Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Schiavo: Clearly unconstitutional and unenforceable, but where is the 42 USC 1983 claim

The RNC intruded for political gain.

The Federal government asserts an interest when citizens remove their shoes both at the airport and now at home.

Schiavo’s case hinges on whether the court can be persuaded that the bill is unconstitutional. Within moments, we will know what claims are made.

This case is not about one man, Mr. Schiavo against the American Government. It is about the American government against the Constitution.

Although somewhat removed for the moment, it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court chooses to decline the Writ. One question that will come up is whether the Federal Government has any role. I argue it does not. Rather, I see a great similarity between how the Patriot Act was passed and how Congress has addressed the Schiavo case.

I remain concerned both the President and Congress are playing brinkmanship with the constitution, as if he is in a no-lose situation. There is much to lose, especially when the leadership recklessly drapes themselves in the flag of private rights, all the while ignoring the foundation of those rights. The masses once again quickly celebrate with drums a cause which may ultimately destroy their shields.

Unconstitutional per Article 1, Section 8

Some commentators have focused on a bill of attainder. I take a different view and raise Article 1 Section 8, the commerce clause. Congress only has the power to regulate commerce across states, not between states. Schaivo’s private contract is a state-level marriage license. The rules of evidence afford privilege to communications between a husband in wife.

Congress has no power to afford rights where there is no constitutional authority to do so. The Constitution expressly prohibits Congress from promulgating legislation that interferes with the right to petition the government.

Also, the Tenth Amendment affords to the power to the state those rights not expressly conferred in the constitution.

Unconstitutional per Amendment I

The American Constititutions’s first Amendment further supports Schaivo’s claim that the Congress is interfering. Congress is barred from passing legislation to interfere with someone’s right to bring a grievance.

In this case, Schaivo brought his grievance, the states heard the case, and made their decision. Now, Congress and the President, acting outside their authority, have crafted new authority where the constitution expressly declines this authority.

Unconstitutional per Amendment X

That power not expressly granted to Congress is reserved for the states. In this case, there is no language within Article 1, Section 8 that affords Congress the power to regulate a private state-regulated contract.

Again, the Congress and President have jointly agreed to legislation that grants the bodies the powers they were not expressly granted. The crime is in acting outside the law; the greater crime is for the Federal Courts to assent to this expansive role.

Rules of evidence

The rules of privilege and marriage mean that the acts of one are acts for both. Congress created the rules of evidence to act as guides.

This new act in re Schaivo undoes those rules. Now a private conversation between a husband and wife, that was otherwise protected and a single voice, is now no longer protected and subject to outside intrusion.

This is not a privilege but a burden and at odds with equity. More worrisome is that by exercising the rights formerly protected under privilege, Mr. Schaivo is now being punished.

Such logic was thought to have been checked in the wake of the Guantanamo on the Hudson. Apparently the mischievous demons never left.

Contrasts with the Marriage Amendment

If the courts permit this statute to stand, then all should take note. The Federal Government will unconstitutionally grant itself power to intrude on private affairs -- the private marriage arrangement.

Private contracts are just that --private. Yet in re Schaivo, Congress has unconstitutionally given a seat to multiple non-contracting parties, namely the Federal Government and private individuals.

A marriage amendment may recognize marriage, but Congress and the President clearly show no deference to that private arrangement, going so far as to second guess the parties and the state-level courts.

By injecting the Federal government into private contracts, the White House is on weak ground. If private contracts are to be between consenting parties, I see no language that affords a right or voice to non-contracting parties in a contractual relationship.

  • How is marriage being protected by injecting both the Federal Government and other individuals into a private marriage? That is not a protection, but an invitation for more meddling.

  • How is marriage being preserved when a privileged conversation between a husband and wife is no longer respected? That is not preservation, but a tampering.

  • Why should the country believe the Congress and President are serious about protecting marriage with an Amendment when they second guess the contracting parties? This is not a contract, but a license for others to second guess.

    Another amendment will not protect anything; only create another excuse for the Federal Government to intrude on private matters. The President and Congress are not standing for either marriage or the constitution. They are standing for their own political gain.

    Comparisons to the Patriot Act

    Fast action without deference to the constitution is no different than the legacy of the Patriot Act.

    The President and Republicans assert a position that undermines the constitution as cause for celebration. This is no different than the post 9-11 celebrations.

    We are reminded that joint Congressional-Presidential-action does not create WMD out of thin air, just as does not create authority where it is expressly barred.

    Cracks in the Majority leadership mirror declines in Britain

    Tony Blair has taken quite a beating in the wake of the illusory WMD in Iraq.

    It remains to be seen whether the problems in Britain smell trouble for the President. Yet there have been large swings in conservative states that might have supported the President during the 2004 election.

    Voters in an unscientific poll of voters say that by a margin of 3 to 1 that the Federal Government should stay out of the Schaivo case. It remains to be seen how this inconvenient popular will in a democracy is explained away.

    42 USC 1983

    It remains unclear whether Congress, and more broadly the United States government, will become a target for Mr. Shave’s 42 USC 1983 claim – that of interfering with federally protected and clearly promulgated right to be left along at the state level to engage in private contracts.

    The President says he is for marriage. Clearly, he is only for marriage on his terms, not that of the contracting parties.

    More broadly, Congress wants a role for the Federal governments and parents in a private marriage contract. That is not a private marriage. Rather, it is the same meddling which sparked Europeans to leave for the new world.

    Perhaps Congress hopes to use the Schaivo precedent as a catalyst to prompt private business to fund ventures to Mars, arguably where both Congress and the President belong, safely insulated from the US Constituation.


    We saw in the wake of 9-11 how unconstitutionally expansive Federal intrusions will attempt to outweigh then destroy private rights. Congress and the President have shown no change in their post 9-11 hysteria.

    It remains to be seen whether the Schaivo case is another stone on an already imbalanced scale. Congress and the President continue to chip away at the Constitution in the name of protecting private rights.

    If this legislation is allowed to stand, the President needs to explain how can credibly be for a marriage amendment. Again, what he says is not consistent with what he does.

    No rights are protected when the majority becomes a tyranny. The answers simply lay written on the Constitution, not within the halls of Congress or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    It took many years after the torture in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan for the courts to recognize that the constitution still does apply. It is a shame that it may take many years for Congress and the President to be reminded once again.

    The American civil war was about the Federal Government asserting power where it was argued the states had not authority to act. In the Schaivo case, the tables are turned. The Federal Government, like the South, chooses to assert a position without any legal authority.

    It is unfortunate that the Congress and President continue to inject itself where it has no constitutional authority. It remains to be seen whether the Courts remedy the imbalance.

    If the Padilla and Hamdii cases are any guide, it is likely the Court will grant the request to have the feeding tube re-inserted while the court reconsiders the case. If Mr. Schaivo successfully pleads unconstitutionality, the case will be likely be appealed.

    Read more . . .

  • Thursday, March 17, 2005

    US Fed Court: Unreasonable restrictions on protestors unconstitutional

    The truth is out. America's law enforcement caught. Ref Shows the police where the constitution is! Let’s see some 42 USC 1983 claims...clearly established rights, failure of long has this been going on? More

    Read more . . .

    Courts say police interfered with protestors

    Ref Shows the police where the constitution is! Let's see some 42 USC 1983 claims...clearly established rights, failure of long has this been going on?

    Read more . . .

    US domestic law enforcement: Spewing forth lies to intimidate photographers

    They went to Iraq to fight for freedom. But they brought back Saddam's abuse.

    Unleashed on America's streets. Are you safe near law enforcement? Lies they spew forth from California. Didn't the US go to war in Iraq to stop this kind of intimidation?

    Oh, that's right. USA only fights for principles abroad that it does not practice at home. Why the parades about victory in Iraq when all this non-sense goes on at home?

    Read more . . .

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Constitution: Looking forward, but what about the recent past?

    The Constitution isn't something we're fighting for. We already won.

    It's time to stop the fight. And start using it to smother its enemies. It's good to talk about the constitution. Before the Americans start talking about the future, I'd like to know where they've been since 9-11.

    Hello, all that Patriot Act stuff seems a little anti-constitutional. Why does it take so much energy to get the attorneys to step in and provide timely responses.

    It is ridiculous that it's been almost 4 years since 9-11, yet the courts are only now just getting around to resolving the constitutional issues.

    If America wants to celebrate the constitution, it needs to do better. Actions speak volumes. I have been unimpressed.

    I'd like to see some credible commitments at the conference backed up by some action. Let's not have another conference, only to fall down on the job if a real problem happens.

    Where's the backbone when it really matters? I haven't seen it. And I remain unimpressed with the US financial reporting and regulatory system. See summary.

    Read more . . .

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    DoJ Secret Report: They lied about 10,000 AlQueda in US

    DoJ can't find AlQueda. So why did we ever need the Patriot Act? ABC News reveals they have reviewed a classified DoJ report where analysts report they were unable to find any sleeper cells in the United States.

    Brilliant. What excellent timing! This will be a good issue to bring up at the 21-22 Mar conference at the "Emerging Issues in National and International security."

    Time to have an open discussion at the American University, Washington College of Law: What’s been going on for the last 3 ½ years?

    As in: Why all the public statements stating DoJ needed new tools to go after the “obvious threat," yet there being no evidence to back up that claim?

    The American University is a distinguished institution. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to have a real public debate, one that should have taken place on the floor of Congress after 9-11.

    But, they chose not to. Rather, Congress bowed down to DoJ-personnel who worked closely with the committees to draft legislation that destroyed the Constitution. Yet, each time DoJ is challenged, DoJ points to the invisible bogey man.

    ABC's report reveals the truth. There is no bogey man. There are no sleeper cells. And DoJ has been lying.

    It's now time to subject DoJ to the same intrusions and oversight that the civilian population has been subjected to.

    I encourage participants at the "Emerging Issues in National and International Security" to really take the time to consider whether all this hoopla about terrorism warranted the Patriot Act; and why we should continue to believe DoJ in their public statements.

    DoJ has a credibility problem. Their agents mistreat the public, refuse to take complaints. Now we know why. DoJ has known there were no sleeper cells, so there was no reason to take complaints.

    Yet, Homeland Security continued to issue terror warnings. Changed the colors. Why are we still using this terror notification system, but there are no sleeper cells?

    But that’s only the beginning. There’s a long list of questions which Congress needs to look into. And there need some straight answers.

    Gone are the days of DoJ and the White House being able to say, “We can’t talk about that.”

    The courts in Hamdii and Padilla have both found that the constitution does still exist, contrary to what Congress may have decided in passing the Patriot Act.

    Yet, more immediately, we can only speculate as to why the current intelligence czar has to spend five [count them, 5] hours preparing each day to brief the President.

    Surely, if there are no sleeper cells, what possibly could the President be asking questions about? Indeed, today’s revelation that the President now wants to go after the IRA in Northern Ireland should come as no surprise.

    The President needs distractions. For if there are no AlQueda sleeper cells, then the question becomes: What was the basis to detain those peaceful bystanders at the RNC Convention?

    What was the basis to take people on Gulf Streams and keep them off the Red Cross rolls?

    What basis has there been to torture, kill, and cover up evidence of war crimes in Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Afghanistan?

    What plausible explanation can we hear as to why domestic law enforcement refuses to take complaints about real problems?

    Surely, DoJ and law enforcement talk to each other. Yet, why has the public been deceived for this many years about the “need to put up with intrusions” in order to keep the country free?

    There is no need.

    It is now time to clean up this mess. To have a full accounting. To get some straight answers:

  • Why was Sibel Edmonds treated the way she was? Why did DoJ say that the problems could not be discussed?

    The answer appears that DoJ wanted to delay public awareness of what would otherwise translate into greater oversight of DoJ at the very time DoJ was lobbying for an extension of the Patriot Act.

    Yet, why give more power to DoJ? They’ve had 3 ½ years to find things. Even been given carte blanche by an rubber stamping Congress to Commit war crimes, and the FBI is still unable to come up with evidence. Only allegations. And even those the courts can’t find anything.

  • Why has DoJ been given free reign to have greater FISA wiretaps? They’ve had all this time to put the pieces together, and now we find out there are no pieces.

    It’s time to take the oversight toys away.

  • Why is anyone to believe that “the wall” between CIA and FBI should not be re-erected? The communication problem prior to 9-11 had nothing to do with the wall, especially when there is no information that they can share.

    Rather, despite the wall, the President was given fair notice of the 52 FAA warnings, yet chose to do nothing about the fifty-two [count them, 52] FAA warnings.

  • What is to be said of the real domestic terrorists, those ones who attacked the RNC offices?

    Answer: If the FBI is saying there are no sleeper cells, then who within the RNC could possibly benefit by having an investigation into the attacks on the RNC?

    Put another way, if the FBI is saying that there are no sleeper cells, but we still have people running around who attack the RNC offices, then the reasonable person would ask, “Who within the RNC orchestrated these pre-election attacks on their own offices?”

  • Why is law enforcement getting a green light to continue to spew out non-sense about the excuses for not taking complaints?

    42 USC 1983 gives the US citizens the federally protected right to file complaints. Yet, all this time Americans have been told, “We can’t deal with these minor issues, because we have a greater threat to deal with.”

    Now the truth is known. There was no threat. DoJ, FBI, and local law enforcement simply created a ruse to justify doing what they always do: Bungle investigations, make excuses to do nothing, and blame those who are naïve enough to believe that local law enforcement has the requisite skills to do anything resembling professionalism.

    Rather, it is only through close public oversight, questions, and credible accountability that law enforcement can justify public confidence.

    Yet, it is with through the Patriot Act that law enforcement has been given a shield; and that the needed wall between CIA and FBI has been stripped.

    It is time to re-erect the wall between the CIA and FBI. There was nothing that stopped the President from learning about the 52 FAA warnings.

    It is also time for the public to bring forward 42 USC 1983 claims against law enforcement.

    It’s been 3 ½ years. And all this time the public has been lectured as to why they have to put up with intrusions, flight delays, non-sense questions, and huge databases under ChoicePoint.

    For what? What reasonable purpose did this support. Again, FBI reminds us that there are no AlQueda sleeper cells. Despite Echelon, heightened intrusions, and interrogating the public, DoJ has found nothing.

    There are no ghosts. There are only those who wish to use the threat of ghosts as an excuse to destroy the constitution.

    Remember what happened. Do not forget. How the nation was manipulated to give up their rights in order to chase the ghosts.

    The constitution still exists. There are no ghosts. It is time to have a full accounting for what’s been happening.

    Obviously the adult supervision from the White House has been wanting. Thus, we leave it to the courts to inject some semblance of sanity where it has been woefully lacking at the highest levels.

    The President said, “Bring it on.” Let’s hope he can stand up to the close questions about why his personnel leaked names, spewed forth lies, and provided no evidence to justify this reign of non-sense.

    But why would we expect anything else from a man who needs a wire in his ear to tell him what to say.

    This doesn’t look like Kansas, Toto. Let's hope the participants at the 21-22 Mar 2005 "Merging Issues in National and International Security" at the American University College of Law consider these concerns.

    It is hoped that the public discussion might spark some enterprising attorney to review who within DoJ has failed to adequately supervise the agents and has allowed to be issued false and materially misleading information in order to annoy the civilian population.

    There seems to be a credible basis to ask, given the non-existence of the sleeper cells, to ask whether there was an orchestrated plan to intimidate the civilian population.

    Such a charge, if proven true, would show the American public who remains a real threat: DoJ and their ruses to intimidate the public.

    Read more . . .

  • Thursday, March 03, 2005

    Blogging tax deductable contribution?

    More efforts to stifle free speech and exchange of ideas. The wizards on the Federal Election Committee sure don't understand free. They want to start calling blogging a quanifiable-contribution to political campaigns.

    OK. Let's start looking at all the other free stuff that people use and exchange that should, under the FEC "paradigm", be reported:

  • Oxygen

  • Water

  • Volunteer hours

  • Thinking

  • Speaking

    Let's get real! If someone is using a blog to connect to site, this is no different than someone writing an editorial.

    This is free speech! It should not be regulated as a contribution.

    A better solution would be to look at the nature of the blog that connects: Are there paid ads on that blog site? The ads on the blogger's site are what is to be looked at, if anything.

    Leave the free-blogging community alone. If they have no ads related to the campaign, and there is no money transferred between the blogger and the political appointee, then so state.

    But blogs that are getting financial backing or money for blogging, should be required to disclose that, with penalties for not doing so.

    As a closing note, when someone sends a letter to a Congressman in DC, that letter is not a political contribution. It is not an asset, but an expense.

    Perhaps what is really needed are some CPAs who can help out Washington with their budgets. There's a difference between an asset and a liability.

    Talk to Paul Krugman. He knows the difference.

    Read more . . .

  • Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    The web isn't open and you pay taxes on a worthless gift: You can't run, you can't look, and you can't hide

    Nothing in life is free. But now it can cost you a bundle when you get a worthless gift. Two lovely gifts in the National Law Journal: Gifts and limits on public information on the internet.

  • Plain view information isn't for you to use

    All this internet stuff sure is deceiving. On one hand you can look at anything. Even law enforcement can say "It was in plain view" after they move things.

    But now, the internet really isn't in plain view. One guy got nailed for accessing public information: 154, 293 files. It was web based.

    See Nick Ackerman. National Law Journal. 14 Feb 2005. Page 12.

    In re 274 F. 3d. 577 (1st Cir 2001); 318 F. 3d 56, 64 (1st Cir, 2003)


  • Stupid relatives can leave problems

    Apparently, if your relatives are dumb enough to invest in worthless financial instruments, you can still get stuck with paying the tax.

    Translation: Even though the gift they gave you is now worthless, you're stuck with the taxes. That's not a gift.

    See National Law Journal Thomas S. Simmons "When Gift Planning Goes Awry", 14 Feb 2005, page 13, 18.

    The risks -- relatives who use this to force others into bankruptcy, or to work to repay debts

    How it is done

    1. Using a derivative, there's nothing stopping the donor from pegging the value of the gift to some arbitrary-early-time, then draining out the equity of the gift; or

    2. Tying some third instrument like a shortsale to the value of a gift that is opposite this worthless asset: As the worthless asset goes down in value to zero, the cash value of the asset to fund the litigation against the donor goes up.

  • Why isn't the estate stuck with the taxes?

  • How are the "donees" protected from this?

  • What kind of country would allow this absurdity?

    Read more . . .

  • America in Lebanon: Ignore what they did in Iraq, Toto

    America called for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon. Yet, the criteria and argumetns used would require the US to pull out of Iraq.

    A comparison of both cases. It does seem a little odd, that this many years later the United States continues to hold one standard for itself in Iraq with another for Syria in Lebanon.

    Iraq as a lesson for Lebanon

    The United States suggests that if the American Army were to withdraw from Iraq, there would be instability throughout the Middle East.

    The US would ask the world to be patient and not rush the United States’ withdrawal. The region could not survive in the power vacuum.

  • Why doesn’t this standard apply to Lebanon?

  • Why are the Syrians asked to leave more quickly than the Americans from Iraq?

  • Why is a power vacuum in Lebanon good, but a power vacuum in Iraq is bad?

    It is curious the US argument is somehow forgotten on Syria. Indeed, if Syria were to withdraw, we might raise questions about the reasonableness of a speedy withdrawal.

    Unstable Lebanon

    Let’s remember why the Syrians are in Lebanon. The Lebanese had a civil war causing a border problem for the entire region. The United States gave a green light, and we’ve seen nothing in the Security Council suggesting otherwise.

    Let’s apply the Lebanese problem to Mexico or Canada. If the United States viewed a political breakdown was causing significant problems for the United States, I see the United States doing the same as the Syrians did in Lebanon.

    One would think that during this time of crisis, that the US would want the Syrians to stay in order to maintain order.

    Lebanese power vacuum

    Yet, suppose that Syria were to immediately pack-up all 15,000 troops in Lebanon tonight and withdraw.

  • Would the region be free from violence?

  • Will the United States blame Syria for not adequately planning the withdrawal?

    It is likely that even if the Syrians did exactly what the United States wanted, the Syrians would take the blame for the likely instability in the power vacuum.

    Leadership problem

    I don’t see the United States or any other credible military force in the region to take over should the Syrians immediately leave.

    I do see the United States pushing for a resolution without a credible plan. Something not to be forgotten in the wake of the illusory WMD in Iraq. Remember, it was a war of choice, and the United States chose not to adequately plan and not to adequately equip their troops.

    It is likely the United States is similarly pushing for a fast solution to Lebanon without adequately planning or provisioning the follow-on forces.

    The convoluted American debate

    What does seem strange are the lessons of Iraq. Time and time again we heard that the media should have asked the tough questions.

    It seems curious that the questions people are asking are based on the unproven assertion that Syria was somehow involved in the assassination.

    When the Syrians refuse to admit anything, the Americans look to this as evidence of a breakdown in Syria.

    When it is pointed out that it is ridiculous for the Syrians to have done this because of the backlash, the Americans point to the absurdity as evidence of political insanity in Damascus.

    That is far too convenient. This is more of the Saddam-accusations we saw prior to the invasion of Iraq. Again, we are not painting Saddam as an angel. But the American record in Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Guantanamo leaves few to believe the Americans are angels either.

    Prior to the invasion of Iraq, we saw the same kind of non-sense answers. When valid questions got raised, the answers were in form of greater levels of absurdity. Each time valid questions were raised about the veracity of the claims about WMD, the stories to justify the conclusions grew ever absurd.

    The same is going on in Lebanon. Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the Media is not asking the right questions, and doing little to adequately give a voice to those who have another view of the situation.

    Lessons applied Lebanon

    The tough questions:

  • When did the US President issue a finding that Syria should be forced to withdraw from Lebanon?

  • When was it approved that non-current former-prime ministers are legitimate targets of US-sponsored covert operations [read = assassination] to stir up anti-Syrian sentiment?

  • Despite having unlimited access to financial records through Echelon and ChoicePoint, why are the American unable to find who funded the explosion that killed the former Lebanese Primer Minister?

    One would think that in the wake of the 9-11 Patriot Act, that the mighty US government would have these answers. Yet we have no answers, only accusations.

    Thus, if the post 9-11 world is truly one where the mighty US government is all powerful and protecting of the Americans … would this failure in Lebanon not signal a failure at home.

    For if the American government cannot track a high-priority terror cell in the Middle East, why should the American people have any confidence that the government can track them at home?

    Are American safer for having given up their constitution in the wake of 9-11?

    I doubt it. Rather, America wants to convince the world that it is all powerful, in order to justify watering down civil liberties; while at the same time it wants to ignore the implications of the failure in Lebanon:

  • If the United States cannot track and record those responsible in Lebanon for the Assassination, then there’s no reason anyone should believe that the exchange of civil rights-for-security-argument has any merit at home.

    The American government cannot have it both ways. It cannot expect its citizens to believe that it is all powerful when it fails; and at the same time, despite the failures and inaction that it is all powerful.

    Rather, America as evidenced by the 9-11 and Iraq-invasion-planning bungling shows that it has not changed. It has information it could use to act, but chooses not to.

    The government also has requirements that it cannot fulfill. And the government also has capabilities that it will exploit but not so in other situations.

    Look to Coventry. Why would Churchill remain silent about what he knew? Just as America would remain silent so as not to reveal its capabilities. And it's flaws and gaps. Yet, when the pressure is on and time critical, don’t count on America to be there. It might be. It might not. Like a magic show.

    American capabilities without payoffs

    One cannot believe that the United States is capable of doing its job either in the Middle East or at home. Yet, despite all the hand waving, the American government doesn’t want anyone to notice that.

    Do Americans want a government that selectively plans and not-plans?

    One that selectively enforces and ignores the laws of the land?

    One that actively violates the laws, then uses others violations of its laws as the basis to deny rights to its own citizens?

    Don’t look behind the curtain, Toto!

    Special immunity does not apply to the United States

    Iraq and Syria are interesting to compare. In both situations we have a lot of non-sense. A rush to judgment. And many valid questions getting ignored, explained away, or responded with non-sense.

    At each question, the President’s spokesmen will say that the President needs to be given credit for spreading democracy. Note that this has nothing to do with holding the President accountable for the deceptions about WMD or the failed planning in Iraq.

    Rather, we simply have more hand waving to justify going along with what is otherwise unproven.

    In the end, we may find real evidence of who committed the Assassination. In the meantime, it is not helpful for the United States to demand a quick Syrian withdrawal without there being an adequate plan to manage the likely power vacuum.

    United States burden

    If the United States is going to demand a speedy Syrian withdrawal, then the United States need to actively ensure that the withdraw and the power vacuum do not spiral into the same anarchy which precipitated the Syrian intervention.

    The answer is not for the United States to replace the Syrians. Rather, the solution is for the Lebanese to transition from Syrian to local control. Whether the Lebanese want to do this with or without US, Israeli, or UN involvement remains up to the Lebanese.

    However, once the Lebanese choose and agree on a timetable for Syrian withdrawal, it must be clear that the Lebanese are responsible for the security situation.

  • As we see in Iraq, what evidence is there that the local population is really ready to fill in the power vacuum?

    At this juncture, I see little evidence that the timing is right. I do hear that the Lebanese want to have the Syrians out. This is a good sign.

    However, let us heed the lesson of the Americans in Iraq: Ensure the local situation is stable before the governing military forces are removed.

    To do otherwise would ask that we allow another civil war to ferment on the Syrian border and the Syrians do nothing while their own security situation remains untenable.

    Syria is being set-up

    If the world is asking the Syrians to back into a no-win situation, then let us not be surprised why they choose to discuss their border concerns with the Iranians. The Syrians do feel as though they are in a no win situation, especially when they’re getting mixed signals about what to do.

    Syria is a sovereign nation. Just as the Americans would take necessary measures to protect and secure its northern and southern borders, so too would the Syrians be expected as a responsible nation to swiftly move should Lebanon spiral into anarchy.

    In the end, Lebanon may not spiral into civil war. But let us hope that the force which the Americans and their paws have unleashed in Lebanon remains forces that are responsive.

    Americans are not perfect – do not hold the Syrians to a higher standard

    However, given the poor planning in both Panama and Iraq after US intervention, it is likely that the Lebanese when stirred up are not necessarily forces that are going to be managed back into submission under a government which the United States favors.

    Where is the Presidential finding in re Lebanon?

    Let us hope that the Presidential finding authorizing the assassination of a non-government leader does not become the very document which the Congress could turn to impeach the President.

    The United States owes it to Lebanon to ensure the Syrians’ border is secure. If the Syrians need to delay their withdrawal to ensure Lebanon remains stable, as the Americans are doing in Iraq, then that is what is needed.

    In the meantime, the United States needs to explain why there is the sudden urgency to compel Syria to act and respond, but there is no a similar standard of response to which the United States is replying.

    Oh, that’s right. It’s about the double standard. One that the Arabs resent, and which in part contributed to the initial uprising, not just in Lebanon but the entire Middle East.

    Double standards in America’s heartland

    And the Americans wonder why, despite the 52 warnings to the FAA, two buildings are no longer on the Manhattan Skyline. Wake up. It’s about a government that has failed and proves incapable of providing credible reasons for its actions.

    The Americans continue to spread one standard for itself, and a second standard for everyone else.

    Beware when the Americans talk about Democracy. They do not practice it at home. Their leaders do not read the legislation they rubber stamp. America is a Republic, not a Democracy.

    Other questions

  • Why does the FBI need a national database; the FBI has proven it is incapable of managing the simple I-drives.

  • Why is there needed a national ID card; the ChoicePoint-law enforcement liaison program shows that law enforcement doesn’t need the information on an ID card. All the information is already in the databases.

  • Why does the United States need to throw out the lessons of Watergate and combine the CIA and FBI?

    There’s nothing that stopped the FBI from accessing ChoicePoint data on the suspected individuals. There was no search warrant needed to examine the details about the people who had lawfully entered the country.

    All the United States government has done is once again given excuses for inaction, and then more non-sense to justify more double standards: Why the solution to the government’s mounting legitimacy problem is to destroy the constitution.

    The world and America should take note of the double standards. For what the United States can get away with abroad it will impose at home; and the non-sense it can peddle to the American media-consumer is the same non-sense it will expect the rest of the world to coddle.

    But free people may not choose to blindly obey the Americans. So prepare to be invaded. Or hope the Europeans can sit down with the cowboy and have a friendly chat about diplomacy.

    Never mind the nuclear secrets leaked from Pakistan. The Americans don’t want to hold their friendly-dictators accountable, only hold the Syrians accountable for a mess the Americans created through inaction and double standards.

  • Where was the mighty Echelon in sweeping the Middle East airwaves in search of those terror alerts?

  • Where was the mighty FBI-ChoicePoint databank and I-drive to hunt down the money flows into the terror cells?

    Isn’t it curious that all these tools the government now has to hunt down terrorists, suddenly don’t work when it comes to holding America accountable for the assistance they gave to the assassins.

    America is quick to use the excuse of external terror to justify martial law at home; yet, when those tools might otherwise be used to track the real criminals, the fruits of the Patriot Act somehow prove to be unavailable.


  • Will we find out about the law enforcement officers who have private investigation companies, using this information to target those questioning the law enforcement abuses under the Patriot Act?

  • Will we learn of more in law enforcement who are given the green light to deliberately put wrong information in credit reports so as to deny jobs and housing to those who speak out against the government?

  • Will the Congress bother looking into the ChoicePoint data, and see how the information is used to target American voters and those freely exercising their constitutional rights?

  • Why was ChoicePoint so quick to settle with the NAACP: Did it not want to allow evidence to be introduced into court that would otherwise show the board was knowledgeable of the improper use of information for political purposes?

  • Why would a member of the ChoicePoint board discuss their options with the board, when the charter requires that discussion to occur with the General Counsel?

    American government needs a tighter leash

    Don’t be fooled. America is based largely on manipulation, lies, and unreliable statements. The real test is in the result. That is why America needs to show it can succeed in Iraq. When America is ready to withdraw from Iraq, the Syrians may be ready to withdraw from Lebanon.

    Anything else and the Americans are asking the world rush to a quick solution, all the while ignoring the other issues. No surprise, as evidenced by the pre-Iraq invasion pseudo-planning. This is the lesson of the Patriot Act and the rush to invade Iraq without evidence.

    Heed the lessons. Otherwise, do not complain when the United States arrogantly imposes one standard on the world, and asserts immunity for its own agents.

    Read more . . .

  • ChoicePoint: A place for answers on 9-11, Lebanese assassination

    Quick tip: Other blogs mentioning SAIC

    ChoicePoint made many errors. But they didn't destroy all the evidence about 9-11. Why a national ID is not needed; but questions about 9-11 and the former Lebanese Primer Minister linger -- Will ChoicePoint protect the government or reveal what they know to aid investigations?

    Law enforcement already has all the information. It's in the Choice Point data. There's no reason to have a national ID card.

    Rather, the real issue is: Given ChoicePoint has extensive data, why did the FBI not look into the issues in the Florida Apartments?

    There's no reason to suggest that the Navy-trained pilots around Pensacola were a surprise. All the information was, or should have been in the ChoicePoint database.

    It's irrelevant whether the FBI has a problem with their I-drive. The ChoicePoint system is a backup to what SAIC is unable to repair.

    DoJ needs to explain, why despite having access to ChoicePoint, agents were unable to maintain control of the information, and failed to follow-up on the 52 FAA warnings.

    The NSC didn't need have the FBI and CIA talking together. The information was already coming in from both the FBI. It remains unclear why, despite the ChoicePoint contracts, and easy access FBI agents have to ChoicePoint data, there wasn't a better job at connecting the dots.

    Strange how ChoicePoint can provide data to intimidate voters in Florida and have names taken off the voting lists. But when it comes to getting to the bottom of 9-11, Congress refuses to subpoena the data.

    Will Congress subpoena ChoicePoint to find out which Presidential finding ordered the assassination of a former leader in Lebanon? Would be very interesting to compare the ChoicePoint data to that contained in the Echelon database.

    Ms Gunn, where are you when we need you? No thanks to Frank Koza.


    Read more . . .