Judge says NSA program is likely unconstitutional

Dec 16, 2013 by Frederic J. Frommer
This June 6, 2013 file photo shows a sign outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. A federal judge says the NSA's bulk collection of phone records violates the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches. The judge put his decision on hold pending a nearly certain government appeal. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

In the first ruling of its kind, a federal judge declared Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records is likely to violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on unreasonable search. The program probably isn't effective in fighting terrorism either, the judge said in a lengthy opinion filled with blistering criticism.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction against the government's collecting of the phone records of two men who had challenged it and said any such records for the men should be destroyed. But he put enforcement of that decision on hold pending a near-certain government appeal, which may well end up at the Supreme Court.

The injunction applies only to the two individual plaintiffs, but the ruling is likely to open the door to much broader challenges to the "metadata" collection and storage.

The plaintiffs are Larry Klayman, a conservative lawyer, and Charles Strange, who is the father of a cryptologist technician who was killed in Afghanistan when his helicopter was shot down in 2011. The son worked for the NSA and support personnel for Navy SEAL Team VI.

Leon, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, ruled that the two men "have a substantial likelihood of showing" that their privacy interests outweigh the government's interest in collecting the data "and therefore the NSA's bulk collection program is indeed an unreasonable search under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment."

"I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware 'the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,' would be aghast," he declared.

Andrew C. Ames, a spokesman for the Justice Department's National Security Division, said in a statement, "We've seen the opinion and are studying it. We believe the program is constitutional as previous judges have found. We have no further comment at this time."

The collection program was disclosed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over civil liberties.

In a statement provided to reporter Glenn Greenwald and obtained by The Associated Press, Snowden said, "I acted on my belief that the NSA's mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts. Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans' rights. It is the first of many."

The Obama administration has defended the program as a crucial tool against terrorism.

But in his 68-page, heavily footnoted opinion, Leon concluded that the government didn't cite a single instance in which the program "actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack."

"I have serious doubts about the efficacy of the metadata collection program as a means of conducting time-sensitive investigations in cases involving imminent threats of terrorism," he added.

He said was staying his ruling pending appeal "in light of the significant national security interests at stake in this case and the novelty of the constitutional issues."

The government has argued that under a 1979 Supreme Court ruling, Smith v. Maryland, no one has an expectation of privacy in the telephone data that phone companies keep as business records. In that ruling, the high court rejected the claim that police need a warrant to obtain such records.

But Leon said that was a "far cry" from the issue in this case. The question, he said, is, "When do present-day circumstances—the evolutions in the government's surveillance capabilities, citizens' phone habits, and the relationship between the NSA and telecom companies—become so thoroughly unlike those considered by the Supreme Court 34 years ago that a precedent like Smith simply does not a apply? The answer, unfortunately for the government, is now."

He wrote that the court in 1979 couldn't have imagined how people interact with their phones nowadays, citing the explosion of cellphones. In addition, he said, the Smith case involved a search of just a few days, while "there is the very real prospect that the (NSA) program will go on for as long as America is combatting terrorism, which realistically could be forever!"

Leon added: "The almost-Orwellian technology that enables the government to store and analyze the phone metadata of every telephone user in the United States is unlike anything that could have been conceived of in 1979."

The judge also mocked the government's contention that it would be burdensome to comply with any court order that requires the NSA to remove the plaintiffs from its database.

"Of course, the public has no interest in saving the government from the burdens of complying with the Constitution!" he wrote. As for the government's complaint that other successful requests "could ultimately have a degrading effect on the utility of the program," he said, "I will leave it to other judges to decide how to handle any future litigation in their courts."

Stephen Vladeck, a law expert at the American University law school, said Leon is the first judge to say he has serious constitutional concerns about the program.

"This is the opening salvo in a very long story, but it's important symbolically in dispelling the invincibility of the metadata program," he added.

Vladeck said 15 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have examined Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the provision of law under which the data collection takes place, without finding constitutional problems. "There's a disconnect between the 15 judges on the FISA court who seem to think it's a no-brainer that Section 215 is constitutional, and Judge Leon, who seems to think otherwise."

Vladeck said there is a long road of court tests ahead for both sides in this dispute and that a higher court could ultimately avoid ruling on the big constitutional issue identified by Leon. "There are five or six different issues in these cases," Vladeck said.

Robert F. Turner, a professor at the University of Virginia's Center for National Security Law, said searching the databases involved in the National Security Agency case is similar to searching motor vehicle records or FBI fingerprint files.

The judge's decision is highly likely to be reversed on appeal, Turner said.

He said the collection of telephone metadata—the issue in Monday's ruling—has already been addressed and resolved by the Supreme Court. Turner said law enforcement officials routinely obtain telephone bills that include the numbers dialed without the use of a warrant.

"The odds that an American will have their phone metadata examined by are about 1,000-times greater than by the National Security Agency," Turner said.

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cantdrive85
3.8 / 5 (4) Dec 16, 2013
In the first ruling of its kind, a federal judge declared Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records is likely to violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on unreasonable search.

LOL, as if it matters or it will change anything. The last couple POS', er, POTUS' have made their disdain of the rule of law be known.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 16, 2013
"The program probably isn't effective in fighting terrorism either"

-And how would he know? Experts here and in many other countries such as Germany and France disagree .
Shootist
3 / 5 (2) Dec 16, 2013
In the first ruling of its kind, a federal judge declared Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records is likely to violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on unreasonable search.

LOL, as if it matters or it will change anything. The last couple POS', er, POTUS' have made their disdain of the rule of law be known.


You can go back to FDR (a little matter of suspension of habeas corpus for American citizens of Japanese descent), or Lincoln for that matter (suspends habeas corpus), to find Presidents who found it convenient to ignore the sage document. Not to mention 200 years of signing, ignoring and violating treaties made with the American Indian.

But, all in all, Bush II and Obamanation notwithstanding, the US has done pretty well, all things considered.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
@Ghost Experts here and in many other countries such as Germany and France disagree
NATO is TRAINING and SPONSORING those terrorists as part of operation Gladio B. Of course they will point to their own false flag events. THEY PLANNED THEM
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2013
I find the wording of what constitutes an "imminent threat" already rather murky. What does 'imminent' mean? Does that start the moment someone posts something crazy on the internet? Or are we talking about the stages when dedicated hardware is being assembled? Or when sh*t is about to go down?

Blanket collection of metadata certainly isn't reacting to anything imminent (if it were then there would be a time when it would stop, and a time when it would start due to a trigger that signifies "this is imminent"). Continuous collection/evaluation of data is what you do when you are trying to act on an imagined threat. (Which makes it quite hard to judge the appropriate scale of such an act. It seems that a 'we imagine an infinitely big threat' approach was/is the name of the game)
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
@Ghost Experts here and in many other countries such as Germany and France disagree
NATO is TRAINING and SPONSORING those terrorists as part of operation Gladio B. Of course they will point to their own false flag events. THEY PLANNED THEM
Well I fully agree, whether it's operations we know something about or not. It's clear that saddasm, bin laden, and the Taliban were all working for western/global interests because they enticed gens of hapless, idle hotheads to stand up, reveal themselves, and get shot, thereby quiescing entire regions.

I love conspiracy theories (mine) because they often make much more sense than the official storyline. I even think that characters like Lindsey Lohan and Miley Cyrus are created to make radicals want to destroy our evil empire.

Jane Fonda was the best thing to happen to the allies in Viet nam. It gave the cong the idea that they could actually win. It made tet a resounding success and enabled the west to pull out, victorious.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
I find the wording of what constitutes an "imminent threat" already rather murky. What does 'imminent' mean? Does that start the moment someone posts something crazy on the internet? Or are we talking about the stages when dedicated hardware is being assembled? Or when sh*t is about to go down?
Well obviously by the time sh*t (shit) is about to go down it is far too late to do anything about it. By the time the enemy crosses your border it is far too late to begin building defenses. Any leader who waits commits treason.

The enemy has declared their intent. They have demonstrated their resolve time and again on 9/11, Mumbai, London subway, Somalia, African insurgencies, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Chechnya, northern china, India, and many other places.

And they will never back down. Their religions force their growth and their misery , and tell them that these conditions are our fault. Their ONLY solution must be world domination.

And that will not be allowed to happen.
Noumenon
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
I find the wording of what constitutes an " imminent threat " already rather murky. What does 'imminent' mean? [...] Blanket collection of metadata certainly isn't reacting to anything imminent (if it were then there would be a time when it would stop, and a time when it would start due to a trigger that signifies "this is imminent").


Societies do many things that are not predilected on a imminent threat. For example, maintaining a military in peace time. Presumably the metadata is just warehoused until an 'imminent threat', understood in the usual sense, is acted on, at which time, the data is searched to establish links and leads. The mere existence of a terrorist group can be rationally presumed to be an imminent threat. Your country has many laws against 'nazism', even to the point of banning music tinged with it, yes?

The NSA data mining is a slippery slope however. What's next content of phones conversations and emails? The NSA is building massive server warehouses.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2013
.... once the terrorist networks understand that their electronic communications are being recorded they will find ways around it, rendering all of this NSA data mining technology only useful as against law abiding citizens. Gov never admits to colossal failures nor reduces itself accordingly,... it only knows how to expand.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
I think more than a few people need to go to jail for a long time. I'd like two of them to be Bush and Obama, though Biden will likely just pardon the latter it would be nice to see the impeachment over gross abuses like this. I can't believe we're still having the conversation rather than handing out warrants and subpoenas like they were candy.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (4) Dec 17, 2013
Continuous collection/evaluation of data is what you do when you are trying to act on an imagined threat.


Is nazism an imagined threat? No, because it has a history associated with it. Likewise radical islam has a history associated with it. We don't want these cavemen to set off car bombs every other day within the USA, like they do in their own backward country.

Western Europe is having major issues with these people because according to liberalism, it is "racist" to require immigrants to assimilate fully into the established culture. The liberal notion of 'multiculturalism' and 'diversity' is a fraud, and can only work if both cultures do not have an intrinsic contempt for the other culture,.... islam does.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
Presumably the metadata is just warehoused until an 'imminent threat', understood in the usual sense, is acted on, at which time, the data is searched to establish links and leads
No, it is used to search for threats. It is our first line of defense. Radicals begin talking about action long before they do anything.
.... once the terrorist networks understand that their electronic communications are being recorded they will find ways around it, rendering all of this NSA data mining technology only useful as against law abiding citizens
What makes you think surveillance is a static thing? It constantly evolves. Radicals need to communicate. As they change, intelligence-gathering changes in concert.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
The liberal notion of 'multiculturalism' and 'diversity' is a fraud, and can only work if both cultures do not have an intrinsic contempt for the other culture,.... islam does
"To hear people in this blue-collar city tell it, things were fine until the al-Islah Islamic Center petitioned to broadcast its call to prayer, or azan, over an outdoor loudspeaker.

"Once an enclave of Polish immigrants, Hamtramck has since the 1990's become a haven for immigrants... including a large Muslim population. In the 2000 census, 41 percent of the city's population was born outside the United States.

"''My main objection is simple,'' she said. ''I don't want to be told that Allah is the true and only God five times a day, 365 days a year. It's against my constitutional rights to have to listen to another religion evangelize in my ear.''

-In related news;

"Church bells tolled in Newtown on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the shooting massacre..."

-They ALL need to go.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 17, 2013
Societies do many things that are not predilected on a imminent threat. For example, maintaining a military in peace time.

Sure. But there are orders of magnitude to this. Do you keep a relatively small force that is armed with weapons that are primarily geared towards defense (i.e. those that can't be readily/effectively used for an invasion - like the military composition of China or Russia), or do you keep a military that is out of proportion agressively geared towards attacking the entire planet (like the US). The former is a sensible precaution - that latter is full blown paranoia.

Similarly it is with tapping phones and the like. If you have a court order based on some piece of hard evidence - fine. Constantly collecting all available info 'just because' is paranoia.

(though I think paranoia isn't the motivation. There's huge amounts of easy, untraceable money to be made as a militray/intelligence affiliate in the US based on fostering that paranoia)
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
do you keep a military that is out of proportion agressively geared towards attacking the entire planet
As usual you beg the question. A few decades ago it was decided to support a military which could wage 2 wars simultaneously in different parts of the world but I see thinking may have recently changed on this.

"Pentagon to abandon two-war strategy, but at what cost to US security?
"The Pentagon has long said it must be prepared to fight two wars at once. Budget cuts and changing global threats mean that standard is no longer practical, experts say."

-Pity. In the 1940s we found ourselves facing 2 separate foes in different parts of the world. Today we face the threat of having to fight north korea and iran at the same time.

You can see the advantage of enemies launching simultaneous attacks yes? Oh thats right you dont believe in enemies.

One strategy is to let your guard down in order to goad the enemy into taking the first shot. Hardware doesnt last forever you know?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
cont>
If you dont use up what you have you cant get new stuff can you? I figure part of the reason we went into bosnia was that it was easier to put all that y2k-contaminated smart ordinance to good use rather than to try to fix it. Win-win... the hallmark of western strategy.

In related news
http://www.ibtime...-1512324

-Aw its nice to see the guy smiling too isnt it?
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2013
Presumably the metadata is just warehoused until an 'imminent threat', understood in the usual sense, is acted on, at which time, the data is searched to establish links and leads
No, it is used to search for threats.


Nope, the metadata does not include Content, so it can not be used to search for threats, only to provide call times, durations and numbers, which is useless piles of non-sense unless a suspect is already identified. If they're collecting and searching content they're operating against the constitution.

You may be confusing where the Patriot Act allowed phone conversations originating from foreign countries to be searched for key terms.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
Societies do many things that are not predilected on a imminent threat. For example, maintaining a military in peace time.

Sure. But there are orders of magnitude to this. Do you keep a relatively small force that is armed with weapons that are primarily geared towards defense (i.e. those that can't be readily/effectively used for an invasion - like the military composition of China or Russia), or do you keep a military that is out of proportion agressively geared towards attacking the entire planet (like the US). The former is a sensible precaution - that latter is full blown paranoia.


Oh I'd LOVE to hear the difference between an offensive tank and a defensive one, how about a jet fighter. What in THE WORLD do you mean here? I'm going to just ignore the size issue because China has an army twice the size of the US....

Also did you know Germany is in the top ten countries in the world with respect to military spending? Little paranoid are ya?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
to provide call times, durations and numbers, which is useless piles of non-sense unless a suspect is already identified
"the NSA can look at data not only from a suspected terrorist, but from everyone that suspect communicated with, and then from everyone those people communicated with, and then from everyone all of those people communicated with."

-They are looking for patterns, networks, calls to and from certain regions, not just targeted individuals. And of course not just the NSA...

"Gert-René Polli, a former Austrian counter-terrorism official, said in 2013 that it is "absurd and unnatural" for the German authorities to pretend not to have known anything. The German Army was using PRISM to support its operations in Afghanistan as early as 2011..."
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
Nope, the metadata does not include Content,

You'd be surprised at what kind of content one can infer from metadata, which can lead to decisions that affect people's lives

Example: Back in 1992 I did my civil service. We had a policeman come in and lecture us about this stuff (because we were young and probably prone to talk about the people we worked with - some of which had mental and physical handicaps).

The example he gave was: Is it OK to put a name/timestamp on debit cards used to buy food at the cafeteria? Answer: No way
If you know one person's identity then you can make inferences about the others close by (Is that one person a troublemaker/union? Are others always going to lunch around the same time? Potential troublemakers right there: No promotion for them.
Structuring prices will allow you to infer if someone always buys alcohol: Get rid of that person...

Metadata is not innocuous. Its vagueness makes it even more prone to false positives than clear content.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 17, 2013
Oh I'd LOVE to hear the difference between an offensive tank and a defensive one, how about a jet fighter
No no the puff adder has a point, aircraft carriers for instance are basically offensive weapons although they have often been used to defend allies in-theater. China just fielded its first carrier did you see it?

The maginot line was ostensibly purely defensive in nature although in retrospect it was a sham meant to convince people that all of western europe wasnt going to be put at hitlers disposal in his fight against the bolsheviks.

Hitlers western wall was built for exactly the same reason. Why would he want to keep western allies from saving fully half of his country from the reds?

'ALL of war is deception' - sun tsu. And since peace is only the preparation for war, then all of peace is deception as well.

Sorry Im just baiting antialias. Nevertheless, its all true.
kochevnik
not rated yet Dec 17, 2013
Western Europe is having major issues with these people because according to liberalism, it is "racist" to require immigrants to assimilate fully into the established culture. The liberal notion of 'multiculturalism' and 'diversity' is a fraud, and can only work if both cultures do not have an intrinsic contempt for the other culture,.... islam does.
Radial Islam is a creation of the US and NATO as part of operation Gladio B. Gladio A involved state sponsored terrorism by NATO and CIA to kill progressive politicians and plant puppets sympathetic to the NATO/US cold war expansionism

Ending the dominance of the petrodollar will collapse the US ponzi police state and restore growth based upon simple business, without the Machiavellian nazi US aspect
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 17, 2013
Ending the dominance of the petrodollar will collapse the US ponzi police state and restore growth based upon simple business, without the Machiavellian nazi US blahblah
-Meanwhile Islamist pops will continue to double every 16 years in places like Islamabad, gaza, Kurdistan, Somalia, Kashmir, and Chechnya, until there is no stopping the formation of a united caliphate with nukes.

And guess which way they are going to head first my little babushka? They're going to head north where it is cool and there are few people and a low birthrate to resist them.

This will be payback for the 2M you all killed in Afghanistan.

What's that? 'Help us' you say?

Just because the enemies of the west may be fabricated , this does not mean that if you refuse to fight them they won't overrun you. They are real and they want blood and you absolutely HAVE to fight them or you will die.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (4) Dec 18, 2013
Radial Islam is a creation of the US and NATO as part of operation Gladio B


The Quran, on which hardline islam is founded, was written long before there was even a United States.

Ending the dominance of the petrodollar will collapse the US ponzi police state and restore growth based upon simple business, without the Machiavellian nazi US aspect


Arbitrarily and artificially "ending the dominance of the petrodollar" before the natural arbiter of market forces settles on an alternative that is equal in capacity and compatible with the existing economy,... will certainly set us all back to the stone age.

It is a desire of the far left socialists, because they want big government control of energy, wealth redistribution, and everything else. As you can verify for yourself, the global oil consumption continues to increase, so the 'collective genius' of mankind are not buying the AGW alarmism nor your commie BS.
Modernmystic
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
China just fielded its first carrier did you see it?


Indeed, and since we have the relationship we do with China that now means all of our carriers can be considered defensive at this point too....just like our nuclear arsenal during the cold war with respect to the USSR.

Moreover I'd disagree that carriers are offensive platforms. I'd say they merely expand your range of choices about how to respond to a threat greatly. Instead of having to use a more blunt and indiscriminate weapons system you get to use a scalpel.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
Quran, on which hardline islam is founded, was written long before there was even a United States.
Well so was the bible. The books both say the same things - only believers can be good, unbelievers are evil, unbelievers must be killed.

The Quran may say these things more often but so what? Both books have been used to justify equivalent atrocity.
Moreover I'd disagree that carriers are offensive platforms.
Pearl harbor was an offensive operation. China could maintain a defensive stance with land-based aircraft but carriers enable it to operate beyond that range.

The best defense is a good offense.
Noumenon
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
Radial Islam is a creation of the US and NATO as part of operation Gladio B
Quran, on which hardline islam is founded, was written long before there was even a United States.

Well so was the bible. The books both say the same things - only believers can be good, unbelievers are evil, unbelievers must be killed. The Quran may say these things more often but so what? Both books have been used to justify equivalent atrocity.


How does your response fit in to what I was responding to, Otto? Are you just casting a net ?
Zephir_fan
Dec 18, 2013
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
Pearl harbor was an offensive operation.


So was the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, what's your point? Does that mean that all infantry and tanks are offensive units because they've been historically used in an offensive role? Quite a stretch there.

China could maintain a defensive stance with land-based aircraft but carriers enable it to operate beyond that range.


Which makes any carriers held by nations which might come into conflict with China either offensive or defensive depending on who shoots first...

The best defense is a good offense.


Agreed, which makes ALL weapons either offensive or defensive depending on how they are used. Just like all knowledge is neutral until applied.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
Arbitrarily and artificially "ending the dominance of the petrodollar" before the natural arbiter of market forces settles on an alternative that is equal in capacity and compatible with the existing economy,... will certainly set us all back to the stone age
You are naive. Allowing things of that magnitude to happen by themselves is just as absurd as changing them arbitrarily.

Significant change is always made to happen at the proper Time. Why? Because it CAN be. And if it is not then others will take the opportunity to change it for their benefit.

"1 There is a Time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens..." Ecc3

-A Proper Time, is what Solomon was trying to tell us. Leaders who can accept the inevitable; economic cycles, war - and cause it to happen at the proper time and in the proper manner - can maintain their rule forever.

This is the essence of Empire.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
How does your response fit in to what I was responding to, Otto? Are you just casting a net?
Koch was claiming that fanatics are constructs. You were implying that they are a natural offshoot of a particular holy book. I'm saying that holy books are great tools for fanaticizing people at the proper time, in order to elicit the proper behavior, in order to achieve the proper Effect. This is WHY they were WRITTEN.
So was the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, what's your point? Does that mean that all infantry and tanks are offensive units because they've been historically used in an offensive role?
-meeaning that pearl couldn't have happened without the unique offensive capability of carriers.

Tanks and infantry are offensive in that they can take the fight to the enemy, as opposed to fixed emplacements which are purely defensive.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
"A fleet carrier is intended to operate with the main fleet and usually provides an offensive capability."

"Blitzkrieg (German, "lightning war" listen ) is an anglicised term describing a method of warfare whereby an attacking force spearheaded by a dense concentration of armoured and motorized or mechanized infantry formations, and heavily backed up by close air support, forces a breakthrough into the enemy's line of defense through a series of short, fast, powerful attacks; and once in the enemy's territory, proceeds to dislocate them using speed and surprise, and then encircle them..."

-see also Schwarzenegger, desert storm.
Modernmystic
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
Tanks and infantry are offensive in that they can take the fight to the enemy, as opposed to fixed emplacements which are purely defensive.


I'll grant it's difficult to envision a scenario in which fixed emplacements or systems like T.H.A.D.D. would be considered for use in an offensive role. However my point still stands about virtually any other class of weapon systems. It all depends on how you use them. All "offensive" weapons are considered defensive if used in retaliation or more especially threatened retaliation.

"A fleet carrier is intended to operate with the main fleet and usually provides an offensive capability."


So if a fleet is attacked and it uses its carrier to DEFEND it's own fleet is that being deployed in an offensive or defensive role?
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.3 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
Sorry mm you've lost this one. The primary natures of mechanized armor and fleet carriers is offensive in nature. Antialias' original point
atively small force that is armed with weapons that are primarily geared towards defense (i.e. those that can't be readily/effectively used for an invasion - like the military composition of China or Russia)
-is absurd given the massive nuclear arsenals both possess, as well as the fact that China invaded North Korea and Russia Afghanistan, and that both are still fully prepared for offence. But he was arguing purely defense against invasion as opposed to the ability to invade.

Was the Russian/afghan war strategically defensive in nature? Sure. But tactically it was waged offensively. The US mantra for Vietnam was that if we didn't fight them over there we would have to fight them here. This was hitlers excuse for invading Russia.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
It's sort of bizarre to have an offensive military when the country (the US) is basically separated by vast oceans from all its (imagined) enemies...none of which have a navy to speak of that is geared towards invasion (much less long distance aircraft).

The signal an offensive military is sending is: The country that has one thinks it's OK to act preemptively.
Consequently it is even more bizarre that the US faults others for developing preemptive measures in return.

Do as I say - don't do as I do... That's the hypocrit credo.
Modernmystic
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
Sorry mm you've lost this one.


I disagree, but I can see how reasonable people can on this point.

Basically it boils down to this. A criminal with a .45 robbing a bank is employing a neutral weapon in an offensive manner. A woman using a .45 to defend herself against a rape is employing a neutral weapon in a defensive manner. This debate is far more about intent than design or capability. That analogy is infinitely scalable.

You yourself recognize this when you start talking about who invaded who and the Soviet action against Afghanistan. It's all about intent and your point of view.

IOW it, in some sense, is a subjective and pointless argument.
Modernmystic
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 18, 2013
It's sort of bizarre to have an offensive military when the country (the US) is basically separated by vast oceans from all its (imagined) enemies...none of which have a navy to speak of that is geared towards invasion (much less long distance aircraft).

The signal an offensive military is sending is: The country that has one thinks it's OK to act preemptively.
Consequently it is even more bizarre that the US faults others for developing preemptive measures in return.

Do as I say - don't do as I do... That's the hypocrit credo.


So we shouldn't have employed nuclear weapons and tank divisions in Germany to protect you from the Russians and deferred your defense costs for decades...yeah we're such hypocrites...

Personally I'd prefer you just said thank you and shut up, but most Europeans, especially French and Germans are hopelessly self righteous myopic ingrates.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
It's sort of bizarre to have an offensive military when the country (the US) is basically separated by vast oceans from all its (imagined) enemies...none of which have a navy to speak of that is geared towards invasion (much less long distance aircraft)
We stand by our allies and are prepared to help them defend themselves. And so is your own country whether you personally like it or not.

"Afghanistan has been the most important experience for the German armed forces. It was the first time since World War II that the German military was involved in real combat action..."

-Re china:

"China's military recently deployed an upgraded strategic bomber that will carry the military's new long-range land attack cruise missile, capable of attacking Hawaii and Guam, according to a draft congressional report"

-This in addition to their 150 Tupolev heavy intercontinental force which has existed since the 1950s.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
Potential for russian/chinese confrontation...

"strategic military agreements signed this week between China and Pakistan signal that the "end game" between the East and West over the vital energy resources of the Middle East "has now begun."

"According to Minister Serdyukov, the most vital aspect of this new strategic agreement is the allowing by Pakistan for Chinese military forces to begin the "immediate use" of the Karakoram Highway which will allow China's massive ground forces direct access to the Middle East and into direct confrontation with the West.

"China's "grand strategy" behind this new move, Minister Serdyukov's report continues, is to join its ground forces with those of its air forces it has pre-placed in NATO member country Turkey, both of whom have been carrying out joint air defense exercises since last year much to the alarm of the United States and European Union."

-Please explain the defensive nature of chinese warplanes in turkey.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
This debate is far more about intent than design or capability. That analogy is infinitely scalable
No, Im sorry, tanks are not the general purpose weapons that handguns are. They were devised as offensive weapons and are still primatily used AS SUCH.

"Armoured warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a major component of modern methods of war. The premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate conventional DEFENSIVE lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units... The doctrine of armoured warfare was developed to break the static nature of World War I trench warfare on the Western Front... Prior to World War I, horse-mounted CAVALRY performed what is now the role of tanks; manoeuvring and breaking through enemy infantry to attack army lines of communication in the rear."
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Dec 18, 2013
If someone wants to create a defensive line then tanks are not their weapon of choice as they are compromises between mobility, protection, and the amount of ordinance they can carry.

The preferred defense against tanks is not tanks.

"Today the anti-tank role is filled with a variety of weapons, such as portable "top attack" artillery ammunition and missiles, larger HEAT missiles fired from ground vehicles and helicopters, a variety of high velocity autocannon, and ever-larger and heavier tank guns.

"One of the first lessons of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict is the effectiveness of portable rocket propelled grenades, in particular, Russian-made RPG-29, and Metis-M, Kornet and European MILAN anti-tank missiles."
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 18, 2013
"The RPG-29 uses a tandem-charge high explosive anti-tank warhead to penetrate explosive reactive armor (ERA) as well as composite armor behind it. It is capable of penetrating MBTs such as the M1 Abrams, older model Mark II version of the Merkava, Challenger 2, or T-90.

"In May 2008, The New York Times disclosed that an American M1 tank had also been damaged by an RPG-29 in Iraq. The American army is ranking the RPG-29 threat to American armor as high..."
http://en.wikiped..._grenade

-Infantry can carry literally thousands of these things.
The signal an offensive military is sending is: The country that has one thinks it's OK to act preemptively
Not only is it 'ok' to act preemptively, it is IMPERATIVE if you want to prevail against your enemies. Israel only won the 1967 war because it attacked arab forces which were massing for invasion first.
antialias_physorg
1.5 / 5 (2) Dec 19, 2013
So we shouldn't have employed nuclear weapons and tank divisions in Germany to protect you from the Russians and deferred your defense costs for decades...

You are aware the the US did not enter WWII out of humanitarian concern, aren't you? That the US (most notably the captains of industry and politics) was pretty fond of Hitler at the start?
The "we'll save them from evil" attitude was PR, only.
antialias_physorg
1.5 / 5 (2) Dec 19, 2013
If you look at the history and the composition of the Russian forces (especially during the cold war) you will notice that they had far fewer capabilities than US history books would make them out to have. Also that they only had a navy capable of close defense but not one of projecting power anywhere (e.g. no aircraft carriers)

The american public was fed complete fabrications like the 'missile gap' the 'bomber gap' or the 'submarine gap' to keep the military/industrial complex rolling in taxpayer cash. And you (and the rest of the west) fell for it hook, line and sinker.

At the time that could be excused by lack of information sources. But today such ignorance is inexcusable. Falling for demagogues (like the NSA chiefs) is just a sign of not being able to think/inform yourself.
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (4) Dec 19, 2013
If you look at the history and the composition of the Russian forces (especially during the cold war) you will notice that they had far fewer capabilities than US history books would make them out to have.

At the time that could be excused by lack of information sources. But today such ignorance is inexcusable.


Saddam had fewer capabilities than the majority of the world judged him to have in good faith, even in modern times,.... so your presumption that retroactive history from the future is at all useful in the present is gibberish word-salad.

What is certain is that a-priori anti-war liberals are by their nature, light-years from being qualified in military affairs and strategy.
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 19, 2013
It's sort of bizarre to have an offensive military when the country (the US) is basically separated by vast oceans from all its (imagined) enemies...


It would even be more absurd as a military policy to "match" strength to that of perceived threats. Do liberals desire a "fair" and evenly matched "level playing field" so that war becomes a prolonged slaughter fest? Surely you know that the USA has interests all around the world to protect, so its not just about physical borders?

The signal an offensive military is sending is: The country that has one thinks it's OK to act preemptively. Consequently it is even more bizarre that the US faults others for developing preemptive measures in return.


Your liberal moral-relativism is sickening. As a historical example of your faulty logic, Germany was indeed faulted for developing an offensive military. Was this bizarre of the Allies? Is it bizarre and hypocritical of the west to fault Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Modernmystic
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 19, 2013
So we shouldn't have employed nuclear weapons and tank divisions in Germany to protect you from the Russians and deferred your defense costs for decades...

You are aware the the US did not enter WWII out of humanitarian concern, aren't you? That the US (most notably the captains of industry and politics) was pretty fond of Hitler at the start?
The "we'll save them from evil" attitude was PR, only.


You do realize I wasn't talking about WW II right? Who the hell are you talking to here? Are you pontificating for your own edification or trying to impress someone?
Modernmystic
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 19, 2013
If you look at the history and the composition of the Russian forces (especially during the cold war) you will notice that they had far fewer capabilities than US history books would make them out to have.


Nonsense, the Soviets would have poured through the Fulda gap. They had us FAR outnumbered in both tanks and nuclear weapons at the height of the cold war. NATO conceded in EVERY battle plan that we'd have to resort to the use of tactical nuclear weapons to defeat them. That's the real history. Idiotic German postmodern B.S. aside....

You're welcome for saving West Germany for all those years...even if you are an ungrateful revisionist :)

Also that they only had a navy capable of close defense but not one of projecting power anywhere (e.g. no aircraft carriers)


We were doing that for US, not for you. We held them in check on the ground in Europe for you. Everything isn't about Europe you know...or did you?

TheGhostofOtto1923
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 19, 2013
they had far fewer capabilities than US history books would make them out to have
They had a million men left and plenty of hardware. More than enough to overrun europe.
they only had a navy capable of close defense but not one of projecting power anywhere (e.g. no aircraft carriers)
They didnt NEED a navy to overrun europe.
The american public was fed complete fabrications like the 'missile gap' the 'bomber gap' or the 'submarine gap' to keep the military/industrial complex rolling in taxpayer cash
As has been pointed out to you before, the soviets caught up and surpassed the west within 5 years. Our proactive efforts were essential to maintaining parity.
And you (and the rest of the west) fell for it hook, line and sinker
From all the facts presented here you should be starting to get the impression that you have been fed a bunch of lies.

What did it take to convince you that the west has no enemies? Today such ignorance is inexcusable.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2013
Hey aa what do you make of this ?

"South Korea's Defense Ministry said a letter from the North's National Defense Commission was faxed early Thursday via a military communication link between the two sides, warning of a "merciless" attack on the South, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The letter objected to the "repeated extra-large provocations to North Korea's highest dignity taking place in the middle of Seoul" and threatened "a merciless retaliation without warning," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told the newspaper."

-I know - you think it's our fault that a despot wants to destroy his neighbor for being friends with us and being prosperous and all. But lucky we're prepared eh?

See we learned something from the last time they invaded. And from Kuwait. And the Taliban in Afghanistan. And when the nva invaded the south. And hitler invaded Poland.

Etc.
met a more fishes
1 / 5 (1) Dec 22, 2013
Otto, you sir are a delightful assortment of Conspiracy theory, xenophobia, an ayn rand-ish belief that the unfettered interests of private capital would best serve humanity, and an occasional shiny glimpse at the amorphous free form contempt and general hatred for your species. It's a good thing you're not a Muslim, you'd be a perfect prospect for jihadist.

I have personally known several muslims fairly well, including some that were Arab. They have all the normal human problems, anger, doubt, self esteem issues. just like nearly every person on the planet. They want to get a decent job and pay their bills, raise a family and have a long content life. Some of them are very smart, some very wise, others not as much.

kochevnik
not rated yet Dec 22, 2013
Now Brazil has canceled $4.5billion contract of fighters with Boeing in favor of Sweden. People don't want US equipment filled with backdoors and trojans. Only thing maintaining US economy will be a web of predatory lending and warmongering
Modernmystic
not rated yet Dec 23, 2013
Now Brazil has canceled $4.5billion contract of fighters with Boeing in favor of Sweden. People don't want US equipment filled with backdoors and trojans. Only thing maintaining US economy will be a web of predatory lending and warmongering


Well then we can wipe the Brazilians off our "threat meter" for another thirty years...

And I actually thought that we might have a military confrontation we'd have to worry about with them even before the Chinese. But if they're going to be using this...

http://en.wikiped...9_Gripen

Against this...

http://en.wikiped...r_Hornet

or this...

http://en.wikiped...2_Raptor

They might as well be fighting aliens.

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