Sanitized for your protection

by Ted on August 31, 2004

“The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect ‘domestic security.’ Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent.”

That’s a quote from a Supreme Court ruling in 1972. It’s also apparently a state secret, as the Justice Department tried to black it out on a court document.

It’s part of a complaint brought by the ACLU (.pdf file). One aspect of the Patriot Act is a gag provision that prohibits anyone who receives a National Security Letter (a request for information) from “disclos[ing] to any person that the [FBI] has sought or obtained access to information or records.” The ACLU is contesting this, and their legal documents are subject to redacting by the Justice Department. This quote from the Supreme Court was one of many portions redacted.

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a member of the ACLU, this might be a good time.

Fistful of Euros on Pipes on Ramadan

by Daniel on August 31, 2004

Scott Martens looks into some of Daniel Pipes’ sources for the article on Tariq Ramadan linked in Ted’s post below, and comes up with a pretty appalling picture of misrepresentation and intellectual dishonesty. As Scott says in comments below, how the hell did Pipes think he was going to get away with this?

Real WMDs

by Henry Farrell on August 31, 2004

While we’re on the subject of slurs from Republican hack politicians, you all may remember Tom DeLay’s “claim”: a couple of months ago that John Kerry did indeed have the support of foreign leaders – such as Kim Jong-Il. “NKZone”:, your one and only one-stop-shop for North Korea related news, begs to differ. Apparently, a North Korean spokesman has recently “done an interview”: warning that Kerry’s call for CVID,[1] and pressures from Democrats for military action mean that a Kerry administration would lead to heightened military tensions. He suggests that North Korea would respond to increased pressure from Kerry by test-firing ICBMs into the high seas close to prominent American cities, and test-detonating a H-Bomb. I’m not a qualified North-Korea tea-leaf reader by any stretch of the imagination, so I don’t want to speculate too much on the source and meaning of this. Still, on its face, it certainly appears to give the lie to Republican claims that North Korea would prefer a Democratic administration.

fn1. “i.e.”: Complete, Verifiable Irreversible Dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.

Why do they hate America ?

by John Q on August 31, 2004

What kind of limpwristed surrender monkey would deride one of his own country’s most important military honours as being a bogus scheme cooked up for political purposes? Morton Blackwell, Republican of Virginia (and dozens of other delegates to the RNC). (hat tip, commenter Peter Murphy)

Personally, I blame Kieran. He was obviously the one who gave them the idea.

Update Just looking around, I haven’t found anyone on the Republican side of the aisle who is at all upset by this. The fact that it might not play well politically has obviously sunk in with the convention organisers, who’ve tried to call a halt, but there’s no-one denouncing this guy in the way that, say, Ted Rall copped it from lots of people on the left, including CT. Perhaps commenters would like to point me to those I’ve missed. (Please don’t bother with arguments that Rall is worse than Morton. I agree that he is. OTOH, Rall is a cartoonist and Morton, along with dozens of likeminded people, is a senior figure in a major political party).