Joementum

In today’s snoopgate news, the FISA court itself has decided to look more closely into what exactly Bush has been doing:

Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly…told fellow FISA court members by e-mail Monday that she is arranging for them to convene in Washington, preferably early next month, for a secret briefing on the program, several judges confirmed yesterday.

….The judges could, depending on their level of satisfaction with the answers, demand that the Justice Department produce proof that previous wiretaps were not tainted, according to government officials knowledgeable about the FISA court. Warrants obtained through secret surveillance could be thrown into question. One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president’s suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.

If Bush won’t reconsider his decision to bypass federal law the entire court may follow James Robertson’s lead and resign in protest. Anybody who knows an example of Bush reconsidering anything is invited to share it in the comments – snark, irrelevancies, anything. Bush gives me the impression of a man who cannot or will not change course once he’s made up his mind, and I’d be glad to be proved substantially wrong. That might not be an issue if he had an infallible judgment or a tendency to think things through fully, but he doesn’t so it is.

Let me make one point about momentum. Certain stories start out as what seems like an evenly-matched debate but pick up an inexorable momentum forcing one side or the other to retreat from point a to point b to, finally, total capitulation. Think of the London shooting story, or the WP debate. In both cases the slow drip of news eventually made it impossible to defend the perspective that the police did nothing wrong, or that the US used chemical weapons in Fallujah (easy with the outrage – I’m just talking about whether WP qualifies as a banned chemical weapon, not whether it’s good).

From the White House perspective this FISA story seems to have taken on that most dreaded kind of momentum, Joementum [thanks to Masson’s blog for the link]. Joementum is that inexorable political quicksand where every effort to push back only embarrasses you further. Joementum is the classical tragedy in which the hero’s own character flaw seals his unhappy fate before the high-flying first act has closed. The White house saw this story coming for over a year, and yet their explanations range from wrong (“Congress had oversight,” “the 9/11 resolution allowed Bush to bypass legislation.”) to disingenuous (“FISA courts ruled in 2002 that it was ok“) to embarassingly trite (“Clinton did it“).

I may be wrong. But judging by the gravity of the accusations and the quality of the defense mounted so far, I doubt it.

***Update***

Some confusion remains about a semi-relevant appeals court decision from 2002. See here for relevant commentary. Post rebuttals in the comments.






295 replies
  1. 1
    akaoni says:

    This is just the latest story dealing with the White House’s attempts to expand Executive power. If you look at the big picture, you see that almost every position they’ve taken is about this issue. From torture and the detainees, to the Supreme Court nominations, it’s always been about expanding their power to do what they want when they want to. Their excuses are lame, because they don’t really think they’re important. As long as they can continue to expand their power base they’ll use each and every opportunity to do so…

  2. 2
    Lis Riba says:

    One judge, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also said members could suggest disbanding the court in light of the president’s suggestion that he has the power to bypass the court.

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    I mean, shutting down the court means either ceasing all such espionage activities until they reconvene a new roster of judges, or the administration just does everything illegally. Given the rhetoric, I can’t imagine the administration putting everything on hold, so they’d authorize more illegal wiretaps.

    And once they cross that line, and openly break such an important law, I don’t think we can ever go back.

  3. 3
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Isn’t it ironic that the party that lauds Reagan sits idle while Bush/Cheney Inc. change the U.S.A. into the U.S.S.R.?

  4. 4
    Hoodlumman says:

    Clearly we’d have been better off under Kerry.

  5. 5
    Ozymandius says:

    Clearly we’d have been better off under Kerry.

    Not if you are a fan of authoritarianism.

  6. 6
    chef says:

    Explaining the allusions to a “Potemkin Court.”

    Here is how it works. Hidden behind its authorized pilot/test program, the NSA actively spies (without warrants) on Bush’s political and geopolitical enemies. Secretly using what it finds on the intel side along the way, the NSA then approaches the FISA court with supposed “strong suspicions” that it need to be confirmed by the kind of domestic spying that requires a warrant.
    The Court agrees, but promises to revisit the matter next time, based on the outcome this time.
    Since the NSA (via the pilot spying) already knows the answer to it own questions, the next warrant will be approved too, and the rubber stamp program begins.
    And there is no record of the fix being in, because the pilot info is erased as required by statute.

  7. 7
    Ancient Purple says:

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    No, you aren’t the only one. But, honestly, what else should the court do? The only way for the court to face this issue is to simply refuse to play the executive branch’s game.

    If I were on the court and felt that the check and balance I provided was being circumvented, then why bother showing up for work in the morning?

    As for Tim’s notation that Bush would never reconsider, he is spot on. Bush truly believes he is the American Messiah that is going to save this country and take it back to some mythical period where everything was gumdrops and ponies and sunshine and daffodils.

    When you have that type of egotism, reconsidering your decisions is not even close to being on your radar.

  8. 8

    Balloon Juice on “Snoopgate” Jomentum

    I enjoyed this post by Tim F. over at Balloon Juice on the issue of Bush snooping on American citizens without a warrant. (I’ve heard it referred to as “snoopgate” — who knows if a “gate” designation will stick and…

  9. 9
    TallDave says:

    In 1994, President Clinton expanded the use of warrantless searches to entirely domestic situations with no foreign intelligence value whatsoever. In a radio address promoting a crime-fighting bill, Mr. Clinton discussed a new policy to conduct warrantless searches in highly violent public housing projects. Previous administrations also asserted the authority of the president to conduct searches in the interest of national security.
    In 1978, for instance, Attorney General Griffin B. Bell testified before a federal judge about warrantless searches he and President Carter had authorized against two men suspected of spying on behalf of the Vietnam government.

    Not to mention the warrantless search of Aldrich Ames, the satellite spying after the Oklahoma bombing, ECHELON… in short, this whole “controversy” is a treasonously leaked crock cooked up to coincide with the Patriot Act renewal debate.

  10. 10
    TallDave says:

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    Fortunately, medication can help with that kind of paranoid delusion.

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    Unless you have NYT TimesSelect (pay per view features), or a pal who emails you some of their pay-for stuff which I might have but wouldn’t exactly say I did but then how else would I know this if I didn’t ……

    You won’t be able to read the Brooks column today. But ify ou could, you’d see that he has invented a whole new defense for our new King on this FISA-NSA thing.

    Basically, Brooks concludes that Bush couldn’t choose other options, because they require too much trust between branches and between Republicans and Democrats, and that level of trust doesn’t exist in America now.

    Seriously, I am not making this up. Here’s his closing blurb which accidentally finds its way onto my clipboard:

    Options 1 and 2 won’t work, and Option 3 is impossible.

    Options 1 and 2 won’t work because they lead to legalistic rigidities and leaks that will destroy the program. Option 3 is impossible because it requires trust. It requires that the president and the Congressional leaders trust one another. It requires Democrats and Republicans to trust one another. We don’t have that kind of trust in America today.

    That leaves you with Option 4: Face the fact that we will not be using our best technology to monitor the communications of known terrorists. Face the fact that the odds of an attack on America just went up.

    This is the second time in two days that something related to this subject has left me speechless. This piece by Brooks is just … stunning. Stunningly stupid, I mean. I think it might be the most sponge-headed editorial piece I’ve ever seen.

  12. 12
    Sojourner says:

    The scent of desperation is in the air. The Bushies know they’re in trouble so they’re not going to stop in their efforts to destroy anyone who challenges them.

    It continues to amaze me how many people in this country are so afraid of “terrorists” that they refuse to see what this administration is doing to the principles of the country they claim to love.

  13. 13
    Tractarian says:

    Bush gives me the impression of a man who cannot or will not change course once he’s made up his mind, and I’d be glad to be proved substantially wrong.

    Well, he changed his mind about establishing the Dept of Homeland Security, about negotiating with North Korea, about testifying before the 9/11 Commission, about the creation of the 9/11 Commission, about the importance of capturing Bin Laden ….

  14. 14
    TallDave says:

    Seriously, you guys talking about looming dictatorship, Bush as Messiah, and “efforts to destroy anyone who challenges them” really remind of the right-wing nuts who put out things like the Clinton Death List during his admin:

    http://www.lizmichael.com/clintond.htm

    Behold your mirror-image.

  15. 15
    neil says:

    Yeah, remember when Clinton went on TV and announced that he killed Vince Foster as a matter of presidential prerogative?

    Just the same thing.

  16. 16
    Ancient Purple says:

    So now we have the new “TallDave meme”: If a prior president (allegedly) did it, this one can, too.

    Get ready, America. You now have a future of:

    Suspended habeas corpus.
    Internment camps.
    Teapot Domes.
    Firing of Special Prosecutors for political reasons.

    Welcome to America, TallDave style.

  17. 17

    Yeah, remember when Clinton went on TV and announced that he killed Vince Foster as a matter of presidential prerogative?

    Hahahhahaahha!

    Now that’s a rebuttal!

  18. 18
    Gratefulcub says:

    in short, this whole “controversy” is a treasonously leaked crock cooked up to coincide with the Patriot Act renewal debate.

    Yes, the NYTimes got the leak and story last year, before the election, and held it. Sat on it for a year, waiting for just the right time to hurt the president.

  19. 19
    Uberweiss says:

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    I have been saying for years that we do not have a true democracy, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is a “turning point from democracy to dictatorship”. Although I believe we have compromised on some issues that are moving us from a pure democracy, we are anywhere near a dictatorship. Put it this way; we are a far way off from what the founding fathers had in mind but I wouldn’t call Bush Stalin quite yet.

  20. 20
    Ozymandius says:

    Yes, the NYTimes got the leak and story last year, before the election, and held it. Sat on it for a year, waiting for just the right time to hurt the president.

    Exactly. You see, if they had released it before the election, it had the potential to tip the scales in favor of a Kerry win. And while they may politically sympathise with the Demoicrats, these newspaper men are also businessmen. And they know that having Bush for president is good for business. Sells more papers. His scandals have ar more punch than anything Kerry could come up with; the man just isn’t that creative. So this was purely a move of self interest for the NY Times.

    Republicans should understand, this is pure capitalism.

  21. 21
    Shygetz says:

    Shorter TallDave: Clinton talked about it; Bush did it. It’s the same thing! Clinton is our model for moral behavior for the Republican party! That’s why we impeached him!

  22. 22
    Al Maviva says:

    Bush backed off on plans to radically oppose race-based affirmative action. The brief filed in the Michigan cases was masterfully muddled, and rewarding with two masterfully muddled split decisions.

  23. 23
    Laura says:

    It might not be good politics, but most Democrats have the integrity to criticize fellow Democrats, including Clinton, for policies that are contrary to our values. Though he was far superior to Bush, Clinton was far from perfect. I don’t know a single Democrat who lionized him the way today’s Republicans do Bush. It’s just so obsurd how the same Republicans who impeached Clinton conveniently make him their role model whenever Bush is on the hot seat, though Andrea Mitchell, of all people, busted them on their latest attempt to use Clinton (and maybe for the first time, Jimmy Carter) as an example for Bush’s actions:
    http://www.canofun.com/blog/vi.....ec2105.wmv

  24. 24
    Tad Brennan says:

    Merely on the question of whether Bush changes his mind, I think Tractarian has it right:

    Bush flip-flops quite frequently. It’s simply that the press gives him cover. And he makes sure always to *pretend* that he never flip-flops, because his reputation for strength is as robust as cut-glass: he has to keep pretending to be infallibly resolute, or people realize the whole persona is a con-game.

    (So he *pretends* that DHS was his idea; *pretends* that he was in favor of the 9/11 commission, and so on).

    The scales fall from peoples eyes one person at a time: one person at a time, all across America, people realize how bankrupt Bush is, see through the illusion of “resoluteness” to the moral midget cowering inside. And once you have seen exactly how little is there, there’s no going back.

    Just look at a long-run time series of his polling numbers: cut out the noise, and it’s monotonic decreasing from 9/12 onwards.

  25. 25
    neil says:

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    Perhaps, but I have much the same reaction as John did — this is something that most people have assumed has been going on for years, so it’s hard to get too outraged over them coming out and admitting it. And this is hardly the first time that illegal spying has gone on in the U.S. — I think the republic will survive, although it would nonetheless be healthier to excise the tumor, if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, the ‘turning point’ that I see is in the Congress. They’ve been bending the rules there to the point where they are practically meaningless. The next logical step is that the leadership will decide that a bill may be passed even after losing a vote (or without having one). And that’s the point at which the whole experiment comes to an end…

  26. 26
    chef says:

    Hey TallDave:

    Is it too late to reinstate the Alien & Sedition Acts? Should we throw Eugene V. Debs back in jail or is the Great War over? Do you have the key to the shackled stocks in the village green?

    Watch the skies! Watch the skies!

  27. 27

    I’m sorry…I’m not naive, so I hardly see how most people figured American citizens were being wiretapped without warrants for the past few years.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Al Maviva says:

    At the risk of being insanely fascistic, I’m looking forward to seeing the court evaluate the facts, and to see what other facts come out in the briefing.

    The ability to do no-warrant searches in any context – not just the use of the NSA between two individuals located in the US – usually hinges on specific facts in a particular case. Without knowing the facts, it’s not possible to give an authoritative opinion. It is possible that what Bush has done is really creepy but legal – especially if, as Ars Technica (a big privacy advocate, BTW) thinks, NSA may be deploying some new technology that doesn’t fit comfortably into any existing legal category. To make a call, you’d have to know the details of the technology used, and the way it was applied, and to whom. On the other hand, it’s possible that the Administration was abusing the constitution like Adebisi on a prison snitch, and honestly, the simplistic talking point defenses they are offering are giving me pause.

  30. 30
    The Other Steve says:

    Not to mention the warrantless search of Aldrich Ames

    This is incredible to me. Republicans trying to defend warrantless searches by comparing it to a use of FISA warrants when tracking one of the only Soviet moles this nation has ever had in the CIA.

    Not to mention that the CIA knew they had a problem shortly after the guy started giving intelligence to the KGB, but was told not to investigate it by the Reagan/Bush administrations because they already had enough bad news to deal with from Iran-Contra.

  31. 31
    ATS says:

    It should give TallDave pause when the “treasonous” leakers are senior NSA people, rather than the Weather Underground. The intelligence community is overwhelming conservative, so when they are speaking outsid the lines, there are surely reasons for it.

  32. 32
    Uberweiss says:

    I have done quite a bit of thinking and I read a lot, especially on this site, of what people have to say regarding this entire situation and here is the conclusion that I have come to: Say Bush didn’t do this, this situation never happened and a plane crashed into a building again, the democrats would be calling for Bush’s head. Why is it that everyone must be reminded that terrorists flew two planes into two building in downtown New York and they want to hit us again? We are at war. You may not want to admit it but we are at war. War is a horrible thing; people die, lives and things get destroyed, and people are spied on and sometimes those people are innocent. Do you think we didn’t spy on the Russians during the cold war? Do you think we didn’t spy on the Germans during World War One and Two? What about the Vietmanise people during the Vietnam war? Please don’t sit there and tell me you believe that we didn’t spy on these people who were Russian and German who were living in our own country. How about the fact that during WWII we impreasoned mass amount of Japenese people just because they were Japanese. Hell, the Supreme Court upheld FDR’s decision to do so. I understand that the war in Iraq is not the same as WWII but come on. Same concept. People wanted to hurt us and we took every precaution to make sure that didn’t happen.

    What is everyone so afraid of. It doesn’t mean it is going to keep happening does it. We dont still have Japanese internment camps do we? Are you afraid that the NSA is going to hear your conversation about your plans for the five year old girl next door? Who really cares if we somewhat violate the civil liberties of 2,000 out of 300 million so we can be a little safer. Are you more concerned about being politically correct or protecting the people of the United States?

  33. 33
    Lines says:

    Nothing, absolutely NOTHING gave Bush the right to avoid the FISA court. Even if, as Al Malviva suggests, the NSA has a new technology that doesn’t fit nicely within current law, FISA should have been made aware of its capability and its use in domestic or domestic/foreign cases. It then could have gotten bi-partisan debate in a secret Congressional committee to determine how to handle such things, which is exactly how FISA was developed in the first place. In the meantime, continue spying! Just do everything possibly to determine legallity. Bush’s dictatorial power needs to be curbed now, because of how he’s handled this, and can you imagine what he’s going to be like if that happens? Think of a 4 year old kicking his heals on the carpet with the nuclear football within reach.

    Do these auto-defenders of the Great Bush understand that cases that hinge on evidence captured illegally should result in the defendent getting off scott free?

  34. 34
    Lines says:

    Uberweiss, when will this “war” you are so fond of be over? When will our mighty armies crush the very last resistance on the Terror front?

    A war has a beginning, and it has an ending. The War on Drugs, the War on Corruption, the War on Terrorism are all just wordplays to generate fear and emotion. They have no success criteria, they have no real beginning and they have no end. Believing that a sitting president deserves unchecked power at any time is ridiculous and dangerous.

    Why don’t you stop being a little scared pussy, realize that terrorism will ALWAYS exist in the world and live your life to its fullest extent. There are countries all over the world that have lost 10x what America has lost to terrorism, yet they somehow still continue living their lives and working to make a better world.

  35. 35
    Matt F. says:

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    I think a resignation of the FISA court en masse would be a great kick in the pants for the Congress, which has abandoned its primacy under the Constitution (it’s Article I for a reason) to an incompetent and dishonest Executive all in the name of “terror.” No FISA court would force Congress to pick sides: rule of law, or King Bush. Congress would likely have to pass an explicit law reeling Bush in. Bush could acquiesce, ending the kerfuffle and the effectiveness of his Presidency, or he could escalate. If the latter, you’d certainlyt hear lots more impeachment talk, a la Andrew Johnson.

    I hope the FISA court does it. It would wake everyone up.

  36. 36
    tzs says:

    The question is: where does it stop?

    What would be a sign of the end of the “War on Terror”? We’re never going to be able to say “yes, no terrorist will never be able to commit an act of terrorism against the USA ever again.” Does this mean a continuous expansion of the President’s powers?

    How much are you willing to give up to live in “safety”?

    I am suspicious because of two points:
    1. Mission creep
    2. Carelessness in maintaining privacy of information.
    3. Possible outright abuse–no checks and balances. Just saying “trust me” doesn’t cut it.

  37. 37
    slide says:

    I’ve figured it out. Something about this story didn’t quite fit, like why the administration would go around FISA when they could have done these wiretaps legally. I now know why. Its not that the NSA was wiretapping those they suspected of having Al Qaeda ties its that they were wiretapping EVERYONE.

    Hear me out on this one.

    NSA has the technical ability to monitor every single electronic communication, telephone, email, radio transmission, even baby monitors. Anyone that doubts this just google Eschelon. And this is what I believe they have been doing. – they have been monitoring EVERY communication in which one side is outside of the USA. These communications are fed into massive NSA computers that filter the conversations to see if anything is worthy of further attention. Names, words, phrases, phone numbers etc may set off bells and whistles to now get some human attention.. Now 99.9999 % of those communications might not have anything that kicks out that communication for further review but if it does, then the conversation is monitored. In real time. Recorded and followed up. Without a warrant. At a rate of 500 at a time according to the NYT’s article.

    All the pieces fit together to come to this conclusion such as:

    Bush mentioned that “detection’ is different than “monitoring” in his press conference. That’s because they are “hunting”, looking at ALL communications and not just those where they have probable cause to look at.

    Gonzalez said that he didn’t think Congress would give them authority to do what they are doing. That makes no sense if they are tying to wiretap the people who’s phone numbers were found in Bin Laden’s cell phone. Is there a member of congress that would not think we should be tapping people that bin Laden had in his phone? Please. But many would object to the routine intercept of ALL communications.

    Senator Rockefeller’s letter says, “I’m not a lawyer or a technician”. There was a technical aspect about this and not just eavesdropping on Al Qaeda’s associates found in a cell phone.

    The judges on the FISA court have been grumbling that they know thing they have been given information that was illegally obtained to gain warrants. So, the government monitors ALL international communications, pick up something interesting and want to get a warrant to further tap this individual but they can’t use the info gleamed from the Eschelon system since that is illegally gotten information.

    It would also explain whey the NY Times held the story for a year and did not include everything. What they left out, and what the administration was so concerned about leaking out, is that ALL communications are being fed into the NSA’s computer. That is the secret they are worried about, not that we would tap the phone of someone in Bin Ladens rolledex, that is a given isn’t it? It would also explain why they said the FISA law is antiquated. No one anticipated that the NSA could intercept EVERY communication.

    Its now clear to me, BIG BROTHER is listening in (computers are anyway) to EVERY PHONE CALL, EVERY EMAIL, EVERY ELECTONIC COMMUNICATION that ends up outside of the USA.

  38. 38
    Uberweiss says:

    A war has a beginning, and it has an ending. The War on Drugs, the War on Corruption, the War on Terrorism are all just wordplays to generate fear and emotion. They have no success criteria, they have no real beginning and they have no end. Believing that a sitting president deserves unchecked power at any time is ridiculous and dangerous.

    Please believe me when I say that I don’t believe the President should have unchecked power on everything. I just happen to agree with this. Let me ask you this. Will you feel the same way when a terrorists blows up a mall that your parents are in? I lost someone very close to my during 9/11. I am sorry that I don’t want that to happen to anybody else.

  39. 39
    Tractarian says:

    Say Bush didn’t do this, this situation never happened and a plane crashed into a building again, the democrats would be calling for Bush’s head.

    True, but I guarantee they would not say “Bush should have done more warrantless searches on US citizens!”

    Why is it that everyone must be reminded that terrorists flew two planes into two building in downtown New York and they want to hit us again? We are at war. You may not want to admit it but we are at war.

    Guess what, no one has to be reminded of 9/11. And for trying to imply that those who are concerned about eroding civil liberties and possible illegal activity by the President have forgotten 9/11 and those that died that day: you get a nice big FUCK YOU.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    Say Bush didn’t do this, this situation never happened and a plane crashed into a building again

    Uberweiss, I think that would depend on whether or not the crash was a result of a terrorist act. If a plane merely went off course and hit a building, it probably wouldn’t affect the debate that much. I do wonder, though, how a massive biological attack would effect the debate. Believe me, if Al Qaeda released an avian flu or small pox attack that killed hundreds of thousands, that would radically change the terms of the debate.

  41. 41

    Say Bush didn’t do this, this situation never happened and a plane crashed into a building again, the democrats would be calling for Bush’s head. Why is it that everyone must be reminded that terrorists flew two planes into two building in downtown New York and they want to hit us again? We are at war.

    Ahh the good old “None of your civil liberties matter much after you’re dead.” argument!

    Well sir, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    TDV, are you “skaggs”?

  43. 43
    Ancient Purple says:

    What is everyone so afraid of. It doesn’t mean it is going to keep happening does it. We dont still have Japanese internment camps do we? Are you afraid that the NSA is going to hear your conversation about your plans for the five year old girl next door? Who really cares if we somewhat violate the civil liberties of 2,000 out of 300 million so we can be a little safer. Are you more concerned about being politically correct or protecting the people of the United States?

    I am more concerned about honoring the struggles and sacrifices of our founders. The Constitution doesn’t stipulate that you can suspend or reduce the rights of people as long as you don’t do it to more than X number. Those are my rights and your rights. If you want to give them up, be my guest.

    I, however, refuse to compromise my consitutional and civil rights because you are afraid of dying.

  44. 44
    demimondian says:

    Al — I haven’t read the _Ars_ article. Can you provide a link? Do they dicuss data mining?

    Privacy advocates have been very worried about the following fourth amendment reading: “Data mining doesn’t require us to directly collect any private data, but rather allows us to infer private data. Since it doesn’t require us to directly collect private data, it doesn’t require a warrant.” That argument is superficially plausible, but probably wrong; historically, the courts have held that if the law is silent on the use of a new surveillance technology, then the technology is banned until Congress explicitly permits it.

  45. 45

    Please believe me when I say that I don’t believe the President should have unchecked power on everything. I just happen to agree with this.

    How can I believe you? By agreeing with this, you believe that the President has the authority to IGNORE the Bill of Rights in times of war if he deems it necessary.

    Sorry buddy, the Bill of Rights is the same Bill of Rights in wartime as it is in peacetime.

  46. 46
    Ancient Purple says:

    Crud. Blockquote pwned me. Sorry.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    jg says:

    All kinds of bad things COULD happen.

    There are people in the world who are so scared of their own shadow they won’t leave their house. Thats their right. The problem is now there are tons of them and its not their shdaow they’re scared of its the boogeyman who might hurt us if we don’t take drastic measures to allow our government to protect us.

  49. 49
    Tractarian says:

    Its now clear to me, BIG BROTHER is listening in (computers are anyway) to EVERY PHONE CALL, EVERY EMAIL, EVERY ELECTONIC COMMUNICATION that ends up outside of the USA.

    You sound a little kooky there, slide, but I fear you may be exactly right. Only something like Total Information Awareness would necessitate bypassing FISC, because you simply can’t get probable cause to search everyone.

    I happen to believe that Total Information Awareness would be a good idea as long as the information isn’t used for nefarious purposes. The problem is, because it requires millions of warrantless searches, it is illegal under FISA.

    So let’s stop trying to conflate the issues of “Is warrantless domestic surveillance good policy?” and “Is warrantless domestic surveillance legal?” The answer to the second question is, to me, clearly NO. So, unless you think the executive branch can just determine for itself which laws it wants to follow, the first question is irrelevant.

  50. 50
    Uberweiss says:

    I am not saying a single person has to believe in what I am saying. I am not attacking anyone for thinking differently then me, yet for some reason I am getting people saying “FUCK YOU”. I thought part of our civil liberties was saying what I wanted to say in an open forum? I guess not.

  51. 51

    Lines makes a good point by bringing in the drug war. We’ve been fighting the War on Drugs for decades now. And just about every time the administration wanted to have some extra tool, they just said “Drugs” and everybody went “OK.”

    In that time, the 4th amendment in particular has been seriously eroded, so that it takes less and less reason to search your person, car, or even your house, and drug task forces are regularly doing dangerous no-knock black-ops style searches that end up with people killed, all to seized an ounce of marijuana. (A practice that has also tangentially eroded the 2nd amendment in that you have the right to own a gun, but when you defend yourself from intruders, even in a mistaken-address drug raid, you either get shot or put on trial for capital murder). Assets are seized and sold for the profit of law enforcement, and the taxpayers foot the bill for a nation with 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prison population.

    All this was to protect us from the danger of somebody smoking a joint (and nobody asks for proof as to whether it’s even effective).

    Just imagine what we’ll give up over the next few decades for the war on terror. It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Justice Department.

  52. 52
    Laura says:

    It should give TallDave pause when the “treasonous” leakers are senior NSA people, rather than the Weather Underground.

    I think this quote from John McCain says it all:

    “If I thought someone was breaking the law, I don’t care if it was classified or unclassified, I would stand up and say ‘the law’s being broken here.'”

    He’s referring to Rockefeller, but while Rockefeller was worried about our civil liberties, he didn’t have the legal background to know for a fact that Bush was breaking the law. The NSA leakers knew better, and unknowingly followed McCain’s advice.

  53. 53
    slide says:

    You sound a little kooky there, slide

    kooky? read this

  54. 54
    slide says:

    Uber says

    yet for some reason I am getting people saying “FUCK YOU”. I thought part of our civil liberties was saying what I wanted to say in an open forum? I guess not.

    No uber you can say whatever you want. Your civil liberties however do not compel anyone else to refrain from commenting on what you have said.

  55. 55
    Uberweiss says:

    In that time, the 4th amendment in particular has been seriously eroded, so that it takes less and less reason to search your person, car, or even your house, and drug task forces are regularly doing dangerous no-knock black-ops style searches that end up with people killed, all to seized an ounce of marijuana. (A practice that has also tangentially eroded the 2nd amendment in that you have the right to own a gun, but when you defend yourself from intruders, even in a mistaken-address drug raid, you either get shot or put on trial for capital murder). Assets are seized and sold for the profit of law enforcement, and the taxpayers foot the bill for a nation with 5% of the world’s population, but 25% of the world’s prison population.

    I didn’t think about this at the time but you guys are absolutly correct when saying something like this. I understand your point of view; Where does it stop? The war on drugs, war on terrorism. How far to we go to protect ourselves. Somebody said that I was basically afraid of my own shadow, which I disagree with. I wasn’t nessecarily thinking about myself but my daughter. I just want her to be able to grow in a country that she can feel safe and secure and not have to always look over her shoulder. I think we took are safety for granted and after 9/11 that changed. I am just afraid we are starting to forget about what it felt like to have no control at all and that feeling that all of us had after 9/11. The feeling of uneasiness and worry. I am sorry if I offended anybody, that wasn’t my purpose at all.

  56. 56

    Uberweiss

    If you don’t want to be told “fuck you”, then don’t throw 9/11 in people’s faces as some kind of justification for your arguement.

    I could argue that we should become a police state and then follow it with, “Why is it that everyone must be reminded that terrorists flew two planes into two building in downtown New York and they want to hit us again? We are at war!”

  57. 57
    DecidedFenceSitter says:

    Uberweiss Says:

    I am not saying a single person has to believe in what I am saying. I am not attacking anyone for thinking differently then me, yet for some reason I am getting people saying “FUCK YOU”. I thought part of our civil liberties was saying what I wanted to say in an open forum? I guess not.

    You have the right to say things in public. 1) Tthis isn’t public. John makes the rules. His site, his rules, he can eject you, or me. That’s no violation of my civil rights or liberties. 2) Assuming that this was a public space, you are free to say “Give me life, then give me liberty” and I’m free to say “FUCK YOU! Give me liberty or give me death!” Free speech works both ways, you are allowed to make all the opinionated statements you want, and I’m allowed to call you a jackass for each and every one of them.

    And vice-versai. :)

  58. 58
    Uberweiss says:

    You have the right to say things in public. 1) Tthis isn’t public. John makes the rules. His site, his rules, he can eject you, or me. That’s no violation of my civil rights or liberties. 2) Assuming that this was a public space, you are free to say “Give me life, then give me liberty” and I’m free to say “FUCK YOU! Give me liberty or give me death!” Free speech works both ways, you are allowed to make all the opinionated statements you want, and I’m allowed to call you a jackass for each and every one of them.

    And vice-versai.

    I’m sorry, but that made me laugh my ass off. That was a damn good comment. I commend you.

  59. 59
    Lines says:

    Uberweiss, I feel that those that are allowing fear and paranoia to rule their thinking on Terrorism are easily manipulatable by a charismatic person. Right now that person is Bush.

    The only thing I have ever respected Bush saying is “If we allow the terrorists to change our way of life, they have won”.

    Well, they’ve changed our way of life. Have they won? Erosion of civil rights and the Constitution is a severe impact to our fledgling Republic, dare we taunt the fates further and continue to erode the basic foundations we’re sitting on? If we start saying that just because we lost some good people on 9/11 its ok to ignore certain Constitutional responsibilities and rights, when does it stop?

    I’m sorry you lost someone in 9/11, but I really really don’t care to let that have an effect on how I view the civil rights of the rest of America and the world. It happened, it will happen again, and the only thing we can do is be prepared. We can protect ourselves without redefining America. Because rest assured, if America is redefined by the cabal in the White House, it will no longer be America.

  60. 60
    slide says:

    Somebody said that I was basically afraid of my own shadow, which I disagree with. I wasn’t nessecarily thinking about myself but my daughter. I just want her to be able to grow in a country that she can feel safe and secure and not have to always look over her shoulder.

    Funny, I want my daughter to grow up on a country that still values liberties, freedom and privacy. I dont’ want her looking over her shoulder to see if the government is reading her mail, listening in on her conversations. I thought that was a very conservative postion I might add.

    We live in a dangerous world. It was ALWAYS dangerous. There is ALWAYS enemies… remember World War I, remember Nazi Germany, remember Pearl Harbor, remember MAD and the soviet empire? Its silly to think there will EVER be a time where there is not danger, that is NO reason to give up our basic freedoms, our basic rights. Every totalitarian country justified their repressive measures as something that is needed for the security of the country. It is an easy argument and judging from many of the comments these past couple of days, there are plenty of Americans willing to go down that path. How sad that fear can make people forget what this country is all about.

  61. 61
    Tractarian says:

    I am not saying a single person has to believe in what I am saying. I am not attacking anyone for thinking differently then me, yet for some reason I am getting people saying “FUCK YOU”.

    Sorry for losing my temper. I don’t normally engage in that sort of language but I get REALLY insulted when someone says shit like this:

    Why is it that everyone must be reminded that terrorists flew two planes into two building in downtown New York and they want to hit us again?

    You are basically implying that everyone who is concerned about (illegal) warrantless domestic surveillance is forgetting about those who perished on 9/11. I take that personally. And I responded in kind.

    So yeah, you can say whatever you want, it’s a free county. But when you say something so imbecilic and insulting as that, be prepared for the consequences.

  62. 62

    If Bush won’t reconsider his decision to bypass federal law the entire court may follow James Robertson’s lead and resign in protest.

    Talk about missing the boat. The judges on the court -professionals, not a bunch of crybabies – would not disband an entire court in protest.

    That is, by far, the most idiotic possible interpretation of the statement saying that the court could disband after a NSA briefing. The court would simply overrule Bush’s executive order if they felt it was wrong.

    One reason, and one reason only, would cause the court to disband, and that would be if the NSA proves to the court that:

    A. today’s applicable technology obsoletes the FISA statute, and (more importantly);
    B. that FISA is on shaky constitutional ground to begin with. I’m reading a redacted previous NSA supplemental briefing to FISA that argues that the FISA court, in part:

    …Improperly Micromanages the Executive Branch in Violation of Article II and III of the Constitution.

    D. The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance Supports the Government’s Interpretation of FISA.

    This would be the logical reason, the only logical reason, that the FISA court would disband.

  63. 63
    ppGaz says:

    Slide is right.

    When these guys take office, they take an oath. The oath declares loyalty to law. The oath is not a promise to make everybody feel safe, and permission to do whatever the hell the officeholder wants to do and then excuse it by saying “I was only trying to protect you.”

    It’s about respect for the law, which is really respect for the people. The power of the people rests on the law and the observance of the law by elected officials. That power is not to be given up when things get scary, or taken away when a president gets panicky.

    I’m not so much worried about a police state as I am worried about being governed by people who don’t understand the oaths they took when they got the job.

  64. 64
    DougJ says:

    Somebody said that I was basically afraid of my own shadow, which I disagree with

    Maybe you should be, though. I watch mine like a hawk. I’m pretty sure he is an Islamofascist.

  65. 65

    ” Anybody who knows an example of Bush reconsidering anything is invited to share it in the comments”

    er um how about TODAY’S news that he will sign a Patriot Act EXTENSION!

  66. 66
    Uberweiss says:

    How sad that fear can make people forget what this country is all about.

    You know what? I think you are very right. I think you make a very good point. To be honest, I’m not so sure that I feel the same way as I did before. There is a part of me that believes that it may not be a horrible idea but the other part, after reading all of your comments, agrees with all of you. I think you are absolutly right though about fear making everybody forget their values. You can just look back to Pearl Harbor and the affect that it had on the country.

  67. 67
    Darrell says:

    You are basically implying that everyone who is concerned about (illegal) warrantless domestic surveillance is forgetting about those who perished on 9/11. I take that personally. And I responded in kind.

    Except that it’s far from proven that the surveillance was “illegal”, so most definitely you were showing your extremist colors when you ‘responded in kind’

  68. 68
    Doug says:

    With respect to how the War on Terror(ism/ists) compares to other wars on improper nouns (drugs, crime, poverty), I had the discussion with a conservative friend of mine the other day.

    I suggested to him that our difference in opinion might be due to my sense that the War on Terror(ists/ism) ™ is more of a metaphorical war, akin to the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. He responded:

    Tell that to the families of the 911 dead and the mad mullahs who preach that killing Americans is a one-way ticket to paradise. Fighting this enemy metaphorically will be the end of the USA.

    I responded:

    I’m sure the families of those involved in drug related deaths and the families of those who died from poverty-related factors would be mad at me for not viewing the War on Drugs and the War on Povert as “real” wars either.

    I just don’t think the religious fundamentalists have much power to hurt too many people directly. Their real power is to make us afraid enough to hurt ourselves.

    Oddly enough that evening, I saw a couple of headlines in the Indianapolis Star. One about a Memorial held for those who died homeless and another about executions of men who killed 9 people in drug-related crimes. So, back to back, we have the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. All of those people are just as dead as the folks who died in 9/11. I’m not trying to minimize any of this loss of life. But none of it is sufficient reason to give unchecked power to one man, no matter what office he was elected to. The world is a dangerous place. Forfeiting our liberties will not make us much safer. I think we have to stop acting out of fear and learn to live with some risk.

    If our enemy was specific, such that it could actually be defeated, I’d be less concerned about wiretaps and whatnot. We could give the President extraordinary powers and be comfortable that, like Cincinnatus he would renounce those powers once the job was done. But when you’re fighting an improper noun like terrorism or poverty or drugs, you might make progress, but you’re never going to be finished. I don’t think our Republic can tolerate concentrated power in the hands of one branch of government for an indefinite period of time.

    Fortunately, Madison designed our government so that the ambition of the men in one branch of government would work against the ambition of the men in another branch. So, I think we’ll see the Congress assert its authority against the President. The results might be ugly. But they’re necessary.

  69. 69
    demimondian says:

    Anybody who knows an example of Bush reconsidering anything is invited to share it in the comments

    Elections in Iraq. Creation of a definition of “success in Iraq”.

    Bush’s genius (and that of his advisors) is not his stubbornness. It’s the ability to maintain an appearance of stubbornness while triangulating with consummate skill.

  70. 70

    Hey doug, why did you ask me that question earlier? Did you just get my email now?

  71. 71
    slide says:

    You know what? I think you are very right. I think you make a very good point. To be honest, I’m not so sure that I feel the same way as I did before

    Wow, I may have acutally changed someone’s mind? Didn’t think that was a Balloon Juice possibility. Damn…. let me at that John Cole now.

  72. 72
    DougJ says:

    What about TWOC? Is that being forgotten in all of this hullabaloo about “wire taps”?

  73. 73

    Except that it’s far from proven that the surveillance was “illegal”, so most definitely you were showing your extremist colors when you ‘responded in kind’

    Read the 4th Amendment alreay, would you? Warrrantless searches/spying of American Citizens is illegal.

  74. 74
    Darrell says:

    It’s hilarious to read all the leftie posters hysterically shriek about what an extreme overreach the President has done with no acknowledgement that this monitoring is not new (see Echelon), and as Clinton’s former associate AG pointed out:

    But as the 2002 Court of Review noted, if the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.”

    So one can hardly argue that what the President did was extreme. It was a reasonable interpretation of the law. Nothing ‘extreme’ about it

  75. 75
    Ancient Purple says:

    I am not saying a single person has to believe in what I am saying. I am not attacking anyone for thinking differently then me, yet for some reason I am getting people saying “FUCK YOU”. I thought part of our civil liberties was saying what I wanted to say in an open forum? I guess not.

    Honestly, Uber, can you point out where one person has told you that you cannot speak your peace?

    My concern with your position is that you are asking me to give up what I have been guaranteed on the speculation that I will be safer. Can you guarantee my safety, Uber? If we let the goverment peer into our bedrooms or read our MasterCard statements or track our purchases from Barnes and Noble, then what? Are you certain I am safer? How could you ever prove that?

    Now, let’s say the suitcase nuke goes off in a large city in America tomorrow. All of the rights I have given up to make me safer have failed. Then what? I am willing to guess that you will say that I need to cede more of my rights to the government to make me even more safe.

    Until you can prove to me that I am actually safer by giving up some of my civil liberties, I am unwilling to budge on the issue.

  76. 76
    demimondian says:

    What about TWOC? Is that being forgotten in all of this hullabaloo about “wire taps”?

    Remember, Bush is just following the example of Santa in legally collecting open source data and using it as the basis of sophisticated pattern matching algorithms in order to find out who’s naughty and nice!

  77. 77
    ppGaz says:

    Fortunately, Madison designed our government so that the ambition of the men in one branch of government would work against the ambition of the men in another branch. So, I think we’ll see the Congress assert its authority against the President. The results might be ugly. But they’re necessary.

    Excellent post.

    The idea that ignorant men wearing rags around their heads and living in caves could come up with a scheme so powerful that the American Experiment would have to be thrown on the scrap heap …. is laughable, and at the end of the day, insulting to every American.

    Out of one side of his mouth, Bush says “I am really not that concerned with (Osama Bin Laden)” and out of the other side of his mouth, he says “You should be so terrified of Osama Bin Laden that you’re not just willing, but eager to surrender to me the laws and protections that America has given you as your legacy after almost 300 years of sweat, blood and tears …. just because I say so.”

    You couldn’t write this stuff as fiction. It wouldn’t sell because nobody would believe it. But here it is, we’re livin’ it.

  78. 78
    jg says:

    Darrell is saying the same shit he said yesterday. Just ignore him.

  79. 79
    Darrell says:

    jg Says:

    Darrell is saying the same shit he said yesterday. Just ignore him.

    When you have no facts and no argument, this is what’s left

  80. 80
    Ancient Purple says:

    It’s hilarious to read all the leftie posters hysterically shriek about what an extreme overreach the President has done with no acknowledgement that this monitoring is not new (see Echelon), and as Clinton’s former associate AG pointed out:

    But as the 2002 Court of Review noted, if the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.”

    So one can hardly argue that what the President did was extreme. It was a reasonable interpretation of the law. Nothing ‘extreme’ about it.

    I see Darrell got the “TallDave meme” stating that if another President did it, then Bush can do it, too.

    I can’t wait for another Teapot Dome. Then again, internment camps are rather sexy this year.

  81. 81
    Darrell says:

    The President is entirely within his constitutional powers to monitor foreigners. When foreigners communicate with Americans in the US is a grey area. Since one cannot monitor communications of only the foreign side of a telephone call, Bush made the reasonable interpretation that he was well within his constitutional powers. No extreme power grab in that interpretation as you hysterical lefties have been asserting.

  82. 82
    jg says:

    jg Says:

    Darrell is saying the same shit he said yesterday. Just ignore him.

    When you have no facts and no argument, this is what’s left

    Exactly, glad you admitted it. Just repeat the same tired crap over and over again. Its easy if you don’t bother to read the posts debunking your crap.

  83. 83
    DougJ says:

    The NSA has now instructed the USPS to open all email addressed to “Santa, North Pole”. That seems to be an Al Qaeda code name for Zarqawi. I think that’s a good idea.

    But I think they may be doing too far when they send Homeland Security officials to the homes of the children who sent the letters. What do the rest of you think?

  84. 84
    jg says:

    The President is entirely within his constitutional powers to monitor foreigners. When foreigners communicate with Americans in the US is a grey area. Since one cannot monitor communications of only the foreign side of a telephone call, Bush made the reasonable interpretation that he was well within his constitutional powers. No extreme power grab in that interpretation as you hysterical lefties have been asserting.

    No reasonable interpretation. There is a process for dealing with the grey area. Its called FISA. It proides oversight so an american president can spy on US citizens so long as he follows the procedure. Bush doesn’t think he has to follow the procedure. You keep arguing the wrong issue.

  85. 85
    Darrell says:

    I see Darrell got the “TallDave meme” stating that if another President did it, then Bush can do it, too.

    I asserted no such thing and you’re a liar for suggesting differently. Anyone can re-read my post for themselves to see how dishonest you are.

    An experienced associate AG under a Democratic president gave his legal opinion on Bush’s executive order and found Bush to be well within his rights. yet reading the hysterics on this thread, so common from those on the left (see WP, Plame, etc) you loons are characterizing Bush’s order as some incredibly extreme overreach when it’s not

  86. 86
    Uberweiss says:

    Until you can prove to me that I am actually safer by giving up some of my civil liberties, I am unwilling to budge on the issue.

    I have never asked anyone to give up their values and ideals. I think it is commendable that you won’t. I wasn’t trying to change anyone’s mind. I was just speaking mine. After reading some people’s response to my post I completely understand where you guys are coming from and I’m not completely disagreeing anymore. I just happen to think that there are better ways to go about disagreeing with me other than saying “Fuck you” or calling me a “jackass”. I am a big enough man to admite that I am wrong.

  87. 87
    Darrell says:

    No reasonable interpretation. There is a process for dealing with the grey area. Its called FISA. It proides oversight so an american president can spy on US citizens so long as he follows the procedure

    No, Bush argues, and he’s supported by Clinton’s former associate AG and many many others, that he shouldn’t HAVE TO get a warrant if the target of the surveillance is a foreigner as he has the constitutional power to do such surveillance without permission (warrant). No one besides the extreme left disputes that Bush has the power to monitor foreign enemies.

    That you cannot acknowledge that this is a grey area interpretation demonstrates how extreme so many of you on the left truly are

  88. 88
    jg says:

    I just happen to think that there are better ways to go about disagreeing with me other than saying “Fuck you” or calling me a “jackass”.

    Thats nothing. Wait ’til you get on the other side of a Darrell argument.

    An experienced associate AG under a Democratic president gave his legal opinion on Bush’s executive order and found Bush to be well within his rights.

    Well if an experienced associate AG is talking we should all just shut up.

  89. 89
    tzs says:

    But Darrell, you ARE saying just the same shit you said yesterday. Epithets, regurgitated “proofs” that have already been debunked….

    Why should we respond to you? I’d much rather discuss things with Uberweiss, who is listening and shows willingness to consider other people’s point of view. And we’re having a very interesting discussion on a very important topic, so would you please keep it down?

  90. 90
    jg says:

    No, Bush argues, and he’s supported by Clinton’s former associate AG and many many others, that he shouldn’t HAVE TO get a warrant if the target of the surveillance is a foreigner as he has the constitutional power to do such surveillance without permission (warrant). No one besides the extreme left disputes that Bush has the power to monitor foreign enemies.

    Last time.

    Still missing the point. I don’t even think people on the extreme left think Bush can’t monitor foreign enemies. But if it makes you feel your doing well in the argument to say that then go ahead. ITS NOT ABOUT BUSH SPYING ON FOREIGNERS.

  91. 91
    slide says:

    Except that it’s far from proven that the surveillance was “illegal”,

    To some on the right there is no proof that would ever be accepted. If a court rules it would be some activist Clinton appointed liberal court. If congress rules you would say they dont’ have the authority. There is no winning with your kind Darrell, you come with the certainty of a religious zeolot.

  92. 92
    Ancient Purple says:

    An experienced associate AG under a Democratic president gave his legal opinion on Bush’s executive order and found Bush to be well within his rights….

    Ah, so anyone who supports your position is rationale, but anyone who doesn’t is a loon.

    You’re truly a monument to truth.

  93. 93
    ppGaz says:

    Darrell is saying the same shit he said yesterday. Just ignore him.

    But you are still anwering him.

    Not a criticism, more of a question. It really isn’t possible to have a rational discussion of this subject with Darrell, or Dave. Yet here they are … I’m inclined to go with DougJ’s approach which is to use them as comic foils, or spoof them. Challenging them directly is futile, they will not give honest answers to direct questions, and will not employ any standard of intellectual integrity whatever. It’s like trying to grab a handful of mercury. Impossible.

  94. 94
    Darrell says:

    Epithets, regurgitated “proofs” that have already been debunked….

    Name one thing I have posted which has been “debunked”. And as for Epithets, seems the lefties are the only ones screaming “Fuck you” on this thread to those who disgree with them. Doubt me? Re-read the thread for yourself

  95. 95
    jg says:

    That you cannot acknowledge that this is a grey area interpretation demonstrates how extreme so many of you on the left truly are

    There is a process for dealing with the grey area.

    Say what? I can’t acknowledge its a grey area? Even when I used the words ‘grey area’?

  96. 96
    Darrell says:

    Ah, so anyone who supports your position is rationale, but anyone who doesn’t is a loon.

    Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that this is a reasonable grey area interpretation vs some extreme horrible overreach to shred the constitution is in fact an extremist

  97. 97
    jg says:

    Darrell is saying the same shit he said yesterday. Just ignore him.

    But you are still anwering him.

    I had to. Did you see the response. He left that one hanging for me, I had to swing.

  98. 98
    Darrell says:

    Challenging them directly is futile, they will not give honest answers to direct questions

    many would call that ‘projecting’ coming from you

  99. 99
    Lines says:

    Uberweiss,
    what you have run into is going to become more and more common as time goes on and people keep trying to throw up pictures of falling American’s as justification for marginalizing the “left”. Anti-War debate and anything that questions the things that Bush has done are met with claims of Anti-American, terrorist-lover, traitor, etc. You just got the backlash from the overuse of the Twin Towers/9-11 tragedy as reasoning in a debate.

    When people like Gibson, O’Reilly and others keep shouting that the 9/11 footage of falling people should be shown every hour on the major networks, you are going to get this kind of thing. I’m sorry you were on the receiving end, but your appropriate reaction to the discussion has earned a lot of respect from myself, and I’m sure others. Thank you.

  100. 100
    ppGaz says:

    many would call that ‘projecting’ coming from you

    Name a direct question that you’ve posed to me without getting a direct answer.

    Either that, or shut the fuck up.

  101. 101
    jg says:

    Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that this is a reasonable grey area interpretation

    Please explain this ‘interpretation’ you speak of. You make it sound like Bush has come across a situation no one else has and current laws won’t work. Explain his interpretation. No president has ever had a situation where it might be nescessary to spy on US citizens before?

  102. 102
    Mike S says:

    In the fall of 2001, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee worked on the Patriot Act and debated giving the Bush administration more leeway to conduct surveillance on terrorism suspects. But the latest disclosures suggest that the administration didn’t believe it needed permission and thought the president could go around the limits set by the law.

    That was in yesterdays LA Times story. The admin could have gotten what they needed had they asked.

  103. 103
    demimondian says:

    Bush was perfectly within his rights to have those letters opened, whtether or not Santa is an Al Qaeda operative. There is possible evidence that there’s at least one department store Santa somewhere in Bahrain who is actually an Al Qaeda sympathizer, and there’s no way to know that he isn’t intercepting the communications, waiting for the coded one which tell shim to act.

    All the HSA is doing, by the way, is calling at the houses of the children to verify that they are actually children. The few mentally disabled adults who have been held in custody as a result of this action are merely unfortunate collateral damage of the President’s adamant insistence on protecting the rights of all Americans.

  104. 104
    jg says:

    That was in yesterdays LA Times story. The admin could have gotten what they needed had they asked.

    Actually I read they couldn’t get it. They asked and were told it wouldn’t happen. So they did it anyway. Its like stealing your dad’s car because he would say no if you asked to borrow it.

  105. 105
    Darrell says:

    Please explain this ‘interpretation’ you speak of

    Re-read my posts on this thread. I spell it out clearly, as does a former associate AG who served a Democratic President. This is a grey-area interpretation, not some wild-ass unilateral power grab as those on the left have been characterizing it. The President has legal authority to do the surveillance according to someone in a position to know. If you’re going to disagree with Schmidt’s and Bush’s interpretation, state your disagreements specifically

  106. 106
    Uberweiss says:

    Uberweiss,
    what you have run into is going to become more and more common as time goes on and people keep trying to throw up pictures of falling American’s as justification for marginalizing the “left”. Anti-War debate and anything that questions the things that Bush has done are met with claims of Anti-American, terrorist-lover, traitor, etc. You just got the backlash from the overuse of the Twin Towers/9-11 tragedy as reasoning in a debate.

    When people like Gibson, O’Reilly and others keep shouting that the 9/11 footage of falling people should be shown every hour on the major networks, you are going to get this kind of thing. I’m sorry you were on the receiving end, but your appropriate reaction to the discussion has earned a lot of respect from myself, and I’m sure others. Thank you.

    Thank you. I really appreciate that.

  107. 107
    jg says:

    Please explain this ‘interpretation’ you speak of

    Re-read my posts on this thread. I spell it out clearly, as does a former associate AG who served a Democratic President. This is a grey-area interpretation, not some wild-ass unilateral power grab as those on the left have been characterizing it. The President has legal authority to do the surveillance according to someone in a position to know. If you’re going to disagree with Schmidt’s and Bush’s interpretation, state your disagreements specifically

    OK Got it thanks
    Bye now.

    BTW you are completely wrong. You were told yesterday that news article was wrong but OK post it again. Why not? You can’t look any dumber anyway.

  108. 108
    Ancient Purple says:

    Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge that this is a reasonable grey area interpretation vs some extreme horrible overreach to shred the constitution is in fact an extremist

    “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

    I remember a conservative saying that.

  109. 109
    The Other Steve says:

    Name one thing I have posted which has been “debunked”.

    Name one thing you have posted which has not been “debunked.”

    It’d be a shorter list.

  110. 110
    Mike S says:

    Actually I read they couldn’t get it. They asked and were told it wouldn’t happen

    That’s what Gonzo claimed. I’m starting to wonder if that was as honest a statement as all of the others.

  111. 111
    Darrell says:

    I’ll leave you lefties to your echo chamber now.. just the way you like it

  112. 112
    Ancient Purple says:

    I’ll leave you lefties to your echo chamber now.. just the way you like it

    And you’re never coming back, right?

  113. 113
    Lines says:

    Its too much to hope for, Purple.

    I for one don’t want an echo chamber. There are plenty of conservatives and Libertarians on this site that arn’t Darrell. maybe now with the gross stupidity gone, we can start hearing more from them and have discussions instead of a petulent child stomping his feet and insisting he’s always right.

  114. 114
    Uberweiss says:

    Never admitting you might be wrong or accepting other’s points of view or weighing them when making your own decision must be a republican thing.

  115. 115
    Krista says:

    Maybe you should be, though. I watch mine like a hawk. I’m pretty sure he is an Islamofascist.

    DougJ, honey, I wouldn’t worry about your shadow. It’s our other personalities that concern us.

    There are ways to increase the security of a country without infringing on the civil liberties of its citizens. I’m curious as to how much Bush has focused on your ports, your transit systems, and increased cooperation and communication between the various government agencies. I think that focusing on those things would go a long way towards preventing another attack, and nobody’s rights have to be trampled upon in order to do those things, either.

    Like Slide said, there will always be enemies. There will always be people who crave power and destruction and control. Many people say that we live in violent times. But when you look through history, has there not always been violence? If you look at your own home as a microcosm of the country, and you had been broken into 4 years ago: do you get a better burglar alarm, buy a dog, start up a neighbourhood watch program, and then hope for the best and live your life? Or do you head out with your gun, start questioning anybody who looks shady, spy on your neighbours, and become a prisoner of your own fear?

  116. 116
    Uberweiss says:

    Between what Krista just wrote, a lot of what Lines has had to say, and some other’s thoughts I completely take back what I had wrote earlier. There are a lot of ways to make this country a better and safer place and infringing on people’s civil liberties is not the way to do. I want to thank those of you who took the time to rationally explain their view on the subject and, although they didn’t agree with what I had to say, listened.

  117. 117
    Sojourner says:

    I find it fascinating that the blue states, which are far more likely to be attacked, tend to demonstrate a much greater insistance on civil rights.

    Serious question: Why are the red states so afraid?

  118. 118
    Uberweiss says:

    Isn’t red the color of hostility or rage or something like that?

  119. 119
    demimondian says:

    DougJ, honey, I wouldn’t worry about your shadow. It’s our other personalities that concern us. [Emphasis added.]

    Krista, darling, your Freudian slip is showing.

  120. 120
    Krista says:

    By the way, Uberweiss, I am sorry for your loss. The fact that you are able to be rational and flexible about this topic speaks volumes about your character.

  121. 121
    PotVsKtl says:

    Well this thread started out promising. It’s too bad there’s no ignore feature for intellectually dishonest children.

  122. 122

    Isn’t red the color of hostility or rage or something like that?

    Exactly. Maybe we just need to change the color of the red states to green, or something else that’s soothing, like blue.

  123. 123
    Krista says:

    demi – I just noticed that, actually. I’d like to say that it was a typo…but you just never know, do you?

    LOL.

  124. 124
    slide says:

    Sane Republicans against illegal wiretapping:

    David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, described the spy program as a case of “presidential overreaching” that he said most Americans would reject.

    Columnist George Will wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece that “conservatives’ wholesome wariness of presidential power has been a casualty of conservative presidents winning seven of the past 10 elections.”

    Bob Barr, a Georgia conservative who was one of the Republican Party’s loudest opponents of government snooping until he left Congress in 2003, says the furor should stand as a test of Republicans’ willingness to call their president to task. “This is just such an egregious violation of the electronic surveillance laws,” Mr. Barr says.

    Sen. Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the Judiciary Committee, has called the program “inappropriate” and promised to hold hearings early next year. Republicans joining him include centrist Sens. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and John Sununu of New Hampshire, along with limited-government types like Larry Craig of Idaho.

    “It seems to me that if you’re the president, you have to proceed with great caution when you do anything that flies in the face of the Constitution,” said Warren Rudman, a former Republican senator from New Hampshire who has served on a number of government intelligence advisory boards. He calls the administration’s surveillance program “a matter of grave concern.”

    The three, along with Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, have sided with Democrats in the Patriot Act fight, citing concerns the government is running rough-shod over civil liberties in the name of the war on terrorism. Without Senate approval by Dec. 31, a bulk of the law’s key provisions would expire. Negotiations over a compromise continued yesterday.

    Maybe there is hope left that not everyone in the Republican party has lost their collective minds.

  125. 125
    Uberweiss says:

    Exactly. Maybe we just need to change the color of the red states to green, or something else that’s soothing, like blue.

    I heard taupe is a very soothing color.

  126. 126
    slide says:

    By the way, Uberweiss, I am sorry for your loss. The fact that you are able to be rational and flexible about this topic speaks volumes about your character

    I echo Krista’s sentiments. As a New Yorker and a police officer it would be very easy for me to react emotionally rather than rationally to the threat of terrorism and what our nation needs to do to combat it. But we must not lose our perspective. After 911 everyone said that the “terrorists will win” if we… didnt’ go shopping… or didn’t go to the ball game etc. etc. No, the terrorists win if we start giving away our liberties.. our constitutional rights… our freedom for the sake of some elusive vision of security.

    Give me liberty or give me death.

  127. 127
    slide says:

    Oh, and let me add Senator Chuck Hagel to the list of sane Republcans. He came out very strong today with this statement:

    “Every president, that we know of, has complied with the law (FISA),” Hagel said. “No president is above the law. We are a nation of laws and no president, majority leader, or chief justice of the Supreme Court can unilaterally or arbitrarily avoid a law or dismiss a law. If the vice president holds a different point of view, then he holds a different point of view.”

    Based on the facts that are out there concerning whether domestic spying abuses were taking place, Hagel said, there was a “breakdown.”

    “I take an oath of office to the Constitution,” he said. “I don’t take an oath of office to the vice president, a president or a political party. My obligation and responsibility are to the people I represent and the country I serve. I do what I think is right for the people I represent and the country I serve.” […]

    Hagel, referring to President Ronald Reagan, said people trusted him because he was not a “vitriolic person or one to impugn the motives of people who disagreed with him.”

    “Never did he do that,” Hagel said. “There is no place for that in politics because it debases our system and our process. You can agree or disagree with your leaders and say whatever you like about your elected leaders and throw them out, but I do draw the line on the vilification and impugning of motives because someone disagrees with you.”

    He said the American people are “sick and fed up” with that type of politics.

    “Cheney’s poll numbers are very, very low,” Hagel said. “This should be about elevating the debate and enhancing America and finding the solutions that we need to move forward. It doesn’t help when you characterize people who disagree with you or threaten them or characterize them as unpatriotic or not caring about our people or our security. The American people see through that and it is beneath the dignity of this country.”

    Give me Liberty or give me death.

  128. 128
    Uberweiss says:

    After 911 everyone said that the “terrorists will win” if we… didnt’ go shopping… or didn’t go to the ball game etc. etc.

    That always really bothered me. How the hell are the terrorists going to win if I don’t go buy some new sunglasses?

  129. 129
    Krista says:

    Uberweiss – It does sound incredibly inane in retrospective, doesn’t it? When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. It’s not even amusing on a bumper sticker, so why in heck was it the rallying cry after a terrorist attack?

    Surreal, I tells ya.

  130. 130
    slide says:

    The point was that we should not change our lives because of the terrorist threat. Well, changing the protections offered by the Constitution is changing the very character and soul of our nation. That Constituion and what it stands for is what I love about this country. To think that the temporary occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave want to despoil that great document disgusts me.

    GIVE ME LIBERTY or GIVE ME DEATH.

  131. 131
    jaime says:

    Name a direct question that you’ve posed to me without getting a direct answer

    ppGaz: I believe Darrell is suffering from Disphasia. You see, yesterday we repeatedly asked him a single question. He “went to the gym” and conveniently avoided the question.

    His response today is “You’re not answering MY question”. Did he have a question? No. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a brilliant combination of the octopus and chewbacca defense.

  132. 132
    demimondian says:

    you just never know, do you?

    LOL.

    No, but I’d give long odds that you and DougJ are different people based on a crude textual analysis of bigram frequency.

  133. 133
    Doug says:

    Maybe we just need to change the color of the red states to green[.]

    Yellow. The color of fear.

  134. 134
    Gratefulcub says:

    It wasn’t actually chuck hagel, it was a conservative DougJ parody.

  135. 135
    Gratefulcub says:

    Why do the terrorists win if we give up our civil liberties? I don’t think they do. Of course, that doesn’t mean we should give them up, I am just saying that I don’t think they care if I get wiretapped or not.

  136. 136
    Krista says:

    Demi – DougJ and I are definitely different people. Worry pas ton coeur, as we say in my neck of the woods.

    And Gratefulcub, that’s a good question. I don’t know if the terrorists “win” if you give up your civil liberties. That phrase has beeen overused to the point where it’s lost any semblance of meaning. You’d have to ask what the goals of the terrorists are, vis-a-vis the Western world. Is it to have us living in fear? Is it to change our way of living and divide us from our friends and neighbours? Or is it to purge us from the earth? If those first two ARE actual goals of the terrorists, then they have indeed claimed some victories. But I think that as a whole, Westerners are standing up and refusing to be intimidated. The frightening part, though, is that there does exist a real possibility that someone might see that the US is starting to grow its balls back, and might try to do something horrible in order to keep the country afraid and on its knees.

    Will you let them do that?

  137. 137
    demimondian says:

    [Going back a long ways in the thread] Ancient Purple wrote:

    Get ready, America. You now have a future of:

    Suspended habeas corpus

    In fact, habeas corpus can be suspended during time of war. I’m actually kind of surprised that the Bush administration has not invoked that power in regard to the detention of Jose Padilla.

  138. 138
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz: I believe Darrell is suffering from Disphasia. You see, yesterday we repeatedly asked him a single question. He “went to the gym” and conveniently avoided the question.

    His response today is “You’re not answering MY question”. Did he have a question? No. But it doesn’t matter. It’s a brilliant combination of the octopus and chewbacca defense.

    When I think of Darrell, I see either Jack Nicholson on the stand shouting “You can’t HANDLE the truth”, or I see Goofy in Mickey’s Trailer. Or I see Goofy on the stand. Or Nicholson in Mickey’s Trailer.

    Anyway, at the end of the day, I try not to think of Darrell at all.

  139. 139
    Perry Como says:

    Al—I haven’t read the Ars article. Can you provide a link? Do they dicuss data mining?

    There are two articles I’ve seen that are really good:

    The new technology at the root of the NSA wiretap scandal

    NSA wiretap followup: Why computer-automated mass surveillance is a bad idea

  140. 140
    slide says:

    Goal of terrorism is to achieve their political goals but how? Well, Bin Laden certaindly didn’t think that knocking down those two buildings would make us give him what he wants no, he KNEW that knocking down those two buildings would cause us to OVERREACT and do something that will bring more converts to his cause. And guess what? He was right.

    Our Mornon in Chief fell right into OBL’s trap. What did we do? We invaded an oil rich muslim nation on reasons that have turned out to be completely bogus. That action, and the way it was done, has made many muslims more sypmpathetic to OBL then to the US, the victim of his terror. We squandered an opportuninty. Our allies, which were so supportive of us after 911 have deserted us and look at us as if we have lost our minds. Anti-American leaders are winning elections (i.e. Bolivia, Venezuala) in part due to the negative image Bush has created.

    Not only that but OBL has suckered us into an unwinnable war. One that conveys a sense of American impotence rather than power that the simplistic Bush/Cheney/Neocons thought.
    We give the enemy victories against the great US, something that a dejected population craves to see. With our obvious propoganda, torture and secret prisons we have lost the high road in many an eye.

    In other words, OBL, managed to make us our own enemy and make himself a hero to many a disgruntled Muslim. I imagine OBL has a poster of GWB in his cave as dubya has done more for his organization that hundreds of jihadists could ever do. We will be paying the price for the mistakes of Geroge Bush for generations.

  141. 141
    Ancient Purple says:

    In fact, habeas corpus can be suspended during time of war. I’m actually kind of surprised that the Bush administration has not invoked that power in regard to the detention of Jose Padilla.

    That is a fair criticism, dem. Although I am still not sure that Congess can delegate its authority to declare war to the president.

    But that is a fight for another day.

  142. 142
    Gratefulcub says:

    That phrase has beeen overused to the point where it’s lost any semblance of meaning.

    That’s why I am declaring a:

    War
    Against
    Rhetoric

    or, WAR.

    I am even starting my own deck of cards, you can help if you want:

    Ace of Spades: If we XXXX, then the terrorists win.
    Ace of Hearts: Support the Troops
    Ace of Diamonds: Fightin em der, so we ain’t gotta fight em hur.
    Ace of Clubs: any phrase including the word ‘Timetable’

  143. 143
    Darrell says:

    he KNEW that knocking down those two buildings would cause us to OVERREACT and do something that will bring more converts to his cause

    Actually, OBL was hoping we would overreact by indiscriminitely bombing/nuking the middle east. We didn’t

    We invaded an oil rich muslim nation on reasons that have turned out to be completely bogus.

    Bogus? You mean Saddam really hadn’t been violating his 1991 terms of surrender over and over for 12 years? He really wasn’t a blood soaked tyrant who supported terrorists? Did Saddam ever account for the tons and tons of KNOWN unaccounted for WMDs which Iraq had acknowledged they had at one time in their possession? you’re a joke slide

    Not only that but OBL has suckered us into an unwinnable war.

    I want you loons on the left to keep screaming that at the top your lungs. I want people to see how whacked you are deep down inside. Keep telling people how “unwinnable” this war is. Louder now!

  144. 144
    ImJohnGalt says:

    I want you loons on the left to keep screaming that at the top your lungs. I want people to see how whacked you are deep down inside. Keep telling people how “unwinnable” this war is. Louder now!

    Dude, seriously. Deep breath. This is a blog, not a revival.

  145. 145
    Darrell says:

    There are two articles I’ve seen that are really good:

    Quote from the second article:

    Proponents of mass surveillance tactics will argue that innocent people should have nothing to hide, and that if eavesdropping on millions of innocent peoples’ phone calls prevents another 9/11 (or worse, a nuclear attack) then the intrusions were well worth it. When asked just how far they’re willing to go to catch the next Mohammed Atta, they’ll answer “all the way.” When asked how many innocent people they’re willing to see flagged by the system in order to catch that one bad guy, they’ll answer “as many as it takes.”

    First he deliberately sets up a false characterization, as there is no dispute the President’s program was not some mass surveillance of random Americans, but instead a program limited to the communication of suspected terrorists with US citizens. Secondly, he dishonestly mischaracterizes all, or most supporters of surveillance tactics as extremists who believe that it’s acceptable to target unlimited innocent Americans (“as many as it takes”) without basis in order to catch one bad guy. That’s some transparent bullshit there.

    For some reason, the author does not allow for the possibility that many (most?) people support limited surveillance under a specific set of circumstances rather than unlimited surveillance of random US citizens… so he creates a cartoonish stereotype that surveillance “proponents” believe it’s ok to target “as many” random Americans as possible, which pretty much discredits his entire argument.

    Too bad, because his other article had some useful observations

  146. 146
    ppGaz says:

    I want you loons on the left to keep screaming that at the top your lungs.

    Again I have to ask, why does this person post here? Is it because the right has no legitimate or sentient representatives? Is this the best they can do?

  147. 147
    Darrell says:

    This is a blog, not a revival.

    You wouldn’t know it by this sort of hyperventilated melordrama:

    GIVE ME LIBERTY or GIVE ME DEATH.

  148. 148
    Darrell says:

    or this:

    Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship?

    The sky is falling! Bush lied people died!

  149. 149
    Darrell says:

    Is this the best they can do?

    yes whackjob, John and Tim scoured the internet for ‘spokesmen’ and came up with me. They are pulling the strings behind the curtain with every post I make.

    ‘Reality based community’ my ass

  150. 150
    demimondian says:

    Ah, so that’s what Hannibal is writing about. That’s what I thought.

    People should chase the links, if only to read the final story from Greek mythology, which is a particularly apt story for the war on Christmas.

  151. 151
    Gratefulcub says:

    We all want surveillance and eavesdropping. That isn’t even the issue being debated. The issue is:

    Did the president ignore and break established law by ordering wiretaps against US citizens without a warrant? If so, does he have that authority?

  152. 152
    demimondian says:

    And don’t let Darrell’s characterization of the Ars Technica articles sway you. Go read them yourselves: you need to read the paragraph he quotes in its own context to judge the his claims about mass surveillance correctly.

  153. 153
    jaime says:

    Actually, OBL was hoping we would overreact by indiscriminitely bombing/nuking the middle east. We didn’t

    That hole Iraq invasion was a carefully considered well thought out plan.

    Keep telling people how “unwinnable” this war is.

    I wish those Jesus/Freedom/America like George Dubya Bush haters stop telling us we can’t win the war on terror.

    “I don’t–I don’t think we can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the–those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in part of the world”

    “If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit”

  154. 154
    Darrell says:

    We all want surveillance and eavesdropping. That isn’t even the issue being debated

    It is precisely the issue in the article ‘Perry Como’ posted, which is why I referenced the article in my response

    If so, does he have that authority?

    The supreme court has recognized “the generally accepted view that foreign policy is the province and responsibility of the Executive” and “The Founders in their wisdom made [the President] not only the Commander-in-Chief but also the guiding organ in the conduct of our foreign affairs,” possessing “vast powers in relation to the outside world.” Ludecke v. Watkins. Source

    Since the President has the authority to monitor foreign enemies, the only grey-area is when suspected foreign enemies are in contact with US citizens inside the US. The Bush admin reasonably concluded that FISA had no right to tie their hands when monitoring foreign enemies, even when they communicate with Americans inside the US. If you have any SCOTUS opinion which contradicts the statements above, I’d like to see it/them.

  155. 155
    Darrell says:

    And don’t let Darrell’s characterization of the Ars Technica articles sway you.

    I quoted the article verbatim and in context. It’s how they actually characterized the “proponents” of surveillance. Anyone can read for themselves. It’s the position that they actually hold. Dishonest as hell. Again, anyone can read this for themselves

  156. 156
    Lines says:

    I thought you went away, Darrell? Can you do it again and please stay that way? We’re hoping that some sane Conservatives will show up, but all we get is you, you fucking simpleton.

  157. 157
    Darrell says:

    but all we get is you, you fucking simpleton.

    The intellectual depth of the left in all its glory

  158. 158
    demimondian says:

    Darrell says:

    I quoted the article [in _Ars Technica_, here] verbatim and in context

    Readers should go to the original source and judge for themselves.

  159. 159
    Gratefulcub says:

    Darrell,

    how often do you do research in constitutional law? Your interpretation of case law means about as much to me as mine does.

    This isn’t about foreign policy. It is about a very narrow and specific issue. He authorized the NSA to conduct wiretaps on US citizens without a warrant. He admitted that. They haven’t once denied it. They have offered justification for the act. That is the question being debated, outside this thread.

    My keep your eye on the actul debate point above was not directed at you, it was just a general statement.

  160. 160
    Gratefulcub says:

    The intellectual depth of the left in all its glory

    Yes, the entire intellectual depth of anyone to the left of Lieberman can be summed by Lines. Just as we can see the intellectual depth of the right of lieberman by listening to an hour of Rush.

  161. 161
    snorkel says:

    Slide, I’m begnning to think your theory of monitoring ALL electronic communictions is correct. I’m thinking of the puzzling analogy Bush made when he claimed that the leak of these wire taps has already hurt us, just as the leak that we were monitoring OBL’s cell phone allegedly tipped him off to abandon this process. The adminstration could be worried that outing the spying has caused the terrorists to upgrade their encryption technolgy to the point where it is much more difficult, even for the NSA, to decode these communications in a timely way.

  162. 162
    Darrell says:

    Gratefulcub Says:

    Darrell,

    how often do you do research in constitutional law? Your interpretation of case law means about as much to me as mine does.

    What interpretation? I merely quoted SCOTUS findings. Don’t dishonestly turn this around as simply my legal ‘interpretation’ ok?

  163. 163
    demimondian says:

    The adminstration could be worried that outing the spying has caused the terrorists to upgrade their encryption technolgy to the point where it is much more difficult, even for the NSA, to decode these communications in a timely way.

    Hmm.

    I doubt that would make a difference. The clearest and most self-evident flag a communicator can make is to use a strong code. If I’m monitoring communications into or out of the US, and I come across a voice call that’s using PGP or GPG or anything of the sort, I’m going to look at the endpoints immediately. The physical location of the terminus in the United States gives me a lot of information right there.

  164. 164
    Darrell says:

    He authorized the NSA to conduct wiretaps on US citizens without a warrant. He admitted that. They haven’t once denied it.

    The founding fathers gave the President certain powers to protect the nation, particularly related to national security. The Bush admin took the position that the law didn’t require them to get warrants if the targets of the surveillance weren’t US citizens. I have cited a couple of SCOTUS cases which seem to back the President’s position. If not backing it, they certainly make it clear that the Bush admin’s position was not some extremist horribly wrong overreach as characterized by most on the left.

  165. 165
    Ancient Purple says:

    I’ll leave you lefties to your echo chamber now.. just the way you like it

    Apparently not.

  166. 166
    Gratefulcub says:

    What interpretation? I merely quoted SCOTUS findings. Don’t dishonestly turn this around as simply my legal ‘interpretation’ ok?

    You didn’t just quote it. You quoted it, and then implied that it gave authorization to the president. If you are going to apply case law to a new case, you must first interpret the case law. ok?

  167. 167
    Gratefulcub says:

    I have cited a couple of SCOTUS cases which seem to back the President’s position

    But, not your interpretation of that case law?

  168. 168
    Gratefulcub says:

    What happened to stormy? She seems to have been disappeared.

  169. 169
    Cyrus says:

    Darrell Says:

    he KNEW that knocking down those two buildings would cause us to OVERREACT and do something that will bring more converts to his cause

    Actually, OBL was hoping we would overreact by indiscriminitely bombing/nuking the middle east. We didn’t

    So bin Laden was hoping we would overreact, you say? Anything after that seems to be quibbling over details. Sure, you don’t believe that invading Iraq was an overreaction. But it looks like that way to most people, and as far as bin Laden’s needs and motives go, those are the same thing. And more to the point, do you think what we did (invading Iraq) will “bring more converts to his cause”? It looks that way to me at the moment.

    We invaded an oil rich muslim nation on reasons that have turned out to be completely bogus.

    Bogus? You mean Saddam really hadn’t been violating his 1991 terms of surrender over and over for 12 years? He really wasn’t a blood soaked tyrant who supported terrorists? Did Saddam ever account for the tons and tons of KNOWN unaccounted for WMDs which Iraq had acknowledged they had at one time in their possession? you’re a joke slide

    We invaded an oil-rich Muslim nation on reasons the biggest and most provocative of which turned out to be completely bogus, some of which remain unproved one way or the other, and more have been called into question by our subsequent actions. An imminent nuclear threat was strongly implied if not outright stated, with the intention that people believe it existed, and today no one seriously argues that Saddam had nukes. The closest people come is arguing that Saddam wanted to have nukes, not that he did or he would or he could. The implied link between Saddam and 9/11 has been reduced to the fact that Saddam had his people call bin Laden’s people one time, plus the fact that at least one Al Qaeda operative lived in Iraq for a while. And when Abu Ghraib and similar abuses make the news, and a three-year jail sentence for a corporal has been the most severe punishment handed out for those abuses (right?), it might not disprove that we went to Iraq for humanitarian reasons, but it does make people start to wonder.

  170. 170
    Darrell says:

    But, not your interpretation of that case law?

    Look, I cited specific conclusions from the SCOTUS. One doesn’t have to be a constitutional scholar to read that the Prez has a lot of power (“vast power”) regarding foreign policy, and protecting us from foreign enemies. You have anything to the contrary or are you limited to sniping over “constitutional interpretation” without offering any substance to the discussion?

  171. 171
    Perry Como says:

    Darrel says:

    I quoted the article verbatim and in context. It’s how they actually characterized the “proponents” of surveillance.

    Sorta, but not really. From the article:

    Proponents of mass surveillance tactics will argue that innocent people should have nothing to hide

    The qualifier is “mass”. Some people do actually argue that mass surveillance is fine if you have nothing to hide. I don’t think the author is saying that the President’s program is necessarily a mass surveillance operation. He merely points out why a mass surveillance program may not be as effective as some believe.

  172. 172
    Darrell says:

    Apparently not.

    Aw c’mon Purple, after 30 posts in a row from fellow lefties congratulating each other on how smart they are, I thought you guys might want something different

  173. 173
    PotVsKtl says:

    Aw c’mon Purple, after 30 posts in a row from fellow lefties congratulating each other on how smart they are, I thought you guys might want something different

    It may shock you to know that not everyone who agrees with you that the President has the power to break the law is a “leftie.” But keep flogging that boogeyman.

  174. 174
    PotVsKtl says:

    That’s disagrees obviously.

  175. 175
    Darrell says:

    The qualifier is “mass”. Some people do actually argue that mass surveillance is fine if you have nothing to hide. I don’t think the author is saying that the President’s program is necessarily a mass surveillance operation

    You might actually have a point if the title of the article wasn’t: “NSA wiretap followup: Why computer-automated mass surveillance is a bad idea”

  176. 176
    Cyrus says:

    Grrr. Either I was very forgetful, or this text editor can’t handle nested blockquotes. I thought it looked OK in the preview…

    Oh, of course not. The buttons above the text window allow you to put them around highlighted text, but it’s basic html – something beginning with

  177. 177
    Cyrus says:

    Screw it, I give up. I’m never trusting the preview pane again.

  178. 178
    Darrell says:

    It may shock you to know that not everyone who agrees with you that the President has the power to break the law is a “leftie.”

    More dishonesty. What’s being argued here is whether or not the President’s powers laid out by the founding fathers, enables him to monitor foreign enemies without obtaining a warrant

  179. 179
    demimondian says:

    I don’t think the author is saying that the President’s program is necessarily a mass surveillance operation. He merely points out why a mass surveillance program may not be as effective as some believe.

    I got a very different read. I think he argues that a program such as he described would certainly constitute mass surveillance. He then goes on to argue that such programs are not very useful, despite a long and tawdry history.

    I keep wondering why people ignore the appropriate historical parallel: opening mail. It is perfectly legal to open someone’s mail if you have a warrant to do so. It is perfectly legal to note the addresses to which mail is sent in a certain country, and to note any other distinguishing marks on the outside of each envelope. It is not legal to open all letters to a certain country.

    By the same token, there would be no question of the legality of monitoring the endpoints of each call into, say, Afghanistan, provided those endpoints were not encrytped or otherwise intentionally concealed. Going beyond that, though, without a warrant, would almost certainly be illegal search.

  180. 180
    Gratefulcub says:

    Look, I cited specific conclusions from the SCOTUS. One doesn’t have to be a constitutional scholar to read that the Prez has a lot of power (“vast power”) regarding foreign policy, and protecting us from foreign enemies. You have anything to the contrary or are you limited to sniping over “constitutional interpretation” without offering any substance to the discussion?

    The point of my ‘interpretation’ comments were this. If I were savvy in the world of constitutional law, I could find a breifcase full of decisions that I could quote that would show the president has no such power. You could then go find two breifcases full of decisions that could be interpreted in a way that says he does. Neither of us have the expertise to sort through them all, know which takes precedent, etc etc, and come to a knowledgeable conclusion.

    But, the laws you keep citing are dealing with foreign policy. This has nothing to do with foreign policy. This issue is about domestic surveillance. Even if one of the actors is foreign, suspected of being a terrorist, and standing in another country, if they NSA is monitoring the other end of the phone, which is a US citizen………

    That is the issue. Not foreign policy. It is actually quite simple. Does the president of the United States have the authority to disregard established law in this particular instance? That answer is not going to be found in SCOTUS decisions saying the president has power in foreign relations.

  181. 181
    slide says:

    Cyrus thank you for debunking Darrell’s ridiculous response to my post. And Darrell yes the reasons we went to war was BOGUS. Nobody in this country would have supported going to war unless it was for the threat of WMD and more specifically the NUKE threat that was manufactored for exactly that purpose. Don’t think we would have sacrificed our sons and daughters for UN resolution xyz. The UN? The same UN that your side disparages all the time? Jesus please give me a break. They MAY fool you… but they don’t fool the people in the Middle East. We did EXACTLY what OBL predicted and we helped his cause immeasureably sad to say.

  182. 182
    Darrell says:

    I’m never trusting the preview pane again.

    It does malfunction at times.. as you noticed, you can’t block quote within a block quote even though preview makes it look fine. JC, if you’re listening, can that problem be fixed?

  183. 183
    Gratefulcub says:

    More dishonesty. What’s being argued here is whether or not the President’s powers laid out by the founding fathers, enables him to monitor foreign enemies without obtaining a warrant

    BS. Of course it does, and no one disagrees with that. If there is a US citizen involved, he needs a warrant/doesn’t need a warrant. That is the argument.

  184. 184
    Perry Como says:

    Darrel says:

    You might actually have a point if the title of the article wasn’t: “NSA wiretap followup: Why computer-automated mass surveillance is a bad idea”

    :sigh:

    Whatever. If you read the first article you’d see he is speculating on what the program might be:

    It is entirely possible that the NSA technology at issue here is some kind of high-volume, automated voice recognition and pattern matching system.

    The author is setting up a possible scenario, he’s not claiming that his idea is what President Bush is doing. The follow up is merely discussing why that possible scenario would be a bad idea.

    If you’d retract your claws for a moment, you might be able to see that he’s not just some Bushitler hater trying to score political points.

  185. 185
    Darrell says:

    That answer is not going to be found in SCOTUS decisions saying the president has power in foreign relations.

    Fair enough. But we have this:

    Four federal courts of appeal subsequently faced the issue squarely and held that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence purposes without judicial warrant.

    supported by this:

    Atty. Gen. Jamie Gorelick testified that “the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.”

    and this:

    But as the 2002 Court of Review noted, if the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches, “FISA could not encroach on the president’s constitutional power.”

    This seems to me to be a squabble between Congress and the President over who has ultimate authority. Court rulings seem to go heavily in the Bush admin’s favor, which is why I asked for contradictory citations

  186. 186
    Darrell says:

    If you’d retract your claws for a moment, you might be able to see that he’s not just some Bushitler hater trying to score political points

    I never said he was a Bush hater, just that he deliberately mischaracterized the debate to make his argument seem more plausible. Framing opponents as extremists who believe it acceptable to target unlimited innocent Americans (“as many as it takes” his words) without basis in order to catch one bad guy was a pretty dishonest tactic on is part, don’t you think?

  187. 187
    Gratefulcub says:

    Four federal courts of appeal subsequently faced the issue squarely and held that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence purposes without judicial warrant.

    Darrell,
    This is exactly what I was trying to say about interpretation and our incompetence in that arena. We are in the early phases of partisan constitutional scholars twisting case law for the masses, because we are easily fooled, due to our incompetence. (I am not saying you were fooled, I am making a general statement.

    I am pasting from Think Progress, because it was the first debunking I found. I am sure you can find a debunking of the debunking within 5 minutes. All this is to say, I don’t know enough to interpret constitutional case law and apply it to this case.

    A column in this morning’s Chicago Tribune by John Schmidt argues that Bush’s secret domestic surveillance program was legal. (Byron York posted a portion of the piece on the National Review website under the title “READ THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE“) It features this selectively edited excerpt from a 2002 decision by the FISA appeals court:

    “All the … courts to have decided the issue held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence…We take for granted that the president does have that authority.”

    Actually, the quote doesn’t begin with the word “all”; it begins “The Truong court, as did all the other courts…” The Truong case was decided in 1978 — the same year FISA was passed — and did not deal with the FISA law. As the court noted right before the excerpt, “Truong dealt with a pre-FISA surveillance… it had no occasion to consider the application of the statute…” The Truong case dealt with the President’s power in the absence of a congressional statute.

    This is critically important because FISA specifically prohibits the warrantless domestic searches that the President authorized. As Chief Justice Roberts explained in his recent confirmation hearings, referrencing the landmark Supreme Court case Youngstown Sheet, “where the president is acting contrary to congressional authority…the president’s authority is at its lowest ebb.”

    The article also conveniently omits the two sentences after the excerpt:

    It was incumbent upon the [Truong] court, therefore, to determine the boundaries of that constitutional authority in the case before it. We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power. The question before us is the reverse…

    All the court is saying here is that whether FISA imposes limits on the President’s authority is not an issue in this case. It was an issue in the Troung case but, as the court explains, “[T]he question before us is the reverse.”

  188. 188
    Perry Como says:

    I got a very different read. I think he argues that a program such as he described would certainly constitute mass surveillance. He then goes on to argue that such programs are not very useful, despite a long and tawdry history.

    It’s all speculation at this point. I think the articles are worthwhile outside of the scope of the FISA debate — wait, there is no debate. The President has unenumerated powers.

    Anyway… the NSA has the capabilities that he describes and mass surveillance has been around for decades. I think discussing whether or not mass surveillance is a good idea is worthwhile, but I’m pretty sure the discussion would split down party lines. 10 years ago the debate would have been the same, but the positions would have been reversed.

  189. 189
    Gratefulcub says:

    And since I admit to not knowing enough to deal with this case on the detailed legal level, can I ask the broad question again?

    Bush admitted to going around FISA by executive order, due to national security concerns. What other law is he allowed to disregard?

    McCain’s torture amendment?
    Declaration of War? Does he have to ask congress to declare war while we are fighting the global war on terror?

  190. 190
    Darrell says:

    And Darrell yes the reasons we went to war was BOGUS.

    Cyrus, these are the reaons we went to war with Iraq in case you are too ignorant to know better

  191. 191
    Cyrus says:

    Also, Darrell, you’ve repeatedly said that there’s a gray area because the President is authorized to order surveillance on foreign people or groups but not on Americans, so what happens when foreigners communicate with Americans? That seems to be your entire argument here – the law doesn’t say there are any times when they can’t spy on foreigners, so the administration legitimately believed their actions were legal.

    That doesn’t look like a gray area to me. It would be if the law said the President was required to spy on foreigners, but it doesn’t. If one statute says he can spy on person A if he so chooses and another says he cannot spy on person B whether he chooses or not, and if he can’t do one without doing the other, than under the law he can’t do either. It’s legal to follow the “Old Yeller” route and put a dog down with a bullet, as far as I know, just like it’s legal to put a dog down by other means or not at all. But if a person is holding the dog in his arms when I want to pull the trigger and I don’t have a clear shot, there’s no gray area – I’m still shooting a person.

  192. 192
    chefrad says:

    “The President has unenumerated powers.”

    No, Gonzales said he has “plenary powers” as in plenary Cathoilc Church indulgences. Complete, perfect, pure, final.

    The Doctrine of Infallability is just around the corner. Extra Eccesiam Nulla Salus Est.

  193. 193
    Perry Como says:

    Darrell Says:

    I never said he was a Bush hater, just that he deliberately mischaracterized the debate to make his argument seem more plausible. Framing opponents as extremists who believe it acceptable to target unlimited innocent Americans (“as many as it takes” his words) without basis in order to catch one bad guy was a pretty dishonest tactic on is part, don’t you think?

    Proponents of mass surveillance tend to be extremists…

    I’ve talked, read articles, listened on radio and watched on TV people who claim that it’s okay if you’ve got nothing to hide. I don’t think he’s being dishonest, because those people exist and they generally don’t know why mass surveillance is a bad idea. It’s not because people want to hide something, it’s because mass surveillance is a waste of resources.

  194. 194
    demimondian says:

    Darrell, you’re very carefully omitting key points in all those debates. There’s no question that the current court rulings support the president if he is not ordering surveillance of a US person. The point is that they do not support him if the surveillance of a US person is involved. In those cases, the President is significantly less free to act, even in a time of war.

    If the Constitution were silent on the question of what rights could be circumscribed during time of war, there would be a secondary argument based on the “ticking time bomb” theory. However, the Constitution is not silent on that matter — among all the rights which it explicitly enumerates to citizens, one, and only one, mentions exeptions in time of war: _habeas corpus_. If the Framers had meant for that to be extended to other rights, they have said so in the war declaration powers enumerated to Congress, so we are left to conclude that _habeas_ is the only one which was meant to be limited by a state of war.

    Thus, the rights explicitly enumerated in the Fourth Amendment are not affected by a state of war, except insofar as what is “reasonable” in time of war is different than what is reasonable at other times. That, then, is the only reed upon which a “special circumstances” can rest.

    I haven’t seen anyone trying to make such an argument. Everything else must either be a case which could apply at any time and with any foreigner, or must be wrong.

  195. 195
    Darrell says:

    GC, I’ve read the “debunking” from Think Progress which lefties mindlessly cut and paste without thinking. They assume that Think Progress actually makes a point. Here are the actual FISA review findings and they do in fact say:

    The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    ..We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.

    Looks like TP was the one caught taking things out of context, no? Please don’t muddy the waters here claiming legal interpretations. The language is clear. Do you have any citations which contradict this?

  196. 196
    Darrell says:

    From the previously cited FISA conclusions, note 13

    Interestingly, the court noted that the FISA judge “is not to second guess the Executive Branch official’s certification that the objective of the surveillance is foreign intelligence information.” Duggan, 743 F.2d at 77.

    I’m not trying to play ‘gotcha’ here. The court rulings seem to overwhelmingly support Bush’s case that he has constitutional powers to monitor foreign enemies which cannot be ‘second guessed’ by FISA, nor could FISA, in their words, ‘encroach on the President’s constitutional power’. That seems to be pretty strong case

  197. 197
    Tim F. says:

    Who is arguing that the president should be restrained in collecting foreign intelligence?

  198. 198
    Gratefulcub says:

    Darrell, there are constitutional law experts crawling out of the woodwork to say Bush broke the law. There are others running to the op/ed pages to say that he was completely within his rights.

    I will go ahead and save them all a lot of time and effort and point them to your debunking. I am sure they will all be appreciative of you doing the work for them.

    And I am on vacation until the 3rd of January in 3……2……1……..Oh it feels so good. (and yes, you caught me, I haven’t been all that productive today. Sue me.)

  199. 199
    Gratefulcub says:

    That seems to be pretty strong case

    That’s your interpretation;)

  200. 200
    Gratefulcub says:

    Interestingly, the court noted that the FISA judge “is not to second guess the Executive Branch official’s certification that the objective of the surveillance is foreign intelligence information.”

    So, if they ask for a warrant for foreign intelligence reasons, the judge isn’t supposed to question the foreign intelligence reasoning.

    1) That is if they request a warrant instead of saying they don’t have to
    2) Where does it state that they don’t need a warrant if a US citizen is involved

  201. 201
    Darrell says:

    Tim F. Says:

    Who is arguing that the president should be restrained in collecting foreign intelligence?

    That’s the crux of this entire debate.. whether or not the President has the authority to collect intelligence on suspected foreigners (which no one disputes) when they communicate with Americans inside the US (disputed by the left)

  202. 202
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Fortunately, Madison designed our government so that the ambition of the men in one branch of government would work against the ambition of the men in another branch. So, I think we’ll see the Congress assert its authority against the President. The results might be ugly. But they’re necessary.

    Well, I certainly hope Congress–as a whole–starts to reassert itself. One of the biggest lessons we’ve been learning for the past five years is that single-party rule simply does not work. Lest the Darrells of this thread start screaming, “Life would suck if the Democrats controlled everything!” I agree. That’s exactly my point. When both the White House and the Capitol are beholden to the same party, the results are not good for America.

    We had an effective government when Clinton was in the White House and the Republicans controlled Capitol Hill because neither side was able to fully get its way; the two sides had to find common ground and work from there to find the best solutions for as many people as possible. Now, the far-left and far-right people were likely disappointed, but fuck them.

    This single-party rule bullshit has got to stop. How are the legislative and executive branches supposed to keep each other in check when all they want to do is scratch each other’s back?

  203. 203
    Cyrus says:

    Darrell Says:

    And Darrell yes the reasons we went to war was BOGUS.

    Cyrus, these are the reaons we went to war with Iraq in case you are too ignorant to know better

    The “whereas” clauses in that document are a whole lot of evidence that Saddam Hussein was a bad person. But “whereas” clauses in resolutions have exactly as much force of law as the State of the Union address, to pick an example out of thin air – which is to say, exactly zero.

    But between those two laundry lists of complaints, the resolution you linked to or the State of the Union, which one do you think was better-known, more generally referenced, more intended for public consumption, and most importantly of all, more ultimately successful in shaping public opinion and support for Bush and the war? Personally, I think the State of the Union was. And here are some quotes from it.

    On the Korean Peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation. Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving the world, and developing those weapons all along. And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions [emphasis mine; bear with me, we’ll come back to this]. America and the world will not be blackmailed. (Applause.)

    Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq [Ah! He’s connecting Iraq to North Korea – a complete coincidence, I’m sure!]. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth, will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States [whaaa?]. (Applause.)

    Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical [true], biological [true], and nuclear weapons [only “true” in the sense that Saddam also pursued the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow], even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons — not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world [irrelevant to the reasons the war was needed, but says a lot about why the war was acceptable – I mean, the President just said Iraqis aren’t civilized?], not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.

    And the really famous quote, from a speech several months before that

    Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.

    I’m certain that no sane person would have made the assumption that there was a nuclear threat from Iraq. And Bush would have been shocked and dismayed to find out that anyone had made that silly mistake. /snark

    The main reason for the war, the one Bush used to sell it to the public, was a nuclear threat, with a side order of botulism and unmanned drones. The rest were afterthoughts, formalities, or ass-covering.

  204. 204
    Tim F. says:

    That’s the crux of this entire debate.. whether or not the President has the authority to collect intelligence on suspected foreigners (which no one disputes) when they communicate with Americans inside the US (disputed by the left)

    So if American communications to Americans get swept up in these taps, it sounds like you’ll join our chorus.

  205. 205
    Darrell says:

    So, if they ask for a warrant for foreign intelligence reasons, the judge isn’t supposed to question the foreign intelligence reasoning.

    No. At present the Bush admin can collect foreign intelligence WITHOUT a warrant if the communications are outside of the US. The Bush admin interpreted, and FISA appears to agree with them, that they have constitutional power to conduct this same intelligence gathering on foreigners without warrant, but irrespective of whether or not they are communicating to Americans in the US. The caveat is that if dirt comes up on the American, the information cannot be used against him since a warrant was not obtained.

    The Bush admin could have probably run roughshod with their constitutional arguments and been justified in doing it. But they didn’t do that. They sought and obtained judicial approval and review, and they also gave bi-partisan oversight to congress (12+ reviews so far?). This is shaping up to be like the WP accusations coming from the left.

    The President has always played his cards close to the vest. You really think he would come out swinging like this on a high profile issue if he wasn’t standing on rock solid ground? If you Dems think that, you really are like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football

  206. 206
    Darrell says:

    So if American communications to Americans get swept up in these taps, it sounds like you’ll join our chorus.

    If they use (abuse) this power to monitor American to american communications not involving foreign suspects, you’re damn right I’ll join your chorus. I’ll join the chorus even if there is a foreign suspect, but they use info against the American citizen in surveillance that was obtained without a warrant.

    But with judicial review and oversight + congressional oversight, I think it highly unlikely that the Bush admin will use this for Watergate-like venal crap. Bush wants to better hunt terrorists and that’s what this is all about

  207. 207
    Gratefulcub says:

    sought and obtained judicial approval and review, and they also gave bi-partisan oversight to congress (12+ reviews so far?).

    That is my all time favorite. They gave congress oversight.

    Oversight includes the ability to do something. Congress was briefed. If your son tells you he joined the marines, that is a breifing, not oversight because you can’t do a damned thing about it.

    Please, tell us how Rocky is a puss and should have done this or that. Why is Pelosi’s letter still classified? Why are you yelling treason about the leaker? But Rocky should have leaked? Classic.

    Ok, really this time, vacation has begun. When I return, we can discuss how many names Abramoff has named. fun fun fun.

  208. 208
    Tim F. says:

    We know Saddam Hussein is there, but we haven’t found him yet, either. The fact of the matter is we are still in a war, and not everything about the war is yet known. But make no mistake — as I said earlier — we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found.

    I know that nobody’s calling Ari Fleischer, official spokesperson of the grand poobah himself, a liar. Even though it sure sounds like it.

  209. 209
    demimondian says:

    with judicial review and oversight + congressional oversight, I think it highly unlikely that the Bush admin will use this for Watergate-like venal crap. Bush wants to better hunt terrorists and that’s what this is all about

    The relevant court is saying that it needs to look into whether it was not given suitable judicial oversight, and the Congress has already stated that it intends to investigate whether it was granted suitable oversight.

  210. 210
    ppGaz says:

    They are pulling the strings behind the curtain with every post I make.

    Really? How do two intelligent guys with good sense of humor manage to create a character with no brains and no sense of humor?

    They can’t be that good …. once in a while they’d slip up and have you say something wise, or funny.

    But …. never. The routine is flawless. How do they do it?

  211. 211
    Darrell says:

    Why are you yelling treason about the leaker?

    Because you have someone exposing a classified program in violation of their secrecy oath which so far looks to be completely legal.. a program that is used to locate, capture and kill terrorists who make calls or send other communications into the US. Even the leakers concede many lives have been saved. They are scum. Are you defending their despicable leaks as heroic ‘whistleblowering’ like the rest of the left is doing?

  212. 212
    Darrell says:

    Congress has already stated that it intends to investigate whether it was granted suitable oversight

    You miss the point, Congress doesn’t get to make that call. It’s called Constitutional authority granted to the President which supercedes Congress.

  213. 213
    Tim F. says:

    I’ll admit, that last post was humor. You could pick Fleischer quotes delineating all kinds of reasons to invade Iraq. Nonetheless, he sounded pretty convincing that time. Reporters kept asking him about that right up until he moved on to some more rewarding job.

    If they use (abuse) this power to monitor American to american communications not involving foreign suspects, you’re damn right I’ll join your chorus. I’ll join the chorus even if there is a foreign suspect, but they use info against the American citizen in surveillance that was obtained without a warrant.

    Jeesh, it sounds like we should be joining you.

    But with judicial review and oversight + congressional oversight, I think it highly unlikely that the Bush admin will use this for Watergate-like venal crap.

    We clearly disagree about the notion of ‘oversight,’ the role of the judiciary in this process and your amazing willingness to give Bush’s intentions the benefit of the doubt.

  214. 214
    Darrell says:

    I know that nobody’s calling Ari Fleischer, official spokesperson of the grand poobah himself, a liar. Even though it sure sounds like it.

    Because whatever Ari Fleischer says supercedes this, right? Good job at changing the topic when facts go against you regarding Bush’s “illegal” surveillance

  215. 215
    demimondian says:

    Congress doesn’t get to make that call. It’s called Constitutional authority granted to the President which supercedes Congress.

    No. That’s where you run off the rails. The Constitutional authority to investigate and legislate is every bit as unbounded as the President’s right to prosecute a war. He is the Commander in Chief, but the Congress’s right to legislate, even to override his veto, is every bit as great.

  216. 216
    demimondian says:

    irrespective of whether or not they are communicating to Americans in the US

    I’ve looked at the decisions, and I do not see that power at all. In fact, the FISA clearly denies the president that power.

  217. 217
    Darrell says:

    We clearly disagree about the notion of ‘oversight,’ the role of the judiciary in this process and your amazing willingness to give Bush’s intentions the benefit of the doubt.

    Ok, but what this boils down to is does the President, or does he not, have authority separate from Congress, to monitor without warrant foreign suspected terrorists making phone calls into the US if the other end of the phone line is an American citizen in Kansas? FISA seems to say he does. I’ve provided numerous citations of which not a one of which has been refuted.

  218. 218
    slide says:

    Because you have someone exposing a classified program in violation of their secrecy oath which so far looks to be completely legal.. a program that is used to locate, capture and kill terrorists who make calls or send other communications into the US. Even the leakers concede many lives have been saved. They are scum. Are you defending their despicable leaks as heroic ‘whistleblowering’ like the rest of the left is doing?

    for once you I agree ONE HUNDRED PERCENT with you…. Karl Rove and Scotter Libby are SCUM for violating their oaths and leaking classified infomation that hurt our war on terrorism.

  219. 219
    Darrell says:

    In fact, the FISA clearly denies the president that power.

    Do they? Here is what FISA says:

    The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    ..We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.

    Now, show us where in the hell FISA “clearly denies the President” that power?

  220. 220
    slide says:

    darrell darrell darrell… .this has been done over and over and over again. FISA is very clear. The PRESIDENT cannot conduct warrantless wiretaps when it is reasonable that US person’s communications might be involved. What don’t you understand about that. there ARE circumstances where the president can use wireless eavesdropping BUT NOT WHEN US PERSONS IN THE US ARE INVOLVED… IDIOT… MORON…

  221. 221
    Darrell says:

    He is the Commander in Chief, but the Congress’s right to legislate, even to override his veto, is every bit as great.

    The President’s authority to monitor foreign terrorists doesn’t have anything to do with Congressional legistlation. We’re talking about Constitutional powers granted to the Executive Branch and the courts’ interpretation of those powers. I’ve cited SCOTUS opinions and those of FISA. What you do you have?

  222. 222
    Darrell says:

    FISA is very clear. The PRESIDENT cannot conduct warrantless wiretaps when it is reasonable that US person’s communications might be involved.

    You lefties keep repeating that claim without citation as if it’s true. If it’s true, then produce the damn citation already!

  223. 223
    slide says:

    1) 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 periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—

    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and

    what is unclear about that?

  224. 224
  225. 225
    DougJ says:

    Hey doug, why did you ask me that question earlier? Did you just get my email now?

    I got it, then wanted to check it was you — I was afraid it might be a mole. I’ll email you in a sec.

  226. 226
    Darrell says:

    slide, thanks, but can you provide a link so we can see dates, context, etc?? I provided links in every one of my citations. And the FISA ruling I cited directly contradicts your post which has no citation

  227. 227
    Darrell says:

    read and weep little Darrell

    Your link is bullshit. It just goes to some general site. Link to the specific citation. I did already. Again, your link is shit

  228. 228
    slide says:

    no one in the adminstration is even arguing that the President didnt’ go AROUND FISA… their argument, ridiculous as it is, is that the President doen’t have to obey the law during war time. they are not saying they complied with FISA but they are basiing it on ARTICLE II of the constitution

  229. 229
    Darrell says:

    no one in the adminstration is even arguing that the President didnt’ go AROUND FISA

    And if you had bothered to read my posts instead of posting bogus links, you would know that I didn’t make that argument either

  230. 230
    slide says:

    you are not quoting a FISA statute you are quoting a court case which does NOT address wiretapping, without a warrant, US persons…..

  231. 231
    Darrell says:

    wait a minute, slide’s citation is crap as we’re not arguing whether or not information from such warrantless surveillance can be used against a US citizen. It can’t. I’ve already stated as such several times already. That’s not even what we’re discussing slide.

  232. 232
    demimondian says:

    Darrell — His link is, in fact, toast. This one points to the relevant page. Try that.

  233. 233
    Darrell says:

    slide Says:

    you are not quoting a FISA statute you are quoting a court case which does NOT address wiretapping, without a warrant, US persons

    I quoted a FISA Court of Review finding which stands unchallenged – ‘Read it and weep’

  234. 234
    slide says:

    Darrell you are a complete idiot. That is the FISA statute that governs when and how the government can wiretap and is the ONLY time that the president can wiretap WITHOUT a warrant which is what we are talking about, isn’t it?.

    demimondian I dont’ know what YOU are talking about you posted a link to the same exact excerpt from the law

  235. 235
    Darrell says:

    demimondian Says:

    Darrell—His link is, in fact, toast. This one points to the relevant page. Try that.

    Thanks demimondian. The Bush admin argued that the President’s constitutional power goes beyond that. And the FISA court of review made a clear ruling in 2002 which agrees with them

  236. 236
    Tim F. says:

    The Cornell site is gimmicky. You have to click though the ‘no, thanks’ button, then you’ll go to the general site. Go back to B-J and click on Demimondian’s link again and you’ll go to the right page.

  237. 237
    demimondian says:

    slide’s citation is crap as we’re not arguing whether or not information from such warrantless surveillance can be used against a US citizen

    You know, Darrell, you’ll get a lot further with honey than with vinegar. slide’s citation can be irrelevant without being crap.

    In fact, though, it’s highly relevant. The law’s text is clear. Here it is, as lifted from the Cornell site.

    General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
    (A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
    (i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
    (ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and
    (C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title; and
    if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.

    (Of course, the formatting is hosed. Sorry.) I don’t see how you can read that as saying other than the President needing to certify that there was no substantial likelihood of informatiion being *gathered*, not *used*. The President has already acknowledged that statement was false…what else do you need?

  238. 238
    Darrell says:

    Darrell you are a complete idiot. That is the FISA statute that governs when and how the government can wiretap and is the ONLY time that the president can wiretap WITHOUT a warrant which is what we are talking about, isn’t it?.

    From the FISA court review:

    The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    learn to read dumbass, “warrantless” searches

  239. 239
    Perry Como says:

    Hmmm. It seems that the FISC was not briefed on the President’s authorization of warantless wiretaps on US citizens. The judicial oversight must have come from the NSA judges.

  240. 240
    demimondian says:

    slide:

    demimondian I dont’ know what YOU are talking about you posted a link to the same exact excerpt from the law

    Yes, I know. Your link was toast for me. I don’t know why it was toast, but on my browser (IE 7, build 7.0.5112.0), I can’t visit it.

  241. 241
    Darrell says:

    The President has already acknowledged that statement was false…what else do you need?

    Why do you willfully ignore the 2002 FISA court of review? When challenged, they agreed with the Bush admin. Seems to be end of story unless you’ve got something more

  242. 242
    slide says:

    lol.. ok… listen if you guys want to be assholes on the record you are welcome to it. the president is NOT claiming that he coplied with FISA because CLEARLY he did not. He is saying he has OTHER authority under Article II of the constitution to IGNORE FISA.

    You are making an argument that the adminstraion isn’t even doing. and why? well, because you are the MORON IN RESIDENCE here on balloon juice. Injoy your ignorance.

  243. 243
    slide says:

    President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    yes…. under a certain circumstance…. and what is that circumstance…. well, its clearly defined….

    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party

  244. 244
    slide says:

    now… if the words are too big for you darrell.. I’ll go over them one by one….

    no substantial likelihood….. ok.. that means that is there is a chance you cant’ do it

    that the surveillance…. ok.. you know what surveillance means right? wiretaps…overhearing.. eavedropping… tapping… OK? with me so far Einsteini?

    will acquire the contents of any communication: ANY communication.. any email… any telephone conversaton… any communication

    to which a United States person is a party: where one person is a US person… a citizen in the us.. or even a resident alien in the US.. its defined in the statute.

    Ok… my dimwit friend.. lets put it together.. YES.. the PRESIDENT CAN do wireless wiretaps to obtain foreign intelligence….. UNLESS… UNLESS… UNLESSS… UNLESS… there is a chance a US person on one end of the communication..

    Now have your snack and take a nap.. you’ve done more than enough work for one day.

  245. 245
  246. 246
    Darrell says:

    slide Says:

    President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information
    yes…. under a certain circumstance…. and what is that circumstance…. well, its clearly defined….

    (B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party

    LOL! NO place in the FISA court review put such a caveat on the President. What is not to understand about what FISA wrote in 2002:

    President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    That statement was not followed by any ifs, ands or buts. Anyone can read it for themselves.

  247. 247
    Perry Como says:

    Post rebuttals in the comments.

    The program had Congressional oversight, but even if it did not have Congressional oversight
    The program was reviewed by the FISC, but even if it wasn’t reviewed by the FISC
    NSA judges oversaw the program, but even if there is no such thing as an NSA judge
    The program complies with FISA, but even if it did not comply with FISA
    Clinton did the same thing, but even if Clinton didn’t do the same thing
    Carter did the same thing, but even if Carter didn’t do the same thing
    A 2002 Appeals Court decision said this is okay, but even if a 2002 Appeals Court decision didn’t say this was okay…

    Just trying to keep track here.

  248. 248
    Darrell says:

    Tim, your “update” was already addressed and bitch slapped up thread. TP was addressing a Chicago tribune editorial and they misled in the conclusions by focusing on the Truong case as if that settled the matter. It most certainly did not. Here is the verbatim FISA court findings which contradict TP’s assertions. If you disagree, then explain this:

    Although Truong suggested the line it drew was a constitutional minimum that would apply to a FISA surveillance, see id. at 914 n.4, it had no occasion to consider the application of the statute carefully. The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    Inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. yep, that’s what is says, and it says it without caveat

  249. 249

    Constitutional crisis.

  250. 250
    demimondian says:

    Actually, Darrell, the phrase you keep quoting is out of context, and means almost exactly the opposite of what you say it means. Here’s the full context (taken from here. I’m taking the FAS’ word that it didn’t change the text of the decision. If you can show that to have not been true, feel free to point to a relevant cite in _West_.))

    The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. It was incumbent upon the court, therefore, to determine the boundaries of that constitutional authority in the case before it. We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power. The question before us is the reverse, does FISA amplify the President’s power by providing a mechanism that at least approaches a classic warrant and which therefore supports the government’s contention that FISA searches are constitutionally reasonable

    Breaking that apart carefully (as Byron York carefully does not), the court says

    (1) The president has the power to engage in surveillance in support of gathering foreign intelligence information (conceded by everyone here, I hope)
    (2) The court in the original Tuoung case needed to determine the Constitutional limits on that power (not, you notice the president or the attorney general — the court)
    (3) And the question before the FISA review in 2002 was whether FISA granted extended powers beyond what the Constitution allows. (In other words, was the Patriot Act unconstitutional.)

    The court found that the restrictions in FISA were sufficient to stay on the right side of the Constitution. However, it did so with some pretty serious reservations, and it do so only insofar as it allowed FISA to stand. It quite explicitly rejected the claim of unlimited rights to investigate:

    We acknowledge, however, that the constitutional question presented by this case–whether Congress’s disapproval of the primary purpose test is consistent with the Fourth Amendment–has no definitive jurisprudential answer. The Supreme Court’s special needs cases involve random stops (seizures) not electronic searches. In one sense, they can be thought of as a greater encroachment into personal privacy because they are not based on any particular suspicion. On the other hand, wiretapping is a good deal more intrusive than an automobile stop accompanied by questioning.

    In short, the FISA review said one thing, and one thing only, that the FISA was constitutional.

    Since we’ve been arguind within the framework of the FISA, the FISA review board opinion is irrelevant to this discussion, Byron York notwithstanding.

  251. 251
    ppGaz says:

    “(authorities) need a judge’s permission to conduct a wiretap”

    GW Bush

    Clearly this guy hasn’t talked to Darrell.

  252. 252
    Darrell says:

    Good post demim, but FISA, as you noted, has the “inherent authority” to conduct ‘warrantless searches’ to obtain foreign intelligence information. The court also affirmed that info obtained on ‘US persons’ without a warrant in the pursuit of foreign intelligence information could not be used against the US citizen. We are in agreement so far

    In short, the FISA review said one thing, and one thing only, that the FISA was constitutional

    And in the course of doing so, they affirmed that the President has the authority to conduct ‘warrantless searches’ to monitor foreigners. TP tried to muddy the water with the Truong specifics, but the court review sad the “Truong court, as well as all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority…

    (2) The court in the original Tuoung case needed to determine the Constitutional limits on that power (not, you notice the president or the attorney general—the court)

    Here is what the FISA court said specifically on constitutional limits overall, not just relating to the Truong case:

    FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power

    This is a squabble between the President and congress over who has ultimate authority over interpretation on the President’s constitutional authority. The Select intelligence committee is there precisely to review these types of classified programs and procedures.

  253. 253
    Darrell says:

    Oops, the statement: as you noted, has the “inherent authority” to conduct ‘warrantless searches’ to obtain foreign intelligence information should read the President has the “inherent authority”….

  254. 254
    jaime says:

    warrantless searches

    Always with this “warrantless searches”. To use a Condi Rice quote ‘I’m no lawyer’, but isn’t this in regards to searches of the black bag variety? Searches and Surveillance are two different things. Am I wrong in this?

  255. 255
    demimondian says:

    Yes, Darrell, the court did rule that compliance with the FISA was sufficient to remain within the bounds of the law, particularly in regards to warrantless searches. However, the FISA speaks to the question of what those limits are, and the review board set those limits as the normative standard for when a warrantless search was legal.

    Those standards are the ones that slide and I have referred to, and they are covered in 1082 I(b): there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party. All the review said is, yes, that’s what the law is. The review quite explicitly rejected any notion of unlimited power to surveil US persons in the context of gethering foreign intelligence information.

    Thus, the 2002 review is relevant to the questions at hand only insofar as it says “yes, the FISA is the appropriate guiding document” and “no, the president does not have the right to order a warrantless search in the process of gathering FII”.

  256. 256
    demimondian says:

    Searches and Surveillance are two different things. Am I wrong in this?

    According to the courts, surveillance is an aspect of search.

    Bear in mind that there’s surveillance and surveillance. There’s watching somebody when they’re in a public place and “have no reasonable expectation of privacy” and then there’s watching somebody (or recording their behavior) in a context where they do have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The government is largely free to watch you when you have no expectation of privacy. (There are caveats about intimidation and the like, however. Those might apply in the case of organizations like OUTlaw.) They are largely not free to watch you when you have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

    If you post an opinion here, the NSA and/or the FBI can (and hopefully does) collect it. If you send it in an unencrypted email, they can do so if they come across it incidentally while (legally) looking for something else, or, of course if they have a warrant. If it is encrypted, they must have a warrant. (And they can get a warrant for your encryption keys, too. So the “extra secrecy” provided by encrypting your email is only protection from a search warrant or from incidental discovery on the road to something else.)

  257. 257
    Slide says:

    I’ve concluded that Darrell is incapable of resoned thought if it doesn’t fit his political agenda.

  258. 258
    Darrell says:

    However, the FISA speaks to the question of what those limits are, and the review board set those limits as the normative standard for when a warrantless search was legal.

    demim, I’m probably overlooking something here, but if “FISA speaks to the question of what those limits are”, and they spell them out as such

    the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information

    and here

    We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power

    isn’t that pretty clear language that the President’s powers on this matter derive from the constitution, not the courts as you asserted earlier? The Bush admin has been pretty upfront that they believe they have CONSTITUTIONAL authority to conduct foreign surveillance and monitoring outside the framework of FISA, so FISA statutes don’t apply here. That’s the bottom line isn’t it?

  259. 259
    Darrell says:

    I posted it yesterday and today – This is a squabble between Congress and the President over the President’s constitutional authority and the President’s case looks much stronger than that of Congress. Congress is even at a greater legal disadvantage on this issue as they passed a resolution giving the President authority to “use all necessary and appropriate force” to further attacks.

  260. 260
    Darrell says:

    At worst case, they hyperventilating claims from the left of fascist-like overreach, e.g. Am I the only one terrified by that prospect? Seeing it as a possible turning-point from democracy to dictatorship? were, as usual, wildly overstated and inaccurate. We saw the same thing from the left on the issue of WP

  261. 261
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Anybody interested in seeing exactly where it is Darrell comes from?
    http://mytrailerpark

    Looks like George W. Bush’s chosen candidate in the Iraqi elections didn’t do quite as well as hoped. Ahmed Chalabi received a grand total of 8,645 votes out of the 2.5 eligible voters in Baghdad. And now, of course, he’s screaming fraud.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10575121/

  262. 262
    Darrell says:

    Slide Says:

    I’ve concluded that Darrell is incapable of resoned thought if it doesn’t fit his political agenda

    Anyone who has read slide for any period of time will recognize this as classic psychological ‘projecting’

  263. 263
    Slide says:

    who do you think knows more about FISA? Darrell or the judges that sit on the FISA court?

    The presiding judge of a secret court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases is arranging a classified briefing for her fellow judges to address their concerns about the legality of President Bush’s domestic spying program, according to several intelligence and government sources.

    Several members of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in interviews that they want to know why the administration believed secretly listening in on telephone calls and reading e-mails of U.S. citizens without court authorization was legal. Some of the judges said they are particularly concerned that information gleaned from the president’s eavesdropping program may have been improperly used to gain authorized wiretaps from their court.

    .

  264. 264
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Slide: You need to try and figure who it is Jesus talks to, the FISA Court or Darryl.

    My bet is Darryl’s the more likely party to hear the Voice.

    Of course, it could be that the FISA judges just aren’t wearing enough foil.

  265. 265
    Darrell says:

    Slide, show us where a majority of those judges conclude that Bush’s monitoring of foreign terrorists is “illegal” or “unconstitutional” as the Dems have claimed. What? The FISA judges never said such thing? tell me it ain’t so

    The presiding judge of a secret court that oversees government surveillance in espionage and terrorism cases is arranging a classified briefing for her fellow judges to address their concerns about the legality of President Bush’s domestic spying program

    So the FISA judges hadn’t even had a comprehensive briefing before that FISA judge James Robertson resigned yesterday? clearly he was a political hack.. resigning before the facts were even aired. Keep on bringing that judge up as your shining example ‘proving’ Bush’s fascist tendencies.

  266. 266
    Darrell says:

    How many left-wing extremists brought up Judge Robertson yesterday as such ‘solid’ evidence of Bush perfidy and fascist overreach? Now, as Slide’s post makes clear, the hack resigned without even having been briefed on Bush’s program.

  267. 267
    Slide says:

    the moron:

    James Robertson resigned yesterday? clearly he was a political hack.. resigning before the facts were even aired. Keep on bringing that judge up as your shining example ‘proving’ Bush’s fascist tendencies.

    lol… darrell you’re as predictable as my morning shit. I think I’ll just repeat what I said at 12:40 today in this thread:

    To some on the right there is no proof that would ever be accepted. If a court rules it would be some activist Clinton appointed liberal court. If congress rules you would say they dont’ have the authority. There is no winning with your kind Darrell, you come with the certainty of a religious zeolot.

    guess we all know you pretty well don’t we? lol

  268. 268
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    The real problem for the local wingnuts is nobody really believes Bush’s claim that the only folks he was snooping on had something to do with al Qaeda or terrorism.

    Who exactly was it that was being spied on? I mean, you’re not really going to take Bush’s word for it, are you?

    But that kind of excitement won’t about until the Senate hearings in January. Even Republicans are looking forward to that one. Just ask Arlen Specter!

    Bring popcorn!

  269. 269
    Darrell says:

    I don’t blame you for namecalling Slide. It’s clear that judge you lefties were so self righteously holding up an example yesterday was nothing but a hack. Your own post demonstrates he resigned over Bush’s program before the FISA judges were even briefed on the details of what Bush’s program involved. Good riddance to the unprincipled hack

  270. 270
    demimondian says:

    Aha. I think I see your problem here.

    The opinion does say this:

    We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power

    from which you conclude that the opinion contains

    pretty clear language that the President’s powers on this matter derive from the constitution, not the courts as [demimondian] asserted earlier?

    Not in the sense you mean it.

    The Federal Courts, at all levels, retain the authority to determine the meaning of the Constitution, both in terms of the Congress’s authority to make laws, and in terms of the President’s authority to execute them, as well as to exercise his authority as Commander in Chief. The decision we’re talking about says that the President’s authority is bounded in this case, and, with a few reservations, basically says “The FISA is good normative standard against which to measure warrentless surveillence in the context of FII.”

    If the law is constitutional, and the courts have indicated that it is, the Executive is bound by it, and, therefore, the President has two choices: get the Congress to change it, or abide by it. There’s no other choice.

  271. 271
    Slide says:

    ok.. well on that note, with Darrell calling Judge Roberts, someone that he has never heard of before and knows nothing about, a political hack because he doesn’t agree with the bush position there is obviously nothing more to discuss. You have revealed yourself darrell. As I said earlier, there is no reasoned debate with a zealot.

    I will leave with a phrase that patriotic Americans used to hold dear to their heart and which now is turned upside down by the scared and frightened little cowards of the right.

    GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH !
    God Bless America

  272. 272
    Darrell says:

    The decision we’re talking about says that the President’s authority is bounded in this case,

    We’re not talking about any one particular case, we were talking about FISA’s clear description of the President’s overall powers regarding surveillance of foreign enemies which FISA spells out:

    We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power

    Key phrase “constitutional power”. The President’s power with regards to monitoring foreign threats derives from the constitution

    The Federal Courts, at all levels, retain the authority to determine the meaning of the Constitution

    Within limits. They shouldn’t invent “meanings” out of whole cloth, although many leftist activist judges have tried to do so. But the larger point is that both the Bush admin and FISA both agree that Bush’s power to monitor terrorists derives from the Constitution, so those FISA statutes that you and ‘Slide’ referred to are beside the point..

    I think your argument has pretty well had the legs cut from underneath it at this point. Looks like the DOJ has weighed in too

    This constitutional authority includes the authority to order warrantless foreign intelligence
    surveillance within the United States, as all federal appellate courts, including at least four circuits,
    to have addressed the issue have concluded. See, e.g., In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 7 17, 742 (FISA
    Ct. of Review 2002) (“[AIII the other courts to have decided the issue [have] held that the President
    did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence
    information. . . . We take for granted that the President does have that authority. . . .”).

    Like Tim F pointed out in his post.. at some point the momentum of information shifts like with WP. that’s happening right now with the issue of the Bush admin’s lawful and reasonable right to monitor foreign terrorists without warrant

  273. 273
    Darrell says:

    well on that note, with Darrell calling Judge Roberts, someone that he has never heard of before and knows nothing about

    I know he resigned over an issue he had NOT EVEN BEEN BRIEFED ON in order to make a political spectacle to hurt Bush. Doubt me? re-read your own post on that subject

  274. 274
    Pooh says:

    The real problem for the local wingnuts is nobody really believes Bush’s claim that the only folks he was snooping on had something to do with al Qaeda or terrorism.

    Who exactly was it that was being spied on? I mean, you’re not really going to take Bush’s word for it, are you?

    You mean you don’t believe him? Why do you hate America.

  275. 275
    demimondian says:

    No, Darrell, my argument has not had the legs cut out from under it, and, at this point, you’re just posing.

    The Courts have the authority to decide. Period. If the law was constitutional, as they have repeatedly found it, it is binding on the President. Period. That’s the way the executive works. Despite what the National Review wants to get out, the law is binding on the President — Presidents are not above the law in any situation.

    Now, as usual, we’ve been through the arguments, and I think I’ve shown you to have missed a key point. I don’t expect you to agree with that, though, although I keep hoping you will come around to reality. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of fun researching the case more thoroughly than I would otherwise bothered with, for which, thanks.

  276. 276
    Darrell says:

    If the law is constitutional, and the courts have indicated that it is, the Executive is bound by it

    the 180 degree opposite is true. Rather than the Executive branch bound to FISA, to the contrary FISA openly acknowledges that it is they who cannot “encroach” upon the President’s constitutional authority in the matter of monitoring foreign terrorists. They acknowledge his authority and plainly admit they are subordinate to it

  277. 277
    Pooh says:

    the 180 degree opposite is true. Rather than the Executive branch bound to FISA, to the contrary FISA openly acknowledges that it is they who cannot “encroach” upon the President’s constitutional authority in the matter of monitoring foreign terrorists. They acknowledge his authority and plainly admit they are subordinate to it

    Ok, we have a new winner for stupidest darrell argument ever. But what do I know? I’ve graduated law school and passed the bar, yet somehow missed the part about the supra-constitutionality of the President. The whole ‘oath’ to ‘protect’ the Constitution, that part doesn’t count.

    Darrell speaks to…Darrell and divines the correct answer.

    But in case I’m missing something you are arguing that because the law is constitutional, it doesn’t constrain the Preident in anyway? Where were you for Nixon, had he this theory he would have been right that he wasn’t a crook.

    I liked your point about momentum though, it’s clearly on your side.

  278. 278
    ppGaz says:

    68 posts by Darrell to this thread, so far, to my rough count. That’s right around 25% of the almost 270 total posts.

  279. 279

    That statement was not followed by any ifs, ands or buts. Anyone can read it for themselves.

    That statement you are refering to is this, “President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information”.

    WHat you need to understand is that there are executive orders, signed by both Clinton and Carter that specifically say American persons and/or their property must NOT be involved in those searches.

  280. 280
    Pooh says:

    ppGaz, how else can one man build momentum.

    “I lose money on every transaction, but I make it up in volume.”

  281. 281
    jg says:

    What a complete waste of pixels. This argument has been over for days. He’s the only one arguing his point yet he feels he’s won the debate. Makes no sense.

    This place sucks now. I came here because it was the only place I could hear from reasonable right wingers. Now they’re all gone and we’re left right wing caricatures Darrell and TD. I can’t learn what the right is thinking reading Darrell or TD. At least not anything beyond the talking points and misdirection tactics I was already well aware of.

    We also ned an edit feature and a feature to show us new posts since we last read. It gets frustrating to find where I left off if I leave teh thread for awhile. So many Darrell posts that all look alike.

  282. 282
    Cyrus says:

    Darrell Says:

    How many left-wing extremists brought up Judge Robertson yesterday as such ‘solid’ evidence of Bush perfidy and fascist overreach? Now, as Slide’s post makes clear, the hack resigned without even having been briefed on Bush’s program.

    Um, haven’t you been citing the FISC as solid evidence that there was in fact oversight of this program? Them, half a dozen Congressmen and someone in the DOJ or something. Now it turns out that one of the groups who, according to you, was providing the necessary and sufficient oversight for this, had never been briefed?

  283. 283
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Um, haven’t you been citing the FISC as solid evidence that there was in fact oversight of this program? Them, half a dozen Congressmen and someone in the DOJ or something. Now it turns out that one of the groups who, according to you, was providing the necessary and sufficient oversight for this, had never been briefed?

    [Crickets chirping], to coin a phrase of Darrell’s.

  284. 284
    Slide says:

    Prediction: The President’s domestic surveillance program is going to turn out to be NSA eavesdropping on EVERY electronic communication in which one party is outside the USA. EVERY email. EVERY telephone conversation.

    Computers with sophisticated filtering abilities will analyze EVERY electronic communication and kick out those that meet certain criteria. Names mentioned… phone numbers mentioned… phrases… etc.

    Once kicked out a human being (shift supervisor) will determine whether that communication should be monitored, recorded, followed-up upon. Without a warrant. And, according to the NY Times there will be about 500 such conversations being wiretapped without a warrant at any one time.

    This will explain a lot of things. Why they would not go to FISA (no reasonable cause) even after the fact. Why Rockefeller mentioned being not a technician. Why the NY Times held the story for a year (wiretapping terrorists is no secret, but wiretapping EVERY conversation is a secret). Why Gonzalez when asked why not ask Congress for authority to do what they are doing said he didn’t think they would grant it.

    Mark my words, Bush is eavesdropping on EVERY electronic communication part of which is outside of the USA. If you think this is too unbelievable, you can start your research here.

  285. 285

    Opining on Wire-Tapping

    The IndustrialBlog editorial board is satisfied with the results of its cursory

  286. 286
    Darrell says:

    jg Says:

    What a complete waste of pixels. This argument has been over for days. He’s the only one arguing his point yet he feels he’s won the debate. Makes no sense.

    When you live in a left wing echo chamber, this is what happens. It’s like the lady who famously said, “how could Ronald Reagan have won the election? No one I knew voted for him”

  287. 287
    Darrell says:

    Um, haven’t you been citing the FISC as solid evidence that there was in fact oversight of this program? Them, half a dozen Congressmen and someone in the DOJ or something. Now it turns out that one of the groups who, according to you, was providing the necessary and sufficient oversight for this, had never been briefed?

    I concede that if you will concede that the judge who resigned was a political hack for resigning over a program for which he had no detailed knowledge or understanding for the sole purpose of trying to damage Bush.

    By conceding that point, it doesn’t change the FACT that there was still judicial review and oversight, along with bi-partisan congressional oversight

    Again, either that judge Roberts is an obvious fraud or the FISA was in fact briefed. One or the other

  288. 288
    Darrell says:

    Slide, I’ve got bad news for you.. I agree with most of your last post. I believe NSA and likely other agencies have been monitoring phone calls and other conversations involving US citizens. But this has been going on for decades.. Without warrants

  289. 289
    Darrell says:

    WHat you need to understand is that there are executive orders, signed by both Clinton and Carter that specifically say American persons and/or their property must NOT be involved in those searches.

    Given that Clinton asst. Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick is on the record testifying that “the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes.” Given that statement, I’d like to see what evidence exists to back up your claim. Because Gorelick’s testimony blows your assertion out of the water

  290. 290
    jg says:

    I concede that if you will concede that the judge who resigned was a political hack for resigning over a program for which he had no detailed knowledge or understanding for the sole purpose of trying to damage Bush.

    LOL

    You’ll concede you’ve been completely wrong about oversight if he concedes your OPINION? LOL Classic. You gotta get a job at FOX.

    Isee you’re still pushing the talking point about Bush having the authority to spy on foreigners. Too bad you’re teh only one actually talking about that.

    PSSST! Its the domestic spying thats the issue, not the foreign stuff.

  291. 291
    Darrell says:

    You’ll concede you’ve been completely wrong about oversight if he concedes your OPINION? LOL Classic. You gotta get a job at FOX.

    How in the world do you get “completely wrong” when only 1 of the parties I claimed oversight based on what I read, may not have been involved? Does that change the fact that Bush obtained judicial review and oversight, or that he had bi-partisan congressional oversight? No? well we can all see what a ‘solid’ point you have there.

    Isee you’re still pushing the talking point about Bush having the authority to spy on foreigners. Too bad you’re teh only one actually talking about that.

    Can you read? Bush’s executive order has nothing to do with domestic surveillance UNLESS it involves communication with foreign suspects. I thought you were brighter than that, but I guess not

  292. 292
    slide says:

    jg:

    PSSST! Its the domestic spying thats the issue, not the foreign stuff.

    don’t waste your effort jg, Darrell is incapable of comprehension of this issue. Just examine some of his logic. He says this:

    I concede that if you will concede that the judge who resigned was a political hack for resigning over a program for which he had no detailed knowledge or understanding for the sole purpose of trying to damage Bush

    .So a judge that resigns a post, without comment, without a press release, without saying ANYTHING is somehow acting solely for the purpose of trying to damage Bush. Only in the bizarro world of Darrell. The judge doesn’t need “detailed” knowledge of the program because its rather simple, if bush was spying on US persons without a warrant it is illegal – at least as far as FISA goes. He resigned I imagine because he doesn’t want to be part of a charade, where the adminstration gives the impression of complying with FISA when they were not. Actualy sounds very principled to me (something, I grant, that most republicans would have a hard time conceptualizing)

    But one thing I am certain of Darrell and that is that the judge had far far more insight into the Bush “program” than you will have in a million years of reading your right wing blogs.

  293. 293
    marblex says:

    This is the same crowd that tried to convert the Presidency into Kingship under Nixon. Uhm…hello?

    They are still trying to subvert the constitution and no one in congress gives a shit.

    Perfect.

    Ah, the second fall of Rome…except the U.S. wishes it was Rome. Thank god it will never be. Long live the Republic…once these criminals are out of office.

    Bleat.

  294. 294
    Kenneth Demarest says:

    It’s just too bad that virtually every american doesn’t give a shit. Watch as this story disappears as well. We’re fucking doomed.

  295. 295

    what i find so funny is that the right-wingers are so short-sighted they think they’ll always have the government, and hence always an administration they can “trust”.

    see how much they like the idea of warrantless spying when it’s a hillary clinton, john edwards or mark warner in the oval office (not that i can actually see hillary getting elected. if she’s nominated in ’08, dems don’t have a chance – incidentally the same thing i said about kerry in ’04).

    and furthermore see how much they like it when, after this happens again, they say, “well bush did it”.

    note to republicans: the damage is already done. expect to lose power in ’06 and ’08. i’m no dem myself, but that’s my point- in the past i’ve been able to stomach republican candidates, especially against the flake-outs the democrats have been putting forth. but now i’m with my father, a life-long republican: “i guess i’ll be voting democrat for awhile, until things aren’t so screwed up”.

    if it’s reached the point where my father’s going to be voting democrat, you’ve definitely blown it.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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    The IndustrialBlog editorial board is satisfied with the results of its cursory

  2. Balloon Juice on “Snoopgate” Jomentum

    I enjoyed this post by Tim F. over at Balloon Juice on the issue of Bush snooping on American citizens without a warrant. (I’ve heard it referred to as “snoopgate” — who knows if a “gate” designation will stick and…

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