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McCain Supports Warrantless Domestic Surveillance

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-lookin'-just-listenin' dept.

Privacy 650

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "While there have been shifting reports about McCain's view on warrantless wiretapping, nothing could be clearer than the latest comment by McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin, who said, 'We do not know what lies ahead in our nation's fight against radical Islamic extremists, but John McCain will do everything he can to protect Americans from such threats, including asking the telecoms for appropriate assistance to collect intelligence against foreign threats to the United States as authorized by Article II of the Constitution.' Article II, of course, is what Bush has argued gives the President virtually unlimited power during war, and McCain has already voted in favor of Telecom Immunity, though he sometimes mentions, to those asking for accountability, wanting to hold hearings about what the telecoms did."

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Parity (1, Interesting)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657483)

Just for comparison, I'd like to see what Obama's views are on this issue. Anybody got a link?

Re:Parity (5, Informative)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657607)

I found out in 2 seconds using Google: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9845595-7.html [cnet.com]

Obama: No warrantless wiretaps if you elect me
Who knows what might happen when he gets in office, though.

Re:Parity (3, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657753)

warrantless is meaningless if you have judges in your pocket to give you warrents no?

Re:Parity (5, Insightful)

evilRhino (638506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657779)

If bribing a judge is an extra impediment, I welcome it.

Re:Parity (5, Interesting)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657811)

You'd think so, but apparently even the rubber-stamp FISA court had too high of standards for Bush & Co. And that's saying something since it's ridiculously easy for the government to get a warrant from FISA (hell there is even an exemption so that you can apply for the warrant 72 hours after the fact).

To quote a bit from the article on wikipedia just to give some perspective:

In the period 1979-2006 a total of 22,990 applications for warrants were made to the Court of which 22,985 were approved (sometimes with modifications; or with the splitting up, or combining together, of warrants for legal purposes), and only 5 were definitively rejected.[4]

Re:Parity (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657813)

Dear Slashbots,

Only internet crazies and far left leaning liberals who would never vote for McCain anyway will care about this. So don't think this is going to cost him any votes.

Re:Parity (2, Interesting)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657961)

I'm relatively left-right moderate in my political views. It cost him my vote.

Re:Parity (5, Funny)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658093)

Hippy!

Re:Parity (5, Informative)

Goobergunch (876745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657609)

From Obama's site [barackobama.com] :

Obama supports updating surveillance laws and ensuring that law enforcement investigations and intelligence-gathering relating to U.S. citizens are done only under the rule of law.
Not particularly useful. However, I did find this reference to a January speech:

For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and "wiretaps without warrants," he said. (He was referring to the lingering legal fallout over reports that the National Security Agency scooped up Americans' phone and Internet activities without court orders, ostensibly to monitor terrorist plots, in the years after the September 11 attacks.)

It's hardly a new stance for Obama, who has made similar statements in previous campaign speeches, but mention of the issue in a stump speech, alongside more frequently discussed topics like Iraq and education, may give some clue to his priorities.

Re:Parity (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657741)

Thanks, Goobergunch and Jor-Al. I don't have mod points, but please accept a hearty thank you.

This does, however, make for yet another significant difference between the two candidates. I don't see anything in Article II of the U. S. Constitution that allows for warrantless wiretapping, but I think that all of us can agree that the United States Constitution is a broad framework for government, rather than an exhaustive point-by-point guide.

The warrantless wiretaps may, technically, be illegal (indeed, they probably are). Can anyone here imagine a situation where a technically illegal act by the President prevents more harm than it causes?

Re:Parity (5, Insightful)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657913)

The warrantless wiretaps may, technically, be illegal (indeed, they probably are).
There is no may about it as such acts are codified as illegal under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It should be quite telling when a president has such a shaky foundation for wanting to do wiretaps that they have to bypass the FISA court because they might reject your request.

Re:Parity (5, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657945)

Responding to my own post.

Yes, I can imagine plenty of situations where a president might commit an act that, while technically illegal, prevents more harm than it causes. By the same token, I cannot imagine any such situation that could not be horribly abused.

Warrantless wiretaps could catch criminals, but it is precisely the penchant for abusing authority that we, as human beings, have that led to laws requiring a court order for warrants. Bush has abused that authority, and in doing so has broken the law.

Warrantless wiretaps may be useful for preventing crimes and terrorism ... but only in the hands of a saint. Bush is no saint, and neither is McCain.

Obama's Stance (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657653)

Barack seems to vote to update FISA to support the ACLU's desires to banish Telecom Immunity.

If you want to read it from his site, there's a pdf that explains [barackobama.com] :

Revise the PATRIOT Act: Barack Obama believes that we must provide law enforcement the tools it needs to investigate, disrupt, and capture terrorists, but he also believes we need real oversight to avoid jeopardizing the rights and ideals of all Americans. There is no reason we cannot fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties. Unfortunately, the current administration has abused the powers given to it by the USA PATRIOT Act. A March 2007 Justice Department audit found the FBI improperly and, in some cases, illegally used the PATRIOT Act to secretly obtain personal information about American citizens. As president, Barack Obama would revisit the PATRIOT Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision.

Strengthen Warrantless Wiretap Approval Process: Barack Obama opposed the Bush Administrationâ(TM)s initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens. As president, Obama would update the Foreign Intelligence Paid for by Obama for America Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional Intelligence Committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law.
And another that goes on to say [barackobama.com] :

Eliminate Warrantless Wiretaps. Barack Obama opposed the Bush Administrationâ(TM)s initial policy on warrantless wiretaps because it crossed the line between protecting our national security and eroding the civil liberties of American citizens. As president, Obama would update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to provide greater oversight and accountability to the congressional intelligence committees to prevent future threats to the rule of law.
I'd say (even from a few of his voting records [senate.gov] ) that he is against it for the most part. Or at the very least, revising it severely.

Doesn't really matter in a two party system though, does it? Take what you can get over the crap I read about in this article from McCain's campaign.

Re:Parity (5, Informative)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657835)

This is from an Obama Q&A with the Boston Globe [boston.com] . Very first question:

1. Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?

The Supreme Court has never held that the president has such powers. As president, I will follow existing law, and when it comes to U.S. citizens and residents, I will only authorize surveillance for national security purposes consistent with FISA and other federal statutes.

I think that's about as clear a statement as you're likely to get.

(link courtesy of Glenn Greenwald [salon.com] .)

Re:Parity (2)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657899)

I just hope he'll constantly bring stuff like this up and drill it into people's heads that McCain is a just as evil as Bush, but smarter.

radical Islamic moderates (5, Funny)

florin (2243) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657485)

We do not know what lies ahead in our nation's fight against radical Islamic extremists
I believe he makes an important distinction here, and I would hate to see those cuddly moderate Islamic extremists being lumped in with the bad guys.

Re:radical Islamic moderates (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657573)

No, we're the Islamic Radical Moderates. The Moderate Islamic Radicals are over there. Splitters!

Re:radical Islamic moderates (2, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657831)

Don't let their identical DNA fool you. They differ on some key issues.

Re:radical Islamic moderates (2, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657715)

You know what has always pissed me off about McCain and his cohorts (and many others too) when talking about terrorism? Calling it "Islamic terrorism"

There's no fricking practical need in the world to throw that "Islamic" adjective on there. It sounds great because there's some implied racism associated with Muslims and Islam but it really rubs me the wrong way.

How about we focus on terrorism in general? How about we make it hard for ANYONE to perpetrate terror attacks on our country?

Re:radical Islamic moderates (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657793)

How about we make it hard for ANYONE to perpetrate terror attacks on our country?
Like not pissing everybody off ?

Re:radical Islamic moderates (0, Flamebait)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658047)

Like not pissing everybody off ?
It was her fault for dressing like a slut! She was begging to get raped!

Re:radical Islamic moderates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23658039)

You know what has always pissed me off about McCain and his cohorts (and many others too) when talking about terrorism? Calling it "Islamic terrorism"

There's no fricking practical need in the world to throw that "Islamic" adjective on there. It sounds great because there's some implied racism associated with Muslims and Islam but it really rubs me the wrong way.

How about we focus on terrorism in general? How about we make it hard for ANYONE to perpetrate terror attacks on our country?
You're exhibiting precisely the kind of radical understanding and Islamo-fundamentalist tolerance McCain warned me about.

I can't wait until you moderate sympathizers are put into internment camps to protect normal people like me from extremist reasonable views.

From what I've learned from my current president, Christian brand terrorism is just fine.

And? (1)

Jor-Al (1298017) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657487)

So another run-of-the-mill power-hungry politician wants to have no constraints placed on his power when in office. Since when is this news?

Re:And? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657701)

And I thought the republicans stood for small government ? This is actually the biggest government you can have, bordering on an Orwellian Big Brother

Business as usual (2, Funny)

Armakuni (1091299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657505)

Seriously, is anyone surprised when a Republican wants to erode civil liberties?

Re:Business as usual (0, Flamebait)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657541)

I am when I'm a rich white man.

Re:Business as usual (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657621)

Tuesdays and Thursdays?

Re:Business as usual (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657579)

Funny enough I thought the Republicans were the ones in favor of making it easy for people to get guns... /Couldn't care less who wins, the choice for 2008 looks a heck of a lot better than the last go around.

Re:Business as usual (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657805)

Seriously, is anyone surprised when a Republican wants to erode civil liberties?

No. Of course we're also not surprised when a Democrat wants to erode civil liberties. For most people the choice has been which civil liberties are you willing to sacrifice to protect which other civil liberties? Would you like to be able to own firearm for self defense or would you like to be able to read books from the library without the government monitoring you? Pick one or the other... and so on.

Re:Business as usual (3, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657839)

The subversion of the Constitution and what civil rights we have is happening at an astounding rate and is facilitated by both major parties. I would not blame 'the Republicans' for something that is being methodically enacted with the intent and consent of both parties. It is hard for a person to see the whole when their eyes are closed; please let go of your partisan bias and look at the whole. The whole is simple: The Federal Government is expanding and promoting more power for itself, as facilitated by the politicians who are members of that Government. It is in THEIR best interest to continue to diminish your individual rights so that they can grow. If this 'war' is not apparent yet, you need only to do a brief history review of the lineage of the US Federal Government, noting key points where it has expanded or enacted Federal controls over US Citizens or the States of the Union. Remember, the United States was formed under a concept similar to the EU, a UNION of STATES, with the intent of the States to find self-governance, with little UNION(Federal) interference. ***What we have now is very little states rights and NO transparency, the Federal Government IS the law now, they ARE the rule. Do you see that now? It wasn't always so, and the beginnings of our country show us the America we were supposed to be living in.

Re:Business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657957)

What's ironic is that the DMCA and the other nasty acts that are sitting in congress including creating a Kopyright Kops brigade so the RIAA doesn't have to fund its own goons are all made by Democrats.

Lieberman, who wanted to ban all crypto, forcing PGP 1.0 to be made is/was also a Democrat.

The Republicans don't have the monopoly on police states. Few people remember Tipper Gore and how much she wanted to censor everything. Anyone remember about '95-'96, the CDA that the Supreme Court tossed out? The bill that made it a 5-20 year crime to say a curse word on any forum that might be read by a child under 18? Its draft was worse... anyone could be liable just by having packets pass THROUGH their network with curse words.

hrm (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657515)

What about the radical Christian extremists?

Re:hrm (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657629)

Parent is right you know. Extremism, on either side, must be avoided.

Re:hrm (4, Informative)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657659)

Probably not a whole lot happened to them but they haven't done much in the way of making the news for violence termed "terrorism" in a long time. This, I suspect, is because they "won" the war, at least for a while. So, well, now we call it just plain war when it is done by the extreme Christians (Fundamental Right Wing Republicans seem to fit the bill nicely) and we call what they do "terrorism."

Just for the record I don't support either side in this and the above is just my guess so take it as a grain of salt. I just don't see much extremism (from the view of the masses) from the Christians lately but I'd happily see the view that what is going on could be extreme Christan workings specifically the war in Iraq.

Oh - and if modded troll, well I don't mind. However, this is NOT "Informative." It may be interesting, it may even be insightful, but it surely isn't informative. (I keep getting odd moderations.)

Re:hrm (1)

Not_Even_Bacteria (1297729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657785)

You mean the ones who are not hung up on careers, properties and toys?

Re:hrm (0, Troll)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658073)

Timothy McVeigh was a christian.

Yes (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657519)

Becuse listening to the latest gossip about what Doreen said about Kevin at her sister in law's wedding is such a threat to "national security". Enough already, like Al Kaeda uses anything less than 2048 bit RSA anyway ... 7 years holed up in a cave in Afghanistan, and you useless bastards STILL cant find him :-( First Post ?

Re:Yes (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657799)

My tin-foil-hat response to that is: they don't want to find him. They combed the mountains and have any resource from spies and scouts to ulv's, spy-planes and satellites and still can't find him? If they find him, the 'war' would be over and without a war they would lose control through fear over the general populace or start up another one which not a lot of people would like.

Same shit... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657527)

different day

Re:Same shit... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657647)

Try eating more vegetables.

Misleading (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657549)

This is very conclusory. McCain says he is going to be consistent with the Constitution, so that means he supports warrantless surveillance? That's quite the logical leap. This statement is completely unclear. He may easily interpret Article II differently than Bush (and there are many indications that he does) and this statement shows nothing different from that.

Good old Slashdot political smearing.

Re:Misleading (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657727)

Six Months Ago:

Globe: Okay, so is that a no, in other words, federal statute trumps inherent power in that case, warrantless surveillance?
McCain: I don't think the president has the right to disobey any law.


Today:

Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.


you know that bump in mccains left cheek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657951)

he got it from cheeking george bush's cock in his mouth one to many times.

did i mislead you with my statement?

LOL captcha: ointment

Terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657557)

In simpler words, McCain just admitted to being a terrorist.

and next comes.... (2, Interesting)

ohzero (525786) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657591)

the response from the republican party that reads something like:

"Supporting article II doesn't necessarily infer that we're willing to arbitrarily wire tap Joe Citizen.."

and then of course, 3 more months go by, and everyone who is not considered a privacy advocate or a nutjob completely forgets about that they made this statement, the hundreds of others like it from this administration, and the blatant Orwellian nature of the country that we're living in.

Nothing is going to get resolved without a legislative body, preferably congress, stepping in and saying "no, article II does not mean that, and by the way we're burning the patriot act."

Dear Democrats, please win.

Thanks,

-a guy who likes to talk about guns on the phone, but poses zero threat to national security.

Re:and next comes.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657911)

"Supporting article II doesn't necessarily infer that we're willing to arbitrarily wire tap Joe Citizen.."
From your post, I infer that you may need to bone up on your grammar. This, of course, does not imply that your post is without merit.

Re:and next comes.... (1)

Actual Reality (965969) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658049)

Before you are so hasty to want the dems to win, remember that Hillary Clinton had FBI files on all of Bill's political enemies. The democrats would be much more likely to use wire tapping for political purposes "in the interest of national security". I am not sure how old you are, but can you remember when the last big gun control push was? It was in 1993. Do you remember who was President? Do you remember who had control of both Houses of Congress? I just always find it an enigma that gun enthusiasts would consider voting for democrats.

Also, to whoever thinks Bush will invoke the War Powers act to stay in office, let us not forget that the same urban legend went around about Clinton back when Bush took office. As crazy as it is, this is still the USA and when someone wins the election, the current President will let him take office. I think that when the winner takes office this time, the keyboards will have all the letters. (For those of you who are too young to remember, the Clinton staff removed all the "W's" from all the White House computer keyboards.)

McFlipFlop (4, Informative)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657597)

This flip flop took longer than usual. He usually changes position within a couple of days.

McCain, spying and executive power: A complete reversal in 6 months [salon.com]

Re:McFlipFlop (4, Insightful)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657757)

I'm often positively impressed when politicians change their minds, assuming they did it because they learned more about the issue. I'm not impressed with McCain's descent into the bowels of extreme right wing Bushism because he's done it to appease extremist voters to his own benefit.

Re:McFlipFlop (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657947)

I can't remember where I heard it... but one of the things that makes a good leader is that they have "strong opinions which are weakly held".

They are clear in what they believe and in what to do, but they will change their mind if they find something that makes them think that they are wrong.

Unfortunately... (0, Flamebait)

ah.clem (147626) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657619)

"Four more years, four more years!"

Sigh.

Ah.clem

John McCain: The Cardboard Candidate (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657633)

North Vietnam would have done U.S. democracy a favor had they shipped this blabbering blob of protoplasm to the Soviet Gulag for permanent residence.

Parts of what follows below were actually painful to write. However, because of the ongoing misinformation campaigns launched by John McCain and his representatives, I feel it is my duty to write this. The first thing I want to bring up is that in asserting that you and I are objects for him to use then casually throw away and forget like old newsprint that's performed its duty catching bird droppings, McCain demonstrates an astounding narrowness of vision. He has come up with proven methods to impose a "glass ceiling" that limits our opportunities for promotions in most jobs. All you have to do is let your guard down. Perhaps McCain has never had to take a stand and fight for something as critical as our right to arraign him at the tribunal of public opinion. But many people respond to his fatuous, pesky pranks in the same way that they respond to television dramas. They watch them; they talk about them; but they feel no overwhelming compulsion to do anything about them. That's why I insist we detail the specific steps and objectives needed to thwart his pompous little schemes.

So remember kids, if you want to promulgate partisan prejudice against others, all you have to do is agree to let McCain undermine liberty in the name of liberty. He says that lawless vendors of statism make the best scout leaders and schoolteachers. Hey, McCain, how about telling us the truth for once? The fault, dear McCain, is not in your stars but in yourself. I believe in "live and let live". McCain, in contrast, demands not only tolerance and acceptance of his stratagems but endorsement of them. It's because of such pharisaical demands that I believe that if he truly believes that arriving at a true state of comprehension is too difficult and/or time-consuming, then maybe he should enroll in Introduction to Reality 101.

McCain doesn't have any principles, or if he does, he puts them aside whenever they're inconvenient. He is firmly convinced that he is a master of precognition, psychokinesis, remote viewing, and other undeveloped human capabilities. His belief is controverted, however, by the weight of the evidence indicating that McCain has vowed that sooner than you think he'll make conditions far worse than could ever have been the case without his closed-minded efforts. This is hardly news; McCain has been vowing that for months with the regularity of a metronome. What is news is that he is doing everything in his power to make me become clinically depressed. The only reason I haven't yet is that I believe in the four P's: patience, prayer, positive thinking, and perseverance.

McCain maintains that all major world powers are controlled by a covert group of "insiders". Even if this were so, McCain would still be unsavory. But McCain is not only immoral, but amoral. Furthermore, he insists that he has no choice but to bring ugliness and nastiness into our lives. His reasoning is that honesty and responsibility have no cash value and are therefore worthless. Yes, I realize that that argument makes no sense, but it has been brought to my attention that otiose narcissism is not new. While this is true, McCain wants to brand me as logorrheic. Such intolerance is felt by all people, from every background.

In spite of all McCain has done, I must admit I really like the guy. No, just kidding. As I have indicated, he would have us believe that we're supposed to shut up and smile when he says predaceous, bloody-minded things. Not surprisingly, his evidence for that thoroughly lackluster claim is top-heavy with anonymous sources and, to put it mildly, he has a checkered track record for accuracy. I allege it would be more accurate for McCain to say that if we fail to scuttle his detestable attempts to abrogate some of our most fundamental freedoms then all of our sacrifices will be as forgotten as the sand blowing across Ozymandias's dead empire. The "decay of that colossal wreck," as the poet Shelley puts it, teaches us that if you ever ask McCain to do something, you can bet that your request will get lost in the shuffle, unaddressed, ignored, and rebuffed. McCain's calumnies are not the solution to our problem. They are the problem.

The term "idiot savant" comes to mind when thinking of McCain. Admittedly, that term applies only halfway to him, which is why I maintain that while McCain insists that women are crazed Pavlovian sex-dogs who will salivate at any object even remotely phallic in shape, reality dictates otherwise. Actually, if you want a real dose of reality, look at how McCain's projects are built on lies and they depend on make-believe for their continuation. Any rational argument must acknowledge this. McCain's horny utterances, naturally, do not. I'll go over that again: If we were to let McCain get away with making my blood curdle, that would be a gross miscarriage of justice. I have never been in favor of being gratuitously gin-swilling. I have also never been in favor of sticking my head in the sand or of refusing to subject his jeremiads to the rigorous scrutiny they warrant.

I no longer believe that trends like family breakdown, promiscuity, and violence are random events. Not only are they explicitly glorified and promoted by McCain's litigious objectives, but if we foreground the cognitive and emotional palette of his dysfunctional ravings rather than their pathology we can enter vitally into McCain's world. Why do we want to do that? Because McCain is guilty of at least one criminal offense. In addition, he frequently exhibits less formal criminal behavior such as deliberate and even gleeful cruelty, explosive behavior, and a burning desire to spoon-feed us his pabulum. Rather than respond to my letters with reasoned arguments, McCain prefers to encumber the religious idea with too many things of a purely earthly nature and thus bring religion into a totally unnecessary conflict with science. Although this method of attack is unparalleled in any other sphere of literary controversy it does prove that people often get the impression that beer-guzzling yutzes and McCain's rank-and-file followers are separate entities. Not so. When one catches cold, the other sneezes. As proof, note that it is amazing to me that McCain would dare to criticize someone or something without carefully reading what was written. And let me tell you, it's really not bloody-mindedness that compels me to oppose our human vices wherever they may be found -- arrogance, hatred, jealousy, unfaithfulness, avarice, and so on -- and encourage others to do the same. It's my sense of responsibility to you, the reader.

Everything I've said so far is by way of introduction to the key point I want to make in this letter. My key point is that my current plan is to restore the world back to its original balance. Yes, he will draw upon the most powerful fires of Hell to tear that plan asunder, but his lubricious dream is starting to come true. Liberties are being killed by attrition. Cannibalism is being installed by accretion. The only way that we can reverse these counter-productive trends is to indicate in a rough and approximate way the two overweening tendencies that I believe are the main driving force of modern charlatanism. To be precise, he thinks I'm trying to say that we can stop propagandism merely by permitting government officials entrée into private homes to search for flippant schmucks. Wait! I just heard something. Oh, never mind; it's just the sound of the point zooming way over McCain's head.

I want to unify our community. McCain, in contrast, wants to drive divisive ideological wedges through it. If five years ago I had described a person like McCain to you and told you that in five years he'd cultivate an unhealthy sense of victimhood, you'd have thought me morally questionable. You'd have laughed at me and told me it couldn't happen. So it is useful now to note that, first, it has happened and, second, to try to understand how it happened and how if he honestly believes that some of my points are not valid, I would love to get some specific feedback from him.

Be careful not to be charmed by McCain's exegeses. All they do is make us dependent on hypocritical flakes for political representation, economic support, social position, and psychological approval. Pardon my saying so, but McCain once tried to drive us into a state of apoplexy. If you consider this an exception to the rule then you obviously don't understand how McCain operates. I hope, however, that you at least understand that he has a morbid fascination with all that is inferior, debased, deformed, muddleheaded, and rude. In this case, one cannot help but recall that when I was a child, my clergyman told me, "McCain's antihumanist insinuations are fraught with the gravest consequences." If you think about it you'll see his point. Yes, I realize that the only thing bigger than the chip on McCain's shoulder is the grossness of his allegations, but for the sake of brevity I've had to express myself in simplified terms. As I conclude this letter, let me remind you that my goal in writing it was not only to act against injustice, whether it concerns drunk driving, domestic violence, or even negativism. I sought also to use this letter as a means to address the real issues faced by mankind.

Cordially,
Kilgore Trout, PatRIOT

Re:John McCain: The Cardboard Candidate (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657737)

supposed to shut up
No, that's Bill O'Reilly

He just lost my vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657655)

I've voted for Democratic presidents for many years, but was considering McCain. Not any more.

Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657663)

They were the best boogie-man ever. The Islamists may, eventually, someday, get nukes. The USSR had enough nukes to sterilize the planet. And a huge conventional army. And chemical and biological weapons galore. As far as keeping the populace pissing itself in fear and doing whatever the authorities tell them to, Islamists just don't hold a candle to our dear former enemies, the Soviets. Well, I suppose they'll have to do until the authorities can cook up something scarier.

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (1, Offtopic)

tritonman (998572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657769)

don't worry, there is always global warming to be the next big boogie man.

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (2, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657967)

don't worry, there is always global warming to be the next big boogie man.
Yes but, after we've loaded our troops into their APCs, boats, and planes, where do we send them to fight that?

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658001)

This isn't informative, it is ignorance. Man's impact on the environment of the earth is extensively proven in science and should not be discarded as a 'boogie man' or any other branding of false alert. Tritonman: Please, go learn.

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (2, Funny)

Bearpaw (13080) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658057)

Right, because we all know how dangerous those radical extremist climatologists are.

At least there are a few brave multi-national corporations standing up to defend us from scientists and their deadly knowledge, despite how desperately short of cash and political influence those corporations always are.

They don't have to (3, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657887)

Guess what, Russia still has enough nukes to sterilize the planet, chemical, biological and more recently space weapons and a huge conventional army. And it doesn't do what the US tells it to do anymore. A little bit of a propaganda campaign on TV and the populace will be just about as rabid about it as it was back then.

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657965)

Well, I suppose they'll have to do until the authorities can cook up something scarier.

How about... Canada?

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657991)

They were the best boogie-man ever. The Islamists may, eventually, someday, get nukes. The USSR had enough nukes to sterilize the planet. And a huge conventional army. And chemical and biological weapons galore. As far as keeping the populace pissing itself in fear and doing whatever the authorities tell them to, Islamists just don't hold a candle to our dear former enemies, the Soviets.
The Soviet Union was a good threat of war - all out war - but it didn't make people fear soviet troops blowing up the corner store. Terrorists are no threat to the US as such, but in terms of making people fear they own life I think they've done as well as the Soviets if not better.

Re:Damnit, why did the USSR have to collapse? (1)

Samgilljoy (1147203) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658019)

I do miss the Cold War sometimes. I mean, James Bond plots are just lame as hell post-Iron Curtain.

Nothing could be clearer? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657667)

Someone who is not John McCain didn't say that John McCain supports warrantless domestic surveillance. Therefore, John McCain supports warrantless domestic surveillance.

Thanks, Slashdot!

Hedging our Bets with ParanoidLinux (5, Interesting)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657679)

Hi guys. This seems like a good opportunity to talk a bit about this new distro we've been working on.

ParanoidLinux is a distribution with a focus on privacy. All network comms will be encrypted and run through TOR by default. IM programs, etc, will be configured for secure communications by default. You'll have to go out of your way *not* to have a secure conversation in ParanoidLinux.

This idea comes from Cory Doctorow's latest book "Little Brother" which describes a Linux distro similar to what we are building, with the same name.

It's a new concept, only a couple weeks old, so don't go looking for downloads... but we are looking for help! Come join us. We're looking for programmers, artists, security experts and unix gurus to help us bring this project together.

If the government takes this basic human right from you, be proactive. Take it back. See you there!

http://www.paranoidlinux.org [paranoidlinux.org]

irc.freenode.net, #paranoidlinux

Re:Hedging our Bets with ParanoidLinux (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657845)

Or alternatively, we could just sit on a bogus end node and intercept all your packets ...

Who the fuck is Cory Doctorov anyway ???

Re:Hedging our Bets with ParanoidLinux (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657929)

Yes exit nodes are a problem. I think this is one area where we need to concentrate. This is why we need security and unix gurus!

Re:Hedging our Bets with ParanoidLinux (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658025)

Yes exit nodes are a problem. I think this is one area where we need to concentrate. This is why we need security and unix gurus!

Erm no, this is why you need to stop pretending that TOR is a valid cryptographic solution "providing everyone plays fair".

Re:Hedging our Bets with ParanoidLinux (1)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658077)

Not a cryptographic solution no. But I think it's really neat way to hide the destination of your packets.

If the exit node problem could be solved, it would be a fantastic solution.

BTW, nothing stopping you from using an SSL connection over TOR, so even at an exit node your comm is secure.

SCO at it again (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657969)

ParanoidLinux is a distribution with a focus on privacy. All network comms will be encrypted and run through TOR by default. IM programs, etc, will be configured for secure communications by default. You'll have to go out of your way *not* to have a secure conversation in ParanoidLinux.
This time they are trying to sell OpenBSD as their own, proprietary, creation.

Same old, same old (2, Informative)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657683)

Same old, same old FUD tactics we see from GOP since 2001. They *used to* work too! Or is some black op US gov't agency planning a "terrorist" attack to spur people to willingly give up rights? (Sadly, as history and current international events show, this is NOT an unheard of tactic to force masses to comply. Used by various gov't)

Sure, warrants surveillance makes people safer. It's a fact. Just look at Soviet Union with its domestic KGB wing. But then throwing people into Gulags for 20 years because the neighbor doesn't like you and reports you in as a spy - it is not the society that most people would like to live in.

So which will it be? "GITMO USA" or "Land of Opportunity and Hope"? Can't have both. The former gives people almost absolute security (unless the secret police doesn't like you), the latter does not. Let freedom die for sake of security or perhaps die due to lack of security in the name of freedom?

You chose. November 2008.

Re:Same old, same old (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658085)

Same old, same old FUD tactics we see from GOP since 1969.

There, fixed that for you.

obama will do it also (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657689)

McCain is just nice enough to tell us to our faces and not lie about it

One word must be missing here (5, Funny)

temcat (873475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657691)

We do not know what lies are ahead in our nation's fight against radical Islamic extremists

There, that's closer to the truth.

Perpetual War? (5, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657697)

So, by remaining continuously at war, the President has unlimited power?

Brilliant!

What defines a war? Does it have to be against another country? Can it be...
a war on terror [wikipedia.org] ?
a war on drugs [wikipedia.org] ?
a war on cancer [wikipedia.org] ?
a war on poverty [wikipedia.org] ?

politicians protecting telecoms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657703)

I don't understand why so many politicians are so eager to protect telecoms. I mean, sure the Bush administration makes sense. And sure, you can blame every Republican for all the privacy problems in the world, but is anyone surprised that even Democrats defend telecom immunity? It's like when you think you can blame someone, idiots start coming out of the woodwork.

http://wwwwakeupamericans-spree.blogspot.com/2008/01/telecom-immunity-12-democrats-join-with.html

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/10/dem-pushing-spy.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=8905

He's his economic advisor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657705)

Doglas Hotz-Eakin is McCain's economic advisor. Why is this spin on slashdot? OT IMHO

Surprised? I'm not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657709)

McCain has been moving towards lock-step with RNC views over the last 6 months or so.

It's shocking what a deliberately blinded and forgetful group of misinformed voters we have become.

So much for "change"

Slashkos, slashkos... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657747)

First an "informative" *sic* article about Obama winning the Democrat primary not marked as "Democrat" followed by an attack piece on McCain clearly marked "Republican".

I can hardly wait for the counterbalance of attack articles on Obama... *sic*

Signing Statements. (-1, Offtopic)

Irvu (248207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657751)

It's worth noting at this point that while Barack Obama has said that he is against the wiretapping, he has stated that he is for the use of Signing Statements [boston.com] whereby a president issues his own commentary on a bill, and in the process, indicates what aspects of a law he will and will not follow. Bush has used these to circumvent bans on torture, among other things, and they would be a useful vehicle to override congress-enacted bans on the extension of presidential authority. McCain has said that he will not use them.

On this score McCain wants to extend the powers of the executive to spy without oversight upsetting the balance of powers among the branches. While on another score, Obama has said that he will extend the power of the executive to just ignore laws he does not like.

Two parties perhaps but I see no daylight between them.

just look at his campain financiers (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657761)

AT&T has given him lots of money just for this.

AMAZING (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657763)

Candidate for head of executive branch in favor of giant executive power grab, shocking!

Legal externally (2, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657781)

The Constitution doesn't let the president tap mail or wire internally; but if it's entering/leaving the country, he can. It's the edge dilemma: at the edge point, you can tap inside or outside. Outside, there's no rules, and you're tapping a foreign national with no constitutional rights.

Clear as mud (5, Informative)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657815)

That's an absurd argument -- "McCain says he'll follow the Constitution." "You mean, the same Constitution that President Bush says gives him the right to abuse small farm animals? Why McCain must want to abuse small farm animals too!"

There isn't much question that tapping *international* calls is within the government's power. (At least I haven't heard any major Democrats argue with this). There just isn't enough information in this post to know if this is what McCain is talking about, or if it's domestic surveillance.

You should leave the political hack jobs to the professionals.

Hey Republicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657821)

Take back your party! Vote for Bob Barr, or even Ron Paul. Voting for either candidate will be a vote for the restoration of the Rule of Law. Voting for McCain will be a vote for the Rule of Man, and a continuation of the disastrous Bush administration policies.

Obama is Against Warrantless Wiretaps (4, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657867)

When Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) [wikipedia.org] used his presidential primary campaign to lead the Congressional campaign to stop Bush's FISA violations [wikipedia.org] , Obama supported Dodd's filibuster [talkingpointsmemo.com] , specifically saying (through his spokesperson Bill Burton):

Senator Obama has serious concerns about many provisions in this bill, especially the provision on giving retroactive immunity to the telephone companies. He is hopeful that this bill can be improved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. But if the bill comes to the Senate floor in its current form, he would support a filibuster of it.

this comes as a surprise? (5, Interesting)

gadabyte (1228808) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657873)

be afraid of president mccain [reason.com] makes a rather compelling case that mccain is an "authoritarian maverick," and exposes many of his worrisome positions. my personal favorite:

McCain said, "I would rather have a clean government than one...where 'First Amendment rights' are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice I'd rather have a clean government."
if he views a clean government as more important than our petty first amendment rights (religion, speech, assembly, press, etc) - what does his penchant for associating with lobbyists, and his history with charles keating [wikipedia.org] say about his respect for our freedoms?

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON.

Politics (0, Offtopic)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657883)

Ok, seriously, two posts about American politics on Slashdot on the same day? Come on! News for Nerds please. At least, if you're going to post about American politics, spread the wealth for those of us north of the border - post about Canadian politics as well.

Oh yeah. Canadian politics are boring. Uh. Never mind...

McCain or Obama? No-freedom or no-security? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657893)

I'm honestly torn. On the one hand McCain seems like he would follow Bush and trample our rights in the name of fighting terrorism (and for whatever true ulterior motive).

But Obama seems (or so I suspect, since there is very little to go on) like he would be too soft on terrorists - openly talking to them (which elevates their status to that of a nation on par with the US), and perhaps not doing enough surveillance. And he is affiliated with Louis Farrakhan, or connected to him, which makes me nervous, what with their whole Nation of Islam thing.

It seems like the choice isn't between freedom and security. It seems like the choice is between no freedom and no security.

Re:McCain or Obama? No-freedom or no-security? (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658087)

What does saying that a small third world country is 'as dangerous as cold war USSR' do to their status? Especially among their neighbors?

Thanks Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657933)

I'm really looking forward to the very objective story posting down the stretch run of the election season here at Slashdot. When Slashdot takes it's lead from Wired postings and the flavor of their leanings, what could go wrong? I'm really looking forward to all the balanced front page material.

I RTFA and... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657971)

I don't understand how the original poster claims that 'nothing could be clearer'.

The title of the article is "McCain: I'd Spy on Americans Secretly, Too"

And the article includes this gem:

"The Globe's Charlie Savage pushed further, asking , "So is that a no, in other words, federal statute trumps inherent power in that case, warrantless surveillance?" To which McCain answered, "I don't think the president has the right to disobey any law."

McCain's embrace of extrajudicial domestic wiretapping is effectively a bounce-back from Fish's comments, made at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference in Connecticut last month."

This is clearly written by someone who already doesn't like McCain. I'm a huge supporter of Obama, but the article is just pure anti-McCain propaganda, and not worth the read.

Article II exists, and no one can change it. I suppose what everything hinges on is your definition of 'wartime', hopefully McCain's isn't as broad as Bush's. If occupation = war then we're going to be at war forever under that definition.

In Soviet Sweden... (2, Interesting)

emilv (847905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23657973)

In less than two weeks the Swedish government are going to vote for just this type of survelliance. If the propsed new law is implemented, they will connect new cables that will search through all data going over the border.

They can, in theory, read every e-mail going over the border.

Re:In Soviet Sweden... (1)

emilv (847905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658007)

... which, of course, includes e-mail between almost every Swedish person because most of us use Hotmail or Gmail.

McCain Journals, Notes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23657975)

Notes regarding this scanned and uploaded here [macslash.org] .

Short Constitution (3, Insightful)

pal3f (1094703) | more than 6 years ago | (#23658005)

Oh good, another presidential wannabe whose copy of the Constitution apparently abruptly ends at Article II.

Dear Senator McCain,
Please obtain a new copy of the Constitution, and continue reading it all the way through Amendment XXVII.
Thank you,
The American People

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