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Another darn wiretapping thread

cnredd

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I posted this as an answer to a question in the "War on Terror" forum...since it's directly related to "Today's News" and some members do not look at every forum, I thought I'd separate it from the thread it was on and start a new one which tries to go through the whole kit-and-caboodle...

Enjoy!...:2wave:

Loxd4 said:
I heard it take about 30 seconds for the government to get any kind warrant. So what the big deal about get a warrant?
The difference between "probable cause" and "possible cause"...

I don't know specifics(I don't work for the NSA), but I'll throw out some extremes...

The computer spits out two conversations with the word "bomb"...

The first conversation is from Pakistan to the US...It contains the phrase, "...and then, Allah be praised, the bomb will detonate and the Empire State Building will crumble at 3PM on Friday January 27th!"...

Do you give a warrant for this?..."probable cause"...warrant granted...Now the NSA can gain access to the original caller's phone records and begin going over ALL previous conversations...even the ones that DIDN'T have keywords like "bomb" in there, and see if the people they are spying on are indeed a terroristic threat...pretty much sounds like it, doesn't it?...probable cause...

The second conversation...From France to the US...It contains the phrase..."I have a friend of mine...Really religious...He's always saying he should drop a couple bombs on the State capitol when he visits his reletives next month"...

Do you give a warrant for this?..."possible cause"...Is there enough there to warrant a warrant?...Could be...Maybe not...Let's say the warrant is NOT granted...

Now the NSA can't even find out what state the guy's even gonna be in next month...No phone records...no previous conversations...no future wiretapping...zilch...

Now here's the problem...

For years, the FISA courts, with VERY RARE exceptions, always approved the warrants...why?...because they all fell under the guise of the first converation..."probable cause"...They've always been pretty cut and dry...

But after 911, the President, the Dept. of Justice, the Attorney General, and the head of NSA agreed the standard should be dropped much lower to include conversations like the second one..."possible cause"...

But these would never fly with the FISA courts, and there would be mulitudes of warrants denied...The courts would just say, "Now your nit-picking"...

From the Attorney General himself...
Atty. Gen. Gonzales said:
Thus, to initiate surveillance under a FISA emergency authorization, it is not enough to rely on the best judgment of our intelligence officers alone. Those intelligence officers would have to get the sign-off of lawyers at the NSA that all provisions of FISA have been satisfied, then lawyers in the Department of Justice would have to be similarly satisfied, and finally as Attorney General, I would have to be satisfied that the search meets the requirements of FISA. And we would have to be prepared to follow up with a full FISA application within the 72 hours.

A typical FISA application involves a substantial process in its own right: The work of several lawyers; the preparation of a legal brief and supporting declarations; the approval of a Cabinet-level officer; a certification from the National Security Adviser, the Director of the FBI, or another designated Senate-confirmed officer; and, finally, of course, the approval of an Article III judge.
So someone asked, "Why don't we have Congess change FISA so "possible cause" will be included and give the NSA more freedom to pick and choose these conversations?"

Well here's the answer...From the Atty General himself...

Atty. Gen. Gonzales said:
That question was asked earlier. We've had discussions with members of Congress, certain members of Congress, about whether or not we could get an amendment to FISA, and we were advised that that was not likely to be -- that was not something we could likely get, certainly not without jeopardizing the existence of the program, and therefore, killing the program. And that -- and so a decision was made that because we felt that the authorities were there, that we should continue moving forward with this program.
So there's your answer...If you want to keep this whole thing on the down-low, you want every member of Congress to know about it?...AND make the amendment public?!?!?...As stated, it would be "jeopardizing the existence of the program."...

So someone came up with the bright idea to ask the question, "Does the President have the authority to bypass this?"

The DoJ, The Atty. Gen., and the head of NSA(along with some lawyers, I assume) all said "Yes...The President DOES have the authority to bypass FISA."

So the Prez said "Engage!" and the warrantless wiretaps began...

Now I ask those who have children or people under their protection...

How much risk are you willing to put them in? 90%?(like the first conversation) or 10%?(second coversation)...Would you believe that 10% is STILL too high to put them at risk? Would you let your kids cross the highway if you knew there was ONLY a 10% chance of getting struck?

I'd find it pretty doubtful anyone here would say, "Oh...It's JUST 10%...go right ahead!"...

That's the position that "possible cause" has put the President in...he believes that "probable cause" is WAY too high when it comes to National Security...and the way FISA is written, the courts wouldn't let him lower the bar...and if he tried to change how it's written, the whole damn thing goes public...

The "checks and balances" everyone screams about means that the Government should be "transparent"...not "naked"...

Imagine if the public knew EVERY LITTLE THING that the Government knows or does?...Secret programs?...Covert military operations?...Hell!...Why not just shout to the world all of the Security codes for nuclear detonation?!?!...:roll:

Now...

Can you imagine if a State capitol was "bombed" by the person referenced in that second conversation?...The President says, "We WANTED to monitor the phone records and conversations of that guy, but with the way FISA's written, we weren't allowed...

Will YOU find that an acceptable answer?...AFTER hundreds or thousands of people are dead?

Didn't think so...
 

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Loxd4 said:
I heard it take about 30 seconds for the government to get any kind warrant. So what the big deal about get a warrant?
No. As has been detailed by the AG and recounted on some of the other related threads on this topic, it takes quite a while to get a warrant. The request process has to go thru several chains of command and requires several lawyers and winds up with the AG certification the request. Can take not hours, but days. This certification process is also detailed in the various executive orders.

Importantly, (as also detailed on the other threads) much the same process is required for the 72-hour 'emergency' provision of FISA. That is, NSA can not just mount an op, then go and do the paperwork. Before an op can be mounted - even under the emergency 72-hour provision - certain paperwork must be completed, again culminating with a certification by the AG. Only then can an op be mounted.
 

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I will shamelessly quote myself from the same thread too. :)

Can you imagine if a State capitol was "bombed" by the person referenced in that second conversation?...The President says, "We WANTED to monitor the phone records and conversations of that guy, but with the way FISA's written, we weren't allowed...

Will YOU find that an acceptable answer?...AFTER hundreds or thousands of people are dead?

Didn't think so...
No, personally I wouldn't find that acceptable. But if that happened, my question to the President would be "why didn't you work with Congress to amend the FISA standards?" not "why didn't you circumvent the outdated process instead of following it?"

I also believe it is an extremely huge copout for the AG to say they would not have been able to amend FISA, so they didn't even try. I bet they probably wouldn't be able to get Congressional approval to hold summary executions either, does that mean they should bypass that law too? Hell no!

If the terrorist threat is so high that the President needs special powers not otherwise allowed by law, that is what maritime law is for. The breakdown of law and order within our government is worse than any terrorist attack, because America can never be conquered by terrorists, we can only be conquered from within. The government should not be allowed to circumvent the law under any circumstances, whether it's to protect the nation or to hide a marital affair.

Assuming the law was broken. We shall see!
 

oldreliable67

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BD said:
so they didn't even try
This has been asked and answered on one of the other threads as well: this assertion is contradicted by the AG's statements.

BD said:
that is what maritime law is for
"maritime law"????
 

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I meant martial law, sorry! :3oops:

The AG said they asked a few people whether it would be possible and they were told no. That doesn't constitute trying to get Congressional approval to amend FISA in my view. Didn't one of their other experts say the President had the authority anyway, under the AUMF?
 

oldreliable67

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The AG said they asked a few people whether it would be possible and they were told no.
If you're going to use it, use it all, not just a selected part out of context. They were told, 'no, not without revealing more of the details of the program than they were willing to reveal'.
 

aps

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cnredd said:
Now here's the problem...

For years, the FISA courts, with VERY RARE exceptions, always approved the warrants...why?...because they all fell under the guise of the first converation..."probable cause"...They've always been pretty cut and dry...

But after 911, the President, the Dept. of Justice, the Attorney General, and the head of NSA agreed the standard should be dropped much lower to include conversations like the second one..."possible cause"...

But these would never fly with the FISA courts, and there would be mulitudes of warrants denied...The courts would just say, "Now your nit-picking"...
If they haven't presented this lower threshold to the FISA judges, how would they know how the judges would rule? So if one branch of the government suspects that another branch won't condone their behavior, they should just conduct such behavior anyway?


From the Attorney General himself...

So someone asked, "Why don't we have Congess change FISA so "possible cause" will be included and give the NSA more freedom to pick and choose these conversations?"

Well here's the answer...From the Atty General himself...

So there's your answer...If you want to keep this whole thing on the down-low, you want every member of Congress to know about it?...AND make the amendment public?!?!?...As stated, it would be "jeopardizing the existence of the program."...
Here's something that they could have invoked--maybe you have heard of it--it's called a Closed Session.

In the Congress of the United States, a closed session (formally a session with closed doors) is a parliamentary procedure for the Senate or the House of Representatives to discuss matters requiring secrecy.

The discussions which take place in a closed session are subject to confidentiality rules and are similar to an executive session, which itself can be open or closed. An executive session is for business which includes the President of the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed_session
As Fox News reported:

A closed session is called when any senator demands one and a second motion is made. No vote is taken on whether to close the session — it's a privilege of the senators. During a closed session, cameras are not allowed in the chamber, the public is removed and a security sweep is performed.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174187,00.html
Sorry, but I that argument (jeopardizing the existence of the program) doesn't fly.


So someone came up with the bright idea to ask the question, "Does the President have the authority to bypass this?"

The DoJ, The Atty. Gen., and the head of NSA(along with some lawyers, I assume) all said "Yes...The President DOES have the authority to bypass FISA."

So the Prez said "Engage!" and the warrantless wiretaps began...

Now I ask those who have children or people under their protection...

How much risk are you willing to put them in? 90%?(like the first conversation) or 10%?(second coversation)...Would you believe that 10% is STILL too high to put them at risk? Would you let your kids cross the highway if you knew there was ONLY a 10% chance of getting struck?

I'd find it pretty doubtful anyone here would say, "Oh...It's JUST 10%...go right ahead!"...

That's the position that "possible cause" has put the President in...he believes that "probable cause" is WAY too high when it comes to National Security...and the way FISA is written, the courts wouldn't let him lower the bar...and if he tried to change how it's written, the whole damn thing goes public...

The "checks and balances" everyone screams about means that the Government should be "transparent"...not "naked"...

Imagine if the public knew EVERY LITTLE THING that the Government knows or does?...Secret programs?...Covert military operations?...Hell!...Why not just shout to the world all of the Security codes for nuclear detonation?!?!...:roll:

Now...

Can you imagine if a State capitol was "bombed" by the person referenced in that second conversation?...The President says, "We WANTED to monitor the phone records and conversations of that guy, but with the way FISA's written, we weren't allowed...

Will YOU find that an acceptable answer?...AFTER hundreds or thousands of people are dead?

Didn't think so...
The president did not have the authority to bypass both Congress and the Judiciary. Gonzales can keep saying that Bush had the authority under his Article II powers all he wants. If Bush truly had the authority, then they would not need to be going out of their way to provide reasons of why they didn't go to the FISA court or to Congress. It's that simple.

Many experts on intelligence and national security law from both parties have said that the president overstepped his authority in ordering the eavesdropping shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 specifically prohibits such domestic monitoring without a warrant. Congressional Research Service analyses also have raised questions about the justifications for the spying and limited notification of Congress. The Senate Judiciary Committee is planning to hold hearings on the issue next month.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/24/AR2006012401593.html
 

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oldreliable67 said:
If you're going to use it, use it all, not just a selected part out of context. They were told, 'no, not without revealing more of the details of the program than they were willing to reveal'.
They still didn't try to get Congress to amend the FISA, which was my point. And why should revealing details of the program to Congress be something they wanted to avoid? That doesn't mean the public will also find out about it. It wouldn't be the first time this administration had a closed door session with Congress.
 

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aps said:
Sorry, but I that argument (jeopardizing the existence of the program) doesn't fly.
At this point, given how little we know about the technology etc of the program, a skeptical attitude is probably warranted. Nonetheless, given a little research into some of the techniques and patents pioneered by NSA and DARPA (info about which is posted on another thread), I find it much easier to believe that hypothesis.

aps said:
Here's something that they could have invoked--maybe you have heard of it--it's called a Closed Session.
Closed sessions have never been a hindrance to those who want to use supposedly secret deliberations to their advantage.

BD said:
And why should revealing details of the program to Congress be something they wanted to avoid?
Same answer as above, plus: this program has been accorded a "waived SAP" security level. As I understand it, a "waived SAP" project means that only a handful of members of Congress are informed about it, including the chairperson and ranking member of the 2 House subcommittees and 2 Senate subcommittees.

Look, all, Congress is a sieve, security-wise. There are more leaks from Congress than Carter has little liver pills (thats an old, old saying that some of you younger folk might not be familiar with; it basically means "a whole bunch, maybe even too many for one person to count"). There no longer seem to be any boundaries to the seeking of partisan advantage, regardless of pary affiliation.

Clearly, there has been a decision weighing the risk of disclosure of sufficient details of the technology that the usefullness of the program would be degraded. The availability of the EO option mitigated that risk and ensured the availability of valuable intel.
 

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Before the civil war when people were voting in each state whether they wanted to be a free or slave state, Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus for those he knew were going to vote for their state to be a slave state. Was that overstepping their civil liberties? Yes but it was for a good cause.

FDR during WW2 put all Japanese Americans in camps, which was a violation of their civil liberties as well. But it was ruled constitutional by the supreme court case Korematsu vs US in 1944.

What do both of these things have in common? They kept the US safe, they were politically incorrect and if they were done today all hell would break loose. Imagine if Bush threw all Muslims in jail. It would probably reduce the terrorist threat level, but is very politically incorrect and thousands of innocent Muslims would wrongfully be detained. Bush is just listening on phone calls trying to keep another 9/11 from happening. How can anyone get on him for doing the right thing. The ends justify the means if you ask me. I'd rather have an administration that would risk breaking the law to keep the country safe, that abide by it and have more americans killed in attacks. ( BTW I do not believe the president broke the law)
 

cnredd

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George_Washington said:
I'm with you all the way on this Cnredd, nice post.
Thanks GW...

It's really annoying to see people convolute the bigger picture by sweating all of the small stuff...

It's like giving someone the Heimlich Maneuver to save his life only to have his lawyer contact you a week later saying you're being sued because you bruised one his clients' ribs...:roll:
 

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Paul said:
Before the civil war when people were voting in each state whether they wanted to be a free or slave state, Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus for those he knew were going to vote for their state to be a slave state. Was that overstepping their civil liberties? Yes but it was for a good cause.
The reason was not because of how they would vote, it was because Northern peace protestors (copperheads) were trying to offer a truce to the South and Lincoln viewed them as a threat to national security.
"the Constitution of the United States provides that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" (Article 1, Section 9). President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War, and his decision was upheld by Congress—despite protests by Chief Justice Roger Taney that such suspension was not within the powers of the President."

http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/h1/habeasco.asp

"Finally, in 1866, after the war, the Supreme Court officially restored habeas corpus in Ex-parte Milligan, ruling that military trials in areas where the civil courts were capable of functioning were illegal."

http://www.civil-liberties.com/pages/did_lincoln.htm

Paul said:
FDR during WW2 put all Japanese Americans in camps, which was a violation of their civil liberties as well. But it was ruled constitutional by the supreme court case Korematsu vs US in 1944.
We studied this in college, and I seriously doubt that this kept the U.S. safe, considering that nobody rounded up any German or Italian Americans. This is widely regarded by historians as a huge black spot in American history.

Paul said:
What do both of these things have in common? They kept the US safe, they were politically incorrect and if they were done today all hell would break loose. Imagine if Bush threw all Muslims in jail. It would probably reduce the terrorist threat level, but is very politically incorrect and thousands of innocent Muslims would wrongfully be detained. Bush is just listening on phone calls trying to keep another 9/11 from happening. How can anyone get on him for doing the right thing. The ends justify the means if you ask me. I'd rather have an administration that would risk breaking the law to keep the country safe, that abide by it and have more americans killed in attacks. ( BTW I do not believe the president broke the law)
I disagree, I don't believe the ends justify the means in this case. We aren't talking about a civil war on the verge of tearing the nation apart, and we aren't dealing with anything close to the scale of WW2, we're dealing with a bunch of militants on camels who got in a lucky shot.
 

aps

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cnredd said:
Thanks GW...

It's really annoying to see people convolute the bigger picture by sweating all of the small stuff...

It's like giving someone the Heimlich Maneuver to save his life only to have his lawyer contact you a week later saying you're being sued because you bruised one his clients' ribs...:roll:
I know what you're saying, cnredd. Isn't is just despicable that people believe in the Constitution and a balance of power? These kind of people make me sick! How dare they expect our president to bow to the other two branches of government! The nerve!

:lol: :D :usflag2:
 

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aps said:
I know what you're saying, cnredd. Isn't is just despicable that people believe in the Constitution and a balance of power? These kind of people make me sick! How dare they expect our president to bow to the other two branches of government! The nerve!

:lol: :D :usflag2:
Your sarcasm does not go unnoticed...

But while you bask and wallow in the knowledge of "checks and balances", realize that there are instances where they conflict and sides must be chosen...There has to be a decision where one trumps the other...

The Constitution is the best...No one says it's perfect..If you don't believe me, I got some amendments to show you...

You choose the side which may cause death in favor of party politics under the guise of liberty(a term use to sway emotions...like the way Conservatives get accused of when they use the term "patriotism")...

I chose objectivity...

The question is not "Do you choose to lose ALL of your liberties in favor of National Security?"...That's what some make it out to be...

Just in the last few decades, civil rights have been granted on an un-equaled scale...

But when ONE becomes restricted, in a time of war no less, certain individuals cry like the sky is falling...even at the risk of National Security...

Disingenuous at best...
 

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Hey, your side says the sky is falling too! Just for a different reason, hehe! I don't mean to question anyone's patriotism, just I think lately people need to be reminded that when you exchange liberty for security, ultimately you give up both.
 

cnredd

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Binary_Digit said:
Hey, your side says the sky is falling too! Just for a different reason, hehe! I don't mean to question anyone's patriotism, just I think lately people need to be reminded that when you exchange liberty for security, ultimately you give up both.
Thanks Ben, but the quote is misused...

It is NOT exchange!...there isn't some 50/50 Liberty-to-Security ratio that ends up 0/100...THAT is the sky-is-falling claim everyone likes to spew...

And if you are so kind to abuse the same quote everyone else does, may I ask if it works the other way as well?

If there is to be SUCH a balance, then wouldn't it be equal to say that when you exchange security for liberty you ALSO give up both?

Clearly you would agree that this country has been given so much liberty in just the last few decades that we couldn't walk across the street without tripping over them...

That's done more damage to security then any President could ever do...
 

aps

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cnredd said:
Your sarcasm does not go unnoticed...

But while you bask and wallow in the knowledge of "checks and balances", realize that there are instances where they conflict and sides must be chosen...There has to be a decision where one trumps the other...

The Constitution is the best...No one says it's perfect..If you don't believe me, I got some amendments to show you...

You choose the side which may cause death in favor of party politics under the guise of liberty(a term use to sway emotions...like the way Conservatives get accused of when they use the term "patriotism")...

I chose objectivity...

The question is not "Do you choose to lose ALL of your liberties in favor of National Security?"...That's what some make it out to be...

Just in the last few decades, civil rights have been granted on an un-equaled scale...

But when ONE becomes restricted, in a time of war no less, certain individuals cry like the sky is falling...even at the risk of National Security...

Disingenuous at best...
Okay. That's your opinion. You can claim that my argument is equivalent to "cry[ing] like the sky is falling," however, your arguments above are completely undermined by other facts. For example, in 2002 , the Senate proposed legislation to allow the standard for warrants to be lessened from "probable cause" to "reasonable suspicion." THE WHITE HOUSE REJECTED THIS PROPOSAL! Do you know why? Because it claimed that the system was working and that the amendment to lower the standard would likely be unconstitutional. Specifically, James A. Baker, counsel for intelligence policy at the Justice Dept, turned down the proposal saying that "the proposed change raises both significant legal and practical issues." He expressed concern that the amendment, if determined to be unconsitutional, could increase the risk of "ongoing investigations and prosecutions."

Here is the article that discusses this issue, which is entitled, "White House Dismissed '02 Surveillance Proposal": http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/25/AR2006012502270.html

So it's interesting to see the that the current arguments from the Justice Dept are that FISA was making it difficult for intelligence agents to act quickly enough. And it's interesting to see that, in 2002, the Justice Dept. determined that lowering the standard could cause constitutional issues, yet now their allegation is that the president has the inherent authority to conduct warrantless surveillance and that to the extent that FISA infringes on the president's authority--it is unconstitutional. What new facts have come to light that would cause a complete 180 degree turnaround?

I actually feel sorry for the Bush Administration. Watching Bush talk at NSA yesterday really made me sad because he looked pathetic in his desperate attempt to justify the NSA surveillance program. I am not saying that to be mean. I sat there watching him, and I felt genuinely sad. I also felt sad seeing McClellan getting reamed at the press briefing that occurred yesterday, where he was trying to explain the difference between "domestic surveillance" and "international surveillance." He was so desparate that he compared it to a phone bill and traveling by plane.

The Bush Administration is digging itself deeper into a hole.

We are a country bound by the Constitution of the United States. In a time of war, we should be united, and all three branches of government should be expected to work with each other in such circumstances. It seems clear to me that the judges on the FISA court were quite reasonable in granting warrants. The Senate proposed a change to FISA to lower the standard of obtaining a warrant. The Executive branch declined such a change claiming that FISA was working and that lowering the standard could cause constitutional issues. I wonder why they would have said that, if they didn't truly believe it? It doesn't make sense.

I normally do not like pointing this out, but I am a lawyer. I took Constitutional Law during law school. I can read the Supreme Court's decision in Hamdi and in other cases involving Executive authority. I'm not saying that you cannot read those yourself and not have a reasonable understanding of what they mean. However, there are legal doctrines that are applicable here, and I have yet to see you address any those legal doctrines, which undermine your arguments. Many people like you hear what the Attorney General states, including his reasoning, and just accept it as true. I don't see anyone who supports Bush addressing the legal arguments addressed by legal scholars who are experts in Constitutional law and National Security law and point out that there are problems with what Bush has done. I would accord your arguments more probative value if I saw you acknowledge that there is a lot of evidence that doesn't support the President's current position (as opposed to the position he had in 2002, when he said that FISA was working and that lowering the standard of obtaining a warrant could be unconstitutional).
 

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I wasn't quoting Ben Franklin, I just borrowed from him and made up my own. :2razz:

It IS exchange, not because of some ratio, but because absolute power corrupts absolutely. Have you stopped to think why the Constitution doesn't give the President unchallenged power during wartime? Because people in a crisis tend to have a herd mentality, rallying behind their shephard and following him wherever he goes, even off a cliff. It can take decades to gain back lost liberties, just look at the stupid war on drugs.

Your point is noted about the quote working both ways. If it's true that our civil liberties are jeapordizing national security that much, then Congress should review that opinion and make the necessary changes to the law. Surely with a Republican Congress, Bush could expect a reasonable amount of cooperation. What the President should not do is break the law. (is there an echo in here? :2razz:)
 

aps

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Binary_Digit said:
I wasn't quoting Ben Franklin, I just borrowed from him and made up my own. :2razz:

It IS exchange, not because of some ratio, but because absolute power corrupts absolutely. Have you stopped to think why the Constitution doesn't give the President unchallenged power during wartime? Because people in a crisis tend to have a herd mentality, rallying behind their shephard and following him wherever he goes, even off a cliff. It can take decades to gain back lost liberties, just look at the stupid war on drugs.

Your point is noted about the quote working both ways. If it's true that our civil liberties are jeapordizing national security that much, then Congress should review that opinion and make the necessary changes to the law. Surely with a Republican Congress, Bush could expect a reasonable amount of cooperation. What the President should not do is break the law. (is there an echo in here? :2razz:)
Binary, the Senate proposed legislation in 2002, lessening the requirements for obtaining a warrant under FISA. The Bush Administration rejected the proposal for 2 reasons: (1) they said that FISA was working fine and (2) they were concerned that lowering the standard could cause constitutional issues. So it appears that the president didn't go to the Congress to assist him with domestic surveillance. Instead, Congress came to him and he rejected their clear attempt to assist him during a time of war. I provide a link to the article from where I got this information in my post above yours. Check it out.

Such is also evidence against Bush's argument that the AUMF allowed him to conduct warrantless surveillance. If that was so, Congress would not have sought separate legislation to allow easier standards if there was a statute already in place that allowed him a lower standard.
 

Binary_Digit

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Ya, I've been reading your posts and they're quite compelling. I didn't mean to sound like I was missing your point. I've just been arguing from more of an "in general" point of view, what I think the course of action should be if the President feels he needs more power than the law allows. As for the specifics of what you're saying, I agree it's strange that they turned down the opportunity to do what they ended up doing anyway. Especially considering the reasons they gave at the time. If it could be unconstitutional then, why couldn't it be unconstitutional now? :confused:
 

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Re: the "non-partisan" Congressional Research Service

Much has been made of the two reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) that say that Bush may have done something illegal with the NSA surveillance program. Proponents of these reports have hung their hats largely on the assumption that the CRS is a non-partisan agency. Well, we all know what assumptions can do.

Greg Pierce, in his WP column "Inside Politics" suggests that maybe the CRS is not so "non-partisan" after all:

"Hill Democrats and the so-called mainstream media have made much of a recent Congressional Research Service report that asserted President Bush had violated the law by allowing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on phone calls to the United States from suspected terrorists overseas.
In fact, Democrats such as New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as most media outlets, have practically grafted the word "nonpartisan" to the front end of that agency's name.
However, this is Washington, and nothing is quite that simple. What you probably haven't heard is that the author of the report, Alfred Cumming, is a registered Democrat who served as staff director for the Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence under since-retired Sen. Bob Graham, Florida Democrat. And you probably haven't heard that in December the "nonpartisan" Mr. Cumming also authored a 15-page memo for the Congressional Research Service that shored up Democrats' claims that President Bush lied about pre-Iraq war intelligence.
That earlier report said the president and his most senior advisers have access to "a far greater overall volume of intelligence and to more sensitive intelligence Information" than Congress.
The "nonpartisan" Mr. Cumming contributed $1,250 to Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign, according to the Web site www.tray.com. "


Source.
 

Binary_Digit

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So the author was a Democrat. How many people made up the CRS? Did Alfred Cumming write the whole thing himself and submit it before anyone else on the CRS team could verify what he wrote?
 

oldreliable67

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BD,

Alfred Cumming is listed as the sole author of the second CRS report. What the review procedures are at the CRS, I have no idea. They do have a web site - when I can get a few minutes, I'll take a look there and see what can be found.
 

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Binary_Digit said:
The reason was not because of how they would vote, it was because Northern peace protestors (copperheads) were trying to offer a truce to the South and Lincoln viewed them as a threat to national security.
So how do you think they would vote?

Binary_Digit said:
"the Constitution of the United States provides that "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it" (Article 1, Section 9). President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War, and his decision was upheld by Congress?despite protests by Chief Justice Roger Taney that such suspension was not within the powers of the President."
We are under an Invasion, not one that yet requires the suspension of Habeas Corpus. The terrorists that attacked us were inside the US. How is that not an Invasion?
Invasion-
1. The act of invading, especially the entrance of an armed force into a territory to conquer.
2. A large-scale onset of something injurious or harmful, such as a disease.
3. An intrusion or encroachment.
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Invasion

The terrorists were an armed force, as they were armed with intention, and it was an intrusion of our land.


http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/h1/habeasco.asp


Binary_Digit said:
We studied this in college, and I seriously doubt that this kept the U.S. safe, considering that nobody rounded up any German or Italian Americans. This is widely regarded by historians as a huge black spot in American history.
They did not round up the German or Italian americans because they have been in America for over 100 years and were comfortable with them. The Japanese started immigrating in number around 1900. They did not fit in with society and a feeling of xenophobia set in , which led to the Gentlemen's Agreement in 1924. I am not agreeing with the decision but the end result is we were not attacked on our soil again until 9/11.

http://brownvboard.org/brwnqurt/03-4/03-4a.htm


Binary_Digit said:
I disagree, I don't believe the ends justify the means in this case. We aren't talking about a civil war on the verge of tearing the nation apart, and we aren't dealing with anything close to the scale of WW2, we're dealing with a bunch of militants on camels who got in a lucky shot.
Well that is your opinion, but you cannot take anything lightly, if those "militants on camels" get a hold of a nuclear bomb , or anything that is that dangerous the result will not be good.

As former Israeli PM Benjaman Netanyahu once said " if any part of this terror network acquires nuclear weapons, they will use it." Netanyahu should know he fought terrorists as a commando and lost his brother in 1976.

We can take no chance for a margin of error when dealing with America and American Civilians.
 
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