Sunday Afternoon… in the ever expanding war zone with George 15 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, Pakistan, Spain, WAR!.
Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistani soldiers stand under the bullet-riddled roof of the Red Mosque [Photograph: Aamir QURESHI/AFP]
JJB and catnip have been posting great comments on Pakistan… thru two threads..
This Asia Times from Friday may be, most likely is, a repeat… nevertheless a look at a great open valley in the North West Frontier Province where the battle soon will be:
…the second phase in the battle against an “Islamic revolution” has began many kilometers away in the picturesque Swat district in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).
Reaction to the events at the Lal Masjid has been the strongest here, as it is home to the banned pro-Taliban Tehrik-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi (TNSM – Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Laws).
The Pakistan Army has mobilized thousands of troops in the area, and on Friday it was declared “highly sensitive” and parts of it placed under an unofficial curfew. Over the past few days there have been incidents in which several security personnel have been killed.
Unlike the Lal Masjid’s small complex, this new battlefield will be a huge valley where militants will be able to trap soldiers at sites of their choice, and the army will be free to bomb their hideouts in the high mountains.
A peat-lined tributary of the Yarghoon River near Lashkargahaz, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan [Ramsar Photo Gallery]
And a fast slip to the close:
Thousands of people – young and old – are part of the TNSM. Fazalullah calls it a peaceful movement in favor of virtue and against vice. The Western alliance in Afghanistan calls it a Taliban asset in Pakistan that distributes huge dividends to the Taliban movement. Pakistan calls it a serious threat to its national security.
Whatever the perspective, once the showdown starts between the Pakistan Army and the TNSM, one thing is sure: the conflict will transcend any borders.
Just for contrast, Sunday afternoon on the boardwalk in San Sebastian Spain:
San Sebastian, Spain: Tourists and citizens take a walk along Zurriola avenue were 23 sculptures created by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj are being exhibited [Photograph: Juan Herrero/EPA]
Last, it is from broken down boring Shrum, but he got it said this am on MPT:
MR. NOVAK: Thomas Eagleton. His—the—Mr. McGovern’s brief running mate. He was picked for—as his vice presidential nominee, later resigned from the ticket. But he—that was a secret that was kept until his, his death, and people are—a lot of—a lot of people said I had made up the name. I had gone to Tom Eagleton and asked him if I could clear myself, since the campaign was long over, use his name. He said “Oh, he had to run for re-election. The McGovernites would kill him if they knew he had said that.” But it was Tom Eagleton.
MR. SHRUM: Boy, do I wish he would have let you publish his name. Then he never would have been picked as vice president. Because the two things, the two things that happened to George McGovern—two of the things that happened to him—were the label you put on him, number one, and number two, the Eagleton disaster. We had a messy convention, but he could have, I think in the end, carried eight or 10 states, remained politically viable. And Eagleton was one of the great train wrecks of all time. You know, he had his 85th birthday here yesterday, and a big celebration…
MR. RUSSERT: McGovern.
MR. SHRUM: …and 35th anniversary of the nomination, and I’m glad I was in the McGovern campaign.
I didn’t get to walk the corridors of the White House, but I didn’t have to walk into a federal prison either.
MR. RUSSERT: And happy birthday to George McGovern, turning 85.
MR. NOVAK: Happy birthday.
Of course, as Fein pointed out on Moyers Journal, and anyone iwth half a brain has known for 34 years, proceedings against Nixon did not go far enough. Not by a long shot. He lived to boast of what he did (as Fein said), for decades, boast as does Bush that the president has a get out of jail free card. It is not illegal if the president does it.
Nixon should have gone to jail.
UPDATE, 6:52 pm
I remembered I had posted a John Dean article about Nixon boasting of acts as president… so went hunting, from January 2 2006
From John Dean:
Presidential Powers Regarding National Security: A Nixonian View
Nixon famously claimed, after resigning from office, that when the president undertook an action in the name of national security, even if he broke the law, it was not illegal.
Nixon’s thinking (and he was learned in the law) relied on the precedent established by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Nixon, quoting Lincoln, said in an interview, “Actions which otherwise would be unconstitutional, could become lawful if undertaken for the purpose of preserving the Constitution and the Nation.”
David Frost, the interviewer, immediately countered by pointing out that the anti-war demonstrators upon whom Nixon focused illegal surveillance, were hardly the equivalent of the rebel South. Nixon responded, “This nation was torn apart in an ideological way by the war in Vietnam, as much as the Civil War tore apart the nation when Lincoln was president.” It was a weak rejoinder, but the best he had.
Nixon took the same stance when he responded to interrogatories proffered by the Senate Select Committee on Government Operations To Study Intelligence Operations (best know as the “Church Committee,” after its chairman Senator Frank Church).
In particular, he told the committee,
“In 1969, during my Administration, warrantless wiretapping, even by the government, was unlawful, but if undertaken because of a presidential determination that it was in the interest of national security was lawful. Support for the legality of such action is found, for example, in the concurring opinion of Justice White in Katz v. United States.”
(Katz is the opinion that established that a wiretap constitutes a “search and seizure” under the Fourth Amendment, just as surely as a search of one’s living room does – and thus that the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements apply to wiretapping.)
Nixon rather presciently anticipated – and provided a rationalization for – Bush:
He wrote, “there have been — and will be in the future — circumstances in which presidents may lawfully authorize actions in the interest of security of this country, which if undertaken by other persons, even by the president under different circumstances, would be illegal.”
Even if we accept Nixon’s logic for purposes of argument, were the circumstances that faced Bush the kind of “circumstances” that justify warrantless wiretapping? I believe the answer is no.