What We Can Learn From the British

Discussion in 'Politics' started by carpro, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. carpro

    carpro
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    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008794

    The British Way
    They say "reasonable suspicion," we say "probable cause."

    BY DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. AND LEE A. CASEY
    Monday, August 14, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT

    Britain's successful pre-emption of an Islamicist plot to destroy up to 10 civilian airliners over the Atlantic Ocean proves that surveillance and other forms of information-gathering remain an essential weapon in prosecuting the war on terror. There was never any real doubt of this, of course. Al Qaeda's preferred targets are civilians, and civilians have a right to be protected from such deliberate and calculated attacks. Denying the terrorists funding, striking at their bases and training camps, holding accountable governments that promote terror and harbor terrorists, and building democracy around the world are all necessary measures in winning the war. None of these, however, can substitute for anticipating and thwarting terror operations as the British have done. This requires the development and exploitation of intelligence.

    Despite this self-evident truth, critics of President Bush and the war on terror have relentlessly opposed virtually every effort to expand and improve the government's ability to gather the type of information needed to detect and prevent terrorist attacks, whether in the form of the Patriot Act's "national security" letters and delayed notification warrants (derisively described by pseudo-civil-libertarians as "sneak and peak" warrants), the NSA's once-secret program to intercept al Qaeda communications into and out of the United States, and the Treasury Department's efforts to monitor financial transactions through the Swift system. These, and similar measures, are among the tools that we will need to finish the job.
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

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    Au contrare! My criticism, and those of others I have heard, is not against intelligence gathering and intercepting phone calls and email; rather, it is doing it within the law and the Constitution. That means going to the FISA court and obtaining the necessary warrants. That means not making every American citizen a suspect. That means working within the law, rather than making it up as you go along without getting the authorizations that are in place to protect liberty AND security.
     
  3. Jack Matthews

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    Keep in mind that the British have never taken the idea of individual rights protected by a constitution nearly so far as we have done. Also keep in mind that American democracy is older than British democracy, and British colonialism, which was pretty much dismantled by their need to rely on American assistance in the two twentieth century world wars, created a lot of enemies for dear old England, and gave rise to many terrorist movements, including some pretty feisty ones next door in Ireland, and up north in Scotland.

    Great Britain's building of an empire, and in the process, her heavy handed re-arranging of the political map of the world, including the exploitation of many people in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, was not the work of a group of people who were interested in a pure, constitutional democracy. Part of the problem in dealing with terrorism is its root cause. Britain's empire building was what opened the door to small groups of oppressed people moving to England and settling in separate communities, where poverty and resentment of treatment gave cause to breeding terrorism. So, the British have had to become adept at deflecting as much of it as possible. Still, all in all, far more people have died in an almost countless number of terror attacks in Great Britain than in the US, and they come from a wider variety of sources. Attempting to bypass constitutional law isn't going to make us any safer.
     
  4. Ulsterman

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    The first elected parliament was De Montfort's Parliament in England in 1265, a little before the Pilgrim Father's left Plymouth. It is true to say that the US was the first nation to develop a liberal democracy, but not the first to practice democracy. Westminster remains the "mother of parliaments."
     
  5. El_Guero

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    And they will continue to oppose reasonable suspicion of terrorists and their sympathizers and say that they are hiding behind the constitution.

    The Constitution never gave rights to foreign terrorists. The Framers never had an idea that we could find the enemy by merely listening to their conversations.

    Do you really think they would have given Benedict protection from a wiretap?

    And during a time of war - war powers are supposed to protect the people.

    And since carpro and I have nothing to hide - I know that I vote for a Constitutional Ammendment making it legal to tap electronic communications (not individual American homes) to protect the American way of life from the evil that terrorists would want to do to us.

    If you want to become a target - move to Paris . . . ;)

    See if you like their form of search and seizure.


     
  6. El_Guero

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    Ulsterman

    I just gotta give you a hard time - We wouldn't be yanks if we didn't keep you Brits honest

    Yep . . .

    And Boston bay means tea time done right.

    And Plymouth means a rock upon which to build a great country.

    And Philadelphia means finishing what Westminster started.

    And your right, 1265 was a couple of days before our Fathers left England . . .

     
  7. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    News to me re Scotland; I hadn't heard we had a Scottish Liberation Front.
     
  8. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Matt

    He's on a roll - don't confuse 'im with truth . . .

    ;)
     
  9. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    If someone wants to keep their conversations priveleged and not monitored, then they should do the conversations in person - face to face. There is absolutely no reason why phone conversation and email should not be monitored.

    If I were stupid enough to conspire to murder innocent Americans - then I would expect someone to try to catch me. That is the job of the military.

    Go to Germany and see what their level of expectation and security will buy you. Go to Italy.

    Forget that - go to Saudia Arabia.

    We are the land of the free. And if we want to keep it that way, we have to protect ourselves against terrorists - foreign and domestic.
     
  10. Matt Black

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    Maybe he's getting them mixed up with Welsh nationalists, a few of whom got worked up in the 1970s and went round setting fire to holiday cottages owned by the English, giving rise to the spoof of the advert for fireplaces: "Come home to a real fire...buy a cottage in Wales."
     
  11. El_Guero

    El_Guero
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    Now the Welsh were always the radicals . . .

    Still can't understand a single word they say, in Welsh or in English.

    What an advert!

     

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