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I have a question about the NSA wiretapping scandal: Was Bush wiretapping the Kerry campaign? Were they wiretapping campaigns for the Senate and Congress?

Is this the reason they couldn't get warrants?  

This is one of the questions this brings up.  Another is, were they wiretapping anti-war leaders?  

They say the Democrats are traitors.  They say they are helping the terrorists, supporting the other side, working to undermine the troops, offering aid and comfort to al Queda, etc.  They SAY all those things, and maybe they believe them.  And if they really do believe these things they say they certainly would feel it is necessary to take action, wiretap, disrupt, and anything else they can do to stop us.  So we certainly should associate the things they say with the idea that maybe it actually might be related to the things they do.

Just asking.

(Cross-posted at Seeing the Forest.)

Originally posted to davej on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:43 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I only have one thing to say about this (3.00)
    I certainly hope so!!!!

    Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse...

    by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:44:20 PM PST

    •  Bush didn't have to ... (2.93)
      Kerry was running his own campaign into the ground and hoarded much-needed money in the field to boot! Pathetic.

      A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

      by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:54:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Come on Hatch (3.60)
        That post didn't deserve a 1.

        A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

        by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:59:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  no kidding (3.66)
          especially since it's true...

          "...our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East...are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas." Kurt Vonnegut 2005

          by mooshter on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:03:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for all the support everyone (3.50)
            I do appreciate it and think that we should really stick to only doling out positive ratings to the community - and leave the ratings abuse to a minimum.

            A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

            by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:35:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps you should stick to (3.84)
              bashing Bush, and not Democrats.

              Kerry did NOT run a pathetic campaign.

              Here's another take, from the "Emerging Democratic Majority" (hey they're on our side) blog:

              http://www.emergingdemocraticmajorityweblog.com/...

              There are any number of simple empirical arguments that may be made in defense of the presidential candidacy of John Kerry. Among them are these:

              • He took a Party totally demoralized by 9-11 and Bush's foreign policy dominance and came within one state of dethroning the incumbent war-time president.

              • In that state of Ohio - with a Democratic Party organization in name only - he ran the best Democratic campaign in four election cycles, since Clinton carried the state in 1996. No Democratic candidate since 1996 got as much as the 48.7% Kerry gathered. The last statewide Ohio Democrat who carried the state was John Glenn in 1992.

              • Unlike Gore in 2000, Kerry left no doubt by any objective, and most subjective, criteria about who won the 3 debates with Bush.

              • According to candidate trait data from the 2004 American national Election Study data, Kerry matched Clinton's 1992 performance on each attribute measured among Democratic identifiers (cares about people like me, provides strong leadership, knowledgeable). In short, Kerry appealed effectively to the Democratic base.

              • Contrary to the conventional wisdom, my multivariate analysis of the 2004 election indicates that a sizeable chunk of Kerry voters voted for him precisely because they admired Kerry's personal traits, not despite them. Controlling for all other voter predispositions, Kerry's persona, no matter what the pundits suggest, was a plus - not a minus.
              •  Agreed (3.84)
                One of the things that turns voters off to the Democratic Party is our mindless -- and I use the word deliberately -- bashing of our standard-bearer when he's not successful.

                Think about it for a second:  in 2004, we told the American people that John Kerry was a statesman and a hero, fit to be President of the United States.  

                Now, some of us insist that he's total shit, not worth the time it takes to scrape from the bottom of our shoes.  

                You think people don't see that?  You think it doesn't leave a negative impression?  The next candidate we offer, and praise -- you think we'll be believed?

                I'm disappointed with the way the election turned out.  I certainly don't think the campaign was perfectly run.  Hell, Kerry wasn't even my first choice -- I was a Dean guy back before the bat.  But I'll tell you this: I would have been damned proud to have John Kerry as my President.

                •  I think one of the main reasons (3.66)
                  people don't like the Dems is that they have limited backbone, the pass bad trade deals which hurt their rank-and-file, they try to redefine the social fabric that most people consider "normal," and they can't find a voice against the Republicans even at the lowest points of all lows. Do people actually believe that American people don't like the Dems because they eat their own after a badly run race? I just don't think so.

                  The majority of Americans don't care about whether John Kerry won or lost or even if the election was supposedly stolen from him in Ohio by some stupid Secretary of State. They did care, however, about the jobs that went to Mexico and China after Kerry voted for bad trade deal after bad trade deal. They did care when the Democrats gave $50 billion to Mexico to bail out the peso while 30 million of them didn't have health insurance. They did care about media consolidation into the hands of bigger and bigger corporations after Kerry voted for telecom bills which allowed this occur. They did care about stupid things - like his comment about voting for the $87 billion before voting against it.

                  Why does the stupidity not translate to the president? Because he puts on some blue jeans, cuts some trees, and says, "Aw shucks" a lot while Kerry is yelling at his butler. Those are the things that manipulate votes - not anyone on a chat board going after their nominee for being a soulless yuppie loser against the worst president in history.

                  A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

                  by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:22:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  And that's where we part company (4.00)
                    It's not just the blogs.  The Democratic trash-talking of Al Gore, who faced an overtly hostile media and a Republican candidate with essentially unlimited funds and STILL won, was nothing short of shameful.

                    Nor was it anything new.  Democrats ran from Jimmy Carter after he lost, and Walter Mondale, and Mike Dukakis, and Al Gore.  If Clinton had lost in '92, I expect he'd have gotten the same treatment.

                    I doubt the average American knows how their own Senators voted on this trade deal or that, let alone how Kerry voted.  But the incessant trashing of our own brand -- because, like him or not, Kerry represented our brand -- that, they pick up on.  And it hurts us.

                     

                  •  "Soulless Yuppie Loser" (3.75)
                    Does it in any way make you feel odd that you share this view of Kerry with Karl Rove?

                    The money to Mexico was repaid by the way, and helped both our economy and Mexico's.

                    "Calmer than you are."

                    by Sheffield on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:48:09 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Democrats gave $50 billion to Mexico to bail out (3.66)
                    the peso. If I recall the Mexican government paid it back on time with interest. So I don't see how assisting our neighbor during a time of crisis for which we were paid back is something to complain about.

                    Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

                    by Dave the Wave on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:47:08 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed, Califlander. (4.00)
                  Why is it that, if we lose, we have to drive our candidate in the ground?  I live in Prince William County, Virginia, a strongly Republican county just outside DC.  I was greatly surprised that so many people here voted for Kerry.  Although we lost, 53%-47%, that is a very respectable showing in a place where, even in my church, I was put down for being a Democrat.  I believe these people saw through the crap Bush was trying to sell and voted for the better guy.  I think, overall, with Rove, the Swiftboaters, and the media all against us, Kerry actually did quite well, and we should shut up and look forward.
                  •  Why is it? (4.00)
                    Assuming your question is not rhetorical, here is my answer:
                    Too often, the Democratic party selection process does not seem honest, inclusive, and upright.  The  issues are not debated; spin and insider machinations dominate.  The establishment response to Howard Dean was disgraceful, for example.

                    So, when the nominee loses, the wounds that were festering are still there.  What a surprise.

                    Here's a proposal: have the party thresh out its platform FIRST - the way they do in Germany.  Then, pick a candidate who is required to support the platform.  Our personality contest approach is dysfunctional and is an insider game.  I'm 53 and I'm tired of it.  Very tired.

                    •  Don't Buy It (3.75)
                      I worked hard for Howard Dean, and despite feeling angry we were beat, I was able to put aside my feelings and work toward the most important thing: getting new and progressive leadership into the white house.

                      As far as the Party platform--Dean was not even signifcantly to the left of Edwards or Kerry or Gephardt.  The difference was one of posture, not position.  Dean is a fighter, and was taking on Bush directly.

                      I don't think we lost because of differences in the platform.

                      "Calmer than you are."

                      by Sheffield on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:53:16 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  About platforms - clarification (none)
                        I don't think we lost because of differences in the platform.

                        Which "we" are you talking about - Dean or Kerry?

                        I was referring to the party platform and how it is crafted. I think the widely held view that Democrats don't stand for anything stems from the fact that the nominee effectively sets the platform and then decides which parts of it he will actually push if or when elected.  

                        Consequently, the platform is mush, spin, blather.  The race turns on personality.  If you're structuring your party politics on personality, you're not serious about political change.  I'm open to other perspectives, but cannot tell what parts of my reasoning you agree with and which parts you see differently.

                  •  Why is it? (4.00)
                    Because like Frankenstein, they keep trying to come back.

                    Gore managed to translate 8 years of peace and prosperity into a 50.2% vote.  That's because he wasn't a good candidate, and he chose to run away from his strength - the Clinton years.  I love Al to death, I just don't ever want to see him as my party's candidate for President again.  I bashed him to anyone who would listen in '01-'03.  Now that he's  not a candidate, I'll tell everyone how much I love him.

                    Kerry, likewise managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  It's not that he was wishy-washy about the war.  It's that in a time of war, he could never explain exactly what he felt about the war.  It's not that he said 'first I voted for the money, then I voted against it.'  It's that in October, in a debate in which the whole world knew that was the big question, in which any of us would have had a good solid 30 second answer as to why we had said that, Kerry still didn't know why he said it.  He either didn't recognize that it didn't make obvious sense, and so required a decent explanation.  Or else he genuinely didn't know what he thought about the war.  I tend to think the latter.  But either way, that kind of failure should have disqualified him from the nomination in the first place.  If he answers that question well, he wins.  It's as simple as that.

                    So I still like John Kerry.  But as long as he thinks that he stands a chance in a Presidential race, I'll continue to bash him.

                    New blood!

                    •  The Clinton Years (none)
                      I'm sure Al would have loved to have embraced the Clinton years. Well, you ask, why didn't he? Well, why didn't Slick Willy keep it in his damn pants? And why didn't he tell the truth when asked about it in the first place? I do want to see Al as my nominee, damn it. He won and should serve.  Keep up with the "poor campiagn" crap and you serve the interests of Karl Rove.
                •  i don't "mindlessly" (3.83)
                  bash anyone, let alone the Democratic Presidential Candidate.  I've worked my ass off for the Democrats since McGovern and will continue to do so.  But, dammit, from the moment Kerry made the campaign about his service 35 years ago in Vietnam by opening his address at the convention with a salute and "John Kerry reporting for duty!" (which I screamed was a BIG mistake at the time), he expected to ride that through November. He did NOTHING to dispute the Swiftboat crap.  He said nothing about Bush's aborted service in the National Guard during Vietnam, which should have been a no-brainer given the Swiftboaters.  He articulated no plans for Iraq or the Middle East in general, let alone too many domestic issues.

                  I worked for his campaign and I truly wanted him to be the President.  But I must say that I never really got the impression that it's what he really wanted.

                  I don't think that Democratics are inherently inclined to 'eat their own' but I do think that when we are presented with candidates that are unwilling to lay themselves on the line for the cause, we do intend to call them on it.

                  "...our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East...are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas." Kurt Vonnegut 2005

                  by mooshter on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:05:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Ooof (none)

                  Troll rated by "stay the course."  Must have touched a nerve there.
              •  Kerry campaign in NM... (4.00)
                ...the closest of the battleground states.  
                • They didn't show up till September
                • They didn't take input from on-the-ground locals
                • Wouldn't share any databases or electronic files with locals - because they were "proprietary" (outsourced to a California company)
                • Their "walk-lists" for the weekend before the election were printed out by mailing address rather than physical address.  Being from out of state, they didn't know that we don't get home mail delivery here.  The walk list was post office boxes.  Useless!!  And no way to fix locally, because all the databases were "proprietary".
                • No databases or campaign materials left behind for locals to use in ongoing efforts.
                • Plan for election day emergency intervention was unveiled by out-of-staters in training sessions  on election eve.  The whole thing was premised on cell phone communications.  Less than half the precinct polling places in the county have cell signals.  Whoops!
                • Promised GOTV lists for election day poll check-offs never appeared.  In the precinct I worked, we made our own.  Because it was current - and it was there - we were able to target people who hadn't voted yet at end of the day.  (No thanks to the Kerry campaign!!)

                I could go on, because - believe me - there's plenty more.  In a hotly contested state, where I was registering voters for months before they sent Edwards' law partner's daughter (fresh out of college) to run the campaign for the county, it didn't look like they were serious about winning here.

                It may be your idea of running a good campaign, but it sure isn't mine!

                •  Where in NH? (none)
                  Hi Enchantment. This sounds like a typical Boston operation trying to work in our neck of the woods. Would love to chat sometime about local politics. Email me.

                  A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

                  by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:25:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  He/She said New Mexico... (none)
                    ...not New Hampshire.
                  •  New Mexico, not New Hampshire (none)
                    Perhaps I should've spelled it out to avoid causing confusion to quick-skimming readers.

                    Honest to goodness "flyover" country here.  Any given day, one can look up and see exhaust trails from 4 or more jets (20,000+ feet up) hurrying off from somewhere to somewhere else.  So much so that you really could tell the difference after Sept. 11 when all flights were grounded.  I've been thinking about how to photograph all those sky trails to best effect.  (It being something one usually wants to avoid in a photograph...)

                    We have, perhaps, similar problems of the "city slickers" rolling into a small town, assuming the locals don't have anything to offer, except doing the grunt work they specify in an entirely top-down fashion...  Here, perhaps exascerbated by 2/3 of the locals being Hispanic & Indian.

                    Since it's different time zones and a mile or more difference in altitude, and numerous degrees of latitude, you still want an e-mail?

                    •  Gore won it; Kerry didn't (none)
                      And there was no Nader "effect." It makes you wonder. Maybe it was that late ground assault. Thanks for this again. I misread the headline.

                      A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

                      by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:38:53 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Were you in NH? (none)
                    I was there from August to election day.

                    "Those who would sacrifice civil liberties for a bit of temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

                    by PaulVA on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 06:06:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Wow (4.00)
                  Thank you for that information.  Did you diary this?
                  If not, I think it is still relevant.  I know that this is what Howard Dean is trying to address and prevent - but it is worth having the details out there.
                  •  Big organizing effort last year at this time... (none)
                    ...resulting in a Dean supporter now our County's party chair, in part because of problems in the campaign, and because of the groundswell of grassroots in said campaign.  He's active, and serious about organization, so that's a hopeful sign.

                    IMHO the problem is top-down campaigns, in general.  I've only been on dKos since September 2005, and never blogged before that, so no I've not diaried this stuff.  Wrote some up in longer posts early on, in other people's diaries about wanting Kerry to run again.  (My position: I'd probably work for him if nominated again.  But won't work to help him get nominated.)

                    Some of the out-of-staters who came in as on-the-ground volunteers left really discouraged.  They were different because they were with us ordinary folk, taking time out from their "Blue State" lives to help out in a "Battleground State".  Not professional campaigners.  Some felt there was intentional sabotage by the private (California?) company contracted to run the campaign in this state.  No way to prove it, but there sure were a lot of SNAFUs.

                •  I was pretty concerned (none)
                  I went to an organizational meeting with field staffers, where it quickly became obvious that this was a campaign being run by first-timers.

                  When we started to consider how we might drum up some manpower for some task or other, I said "what about your local YD's?

                  In a state university town, they did not know if there was a YD organization, and had not bothered to find out. My suggestion was accepted gratefully and they were going to check it out.

                  Sweet kids, but...come, on guys. That's when I knew for sure that we were out of play.

                  Tarheel born, tarheel bred! And when I die, I'll be tarheel dead.

                  by NCYellowDog on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:04:35 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  field staff is always young (none)
                    Across the board, whatever the size of the race, field staff is generally young.  Not many married with family types take jobs where they work 18+ hour days for 2-6 months straight in a new location each time.  While I agree that there are many problems with how this is handled, it isn't "sabotage," it is just how campaigns work.  The lists are always-always bad.  It is an antiquated system that gets jumpstarted every couple of years.  MoveOn has the right idea now by leaving organizers on the ground year round in some areas.  We are just catching up to what Republicans have been doing for 30 years, and they have the built in organization and lists of churches to help.
                •  I would love (none)
                  to see your comments expanded upon in the form of a diary.  It sounds like an excellent case study in how NOT to run a campaign in NM.
              •  What is with the Kerry personality cult? (3.57)

                --For Pete's sake, do you care most about HIM or the issues he was supposed to be defending - (like count every vote).  Geez.  It almost seems like it doesnt matter what he did or didnt do.  You guys are his tireless (and tiresome) fan club. Get over it.  He is about as likely to get anywhere near the Presidency as Sponge Bob.  He blew it. HE BLEW IT.  It wasnt wire taps.  He wasnt saying anything much most of the campaign anyway.  But when it counted, when it REALLY COUNTED, he sat on his hands and shut his mouth.

                I will personally never forgive him or forget it.  Give up.  You cannot argue this guy back into credibility.  Its over...move on.

                Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:39:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Kerry couldn't connect (4.00)
                  I'm going to jump into this cess-pool.  For all his ability, which is considerable, Kerry couldn't connect.  He is essentially a private person, and in today's world -- I would say since the day of FDR -- private persons do not generally succeed in Presidential politics.  This is as much a comment on the American public as it is on Kerry.  But he had Bush by the gonads a couple of times in the debates, and declined to rip them off.  He was too 'proud' to respond to the Swift Boaters until it was too late.  
                  He spoke as if people were hanging on every semi-colon; his speech had no periods -- no arc.  He has everything it takes to be a great President provided he gets in.  But he was up against the vilest machine this country has ever assembled, and he didn't plan his campaign taking that vileness as context.  In that sense, it was a lousy campaign.  

                  He had his chance, and muffed it.  Time for someone new.

                  •  I hear you (4.00)

                    -and acknowledge that there is a difference between the realm of the private individual and what is demanded for public office.  I don't hold any personal animus against Kerry -- hell, I don't even know the man personally.  I don't begrudge him having had the opportunity.  Only that with so much riding on it -- he just didnt UNDERSTAND fundamentally did not comprehend, the situation that he and we were in.  He did not get the urgency of fighting or the timing and need for it. Whether it was due to personal traits or just too long in the Senate, I disagree fundamentally therefore that he would have been a good President.  He is way to clueless.  Would advisers be the only ones who could get through to his reality if he were President?  He doesn't seem to have the right INSTINCTS for that level of leadership -- especially now after we are REALLY messed up after 8 years of this horror (who should also have never been let anywhere near the Presidency.  It speaks of the failure of our system that he did)

                    But whew -- I wish him all the best - truly.  But as you say -- events dictate another solution...

                    Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                    by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:08:15 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I wonder though, if his campaign (none)
                    was being cut off by Rove, what he could have done to counter the effects, if he was unaware he was being spied on in such an intimate manner...

                    They were always a step ahead, and, really, there wasn't much he could do about it.

                    So, for instance, if his car was bugged or the DNC was bugged, it would have made little difference how he responded as they already knew how to counter.

                •  It's not Kerry (4.00)

                  He wasn't my first choice -- that was Dean.  Followed by Edwards.  No 'cult of personality' here.  

                  I do have loyalty to the brand, however.  Kicking Kerry's ass is pointless -- he lost, remember? -- and counterproductive.  You want to make sure he doesn't get the nomination next time?  Fine, then find a candidate you like and work like hell to get him (or her) nominated.  But a Democrat attacking a Democrat, especially the party's standard-bearer, doesn't help the party one little bit.  And like the Dems or not, there just isn't anyone else with a remotely plausible shot at stopping the GOP.

                  The Republicans do some things a damn sight better than we do, and one of them is protecting their brand.  Most people do not obsess over politics -- they dabble.  And the GOP brand has seemed more stable, more reliable, and more solid for a long time, in part precisely because we spend so much effort tearing down our own.

                  •  With all due respect to you (3.66)
                    -- really

                    I do understand how you might think that my primary goal was to attack Kerry.  It is and was not and I take responsibility though for how you might have thought that from my post.

                    My first, primary and only goal is to get the Democrats back to being Democrats who stand firmly, bravely and vociferously for progressive and liberal values and ideals.  I will vote for good candidates who support those. Period. I don't care if he or she is Jane Doe or Rock Hudson.  I want and am looking for credibility and RESULTS. What I was trying to question was the fealty that some have to the Kerry persona -- not liberal/progressive issues.  I don't understand that at all.  How can we consider anyone other than someone who best represents our beliefs and actively and aggressively defends same (and us)?

                    It seemed to you and perhaps others that I was attacking him and I can see that.  But that was not my intent.  I did fully intend and will again actively challenge personality cults where I believe that they are counterproductive to our ends which are to elect someone to the Presidency eventually who can go the distance and get the job done consistent with our values and principles.  One of these values and principles to my mind is to make sure that we have a working vote counting process and that EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED.

                    I will continue to challenge anyone or all who either don't get that as a priority or who support people who don't get that.  Kerry didn't get it.

                    Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                    by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:50:41 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Cult (none)
                  uh, yeah, anyone who defends Kerry's campaign against the charge that it was "run into the ground," is in, uh, a cult.

                  Way to go, reasoned debate!

                  I mean, I didn't love Kerry all that much, and I don't want him to be our nominee next time, but, pal, he did many things right and was in some ways a good candidate who almost won.  I think the one who needs to get over it is YOU.

                  "Calmer than you are."

                  by Sheffield on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:01:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Please read my other posts (none)

                    --I apologize for giving you the impression that my sole purpose is to attack Kerry.  It is not. Rather than reiterate what I have already written, please read above where I DO give a reasoned discussion of why the word "personality cult" was used.

                    Thank you.

                    Stop Looking For Leaders - WE are the Leaders!!!

                    by SwimmertoFreedom04 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:13:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Fine man, no doubt - weak suck candidate (none)
                  I'd blame his handlers but when you are the man, be the MAN.
                  Still think that Dean would have been polarizing and beat the panties off of Bush.

                  Three more years? I want to kidnap a dog named "Barney" and do that thing with the enclosed garage and the garden hose and the running engine.

                  And I loved my Scottie!

                  Attn: Secret Service. "Barney is a three legged goat that lives nearby and has a penchant for aluninum cans, I am not, never will be and have never considering joining al Qeda or any affiliated terrorist or terrorist leaning, sounding or Muslim or even rhyming affilates that bank together or even have their children play together and I am Babtis or Methodist or some godforsaken religion and Jaysus saves please don't spy on me you might discover my heterosexual pathos you uptight NSA underwear models for the preview coming to theaters near you of Planet of the Apes.

                  Asshole is spying on American citizens. Democrats are wondering how to frame it.

              •  I admired (4.00)
                Kerry during the primaries and became convinced towards the end that he was indeed a better candidate than Edwards (who I still believe is the Dems best chance to take back the white house in 08 - though I'm proud of the way Feingold has conducted himself recently.)  Kerry put Bush away during the debates and made a convincing argument that he was the better candidate.  I'm more disgusted that we as a country didn't vote Kerry into office than I am in the campaign he ran.
                •  right on (4.00)
                  when we are debating kerry's candidacy here at dialykos we should never forget the complete ass-whooping kerry administered during the debates.

                  is kerry mr. excitement? no, but he ran a pretty good campaign and would have won had people not feared changing leaders in the middle of a war.

                  "Rick Santorum is Latin for Asshole."

                  by tmendoza on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:33:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  A 5 if I could (4.00)
                  For this:

                  I'm more disgusted that we as a country didn't vote Kerry into office than I am in the campaign he ran.

                  You said it.

                  •  and you are not upset that, (none)
                    that constipated asshole was the best we had?

                    Just like everyone else on here, I worked for Kerry's election too because although I was disgusted with him, I despised Bush.

                    However, don't think that what we say goes too far passed the Dailykos. There are people, our friends and family, who never heard of the eavesdropping scandal or have no idea who Abramoff, let alone what goes on here.  

                    Where the hell were all of you when Kerry said the stupidest things?  He was an embarrassment with his $80 billion dollar remarks and frankly, I don't want a president that inept.  He never challenged the Swift Boaters and today, I think some of what they said is true.  I believe at least one or two of the purple hearts were scratches.

                    Someone mentioned that Kerry won the debates.  How blind can you be?  "I want to thank the president for what he did after 9/11."  That was a big win, huh?  I don't want a president who didn't have the balls to ask Bush what was that box on his back.  Would he be the same kind of chickenshit with foreign leaders?  How would a wimp like that have handled the Cuban missile crisis.  No, I do not want that kind of useless asshole as my president.

                    Gore had every newsperson against him and he still won.  Gore had an asshole like Ralph Nader stealing 100,000 votes from him in Florida and he still won.  Gore did not have the luck to run against a president who did nothing to stop 9/11 or lied to get us into a war and he still won.

                    Kerry had all that and he still lost.  He must not be allowed to run again and the pollyannaish assholes on here, those same people who voted for Nader, should be ignored.  Only a Republican would want Kerry to run again!!!

              •  Disagree... (4.00)
                He was another gutless boy wonder (GBW)... and he let them destroy him by not fighting back. He's a policy wonk, and I agree with everything he says, but his campaign was mismanaged all along.

                By the time he decided to get on message, it was over.  He isn't the one to deal with the Roving Rovies... they were and still are too tough for him.  

              •  Not pathetic. But needed a 'pivot' (none)
                Kerry's campaign needed a minor 'pivot' in Iraq position.  It wasn't all bad from the top down, no that's not true.  And there were a lot of strengths there too, have no doubt the man would have been a solid President.
            •  Since when (3.90)
              was a 3 point loss to a war time President a "pathetic campaign"?
              •  I voted for it before voting against it (4.00)
                I voted for "Anybody but Bush" in 2004 - but that doesn't mean I was impressed by John Kerry's campaigning style.  The man can't seem to speak in simple, declarative sentences. (Or maybe the Bush League Media just doesn't report it?)

                The classic example was Kerry's "I voted for funding the troop;s in Iraq before I voted against it" line that lost so many votes.  Why, oh why couldn't he have said "I voted forfunding the troops - and against putting that funding on our country's credit card.  He ran from the "tax and spend" label without even trying to label the Bush League as "spend and spend" frat boys too used to having Daddy pay off their credit card debt to realize how irresponsible it is to run up a 200+ billion charge while cutting taxes.

                Hey, a friend of mine met Kerry at a fundraiser and said he's a nice guy - but his campaign strategy of avoiding as many Republican talking points as possible made him look vacillating.  We've GOT to help Howard Dean retake the public debate NOW, so that whoever runs as the 2008 democratic candidate isn't having to run another "Republican Lite" campaign (All of the tax cuts, but only half the corruption!)

              •  Admiral (none)
                Simple, you don't let him call himseld a war president and you paint a very clear picture how incompetent he is and that he and Cheney lied to us and that they murdered American men and women because they wanted to go to Iraq from the day Cheney became president.  Kerry had the vehicle in Farenheit 9/11 and the schmuck made believe it didn't exist.

                Do you think he's a war president?  Maybe you do because Kerry, who unfortunately represented the Democratic Party, did nothing to discredit him.

        •  Ratings abuse (4.00)
          has been rampant around here lately.  I gave you a 4 to counter it.

          Pennacchio for Pennsylvania

          by PAprogressive on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:04:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Re: Ratings Abuse (4.00)
            I gave you a 4 to counter it.

            Yeah, me too!

            •  Me Too.......... (4.00)

              I don't understand ratings and don't care either but I gac eyou a four anyway.

              Do ratings mean that I shouldnt read the 1's and I should read the 4's?........if so that's censorship and not freedom of speech. I've read 1's many times and they had some thoughful meaning and without their comment the rest were meaningless...you need to otherside of the argument to give it legitimacy.

              And by the way......the question that this post makes is so very much legitimate...Dick Cheney would use any tool at his disposal to get what he wants. I don't feel sorry for his little Pinnocio either.

              Just don't be surprised to find out that Cheney and Bolton were keeping track of all the races with Karl Rove getting the scoop and spreading it around in his own words.

              Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. Author: Groucho Marx

              by JellyPuddin on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:21:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  your ratings (none)
                affect your "mojo". if you get consistenly low ratings you lose certain abilities. it's like a damn video game but it works i guess.

                You, have a safe and happy holiday and a lovely '06. May our heads be free of angst and our headlines full of indictments.

                by sadair on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:45:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I gave you a 4 on the merits (4.00)

              You can get pretty far with a lie. But you can never get back.

              by privatewl on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:08:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  for the following users, here is (2.85)
            a look at the ratings "faq" for the site:
            [blockquote] How do comment ratings work?

            This site uses a system called "Mojo" to try to keep the comments as high-quality as possible. All users can rate all comments, except their own, between 1 and 4. When your comments are rated by others, those ratings are combined into a weighted average -- newer comments count more than older ones -- called your "Mojo". This, roughly, represents the rating we could expect your next comment to receive based on your past comments. Users who have a mojo greater than a certain minimum and who have posted a sufficient number of comments are considered "trusted" users, and have the added capability to rate comments below the normal minimum rating (in other words, their rating scale is 0-4, rather than 1-4.) If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that the user's input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others.

            Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate; ratings are intended to help elevate those posters that consistently make clear, good arguments and points, regardless of content, and to prevent trolls from invading the message board. Downrating commenters on the basis of agreement or disagreement with their arguments leads to a monolithic forum, free of new ideas and input.

            So, please don't downrate comments just because you disagree with them! [/blockquote]

            so, would the following people please stand up - and go revise your "downrating"....
            [blockquote]
            moon in the house of moe   1
            djangone                   1
            regis                      1
            stirringstill              1
            MH in PA                   1
            fugue                      0
            MikeInFlorida              2
            globalvillage              1
            HatchInBrooklyn            1
            [/blockquote]

            thank you for your consideration...

            •  crap! here is a "clean" version with (3.50)
              correct blockquotes...

              a look at the ratings "faq" for the site:

              How do comment ratings work?

              This site uses a system called "Mojo" to try to keep the comments as high-quality as possible. All users can rate all comments, except their own, between 1 and 4. When your comments are rated by others, those ratings are combined into a weighted average -- newer comments count more than older ones -- called your "Mojo". This, roughly, represents the rating we could expect your next comment to receive based on your past comments. Users who have a mojo greater than a certain minimum and who have posted a sufficient number of comments are considered "trusted" users, and have the added capability to rate comments below the normal minimum rating (in other words, their rating scale is 0-4, rather than 1-4.) If enough of a user's comments are rated below 1, that user becomes "untrusted", which means that respected members of the community have repeatedly indicated that the user's input is offensive, content-free, or merely intended to annoy others.

              Many users believe that the rating system is intented to be an opportunity to express agreement or disagreement with a post, or with the poster themself. This is not accurate; ratings are intended to help elevate those posters that consistently make clear, good arguments and points, regardless of content, and to prevent trolls from invading the message board. Downrating commenters on the basis of agreement or disagreement with their arguments leads to a monolithic forum, free of new ideas and input.

              So, please don't downrate comments just because you disagree with them!

              so, would the following people please stand up - and go revise your "downrating"....


              moon in the house of moe......1
              djangone......................1
              regis.........................1
              stirringstill.................1
              MH in PA......................1
              fugue.........................0
              MikeInFlorida.................2
              globalvillage.................1
              HatchInBrooklyn...............1

              thank you for your consideration...

              •  You know ... (none)
                If we all give "fugue" a 1, they will lose their Trusted User status ... but then, that would be mean, nasty, and abuse of the ratings system. :-)

                A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

                by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:27:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks (none)
                I've been on this site a long time, and I never really understood how the 'mojo' system works.  Thanks for explaining.
              •  I didn't give a 2 (none)
                Because I disagree. I gave a two because it was only a "marginal" comment.

                FLA Politics - A DailyKos-style community blog!

                by MikeInFlorida on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:21:14 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  i guess we'll have to agree to disagree (none)
                  here - i don't think it was marginal at all.  if the dems don't get their campaign acts together and do it soon, we will ALL be facing more of the same in washington.

                  we are fighting a formidable set of "players" who have studied the field well.  when i was with the M/S campaign, our pathetic little office (second in importance ONLY to d.c. since we covered the entire north east for literature) ran 24/7 with the sophomore in college who ran the lit dept working on "speed" to keep awake.  the mistakes were downright funny, if it hadn't been so critical.

                  around the corner at the nixon headquarters, it ran smooth as a well oiled machine. oh, yeah, it WAS a well-oiled machine!  at 5 pm every day, they locked the doors and went home to their families - happy, contented and organized!

                  money wasn't wasted on literature slamming primary candidates whose support was needed, money was available because they knew how to talk to their base - and much more of the same issues that are on the table now and have been for the last two elections.

                  when we let the "other side" define our candidate as "wooden and stiff" and the "founder of the internet" in 2000, then repeat the same bloody mistake by allowing them to paint a decorated war hero as a coward and afraid to fight - well, we are bloody well doing something wrong!  if we don't look at what that is, we are doomed.  period.

                  therefore, the frustration expressed by pol about an unused $15 million dollars (what the hell was kerry's campaign SAVING it for, ANYway?) and the lack of challenging the obvious lies - is totally productive, in my book - but ONLY if it wakes us up to the dangerous threat that is the neocon machine!

                  we need to dissect BOTH elections so we don't do "it" again!

                •  mike, don't want to get into a (3.42)
                  pissing contest with you, but rating my posting of the kos FAQ as a "2" belies your comment.  there is nothing marginal about posting the guidelines set down by the owner of this site.

                  pointing out the purpose of rating to those who may not have read that faq also is not "marginal".  it is instructive.

                  again, i suggest you re-read the ratings faq - frankly, i don't care one way or another whether you rate me a "2" - i have enough "mojo" to weather it and still review hidden comments to make sure someone isn't wrongly rated by "uprating" that comment when necessary - but when the ratings system breaks down, this site becomes vulnerable to "personality" and "flame-wars".  the system works only when people respect it.

                  </end lecture>

                  •  I thought it was marginal (4.00)
                    And completely off-topic. There are some good comments in this post, and they get pushed down with this petty nonsense. Can we move on?

                    Also, I give out a lot of 4s. I also think 2s and 3s exist for a reason. I'm not just going to be the fourfairy and tiptoe around looking for 4s in return. I give comments what I believe they deserve.

                    Finally, one comment about a "wrongful" down-rating is fine. I even encourage it. But there have been way too many about this one. Go ahead and continue this, but I'm staying out of it from here on out.

                    FLA Politics - A DailyKos-style community blog!

                    by MikeInFlorida on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 03:48:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  The GOP's desparate now (4.00)
          They've got Orrin giving out 1's in the Daily Kos diaries to keep the comments hidden

          "now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." W. Churchill

          by Thor Heyerdahl on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:26:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. it did. 1 = nonproductive. It was. n/t (3.00)

          •  Yes. the diary is worthless (4.00)
            The diary promised something it doesn't deliver, but  the whole pissing contest regarding ratings is ridiculous.   Most of us here don't use ratings unless there is someting to rate.  You are right; this diary isn't really diary material.   But to pick on individuals who want to talk about this line of thought....well, come on.   Most of us have an ego and therefore don't like to have negative ratings, but anyone who runs about giving low ratings runs the chance of looking foolish.   Live and let live.   If you choose (like I did) to delve into a diary that doesn't really stand up, then go away and look for more substantive arguments.   My opinion.   Hit me.   Ouch!  A one from someone who doesn't have the power to give a 0.....could be a badge of courage.
            •  Oh, yes (4.00)
              Regarding the diary.  Only reason it is not a worthy subject is that it lacks substance.   The question is at the center of the the debate.   Maybe a "worthless" diary like this one will spark someone with a substantive discussion to come forward.  
            •  Pot, Kettle? (4.00)
              I don't "run about giving low ratings", check my history.

              The diary opens a productive line of discussion. The post I rated does not, and has successfully hijacked the topic due to people preferring to bash Kerry rather than talk about how Bush misused his powers as President.

        •  This entire diary deserves a 1 (3.75)
          There is absolutely no evidence that Bush was wiretapping Kerry.  Furthermore, by focusing on the possiblely-illegal nature of the taps themselves, you play right into the wingnut logic that the lack of a warrant itself is "not so bad".
          •  True, but... (none)
            If Bush is willing to brush aside the law, lie about it to cover up, then have more come out -- well -- where is the line?

            When he went rogue he invited mistrust.  I tend to hope that he didn't have these things done but how do I really know?

            In the military we knew that the perception of impropriety was just as bad as it being true.  You have to appear clean as well as be clean.  In Bush's world it's prove he isn't clean even though he looks rather dirty.

            Dear Lord, please save me from your followers

            by mz on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:09:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Or maybe there is. (none)
            But you don't know , do you?

            But I suppose others do....

          •  absolutely. (none)
            Diaries should give us some new information that we might not have; or state an opinion and back it up with evidence; or entertain us with some witty insight.  This is just some random conjecture without any evidence to support it.  And to think that it has 200 responses and is at the top of the rec list is just galling.

            However, now that we're on the subject, if bush did wiretap political enemies, it would be easier for the rest of us to pitch our case for impeachment.

            The end is near for those who wait.

            by tc59 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:30:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  BS (4.00)
            We don't know, but given the facts we have so far, it's not an unreasonable conclusion.
            •  On the other hand (none)
              I agree that the diary is a bit too tin-foil for me and I would say most of us.  On the other hand, it provides an occasion to discuss WHY it is too tin-foil (the main reason being that BushCo had it in the bag from the beginning thanks to electoral dirty tricks in FL and OH).  The ratings discussion has also been informative.

              I go to a lot of conferences, give a lot of papers and discuss a lot of papers.  It has been my experience that it is often the poorest papers that stimulate the best discussions.  The diary is an occasion for discussion.  Some people seem to think they are competing for a Nobel Prize or something, here, and that some diary is taking it away from them.

              Get a life.

              •  Indeed (none)
                I see your point, and honestly some diaries are too long and too in depth for most readers. However, in this case I grant the author the discretion to suggest this is a question that SHOULD be explored, and obviously a whole bunch of people agreed. Could he have researched more, possibly.
                Reminds me of literary criticism of the DaVinci Code. It's not a really well written book, but it brought up questions that were obviously dying to be asked.
          •  Not a worthless diary (4.00)
            At least someone is putting the question out there.

            Here's how Fox News and the rest of the right-wing noise machine are framing the wiretapping story:

            "Do terrorists deserve a right to privacy?"

            As if the Bush thugs have listened to a single terrorist's phone call, or even know where to look for it.

            The public needs to understand that, without warrants, these guys can spy on anyone.  And that this sort of grasping-at-straws random data collection isn't helping them to zero in on terrorists.  Everyone's privacy rights are being violated.

            •  The answer to extremism is more extremism? (3.66)
              I agree that "it could be anyone" is exactly the problem. So why zero in on one, identifiable, deniable person? Here's how it goes down:

              Right wingnut: Terrorists have no right to privacy.
              Left wingnut: They were spying on Kerry.
              *proof comes out they weren't spying on Kerry*
              Right wingnut: See? Bush is in the clear.
              America: Huh, I guess that turned out OK. Back to American Idol.

              Better:

              Right wingnut: Terrorists have no right to privacy.
              Reasonable skeptic: How do you know they were only spying on terrorists?
              Right wingnut: There's no proof they did anything else.
              Reasonable skeptic: But there's no safety measures taken to make sure they didn't do anything else. Is the Administration that hired Michael Brown competent to run a secret domestic spying program? Etc, etc

              Hard claims are easy to defend against, especially if they are made up out of whole cloth. Diffuse attacks that can come from any direction are hard to defend against, especially when "it could be anyone" is exactly the point.

            •  Do Terrorists Have a Right to Bear Arms? (4.00)
              Maybe the wing-nuts will better understand what's going on if the question is reframed using a right they value.  The answer to "Do terrorists have a right to privacy" is "Do terrorists have the right to bear arms?  Should we take away everyone's guns so that the terrorists won't be armed?"

              Another one that makes the wingnuts jump is pointing out how the Patriot Acts allows ATF agents to seize the National Rifle Association's membership list (business records) without a warrant and makes it a crime for the NRA to tell anyone it happened.  

              Civil Rights - not just for liberals any more...

        •  Ratings creeps... (4.00)
           There has been a recent spate of self-appointed creeps who seem to find it necessary to down rate posts if they don't like them.

          A critical comment is fine if you don't like a post. Otherwise just move on...

          •  The Rules (none)
            I grew up with were "rate or reply" not both.  Disagreement is NOT (and yes, I will shout to make this point) a reason to downrate.  If you really think that someone is trolling, then you can down rate them (a "1" is a troll rating, folks).  If you have a different opinion, it isn't cool to freep their ratings over that.

            even though bubble tests are b.s., -8.25,-7.59

            by Cather on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:16:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

              •  yep (none)
                John Kerry is a fine man, and ought to be in the White House right now, but if there is to be no critical analysis -- or just plain criticism -- of his campaign allowed on this site....that's just creepy.

                I applaud those who worked on the Kerry campaign.  I'm pretty sure the election was stolen.  Therefore, I get it that those who worked on the campaign are sensitive to having their man criticized because they feel they actually ran a winning campaign.  I get that and imagine that it still hurts.

                But can't we have an open enough dialogue here that we can talk about the mistakes he made?  

                Because it seems to me that the next time, and the time after that, we need to learn from our mistakes so the results are not even close.  Because when they are, we lose, thanks to Diebold and guys like Blackwell.

        •  But (none)
          if Bush was wiretapping Kerry, then under this scenario that could well be the reason that to you, the Kerry campaign seemed so "bad," because in reality, every strategic move they made was already scooped by the Bush team.  

          BLOGGAM IN CHRISTVS
          Mel's Musings. True. Christian. Blog.

          by gobacktotexas on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:36:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Pfft. (4.00)
        There are people who take every chance to get a cheap shot in at Kerry. You're apparently one of them. One. Back of my hand to you--some of us worked our asses off on that campaign and don't appreciate being bashed for comedy 'points.'
        •  some of us did (4.00)
          work our asses off on that campaign but it was still run poorly and then he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away

          "...our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East...are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas." Kurt Vonnegut 2005

          by mooshter on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:24:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  walked away (4.00)
            with $15 million dollars.
            and working on a campaign is great, i applaud you for it, seriously. but it does not give you the sole right to criticize a candidate.

            You, have a safe and happy holiday and a lovely '06. May our heads be free of angst and our headlines full of indictments.

            by sadair on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:48:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Rights (4.00)
              Oh no, nothing gives me the right to do anything, except my own damnwelldoasiplease-ishness.

              Here's the simple answer to a divisive issue. Just look forward. Give up going into the past and slapping around Kerry for gratuitous bloggy fun, or because it's the Official Kos PositionTM, or whatevs. It's over. It's divisive. It enlightens nothing. Move on: this post was about something else before the Kerry-basher dragged it into a useless and stupid direction.

            •  He didn't claim "the sole right" (none)
              and despite the hardworking people on the ground, Kerry ran a shitty campaign.  I am indeed entitled to that opinion too.  Along with any percentage of the people who voted for him despite his shitty campaign.

              A more general point (not directed at sadair):  Seems to me the diarist is raising an interesting question--one that hadn't occurred to me!

              And quit with the crappy ratings for disagreeing already!  If someone thought it was a substanceless diary, s/he should have written a direct substantive comment to that effect and then not recommended the freaking diary.

              I AM paying attention, and I am so fucking outraged I can't see straight. Besides, TORTURE and ILLEGAL SPYING ON AMERICANS are not family values!

              by caseynm on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:49:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'm with you.......... (4.00)
          Smack smack!!!

          I worked from April 2004 until election day. And I gave up every friggin weekend and that summers family vacation for my democrat chosen presidential candidate.

          I hear people saying these things but I got to meet John and hear him speak. Something I was unable to do with my own President because I didn't share his fucking mental case vision for freedom and America.

          Kerry was pretty damn good or we, the dems wouldn't have chosen him. And we did through the primary process. He was the candidate we all put forward to represent us. He actually wipped ass on a setting President in time of war. If it weren't for Diebold he probably would have been winding down the Iraqi debacle as I type this. There would have been an attempt to balance the budget. New Orleans would be well on it's way back with NOLA residents rebuilding with zeal. Guantanimo would be closed down within a few more months and the CIA would get a new director and start rebuilding it's capabilities to tell truth and not make up lies. The Supreme Court would have been safe from loading up of right wing idiots and Kerry would have called the oil companies back to the carpet and said to love America and give back to it...because it made you what you are now.

          So...if ya didn't like Kerry your choice was nothing...and tell me nothing is better than George Bush...because thats what we got nothing...through Bush.

          Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. Author: Groucho Marx

          by JellyPuddin on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:33:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm totally with you (4.00)
            People who pin blame solely on a losing candidate are just avoiding the reality, which is that 2004 just wasn't our year. The people (Diebold notwithstanding) weren't with us quite enough. So much in campaigns is beyond even the candidate's control. JK wasn't error-free, but Bush was worse, even technically as a candidate, and he's still crapping in the peoples toilet. JK was fine, get over it, focus forward.
        •  You're taking it personally (4.00)
          I have some sweat equity in the election, too, but I can't let that blind me to what went wrong in 2004.

          Unless you were a strategist for the Kerry campaign, that comment was in no way directed at you. If you want to place yourself in the oncoming path of a well-deserved attack on the Kerry campaign, no one can stop you. But I would bet my shoes that the same people who would attack the campaign would also have great respect for the work you put in. I know I do.

          You can love the candidate without loving the campaign. Kerry made some epic blunders, and like the commenter, I don't feel like I got my money's worth out of the campaign. I am also mad as Hell about it, but I am certainly not mad at you and the thousands of others who did their part.

          I don't think the commenter was aiming for comedy, because if so, it didn't make me laugh. I think it was a legitimate expression of frustration. If I were you, I would be more angry than the commenter, and by that I am not trying to tell you how you should feel. For all I know, you are more enlightened than I am. But please consider that some of us are pissed, and rightly so.

          Check out The Flypaper Theory, a group blog in Memphis, Tennessee

          by autoegocrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:03:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I worked hard for Kerry too! (none)
          I live in Texas. I spent a week in Wisconsin (not a bad thing) working for the Kerry camp.

          I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning/night before the election in Milwaukee City Hall getting voter registrations in order for precincts.

          I went door-to-door all over the town talking to people, wing-nuts too. I dropped literature. I registered people that had never voted before. I worked the AFSCME for days helping with literature drops and more door-to-door. I stood on street corners with Vote for Kerry signs and handing out yard signs and buttons. I stood in the freezing rain for hours in a Kerry rally to show my support.

          Not to mention the multiple days of phone banking for MoveOn long before that.

          ALL because I was numb to the thought of another Bush term.

          And even though we did better in WI than in 2000 I still feel that Kerry let the country down with every opportunity he had to put beat-down on the son of a bitch, Bush, and instead pulled the punch.

          And he still thinks he has a shot on '08!!!!!!!!

          I respect him as a legislator and as a person but I'm going to criticize his campaign from here to eternity.

          when a conservative needs an opinion on a subject he gets it by calling himself from another line and when needs multiple opinions shouts the question in a cave

          by agentcooper on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:25:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cooper (none)
            That's the adult way to look at this.  However there are two many on here that selfishly think that their efforts should transcend all the stupid mistakes Kerry made.  It's the Nader attitude all over again.

            He showed Americans why he should never be president and they took him up on that.

            What I fault everyone for is why weren't we all telling Kerry collectively how he was fucking up.  I did and lot of people on here did but the man had no clue.  They say there are a lot similarities between Kerry and Bush and I am beginning to believe that's true.  He is as clueless and maybe even as arrogant as Bush.  Yes, he's a liberal but that's not enough.

            I wonder how many of us would actually want Kerry as president after his chicken performance.  We have to open our eyes and see what kind of person he really is.  What kind of backbone and common sense does he have?  I don't him as my president, not at all, unless it was Kerry vs. Bush.

            •  asdf (none)
              I don't think my efforts transcend his mistakes but I do think that collectively all the people who supported him tried harder than he did to defeat Bush. Seriously.

              I won't support him again for president like I did in '04. The fool me once reason. Though I'd vote for him as a lesser evil against any Republican.

              For the record (though I've said it many times before) I was initailly behind Dean, until Wes Clark came into the picture. I was at (almost) every draft Clark meeting here in Houston. I really wanted him over Kerry. I think he would make a fine leader. Still do.

              But to paraphrase Rummy, you fight with the candidate you have not with the one that you want.

              when a conservative needs an opinion on a subject he gets it by calling himself from another line and when needs multiple opinions shouts the question in a cave

              by agentcooper on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 11:08:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  pol, you definitely DON'T deserve a 1 (4.00)
        for speaking the truth.  mismanaged campaigns don't necessarily mean the candidate is a "bad" guy or that his political stance is as imperfect as the campaign.

        i was supply coordinator for mcgovern/shriver in nyc in 1972.  it has taken me YEARS to admit to myself that if mcgovern couldn't manage even his own campaign, how could he have managed an entire nation!

        kerry had a very pisspoor campaign staff AT THE TOP.  that doesn't mean that the folks at the lower end of the chain, the workers didn't work their hearts out... that those workers didn't believe with all their hearts in their candidate and do everything in their power to make it happen.

        just like in mcgovern, the choices made at the top sealed the fate of the candidate (only mcgovern didn't have diebold and ohio's blackwell to throw the election for nixon - he "honestly" lost it!)

        that kerry did as well as he did - and almost[did] won[win] shows the power he held with the voters and the trickery needed by roveco to put bush back in d.c.

        given ALL the happenings in this last election, [i know this is painful, but it must be said here] - imagine what would have happened had kerry not "saved" that last 15 mil and put it into advertising in the states of ohio, arizona, florida and other on the fence states!  imagine what would have happened if he had come out swinging over the swiftboat ads - especially in the red states where the "tough guy" image is revered [how bush pulls is off is beyond me due to gay marriage threats to the macho man and his dutiful wife...

        had kerry not continually come across as elitist in these areas by standing up for himself instead of looking down of the fraudulent little rovetoy, he just might have carried enough votes to have changed the world.

        stifling analysis over how the dems screwed up in 2004 is to our detriment, if we don't postmortem these colossal mistakes in strategy, we will simply continue to lose elections to the rovian thinktankers who outplay us in the mainstream ten to one.

        so, that "1" was NOT productive - not if you want to see the dems actually WIN and election in the future!

        has nothing to do with kerry.  has nothing to do with the campaign workers.  has everything to do with strategy, planning, high-level staffing and money!

        take it from the true voice of experience. [p.s., it was jay rockefeller who bore the brunt of my anger when i quit the campaign.  he talked me into staying - under MY conditions - and when they weren't met, i walked!  but THAT is a story for another day!]

      •  Kerry is a little bitch. (4.00)
        Don't be afraid to say so.

        I won't let up on that fool until he drops his pathetic ambitions at a second run at the White House.

        And I am SO sick of him trying to role over Harry Reid... John, you don't know who you're fucking with.

        "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

        by tricky dick on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:26:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nixon Didn't Have to Break Into Dem HQ (4.00)
        ...to defeat McGovern, either.

        They don't do these things because they have to.

        They do them because they (think they) can.

        Preserving the old ways from being abused/Protecting the new ways for me and for you/What more can we do

        by GreenSooner on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:33:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have a 4 (none)
        I totally disagree with you, but your post definitely doesn't warrant the ratings you're getting.
      •  Your comment was unproductive because (4.00)
        the question at hand is whether the appearance of failure was due to opposition sabotage.

        Your comment merely champions the appearance of failure with the claim "Bush didn't have to..."

      •  What about 2002 elections? (none)
        NSA would have been real handy!

        Bush is NOT America!

        by annefrank on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 11:36:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Kerry didn't win 'his' people (none)
        When you look at the CNN Exit Poll, its pretty clear that Kerry needed to shore up some potential voters....
        with friends like these, who needs Republicans:

        Democrats:  11% for Bush  (while only 6% of Repubs for Kerry)

        Gays: 23% for Bush

        People who thought US Not Going in the Right Direction: 12% for Bush

        People Who Thought The Iraq War DID NOT Make US More Secure:
          19% for Bush  (vs only 10% of war supporters for Kerry)

        Not Too Worried About Terrorism or Not At All Worried About Terrorism 50-51% voted for Bush

        Someone in Household Lost a Job: 34% for Bush

        People WHO LOST  A JOB: STILL 35% for Bush.

    •  I heard (none)
      on Big Ed's show, Kerry was asked about it and said he didn't know, it was a possibility and should be investigated.

      "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

      by llih on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:16:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re the Schultz interview (none)
        I think what he said when Schultz asked about the campaign being infiltrated was that he's extremely concerned about domestic spying, spying on political and anti-war groups and something about "taking me back to Nixon..."
    •  we've been wondering this for a week (none)

      "Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history". Abraham Lincoln, December 1862:

      by bluecayuga on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:38:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wiretapping.. (none)
      NSA operations on the Kerry campaign?  I think so.  I can't wait for the story to come out.  

      Maybe Patrick Fitzgerald should look into this.

    •  samples (none)
      "the whitehouse wants lott out"

      "get the army at mcclean"

      "wipeout"

      This is just an example of the snippets that might be picked up by the NSA.

      I'm not saying this is specific, but this is an example of what can be mined.

  •  Oh the irony (4.00)
    How wonderful would that be?!?!?  A complete copy of Watergate.
    •  & for that reason alone (4.00)
      it's perhaps worth pushing the idea forward.

      not as a direct charge (till there's proof) but Rovian style:  use a bit of truth & then conjecture like crazy (altho I'm a bit alarmed at how possible this could be).

      True part:  

      1.  we KNOW they were spying
      2.  the spying INCLUDED non-foreign (completely domestic) communication

      Conjecture:
      1.  The same people as Watergate are involved.
      2.  Could they have spied on Kerry?

      Yeah, they deny it but how do you prove that they didn't??  If they did not, how do you prove something that isn't there??

      & more to the point, JUST by having this out there it reminds people about the spying story & that's bad for the admin.

      worth spreading this question around - but not as a crazy conspiracy (b/c that makes ALL our ideas look crazy) but as sort of an aside, a hmmm, I wonder.

      •  when exactly (3.00)
        did you stop beating your wife?....

        "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

        by keefer55 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:16:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When, exactly, (3.27)
          did you stop fucking your goat?

          LBJ stylee

          Res Ipsa Loquitur, and you know what I'm talking about.

          by justme on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:04:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Have some love for the ratings abuse. (4.00)
          People are dropping troll-ratings on your comments.

          You & justme ain't no trolls, and definitely didn't deserve the 0's dropped on your comments.

          Have a Simpsons handful, to help balance out their "confusion", on me.

          "I'm not an actor, but I play one on TV."

          by zeitshabba on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:48:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  when did you stop beating your wife (none)
          was a snark on the thought of the repubican answer to
          Conjecture:

             1.  The same people as Watergate are involved.
             2.  Could they have spied on Kerry?

          Yeah, they deny it but how do you prove that they didn't??  If they did not, how do you prove something that isn't there??


          I don't think it deserved 2 "0's" from leftilicious & seanlechy. A little quick on the trigger? please explain yourselves.

          "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

          by keefer55 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:53:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I still dont get it (none)
            0 removed. I wouldn't want to discourage earnest wife beating and bestiality humor when discussing hypothetical treason.
            •  Its a question (none)
               that you can't answer without looking bad-"WELL, (in a self-rightous voice), I never...

              "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

              by keefer55 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:33:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Also known (4.00)
                as the fallacious "Loaded Question"

                http://www.fallacyfiles.org/...

                A "loaded question", like a loaded gun, is a dangerous thing. A loaded question is a question with a false or questionable presupposition, and it is "loaded" with that presumption. The question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" presupposes that you have beaten your wife prior to its asking, as well as that you have a wife. If you are unmarried, or have never beaten your wife, then the question is loaded.

                Since this example is a yes/no question, there are only the following two direct answers:

                   1. "Yes, I have stopped beating my wife", which entails "I was beating my wife."
                   2. "No, I haven't stopped beating my wife", which entails "I am still beating my wife."

                Also a useful tool.

                Res Ipsa Loquitur, and you know what I'm talking about.

                by justme on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:09:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  The pig thing (none)
              refers to LBJ telling one of his aides to leak to the press that his opponent has a proclivity for the porcine. The conversation goes,

              "We can't call him a pig fucker! No one will believe us!" the aide reportedly said.

              "I don't care if people believe it," LBJ supposedly replied. "I just want him to deny it."

              I was just reformatting a bit. Perhaps odd political strategy, but political strategy nonetheless. This is a political site, neh? One must be vigilant to detect the snark-by.

              Res Ipsa Loquitur, and you know what I'm talking about.

              by justme on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:00:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Have a (none)
          4 on me for that old joke line that does not deserve a 0.

          ?

      •  Do you think the spies spy on the spies? (4.00)
        Other people have written that all the world agencies  keep tabs on each other.

        So maybe another agency has the goods on Bush's illegal activities.

        I mean, their are so many different avenues of evidence, I don't know how they thought they could get away with any illegal spying.

        But I guess time will tell -- the truth always seems to come out, one way or another.

        •  Well Valerie Plame's division might well (4.00)
          have been the spies who spied on the spies.  It is well documented that they were spying on the Saudis and would have likely come across BushCo dealings in that country.  More and more I believe that it wasn't about Joe Wilson or Valerie Plame, but her apparatus in the CIA.  Don't forget that the CIA called for the investigation.  That fact should not be glossed over.  The CIA decided that they were going to take on the Administration which is rather extraordinary when you think of it.
          •  occum's razor (none)
            if anything, a secondary benefit.  the thugs are twisted, but that feels a bit stretched.

            "Never separate the words you speak from the life you live" - Paul Wellstone

            by vome minnesota on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:49:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I actually think it is much more of a stretch (4.00)
              to believe that an administration supposedly so obsessed with national security would sacrafice a national security program dedicated to monitoring weapons of mass destruction decades in the making just to play a political game of retailiation.  I think that is a stretch.  Don't be daft and forget that GHWB was head of the CIA and even if Bush was the dumbest stump in the world he would have at least had a note pinned to his shirt every day that said "don't out Daddy's friends at work".

              There are very few accidental outcomes in this White House and there are pretty much NO secrets released unless they are approved prior.

              •  It's also a stretch (none)
                to believe the official story that Rove outed Plame to discredit Joe Wilson - "See, it was nepotism - his wife got him the assignment to go to Niger as a boondoggle!"

                I never grokked that AT ALL.  

                First of all, even if true, how does that negate Wilson's claims?  Secondly, how is a trip to Niger any kind of "boondoggle"?

                Pretty tenuous.  Certainly not worth running around doing coordinated leaks to several outlets.  

                I think there was something else going on.  And the idea that they wanted to take down Brewster Jennings for some nefarious reason is very plausible.

                Perhaps some mighty victory is growing in you now. - Mike Finley

                by hrh on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 04:42:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Very Extraordinary! (none)
            Bingo!  I think that's the real reason--Brewster-Jennings knew things, or were close to knowing things they weren't supposed to.  Ergo, she was slimed.
      •  We also know that Kerry talked to French people (4.00)
        who were in France on the phone.  He and his wife know people overseas who would have placed calls to them and that they probably called people overseas too.

        I don't have a clue whether Kerry was on the list, but it has been my feeling from the moment I read the Times story that morning it broke, that who was on Bush's personal surveillance list will be the key to this story.   I've been able to come up with any other reason why Bush would have avoided the FISA process other than the fact that he wanted to spy on people that FISA would never allow him to pursue.

        •  asdf (4.00)
          If my memory serves me correctly, wasn't there a big fuss about Kerry saying something about other leaders of Europe preferring he win the election over Bush?  I remember the Bush campaign shot back mighty quickly and wanted to know who Kerry met with and what exactly was said.  I don't think Kerry really backed it up, and the issue kind of faded.  I assumed at the time that "other leaders" meant Chirac.  Chirac was most definitely tapped as everyone involved in the UN security council was tapped.  Since they were tapped and Chirac was leading the opposition...
          •  That was one of the French people to whom (4.00)
            I was refering.  Yes Kerry was speaking with foreign leaders.  It wouldn't be surprizing at all if Bush wanted to know what they were saying to each other.  Of course, neither of the two parties, Kerry or Chiraq, have any connection to Al Q, but a lack of connection to Al Q didn't stop BushCo from invading Iraq either.
          •  Kerry didn't disclose (none)
            But the first line of attack was that how could Kerry have done that given that he hadn't left the US. And Kerry did respond to that.

            He did say in an interview something like "you don't need to go leave the country to have a conversation with foreign leaders."

            (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

            by Florida Democrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:06:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Re: I assumed "other leaders" meant (none)
            Chirac.

            Not me. I assumed other leaders who preferred Kerry meant everyone in Europe.

            Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

            by Dave the Wave on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:59:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Speaking of... (none)
          The BIGGER story (at least the most interesting story) is why did the NY Times sit on the story through the election?  If they'd have published during the campaign do you think it would have promoted the Dems are crap on security, or could it have been a shock to the American people and killed his campaign?  Interesting thought.  I want to know why they sat on it.
      •  Use FauxNews' "Some say" (4.00)
        qualifier ala "Some say the White House extended its domestic spying program to include DNC headquarters, Bob Shrum's cell phone, Bruce Springsteens tour bus and the Dixie Chicks' stage monitors"...
      •  As soon as the NSA story (none)
        broke I contaced my Congressman and asked how I find out if I'd been tapped.  I distinctly remember having my picture taken by Secret Service agents at a Bush protest in Ardmore, Pennsylvania in March 2003.  

        The next month I marched in an anti-war parade in Philadelphia and also had my picture taken.  I also helped organize a Bush protest in July 2004.  I'm pretty confident they have a good file on me somewhere.

        Having gone from there to run a Senate campaign I wonder how many campaign calls and emails might have been intercepted.  I definitely want an answer.  So far my Congressman hasn't replied to my questions.

        Pennacchio for Pennsylvania

        by PAprogressive on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:11:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No Such Agency (none)
          Interesting--I just ran across Mercury Rising on USA, where Alec Baldwin is the evil NSA guy who killed numerous civilians, and was ready to kill a 9-year-old boy to keep his secrets.  Bruce Willis is the hero.  Also, just finished Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, and will never forget Enemy of the State.  So I guess somebody has realized for a while how evil NSA is and/or could be!  

          I can't imagine their plea to just trust them will stand.  If it does, then we deserve exactly what we get!

        •  any response? (none)
          Regarding the NSA thing from your congressmen? I'm curious because some of us are in the same boat.

          (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

          by Florida Democrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:14:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  They could disprove this (4.00)
        if they release the names of those they wiretapped.  

        That will happen when pigs fly.

        Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

        by adigal on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:17:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Y'all Forget one thing................. (none)
          Karl Rove is an equal opportunity offender. Remember McCain in the 2000 race. That said, the Bush/CheneyCo wanted to keep tabs on their supoosed GOP rank and file at all times. Just suppose...just suppose these Senators and Reps were being tapped or data intercepted of the GOP Kool-Aid drinking dumb-fucks?

          I think..as do others I've talked with. that the GOP know there was abuses. And with 2006 coming up this is a perfect storm for them to put distance between them and the Bushco. So...look for a thorough investigation from GOP folks. They have to in order to even have a chance. And when that investigation shows the GOP boys were tapped then all hell will break! Mark my words...

          Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. Author: Groucho Marx

          by JellyPuddin on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:44:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  and that's the real question (4.00)
          it's complete speculation to say the Bushies tapped Kerry or anyone else specific--but the fact is we don't know who was tapped.  We don't know how many people were tapped.  We don't know why they were picked.  That doesn't mean we can assume the worst, but it certainly begs a few  questions, including (1) why did the admin want to keep the program secret and (2) can we believe Bush that everyone who was tapped was really linked to Al Qaeda?  On a gut level I have a lot of trouble saying yes to question (2).  
        •  SOME SAY (none)
            that pigs have the ability to fly  but they choose not to because then that would debunk the old saying "when pigs fly" as a qualifier.
      •  Imagine yourself as Rove or one of his deputies. (4.00)
        You have been admonished to not abuse the system, you have been repeatedly warned to not do or order anything as records are kept.

        You watch as the data rolls in faster than a Google search and you uncover everything from from a Fundie minister arranging a personal healing session with a sultry sounding woman named Bambi "Bubbles" LaRue, to a young girl discussing the possiblity of a lesbian date with a girlfriend, with any and all stops in between.  Funeral homes, hospitals, cops, lawyers, the mob, your grand-mother discussing how to make good mincemeat pie.  

        You have America, soul laid bare for your listening pleasure at your fingertips.

        Now tell me, considering Rove's history of stretching his authority, unethical behavior, running his mouth about classified material, and plain old dirty tricks that this program won't be abused for political purposes.

        The lure of this program is absolutely irresistable!!!!!  The ultimate spy ear!!

        Comer knew this, for heavens sake "Asscrack" Ashcroft knew this!

        This is the exposure they fear the most.

        Many knew this would be another Watergate, and tried in vain to stop it.  But, with a Rove ever glaring with his beady pig's eyes at everybody and probably having a family to feed and lifestyle to maintain, you don't make too many waves....you know how vindictive the Rove crew is, and Bush's volitility is nothing to sneeze at either.

        This program was abused, and I am certain used for political advantage.  It would have been too much for Rove to resist.  Rove has clearence, and wields plenty of hire-n-fire clout.  

        "same old fears, same old crimes-we haven't changed since ancient times.." "Iron Hand" Dire Straits

        by boilerman10 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:55:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of Course (4.00)
          it's been abused!  Why the Hell do u think DIA was investigating Vegans, Quakers, and Enviros but not Militias, Neo-Nazis, or Abortion Clinic Bombers???

          You're right on--to Karl, this is just another fun political tool.  Don't forget--he comes out of direct marketing, and all of these are just tools to get the mark.  Only this time, we're the mark!

  •  Absolutely! (4.00)
    The game hasn't changed since Nixon. Same people, same M.O. It's the most logical reason. 2006 - the Year of Scandal and Prosecution.
    •  I had a conversation with an American Friend (none)
      Just after the 2000 election, about the state of American Democracy. The root of my argument was that I didn't see how anyone ever voted for the republicans as they were just so obviously crooked. there were considerable doubts as to the honesty of every Republican election victory since the seventies. (apart maybe from one) I conceded that you could have an obviously crooked government but enough of the voters had to be better off under them for it not to matter. with the republican ideas that just wasn't possible.

      having seen this decade I'm even more convinced I was right. sooner or later, the republicans are going to be in just the same position as the UK conservative  party. when an independent is in a voting booth and look at their voting slip, the first thing they are going to think when looking at the republican candidate on the ballot is they're a crook. no effort on anyone elses part in a two party state the independent votes go to the other party.

      •  Right (none)
        I have always thought that the system could handle corrupt individuals because, after all, they come and go. But if the system is corrupted, then that is very bad. So I never worry too much about someone taking a little graft. This crowd though, they are undermining the country.
  •  Well... (4.00)
    that's an interesting theory...

    but unfortunately I doubt we'll ever get evidence that will support it.

    I'll say this much...it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit.

    (but that could be my paranoia coming out in the extreme....that happens when I'm feeling crappy)

    •  The Key... (none)
      ..is whistleblowers coming out of the woodwork, people w/a shred of decency saying "this ain't right!"  That's why we know about NSA and Plame to begin with, and the truth is oozing out of the bureaucracy.  They're only concerned about the leaks that are going to flood them into a cell where they curl up w/Bubba!!!
  •  We can only speculate (for now) (none)
    but it would not surprise me.  The country is in need of more whistleblowers with more details.
  •  does a bear poop in the woods? NT (4.00)

    -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:49:25 PM PST

  •  The NSA... (4.00)
    was (um, is ) spying on a wide range of people, more or less all incoming calls to the US (hey, that means they heard me asking my mom what she wanted for her birthday, right on!).

    So who knows.

    We do know that the FBI has been conducting surveillance on anti-war groups, and others they consider "terrorists", like Greenpeace and other activists.


    No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of.

    by Page van der Linden on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:50:44 PM PST

    •  Since "The War on Terror" includes... (none)
      Iraq it is almost certain they must have tapped people like Kathy Kelly from "Voices in the Wilderness" and groups like Madre that violated sanctions and had many contacts (humanitarian) in Iraq. According to the WP and Walter Pincus, info from the secret domestic NSA spying did get relayed to other agencies including the DIA which has a program called Talon. Here is a bit on the Talon program from the article: "The NSA has turned such information over to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and to other government entities, said three current and former senior administration officials, although it could not be determined which agencies received what types of information. Information from intercepts -- which typically includes records of telephone or e-mail communications -- would be made available by request to agencies that are allowed to have it, including the FBI, DIA, CIA and Department of Homeland Security, one former official said.......Talon is a system that civilian and military personnel use to report suspicious activities around military installations. Information from these reports is fed into a database known as the Joint Protection Enterprise Network, which is managed, as is the Talon system, by the Counterintelligence Field Activity, the newest Defense Department intelligence agency to focus primarily on counterterrorism. The database is shared with intelligence and law enforcement agencies and was found last month to have contained information about peace activists and others protesting the Iraq war that appeared to have no bearing on terrorism. Military officials acknowledged that such information should have been purged after 90 days and that the Talon system was being reviewed. So it is likely that Peace groups and others were spied on illegally.
    •  You are so totally being monitored given (4.00)
      your work, your liberal persuasion and your move to Europe - to a peaceful European country no less.  

      Did you see Saffire on Meet the Press on Sunday?  He told his story about how he got surveilled for months and he wasn't a happy camper.  But the story was really interesting because he was talking to someone who was being monitored and said something about leaking a policy decision to gin up the media interest and the FBI was listening and when he said "leak" it immediately put him on the surveillance list.  

      It is oppressive at best and it is dangerous at worst.  The Times article said that there were numerous bureacrats connected to this secret program that were concerned that if Kerry was to be elected they would be prosecuted for the activity.  Whether Kerry was a target or not, his campaign certainly could have been a victim because normally neutral government workers would have had to have been biased and probably worked toward submarining his campaign to save their own necks.

      •  They knew it was illegal. (4.00)
        there were numerous bureacrats connected to this secret program that were concerned that if Kerry was to be elected they would be prosecuted for the activity.

        If they were worried about being prosecuted, they knew they were breking the law.

        So why didn't they speal up earlier?

        I understand the need to keep a job, but c'mon, if you can go to jail for what you're doing under any other President, you're commiting a crime.

        See how easy democracies can be broken.

        Sheesh.

        •  Well they told the New York Times (4.00)
          and for godsakes the Times just sat on the story for more than a year.  In another era, they could have expected not only a timely publication, but also a committment to them.  Judy Miller has screwed that up now.  I can't imagine what that must have been like for the people who talked to the Times.  Furthermore, if they went so far as to talk to the Times they clearly thought that it was no use speaking to anyone internally.  I imgaine they were pretty frightened all in all and frightened about the possibilities on many fronts.  I'll bet the investigation announced Friday has got some people pretty much on edge.
    •  Never Heard of Echelon, PP? (none)
      Pretty much all phone and E-mail traffic within Europe gets snooped. It's been going on since the '80s mostly with the complicity of the British government. On the one hand, what's going on with the NSA is maddenning, on the other it just means the US government is treating its own people like it's been treating everyone else for the last 20 years.
  •  I haven't read all the diaries on this (4.00)
    but it's certainly an interesting question...if warrants are so easy to get either before or even AFTER the wiretap, why avoid asking for the wiretap.  

    Sounds like bushco didn't believe they could make even a vaguely colorable claim on the facts available that they were even entitled to a warrant.

    But Jeez, wouldn't I love to hear that bushco tapped his political enemies without a warrant.

    •  There is Only One Answer... (4.00)
      The lack of oversight. They wanted to avoid having to give explanation for whatever illegal activities they were perpetrating.  It's clear that FISA was giving them -and would give them anything they wanted- so it's not about that.  It's about doing things so that they could not be held accountable.  That can only be criminal acts...spying, for whatever reasons, on people they shouldn't be spying on.

      "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:56:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it sort of falls into the (4.00)
        walk like duck, quack like a duck, it's a duck category
        •  I heard someone on the radio say (none)
          that he'd be a lame duck on Jan 20th 2009...as he was headed out the door and not a moment before then.

          I told the radio that if you have to tell people that you have political capital, you haven't got the capital to spend.

          "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

          by kredwyn on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:24:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  someday (none)
            a well-respected biography of Bushie will play that pathetic moment for what it was.  I was astonished since the criticism of Bush I from within the Bush camp was that he didn't "finish the job in Iraq" and that he didn't "spend his political capital when he had it."

            Ick.

      •  They are looking ahead (none)
        I doubt they have done anything really vile yet -- other than trampling on the Constitution, but I am talking about individuals here --.  I think they were looking ahead to when they could really smash people, the way their hero Joseph McCarthy did.  It takes time to institute a true totalitarian state.  One has to advance one step at a time.  They were looking ahead.
    •  Two Reasons: (none)
      1)They were pissed off because the FISA court modified some of their requests that were poorly done; and

      2) U CAN'T GET A WARRANT TO SPY ON EVERYBODY!!!!  They knew their insidious "wide net", shotgun approach would never pass muster w/either Congress or the FISA court, so THEY JUST DID IT!!!

      Can u spell megalomaniac???

  •  Yeah...that's exactly the problem... (4.00)
    Who knows?  Spying on the UN, apparently?  Congressionals?  Political opponents?  Judges?  Stealing business secrets and selling them to competitors?  

    The thing is...if they were willing to break this law...a fundamental civil right of every citizen of this country...what other laws have they flagrantly disregarded?

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 02:52:58 PM PST

    •  yup, the problem (none)
      It's not the outcome of their lies that are the biggest problem (of course they are a major problem, but not the biggest), the biggest problem with this situation is this: Once you have been caught lying or making shit up, everything you've said in the past, and everything you say in the future immediately becomes suspect.  Isn't that why they wanted to impeach Clinton?  It wasn't about the blowjob, it was about the priciple of the truth-or so they told us.  

      "War is the greatest of all crimes; and yet there is no aggressor who does not color his crime with the pretext of justice." Voltaire

      by lostian1 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:19:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There has been no explaination (4.00)
    about why they chose not to get warrants at the FISA court...also..Bush is asking us all to believe him when he says he needed to tap calls coming into the country from Al Queda outside of the country...we are suppose to believe him..and trusting Bush has gotten us into the current mess we are in,...

    Since we don't know who Bush tapped we should not believe what he says period .. end of story..

    He could have been tapping the Kerry campaign, but I also think that Fitzgerald was probably a target also...

    •  One Bush appointee (4.00)
      Carol Lam, the US attorney in the Southern District of California was appointed by Bush in 2002. Her background included arguing a case upholding the constitutionality of "roving wiretaps". Working with the FBI, who tapped the offices of three San Diego City Councilmen for three years, her office brought charges in an effort to prove the council members were taking bribes from a stripclub owner. In point of fact Zuchett was heading a redevelopment plan that would have bulldozed the clubs. A jury convicted Zuchett and Inzunza, but the judge Jeffrey Miller threw out the verdict, saying there was obviousvly no quid pro quo. Lam asserted that her office would retry the council members. While Lam was chasing stripper gate twenty miles away Randy Duke Cunningham was getting away with murder. her office did file charges against Duke only after the San Diego Union Tribune broke the story. Is this an example of politically motivated wiretapping? We all want to know what the NSA shared with the FBI, the DIA, and justice organizations lower in the tree, but whats the chance that the information flows upward to the NSA, from local US attorneys, who find it much easier to circumvent wiretap restrictions, often for trumped up charges.

      "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

      by agent double o soul on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:23:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spying on Michael Schiavo? (3.50)
  •  TRAINING lets them (4.00)
    spy on anyone....... NO warrants...NOTHING

    WHO were the TRAINING "missions" run on?

    If it was TRAINING, it's not "Secret", right?
    Shouldn't be any reason to keep them secret, right?

  •  Why... (4.00)
    ...the fuck not? Doesn't "W" stand for Wiretap?
  •  Of course he was (4.00)
    There would be no other reason for such secrecy.

    Every single "we need this power in order to fight terra!" excuse from Bush has been demolished.   So of course he was bugging his political opponents, and still does so.

    This is the White House run by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.  They have lied about everything, and shown themselves again and again as immoral thugs without a shred of common deceny.  

    Of course he bugged Kerry's campaign.  And any other political opponent his paranoid, ethics-free mind told him needed bugging.   It's not even a question in my mind.  They will say or do whatever they think it takes to grab and keep political power, and this is kid stuff for traitorous creeps like Rove and Cheney.  

  •  This is a no brainer (4.00)
    Of course he was.

    And sooner or later (please make it sooner) the whole ball of wax is going to come undone.

    It's only a matter of time befor another whistleblower comes forward.

    As the old man used to say,

    You ain't seen nothin' yet, kid.

    A vote for any Republican is a vote endorsing a jihad against our country.

    by Maine Atticus on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:10:57 PM PST

    •  I think that's why (4.00)
      they HAVE to go after the leaker....to set an example for anyone else foolish enough to open their mouths in the future....
      •  But thre are so many avenues of evidence (none)
        it's really not just one person who is aware of what they have done wrong.

        I can only imagine what Abramoff or Libby have to say, or anyone else who might be investigated.

        Why would they think that trying to intimidate one whistleblower would solve their problems?

        It won't.

        I mean, one person tells one person, and then another  -- no way to keep secrets in Washington, I suppose.

      •  I doubt they have thought this out (none)
        - but by all means let them go after the leaker(s)-- because the more focus they put on this -- the more information is going to leak through the woodworks.

        The Bushies think they will be able to containt this --

        but it is going to be their latest lost cause -

        and it will help the democrats in 2006 elections.

        So Bushie -- bring it on

        Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

        by sara seattle on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:55:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Why is "leaker" (none)
        Always singular? For some reason I got the idea that there were quite a few NSA agents who shared info with the Times. Now, I could be mistaken, but I really did think it was a group of them who broke ranks to be whistleblowers.

        Bush - the ultimate example of the Peter Principle.

        by PatsBard on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:57:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Again, WHISTLEBLOWER (4.00)
        The proper word for the person or people who disclosed the information to the Times is "WHISTLEBLOWER".  Use of the word "leaker" to describe them only plays into BushCo's hands.

        That being said, I agree with the rest of your remarks.

        "We will not walk in fear, one of another." -- Edward R. Murrow

        by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:16:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  good point, but (none)
          how do they go after this leaker while hiding their own leaker in the Plame matter?  It's a nice position to see them in.

          I agree, however, it should be whistleblowerS instead of leakerS....by the way, I also think the fact that there was more than one whistleblower bodes well for getting future information.

        •  It's more of an accordian at this point (none)

          Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

          by Dave the Wave on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:25:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry... (4.00)
    ...but are you telling me that there are people who are more than 50% sure that Bush didn't wiretap Kerry's campaign?  Really?  

    No.  Really?

    He's getting wiretaps without warrants.

    ...and he, nor any members of his cabinet, didn't use that for political advantage?

    Really?

  •  Here's a suggestion for reporters. (4.00)
    Ask the obvious, if slightly impertinent questions.  E.g., did the NSA or any other agency conduct surveillance of communications to or from the Kerry campaign?  The State Department?  Members of the media?  The judiciary?  The anti-war movement?  They will deny all of it, of course.  Then ask the next question: do you agree it would be an impeachable offense if you had?  They'll either say yes, or try to avoid answering.  In either case, you have a beautiful series of soundbites to destroy them with in a few months if it is, in fact, revealed they conducted precisely such surveillance.  And if they try to avoid stating such surveillance would be impeachable, they've given you full license to assume they have conducted such surveillance and keep digging for the honest whistleblower.  As an added bonus, the questions will make them sweat.  How can they know you don't have incriminating information and are setting them up to catch them in a lie?

    "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:14:45 PM PST

    •  I can see Scotty squirm (4.00)
      when someone stands up at the WH breifing and asks
      "did the NSA or any other agency conduct surveillance of communications to or from the Kerry campaign?  The State Department?  Members of the media?  The judiciary?  The anti-war movement?  They will deny all of it, of course.  Then ask the next question: do you agree it would be an impeachable offense if you had?"

      That would make my month.

      "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

      by keefer55 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:22:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  on further thought- (4.00)
        Why don't we send LTEs to our local papers asking
        did the NSA or any other agency conduct surveillance of communications to or from the Kerry campaign?  The State Department?  Members of the media?  The judiciary?  The anti-war movement?  Do you agree it would be an impeachable offense if they are found to have had?

        Mine's going to the Press-Enterprise.

        "I ain't no physicist, but I knows what matters"-Popeye

        by keefer55 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:27:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Scotty might just say (none)
        that he is not in a position to answer any questions regarding an ongoing investigation. That would surely put an end to that.

        -end of snark

        The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.--Winston Churchill

        by Sunqueen212 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:12:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I sympathize, but (none)
        Scotty said Rove and Libby weren't involved in outing Valerie Plame, so I don't think he'd even pause a nanosecond in saying "no" to a Kerry wiretap.  Sigh.
    •  Plus its their M.O (4.00)
      They have done this shit before. They outed Plame, they spied on U.N. delegates, and Rove has a long history of fucking with opposition campaigns. They have demonstrated a willingness to do anything in their power to accomplish their goals, even if it means breaking the law. Especially with Cheney defending the scope of presidential authority in the the light of past abuses, it is essential to know how far they went in the use of this seemingly unfettered new power.
    •  i would also add (none)
      members of congress, corporate communications, academia...

      "...our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East...are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas." Kurt Vonnegut 2005

      by mooshter on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:10:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a classic GOP/generally nastyass tactic: (none)
      to ask a rhetorical question designed to stain the target no matter whether he answers or not.  Just like that famous example:  when did you stop beating your wife, Mr. Smith?

      So yeah, great suggestion:  ask "what did you do with the material culled from surveillance of Kerry/State/media/judiciary, and is what you did an impeachable offense?"

  •  No way (4.00)
    Couldn't have happened.  Someone at the NSA would have blown the whistle...secretly wiretapping people who you are told have a terrorist connection is one thing and secretly wiretapping the Democratic Presidential Nominee's campaign is something else.  Someone would have leaked that.
  •  Can you picture (4.00)
    Bushco....having the means and opportunity to wiretap Kerry...or any of his political opponents... actually pausing and saying: "Much as it would be to our advantage to do so, we really can't.  It's illegal, not to mention unethical".

    Can you picture it?  Me neither.  

    explain how letting gays marry will directly affect your own heterosexual relationship?

    by bluestatesam on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:18:44 PM PST

  •  Ingredients... (4.00)
    1. Take one thuriya satphone from a dead Al Kidya pajama wearing terrist......

    2. Call the Democrat headquarters with it.... just once.

    3. Merrily Tap Away that USA telephone line for all calls. In and out. Because you NEVER KNOW......

    Ta da. Complete with billing record alibi!

    Simple when you know how.

    When dealing with the insane, the best method is to pretend to be sane. - Herman Hesse

    by jpwillis on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:21:45 PM PST

  •  Hmm,... (4.00)
    ...let's see, they were wiretapping a vegetarian organization.  Intoxicated with power, why would they not move on to bigger and better things?  

    Fear will keep the local systems in line. -Grand Moff Tarkin Survivor Left Blogistan

    by boran2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:22:16 PM PST

  •  the most important question (4.00)
    This is a great question, and it leads to another important question: if they say they weren't spying on the opposition, why should we believe them? The program had virtually no oversight, if they were spying we wouldn't know, and they would have little to no documentation to demonstrate they weren't using the program against the opposition. This of course would be the ultimate rat-fuck, and well within the M.O. of Rove, and the president.

    The point isn't that they did, it's they could have and we wouldn't have known the difference. We are forced to take them at their word, and after all we've been through, their word isn't worth shit.

  •  NO (none)
    There would be too much risk involved. Besides why do that when you can do one better? How would you do that you ask? The press. Think about how they knew about Dan Rather and how they spun that.
  •  More importantly (none)
    was the NSA monitoring the communications being sent into the Bulge on Bush's Back? Someone really needs to decipher whatever the fuck Bush was trying to talk about back then. It has to have been code.
    •  Don't forget Poland!!! (none)
      <puzzled look> I don't know why that just leapt into my mind.

      Hmm....

      Bush - the ultimate example of the Peter Principle.

      by PatsBard on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:01:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Honestly... (none)
        I think Bush wanted to make sure Poland knew he was thinking about them, since they had been helping him in Iraq, and as it seems to be that they may have been housing at least one of those black sites, despite being in full-denial mode...

        It would make a heck of a lot of sense.

        "There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead." - GWB, 5/11/01

        by Stymnus on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:32:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know.... (4.00)
    maybe they did...they tapped someone that they don't want anyone to know about.  I believe Bolton was somehow in on this and it explains the "intercepts" that the democratic senators couldn't get during his confirmation.  If it was all just "terrorists" why wouldn't they at least let the heads of a couple of the committees look at them?
  •  While we're at it (4.00)
    I'd like to know what other laws this president thinks he doesn't have to follow. What else has he been up to that we don't know about yet?
  •  Well, it's a lot easier than opposition research. (3.66)
    It's hard to forget that the Bush regime is an organization rife with cronyism. Any ambitious Repug would love to get damaging goods on the opposition, please the boss and propel himself into a better post-election position by providing the perfect October surprise.

    I'm glad to know I'm not the only untrusting, suspicious individual who, upon hearing of domestic spying, immediately had suspicions of this.

  •  Yeah, this diary should be recommended (4.00)
    This a joke and embarrassing.  There is zero evidence and not even a compelling guess.  Diaries like these cost this site legitmacy.

    "Bad philosophers are like slum landlords. It's my job to put them out of business."

    by Sharif on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:53:46 PM PST

  •  That would be great (none)
    Maybe next we'll find directives from Bush to use the NSA for political monitoring, even including the Kerry campaign or the DNC, or really any candidate.  He would be forced to resign.
  •  Furiners liked Kerry (4.00)
    I'm sure they tried to make a convincing argument to themselves after some European country said they preferred a Kerry administration.  "Well. we gotta bug'em.  He might be makin' deals with the French to weaken us.  We'll all end up eatin' crescent rolls and drinkin' them cafay o'lays.  It's unAmerican.""

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:55:54 PM PST

  •  Come on Hatch (2.50)
    That post did not deserve a 1. Grow up.

    A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

    by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 03:59:08 PM PST

  •  Less than speculation (none)
    I certainly wouldn't put this past El Presidente and his merry men. However, it's worth noting that there is absolutely zero evidence of this at the moment. It's hard to even call this theory "speculation", which to me implies an attempt to put the pieces together. There aren't really any pieces to PUT together here. This isn't speculation - it's just saying stuff. I'm all ears if someone's got "actionable intelligence", as they say, but if this is all we've got I think we risk forfeiting our membership in the reality-based community.
  •  My guess is that Bush did spy on Kerry. (none)
    What would the repubs do if this situation was reversed?  They would be screaming for an investigation.
  •  We know nothing about (none)
    wiretaps that might have been perpetrated by the Defense Intelligence Agency under Donald "Let Me Handle It" Rumsfeld.

    Next: horses appointed to the senate!

    by Bob Love on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:11:01 PM PST

  •  why, oh why does a diary like this (4.00)
    make the recommended list?  A question backed by not a shred of hard evidence, and the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence.

    Sheesh.  Are we so desperate to get this motherfucker that we can't take him to task for the multitude of his PROVEN sins?

    •  Not the point (4.00)
      The point is the framing here.  This is not a conspiracy theory: the diarist says "Just asking".  The idea here is to find ways of framing the overstepping of legal bounds which will actually get some of the braindead people in this lethargic country to care.  This is a nice way of stimulating them, pondering such Nixonian things.
      •  Actually ... (none)
        you present a worthy intellectual challenge, and timely too.

        Let's take it up.  Rationally, with heart and respect and good intentions.  It is a conundrum, and there is a solution.  It requires something important:  work.  Let us ...

        find ways of framing the overstepping of legal bounds which will actually get some of the braindead people in this lethargic country to care.

        The short solution -- lying -- isn't the good one.  You're talking hearts and minds here -- don't "Wing" it.

        BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

        by Yellow Canary on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:57:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why would I lie? (none)
          A lie would never work, of course.  Just use framing basics: "Senator, tell me, when did you stop beating your wife?".  The interviewer doesn't make any claim that the senator does in fact beat his wife.  You've seen the right wing operate this way time and time again, I'm sure.  So we have "Did George Bush tap the Kerry campaign?".  Just a question, that's all.  

          Incidentally, asking the question is totally rational, given what Nixon did just one generation ago!

          •  Because it is sophistry. (none)
            Sophistry is what we are trying to send back to its dank lair.  The goal is not to be better sophists (though, as a realist, I realize it has some use).  The goal is to deflate the sophistry and create a world where its effect is muted.

            BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

            by Yellow Canary on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:30:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Separate pursuits (none)
              I see defeating sophistry and using sophistry as independent pursuits.  This is only paradoxical at first sight.  For in the first case I'm referring to educating the population, hoping to create a citizenry capable of critical thinking and logic, hence imune to sophistry.  In the second case, while there still exists at least one sheep in this country swayed by sophistry and demagogues, we should use sophistry in our arsenal, lest we stay out of power forever.

              Two separate goals: (1) eliminate sophistry by reducing the population swayed by it, (2) perfect our own sophistry, until (1) has been achieved (which, of course, may be never).

            •  best way (none)
              to demonstrate the absurdity and moral bankruptcy of sophistry is to use it against the sophist.

              (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

              by Florida Democrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 08:25:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Correct me where I stray from the truth. (none)
                In what way is the use of sophistry morally bankrupt?
                Sophistry is morally bankrupt because it appeals to base instincts and uses any means other than reasoned argument to win support for those who use it.
                In what way does using sophistry against those who use it demonstrate its moral bankruptcy?
                None I can think of

                In what way is sophistry or its successful use absurd?
                None comes to mind.

                Sophistry is just a sophisticated version of that paleolithic reality, "Might makes right".  Out-sophisting a sophist (particularly ones as studied as the politico-religious right) is not worth achieving:  it's the intellectual equivalent of out-bullying a bully at recess.

                So what is the best way to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of sophistry?
                The best way to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of sophistry is to shine the bright light of truth on it.  That is one of the reasons so many Kossans insist on reality and facts.  Sophistry is at heart sophisticated lying.  Speak slowly, clearly, factually, and with the moral authority of the truth, and sophists will either get violent or leave.  That is the best demonstration of the moral bankruptcy of sophistry one can give.

                BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

                by Yellow Canary on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:31:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  and (none)
      why, oh why did I have to scroll down this far to read such a comment (actually, you're the third)?

      It's fun, and perhaps cathartic, to engage in fact-free Bush bashing.  But it's also fun to run naked through a mall -- but I try to resist both things in order to maintain credibility.

      •  More than cathartic. (4.00)
        An excellent suggestion came out of this upthread: Everyone should write a LTE posing this question in the local paper.  That would be very constructive: Put this question in the head of every voter.

        This can help bring home the magnitude of the transgression clear to people who don't already see it.  They have broken the law in order to avoid ovrsight.  Well, without oversight, how do we know they haven't abused the power?  Give them the benefit of the doubt, if you like, but how do we know?

        The fact that we don't know needs to be pointed out to as many people as possible.  This rhetorical question is an excellent way to achieve that.

        The Republican party: An alliance of madness and greed.

        by jem6x on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:03:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, but it's OK (none)
        for us to live under a cloud of their worst presumptions, like, oh, I don't know...MUSHROOM CLOUDS...and DIRTY BOMBS in our cities...and ANTHRAX in our office buildings??!?

        And we're the ones spreading rumors....sure, I get it.

        •  No, it's not OK (none)
          But I hold my side to a higher standard.  

          I can't tell my students with a straight face that the left blogosphere is a self-fact-checking mechanism that puts the MSM to shame if diaries like this reach the top of the recommended list.  

          •  what the hell ever (none)
            if the diarist had presented this as an assertion, you might have a point.  but the author made it clear that this is speculation and even included a question mark in the title.  

            it's a fun question that raises all kinds of highly pertinent and appropriate issues.  as long as an idea that's not entirely fleshed out is presented as such, there is no damage to anyone's credibility.

            speculation and brainstorming is the stuff of legend.

             

    •  Actually a serious question (4.00)
      Actually this is a serious diary asking a serious question.  Why do we have a Constitution at all, except to prevent the kind of abuse Bush is engaging in?  

      If Bush declares that he has the right to order wiretapping of Americans without a warrant, AND declares that allowing Americans to know he is doing such things violates national security, then how does any American have any way to know whether ANY laws are being followed?  Is there anything that Bush feels he can NOT do?  

      And if Bush says he may bypass the law and Constitution to wiretap whoever he feels are enemies of the country, while at the same time sending surrogates out to attack YOU AND ME as enemies of the country, then don't we have a NEED to ask the very questions I am asking here?

      -- Seeing The Forest -- Investigating how the Right is beating the Dems

      by davej on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:52:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I like the diary (none)
      It's an important question.

      Good to throw that out there. I've brought it up myself a couple times already - why assume Bush was only breaking the law to spy on possible terrorists?  That's ceding too much ground right there.  

  •  Ahaaaa (none)
    Ahh we all know that this administration would never do anything as evil as that....I would bet on it..
  •  I think I just heard on Hardball (4.00)
    that 60% of American people feel the eavesdropping on Americans is fine???? I hope I misheard - I have been away, and have not heard much news and if this is true - we are doomed.  I am heartbroken over what has happened to our brave American nature.  

    Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

    by adigal on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:20:29 PM PST

    •  Buchanan misrepresnted (4.00)
      the Rassmussen poll.

      The poll did NOT ask about illegal or warrantless wiretaps. I forget the exact question, but it was basically, "Is it OK to wiretap?"

      You missed lotsa discussion on that poll while you were away.

      So, apparantly, did Tweetie and Schrum since they let Buchanan's comments go.

    •  They are doomed. (3.66)
      We are here to make sure the truth comes out.

      Believe nothing you hear them or their paid lips say.
      Question every noun and every verb that comes out of their paid lips.  At present, television and newspapers and radio are more likely to echo lies than to voice the truth.  Question, think, and question.
      Focus on the truth.  Speak in simple direct sentences.
      Trust your moral compass -- it is widely shared by others.
      Have courage.

      BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

      by Yellow Canary on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:45:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I always try to share the truth (none)
        even with people who don't want to hear it.  I was just disgusted by that 60% figure of Americans who don't really mind being spied on so they can be "safe."

        Thanks for the words of courage.

        Republicans to Americans: "Are there no prisons?...And the Union workhouses?...Are they still in operation?"

        by adigal on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:57:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  problem w/ unlimited Presidential Powers (4.00)
    Even though your post is a bit conspiratorial, the point is serious.

    Bush is asserting that in time of War (even an undeclared war), the President's power is unlimited. Given this thoery, Bush can wiretap anyone including the Kerry campaign, antiwar protestors, you or I.

    In theory, he doesn't need the Patriot act because he can unilaterally do anything he wants in war. Who cares about Congress?

    This is a ridiculous notion. Bush sees us in a permanent Orwellean war with the forces of evil. This means he can permanently take away our rights.

  •  Front Page this Diary! (4.00)
    Seriously!  The MSM has dumbed down this issue into a "national security vs. civil liberties" debate!  A discussion as to who may or may not have been wiretapped deserves to be part of the debate.

    "Was Bush Wiretapping the Kerry Campaign?" is a perfectly legitimate question!

  •  Remember Cheney's Comments (none)
    Cheney said that if you vote for Kerry, you're putting America at risk of another terrorist attack.

    "If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we'll get hit again -- that we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

    Using Bush's and Cheney's reasoning, spying on the Kerry campaign would be allowed in order to protect national security.

    I should also note that I don't think this happened. I think it makes more sense to talk about the kind of power being given to the executive when you take away the checks on that power.

    This is a perfect example of what WOULD be possible under the same reasonsing. But did it happen? No.

    FLA Politics - A DailyKos-style community blog!

    by MikeInFlorida on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:33:54 PM PST

    •  To be perfectly clear (none)
      I don't like speculation. Talking about it in a "this would have been possible given his reasoning" (and Cheney's statement) is VERY different from speculation.

      I would advise against speculation, even though it seems to be dominating here.

      FLA Politics - A DailyKos-style community blog!

      by MikeInFlorida on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:46:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let me get this straight ... (3.88)
     ... he condones torture,
     ... he admits to breaking the law,
     ... he starts a war of aggression
     ... on false pretenses
     ... and executes orders giving himself the power to have individuals arrested, indefinitely detained, deported, tortured, and killed, all without granting those individual any due process -- any public record at all

    -- in short, this thug has made himself King of America while his war-profiteering cabinet and family rake in millions every day (while the country weeps)

     -- at a cost of the entire national treasury + $38,000 for every man woman and child in the formerly great country he was appointed by unprecedented "one-time" judicial fiat to rule --

    and you get excited starting a rumor that he spied on political opponents?

    Focus your efforts on the wrongs he has committed.  They are monstrous.

    BushAmerica -- Now killing 24/7/365. *Your tax dollars at work*.

    by Yellow Canary on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:36:03 PM PST

    •  woah there (none)
      If the american people found out that he was lying about his spy efforts and they were at least partially petty political activities, they would be outraged to find out that "protecting the people" was not bush's aggenda.

      breaking the law to win at politics is an afront to our right to elect our government.  

    •  Unfortunately (4.00)
      This one has higher symbolic value in the American Psyche.

      (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

      by Florida Democrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:15:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  To extend the purview of spying from the (4.00)
      politically expedient "Al-Qaeda" to now include people who merely are dissenters from the GOP-part line is a huge mental leap that will send a shudder down the spine of even the "Joe-six-packs" of the world who isn't tracking this story very closely.  

      If this is true, it would throw off back the curtain to reveal the little man once and for all.

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:30:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are they collecting everything? (none)
    If they are dragging everything into their data mining operation, then maybe someday we'll be able to see what Rove was saying on the phone on Nov 2, 2004, and what kinds of emails were being sent between the WH and the Ohio SOS leading up to the election.

    Now, that would be an interesting discovery! Speaking of capturing campaign traffic. :)

  •  I doubt it (none)
    If they were tapping Kerry, then why would they have had to break into the Toledo Coordinated Campaign HQ to steal their GOTV strategy? Why steal what you already have?

    This is the way democracy ends Not with a bomb But with a gavel -Max Baucus

    by emptywheel on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 04:45:40 PM PST

  •  Hardly a doubt in my mind (4.00)
    that this is the case.  I would take that bet no question.
  •  one could comb through the campaign (none)
    and look for circumstantial evidence of wiretapping - ie. curiously rapid, precient bush responses to Kerry or bush knowing or appearing to know things his camp couldn't know at the time from the public record. It would be interesting.

    What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? unknown

    by moon in the house of moe on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:10:10 PM PST

  •  I'm with Digby. (3.87)
    He proposed this very idea yesterday.  His post is pretty logical, collecting the circumstantial evidence we've got.

    The picture gets clearer every day. The evidence increasingly points to the possibility that NSA and others illegally monitored Americans who disagreee with administration policy and shared that information with all the federal police agencies in the government. This does not surprise me. They've called us unpatriotic to our faces. They've written best-selling books calling us treasonous. It's not exactly a stretch to suspect that these were not just rhetorical flourishes.

    It would actually be out of character for those guys not to do this.

    The Republican party: An alliance of madness and greed.

    by jem6x on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:15:27 PM PST

  •  Were they tapping anti-Diebold, et al., (none)
    election integrity activists.  I mean after all, they were wire tapping vegans, Quakers and PETA.  I think I'll feel insulted it they didn't think we were more of a threat to the future of the GOP (the pro-anti-Al-Qaeda faction) than all those good folks.  In support of wire tapping us, I think they should realize that we're on to their conflicts of interest in the EAC, etc.  #: )

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:25:34 PM PST

  •  Bush may or may not have spied on Kerry (none)
    but information from Risen's new book indicates that the NSA spying was based on lists of phone numbers gleaned from cell phones & computers owned by the bombers and their associates. This provides a bit of foundation to the surveillance story, and it disconnects it neatly from garden variety domestic spying.

    That's not to say they didn't go overboard and start spying on random domestic "enemies", but by offering a logical basis for the wiretaps, the book does undermine some of the relatively more tin hat theories.

    Greg Shenaut

    •  If so, why no warrant? (n /t) (none)
      •  That's not the point. (none)
        The surveillance was illegal, they should have gone to FISA in every case. I have zero argument with that.

        The new information gives a specific set of phone numbers that were subject to surveillance, captured from suspected al-Qaeda associates after 911.

        The speculation about possible surveillance of the Kerry campaign sounded more plausible when nothing was known about who was being targetted, because the whole idea of warrantless wiretaps on conversations in the US is so off the wall you could believe almost anything. But once you know about the specific targets, it seems more contained, with less room for random speculation about political wiretapping.

        They still should have gotten FISA approval.

        Greg Shenaut

        •  It IS the point! (none)
          It would not be a problem to get warrants for any phone #s that were on some laptop or phone found in a cave in Afghanistan.  So, why didn't they get the warrants (which aren't even all that hard to get AFAIK) if they weren't planning on spying on unrelated individuals under the guise of WoT?
          •  OMG (none)
            What in the world does the fact that they didn't get warrants when they should have to do with the point that the revelation of a specific set of [non-Kerry] surveillance targets makes it less plausible that they wiretapped Kerry?

            This diary is not about whether they should or shouldn't have gotten FISA warrants, everyone agrees they should have! But given that they in fact didn't get them, the question has been raised, in this diary and elsewhere, whether the surveillance extended to the Kerry campaign.

            In the absence of any information about who they were listening to other than vague generalities about "al Qaeda", "enemies", and 911, speculating about the scope of the surveillance is just standard blogging, and I have no problem with it. But we now do have information about who they were listening to.

            The new book by New York Times reporter James Risen reported that the NSA surveillance was based on captured telephone numbers on cell phones & computers used by the 911 team & their associates. This is pretty specific: note that probably none of them were Democrats. This is extremely relevant information, because it creates a logically plausible scope of the surveillance, a scope that excludes, among most other things, the Kerry campaign.

            This is not to say they couldn't have spied on the Kerry campaign, it's just saying that such a theory is less plausible now that we know, from a source outside the administration, who the targets probably were.

            To reiterate my point: we now have a plausible theory of who they were targetting; it doesn't include the Kerry campaign; it is less plausible that they were targetting the Kerry campaign.

            Greg Shenaut

  •  Why is NSA being dragged into everything? (none)
    Did Kerry or somebody at the DNC make calls to Afghanistan? The Middle-east? If so, maybe. Otherwise, no.

    1. NSA is not made up of republican neocon zombies. Maryland (where NSA is located) is a VERY blue state. It would have been highly illegal, and somebody (probably many) would have protested within the agency itself, and it would have leaked out.  

    2. For what purpose? Bush was always ahead (sometimes far ahead) in the polls.  Why should they have something to fear from Kerry?  Why would they have risked the scandal? NSA is mostly cryptologists and linguists - was there some secret codes being passed at the DNC? Some foreign language that needed translation?

    3.  There are a lot of agencies that do wiretapping.  There's FBI, DIA, CIA, and probably a few we haven't heard of.  (Hmmm wasn't it George Tenet who got the Medal of Freedom?).  Even local police I believe have the equipment.  Maybe even the OHS.  If they wanted to spy on the DNC and Kerry, wouldn't it have been easier to "plant" someone in?  Or send an OHS flunkie to do a wiretap?  
    •  um... (4.00)

      Bush was always ahead (sometimes far ahead)

      Not as far ahead as Nixon was over McGovern.

      (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

      by Florida Democrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:34:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Recheck the 04 Election Polls (none)
      Bush was frequently behind or even in the polls, the only time he had a clear lead was between the republican convention and the first debate. Prior to that he had been as much as seven points behind in some polls, and after the first debate he was as far as four points behind in major national polls. The only polls that ever showed Bush far ahead were polls that vastly oversampled republicans, such as the notorious Gallup poll that showed Bush with a 14-point lead.
      •  And actually, the 'lead' wasn't the relevant thing (none)
        since Bush was incumbent and almost always under 50%, and well under 50% in most of the battleground states.  Given the incumbent rule (well documented by Chris Bowers over at MyDD), a slight lead for the Chimp in battleground states with both candidates well below 50% in those states implied a Kerry win was most probable, given that historically undecideds tend to break at least 2-1 for the challenger.

        There was plenty of reason for the R's to be scared.  In fact, I still don't know what happened on Election Day.

        Oh -- that's another thread.  Let's not get started on that one.

        The Republican party: An alliance of madness and greed.

        by jem6x on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:00:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Double um (none)
      and it would have leaked out

      It did leak out that Bush was conducting domestic intercepts of communications.  Whoever leaked it might know some of the folks on the list, but it will take an honest-to-goodness investigation to find out the extent.  And we don't know what information the NYT is holding back.

      Also, I would not be so sure that internal protests did not happen.  And folks would be hesitant to blow the whistle, considering the treatment that Joseph Wilson got.

      Bush was not "far ahead" in the polls for an incumbent president.  In fact, before the Swiftboating Kerry had pulled ahead.  They would have risked the scandal because they thought that no one would blow the whistle on them (and so far they are right, no one has specifically said that the Kerry campaign was a target).

      The increased use of cell phones makes a lot of the traditional wiretap methods obsolete.  Not all enforcement agencies have the new capabilities.  By scanning communications wholesale, the NSA route obviates hundreds of individual wiretaps.  No doubt they did plant someone in the Kerry campaign and do traditional wiretaps.

      I don't want to dismiss this possibility.  I want an investigation that includes it in the scope of the investigation.

      •  I'm trying to imagine the scenario (none)
        of what would have "happened" at NSA:

        Supervisor: "Ok, who here is NOT a republican? Anybody? OK, you Democrat guys need to go down the hall.  From now on this is a republican area only".

        Supervisor to remaining republicans: "Whew, they're gone. Traitor scum. OK, put away all your maps, and references about  Al-Qaeda/Iraq/Iran/China/North Korea/Africa/South America/Indonesia etc. etc.  We're not going to worry about our mission to find terrorists, and cover the rest of the world. You won't need your language abilities. The language is English, and the mission.....John Kerry and the DNC.  The purpose is to....

        I'm sorry, what is the purpose? I mean, what information would the cryptologists of NSA be looking for?  

        •  They wouldn't need the cryptologists (none)
          All they would have to do is data mine anything related to the Kerry campaign, let the analysts review it summarize it, and present it to the President.  It's the cheap, broad data mining capabilities that would be used domestically, not the cryptology.

          And they could also snare this message if one of their keywords is "cryptology".

          It is not far-fetched.  Did it happen?  I would not exclude it from an investigation.  That is my point.  What we need is an honest, thorough investigation to put our concerns at rest.  If it is dishonest, like the Warren and 9/11 Commissions, just meant to calm public opinion, no one will be satisfied.  The questions will linger for a very long time.

        •  Try a different scenario (none)
          Assume that the NSA is hoovering up as much data as it can -- phone calls, e-mails, faxes, and so on.  That seems to be consistent with what's been disclosed about the program thus far.

          It's beyond the ability of any one person to read all of that in real time, of course, so it all goes into storage: the e-mail and faxes are already in digital form, and the recordings are stored on magnetic media as well.  Once stored, the information can be searched, retrieved and downloaded as needed.  

          Now all you need is an Oliver North to do the downloading.

    •  Maryland has some deep, deep (none)
      red right-wing crazy pockets too.

      Just as a note aside.

    •  RE #2 - I belive that Nixon was ahead of McGovern (none)
      when he did what he did, Watergate, so just because Bush was ahead of Kerry at times doesn't mean that Bush wouldn't do the same sort of thing if given the opportunity.  

      RE #3 - Considering that the NSA possesses all of the technology required to do the deed, so by keeping everything in one shop you lessen the likelihood of loose lips exposing the whole thing.  

      RE#1 - Maryland is 'blue' but has some very red parts, so it's not too far fetched that there's a neo-con zombie or two working there.  Also, if only a handful of people were involved, nobody else would know.  It's not like these people would be writing TPS reports about what they were doing.  

      Anyway, I don't know why people are getting so worked up about this diary because posing the question is not far fetched.  It would be far fetched if an accusation were being made.  That said, if evidence were to arise it the question could be developed into an accusation.

       

      Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

      by LionelEHutz on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:29:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure there probably are (none)
        some flaming Neocons at NSA, and if you got them together they might do some dirty deeds for BushCo.  The point is that this is all ENTIRELY speculative.  There is not (at this time) one shred of proof. I myself would love it if evidence was found and Bush was impeached.  But there is none; and just because it could happen doesn't mean it did. The danger here is that some people start turning speculation into fact. I've see that happen too many times.  I guess my motto is "Always seek the truth, even if there are times when it goes against your beliefs".
        •  The danger of some people turning speculation (none)
          into fact is inherent in the process of asking questions.  Still, I don't think that it's a reason to not ask the questions.  Also, I don't think that the diarist ever claimed to have a shred of proof.  The question the diarist posed was, IMO, meant to solicit opinions on whether it was possible, that's all.

          Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

          by LionelEHutz on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:11:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  there's the rub (none)
          We don't know if it's true or even possible, and we can't know.

          Is it possible that they did tap Kerry? Well, the sensible thing to do is to assume it IS possible until proven  otherwise. How are we supposed to know? We don't know who was wiretapped. It might have been Kerry. It might have been me. It might have been you. Heck, we don't even know how the taps were conducted -- if it was all the NSA's data-gathering system, or if there were traditional taps in there, or what. There are partial leaks, but no real and complete information about it.

          Certainly there would have been a lot of value for the Bush administration in wiretapping Kerry. The only way we can know with any degree of certainty is if the NSA really comes clean about it to members of Congress from both parties, providing whatever logs they have available, and then we got a bipartisan statement about whom they did tap.

          Oops, but that'd be a check and balance situation. Something a sane administration would do. Fat chance of that happening.

        •  I can assure from personal experience (none)
          that what you speculate as impossible or unlikely has in fact happened.
    •  ummm... (none)
      because that's who was doing the wiretapping, per shrubya.
  •  Our next move (none)
    IMHO, we should do everything we can to get somebody in the WH Press Corps to ask Scottie this ASAP:


    Scottie,

     Given that during the 2004 election season there was a sizable outrage from the Bush Administraion over who Mr. Kerry had talked to when he claimed support of "foreign leaders" for his bid to become President,

    And that some media outlets have accused John Kerry of accepting Iranian Money to influence his foreign policy stance toward Iran,

    And other media outlets revealed that John Kerry benefitted from Bill Clinton's campaign money-laundering relationship with Chinese national Johny Chung,

    Would it not follow that the NSA was spying on the Kerry campaign, or Sen. Kerry himself during the 2004 elections?

    (-9.13, -8.10) Political violence is a perfectly legitimate answer to the persecution handed down by dignitaries of the state. - Riven Turnbull

    by Florida Democrat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:31:27 PM PST

  •  I wouldn't doubt it (none)
    These slimy people have no honor.  Rove is the King of the slimy malicious dirty tricks.  He probably engineered this along with the evil Darth Cheney.  He's probably looking at KOS right now.  If you are you pig sticker, F--k you!

    The shrub needs to be pulled he is terrifying

    by libbie on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 05:57:10 PM PST

  •  Slipped this question into a conversation tonight (none)
    with my repug friend.  Me:" I heard that the Bush administration wiretaped the Kerry campaign."  Her:  "That would be illegal."  Me:  "Yep."  Her: "Where did you hear that?" Me:  "I think it was on Fox."  Her:"They could not have gotten a warrant for that."  Me: "Exactly."  Her:"Well, let's let congress investigate."  BTW, she believes that the president has unlimited powers during a time of war.  (Sigh)

    "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

    by elveta on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:02:10 PM PST

  •  I will be walking away (4.00)
    from this thread for tonight.  I will check back tommorrow to see if there is a diary with more substance (i.e. longer than two paragraphs, or with factual sources/references).  Until such a diary is written, this subject, while interesting, belongs in an open thread for people to discuss and find information about it.  OTherwise, it becomes very difficult to stay on task, and the dialogue becomes a bunch of name-calling.  Sorry.

    even though bubble tests are b.s., -8.25,-7.59

    by Cather on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:24:50 PM PST

  •  It's a reasonable hypothesis... (none)
    that they would follow up on what they SAY, because they actually BELIEVE it themselves.

    But they are Republicans.

    So it's hard to imagine...

    I think we just need YET ANOTHER CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION to find out whether they do actually follow through on their idiot-brained psycho crap or if they were just wasting OUR TAX-FUNDED NSA AGENTS on Quakers, Vegans, and homosexuals for their political campaign.

    Either way... once the corrupt losers in the Republican Party finally cave and admit they can't avoid investigating these traitors, this junta, we'll find out that either way... they broke the law... and they're history.

    Simple-simon... easy-peasy.

    Investigate Bush. Why aren't we doing that... like two weeks ago?

    What's the hold up? They can't avoid it very much longer. They're looking reeeaaal bad. Must just be scrambling... chickens with heads cut off time.

    But then again, maybe this is the Republican plan though...

    commit so many crimes that they back up the system... use up all the investigators?

    I guess that's what they're banking on in the end. Too many Republican criminal investigations for the U.S. court system to handle.

    Could work... :)

    U.S. blue collar vs. CEO income in 1992 was 1:80; in 1999 it was 1:475.

    by Lode Runner on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 06:28:44 PM PST

  •  Short, but pithy. (none)
    Those who think there is no substance here, think again.

    This is a perfectly fair and incisive question that goes right to the heart of the warrant issues, particularly given this administration's past behavior.    

  •  Great question (none)
    Was hoping you'd found some evidence!
  •  All I have to say to that is (none)
    what took you so long? From the moment this story broke I, and I suspect many others here, have been scratching our heads over one question: why? What was the point in doing it illegally if you're likely to get a warrant from the FISA court? Only two reasons I can think of:

    • They did it out of "principle" - exploiting a crisis to cut back civil liberties is part of conservatives' basic MO, after all

    • They did it b/c they knew they weren't likely to get the warrants

    Obviously these motivations aren't mutually exclusive. Now as far as the second explanation goes, this breaks down into a number of different scenarios:

    • The evidence they would have to rely on to establish probable cause was problematic - produced by unreliable witnesses, extracted under torture, obtained from illegal spying itself, etc.

    • There was no evidence, b/c there was no Qaeda connection, and they bloody well knew it

    That last one is the scenario at issue here. Personally, I think it's quite likely that multiple of these reasons did in fact apply. There's also little doubt that the final possibility is the most heinous one, and the one most damaging to the administration if it were ever to be proven. Does that mean we should put it past them? You gotta be kidding! Here's what matters:

    • Bush has deliberately brought the shadow of doubt onto himself

    • There is a fucking reason why domestic spying without a warrant is illegal - among other things, it's because the government could use it otherwise to spy on the opposition, on their critics, or for some other unsavory purpose  

    • So raise the question, spread the suspicion, increase the pressure, demand hearings, demand that Bush answer to Congress who was spied on. They've already said they won't cooperate, but with any luck at least they won't look to good trying to keep that up.

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:04:25 PM PST

  •  Americablog says: (none)
    Alberto Gonzales should recuse himself from domestic spying investigation
    by John in DC - 1/02/2006 08:10:00 PM

    We now know, per the NYT story Joe cites below, that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was a key player in the Bush administration's illegal domestic spying program. There is no way Gonzales can now investigate who leaked the existence of the program to the New York Times when the leaker might have been Gonzales himself. Gonzales was one of the key players in getting the program running, he can't also be in charge of the investigation?

    And another thing. Since Andy Card and Alberto Gonzales were two of the key players getting the program running, they're liable to criminal sanctions for breaking the law. Bush may not be touchable under criminal law since he's a sitting president - the only path to get him might be impeachment - but Gonzales and Card can be investigated, arrested, and jailed for committing a major felony. I think that's one road we need to follow now.

  •  Makes you wonder (4.00)
    Why did Kerry give up so easily?  He had a warchest and lawyers already positioned.

    Blackmail?

    What kind of threats were made?

    (If we're speculating...)

    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:34:48 PM PST

    •  They are obviously blackmailing people. (none)
      A great many people. Why wiretap unless you're going to engage in blakmail?
      •  Let's not forget (none)
        the congressman that was blackmailed to change his vote (which was it? taxes? healthcare? I forget.) with the promise/threat that his son, who was going to run for his seat when he retired, would get no support from the party unless the father did this. There seems to be very little beneath these people. Blackmail? They've already done it.

        Nobody likes big government until they need something. -5.88, -6.82

        by Debby on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 11:56:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Assemblyline ... (none)
    Come on man, don't get into a ratings war with me. Stop breaking the rules.

    A political fanzine containing random musings about politics, music, the media and modern times: Politizine

    by politizine2 on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:36:00 PM PST

  •  Probably already said (none)
    but the fact that they wiretapped the UN prior to the vote for the war supports your fears, in my view.

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:36:43 PM PST

  •  Bush's Enemies List (none)
    Karl Rove should be forced to reveal what sources were used to create Bush's Enemies List.  It's known that this list existed, since Bush was Govenor of Texas.  But if it could be proved that Rove, etc used NSA Intercepts to add info to that list, then no argument in the world would save Bush.
    •  Don't DeLay, Wiretap Today!!! (none)
      Since we know Tom DeLay used the Dept. of Homeland Security's tracking system to locate the Dem legislators trying to sidetrack his redistricting scam, how much of a leap is it to think that the Bushies were using other toys for political purposes????

      I say, w/Turdblossom on the scene, not much!

  •  By the way (speaking of Kerry)... (none)
    I truely believe Howard Dean would have sent Bush back to Crawford, Texas!  Yes, Rove trashed Dean with all the "I have a scream" stuff.  But it was no worse than the swift boating treatment Kerry got.  In this business, getting trashed comes with the territory.  Bush was reelected because people believed he said what he meant and he meant what he said, even if he was lying through his teeth.

    With a few exceptions (John Murtha, Howard Dean), pollitical courage seems a bit hard to come by among the leaders in the Democratic Party.

    In choosing a nominee for 2008, I hope we don't repeat the mistakes (let's pick someone who's "electable") of 2004.

    Just sayin'.

  •  Diary title is somewhat misleading. (none)
    Not a good idea to make such accusations (even when framed as a question) unless accompanied by some evidence. Leave baseless accusations to the wingnuts.

    Who died and left you Elvis?

    by Agent of Fortune on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 07:47:43 PM PST

    •  If we are serious about generating a noise machine (none)
      this is a great opportunity (remember Filegate - or all the "gates" for that matter?).

      The Dems needs to yell and holler about all the unprovable possibilities related to the NSA wiretapping - the more Scotty has to deny them, the better

  •  Could They Have Tapped Patrick Fitzgerald? (none)
    And would they have?  Just a speculative question, but if they tapped Colin Powell or any other senior government official, why wouldn't they tap anyone who posed a threat to their ambitions?

    That would give them a pretty solid idea of what to lean, and when.  The also would know who they had to turn in the press as well, if such things happen.  Again, just speculative, but not beyond possibility.  What was there to stop them?  And, if they did, could they limit that information to a very select group of persons?

    •  It is also likely (none)
      that Patrick Fitzgerald has used warrants issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain information on Bush administration insiders. Some administration officials have  been involved in the destruction of CIA covert operations, which means that they have been conducting illegal intelligence operations inside the U.S. This would make them subject to the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. And I suspect that no one in America has made greater use of this court than Patrick Fitzgerald.
      •  Good Point (none)
        Though of course my concern is that the administration would not even use FISA to authorize wiretapping in this instance, that would not be legal, whereas Fitzgerald's use of FISA would of course be legal, whatever one thinks of FISA.
        •  BigBite: (none)
          Your concern is valid, I fear. Spying on Fitzgerald would constitute obstruction of justice, if it could ever be proven. Do you know when the FISC first became aware that Bush was bypassing them and conducting warrentless wiretaps? Have they known all along, or have they only recently become aware of this fact? I only ask because if Bush has kept them in the dark and played them for fools, the court may seek to restrain him.
  •  Why is this diary Recommended? (4.00)
    Hasn't there been talk about this before on dKos, how the juicy yet entirely evidence-free conspiracy theory diaries are the ones that always make it to the top of the list?  Hasn't there been talk about how it decreases the legitimacy of this site in the political discourse?  I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
  •  Wow (none)
    I can't believe this made it to the recommended list with all the great entries that have been posted here that took longer than fifteen minutes to put together. One little paragraph, no substance, no anything. Just a comment. Oh well... And personally, what was there to bug if indeed that were ven remotely true? That Kerry had the same opinions on this war than Bush did? I thought you only bugged those who were actually from an "opposition" Party?
    The question now should be, now that they admitted doing it to American citizens, why aren't they being indicted for it? They'll get away with this just like they got away with everything else they've done since they stole the election in 2000. Seems talking and bitching about it is all people seem to really want to do.
  •  Thank you (none)
    for bringing it up. Your questions and others needed to be asked. No one has been willing to bring it up but judging from the number of responses you've gotten shows that many others believe it.

    We know they'd be willing to do anything to win. We also know that they're not interesting in stopping terrorism.

    If they'll steal an election why wouldn't they spy on Kerry and the anti-war leaders.

    How 'bout Congress and the Senate during the push to get rid of Social Security?

    How 'bout the UN during the run up to the war? Oh wait, we already know that one is true.

    They did it all. Think of it and I'm sure they've done it.

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:00:06 PM PST

  •  To paraphrase Mark Twain (none)
    You can't throw a brick around the Bush administration without knocking down some undersecretary who's wiping his ass on our contitutional rights.

    Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:37:11 PM PST

  •  Since the spied on vegans (none)
    and "Critical Mass" an organization promoting cycling, (& other small fish like that)WHY would they not spy on Kerry?

    This above all: to thine own self be true,... Thou canst not then be false to any man.-WS

    by Agathena on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 09:42:27 PM PST

  •  Trust (none)
    .. since we don't have facts to view on this {yet}, we have to go on trust that Bush and his minions, given the chance would not do such a thing.

    ... hhhhhhmmmmm ..

    Gee, I don't know. </snark>

    Let's not forget, given the 'chance', certain members of the GOP Senatorial staff had no druthers about breaking into the oppositions computer network to glean some goodies.

    http://www.democracynow.org/...

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus" nasty soon-to-be-indicted co-conspirator. -7.63, -9.59

    by shpilk on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:03:16 PM PST

  •  For what reason? (none)
    Why would they spy on Kerry's campaign? To take stupid lessons?

    First you've got to get the facts, then you've got to face the facts.

    by cwilson on Mon Jan 02, 2006 at 10:44:15 PM PST

  •  No, Really (4.00)
    Did Team Bush tap the Kerry campaign?  Means, motive, and opportunity.  Plus a history of similar dirty tricks.  So I just assume they did.  But it makes no difference to me either way.

    For the people bashing Kerry, please shut up.  No, really, I truly mean it.  Please just shut up.

    I don't mean that in a negative way.

    It's just that, you know, given all the givens, I sincerely want all you Kerry bashers to pull a couple socks out of the dirty linen baskets, open your collective pie holes, and stuff enthusiastically.

    In case I wasn't clear enough: Please shut your traps.

    Kerry won 2004.  The election was stolen.

    Kerry was our candidate.  Not my first choice.  Not even my third.  But he was okay.  And he did fine, considering, well, that he's actually a human and not some fantasy baseball roster member, and seeing how the entire media was aligned against him, and, oh yea, the fact that Kerry won 2004.

    If you want to bellyache about Kerry, at least get it right.  I'm pissed at Kerry because he didn't challenge the Ohio results.  (There is no question -- as in zero -- that Ohio was stolen.)  Reasonable people can disagree on that strategy.  I happen to believe it should have been challenged.  Not to change the results.  We don't have the constitutional means to change the results.  But to shine light on the problem.

    But Kerry won 2004.  So, one last time, please shut up about the Kerry campaign.  Wrap whatever intellect you (Kerry bashers collectively) may have around that little bit of truth.  And maybe then you'll start addressing the real issues here.

    Hint: the correct answer is stolen elections.

  •  Hey, the sumbuck had the chutzpah to wear a wire (none)
    in a nationally televised debate!

    That's serious delusion folks.  Spy on Kerry?  I'm with the poster who asks "Why should I believe otherwise?"

    To act like Bush, you've got to imagine the dumbest course of action, take it, never look back, and then act like your decisiveness is a good quality!

    Of course they spied on Kerry!

  •  NSA Spying aimed at Bush Administration staff.. (none)
    Bush and his "die-hards" must be happy the NSA spy debacle is having such widespread coverage...and the reason is, because its really a disguised message/threat to any Bush Administration staff considering "jumping ship" and leaking out important info...  
  •  rhetorical questions apparently (none)
    Was Bush wiretapping the Kerry campaign?

    Were they wiretapping campaigns for the Senate and Congress?

    Is this the reason they couldn't get warrants?  

    [snip]

    Were they wiretapping anti-war leaders?

    Yes, yes, yes and yes.

    And you are not the first person to ask.

    Look at the dates.  They started having trouble with FISA authorizations right around Super Tuesday when Kerry's inevitability kicked in.

    Those who do not understand history are doomed to repeat it.

    May we repeat the impeachment and resignation part of Watergate as well.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D. IMPEACH

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 02:35:44 AM PST

  •  Ask Joe Wilson (none)
    Ask Joe Wilson what the Bush admin is capable of doing in retaliation to those who hold anti-war position.

    Data Mining is Scary Stuff:

    Data mining is scary stuff.  How many times in the last few years have you posted the word "Al Qaeda"?  Or any in a long list of scary words....

    How many times in the last three years have you visited the Department of Justice, the White House, or the NSA websites?  Tracking cookies were given out to you for free!

    How Much Information, from how many sources, and what are they doing with it?

    NSA Gave Other US Agencies Information From Surveillance

    SOMEONE WHO'S BEEN THERE

    But in this diary you are speculating along the lines of Nixon.  This is appropriate.  I think we all should sit down and read this book:

    WORSE THAN WATERGATE: THE SECRET PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE BUSH By John W. Dean

    Ron Suskind is a great writer. I'm not him.

    by suskind on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 04:30:00 AM PST

    •  SHADOWS OF NIXON (none)
      This is from a 1997 oped in the Houston Chronicle by Richard Ben-Viniste, written on the 25th anniversary of Watergate.  

      SHADOWS OF NIXON
      Watergate Still Crosses Our National Life
      Richard Ben-Viniste
      Houston Chronicle, 1997

      This is just a partial list of crimes by RMN. :
      the break-in at a psychiatrist's office looking for information that could be used to smear Daniel Ellsberg, who had exposed the secret government history of the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers; the misuse of the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies to punish those on the president's "enemies list"; the illegal wiretapping of journalists and members of Nixon's own administration; the deliberate falsification of government documents to enhance Nixon's political agenda; the proposed fire-bombing of the Brookings Institution as a diversion for the theft of records; the surreptitious surveillance of political opponents; and the willingness to use thugs to brutalize political protesters.  

      Ron Suskind is a great writer. I'm not him.

      by suskind on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 04:35:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember the Senate computers (none)
    Shortly after the Democrats took control of the Senate, the Republicans began accessing private computer files belonging to Senate Democrats.  They were literally reading our mail, along with anything else they found of interest, during the run up to the 2002 elections.  When caught, they brazened out by claiming they'd done nothing wrong -- there was a hole in the computer system's security, they said, and so they were therefore entitled to read our files.

    During the 2003 redistricting debacle in Texas, the Republicans used the Department of Homeland Security to track down Democrats in order to try to arrest them.  The plan was to drag them back to Austin so that there would be a quorum of members present, needed to pass Delay's scheme through the Texas house.

    Against that backdrop, let me ask:  really, does anyone believe that this crew would not use the NSA intercepts for their partisan political benefit?

  •  americablog (none)
    a few weeks back was pondering whether or not shrubCo was spying on journalists

    part II

  •  I was hoping when I got up (none)
    that this diary had fallen from the recommended list, but, alas, no.

    This diary and the ridiculously fact-free, tin-foil responses to it are an embarrassment, prima facie evidence that the blogosphere is populated by a substantial number of people who need to get out more.  This is exactly the sort of feeding frenzy that hampers both credibility and a reputation of thoughtful commentary.  Yuck.  

    Jesus + Fetus = SCOTUS

    by lightiris on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 06:16:46 AM PST

  •  Wow! (none)
    Dave drops a lit match into the diaries and POOF! The place lites up like a three month old Christmas tree.

    There's obviously a lot of dry tinder building up over this story.

    Way to go Dave. You da MAN!

    The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing. And Diebold tells us who won.

    by Thumb on Tue Jan 03, 2006 at 06:54:17 AM PST

  •  I (none)
    missed the live air time with Kerry. I listened to big Eds summery the next day.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

    by llih on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 07:57:04 PM PST

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