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Obama Administration Still Defends State Secrets:

Via How Appealing comes this interesting story:

The Obama administration filed an emergency request with a federal appeals court Friday to stop a judge in San Francisco from allowing lawyers challenging the government's wiretapping program to see a classified surveillance document.

The document is the central evidence in the last remaining lawsuit over the legality of former President George W. Bush's 2001 order for the National Security Administration to intercept phone calls and e-mails between Americans and suspected terrorists in other nations.

And more from CQ's Legal Beat:

The Justice Department has filed an emergency stay motion at the 9th Circuit, asking it to freeze a district judge's order in a lawsuit challenging the legality of President Bush's warrantless surveillance program.

"Disclosure of the material at issue here would cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security and result in irreparable injury to the United States," Justice Department lawyers wrote in their brief. The Obama administration's stance is all the more striking because the immediate question is whether the plaintiffs in the case can have access to classified material they have already seen.

Richard Aubrey (mail):
Smile. It's all good.
2.21.2009 10:31am
ArthurKirkland:
It took years of "shoot first, why aim?" mistakes to create this clustermuck; is it surprising it would take more than 30 days on site to resolve the problems? Sensible people attempting to dig out would do so deliberately, especially if the original architects hid or lacked blueprints.
2.21.2009 11:17am
Letalis Maximus, Esq. (mail):
Arthur:

Keep spinning that yarn if that's what it takes to get you through the night, friend. But we'll see where all this is in 30 months, OK?
2.21.2009 11:51am
Oren:
LME, sounds like a good timeframe.
2.21.2009 11:58am
AntonK (mail):
"A Pentagon review of conditions at the Guantanamo Bay military prison has concluded that the treatment of detainees meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions."
...and that the detainees do not fit the requirements for coverage under the Geneva Conventions. But that wasn't mentioned...

No surprise in any the above...
2.21.2009 12:23pm
cirby (mail):
I can bet what really happened.

Obama took office. They sat him down and gave him The Briefing. The one where they finally tell him all of the things a junior Senator can't hear.

And one of the things they told him was about something that would have hit him directly. Some terrorist planning on attacking the Capitol, a crazy person with a grudge against him personally, or something very dangerous and right in his lap that could have killed him or his family.

At that point, he suddenly decided this program, and others like it, were Good Things.
2.21.2009 12:37pm
Curt Fischer:
cirby, Are you a diviner or prophet?
2.21.2009 12:46pm
mca (mail):
I thought someone on this thread might know the answer to this question: Is there any country in the world that allows someone other than the military or security forces to decide what is (or is not) a state secret? If, so, what are the countries and what is the procedure they use?

This isn't rhetorical, I really don't know. I've not had much success in finding out the answer online. I'd expect US policy to be in line with that of other democratic states. Is it?
2.21.2009 1:14pm
Garth:
looks like we're going to get a ruling on this.

personally, i like the fact that, factually, this should be an easy case in which to rule against the President.
2.21.2009 1:35pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
The state secret doctrine is a f***ing valuable thing. You can't just give it away in 30 days.
2.21.2009 1:51pm
Mac (mail):
Just smiling.

Looks like we can schedule the Obama war crimes trial to run concurrently with Bush's.
2.21.2009 2:03pm
Just an Observer:
It is extremely disturbing that the Obama DOJ would continue the stonewalling position staked out by its predecessor.

Not only does Obama reject calls for criminal investigations, here he obstructs civil redress.

Even if the plaintiffs' lawyers are allowed the narrow access to the secret document that Judge Walker has ordered, however, it is hard to see how they ultimately can prevail in this case. As I understand it, under Walker's ruling they still cannot use the secret contents to establish the fact that the plaintiffs were surveilled in the first place -- even though they have already seen the document.

In enacting FISA, Congress left this Catch 22, even while providing a cause of action for theoretical civil remedy. This particular flaw in FISA should be corrected by legislation, just as the general overreach of the state-secrets privilege should be restrained by law.

Meanwhile, nothing requires the Obama administration to assert this position in court. In fact, nothing prevents voluntary disclosure by the government to any and all "aggrieved persons" -- other than those who truly are agents of foreign powers -- that they had been surveilled illegally under the Bush administration's program.

Despite the administration's rhetorical support for openness in government and freedom of information, I see nothing so far to establish such a record. Here the government is apparently using the privilege to cover up violations of the law.
2.21.2009 2:04pm
Sarcastro (www):
Wow. Looks like the crazy wing of the liberals are hypocrites now, and to heck with 30 months!

I'm pretty sure this logically exonerates all crazy conservatives from any wrongdoing till the next Republican administration!
2.21.2009 2:38pm
DangerMouse:
Looks like the crazy wing of the liberals are hypocrites now, and to heck with 30 months!


They are.

I'm pretty sure this logically exonerates all crazy conservatives from any wrongdoing till the next Republican administration!


It does.
2.21.2009 3:05pm
Oren:

...and that the detainees do not fit the requirements for coverage under the Geneva Conventions. But that wasn't mentioned...

Even if that's true, it's possible that the US might do something slightly in excess of what's strictly required.


Is there any country in the world that allows someone other than the military or security forces to decide what is (or is not) a state secret? If, so, what are the countries and what is the procedure they use?

I know the Israeli courts uses a form of in-camera review of materials when deciding whether the state interest in secrecy is sufficiently weighty. Then again, their courts are set up to do this securely.

Perhaps the FISA court could perform a similar role in the US ...
2.21.2009 3:36pm
Dissenting Justice (mail) (www):
I don't think this exonerates Republicans. Instead, it just makes liberals look a bit hyocritical. But this is not because of anything Obama has done -- although some of his policies now go against his campaign promises. Instead, liberals were literally foaming at the mouth over things that Obama shares with the Bush administration. Now, they are either silent (probably paralyzed) or mounting a partisan defense of Obama. Neither position is honest and helpful. Two Important Terrorism Updates...But You've Heard Them Before
2.21.2009 3:40pm
Just an Observer:
I know the Israeli courts uses a form of in-camera review of materials when deciding whether the state interest in secrecy is sufficiently weighty. Then again, their courts are set up to do this securely.

Perhaps the FISA court could perform a similar role in the US ...


I don't see how the specialized FISA court is any more qualified than other Article III courts to weigh all security issues. It is, however, eminently will suited in its fact-finding role to determine whether a surveilled party was an agent of a foreign power, and whether surveillance actually occurred. That is not a weighing and balancing role.

It would take legislation to create a jurisdiction, but a statute could require the goverment to disclose to the FISA court any surveillance that took place under the so-called "terrorist surveillance progam," and give the government a chance to show cause why this fact should not be disclosed to any targets because they really were "agents of foreign powers." If no such cause existed, the court could order that the targets be notified of such surveillance and declared "aggrieved persons" under the law.

That is not unlike the procedure specified under FISA already in cases where "emergency" surveillance is conducted without a warrant and the FISA court later determines it not to have been justified. The problem is that the law does not make provision for situations such as the TSP, where the president simply acted outside the FISA statute.
2.21.2009 4:11pm
ArthurKirkland:
If fans of rash, selfish, thuggish, unlawful and counterproductive government actions and policies are still pleased by the Obama Administration's actions and policies in July 2009, I will be surprised, disappointed and (to those who predict Obama will be no better than Bush) apologetic.
2.21.2009 4:13pm
Oren:


I don't see how the specialized FISA court is any more qualified than other Article III courts to weigh all security issues. It is, however, eminently will suited in its fact-finding role to determine whether a surveilled party was an agent of a foreign power, and whether surveillance actually occurred. That is not a weighing and balancing role.

Well, maybe a FISA-like court, set up with the same sensitivity towards protecting information from leaks.
2.21.2009 4:50pm
MarkField (mail):

I don't think this exonerates Republicans. Instead, it just makes liberals look a bit hyocritical. But this is not because of anything Obama has done -- although some of his policies now go against his campaign promises. Instead, liberals were literally foaming at the mouth over things that Obama shares with the Bush administration. Now, they are either silent (probably paralyzed) or mounting a partisan defense of Obama.


This paints with a pretty broad brush considering that many of us here have been very critical of Obama on this and related issues. In fact, Daily Kos criticized Obama about Bagram just today.

I know you like the holier than thou pose, DJ, but it's pretty thin.
2.21.2009 5:03pm
Dissenting Justice (mail) (www):
MarkField - Pointing to one thread on DK that criticizes Obama does not establish anything close to the level of liberal anger towards the same policies during the Bush administration. And pointing this out does not mean that I am attempting to be "holy." Instead, I actually believe in progressive politics.

The holier than thou crowd is really comprised of angry "liberals" who felt good about themselves because they bashed Bush over the head, but now they convince themselves that all is well because he is gone and the GOP is limping. But this does not alter the status quo at all. The scattered critiques of Obama's replication of Bush's most despised policies shows that liberals are bent on offering "more of the same."
2.21.2009 6:07pm
Just an Observer:
Well, maybe a FISA-like court, set up with the same sensitivity towards protecting information from leaks.

I don't think the primary justification for the state-secrets privilege is that Article III judges cannot be trusted to keep secrets. Rather, the rationale has been that the judiciary is not qualified to make the sort of balancing tests -- weighing harms of security against other considerations -- that you seem to suggest.

As I understand Sen. Leahy's proposed legislation, it would not generally ask judges to perform such balancing tests either. Rather, it would define certain procedures and rules for judges to employ in deciding whether and how to apply the privilege.

My own suggestion above about the FISA court really is not related directly to the state-secrets privilege, but aimed at a specific flaw in FISA itself. It might handle the problem in the case at hand, and similar situations where there is an apparent need to remedy FISA violations.
2.21.2009 6:08pm
RPT (mail):
"ANTONk:

"A Pentagon review of conditions at the Guantanamo Bay military prison has concluded that the treatment of detainees meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions."

...and that the detainees do not fit the requirements for coverage under the Geneva Conventions. But that wasn't mentioned...'

No surprise in any the above..."

You are correct. That is just the conclusion you would expect from the Pentagon at this point. Of course, Obama has access to all sorts of information that was concealed beforehand, and was certainly not presented in any congressional briefings. No one here knows that information, so most of these snarky comments are nothing but self-serving speculation. In addition, given the primacy of personal Bush loyalty (see Monica Goodling) over any other interest or value, it is also not certain that Obama has been given or is being given complete and accurate briefings or reports from the Bush Administration holdovers in the DOJ or other departments. We don't know what stories he is being told or wgat information is being withheld. Would you expect otherwise? Accordingly, it is much too early to jump to conclusions.
2.21.2009 6:10pm
Just an Observer:
Dissenting Justice,

I followed your link to your own blog post, and read it. I still don't understand its relevance to this thread, which is about the application of state-secrets privilege in a FISA lawsuit. Perhaps you meant to post your comment in a different thread about habeas petitions from Bagram or current conditions in Guantanamo?
2.21.2009 6:49pm
MarkField (mail):

Pointing to one thread on DK that criticizes Obama does not establish anything close to the level of liberal anger towards the same policies during the Bush administration.


Careful -- you're going to pull a muscle moving those goalposts. Your shtick is to criticize "liberals" generally as hypocrites. Pointing to one thread on DK -- and that wasn't my only evidence, anyway -- specifically refutes your castigation of ALL liberals as hypocrites. If you want to add some modifiers to your criticisms, then you can fire away.


And pointing this out does not mean that I am attempting to be "holy." Instead, I actually believe in progressive politics.


I have no idea what you believe. I only know what you post. What you post is not evidence that you believe in progressive politics, it's evidence that you think you're better than other people. Thus, you make statements like this:

"The holier than thou crowd is really comprised of angry "liberals" who felt good about themselves because they bashed Bush over the head, but now they convince themselves that all is well because he is gone and the GOP is limping."

If you want to show some sincerety, then add some detail: names, links, etc. In the absence of that, you're no better than the conservatives who spent the last 8 years calling liberals "traitors".
2.21.2009 6:57pm
RPT (mail):
Mark:

Unfortunately, all cannot be deemed diagnosed, much less made "well", until the multiple dead-enders and "burrowed moles" are gone, the record of what was done over the last 8 years is disclosed, save of course for the erased videos and millions of deleted emails, the faux-immunity recipients like Rove are examined under oath (their greatest fear), and some remedial steps taken. This process will take years. But at least the debate is on re "are they war criminals or not" for the historical record. That's a good reason for leaving Boalt for Chapman.
2.21.2009 7:04pm
Mac (mail):
RPT,

Let me guess, you also fear jet plane contrails and black helicopters.
2.21.2009 7:08pm
RPT (mail):
Hi Mac:

No, I live in the real world where people do bad things, both elsewhere and here. How about you? Remember, black helicopters are a wingnut meme.
2.21.2009 7:11pm
Dissenting Justice (mail) (www):
Observer -I posted it because it comments on what I believe is hypocrisy on Obama's policies that mirror Bush's.

Mark Field - I have never criticized "all" liberals as hypocrites, or I would have to include myself in that group -- or people like Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman. Sorry, that's just a scarecrow argument. But continue to offer pro bono defense for hypocrisy.

My record speaks for itself. I have over a dozen law review articles and as many years in teaching that pre-date my blogging. I really do not need to demonstrate my commitment to liberal politics. People who called liberals "traitors" for not supporting the war were bankrupt and relying on empty appeals to emotions ("support the troops"). I have used data and argumentation to justify my positions. Only someone hell bent on defending "the party line" could miss that....

I find it interesting that rather than attempting to distinguish Obama's policies from Bush's (which liberals hated) you instead accuse me of bad faith. Your silence on Obama's replication of Bush's policies (which is the point of this thread) looks a lot like the problem that I have been condemning on my blog and elsewhere: Liberals ignoring or defending the overlap between Obama and Bush.

Thanks for the responses!!!!
2.21.2009 7:16pm
Mac (mail):
No, I don't, RPT. Nor do I think I have vast amounts of extremely inside and probably classified information on "burrowed moles, erased videos and millions of deleted e-mails, etc., etc., etc.".
2.21.2009 7:17pm
RPT (mail):
Mac:

You don't, but others do. That's the point.
2.21.2009 7:27pm
Mac (mail):



You don't, but others do. That's the point.


Rpt,

I think we're back to black helicopters. That's the point.
2.21.2009 7:30pm
Just an Observer:
Dissenting Justice: Observer -I posted it because it comments on what I believe is hypocrisy on Obama's policies that mirror Bush's.

I think that overgeneralizing, even to the point of conflating disparate issues, reduces your credibility about specific issues and specific commenters if you actually do identify examples of hypocrisy. When you post a broadside over Bagram and Guantanamo in a thread about state-secrets privilege and FISA, when there is a Bagram thread still alive at this very site, you aren't doing your blogging reputation any favors. (Note that this is criticism from someone who has defended your blogging occasionally.)

All issues about "Bush's" or "Obama's" policies are not the same. There are actually many different issues, with different layers of nuance, which some of us are trying to sort through. I suspect, for example, that MarkField and I do not agree on every nuance, but we often are in accord on others. (Not to mention that you perpetuate a flawed meme that all such controversies are between "liberals" and "conservatives.")

There is some cognitive dissonance about all this stuff, no doubt about it. But I suggest that the better course is to get past that dissonance and talk about specific issues.

BTW, for future reference, please don't call me "Observer." There is another commenter who goes by that moniker. I am Just an Observer, or sometimes JaO to my friends.
2.21.2009 7:42pm
MarkField (mail):

I find it interesting that rather than attempting to distinguish Obama's policies from Bush's (which liberals hated) you instead accuse me of bad faith. Your silence on Obama's replication of Bush's policies (which is the point of this thread) looks a lot like the problem that I have been condemning on my blog and elsewhere


Thanks for making my point. As anyone who reads this blog can tell you, I have criticized Obama's policies.


I have never criticized "all" liberals as hypocrites


Yes, you did. In previous threads you did it, and your first post here says "I don't think this exonerates Republicans. Instead, it just makes liberals look a bit hyocritical. But this is not because of anything Obama has done -- although some of his policies now go against his campaign promises. Instead, liberals were literally foaming at the mouth over things that Obama shares with the Bush administration. Now, they are either silent (probably paralyzed) or mounting a partisan defense of Obama." My emphasis.

Now, if you want to qualify your condemnations -- add some modifiers like "some" or identify specific people -- then you'd have a point. As things now stand, you're a one trick pony.


But continue to offer pro bono defense for hypocrisy.


It's this sort of dishonest response which discredits you as a poster.
2.21.2009 8:01pm
MarkField (mail):

All issues about "Bush's" or "Obama's" policies are not the same. There are actually many different issues, with different layers of nuance, which some of us are trying to sort through. I suspect, for example, that MarkField and I do not agree on every nuance, but we often are in accord on others. (Not to mention that you perpetuate a flawed meme that all such controversies are between "liberals" and "conservatives.")


Exactly. One of the most annoying aspects of the talk radio crowd is that it lumps diverse people together into some condemned group. I hate that when they do it; I hate it more when someone who purports to be on my side does it.
2.21.2009 8:04pm
nicehonesty:
Appropriate criticisms to use when Bush performed actions we didn't like:
* War criminal!!!
* Truth and reconciliation commissions!!!
* Unitary Executive!!!
* Shredding the Constitution!!!
* Evil Neocons!!!
* Impeach now!!!
* Yeeeeaaaaaaaarrrggghh!!!!!!!!

Appropriate criticisms to use when Obama performs the exact same actions:
* I am surprised.
* This is all due to burrowed moles left behind by the Bush administration.
* We should wait for two and a half years before we make any judgment.
* I am disappointed.
2.21.2009 10:11pm
SG:
A question for the non-hypocritical liberals out there.

Given that consecutive presidents from different parties, with radically different advisors and political philosophies, have both come to basically the same conclusion on the appropriate balance between national security vs. due process (and one has to walk back all their campaign rhetoric and potentially alienate a large mass of their supporters to do so), do you ever entertain the thought that perhaps your idea of the proper balance is inappropriate?

Is there anything that would convince you that national security concerns deserve more weight than you have been willing to give?

If so, what would be convincing? If not, then isn't your position by definition unreasonable in that it simply isn't subject to reason?
2.21.2009 10:13pm
roan:
So...

The Constitution's establishment of a democratic Republic directed and overseen by representatives of the people has apparently been formally repealed over at the 60-some-odd-year-old ex-agency of our Republic called the Central Intelligence Agency:

Despite my failure [as a CIA whistleblower] to effect change internally, not once did I speak to a journalist, member of Congress, or any other unauthorized person. (Note to readers: At the CIA, members of Congress are generally considered "unauthorized" persons).


Says gagged CIA whistleblower Ilana Sara Greenstein, who has tried and failed - for years now - to expose the CIA's "disastrous" performance in Baghdad. [One key reason, no doubt, why Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Bob Gates had to make sure the new whistleblower protection statute didn't get passed by Congress as part of the stimulus bill.]

CQPolitics covered her story, although strangely without asking for a response to it from a single member of Congress.

When was Congress informed of this repeal - if they were (if they weren't, when does 'holy hell' break out on Capitol Hill?) - and why did they secretly say "okay, and we'll be sure to keep mum about your new government-in-the-dark" while continuing to collect their paychecks for services unrendered to our Republic?

This is the agency that has tortured and is torturing and helping hold innocents and genuine prisoners of war in inhumane, abusive and unlawful detainment abroad, and Congress is "unauthorized" to learn what they're doing, according to the torturers??

So who the hell is running this country, and who the hell are they running it for?

As to the similar alternate universe "state secrets" appeal requested Friday in al-Haramain, I guess the government could see the writing on the wall, after this al-Haramain brief seriously threatened to upstage our new secret government's theory of self-policing omnipotence and expose it for the unlawful tyranny it so obviously is.

The Ninth Circuit already gave the government a year of delay over the Sealed Document smoking gun in this case, before it remanded the case to proceed under FISA, and now the government wants another year of delay to protest procedures that take place regularly under CIPA in criminal prosecutions, after failing to timely appeal last July's ruling.

A failure caused because the government apparently figured they'd beaten down Judge Walker at long last, and anyway needn't bother at that late stage to start speeding up long-delayed and denied justice for these civil plaintiffs - until Walker suddenly proved he wasn't just another judicial doormat for our self-authorized secret government to stomp over. [This is also the main case that the Jay Rockefellers of the Senate Club pompously and patronizingly assured us would not be voided by the telecom immunity provisions of the FAA because it's against the government itself, and not against the telecoms as defended by the government. And they haven't even gotten around to the sovereign immunity defense yet...]

At the rate things are going, some of the best nominees Obama chose for his administration - for high-level positions at the DOJ - are going to be forced by principle and conscience to decline his offer before they ever get a chance to start the job.

Democracy dies behind closed doors.
2.21.2009 10:26pm
Bart (mail):

"Disclosure of the material at issue here would cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security and result in irreparable injury to the United States," Justice Department lawyers wrote in their brief. The Obama administration's stance is all the more striking because the immediate question is whether the plaintiffs in the case can have access to classified material they have already seen.

The plaintiffs are an al Qaeda financial front group. There is no legitimate basis to provide the enemy with classified information of intelligence gathering against them, even if some moron in DoJ accidentally disclosed this information to the enemy for a period of time.

Even the Obama folks are not that brain dead.
2.21.2009 11:11pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Does this mean we still have a chimp in the White House?
2.21.2009 11:12pm
Sharpton:
Elliot123,

Racist!!!!
2.21.2009 11:31pm
Kevin P. (mail):
Change™ has come to America.
2.21.2009 11:32pm
Mac (mail):

At the rate things are going, some of the best nominees Obama chose for his administration - for high-level positions at the DOJ - are going to be forced by principle and conscience to decline his offer before they ever get a chance to start the job


You mean they actually found some Democrats who paid their taxes?
2.22.2009 1:02am
Mac (mail):


So who the hell is running this country, and who the hell are they running it for?


roan,

You just watched a trillion dollar bill (with interest) get passed and no one in
Congress had time to read it, let alone understand it, debate it or comment on it. Ditto, the American people despite Obama's promise to post every bill on the internet for the review of the American people at least for 48 hours ahead of the vote. It was rammed through even though it was not important enough for Obama to cut short his vacation to come back and sign it.

You asked a very damn good question. Let me know when you find the answer.
2.22.2009 1:08am
BGates:
One of the most annoying aspects of the talk radio crowd is that it lumps diverse people together into some condemned group.

I too have noticed that each of the twenty million talk radio listeners behave this way, and I join Mark Field's careful and judicious criticism of these particular individuals.
2.22.2009 1:53am
Tritium (mail):
Is that a surprise? A government who keeps secrets is a Government contrary to liberty.

This one has ignored the writ of Habeas corpus. "You (shall) have the body" It is a legal action, or writ, through which a person can seek relief from the unlawful detention of themself, or of another person. It protects the individual from harm or from being harmed by the judicial system.

A war in another nation isn't reason enough to withold the reason for attention. Yet, why do Americans allow this Tyranny to occur by people on our own soil in another nation. It means we are not who we claim to be. We do not believe in liberty, but control. And we're afraid that whatever is to be found out will put a quick end to everything that is going on. It's to protect themselves from being charged with Treason.
2.22.2009 3:09am
Mac (mail):

A war in another nation isn't reason enough to withold the reason for attention. Yet, why do Americans allow this Tyranny to occur by people on our own soil in another nation. It means we are not who we claim to be. We do not believe in liberty, but control. And we're afraid that whatever is to be found out will put a quick end to everything that is going on. It's to protect themselves from being charged with Treason.


Yeah, or maybe we just think living is a good idea.
2.22.2009 3:21am
Tritium (mail):
They all hide behind their parties, because the party will only temporarly take a hit, and the policies remain even after disaster.

This is a Holy war. If you think that past wars were fought based on superstitious beliefs, you are past mistaken. The religion in this country that seems to prevail is Republicanism and Democraticism. They are the belief on how things are, and work. They are not proven, but widely believe, even when evidence shows otherwise.

By changing the definition, people assume religion relates to a belief in God. WRONG... so totally wrong. Read what religion is...
2.22.2009 3:41am
Tritium (mail):

Yeah, or maybe we just think living is a good idea.


Kill them before they can come to the other side of the world? If this is Justice, then the entire human race should be wiped out.
2.22.2009 3:43am
whit:

It is extremely disturbing that the Obama DOJ would continue the stonewalling position staked out by its predecessor.



and about as predictable as the sun rising.

i really don't understand why this is so hard to understand. sure, obama (as a dem and as a person running as the anti-bush) was going to talk a good game, but he is NOT an idiot, and he is now in a position where it's not (just) about rhetoric.

lawyers are naturally looking at this like a crime thang (hammer naturally sees nail), when simply put - it's a war thang.

govt. always has and always will do this stuff that works to keep us safe or... we wouldn't still be here.

does anybody honestly believe that the govt. has not done (not just in the last 8 years) tons of things to prevent 9/11 type attacks that we never heard about, and probably never will?

anybody who is surprised is living in Fantasy World (tm).

i may disagree with obama on a host of issues, but he is not an idiot, and he is not about to suicide the US. period.

oh, and what cirby said.
2.22.2009 3:45am
Tritium (mail):

does anybody honestly believe that the govt. has not done (not just in the last 8 years) tons of things to prevent 9/11 type attacks that we never heard about, and probably never will?

anybody who is surprised is living in Fantasy World (tm).


You mean like not planning another incident intended to promote a war abroad? What is the difference between a war to avenge God, and a war to avenge america?

It's interesting, because in the last decade or so, they found ruins to a great city, that contained contracts made in stone. One of them, was a contact with God. The Supreme Ruler, and with a land called Israel. He offered them the land, for as long as they were loyal. So I ask you.. who was God? He was the ruler of Gaeya.

It's a good thing his parents didn't call him Percy. I can only imagine how complicated it would be to praise a two syllable diety.
2.22.2009 4:46am
whit:

What is the difference between a war to avenge God, and a war to avenge america?



quite simple. we don't even know if god exists, let alone his will, or desire to be avenged.

we most definitely know america exists, and that it was attacked on 9/11

what the PROPER response was TO avenge america, based ib said attack, is a debatable issue of course.
2.22.2009 4:49am
Sam H (mail):
"lawyers are naturally looking at this like a crime thang (hammer naturally sees nail), when simply put - it's a war thang."

Exactly.
2.22.2009 7:16am
Al Maviva:
Unfortunately, all cannot be deemed diagnosed, much less made "well", until the multiple dead-enders and "burrowed moles" are gone,

Absolutely. Let's purge the military and civil service of republicans, conservatives and libertarians and replace them with Democrats, liberals and leftists we can trust other people whose professional integrity and political motivations are beyond questioning. At least beyond questioning by us.
2.22.2009 8:24am
MarkField (mail):

A question for the non-hypocritical liberals out there.

Given that consecutive presidents from different parties, with radically different advisors and political philosophies, have both come to basically the same conclusion on the appropriate balance between national security vs. due process (and one has to walk back all their campaign rhetoric and potentially alienate a large mass of their supporters to do so), do you ever entertain the thought that perhaps your idea of the proper balance is inappropriate?

Is there anything that would convince you that national security concerns deserve more weight than you have been willing to give?

If so, what would be convincing? If not, then isn't your position by definition unreasonable in that it simply isn't subject to reason?


No, it's not unreasonable. What I'm arguing for is a system of checks on executive power. What I object to is any claim by the government that courts must dismiss cases without even seeing the evidence merely on the say-so of the government.

Your other questions presuppose positions I don't hold. I agree that there are times when national security overrides private interests. I agree that the government should be permitted to assert that on a document by document basis. I agree that there may be rare cases in which the government should be able to get the entire case dismissed.

But in no case do I think the government ought to be able to do these things without some sort of price. That price might be independent review of the secrecy claim by a court. It might be judgment against the government on the contested issues. It might be some other penalty which reasonably assures that the government's assertion is genuine. Some such assurance we must have.
2.22.2009 10:41am
MnZ (mail):
roan, I - for one - am glad that Congresspeople are generally consider to be unauthorized. Congress has wisely chosen to authorize only a small number members for oversight roles. National security should not be at risk just because one congressional district or state elected a kook.
2.22.2009 11:09am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
markfield:

Now, if you want to qualify your condemnations -- add some modifiers like "some" or identify specific people -- then you'd have a point. As things now stand, you're a one trick pony.


You said that to Professor Darren Lenard Hutchinson, a/k/a "Dissenting Justice." And you have gotten to the heart of what he does.

And I said essentially the same thing to him here. Maybe you'll be luckier than me and get a comprehensible answer.

I also notice that what he has done in that thread and other threads is delete comments that point out errors in his work.
2.22.2009 3:15pm
Mac (mail):

Kill them before they can come to the other side of the world? If this is Justice, then the entire human race should be wiped out.


Tritium,

The wiping out of the entire human race is exactly what the jihadist are working on. Listen to Ahmadinejad sometime. He is wanting to hasten the coming of the 12th Imam which will bring about the end of the world and the Rapture. There is no reasoning with a religious fanatic. Try talking to one sometime and see how far you get.
2.22.2009 3:17pm
Mac (mail):

You mean like not planning another incident intended to promote a war abroad? What is the difference between a war to avenge God, and a war to avenge america?



God can take care of Himself. We have to work a bit harder.
2.22.2009 3:20pm
SG:
MarkField:

Thanks for the response, but my question is larger in scope than just the state secrets doctrine. I'm asking about the sum total of the Obama national security policy, which seems far more similar to Bush's (indefinite detentions, renditions, CIA interrogations, missile strikes, etc) than different, and even where it differs the differences are usually of style not substance (Bush wanted to close Gitmo too).
2.22.2009 3:56pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
mac:

The wiping out of the entire human race is exactly what the jihadist are working on. Listen to Ahmadinejad sometime.


Luckily for us, Iran is constrained by their enemy, Saddam Hussein. We just have to make sure that Iraq doesn't fall into the hands of a regime that will reverse course and develop "strategic ties" with Iran. Oh, wait…
2.22.2009 4:03pm
SG:
For Iraq to provide a meaningful constraint on a nuclear Iran, it would have to be nuclear state too. Is it your argument that we would be safer with both Saddam Hussein AND Iran possessing nuclear arms? If you don't envision Hussein in possession of nuclear weapons, how do they meaningfully constrain Iran?

Unless it's your position that we should be assisting this hypothetical Hussein-led Iraq in being a deterrent to Iran, but since I'm almost positive I've read you decry the fact that we did that during the '80's, I'm pretty sure you didn't mean that. (And besides, if assisting Iraq was the plan, we would be much better off assisting a democratically governed Iraq than a Husein-led Iraq. Which, come to think of it, is probably what will happen...)

Do you actually think through the logic of your postings or do you just see some way to attack Republican and then it's off to the races?
2.22.2009 4:21pm
roan:
Congress has wisely chosen to authorize only a small number members for oversight roles.


MnZ, if you read the statement of Ms. Greenstein's about the CIA Publications Review Board censorship of her book, she seems quite absolute about the fact that not one member of Congress was available to her as a CIA whistleblower. She indicates that not even "a small number of members" of Congress were "authorized" - such as the members of the Congressional Intelligence Committees - to hear her concerns in secret. Is that okay with you too? In her account, the Congress may as well not exist at all, as far as her information is concerned.

Greenstein's isn't an isolated complaint. Most members of the Intelligence Committees of Congress couldn't even get 'read in' on the very domestic spying they were being forced to pass legislation to 'legalize' until very late in the game, after the deal was basically done by people like Rockefeller and Bond. And who knows what carefully-massaged version of the truth they were finally told about the programs they seem to have - and accept that they have - no independent ability to investigate on their own.

If members of Congress actually honored their Constitutional role (and believed in their central role in our federal system), they could easily hold a month's worth of hearings for testimony from whistleblowers alone - in public and in private - who have been brushed off, ignored and abandoned by Congress, despite their being persecuted out of the Executive Branch. That alone would expand our knowledge of what's been done in our names on multiple fronts, exponentially, before any investigations even begin.

I mean... If we simply don't give a damn that "disastrous" behavior and outcomes are happening because of American actions in Baghdad - at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars of new American debt, American and Iraqi lives, enormous opportunity cost, and the sowing of seeds for future blowback - that's one thing. But why bother with a federal government at all, if it exists simply to drain our national future of its promise, and we have no standards at all concerning its performance or its reason for being - including its sainted excuse of "national security" which - if ever closely examined - would prove to be the self-defeating fraud that genuine conservatives rightly suspect any such claim of government solicitude-to-gain-authority to be.

If I was Leon Panetta, I know where'd I turn to find out what's really going on in the Green Zone in Iraq - long before I'd ever hear about it from media reporting or from my close associates at the CIA. Same with Congress. But Congress doesn't want the hassle of the responsibilities that go with the benefits and power of their positions. Reading bills - never mind writing them - please, who do we think they are... They're all just fine with passing their jobs of oversight of the Executive Branch to Executive Branch Inspectors General, and calling it a day.

Until the claims of necessity for increasingly-suffocating government secrecy are diligently examined - by independent parties in secret, or in public whenever possible - we'll always have the trusting assertions that "the government is keeping us safe [from Muslims]" (if not from hurricanes, or Wall Street gamblers in high places, or poisoned food). As far as I'm concerned, the only way we'll ever "suicide" the U.S.A. is to actually believe - and to let Congress continue to pretend to believe - such assertions on their face, with blind faith and without examination, while we ignore all the historical evidence - including 9/11 itself - that secret government will not and does not protect its people.
2.22.2009 4:25pm
LM (mail):
Dissenting Justice,

Smears are tough sells to informed consumers. When Glenn Greenwald (of whom I'm usually a fan) called Orin Kerr a "leading apologist" for Bush's lawless policies, all he did was discredit himself to those familiar with Orin's blogging. Likewise, to the readers of these threads, accusing Mark Field of "offer[ing] pro bono defense for hypocrisy" is so misplaced, it exposes you as being, at best, recklessly uninformed.
2.22.2009 4:31pm
nicehonesty:
MarkField:
Your shtick is to criticize "liberals" generally as hypocrites. Pointing to one thread on DK — and that wasn't my only evidence, anyway — specifically refutes your castigation of ALL liberals as hypocrites. If you want to add some modifiers to your criticisms, then you can fire away.

...

If you want to show some sincerety, then add some detail: names, links, etc. In the absence of that, you're no better than the conservatives who spent the last 8 years calling liberals "traitors".


Comedy gold! Thanks for the laugh.
2.22.2009 4:50pm
MarkField (mail):

Thanks for the response, but my question is larger in scope than just the state secrets doctrine. I'm asking about the sum total of the Obama national security policy, which seems far more similar to Bush's (indefinite detentions, renditions, CIA interrogations, missile strikes, etc) than different, and even where it differs the differences are usually of style not substance (Bush wanted to close Gitmo too).


The problem is, each of these issues raises different policy concerns. I don't think I can give you a general answer to them all (certainly not in a blog comment).

I will say, though, that I suspect you're underplaying the actual, as opposed to rhetorical, differences between the two. Just for example, I expect that Obama won't torture anyone, and that he actually will close Gitmo rather than merely express a "desire" to. When it comes to specific actions, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves he doesn't deserve it.

Since that's all in the future, all I can say now is that I want certain structural protections in place. That's no less true now that Obama is in office than it was when Bush was there.
2.22.2009 5:09pm
Mac (mail):

SG:
For Iraq to provide a meaningful constraint on a nuclear Iran, it would have to be nuclear state too. Is it your argument that we would be safer with both Saddam Hussein AND Iran possessing nuclear arms? If you don't envision Hussein in possession of nuclear weapons, how do they meaningfully constrain Iran?


Sg,

Thank you for stating the obvious and saving me the trouble.
2.22.2009 5:22pm
Mac (mail):
Mark Field,


Obama is finding that he has the same problem that Bush had i.e. what do you do with these folks when you close Gitmo?

He has to find an answer to that before Gitmo gets closed.
2.22.2009 5:25pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Just for example, I expect that Obama won't torture anyone, and that he actually will close Gitmo rather than merely express a "desire" to."

Why?
2.22.2009 5:35pm
MarkField (mail):

Obama is finding that he has the same problem that Bush had i.e. what do you do with these folks when you close Gitmo?

He has to find an answer to that before Gitmo gets closed.


I agree with this. That's why the delay in closing Gitmo is reasonable. What I've objected to are the legal positions the new Admininstration has taken which undercut the ability of courts to check the abuse of power.


Why?


Because I generally take people at their word until they prove that they don't deserve it.
2.22.2009 6:54pm
SG:
I will say, though, that I suspect you're underplaying the actual, as opposed to rhetorical, differences between the two. Just for example, I expect that Obama won't torture anyone, and that he actually will close Gitmo rather than merely express a "desire" to. When it comes to specific actions, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he proves he doesn't deserve it.

Perhaps, but I expect them to do different things too. After all, the world looks rather different in 2009 than it did in (say) 2002. Isn't it the case that no one was waterboarded after 2003 or so? For the purposes of my argument, the relevant point of comparison is not what they do, but what they claim the right to do.

Since that's all in the future, all I can say now is that I want certain structural protections in place. That's no less true now that Obama is in office than it was when Bush was there.

I don't disagree with this, but fundamentally that's a job for Congress.
2.22.2009 7:10pm
MarkField (mail):

I don't disagree with this, but fundamentally that's a job for Congress.


The judiciary too, since some of the rules (like state secret) are judge-made.
2.22.2009 8:18pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Because I generally take people at their word until they prove that they don't deserve it."

Do you think Obama's record of actions to date is congruent with his words.
2.22.2009 9:11pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sg:

For Iraq to provide a meaningful constraint on a nuclear Iran, it would have to be nuclear state too.


The damage that Iraq did to Iran between 1980 and 1988 was quite "meaningful," even though no nuclear weapons were used. Even though Saddam didn't have WMD, he had an enormous arsenal of conventional weapons. That arsenal was a significant threat to Iran. When we invaded, it stopped being a threat to Iran. Instead, it has been used to fuel chaos inside Iraq. And that arsenal is now largely in the hands of groups that are friendly to Iran.

A non-nuclear Iraq that is hostile to Iran is definitely less preferable to Iran than a non-nuclear Iraq that is friendly to Iran. Thanks to us, Iran is now in a more favorable position than it was when Saddam was in power.

Unless it's your position that we should be assisting this hypothetical Hussein-led Iraq in being a deterrent to Iran, but since I'm almost positive I've read you decry the fact that we did that during the '80's


What you've seen me 'decry' is the fact that we helped a war criminal. Reagan and Rummy assisted Saddam with lots of useful goodies, like cluster bombs, anthrax, bubonic plague and deadly pesticides (deadly against humans, that is). And of course they did this right around the same time that Saddam was gassing civilians. We were helping a war criminal, but that was OK, because he was our war criminal. Saddam was capable of "being a deterrent to Iran" without our help. We didn't need to be so quick to jump into bed with a thug.

if assisting Iraq was the plan, we would be much better off assisting a democratically governed Iraq than a Husein-led Iraq


If we're concerned about a threat from Iran, then assisting "a democratically governed Iraq" doesn't make a lot of sense if that "democratically governed Iraq" is an ally of Iran. And that's what Iraq now is.

Isn't it the case that no one was waterboarded after 2003 or so?


Provided you accept statements from an administration that made lots of statements that turned out to be false.

==================
nice:

Comedy gold!


The joke's on you. By saying "the conservatives who," instead of just 'conservatives,' Mark was indeed including the kind of modifiers that Hutchinson typically omits (example).

Maybe Mark thought your error is so obvious it wasn't worth mentioning.
2.22.2009 9:18pm
SG:
The damage that Iraq did to Iran between 1980 and 1988 was quite "meaningful," even though no nuclear weapons were used.

Come on, now. Neither side had nuclear weapons then (although as you point out, Iraq did use WMDs). The calculus is rather different when one side has them.

Israel is believed to have acquired nuclear weapons in 1975. How many times have they been attacked by a nation state after that time? How many times were they attacked prior to that?

How long after the US developed nuclear weapons did it take for the Soviets to develop them? How about India and Pakistan?

Can you name any place where a non-nuclear state acted as a serious military deterrent to a nuclear state?

There are lots of good arguments against war in Iraq (although none of them have been relevant for 6 years...), but the notion that a Saddam-led Iraq could be a meaningful deterrent to a nuclear-armed Iran without representing a greater threat to the US just isn't one of them.

Of course, I'm sure you know all this.

It wouldn't kill you to just admit that this particular thrust failed, and (as they say) "Move On". Surely you can find plenty of other, less patently silly arguments on which to attack Republicans?
2.22.2009 9:54pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sg:

The calculus is rather different when one side has them.


The fact remains that Iran prefers a non-nuclear Iraq that is friendly to Iran, as compared to a non-nuclear Iraq that is hostile to Iran. For a multitude of reasons. Iran and Iraq are now pursuing cooperation "in electricity, oil and gas fields." Not something Saddam was going to encourage (regardless of whether or not Iran had nukes). Iran is better off than it was before. We removed one of their greatest enemies. Mission accomplished!

How many times have they been attacked by a nation state after that time?


Instead of being attacked directly by 'nation-states,' they've been under almost constant attack by proxies of 'nation-states.' Big difference. Not.

How long after the US developed nuclear weapons did it take for the Soviets to develop them? How about India and Pakistan?


I think you're implying a scenario where Iran would get nukes, and then Saddam would follow, somehow. Except that this doesn't add up, because we now know that sanctions were working, and that Saddam wasn't close to having nukes, even though he wanted them.

Meanwhile, how long do you think it's going to be before Iran's nuclear technology migrates to its new Iraqi allies? Since they are developing cooperation "in electricity, oil and gas fields," why would any rational person assume that they will keep this cooperation strictly non-nuclear?
2.22.2009 10:32pm
SG:
You really want to double down on this one?

You're conflating what's worse for Iran with what's best for the US. They're not necessarily the same thing. Stipulated, a Saddam-led Iraq would be a greater nuisance to Iran than the current government of Iraq, but you haven't shown that benefit wouldn't be outweighed by the increased nuisance Iraq would pose to the US.

I think you're implying a scenario where Iran would get nukes, and then Saddam would follow, somehow.

No, I'm saying that if he would intend to remain a meaningful military rival to Iran he would need to acquire nukes; without them he becomes irrelevant. He can't risk a hot war with a nuclear-armed Iran.

Without nukes, Iraq remains a nuisance to the US (do we still have to defend the Saudi oil fields?) without presenting any sort of meaningful opposition to Iran. With nukes, there are two nuclear armed hostile regimes. Neither scenario is preferable to the current one where the US only has one actively hostile regime to deal with.

I'm assuming that you understand all this but just won't let any opportunity to criticize Republicans pass by.
2.22.2009 10:51pm
MarkField (mail):

Do you think Obama's record of actions to date is congruent with his words.


Not entirely, no. For example, he flat out contradicted a campaign promise when he voted for the telecom immunity provisions of the FISA bill. At that point I stopped all support to him except my vote. He also seems to have contradicted his previous position wrt blanket claims of state secrets, though I haven't followed those cases as closely as I have the torture cases. While I'm not thrilled and I'm watching closely, I'm a generous soul so I'm still granting him the benefit of the doubt to some extent.
2.22.2009 11:18pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sg:

You're conflating what's worse for Iran with what's best for the US.


Actually, I'm not, but nice job with the straw man, and nice job trying to change the terms of the argument. All I have been doing is making a point about this particular aspect of the situation (that we helped Iran by removing Saddam). I have not claimed that this one fact is enough to prove that the war was a mistake. But it's a fact that's definitely relevant to evaluating the war.

a Saddam-led Iraq would be a greater nuisance to Iran than the current government of Iraq


Exactly. It's nice to see that I'm finally getting through to you. What you are finally admitting is essentially what I've been saying all along. Except that you minimize the reality of the situation by using the word "nuisance." Saddam was much more than a "nuisance" to Iran. And the value to Iran of turning Iraq into a close ally (what Iraq now is to Iran) is much greater than simply removing a "nuisance."

you haven't shown that benefit wouldn't be outweighed by the increased nuisance Iraq would pose to the US


That's a reasonable question, but I haven't (yet, in this thread) made any statements about my answer to that question. As I said, you're trying to change the terms of the argument.

if he would intend to remain a meaningful military rival to Iran he would need to acquire nukes; without them he becomes irrelevant


Do you really not notice how you are directly contradicting yourself? "A Saddam-led Iraq" cannot simultaneously be both a "nuisance" to Iran, and also be "irrelevant" to Iran.

He can't risk a hot war with a nuclear-armed Iran.


Correct. But he would still refuse to trade with Iran. As it is, Maliki is in a big hurry to trade with Iran, and to develop "strategic ties." So it's a great advantage for Iran that Maliki is in power, instead of Saddam. And this is true regardless of the issue you're raising about nukes.

Neither scenario is preferable to the current one where the US only has one actively hostile regime to deal with.


Maliki's lifetime track record is pro-Iran, anti-Israel and anti-US. Once we leave, let us know how many nanoseconds you think will elapse before Iraq turns in the direction of becoming an "actively hostile regime." (Do you notice how this cycle repeats itself? Saddam was our friend before he wasn't.) And unlike Saddam, it will be an "actively hostile regime" that is not denied nukes by UN sanctions. On the contrary. It will be an "actively hostile regime" that has access to nuclear technology via its "strategic ties" with Iran.

A further irony of the situation is that it's the GOP that is especially beating a drum about the alleged threat posed by Iran. Meanwhile, the GOP-led war against Iraq made Iran stronger. Does the GOP ever mention that fact? Of course not. Is that ignorance, denial, or dishonesty? I can't think of any other possibilities.
2.23.2009 8:17am
SG:
Actually, I'm not, but nice job with the straw man, and nice job trying to change the terms of the argument. All I have been doing is making a point about this particular aspect of the situation (that we helped Iran by removing Saddam). I have not claimed that this one fact is enough to prove that the war was a mistake. But it's a fact that's definitely relevant to evaluating the war.

Sure it's relevant to evaluating the war, but it's not intellectually honest to only tally the costs while ignoring the benefits. That's not arguing, that's just propaganda. That was my point.

If you want to make the argument that the US position with Iran is on net detracted because Saddam no longer governs Iraq, then make that argument. But be sure to at least include the costs of protecting Saudi oil fields, enforcing no-fly zones, enforcing sanctions, having to maintain a dual-focus international diplomatic process (Iraq and Iran), the loss of military experience and (at least for the immediate term) the lack of 150,000 experienced troops stationed directly on the Iranian border. On the other side is the loss of US credibility on WMD allegations, an overstretched military, general war fatigue, and yes, Saddam's potential to be an irritant to Iran.

It's my opinion that we're better off with only one active enemy in the region than two, but the counter-argument can be honestly made.

But you're not making an honest counter-argument. This is the blog equivalent of Colin Powell at the UN. If that's the model you want to emulate, well more power to you, but don't think you're convincing anyone. You seem to have become what you despise.
2.23.2009 11:30am
Tritium (mail):
Mac Said:

Tritium Said: Kill them before they can come to the other side of the world? If this is Justice, then the entire human race should be wiped out.


Tritium,

The wiping out of the entire human race is exactly what the jihadist are working on. Listen to Ahmadinejad sometime. He is wanting to hasten the coming of the 12th Imam which will bring about the end of the world and the Rapture. There is no reasoning with a religious fanatic. Try talking to one sometime and see how far you get.


Comparing the destruction we have done, over what he has done, I think actions speak louder than words. And how would a leader of another nation respond when a foreign nation is responsible for overthrowing governments, assasinating presidents, etc. etc? I think there is a hatred, yes... but is it entirely unwarranted?
2.23.2009 4:07pm
zuch (mail) (www):
Bart:
"Disclosure of the material at issue here would cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security and result in irreparable injury to the United States," Justice Department lawyers wrote in their brief. The Obama administration's stance is all the more striking because the immediate question is whether the plaintiffs in the case can have access to classified material they have already seen.
The plaintiffs are an al Qaeda financial front group. There is no legitimate basis to provide the enemy with classified information of intelligence gathering against them, even if some moron in DoJ accidentally disclosed this information to the enemy for a period of time.
Alleged "al Qaeda front group". But the horse has already left the barn; a copy of the memo (IIRC) was sent to Saudi Arabia to the client over there. Long since left the barn. The only reason for barring disclosure is as a ruse to prevent litigation of the actual issues (something that the gummint is avoiding like the plague, for some reason).

Cheers,
2.23.2009 7:16pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
sg:

it's not intellectually honest to only tally the costs while ignoring the benefits


Here's what's "not intellectually honest:" suggesting I've said something I didn't say. I have not purported to present a complete review of the costs and benefits of the war. In particular, there is no evidence that I have been "ignoring the benefits." I have made only a simple point: a certain group of people likes to beat a drum about Iran (example), while simultaneously failing to acknowledge that Bush helped Iran.

Which is very similar to suggesting that any differences between Maliki and Saddam are "irrelevant" to Iran, assuming that Iraq doesn't have nukes. In my opinion, that idea is absurd, and I've brought facts to show why.

If you want to make the argument that the US position with Iran is on net detracted because Saddam no longer governs Iraq, then make that argument


Yes, that's the argument I have made.

But be sure to at least include the costs of protecting Saudi oil fields, enforcing no-fly zones, enforcing sanctions, having to maintain a dual-focus international diplomatic process (Iraq and Iran), the loss of military experience and (at least for the immediate term) the lack of 150,000 experienced troops stationed directly on the Iranian border


It's perfectly reasonable for me to point out that the war helped Iran without considering myself obligated to also mention "the costs of protecting Saudi oil fields, enforcing no-fly zones, enforcing sanctions, having to maintain a dual-focus international diplomatic process (Iraq and Iran), the loss of military experience and (at least for the immediate term) the lack of 150,000 experienced troops stationed directly on the Iranian border." Unless I was purporting to present a complete analysis of the war. But that's not what I was doing.
2.24.2009 11:29am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
And some people are in such denial about the way the war helped Iran that they go so far as to describe Maliki as an "enemy" of Iran.
2.24.2009 11:41am

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