Chris Christie on the NSA: “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin”

posted at 2:41 pm on May 19, 2015 by Allahpundit

Two sides of the surveillance-state coin: While Rand Paul was in Philly yesterday promising to filibuster any attempt to extend the Patriot Act, Christie was in New Hampshire demanding a clean extension, including an extension of the momentarily illegal Section 215 that House Republicans and Democrats have joined together in trying to limit. Paul and Christie have tangled before over civil liberties and national security, although never face to face. Two summers ago, Christie flashed his hawkishness by calling libertarianism a “very dangerous idea” in a post-9/11 world. Paul replied a few days later that Christie’s flippancy about the Bill of Rights was more dangerous than anything in libertarianism. Now here’s Christie rejoining that battle with Paul the obvious if unnamed target of a broadside I don’t think I’ve ever heard before in GOP natsec rhetoric.

The closest analog I can think of was someone — Gingrich, I believe — warning during the last campaign that strong counterterror protocols are actually the best guarantor of civil liberties insofar as they’re our best chance of preventing another mega-attack on America. If and when that attack comes, it was argued, Americans will gladly cede more of what’s left of their rights in the name of even better terror prevention. To preserve the rights we have now, we should let the feds use the tools they already have to make sure that attack never happens. (Actually, now that I do a little googling, I see that Newt already had his eye on limiting the First Amendment when it came to advocacy of terrorism.) Christie’s approach is similar. His attitude is that the fear people felt after 9/11 led to them to feel less free in important ways, a threat that’s not remotely the same as having the government forcibly limit your rights but which has some resonance thanks to media self-censorship over cartoons of Mohammed. Security to Christie is a handmaiden to freedom, which is … interesting, in that it presents more government power as the true libertarian position. The point of the Constitution, supposedly, is to make sure the government can protect citizens, not to protect citizens from the government, all building up to his memorably creepy final line. When and whether we should draw a line on limiting civil liberties even if it means accepting a greater risk of people ending up in coffins, I have no idea. In theory there is no limiting principle. Better to be alive and enjoy whatever rights you have left than risk death by trying to tie the government’s hands, right?

I argued this morning that his new immigration policy was crafted to pander to center-right voters, a way for him to keep pace with Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. I’m not sure who this “total information awareness beats death, right?” policy was crafted to pander to. It’s true that GOP voters have trended hawkish in the last few years, but an ACLU poll this week (conducted by a bipartisan pair of polling firms) found 58 percent of Republicans think the Patriot Act should be modified to limit government surveillance of Americans versus 36 percent who think it shouldn’t. As noted above, House Republicans are onboard with limiting the Act as part of an extension. The GOP field won’t want for strong hawks either, thanks to Rubio and Lindsey Graham. I’m not sure how rhetoric like this helps Christie. Either he’s speaking from the heart as a NY/NJ prosecutor appointed by George W. Bush on 9/10/01 (a fact he likes to remind people of) or he’s deliberately trying to bait Paul into an angry reply, thinking that a new war of words with Rand in the media will raise his profile and get undecideds to stop thinking of him as an also-ran. You tell me.

Exit question: Is Christie the kookiest, most unhinged hawk in the field? Nah, of course not. Click the image to watch.

cch2


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Comments

La fin

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Can’t defend civil liberties with gun grabbers the likes of you in charge either, Chubby.

CurtZHP on May 19, 2015 at 2:45 PM

You also can’t violate anyone’s civil liberties from inside a coffin.

That’s why we have the Second Amendment.

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Epic Fail Arbuckle.

Oil Can on May 19, 2015 at 2:46 PM

Oh well, then by all means Chris, please violate me repeatedly and take away my god given rights to your satisfaction.

You know, as long as it keeps me “safe” and all.

KMC1 on May 19, 2015 at 2:47 PM

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin, who, like Christie, was never President.

HBowmanMD on May 19, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Oh well, then by all means Chris, please violate me repeatedly and take away my god given rights to your satisfaction.

You know, as long as it keeps me “safe” and all.

KMC1 on May 19, 2015 at 2:47 PM

I’ve turned down jobs because I refuse to have my white, Christian male ass molested by the TSA.

Private jet or I drive.

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 2:49 PM

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

Benjamin Franklin, who, like Christie, was never President.

HBowmanMD on May 19, 2015 at 2:49 PM

Unlike Christie he would have been a good one.

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 2:50 PM

So if it works well, then those US citizens working with terrrorists are doing so to overthrow the Nation, the order of Nations and all Nations.

Where are the treason trials?

If it works and there is no reporting by those entrusted to preserve the Constitution IN THOSE AGENCIES that treason is happening, then they are guilty of treason, as well, for not reporting it.

If it doesn’t work, its a failure and needs to go.

If it does work and there are no treason trials, then the government is an absolute threat to the Constitution and actively working against it.

You can’t have it both ways. With all that surveillance I expect more than 2 US citizens would hear such conduct as they would then have to get approval from a higher-up to work with the information, and that is 2 right there.

I’m noticing a major lack of ANY TRIALS based on this program.

That is loss of liberty with NO BENEFIT AT ALL for security and a positive threat to individuals in the long and short term.

ajacksonian on May 19, 2015 at 2:54 PM

And with that my last bit of interest in Chris is gone. It was fun while it lasted. You are an amusing fellow. But no.

our values are the values we will DIE to defend.

Live free or DIE. I will not accept any permanent reduction of my rights or even a temporary one where the term is not pre-stated.

I can accept marshal law during some chaotic event. I can accept some special rules during a war that has any chance of ending.

But islamic terrorism is something we’re going to deal with for the next 30 years at least. No. I will not permit a generation to be raised with limited rights.

You control this issue by controlling the borders and controlling immigration. If they can’t get into the country then they can’t do this sort of thing. Does that sound bigoted? No less so that saying we should give up our rights enmass to guard against someone that shouldn’t have been let in in the first place going nuts.

Karmashock on May 19, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Chris Christie on gun control:

1995 ad: http://s839.photobucket.com/user/Umbrarian/media/Silly%20People/ChrisChristieOnGuns.png.html

A month ago: http://hotair.com/archives/2015/04/18/chris-christie-wants-to-find-the-right-balance-on-gun-control/

Chris Christie on climate change:

Parroting the leftists, 10 days ago: http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2015/05/08/chris-christie-in-new-hampshire-global-warming-is-real/

Chris Christie holding hands with Obama: (I’m out of links, google image it)

anotherJoe on May 19, 2015 at 2:56 PM

Nailed it again, Constantine. When I’m given the choice between freedom and ‘security’, I’ll take freedom every time. A thousand years ago I was an ainalist at NSA. The paranoia in the building was palpable. When that atmosphere reigns, s..t happens, and it gets all over the People.

vnvet on May 19, 2015 at 2:56 PM

Basically the same argument as, “Your money pr your life.”

Akzed on May 19, 2015 at 2:57 PM

All the people killed by Major Hasan and the Tsarnaev brothers and the other random jihad killings are dead because the authorities IGNORED their jihad. They knew about these guys and discounted their threats.

Why should we trust them with every bit of knowledge about us?

PattyJ on May 19, 2015 at 2:57 PM

So, let me see if i got this right . . . we must give up our civil liberties in order to enjoy them. This certainly sounds like a sham these wormy politicians would try to sell.

rplat on May 19, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Did the NSA prevent Amtrack from derailing? No. I welcome a certain amount of chaos. Get out of my life.

John the Libertarian on May 19, 2015 at 3:03 PM

hey corpulent Krispy, you can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you are legalizing millions of foreign invaders, or if you are violating 2nd amendment rights, or if you are creating false narratives about the weather, either.

Senator Philip Bluster on May 19, 2015 at 3:07 PM

Gov. Donut is a stalking horse for Jeb. If he ends up as an appointee he’s happy.

Akzed on May 19, 2015 at 3:09 PM

That is loss of liberty with NO BENEFIT AT ALL for security and a positive threat to individuals in the long and short term.

ajacksonian on May 19, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Franklin was right.

TSA stops no terrorists.

NSA surveillance stops no terrorists.

Our Border Patrol stops no one.

The TSA and PATRIOT Acts have been COMPLETE FAILURES and should be abolished.

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 3:10 PM

Come on everyone, we’ve got to give up our civil liberties in order to enjoy them.

gwelf on May 19, 2015 at 3:11 PM

If he is riding a stalking horse, it must be a swayback.

Senator Philip Bluster on May 19, 2015 at 3:11 PM

Trigger Warning?

Republicans want everyone to be dead?

LoganSix on May 19, 2015 at 3:12 PM

I’ve turned down jobs because I refuse to have my white, Christian male ass molested by the TSA.
Private jet or I drive.
ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 2:49 PM

When’s the last time you’ve been through an airport? Even Customs immigration control re entry is now a matter of answering some questions on a computer screen, smiling for the camera, and scanning your passport. I’m not sure I’d hire a “I’ll NEVER use a horseless carriage!” person anyway.

Marcus on May 19, 2015 at 3:13 PM

Better to be alive and enjoy whatever rights you have left than risk death by trying to tie the government’s hands, right?

Kinda turns “Give me Liberty or give me death!!” on its head, doesn’t it…

JohnGalt23 on May 19, 2015 at 3:21 PM

When’s the last time you’ve been through an airport? Even Customs immigration control re entry is now a matter of answering some questions on a computer screen, smiling for the camera, and scanning your passport. I’m not sure I’d hire a “I’ll NEVER use a horseless carriage!” person anyway.

Marcus on May 19, 2015 at 3:13 PM

Last time I flew commercial was 2012. And I’ll never put myself through that again. I wanted to slug the TSA goon and he provoked it. The government has no right to put it’s hands on me without criminal charges or a warrant.

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 3:21 PM

I think he’s trying to say is just because you are free to eat a donut, doesn’t mean you should eat a donut.

forest on May 19, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Though I do gotta admit, if you are going to be a fearmongerer, monger large…

JohnGalt23 on May 19, 2015 at 3:25 PM

All manner of things become impossible inside a coffin, including access to the Jets’ buffet.

daviddeeble on May 19, 2015 at 3:26 PM

Blowing the living snot out of the Middle East terrorists is what will allow us to enjoy our liberties. If we listen to a moron like Christie, we may as well as capitulate now.

Deano1952 on May 19, 2015 at 3:27 PM

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 3:21 PM

So I’m curious, exactly how many companies have sent private planes for you? I just returned back from the extremely south Caribbean and the security and customs at all the airports (Miami reentry) couldn’t have been nicer. In fact prior to 9/11 I was always stopped at customs and my luggage searched, basically less about drugs or weapons and more about looking for expensive things to collect duty on. Once had a nice watch and was asked where the receipt was (it was over 5 years old). Nowadays it seems the more you fly the more they code you as harmless and wave one through everything. I was hassled more in the 90s because they wanted $$$ for what you were bringing back.

Marcus on May 19, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Chris Christie on the NSA: “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin”

This is the stock and trade of tyrants. It always has been and it always will be.

VorDaj on May 19, 2015 at 3:40 PM

…a broadside I don’t think I’ve ever heard before in GOP natsec rhetoric.

On the contrary, the concept that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact” has a long and disreputable history in both American politics and law.

Fenris on May 19, 2015 at 3:40 PM

Chris Christie on the NSA: “You can’t enjoy your civil liberties if you’re in a coffin”

This is what King George told the Founding Fathers. They told him to go fork himself.

VorDaj on May 19, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Marcus on May 19, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Our CEO has a private plane. If it’s important enough, he’ll send me on it. Otherwise I’ll spend the whole weekend driving there if necessary. We often travel armed on the private plane as well, not because we need them there, but where we’re going. We had a plant in New Orleans that was damaged by Katrina. Back in 2005-6 you DID NOT go into New Orleans unarmed…

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 3:50 PM

To preserve the rights we have now, we should let the feds use the tools they already have to make sure that attack never happens.

Say what??

You can’t insure that anything “never happens” and to even speak that way is to show your lack of seriousness. We don’t need to have our liberties abused by the feral government in order to provide adequate security. What we need is the feral government to recognize the enemy and to take the fight to the enemy WITHOUT MERCY and without any BS RoE that gives the enemy all those rights that the Constitution only provides for US!

How can anyone talk about infringing on Americans’ rights when the idiots in the feral government are importing muzzies like they’re going out of style. And then, after they import the enemy, they say that they have to restrict my rights to defend me from that enemy that they brought in.

Of course, the US voted in an America-hating, 84 IQ, inept hussein … so that says all one needs to know about that.

As to Chrispy Chreme, he’s a backstabbing traitor and sackOS who just wants to take long walks on the beach and share deep kisses with the America-hating Indonesian retard who he helped back into office

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 19, 2015 at 3:54 PM

La fin

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Also pronounced: “Laugh In”

SailorMark on May 19, 2015 at 3:57 PM

And you can’t enjoy your civil liberties if they are taken away from you.

“Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” — Benjamin Franklin

sadatoni on May 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM

And, I didn’t mean that the Constitution “provides” rights for us. I meant that the Constitution charges the federal government with insuring for us and only us – “to ourselves and to our posterity”.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on May 19, 2015 at 4:10 PM

Also can’t enjoy them if they’re taken away from my by fascist pigs. Here’s a concept. I keep them and not have to die? Or, I keep them or die trying. I’m not comfortable with just assuming that they are gone one way or the other, either by the fascist pigs taking them away or by my dying, so I might as well just accept whatever limited life government deems to grant me for as long as they grant it to me.

besser tot als rot on May 19, 2015 at 4:28 PM

You can’t violate peoples civil liberties if you’re in a coffin, either.

FloatingRock on May 19, 2015 at 4:31 PM

Oh my, I guess the terrorists have won (in Christie’s mind.)

Fat Hubie on May 19, 2015 at 4:44 PM

Chris “tell it like it is” Christie:

knowing what you do now, why were they let in? Will you stop it?

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Marcus on May 19, 2015 at 3:13 PM

Example from about a month ago. Sister in law came to visit on a domestic flight, returned the same way. She was groped, scanned, and x-rayed going both ways between Las Vagas and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gray-haired, white female traveling alone. Southwest Airlines. And in fact, everyone on the Southwest flights got the same treatment.

As to the civil rights -v- coffin question; given a government that has proved it hates the Constitution, the law, and the American people, you can’t enjoy your civil rights if they use that information from domestic surveillance of everybody to put you in a camp because you are a political enemy of the regime. Which classification Christie himself does not fall into, being a “useful [albeit high maintenance due to feed bill] idiot”.

Subotai Bahadur on May 19, 2015 at 5:40 PM

Ooops,I forgot. Hey Christie, if we weren’t in jail for possession of a 1740 Queen Anne pistol, we might not be in a coffin.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2015 at 6:20 PM

different picture.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2015 at 6:28 PM

different picture now. Ms. Oberlin would be SO mad.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2015 at 6:31 PM

I agree. The lines were slightly off.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2015 at 6:37 PM

And the script at the bottom isn’t glared out.

WryTrvllr on May 19, 2015 at 6:42 PM

Since FDR there hasn’t been a more left wing president except Obama. FDR put American citizens into concentration camps with no more reason than they had Japanese heritage. While these old people women and children were sunning themselves in a hot desert or having other uncomfortable living conditions, some of their men were flying fighter planes over Germany.

This is an especially odious example of things which offend the ACLU in times of war or other conflagrations especially if during a Republican administration. At other times the current spat would not have drawn much support. Christie’s position is the proper one.

Incidentally the fourth amendment does not address ease dropping

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

I believe the generalization to include ease dropping requires another amendment.

burt on May 19, 2015 at 8:55 PM

I’m noticing a major lack of ANY TRIALS based on this program.

That is loss of liberty with NO BENEFIT AT ALL for security and a positive threat to individuals in the long and short term.

ajacksonian on May 19, 2015 at 2:54 PM

All the people killed by Major Hasan and the Tsarnaev brothers and the other random jihad killings are dead because the authorities IGNORED their jihad. They knew about these guys and discounted their threats.

Why should we trust them with every bit of knowledge about us?

PattyJ on May 19, 2015 at 2:57 PM

So, let me see if i got this right . . . we must give up our civil liberties in order to enjoy them. This certainly sounds like a sham these wormy politicians would try to sell.

rplat on May 19, 2015 at 2:58 PM

Kinda turns “Give me Liberty or give me death!!” on its head, doesn’t it…

JohnGalt23 on May 19, 2015 at 3:21 PM

Blowing the living snot out of the Middle East terrorists is what will allow us to enjoy our liberties. If we listen to a moron like Christie, we may as well as capitulate now.

Deano1952 on May 19, 2015 at 3:27 PM

And they don’t need my email to do that.

All of the data they need to track terrorists electronically can be obtained with a proper warrant because the initial suspicions are not coming from random phone vacuuming.

AesopFan on May 20, 2015 at 1:18 AM

Our CEO has a private plane. If it’s important enough, he’ll send me on it. Otherwise I’ll spend the whole weekend driving there if necessary. We often travel armed on the private plane as well, not because we need them there, but where we’re going. We had a plant in New Orleans that was damaged by Katrina. Back in 2005-6 you DID NOT go into New Orleans unarmed…

ConstantineXI on May 19, 2015 at 3:50 PM

I think I understand your comment-corpus better now.

AesopFan on May 20, 2015 at 1:20 AM

I believe the generalization to include ease dropping requires another amendment.

burt on May 19, 2015 at 8:55 PM

This conjures up an interesting comment on Leftist musings, but .. the phrase you want is “eavesdropping” — from the disreputable custom of standing up near a window under the eave of a house in order to listen to the private conversation of the owners inside.

AesopFan on May 20, 2015 at 1:24 AM