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Bush Impeachment - Spies like U.S.

H

hipsterdufus

John Dean stated that George Bush is the first president to admit to an impeachable offense in his unauthorized surveillance and bypass of FISA to spy on Americans.

I'm not there yet - but I need more than spin to understand why Bush has not committed impeachable offenses.
 

aps

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hipsterdufus said:
John Dean stated that George Bush is the first president to admit to an impeachable offense in his unauthorized surveillance and bypass of FISA to spy on Americans.

I'm not there yet - but I need more than spin to understand why Bush has not committed impeachable offenses.
Hi hipster. Barbara Boxer was on Countdown last night. She said she has referred this issue to 3 presidential scholars to ask if what Dean said was true. She gave a lot of crediblity to Dean since he was White House counsel for Nixon. Hmmmmmm

Boxer made excellent points on the show last night.
 

Stace

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hipsterdufus said:
John Dean stated that George Bush is the first president to admit to an impeachable offense in his unauthorized surveillance and bypass of FISA to spy on Americans.

I'm not there yet - but I need more than spin to understand why Bush has not committed impeachable offenses.
A lot of people are going to say that FISA grants him additional powers during war time, but I'm not buying into that excuse, as Congress has not declared us to be in a state of War. We are simply in extended military combat as far as that angle is concerned. So I'm just as curious as you are.
 

TimmyBoy

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hipsterdufus said:
John Dean stated that George Bush is the first president to admit to an impeachable offense in his unauthorized surveillance and bypass of FISA to spy on Americans.

I'm not there yet - but I need more than spin to understand why Bush has not committed impeachable offenses.
Hmmm... technically speaking, I think the Bush Adminstration consulted lawyers before undertaking this program and did it in such a manner as to be technically legal, but pushing the boundries of what might have been considered a violation of the 4th amendment. If he authorized the NSA to tapp into telephone conversations within the USA calls to and from addresses inside the US, that would be considered a violation of the 4th Amendment. But he authorized calls to be monitored from or to the US that came from or was called to an international address. Because international addresses are not subject to US law and rights protections, technically, one could argue it was not subject to the protections of the 4th amendment therefore making the NSA monitoring operations techically legal. Whenever you set laws and limitations down on government, government will push those limits to the maximum and sometimes violate those limits if government believes they can get away with it. In this case, Bush is pushing technicalities to the limit.
 
H

hipsterdufus

aps said:
Hi hipster. Barbara Boxer was on Countdown last night. She said she has referred this issue to 3 presidential scholars to ask if what Dean said was true. She gave a lot of crediblity to Dean since he was White House counsel for Nixon. Hmmmmmm

Boxer made excellent points on the show last night.
I saw that. BTW - after that segment what a goofy show it was yesterday without Keith.
 
H

hipsterdufus

I love that "Tobacco" Blunt thinks all is well , all is well :roll:

Spy Court Judge Quits In Protest
Jurist Concerned Bush Order Tainted Work of Secret Panel

By Carol D. Leonnig and Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 21, 2005; Page A01

A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation.

James Robertson sent his resignation to the chief justice. (Beverly Rezneck - Beverly Rezneck)

Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court's work.

Robertson, who was appointed to the federal bench in Washington by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and was later selected by then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the FISA court, declined to comment when reached at his office late yesterday.

Word of Robertson's resignation came as two Senate Republicans joined the call for congressional investigations into the National Security Agency's warrantless interception of telephone calls and e-mails to overseas locations by U.S. citizens suspected of links to terrorist groups. They questioned the legality of the operation and the extent to which the White House kept Congress informed.

Sens. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and Olympia J. Snowe (Maine) echoed concerns raised by Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has promised hearings in the new year.

Hagel and Snowe joined Democrats Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Carl M. Levin (Mich.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) in calling for a joint investigation by the Senate judiciary and intelligence panels into the classified program.

The hearings would occur at the start of a midterm election year during which the prosecution of the Iraq war could figure prominently in House and Senate races.

Not all Republicans agreed with the need for hearings and backed White House assertions that the program is a vital tool in the war against al Qaeda.

"I am personally comfortable with everything I know about it," Acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a phone interview.

At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan was asked to explain why Bush last year said, "Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires -- a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we're talking about chasing down terrorists, we're talking about getting a court order before we do so." McClellan said the quote referred only to the USA Patriot Act.

Revelation of the program last week by the New York Times also spurred considerable debate among federal judges, including some who serve on the secret FISA court. For more than a quarter-century, that court had been seen as the only body that could legally authorize secret surveillance of espionage and terrorism suspects, and only when the Justice Department could show probable cause that its targets were foreign governments or their agents.

Robertson indicated privately to colleagues in recent conversations that he was concerned that information gained from warrantless NSA surveillance could have then been used to obtain FISA warrants. FISA court Presiding Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who had been briefed on the spying program by the administration, raised the same concern in 2004 and insisted that the Justice Department certify in writing that it was not occurring.

/snip

The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), issued a public rebuke of Rockefeller for making his letter public.

In response to a question about the letter, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) suggested that Rockefeller should have done more if he was seriously concerned. "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.' "

But Rockefeller said the secrecy surrounding the briefings left him with no other choice. "I made my concerns known to the vice president and to others who were briefed," Rockefeller said. "The White House never addressed my concerns."

Staff writers Jonathan Weisman and Charles Babington and researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/20/AR2005122000685.html?sub=AR
 
H

hipsterdufus

When Nixon was impeached, three articles of impeachment dealt with illegal wiretapping of Americans:

He (Nixon) misused the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and other executive personnel, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, by directing or authorizing such agencies or personnel to conduct or continue electronic surveillance or other investigations for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; he did direct, authorize, or permit the use of information obtained thereby for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office; and he did direct the concealment of certain records made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of electronic surveillance.

He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, in violation or disregard of the constitutional rights of citizens, authorized and permitted to be maintained a secret investigative unit within the office of the President, financed in part with money derived from campaign contributions, which unlawfully utilized the resources of the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in covert and unlawful activities, and attempted to prejudice the constitutional right of an accused to a fair trial.

In disregard of the rule of law, he knowingly misused the executive power by interfering with agencies of the executive branch, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Criminal Division, and the Office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, of the Department of Justice, and the Central Intelligence Agency, in violation of his duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
http://watergate.info/impeachment/impeachment-articles.shtml
 

Stace

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Good info, hipster....thanks for posting.

Definitely raises more questions in my mind, though I can't form them coherently enough to actually post them here :mrgreen:
 
H

hipsterdufus

The more I hear about this, the more information I need.
SCOTUS hasn't looked at this issue for a long time. Sometime in the 70's I think. Hearings on the issue will start in January.

No one is doubting that the country needs to be protected and that 9/11 exposed serious flaws in our ability to protect ourselves. The issue here seems to be Bush's skirting of FISA laws to get the job done.

The question then becomes, do the ends justify the means? Watergate taught us the danger of unlimited and unchecked Presidential power. And we don't need more J. Edgar Hoovers running around unchecked.

On the other hand - if FISA, which to me is a 21st century clarification of the 4th amendment, did not grant the executive office quick enough access to suspected terrorist surveillance then we have a process to modify that deficiency.

It seems to me like the president may have just bypassed the whole thing, surround by yes men, and said basically "I'm in charge, and I'll do what's best for the country." Sorry, that doesn't cut it. Our constitution is set up with checks and balances. No one - no matter how noble their means, is above the law.
 
H

hipsterdufus

It's not scientific but check out this MSNBC Poll.

Do you believe President Bush's actions justify impeachment? * 24362 responses


Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.
88%

No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."
3%

No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.
8%

I don't know.
1%
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10562904#survey
 

oldreliable67

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Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.
Great way to load a poll to get the desired result.

Another poll, this one on Fox, reported tonite by none other than Bill O'Reilly: 90% agree with the Pres, 10% dont.

Both polls about as accurate as well, jeez, I can't think of anything that inaccurate. Oh, wait, yes I can - my football picks this year!
 

DeeJayH

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http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2005/12/21/20051221_140400_flash8.htm

FLASHBACK:
CLINTON, CARTER SEARCH 'N SURVEILLANCE WITHOUT COURT ORDER

Bill Clinton Signed Executive Order that allowed Attorney General to do searches without court approval

Clinton, February 9, 1995: "The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order"

WASH POST, July 15, 1994, "Administration Backing No-Warrant Spy Searches": Extend not only to searches of the homes of U.S. citizens but also -- in the delicate words of a Justice Department official -- to "places where you wouldn't find or would be unlikely to find information involving a U.S. citizen... would allow the government to use classified electronic surveillance techniques, such as infrared sensors to observe people inside their homes, without a court order."

Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, the Clinton administration believes the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes."

Secret searches and wiretaps of Aldrich Ames's office and home in June and October 1993, both without a federal warrant.

Government officials decided in the Ames case that no warrant was required because the searches were conducted for "foreign intelligence purposes," a goal of such vital national security interest that they said it justified extraordinary police powers.

Government lawyers have used this principle to justify other secret searches by U.S. authorities.

"The number of such secret searches conducted each year is classified..."

Jimmy Carter Signed Executive Order on May 23, 1979: "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."

END
doesnt that mean, precedent has been set, by of all people, the DEMOCRATS :shock: :doh :lol: :3oops:
 
H

hipsterdufus

DeeJayH said:
so Clinton can use the same thing a little bit differently than Carter, and it is ok
but if Bush does, it is time to IMPEACH
you fanatics make me laugh
It's not "a little different" it's apples and oranges.

See, there' s that pesky,but only if the Attorney General makes the certifications required by that Section., statement that the Sludge Report conveniently left out, a tactic steadily increasing in necessity by the right wing pundits and apoligists with each passing day.

But the kicker is the quailifier stating the Attorney General must actually swear in writing that the only communications intercepted are “communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers”.
 
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