Defense

Defender of Failed Interventions, Surveillance State Attacks Rand Paul, Justin Amash

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Here's the American Enterprise Institute's Danielle Pletka praising Chris Christie for slagging non-interventionists who also worry about the domestic surveillance state:

Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them? The answer, for the most part, is that this administration and its predecessors in the Bush administration did a terrible job briefing Congress, looping Congress in, and helping Congress understand what exactly the federal government is up to. No surprise that those suspicious of the government for whatever reason might wonder if no one is bothering to actually read them in. That's the administration's fault, and it must be rectified.

Then there's Rand Paul, his father, and their acolytes. These are the fringes. That they have managed to latch onto the mainstream is an indictment both of the administration and those of us who believe in internationalism and understand what is necessary to fight terrorism.

The fact that almost half of the House Republican caucus voted for the Amash amendment to effectively shut down the NSA's terrorist surveillance program is a flashing red light on the dashboard — and we'd better take heed.

Whole thing here.

There's a huge helluva lot packed into just those three paragraphs. Among other things, the idea that in any way limiting NSA use of data is the equivalent of shutting down "terrorist surveillance" is a bald misstatement.

But let me focus on the subtext of Pletka's post: This sort of attack on growing majorities of Republicans ("and quite a few Democrats, too"!) along with "the mainstream" for being skeptical about abuse of state power is a sure sign that something like sanity may be returning to foreign policy and security concerns. No wonder neo-cons and interventionists are so irritable.

As I've noted yesterday in response to a piece by the Washington Post's right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin, the geniuses behind Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and more have poisoned public opinion not because most citizens are Hate America Firsters but because we're not stupid. A decade-plus of wasted lives, money, and resources is no way to endear you to the Great Boob Public. The same goes for overkill on things ranging from presidential kill lists to secret and ubiquitous trapping of phone call records and drone strikes on American citizens.

Pletka's willingness to ascribe the waning of hawkishess to bad messaging is sad and misguided. Fact is, the stuff both Bush and Obama administrations have been up to internationally and domestically couldn't be discussed openly—even in Congress!—because it's bad policy. Congress, like the American people, wouldn't have gone along with it. That's why two successive adminstrations did such a terrible job of "looping Congress in."

To get a better read on Pletka's general viewpoint and the slow-boiling anger at the end of the Pentagon's blank check, read this 2010 Washington Post col she co-authored. When you're reduced to accusing Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) of being insufficiently patriotic when it comes to the Pentagon budget, you're pretty much out of ammo.

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56 responses to “Defender of Failed Interventions, Surveillance State Attacks Rand Paul, Justin Amash

  1. She even looks the part of a concern troll.

    1. And she go cram it. Hey, Pletka, I’ve been at gun barrels with real live terrorists and none of them were found out by your precious NSA snooping on phone calls in Topeka, Birmingham or Minneapolis. You want to do surveillance on a “terror suspect” then get a #&*ing warrant.

  2. What NSA “terrorist surveillance” program? They are surveilling everyone.

    1. You’re all terrorists, enemies of the state, and the state doesn’t want its enemies to know what it’s up to.

      1. This particular individual was monitored while using sexual language while on the phone with his girlfriend at 2:00am. 70 agents were required listen with their hands in their pants.

        There are going to be some hilarious secrets revealed about scum NSA, FBI, Dept of Education, etc, cops spying on women.

        1. Oh, without question. Humans gonna human.

    2. Prove you’re not a concern troll.

      1. I mean, prove you’re not a terrorist. Sorry.

      2. What if it’s a terrorist using concern trolling?

    3. we’re all terrorists. It’s the TSA approach writ large. You breath; therefore, you are a threat.

      1. Yeah, take off your shoes when you speak to me!

    4. Yes, to terrorize you into avoiding subversive activity online.

  3. “Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them? The answer, for the most part, is that this administration and its predecessors in the Bush administration did a terrible job briefing Congress, looping Congress in, and helping Congress understand what exactly the federal government is up to.”

    Well, there’s also the part about the IRS being “out to get” Tea Party groups and Republican candidates. And the fact that an apologist for the government says that requiring the NSA to only surveil people they’re actually investigating, instead of surveilling everyone, would curtail its essential mission. And the fact that the head of state singles out an individual citizen for a Two-Minute Hate when the evidence indicates he was defending his life against a deadly assault. But, yeah, anyone who thinks the government is messing with them is paranoid.

    And the part about keeping Congress in the loop is laughable, given that Congressmen are bound not to reveal what they hear from the administration on penalty of having people like this bitch saying they’re betraying confidences.

    1. it’s interesting how, when everyone is not as compliant as these folks wish, the problem is bad messaging, it’s just a PR problem.

      1. Well, yeah:
        “HHS sends Montana $1.5 million to promote Obamacare”
        http://watchdog.org/96093/hhs-…..obamacare/

        1. how the hell that got such little play is astounding, especially when you factor in Sebelius shaking down corporations to fund this thing.

          1. It’s worse than that:
            “Ads for health care law to cost at least $684 million”
            “It will make you stronger. It will give you peace of mind and make you feel like a winner.”
            http://www.sfgate.com/health/a…..688068.php
            Is there some sort a statutory requirement on the percentage that must be used for medical care, sort of like the one on insurance companies?

    2. “Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them? The answer, for the most part, is that” the state is out to get them.

      FTFY

  4. Only serves as further proof that beyond each party’s robotic talking points, pretty much every pos in Washington is for big government and frivolous spending. Any disruptions to that well established pattern is met with fear mongering, as that is the only thing that politicians are good at. The planes hit the wrong buildings on 9/11; even though a fresh crop of criminals would have gladly stepped in to violate the constitution. Fuck all politicians.

  5. Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them?

    I’m neither and I think the state is “out to get me” too, in the sense that if I get in its way or bother it, it will crush me. Is that a valid concern, dickhead?

    1. That would be vaginahead.

      1. Genitalhead?

        1. Technically it’s Vaginaclit.

  6. Now we have both Team Red and Team Blue ganging up to hate on libertarians.

    This is an improvement over being ignored and, I think, a sign that the traditional party establishments in both parties are getting worried.

    1. they’re worried that people are starting to figure out the differences between party are in a degree, not kind.

    2. Question is: WHATT TEAM OF MOLES IS BEING DELPOYED TO DISCREDIT THE LUNES THAT ACTUALLY ASK FOR OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENT?

      There is a witch hunt now. Rand Paul is going to get some heroin slipped in his pocket at the capital one day.

    3. I’ve firmly decided this year to reject any notion that voting for a third-party candidate is a gift to the less desirable of two major-party candidates. I’m encouraging everyone to vote the alternative of their choice, whatever it is, to at least try to communicate the concept of “the consent of the governed.” Ralph Nader was absolutely right when he said Al Gore needed to earn his votes, and it certainly wasn’t Nader’s fault that Gore couldn’t carry his nominal home state of Tennessee.

    4. In a civilized country when ridicule fails to kill a movement it begins to command respect…

      –M. Gandhi

    5. Then there’s Rand Paul, his father, and their acolytes. These are the fringes. That they have managed to latch onto the mainstream

      Well, which is it, young feller? You want I should be on the fringes or be in the mainstream? Mean to say, if’n I’m on the fringe, I can’t rightly be mainstream. And if’n I’m mainstream, I’m not a-gonna be on the fringe.

      1. Classic doublespeak which equates to “they are heretics, but dangerous heretics.”

      2. Gawd! I love that movie!

    6. Now we have both Team Red and Team Blue ganging up to hate on libertarians.

      You knew it had to happen. The McCains and Grahams of the world were not going to step aside quietly.

      Times they are a-changin.

    7. “a sign that the traditional party establishments in both parties are getting worried.”

      One can only hope so.

  7. Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them?

    *shrugs*

    It’s a mystery.

  8. Pletka’s willingness to ascribe the waning of hawkishess to bad messaging is sad and misguided.

    Pretty amusing, since that’s what Obama’s minions are constantly doing too.

  9. Ten minutes ago, I had never heard of Danielle Pletka. Now I want to go to her house and hit her in the face with a whipped cream and dogshit puree pie.

    ps- FUCK THOSE WARMONGERING IMBECILES AT AEI

    1. She is irrelevant as she is just a mouth piece for the establishment. But they are scared and that is good.

    2. Bush Administration era spokesmouth appointed to the Dept. of Defense, I believe. I remember her, vaguely.

  10. When I was in high school I failed to keep my dad in the loop about my skipping class to drop acid and go to DC, for similar reasons.

    1. “drop acid and go to DC”

      Dude, sounds like you were just asking to have a bad trip!

  11. If only the Bush and Obama admins had briefed Congress then it would be perfectly acceptable to take a giant dump on the Fourth Amendment.

  12. the Great Boob Public.

    Go ahead and use “Boobousie”; Mencken won’t mind.

  13. The fact that almost half of the House Republican caucus voted for the Amash amendment to effectively shut down the NSA’s terrorist surveillance program is a flashing red light on the dashboard ? and we’d better take heed.

    I quite agree. By the way, they’re called idiot lights for a reason.

  14. Only reason.com‘s Progressive Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie would think there is such a thing as the Washington Post’s right-wing blogger.

    C’mon Nick, tell us more about “libertarian-Republican Chris Christie”.

    1. KOKTALE PARTIEZ!!!!111!!!!111!!!

  15. Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them?

    Possibly because of the fact that the government is really out to get them. Just sayin’.

    The answer, for the most part, is that this administration and its predecessors in the Bush administration did a terrible job briefing Congress,

    Ah, so you’re saying that the reason people are so paranoid is because the Federal government has been too secretive.

    I can now sleep at night.

    Then there’s Rand Paul, his father, and their acolytes.

    “And I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for these meddling libertarians!”

    These are the fringes. [???]

    That’s not an argument. Jokes aside, Ad Hominems are NOT arguments. I am genuinely suprised that someone in the AEI would rely on the left’s favorite tactic.

  16. Why is it that so many Republicans (and quite a few Democrats, too) believe the state is out to get them? The answer, for the most part, is that this administration and its predecessors in the Bush administration did a terrible job briefing Congress, looping Congress in, and helping Congress understand what exactly the federal government is up to.

    One primary reason her whole argument is idiotic is because these two sentences don’t really fit together.

    You can’t solve the problem of MY distrust of the state by holding more secret briefings for CONGRESS.

    It doesn’t matter how nice you are to Nancy Pelosi or Jay Rockefeller. Giving them more frequent briefings means absolutely nothing to me. You can only solve the problem of my distrust of the state by giving more information to ME.

  17. That they [libertarians] have managed to latch onto the mainstream is an indictment both of the administration and those of us who believe in internationalism and understand what is necessary to fight terrorism.

    It does not seem to occur to this woman that the reason libertarians have been able to “latch onto the mainstram” is because the mainstream has begun – finally! – to feel more skeptical of the reassurances by the administration that the intentions behind its transgressions against our civil liberties and the constitution are pure.

    1. C’mon my friend, their intentions are pure…

      pure greed and eeevill!!!

      BWA-HA-HA-HA!

  18. Then there’s Rand Paul, his father, and their acolytes. These are the fringes.

    I smell fear.

    1. Yeppers. Why bother to attack the libertarian wing if it’s so insignificant?

  19. This is an institute that employs Joe Lieberman. Its idiocy is already proven.

    At least she could’ve put an actual argument into that piece, instead of “PAUL BAD! AMASH BAD!”

  20. this administration and its predecessors in the Bush administration did a terrible job … helping Congress understand what exactly the federal government is up to.

    Wait a minute, time out. According to the constitution (aka, toilet paper if you’re a politician or fed. bureaucrat), isn’t Congress supposed to pass the laws and then the administration executes the laws? If that’s the case then why would the administration need to help Congress “understand what exactly the federal government is up to”? Wouldn’t Congress know since they’re part of the federal government, specifically the part that creates the laws?

    I suspect she may have just unwittingly slipped up and admitted that we do in fact now have an imperial presidency. Talk about letting the mask slip. We might as well just disolve the Senate permanently and give regional governors direct control over their territories.

    On a related note, I usually don’t advocate violence against women, but good God what a punchable face.

    1. You know who else dissolved the Senate?

  21. Well, we wanted the Rand Pauls, Justin Amashs, and Thomas Massies in congress to stir up shit and pick a fight. They’re doing exactly that, and I love it.

    This is going to make the true fascist come out of the closet and show their true nature, the evil fascist nature. The gloves are off, it’s show time, baby!

    At the risk of being redundant, NEEDZ MOAR WACK-O BIRDS!

  22. Gawd, that picture… She’s the evil female personage of John McCain!

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