The last time I use the acronym FISA 58


My personal political ideals fall somewhat to the left of Dennis Kucinich and to the right of Karl Marx.  In contrast to many caricatures of my posts at TPM, my understanding of Obama’s stance on FISA has zero to do with whether or not I agree with said legislation or with continued abuse of the Constitution.

Of course, I think it is a travesty that we have been raping the Constitution since before the ink was dry on the Preamble.

However, Barack has explained, more than once, that based on his classified briefings on national security, the amended FISA bill is a compromise he thinks is necessary to watch our back. He believes that it provides the tools needed to keep our right secure.  I am willing to take him at his word for now.

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58 thoughts on “The last time I use the acronym FISA

  • JasonEverettMiller

    I am feeling the pain of those who keep getting their posts cut-off. Here is the rest:

    He believes that it provides the tools needed to keep America relatively safe. I used to be part of those tools under Bill Clinton. He believed the same thing Barack believes.

    I am not Clinton fan, but at the very least he provides some precedent for aspiring democratic presidential hopefuls and the politics of what can be accomplished vice what can be dreamed.

    I’ll go ahead and agree with Clinton “apologists” that he always meant to do the right thing but wasn’t able to. I am enough of a realist to see that. I am also enough of a realist to see that if Hillary had been a bit more cynical about Bush she would have never voted for the war.

    Based on her time in the White House, she fully believed that we would “liberate” Iraq and get the fuck out of dodge. She knew that the entire strategy of 1990s military development was to fight two Iraq wars at the same time. She knew there were kick ass plans to liberate Iraq and get the fuck out of dodge with a huge feather in America’s cap. That she was unable to imagine Bush throwing all thsoe plans out, disbanding the Iraqi military and sowing chaos as a way to feed profit was a failure of imagination, not a failure of leadership.

    That understanding would have allowed me to vote for Hillary had she won the primary. In fact, I would be supporting her as strongly and as passionately as I am supporting Barack. This shit is too important to be pissed over missed opportunities from another time and place.

    Which brings me to Barack’s stance on FISA.
    Until President Obama takes office and is able to change the tone and posture of America in the world, there are some fairly well-financed and nasty motherfuckers who are trying to kill us. Presidential politics doesn’t change that.

    That Barack’s principled stance also has political dividends in his race for the presidency is just a bonus as far as I am concerned. If we should suffer another attack, not beyond the realms of possibility given the neocon’s penchant for fear, this one vote wins the election for him. he will seem precient in the eyes of many voters who thinks democrats are pussies.

    His decision shows a pragmatic understanding of the danger we face as we negotiate our way out of 40 years of horrible foreign policy and ambitions of empire. It shows exactly the type of judgment and complex thought that I want in a president. I can guarantee it shows the same thing for every republican or independent still on the fence and leaning our way.

    I don’t have to agree with every single decision Barack makes as either a candidate or a president, but I have to at least make an effort to understand those choices in order to be an “informed” voter and add substance to the debate.

    • destor23

      Good post Jason. But I do believe that the “FISA will keep us safe(r)” argument is among the weakest.

      How does it actually keep us safer? The old FISA law gives the government wide latitude, including the latitude to act first and to ask the court later. I doubt we need much more than that, though the PATRIOT Act does allow more and that’s still in effect.

      I just don’t see the two or three specific things that this bill allows that would make me sleep better at night.

      Also, I already sleep fine at night.

      There’s circumstantial evidence that suggests that nothing about this compromise has anything to do with safety:

      If it is necessary to keep us safe then the appropriate compromise would be to either extend permission to do it until after the election or for the other side to drop the telecom immunity portion in favor of what’s really important. So one interpretation is that Bush and the Republicans think telecom immunity is so important that it’s worth risking American lives rather than signing a bill that would grant the government new powers but not grant immunity to the telecoms. Hard to see how we got beat on that issue. They’re risking American lives to protect phone company execs?

      The other interpretation, which I think is more likely, is that they just want more spying power and whether they get it or not will have no effect on safety but that the power is meaningless unless they immunize their collaborators so… no bill without immunity.

      This isn’t about us, it’s a serious attempt to give new powers to the government and to the industries that will help the government and they want it all at once.

      I’m sure Obama doesn’t see it that way. But if he thinks this bill makes me safer, he needs to explain why. So far he hasn’t and I don’t believe that it does.

      • JasonEverettMiller

        I agree with you with you, however most Americans don’t. For them, this legislation offers tools to catch terrorists. That is the frame Barack must campaign in. He can change that frame, but only after he is elected.

        Having said that, do you honestly think there is no threat to America based on our government’s actions over the last six decades or so? If so, I think we will have to agree to disagree. There are very obvious dangers. The original legislation was written well before the current technologies made it obsolete. Barack is happy with the compromise legislation enough that the immunity (a red herring at best based on legal precedent) was not a deal breaker.

        Without the benefit of his classified security briefings, I have no idea what threats are real or what are imaginary, but I trust the guy enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.

        Otherwise, why support him for president?

      • bslev

        destor:

        You write:

        “How does it actually keep us safer? The old FISA law gives the government wide latitude, including the latitude to act first and to ask the court later. I doubt we need much more than that, though the PATRIOT Act does allow more and that’s still in effect.”

        This is the principal point on the merits in a nutshell. Under the original law, the government was permitted, when necessary as it determine, to conduct the disputed surveillance without first obtaining a warrant. The difference is that under the current “compromise” there is no real judicial review at the end of the road. That’s the biggest problem imo.

        Look, I agree Jason on one principal point, and that is that it is at least plausible to argue that Senator Obama will be able to cure the deficiencies in the current bill after January of 2009. The problem is that political pressure doesn’t go away once the election is determined.

        I guess the bottom line on this issue is that there is a far greater chance that Senator Obama will restore fourth amendment guarantees through real judicial review (my biggest gripe as distinguished from the whole separate immunity issue), as compared with what Senator McMain might do.

        I ultimately just want it to stay OK around these here parts to speak freely, and we can’t allow this mesh of folks around these here parts to be channeled into legitimate and illegitimate discussion points. McCain isn’t going to get anymore votes from folks at the Cafe regardless of what we squabble about. This is now Obama country, warts and all. 🙂

        Bruce

  • Doc Nebula

    Which brings me to Barack’s stance on FISA.
    Until President Obama takes office and is able to change the tone and posture of America in the world, there are some fairly well-financed and nasty motherfuckers who are trying to kill us. Presidential politics doesn’t change that.

    Thank you for bravely taking a stance with those proud, few Americans who are happy to sacrifice liberty for security. I’d hoped our nation was getting over that shit, but I see our bold new direction forward is actually a mad, stampeding retreat into the valley of fear… specifically of what, I do not know. Two suicide bombers with cell phones, I guess.

    Let me help you with some perceptual impairment you seem to be suffering from. Obama has taken two entirely contradictory and mutually exclusive stances as regards telecom immunity during this campaign. In one, he has vowed to filibuster any bill that contains such a provision; more recently, he has stated that national security trumps minor concerns like our civil liberties and the prosecution of those corporate criminalswho knowingly invaded them, and he will not only not filibuster a FISA bill that contains telecom immunity, but he will actually vote for it.

    One of these stances is principled, the other is anything and everything but principled. Can you guess which is which? (I’m presuming you’d have to guess, as your entire reasoning intellect seem to have completely abandoned you, at least, in this regard.)

    Here is what entirely baffles me. Senator Obama has portrayed himself as a voice of change, as a politician who will not pursue ‘politics as usual’, as someone who is above all that dreary mess and who will lead us to a bright new post partisan future. And because of this portrayal, we are now, apparently, supposed to forgive and forget a few minor lapses into, well, politics as usual.

    I ponder this, I cogitate, I turn it over and over in my mind, and honestly, all I can come up with is, this is a pretty fucking stupid idea.

    Obama made a campaign promise, Obama is in the process of breaking that same promise, and all you can do is rationalize and justify and apologize for him… which is two parts foolish (he does the first two much better than you can) and one part pitiful (it’s always sad when someone feels they have to apologize for the transgressions of someone else too petty to apologize themselves).

    FISA is not a little thing, retroactive telecom immunity is not trivia, and The Great Black Hope breaking a campaign promise just like any other politician is hardly minutia. You seem to have worked it around otherwise in your own mind, and that’s sad. Sadder still is your insistence that everyone else adopt your own entirely invalid viewpoint, or be less “informed” than you are.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      Not sure how you equate what I am saying with all that you wrote, but I respect your right to disagree. The Constitution is what the majority of Americans agree it is. It has been subject to both interpretation and amendment from the day it was signed. Your opinion aside, this issue isn’t nearly so black and white.

        • kohoutek

          No, it just means he gets reality. Or, a more long-winded way of saying it is that “the constitution says whatever the Supreme Court says it does, and the SC is comprised of justices picked by presidents picked by the people. And lots of fine legal minds argue the intent of the constitution all the time.”

          • slb

            But the Supreme Court decides against what the majority of Americans would say the Constitution said all the time. The opinion of the nine Supreme Court justices is not the same thing as what the majority of Americans say the Constitution says.

          • kohoutek

            No, not directly. But the composition of the court is determined, as we’ve seen, by appointments that reflect the ideology of the president, which, by and large, reflects the ideology of his supporters, which is, by loose definition, the majority of Americans.

          • kohoutek

            And yes, you’re right, they do surprise us. Take habeas corpus and the gun rights decisions. Go figure.

          • Larry Geater

            They cannot represent the opinions of all the citizenry since we disagree. But they will never get to far from the consensus. If the consensus changes over time so will the court. The court turned over law after law protecing workers and prohibiting child labor in the 19th century but public opinion changed enough to change the make up of the court and we have safety standards in the workplace, a minimum wage and child labor laws for the better part of a century now. Nothing in the constitution changed to allow these laws we just changed our opinion of what it means.

    • kohoutek

      “Let me help you with some perceptual impairment you seem to be suffering from. Obama has taken two entirely contradictory and mutually exclusive stances as regards telecom immunity during this campaign. In one, he has vowed to filibuster any bill that contains such a provision; more recently, he has stated that national security trumps minor concerns like our civil liberties and the prosecution of those corporate criminalswho knowingly invaded them, and he will not only not filibuster a FISA bill that contains telecom immunity, but he will actually vote for it.

      One of these stances is principled, the other is anything and everything but principled. Can you guess which is which?”

      *********

      To which the obvious retort is the case of pacifism. By principle, no violence is ever justified, even in self-defense, or the defense of loved ones. Do you agree that this principle is therefore more valid than a principle held by another which says that one is justified in doing anything, within the law or without, to protect those that one loves and has a duty/moral obligation to protect?

      Which is the greater principle?

      If the law told you you couldn’t shoot someone who you believed was going to kill your children, would you obey? If you obeyed the law, but your children died, would you feel okay about the outcome since you obeyed the law? Would you perhaps seek to change that law?

      This isn’t absurd, because it’s the basis of ‘make-my-day’ laws. You threaten me, or mine, and murder becomes self-defense. What is otherwise illegal becomes legal a) because we said it was, and b) because we recognize a moral imperative, a basic right superseding laws established toward the preservation of other rights.

      We deal with these sorts of ambiguities in the law all the time. To say that “Obama decided national security trumps telecom immunity” is for him to have made a decision based on a principle: “preservation of the lives of many outweighs the potential prosecution of a few for breaking a law, which lawbreaking they did at the behest of the president precisely because he said it was to protect the lives of the many.” They wouldn’t be the first ones to have their faith in Bush betrayed.

      Or, the good of the many outweighs the sins of the few. If this is the formulation, that doesn’t seem “unprincipled” to me. It’s a question of competing principles, and to which one you give the greater weight.

      The whole question of lawlessness in this issue has to address these fundamental sorts of questions. Basically, I don’t have a problem with a president violating the constitution if s/he is convinced that it’s necessary to preserve human life, especially on a mass scale. To present less of a dilemma, I don’t mind the president having lawfully granted powers that address both the constitutional concerns (ie, supervisory courts, and so on), and the situational exigencies.

      The problem isn’t/wasn’t the legislation. The problem, in regard to lawlessness, is that Bush didn’t follow the law, when there was no reason for him not to.

      Unless, of course, that lawbreaking involved exactly what this rewrite is addressing, which are the communications that originate overseas, but come to/through the US. And there might indeed be a very good case behind this. Do I have evidence pro or con? Do you?

      We may not know, because the spy shit tends to work better when it is kept a secret. That’s spying. That’s the guys who get the, “If you’re caught, we’ll disavow any knowledge of you or this operation.” And don’t believe for one second that Democrats and Republicans alike haven’t broken all sorts of laws under the pressure of balancing American lives vs. legal constraints.

      It’s an ongoing tension. And always will be. I doubt George Bush on a whole host of issues. But I’m thinking this one probably has more to do with what was recommended by the intelligence agencies than anything that idiot came up with.

        • kohoutek

          You’re too kind, Jason. I’m just riffing off of your posts, and enjoying the rational perspective you keep articulating. I had to give up on Salon…what once was a pretty interesting place to talk has become unbearable.

          • JasonEverettMiller

            I am just glad you didn’t think I was being mean by calling you a smart motherfucker. :O)

      • CT Voter

        This is a terrific comment.

        And this:

        The problem isn’t/wasn’t the legislation. The problem, in regard to lawlessness, is that Bush didn’t follow the law, when there was no reason for him not to.

        captures my sense of FISA.

  • kohoutek

    What occurs to me is that this entire debate we’re having about FISA and Obama illustrates why Democrats are less trusted on national security. It’s not for lack of brains or worldliness, nor for lack of combat veterans among our ranks.

    It’s a simple matter of the majority of the public believing that Republicans would do “whatever it takes,” while Democrats would blanche. And even if it leads to excesses and errors, the American people, by and large, are more willing to forgive in that regard than they are for not having gone far enough.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      Exactly. As long as the frame is fear, issues like this are ni-win propositions for democrats as long as they are afraid to acknowledge that there might be a reason to push the envelope in pursuit of security.

      Many critics contend it sacrificing “liberty for security” but that is a false analogy given all the Constitutional exceptions that have been codified as legal precedent. DUI checkpoints is only one of literally dozens of examples.

      I just find the whole Concern Troll comments to betray a startling lack of nuance, context and any sort of practical understanding of the American history. Half of them have probably never heard of the Alien and Sedition Act even as they canonize the dudes that founded the country.

      Irony is certainly not dead.

        • JasonEverettMiller

          Jefferson had a child by infringing upon his female slave. Is your argument that somehow Jefferson’s republican standards that fell short of patrician realities are somehow more principled than Adams’ federalist ones that came from a working-class up-bringing?

    • bluebell

      So true, and so I propose we launch another $3 trillion war to show them we are serious. FISA is small potatoes when it comes to showing you are just as willing as Dubya to slaughter tens of thousands on a rumor and a hunch.

      • kohoutek

        Don’t be so silly. That’s not the logical conclusion as I’m sure you know.

        It’s simply an observation of whereby the divide arises. That perception may or may not have informed Obama’s thinking. It does not equal starting wars to up your street cred (and, along not too dissimilar lines we remember Bill Clinton being accused of trying to divert us from Monica by launching other missiles).

        This is part of the dynamic of American politics. And national security remains a dominant issue. I don’t know to what extent this informed Obama’s thinking, nor do I offer it as some sort of prescription for how to look like manly-men.

    • VintageClub

      After all the intellectually honest debate is over, we are left with the fact that it is the country of the American people, to do with as they please.

      Even if their last thought was guided by Oprah, they have the final say, not a lawyer who played his cards right and was nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate to appointment on the SC bench.

      Otherwise, the lawyer (i.e. Supreme Court Justice who breaks the tie)becomes the Dictator and the people have no recourse. Not an acceptable result.

      You’ll end up with torches and pitch forks in the street…

      Sorry…

  • kohoutek

    As far as Obama goes, we’ve basically been debating the efficacy of him “compromising/capitulating/triangulating,” what have you.

    However, all of the supposed calculation might indeed be irrelevant. As many are pointing out with outrage, if Obama has decided to break his vow regarding immunity, it might very well be out of political expediency. We’ve beat the hell out of that topic.

    However, it might also be the case that he has indeed changed his mind, or come to believe that the issues were not so clear cut as they may once have seemed.

    Given that this occurs in the middle of a political campaign, motives will be suspect.

    But, and this I really wonder… The guy is smart. Is he electing to break that vow because of a favorable political cost-benefit ratio? Or because he came to see the issue differently?

    He’s being labeled a flip-flopper by both sides. Perhaps he expected that. Perhaps he didn’t. Perhaps the label coming from the Democrats doesn’t bother him because it boosts his swing-voter cred. Perhaps the charge coming from the Right doesn’t bother him, because it’s better than being called naive, or being bludgeoned with “Obama abandons our children to wolves.”

    Perhaps, being a smart guy, he expected the charge from both sides since he is, in essence, retreating from his vow? My question is whether all of that adds up to a net gain in the expediency calculator. Common sense (given what ‘flip-flopping’ did to Kerry) seems to make that a very dubious proposition, even if, to the Right, you’re flip-flopping to the “right side”. It still makes him appear “indecisive” or “inexperienced.”

    I mean, like you, Jason, I was okay with the political expediency calculation. It shows he’s…calculating. Which I don’t think is a bad characteristic for someone who aspires to the office of president. In fact, it’s pretty much a prerequisite.

    But I’m really starting to wonder if the expediency notion really plays?

    • slb

      I was okay with the political expediency calculation. It shows he’s…calculating. Which I don’t think is a bad characteristic for someone who aspires to the office of president. In fact, it’s pretty much a prerequisite.

      Unless their name happens to be Clinton, right? Then it is most basely dispicable characteristic any politician can have, and should disqualify them from any office whatsoever, even dogcatcher.

      • kohoutek

        No, actually. Don’t make me an Obamabot, please!

        The only problem I had with Clinton as a candidate was that I thought she’d lose the general due to the extreme Clinton hatred/fixation on the Right. Didn’t care about the AUMF (see my reply).

        I also didn’t like the intraparty civil war she tried to ignite with the BS on MI and FL. But I never had problems with her actual politics/conduct up until then.

        • slb

          That wasn’t really aimed at you personally, but at the many, many Obama supporters on this site who felt (and still feel) that Hillary Clinton is a calculating bitch, and thus the devil incarnate.

  • slb

    Based on her time in the White House, she fully believed that we would “liberate” Iraq and get the fuck out of dodge. She knew that the entire strategy of 1990s military development was to fight two Iraq wars at the same time. She knew there were kick ass plans to liberate Iraq and get the fuck out of dodge with a huge feather in America’s cap. That she was unable to imagine Bush throwing all thsoe plans out, disbanding the Iraqi military and sowing chaos as a way to feed profit was a failure of imagination, not a failure of leadership.

    Where on earth did you get any of that? Sen. Clinton voted for the AUMF because Bush said he needed it to give him bargaining strength at the UN. She may or may not have believed that he would stick to his promise to return to Congress for authorization before actually starting a war, but I’m sure she felt it would be political suicide to deny the president the support he said he needed when he was negotiating with other countries.

    • kohoutek

      I don’t know what she did or didn’t know, but I agree about why so many signed off on the AUMF. It’s easy in retrospect to judge this decision, but we had precious little evidence of Bush’s terrible predilections or intentions at the time.

      I’ve always hated this knee-jerk liberal view about the AUMF vote. And I never considered it in evaluating either Obama or Clinton. Or Edwards.

      Bush asked for and promised good faith. He received it, and didn’t deliver it.

      • slb

        I opposed the AUMF, I didn’t trust Bush, and I was not happy with the Democrats that went along with it. But there was a reason that Bush pushed to get it taken up before the 2002 election rather than follow his father’s example and wait until afterward. Bush I wanted to take the politics out of any decision to go to war. Bush II feared that playing politics was the only way he’d get to be a war president.

        Given Obama’s about-face when push came to shove on FISA, I think that if he had been in the Senate then, it’s far more likely he’d have voted with Sen. Clinton than with Sen. Feingold.

        • kohoutek

          Very possibly true. For me, it’s not a problem, since I always thought this was a poor yardstick.

          And I love Feingold. But I think if he ran for president, as I implored him to do, he wouldn’t get very far. At least that’s my gut feeling. None of the high-principle candidates do.

          Ironically, we don’t trust them.

          With Bush, I mean, I hated his guts all along. But I never thought a president could both stoop so low and be so stupid when his country really needed him.

          Now I know better, small comfort that it is. And I didn’t think much of his dad, but god, the man was a Titan compared to his son.

      • bluebell

        Anyone who read a few newspapers particularly British papers knew the case for war was a pack of lies. The dots did not connect. They were polka dots and for every dot there was hole. I can understand how easy it was to fool the American public. I cannot believe they fooled those in our party who had either training in rules of evidence or foreign policy experience. It was left to the Feingolds and Wellstones to be the truth tellers.

        We don’t have a government that can be trusted. We don’t have a political party that will tell us the truth. At best, we had the rule of law.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      I served in Bill Clinton’s Navy. We pounded the shit out of Iraq the entire time he was in office. Chacnes are, most dems thought that war would go very differently.

      And, make no mistake, they each knew they were voting for war. They just thought we would be the good guys. They weren’t cynical enough, as I mentioned in the quote you pulled.

      • kohoutek

        That’s interesting. I never really thought it was a referendum on going to war. At the time, I really did interpret it as a vote to give him leverage, and that, given the circumstances, Congress wanted to present a united front and not leave the prez hanging.

        So much for smarts…

        • JasonEverettMiller

          I didn’t buy that for a minute. You don’t “pretend” to go to war to force a dictator’s hand.

          I think they knew we would end up invading Iraq and honestly thought that based on their understanding of our military forces and planning that we would whup ass and skedaddle.

          I didn’t say it was clear thinking, but I understand why they would think that. It’s the bullshit story the military told those in charge about our capabilities to sustain ground operations.

          Obviously, a little overly optimistic.

          • kohoutek

            I guess I just figured that given the circumstances, Saddam was going to have to roll over. Which, obviously, Bush didn’t really want to give him that chance.

            But, as a very amateur student of military history and so on, I did figure we’d blow through like we did, so I’m not surprised everyone bought that part. Even after reading some of the accounts that have been published, like Cobra II, and so on, I still find it hard to believe that those in the administration were so willfully blind to the aftermath.

            I guess that’s of a piece though with the BushCo thinking on virtually every issue: Consequences be damned.

            I would be more than curious to hear about your experiences in the navy during the Clinton years. I was angling for an appt. to the Air Force Academy way back in the early 80s, but decided against the military life when I got bumped to preferred candidate status. I wanted to fly fighters, obviously, and if I had gone in, and had made the cut, I’d have been positioned for a starring role in Gulf War I, as it turned out. But my eyes dropped from 20/20 during college, so I probably made the right choice. Don’t think I’d have been as keen to fly transports.

  • tpmgary

    Disagree with the validity of this particular FISA vote as a means to continue to address the very real concerns of terrorism.

    FISA has always been an available and invaluable tool to obtain warrants for wiretaps. And it is legal to obtain warrants even after the fact.

    It’s a fallacy that FISA, in its traditional role, can’t provide the speed or the need to properly address the issue of terrorism in the 21st century.

    The government broke the law. The telecoms knowingly broke the law but were offered protection the President wasn’t authorized to give.

    Now if you’re talking about perception only, then perhaps more Americans believe that this bill would make us safer.

    But that’s Bush marketing. Republican talking points.

    Whatever reason Obama uses to justify his vote, I’ll have to support him.

    But let’s not invent a rationale that doesn’t exist.

  • Marquis de SeaToShiningSea

    Obama will not break with the first dent. If we cave on this easy or early he will know we don’t care. Perhaps you would prefer to forfeit the protection of the 4th amendment, I, on the other hand, would not.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      I would prefer that Adams hadn’t violated the damn thing like a drunk prom date to begin with, then we wouldn’t be here debating whether or not breaking the 4th Amendment yet again is a bad thing.

  • JasonEverettMiller

    You miss my reasoning. It wasn’t a literal thing, though it can be, when I say that but more esoteric. We all agree by common consent to live under the rules of the Constitution and/or abide by the interpretation of the Constitution by those we have put in charge.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      This was a reply to slb above. I really do hate this commenting system sometimes. (Has anyone at TPM heard of AJAX or Java? Web technology originating in this century would be nice.)

  • Bademus

    However, Barack has explained, more than once, that based on his classified briefings on national security, the amended FISA bill is a compromise he thinks is necessary to watch our back.

    I understand that we must not loose this election. I understand that if Obama fought the immunity portion McCain will try to use that to portray him as soft on terror. I’m not going to rail against him and his decision here but the argument above was also made by many who voted for the war and were concerned with being portrayed as soft on terror.

    • JasonEverettMiller

      I agree with that and don’t like to think I live in a country where we are so easily led to support bad decisions, but there you go. I am hopeful that we see that weakness starting to change.