been addressed here and via the links I've posted.

But for form’s sake:

These students did not present themseleves in a mature manner. This was juvenile, sophomoric, and only pushes people away. Not understanding the Constitution is a tragedy for law students, but to fail to provide the Attorney General a chance to present his position is pathetic.

The AG wasn’t prevented from presenting his position. The protest didn’t censor his speech in any way, not a single syllable’s worth. It merely recontextualized it. Gonzales gave his political stump speech, word for word, exactly as he planned to.

I think it’s far more tragic that the AG is relying on a grossly distorted vision of what the constitution is to justify illegal spying on Americans. Just this week, Senators Specter and Laehy (a Republican and a Democrat, respectively) have said publicly that they have grave issues with the Spying program and that they find the AG’s justifications (the one’s he presented at Georgetown) for the program shaky and inadequate.

This was an invited guest of the University, and you tried to censor his expression.

I didn’t invite him – and, as I pointed out, he wasn’t censored in any way.

Far from progressive or liberal, simply more in tune with fascism.

Fascism? Uh, dude. We weren’t advocating an authoritarian state under a single unquestionable leader exercising control over political, social, cultural and economic expression. Gonzales might have been, via the “unitary executive,” but we weren’t.

The students looked as if they were afraid to listen to the first Hispanic Attorney General in US History. And you insulted him...

We heard, as I said, every syllable of his speech. We rejected its premise though. Further, I simply don’t care what “firsts” Gonzales might accrue – his ethnicity does not give him a free political pass.

The reality of 9-11, only makes your offensive behavior, even more banal. Do the students wearing hoods recognize the context of the liberation of the 27 Million formerly Oppressed by a madman? It appears, sadly, they do not.

Ah, the 9-11/Iraqi Freedom “argument ender.” I don’t think anyone is saying that democracy in Iraq is a bad thing. Nor that 9-11 wasn’t tragic.

However, I personally remain opposed to torture. I remain opposed to spying on Americans (illegal, warrantless, monitoring). I remain opposed to the idea that the Executive ought to be given unprecedented powers for the duration of a conflict that *he* sets the outside limits on.

*That’s* what the protest was about.

Let me ask you a question; Let’s say Bush decided, for some reason, that your mom and dad (or your kids, or your spouse) was a danger to the war effort, and had your mom and dad shanghaied to a torture facility where they were routinely psychologically abused, without any real hope of release (or simple review of their case), even though they provided *no* useful information, do you think he could justify that by “liberating 27 million Iraqis?”

Michael P.

You should be ashamed of yourself. You should trust more in the new American future. Why don't you just rebel against the law then, and lets have chaos and disorder, would you like that?

Scoplaw

It's sort of hard to figure out how to respond to stuff like this. I hope that you're in the 4th grade Michael, because that's the only way I could find to credit your response.

No one here is suggesting rebelling against the rule of law - in fact, it's our respect for the Constitution and the enacted laws of Congress (FISA) that caused us to have such a negative reaction to the Attorney General's political speech, which is most easily understood as advocating *flouting* the rule of law and just having El Jeffe Bush call the shots.

And what's "the new American future"? Facism?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Book

  • Ice Sculpture of Mermaid with Cigar

    Icecoversmall Is now available at Amazon

    You can also read about it