Viet Dinh vs. Paul Craig Roberts

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Brother James, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. Brother James

    Brother James
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    Viet Dinh vs. Paul Craig Roberts

    Viet Dinh's Letter

    Dear Mr. Roberts,

    I write as a bewildered fan. A fan because I truly admire your past service to our nation as a government official and your past contributions to our intellectual culture. Bewildered because your recent posting on LewRockwell.com compares America’s defense against terrorism to Nazi Germany and because, even more inexplicably, your opinion appears to be based on total fiction.

    I woke up this last Saturday to the following message on my email:

    "Last week's annual Conservative Political Action Conference signaled the transformation of American conservatism into brownshirtism. A former Justice Department official named Viet Dinh got a standing ovation when he told the CPAC audience that the rule of law mustn't get in the way of President Bush protecting Americans from Osama bin Laden" Paul Craig Roberts

    If you are so enamored with totalitarianism, maybe you ought to return to your ancestral home.

    I resisted the temptation to dismiss the message as another bigoted attack and asked for a source citation to what I assumed to be a made-up quotation. No reply. So I researched and to my surprise discovered that the cowardly email had indeed quoted your post on LewRockwell.com.

    As it is obvious that you are writing without any first-hand knowledge of the facts, let me be very clear about what was said and what was not said. I did not, nor did anyone at CPAC to my knowledge, say that "the rule of law mustn't get in the way of President Bush protecting Americans from Osama bin Laden." Nor was there any standing ovation. I would have thought, before your post, that an accusation against an individual, an entire audience, and indeed a nation’s anti-terror strategy of being akin to Nazism would require a bit more responsibility to the facts.

    Assuming some fealty to the truth remains, let me recount what I said during my debate with Bob Barr at CPAC. I acknowledged that conservatism derives from a tradition of healthy skepticism of governmental power. However, I said, "At times that healthy skepticism must unfortunately yield to a greater threat to our national security." I posit that the question is not whether the President is above the law but rather whether anyone, including Congress, is above the Constitution, and specifically noted that "no one without operational knowledge of the details of the NSA program can come to a definitive conclusion as to its propriety or legality."

    Finally, I concluded, "At this time, the greatest threat to American liberty comes from al Qaeda and its associates who would seek to destroy this nation, not from the brave men and women who defend America and her people."

    If you disagree with any of the above points, I would love to engage you in a conversation. If you were there and differ in your recollection, I would ask to see your notes or better, that you check your facts with Bob Barr. If you were not at CPAC and did not observe that which you purported to describe, I hope you will come clean.

    But nothing – nothing, sir – justifies your spurious accusation of "brownshirtism" against anyone, least of all against one who has suffered the tyranny of totalitarianism.

    Thank you.

    Viet D. Dinh

    Paul Craig Roberts's Response

    I stand by my characterization of Viet Dinh’s remarks in his debate with Bob Barr at the recent CPAC annual meeting and by my statement that conservatism has morphed into brownshirtism.

    Viet Dinh is one of the authors of the so-called "PATRIOT Act," an anti-American piece of legislation recognized throughout the civil libertarian community as an assault on American civil liberties. Former Republican congressman Bob Barr has fought to restrain the act’s more egregious intrusions into the constitutionally protected privacy of American citizens.

    Even Republican US senators, such as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, are concerned about the Bush regime’s proclivity for warrantless spying in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Senator Specter is drafting legislation with which he hopes to curtail President Bush’s illegal activity. As far as I can tell, the legal community recognizes that Bush’s warrantless spying is illegal, except for members of the Republican Federalist Society, a group of lawyers dedicated to concentrating unaccountable powers in the executive.

    There are several news reports on the CPAC conference and the debate between Bob Barr and Viet Dinh. My observations follow from these news reports.

    Writing in the Washington Post on February 11, "Bob Barr, Bane of the Right?," Post reporter Dana Milbank, for example, reports that Barr asked the CPAC audience, "Are we losing our lodestar, which is the Bill of Rights" to the Bush regime’s zeal in its war against terror?

    Barr confronted the conservatives: "Do we truly remain a society that believes that every president must abide by the law of this country" or "are we in danger of putting allegiance to party ahead of allegiance to principle?"

    Barr’s questions were greeted with silence followed by booing. According to Milbank, "Dinh brought the crowd to a raucous ovation when he judged: ‘The threat to Americans’ liberty today comes from al Qaeda and its associates and the people who would destroy America and her people, not the brave men and women who work to defend this country!’"

    How else are we to interpret Viet Dinh’s words? Clearly, he is saying that it is more important for Bush to seize powers to protect America from Osama bin Laden than to obey the law and abide by the separation of powers. The entire position of the Bush regime is that protecting the country from terrorists is more important than loyalty to habeas corpus, the Geneva Conventions, the proscription against torture, open government, and an accountable executive.

    Dinh himself endorsed the Führer Principle and urged it upon the conservatives when he declared, "The conservative movement has a healthy skepticism of governmental power, but at times, unfortunately, that healthy skepticism needs to yield." Yield to what? To the Leader who works "to defend this country."

    That’s exactly what Hitler said following the Reichstag fire, a staged incident that he used to remove himself from accountability.

    Milbank notes that by turning the debate into the issue of who do you fear – George Bush or Osama bin Laden, Viet Dinh employed "the sort of tactic that has intimidated Democrats and the last few libertarian Republicans who question the program’s legality."

    Milbank reports that Viet Dinh’s tactic did not work on Bob Barr who nailed Dinh: "That, folks, was a red herring. This debate is very simple: It is a debate about whether or not we will remain a nation subject to and governed by the rule of law or the whim of men."

    In fairness to Viet Dinh, coming as he does as an immigrant from a country without a constitutional tradition, without a Bill of Rights, and without a judiciary empowered to enforce civil liberties, Dinh may only naturally confuse patriotism with loyalty to leader. Trust the Leader, Dinh told the conservatives. They seemed to agree. This certainly is not America’s way.

    Destroying America does not mean blowing up buildings. It means destroying the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers. Al Qaeda is powerless to bring about such destruction. Only our own government, enabled by the public’s and Viet Dinh’s and Attorney General Gonzales’ endorsements of the Führer Principle can destroy America.

    February 23, 2006

    Dr. Roberts [send him mail] is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

    Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com

    Paul Craig Roberts Archives








    Find this article at:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts150.html
     
  2. poncho

    poncho
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    Thanks for posting this Brother James.

    "no one without operational knowledge of the details of the NSA program can come to a definitive conclusion as to its propriety or legality."

    Which gives them the perfect shield from accountability.

    "At times that healthy skepticism must unfortunately yield to a greater threat to our national security."

    They use national security, secrets and Al Qaeda like a sword when ever their word or actions are doubted. If they were really so worried about national security and protecting the people they wouldn't call citizens volunteering to do the job they refuse to do vigilantes. But what can we expect from people that try to keep their sins covered by deception?

    They signed on to UNESCO Agenda 21 and sustainable development that restructures our republican representative government to soviet style appointed regional government that calls for open borders and leaching away our national sovereignty to unelected fuedal lords. The only thing saving these traitors from a good ole fashion western necktie party is that most Americans won't read their documents, books and agreements they sign and compare them to the Declaration Of Idependence and the Bill Of Rights. And so live in a bubble dependent on them for everything from basic information to a supposed security from militarized police, mercenaries and multinational armed forces. The classic tools of tyrants all through history.

    "At this time, the greatest threat to American liberty comes from al Qaeda and its associates who would seek to destroy this nation, not from the brave men and women who defend America and her people."

    At this time as in the last 50 years the greatest threat to America comes from the globalists that wish to usurp our wealth and soveriegnty so they can live like feudal lords and fleece us like so many sheep. Al Qaeda didn't write the Patriot Act that tries to nullify the fourth and fifth amendments under color of law. Viet D. Dinh is the guilty party.

    See how they use the same old cliches over and over catapulting the propaganda? If you don't support the furher if you don't support the troops. If they really believed in supporting the troops they would be protecting the principles they are willing to fight and die for, freedom and sovereignty both national and individual instead of giving them away by writting and signing treasonous agreements with cowards that prefer to do their dirty work behind the scenes with no accountablilty.

    I say if anyone deserves a standing ovation it's Paul Craig Roberts for standing up for America by putting these liberty and sovereignty thieves in the hot seat in front of a broad audience. [​IMG]

    [ February 23, 2006, 12:17 PM: Message edited by: poncho ]
     
  3. The Galatian

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    This isn't a liberal/conservative issue. It's between Americans, and the few who would take away their freedoms in the name of security.
     
  4. poncho

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    If he'd only typed our globalist controlled two party government where the other * are I would be yelling BULLS EYE!
     
  5. KenH

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    Kudos to Mr. Roberts. [​IMG]

    Clearly we need the Democrats to win back control of the Congress this November to have an effective constitutional check on the Bush administration. The GOP-led Congress had not proven to be up to the job.
     

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