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Thoughts on John Ashcroft? (hey, it's NON-cycling...)(39 posts)

Thoughts on John Ashcroft? (hey, it's NON-cycling...)cory
Dec 7, 2001 8:42 AM
I'm a newspaper columnist working on something on Atty Gen John Ashcroft and the Senate Judiciary committee hearing this week. Anybody have any strong feelings, suspicions, raging biases or timorously held opinions? My impression is that this board is sort of reflexively right-wing, but I'll entertain anything. You can e-mail me direct at cfarley@rgj.com if you'd rather not post. I won't be using names.
Thanks
re: Thoughts on John Ashcroft? (hey, it's NON-cycling...)TJeanloz
Dec 7, 2001 8:48 AM
I think he's stuck to the principles that he said he would in his confirmation hearings. Remember when he was asked about abortion related issues (he is decidedly pro-life) and he said that his personal convictions didn't matter- the law's the law, and it's his job to enforce it, whether he liked the law or not.

Yesterday, it seemed that his stance was much the same. He pointed out the law, the precedents, and said: that's the law and it's my job to uphold it. If you (Congress) want to change the law, that's your job, and I will enforce any changes you make. I think he was fair in giving his interpretation, asking for guidance from Congress if they felt it necessary, but giving an honest picture of the law as he planned to enforce it (and why he was justified in his stance).
Sure, I always have thoughtsbikedodger
Dec 7, 2001 8:59 AM
I don't like the fact that he wants to try people is secret military tribunals. When a government operates in secrecy, the people governed become ignorant of what is happening and cannot know if the trials are of the "bring the guilty SOB in and let's try um and then hang um." If we have the alleged terrorists tried in a military tribunal, which is not done in secrecy, then I would not be opposed.

Mr. Ashcroft really bothers me when he accuses those that question his plans of aiding terrorists, "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: your tactics only aid terrorists." . To me his statements are something that I would expect to come from the Taliban leadership.

Mike
I've known him since I was 12 years oldDog
Dec 7, 2001 9:23 AM
Starting when I was about 12, my father worked in state government in Jefferson City, Missouri. At the time, Ashcroft was state auditor, and later became Attorney General, Governor, and U.S. Senator. We hung out with his family on occasion, and I got to know him a bit directly and through others, as I associated with a number of Republican political types throughout the time I lived in Missouri.

No doubt the guy is somewhat of a fundamentalist. Yet, he does have a good deal of compassion, and can be quite a bit more animated and humorous in person than what you might think from television. He has a basic sense of fairness, yet he seems to have a very sharp edged sense of right and wrong, and would tend not to compromise for political expediency.

His public charisma factor is fairly low. He does appear to be a bit stilted. The media doesn't hesitate to portray him as a right wing extremeis. Yet, he is one of those people you can understand, and then trust absolutely to do what he says he is going to do -- sort of the polar opposite of a Clinton type.

He is generally liked by midwesterners, at least those outside of large urban areas. Got to remember that while you'd think this country is full of Ralph Nader and Al Gore zealots, there remains a huge segment of society who strongly believes in conservative principles, God, patriotism, honesty, and the core values of the founding fathers of this country.

I doubt he'd ever be elected President. His perceived lack of charisma and unwavering conservative values would be attacked by the media like a shark feeding frenzy. While I believe he would do an excellent job, I doubt he'd be elected.

Ashcroft is an outstanding, intelligent, principled individual. I would trust him implicitly with any decision affecting this country.

Doug
The optics from here.Jon
Dec 7, 2001 10:50 AM
With the exception of the final glowing adjectives in Doug's little missive above, observing the
guy and listening to him as he's presented through the Canadian media I would have to concur
with Doug's characterization. Ashcroft's body language is congruent with his verbiage. He comes
across as straightforward, a bit black and white but with a strong moral anchor, fairminded-given
his fairly rigid views, and compassionate. Not a guy I'd want to see as a President, but a pretty
decent person as politicians go, with a passion for justice and fair play as he perceives these
things. The United States could do a lot worse in its selection for a top cop. Although I don't
share his fundamentalist, religious views I don't think it's fair to characterize him with the likes
of the Taliban or any other similar group.
What exactly is it that makes me...dsc
Dec 7, 2001 7:02 PM
>there remains a huge segment of society who strongly believes in >conservative principles, God, patriotism, honesty, and the core >values of the founding fathers of this country.

an apparent satanic, communistic thief who wants to dance on the graves of the founding fathers?

I am female, pro-choice, vote Democrat and more-often-than-not tend to see things from a slightly left-of-center viewpoint. On the other hand, I am fiscally conservative, a (legal) handgun owner, veteran (USMC) and a spiritual (yet not religious) person. So where do I fit on your all-or-nothing scale, hmmm?

You sound like you're a great rider, Dog, and I enjoy reading your posts about cycling ( I aspire to be an ultra cyclist myself, once I finish up my CS degree and I can start putting in some REALLY serious miles ), but methinks that you see the world as way too black & white, when it is really many shades of gray.

Why not take a break from your part of the state and come chill out in SoCal (San Diego) for awhile; relax and loosen up a bit? ;-)

See you on the road sometime,

-Debi
wasn't my intentionDog
Dec 7, 2001 9:49 PM
wasn't my intention to label anyone; I was simple trying to describe Ashcroft as I see him.

One danger of the internet, and maybe life in general, is to over generalize and assume the worst from what people sometimes say. While with limited time and space here, I, as well as others, may make it appear that the world is divided between the conservative good and the liberal evil (or vice versa), that's not the way I see it nor the way it is. It's far too complex to explain very adequately here on a cycling forum. It takes a bit of personal interaction to truly know someone, what they believe, etc., whether that be me, you,... or John Ashcroft.

Dog
we're cool...dsc
Dec 7, 2001 10:31 PM
didn't really think that you were a foaming-at-the-mouth ultra conservative, w/ devil's horns growing out of your head. I just had to get my .02 worth in, that's all.

I agree with you that personal interaction is necessary to truly know someone. Besides, we (people in general) can always agree to disagree on certain subjects. After all, how boring would the world be if we all thought the same way?

If you ever get down to SD, look for the gal on the white Lemond Zurich (road) or the blue GT Karakoram (trail). I would love to pick up some long-distance riding tips from Ultra-Dog :-)

-Debi
we're cool...Jon
Dec 8, 2001 5:51 AM
Debi,

You make an excellent point about political labelling. One that I've held to for years. With the
exception of a few self-stereotyping types on both the left and the right, most of us don't really
fit these neat categories. The American thing about the founding fathers has been elevated
to the status of religious dogma for crying out loud!
Hey Jon,dsc
Dec 8, 2001 11:09 AM
no kidding about the political labeling. I have many friends whose political viewpoints range through the entire spectrum on various subjects- yet we all seem to be cordial and respectful of one another while having a discussion. Imagine that!

Now, on a cycling subject (oooo, will I get in trouble for this?!) I have read many of your posts on the racing board. I don't race myself, nor do I plan to. However, I can see that you are quite knowledgeable in the areas of weight training, as applied to cycling, as well as training in general.

I have been involved in weight training (sometimes on and off) since high school ( a long time ago!) and consider myself pretty well-versed in that area, as well the nutrition aspect that goes along with it. Lately however, I have been wondering how best to apply this to distance-style training for the bike. I just got back into the road thing (Mtb 10+ years - no racing, though); centuries and doubles are my goal.

Did you accumulate your knowledge simply through experience? Have you taken physiology classes, etc? Any pointers on what books to read, web sites to visit, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

Much thanks,
-Debi
Hey Jon,Jon
Dec 8, 2001 5:19 PM
Due to a health crisis about 15 years ago I cleaned up my lifestyle and began systematically informing
myself with respect to strength training, aerobic development, nutrition, and some areas of
kinesiology--mainly through extensive reading. Last year as a pre-retirement project I took a year
of anatomy and physiology, and ex. phys. courses as part of the pre-reqs. for Cdn. Soc. of Ex. Phys.
Personal Trainer Certification. Additionally I subscribe to a couple of coaching and applied
physiology newsletters to keep abreast of things. On the weight training side I'm not terribly well-
informed, but I have reviewed some of the literature on functional and sport specific training. One
thing you want to avoid when doing cycling specific weight training is the body building model. It
is designed to make you big, not make you a better cyclist. One of the best references is Tudor
Bompa's Periodization Training for Sports. Using Bompa's work as a reference point, Joe Friel
has developed a really workable template in The Cyclist's Training Bible, and Cycling Past Fifty.
Chris Carmichael and Ed Burke also have developed weight training programs for cyclists. As a
general principle you want to emphasize cycling specific movements and muscular endurance
in your weight training. On this board Peleton is knowledgeable in the strength training area, as
is Morey.
Thanks Jon,dsc
Dec 8, 2001 8:22 PM
I'll check out the works that you referenced, and see what I can come up with. Appreciate your input.

-Debi
'Reflexively right wing'!scottfree
Dec 7, 2001 12:25 PM
Yep. Ever since the few liberals on the board fled in disgust.

I tend to think Ashcroft and his ilk kind of miss the larger point when they suspend constitutional protections in service to a higher cause. "We had to destroy the village in order to save it," as one of my commanders in Nam so unforgettably said.
His testimony,TJeanloz
Dec 7, 2001 12:40 PM
Ashcroft's testimony yesterday was that it was not his (legal) opinion that any constitutional protections were being suspended- rather that the Constitution afforded the President some leniency in the matter.
Thanks, everybody...and a comment for Dougcory
Dec 7, 2001 12:44 PM
Thanks a lot. there's some good stuff here.
But, Doug, I can't resist a token defense of the media, in which I've worked for 25 years: Broadcasting or reporting what a guy says, in his own words, or reporting on his actions (like Ashcroft's SEVEN tries, when he was a Senator, at amending the Constitution), is not a media feeding frenzy. If it makes him look like a loony, you have to consider the possibility that he's really a loony.
I have heard that Mr. Ashcroft once anointed himself withRhodyRider
Dec 7, 2001 12:59 PM
oil on the Senate floor, upon being sworn I think it was. Can anyone vouch for the veracity of this story? If it is true, it serves to reinforce the loony angle, IMHO.
Nevermind, here's some juicy Ashcroft morsels.RhodyRider
Dec 7, 2001 1:05 PM
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/konformist/message/1624
a few pointsDog
Dec 7, 2001 6:42 PM
I suppose most everyone is guilty of it, but there is a tendency among people do demonize and humiliate their enemies in a few ways. First, you (we) selectively pick the most embarrassing things people have ever said, take them out of context, and then portray them as if that were all that person had to say. You can make anyone appear to be an idiot or evil in doing so. Second, you poke fun at their beliefs, belittling them by, again, talking about them out of context and without an understanding of why they believe as they do, or what some particular ritual may mean to them. Third, you use demonized words and phrases to link them to some known evil or humiliated character - like calling a conservative a Nazi, or a conservative calling a liberal a Commie. The terms are very loaded, and people who believe similarly automatically infer all the negative meanings attached to the term.

Some of the above and linked statements about Ashcroft do some of these things. Anyone really believe he's a Nazi? Of course not. Anyone really understand the oil thing? It may sound strange on it's face, but just think of how others could portray some of your rituals, and then expect others who do not understand them to make fun of them as well. Are Christians sort of weird because they take crackers and wine from a priest or minister and act like it's the flesh and blood of Christ? Oooooh. They must be weird. It's easy to make fun of what you do not understand.

Does anyone really believe that Ashcroft has a goal to take away our Constitutional rights? Sounds like to me he is trying to preserve them. Do we have a right to have terrorists hijack our planes and kill thousands of people with them? That seems like to me that someone else is taking away our rights - the right to live.

I think we can't forget, as well, that things are a bit different in times of war. We do have to be more careful, maybe more suspicious, and potentially we do have to give up a bit of our freedoms to help to stop others with a goal of wiping us from the face of the planet. Make no mistake, those terrorists would love to do just that. Hopefull, any sacrifice of freedoms is temporary, and things return to normal once the threat is eliminated. I don't think that's strange -- I think it's responsible leadership.

People make fun of their opponents. Heaven knows I've done the same thing about Clinton in the Oral Orifice.

Doug
Good pointsGoose Step
Dec 7, 2001 7:36 PM
I, being the one to infer that Ashcroft is a Nazi, was not serious. I guess I'm guilty of kicking the ant hill to stir things up. My problem with sacrificed freedoms is, I fully believe it is with the best INTENTIONS that the government is doing these things, BUT it still makes it a lot easier for the government to abuse power. Like you said, "Hopefully, any sacrifice of freedom is temporary". That's what concerns me. I understand we need to erradicate the threat. I just hope our leaders are responsible enough that when that threat is removed our full liberties and freedoms ARE restored. As a veteran the concept of freedom is something I laid my life on the line for and it makes me edgy when I see this kind of infringement on that. I won't get on my soap box of the US adopting a more responsible foreign policy once the current crisis is over. I was literally a casualty of a foriegn policy blunder of the past and I saw first hand what government stupidity leads to.
And a cursory rebuttal...RhodyRider
Dec 7, 2001 8:04 PM
Don't dismiss all of us Ashcroft observers/critics as being uninformed, shallow, fear-mongering, or obtuse because we may find him mildly peculiar and possibly a tad too right-leaning. I happen to think it is a bit over the top for a decidedly powerful, visible public figure to anoint himself with oil (!) in a VERY public place - the US Senate floor! (Not that it matters here, but what about separation of church & state?)
Maybe I'm guilty of focusing too intently on this one habit of Ashcroft's. I understand his strict religious beliefs & customs, but there is a time & place to practice them, and I don't think a Federal edifice is that place. It smacks of demagoguery to me, or at the very least a hack attention-getting device.
Do I think he's a fascist? NO, and not once did I personally imply that or provide any other inflammatory rhetoric ("loony" comment notwithstanding). Do I think because of his position & level of influence his behaviors, beliefs, and actions deserve complete scrutiny, past and present? YES. Is that my right as a voting, tax-paying, thoughtful, opinionated American? YES.
It appears as though Ashcroft is "blue touch paper" personified, eh?
separation?Dog
Dec 9, 2001 1:38 PM
There is no such legal concept as "separation of church and state." While some people have coined the term as a paraphrase or rewriting of the First Amendment, that is not what is stated:

Amendment I

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

If anything, Ashcroft, as well as any other person, cannot legally be prohibited from "the free exercise thereof", no matter how different from another's beliefs or how strange it may appear. That is something the Constitution expressly forbids.

The First Amendment states that Congress shall not establish an official religion or prevent people from practicing how they choose. Many people seem to expand the first part and ignore the latter part.

Dog
Logic and rhetoric are not dirty words.javagenki
Dec 9, 2001 3:06 PM
Dog wins! I'm burning my ACLU card!
Interpretationmickey-mac
Dec 9, 2001 5:50 PM
Just like the constitution grants no general right to citizens to own any firearms they choose. The second amendment says:

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Many people seem to expand the second part and ignore the first part.
By "the first part" do you mean...ACE-
Dec 9, 2001 10:20 PM
"A well regulated militia"? If so, think about what a "militia" was at the time of the writing of the Constitution. It was not a standing army, but citizens who would join together to fight for the common good. Today, that would be you and me.
By "the first part" do you mean...mickey-mac
Dec 9, 2001 11:05 PM
Yes, that's what I mean by the first part. So, assuming the founding fathers meant citizens who would join together for the common good, including people like you and me, are we "well-regulated?" Does the second amendment mean that anyone who wants a gun has the right to own a gun because other people might use their guns to protect the country? Also, we do have a standing army today. Do we need a militia? And where do we draw the line of "arms" falling within constitutional protection? Handguns? Automatic weapons? Grenade launchers? I'm not trying to start a second amendment debate; I'm just trying to demonstrate that just about every faction in the U.S. expands the Constitution beyond its "strict" language when doing so is in its own interest.
... with musketsMJ
Dec 10, 2001 5:58 AM
only one interpretation per bad history lesson allowed

weapons at the time of writing were muskets - I'm in favour of anybody being able to own a breech loading single shot musket and keep it at home (and kill themselves, their family, strangers and a foreign, invading army (HAHA) with it)

however, weapons that can bring down small aircraft were not what was meant at the time of the writing of the Consitution...
... with musketsACE-
Dec 20, 2001 10:10 PM
The weapons to which you refer were state of the art at the time(the standard for the soldier in any army) and could bring down any aircraft that might have been flying at the time of the writing!!
LOLMJ
Dec 21, 2001 2:06 AM
I guess everybody in the 'state militia' should be given biological, chemical and nuclear weapons to maintain the founding fathers wishes - that everyone has cutting edge weaponry... - and hey while we're at it maybe each of us could get our own personal (and highly effective) anti-missile defence system!
EXTREMELY WELL PUT!! (nm)Jon
Dec 8, 2001 6:31 PM
not about John Ashcroft: A cool Windows Media Player movieTig
Dec 7, 2001 1:57 PM
You'll have to have a broadband connection to download this 4.5 MB, 2.5 minute movie. After the first minute of boring text warning the Taliban to surrender, the armed forces clips start with a wicked "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" song from Drowning Pool as a score. It is an awesome combo worth downloading. Yes, it will most likely bring Ishmael out of hiding! If you don't like it, then don't watch it:

http://downloads.ehowa.com/nochance.wmv
He's pretty cool. . .Goose step
Dec 7, 2001 3:39 PM
if you're into the Heinrich Himmler type or you like having your rights and freedoms as an American taken away.
maybe I missed it butnutmegger
Dec 7, 2001 5:13 PM
I don't recall any of my rights and freedoms as an American being taken away. You're resorting to smear tactics by comparing Ashcroft to a Nazi. If you're looking to make Nazi comparisons, then I suggest you begin by comparing the foreign detainees to the Nazi saboteurs who were executed following military tribunals during WWII. I'd also remind you that those tribunals were ordered by FDR, a liberal icon. Perhaps you should compare Ashcroft to him but of course you wouldn't dare. Also, as I recall from my Law of Land Warfare classes, enemy personnel (and that's what they are) caught behind the lines in civilian clothes are considered spies or saboteurs and are subject to immediate execution. If they were here to do us harm, they are combatants and not entitled to the protections of our constitution. So if you want to weep for those poor souls currently in detention, don't forget to shed a few tears for the Nazi saboteurs we hung or the the ones caught behind the lines (in American uniform) during the Battle of the Bulge and who went before the firing squad. Seems it's you, and not Ashcroft, with the Nazi leanings.
You're not too brightGoose Step
Dec 7, 2001 5:49 PM
In case you haven't been reading the paper, some of you're rights have been taken away, or as it sounds, you've happily given yours away. By curbing our civil liberties to root out terrorist it infringes on EVERYONES rights and freedoms. For some reason you belive surrendering your own rights is the American thing to do. That's odd, I thought this country was based on freedom, especially freedom from a dominating government. As far as comparing the foreign detainees to the saboteurs that's a bit far fetched don't you think. The saboteurs had actually commited a crime. I don't recall hearing that any of the foriegn detainees did. Oh Wait, we won't hear what crimes they might have commited, it's a SECRET. Our government can't trust it's own citizens with that info. A government that conducts itself in secrecy, avoids being held accountable by it's citizens. Very un-American. For some reason you chest beating non-thinking citizens seem to think anyone who actually has the intelligence to question some of the things the government does are less then patriotic. That's funny. What do I know though. When I was fighting with the U.S Army 75th Ranger Regiment in both the Gulf War and Somalia, where I was wounded, this wasn't the kind of Government I was fighting for.
Hey Goose Stepnutmegger
Dec 9, 2001 9:11 AM
First of all, I'm plenty bright and I don't begin my arguments by blithely dismissing those who disagree with me. That's poor rhetoric. Secondly, I recall that the detainees were either here illegally or under false pretenses. The 9-11 terrorists were here under those same conditions. I happen to believe that those being currently detained either provided support to the bombers, have knowledge of their activities or even were engaged in planning similar terrorist attacks themselves. If I'm right then my comparison to the saboteurs is not at all far-fetched. As for the secrecy part, I'll admit to being conflicted on that circumstance. On the one hand, a certain degree of secrecy may be warranted to prevent terrorist organizations from ascertaining the extent their organization has been compromised. I'm certain from your military experience you can appreciate the need for secrecy on some occasions. On the other hand it does, as you suggest, lend itself to abuse. I still do not believe that any of my rights, as a law-abiding citizen have been taken away and I certainly have not given them away. I am also not a chest beating non-thinking citizen. Lastly, I too served in the Army in Somalia and like you know that our government is capable gross incompetence. I just happen to be satisfied with the way they've responded so far.
He's the Grim ReaperSpikedawg007
Dec 7, 2001 10:25 PM
He looks like the GR and he is the GR. Thank god for Afganisthan, for things would be seriously worse for us all if he had the time to operate as the right to lifer he is. This sucker has a personal agenda waiting to happen, and he is in a position to push it. That is our problem with him. So, let's hope this terrorist thing keeps him busy until Bush exits the presidency.
incidentally, Hillary Clinton...Dog
Dec 9, 2001 9:15 AM
Hillary was on Meet the Press (I think that was the show) this morning (Sunday). She said that she "absolutely approved of military tribunals" and that "things are different in times of war." I was sort of shocked. If Hillary agrees with Ashcroft on this, what does that tell you?

Dog
incidentally, Hillary Clinton...Starliner
Dec 9, 2001 9:44 AM
it tells me that she'd make a good surfer. Licking her finger and sticking it in the air to check the wind, searching for the big wave and riding it for all its worth.

Politicians are like shoes - both can be bought and soled
It's another sign that the apocolypse is upon us!RhodyRider
Dec 9, 2001 4:03 PM
Seriously, I like Starliner's metaphor about Hilarity being a wind sock. Big truth to that!
Hillary says... on Meet the PressDog
Dec 10, 2001 4:58 PM
Transcript from 12/9:

MR. RUSSERT: Thank you. How goes the war on terrorism so far?
 SEN. CLINTON: I think it's going well. You know, I think we have three overriding priorities.

 Obviously, we have to win this war, root out the terrorist network. We have to make sure we're safe here at home, and we have to improve the economy. You know, from my perspective, the president's been doing a great job in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan. I think it's going well. I think that we've got some tough days ahead of us. You know, we do have to finish the mission, and that means we have to find bin Laden, his top lieutenants. We have to find Mullah Omar, and make sure that the Taliban cannot resurrect itself in the midst of, you know, the unsettled nature of what will happen in the foreseeable future as we try to get a government up and going in Afghanistan.

 MR. RUSSERT: If we, in fact, apprehend Mullah Omar and Osama bin Laden, would you be comfortable with them at a military tribunal here in the United States?

 SEN. CLINTON: Absolute-well, I think the military tribunal would be there. I mean, my understanding of the...

 MR. RUSSERT: But a United States military tribunal?

 SEN. CLINTON: Yes, yes, and, you know, I think there's been a lot of very good and, frankly, welcomed discussion about this. I support the idea of military tribunals. I think it's absolutely appropriate. We are facing extraordinary times which demand extraordinary measures. We do have historic precedent. I'm waiting to see the rules and regulations that come out of the Department of Defense. Secretary Rumsfeld told the Senate last week that those would be forthcoming. But I think the idea of them and certainly the principal purpose which is to try people like bin Laden and his lieutenants or Mullah Omar is absolutely appropriate.

 MR. RUSSERT: John Ashcroft, the attorney general, has said that some of the criticism has been fearmongering that could aid terrorists and give ammunition to America's enemies.

 SEN. CLINTON: Well, I think that-you know, we are a country that does better when we do debate and when we do air our differences. I'm very proud of the extraordinary unity that our nation has shown and the support that we've given, not only to the president but to our men and women in uniform. But I think that, you know, people who disagree should be heard. And, frankly, we can learn something from those who have a different point of view. That doesn't mean that we're going to agree with them and, you know, I think that the attorney general and the Senate did a good day's work when they worked on the anti-terrorism measure. I think it was improved. I think it would work better.

 See, my bottom line on this is that we want to be effective. We don't want to do something that would later be overturned by a court. We don't want to do something that would cause us problems. We want to hold the people responsible, whether they're here in this country or abroad who killed so many of our citizens and wreaked such terrible damage. So at the end of the line, I want to make sure whatever we do is done right so that we can make...

 MR. RUSSERT: Should the attorney general temper his rhetoric?

 SEN. CLINTON: Well, I've known John for a long time and I think that, you know, he's a man who feels passionately. He obviously has strong feelings about this. He's working extremely hard. I've talked with him on and off over these past weeks and, you know, I think that he is saying what he believes, but I think other people have a right to say what they believe.

 MR. RUSSERT: Should John Walker, the pro-Taliban American, be tried as a traitor?

 SEN. CLINTON: You know, I listened very carefully to what the vice president said, and I thought that his remarks were on target, that, you know, we have to leave this decision to the Justice Department.

 Clearly, the way it looks from a distance is that this young man is a traitor, that he took up arms against our country, which, you know, goes back to the very founding of our nation and our Constitution about what is appropriate for a citizen. So I, certainly, you know, consider him to have been a traitor to our country, but, you know, that's not a decision with respect to the legal action that should be taken that I'm going to be making.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/669213.asp