Democrats & Liberals Archives

Wiretaps Ruled Illegal, But Fight Is Not Over

Bush’s use of warrantless wiretaps have been ruled unconstitutional on two different grounds. First, the warrantless wiretaps themselves were ruled illegal. Second, Bush’s claiming of the authority to order the wiretaps was declared unconstitutional.

District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, of Detroit, White House ordered to halt wire-taps without warrants issued the ruling. However; the administration has promised to file an appeal. There is still pressure on Congress to change the law so that the president could authorize surveillance without warrants or oversight, and that U.S. persons who are constitutionally protected from such over-reaching infringements of privacy, would no longer be protected. Telecommunication companies who participated in the wiretaps may also be impacted by the ruling.

I find it a betrayal that the administration will appeal until they exhaust all legal options for the right to engage in unconstitutional behavior. In other words, they will fight to the Supreme Court where they have tried to stack the deck in their favor. Likewise, they will push Congress to change our Constitution to remove protections and expand the reach of the Executive Office. Some of course would argue the reverse - that Taylor betrayed the United States in the double negative ruling against the administration and its actions. They apparently feel that a dictatorship is appropriate, and that "if you don't have anything to hide ..." America is "too free" according to some - including those currently in power. The "patriots" ardently argue against "activist judges" who "legislate from the bench." However, Judge Taylor ruled for the status quo - the Constitution as it stands. If she had ruled otherwise, then she would have been legislating from the bench. What the Bush administration hopes for in appealing the case is to find an "activist judge" who favors their legislating from the White House.

Much of Congress, on the other hand, seems less upset about the over-reaching of the Administration, and the violation of Constitutional protections, than it does about being "left out of the loop." They seem more than willing to write legislation that would address both violations, and thereby place even more power in the Executive Branch and erode Constitutional safeguards.

Who stands for us and the nation? Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in my opinion.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at August 19, 2006 8:05 AM
Comments
Comment #176466

Congress cannot do through statute what the Constitution disallows in the first place. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of Constitutional issues. This seems like an important enough tool in the President’s arsenal that I am willing to wait for the final word on this.

I think “betrayal” is an inflammatory criticism of someone that is trying to protect us. The President, the Congress and the courts all want to protect us; they all want to do their jobs.

Oversight is important to protect us against ourselves, but there is no call for labeling overzealousness as betrayal.

Posted by: Charlie at August 19, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #176476

—-So as the majority of folks just put your head
under the sand an all is well, an don’t fix it if
she ain’t broke! charlie, I have a building called
twine dowers I would love to sell you.

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #176482

The Administration should appeal this until it gets to the Supreme Court, where its constitutionality will be decided once and for all. The opinion of a district court judge in Detroit cannot determine the direction of U.S. constitutional law and national security.

That is how our constitutional process works. We all knew it would not be over in Detroit. Ms. Taylor had he say. Now her superiors will speak.

Posted by: Jack at August 19, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #176483

—Rowan wolf— The right thing to do at the right time, the problem is Bush can not allow Judge Diggs
order to stand. I can just picture the litany of
charges brought against President Bush an I would be
willing to bet we will see if Bush made the right
choices with his Supreme Court Appointees

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #176484

Rowan Wolf,
I agree with you totally. Our only chance at a real win against misusing our constitutional rights might come if the next president does not continue to proceed with the lawsuit.

District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, of Detroit, is IMO to be congratulated in her decision. I can only hope that the next judge to hear the case will be as level-headed.

I also felt betrayed when I first heard about the wiretaps.

Charlie,
As for trying to protect us - I’m not too sure about that either.

Yes I know all about how we haven’t been attacked here again since 9/11, but I’m not sure that has anything to do with President Bush’s War on Terror.

Maybe, just maybe, the terrorists haven’t tried or even wanted to attack us in such a short period of time?

Those trying to prove a negative with a negative don’t tend to get anywhere.

DAVID,
I’m sure you had a point to make, but I’m afraid I missed it somehow. Would you mind trying to re-phrase your point so I can understand it?


Posted by: Linda H. at August 19, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #176485

“the problem is Bush can not allow Judge Diggs
order to stand.”

I still have not heard a cogent argument by bush supporters as to why it’s so vital that he be allowed to violate the FISA law as it stands.
99.99% of requests for wiretaps are approved.
Your allowed 3 days of unapproved tapping before getting a warrant, so the delay argument is false.
Please, will the ‘bush blank check’ crowd fill us in on the big deal?

Posted by: Observer at August 19, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #176488

Because most of the hits are not followed up. There is no probable cause. YOu scan thousands of calls looking for patterns. You really have no interest in most of these calls and could never justify a search warrant IF you had the time to ask for thousands of such warrants.

It would be like asking you to pay for every item you glanced at at the grocery store.

I am confident that the Supreme Court (if/when) it gets there will understand the need. We do not really have to argue about this, since when it is decided finally all of us will support that result.

Posted by: Jack at August 19, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #176490

——Linda— Sorry you can’t understand it, I guess
—some people won’t or can’t understand it. I guess!

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 3:18 PM
Comment #176492

—-Observer— Would you like to compare your facts,,
with factcheck.org and take back that spin,

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #176493

Linda,

I assume that the President, the Congress and the Courts all take their jobs seriously. Perhaps that is a bad assumption on my part. I’m willing to let them fight it out to the extent provided by law. That would mean allowing the President to appeal to the Supreme Court. If he loses, so be it. You will probably have your impeachment motivation at that point.

If this were Clinton I would profess the same opinion. I simply will not join the crowd that assumes the President is doing this for personal or partisan reasons. We are at war. I’m giving the government and the President the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: Charlie at August 19, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #176495

“—-Observer— Would you like to compare your facts,,
with factcheck.org and take back that spin, “

If you have a rebuttal, make it.

Posted by: Observer at August 19, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #176497

“I simply will not join the crowd that assumes the President is doing this for personal or partisan reasons.”

Why? Everything bush does is partisan. Cheney declared last week that the voters of Connecticut were helping Alquaeda by voting for who they preffered. THAT’S not partisan?

” We are at war. I’m giving the government and the President the benefit of the doubt”

Really? Who have we declared war against?
Iraq is now an occupation, not a war.
Terrorism is a tactic, not a country.
If were at war, why are we cutting taxes and still handing out pork with a bulldozer?

Posted by: Observer at August 19, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #176498

You’re guessing a lot DAVID, and causing the rest of us to guess at what you’re trying to convey as well.
“Bush cannot allow Judge Diggs order to stand.”… Try as he might, Bush has not been able to turn this country into a sovereignty yet. We still have courts to determine law and judges with the nerve to tell Georgie that he is wrong !
And Jack, it seems more like someone stealing something from the grocery store, then taking it back because they didn’t like the taste of it. They still stole it though, didn’t they?!?!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 19, 2006 4:09 PM
Comment #176499

I agree with Charlie. There was wiretapping before Pearl Harbor when a DEM was in office. G.W. made a lot of mistakes, but what President didn’t make mistakes. I don’t like what he is doing in Iraq. But we do need some kind of survalence. I for one do not want another 9/11. I don’t think anyone else does either.

Posted by: KAP at August 19, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #176502

DAVID,

——Linda— Sorry you can’t understand it, I guess
—some people won’t or can’t understand it. I guess!.

I simply asked you to re-phrase your first post. I didn’t intend for you to get angry. By “IT” I may have mislead you. I actually meant I couldn’t understand your point.

I’m afraid I still don’t.

Hasn’t anyone bothered to read what at least some of the Reps want to do to solve this problem? I posted a link a while back about a Bill which would lengthen the time period for getting a warrant from 3 days to 45 days, and THAT would be up to the Attorney General. (How trust-worthy is he…!!!!LOLL)

Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006

I received this information from Sen. Graham, on June, 19th. 2006

Posted by: Linda H. at August 19, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #176503

KAP,
You are totally right, all presidents make mistakes, they are after all human.

However there are a lot more people with telephones today than in the late thirties, early forties. And the ones who had phones were also ones with money. Does this make it right? H**L no!
Repeating the mistakes of others does not make much sense.

If I remember correctly, TWO WRONGS DO NOT MAKE A RIGHT,
And one of the purposes of reading and knowing history is supposedly so we do not repeat the mistakes of others.

Posted by: Linda H. at August 19, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #176505

There has always been illegal wiretapping, there will continue to be. When you get caught, there will be consequences, if they are not quelched.

It will be a telling thing, how the Supreme Court handle’s this.

The President wants autonomy. In my opinion, he should not get it. If he is given it, we clearly no longer have the rule of law, by the Constitution, in my opinion. We’ll find out how “activist” our current Supreme Court is.

Posted by: gergle at August 19, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #176506

Observer,

We are at war with Islamic Fascists. It is a shame that this has been stated clearly only recently.

I recommend Bernard Lewis’ “What Went Wrong?” and “The Crises of Islam.” Both are excellent and very quick reads.

As serious as our situation is now, it is somewhat calming to understand the broad picture and grasp the historical signficance of today’s political climate.

Posted by: Charlie at August 19, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #176508

Jack, a US District Judge can make the decision if something is consitutional or not, and if it is appealled up to the Supreme Court, they will make a final decision, which down the road when old justices are replaced can change it again. Unfortunately it will probably go the same way the first election went, towards Bush. I have no problem with them doing wire taps, but they have the special double secret court to use, to get them. Have them do it the correct way to get the wire tap. I do think Bush overstepped his power by ordering them.
Next is Habeas Corpus going to be suspended because you disagree with the Pres. It has happened before because people talked against the Pres, and the Supreme Court said the suspension was unconstitutional. Oh see Lincoln and Habeas Corpus(gee a Republican President)if you want to check it out.


This current regime is trying to run this country on more of a dictatoral country then a democratic one. If you aren’t for us, you must be against us.

Got to wonder who are reading these blogs.

Posted by: KT at August 19, 2006 5:31 PM
Comment #176514

No matter if your repub, dem, or independent how do you think information is being gathered? It wouldn’t surprise me if someone isn’t gathering info from these blogs. When your in a criminal organization rights are lost. If our next president is Dem, Rep, or independent I hope he uses the same servalence that this administration is using. We cannot be free if we have to worry if the guy next to us is going to blow himself up.

Posted by: KAP at August 19, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #176515

It certainly seems on the face of it that warrantless wiretappings are illegal. This is a victory for rule of law. How the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and, possibly, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule will be interesting. But I don’t think we should assume Taylor will be over-ruled by these conservative courts. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some recent Supreme Court rulings.

Posted by: Trent at August 19, 2006 6:40 PM
Comment #176520

——Observer—- I am very sorry about the inaccurate
post I wrote about your article. I must have had
a brain freeze!! I reread your post an I was dumbfounded at what I had written. (no) excuses ?again I apologise David

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 6:49 PM
Comment #176521

——I guess I forgot to engage brain, before putting
fingers in gear (>:)

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #176522

“I don’t like what he is doing in Iraq. But we do need some kind of survalence. I for one do not want another 9/11. I don’t think anyone else does either.”

You seem confused. No one is saying you can’t wiretap. But if you do, you have to follow current US law when you do it.
Is that hard to understand?

Posted by: Observer at August 19, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #176525

“We are at war with Islamic Fascists.”

So you OK with turning this country upside down, violating laws, wholesale plundering of the treasury, doubling our debt, neglecting other pressing issues, etc, all because of few nuts hate us?
You seem to be under the ‘fear spell’ that bushco has so carefully engineered into the political climate. Yes, islamic nuts are a threat. HARDLY the worst threat we’ve ever dealt with, and certainly not a big enough threat to sell out our ideals and values and lie in a fetal position trembling while arrogant rich white men plunder our country.
Pulling off 9/11 was a miracle for them. A small uptick in airport security would have stopped that plot. The best they can do to us is an occasional lucky hit. Your odds of dying in a car wreck are a thousand times higher.
But you’d think terrorism was our number one killer if you listen to the fearmongering corporation that controls our government right now.
Time to put things in perspective again.

Posted by: Observer at August 19, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #176527

The Bushies will not want to take this case to SCOTUS where there are 5 solid votes (including Scalia) against them and probably a 6th. The only votes the Bushies have bought and paid for are those of Thomas, Alito, and Roberts. The problem the Bushies face in this case is that it is a direct challenge to the courts’ constitutionally mandated role as sole arbiter of what is and is not constitutional… As Marbury v Madison made clear, the executive has no power to determine the constitutionality of any law… The Framers intentionally created this system of checks and balances to prevent the very kind of tyranny addressed in the instant case.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at August 19, 2006 7:20 PM
Comment #176533

Wiretapping is a crock when borders and ports are wide oepn.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 19, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #176534

“We cannot be free if we have to worry if the guy next to us is going to blow himself up.”


Why would you worry about something that is such a remote possibility?
Without meaning to demean the loss of life on 9/11, more people have died from bee stings since that date than died in the attacks, just as a perspective.
And NOBODY has answered the simple question as to why following the FISA law is such a hardship.
Still waiting.

Posted by: Observer at August 19, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #176543

Why would you want to throw away your right to privacy and protection from unwarranted search and seizure for a program that has returned exactly squat over the last 10 years? Its not even effective. And no, the president shouldn’t knowingly commit a crime by cheekily suggesting his actions are constitutional when it’s obvious to everyone they aren’t. Maybe he was hoping he would return some results and prove the merit of the program, but if that’s the case then he failed.

Observer’s point has merit. You have a greater chance of being killed by a gun or a car or a falling airplane than you do a terrorist attack, but no one argues we should throw out the constitution to solve these problems. Remember, we are fighting for the constitution and our ideals. It makes no sense to throw the baby out with the bathwater when we haven’t tried sensible, straightforward policing and security methods yet.

This ruling was a ruling for commonsense, and a wake up call to conservatives that the national hysteria that let Bush do whatever he damn well pleased whether or not it made sense is over. I’m not worried about this reaching the conservative Supreme court, because the wiretapping is so obviously unconstitutional no judge in their right mind would let it pass regardless of circumstances or political outlook.

Posted by: Max at August 19, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #176544

—-Observer—- Your simple question amounts to the most important question to the attack on our
Constitution in recent history. I would say that
cognitive dissonance of our friends on the REP.
side can not an will not answer your question. With
all the technology America posses, why the need
for new laws? Because the Gov. wants to include the
big brother scenario, covering the entire
communications network! Not so far fetched any more.

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #176549

KAP

Are you really worried that the guy next door is going to blow himself up? Why not worry about something that is far more likely to happen like getting struck by lightning or getting killed by a car while you are crossing the street?

Would you really be so willing to give the executive branch of government such unchecked authority if Hillary or Russ were sitting in the oval office?

Posted by: mark at August 19, 2006 9:50 PM
Comment #176552

The Bush Adminstration wants to be Superman, using supersenses to zoom in and save the day. Unfortunately they lack an appreciation for the organizing power of evidence. Evidence means less uninformed guessing.

The biggest myth about these extreme measures is that they cut through the bull. The reality is that most of these measures, like warrantless eavesdropping, racial profiling, torture, and justifying pre-emptive measures on the least little bit of evidence tend to lead people down the garden path more than they do clear things up and improve results.

Ah, but don’t they make you feel powerful? That’s the key. We can beat the stuffing (and the information) out of those terrorists. We can scan the world of information to get them. Nowhere to hide! We can single out the very kind of people we KNOW are responsible. We can act against the terrorist before they can strike against us, and not have to wait for that pesky international law to do things for us.

Only problem comes when we really don’t have any fricking idea what’s actually going on. Then our prejudices and our impatience can get the best of us, and we end up in places like Iraq with no idea of what the enemy is really doing.

There’s no shortcut to security, especially in a Democracy like our own. We will have to work and devote great resources and imagination to protecting our country. The Power Fantasies of the right will not save this country from its enemies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #176553

It is foolish to discount the threat of Islamic Fascism. The Islamists are imperialists and seek to dominate the entire world. They’ve been on this path for 1400 years.

No, I am not ready to give up my rights under the Constitution any more than I am ready concede my country, life and liberty to a bunch of wide-eyed Jihadists. At the same time, we have to find a way to counter this threat. The fate of modernity depends on it.

Again, I say let the SC decide it. That is what they do. I will abide by their decision, no whining.

What must stop is this familial squabbling and backbiting. Everyone needs to get on the same page and face our enemy.

Posted by: Charlie at August 19, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #176557

—-Charlie—-I would love to see everyone on the same page, but most folks haven’t even found the
the same book. This book would be a Biography
from the past fifteen years, an how would you or
any one else wright this book? Once written, would
you or any one else read it, probably, not many.
Every one has opinions, feelings an some have hands
on experience of what has transpired in all those
years an I am sorry to say the general public
does not have enough facts to make an objective
point of view, simply because of a lack of knowledge. What ever happens in the election in
November, will most likely close this chapter of
a fictional Novel with each person voting,
becoming a page in your book of dreams. No disrespect intended.

Posted by: DAVID at August 19, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #176558

Charlie-
First, drop Islamic Fascism, and go read some real history about the Middle East. The reality on the ground is way more complicated than some facsimile of born-again Nazism. Your label lumps in Bin Laden with the Royals he hates, Saddam with the Iranians he fought a long bloody war against and a number of secular and/or socialist governments with the religious radicals they hate. It ignores rivalries between Sunni and Shiite, forgets major demographic distintions between the turks, the Arabs, and the Persians.

The way to counter this threat is to end this attempt to recapture the glory of WWII and admit that the fight against global terrorism is going to be difficult, complicated and unglamorous for the most part.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 19, 2006 11:42 PM
Comment #176572

Stephen,

Your refusal to face the facts of Islamic Fascism borders on solipsism. Bernard Lewis is a renown historian and I’ve found his books to be helpful in my understanding of the current climate. But our argument belongs in another thread where this matter is discussed at length. I like Jack’s premise that to fight an enemy you must first identify him. A “War on Islam”, which is what you apparently think I said, would be as inaccurate a title as the current “War on Terror.” So, instead, we now have a “War on Islamic Fascism” which describes accurately the conflict we find ourselves in: A war against people of the Islamic faith who also seek to subjugate and convert us to Islam.

Notice the construction of the sentence above. I state the category “people of the Islamic faith” and then the filter “who also seek to subjugate…” This allows for a distinction between the various people of the Mideast that would or would not be our enemies. I hope that is clear now.

Posted by: Charlie at August 20, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #176574

“War on Islamic Fascism” only covers part of the problem… It would be more meaningful to say “War on Religous Fascism” in recognition of the far more serious threat that Christian Fascism poses to this country than the Islamic variety.

Posted by: Dr Poshek at August 20, 2006 4:43 AM
Comment #176579

—-Dr Poshek—- This is a what if question.
Suppose President Bush, by changing the Bill Of
Rights, is really going to use the Military to enter
all the major cities an clear out all the crime
in those cities, an even the small cities. I can’t
see any other reason or necessity for his actions
since we already have all the tools needed to fight
the war on terror, especially since we just
marched into Iraqi sovereign territory an took it.

Posted by: DAVID at August 20, 2006 6:55 AM
Comment #176584

My question is why multiple wars and an executive power grab were the first (and main) responses to the attack on the World Trade Centers?

Shouldn’t the very first order of business (beginning the next day, not a ridiculously drawn out process over the course of many years) have been a thorough investigation into exactly what happened and why, followed by a wholehearted nationwide mandate to secure our planes, our ports and our chemical and nuclear facilities? If our borders are wide open and if millions of tons of unchecked cargo are entering our country, if a person can simply wander into chemical storage facilities without even being questioned (wish I still had the link to that article from last year…anyone?), then what advantages are data mining operations going to provide?

Sadly, the only answers I can come up with, given that so many basic facets of security have been ignored and downplayed in favor of the accumulation of powers that have long been sought by certain factions within our government, are that these maneuvers are less about fighting terrorism and more about the lust for power that has plagued the leaders of men since time immemorial.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at August 20, 2006 7:42 AM
Comment #176588

You are all right! Wiretapping is unfair! How about you all start a movement to enact (fanfare)
The Terrorist Bill of Rights.

Posted by: JoeRWC at August 20, 2006 8:56 AM
Comment #176594

JoeRWC,
How about a human bill of rights, didn’t our declaration of indepedence talk about human inalienable rights? What is it exactly you salute the flag for, if it isn’t human rights?

Posted by: gergle at August 20, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #176615

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” - John Adams, October 11, 1798

Posted by: Charles Adams at August 20, 2006 12:23 PM
Comment #176635

Liberal Demon,

Your post isn’t unreasonable. You’re essentially saying “the best defense is a good defense”. Others like myself believe “the best defense is defense and an aggressive offense”. While always a fragile statistic because of the free nature of our society, there’s been no attacks since 9/11. So while your ideas may be very valid I find it hard to argue with the success of the latter theory.

In other words, you’re basically offering what you think is a better strategy for a team that’s 5-0. (5 years, no attack.)

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 20, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #176641

——Ken Strong—- Can you show where any attacks
of terror have been prevented by the Gov. in
in the past five years ?

Posted by: DAVID at August 20, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #176642

—-not including the American shoe bomb attempt.—

Posted by: DAVID at August 20, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #176665

Ken Strong,

I was merely commenting on what should have been the most obvious and pressing first response to such an attack. Without these measures in place, all other tactics are merely window dressing. All the offense in the world isn’t going to do a person much good if someone can simply walk up behind them at any time and hit them over the head with a blunt object.

You said that you believe that “The best defense is defense and an aggressive offense.” Not unreasonable either, except that those currently in power (who I assume you are supporting, please forgive me if I’m wrong) have for the most part completely ignored the ‘defense’ part of that equation. See my first post for a few examples of this.

As for the five years with no attack, I’m surprised at how much play that statistic is being given. The first World Trade Center bombing was in 1993, the USS Cole was in 1998; by my calculations that’s just about 5 years as well. It was three more years until 9/11. I did not, and have not, see anyone who is now praising Bush for the five year time gap praising Clinton for the same ‘accomplishment.’ Assuming that terrorists are working on our time frame only shows how little most Americans understand the mentality we are pitted against. Also, there is no way to prove that we would have been attacked by now had we done absolutely nothing in response to 9/11, so trying to attribute this administration’s response to the lull is pretty disingenuous. The truest marker of the effectiveness of an offensive response is to gauge the total number of worldwide attacks following it, which has continued to rise every year. This is true simply because the offensive component of any policy should seek to lessen the total number of people who seek to commit these acts, thereby limiting their capacity to do harm.

It is a complete and utter fallacy to think that we can kill all those who would seek to injure us; not immediately implementing the most common sense defensive measures was an example of simply unimaginable negligence; to instead pursue powers of executive authority which have been sought after for decades by some of the very men who now hold the reins of power in this country borders on betrayal. To still not have many of these measures in place is, in my opinion, utterly indefensible and shows a greater allegiance to party and ideology than to country.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at August 20, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #176695

Liberal Demon,

I have to strongly disagree there’s no defense in this administration’s playbook. The differences of pre-9/11 and post 9/11 going through the airport or into a big stadium are drastically different. The entire concept of Homeland Security, despite certain tactics you may or may not agree with, is defense minded. I would even say the act of intelligence gathering (wiretaps, data mining, etc.) is defense minded since it doesn’t seek to find ways to attack, but rather to prevent attacks through arrests and captures. Besides very small, local actions of the CIA, the only prolific offensive actions are via the military (armed raids, smart bombs, infrared seeing drones, etc.)

So I guess we could get into a semantics battle on what is defense and what is offense, but personally I see a lot of defense. Could we do it differently? Absolutely. I’m a big proponent of checking every container and I know we’re not doing that. But there definitely is defense out there … there’s just a debate as to what, how, and how much IMO.

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 21, 2006 2:04 AM
Comment #176700

This president and his wacked out agenda got the proper ruling from the judge….now lets see if bush will find Judges that will help help him……shread the constitution further away.

Posted by: mark at August 21, 2006 6:53 AM
Comment #176729

Jack

I believe Judge Diggs said that data mining was OK, so your grocery store argument doesn’t fly. The point here is GW’s assertion that he has the inherent right to wiretap without warrants. I will agree that FISA needs to be updated. If the govt sees a calling pattern, a warrant is easy to get, if FISA is adjusted. Why don’t the republicans in congress just fix the problem? Because it’s a great wedge issue.

Posted by: Loren at August 21, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #176743

I believe some important questions need answered:

Why did the ACLU pick this judge?

Why did the ACLU use Muslim lawyers that have appeared to work with people associated with terrorism?

Does this case have standing?

I think the whole case is going to get thrown out.

Posted by: Cliff at August 21, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #176944

Cliff,
I don’t think that the ACLU had a choice of judges, I believe judges are assigned to a case.

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

Posted by: Linda H. at August 22, 2006 2:49 AM
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