Monday, September 10, 2007

On questioning patriotism

Congratulations, Democrats, you have just stepped into the trap that I previously mentioned.

It seems that MoveOn.org has purchased a full page ad in the New York Times titled "General Petraeus or General Betray Us." It would seem that the leadership of MoveOn.org and their Democratic supporters in Congress have now decided to question Petraeus' patriotism at the least and are quite possibly accusing him of treason. Nice. I'm sure that it will go well for them.

And just to be sure, this isn't an uncoordinated assault from a far left fringe group. From the Politico:

“No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,” noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. “The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.”

I'm certain that Democrats will step up to defend the general that they confirmed by a unanimous vote to lead our forces, right? If he was such a serial liar, why put him in the post, especially as he was up front about what he was going to do.

Here is a great response from our senator Jon Kyl:

It’s repugnant, but unfortunately not surprising, to see Moveon.org launch this despicable ad campaign against General Petraeus.

The Senate had absolute confidence in General Petraeus when it unanimously confirmed him earlier this year. Because of organizations like Moveon.org and its affiliations with the leftist, liberal wing of the Democratic Party, the question arises whether this ad represents the stance of all Democrats.

If not, it is time for the Democratic leadership to announce whether it stands with Moveon.org or whether it stands behind the general Democrats unanimously confirmed – and his military strategy – to carry out our mission in Iraq.

We’re beginning to see real, measurable progress in Iraq since the increased troop levels earlier this year, and despite this fact, Moveon.org has chosen to engage in slanderous and partisan personal attacks on the commander of our troops on the ground. Because Moveon.org seems unable to contest the facts, it has instead chosen to attack the messenger because it doesn’t like the message.

I can’t imagine any act more despicable than personally attacking our troops. I call on all of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, to repudiate Moveon.org and any organizations that launch personal and slanderous attacks on our brave men and women who’ve laid down their lives to protect our nation.

I believe that we will have to wait for an assessment of the political ramifications before we hear any response from the Democrats. After all, it is quite clear that this is the only measure that they are actually interested in. Profiles in courage, the lot of them.

Update- From our other senator, John McCain:

In today's New York Times, the anti-war group MoveOn.org launched a McCarthyite attack on an American patriot and our commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus. This is a man who has devoted his life in service to our nation and has defended America in many battles over many years. Now he is the target of a despicable attack in one our nation's most visible newspapers. No matter where you stand on the war, we should all agree on the character and decency of this exceptional American. I would hope that the Democratic Congressional leadership and Democratic presidential candidates would also join me in publicly condemning this kind of political attack ad and the organization responsible for it in the strongest terms possible.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks like the Democrats have an integrity problem. I wonder how it will affect them in the next election.

Sirocco said...

I would not say Petraeus is a liar, but he certainly has a past history of putting out projections and overviews which have turned out to be, shall we say, overly optimistic when looked at in retrospect.

Which doesn't make him a liar, it just makes him an eternal optimist. That's fine, but it also means his views need to be viewed as those of someone with a tendency to be overly optimistic, and may need to be ameliorated somewhat.

As for "questioning patriotism" yeah, it's a fricking stupid move from MoveOn, one I find repellent ... but hearing complaints about it from members of a party that have made it almost a knee-jerk reaction to question the patriotism of anyone who objected to the war in the past, or objected to the administration's policies vis-a-vis wiretapping, torture, etc., would be laughable if it weren't so f****** sickening.

You don't have a toe to stand on with this issue, much less a leg.

Liza said...

I find it interesting that the New York Times ran the Moveon.org ad. Could this be the same New York Times that allowed Bush/Cheney to disseminate their warmongering propaganda through the despicable duo, Judith Miller and Michael Gordon? Could this be the same New York Times that provides every psuedoliberal's pet pundit and equally warmongering Thomas Friedman a forum for his stupid opinions? Could, perhaps, the Moveon.org ad be atonement for the unforgivable sins of propagandizing and misleading the American public?

As for the Moveon.org ad, Moveon is a political organization with a political agenda. It is their prerogative to run ads to disseminate their message. How does this differ from any other political organization disseminating a message? It's an ad, that's all.

Anonymous said...

It's a despicable ad that anyone with any decency, regardless of their political persuasion, would denounce.

Liza said...

Anyone with the common sense that God promised a jack ass would not even be reading the New York Times after what they did to promote the unnecessary and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. Their is no crime in the media that is greater than propagandizing and outright lying especially when it leads to the destruction of nations and societies.

I do not feel the need to denounce Moveon.org. They have properly identified themselves and their members have freedom of speech, at least for the time being.

Framer said...

Code Pink and Mother Sheehan are doing Democrats no favors as well.

If you are trying to change hearts and minds, it is probably better to not wail and scream incomprehensibly for the camera. Nothing says I'm a nutjob better than, you know, acting like a nutjob.

Liza said...

I don't think so, Framer. I haven't seen film footage of Cindy Sheehan or Code Pink wailing and screaming, but in the overall scheme of things, this is extremely minor. I'm sure that Fox News tries to get all they can out of it, but realistically, if someone opposes the Bush/Cheney war(s), are they going to vote Republican in 2008 because they think that Cindy Sheehan and/or Code Pink are over the top? Not likely. None of this is even a bleep on the screen.

Liza said...

Make that "blip" on the screen.

Sirocco said...

Hey, anon, (or Framer, or any other conservative who wishes to reply)

Just out of curiousity, how often have you openly expressed disgust when, say, Tom Delay impugned the patriotism of those who disagreed with him ... or Michelle Malkin ... or Bill O'Reilly ... or ... well, the list is pretty long, really.

roger said...

Its amazing how conservatives make everything the military says or does just fine and fresh like daisies. When they don't like what General's say, they don't question them, they simply demote them, fire them, call them traitors, or hide them in the bureaucracy until they can find a general to do their bidding.

What sucks is how Democrats are so damned scared off by conservative who dare them to criticize a military man.

Whatever...Patreus is a big boy...he can handle it I am sure.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to disagree with, or even "impugn the patriotism," of your opponent in a political argument (which I'm not agreeing with). But when in the middle of a war, one makes a public declaration (with no foundation, I might add) that our troops are led by a "liar," simply to advance that person's agenda at the expense of our nation and our troops, that's a whole different matter. I believe most people can see the difference.

Sirocco said...

No, I don't see a meaningful difference.

Calling someone "un-patriotic" purely to score political points is reprehensible and disgusting. Republicans have made a habit of it. You, apparently, have no problems with this habit ... as long as it's only directed at those with whom you disagree.

Petraeus injected himself into the political fray when he _chose_ to print a political op-ed piece in 2004. Not surprisingly, he made many optimistic claims in that piece, none of which have actually turned out to be true.

Given the spate of recent reports (GAO, stats compiled by independent organizations) which contradict what the military has been reporting, as well as the now-publicized methodology by which the military has somehow determined "sectarian violence is down 75% since the surge", someone not inclined to provide the benefit of the doubt most certainly does have grounds to label what I might call "relentlessly optimistic" as "lying".

I'll note on the side one can be a liar and still not be unpatriotic. My personal opinion is Petraeus doesn't meet either label ... but that he sometimes walks a knife edge on "liar".

Framer said...

Sirocco,

You are aware of course that the GAO report benchmarks are either 100% or fail, right? That means if you eliminate 100 terrorist cells in Baghdad but three remain you get a big fat fail. On that method is is amazing that any of the points got any credit.

If you were to judge the Pelosi "100 days" by the same method, Democrats would get a "0%"

Quite frankly because of this, the GAO report is a joke. And to underscore the partisanship they leaked it in an attempt to embarrass Petraeus. If the GAO had non-partisan creds, they have seriously strained them.

And I also reject the equivalence of "Republicans do the same thing. " Democrats knew Petraus's plan, and they voted him in to perform it- UNANIMOUSLY. Beyond most hope he is successful and they want to tear him down because of it? They WANTED HIM TO FAIL. Screw them, quite frankly.

I can rail on Harry Reid because I didn't vote for him, nor can I vote for him. Had I voted for him in Nevada to go end the war, then turned around and called him a traitor for attempting to do just that, then, yes, I would be just as bad.

Senators that appointed Petraeus knowing his plan are complicit in attempting to stab him in the back and besmirch him with a total lack of evidence. You are far better than to be throwing in with that ilk, Sirocco.

In 2004, Petraeus was not in charge. In fact, in his corner of the war things WERE going well. That is why he is in charge of everything right now. If you are going to attempt to paint him as skirting the truth, I would expect that you could give me examples of his malfeasance in the months since he took his leadership position.

I would surmise if that were easy we would have heard more about it by now.

You don't have to agree with the war to recognize that Petraeus is not being dealt with justly.

Anonymous said...

"But, Mommy, Johnny said it first."
Wow, what an informed, intelligent, mature argument. Of course, we now live in an age of hurt feelings, 'being offended' and all of the no-way-to-measure the results of any emotional skirmish, just the unchallenged accusation.

Instead of the infrequent measured discussion of a few re: the current event i.e. the unprovoked, unproven accusation against Petraeus, others discuss somewhat similar 'hurts' from the Republicans that apparently caused wounds in the past. The hell with the current injustice, just get out the Bugs Bunny bandaids.

Sirocco said...

Framer,

The GAO standards obviously are not 100% pass/fail, since several were scored as partial. Further, when the choice is pass/fail on "Significant progress toward X", there is room for leeway on what "significant" entails. So it's not as set in stone as you seem to think.

Actually, the leaker, whoever he was, expressly said why he leaked it - because he was afraid push back by the administration would lead to significant "watering-down" of the original conclusions. Petraus didn't come into play.

Even if you accept the administration numbers (which I would argue are far more of a joke, and clearly more obviosuly self-interested), there remains the issue of other statistics which clearly discredit claims of "less violence" or "less death" since the surge began ... and lets not forget the administration numbers, numbers spun as optimistically as can be spun, still were less than good, much less great. ... further, let's not fail to bring up the opinion of Iraqi's themselves, who overwhelmingly view the surge as a failure

In 2004 things in Petraus' corner of the world, it turns out, weren't going particularly well ... they were just painted that way.

As for the whole "they let his nomination pass" argument, that's horse**** and you know it. The guy was nominated, he was qualified, there was no clear reason to reject him, so he was ok'd. His surge plan has been given a chance, and frankly its failed. There is no obligation to call failure a success just because you agreed to his being named to the position.

And no, Republicans don't "Do it too" .. they did it first, they do it more often, and more stridently ... and you know that too, however much you might wish to reject it.

Using your (flawed) logic, there is nothing at all wrong with MoveOn's ads - after all, MoveOn had no opportunity to vote on Petraeus. As such, it's perfectly ok for them to rail at him, refer to him as a "betrayer".

I'm haven't argued Petraeus is being treated justly. I've said I think the ad is reprehensible.

What I've said is I don't think the vast majority of conservatives, McCain and Kyl included, have any grounds whatsoever to complain about attacks against the "patriotism" of one of their "heroes" given their stunning silence for years when liberals questioning conservative positions on the war, on torture, on wiretapping, etc. were regularly labeled as "unpatriotic", "un-American" and "traitors".

Liza said...

The McCain and Kyl comments are political grandstanding and they are preaching to their choirs. However, they are properly identified and they have freedom of speech. Moveon.org is properly identified and their members have freedom of speech as well.

Here's the First Amendment:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Sirocco said...

Liza,

Of course they are within their rights. No one has argued otherwise, I don't believe.

If I am sitting by a pool (in a state without a "Good Samaritan" law), reading a book, and a four-year-old child is drowning in the pool right next to me, all I have to do is reach a hand over and pluck him out, I don't even have to get into the pool, but I choose not to do so because it would disturb my reading I would also be within my rights.

My actions would still be objectionable, however.

I find the actions of MoveOn to be objectionable, as are those of McCain and Kyl, although for a different reason.

Liza said...

sirocco,
I would argue that the comments from McCain and Kyl, Framer, and anonymous are mostly about suppression of freedom of speech. Calling upon the Democratic leadership to denounce this despicable political attack blah blah blah we're in the middle of a war blah blah blah it's an attack on the troops blah blah blah.

These comments are clearly intended to silence Moveon.org by stopping just short of accusing them of treason. Actually, it may not be that short.

It won't work, of course, but that's what it is. It is an attack on freedom of speech. The neo-conservative can't repeal the First Amendment, as much as they would like to, so this is how they try to silence dissent.

It isn't working as well as it used to.

Sirocco said...

Liza,

I think that may be part of it, but I think there are a large number who actually do think it _is_ unpatriotic, or even treason, to dispute their views. I.e., the motivation isn't primarily to shut down dissent, although that motivation exists, but because they really believe they are arbiters of what is and is not patriotic.

Anonymous said...

Sirocco,
"Calling someone "un-patriotic" purely to score political points is reprehensible and disgusting. Republicans have made a habit of it. You, apparently, have no problems with this habit ... as long as it's only directed at those with whom you disagree."

I do have a problem with it. It's not just Republican vs. Democrat. It gets used against fellow party members in both parties. I also think that as a matter of principle what MoveOn did was unpatriotic not because I disagree with it, but because of the impact on our troops and ability to win the war.

"What I've said is I don't think the vast majority of conservatives, McCain and Kyl included, have any grounds whatsoever to complain about attacks against the "patriotism" of one of their "heroes" given their stunning silence for years when liberals questioning conservative positions on the war, on torture, on wiretapping, etc. were regularly labeled as "unpatriotic", "un-American" and "traitors"."

Let's not label them "conservative" positions. Although "torture" is an extreme term for what some of our soldiers did, some behavior was highly inappropriate and needed to be punished. As for wiretapping policy, much of it conservatives believe is unconstitutional.

"I would argue that the comments from McCain and Kyl, Framer, and anonymous are mostly about suppression of freedom of speech."

Liza,
I beg your pardon. Having an opinion about what one should or should not say in public hardly suppresses anybody's speech. Or did I miss that somewhere in the Constitution? And would you argue the same rights in favor of so-called "hate-speech?"

Framer said...

Liza,

Hold on a second. I do not wish for Move On to be silenced. Indeed that would be counterproductive for me as a Republican.

What I do believe is that there needs to be some repricussions for what is said at times. We are free to say what we wish, we are NOT free from the natural reprecussions that come from what is said. Those sanctions should not come from the government, but from the marketplace of ideas.

What MoveOn did with this ad was pretty reprehensible, and they support and are supported by major players in the Democratic party. There was buy off on this ad before it ran. There ought to be consequences for that.

This is another topic altogether, but it appears to me that most actual government regulation of speech seems to fall under the purview of the left (speech codes, hate speech, public prayer, fairness doctorine, removal of Huck Finn from libraries and school reading lists, etc.) Most of the Right's problem seems to be more centered around public and children's access to pornography. Keep in mind that this is not universally true of either party. I would say that the "speech controllers" are a small minority in general.

Sirocco, eventually parial credit was given, but only after the GAO was called on the accounting by the Pentagon. You have to admit that the benchmarks were written to judge failure rather than success. On a real level no other enterprise would be judged by such screwed up criteria. You would also have to admit to expect all benchmarks to be met 100% in 6 months is silly as well. If after the next 6 months we are not moving along, then, I agree, there will be cause for concern.

I would also submit that the "someone says that I am not patriotic" is more often than not a straw man contructed by liberals. Liza, when was the last time that anyone REALLY questioned your patriotism directly? I certainly never have.

Liza said...

anonymous,
It believe there is more here than just having an opinion. Kyl and McCain have called upon Democrats to denounce Moveon.org and they have attempted to frame this as though the Democrats actually have a moral obligation to do so. How could you possibly interpret this any other way? Framer posts it and you agree so you are both complicit in this attempt to suppress freedom of speech.


We are not talking about hate speech, now are we, so why bring it up? We are talking about people who are properly identified expressing their opinions and/or attacking the rights of others to express their opinions. Please note that I stated earlier that McCain, Kyl, and Moveon.org have the right to free speech. So do you and Framer. Even sirocco and I have the right to free speech. It is my opinion that some of you are using your right to free speech in an attempt to silence dissent. No one said you can't do it.

Liza said...

Framer,
What exactly do you think the consequences should be for Moveon.org and/or their Democratic supporters?

The last time my patriotism was questioned directly was around the time of the invasion of Iraq, and it wasn't on the blogs.

Sirocco said...

Framer,

The original guidelines were set as pass/fail, I agree. Although there was leeway in what qualified as "progress", so it was set in stone.

However, given the White House and Iraqi government were responsible for creating these benchmarks in the first place way back in the spring, and presumably wanted to set some they felt they could meet rather easily, why wouldn't I expect 100% compliance? I'd have been happy to see 75%, a passing grade. It's not even close to that.

For what it's worth, I had the wonderful experience of having someone yelling in my face, calling me a "traitor" and "un-American" in 2004. I'm pretty sure it wasn't meant as a straw man.

When folks such as Delay, O'Reilly, Malkin liberally (get it?) throw around those terms (and "unpatriotic" as well) to malign anyone who disagrees with them, they aren't using them as straw men either.



Anon,

You, personally, may disagree with these slanders, and with some of the actions in question, and I appreciate that.

However, in remains unquestionable the vast majority of those opposed to things like the war, torture (I was explicitly thinking of interrogation of prisoners, like at Gitmo), wiretapping, habeas corpus suspension, etc., are liberals, and the vast majority supporting those positions are conservatives. As such, I assert the labels apply to the positions.

It's also unquestionable conservatives defending these positions have regularly, purposefully, applied labels such as "traitor" or "unpatriotic" to anyone who disagreed with their views. Meanwhile, the number of conservatives who spoke out against the use of such slanders against liberals has been vanishingly small, approaching zero.

So when McCain, or Kyl, or any other Republican politician starts screaming about MoveOn and asking Dems to disassociate themselves, I would ask them back why they have spent years continuing to accept money from Delay and his system or continuing to appear on Fox news.

Liza said...

Remember this one -

"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists."

George Bush, Sept. 20, 2001

Was there ever a more flagrant attempt to silence dissent or label those who dissent as terrorists which is even worse than just being called unpatriotic?

roger said...

I read the ad again and don't see a thing wrong with it. No one questioned Patreus' patriotism or ability, they question what he has said and the process for coming up with his analysis for perpetuating this war.

Don't you think that after all that has happened in Iraq and all that has changed with regard to the mission....don't you think...that the leader of our fighting force their should face some tough questions and scrutiny?

Anyone who claims that questioning a military leader is despicable or unpatriotic should really consider following Fidel Castro in my opinion.

Last, this is one of the most crucial issues of our age. The treasure and lives of the American people have been sacrificed for this war. Many have agreed that the war was "mismanaged" and many also agree that it was a mistake. When anyone tries to defend it, they should be ready for warranted criticism.

I saw nothing in that ad by Moveon.org (and I am not a member) that was anything beyond raising questions about the interpretation of facts. This so-called despicable criticism pales in comparison to what some of you did to Max Cleland...which was truly personal.

Framer said...

Liza and Sirocco,

So the systematic use of the term upatriotic or traitor hasn't touched you for at least three years? That hardly seems systematic and continual. I agree that it can and does happen, but it is hardly systematic Republican process, and is considerably more rare than you let on.

The "consequences" that I would like to see for MoveOn is for their assertions to be questioned and searched for validity. If they are as slanderous and vapid as they appear, then they should be roundly condemned as such, publicly and repeatedly.

I would also like to see some transparancy for those complicit for the ad, especially elected individuals. I don't expect to have them thrown out of office, just identified to their prospective voters. I don't think that calling on those who routinely take money from MoveOn to comment is out of line either.

As far as the benchmarks go, they are hardly window dressing and gimmies. I suspect that one of us will need to post on them. I got Paper, how about you?

Liza, that quote is taken entirely out of context. Let me give that to you:

"And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."

The line was not meant for you or dissenters of the administration.

roger said...

Framer says (backpedals?):

"The "consequences" that I would like to see for MoveOn is for their assertions to be questioned and searched for validity. If they are as slanderous and vapid as they appear, then they should be roundly condemned as such, publicly and repeatedly."

Then why did you and GOPers like Kyl and McCain demand apologies, and demonize this ad, before any of the things you say above happen?

Indeed shouldn't we expect the same kind of questioning of "assertions" by Petreus? THAT, in fact, is what the ad is all about!

Respectfully, I am not sure that you, Kyl, Pullen, or anyone else making hay of this care one bit about THESE consequences you mention above...you used this post to demonize them and their ad prior to looking into what they said or why they said it.

This very post is proof that the attacks on the add are intended to be red meat to show them as unpatriotic for "attacking" a soldier and for daring to question him.

Sirocco said...

Framer,

I have made a quickie post listing the 18 Iraq benchmarks and some fast comments on the assessments of them. Feel free to fire away with any comments you might have.

Liza said...

I took another look at the Moveon.org ad in the NYT, and I'll be hanged if I can see what is slanderous or vapid or in need of public condemnation. I just don't get it.

Framer, yes, the 9-20-2001 Bush speech was before a joint session of Congress and his statement was about nations. However, his "War on Terror" was announced just a couple of days after 9/11. The message he clearly intended is that there is no room for neutrality in the "War on Terror." That is always the intent of a "with us or against us" statement and you can just bet that everyone in Congress knew exactly what he was saying. Time, of course, shows that to be the case.

Framer said...

Roger,

No, the aspirations made by MoveOn cast Petraus as a liar, and by association a traitor. What part of "Betray" do you not understand. Petraeus is most certainly not a liar, and you nor MoveOn have evidence to the contrary.

The move was meant to defame and slander a soldier who was, again, UNANIMOUSLY appointed to do a job, and has worked at doing that job. I may have had more patience if MoveOn had actually listened to his testomony, then disputed that. This was a slime job on Petraeus pure and simple. And I will always have a problem with people doing this to soldiers carrying out orders as approved by the President AND Congress. I am saddened that you think that sliming Petraus in this manner is "in bounds."

And Liza, you know I love you, but I flatly reject your assertion that Bush was implying unquestioned fidelity of the American people to his policies. Sometimes people say what they mean in context and that is all it means. There is no real evidence that this is not the case here.

Clearly this was a message aimed at Arafat, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other state sponsers of terror. Further action by the administration seems to bear this out, or perhaps I have missed the mass arrests of anti-war critics.

And, further, you do not really believe that congress was bullied by Bush into the votes they made, right? Most voted the way they felt was politically expedient, some voted their conscious and were not punished in any way.

Sirocco said...

Framer,

I thought I had posted a response, but it must have been eaten ...

"So the systematic use of the term upatriotic or traitor hasn't touched you for at least three years? That hardly seems systematic and continual. I agree that it can and does happen, but it is hardly systematic Republican process, and is considerably more rare than you let on."

No, I simply gave the most memorable example in my case, admittedly the only time I had someone screaming in my face about it.

It's not at all uncommon to hear/see those words thrown about on conservative talk shows, in periodicals or on web sites (not this one, others far less congenial). There have been periods where O'Reilly was soouting this trip on his show nearly daily, Dobbs as well.

Post something against the war on Malkin's site, and you can likely count on being called a traitor within ten responses.

I think you underestimate (badly) how regularly these terms are thrown about as perjoratives by not fringe extremist conservative sites, but ones which are considered mainstream representatives of the movement.

Liza said...

Framer,
I am not one to defend Congress, in most cases, but after 9/11 they were certainly under pressure by the Bush Administration to pass the Patriot Act. First, no one had enough time to review it thoroughly. Then it passes the Senate without debate or amendments despite the efforts of Patrick Leahy and Russ Feingold. It passed the House the next day with minimal debate. John Ashcroft had given Congress one week to pass the bill and warned that Congress would be to blame for any terrorist attack that happened if they did not pass it immediately. Yes, I would say that Congress was bullied.

However, I would agree that most of the time members of Congress do what is politically expedient and some even vote their conscience. No one gets a pass for voting to invade Iraq.

I've given this discussion some thought and I really have just one last thing to say. For me, it comes down to just this. What the Bush Administration has done so effectively is to blur the distinction between the country and the government, specifically the current regime. My country is not George Bush and Dick Cheney and all their appointed cronies. Nor is my country the failed US foreign policy in the Mideast (primarily) that was hatched in a right wing "think tank" and modified (slightly) after 9/11 to become the "War on Terror."

My country is the land, the people who live here, and most importantly, the democratic principles upon which the nation was founded.

It is an important distinction.

Bruce P. Murchison said...

I wonder if the Supreme Court decision in Schenck v. United States, 1919, still has meaning. Go to http://www.oyez.org/cases/1901-1939/1918/1918_437/ to see it.(Hint: It has to do with limiting speech in a time of war.)

From the website:
"Justice Holmes, speaking for a unanimous Court, concluded that Schenck is not protected in this situation. The character of every act depends on the circumstances. "The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." During wartime, utterances tolerable in peacetime can be punished."

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Thought this news might be of some interest to your readers:

NEW moveon.org TV ad coming out on Monday Sept 17th...basically calling President Bush a traitor.

Catch it here:
MoveOn.org TV Ad


For General David Betray Us fans or not:
General David Betray Us


Have a great weekend!
Steve