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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Teach Your Children

About why we celebrate Christmas. Tell them about the child that was born on this day who became the Savior of the world. Then, next week tell them again. Repeat this until they leave your charge, and by His grace they will do the same for your grandkids.

Merry Christmas to the Frogosphere and especially my brothers overseas keeping watch over us. Froggy knows the sting of a Christmas in Asia, and I salute ALL of our deployed brothers and sisters for your service and sacrifice.

Froggy OUT

Friday, December 23, 2005

OUTRAGE! Bush orders FBI/DOE to check for evidence of Nuclear Material in the US

This article in US News exposes the Bush Administration for the dictatorial and fascistic regime that 95% of Americans know it to be. Apparently after 9/11, Bushitler authorized the unwarranted use of Geiger counters near major US cities in a fruitless effort to locate evidence of “nuclear material” that they contend might be used in a terrorist attack. Clearly this is yet another instance of the oppressive “Big Brother” program of Bushitler to violate every last right given to Americans, even the right to have radioactive materials in the sanctity of their homes.

Oh, and it’s racist too! Many of the sites monitored by Bushitler’s jack-booted thugs were Mosques and the homes and businesses of people of Muslim-American descent. Just because 19 muslims hijacked a couple of planes (at least that’s what Bushitler tells us), doesn’t mean that a whole community and faith tradition must be subjected to these very intrusive and pernicious searches. Afterall, many of the searches were conducted in driveways and even Mosque parking lots! If a government agent can drive a vehicle into your driveway without a warrant, what’s next? Compulsory body cavity searches at the DMV? The systematic rape of all muslim women? Have you no decency, sir?

You want legal precedent? I’ll give you freakin’ legal precedent. Try on US v.Kyllo buddy boy. That’s the case where the government tried to use infrared sensors on a guy’s house who was growing marijuana to see if he had a bunch of high powered lamps on to enhance photosynthesis. Well, the SCOTUS ruled that cops trying to snatch some crops can’t use IR to find out if you’re growing hydroponic chronic. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Bushitler! The people have just as much right to have nuclear devices and dirty bombs in their houses as they do weed. Ever heard of the right to privacy? It’s right there in the Constitution, butthead!

So between listening to “terrorist” phone calls to parking their DOE privacy busting trucks into Mosque parking lots, we have a President who is clearly out of control, power hungry, and deserving of impeachment. Who’s with me?!

h/t HH

UPDATE: I don't know how to say this but this is an example of something called sarcasm. Please tell me that I don't write in such starkly reactionary form that you cannot tell when I am kidding. If I thought that my readers would take this post with anything but a grain of salt, I need to stop blogging.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Waiting for the "Civil Libertarians" to shift fire onto Clinton

With all the whining and bitching going on about President Bush's use of NSA intercepts of communications between foreign terrorists and US persons, it is worth noting a very important parallel from the Clinton Administration. In the conduct of the FBI investigation into the espionage conducted by Aldrich Ames of the CIA, Clinton and AG Reno authorized a completely warrantless search of Ames' Arlington, VA home. I have no idea why Clinton and Reno refused to seek court approval for the search of the home of a US Citizen and government employee located within the Continental US. Perhaps they feared that Ames' CIA relationships might have tipped him off at the FISC, but that hardly seems plausible. What is most amazing to me is that a search of this nature did not initiate the "fruit of a poison tree"argument by his legal team. My recollection of the case is that he basically agreed to be fully debriefed on his treasonous activities in exchange for the US Attorney not to seek the death penalty for treason.

As a former federal agent, even one with border search authority, I would have been sued for a Constitutional tort if I entered the home a drug dealer without a search warrant. Not to mention the exclusion of any contraband seized from the raid. Critics of President Bush who are near apoplexy that he decided to use intercepted terrorist transmissions to fight terrorism, ought to have been convulsing and yanking out their hair over the injustice committed upon poor Aldrich Ames. Here is a man whose very home was thoughtlessly violated by jack booted FBI thugs without judicial oversight essentially taking the Bill of Rights and using it as toilet paper. Meanwhile, known terrorists are being listened to planning the demolition of the Brooklyn Bridge, and although the US based operative planning the operation was arrested and the plot disrupted, President Bush is pilloried by the MSM and Senate leftists for trampling on the Constitution.

Is it just little ole Froggy that senses a slight inconsistency here? Am I missing something? Aren't we at War?

Hinderocker blows the Libs out of the water here. Via HH

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

More on Eavesdropping

This is an exceedingly complex issue, but nevertheless a vitally important one. I am not a legal scholar so I will resist the temptation to get into the weeds on the legal issues, but I have received 90+ hours of instruction on Constitutional Law while at FLETC which is about 90 more hours than 95% of the American people so I am not completely clueless. Nearly all of those 90+ hours were on the 4th Amendment (Search and Seizure) which is the most important Amendment to the Bill of Rights that pertains to the duties of a law enforcement officer. There are very detailed legal authorities inherent to the Presidency that have been argued by many, I will simply add another.

In my experience as a former Customs officer, we are granted broad border search authority that allows us to conduct searches of all persons, vehicles, conveyances, letters, and even electronic communications originating from outside the US and crossing into the US. These searches require no warrants, and Customs officers do not even need to substantiate these searches with any level of suspicion (i.e. probable cause, reasonable cause, and reasonable suspicion). The only thing that triggers this authority is that the Customs officer is searching something coming from outside the US and looking for merchandise or contraband. Merchandise is anything of value, and contraband is anything that cannot be legally present in the US. The Courts have very broadly defined these terms. Customs and now ICE is the lead agency for investigating child pornography in the US because nearly all images of child pornography at some point cross from foreign locations into the US and those images are considered contraband. I would argue that those images are just like terrorist communications in that they cross the border and are contraband.

Additionally, the President stated as his press conference that,
“First, I want to make clear to the people listening that this program is limited in nature to those that are known al Qaeda ties and/or affiliates. That's important. So it's a program that's limited, and you brought up something that I want to stress, and that is, is that these calls are not intercepted within the country. They are from outside the country to in the country, or vice versa.”
Meaning that the communications themselves are captured by means located outside the territory of the US. Yes, those means are under the control of the US to be sure, but just as terrorists seized outside the US do not have US Constitutional rights, neither should communications seized outside of the US. If I arrest someone for smuggling dope into the US, I have to deliver that person to a federal magistrate for an initial appearance within 48 hours. My SEAL buddies in Afghanistan or Iraq have no such requirement because a) they are not operating in a law enforcement capacity, and b) the people they are seizing are not entitled to the protections of the US Constitution. The NSA seizes communications for an intelligence purpose (not law enforcement), and those intercepts occur in a place where the US Constitution does not apply.

The NSA collects gargantuan amounts of data from all over the world every day in its mission to protect the US. Let’s assume that the NSA intercepts EVERY communication originating in Peshawar, Pakistan (which it probably does). I don’t know how much that might be, but it would probably fill up my hard drive before lunch every day. Let’s say on Monday the NSA obtains a phone call from an AQ guy to somebody in the US from a known “dirty” number (like from the phone book in the previous post) originating in Peshawar. Let’s also assume that the NSA has identified hundreds of thousands of “dirty” numbers around the world, and that these numbers change constantly, but the old numbers cannot be discarded just in case. The NSA might not even KNOW that dirty number X called someone in the US for more than the 72 hours that the FISA Act requires to submit warrant applications after the fact. Not only that, but at times the sheer volume of the warrant applications (due to the massive number of intercepts) would likely overwhelm federal officers from writing them all, and FISA Judges from reading them all in time. So, what is to be done?

Either the President by consulting the AG, Congressional leadership, and the FISA Court comes up with a way to use these critically important intercepts outside of FISA, but with legal authorities available in the Constitution, or he just blows them off. What about having the FISA Act amended you might ask? First of all, take a look at the PATRIOT Act, and tell me with a straight face that the request would not be used by the Dems as an opportunity to further the Chimpy Bushitler McHalliburton meme. And second, this wailing and gnashing of teeth would put the terrorists on notice that we are listening to their conversations (thank you NYT).

This issue is a political nightmare in the making for the Democrats, and for once the President senses that and is acting accordingly. Hotline (via Instapundit) is postulating a ’02 redux in the off year elections in ’06. That was when a triple amputee Vietnam Vet got bounced out of the Senate by Saxby Chambliss for opposing the Department of Homeland Security. It is not a far fetched proposition actually, and this issue lends itself quite nicely to the Democrats already bulging resume of weakness on national security. I have noticed that red state Democrat Senators have been keeping their pieholes shut so far on this, and there is every reason to think that they will continue to do so. The RNC will be able to plausibly tie their more radical colleague’s outlandish statements around their necks and toss them into the Potomac anyway. Keep up the good work Howie, Nancy, and Harry!

UPDATE: This article in the Chicago Tribune by John Schmidt is about as comprehensive an examination of the President's inherent authority to conduct warrantless wiretaps that I have seen and it is a must read. Via Jeff Goldstein @ PW

Monday, December 19, 2005

Eavesdropping on the Cowards

In my very first post here on FR, I wrote about the arrest of a cleric made in Albany, NY in August of 2004. The case was opened on this cleric aka "the Commander" as a result of a SOF led raid on the Ansar al Islam terrorist camp in northern Iraq during the initial invasion. While searching the camp, SOF operators and probably CIA CSO personnel found a “little black book” of phone numbers which included the number and the address of the radical mosque in Albany. Ostensibly, this terrorist phone directory contained other phone numbers in the US as well as many from other foreign countries. I argued then that the Iraq War had already yielded information which interrupted a terrorist conspiracy, previously unknown to authorities, within the Continental US that, amongst other things, was attempting to obtain shoulder fired missiles for use on domestic targets. This small incident in and of itself demonstrates the terrorist connections between Iraq and AQ, and furthermore argues for the legitimacy of the War. But I digress…

Unexpectedly finding the phone number and address of an American cleric at a terrorist compound in Iraq would seem to be a pretty good pretext for opening a case up on that mosque and that cleric. As such, I suspect that the phone number was at some point wiretapped with the use of a warrant presented before the FISA Court, monitored, and a UC operation was launched in order to obtain evidence suitable for the 19 indictments that eventually followed. This sequence of events is appropriate under the circumstances in which the initial information was obtained, as there were no discernable time constraints, and the targets of the investigation (by using the discovered address) could be immediately placed under surveillance. There was no need for and additionally no evidence of the use of a warrantless intercept.

Assuming that the Ansar al Islam phone book contained foreign (OCONUS) phone numbers, names and addresses, a much different investigative track would have to be followed. The NSA has the authority and the responsibility to monitor ANY communications originating outside the US that might contain threats to US national security. The foreign phone numbers would have been placed on a priority monitoring status, and archives would have been searched to determine if those numbers had been monitored in the past. No warrants would be required as the numbers are foreign; additionally, due to the foreign locations and languages, adequate surveillance could not be initiated so the electronic monitoring and perhaps satellite reconnaissance would be the ONLY tools available to follow these potentially critical leads. With respect to the monitoring of calls from those foreign numbers to US persons, the only way to obtain FISA warrants PRIOR TO the initiation of any of those potential calls would be if a list of PREVIOUSLY called numbers in the US could be determined. Calls made from the foreign numbers to US numbers not previously known (it is tradecraft SOP to periodically change these numbers on both ends) could never be monitored under the absurd “interpretation” of the Constitution by liberals in the US Senate.

So essentially what the liberals are saying is that the US should not monitor calls from known terrorists abroad to previously unknown US co-conspirators under any circumstances. They are proposing in essence that only calls to terrorist co-conspirators who are well known and under surveillance already can be monitored. The idea that the US should put its fingers in its own ears and repeat, “I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you!” when terrorists communicate with their agents in the US is one of the most ridiculous and silly ideas that I have ever heard. Members of the Frogosphere already know that Democrats cannot be trusted with the security of the United States, but this highly political stance cannot be mistaken as anything other than the utterly irresponsible and laughably weak gesture that it is.

I am especially encouraged by the President’s rapid and forceful defense of this practice which has already compelled his leftist malefactors to take indefensible positions that they will undoubtedly regret at the ballot box. Timing the release of this story with the filibuster of the Patriot Act and the successful Iraqi elections demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt that the MSM and the radical left are one single purpose entity focusing on any possible method of attacking the President and prematurely ending his term. When Democrats make the same argument against wiretaps targeting terrorists trying to kill millions of Americans with eavesdropping on civil rights leaders and anti-war activists in the 1960’s one shudders at the implications of that level of timidity and cowardice.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Odds & Ends

First let me thank the Frogosphere from the bottom of my heart for your kind wishes and prayers for my recovery. Day 2 was kind of rough but it should be smooth sailing from here on out.

I'd also like to thank you for saving me from the shame and humilation of finishing behind the Officer's Club blog in the Weblog Awards. Coming in 3rd twice in a row is more than I deserve and I'm glad Matt & Jimbo won the honors. Two SOF blogs in the top 3 ain't bad! Thunder6 is swingin' the pipe as we speak and I congratulate him not only on his strong showing, but especially for his brave service.

Quickies:

No matter what the McCain interrogation bill says, waterboarding not only works every time, it also doesn't leave any tell tale evidence except that some tangos won't smell so bad after they're done 'drowning'!

Note to the NYT/CIA/NSA crybabies: Trust me, government employees don't want to spend one extra second listening to you lie to your wives that you are staying in the hotel room instead of chasing skirts when you are overseas and all the Americans I know WANT the US to listen in on the bad guys so stop worrying about it.

Memo to Senate Democrats: Glad to hear you have your priorities straight. Now that we've won the GWOT, we can bag the Patriot Act so you can focus on the important stuff like winning back the House in '06 in time to impeach Chimpy Bushitlerburton, right Mr. Kerry?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Under the Knife...Again

First thing Monday morning the other knee is getting fixed...finally. Your prayers and/or well wishes are very welcome. Will be on Vicodin for a couple days so if I do post, it might be strange, incoherent or both. If I don't, well, I guess Vicodin agrees with me. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Hey Governator, Terminate Tookie

I know you had to go through the motions of considering clemency for murderous thug and Crips founder, Stanley “Tookie” Williams to placate your lefty Hollywood buddies, but now that you’re done, let’s get on with sending him unceremoniously to Hell. My general policy is capital punishment for all people named Tookie, but in this case there are even more compelling reasons. For instance, he executed a 7-11 clerk in Whittier, CA and laughed about it later with his fellow gangmembers. Of course, he also murdered an entire family in a motel room during a robbery two weeks later. His case was reviewed and rejected not only by the California Supreme Court, but also the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I’m not even going to address his “rehabilitation” by writing children’s books or his multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize because they are utterly meaningless. Let’s hope that ole Tookie is backstroking in the Lake of Fire this time next week. Don’t let the Gates of Hell hit you in the a$$, Tookie. Bon Voyage.

I'm Not Going to Beg, But...

I would hate to finish behind a blog called "The Officer's Club" in the Weblog Awards competition. I really don't care what place I come in, but for the love of God I DO NOT want to lose to a bunch of freakin' officers.

Go Vote!

Froggy OUT

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Uncle Jimbo in the Christmas Spirit

From Blackfive comes Uncle Jimbo singing a verse from the classic Holiday tune "Walking in a Sniper Wonderland". When I was in BUD/S, I was one of my class' cadence callers and this lovely ballad was often sung by my class as we marched to chow at NAB Coronado. Hearing Jimbo's heartfelt rendition really brings me back to those halcyon days, and brings a tear of joy to Froggy's eye. Go enjoy this important Christmas inspiration from Froggy's tadpole days.

FAM Drops Suspected Bomber at Miami Airport

Preliminary reports suggest that the Federal Air Marshall who shot and killed a 44 year old man in the jetway of an American Airlines flight was justified in taking that shot. Apparently the man, a US citizen traveling from Medellin, Colombia, stated that he had a bomb in his carry on luggage. FAMs aboard the flight confronted the man and ordered him to ground in order to apprehend him and ascertain the veracity of his claims. Defying the FAM’s verbal instructions, the man reached into the bag he claimed was carrying a bomb and was subsequently shot at least once by a FAM. The subject succumbed to his wounds, but an inspection of his bag showed that he had not been in possession of any explosives.

I don’t know how this FAM can be faulted for acting to protect airline passengers under those circumstances, but I’m certain that somebody will do so. It really is disappointing to realize that under the threat the US has been under since 9/11 (and obviously before), Americans cannot agree that shooting dead a man claiming to be prepared to detonate a suicide bomb aboard an aircraft is not a victory in the GWOT. A small victory to be sure, but a victory nonetheless.

The floundering remnants of the 9/11 Commission came out just the other day with a scathing criticism of the Bush Administration’s apparent failures to secure the Homeland despite the fact that we have not been attacked in over 4 years. Amongst the “failing grades” issued by the Commission were those relating to airline security and passenger screening. Well, in this particular case, the passengers were screened in Colombia, and I’d say that the situation was very definitively “secured”.

Much in the same way a victory in Iraq will resonate as a worldwide warning to AQ that we mean business in tracking down and defeating them wherever they hide, putting this bombing suspect down sends a message to cells planning airline attacks that the FAMs are watching and ready to go to battle. When I was at the US Customs Special Agent Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, GA, the FAM program was in the midst of its ramp up. In the past, FAMs were so rare that they would regularly turn away former SEALs and Delta Force operators, but although they have experienced massive growth, the focus on instinctive and tactical pistol shooting has remained. The focus of their training then and now was taking and making difficult shots under extreme pressure. When I was there, I met several friends from the Teams that were part of the training cadre for the FAM Academy, and it looks like it paid off.

Nice going Federal Air Marshall’s Service!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dems to US Troops: “Happy Holidays, Terrorist Losers”

Think I’m kidding? It’s official the Democrats have jumped the shark. Chairman of the DNC Howard Dean stated that, “The idea that we’re going to win this war, is an idea that is just plain wrong.” Not to be outdone by his Chairman, John Kerry said on CBS’ Face the Nation, “And there is no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women, breaking sort of the customs of the–of–the historical customs, religious customs…The Iraqis should be doing that.”

It is hardly surprising that someone like Howard Dean would predict a US defeat in Iraq. Being a huge loser himself and Chairman of a party chock full of losers, I would imagine that it is difficult to see any serious challenge as being achievable. As for Kerry, it’s not like he hasn’t been down this road before; the only difference is that instead of slandering US troops before the Senate, he is doing it as a Senator. Frankly, I don’t know what to say that wouldn’t fall into the category of ad hominem attack, and that is not the way I like to write. So I’ll let you do it.

2005 Weblog Awards

Let me thank the Frogosphere for nominating Froggy Ruminations for the second year in a row! I am honored and humbled to have made the finals again especially since some of last years finalists didn't make the cut this time around. The voting is going well so far, and in my opinion, Blackfive ought to win it again. He is the hub for milbloggery in the blogosphere, and with Uncle Jimbo in the hizouse B5 deserves the honors hands down.

Go vote and show your support for milblogs.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Mind of Murtha

I wonder if Congressman Murtha remembers what it felt like to be engaged in combat with a persistent but never victorious enemy while leftists in America screamed from the rooftops that he was fighting for no purpose in a losing effort. Surely from his position behind the trigger he could see how wrong they were; especially when they said he and his fellow Marines murdering innocents and torturing captives. Was it so long ago that he returned from war to see his compatriots spit upon and cursed that he can’t remember the bewilderment and perverse shame of being called a baby killer?

They say a child who was beaten by his parents is likely to beat his own children. It occurs to me Mr. Murtha is acting as a mirror that is reflecting the treatment he received as a young warrior onto the young warriors who are fighting a controversial but ultimately necessary war. That is not to say that he isn’t responsible for his behavior. Far from it. He took his licks as a man, and he is delivering them today onto men that have all by now enlisted or re-enlisted because they sensed the jeopardy their country is in and took it upon themselves to stand in the breach to defend us.

It is one thing to denigrate the service of men who were drafted, but quite another to tell a men that ALL left their families and put their lives in danger with the full recognition of not only the risks but the stakes. The Vietnam draftees were no less entitled to our gratitude and respect, but their service could more readily be dismissed as coerced and therefore they could be portrayed first as victims and then as destroyers once the tide had turned against them.

The way this leftist strategy has played out brings into sharp relief the folly of contending that one “supports the troops but not the war”. This is the same bait and switch the Democrats pulled on Mr. Murtha many decades ago, and yet as he has now risen to represent the people of his district he his returning the “favor”.

Not this time, Mr. Murtha. President Nixon was successfully taken down by his insecurities and with something more than a nudge from his enemies at home. His replacement didn’t have the strength to carry on, America cut and ran, and genocide ensued. This fight cannot and will not be lost in the polls, in the halls of Congress, on the battlefield or anywhere else. Even if you manage to take this President down, his replacement won’t quit and neither will our troops.

I’ve thought about why a man like Murtha would betray his countrymen in precisely the same way that he was betrayed. I have decided that I simply don’t care why he does it, only that he doesn’t get away with it.

Froggy OUT