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Where Was The Terrorist Attack After Protect America Act Expiration?

A little right wing publication called The Conservative Voice expresses the paranoia with which George W. Bush and the Republican Party are pushing for extraordinary search and spy powers for the government to use against American citizens with the passage of the FISA Amendments Act. Their headline: “FISA Expiration Means American Deaths”.

They couldn’t get it more wrong. First of all, FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) has not expired. The Protect America Act, an effort to destroy the FISA courts, expired.

Secondly, what deaths are they talking about? When The Conservative Voice wrote its headline, “FISA Expiration Means American Deaths”, what dead Americans were they referring to?

Have any Americans actually died, or even gotten a paper cut, because the Protect America Act expired? No. There has been no terrorist attack in the United States since the expiration of the Protect America Act, and the chances are that there will not be another attempted terrorist attack within the United States for years, if not generations.

In their entire article, The Conservative Voice can only say the following: “Without a doubt, American people will now likely be killed on American soil.”

Without a doubt, likely? That’s an interesting choice of combined modifiers. Here’s what that statement actually means: No Americans have died as a result of the expiration of the Protect America Act. However, we are unable to doubt that it is likely that Americans will be killed here in the United States – NOW.

Now? Okay, let’s talk about now. That article over at The Conservative Voice was written by right wing ranter Kevin Roeten over 23 hours ago.

Where I come from, “now” means now, not tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or maybe ten years from now. When I say, “I’m coming over to your house now,” it doesn’t mean I’ll come over tomorrow, or maybe in the summer time, or in the year 2047.

However, there is no terrorist attack now. There wasn’t a terrorist attack yesterday. There almost certainly won’t be one tomorrow. Kevin Roeten and his ilk are just plain wrong when they claim that there will be a terrorist attack “now”.

Yet, it is on the basis of just this sort of flimsy political panic attack that George W. Bush is pressuring Democratic members of Congress to approve the extreme spy powers against American citizens contained in the FISA Amendments Act. As J. Clifford pointed out earlier this morning, there are over 40 Democrats in the House of Representatives who have proven themselves stupid enough to give in to these scare tactics.

I repeat his call to action. Call the Congressional Switchboard now (yes, now now, not The Conservative Voice‘s idea of now) at (202) 224-3121, and get connected to one of the 40 Democrats in the House who was stupid enough to get us into this mess in the first place by voting to pass the Protect America Act last year. Tell them to vote NO on the FISA Amendments Act.

Be prepared to spell the word “no” for them. It’s like “now”, only without a W.

11 comments to Where Was The Terrorist Attack After Protect America Act Expiration?

  • Doctor Hickory

    Just some thinking points:

    “…there will not be another attempted terrorist attack within the United States for years, if not generations….” Perigrin Wood

    Does the above bear any relation in retrospect to the following:

    “I would discourage the American people from overreacting to this.” Bill Clinton, after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that injured over 1000 and killed 6 people.

    I certainly hope that history will prove Mr. Wood more correct than Mr. Clinton.

    Another point in his article to analyze:
    “…Where I come from, “now” means now, not tomorrow, or next week…”

    From where the Merriam-Webster dictionary comes from, ‘now’ can have the following meanings:

    5: under the present circumstances
    6: at the time referred to

    It seems the passage he is referring to has a pretty clear message with the correct context definition for the word ‘now’. If he doesn’t understand that, it would appear to be either his mental failing, or his attempt to spin the article mentioned in order to ridicule it. Based on his context and writing style, I would make a guess to the latter.

    It seems pretty obvious they were not using the word ‘now’ in the instantaneous sense. At least it’s pretty obvious to most intelligent people. So in that sense, they cannot yet be proven wrong; history will be a more accurate judge of that. Again, I sincerely hope Mr. Wood is correct, in his naive view of world politics and events.

  • Bill Clinton was correct. There was no point in overreacting to the attack in 1993 or the one in 2001.

    Can you explain to me what the point would be of overreacting?

    Can you explain, given that with the laws in 1991 already giving George W. Bush a warning – that he ignored – that Al Quaida planned to hijack planes and fly them into major buildings, what would have been accomplished with additional spy laws to gather more information that George W. Bush would have also ignored?

    When the President of the United States is saying that delaying a decision on the FISA Amendments Act by just ONE WEEK put us in danger of a terrorist attack, I don’t think that most intelligent people would take the wide interpretation of “now” that you do.

    Amazing that you’re trying to tell us that now doesn’t mean now.

    And could you explain to me, “Doctor”, who it is that The Conservative Voice is referring to with the phrase “American deaths”?

    Who are these dead people?

  • Doctor Hickory

    Only a stupid putz with a shark-toothed face would try to suggest that Bill Clinton was correct in 1998 to much of anything regarding terrorism. The record, including USS Cole, etc show that this was a weak point of his. It’s akin to saying not to “overreact” to being inside a burning house. You need to correctly take prudent action swiftly, which is not an ‘overreaction’. Which he did not effectively do. So in essence, his perspective on what was “overreacting” can be shown to be poor.

    “…given that with the laws in 1991 already giving George W. Bush a warning …”

    I’m not sure what 1991 laws you are referring to,
    nor is it the normal purpose of a law to “give a warning” to a person (GWBush) who was in 1991 an owner of the Texas Rangers.

    You seem to be pretty amazingly confused at what you’re trying to discuss. I’m glad the country’s safety is not in your confused hands. I feel sorry for whomever your family is, if their personal safety rests with you.

    I guess to you, ‘now’ means ‘now’ like ‘is means ‘is’. The Webster dictionary definition is really quite clear with the context. Do you not understand that words can have different meanings, depending on their usage and context?

    As far as who TCV is referring to, I’m not a member of their organization, nor do I read their publications. However, to take a stab at something that is fairly obvious, their statement “…FISA Expiration Means American Deaths..” refers to the idea that decreasing the ability of intelligence-gathering will ultimately result in an increase of domestic terrorism acts. Those would possibly be the “American Deaths” which you have quoted in your article. I haven’t read the original piece, only what you have quoted. But it looks pretty simple.

    Once again, I hope your pollyanna vision of the future proves true.

  • “Doctor”, if you would stop for a minute and think, you’d realize that overreacting in a burning building actually gets a lot of people killed. People die from not thinking clearly and calmly when there is danger. Almost 4 thousand have died (just on the American side) as a result of that kind of panic leading us into Iraq.

    (1991 was a typo – I have a band aid on 3 fingers, and am being clumsy at the keyboard today – I meant to type 2001)

    I don’t want the country to be in my hands either, Doctor, but I’m not running for President. John McCain is – and on the foundation of promoting awful laws like the Military Commissions Act and FISA Amendments Act.

    John McCain is encouraging Americans to throw their rights away out of a sense of unjustified fear. My sense of balanced optimism is not that of a pollyanna. It’s based on the circumstances of the present and of America’s past. There has never been a prolonged, sustained Islamic terrorist campaign here in the United States. You want to believe in one because it justifies throwing out the Bill of Rights, and that’s some kind of totalitarian thrill ride for you, but there really isn’t much of a threat.

    The Conservative Voice didn’t say that those “American Deaths” would come “ultimately”. They said that the deaths would happen “without a doubt” “likely” “now”.

    Blabber all you like D.H., but you can’t transform that paranoia into common sense.

    Go outside. Look around you. There is no terrorist hiding behind every trash can. Read every paper in the nation, day after day after day. For years and years, not a single Islamic terrorist attack. Calm down. Take off your Panic Pants and stop your attack on our Constitution.

  • Doctor Hickory

    Amazing! Holding onto an argument like a small child!
    And a poor boo-boo on the fingers, too!

    Your confusion keeps continuing. I said that one needs “…to correctly take prudent action swiftly..” in a burning house. The analogy to Clinton is he took virtually no state-level action after the 1998 WTC bombings, instead, it was basically a simple criminal matter for him. That’s making the mistake of confusing ‘no action’ for the lack of ‘overreaction’. And the ultimate result was clearly 9/11/2001.

    Again, I don’t speak for TCV, nor did I say I had any insight into their statements. They are clearly suggesting strong actions, and their words are certainly meant to encourage that. That much is obvious. It’s childish and just plain stupid to interpret those remarks to mean that they expected Americans to die in the next minute, and you could start your stopwatch. Try to grow up in your thoughts a little.

    And nor did I say that there were terrorists “hiding behind every trash can”.
    You must be joking to expect me to allow you to put those words into my mouth. No where did I once mention that I supported any elements of FISA. You need to calm down, grow up, and learn to start phrasing your posts so that they make a little sense. I was merely making a comment on your faulty logic.

    It’s pointless to try and discuss things with you, since you’re obviously more interested in acting childish and spouting nonsense. But “…For years and years, not a single Islamic terrorist attack…”; if you think that’s by accident, or that people who mean the United States harm have ceased to exist, then you are just deluding yourself. Just because a lot of actions have kept the nation basically safe in the last few years does not mean that no threat exists. I can’t see the faults deep in the earth that cause earthquakes, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t ever happen again. So sad to see that our schools are turning out people that can’t think very clearly.

  • I’m not holding onto an argument. I’m holding onto the freedoms that are guaranteed to me in the Constitution, and I will not join people like you who are so eager to throw them away. You’re running away from that fundamental issue over and over again, to argue about Bill Clinton, and to cast up terrorist phantoms.

    Is it stupid to interpret an article entitled “FISA Expiration Means American Deaths”, which says “Without a doubt, American people will now likely be killed on American soil,” as suggesting that The Conservative Voice contends that there ought to be Americans already dead or dying?

    No, you never said that terrorists are hiding behind every trash can, and I never said that you said so. You’re merely acting as if that’s what you believe.

    Every argument you make is based upon the presumption that, if it were not for laws that destroy American freedom, we would have been attacked by a whole lot of terrorists by now. You don’t have any evidence to back up this fact.

    My historical evidence that these laws are unnecessary, on the other hand, is strong. In all the years before the attacks of September 11, the United States could handle much worse than Al Quaida. The United States confronted Soviet spies long after the excesses of J. Edgar Hoover and his ilk were put to an end.

    If you really believe that giving up our right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure without any search warrant is the only way to protect security, then you’re just not looking at the record. Your values are also contrary to those at the heart of the American Constitution, which holds that freedom and the consistent rule of law is the basis of security.

    You’re willing to surrender the greatest treasure America has – its constitutional system of liberty – just because terrorists might launch one more attack on American soil some day in the future. That’s a cowardly attitude that I refuse to share.

  • Iroquois

    Now Peregrin is going back to the argument he should have used in the first place, that the FISA courts work and there is no rationale for warrantless wiretapping.

    Instead of starting with that position–that a huge number of people would agree with–Peregrin started with the position that (1)terrorists are not real and (2)even if they are real it would be a criminal matter and not an international incident. This argument just isn’t working.

    It could very well be true that Dubya’s little diversion has siphoned off all the terrorists into Iraq and kept them from being busy here. We don’t know.

  • Iroquois

    But no, keep up with those arguments Peregrin, we do need to see them out there and discuss them even if they don’t convince people now.

  • Tom

    The whole 9-11 event, like the Kennedy assassination before it, was “allowed to happen” by the powers that be. We’ll never be able to uncover the truth because we’re not privy to all this SECRET INFORMATION. We’re about as much a democracy anymore as Russia. In fact they’re doing BETTER than us now, BECAUSE of Putin. Our dollar continues to spiral into scrip and all our resources that aren’t privately owned are being sold out from under us to CORPORATIONS – with the help of Congress! We’re being stripped of our rights, our jobs, health care, and the protection of “our” former government watchdog groups (like the FDA, EPA, and ACLU) by the actions of our “elected” officials. You call this “America”?

  • Iroquois, no argument is working, because the people in power know they don’t need to appeal to rational sense or to people’s higher natures. Fear is much more powerful, and arguments for freedom aren’t working because Americans these days would rather feel safe, with an undertone of fear, than be free.

    I did not said that there terrorists are not real. I have said that the terrorist threat is not very significant. That doesn’t appeal to people’s sense of drama, but it’s true.

  • Iroquois

    Where was the terrorist attack?

    Here.
    http://www.tngop.org/wordpress/?p=112

    Scroll down to where it says DEMOCRATS ARE PUTTING AMERICANS IN DANGER.

    HA!

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