Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Constitution: a suicide pactOne would think that a key qualification to be the executive editor of Roll Call would be a minimum level of normal intelligence. Apparently not, as Morton Kondracke said that QWest was helping terrorists by not turning over phone call records of millions of ordinary Americans to the NSA. The last time I checked, the Fourth Amendment was still in the Bill of Rights. This makes Kondrake and the NSA the bad guys — and we are their targets. Here’s the footage from Media Matters.

Props.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Here’s some history of the “Consitution is not a suicide pact” quote that was actually coined in 1949 by an anti-civil-liberties judge (it has since been flipped to be an anti-anarchy statement). The author makes a bolded distiction between when today’s judges say it and when pundits say it:

Pundits, Unlike Judges, Tend to Use the “Suicide Pact” Slogan to Defeat Civil Liberties

If judges have inverted the “suicide pact” slogan, however, pundit have hewn more closely to Jackson’s original meaning. For them, the situation seems always to be so urgent that a compromise with liberty is required.

Rather than being assured that the Constitution was not designed as, and thus will not become, a suicide pact, they are constantly worried that without an immediate crackdown, it will soon morph into just such a pact. Academics invoke “suicide pacts” in the law reviews when they want to demonstrate that they are tough-minded about hypothetical conflicts between liberty and security; editorialists do the same.

posted by Stephen Gordon
  • http://www.renbook.com Gene Berkman

    Maybe the Weekly Standard has failed to offer their list of subscribers to the NSA. Who knows, maybe some terrorists subscribe to the Weekly Standard, and their failure to cooperate with the federal government is just helping the terrorists.

  • http://www.tom-hanna.org Tom Hanna

    It’s not a fourth amendment violation for the government to ask for information it wants. The people or company being asked ought to say “no” unless there’s a court order, but there’s no Constitutional bar to the government asking. That said, it is fraud for a company to hand over the information in violation of its written privacy policy and Qwest did the right thing.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    I used to think a lot of Libertarians were paranoid, and that overall, big-government NSA type agencies were well-intentioned but completely misguided.

    I also used to think that movies showing secret plots and governments declaring martial law in the name of “protection” were simply movies, but that most in our government had a true concern for upholding the constitution, they just differed in how they interpreted it.

    I’ve never worn a tin-foil hat, and I still think 9/11 went down pretty much as its been reported. But this NSA record keeping stuff is scary!

    “People are treating the Constitution of the United States as a suicide pact.” That’s some bone-chilling rhetoric.

    Why don’t we just force everyone to report to the nearest FBI office for a polygraph. Those who refuse are either terrorists or helping the terrorists.

  • Ryan

    I still don’t see how monitoring my phone calls were helping fight terrorism. My question is how long till they turn that power over to the DEA or FBI or ATF, and start using it to come after citizens, illegal immigrants or people who just don’t agree.

  • Devious David

    Ryan this sudden illegal immigrant thing is designed to do three things. 1) Distract you from other things such as the eminent fiscal collapse as a single example and 2) Forgive the illegals while looking like they are doing something in an election year and 3) getting the laws passed that will be used to herd us like cattle later.

  • Ryan

    DD
    I see a lot of those things happening, and it scares me. I must admit I am new to the political scene and still learning and researching to know more, and I just recently became a Libertarian, I don’t even have a hot tub yet. I don’t plan on going with a whimper, I plan on kicking and screaming all the way. Living in mississippi I see how the illegal immigrant thing has solidified all the racists here. But I know there are much bigger things that need attention.
    But that is why I am here to learn, to stay informed, and make a difference.

  • Dan

    Concerning the “not a suicide pact” line, perhaps those who invoke such sayings need to be reminded that “neither was the Constitution written in disappearing ink.”

  • http://willtoexist.com Trevor

    The federal government has been ignoring any part of the Constitution it wanted to ignore for a while now. Just ask the guys who do the F part of the ATF. Or ask the drug czar. Ask the people who run the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security.