Rep. Joe Kennedy III offers rationale for pro-NSA vote

Do you live in Kennedy's district? What do you think? - promoted by david

If you live in Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s district like I do, and your town (such as Newton and Easton) has a Patch site, you may have noticed that on Thursday, Kennedy partook in an online chat on Patch. I was pleased to see that a number of users were upset with his No vote on the Amash-Conyers amendment and wanted an explanation.

“There is no doubt these programs need better oversight, transparency and accountability,” Kennedy replied, “and I hope to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address those issues.” Later, he continued in this generalized vein, and suggested, “One option there is to give more authority to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.”

Amash-Conyers was one such chance to address these issues. It would have defunded one particular NSA program: the mass, indiscriminate collection of Americans’ phone records. Why did Kennedy vote against it?

“I believe these reforms must be pursued deliberately and thoughtfully,” he wrote on Patch. “We have started a robust public discussion which absolutely should continue here in Congress. But spending just 15 minutes of debate on a six line amdendment that cuts funding for a program that intelligence officials say has stopped dozens of potential terrorist attacks on U.S. soil seems premature – even dangerous.”

Thus did his boilerplate and moderate commitment to reform give way to fearmongering, trust in the establishment, and distortion of the critics. The NSA spying scandal has been at the forefront for a lot longer than 15 minutes. It has long been clear that Congress needs to reign them in.

I have a right to privacy, and I expect my politicians to defend it. They should not condone when the government runs a secret, unaccountable surveillance apparatus that spies on my correspondence.

Moreover, Kennedy’s deference and trust is unwarranted. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress about what the NSA is doing, and it’s been learned that in 2011, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled some of the NSA programs to be illegal. The Obama administration, in its fight against Amash-Conyers, simply argued in bad faith. It had the chutzpah to criticize the amendment as hasty, and claim, “This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.” That uninformed, closed, hasty process apparently being Congress debating and voting on a program, the same that the Obama admin kept secret for years.

For Kennedy to follow White House talking points, and heed the direst claims of intelligence officials, is to put his trust in people who deserve skepticism instead–people who built programs to spy on us without our knowledge or consent, then lied to Congress about it.

Every other Mass congressperson recognized Amash-Conyers as a vital step to take. Joining a diverse bipartisan groundswell, they all voted for the amendment. That’s right, Kennedy refused to support an amendment that even Stephen Lynch voted for!

In a previous thread, jconway speculated that Kennedy made this vote with an eye to become “a Washington player” and stoke future ambition. My own take is that Kennedy was instead being naive and deferential to the White House.

Perhaps we can call this a rookie mistake, albeit a big one. Ironically, right-wing sophomore congressman Justin Amash is less than a year older than Kennedy but he’s been kicking butt on this issue. Elizabeth Warren has been in Congress no longer than Kennedy, but she participated in the pushback against the NSA, joining 25 senators to write a letter to Clapper insisting on more information about NSA surveillance.

Even at this stage in his tenure, the actions Kennedy takes are forming his identity and showing his constituents what kind of congressman he is. In the form of Amash-Conyers, an opportunity arose in Congress for Kennedy to do something to curtail the NSA’s excesses. He didn’t.

Goodwill towards his father and great uncle can only carry him so far. Sooner or later, he needs to demonstrate a defence of our right to privacy. How will he do that, and when?


40 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. I favor the amendment...

    …but his thinking as you quote in the fourth paragraph I don’t think is that unreasonable.

  2. Congressman Kennedy should make public a list of every telephone call he has made or received for the past six years or so.
    This list is only meta data, it would not be an invasion of his privacy.
    And who knows? It might prevent terrorism someplace, somehow. I don’t claim to understand how the disclosure of data from someone who has absolutely no ties to terrorism can prevent terrorism. But can we really afford to take chances?
    Meanwhile, once Congressman Kennedy’s list is out there, we can have a robust discussion.

    • That's just it though

      If the information were made public there would be far more outrage. But it isn’t; it’s gathered and cloistered by an unaccountable, appointed and faceless political “priesthood” that operates in the shadows for the good of the nation. Congress should have been informed and voted on it before the program began – now they look weak and foolish. Only the White House has the ability to shut it down.

  3. That was a rather unsatisfying explanation

    It reads more like an excuse, or that he’s bought in to the NSA’s vague handwaving. What Amash’s amendment would have done would have been simply to limit the NSA to working within the bounds of the law as Congress and most people understood it. Instead, the NSA comes to us with this fait accompli that’s vastly beyond what was authorized, pretending that it’s within their interpretation of the law – making it clear that the law had some huge holes they could drive through and needs at the very least to be clarified. Instead, Kennedy seems to think “well if they’re doing it already, we need to carefully debate before making them stop.” NO, we need to carefully debate *before letting them start*.

    It’s similar the childhood tactic of “it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission”, except in this case “forgiveness” means “let’s figure out if we really don’t want to give you permission, and in the meantime keep on doing it.”

    I’d like to see Rep. Kennedy acknowledge that his vote was a mistake, and apologize for it.

  4. I'm not buying it either

    And I’m a bit embarrassed of the little part I did working toward his election. As if the biggest problem with this do-nothing Congress is their habit of rushing into action.

    sabutai   @   Fri 26 Jul 12:56 AM
  5. the NSA spying programs should have been *enacted* deliberately and thoughfully — including out in the open and with public comment. Instead, they were rushed through in a massive spy agency power grab, with no oversight and no where for companies holding this data to go to either inform their costumers of what was happening or challenge the legality of it in court. (FISA, like any shadowy kangaroo court, doesn’t count).

    So, sorry, I don’t accept this rational. These programs must be full-stopped, so we can have a real discussion as a country about what is acceptable and what isn’t when it comes to spying, especially spying on American people. We must always err on the side of freedom, not opaque ‘security measures’ that give nearly omnipotent powers to government spy agencies.

    RyansTake   @   Fri 26 Jul 1:57 AM
    • I just wonder how many pro-domestic spying votes were bought by NSA blackmailing?

      Maybe, maybe not. We’ll never know…

      What’s left unsaid is the questionable security of the security apparatus. From what I understand Mr. Snowden simply downloaded the information from his work pc to a USB thumb drive and walked out of the building into history.

      Nobody at NSA thought to disable the USB ports? Even with the furor over Bradley Manning doing the same thing a few years earlier? If the NSA computers are on a network, and I’m sure they are, why do they need access to thumb drives? With all the billions spent on security, NSA can’t procure workstations/terminals that have no USB ports? No dumb terminals? No thin clients?

      If you go to Las Vegas and put $5.00 down on the table for your bet the whole transaction is monitored, reviewed and recorded by the internal security folks. But not a contractor or employee’s activity with what they call the “most sensitive information for national security” with NSA? Nah! What’s wrong here?

      Background checks. A background check only checks past performance of an individual and their association with others. It means nothing as to a person’s future conduct. We have a history of people in intelligence agencies selling out to foreign governments that passed the background checks. How much more dangerous is it when an agency doing illegal things to its own citizens hires people of conscience to review data that demonstrates its own corruption? Shouldn’t they be looking for sociopaths that would readily lie to Congress without batting and eye for employees?

      Then the whole shebang falls under the aegis of a foreign power? Seriously. Why would any outfit called “National Security Agency” hire a couple of foreign companies to massage their supposedly sensitive data? Whose nation? Any foreign nation not taking full advantage of this would be a fool. The Mossad is not an agency of fools.

      But the US government continues to chase and revile Mr Snowden who is getting a folk hero status despite the negative MSM chants. No one at NSA claims any responsibility. High ranking military officers bedangled with fruit salad on their chests decry the sharing of data with the world. (Whatever happened to the quaint old custom of falling on one’s sword?) ;o)

      “History keeps her secrets longer than most of us. But she has one secret that I will reveal to you tonight in the greatest confidence. Sometimes there are no winners at all. And sometimes nobody needs to lose.”” –John LeCarre

      • It worked well for J. Edgar Hoover

        Mr. Hoover kept his iron grip on the FBI for decades because of his trove of skeletons — and he did it all with three-by-five cards.

        I think you’re right on the money.

        I also think each and every one of us should think about what it means for us. I and too many of my friends suffered for decades after the Vietnam era because of the secret files maintained on us by the FBI because of our perfectly legal expression of our First Amendment rights.

        Have we forgotten how the compromised video tape rental records harmed Mr. Bork?

        The volume of information we’re talking about now make those look like caps next to an H-bomb.

  6. Poor Kid, Very Unsure of Himself With No Sense of History

    Hey Gingah, Do me a favor, call your dad and ask him about some of your dead relatives.

    Like great uncle Joe for whom you father is names. He dies in WWI II fighting a totalirian govt that kept records on citizens for purposes of threat and coercison, Sure they said it was something else.

    Then there’s great uncle Jack. He fought in the same war for the same reasons. Almost got killed when his PT boat was hit and he and the crew abandoned ship.

    On an issue like this he trusted some a-hole crew cut lobbyist from the Pentagon and not the experienced people from his own delegation.

    All the homes with JFK pics next to Lincoln’s.
    Does this kid really believe the US has stopped all the threats except the marathon bombing?
    I guess this is our next generation of politicians and leaders. Raised in the womb practically until out of college.
    The world id black and white and everything is on the level.

    I don’t know but this ain’t. And the Kennedy’s suck but sheeit at least they were Americans and we were all on the same page when it came it certain pillars supporting this great country.
    As I said befor if this info cam out in the 60s and 70s hippies and conservatives would have had a temporary truce in the cultural revolution and joined forces to protect their right to battle each other.

    Hey JK3, give your grandmother a call and apologize for what you have done. It’s not the worse thing a Kennedy man has done but it is the most destructive.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Fri 26 Jul 9:25 AM
  7. Can't he do anything he wants?

    He has this job for life and in a few years probably any other elected office he wants in this state.

    He could have just as easily say “I was too lazy to press the Yay button, the Nay one was closer to my finger” and he would still be re-elected by a landslide.

    I bet he could even randomly tweet pictures of his privates and still stomp any opponent.

    • Hm

      It’s comments like this that tell me that Republicans aren’t with progressives and moderates on issues like this once they go beyond politically hurting Democrats. Even when we’re in agreement, you can’t help yourself.

      sabutai   @   Fri 26 Jul 2:06 PM
      • I am only speaking the truth.

        It’s not about party.

        I’m also not with Amash or the rest of the MA delegation on this. It’s just not something I think is an issue, and I think a big chunk of the country thinks like me.

        • The biggest-scale invasion of civil liberties

          in our history is “not an issue” to you? We are in trouble.

          • Civil liberties, rising oceans, terrorists attacks......

            keeping my wife happy and getting my kids where they need to be on time. Doing my job, managing for retirement, upkeep of my house.

            A person’s got to prioritize.

            • In a republic...

              …a citizen must make time for both private and public concerns.

              • is there no end to the random insults on this page? How do you know how active I am in this state, my community, etc. ? I should just tell you to go f*ck yourself.

                What the hell are all you people doing that the government cares about anyway? I am an upper income white professional male. If I just randomly started shouting that my “civil liberties” most people would think I was a total whiner. I’ve never been followed in a store, stopped for no reason, heck I have even gotten off lightly a number of times.

                This is an Obama policy and Pelosi’s behind it. I’m sure when Clinton’s President she will embrace it as well. You voted for them (and Saint JFK III) so deal with it. They are all the best thing since slice bread (as I read here daily) so just assume NSA spying is a minor blip in your love fest.

                • Whoa!

                  What did I say or do to deserve that? There was absolutely no insult in pointing out that citizens should care. Standing up for constitutional liberty is hardly whining, and plenty here are equal-opportunity critics in terms of party when it comes policy differences.

                • Seems like I should

                  just tell you to go f*ck yourself. If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written on here, neither Obama nor Bill Clinton nor Hillary Clinton nor Pelosi are the best thing since sliced bread.

                  Sorry that you’re so f*cking important as an “upper income white professional male” that the basic principles of the Constitution of the United States mean nothing to you. They always did to me. But I guess real men don’t “whine” about such things, they just put in longer hours to make sure the lawn stays trimmed.

                • Just.... can't.... resist

                  so your post was pretty terrible. But, you write

                  I am an upper income white professional male. If I just randomly started shouting that my “civil liberties” most people would think I was a total whiner.

                  Seems to me that the only reliable way to change the government in America is when upper income white professional males demand that change. You could be a leader for positive change for all Americans.

            • my plus was supposed to be a minus

              But my tablet failed me.

              I get that everyone is busy in life, but that could be the most pathetic excuse for apathy over something as large as the NSA spying on citizens without warrants or congressional approval that I’ve ever heard. Pathetic. You can be busy and opposed to something at the same time.

              RyansTake   @   Sun 28 Jul 4:53 PM
  8. I live in the district

    and I too am disappointed. For all the talk about stopping “the next Boston,” we all know it didn’t stop “the first Boston.” More importantly, the program is too high a price to pay for the chance of preventing an event. At the time the Fourth Amendment was adopted it was understood that it would harder to stop criminals or terrorists, but that the liberty of people in this new nation was more important. None of its framers would have tolerated surveillance of this scope.

    I too worked on Kennedy’s campaign. I like Joe very much but one of my misgivings was the tendency to speak in vague platitudes. I have gotten the same impression talking to his office. Senator Warren’s staff are much more engaging. My hope was – and is – that Joe Kennedy will mature into a principled progressive legislator.

    Before we lose ourselves in praise of Justin Amash, though, let us remember that he’s a conservative Republican and a Democrat sits in the White House. If George W. Bush were still there I doubt Amash would be leading this charge. I see this as GOP hypocrisy in pretending to be defenders of civil liberties just to score political points against Obama in our binary system.

    • FWIW

      Amash has been pretty consistent on GWOT civil liberties issues and votes and as a Christian Palestinian is much better on Mideast peace issues than the average Republican. Sucks on everything else though, but glad to see him as Conyers work together and glad he brought so many on his side of the aisle on this issue. And at the end of the day his vote was far more Progressie than Kennedy’s.

      • What does

        “pretty consistent” mean when he’s only been there 2.5 years? For now he can support those issues and stick it to the Dem in the White House. If a Republican were president leadership would be all over him to toe the party line.

        My take is that Democratic House leadership had a lot to do with Kennedy’s vote here. Pelosi and Hoyer stuck with Obama to vote “no,” as did folks like van Hollen and Wasserman Schultz.

        • True

          I will give you that the real test comes if their newfound love of realism and civil liberties continues when they are in power. Recent history suggests it won’t, but recent history has also shown Democrats in Congress are also afraid to challenge the excesses of the presidency when “we” have the White House. And I would argue Kennedy was no profile in courage in this vote, unlike all of his peers in our delegation including hawkish Lynch and former prosecutor Keating.

          • That Democrats

            in Congress can be too “afraid to challenge the excesses of the presidency when ‘we’ have the White House” is the whole point of this post. With you 100% on that and let’s not hesitate to call it out. Not that anyone cared, but I was against all the Democratic votes for the 2002 Iraq resolution at the time they happened.

    • If GWB were still there, Dems wouldn't be defending it

      Amash had 94 republican votes and was not blocked by the leadership. That means that it could have passed with Democratic support, and would have if 12 more were not in support of a national police state.

      Did they do that because they are keen to support the NSA, or because Amash is a Republican and anything he proposes must be opposed, period? Does it even matter?

      At this point, the degree of electronic spying disclosed over the last 6 weeks is a Democratic policy, defended by a Democratic president and the Democrats in Congress.

      Doubtless when the White House changes policy, the Democratic leadership in the house will suddenly flip, err, discover the value of civil liberties, just as the Democrats in the Senate will, in 18 months, suddenly reaslize just how valuable the filibuster is after all. And doubtless those changes will all be made in good faith, unlike those Republicans going the other way through the revolving door.

  9. If you want to blame someone, blame the Minority Leader

    Actually, it seems that Pelosi went out of her way to torpedo the bill in the House.

    Per Foreign Policy Magazine:

    The obituary of Rep. Justin Amash’s amendment to claw back the sweeping powers of the National Security Agency has largely been written as a victory for the White House and NSA chief Keith Alexander, who lobbied the Hill aggressively in the days and hours ahead of Wednesday’s shockingly close vote. But Hill sources say most of the credit for the amendment’s defeat goes to someone else: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It’s an odd turn, considering that Pelosi has been, on many occasions, a vocal surveillance critic.

    But ahead of the razor-thin 205-217 vote, which would have severely limited the NSA’s ability to collect data on Americans’ telephone records if passed, Pelosi privately and aggressively lobbied wayward Democrats to torpedo the amendment, a Democratic committee aid with knowledge of the deliberations tells The Cable.

    “Pelosi had meetings and made a plea to vote against the amendment and that had a much bigger effect on swing Democratic votes against the amendment than anything Alexander had to say,” said the source, keeping in mind concerted White House efforts to influence Congress by Alexander and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “Had Pelosi not been as forceful as she had been, it’s unlikely there would’ve been more Democrats for the amendment.”

    • I don't want to "blame" anyone

      I want my due process and rule of law back.

      But if we are talking blame, I’d apply it to those who voted against fixing the problem, not those who merely told them how to vote.

  10. This was a weaselly vote.

    I guess it’s helpful that the Amash amendment vote has now provided a handy guide as to which legislators will give a crap about your communications and which will not.

    Kennedy’s not getting off to a good start. Yeah, I know, his name is Kennedy, he’s there for life, etc., etc., but I like my legislators to also have a clue.

    My own analysis of the Amash amendment vote is here:

  11. The cure is far worse than the disease

    As I write this comment, our Attorney General is assuring the Russians that Mr. Snowden will not be “tortured” or “killed”.

    Our “security” disorder has made us insane. This proposed “cure” — the NSA program, the PRISM program, and all the as-yet undisclosed programs like them — are far far worse than the “disease” they purport to protect us from.

    I don’t buy the elephant powder. I don’t believe in indulgences, even if the current Pope offers them. I think these programs are a naked and undisguised power grab, and I think they must be stopped right now.

    Even if we trusted the government white-hats (there are some) to do only what they say they’ll do, the Edward Snowden episode demonstrates how trivially easy it is for virtually anyone to abuse this information.

    We live in a country where the government officials responsible for kidnapping, torturing, abusing, and killing an enormous number of innocents have never been prosecuted, never mind convicted and punished — even though the evidence clearly points to formal orders issued from the Oval Office. What should we make of the “we won’t torture” claim when the party line still seems to be the waterboarding isn’t torture?

    If Mr. Snowden was submitted to the same “discipline” as Mr. Manning, would the Russians agree that we kept our word not to “torture” Mr. Snowden?

    When we coddle our own war criminals, deny the reality of their crimes, and aggressively pursue the whistle blowers (like Mr. Manning and Mr. Snowden) who courageously show us the truth, why on EARTH would anyone who has a three-digit IQ allow the reckless expansion of the exact surveillance programs initiated by those war criminals?

    Have we forgotten that the reason Mr. Obama can’t close GITMO is that the true bad-guys currently held there CANNOT be tried in US Courts because they would be immediately declared innocent — because they were tortured?

    The auto-immune disorder that began with 9/11 continues to spread throughout the American body-politic. Those who, like me, thought that electing Barack Obama would change that are sorely disappointed. Those who, like sabutai, thought that electing allegedly “liberal” Democrats from a venerated family would change that are sorely disappointed.

    I think the next question MUST be “what do we do now”?

    These programs must be stopped. Our war criminals must be prosecuted, and punished if convicted. This “security disorder” that we are still in the grips of WILL destroy us.

    We MUST find a way to stop all this.

    • Devil's advocate

      I absolutely agree with you. It is appalling that the United States had to submit that pledge to Russia– Russia, for goodness sake! That should be simply humiliating for a government that fancies itself an advocate of human rights– and shows what a catastophe the last 12 years have been.

      At the same time, though, I think that one must recognize that the auto-immune disorder you describe is what terrorism does. The over-reaction, far more than the immediate violence, is the entire point. And even though one can recognize this, attempts to prevent that over-reaction are a near-hopeless fight against human nature. Fear makes mobs, and one cannot reason with a terrified mob.

      I am less inclined than you to simply castigate policians for fear-mongering. I grew up in NYC in a neighborhood from which the Twin Towers were visible and which lost an inordinate number of residents on 9/11, and in 2013 the fear remains real and present and palpable to the point that the place feels a bit alien to those of us who do not live there regularly. Elected officials who fail to be seen “doing something” to allay the fear–and anything they do is insufficient, so they have to do MORE– will be looking for new work forthwith.* The same thing happened here after the marathon– likely among Kennedy’s constituents, who just last week were out for blood because of an offensive magazine cover.

      The fear reaction is terribly self destructive. Look at what has happened to Israel. Look what happened to the UK in the 20s and 70s-80s.

      The one thing that one should realize is that the fever eventually breaks. The UK, for all of my disdain toward its monarchy as a symbol, demonstrates that as a nation.

      Another thing the NYC experience teaches me is to be a bit more forgiving of the over-reaction to terrorism when it happens. Again, provoking that reaction is what terrorism is fiendishly designed to do, and is lamentably effective at doing. There is going to be a reaction, and the reaction is going to be self-destructive and counter-productive, because people are human. That has produced, in me, a more charitable view than I once had of British officials for their conduct in response to terrorism, or Israeli officials today. It is simply unrealistic to expect people to react, when attacked, other than as wounded.

      What I hope for in elected officials is to recognize this problem, and find ways to wear and tack across those dangerous fear-driven winds without completely losing track of the target bearing; to manage the fever while it rages in a way that the patient can return to health after it breaks.

      I am not quite sure that Pelosi et al. are doing this anymore– they seem to be simply supporting the President and opposing Republicans and little else, with no larger goal in mind. That is the thing that is disappointing here, as I expect more in the present political environment from Democrats than I do from Republicans.

      While I am very much in support of slowing or stopping “security” measures like this NSA snooping, I do not agree that security disorder will destroy us. Britain recovered its senses after the 70s, as we ourselves did after the 1950s. I agree that it damages us, grieviously, and lamentably since so much of the damge is self-inflicted, and that any effort to limit that self-damage is worthwhile. But I do not–at least not yet– believe that if those efforts are not successful in the short and maybe medium term, the result will be apocalyptic for government of the people, by the people, and for the people in the long term.

      * I think that this phenomenon explains the 2008 Giuliani campaign in significant measure. It shouldn’t be all that surprising that he wound up campaigning in a way that reflected the trauma suffered by the city he led, and the trauma he suffered personally in that role. He wound up campaigning like a terribly wounded man, which is what he was and is. It was a sign of hope that the country managed to embrace him while declining to embrace his pathologies.

      • Agreed

        An elaboration I would offer, though, is that for five long years, the actions of the George W. Bush administration and the GOP intentionally inflamed and pandered to the fear and hysteria you describe. Rather than act as a calming influence, that cabal instead fed us color-coded alerts, an absurd war supported by lies about WMDs, and of course the Patriot Act and all that followed.

        I fear that the current administration, intentionally or not, perpetuates that climate of fear and hysteria rather than calmly moving beyond it.

        • Fair enough indeed

          But in my view, that was largely a function of them being the party in power at the time, with the large and glaring exception of Iraq. On the other things, the issue wasn’t the Patriot Act, so much as the failure use wisdom in the sunset provisions, which should have been long, rather than short, in order to ensure that re-evaluation would happen at a sober distance, which in the event did not happen.

          After all, it was the Greatest Democrat Ever, for whome many still regularly vote even though he has been dead for nearly 70 years, that stuck Americans into concentration camps just in case the Japanese might cram a few million troops into amphibious landing craft (the kind that had a hard time crossing the English Channel a few years later) for a 3500 mile, weeks long voyage without food or water across the north Pacific in order to make a surprise invasion of California. And then kept them there.

          • Check the timelines again

            As shameful as it was, I fear you exaggerate the “Japanese American Internment Program”, at least as it compares to the abuses America has been perpetrating — under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — since 9/11.

            According to resources like this, the first Japanese internment camp opened in March of 1942. The last camp closed and the internment program ended on October 30, 1946. The entire sorry episode lasted only four and half years.

            I invite you to compare that to, for example, GITMO. It began operating as a prison in 1991, and it began its current role as a concentration camp for “unlawful combatants” on January 11, 2002. That was eleven long years ago — President Obama has stopped talking about closing it.

            In my view, your attempted comparison between the outrages taking place today (under both Republican and Democratic presidents) and the comparatively brief excesses of WWII falls well short of its mark.

            Our “war on terror” has now lasted nearly three times as long as the internment camps, and there is no end in sight.

            • One party?

              Governor Christie put it all together.

              “It makes no difference who you vote for – the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people” –Gore Vidal

            • Shorter, but worse rationale.

              The internment program rounded up an entire ethnic group on that basis alone. As much fearmongering as there has been recently there has been no official government policy or program to round up every Muslim in the country just ’cause.

        • Sometimes a grinning event shows up on a very serious issue.

          It seems NSA gave out a prize. The award-winner spoke as engineers speak, earnestly and honestly. Let us hope Dr Bonneau isn’t disappeared, suicided, accidented, or Boston Braked for his remarks.

          “It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” –Noel Coward

    • Disagree Tom

      If the terrorists attacked us on 911 because they hate us for our freedom, the obvious security solution is for us to give away our freedom for security.

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