Spying on the antiwar movement

In my latest for the Guardian, I take a look at a disturbing, underreported revelation: that a public-records request in Washington State revealed an antiwar activist was, in fact, a military spy whose activities may have been a violation of federal law. And I argue that President Obama can no longer ignore calls to investigate the Bush-Cheney White House.

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26 thoughts on “Spying on the antiwar movement

  1. lkcape

    The leap from the shores of Washington State to the marble steps of Washington, DC seems a bit strained, Dan.Why aren't you demanding and investigation as to why O'Bama and his puppeteers aren't investigating this egregious offense?Or perhaps we should have Congress investigate why the Obama administration isn't investigating?You suffer here from a severe factual deficit that supports your position.

  2. lkcape

    So much for civility.Care to address the issues raised?Or is it that you cannot without admitting how weak the connection between the activist and the Bush administration really is.Oh, and BTW…how come Defense Secretary Gates is getting a pass in this accusation?Seems as though the liberal wing is again flinging out "the vast right wing consipiracy" theory again.

  3. Don, American

    Dan, you might want to investigate the Obama web site which asks you to inform on acquaintances who speak negatively (the truth) about his health care debacle.

  4. O'Reilly

    Dan, I found an error. You write,"The law [Posse Comitatus Act] was weakened during the Bush years, though Hildes and German told Goodman that operations such as that attributed to Towery remain illegal."The law itself was not changed by an act of Congress. Instead, it was reinterpreted by John Yoo in the office of legal counsel to mean that it did not apply to George Bush during the global war of terror because a President during war time has awesome power and no such restrictions. The basis for the legal opinion was a great embarrassment to the Bush administration and was kept secret until after George Bush left office. Instead, I would go with,"The law was reinterpreted by DOJ to be not applicable during the Bush years, a time of war, though Hildes and German told Goodman that operations such as that attributed to Towery remain[ed] illegal even then."Cheney was dying to send the 82nd Airborne into Buffalo to apprehend the Lakawana six but Bush nixed it. Surprised? Me too.

  5. Michael Pahre

    Violations of the Posse Comitatus Act are one thing. Putting that aside momentarily (say, if it were FBI employees not military), it would seem that this infiltration into the anti-war group would only be justified if they were engaged in hard-core conspiracy, e.g., terrorism.But the NY Times article only refers to them trying to "disrupt military shipments" — which hardly seems to rise to that level. It sounds like the protestors planned to show up at locations with some of them deciding in advance that they would get arrested.This sounds familiar…Way back in the 1980s, there was an anti-nukes bunch of activists in the Seattle area that were "disrupt[ing] military shipments" by trying to block freight trains carrying nuclear warheads to the Trident submarine base, e.g., by laying down on the railroad tracks. The military's trains were idiotically conspicuous — pure white, no markings. The protestors would get arrested, charged with whatever's appropriate (probably misdemeanor trespass), etc. No big deal. Stuff like that happens all over the country, not just in Washington State.If the anti-war protestors in the 2000s were doing anything like those in the 1980s, then sending a soldier to infiltrate their group sounds like substantial overkill.I agree that we need to know more details.

  6. Bill Baar

    As I recall, one of those protestors had their legs cut off after assuming the Engineer could stop an Electro Motive SD40-2 on a dime.

  7. lkcape

    Rest assured, Dan's in-depth, unbiased, grand inquisition will give us all the facts we need to know. That is if he can get someone to take it seriously.Oh sorry, I think he believes he has given them.But, hey, trust him, he's from a journalism school, facts only count when they reflect and support one's own position.One other point: What The Times believes, and what the two attorneys contend, do not make conclusive evidence.The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that the President's power in wartime is extraordinary, even in an undeclared conflict such as Vietnam.That sets an extremely high hurdle for Dan and his conspiracy theorist friends to overcome.Sue them, Dan, and see just how far your theory and your facts can carry you.Oh, and O'Reilly? Homeland Security Sec. Napolitano has admitted that domestic and domestically grown terrorism is a serious threat to the country's security. How, pray tell, do you think she is going about addressing this problem?… Sandwich board signs on FBI agents that request information and have the agents wander around random neighborhoods?Right!Are we seeing the Obama administration walking backwards again?

  8. bob gardner

    Ikcape, can you be more specific about when and in what case(s) the Supreme Court "ruled that the President's power in wartime is extraordinary"?

  9. O'Reilly

    The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that the President's power in wartime is extraordinary, even in an undeclared conflict such as Vietnam.Better yet, cite the ruling and explain what question it decided. lkcape has wandered so far from his core competency that his yapping fails to identify actual events, actual decisions, and actual legal opinion issued by OLC and acted upon by Bush and Cheney. So cite the ruling and explain what question it decided. All I'm asking for is for you to provide a little more detail about your assertion.

  10. O'Reilly

    Oh, and O'Reilly? Homeland Security Sec. Napolitano has admitted that domestic and domestically grown terrorism is a serious threat to the country's security.I know, specifically right-wing extremists. And we all know how that report was received… as bunk by the right.

  11. lkcape

    See Hamdi v Rumsfeld and Mora v McNamara.See also: War Powers Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-148) Note: Administrations of both parties consider the War Powers Act of 1973 as an unconstitutional limitation of the Commander-in-Chief clause of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has not ruled on this, although it had the opportunity in Hamdi.

  12. lkcape

    Gee, O'Rielly. You're beginning to sound like Mr. TP now.Perhaps you are bro's, live in the same cellar, and drink the same Kool-Aid.You seem to regularly avoid addressing substantive questions in threads, and instead resort to insults and personal attacks.Hmmmm…. Wonder why….?Did you give up smoking the same way that you swore of posting?

  13. O'Reilly

    So cite the ruling and explain what question it decided. All I'm asking for is for you to provide a little more detail about your assertion.

  14. Tom Underwood

    "Rest assured, Dan's in-depth, unbiased, grand inquisition will give us all the facts we need to know.That is if he can get someone to take it seriously.Oh sorry, I think he believes he has given them."Fantastic posting, lskape. I know a 14 year-old girl who uses that same tone of voice. Usually flipping her hair and snapping gum at the same time. I'm trying to imagine spending my day obsessively following a blog that I almost always disagree with. But, hey, good on ya, mate!

  15. lkcape

    And you are obviously not someone who hasn't read Dan's article.If you had, you would understand that Dan's conspiracy theory jumps from an Army mole in the far west to the office of Dick Cheney in a single bound…no intermediate stops.I know 8 year old girls who can comprehend better you seem to have.O'Rielly, you really have a personal issue, your anger is consuming you.If both Dan and you, O'Reilly are so convinced of the correctness of Dan's conspiracy theory, you should prevail on Dan's friend Atty Silverman to take the case pro-bono and file in Federal Court. Filing fee is cheap, and you both would be heroes in bringing down the evil Cheney.Should be a slam dunk.Supreme Court decisions: They say what they say. If The Court had wanted them to be worded otherwise, they would not have worded them the way they have. And remember, those dissenting opinions? They were on the LOSING side…interesting reading but not binding in any court.And Tom, I suspect you spend a lot more time here than you are willing to admit….Cheers…

  16. O'Reilly

    Supreme Court decisions: They say what they say. Now you're getting somewhere.The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that the President's power in wartime is extraordinary, even in an undeclared conflict such as Vietnam.All I'm asking for is for you to provide a little more detail about your assertion. So cite the ruling and explain what question it decided. ("They say what they" doesn't identify the question or the decision.)

  17. lkcape

    No, NL, not for O'Reilly. You see, the three decisions that have been mentioned give problems when alleging an unconstitutional conspiracy initiated VP Cheney. But their core problem remains in that there are no facts that connect the Army mole in Washington State to the desk of Cheney in Washington DC.Wonder why O'Reilly choses not to address that matter?

  18. mike_b1

    It's remarkable how a bunch of guys who have nothing better to do than, well, comment here, know with such certainty that a man with long, deep connections to all sorts of unsavory people and an equally long history of corruption but whom happens to share their own, Stalinesque view of the world, cannot possibly have done anything wrong.Given the kneejerk, ferocious hue and cry of his supporters, who have shown time and again to be misguided in their observations and comprehension, there is little doubt Cheney is anything but guilty.Now if they can only pry the beer and shotgun out of his hands long enough to question him.

  19. bob gardner

    Maybe the current administration could just nationalize the health care industry by executive order–put it all under the VA. It sounds extraordinary, but we are in a war and the Supreme Court has said what it said.

  20. lkcape

    Interesting concept, and it would, indeed, achieve the Liberal's goal of universal, government-controlled, single-payer health care system.Clever thinking.But you have a hurdle: you would have to establish that it is a valid action under the Commander-in-Chief clause of the Constitution sufficient to withstand any legal challenge.But hey… it's worth a try.Go for it Bob… go for it!Tie it in with Dan's lawsuit against the evil Cheney and you'll leap to the fore of Liberal illiterati.

  21. O'Reilly

    Birthers, deathers, librul haters, guv'mint control… lkcape make O-Fish seem reasonable. Anytime you want to answer the question about Supreme Court decisions related to executive power during wartime, and more specifically SC decisions made during the Bush Administration, cite them and explain; What was the question that was decided, and how. You can post it here, lkcape.

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