I love Mark Steyn

And for any of you that haven’t had a Mark Steyn experience, please put aside your partisan loyalties and enjoy a bit of carnage.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn08.html

Favorite excerpts:

The Democrats and the media want to upgrade every terrorist into O.J. Simpson, insulated by legalisms and entitled to his own dream team. (Their figleaf, the court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which previously denied not a single request, has turned down hundreds in the years since 9/11.) The practical effect of the Dems’ approach is to extend the protections of the U.S. Constitution to any dodgy character anywhere on the planet who has a U.S. telephone number in his Rolodex. Indeed, given that perfectly ordinary cell phones can be used almost anywhere — this week, I spoke to an American in London by dialing his Washington cell number — if the Democrats have their way, all terrorist cells in Europe or Pakistan would have to do to put themselves beyond the reach of U.S. intelligence is get a New Jersey-based associate to place a bulk order for Verizon cell phones.

This isn’t a hypothetical situation. Consider Iyman Faris, a naturalized American citizen also known as Mohammad Rauf and nailed by U.S. intelligence through the interception of foreign-U.S. communications. He was convicted in 2003 for doing the legwork on an al Qaida scheme to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. A “hardworking truck driver,” he was introduced to Osama bin Laden while enjoying a well-earned vacation at a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan in 2000. At the request of bin Laden’s aides, he researched the terrorist possibilities of “ultralight” aircraft. In 2002, he was commissioned by al Qaida to return to America and procure the materials for severing suspension-bridge cables and derailing trains.

Do you want Iyman Faris in jail? Or do you think he should have the run of the planet until he’s actually destroyed the bridge and killed hundreds of people? Say, the Golden Gate Bridge just as you’re driving across after voting for Barbara Boxer and congratulating yourself on your moral superiority.

And…..

It’s very hard to fight a terrorist war without intelligence. By definition, you can only win battles against terrorists pre-emptively — that’s to say, you find out what they’re planning to do next Thursday and you stop it cold on Wednesday. Capturing them on Friday while you’re still pulling your dead from the rubble is poor consolation. For example, in 1988, a British SAS unit shot dead three IRA members on the streets of Gibraltar. The United Kingdom’s Joint Intelligence Committee were acting on information that the cell was planning to blow up the changing-of-the-guard ceremony on the Rock. The two men and a woman were subsequently found to be ”unarmed,” and as a result various civil liberties groups protested and critical TV documentaries were made. But there was no dispute that they were IRA members and that they had bomb-making materials in their car. If the state cannot take action until its sworn enemy uses those materials, it had better be prepared to lose the war.

Finally…

According to a Rasmussen poll, 64 percent of Americans believe the National Security Agency should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorist cells overseas and persons living in the United States; 23 percent disagree. What is it the Democrats and media don’t get about this?

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7 thoughts on “I love Mark Steyn

  1. I can see it now–“The Constituion: Evil Tool of Liberals Everywhere!”Perhaps the always fair and balanced Fox News can make that their new slogan!

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  2. Quite honestly Lancer, I have no idea how that slogan was extracted from your reading of the above. Maybe you can help? Is it because Steyn highlights the absurdity of an American-made cell phone entitling Taliban or AQ operatives to constitutional protections? Because that’s not about the constitution, per se, that’s about the dippy extension of the American constitutional rights to foreign agents who are known to be plotting against the United States.

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  3. Well, since the question isn’t about snooping on AQ operatives overseas, but about snooping on US citizens without a warrant (that’s in the Constitution), then that’s how I got it. But the hard core right who think Bush walks on water dismiss such things by saying the crap cited in the post. The goal is to distract from the real issues (like “why is the Bush Administration not following the Constitution? And if they don’t like it, why aren’t they moving to change it?”) to ad hom attacks. This is par for the course for the Right Wing Echo Chamber– “why do Liberals hate America?” “why do Liberals hate out troops?” “if you’re not with us you’re against us” and so on. It takes from the <>real<> questions.Again, no one cares if this Administration snoops on non-citizens. The Echo Chamber tries to make that the issues (Liberals love terrorists!), but that isn’t it.The Constitution (remember that– the Right loves to talk about it) says “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” If Bush is wire-tapping me without a warrant, then he’s breaking the law. But don’t tell the Echo Chamber! They’re too bust selling books about how Liberals Love Terrorists!

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  4. Read Steyn’s comments again. It’s classic Echo Chamber. He says stuff like “The Democrats and the media want to upgrade every terrorist into O.J. Simpson … (Their figleaf, the court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which previously denied not a single request, has turned down hundreds in the years since 9/11.) The practical effect of the Dems’ approach is to extend the protections of the U.S. Constitution to any dodgy character anywhere on the planet who has a U.S. telephone number in his Rolodex.” But this is a classic lie and distortion (that’s what the Echo Chamber is best at). First, the Straw Man– he suggests that Dems want protection for “any dodgy charachter on the planet” with a US number. But this is a lie.Then, a distortion– he says that FISA had <>never<> turned down a request (lie: they’d turned down five of 19,000 since it began), and then says they’ve turned down “hundreds.” Of course, with out a citation, it’s hard to know if that’s true. Moreover, taken out of context (out of a thousand? a hundred thousand? a million?), it is virtually meaningless.Armed with this, he goes for the classic kill:“Consider Iyman Faris, a naturalized American citizen also known as Mohammad Rauf and nailed by U.S. intelligence through the interception of foreign-U.S. communications. He was convicted in 2003 for doing the legwork on an al Qaida scheme to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge … At the request of bin Laden’s aides, he researched the terrorist possibilities of “ultralight” aircraft. In 2002, he was commissioned by al Qaida to return to America and procure the materials for severing suspension-bridge cables and derailing trains.”By posing this, he suggests that somehow FISA or Dems or Liberals or whomever would <>not<> find probable cause in bugging this guy’s phone. But this is absurd (unless he can cite evidence to the contrart). But by simply posing the question, he’s distracted us from the real questions (see above comment) and now gone to a classic Echo Chamber Talking Point: Liberals Love Terrorists.

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  5. OK, so this stuff really burns me up. Over at < HREF="http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/" REL="nofollow">TPM<>, they < HREF="http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/007280.php" REL="nofollow">note<> that, in fact, “the FISA Court did not reject a single warrant application from its beginning in 1979 through 2002. In 2003 it rejected four applications. In 2004, the number was again zero.” And of course, unlike our hero Steyn, the TMP people cite < HREF="http://www.epic.org/privacy/wiretap/stats/fisa_stats.html" REL="nofollow">evidence<>.So, as we expect from an Echo Chamber man, Steyn’s claim about “hundreds” of regections by FISA is, a <>lie<> designed to distract us from the potential crimes of the President by suggestions that Liberals Love Terrorists (or … Hate America, or … Hate our Troops, or whatever).

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  6. Lancer, I think that one contributing factor to why some conservatives resort to such talking points as an implied “Liberals Hate America” in their analyses of left-wing criticism of government policy is that they have heard some on the left suggest that the terrorist attacks on us were our own fault because we are a rich country and they are poor. It is not a huge stretch to construe or spin this as a kind of self-hating criticism.

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  7. The problem with that, John F is that in at least <>some<> cases (dare I say most?), that “analyses” is a lie and part of the Echo Chamber Talking point. For instance, note how various Echo Chamber pundits obfuscated and lied to make it look like Clinton expressed < HREF="http://www.dailyhowler.com/h110901_1.shtml" REL="nofollow">Liberals Hate America<> sentiments.This isn’t to say that various people haven’t argued that we ‘had it coming’ or some such. But for each of those, there is a Right Winger spouting some other made-up take designed to draw anudiences (and money!).But all of this draws from what <>should<> be happening. Alas…

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