Thunderpig’s Mirror

A Substantial Difference Emerges in the GOP NC-11 Primary

Posted by Thunder Pig on March 20, 2008

Well, the primary between the three hopefuls in NC-11 has finally stumbled upon some issue of divergence, FISA.

From Dr. Carl Mumpower:

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Separates
Republican Congressional Candidates

A Monday press release by Republican Congressional Carl Mumpower has stimulated strong reactions from 11th District challengers John Armor and Spence Campbell. “I am not in favor of the immunity found in recent FISA legislation for telecoms or anyone else and I continue to believe that the pervasive bureaucratic dysfunction of America’s intelligence agencies offers few incentives for more hidden powers,” said Mumpower. “Securing our borders, enforcing existing laws, and both financial and productivity audits of our intelligence agencies will do more than allowing the government to expand its veil of secrecy.”

Campbell and Armor share a common ground with a majority of Republican legislators, the President, and even 11th District Representative Heath Shuler. Shuler has come out in support of immunity to telecom companies and made a request of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that future FISA legislation support that goal. Campbell has said that Congress should grant the telecoms immunity, while Armor stated, “I could not disagree with (Mumpower) more – this is garbage.”

“As an Independent Republican, I support conservative principles with full heart and action,” said Mumpower. “I am not, however, obligated to a Republican power structure that continues to betray those values and take short-cuts around the Constitution with actions like this. The rule of law, accountability, and liberty should not be for sale – especially to people who are quick to use the “terror card” to justify or conceal misbehavior.”

“I am fond of Ben Franklin,” said Mumpower. “He said that “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” I’m sure it could be argued that there are practical justifications for immunity – one can always find a reason to take small steps away from the right thing. This is one of those times when a politician faces the temptation to fall into line with what’s popular or take a principled position and the heat that results. I’ll leave political conformity to others – and keep my eye on the Constitution.”

Carl Mumpower
11th District Republican Congressional Candidate

67

From Col. Spence Campbell (Ret.):

March 18th, 2008

CAMPBELL RELEASES STATEMENT
ON FISA REAUTHORIZATION

Hendersonville—US Republican Congressional Candidate Spence Campbell released the following statement on the FISA Reauthorization bill:“As a former career U.S. Army intelligence officer, I know firsthand how important it is that we have solid, reliable intelligence in order to protect this great country and its citizens from harm. We must do all we can to ensure the safety of Americans and the citizens of western North Carolina.“We must not forget that we are a nation at war. There are people who actively seek to harm America, and we must ensure that our government has the tools and resources needed to ensure the safety of us all. “It is the height of irresponsibility for anyone to seek to undermine or try to prevent our government from doing all it can to protect its citizens, especially in a time of war. By criticizing portions of this bill, which allows companies to work together with our government to provide them with critical information and intelligence, is more than irresponsible. It is in fact, foolhardy, and dangerous. Anyone that seeks to put Americans in harm’s way should not be allowed the privilege of representing the citizens of western North Carolina in Congress.”

From John Armor, Esq.:

Mumpower Misunderstands FISA Issues,
Misquotes Ben Franklin

Carl Mumpower, Republican candidate for Congress from the 11th District, has put out a press release saying that the efforts in the US House to extend the FISA Act “demonstrate sharp differences between him and the other candidates.” He is right, but has the wrong conclusion, based on a gross misunderstanding of the subject.

FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union) is using American civil courts in an effort to gut-shoot the government’s efforts to stay ahead of the terrorists seeking to kill Americans in America. It seems that Carl Mumpower has not done his homework before taking a position on this subject.

The quote that Carl Mumpower uses in the name of Benjamin Franklin in his latest News Release is a false quote, although with an ancient pedigree. Mumpower quotes Franklin as writing: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This comes from the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania (1759).

However, anyone with a little skill in using an Internet search engine, like Google, can quickly find that the accurate Franklin quote is: “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” It is both better written, and has a different meaning, than the bad quote used by candidate Mumpower.

“More importantly, Carl Mumpower seems blissfully unaware of what brought about the immunity provisions in the original FISA Act,” said John Armor. He pointed out that lawyers for the ACLU had filed several damage claims against several telecom companies, seeking damages for their cooperation with international security searches as sought by the federal government.

Commentary

I am afraid that Mumpower has chosen the wrong side of this issue. My impression of the whole FISA argument is that the attempt to deny immunity to the telecoms is part of a lawfare technique used by the enemies of America to weaken, and ultimately destroy her ability to defend against attacks from Islamofascism and Progessivism.

I lump Progressives together with the Islamofascists because both would rather that America not participate in World War IV. They have become allies of convenience at this point.

In a different category, I place “the honest civil-libertarians”: Mumpower, through good intentions (like the libertarians), has found himself trapped by applying a misunderstanding of the issue.

Both Spence Campbell and John Armor understand the necessity of immunity for the telecoms.

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