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June 21, 2006

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Kimball Corson

Your three paragraphs before your last one go a long way toward ameliorating the concerns of many in regard to protection of our civil liberties. I suggested something similar in one of my posts to Geof's last comment. I repeat the other here because I think it is serious continuing practical problem: does this Republican, rubber-stamp Congress have the intellectual integrity to act quickly and responsibly in this quarter. I seriously doubt it. This Congress cannot even complete its investigations out of political fear of what it might learn. Its hallmark is stalling and breaching promises to proceed. It would too likely do what the Administration wants, which is largely to be left alone to do what it wants without any interference. With such irresponsibility all around, we should be loath to give up much at all in the way of our civil rights until good sense prevails in Congress.

Frederick Hamilton

Kimball,

Your assessment of the ability of Congress to devise a framework for a Domestic Intelligence Agency is wrong. Do Democrats and Republicans view many issues quite differently? Sure. Would it be possible to develop a new cabinet level agency and get it through the U.S. Senate without very significant and important work from the minority Democrats? Of course not.

I am not sure your analysis of what good sense is makes our representative government in Washington incapable of doing the right thing by the American people regarding the development of a new agency with the mission of helping to keep us safe with a minimum of loss of our freedom and liberty.

Those crazies you disdain in the present administration whether you want to give them any credit or not have I think done a nice job of keeping us from experiencing a second 9/11. I suspect you feel strongly that Kerry, et al would be much more strong and determined than Bush, et al in defending the country. That's fine. That's politics. But let's give a little credit to Bush, et al. So far, their Monday morning quarterbacking analysis of homeland security looks pretty good.

Again though. Since only 41 Senators are required to kill a new Domestic Intelligence Agency, I take it you also don't have much faith in Kerry, Levin, Biden, Kennedy, et al? Correct?

Kimball Corson

P.S. You write so many books, your titling recall error is easily forgivable and you shouldn't be embarrassed.

Kimball Corson

Frederick, the only interesting and creative ideas I see on how to resolve the conflicts between civil rights and our need for surveillance are largely on this website, where everyone or almost everyone recognizes the difficulties and tries to address them. I see nothing or next to it from members of this Congress in those regards. Dominant Republican efforts in and out of Congress to ignore, or worse hide, the problems, propose claims of treason against the disclosing press and quash sensible oversight are truly more than disturbing.

Kimball Corson

Frederick writes: “. . .Those crazies you disdain in the present administration whether you want to give them any credit or not have I think done a nice job of keeping us from experiencing a second 9/11. I suspect you feel strongly that Kerry, et al would be much more strong and determined than Bush, et al in defending the country. . ."

I respond: I don't like Kerry either. He can't keep his positions straight and does not know what he thinks until he hears himself speak. Even then, there are problems.

Also, I am not sure this Administration has prevented another 9/11. We do not know that. Bush would like us to believe it, but I hear nothing concrete in those regards or, more cogently, that surveillance violative of our Constitutional rights did the trick. I suspect that if there was a howling success in those regards, the need for secrecy would yield to the need to crow about it by this Administration.

David

Well, Kimball, I for one am sure that there has been no attack in the U.S. in the almost five years following September 11, despite the dire predictions immediately following that horrendous event. For that, I thank God and the Bush Administration.

Kimball Corson

The whole idea of terrorism is to do as little damage as necessary to scare us into taking away our own rights and acting against ourselves, our institutions and our own interests. Arab terrorism is very successful. American are quite terrorized and we brought this program of terrorism on ourselves for invading and occupying the Arab peninsula, just as Osama bin Laden has been saying – but no one listens or wants to. Sometimes I think we are not too bright.

David

Kinmball-

Sounds like you buy Bin Laden's propaganda that it is all the fault of the U.S. If so, then how do you explain jihadi attacks in Thailand, Phillipines, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt. . . . . .(the list goes on and on)?

Please give me some factual proof of the propositions in your last comment.

Kimball Corson

I cannot rationalize all jihadi such attacks within that framework, but I focused instead on those against Americans on American soil. It would be a very considerable gain if we couldd eliminate those. Too, were Arabs militarily occupying the USA, trying to install a theorcratic form of government to replace our despised democracy, would not we be a bit roiled and probably trying to attack their homelands in the Middle East?

Too be sure there are risks of dealing with bin Laden, but there are risks in our present course too and we need to get off the Arab peninsula soon or later. The down sides seem tolerable, including the fact bin Laden does not control all radical Arab
jihadists. Few things are perfect.

David

Kimball--

I'm sure that Kim Jong Il would like the U.S. to get out of South Korea, but since he is not the government of South Korea, he has no right to tell us to leave.

Same with Al Qaida. And why do you suppose it is that they say they want us out of the Middle East?

I don't think our withdrawal from the Middle East would do any good and would probably do a great deal of harm. Look at Israel--they withdrew from Gaza and attacks immediately increased, not decreased. They withdrew from southern Lebanon and attacks increased from there.

You are looking for a rational reaction from these jihadis (at least a rational reaaction from a Western point of view). I do not believe they react in that manner. Even if their propaganda says they will.

Kimball Corson

I think al Queda and other fanatics want us out of the Middle East so they have their little Muslim theocracies or at least better fight among themselves on whether they want some secular variation on those themes. Fanatical Muslims do an excellent job of killing a much higher percentage of other Muslims than of us. The attrition ratio is massively on our side. The fanatics try to intimidate their brethren, much more than us. Let us leave them in their home lands to their suicidal efforts.

I think Kim Jong II of North Korea is absolutely nuts, paranoid and terrified of China, a US backed South Korea and of the US directly with our silly talk of the "Axis of Evil." There are no checks or balances in North Korean government to counter Kim’s worst aspects, which we all too often see. I also believe he is playing the nuclear card for an ever-bigger care package, mostly of potato chips to munch on as he watches Hollywood movies.

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