We are the 99%

January 25, 2006

Defining Domestic Down

Oh, OK. Now I get it. it's not "domestic spying" because your phone bill calls it an "international call."

[Please kill me now.]

From today's press briefing (and, yes, it's unpatriotic to think of the old "Who's on First" routine while reading this):

Q Back to the NSA. The White House last night put out paper backing up its claims that this was a terrorist surveillance program, saying the charges of domestic spying -- you defined what "domestic" meant. Isn't one end of that phone call on domestic soil? Why is the charge of it being domestic spying so far off?

MR. McCLELLAN: For the same reasons that a phone call from someone inside the United States to someone outside the United States is not a domestic call. If you look at how that is billed on your phone records, it's billed as an international call, it is charged the international rate. And so that's the best way to sum that up. Because one communication within this surveillance has to be outside of the United States. That means it's an international communication, for the very reason I just said.

Q Right. But one of the people being eavesdropped on is on domestic soil.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it leaves an inaccurate impression with the American people to say that this is domestic spying.

Q Why is that inaccurate?

MR. McCLELLAN: For the reasons that General Hayden has said, for the reasons that others have said within the administration, and for the example I just provided to you. You don't call a flight from New York to somewhere in Afghanistan, a domestic flight. It's called an international flight.

Q Right, but --

MR. McCLELLAN: This is international communications that are being monitored --

Q But whatever -- it's David's point, too -- I mean, whatever you call it in your trying to call it -- someone domestically --

MR. McCLELLAN: It's what it is.

Q -- is being spied on. Someone's communications --

MR. McCLELLAN: It is what it is.

Q -- on domestic soil are being tracked.

MR. McCLELLAN: If there is an al Qaeda person operating inside the United States and talking to someone outside the United States, you bet we want to know what they're saying.

Q An al Qaeda person inside the United States --

MR. McCLELLAN: Could be outside the United States talking to someone inside the United States, too.

Q But the person inside the United States, there has to be a reasonable basis that they are connected --

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, if some want to try to defend it and say that it is domestic spying, they're leaving the American people with an inaccurate impression, just like they would be if they called an international call a domestic call.

Q But, Scott, you're arguing that --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, you're arguing.

Q -- somebody on domestic soil is not being spied on?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I didn't say --

Q That's part of it.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I didn't say that at all. In fact, we have been very clear and precise in what we have said, to try to make sure it is accurately reflected to the American people. And I would hope that everybody would do their best to make sure that it is accurately reflected to the American people. I don't think it is when someone puts up on the screen "domestic spying." I think that leaves an inaccurate impression that this is spying on people that are talking about an upcoming PTA meeting within their hometown. And that's --

Q That raises a whole -- an issue, because it involves people on domestic soil.

MR. McCLELLAN: That's not what it is.

Q That's not why it's become an issue?

And, just in case you still don't GET IT, here's some handy definitions the White House has put out for us all:
DEFINITION: Domestic Vs. International.

  • Domestic Calls are calls inside the United States. International Calls are calls either to or from the United States.
  • Domestic Flights are flights from one American city to another. International Flights are flights to or from the United States.
  • Domestic Mail consists of letters and packages sent within the United States. International Mail consists of letters and packages sent to or from the United States.
  • Domestic Commerce involves business within the United States. International Commerce involves business between the United States and other countries.
  • And, here is my handy-dandy definition for the day:

  • Domestic Idiot is someone who can not catch an International Terrorist after four and a half years.


  • ______________________________________
    UPDATE: Yes, I heard this story tonight on Countdown with Keith Olbermann

    18 comments:

    Shawn said...

    Viva la Orwell!

    Braden said...

    Maria, you're "harping" on the following:

    "Domestic Calls are calls inside the United States. International Calls are calls either to or from the United States.
    Domestic Flights are flights from one American city to another. International Flights are flights to or from the United States.
    Domestic Mail consists of letters and packages sent within the United States. International Mail consists of letters and packages sent to or from the United States.
    Domestic Commerce involves business within the United States. International Commerce involves business between the United States and other countries."

    Do you realize how unbelievably dumb you look for harping on that? All that was being done was clarification because most people like yourself are too dumb to understand anything, hence the "spoon-fed" clarification between domestic vs international. The same goes for everything else in our society like the warning labels on a hot cup of coffee. People are too dumb to understand that if hot coffee is in a cup, they shouldn't put it between their legs while they drive. Same thing. All that was done was a simple clarification because of those like yourself.

    "Domestic Idiot is someone who can not catch an International Terrorist after four and a half years."

    Yeah, the same international terrorist that the previous EIGHT year administration could of had, but passed by the chance and let this international terrorist slip right from his slippery fingers. You have a lot of chutzpah, lady. Again....three words: pot, kettle, black.

    Jaz said...

    And liberals wonder why they are perceived to be weak on terror. By attacking Bush on this NSA business they expose the fact that they are more interested in playing a political gotcha game than in protecting our security. Why is it always the left that seems to be on the side of expanding the rights of terrorists over fighting an aggressive war on terror? Their desire to adopt the knee-jerk anti-Bush stance always puts them on the side of the terrorists. If they desire to win elections perhaps they should surmise what the American people would be in favor of (like Bush has done on this NSA "controversy") rather than mindlessly adopting the opposite of whatever President Bush's stance is on a given issue.

    Maria said...

    Why do you hate the Constitution?

    Braden said...

    Maria --

    Looks as if you're between a rock and a hard place. So what is your stance on fighting terrorism? Looks as if the left *is* indeed doing nothing more than giving the terrorists the right to do what they're doing. What's your so called intelligence response going to be this time?

    Jaz said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Jaz said...

    I don’t hate the Constitution. Robert H. Johnson, an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and also the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials coined the phrase "'The Constitution is not a suicide pact". I think this concept is appropriate here. Essentially the constitution is to be respected and followed; however blindly adhering to it should not override common sense and practicality. Justice Johnson was dealing with a freedom of speech issue in this case. Basically, he was making the point that, although the constitution provides for free speech, if that free speech will most likely result in bloodshed than it is not necessarily allowed under law despite that fact that is explicitly provided for under the first amendment.

    "The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact."

    Although he had no idea that his phrase would be used years later in regard to fighting the war on terror, the idea is that, under certain circumstances involving issues of life and death, a strict interpretation of the constitution that may result in bloodshed should not be the law of the land. After all, what use is the constitution if we're not here to enjoy its benefits?

    Maria said...

    Please explain why Bush had to break the law.

    The FISA law gave him the ability to get a warrant retroactively -- he has 72 hours.

    And, if he thought that was still not enough, why didn't he ask Congress to change the law?

    Why has he still not asked Congress to change the law?

    Braden said...

    Maria, you'd complain if Bush didn't do anything to fight terrorism and as a result, this country were to get attacked by terrorists. When he does do something to fight terrorism from showing it's ugly face in this country, you still whine. The man can't win. Why? Because you and people like you have so much hatred toward him...so much hatred in fact, that you're willing to put this country's own security at risk in order to satisfy your thirst for political gain.

    Breaking the law? It's a weak argument and you know it. Whine, whine, whine is all you and those like you know how to do. In fact, the only thing that you and those like you are doing is giving the terrorists more "power" to accomplish what they want to do. I'd hate to see this country get hit by another terrorist attack, and judging by you and those like you, I question whether or not you and those like you feel the same way at times. I hope it never happens, but if it were to happen, I cannot help but wonder what you and your liberal friends would have to say for yourselves to your fellow Americans, because it would be the left's fault for keeping Bush from doing his job to fight terrorism on our own soil.

    As far as I am concerned, you're just a ticked off, sniveling little liberal who's throwing temper tantrums via this blog. When I read your whining about the White House explaining the differences between "domestic" and "international," that's about enough for me. Again, it's because this world today has to "spoon feed" information to those like you because you're all too idiotic to figure it out on your own - the same way a freaking' cup of coffee from Starbucks says "warning, contents hot!" Your arrogance is most unbecoming. Then again, you and those like you will continue to sit back, scratch your heads, and claim stolen elections when you yourselves are the reasons why you continue to lose them. Pretty amusing. What's not amusing is that you people continue to make the terrorist's job easier and easier every day.

    Maria said...

    The Presidential Oath of Office is not long, so I'll repeat it here:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    In his arrogant and overreaching grab for power Bush has done his best to subvert the Constitution of the United States.

    Bush did not need to run around the low hurdle of the FISA Law, yet he did.

    If it was truly too burdensome, he could have asked Congress to amend it, yet he didn't.

    He could have supported Republican Senator DeWine's proposed bill in 2002 to lower the FISA standards, yet he didn't.

    He just does what he wants when he wants, laws and Constitution be damned.

    "What's not amusing is that you people continue to make the terrorist's job easier and easier every day."

    I thought according to Bush the terrorist hate us for our freedom. So is that why Bush wants to end it?

    It is Bush and people like you who defend Bush's trampling of our laws, our Constitution and our freedoms who do the work of the terrorists as defined by Bush.

    Jaz said...

    Yeah, we're doing the work of the terrorists... that's so twisted my head hurts. You’re taking a lot of concepts far to literally. As a liberal you should understand Nuance. Not everything's as clear-cut as you present it. The freedom to which President Bush refers that the terrorists hate is not necessarily the freedom for terrorists to roam around and operate freely in our country. I don't believe the terrorists despise the ability to operate more easily within our country. Furthermore, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was penned in 1978 and the constitutionality of it is still is in question as is the Patriot Act. Matters that fall under either act are not legally a slam-dunk in either direction. So you should stop saying declaratively that the president "broke the law" because that has yet to be determined. Interestingly, FISA was enhanced by the Patriot act in 2001 to help try to bring a degree of modernity to a 28-year-old law. So, on the one hand you wonder why Bush hasn't amended FISA (something that any Democrat could propose if they were so inclined, but of course then they would actually be helping the situation) and on the other hand I guarantee you that you were one of those who cheered on Harry Reid when he giddily proclaimed, "We killed the Patriot Act." The bottom line is like "braden" said, Bush can't win for losing. The Left wants to make it as hard as possible for America (Bush) to effectively fight the war on terror so when an attack happens they can finger point and blame game.

    It is disheartening sometimes when it becomes so apparent that many liberals care more about petty partisan politics than protecting the lives of American citizens. Coming from Boston I used to be sort of be liberal or at least a centrist but it's this exact type of morally bankrupt pettiness that drives independents and centrists to the right which seems to have a more sane and sober assessment as to what should be done to see to the continued existence of the greatest country in the history of man. The US of A.

    Jaz said...

    Correction: The Associate Supreme Court justice I cited earlier is actually Robert H. Jackson not Johnson. Sorry about that.

    Braden said...

    Maria, again you just demonstrated that you're not for fighting terrorism, you and your sniveling liberals are only for partisan politics. Why? Because you and those like you are steaming pissed off over the last two elections. That's all it boils down to. Sad...very sad.

    Liberalism = Where the facts make you turn your head the other way and cough

    Maria said...

    The FISA law is clear: YOU NEED A WARRANT.

    The Fourth Amendment is clear:

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    Bush is a little lawbreaking bitch who pisses on the Constitution.

    Oh dear, I'm being all "potty-mouthed" again.

    Too bad you can see the above obscenities and not the obscenity of Bush defiling the Constitution because of morally bankrupt pettiness and your sniveling partisan politics.

    Oh, yeah:

    Neither branden or jmars can explain why Bush didn't either follow the law or request that it be changed.

    (Yeah, I know you all noticed that.)

    Jaz said...

    Bush didn't follow this tenuous law because critical time would have been lost when seeking a warrant and/or political considerations would have come into play and a warrant would not have even been issued possibly. In the meantime a device of some sort could be going off somewhere or a terrorist, who may have been caught otherwise, would have plenty of time to melt away back into secrecy.

    Bush didn't seek to publicly change this law because a public political debate on this issue would be all over the media and expose to the terrorists what the NSA is up to, allowing them to change their tactics and avoid detection.

    You should be happy. Now the terrorists know what we're up to and will be now even harder to isolate identify and capture. The left has succeeding in expanding the rights of terrorists. Good job. (and you say we're doing the work of the terrorists)

    The 9-11 commission cited "a failure of imagination" as one of the reasons as to why the attack occurred. He's being attacked on this because of using imagination by employing tactics that may or may not be in the playbook that the enemy is familiar with. Once again Bush can't win for losing. If he does nothing and an attack happens he'll be attacked by the left. If he thinks outside the box and uses innovative methods to fight the terrorists he's attacked by the left.

    Just face it. You are more interested in "getting" Bush than preventing terrorism. Please just admit that. I bet you’ll feel better.

    Since this is your blog I'd like to give you the last word, but if you attempt to poke holes in our arguments I'm gonna have to address them.

    Maria said...

    jmars is lying, just like Bush:

    "Bush didn't follow this tenuous law because critical time would have been lost [LIE. YOU KNOW THAT THEY CAN GET WARRANTS RETROACTIVELY SO EITHER YOU DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THAT WORD AND YOU ARE A FOOL OR YOU ARE LYING] when seeking a warrant and/or political considerations would have come into play and a warrant would not have even been issued possibly.[LIE. YOU KNOW THAT OUT OF THE THOUSANDS OF WARRANTS SOUGHT UNDER FISA, YOU CAN COUNT ON ONE HAND THE NUMBER THAT WERE TURNED DOWN SO, AGAIN,YOU ARE LYING] In the meantime a device of some sort could be going off somewhere or a terrorist, who may have been caught otherwise, would have plenty of time to melt away back into secrecy."[LIE. YOU KNOW THAT THE FBI HAVE STATED THAT ALL THEY HAVE BEEN GETTING FROM THIS ARE THOUSANDS OF BUM LEADS THAT HAVE NOT LEAD TO ANY ARRESTS AND HAVE TIED UP THEIR VALUABLE TIME SO, ONCE MORE,YOU ARE LYING]

    "Bush didn't seek to publicly change this law because a public political debate on this issue would be all over the media and expose to the terrorists what the NSA is up to, allowing them to change their tactics and avoid detection."[LIE. YOU KNOW THAT DEWINE ALREADY MADE THIS PUBLIC IN 2002 WHEN HE OFFERED TO LESSEN THE STANDARDS SO, THERE YOU GO AGAIN,YOU ARE LYING]

    When faced with the facts, you twist and spin and outright lie.

    You're one small moment of truth is when you said the following:

    "Bush didn't follow this tenuous law"

    There, jmars admits that Bush BROKE THE LAW.

    Thanks!

    Jaz said...

    I'm just presenting the facts that I have been made aware of, not lying. If I am misinformed that’s one thing, saying that I’m lying implies I secretly know some mysterious “other” truth and then intentionally stating something I know to be incorrect. If I'm wrong on the motivations for Bush's activity would you care to explain to us why you think Bush has done any of this.

    My belief is that whatever was done was in the best interests of our security. What other possible motivation could there be? Perhaps you think he is just inept or sloppy. Or is it some sort of Hitlerian conspiracy to expand the powers of government? If you believe the latter then I wonder what possible benefit does he gain by expanding government powers just for the sake of it? He's going to be out of office in two years why should he care about anything other than what he says, our security?

    Maria said...

    "I'm just presenting the facts that I have been made aware of, not lying. If I am misinformed that’s one thing, saying that I’m lying implies I secretly know some mysterious “other” truth and then intentionally stating something I know to be incorrect."

    You're so full of it. Some of this stuff has been posted further up in this very thread. More of it on this blog.

    The "mysterious" part is what kind of visual problems you have that does not allow you to see anything that proves you wrong -- even if you reply to it.

    But let's say I believe in your mysterious eye problems. Then here's a clue:

    Don't post on the FISA Law if you haven't read it...or does your "problem" in seeing extend to the actual law itself?

    So I will add some more options:

    jmars is either:

    1. Lying
    2. Stupid (does not understand the law)
    3. Willfully Ignorant (will not look at the actual source material, yet still posts his opinions)
    4. Has a mysterious visual problem

    Take your pick.