Monday, February 06, 2006

Wire tapping, my last post on this topic

Yesterday, in my pre-game avoidance channel surfing, I stumbled upon a Bush public experience from April of 04 in Buffalo, NY. Quote (at least 95% correct, I forget exactly the first 5 words) "You will hear about wire tapping. When we go after terrorists, we need a court order. Nothing has changed."

Did I miss something? Something must have changed from April of 04 to Dec of 05 for the wire tapping to go from needing "a court order" to being legal without it? Those are W's words. I am looking on the internet for the clip to put in here as link. It is only like 10 seconds. Maybe in seconds 11, 12 and 13 he told everyone "oh, I just kidding." But I doubt it.

If the threat of WMD and terrorists were so severe, why did he put less than half the troop count into Iraq that his dad put into Kuwait? His father put like 310K troops into a country the size of Connecticut and W puts 130K into a country the size of California. Oh sure, it was the coalition forces arguments here, gotcha. Even with the coalition, we don't approach the 300k+ plus in the Gulf War. In some ways, I would imagine that 300K+ troops in Iraq would help with training Iraqi forces and dealing with the insurgents.

In doing some more digging, my figures were wrong on the Gulf War. On allied side, 700,000 soldiers participated, of which 540,000 were US troops.

Now that sounds like a coalition force.


Ryan said...

Nothing changed - the sound bite in question was in reference to domestic wiretapping. This was a major point the Democrats tried to make during yesterday's questioning of Alberto Gonzalez by the Judiciary Committee, and Gonzalez fully deflated the argument (caught a replay of it on C-SPAN late last night). NSA wiretapping is only done on conversations between foreign terror suspects and individuals inside the U.S. borders; and although the Constitution would probably allow him to do otherwise (President Clinton ordered a warrantless search of individuals' homes during the mid-90's on suspicions of terrorist activity), conversations where both parties are within U.S. borders are still be conducted only by warranted wiretaps.

As for troop deployments, that was the decision of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs (Dubya has said again and again that military decisions have been made, are being made, and will continue to be made by military personnel, not politicians). Since the first Gulf War, the military has adapted its tactics to include more "expeditionary forces", which are smaller, more self-contained units which are quicker to move, quicker to react to surprise attacks, and quicker to re-equip based on the specifics of the force's objectives. The only reason I know this is because I read "Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror" by retired generals Thomas McInerney and Paul Vallely.

Josh said...

The only thing I would add, the Judiciary Committee is chaird by a Republican that on Sunday said he was going to get clarrification on the domestic wiretapping issue. Perhaps what was witnessed was a democrat asking the question, but both parties have questions on this topic, not just democrats.

Ryan said...

Agreed, but if you watch the proceedings, it's pretty clear that much of it is simply using the "hearing" as a chance to get your own points across in absence of a bill to debate on the floor of Congress. Many of the "questions" for the Attorney General weren't really questions at all, but a chance for each party's Senators to spout their opinions on the matter, and then say "Isn't that right, Mr. Gonzalez?".

If you watch the whole proceeding, you'll notice that the first 3 to 4 minutes of each Senator's allotted time is used to debunk the final statements made by the Senator of the opposing party. So the fact that the chair wanted "to get clarification" largely meant that he wanted an official forum to make public what is already known to those on the Judiciary Committee. Little came out of the hearings (at least the hour that I watched of it) that I didn't already know from my rudimentary research that I did as the basis for my post on this topic.