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(Guardian)   When the Executive branch makes up its own secret version of the laws passed by Congress, bad things are going to happen   (guardian.co.uk) divider line 43
    More: Obvious, executive branches, Americans, NSA  
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2405 clicks; posted to Politics » on 28 Jun 2013 at 6:12 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-28 01:10:56 PM
Clapper admitted he had given "the least untruthful answer possible"

Now THAT is an instant classic.
 
2013-06-28 03:32:31 PM
"We are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the Patriot Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law," they say.

Well, they've been doing that with the Constitution itself for quite some time now.
 
2013-06-28 03:33:24 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Clapper admitted he had given "the least untruthful answer possible"

Now THAT is an instant classic.


Yeah, that's like Clinton-level slick.
 
2013-06-28 05:57:37 PM
Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?
 
2013-06-28 06:21:00 PM
Yes, but it's for our protection apparently.
 
2013-06-28 06:23:17 PM
The Constitution says only the Congress can declare war, but they stopped doing that in 1941.
 
2013-06-28 06:24:00 PM

Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?


Don't you see? They could just interpret the new legislation to mean that Obama is God-Emperor for life and that congress is just a bunch of Stinky Stanleys.

It's all over, man. Rule of law now just means one big game of Calvinball.
 
2013-06-28 06:24:06 PM
Bad things have been happening when the Executive branch decides to enforce their perspective of the law in their own way since 1823 (at least).

i159.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-28 06:25:43 PM

Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?


These powers were not granted by Congress.   Or anyone else, for that matter.  And I'm not sure who started this whole "signing statement" thing, but it's a load of horse manure.
 
2013-06-28 06:26:43 PM

GhostFish: Rule of law now just means one big game of Calvinball.


That is perhaps the best description of the current system right now.

Have me at a disadvantage? Not so fast! I have seekret rules that lets me do whatever I want that I just made up revealed!
 
2013-06-28 06:28:03 PM
Like, for instance, the invasion of Iraq?
 
2013-06-28 06:30:02 PM
Those signing statements where Bush rewrote the laws he signed? That was pretty bogus.
 
2013-06-28 06:30:41 PM
This goes way beyond Double Secret Probation. Triple Secret Probation!

passionweiss.com
 
2013-06-28 06:32:22 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?

These powers were not granted by Congress.   Or anyone else, for that matter.  And I'm not sure who started this whole "signing statement" thing, but it's a load of horse manure.


signing statements are not  bad -- they are a mechanism the executive branch can use (or should use within the limits of the law) to declare how to implement a law.  This is quite clearly needed as legislation sometimes does not always make it immediately obvious how one should implement of enforce a law.

but using them as a way to avoid or abuse the spirit of congress's will -- is, well -- bad
 
2013-06-28 07:04:26 PM
img811.imageshack.us
 
2013-06-28 07:14:34 PM
static.guim.co.ukstatic.tvtropes.org
Craster is not happy about this development.
 
2013-06-28 07:35:44 PM
wow, they sound "concerned"...
 
2013-06-28 08:06:05 PM

Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?


There's a secret law against that sort of thing.
 
2013-06-28 08:15:47 PM
At this point, finger-pointing is absurd. Lobby your congresspeople to change the law, if you don't like it, but we're at the point of "quit biatching and do something, or just quit biatching."
 
2013-06-28 08:18:23 PM

JAYoung: The Constitution says only the Congress can declare war, but they stopped doing that in 1941.


That's nothing new. Throughout American history we've been a lot more reticent about declaring war than we have been about waging war.
 
2013-06-28 08:36:52 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?

These powers were not granted by Congress.   Or anyone else, for that matter.  And I'm not sure who started this whole "signing statement" thing, but it's a load of horse manure.


Hmmm, I thought this was the stuff stemming from the patriot act
 
2013-06-28 08:47:12 PM

Diogenes: Marcus Aurelius: Clapper admitted he had given "the least untruthful answer possible"

Now THAT is an instant classic.

Yeah, that's like Clinton-level slick.


I can't help but notice that you used "that's" as if you could sneak it past the censors.

"That's", in your context, is a contraction of "that is".  So your entire statement (and stop me if I am not mistaken) depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

Or am I mistaken?
 
2013-06-28 08:49:43 PM

Peter von Nostrand: Marcus Aurelius: Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?

These powers were not granted by Congress.   Or anyone else, for that matter.  And I'm not sure who started this whole "signing statement" thing, but it's a load of horse manure.

Hmmm, I thought this was the stuff stemming from the patriot act


Presidents have been asserting ultra vires powers since Washington. Today's executives are a bunch of nancy boys compared to the likes of Jefferson, Jackson, or Lincoln. Seriously, don't they teach history anymore?
 
2013-06-28 08:56:03 PM
This and misleading statements by intelligence officials have prevented our constituents from evaluating the decisions that their government was making, and will unfortunately undermine trust in government more broadly."

It's cute that they think anyone has any trust left in the government anymore.
 
2013-06-28 09:32:23 PM

Peter von Nostrand: Instead of writing letters about it, why not write legislation that reverses these powers?


Why not just put "and this time we mean it" on the bill.
 
2013-06-28 09:35:51 PM
Who will tell secret President?
 
2013-06-28 09:44:54 PM
littlebobeep.com
 
2013-06-28 11:01:14 PM
Ghostfish: "Rule of law now just means one big game of Calvinball."

Thank you. Been trying to find the proper word for it, and you nailed it.
It's not just the executive branch, thought they're guilty as the rest - we saw SCOTUS the other day[s] make up some hypocritically inconsistent shiat, and Congress has become one giant argumentative preschool pudding break who, when they can agree, do so on the most odious terms and produce equally odious results. Even in the rare instance anymore when this administration tries to do the right thing, those jokers change the rules around to obstruct.

/one big game of Calvinball all around.....
 
2013-06-28 11:34:31 PM
If only the Founders had included some way for the legislature to hold the Executive accountable for malfeasance.
 
2013-06-29 12:36:57 AM
Objectively, you think we would have the smartest and most altruistic members of our societies lead us. I mean we claim to be so clever and yet we continually let the crooks and liars among us reign.

Humanity is its own worst enemy.
 
2013-06-29 02:52:15 AM

Marcus Aurelius: Clapper admitted he had given "the least untruthful answer possible"

Now THAT is an instant classic.


What exactly is Clapper supposed to have "admitted"? If he's saying he gave "the least untruthful answer possible", then he must necessarily be saying that he gave "the most truthful answer possible". That's kind of how the English language works.
 
2013-06-29 06:42:58 AM

nmemkha: Objectively, you think we would have the smartest and most altruistic members of our societies lead us. I mean we claim to be so clever and yet we continually let the crooks and liars among us reign.

Humanity is its own worst enemy.



Thieves go where the money is, megalomaniacs go where the power is - and yet so many insist that unless we centralize as much power and money in Washington as possible we'll have Somalia or something.

The most altruistic members of our societies don't (as a rule) do the shameless bullshiatting, schmoozing, attention-whoring and weaselling needed to become an elected official. The smartest ones arrange their lives so as to have as little to do as possible with the bullshiatters, schmoozers, attention whores and weasels.
 
2013-06-29 10:08:12 AM

Biological Ali: Marcus Aurelius: Clapper admitted he had given "the least untruthful answer possible"

Now THAT is an instant classic.

What exactly is Clapper supposed to have "admitted"? If he's saying he gave "the least untruthful answer possible", then he must necessarily be saying that he gave "the most truthful answer possible". That's kind of how the English language works.


Mmmmm, no. It clearly means that of all the untruthful answers he could have given, he gave the least untruthful one.
 
2013-06-29 11:58:45 AM

Biological Ali: If he's saying he gave "the least untruthful answer possible", then he must necessarily be saying that he gave "the most truthful answer possible". That's kind of how the English language works.


"I gave the most truthful answer possible" says that that the answer that I gave was truthful.  At least technically.  Or conceivably.

"I gave the least untruthful answer possible" says that answer was untruthful, but he gave the truest version of untruth that he could.

Those aren't the same thing.

If he meant the former, that he was being a truthful as he possible could be, I figure he would have said that.  But he wasn't.  So he didn't.

And if he meant "The answer I gave was true," he would have said that.  But he didn't.  So, one would assume that it wasn't.
 
2013-06-29 12:00:02 PM
Biological Ali

An aside, do you work for the NSA or something?  Cause you're, like, in every thread, white knighting this whole stink.
 
2013-06-29 12:12:21 PM
67.18.219.83

/ well the other guys did it, so its totes legit
 
2013-06-29 12:32:05 PM
OH MY GOD

YOU GUYS

SHUT UP

IT'S SENATOR GRUMPY CAT!


static.guim.co.uk     cdn.dashburst.com
 
2013-06-29 12:34:26 PM

sendtodave: "I gave the most truthful answer possible" says that that the answer that I gave was truthful. At least technically. Or conceivably.

"I gave the least untruthful answer possible" says that answer was untruthful, but he gave the truest version of untruth that he could.

Those aren't the same thing.


They're exactly the same thing. "Least untruthful" means the same thing as "Most truthful". Work it out logically if you must; diagram it out or whatever. You'll see that the "most truthful" answer must necessarily also be the "least untruthful" answer. It's just not possible for it to be anything else under the constraints of normal logic.

The most you can say based on this one statement is that the guy phrased it awkwardly. You might still think he's lying or what have you, but he didn't "admit" anything here.
 
2013-06-29 12:37:43 PM

Tyrone Slothrop: Mmmmm, no. It clearly means that of all the untruthful answers he could have given, he gave the least untruthful one.


Fixed to better represent the logical workings of the English language.
 
2013-06-29 04:04:23 PM
Secret laws?  So the US is now taking cues from the In-N-Out menu?  Niiiiice.
 
2013-06-29 10:03:47 PM

Biological Ali: . "Least untruthful" means the same thing as "Most truthful".

.. You might still think he's lying or what have you, but he didn't "admit" anything here.

I don't think he was lying.  He was lying.  The most truthful statement he could make was not truthful?

Which is probably why he said untruthful.

SEN. RON WYDEN (D-Ore.):   So what I wanted to see is if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question, does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?"

Director of National Intelligence JAMES CLAPPER: "No, sir."

SEN. WYDEN: "It does not?"

DIR. CLAPPER: "Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly."

We do not collect any data at all on millions of Americans * except maybe perhaps on accident with our systems designed to collect data on millions of Americans.

He could have gave a more untruthful statement, and just left it as "we don't collect any data."  That would have been totally, 100% bald faced lie.  He thought better of doing that, and he gave himself a way out.
 
2013-06-29 10:14:25 PM
Oh!  Actually, he said both!  He said "most truthful, and then corrected himself to say least untruthful.  It must have been a correction, because there was no other reason to say it.

In an interview with NBC's Andrea Mitchell, he said that "I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner, by saying no," though he also called his answer "too cute by half."

This just is a real weasel dick mofo.

So when he says:  "What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens' e-mails. I stand by that."

We can assume that he means that A) they still go through citizens emails, but they aren't voyeuristic about it, and B) with everything else they pore through, such as chat logs and phone calls, they are voyeuristic.

Makes sense, what with phone and cyber sex.
 
2013-06-29 11:48:43 PM

sendtodave: I don't think he was lying. He was lying. The most truthful statement he could make was not truthful?

Which is probably why he said untruthful.


Your own opinions about whether he was lying are all well and good, but the point is that he didn't admit to anything. "Least untruthful" means exactly the same as "most truthful" in exactly the same way as "least heavy" means exactly the same thing as "lightest" and "least rich" means exactly the same thing as "poorest", and "least [adjective A]" means exactly the same thing as "most [opposite of adjective A]".

I'm not even asking you to believe him; all I'm suggesting is that your criticisms should be consistent with the rules of ordinary human logic. I don't think that's too much to ask.
 
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