Democrats & Liberals Archives

"The past is dead, the future was unimaginable": 1984 revisited.

On Thursday, January 26, 2006, George Bush stated categorically that
“The program’s legal, it’s designed to protect civil liberties, and it’s necessary.” Of course he’s referring to a program that’s designed to listen to American citizen’s private communications. So I’m intrigued to understand the rationale behind this unique logic.

For when Bush says that a program that tramples on your civil liberties actually protects your civil liberties, I wonder what other things may apply to that standard.

Yesterday, during this latest public relations misinformation blitz by the White House, Alberto Gonzales, the highest ranking member of the Justice department used an IRS standard called "the reasonable basis standard" justifying the domestic wiretapping. And Mr. Legal scholar went as far as to say that the "reasonable basis standard" is "essentially the same as the traditional Fourth Amendment probable cause standard".

See? See how they both did the same thing?

Bush called the program that violates your civil liberties a program that actually protects your civil liberties.

Gonzales said that Fourth Amendment that protects the citizens from its government is the basis for the government intruding on its citizens.

If it wasn't so scary; it would actually be pretty funny.

In the book, 1984, George Orwell wrote:
"'Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

I wonder if the Bush administration used this as a basis for their behavior. Let's see…

"The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me as I look back was it was a political war. We had politicians making military decisions, and it is lessons that any president must learn, and that is to the set the goal and the objective and allow the military to come up with the plans to achieve that objective. And those are essential lessons to be learned from the Vietnam War." George Bush, February 8th 2004. (link)

So it appears that Bush is rewriting his own version someone else's history.

How about his own?

"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories." May, 29, 2003 (link)

When exactly did war become peace?

Posted by john trevisani at January 26, 2006 1:31 PM
Comments
Comment #117073

john -

I think you’re trying to rationalize PR excuses for actions, not the actual reasons for these current problems. The PR people working for Bush are very good, and they can try to convince us that what this Administration has done fits our needs and subdue our fears. These are empty statements designed for Americans who spend little to no time looking below the surface. I think we should be looking for the actual reasons the Bush administration has done what it has done. In business, if you want to know why something is done, follow the money trail. Seems like a good place to start.

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #117083

John it’s just more Elephant Shit.
Neocon-Straussian nonsense.
“The Greatest Clarity is a Contradiction”.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 26, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #117084

John

Do me a favor…tell me the name of one person who made a call to another person within the continential borders of America that had his call intercepted.

One.

Just one.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 26, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #117087

sicilianeagle -

Name me was person who you know for a fact did not have their calls intercepted.

One

Just one

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #117100

Yes eagle.
They dont have to use facts to prove guilt before shouting the party-line rhetoric.
It is ONLY the accused who has to prove not guilty.
That is unless the accused is a Dem.
Then ALL accusations are trivial and can be forgiven and forgotten.

“The past is dead?”
Well, I guess if I had a past such as the Dem party, I too, would wish it were dead.

Posted by: kctim at January 26, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #117102

kctim -

Is this your only response to everything. I can’t remember the last post I read from you that wasn’t “you DEMS… you DEMS…” Yea, so what. I got it, you hate DEMs. Whatever.

Say something related to the post for a change.

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 2:48 PM
Comment #117103

MOST of us can agree that Bush is manipulating the Constitution to suit himself and his own agenda.
At least those of us that remember a little about world history and don’t have our heads firmly planted were the sun doesn’t shine.
My only Question is…
What do we do about it ?
What I am saying is, don’t the Democrats in office need to know that “we” the people won’t stand for this , so they can do something to get him the F out. Or is it to late ?

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #117104

Tony

Can’t prove a negative.

Sorry.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 26, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #117105

Sicilianeagle,
We have learned that a CNN reporter doing research for a story had her calls tapped repeatedly. To me that sounds like interference with freedom of the press. So what if her source was outside this country? We want to guard the right of the press to the confidentiality of their sources, so they can serve us the way an informed press is supposed to do.
This is a case of bigger government overlooking that press freedom for what is admittedly a noble concern - the safety of the American people - but it must done within the law, or else what we stand for isn’t worth protecting. Ours is a country of law, and those laws must apply to all of us.

Aren’t you concerned that the government wants to look at all the Google searches, by all Americans, for a particular weekend? I admit that we want to find and bring to court those who engage in the commerce of child pornography, but is looking at all of our records the way to do it? These are not terrorists (even if they are lawbreakers) and the investigation must respect the privacy of Americans from unreasonable searches (millions of inspections sounds to me like unreasonable, searching for needles in haystacks).

Posted by: footsperry at January 26, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #117106

MOST of us can agree that Bush is manipulating the Constitution to suit himself and his own agenda.
At least those of us that remember a little about world history and don’t have our heads firmly planted were the sun doesn’t shine.
My only Question is…
What do we do about it ?
What I am saying is, don’t the Democrats in office need to know that “we” the people won’t stand for this , so they can do something to get him the F out. Or is it to late ?

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #117108

Sicilianeagle,
We have learned that a CNN reporter doing research for a story had her calls tapped repeatedly. To me that sounds like interference with freedom of the press. So what if her source was outside this country? We want to guard the right of the press to the confidentiality of their sources, so they can serve us the way an informed press is supposed to do.
This is a case of bigger government overlooking that press freedom for what is admittedly a noble concern - the safety of the American people - but it must done within the law, or else what we stand for isn’t worth protecting. Ours is a country of law, and those laws must apply to all of us.

Aren’t you concerned that the government wants to look at all the Google searches, by all Americans, for a particular weekend? I admit that we want to find and bring to court those who engage in the commerce of child pornography, but is looking at all of our records the way to do it? These are not terrorists (even if they are lawbreakers) and the investigation must respect the privacy of Americans from unreasonable searches (millions of inspections sounds to me like unreasonable, searching for needles in haystacks).

Posted by: footsperry at January 26, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #117111

sicilianeagle -

Can’t prove a negative? Isn’t uncontrolled spying on Americans – with all directives unknown – isn’t that a negative that needs no proof?

In this case - you can’t prove a thing: not who has or is at risk of being intercepted, what is done with the info gained, what legal technicalities this provides to suspected terrorists. No proof… no oversight… no one knows.

And only Bush saying ‘trust me’ to make us accept this crap… don’t think so. You can continue to support this administration all you want, but as far as I can see, it’s blind submission.

Hey - you mind if I gain access to your PC? I’m just looking for terrorist-related information. Hey! If you don’t have anything on your PC to be ashamed of, then you have nothing to worry about… right?

BTW – can you name a single benefit from the NSA warrantless wiretapping? One?

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 3:06 PM
Comment #117113

sicilianeagle -

It this case - you can’t prove my assupmtion nor yours. No one knows… You can see that as a bad thing… right?

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #117118

Honestly, I think we should just trust out president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that.

Posted by: Britney Spears at January 26, 2006 3:27 PM
Comment #117120

Tony

This is a partisian arguement that has no traction.

First on Google:
The is no way that the government will trace you to your home based on your URL.If that was the case,they would be catching terrorist who post left and right.Everything I read about this issue says ther is much ado about nothing.

Now on the taps:
We can’t use a 1978 law,nor can we use a 2005 law with the technology changing so fast.
No calls from withing the staes to another within the states are the subjcect of this discussion.

Plus,censorship has roots in war.Check out Roosevelt and what he did with the Office of Censorship during WWII…tens of thousands of letters WITHIN the states were opened and read with no warrant.

This is a war.

People who don’t play by the rules want to kill you and I.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 26, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #117122

This thread is pointless. You are all arguing about “what if’s”. There are no facts here. It is all assumptions. The only true what if is…
if my aunt had balls she would be my uncle.

Posted by: GTHOM at January 26, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #117124

Tony:
Are the American’s that complacent to accept these pre-ordained soundbite lies as truth? On what? Faith? War is Peace… right?

SicilianEagle:
This is war? That’s the argument now?
What happened to ‘Give me liberty or give me death.”? Doesn’t that play to the masses anymore?

Or are we supposed to be too scared to question our nation’s leader. And accept, on faith alone, that the president, who tramples on our civil liberties, has our best intentions in mind.

Sure… to the rapist, i’ll bet he thinks she’s loving it.

Posted by: john trevisani at January 26, 2006 3:44 PM
Comment #117126

John T.,

You state

Of course he’s referring to a program that’s designed to listen to American citizen’s private communications.

So I’m intrigued to understand your rationale behind this unique logic.

What evidence do you have that any American Citizen’s comunications were listened to?

Everyone continues to make the claim that this is Domestic Spying. These were International calls. For it to fit the “Domestic Spying” claim the calls would have had to originate and terminate within the US.

The most recent Democratic presidential candidate was asked why if the “Domestic Spying” was illegal and unconstitutional the Democrats were not attempting to stop funding for the program. His response was that that would be premature.

Exactly, he gets it. He understands that the program does indeed help protect the American populace and does not want it ended. He simply wants to try to beat the administration over the head with it for political gain.

I invite the Democrats to continue their current stategy. An Opinion Dynamics Poll conducted Jan 10-11 found that

By 58 percent to 36 percent, Americans think the president should have the power to authorize the National Security Agency (NSA) to monitor electronic communications of suspected terrorists without getting warrants, even if one end of the communication is in the United States.

Have the Democrats not learned that they loose every time the debate turns to national security?

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #117137

Kirk:


What evidence do you have that any American Citizen’s comunications were listened to?

Let me catch you up to date.
The NYTs in December published a report about Bush authorizing an NSA program to perform warrantless wiretap on American citizens.

Everyone continues to make the claim that this is Domestic Spying. These were International calls. For it to fit the “Domestic Spying” claim the calls would have had to originate and terminate within the US.
Yup. So when you called Dell support and were routed to a call center in Pakistan, you were a potential victim. No really, Kirk, in the weeks that followed the story, there were other reports of domestic-only calls too. But the fact is, they were calls to or from, in or out of the US, made by American citizens. Just like you, buddy. Posted by: john trevisani at January 26, 2006 4:07 PM
Comment #117139

“This is a war.

People who don’t play by the rules want to kill you and I.”

No one ever said being American or living free was safe or easy. I can understand if you’re too scared, but sacrifice your own freedoms…

Kirk:

Calls that originated in the the US to foreign countries were monitored. How do you not see these people as American Citizens. And that’s just what they will tell us… you don’t know, I don’t know. That’s a bad thing.

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #117141

I think there should be limits to freedom.

Posted by: Bush II at January 26, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #117142

John

The quote is meaningless.What do you expect in a time of war,complete ,unfetterd liberty to do and say anything you want?

The NSA are skilled professionials …not politicials…patriots…trying to save your life and mine…

Do you think any of them are J.Edgar Hoover?

Wiretapping for jollies?

Enough with this pie in the sky crap already.

We lose this war and then we see what liberties we shall left.

Not one American…and I mean one American…not a traitor who is a disguised Al Quida…has anything,zero,nada,zilch,to worry about…you you guys want to make this an issue….geez

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 26, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #117144

John,

Again I ask where is the evidence that American Citizens communications were listened to?

Does the NY Times have names of those whose communications were listened to? Have you checked that list to determine if these people are actually American Citizens?

Just because someone is within the United States does not make them American Citizens.

And no calling Dell support did not make me a “potential victim”. Specific phone numbers associated with known or expected terrorist suspects were monitored. Which means that as long as you are not dialing one of those numbers or receiving calls from one of those numbers, your communications were not listened to. So, unless that Dell phone number in India is also being used by some terrorist, I’m clear.

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #117145

John

The quote is meaningless.What do you expect in a time of war,complete ,unfetterd liberty to do and say anything you want?

The NSA are skilled professionials …not politicials…patriots…trying to save your life and mine…

Do you think any of them are J.Edgar Hoover?

Wiretapping for jollies?

Enough with this pie in the sky crap already.

We lose this war and then we see what liberties we shall left.

Not one American…and I mean one American…not a traitor who is a disguised Al Quida…has anything,zero,nada,zilch,to worry about…you you guys want to make this an issue….geez

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 26, 2006 4:16 PM
Comment #117147

john -

Give me $200 million and 3 months and I’ll have a large number of American’s beleiving that the South won the war…

Never underestimate the stupidity of the masses.

Never underestimate the power of a large group of stupid people.

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 4:17 PM
Comment #117152

John,

Again I ask where is the evidence that American Citizens communications were listened to?

Does the NY Times have names of those whose communications were listened to? Have you checked that list to determine if these people are actually American Citizens?

Just because someone is within the United States does not make them American Citizens.

And no calling Dell support did not make me a “potential victim”. Specific phone numbers associated with known or expected terrorist suspects were monitored. Which means that as long as you are not dialing one of those numbers or receiving calls from one of those numbers, your communications were not listened to. So, unless that Dell phone number in India is also being used by some terrorist, I’m clear.

After Sept. 11 the Left slammed the adminstration for not “connecting the dots” now that the dots are being connected…damned if you do damned if you don’t. Democrats should change the mascot of their party to the Roamn god Janus as they have mastered the art of taking both sides of an issue.

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #117153

this is not war. at least not the kind we have ever had before. If we want to consider ourselves at “war” with terrorists, then it will be a chronic war—-and we need to relook at how we do that. it is not the same as a confined, time-space-limited war. we cannot use that as an excuse to take away all civil liberties and allow the administration (no matter who is in power) to act like kings or a totalitarian gov’t.

Re: domestic spying——didn’t I hear that a number of peace groups and Quaker meetings were being spied on and listened to? Why is no one asking why that was going on? That to me seemed very like the 60’s——spying on groups that disagree with the administration and wanting to…..what…..find something questionable about what they are doing or saying so they can be taken away without legal counsel, in the middle of the night to places unknown??

Posted by: judye at January 26, 2006 4:22 PM
Comment #117155

Kirk - sicilian…

Wow - for people who are telling us to prove our claims, that no one knows what’s gone on, you seem to be stating your opinions as fact. I’ve never seen such blind political devotion.

Again - no one promised anyone a safe passage or an easy time by being American. Once in a while you have to earn your freedoms or loose them. You are brave enough to volunteer our troops into harms way, but you’re too scared to share that burden at home?

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #117162

In case you are wondering what the actual LAW on this is:

“Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.”

hmmm… no declaration of war by Congress (only a resolution, and that is not the same thing) and it’s been 3 years… wow, only 1080 days over the limit.

“In the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance, the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the expiration of 72 hours from the time of authorization by the Attorney General, whichever is earliest.”

Posted by: tony at January 26, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #117167

“Only calls between known or SUSPECTED terrorists have been monitored.”

Suspected. To exactly which criteria are they basing this on? I have seen television commercials connecting people who smoke marijuana to terrorists, so i think the line is drawn in the sand about what exactly constitutes a “terrorist”. It is absolute bullshit, and he must be called on it.

Since what a terorist can be defined as is so completely vague, there is no way he shouldn’t be impeached for this offense.


Posted by: tree hugger at January 26, 2006 4:38 PM
Comment #117171

Sorry Kirk —

“And no calling Dell support did not make me a “potential victim”. Specific phone numbers associated with known or expected terrorist suspects were monitored. Which means that as long as you are not dialing one of those numbers or receiving calls from one of those numbers, your communications were not listened to. So, unless that Dell phone number in India is also being used by some terrorist, I’m clear”

You may have been monitored, because Bush isn’t going to FISA even after the fact to get the warrant…that’s why everyone is so upset. That is why judges are questioning just WHO is being tapped? Who is so important a target that the NSA won’t even go to ‘secret’ FISA court 3 days after they have already tapped them to get retroactive permission, unless it is someone even a republican majority of judges won’t approve?

Posted by: cem at January 26, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #117175
First on Google:
The is no way that the government will trace you to your home based on your URL.If that was the case,they would be catching terrorist who post left and right.Everything I read about this issue says ther is much ado about nothing.
That isn’t correct. If you have an IP address, search terms, and when the search was done, then the government can ask or get a court order to find out which customer that ip address was assigned to. That is how RIAA is getting names of people to sue for copyright infringment. A way around this is to find and use a proxy server that deletes the server logs on a daily basis with no backups.
Posted by: SirisC at January 26, 2006 4:44 PM
Comment #117176

“Is this your only response to everything”

As long as the lefts response to everything is “its Bush’s fault” and they refuse to wait for facts before jumping to conclusions, then yes, the Dems are just as guilty, will be my response.

If you guys can keep “assuming” Bush causes everything in the entire world, then I have every right to “assume” Dems are just as guilty because they refused to act when they had the chance.

Take some FocusFactor and read my posts. If a post isn’t just more of the same, tired and dull blame Bush rhetoric or actually contains facts, I am actually pretty openminded.

Posted by: kctim at January 26, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #117183
Now on the taps: We can’t use a 1978 law,nor can we use a 2005 law with the technology changing so fast.

By this logic, we can also get rid of that pesky 1790 law called the Bill of Rights. You know the one I’m talking about — the one that says the government needs to get a warrant for this sort of work. I guess warrants are just technologically obsolete

Posted by: bobo at January 26, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #117190
that’s why everyone is so upset

Oh, so as long as there is a piece of paper from a judge somewhere then all would be copasetic?

Say it was an American Citizen in Canada calling an Al Qaeda phone number in Pakistan, would it be OK for NSA to listen in?

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #117195

If you guys can keep “assuming” Bush causes everything in the entire world, then I have every right to “assume” Dems are just as guilty because they refused to act when they had the chance.

Nobody is assuming !!! Bush and the Attorny General (there are more but i can’t think of them) Have been on a media blitz talking about it.

How do you know that you haven’t been listened to? Do you think there is a TERRORIST YELLOW PAGES published somewhere. This is why it is called Domestic spying, because spying is being done here at our home, get it ?
GEEZ, wake up people.

And I don’t accuse Bush of “everything in the whole world”
But spying on Americans , well, he owns that one !

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #117197

gypsyirishgirl

How do you know that you haven’t been listened to? Do you think there is a TERRORIST YELLOW PAGES published somewhere. This is why it is called Domestic spying, because spying is being done here at our home, get it ?


How do you know you have been listened too? If you have been listened to, are you worse off than before they listened to you? Did you hurt yourself or did you lose some civil liberties.
Whats the worse that could happen if they did listen to you? Would they find out that you are sleeping with you best friends husband? What do you think they would do if they found that out? Would they tell you best friend? Maybe they would find out that a man has been sexually abusing a young girl for four years, and then the judge could sentence him to sixty days in jail. Yeah, I agree that would be a waste of time.

also:
It is called domestic spying because the democrats want it called that. It sounds more intrusive and better if you call it that. If you called it terrorist spying it wouldn’t help the democrats agenda as much.

Posted by: David at January 26, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #117199

gypsyirishgirl

How do you know that you haven’t been listened to? Do you think there is a TERRORIST YELLOW PAGES published somewhere. This is why it is called Domestic spying, because spying is being done here at our home, get it ?


How do you know you have been listened too? If you have been listened to, are you worse off than before they listened to you? Did you hurt yourself or did you lose some civil liberties.
Whats the worse that could happen if they did listen to you? Would they find out that you are sleeping with you best friends husband? What do you think they would do if they found that out? Would they tell you best friend? Maybe they would find out that a man has been sexually abusing a young girl for four years, and then the judge could sentence him to sixty days in jail. Yeah, I agree that would be a waste of time.

also:
It is called domestic spying because the democrats want it called that. It sounds more intrusive and better if you call it that. If you called it terrorist spying it wouldn’t help the democrats agenda as much.

Posted by: David at January 26, 2006 5:47 PM
Comment #117206

sicilianeagle -

“We lose this war and then we see what liberties we shall left”

You really think this war can be lost? What does lost mean in this case - that we will be a fundamentalist muslim theocracy?

Don’t forget, as our great President said - they hate us because of our freedoms. So anyone who supports these wiretaps must be helping the terrorists win, not the other way around!

Posted by: Mark at January 26, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #117207

If they listened to me , they would only hear me talking to my mother, my child,or my church.
and they can’t call it terrorist spying, they haven’t cought any…
You all realy need to be a bit more of a FREE thinker, before you don’t have the chance anymore.
Yeah I want this Admin. gone, otherwise you would have to tell one of you liberal friends ” but I didn’t know he was that bad”
Go figure !

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #117208

someone help me here.
wasn’t it Hitler that said ” the bigger the lie, the more believable it is”

Your “great President” is LYING !!!!!

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #117211

gypsyirishgirl:

they can’t call it terrorist spying, they haven’t cought any…

How do you know they haven’t caught anyone? Do you think they would print it on the front of the times? I can see it now… “terrorist caught by wiretaps”. Thats a great idea. Lets tell them how we are going to catch them. Thats why they call it spying.

Posted by: David at January 26, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #117214

This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.
Plato

Posted by: Layne at January 26, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #117217

The posts arguing about whether the persons being wiretapped are American citizens or not are off base. The Bill of Rights, if you read it, says nothing about “citizens”. It says “people” or “persons”, in other words it applies to anyone in
the jurisdiction of the U. S.

Posted by: Warren Dace at January 26, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #117218

LOL
Yes, I do think they would print that. Now that the whole world knows they are tapping, I would love to hear that it has done something good.
Maybe if everything wasn’t done in secrecy more of the American people would trust him.
But, this Admin. being honest,yeah, that will NEVER happen.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 6:32 PM
Comment #117220

David,
Do you really believe that terrorists would have no suspicion that their phones could be wiretapped unless we told them? Come on.

Posted by: Warren Dace at January 26, 2006 6:41 PM
Comment #117222

Well my reallization had always been they were to some capacity listening to us, BECAUSE they were (as reported on 60 minutes during the 90’s).

But not going through the FISA courts is really to me the unacceptable portion of all this. The Bush administration is doing a shadowplay that te information would be made public and it would wind up in papers across the country, THAT IS INCORRECT and the Bushies keep spewing that—even after. And it has been proven time and time again that that information is false that it becomes public, NO REPUBLICAN FOR THE LAST TIME IT DOES NOT.

I hadn’t heard that he was spying on CNN, I think I’ll go look that one up—should tell us Bush’s real reasons behind some of this. Perhaps to trouble shoot unforseeable problems (flaps) with his PR (Rove/Hughes territory).

Posted by: Sanford at January 26, 2006 6:51 PM
Comment #117227

I’m sure they know there is always a chance that someone will be listening, but they have to communicte by some form or fashion, and we will be listening.

Posted by: David at January 26, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #117233

QUESTION:Does anyone on this blog think that the Military was using the NSA wiretapping to monitor press reports? They are trying to, afterall, keep a sharp eye on the war as it pertains to the press. OR perhaps Bush was using this to keep monitoring his war in the press and not be surprised by what should come to light.

Things are becoming very very apparent here.

Posted by: Sanford at January 26, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #117234

Yes David know doubt you will, but as sanford stated it is not the Listening that is the problem it is the fact that they are not getting warrents.
If they are not getting the warrents (secret warrents) then there is no accountablity and there is no proof that the lawyers or doctors or teachers or vicars,and so on are NOT being listened to. I’d bet they are. Weather you have anything to hide is not the issue , the issue is, that if they can get away with lying before and this now.
what-will-be-next ?

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #117236

sicilianeagle:

I am getting tired of this “This is War” crap. If its a war, go to Congress and declare it. If its a War, get the GIs their body armor. If its a War, triple the VA budget. All we have right now is a bunch of Draft Dodgers screaming “This is War!!!” everytime they screw us or our allies.

Ofcourse, sicilianeagle does not want to declare a formal war. War has rules set forth in the Geneva Conventions. The last thing sicilianeagle wants is to have BushCo brought up on War Crimes Charges for breaking those “outmoded” rules on common decency.

Posted by: Aldous at January 26, 2006 7:25 PM
Comment #117238

“Things are becoming very very apparent here.”
Posted by: Sanford

:) Dar’lin you have made this day all worthwhile.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 7:26 PM
Comment #117259

You guys may not know this but the US Postal Service has been opening mail coming into the US from overseas. As far as I can tell, the only limitation is manpower. There is no guidelines in deciding whose mail to open, just open it all.

Posted by: Aldous at January 26, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #117265

Bush made some comment today to the effect that the FISA law was “outdated”, as it was several years old and this, after all, is 2006 and times have changed. Got news for that jackass…the Constitution is a lot older than that, and it is, or should be, the basis for our entire government. Guess he thinks the Bill of Rights is outdated too. IMPEACH NOW.
And if you don’t like the Constitution, go back to Sicily!

Posted by: capnmike at January 26, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #117266

Check this out, it’s a little off topic. Looks like a filibuster/send fax to congress.

Posted by: Sanford at January 26, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #117284
Check this out, it’s a little off topic. Looks like a filibuster/send fax to congress.

OH PLEASE, PLEASE GIVE US A FILIBUSTER.

That along with the Left’s continuing to bluster about the “Domestic Spying” would be like Christmas in Spring.

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 9:10 PM
Comment #117289

A filibuster isn’t gonna do any good.
I say we should conserve our energy and get that BUM, GWB out of office.
Send me to a site that will do that.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #117290

So agaon I ask, as long as there is a piece of paper from a judge everything is OK?

“In the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance, the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the expiration of 72 hours from the time of authorization by the Attorney General, whichever is earliest.”

So, in the immortal words of William Jefferson Clinton I guess it depends on what “the meaning of the word is, is.”

Seriously though I know the law makes a provision for going for the warrant within 72 hours after the fact. Does that not seem totally assinine to anyone but me? Exactly what good would seeking a warrant be after the fact? What if the judge denies the warrant? Is the information gathered by the surveillence not already obtained?

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 9:27 PM
Comment #117292
wasn’t it Hitler that said ” the bigger the lie, the more believable it is”

Exactly the reason that Dean, Kerry, Kennedy et. al. have adopted the strategy.

Posted by: Kirk at January 26, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #117300

OK Folks, Here you go , courtesy of Our White House thanks to the joker who lives there.

Quoting, “Deputy Director Of National Intelligence General Michael Hayden,”

“Definition, Domestic Versus International. Domestic Calls are calls inside the United States. International Calls are calls either to or from the United States.”

I went to school but for the rest of you , here is a lesson.

“Domestic Flights,” the White House reminds us, “are flights from one American city to another. International Flights are flights to or from the United States.”

Just in case you didn’t get that, here is another shot.

“Domestic Mail consists of letters and packages sent within the United States,”

Do we all understand the meaning of “domestic” now ?
Can you believe this crap ????
The Deputy Director Of National Intelligence General Michael Hayden Has to come out and tell us the definition of domestic.
You know what? I bet this is gonna be confussing for some of you geniuses.

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 26, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #117302

Look it’s not about terrorist!
What do we care about obL he’s in the mountains
maybe there getting stock tips.
maybe there listening to soldiers calling home.
maybe there just making a little black book.
maybe DICK C.made him do it.
maybe it’s a little Write lie!

Posted by: JS at January 26, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #117304

Kirk,

“Seriously though I know the law makes a provision for going for the warrant within 72 hours after the fact. Does that not seem totally assinine to anyone but me? Exactly what good would seeking a warrant be after the fact? What if the judge denies the warrant? Is the information gathered by the surveillence not already obtained?”

You might think that given all the hyperbole you seem willing to spread, you should already know this.
Often it takes time to aquire a warrant. If the situation requires haste, the law was written so that law enforcement could get the tap they needed and apply for the warrant within 72 hours to make the tap legal. If the warrant wasn’t aquired in the prescribed time, or the warrant was denied, the evidence couldn’t be used in court.
But due to the nature of these taps, and the way the government is going about this, I would guess that this administration isn’t interested in presenting any of the evidence gathered in an American court of law anyway.

Posted by: Rocky at January 26, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #117305

Dear Mary,
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.
I yearn for you tragically.

A.T. Tappman, Chaplain, U.S. Army

Posted by: phx8 at January 26, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #117311

How would the 72 hour rule operate if there was a 9-11 1ike conspiracy in the works, I wonder.

It could very easily impede law enforcement’s ability to thwart an attack if the suspicious activity took place over days or weeks—longer than 72 hours—so there needs to be some exception to this rule, and the one the president has orderered—under very strict guidelines—seems entirely proper.

Do we know that there was enough evidence on Mohammend Atta and his co-conspirators to secure a warrant (just to listen to them) in the days leading up to 9-11? What if some people in the goverment suspected something was going on but others disagreed because the activity was well-hid and secretive? Do we err on the side of at least keeping our eyes and ears open, or do we err on the side of protecting the communications of suspected terrorists?

What if law enforcement had begun monitoring their calls, applied for a warrant within 72 hours, and then been denied that warrant because a single judge felt that the evidence wasn’t good enough?

Would all monitoring then have to stop? Yes it would. If the attack were then allowed to occur, you can bet that there would be universal outrage at the fact that the government suspected something was about to take place and was prevented from doing about it because sombeody—perhaps just a single judge—disagreed.

To me, this raises serious questions about the balance of powers. When it comes to matters of prosecuting war and protecting the public from international terrorism, it’s not at all clear that a single judge should be allowed to overrule the President of the United States.

We’re not talking about giving the President unlimited power—we’re talking about allowing him to carry out the functions already specifically assigned to him in the Constitution.

Posted by: sanger at January 26, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #117314

Earlier, Sicilian Beagle said…

>>Can’t prove a negative.

Which is interesting as this entire Iraq fiasco was predicated on the president asking Saddam Hussein to precisely that.

Posted by: Grubbery at January 26, 2006 11:55 PM
Comment #117316

Sanger,

How would being able to circumvent the 72-hour rule have prevented 911, when FBI higher ups repeatedly refused to pursue the FISA warrant on Zacarias Moussaou requested by agent Coleen Rowley in the summer of 2001?

“If the application for the FISA warrant had gone forward, agents would have found information in Moussaoui’s belongings that linked him both to a major financier of the hijacking plot working out of Germany, and to a Malaysian al-Qaida boss who had met with at least two other hijackers while under surveillance by intelligence officials.”

- Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa to FBI Director Robert Mueller

Posted by: Grubbery at January 27, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #117320

Capnmike,the Constitution provides for amendments,for things unforseen by the framers,The BILL OF RIGHTS were the 1st 10 amendments.Congress proposes the amendments and the States vote yes or no.In the case of the 1st 10,they were attached to the Constitution and were approved by the States along with the Constitution.After the Framers past the final draft,they added the 10 amendments because some thought the main body was not specific enough.Laws can be challenged in court all the way up to the Supreme Court of the US whose job it is to decide the constitutionality of the law based on what the Constitution actually says,but,once an amendment is passed it takes another amendment to cancel it.The Constitution give the President certain powers and he is to inform Congress when He uses them.In the case of surveliance or spying for National Security He has more latitude than He does for Criminal cases.He must have a warrant in criminal matters and if He doesn’t that is a crime.If He were to use wiretapping for National Security reasons and then arrest the people in a criminal case not related to Security He would be misusing His authority,but if a security threat is discovered He needs a FISA warrant to continue.The President does not need Congress’ permission to gather Intel on National Security,merely to inform them it is happening and the President is and Congress admitted He is informing them.This should be done out of public notice so the enemy does not know what we are doing.The pubic discussion is counter productive to the efforts our government must make for our safety.No one should be leaking National Security proceders to the public,printing them in a newspaper is endangering the public safety.Why would they do this?All President’s have this authority and would be foolish not to use it,and even more foolish to abuse it .If there is evidence of abuse it should be handled by those authorized for these matters and not out in the open for the enemy to see,use good judgement so matters are not made worse.Nothing is more important than public safety,news paper circulation and political aspirations should never come 1st

Posted by: RDAVIDC at January 27, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #117323

Sanger,

No offence meant, power given away through fear or duress is sometimes very hard to take back.

Look, if there was just the hint that our government wanted to do this acording to the laws that have been passed I wouldn’t have a problem with any of this. It doesn’t matter who these folks are, we are better than this.

We have been asked repeatedly to give Mr. Bush the benefit of the doubt, and when he finally said that some mistakes had been made I thought we had finally turned a corner in this country. and then this came out and that was that.
We are a nation of laws, not just for some of the people some of the time.

I refuse to live my life looking over my shoulder in fear of the possibility of another Sept 11th attack. If I did that would mean that I had capitulated and the terrorists had won, they had stolen my life away from me.
Bush keeps saying that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, yet he keeps asking that we give up “just a litle more” of our freedoms so that he may be able to better protect us.

Soon, we may not be able to tell the difference.

Posted by: Rocky at January 27, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #117333

Grubbery, that’s a valid question. They SHOULD have pursued that warrant. The case you mention is an example of law enforcement not even availing themselves of the intelligence in their possession. How does it pertain to the debate over the 72 hour rule though? Law enforcement failing to do their job is a big problem and one they should answer for (the (9-11 Commission was supposed to take a look at this matter) but it’s a separate issue from what measures should be in place for them to do their jobs should they ever get around to it.

I don’t disagree for a second that the CIA and FBI are disfunctional organizations filled with career pencil-pushers marking their time until retirement and coasting along while doing the bare minimum. They need to be reformed, seriously reformed, and I think that’s something most of us agree about.

Rocky, rhetoric about “power given away” being hard to take back is just rhetoric unless you can show that any power really has been taken away.

The President of the United States DOES have a wide range of powers, and at the very least there is great disagreement here about whether or not he is just doing his job and utilizing powers not only given to him by the Consitution but by the expressed will of Congress. You can disagree with his actions, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the power to do what he’s doing. It’s a very powerful job, so powerful that it can easily be abused, and this is why so much attention, debate and energy is given to selecting our President every four years.

It’s not about giving him the benefit of the doubt—clearly a lot of people are NOT giving him that benefit of doubt. There is a system for sorting out these disagreements. If Congress and the Supreme Court want to step in and stop the President on this issue, they can do so at any time.

Some will say: “But wait, Congress is Republican! The Supreme Court is filled with Republican appointees! This isn’t a balance of powers!”

But that is a completely false and undemocratic notion. Congress is a duly elected body. The President is a duly elected official, and making court appointments is his right under the Constitution. If voters change their minds, they will act accordingly.

Until then, a partisan poltical minority does not have the right to govern in contradiction to not only the expressed will of voters, but acts of congress and rulings of the Supreme Court.

Posted by: sanger at January 27, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #117335

Sanger,

“Rocky, rhetoric about “power given away” being hard to take back is just rhetoric unless you can show that any power really has been taken away.”

The beauty of all this is you’re entitled to your opinion.

Whatever get’s you through the night, pal.

Posted by: Rocky at January 27, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #117339

Nice. What gets you through the night? An insult or a content-free cop-out there, Rocky (I’m not sure which) but I guess I AM entitled to share the opinions put forth by the the elected president, the elected congressional majority, the framers of the Constitution and the generations of American voters—including this generation of voters—who made it all possible in the proudest traditions of a free people.

Meanwhile, I won’t begrudge anybody else their right to “get through the night” on the basis of partisan talking points and flimsy scandals cooked up by raging left-wing activists whose suddenly found concern for liberty manifests itself (on this case, at least) primarily on behalf of Al Qaida’s right to privacy. Cheers.

Posted by: sanger at January 27, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #117341

There is no question that the President,Vice President, and all of the membrs of his Cabinet and close advisors, and The Head of the NSA have repeatedly lied both to the American People and Congress. IT IS ON VIDEO TAPE FOR ALL TO SEE. Shamefully our country appears irrevocably doomed because nearly all of the Republicans and a few Democrats in Congress are exponentially more loyal to their own self interests, both politically and monetarily, than to the Constitution which they vowed to uphold. There are at present not nearly enough Nathan Hales’s to defeat the large majority of Benedict Arnold’s in Congress.

More scarry yet is that the people in the Justice Dept, and NSA actualy carry out these presidential decrees as “just following orders”. Nuremburg long ago established that “just following orders” was not an acceptable, legal or legitimate defense for crimes against a society.

If the present balance of power in Congress is not defeated in 2006, then America as “The Home of the Free and the Brave” will continue to no longer exist. It is currently and will continue no longer to be a “Nation of laws” but a “Nation of Men”,…Bush and conservative syncophants and collaborators. Bush has already told the Courts and Congress that they have no authority whatsoever to check or restrain him because only he alone has the authority to decide what is lawfull. Furthermore he has turned NSA into quite literally the American KBG, answerable only to him. What makes anyone resonably believe that he will step down from office at the end of his term?

Without question, George Bush is politically and personally themost vile, insideous, and most dangerous threat to American “National Security” that has ever existed. Bush makes the threat of OBL seem like a Sunday School picnic when compared to him and his traitorist collaborators.

As for Gen. Hayden is a disgrace and and pornographic obsenity to the uniform he wears because he has deliberately with premeditation lied to Congress. His participation in this EVIL program has made a mockery and desicration of all of the deaths and sacrifices made by all of the military who ever fought for America from the beginning to the present. A firing squad is the only suitable and just punishment for his treasonous complicity.

Posted by: Richard at January 27, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #117418

If you know it is a suspected or actual terrorist, wouldn’t a warrant be helpful for prosecution? What judge wouldn’t give a warrant for “suspicion of terrorist ties”? If they have knowledge of all these suspected or actual terrorist outside US borders calling in, wouldn’t all thhese numbers be easily traced from the originating source? What is more likely is a huge data-mining operation such as echelon or TIA, for which there would be no line item funding, but would more probably be funded using either a false program or CIA, FBI, NSA, or other secret programs that Congess approves of under National security needs without knowing how the money is actually spent. The admin salivating over TIA leads me to believe that such a program would never be dumped just because Congress got their knickers in a twist. It was just renamed, re-catalogued and put back to work secretly.

Posted by: synecdoche at January 27, 2006 5:18 AM
Comment #117446

I think Liberal should stop this kind of irrational criticism. If Clinton did the same thing, you’ll all hail him as hero! At least, Our President is honest enough to confront the press about this, and remain steadfast because he knows what he does is for the sake of the security of the Nation and all the citizen! Liberal, stop your senseless attack, and please, do something constructive for your country!

I also have to say that Liberal is really shameless in making national security an issue to attack our President. Think about this, if there are, says, three Muslim on the street talking to oen another, be that in English or arabic, isn’t it very likely they are ploting against us?! Wouldn’t you feel the need to get a handle on what they are ploting?! Be honest!

Posted by: jane at January 27, 2006 6:39 AM
Comment #117454

Grubbery

Hey,watch it.Sicilian Beagle is my first cousin.He’s an attack beagle with a very short temper.He’ll bite your grubs into nubs if you’re not careful!

Aldous
I am sick of this war thing too…but it’s just starting.We received a BIG setback with the Hamas victory…a big victory.That victory dwarfs anything we do in Iraq that empowers them.

Now we have Iran,Syria,Palestine,elements in Lebanon,elements in Egypt,elements in Saudia Arabia frothing at the mouth at the possibliity that Isreal can in fact be wiped off the map.

With Iran’s growing nuclear capibility PLUS Saddam’s WMD in Syria,Isreal will have no option but to strike pre-emptively,eliminating the necessity for me going to Congress for anything.

Of course,blame the Fattah defeat on Bush.

He’s responsible for that too,right?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 27, 2006 7:27 AM
Comment #117455

Grubbery

Hey,watch it.Sicilian Beagle is my first cousin.He’s an attack beagle with a very short temper.He’ll bite your grubs into nubs if you’re not careful!

Aldous
I am sick of this war thing too…but it’s just starting.We received a BIG setback with the Hamas victory…a big victory.That victory dwarfs anything we do in Iraq that empowers them.

Now we have Iran,Syria,Palestine,elements in Lebanon,elements in Egypt,elements in Saudia Arabia frothing at the mouth at the possibliity that Isreal can in fact be wiped off the map.

With Iran’s growing nuclear capibility PLUS Saddam’s WMD in Syria,Isreal will have no option but to strike pre-emptively,eliminating the necessity for me going to Congress for anything.

Of course,blame the Fattah defeat on Bush.

He’s responsible for that too,right?

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 27, 2006 7:28 AM
Comment #117457

David:


It is called domestic spying because the democrats want it called that. It sounds more intrusive and better if you call it that. If you called it terrorist spying it wouldn’t help the democrats agenda as much.

That’s incorrect.
When government wants to use creative phrases like “Terrorist Surviellence” for a program that surrounds listening in on American citizens phone calls, then either EVERY American citizen is considered to be a terrorist in Bush’s eyes, or they’re just trying to spin in.
My vote is for spin.

sanger:


How would the 72 hour rule operate if there was a 9-11 1ike conspiracy in the works, I wonder.

Bush, in his press conference said that the FISA law was outdated. He said that he thought that FISA was 30 years old and it’s a different world now.

That’s cool. The world has changed significantly from 1909 too. So, to me, the 16th amendment is outdated.

How long do you think i’ll stay out of jail?

Posted by: john trevisani at January 27, 2006 7:32 AM
Comment #117484

Sanger,

“An insult or a content-free cop-out there, Rocky (I’m not sure which) but I guess I AM entitled to share the opinions put forth by the the elected president, the elected congressional majority, the framers of the Constitution and the generations of American voters—including this generation of voters—who made it all possible in the proudest traditions of a free people.”

Yeah, you gave it away all on your own, and it doesn’t take a liberal to recognize the Limbaugh line of crap.
That has to play well in trailer parks all over this country.
This President that stole the election…
from McCain.

Posted by: Rocky at January 27, 2006 9:34 AM
Comment #117490

Irishgimpygirl,

Wow yer’ a nasty one! You find a site that will do that okay I’m just tellin’ ya what’s comin’ down the pike, that’s all—there’s no need to take an attitude, good God lady quit it with the hittin’ with the handbag.

Posted by: Sanford at January 27, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #117493

Sweet Jane,

“Think about this, if there are, says, three Muslim on the street talking to oen another, be that in English or arabic, isn’t it very likely they are ploting against us?!”

No, it is not. Any other questions?

Posted by: Arr-squared at January 27, 2006 9:46 AM
Comment #117499

Last year, I dated a Russian linguist in the US Navy. For 6 weeks, he was out on a sub in waters off of Norway. He couldn’t tell me exactly what he was did out there, but it basically boiled down to spying. When I asked why we would be spying on Russians now that the Cold War is over, he replied, “We spy on Everyone.” I said, “So all the foreign countries?” and he replied, “We spy on our own too.”

Posted by: Dop at January 27, 2006 9:57 AM
Comment #117502

Sanger,

That’s stretching it, within the courts there is pretty much a 99% approval rate of surveillance and wiretaps. If there are Islamists or other known possible terrorists it will and would absolutely go through—or they could just do it and send it through the proper channels later on. There is, you have to admit a great deal of leniency to it as it really does allow for alot.

BUT here’s my question if the republicans are using this to spy on political party operations, being that it could be possible without checks and balances, would be acceptable for Democrats upon getting the White House to do the same?

The truth is we don’t know who Bush has been spying on because there is little if any record and if it is being used to control/monitor the press or spy on political ops, would it be acceptable for the dems to do the same?

The preverbial goose and gander Sanger.

Posted by: Sanford at January 27, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #117520

Sanger,

Just to be clear, the argument that the wiretapping is being done pursuant to the inherent Constitutional powers of the President is one that even the White House is beginning ot distance itself from, since it was pretty laughable to begin with. The focus of their justification nowadays seems to be the Congressional authorization issue.

There are some things that are misleading about the points you’re making:

The Supreme Court can’t “step in”, as you put it. Somebody has to sue somebody for the Supreme Court to weigh in, and that’s difficult to do with an administration that has kept a chokehold on all types of information as intense as the one that this administration has demonstrated across the board.

I personally think it would be wise to maintain as high as possible a level of transparency as possible, given the controversial nature of many of this administration’s actions. But since they didn’t, no individual can know with particularity when they’ve been injured (aside from the admission by this administration that some of us have definitely been spied upon), and therefore they don’t have standing to sue, making it impossible for the Supreme Court to “step in”.

“Some will say: “But wait, Congress is Republican! The Supreme Court is filled with Republican appointees! This isn’t a balance of powers!””

This is a grave mischaracterization, and I think you’re tossing up a softball argument for you to knock out of the park, there. People, or at least the people who understand the issue, should be raising the issue of balance of powers not in conjunction with Republican political control, but with the unprecedented array of powers the Executive is attempting to claim for itself, without oversight by any other branch.

Posted by: Yossarian at January 27, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #117522

I seriously doubt that you read my comment with the attitude pointed towards the right place.
But just in case you did and you ment to be rude, knock yourself out trying. If I were “Hittin’ with the handbag” I wouldn’t miss and hit the wall.
“Wow yer’ a nasty one!” speak for yourself !!

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at January 27, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #117523

“I think Liberal should stop this kind of irrational criticism. If Clinton did the same thing, you’ll all hail him as hero! At least, Our President is honest enough to confront the press about this, and remain steadfast because he knows what he does is for the sake of the security of the Nation and all the citizen! Liberal, stop your senseless attack, and please, do something constructive for your country!

I also have to say that Liberal is really shameless in making national security an issue to attack our President. Think about this, if there are, says, three Muslim on the street talking to oen another, be that in English or arabic, isn’t it very likely they are ploting against us?! Wouldn’t you feel the need to get a handle on what they are ploting?! Be honest!”

——

Wow… you seem to make huge assupmtions about us Liberals (which I can tell for a fact that they’re wrong) and you make huge assumptions about Muslims (also wrong.) I see a pattern here.

Posted by: tony at January 27, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #117527

Sanger,

Another point I’d like to make is “Actionability” meaning with what information gathered you could act on it. With FISA courts and laws as they are the question here is does a court oversight board have the right to hamper an investigation? The answer is IF they (NSA—intelligence agencies) get on their radar a potential terrorist action and/or plot it becomes actionable. If they file later as there is the potentiality within FISA, as you know, the information attained still becomes “actionable” whether approved of or not, YES, and there’s approximately 99% approval as has been shown to be the case.

The point of the FISA courts is more documentation of searches than anything else (as it appears) for checks and balances. Detailed so as intel can have it on their record—not public records.

I don’t agree entirely with transparency but I think the system is useful. there are cases of NSA watching protest groups and one such group that are vegans (what we used to call vegetarian) that protested a ham distributorship. Are these the real enemies of the state? Annoying sure, but enemies? I think there need to be documentation so as these types of searches are more central to real counter-terror measures and not useless or baseless persuits against “the dreadlock crowd” as it were.

Posted by: Sanford at January 27, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #117531

Just wait you clowns who still say there where no WMD’s will be eating your shorts over the next 30 to 45 days with the secrets that will finally be made public about who moved what and where and how then finally moved the WMD’s.

Finally if the Democratic party does not stop supporting the terrorists they will continue to see great losses in any elected endeavor.

So will Hillary come out and support Hamas she hates Israel.

Seems to me that the wiretapping Law was written by JIMMY CARTER.
From what I read every president since then has used this law for wiretapping,so why the big deal now Hypocrites.

Since most Democrats believe we should save the trees and the whales and the animals and the planet yet the they also want to kill the babies.

Any moron can be devisive yet there is NO SHORTAGE of lying, cheating and stealing on either side of the isle. So before you pass your sanctimonious crap on to us look closely at your own party and take off those stupid looking rose colored glasses and realize you have your own scmucks to deal with.

I guess you purposely left out the fact that William Jefferson Clinton used the IRS against his enemies. Yet his enemies where not trying to set off a nuke in an American city. Or maybe can you remember 1993 and the first world trade center bombing how the hell do you think we put that stupid blind shake in jail (YES SHAKE IS USED IN WRONG CONTEXT) the same wiretapping law DAH!

Posted by: CAD at January 27, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #117532

Sicilian Eagle,

Before Mahmoud Abbas there was Arafat, I’d have to say it’s a case of SSDD (you know what that stands for). Besides Abbas is still in place and the question on the table is how closely will he work with the uneducated extremists. They are anti-productive so they may still have little clout.

Posted by: Sanford at January 27, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #117534
We lose this war and then we see what liberties we shall left.

LOL! SE, when do you think the Islamist invasion will begin? :)

Seriously, the most catastrophic thing that can happen is that they ship a nuke into one (or more) of our ports. Why isn’t President Bush tightening up the borders and making sure more than 17.5% of “high risk” containers are checked before they reach US ports?

Think about this, if there are, says, three Muslim on the street talking to oen another, be that in English or arabic, isn’t it very likely they are ploting against us?!

I live in the middle of 400 million of them. I see dozens of Muslims on the street talking every day — mostly about what’s for dinner, and how their kids are doing in school, and bitching about their jobs.

This is a war.

People who don’t play by the rules want to kill you and I.

Sorry, SE. That just doesn’t scare me enough to give up my freedoms. I’ll take my chances.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 27, 2006 11:12 AM
Comment #117567

“Live Free or Die” -NH State Motto


“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” -Ben Franklin


“Give me liberty or give me death” -Patrick Henry


If these wiretaps were of suspected terrorists, why did the NSA not obtain warrants within 72 hours? This makes no sense unless the NSA knew they would not obtain the warrant because the said wiretaps were illegal and unconstitutional and probably politically motivated.

Our president says only suspected terrorists were spyed on; what if he believes his opponent in the Presidential race was a terrorist? Could he then use that as an excuse to listen in on all efforts to replace him?


CAD,

Just wait you clowns who still say there where no WMD’s will be eating your shorts over the next 30 to 45 days with the secrets that will finally be made public about who moved what and where and how then finally moved the WMD’s.

President Bush has already admitted that Saddam had no WMD’s, so I highly doubt WMD’s will suddenly show up in the next 30 to 45 days.

Finally if the Democratic party does not stop supporting the terrorists they will continue to see great losses in any elected endeavor.

I know of no elected Democrat officials who have said that they support terrorists.

Since most Democrats believe we should save the trees and the whales and the animals and the planet yet the they also want to kill the babies.

Protecting and maintaining this wonderful planet God created for us is very important if we wish our species to exist for many centuries to come. Also, I know of no Democrats that advocate the killing of babies.

Posted by: Warren P at January 27, 2006 12:22 PM
Comment #117581

Sicilianeagle,

Uh, do you actually think we’re in some sort of war for our lives and the future of our country? I must have missed the reports of the millions of al-Qaeda troops preparing to invade from Canada, along with the reports of Iraqi insurgents organizing an attack along the Mexican border. We can’t possibly lose anything more than our imperialist advantages in the Middle East. NOTHING MORE. Even if al-Qaeda manages to attack us a few more times in the US, we’re not going to lose the “war.” You KNOW this is all just an excuse for Bush to enrich the cronies that got him elected, run roughshod over our constitutional rights and liberties, and strengthen the government for the next neocon who fools the idiotic masses into thinking that they are in some sort of danger. This “war” has been brewing since 1958 when we started messing around in the Middle East, and it will probably continue as long as there are shortsighted fools to rush to wave a flag, mouth jingoistic tripe, and condemn anyone who points out their idiocy.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at January 27, 2006 1:16 PM
Comment #117613

Article about spying on “terrorist” vegans — it includes a couple of photos released by the ACLU.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 27, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #117622

Another interesting/terrifying article: US plans to ‘fight the net’ revealed

A few quotes from the article:

A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military’s plans for “information operations” - from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.

The document says information is “critical to military success”

Bloggers beware.

As the world turns networked, the Pentagon is calculating the military opportunities that computer networks, wireless technologies and the modern media offer.

From influencing public opinion through new media to designing “computer network attack” weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war.

The declassified document is called “Information Operations Roadmap”. It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act.

Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.

Scariest bit, because obviously they view our First Amendment rights as their enemy:

When it describes plans for electronic warfare, or EW, the document takes on an extraordinary tone. It seems to see the internet as being equivalent to an enemy weapons system.
“Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department (of Defense) will ‘fight the net’ as it would an enemy weapons system,” it reads.
Posted by: Adrienne at January 27, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #117628

Adrienne,

(Did I ever tell you you were awesome) Boy that Caitlyn chick sure looks dangerous especially that guy next to her who looks like he just crawled out of a bongshop—Thanks George W, a sensible bit of surveilance, yeah they could after all break out carrots and put all of our lives at risk.

Posted by: Sanford at January 27, 2006 4:43 PM
Comment #117635

>How does it pertain to the debate over the 72 hour rule though?

Sanger. It applies the exact same way that 2nd Amendment activists apply their argument against gun control (which I think has merit). What is the point in increasing the power and reach of the government beyond its constitutional definition, when existing laws that fall within the legal constitutional bounds are not applied?

In short, the president is saying he wants to circumvent the 72 hour window, not because it doesn’t work, but because his own branch can’t get out of its own way. The problem in the Moussaoui case wasn’t an inflexible court or an unavailability of executive/enforcement power, it was an unwillingness of the executive branch to use the powers it already had.

The president is demanding (taking) power because HIS branch was ineffective. NOT because it lacked sufficient tools to do its job.

Shouldn’t the idea of undermining the constitution due to government innefficency within a bureau be the type of thing that makes an intellectually honest conservative spin (righfully) anxious?

Posted by: Grubbery at January 27, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #117638

Jane,

>I think Liberal should stop this kind of irrational
>criticism. If Clinton did the same thing, you’ll
>all hail him as hero!

Hardly. Liberals and Conservatives alike were very critical of Clinton when he proposed loosening up 4th Amendment restrictions in the aftermath of the OKC bombing. Just keep in mind, the power you’re happily ceding to George Bush could be available in the future to a President Hillary (yikes), a President Obama, or some other liberal boogieman that AM radio will have you lathered up over.

>At least, Our President is honest enough to
>confront the press about this

Actually, “your” president did this secretly, convinced a newspaper to sit on the story for a full year and was put into a defensive posture only after it was leaked in a manner it is to this moment vigorously attempting to prosecute against.

Posted by: Grubbery at January 27, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #117662

Libertyman,

We can’t possibly lose anything more than our imperialist advantages in the Middle East. NOTHING MORE.

Tell that to the children of the 3000 people killed on 9-11. Tell them that their mom or dad never walking through the door again is not loosing something other than our imperialist advantages.

Posted by: Kirk at January 27, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #117663

Kirk,

I’d rather loose one of my parents, or even my own life instead of loosing my rights as an American Citizen to not be spyed upon without a warrant.

Posted by: Warren P at January 27, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #117664
Just keep in mind, the power you’re happily ceding to George Bush could be available in the future to a President Hillary (yikes), a President Obama, or some other liberal

So, what is your point?

The president be they a Democrat, Republican, Independant, Green, Libertarian you name it, has to have the ability to prosecute a war or protect the security of the nation.

That means that from time to time things have to happen that you and I have no business knowing. Because if you or I know about it the enemy will know about it too. So, if Obama is ever elected president I would fully expect him to conduct surveilance on suspected terrorists within this country or those having communications with suspected terrorists outside this country. It’s called connecting the dots and I seem to remember the president being raked over the coals for not connecting the dots prior to 9-11. Now that he is connecting the dots he is under fire again.

Just goes to show that you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t when it comes to politics.

I do have to agree with the yikes on President Hillary though. Makes me shudder at the thought.

Posted by: Kirk at January 27, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #117666

Warren,

So if they had a piece of paper all would be fine and dandy?

Posted by: Kirk at January 27, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #117671

Kirk,

“The president be they a Democrat, Republican, Independant, Green, Libertarian you name it, has to have the ability to prosecute a war or protect the security of the nation.”

While I’ll give you the “protect the security of the nation”, only Congress has the the power to declare war.

Posted by: Rocky at January 27, 2006 8:13 PM
Comment #117674

This issue should not be partisan. The Constitution and our laws are to be followed by both Democrats and Republicans. I would have the same feelings if Clinton were spying on us too. It cannot be justified, nor can lying about a blowjob. The 72 hour rule still applies now, it does not slow down a tap one bit. I believe only 6 of 18,000 requests have ever been denied. It’s a formality that keeps the government from spying on its own for no reason. There’s no other way to justify our President openly breaking the law. His actions are reprehensible. Remember, this is the same administration that outted a CIA agent for political retribution. No political leader is to be trusted. That’s why we have checks and balances. Don’t screw it up GOP-lovers.

Posted by: mcwiley at January 27, 2006 8:32 PM
Comment #117719

Kirk,

>So, what is your point?

My point was in response to Jane’s comments. View them in that context, and I’m sure you’ll manage to figure it out.

>The president be they a Democrat, Republican,
>Independant, Green, Libertarian you name it, has
>to have the ability to prosecute a war or protect
>the security of the nation.

As I pointed out before. The president already HAS that power. He had it under the FISA act in 2001, but the FBI CHOSE NOT TO PURSUE a surveillance against Zacarias Moussoui in the summer of 2001. The president was granted still GREATER powers via the Patriot Act.

Despite these powers, the president has elected to reserve for himself that at best skirt the law, if not openly defy it. He is doing this not because he lacks sufficient power - if the FBI had pursued the FISA warrant that is granted 90% of the time, in the Moussoui case, the 9/11 plot would have been severely disrupted, if not completely foiled.

No, the president is TAKING power that is not granted to him by law because of administrative bungling, not lack of constitutional power or anemic prosecutorial latitude.

In truth, the federal government is extending its power due to its size and inefficancy. Any Conservative claim that this is in keeping with their values and philosophy is at best hypocrisy, and at worst a total betrayal of their guiding principles out of a greater allegiance to political power and allegiance.

Posted by: Grubbery at January 27, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #117725

Rocky,

Did I say declare war?

Don’t think so, what I said was prosecute a war. Two different word with a big difference in meaning.

Posted by: Kirk at January 27, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #117730

So, mcwiley,

I will ask again would a piece of paper from the judge make the “spying” OK? If they had that piece of paper would it all be hunkey dorey?

Posted by: Kirk at January 27, 2006 11:37 PM
Comment #117733

Kirk,

“Don’t think so, what I said was prosecute a war. Two different word with a big difference in meaning.”

So what you’re saying is that liberals aren’t the only folks that are willing to parce words.

“I will ask again would a piece of paper from the judge make the “spying” OK? If they had that piece of paper would it all be hunkey dorey?”

Legally obtained, you betcha.

Posted by: Rocky at January 27, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #117742

Jane:
“I also have to say that Liberal is really shameless in making national security an issue to attack our President.”

Yeah, doesn’t shameless Liberal know that the less freedom we have, the safer we are?

“Think about this, if there are, says, three Muslim on the street talking to oen another, be that in English or arabic, isn’t it very likely they are ploting against us?! Wouldn’t you feel the need to get a handle on what they are ploting?! Be honest!”

I am gobsmacked by this…
It’s got to be a joke, right? But it’s not at all funny — it’s just so completely out there.

Sanford:
“Adrienne,
(Did I ever tell you you were awesome)”

Aww! (blush) No, but thanks!

“Boy that Caitlyn chick sure looks dangerous especially that guy next to her who looks like he just crawled out of a bongshop —
Thanks George W, a sensible bit of surveilance, yeah they could after all break out carrots and put all of our lives at risk.”

Shhhhh! Them thurs terr-ist vegi-gans. Gotta keep a sharp eye out on these types. They hate us for our flesh-eating freedoms…

Posted by: Adrienne at January 28, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #117752

Rocky,

No, parsing here. I know what the meaning of the word is is as well as the meaning of the word prosecute and declare.

pros•e•cute

Pronunciation: (pros’i-kyOOt”),

to follow up or carry forward something undertaken or begun, usually to its completion: to prosecute a war.

de•clare

Pronunciation: (di-klâr’)

to announce officially; proclaim: to declare a state of emergency; to declare war.

Legally obtained, you betcha.

So, is a judge the only one who can protect your civil liberties? And if the numbers that have been thrown out here of 99% of all requests being granted are true, how closely do you think these judges are looking at the petitions? I would say that if 99% of all the petitions are granted they have become not much more than a rubber stamp formality and not much of a protection of your civil liberties.

Posted by: Kirk at January 28, 2006 12:38 AM
Comment #117772

For all of you who are demanding the warrants. Who say that if obtained legally the warrants make the “Domestic Spying” OK. Who say that if they had only obtained the warrant even after the fact.

Here is a little reading for you to show how well the FISA Court protects your civil liberties.

THE SECRET FISA COURT: RUBBER STAMPING ON RIGHTS

by Philip Colangelo

Seven judges on a secret court have authorized all but one of over 7,500 requests to spy in the name of National Security. They meet in secret, with no published orders, opinions, or public record. Those spied on May never know of the intrusion. Now, Clinton has expanded the powers to include not only electronic, but physical searches.

And how about this tidbit.

Reportedly, the Clinton administration had not always been enthusiastic about expanding the court’s powers. Like its predecessors, it operated under the assumption that the executive already had inherent authority to exempt itself from Fourth Amendment constraints and could order warrantless searches to protect national security.

If you would like to read the rest here it is.

http://mediafilter.org/caq/Caq53.court.html

Sorry I didn’t make it a link but I still have not figured that one out.

Posted by: Kirk at January 28, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #117797

“John

Do me a favor…tell me the name of one person who made a call to another person within the continential borders of America that had his call intercepted.

One.

Just one.”

[SicilianEagle]
————————————————————————-

Let us hope that some intercontinental calls have been monitored… I mean, if our government is trying to “protect” us from terrorist activity then they had best be following leads even if the leads remain on American soil (or phone lines).

If the government is truly trying to protect us, then they cannot be so naive to think that only transoceanic telephone calls are being made. Let’s be honest, the operatives that participated in “9-11” were in the United States, and chances are very likely they communicated with one another before boarding their various flights that morning. Chances are, there are terrorists within a five mile radius of each and every one of our homes…

Ack! Maybe the propoganda machine isn’t propoganda after all! Maybe the country is riddled with terrorists!

ACK !!!!

IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!

(Psst. They’re called the Right.)

Posted by: MJ Shaw at January 28, 2006 3:22 AM
Comment #117800

“This is a war.

People who don’t play by the rules want to kill you and I.” — SicilianEagle


Rules of War

This phrase has always cracked me up. Rules. Whose rules?

God’s?

Yours?

Mine?

War is about killing or being killed. Is one way of taking a person’s life or losing the one you have any less permanent than another?

Some people would say that “cruel and unusual” killing is more of a crime and does not fit within the Rules of War code of “uncruel and usual” forms of death dealing. If you kill someone can it ever not be “cruel and unusual” with regards to their normal state of living?

You know what I find most interesting about so many of the people that support the war in Iraq and our Non-President Dubya; most of them claim to be practicing Christians. I wonder if I missed the memo from God that announced the alteration of the Ten Commandments and removal of the “thou shalt not kill” one that I remember being in there…

Sicialian Eagle, I am very curious about something. Does your unit commander know how much time you spend on the internet in political blogs? I mean, you’re so fervent about America’s safety, and that of her citizens as well, I feel obliged to assume that you are in the military and stationed in Iraq doing your absolute best to protect us and preserve our way of life.

If anything less than my above stated assumption is true, then I find myself thinking that you are just another typical, run-of-the-mill hypocrite.

Posted by: MJ Shaw at January 28, 2006 3:50 AM
Comment #117810

I really do not want to engage in any meaningless debate. I just feel very strongly about the issue and how misleading it is in the left column.

I really did try to understand the mindset of Liberal… It is really hard for me to believe that we are all living in the same country. Everyone around are ready to do something for the security of the nation (short of being a solider, maybe). And to support the President for decision he made is one of them. I do not think he made decision lightly, and if he did make up his mind, there is a reason. But certainly not to get you Liberal mad on purpose!

And, ya know what, the muslim grow up in THIS country are actually most likely to carry out the next attack! Just think about what happened in London. It is logical to interpret any calls, no matter if it goes intercontinental or not, as long as it can help fight the terrorists!

I think even until now, you liberal still “don’t get it”!


Posted by: jane at January 28, 2006 5:14 AM
Comment #117870
I will ask again would a piece of paper from the judge make the “spying” OK? If they had that piece of paper would it all be hunkey dorey?

Yep.

So, is a judge the only one who can protect your civil liberties?

Again, yep. The courts are the traditional avenue for contesting an infringement of your constitutional rights.

This point was made before, but I’ll repeat it: President Bush can “fight the terrorists” just as effectively without breaking the law. But now he’s a criminal.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 28, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #117871

Let’s avoid getting personal, MJ. Critique the message, not the messenger. SE is a concerned citizen just like you and me.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 28, 2006 10:42 AM
Comment #117873

What I do get is that the zenophobia around here seems overwhelming at times.

Posted by: Rocky at January 28, 2006 10:47 AM
Comment #117881

As a telecommunications professional with over 30 years in the industry, let me make a point here. The original article that I read talked about the government using “data mining” techniques to look for suspect calls. For those of you who don’t know, that involves putting a tap on a central network switch, and monitoring EVERY CALL that goes through that switch, looking for instances of a particular word or phrase or whatever. That means that EVERY CALL going through that switch is monitored. Not just calls from overseas to the US, or calls from the US to overseas, but EVERY SINGLE CALL, regardless of source or destination.

SicilianEagle,
You said that “you can’t prove a negative”. Interesting comment in light of the fact that the Bush administration demanded that Iraq prove a negative (namely that it didn’t have WMD) in order to stave off our invasion. If asking someone to prove a negative is wrong, why was the Bush administration justified in doing so?

This is not intended as an attack, by the way, but I find in intriguing that you question people’s loyalties when in the past you have admitted to having dual citizenship (Italy, if I remember). Dual citizenship means that your loyalties are in fact divided between two countries. If you’re such a loyal American, why haven’t you renounced your other citizenship?

You’d better hope that dual citizenship isn’t one of the reasons for monitoring someone’s calls, because if it is, then it’s YOUR calls that are being listened to. Don’t you feel safer now?

Posted by: ElliottBay at January 28, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #117888

Jane:
“I really did try to understand the mindset of Liberal…”

Well, your understanding might improve if you actually tried having a conversation with a few Liberals here, rather than speaking at us as though we are all the same and share a single mindset.

“Everyone around are ready to do something for the security of the nation (short of being a solider, maybe). And to support the President for decision he made is one of them. I do not think he made decision lightly, and if he did make up his mind, there is a reason.”

Blind support for illegal acts will not make us more secure.
It doesn’t matter how the president made his decision, because he broke the law by not getting a warrant. There is no reason or excuse for that. None.

“It is logical to interpret any calls, no matter if it goes intercontinental or not, as long as it can help fight the terrorists!”

No one here is saying that we shouldn’t spy on terrorist suspects — either here or overseas. We’re saying that spying must be done with a legal warrant so that there will be a record of exactly who and what they are looking for — because doing it without a warrant is a clear abuse of presidential power. We had a president (Nixon) who abused his power in this exact same way before. He was spying on Americans for no good reason. This is why there was a special court set up: FISA, which came out of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. It gave our government a way to spy on people where necessary by allowing them to get the warrants they needed quickly. This way a careful record of what they were doing was still being kept, and they were still operating within the law.

Our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment assures us that:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, 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.

Without a record of who, what, where, and when they are spying on people, they are saying they think they have the right to spy on anyone, including American citizens, for any reason, in any place, and at any time. This ignores the Fourth Amendment entirely, therefore, it is illegal.

“I think even until now, you liberal still “don’t get it”!”

And what you don’t seem to get, Jane, is that America is a nation of laws, not of men. When our leaders break the law or attempt to ignore or discard the rights that were given to every American citizen by our Constitution, we need no longer support them at all.
This has nothing to do with being Liberal or Conservative, or Democrat or Republican. It has only to do with preserving, protecting and defending America’s Constitution and our laws.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 28, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #117901

AP,

So, a rubber stamp warrant is protection of civil liberties and makes everything OK. At the time the Colangelo article was written during the Clinton Admin. a total of 0.00013% of the petitions to the FISA Court had been denied a warrant. Now I am no statistician but logic tells me that there had to be more than 1 of 7,539 petitions that had at the very least a technical problem with the petition.

Which leads one to the conclusion that the FISA warrants are nothing more than wam-bam thank you mam rubber stamp documents. How in the world is that an assurance of protection of civil liberties?

When you look at the FISA Annual Report to Congress the records show that since 1979 there have been a total of 18,730 petitions submitted to FISA. Only one was fully denied. Two were partially approved and 3 approved as modified. So that means that only 0.000053% have been denied. Again I’m no statistician but I think I would likely come closer to winning Power Ball than having a FISA petition denied. Again, there is no way in Hell that the FISA rubber stamp is a oversight or protection of anyones civil liberties.

As for Bush being a criminal, he is claiming no more power in this vein (and less in some cases) than any other president since Roosevelt. So, were they all criminals?

Posted by: Kirk at January 28, 2006 1:28 PM
Comment #117914

This makes no sense to me…I watched as good ol’ Billy boy did the same exact things that Bush has done in his 8 years in office and the media and libs never raised an eyebrow. We finally get a president with the balls to stand up and fight all the evil in the world that Clinton let slide during his time and the media and libs do everything in their power to destroy him..I get so sick watching the news and reading the papers because it’s nothing but attacks on a man who is doing everything within his presidential powers to stop terrorism cold. I have yet to hear what the libs plan on doing about this..there comes a time when enough is enough. Stop badgering Bush and give us your ideas, because let’s face it-the libs will suffer greatly if this charade of juvenile finger-pointing and fact-twisting doesn’t stop. Just give us your ideas and let the americans decide…we’re much smarter than you might think we are.

Posted by: Charlie at January 28, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #117917

Kirk,

“Again, there is no way in Hell that the FISA rubber stamp is a oversight or protection of anyones civil liberties.”

So, you’re solution is no oversight at all, no paper trail, nothing.

If we go into court with any evidence collected without any paper trail just how many convictions do you expect?

The perception of inpropriety may be worse than the actuallity, but why is it we just can’t do this the right way?
And,,, why is it you seem to be able to accept that, without any problem what so ever?

“As for Bush being a criminal, he is claiming no more power in this vein (and less in some cases) than any other president since Roosevelt.”

And of course that makes everything hunky-dory?

Posted by: Rocky at January 28, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #118073

Rocky,

Prepared by Lee Tien, Electronic Frontier Foundation Senior Counsel, Sep. 27, 2001

FISA established a special court, composed of seven federal district court judges appointed by the Chief Justice for staggered terms and are from different circuits. See 50 U.S.C.A. § 1803. Individual judges of the FISC review the Attorney General’s applications for authorization of electronic surveillance aimed at obtaining foreign intelligence information. The proceedings are nonadversarial and are based solely on the DOJ’s presentations through its Office of Intelligence Policy and Review.

The records and files of the cases are sealed and may not be revealed even to persons whose prosecutions are based on evidence obtained under FISA warrants, except to a limited degree set by district judges’ rulings on motions to suppress. 50 U.S.C. §1803(c). There is no provision for the return of each executed warrant to the FISC, much less with an inventory of items taken, nor for certification that the surveillance was conducted according to the warrant and its “minimization” requirements.

The FISC meets two days monthly, and two of the judges are routinely available in the Washington, D.C. area on other days. Statement of Mary C. Lawton, Counsel for Intelligence Policy, Before the House Subcommittee on Courts, Civil Liberties, and the Administration of Justice, June 8, 1983, at 8.

“So, you’re solution is no oversight at all, no paper trail, nothing.”

Even with the FISA court that is essentially what you have. All petitions are submitted in secret. All presentations to the court are ex-parte with only the DOJ offering “arguments”. Once the warrant is issued there is no requirement for the return of the executed warrant to the court which means there is no means to verify the surveilance was conducted in accordance with the warrant. All meetings of the court are conducted in a locked, gaurded room and all documents relating to the court are sealed. Even a defendants lawyer is denied access to the court records.

The only oversight of the FISA Court is the “FISA Annual Report to Congress”. The report consists one to two paragraphs listing the number of petitions received and warrants granted in a calendar year. Explanation is given if the two numbers are different. This explanation is most always that petitions were received late in December so were not acted upon until January of the following year.

How is this a paper trail? A paper trail without access is not a paper trail at all.

With 99.99995% of all applications rubber stamped and warrants issued, how is this oversight?

With every administration claiming the powers claimed by Bush there is an Established Precedent. Established Precedent was all we heard from the left for days during the Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Alito. Why is the precedent established by numerous administrations not enough for the left in this matter?

Posted by: Kirk at January 29, 2006 2:23 AM
Comment #118101
So, a rubber stamp warrant is protection of civil liberties and makes everything OK.

Yes, because there is a paper trail.

How is this a paper trail? A paper trail without access is not a paper trail at all.

It exists. It can be accessed. If you’re suddenly turned down for a government-related job or loan or application or you can’t buy tickets on an airplane, you can damned well find out if it’s because you’re on a FISA list. That’s what the courts and the FOIA are for.

The way President Bush is handling this, you’ll never have any recourse whatsoever. That should concern every patriotic American.

I watched as good ol’ Billy boy did the same exact things that Bush has done in his 8 years in office and the media and libs never raised an eyebrow.

Perhaps you can provide an example of President Clinton illegally spying on American citizens, and secretly seizing and detaining them, Charlie.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 29, 2006 5:15 AM
Comment #118191

Kirk, you seem to be suggesting that because there is a process that “rubber stamps” the warrant requests, then no process is needed. That’s disengenious and self-serving to an obviously partisan goal of providing CYA to the current president.

What you leave on the table and refuse to defend is the more obvious problem. If the president faces a FISA process that has only ever denied FOUR warrants, then why does he feel the need to bend the law?

The problem here is the process provides some method of oversite, which (at least in retrospect) allows us some visibility on how the government HAS used its power. It also allows us, retroactively, to debate whether the use of that power is in our own best interest as the voters and citizens of this country.

You as much as admit that Bush is violating the FISA act not out of a need for better latitude, but for no other rational explanation than a desire to avoid accountability.

The presidency was NEVER designed to be an executive with magesterial powers at his own discretion. Indeed, the founding fathers purposefully designed a presidency that is theoretically not any more powerful than congress or the courts.

Historically, the presidency has (often out of necessity) expanded its powers at the expense of the other two branches, this is true. However, it is also true that everytime this has happened the presidency has also exceeded its powers beyond what makes the majority of Americans comfortable, and those same powers have been corrupted to further the goals and interests of individuals or political cabals at the expense of the larger interests of United States.

What is truly frightening is that Conservatives have usually been the bulwark resisting the expansion of government power. Instead, you have abandoned your post and are preaching for the expansion of governmental power simply for the fact that the guy in power is “your guy.”

At this point in our history, you could do no greater disservice to your country than cling to your syllopsistic arguements and selling your soul and your country for God only knows what price.

I just hope the devil paid you well. There are no money-back guarantees in Hell.

Posted by: Grubbery at January 29, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #118464

Excuse me, but didn’t GWB say, like three years ago, “We have won the the war?” or words to that effect. And, of course, this IS his war.
So, since it is HIS war, I guess he can say anything he likes about what we are doing and why we are doing it and whom we are doing it to.
Contrary to the word in some of these posts, I’m not sure we can say, “most of the people believe” anything. I have talked with many of my conservative family members who still believe this administration is doing the “right thing”.
So, I guess no matter what I think about how this group of world meddlers and greedy conservative crooks has been mismanaging the U.S. finances and our reputation around the world, there are still a lot of people who disagree.
I find it hard to understand these people and my stand has created a gap in my relations with some of my family, but I stand by my conviction that this administration, with Dick Cheney leading the parade, that the country is going to pay a high price over the next several years for the high handed manner in which our civil liberties are being washed from under us and our world standing is being trampled.

Posted by: jcp at January 30, 2006 9:49 AM
Comment #118528

AP / Grubbery,

“It exists. It can be accessed. If you’re suddenly turned down for a government-related job or loan or application or you can’t buy tickets on an airplane, you can damned well find out if it’s because you’re on a FISA list. That’s what the courts and the FOIA are for.”

“The problem here is the process provides some method of oversite, which (at least in retrospect) allows us some visibility on how the government HAS used its power. It also allows us, retroactively, to debate whether the use of that power is in our own best interest as the voters and citizens of this country.”

Here is where both of you are wrong. There is no access to these “paper trails”.

Philip Colangelo

Each of these decisions was reached in secret, with no published orders, opinions, or public record. The people, organizations, or embassies spied on were not notified of either the hearing or the surveillance itself. The American Civil Liberties Union was not able to unearth a single instance in which the target of a FISA wiretap was allowed to review the initial application. Nor would the targets be offered any opportunity to see transcripts of the conversations taped by the government and explain their side of the story.

Lee Tien

The records and files of the cases are sealed and may not be revealed even to persons whose prosecutions are based on evidence obtained under FISA warrants

Dahlia Lithwick

the target of surveillance is never advised of this surveillance; and the application itself and supporting affidavits are filed under seal so that neither the target nor his attorney can ever see the allegations against him.

ACLU

Under FISA procedures, all hearings and decisions are conducted in secret. The Department of Justice has not disclosed even the most basic information about the court’s activities despite repeated requests from Congress, the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups.

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

The proceedings, documents, evidence everything involved in the FISA cases is secret, not available to defendants, lawyers, Congress or lower courts. Thus there is no paper trail.

“What you leave on the table and refuse to defend is the more obvious problem. If the president faces a FISA process that has only ever denied FOUR warrants, then why does he feel the need to bend the law?”

The FISA Court meets 2 days a month. While the FISA act does allow for warrants after the fact the ability to obtain information on terrorist targets is seriosly hampered.

In the absence of a judicial order approving such electronic surveillance, the surveillance shall terminate when the information sought is obtained, when the application for the order is denied, or after the expiration of 72 hours from the time of authorization by the Attorney General, whichever is earliest.

Ony 72 hours to surveill a terrorist suspect. If the Attorney General approves the surveilance the day after the court meets, it could be as much as 25 days before the court meets again to act on the application. How much critical information on potential attacks could be missed during 25 days? More than enough for the US to be attacked and another 3000 peolpe killed.

So, yes I have a problem with hampering the collection of intelligence that could save countless lives in order to maintain a rubber stamp “paper trail” that is unaccessable to anyone outside the FISA Court.


Posted by: Kirk at January 30, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #118643
Here is where both of you are wrong. There is no access to these “paper trails”.

No, Kirk. The paper trails exist but (taking your word for it — you should provide links) there hasn’t been access granted yet.

The way President Bush is handling it, there is no paper trail at all.

BTW, why are you fighting so hard for President Hillary’s ability to spy on you after she gets elected?

Posted by: American Pundit at January 31, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #118663

AP,

Here you go. Sorry I haven’t mastered the whole Link thing so I will just provide you with the web addresses.

Philip Colangelo

http://mediafilter.org/caq/Caq53.court.html

Lee Tien

http://www.eff.org/Censorship/Terrorism_militias/fisa_faq.html

Dahlia Lithwick

http://www.slate.com/?id=2070287

ACLU

http://www.aclu.org//natsec/spying/14454res20030510.html

“BTW, why are you fighting so hard for President Hillary’s ability to spy on you after she gets elected?”

I refer back to my statement from earlier.

“The president be they a Democrat, Republican, Independant, Green, Libertarian you name it, has to have the ability to prosecute a war or protect the security of the nation.

That means that from time to time things have to happen that you and I have no business knowing. Because if you or I know about it the enemy will know about it too. So, if Obama is ever elected president I would fully expect him to conduct surveilance on suspected terrorists within this country or those having communications with suspected terrorists outside this country.”


Posted by: Kirk at January 31, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #118672

AP,

One last thing.

“BTW, why are you fighting so hard for President Hillary’s ability to spy on you after she gets elected?”

Please oh Please let her be the Democratic candidate for president.

The only thing better would be if it were Kennedy.

Posted by: Kirk at January 31, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #119505
I would fully expect him to conduct surveilance on suspected terrorists within this country or those having communications with suspected terrorists outside this country.

I have no problem with that, Kirk. It’s the spying on American citizens who are NOT suspected terrorists that I have a problem with — especially the fact that it’s done secretly and without any records.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2006 8:51 AM
Comment #119637

AP,

“I have no problem with that, Kirk. It’s the spying on American citizens who are NOT suspected terrorists that I have a problem with — especially the fact that it’s done secretly and without any records.”

I have yet to see or hear anything reported listing those spied on. So you do not know that any American Citizens who are not suspected terrorists were spied on. In that vein I would argue that if an American Citizen is communicating with suspected terrorists they in turn become suspect.

I will say again that no one outside the highest echilons of the DOJ with clearance have access to these “records”. That includes any potential defendant or his attorneys.

Posted by: Kirk at February 2, 2006 1:22 PM
Comment #213075

You people are pathetic.

Posted by: jT at March 21, 2007 6:25 PM
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