And Here's a Less Important Debate…

For what it's worth, @ExtremeLiberal assembled the transcript of my brief Twitter debate with Greenwald yesterday.

I'm not sure why he stopped replying to my tweets at the end, but I'd love to hear what he has to say about Ron Paul's HR3076.

Also, Chez and I spent half of yesterday's podcast on the topic. You should listen to that, too.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    Nice going, Bob! However, I have found that it’s utterly futile to try to get Greenwald to consider any other pov than his own. Watched him refuse to do so too many times in the past couple of years.

    He is stuck in his Puritopian thinking.

  • muselet

    Why I’m Not On Twitter, Reason #12,396: nuance, detail and subtlety are nigh-on impossible in 140 characters (though you give it an admirable try, Bob). That character limit makes it easy for the likes of Glenn Greenwald to avoid dealing with the inconvenient messiness of reality.


  • http://www.facebook.com/chez.pazienza Chez Pazienza

    You know, I gave you shit for even bothering to engage Greenwald because I honestly feel like it’s a futile endeavor — and in the long-term I think it might be. But credit where credit is due: Even if none of his fawning acolytes will accept it, you very ably mopped the floor with that pious jackass. So good for you, sir.

    • villemar

      I agree, I admire anyone: Bob, the Bonds guy I mentioned on the other thread, and any and all Pragmatic Progressives that are able to thoughtfully and rationally dismantle any of the Four Sacred Pillars of Greenwaldianism, those being:
      1) Baby Jesus Al-Awlaki
      2) Baby Jesus Manning
      3) Use of military drones is the evilest action in all of recorded human history; and
      4) Because Obama=Bush=Hitler=Pol Pot=King Leopold=Caligula=Vlad the Impaler=The Cloverfield Monster; anyone who voted for Obama in 2008, plans to vote for him in 2012 and supported him in any measure on any issue between now and then is a drooling, lemminglike, Obot cultist asshole that should be screeched at and spewed venom on at all times.

      • i_a_c

        I am normally sympathetic to civil libertarian arguments, even if I’m not in agreement with them. I think it’s good that there are some people out there willing to go to bat for expanded citizen rights on matters of police and the justice system. But shedding tears over al-Awlaki is a bridge too far for me.

        Too many times, the Greenwald-types cross wires between what is actually the law, what the SCOTUS has actually ruled, and what they wish was the law.

  • paft

    Sorry Bob, but here I’m on Greenwald’s side. I was opposed to killing “enemy combatants” without a trial when Bush was in office. I remain opposed now that Obama is in office.

    • http://twitter.com/KQuark KQµårk™

      Well I guess I’m more consistent. I’m for taking down legitimate terrorist targets in terrorist safe havens when Clinton, Bush and Obama did/does it.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Oh. So…….you were opposed to killing rebel soldiers during the civil war?

      This argument is always ridiculous.

      • villemar

        I know. Poor, poor Johnny Reb. :-(

        I think paft should call his congressperson and ask them to submit a resultion calling for the retroactive impeachment of Abraham Lincoln if he feels so strongly about it.

  • i_a_c

    Here’s what Glenn doesn’t understand: there is no judicial review for killing a military target. None whatsoever. Military affairs are handled wholly in the executive branch, using the war powers given to it by Congress.

    I don’t understand why so many liberals (at least the ones on the Internet) have decided that al-Awlaki was just speaking out against tyranny. He was in email contact with the Ft. Hood shooter, met with the underwear bomber, and was linked to passenger and cargo plane plots in the U.K. The guy’s a legit terrorist, an officer of al Qaeda, who encouraged armed attacks against the United States, hiding out in Yemen, far from the reach of U.S. sovereignty. By joining a belligerent group with which the United States has legally declared armed conflict, and hiding in Yemen, the U.S. was well within its war power to kill him.

    And Glenn is wrong: Bush/Yoo essentially argued that in wartime, the president has essentially unlimited power to detain terrorism suspects indefinitely without so much as a habeas corpus petition, to torture them in violation of U.S. law, the list goes on and on.

    Obama, from what I can tell, is operating within the existing legal framework.
    -We do not torture.
    -Wiretapping is being done, but that’s legal.
    -NDAA was signed, but Hamdi v. Rumsfeld made it legal. And detainees can invoke habeas petitions.

    Some of these activities I don’t care for either. I don’t like the wiretapping, and I don’t like the NDAA, but those are written into law, and there’s no stomach in the population or in the Congress to repeal those laws. This is simply not an important issue to most people, so we’re stuck with them, until someone changes the hearts and minds of the American people.

    • http://twitter.com/KQuark KQµårk™

      Yeah he was just speaking out with an RPG in hand. Al-Awlaki was part of the command and control in Al Qaeda in charge of recruiting Westerners. Hardly just ‘speaking out’.

  • Clancy

    Not much of a “debate” when one side issues a declarative statement then refuses to engage in anything after that point. Greenwald is frequently very much a Twitter coward in this way. He has some decent idea(l)s, he’s just not very good at defending them. He’d much rather exist in some fantasy world where positions exist in binary opposition to each other than actually acknowledge the subtlety has a place. Usually, he reserves his energy for defending the indefensible, which makes it all the more surprising that he didn’t rise to the Ron Paul bait.