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The Justice Dept. will investigate who leaked the NSA spying

Lefty

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If I had information about illegal activities perpetrated by the exectutive branch of government... why the hell would I go to the executive branch of government to report such activities? It doesn't make any sense! It doesn't matter if they have programs for people to go to to report this stuff.

And go to a senator? The members of Congress that were briefed on the program were not consulted as past presidents have done, they were told about the existance of the program. Many expressed concerns about the legality of such a program, but they couldn't say anything because it was classified. It takes a leaker like this to pull the plug on an illegal, unconstitutional program like the one Bush ordered!

Anyway you are missing my whole point. The point is that we don't know! It is entirely possible that the leaker did seek another outlet for the illegal activities, but didn't tell the NYT. I mean... jeeze, you're taking one little thing I said, and blowing it way out of proportion. My whole point is that we don't know because we don't have access to that kind of information. That's all! Nothing more!
 

cnredd

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Lefty said:
Actually... I don't believe I ever said that. I said it's not possible to know if the leaker did seek other sources of help before going to the NYT.

And besides, your missing the point that the leaker informed us about an illegal program. See previous post for discussion on classified nature of program.
Yes it IS possible...Are you thinking that if the NEW York Times asked for that information or if the leaker gave them that information, they wouldn't report it?!?!...It would be in their best interests!!!...

To read an article saying "The leaker tried other recourse, but they didn't pan out, so s/he felt it necessary to come to us to get this activity public" would absolve the NYTimes of any culpability...

Why hasn't that happened?...:confused:
 

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cnredd said:
Farcical...

Senator Rockefeller has already said publicly that he knew of the program in 2003...It has already been made public that the President has discussed this with Senators from both sides of the aisle on a dozen occasions...

If they didn't agree with it, they could've opened their yap at any time...But they didn't...In fact, Rockefeller himself publicly told of a letter he wrote to Cheney questioning the program, but conveinently left it in his desk until the story went public...:roll:

Now how can you trust a Senator that says "I had problems with it, but I kept my mouth shut"?...The answer?...You don't...If it was truely illegal, he would've gone public in two seconds...

If for some unforeseeable reason something does become of this, expect ALL participants(Yes, even the Democratic leadership) to crumble just as quick...

How can a Senators be expected to pull the plug on a program like this. Due to it's classified nature you couldn't talk to anyone about it. I'm not sure I blame any of them for not going public with this information. If they had done it, it would be seen as a wild political move and wouldn't be taken seriously by half the people in this country. The president is supposed to consult with members of Congress before taking wild actions like this one, but he did not. That is a cause for concern. And saying he met with Democrats and Republicans dozens of times is just repeating the president's talking points. We know now that the number and frequency of meetings was overexaggerated. The fact is that this program is illegal, and trying to sit here and blame senators and members of congress isn't going to work. We'll see who the real culprits are come 2006.
 

aps

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cnredd said:
Farcical...

Senator Rockefeller has already said publicly that he knew of the program in 2003...It has already been made public that the President has discussed this with Senators from both sides of the aisle on a dozen occasions...

If they didn't agree with it, they could've opened their yap at any time...But they didn't...In fact, Rockefeller himself publicly told of a letter he wrote to Cheney questioning the program, but conveinently left it in his desk until the story went public...:roll:

Now how can you trust a Senator that says "I had problems with it, but I kept my mouth shut"?...The answer?...You don't...If it was truely illegal, he would've gone public in two seconds...

If for some unforeseeable reason something does become of this, expect ALL participants(Yes, even the Democratic leadership) to crumble just as quick...

cnredd, do you truly understand Rockefeller's position? He could not do anything about this issue, as it was top secret. He HAND WROTE a letter to Cheney and saved a copy because he could not have anyone in his office see that information.

Once classified information has been leaked, it is NO LONGER classified, and thus that was when he was first able to show everyone a copy of the letter.

Had he gone public with the information, he would have violated the federal law regarding leaking classified information. It would be one thing if the information was undeniably illegal, but when it's questionably illegal, you keep your mouth shut.

Here's the relevant statute:http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=793
 

cnredd

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Lefty said:
If I had information about illegal activities perpetrated by the exectutive branch of government... why the hell would I go to the executive branch of government to report such activities? It doesn't make any sense! It doesn't matter if they have programs for people to go to to report this stuff
So there are no other "checks and balances" when it comes to the Executive Branch other than the press...

Which Amendment is that...I forget...:roll:
 

cnredd

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aps said:
Had he gone public with the information, he would have violated the federal law regarding leaking classified information. It would be one thing if the information was undeniably illegal, but when it's questionably illegal, you keep your mouth shut.

Here's the relevant statute:http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=793
But here's the problem...

Many here and in public are NOT saying it was "questionably illegal"...They are saying it WAS "undeniably illegal"...

If that were truly the case, anyone who knew about the program could've blown the whistle posthaste...

If GWB went up to Kerry and said "I wiretapped your whole campaign, but it's classified, so you can't go public with it", how long do you think it would take Kerry to hold a news conference on it?...4 seconds?...maybe 3?...

Rockefeller sat on a two-year old letter...Are you telling me that he didn't have TWO YEARS to find out if what was being done was illegal?!?!?...Christ!...People are making that accusation after one newspaper article, but a Senator can't do it in two freakin' years?!?!?!?
 

cnredd

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Lefty said:
How can a Senators be expected to pull the plug on a program like this. Due to it's classified nature you couldn't talk to anyone about it. I'm not sure I blame any of them for not going public with this information. If they had done it, it would be seen as a wild political move and wouldn't be taken seriously by half the people in this country. The president is supposed to consult with members of Congress before taking wild actions like this one, but he did not. That is a cause for concern. And saying he met with Democrats and Republicans dozens of times is just repeating the president's talking points. We know now that the number and frequency of meetings was overexaggerated. The fact is that this program is illegal, and trying to sit here and blame senators and members of congress isn't going to work. We'll see who the real culprits are come 2006.
Wowwee!!!...

If a Senator made the program public, it wouldn't be taken seriously...

But if an article in the NYTimes says it, than it WILL be taken seriously...

That's quite a stretch!!!...
 

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Lefty: ...but there is a debate on whether or not the president ignored the 4th Amendment and the judicial process of the FISA law of 1978. That's ridiculous. If this program was classified with the intent of covering up it's illegal nature, which does seem to be the case, then the classified nature of the program is moot point.

No, the ridiculous assertion is the assertion that the "program was classified with the intent of covering up it's illegal nature...then the classified nature of the program is moot point ".

Lets suppose for a moment that when we began to monitor the communications of those in possession of cell phone numbers or email addresses recovered in battlefield ops around the world, that we disclosed that we were doing so publicly, and did so right away. Further, what if we disclosed that we were monitoring those communications regardless of the location of those in possession of those cell numbers/email addresses. That is, we disclosed the ability to near-instantaneously begin monitoring of the communcations of those in contact with known terrorists wherever they might be in the world. What do you suppose the public reaction would have been -- in 2001 or 2002?

Would it have been different from the reaction to such when revealed as a 'classified' activity in late 2005? What if we, at the same time, revealed that by doing so, such and such terrorist operation had been stopped or such and such terrorist had been captured? Would the reaction had been any different?

The answers to the above questions are of course entirely subjective and depend a great deal on ones life experiences.

(BTW, your usage of "moot" and "point" together ("moot point") are misused. It should be "of the program is moot." or perhaps, "a moot point". Maybe you just left out the 'a'.)
 

aps

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

Many here and in public are NOT saying it was "questionably illegal"...They are saying it WAS "undeniably illegal"...

If that were truly the case, anyone who knew about the program could've blown the whistle posthaste...

If GWB went up to Kerry and said "I wiretapped your whole campaign, but it's classified, so you can't go public with it", how long do you think it would take Kerry to hold a news conference on it?...4 seconds?...maybe 3?...

Rockefeller sat on a two-year old letter...Are you telling me that he didn't have TWO YEARS to find out if what was being done was illegal?!?!?...Christ!...People are making that accusation after one newspaper article, but a Senator can't do it in two freakin' years?!?!?!?

The determinations about the legality or illegality of the warrantless wiretapping is debatable. Sure you think it was legal and I don't. But who's to say whose opinion is more correct? When an issue is debatable, it means that there is more than one interpretation. In circumstances like that, you keep classified information classified. Just based upon the use of his words (I believe he said he was very concerned or something to that effect), his mindset was one of unsureness as to the legality of these actions.
 

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oldreliable67 said:
(BTW, your usage of "moot" and "point" together ("moot point") are misused. It should be "of the program is moot." or perhaps, "a moot point". Maybe you just left out the 'a'.)

Come on, oldreliable, it is obvious that Lefty forgot to use an "a" before those two words. Alright there, Mr. Perfect Grammar/Spelling? ;)
 

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oldreliable67 said:
(BTW, your usage of "moot" and "point" together ("moot point") are misused. It should be "of the program is moot." or perhaps, "a moot point". Maybe you just left out the 'a'.)

:doh Well thanks for pointing it out.:mrgreen: Everyone is typing new posts so fast I'm going as fast as I can here to reply, and I'm afraid the occasional grammer mistake is to be expected.

Tonight however, I must leave this debate. I shall address some posts when I do have time, which might be several days from now, though possibly tomorrow if I can squeeze it in. I can't wait for 2006, it's going to be a good year. Happy new year everyone.
 

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Lefty: "Due to it's classified nature you couldn't talk to anyone about it. I'm not sure I blame any of them for not going public with this information."

Of course you could. Remember the list of Senators and Congressmen that were briefed? Included were members of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and the respective House committee. All are cleared for classified info!!!

What would have been the appropriate response of a congressperson who suspected an admin intelligence program was illegal? If they felt it was sufficiently serious, they first, would take it to the appropriate committee for closed hearings. If the committee decides there are grounds for further investigation, they set up an independent counsel or joint Senate/House investigating committee (like the Watergate committee) and investigate/hold hearings/supoena witnesses. They most likely don't go to the DoJ. If the independent counsel or committee finds grounds, they take their results to the entire Congress for action.

See or hear of anything like that following the admin briefings? No. Other than a letter that Rockefeller sat on for years, and after the fact posturing from a couple of folks seeking partisan advantage from the kerfuffle, not a peep.
 

cnredd

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aps said:
The determinations about the legality or illegality of the warrantless wiretapping is debatable. Sure you think it was legal and I don't. But who's to say whose opinion is more correct? When an issue is debatable, it means that there is more than one interpretation. In circumstances like that, you keep classified information classified. Just based upon the use of his words (I believe he said he was very concerned or something to that effect), his mindset was one of unsureness as to the legality of these actions.
The determinations about the legality or illegality of the warrantless wiretapping should NOT be debatable to a Senator after two years of knowing about the program...
 

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aps said:
Come on, oldreliable, it is obvious that Lefty forgot to use an "a" before those two words. Alright there, Mr. Perfect Grammar/Spelling? ;)

Yeah, you're right. Sorry, Lefty, just couldn't resist.

Hey, and while we're here...

The best of everything in 2006 for all DP'ers! Its been fun in 2005, more to come in 2006!!!
 

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By the way... real quick, how is it that we are making Congress out to be the guilty party here? You're distracting us from the real issue, which is the illegal actions undertaken by the president. Say what you will about whatever senator you want, but the fact of the matter is that the president is the one that ordered the warrentless wiretappings. We can sit here and debate why so-and-so didn't do this or that, but it's getting us nowhere, and it's not the real issue here. This is a serious breach of constitutional law, and we must look at the real issue here without being distracted by all the noise surrounding it.
 

aps

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cnredd said:
The determinations about the legality or illegality of the warrantless wiretapping should NOT be debatable to a Senator after two years of knowing about the program...

cnredd, there are very few issues that are not debatable. Something that is not debatable is clear and unmistakable. If you notice, even criminal law doesn't require you to find a defendant clearly and unmistakably guilty. There's a reason for that, you know--that standard is almost impossible to meet.

Regardless, we can agree to disagree on this topic.
 

cnredd

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aps said:
cnredd, there are very few issues that are not debatable. Something that is not debatable is clear and unmistakable. If you notice, even criminal law doesn't require you to find a defendant clearly and unmistakably guilty. There's a reason for that, you know--that standard is almost impossible to meet.

Regardless, we can agree to disagree on this topic.
Everything you've stated is true, but I don't see how that ties into this situation...

The debate of abortion rolls on, but the one clear fact is still a fact...currently, it's legal...You cannot arrest somebody for having one...

The debate, whether or not an investigation concludes positively or negatively, will go on here, too...

But the one clear fact of legality has NOT been proven one way or the other...The assumption of "innocent until proven guilty" is afforded to everyone that stands before a court, but not to the head of the country?

How thoughtful of you...
 

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cnredd said:
Everything you've stated is true, but I don't see how that ties into this situation...

The debate of abortion rolls on, but the one clear fact is still a fact...currently, it's legal...You cannot arrest somebody for having one...

The debate, whether or not an investigation concludes positively or negatively, will go on here, too...

But the one clear fact of legality has NOT been proven one way or the other...The assumption of "innocent until proven guilty" is afforded to everyone that stands before a court, but not to the head of the country?

How thoughtful of you...

Why thank you! I appreciate the compliment. :2wave:

I would not say that Bush is undebatably guilty in this circumstance, BTW.
 

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oldreliable67 said:
Yeah, you're right. Sorry, Lefty, just couldn't resist.

Hey, and while we're here...

The best of everything in 2006 for all DP'ers! Its been fun in 2005, more to come in 2006!!!

You too, you conservative bastar d. ;) Cheers!
 

cnredd

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aps said:
Why thank you! I appreciate the compliment. :2wave:

I would not say that Bush is undebatably guilty in this circumstance, BTW.
While YOU may be backling off the "Bush is undeniably guilty" stance, I'll just point out that there are those that disagree with you wholeheartedly...

Lefty said:
By the way... real quick, how is it that we are making Congress out to be the guilty party here? You're distracting us from the real issue, which is the illegal actions undertaken by the president. Say what you will about whatever senator you want, but the fact of the matter is that the president is the one that ordered the warrentless wiretappings. We can sit here and debate why so-and-so didn't do this or that, but it's getting us nowhere, and it's not the real issue here. This is a serious breach of constitutional law, and we must look at the real issue here without being distracted by all the noise surrounding it.

I don't see a debate there...Just something said as concrete fact....

Would you like to explain to him how wrong he is?...;)
 

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Lefty: "we must look at the real issue here without being distracted by all the noise surrounding it."

Absolutely right. And the real issue is, as aps says...

aps: "The determinations about the legality or illegality of the warrantless wiretapping is debatable. Sure you think it was legal and I don't. But who's to say whose opinion is more correct? When an issue is debatable, it means that there is more than one interpretation."

Absolutely right.

The AG has set out the admin's legal foundation for the NSA surveillance program in question. This legal foundation refers to several precedents and cites the authorization to use force as well as the Constitution. Clearly, the admin believes itself to be on solid legal ground.

Nonetheless, there are those who disagree. Here we find those who disagree with the validity of the precedents and the interpretation of the authorization to use force. They also believe that the Constitution is being misinterpreted.

Around the fringes of the argument, we find yet a third group: those who seek to gain partisan advantage by siding with one or the other viewpoints. The declamations of opinions and assertions as facts are prevalent in this group. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't seem to apply with these folks. Quick to form an opinion based on political persuasion rather than facts, here we find rhetoric instead of investigation, 'slam at all cost' instead of knowledge-seeking and 'don't bother me with facts, he is a Repub' instead of pragmatism.

All in all, its business as usual.
 

cnredd

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oldreliable67 said:
Around the fringes of the argument, we find yet a third group: those who seek to gain partisan advantage by siding with one or the other viewpoints. The declamations of opinions and assertions as facts are prevalent in this group. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't seem to apply with these folks. Quick to form an opinion based on political persuasion rather than facts, here we find rhetoric instead of investigation, 'slam at all cost' instead of knowledge-seeking and 'don't bother me with facts, he is a Repub' instead of pragmatism.

All in all, its business as usual.
Didn't I just say that?!?!...:2wave:

cnredd said:
But the one clear fact of legality has NOT been proven one way or the other...The assumption of "innocent until proven guilty" is afforded to everyone that stands before a court, but not to the head of the country?
 

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Yeah, but I didn't see yours until after I hit the "Submit" button!

Or to paraphrase teacher, "I said it in more words. I win."
 

cnredd

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oldreliable67 said:
Yeah, but I didn't see yours until after I hit the "Submit" button!

Or to paraphrase teacher, "I said it in more words. I win."
:rofl

I guess that's better than, "Yeah, but you don't count!"...
 

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oldreliable67 said:
Lefty: "we must look at the real issue here without being distracted by all the noise surrounding it."

Absolutely right. And the real issue is, as aps says...

aps: "The determinations about the legality or illegality of the warrantless wiretapping is debatable. Sure you think it was legal and I don't. But who's to say whose opinion is more correct? When an issue is debatable, it means that there is more than one interpretation."

Absolutely right.

The AG has set out the admin's legal foundation for the NSA surveillance program in question. This legal foundation refers to several precedents and cites the authorization to use force as well as the Constitution. Clearly, the admin believes itself to be on solid legal ground.

Nonetheless, there are those who disagree. Here we find those who disagree with the validity of the precedents and the interpretation of the authorization to use force. They also believe that the Constitution is being misinterpreted.

Around the fringes of the argument, we find yet a third group: those who seek to gain partisan advantage by siding with one or the other viewpoints. The declamations of opinions and assertions as facts are prevalent in this group. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't seem to apply with these folks. Quick to form an opinion based on political persuasion rather than facts, here we find rhetoric instead of investigation, 'slam at all cost' instead of knowledge-seeking and 'don't bother me with facts, he is a Repub' instead of pragmatism.

All in all, its business as usual.

What is wrong with people who have read the facts and read varying opinions and determined that there was no legal basis upon which the Bush administration could conduct warrantless wiretaps? At this point in time, there isn't going to be a trial so why can't people like me make their own assessment? When legal experts say that they are not sure that Bush is on solid ground (one of them being one of the judges on the NSA court who I personally worked for and who is BRILLIANT when it comes to constitutional law), then I think I have a solid basis for questioning it too. The NSA court is meeting in January to discuss this issue. If these judges and other legal experts were blowing this whole thing off, I would more likely believe that Bush was on solid legal ground. On top of this is behavior that Bush has exhibited that makes me NOT give him the benefit of the doubt.

If there ever was a trial, you bet I would be thrown off the jury, and I would have no shame in admitting that I do not apply to him that he is innocent until proven guilty.
 
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