back to article Bush overrules judge in US navy-v-dolphins sonar case

US President George Bush has handed the environmental movement (and the judiciary) a significant slap in the face, overruling a judge's decision not to allow the US Navy to use sonar during exercises. The US beak had issued preliminary limitations on sonar use following a lawsuit in which environmental activists said that the …


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  1. Frink

    All too easy

    Bush should force these judges to step down, like Mugabe did in Zimbabwe

  2. Shakje


    he could blow them up and blame it on terrorists who had landed by sea, in one fell swoop proving himself right and extricating himself from all blame. Judges presiding over IT cases without proper knowledge of the subject matter is bad enough, a president who probably doesn't understand any of the intricacies of the case, or who probably hasn't even looked at the evidence overrulling the courts is disgusting.

  3. Tom

    passive sonar

    They should use the cetaceans' sonar to detect enemy vessels.

    eg. multiple allied vessels listen to the sound emitted naturally by whales and dolphins and use the differences in what they hear to reconstruct the size and shape of objects blocking the passage of the sound through the water.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    that country... such a complete joke. it makes me wonder why we and so many others try to emulate it.

    anyway, i have some other solutions to the problem..

    maybe if we clone the dolphins then the originals are more despensible and we can just ignore them. or maybe genetically engineer some without ears or heads, and then they won't get disturbed at all.

    or perhaps dump crude oil into the sea, covering up the landmines, and keeping them safe from harm, and then there would be no need for the sonar.?

    possibly even melt some polar ice caps and then there would be more water for them to swim in and they could just live somewhere else?

    hmmm. i wonder if bush has already thought of all these. probably.

  5. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Would it make a difference anyway?

    Its unnecessary to use his presidential overrule... he could just say one thing and do the opposite as per usual. Remember 'might is right'. pfff.

  6. Michael Hoenig

    Easier than you think...

    Shrub doesn't have to force judges to step down...

    All he has to do is fire them; federal judges are appointed by the prez and can be fired for any reason -- or no reason, witness the furor last year.

  7. Terry

    @ An attack on the rule of law

    Actually it is the "rule of law" that allows for exactly this sort of action. And when a president circumvents the will of the Congress / People to enact some scheme a special interest group likes, they're all for this "flouting the will of Congress". Re: the recent change to 20ppm ultra low sulphur diesel fuel, which sadly barely burns at all and gets on average between10-15% WORSE fuel economy. Regardless, unless I missed something, which is entirely possible, the Congress hasn't offered any opinion, not to mention Law, one way or the other.

    And lastly one must acknowledge that the links to marine mammal harm are VERY tenuous at best, while the threat to US warships is considerably more real. It seems much more likely that this entire dubious undertaking was a slap at the USN rather than an urgent need of the average whale. I'm sure the average whale would be quite happy if we used every form of active sonar continuously to hunt down whaling ships (which I happen to think is a rather good idea, but that's another topic).

    I'm not sure where the Paris Hilton angle is, perhaps something to do with high pitched noises. (OK, that was lame, but its raining, so I need my coat anyway)

  8. SpitefulGOD
    Gates Halo


    Although I'm against all confinment and cruelty to wild animals (that's why i'd never buy anyone a mac) this is only a suggestion.

    Train dolphins to use their sonar, alert the ship on the presence of an enemy vessel, turn on ship sonar.

    Hearing sonar to a dolphin must be like having needles placed in your ears

  9. cor

    A cheap one but still...

    ...I have to ask.

    Does it hurt the Navy SEALS?

  10. Sino

    @Michael Hoenig

    Almost correct. The federal judiciary is appointed FOR LIFE and can only be removed by impeachment (witness Alcee Hastings - who is now a congressman (Democrat-Florida, 23d district) <> .

    U.S. Attorneys, however, hold what is considered a "political" office, and therefore they are considered to "serve at the pleasure of the President." At the beginning of a new presidential administration, it is traditional for all 93 U.S. Attorneys to submit a letter of resignation. - W.J. Clinton fired 80 early in his first term, G.W. Bush fired 8 in his 6th year in office.

  11. Karl Lattimer

    Bastard judges

    Imposing the rule of law like this! They should be round up and shot, or detained like Pakistan or Zimbabwe (as mentioned in the first post)...

    Tsk Tsk, fair and free judiciary, they're a joke, they never side with the government...

  12. Andy Hockey

    Obligitory Quote

    "So-long and thanks for all the fish"

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Not surprising...

    That country, and it's current administration never gave a flying four-letter word about protecting nature anyway.

    Well, at least when the earth heats beyond the barable, all wildlife is dead - and grass is now charcoal black, we all know who to thank...

    Thank heavens he only have a short while left in the tall chair!

  14. cor

    Cue Tina Turner...

    "... that nut, Bush sees no limits.."

    * For the uninitiated < 30s: Nutbush City Limits was a TT song.

  15. Ferry Boat

    Too late, it's already happened

    ping flipper

    Ping request could not find host flipper. Please check the name and try again.

  16. cor
    Black Helicopters


    .. Bush has been selectively deaf for years.

    Would it be an "ayict ah turrrsm" to point a sonar pinger at him for a few minutes?

    [bash]_$ ping


    Better get me coat, the black choppers are landing.................

  17. Duncan Hothersall
    Thumb Down

    @ cor

    There is no pun so bad that it cannot be made worse by explanation.

  18. Luther Blissett

    Greenpiece wailing not whaling

    Can we now hope to see Greenpiece trolling off the coast of Soviet California in defence of whales?

    // You won't be needing your Antarctic coats there guys.

  19. Morely Dotes
    Black Helicopters

    Well, duh!

    '"The president's action is an attack on the rule of law," the NRDC's Joel Reynolds told AP.'

    Blinded by the obvious. Bush's entire reign has been an attack on the rule of law. The 9/11 attack was his Reichstag fire.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good on Bush

    Good for Bush.

    The navy has to train, screw the dolphins. People die when ships sink, get your priorities straight.

  21. herman Silver badge

    Not Sonar - Torpedoes and Depth Charges

    I do not believe that the animals get damaged by Sonar. They get damaged by torpedoes and depth charges during anti-submarine games.

    The energy that the sonar puts out pales into insignificance compared to the depth charges.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Save the whales, ban sonar..brought to you by..

    The Chinese.

    Stupid people. Just because someone writes "environment" in their title doesn't mean that saving anything but their own selfish desires is their goal.

    Passive sonar doesn't do squat when your opponent's diesel-electric boat is turned off. But who cares if the 9th Circuit (the most overturned, anti-constitutional, anti-freedom, anti-common sense court in the nation) just follows what some enviro nazis add to their lawsuit. remember, American law isn't about truth, or common sense. If one side says the sky is polka dot purple, if the opposition doesn't bring admissable proof that day to say otherwise, the court is required to only consider the evidence the professional liars...err lawyers brought to the table.

    Jump on the anti-american bandwagon, ya moronic windbags. "Save the whales!" Hell, Save the martinis! And pass the bong while you're at it! Celebrate the day Chavez decides to add whale hunting to his personal hobbies or when Castro adds whale meat as the solution to the starvation his greed and policies have caused. airborne radar because it may possibly once in a while theoretically cause birds to get lost in their migrations...

    And I have to give LP some credit for not throwing his usual blatant anti-western discriminatory rantings in, this article was almost balanced and fair!

  23. Pierre

    Laws Are For Dummies

    Send all the dolphins and their defenders to some carribean dungeon, and of with that. After all, they might well be enemy combatants.

    Fetchez la vache!

  24. Pierre

    Don't be a filthy terrorist...

    ... support TWAT!

    (forgot to include it in my previous comment, sorry)

    Coat, hat, and the logical following.

  25. Symrstar

    Oscar Oscar Oscar

    Ever hear those words passed over a UT set? Guess not. Some good arguments for both sides; however, I doubt a single one of you has USED active sonar. I also doubt any of you are familiar with the feeling of being in a steel tube built to sink (read as submarine) and hearing the hull echo with the sound of a kid jumping on a chain link fence (active sonar). Makes your gut go all kinds of twisty, you break into a cold sweat, and you want nothing more than to get the hell out of dodge.

    I also have some reservations on weather or not any of you have ever fired (or been on a ship that has fired) a live torpedo. Hydrostatic shock does do some significant damage, but not to the extent the damned hippies would like you to believe.

    As for the damage of active sonar, unless your REALLY close, the damage to living creatures is minimal.

    This isn't coming from some long haired (or bald) man in a lab coat. This is coming from someone who has had to study the effects of sound propagation in water, effects of explosives in a underwater environment, and the tactics involved in submarine warfare.

    P.S.: I no longer work for THAT employer. I am trying to be the long haired man... btw the white coat is mine.

  26. Scott


    <quote>Castro adds whale meat as the solution to the starvation his greed and policies have caused</quote>

    Hmm I thought Cuba was one of the most sustainable growing economies in the world. Best check under your bed again.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    I'm a whale

    "I'm sure the average whale would be quite happy if we used every form of active sonar continuously to hunt down whaling ships".

    Actually, as a Whale, I would prefer that you used radar for finding the whaling ships as swimming around down here, I have not seen too many Japanese submarines engaged in whaling.

    Of course, it is always a laugh to see the paranoid yanks saying we need active sonar .. when exactly was the last time a US vessel was attacked by a sub? or a whale for that matter. 'mericans still worried about soviet nuke missile carrying subs should move on to the new war which will continue forever.

  28. Symrstar

    @ Cowardly Whale

    Paranoid yanks... you live up to Anonymous Coward.

    The last time a US vessel was attacked by a submarine was quite some time ago (try World War II); the reason for the lack of recent submarine attacks is mainly due to our numerical and technological superiority under the oceans surface.

    People think twice when its time to go toe to toe with a multi million ton warship that can crack the keel of any ship afloat and cause the sky to rain fire from a thousand miles away (conventional fire not the nuke). Just as the US uses fear to keep its population in line, US naval warships are built to put the fear of what ever god you worship deep within the cockles of your shriveled sub human heart.

    We are not so much worried bout the Ruskies. Try China who is has developed their own nuclear subs for quite some time; not to mention their own crazy munitions for their small, but growing surface fleet (Rocket propelled torpedoes anyone). Read about China's economy and industrial growth. I am not worried because they are communists (no one in history has been a true commie. Chairman Mao's communism differs from Stalinism and post Stalin Communism). I am worried about a superpower that has the ability to crash and or obliterate any economy they choose (not even the US has this power; we can harm, hinder, and hurt, but not truly destory) without any form of military intervention towards their target.

    To a lesser extent. How about the Iranians. They own quite a few ex-soviet diesel electric boats. Or the Peruvians who maintain a small fleet of their own. Or those pesky Germans who crank out Type 206 diesel electric (and even AIP diesels, air independent propulsion) for anyone who can cough up enough cash. And the Swedes... god bless the Swedes. They put women on their subs!

    Nuke or diesel, it doesn't matter to surface ships. A submarine is one of the most deadly weapons at sea. History has proved this. Hell, the last major naval engagement in history involved a British Sub firing torpedoes at the Argentineans. So don't give me this American whore mongering, I mean, warmongering jibe.

    Human kind lives for strife and struggle. It is what makes us human. Without our self-appointed overlords sending thousands to die in the name of false and hopeless causes, there would be an over abundance of people killing each other for no reason

    Hey, wait a second....

  29. wim

    @ AC I'am a whale

    Of course, it is always a laugh to see the paranoid yanks saying we need active sonar .. when exactly was the last time a US vessel was attacked by a sub? or a whale for that matter. 'mericans still worried about soviet nuke missile carrying subs should move on to the new war which will continue forever

    Why give up on an old war and concentrate on the new war if you can have both wars for double the money ?

  30. Glen Goergen
    Thumb Down

    For Rent 1600 Pennsylvina Ave Washington D.C.

    FOR RENT Four year lease.

    Renewable based upon performance during tenanacy!

    One Slightly used Mansion usually infested with corruption and back room politics, played out by those who are elected to serve the people but persist in one administration after another to fleece the constituents, line the pockets of their supporters with back room deals, wage illegal wars based on lies and the desire to control the world.

    Tis unfortunate that one more rapeing of the planet now becomes possible by the present tenant deciding to overturn the judges' ruling concering the survival of creatures in the ocean enviorment that are affected by sonar. Tis a pity and further embarrasment that we Americans are so pathetically filled with apathy that we are too lazy too stand for the rights of all humanity and creatures of our planet.

    Unfortunately the tenant of this rental property was unable to be removed before lives in the oceans, and lives of soldiers and civillians in all countries where we americans have trodden without justification could have been saved!

    We attempt to vanquish in the name of oil and profits! It's always about the money, never the socalled creation of Democracy!

    It would be best if we in America cleaned up the problems within our own borders before attempting to solve the problems of other nations and habitats of our planet!

    Glen Goergen

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Glen Goergen et Cowardly Whale et Symrstar

    You are all completely correct.

    Thing is, whales do not match up to national security.

    On the other hand, what actual or imminent threat is there in this perpetual state of emergency?


    Possible threat? How probable is it?

    Let me know and I'll go down the bookies and lay a quid on it, if it happens I'll probably be rich.

    Follow the money; who makes money out of what catastrophe/war/arms deal/IT deal?

    When you find out, let me know, I'll send them my CV and take a slice of the pie before it all hits the fan.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live Free Or Die (except dolphins and americans)

    It's lovely that the poor Yanks live in a dictatorship, where the rule of law is subject to their dictator's whim.

    How's it feel, y'all? "Live free or die" anyone? No?

    Unlike some dictators, Bush doesn't create *every* law by himself - he just picks the ones he particularly wants to happen. It's still a dictatorship though.

    Bite your tongue, Brits: when an investigation into corruption in a Saudi arms deal gets too close to the embarrassing truth, the Brit P.M. just closes down the investigation. Another style of dictatorship.

    Are there any countries out there I can move to and be in a democracy?

  33. Symrstar


    Previously stated by Michael:

    "On the other hand, what actual or imminent threat is there in this perpetual state of emergency?


    Possible threat? How probable is it?"


    Fortunately modern warfare is the same as ancient warfare in one concept. You fight like you train. The harder you push your men in a training environment, the better results you will get in combat. The roll of the combatant throughout history has been the same story, just different arms and armour (despite being a yank, I like that spelling better).

    Unfortunately modern warfare sucks the GNP of a nation faster than you can say: "Holy t*ty f**king chr*st."

    With that being said... I am sorry Mr. Dolphin and Whale. I appologize for my human nature that says I must kill my fellow man. To do so with up most efficiently I must practice, and this may (or may not) harm you. For this is my rifle. There are many like it but this one is mine....

    Don't get me wrong. I am a peace loving individual. But if I cannot trust my own countrymen to do what is right in regards to governing my homeland, what makes people think that I would trust a foreign government not to encroach upon my hopes and dreams?

    Mines the one with the urban camo pattern with rifle magazines pouches and the MOLE attachments for survival gear.

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