Comments Posted By Mona
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Posted by hammorabi yesterday:

Alert: the Iraqi capital is burning

Right now, the Iraqi capital is under very loud and continuous explosions and rocket attacks with huge fire and smoke in the south of the city.

The explosions believed to be due to explosion in big American weapon storages. There may be many causalities and the cause is not yet know.

The occupation of Iraq should come to an end soon.

In another recent post, hammorabi says:

The Failure of the Iraqi Example

Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 until now the Iraqi security declined progressively and on the same time the terrorist organizations including Al-Qaeda became progressively stronger.

The number of Iraqis killed by the terrorist groups as well as the multinational forces is on the raise every month. Thousands of Iraqis killed each month by different ways. The number of crimes and corruptions everywhere in the systems is now out of control.

The US and other forces became easy targets to daily attacks especially in the West of Iraq. The number of US forces killed since then reached to 3000 soldiers. The MNF control has been lost completely on many areas including Ramadi, Haditha,Diyala and Falluja as well as other cities close to the Syrian border.

In November of '03 hammorabi was hopeful about the consequences of the U.S. invasion:

The New Iraq

After decades of hardship and suffering Iraqis everywhere must now unite to build a new free and democratic Iraq which contribute to the welfare of its own people and humanity at large it formerly did in its history.

You can't dismiss hammorabi as a partisan hack, or writing to influence elections in the U.S.

Comment Posted By Mona On 11.10.2006 @ 10:32


Rick, even if every one of your and Ms. Feldman's suspicions are correct -- right down to Jason Leopold -- that discovery won't save the GOP here.This scandal is: sex, minors, a party leadership covering it up, and unfortunately for many the homosexual aspect is also relevant. If one were sitting down and drafting a perfect scandal to destroy the GOP with an election 5 weeks in the offing, one could not do better than this.

Even if those who put this scandal on the political radar did exactly as you post, that won't make a bit of difference to the nuclear fall-out for the GOP. Myself, I deeply dislike this matter, but since the public cannot manage to get aroused to outrage over torture, suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, and the violation of laws such as one requiring warrants, well, I will take the saving of my country where I can get it -- even on the rancid basis of Foleygate, which is going to harm the gay community badly.

Comment Posted By Mona On 1.10.2006 @ 13:04


Mr. Knight writes: Honestly, is there any solid reason why I or anybody else should believe you or any of your other appeals to authority (including your laughable screeches that you voted for Bush in 2004)?

Please search "Mona" at any of: Left2Right, the Swiftboat Vets message board in the months before the election, InDCJournal, and I think I have a few comments from the pre-election period at Captain's Quarters. I voted for George Bush in 2004.

For example, you claim that the Administration would lose 8-1 if the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program ever came before the Supreme Court and point out that the Administration is avoiding putting the program up for trial as evidence to support your claim.

Yup, and even Hugh Hewitt has noted that the Bush Administration is engaging in unusual "dealmaking" with the FISA court rather than appealing any adverse decisions that would put the legality of their warrantless surveillance at issue. Paraphrasing, Hewitt said this hinted at a lack of trust in their legal theories (theories Hewitt agrees with). You and I have interacted at Protein Wisdom (and I believe I may have been posting Bush-supportive things there in '04, as well, but more likely at InDC.) So you might recall that I posted the Hewitt statements and and his discussion of the WaPo article addressing that the Administration won't appeal FIS Court decisions that pertain to the relevant program. I linked to them at PW.

This program would lose, overwhelmingly, in the SCOUTS. I suggest you google Volokh Conspiracy for Orin Kerr's analysis, if you doubt me. I've told you the many other legal experts-- REPUBLICANS -- who agree.

I voted for Bush. I'm a lawyer. I understand how extreme are the legal theories the Bush Administration is standing on, utterly oppose them, and am competent to confidently predict that the SCOUTS would as well -- which the Bush Administration also knows. That is why a mediocrity like Harriet Miers was chosen (and Hewitt has said that, too, approvingly) -- she would have been a reliable voice in support of these bizarre theories. Sam Alito is not such.

Comment Posted By Mona On 24.04.2006 @ 14:24

Aaron writes: and plenty of people were tortured in the cold war…you do realize American troops tortured prisoners in Viet Nam?

Are you saying this was approved? It happens in every war, but to my understanding the military has always opposed it.

This is simply bizarre. I'm at a right-wing site where now several of you have insisted that America has always tortured people. Previously, I've only encountered that from anti-American leftists trying to depict us as evil, corrupt & etc. I'd always insisted whatever torture took place was aberrational and not officially approved, because we are not depraved like Stalinists.

Further, you are in no position to know how many people have been tortured, water-boarded or whatever. No one is, except those with access to the classified data.

If Mary McCarthy is lying, she should be shunned as a political hack for the rest of her life.But she was given a polygraph and fired, and is threatened with prosecution, so it hardly seems likely that she divulged mere fantasies. The other reason I beleive her, is that Bush fought tooth and nail to prevent the anti-torture legislation, but it passed by a veto-proof majority. In his signing statement, however, he made clear he feels entirely justified in flouting that law, just as he has FISA. He feels that way about any law that remotely touches on national security.

Our laws cannot bind that man, because he refuses to adhere to them. The federal courts would smack him silly, but it has been hard to find anyone with standing to bring the matter to litigation. The SCOTUS decided in '52 that Congress and the President share national security powers, and that when Congress legislates, it almost always wins; it was held that this must be, even during war, or else we lose the rule of law.

That case has been frequently discussed by SCOTUS in the last several years, and applied. That case, Youngstown, not some FISA review panel dicta, is why Bush would lose, as he should.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 21:54

Ugly American asks: Mona are you Hypatia from GG’s site?

Yes. I've never been sure what to call myself there after I "came out" as Mona, since there were those who only knew me as Hypatia. So I settled on calling myself "Hypatia" in quotes.

You continue: To date every court decision including the only one ever made by the FISA appeals court, every president to hold office since the passing of FISA,the writings of the founding fathers, and numerous legal scholars support the Presidents argument.

There are zero court decisions holding in support of the President's legal position, and several that indicate he'd lose Scalia and likely even Thomas. There is one setence of dicta from a FISA Review Panel that his supporters like, but that issue was not briefed and was not argued or ruled on. That is why it is dicta -- having no precendential value at all.

Bush would lose in the federal courts. Period. He knows it, and that is why he is moving heaven and Earth to keep the matter out of litigation. Orin Kerr is not a left-winger, and that is his assessment. Neither is Doug Kmiec, who is as conservative a Republican as exists on the planet (contributes every now and again to NRO), and who taught me Con Law. He frets about discussing whether the program is legal or not, but has said it could have been so only as an emergency matter in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. He tries to exonerate Bush by refering to bad legal advice.

The first person to approvingly mention impeachment was Bruce Fein, an arch-conservative Con Law scholar from the Reagan DoJ. I can't exaplin all the legal reasons why all of these lawyers know Bush would lose, not within the limitations of this comments section. But I can say that as a lawyer who voted for Bush in '04, and one who is competent to read the relevant case law and to determine the posture of the SCOTUS members, I am as certain of how they would rule as I am of any legal question I can think of.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 21:37

goy writes: But the current DNC “leadership”, with its moles in the CIA, its endless political attacks on the President in a time of war, and its cadre of obedient lapdogs in the press do not offer any such a balance.

What if our President merits some political attacks? Look, this "time of war" is going to go on for decades. The jihadists are going to be around for decades, and already have been around for decades. So, for that long, it is going to be seditious or whatever to criticize the Executive vis-a-vis national security policies?

Not if I have anything to say about it. That's not a free people, and it is not healthy for the body politic, to try to impose some sort of politesse that disallows strong political disagreement,especially when the attacks pertain to illegal behavior. And I don't see what a lot of Democrats are saying that you should find to be so awful? Ok, Joe Wilson has, to put it mildly, poor credibility. But I mean in Congress. Who, other than maybe Nancy Pelosi and the dithering Kerry, is so awful?

I am sincerely sorry about your friend. But the fact remains that Muslim terrorists do not pose an existential threat to the United States. Yes, they did kill several thousand of us and shut the whole damn country down for a week or better. But we woke up, and hopefully our intelligence is now working the way it should have been before so that such things cannot occur again. The FBI knew, you know, as came out in the Moussaoui penalty trial; but the agent who sent the hue and cry out about the plot to hijack airplanes was simply blown off that prior August, repeatedly.

Muslim terrorists cannot destroy this country; they have not the means. Not like the Soviets did.

And we would be so wrong to let unreasonable and exaggerated fears of their capacities to cause us to abandon what makes us better than other peoples. I know I want my President to obey the laws my representatives pass, and I'm unwilling to give up that rule of law.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 18:43

Maybee writes: How do you know this? I would guess it is probably not true, the difference may be you didn’t have someone leaking in the IG office.

How do I know we didn't torture people and throw them into black ops prisons during the Cold War? Because if someone on a leftwing site said that we did, certainly as SOP as ordered by the President, I'd flip them off as an anti-American moonbat, given that there is no evidence for such a thing. The United States hasn't been perfect, but we are not a nation that conducts itself by torturing people. That's kinda why we wear the White Hats. It's what makes us Better Than Them.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 17:18

goy says: Yet these “sensible” JDs feel no compunction about rendering an opinion despite the minor annoyance that the details of the individual cases in question are – by definition – not public knowledge. But then perhaps they’ve been leaked to you??

This issue turns on law. The Bush Admin admits its activities fall within FISA, and that it is violating that law. It sought amendments to FISA in The Patriot Act, and was given virtually everything it asked for.

Look, not all Democrats are "unhinged progressives." Disagreeing with Bush about how to fight terrorism does not an unhinged progressive make. While I have generally tended to vote GOP, I'm an Independent libertarian, and at this point I'm so alarmed by the Bush/Frist, populist, big govt GOP that I want to see Democrats take at least one house of Congress, or the Executive office. Time for the gridlock party to prevail, in my view.

Terrorists are a serious problem, but they do not pose an existential threat to us. The Soviet Union did, when it had a few thousand nuclear warheads aimed at as, but the Muslim fanatics cannot actually destroy us. But by subordinating every principle that makes us what we are in the name if fighting them, we can go a long way to destroying ourselves.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 16:40

Andrew, thanks for the support on the prison issue, but I really have to stand firm on the warrantless spying matter and point out that you are conflating two issues. There is the one issue of whether the spying program is a good one that benefits us, and then there is the issue of whether it is being conducted legally, that is, in conformity with FISA. Many in Congress from both parties, as you note, agree with the former proposition. Indeed, I don't know of one Democrat who wants the program per se suspended.

But Bush is not doing the surveillance legally. He admits the activity falls within FISA, and that he is not obeying that statute. Even John McCain and Lindsey Graham have said that the program therefore cannot be legal. Ditto Sam Brownback. Republicans.

Bush had every opportunity to amend FISA, and in fact, it has been significantly amended by The Patriot Act -- until the NYT reported the warrantless spying, Bush had publicly praised the FISA amendments and said they gave him everything he needed, and that all surveillance was being done with warrants. That just isn't so, as we now know.

Bush doesn't think it actually matters what FISA says. Or the McCain torture bill that just passed the Senate by 90-9. In his signing statement for the latter, Bush said he'd ignore it if he wished to.

Whether it is warrantless surveillance in violation of FISA, or torture prohibitions, or virtually anything else, Bush has adopted John Yoo theories of Executive power which render the Legislative branch null and void, at least in any context remotely related to national security. That is the over-arching issue here, namely, Bush's theory of Executive power, which allows him to basically do whatever he wants, without judicial oversight, or consideration of the laws our representatives have passed.

Bush only told Congress what he wanted to about the NSA program. What he isn't doing is seeking to obtain warrants from an independent judiciary, as required by FISA. Even if he is operating just as properly as he would with judicial oversight, the principle he is institutionalizing is a profound threat to our system of govt, with its checks of one branch as against the others. That principle that the president is above, and not bound by, the law will be in place for all presidents to come, if not repelled.

I know people think this cannot be true; that I must be overstating it. I'm not. The architect of Bush's legal theory, John Yoo, spoke at my alma mater a few months ago, Notre Dame. When asked whether, according to his theories, Bush could legally crush the testicles of a child, Yoo said yes he could, in a national security context. There just is nothing the Executive cannot do if he can tie it at all to national security; that is the meaning of the extreme legal theories Bush has adopted and which are guiding his decisions.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 16:28

When you can do that, let’s have a discussion. Until then, you’re just making assumptions – assumptions that the surveillance of al Qaeda’s international communication into the U.S. is “illegal”,

That is not an assumption. The Administration does not deny it is violating FISA; it has instead offered two legal theories as to why it may do so. Further, Gonzalez has strongly implied, after being questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee, that these theories of being able to operate outside of criminal statues also apply to purely domestic matters.

Pro-Bush people don't want to believe it, and I didn't want to either since I voted fore the man in '04, but if you move outside of the analyses of blind apologists like the Powerline lawyers, no sensible JD believes the SCOTUS would uphold the warrantless surveillance program. Orin Kerr at Volokh thinks Bush would go down 8-1; I think it would be 9-0 based on my reading of the applicable law and the 9 justices' jurisprudential postures.

Bush is moving heaven and earth to keep his extreme legal theories out of court review, and even the arch-conservative Michael Luttig, on the 4th Cir. Ct. of Appeals, finally had it with the DoJ and smacked it down hard a few months ago in a very pointed and angry opinion in the Padilla matter. Those of us who know the warrantless surveillance is illegal and that the courts would so hold, are desperate to get the matter before a court, but the Bush DoJ will not cooperate. There is a reason for that-- their legal theories are garbage. Antonin Scalia would tell them so, as he beautifully did in Hamdi.

Indeed, over at The Corner Andy McCarthy is so unhappy at prospects in court, if the warrantless surveillance ever got there, that he actually said Bush should ignore the courts if they rule against him! This is anarchy and insanity, but it is what we've come to.

Finally, to my knowledge the Bush Admin has not denied the contents of the WaPo story. Further, Bush opposed the McCain torture bill, and when he signed it did so with the caveat that it cannot bind him if he decides he needs to do things the law prohibits. Since he has made that quite clear, it hardly seems unlikely that he is doing the things the WaPo article describes. Otherwise, he'd have had no issue with the McCain bill.

Comment Posted By Mona On 23.04.2006 @ 14:54

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