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The Justice Dept. will investigate who leaked the NSA spying

cnredd

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aps said:
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.
And thus legitimate debate ends...
 

aps

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oldreliable67

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aps: "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?"

Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Where the rubber meets the road is where those opinions and interpretations are held out as the one and only truth. The inability to say "This is what I've read/seen/heard and it leads me to believe that it is highly likely that he is guilty of blah blah blah" instead of "He's guilty! I don't care what anyone says, he is guilty!" is a sign of a mind that is closed to consideration of other points of view.

BTW, here is another jurist who believes the Bush admin may be on solid legal ground. Charles Fried teaches constitutional law at Harvard Law School; in an article in the Boston Globe, he says, in part:

"The president claims that congressional authorization for military action against Al Qaeda, together with his inherent constitutional powers, make such action lawful. There is some plausibility to that claim but until tested in the courts it is impossible to give a definitive opinion about it.
...
The resolution of this dilemma to allow both the use of an important tool of national security and respect for the rule of law needs ingenuity, discretion, and a good faith search for sensible solutions. So far I have heard only alarmist and hyperbolic pronouncements calculated neither to illuminate nor resolve this problem."


Notice two things about his comments: (1) plausible legal grounds but not definitive until a court test, and (2) denunciation of the hyperbole and alarmist approach to consideration of the questions at hand. This guy makes a lot of sense, IMO.

His article is at:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/12/30/
the_case_for_surveillance/
 

Lefty

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I don't believe anyone ever said: "He's guilty I don't care what anyone says! He's guilty." That was never the attitude that I or anyone else had. Going into a debate on a topic I always leave myself open to new ideas and ways of seeing something, but consistantly when I presented legal arguments for what I believed was a violation of the law and constitution... no one argued the legal analysis of it, but however either grilled me on my sentance structure or the fact that "he hasn't been proven guilty." This I see as avoiding the real issue, and can perhaps be seen as avoiding the debate as a whole. I guess I just assumed that you wouldn't be so hampered by the fact that I didn't say: "it's my opinion that..." before everything.;)

There are also other opinions on this issue.

Here is an excellent video of Bush on spying preNYT leak.

John Dean was on Keith Olbermann's Countdown.(video)

Dean: "It's the means that he's employed. Why, for example, hasn't he gone to Congress? If—he's been doing this for four years now, we've learned from the very first report that he didn't have in place initially protections. This is something they put in in 2004, thinking that, Well, if John Kerry does slip by, we could be in criminal trouble, so we'll put some protections in here, at least to look like we were doing it cautiously and carefully and protecting liberties.

But it was an afterthought. So why didn't anybody take care of this in four years? Why couldn't Congress—I haven't heard a good argument why Congress couldn't, indeed, have dealt with this issue."

Dean: "Well, I don't think there's any question he's violated the law. He's admitted to violating the law. What he is saying, I have a good defense, and that is national security. I have this power to do this, or this very vague resolution that the Congress granted for my using force in dealing with Afghanistan and terrorists. I can read into that that it also includes collecting signal intelligence. It's a stretch."

New York Times

"The point is that it appears to be illegal, and if George Bush believed it was genuinely critical to our national security he should have asked Congress to pass legislation authorizing it. The president is simply not allowed to decide for himself to break the law simply because it's inconvenient, and the excuse that he couldn't go to Congress because that would expose valuable secrets to al-Qaeda is laughable."

James Bamford on C-Span debating Victoria Toensing.

Bamford: "This is a president who has [spied on U.S. citizens] constantly since 2001, bypassing [the FISA] law. This isn’t a one-time deal. And, again, he has a lot of options for going to the court and doing this. He didn’t go to the court and there is a legal provision in that statute that says “if you don’t go to the court, it’s five years in jail and a ten thousand dollar fine.” So the solution here is to get a special prosecutor to take a look at whether the law…"

Toensing: (Off camera) "Ha!"

Bamford: "…Was violated. And I don’t know what’s funny about that. You know, we had the Republicans go to impeachment over a minor sexual discretion [sic] by a president. And here’s a president violating a law that says [there’s jailtime and a fine] if you manage to violate it."

Alan Dershowitz interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. (video)

Wolf: "Did the President break the law?"

Alan: "I think the President broke the law. I think congress should hold hearings..."

---------------------------------------------------

I think all these people have good points, and it is in my opinion that it would be wise to listen to what they have to say.
 

Trajan Octavian Titus

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aps said:
The rumors have been that it was an intelligence professional who leaked the warrantless wiretapping. Does anyone have any suspicions?


Justice Dept. to probe leak of spy program

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10651154/

Think of it this way the only people who knew about the project were the Democratic and Republican senators on the intelligence committee who Bush told, the NSA, the Attorney General and possibly Cheney.

Now who stood to gain politically from the leak?

It goes for motive and opportunity circumstantial evidence but evidence none the less.
 

aps

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oldreliable67 said:
aps: "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?"

Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Where the rubber meets the road is where those opinions and interpretations are held out as the one and only truth. The inability to say "This is what I've read/seen/heard and it leads me to believe that it is highly likely that he is guilty of blah blah blah" instead of "He's guilty! I don't care what anyone says, he is guilty!" is a sign of a mind that is closed to consideration of other points of view.

BTW, here is another jurist who believes the Bush admin may be on solid legal ground. Charles Fried teaches constitutional law at Harvard Law School; in an article in the Boston Globe, he says, in part:

"The president claims that congressional authorization for military action against Al Qaeda, together with his inherent constitutional powers, make such action lawful. There is some plausibility to that claim but until tested in the courts it is impossible to give a definitive opinion about it.
...
The resolution of this dilemma to allow both the use of an important tool of national security and respect for the rule of law needs ingenuity, discretion, and a good faith search for sensible solutions. So far I have heard only alarmist and hyperbolic pronouncements calculated neither to illuminate nor resolve this problem."


Notice two things about his comments: (1) plausible legal grounds but not definitive until a court test, and (2) denunciation of the hyperbole and alarmist approach to consideration of the questions at hand. This guy makes a lot of sense, IMO.

His article is at:
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/12/30/
the_case_for_surveillance/

I agree with that assessment by Professor Fried. If there was no plausible basis for this act, I doubt Bush would have done it. I honestly don't see the the difference between what Fried is saying and what I have said. My assessment is that the preponderance of the evidence is against a finding that what he did was within his power.

I also don't see what the big deal is regarding people who have concluded that he is guilty and aren't willing to consider otherwise. On the whole, that's how I feel about DeLay (although I will never shut anyone off on trying to prove otherwise); however, I won't have a problem with being proven otherwise. If he's found innocent, he's found innocent. It's no big deal.
 
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oldreliable67

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Lefty said:
I don't believe anyone ever said: "He's guilty I don't care what anyone says! He's guilty." That was never the attitude that I or anyone else had.

Oh, lots have said that and worse! Not only about Bush, but about Clinton and others before him.

But, as my kids would say, "My bad!". That comment was not intended at you personally; it was intended as a much more general observation on the rabid dogs from both sides of the aisle that one finds on this site and others. This goes back to the Repub ankle biting during Clinton and even before. Apologies for not making it explicitly clear that I was not referring to you but to a way of thinking that is all too common regardless of political persuasion.
 

oldreliable67

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aps said:
I won't have a problem with being proven otherwise. If he's found innocent, he's found innocent. It's no big deal.

Fooled me. Given the tone of some of your previous posts, I have the impression otherwise - it seems a very big deal and you seem very, very certain, to the point of brooking no other opinions. If that impression is incorrect, well, my apologies, but please consider that my impression came from...your comments.
 

aps

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oldreliable67 said:
Fooled me. Given the tone of some of your previous posts, I have the impression otherwise - it seems a very big deal and you seem very, very certain, to the point of brooking no other opinions. If that impression is incorrect, well, my apologies, but please consider that my impression came from...your comments.

So if I was wrong, what would you expect my reaction to be? Utter devastation? Would I lock myself in my room and not come out? Would I have to go on anti-depressants? Be realistic. I am unquestionably passionate about issues, which is part of my character and which my posts exude. But when things don't go the way I believed they would, I accept it and move on, and very quickly I might add. So I don't really know what you mean when you say you got the wrong impression of how I would react if my belief was proved wrong.
 

Stinger

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Lefty said:
I'm still not sure how leaking this is hurting national security. How is knowing that our government is knowingly and actively breaking the law a bad thing? I am glad someone leaked this information because I respect democracy and our Constitution, and so should the executive branch of government. The Justice Department is investigating the wrong thing here.
Well heck let's just lay it all out in the open, tell you what why don't we all promise not to tell the terrorist how we are trying to capture and kill them and we can just open up NSA and CIA and DIA. Let's be an OPEN society and government.

But tell ne why was everyone so upset of the meaningless Plame leak but this one which DOES involve highly secreative matters is just honky dory?

And as far as your claim that the law has been broken, no it hasn't not according to the courts and the constitution.
 
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Stinger

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aps said:
Well, when the Dept. of Justice is a co-conspirator and condones the warrantless wiretapping, that pretty much takes away that option.

Well when the Dept. of Justice is properly interpreting the law and tells the wannabe leaker that what is being done is legal and if they leak they will be prosecuted it just might save them some jail time.

As the Deputy AG stated

"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 that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General." "It is important to understand......that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities."
 

oldreliable67

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aps said:
Well, when the Dept. of Justice is a co-conspirator...

For one to be a co-conspirator, there must first be a conspiracy. Pretty difficult to have a conspiracy when the AG furnishes a legal opinion with precedents and many congress folk are briefed and aware of the program.
 

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Stinger said:
Well heck let's just lay it all out in the open, tell you what why don't we all promise not to tell the terrorist how we are trying to capture and kill them and we can just open up NSA and CIA and DIA. Let's be an OPEN society and government.

But tell ne why was everyone so upset of the meaningless Plame leak but this one which DOES involve highly secreative matters is just honky dory?

And as far as your claim that the law has been broken, no it hasn't not according to the courts and the constitution.


No one ever said we should have everything out in the open, it's pointless for you to come here and argue that. As for the Plame leak, people were upset about that because it's believed by some that a woman's carrer was ruined because her husband was going public that things the administration were saying were not true. The information about warrentless wiretapping that was leaked recently is a concern to the public because we want to know that our president is obeying the laws and constitution.

As for your claim about the law and constitution, I would urge you to actually read and understand both before coming here and making baseless claims.
 

aps

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oldreliable67 said:
For one to be a co-conspirator, there must first be a conspiracy. Pretty difficult to have a conspiracy when the AG furnishes a legal opinion with precedents and many congress folk are briefed and aware of the program.

Hmmm, why did you delete the response you made to my prior post about what my reaction would be if I was wrong about something? I read it, and as I tried to reply to it, it wouldn't let me. Maybe you wanted to take back the compliment you gave me about my posts.

You mentioned that the way I write my posts would indicate that I would be very upset or truly believed in my opinion--something like that. That's what people usually do when taking a position...at least that is what I do.

And when I called the AG a co-conspirator, I didn't mean it as its true meaning--just that it's sort of ridiculous to say that someone who didn't agree with the program should discuss it with the AG's office. The AG's office had condoned the acts. They would have dismissed any complaint. It's no different than what happened when Rockefeller expressed his concerns to Cheney--Cheney ignored them entirely. I wouldn't expect any more from the AG.
 

Stinger

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Lefty said:
No one ever said we should have everything out in the open, it's pointless for you to come here and argue that.

Well we may as well, that's what is being demanded since some claim we are a "Democracy" and we "have a right know". Well let's just make sure we all promise not to tell OBL.

As for the Plame leak, people were upset about that because it's believed by some that a woman's carrer was ruined because her husband was going public that things the administration were saying were not true.

No they were upset because classified information had been leaked and wanted a criminal investigation, NOT because someone carrer had been ruined which it was not.

The information about warrentless wiretapping that was leaked recently is a concern to the public because we want to know that our president is obeying the laws and constitution.

The name Valerie Plame was leaked as a concern to the public because we want to know that when a former ambassadore writes an op-ed making statements about the administration he is telling the truth which in this case he was not.

As for your claim about the law and constitution, I would urge you to actually read and understand both before coming here and making baseless claims.

Prove me wrong. Prove the court cases and AG's I have cited are wrong.
 

aps

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oldreliable67 said:
aps,

Sent you a PM.

Got it. :lol: I can't believe what you said about Stinger. ;)
 

oldreliable67

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aps said:
Got it. :lol: I can't believe what you said about Stinger. ;)

Now we know the identity of the mystery leaker! Its you! The DoJ will be calling to conspire with you soon!

Happy birthday, young'un!

:lol:
 

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Thank goodness for the NYT! Here, they are explaining to us the difference between 'good leaks' and 'bad leaks'!

Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute has an interesting pick-apart of the NYT editatorial on the subject. He writes, in part:


I don't want the Times deciding, in wartime, just what information I "deserve to have", thank you very much - they are not elected, they are not accountable, and frankly, I do not trust their politics. But rather than abandon my fellow citizens to the mercies or depredations of the Bush Administration, let me offer a constructive suggestion - since we have a representative democracy, complete with institutional checks and balances and two parties, how about if the purveyors of classifed info, when troubled by their consciences, take their troubles to a Congressional oversight committee rather than the NY Times?

So, in my world, we have a government, we have laws, we have an outlet for intel community whistleblowers - why couldn't these concerned citizens rally a few Congressman to their cause? And let's note - the Democrats controlled the Senate Intel Committee from the Jeffords defection in 2001 until the new Congress was sworn in in Jan 2003. What went wrong? Find me a Dem with a voice and the courage to speak out! What will Hillary say? (Or is it possible that the oversight Dems encouraged these folks to go public, asserting that they could only help if the discussion was carried out on the front page of the NY Times? The Times will never tell, but it could never be - these were good leakers, and pure of heart.)

Oh, well. As on poster to the blog said, "Seems to some its a crime for Libby to lie to a grand jury but its not a crime for an intelligence employee to break the law that states that intelligence whistleblowers NOT go public but rather go to Congress with their allegations?"

Interestingly, the NYT Public Editor, Byron Calame, also criticized his own paper, here. He wrote,

THE New York Times's explanation of its decision to report, after what it said was a one-year delay, that the National Security Agency is eavesdropping domestically without court-approved warrants was woefully inadequate. And I have had unusual difficulty getting a better explanation for readers, despite the paper's repeated pledges of greater transparency.

For the first time since I became public editor, the executive editor and the publisher have declined to respond to my requests for information about news-related decision-making. My queries concerned the timing of the exclusive Dec. 16 article about President Bush's secret decision in the months after 9/11 to authorize the warrantless eavesdropping on Americans in the United States.

Apparently secrecy is ok for the NYT, but not the Bush admin.
 

aps

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oldreliable67 said:
Apparently secrecy is ok for the NYT, but not the Bush admin.

The New York Times is not one of the branches of our federal government. There isn't any check and balances when it comes to a private newspaper.
 

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aps:
My assessment is that the preponderance of the evidence is against a finding that what he did was within his power.
Why don't you enlighten us by posting the case law you are using in your assessent.
 

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aps said:
The New York Times is not one of the branches of our federal government. There isn't any check and balances when it comes to a private newspaper.

Your comment begs the question: Whose secrets are more important to our safety, those of the NYT or the federal government?
 

aps

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Gill said:
aps:

Why don't you enlighten us by posting the case law you are using in your assessent.

It's based upon articles I have read, several people with whom I have spoken, my own review of the constitution, and the unanimous holding in UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, 407 U.S. 297 (1972), which held the following:

1. Section 2511 (3) is merely a disclaimer of congressional intent to define presidential powers in matters affecting national security, and is not a grant of authority to conduct warrantless national security surveillances. Pp. 301-308. [407 U.S. 297, 298]

2. The Fourth Amendment (which shields private speech from unreasonable surveillance) requires prior judicial approval for the type of domestic security surveillance involved in this case. Pp. 314-321; 323-324.

(a) The Government's duty to safeguard domestic security must be weighed against the potential danger that unreasonable surveillances pose to individual privacy and free expression. Pp. 314-315.

(b) The freedoms of the Fourth Amendment cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances are conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch without the detached judgment of a neutral magistrate. Pp. 316-318.

(c) Resort to appropriate warrant procedure would not frustrate the legitimate purposes of domestic security searches. Pp. 318-321.

The case can be found here: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=407&invol=297

Justice Powell's first paragraph of the decision states the following:

The issue before us is an important one for the people of our country and their Government. It involves the delicate question of the President's power, acting through the Attorney General, to authorize electronic surveillance in internal security matters without prior judicial approval. Successive Presidents for more than one-quarter of a century have authorized such surveillance in varying degrees, 1 without guidance from the Congress or a definitive decision of this Court. This case brings the issue here for the first time. Its resolution is a matter of national concern, requiring sensitivity both to the Government's right to protect itself from unlawful subversion and attack and to the citizen's right to be secure in his privacy against unreasonable Government intrusion.
 

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It's based upon articles I have read, several people with whom I have spoken, my own review of the constitution, and the unanimous holding in UNITED STATES v. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, 407 U.S. 297 (1972), which held the following:

1. Section 2511 (3) is merely a disclaimer of congressional intent to define presidential powers in matters affecting national security, and is not a grant of authority to conduct warrantless national security surveillances. Pp. 301-308. [407 U.S. 297, 298]

2. The Fourth Amendment (which shields private speech from unreasonable surveillance) requires prior judicial approval for the type of domestic security surveillance involved in this case. Pp. 314-321; 323-324.

(a) The Government's duty to safeguard domestic security must be weighed against the potential danger that unreasonable surveillances pose to individual privacy and free expression. Pp. 314-315.

(b) The freedoms of the Fourth Amendment cannot properly be guaranteed if domestic security surveillances are conducted solely within the discretion of the Executive Branch without the detached judgment of a neutral magistrate. Pp. 316-318.

(c) Resort to appropriate warrant procedure would not frustrate the legitimate purposes of domestic security searches. Pp. 318-321.

Sorry aps, but this case has no bearing on the NSA surveillance controversy. It dealt strictly with domestic warrantless wiretaps with NO foriegn entity involvement.

From the case:
intelligence information deemed necessary to protect the nation from attempts of domestic organizations to attack and subvert the existing structure of the Government

The ruling also has the following nugget:

We emphasize, before concluding this opinion, the scope of our decision. As stated at the outset, this case involves only the domestic aspects of national security. We have not addressed, and express no opinion [407 U.S. 297, 322] as to, the issues which may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents.
The Supreme Court wanted to make it very clear that this ruling does NOT affect cases involving "foreign powers or their agents."
 

aps

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Gill said:
Sorry aps, but this case has no bearing on the NSA surveillance controversy. It dealt strictly with domestic warrantless wiretaps with NO foriegn entity involvement.

First, that it not the only piece of evidence that I used to reach my decision. Second, you may not think it is applicable, but I do.

From the case:

The ruling also has the following nugget:


The Supreme Court wanted to make it very clear that this ruling does NOT affect cases involving "foreign powers or their agents."

See above. I stand by my assessment.

In May 2003, Justice Rehnquist spoke at a dedication of a building that was named after a former Supreme Court Justice--Robert Jackson. In that speech, he talked about a case that involved President Truman seizing a steel mill to prevent a strike "which would have shut down production needed for the military." The case came to the Supreme Court and the justices ruled against the president's authority to seize the mill. In discussing the holding, Rehnquist addressed a concurrence that Justice Jackson wrote, and here is what he said:

It is Jackson's [opinion] I believe, which has best stood the test of time. Presidential power, he said, was of three kinds.

- The first was where the President acted pursuant to a congressional delegation of authority, and here presidential power was at its apex. The President had not only the power of the Executive, but the power of the Legislature, behind him, and only if the act was beyond the authority of the federal government itself would a presidential act be struck down.

- The second case was where the President acts in the absence of any congressional expression on the subject one way or the other; there he has the power of the Executive, but not that of Congress behind him.

- The third is presidential power at its nadir: where the President takes measures to deal with a situation in a particular way, whereas Congress has said it should be dealt with in a different way.

This in Jackson's view, was the situation in the Steel Seizure Case, and that was why he joined in ruling the seizure unconstitutional. Although no one else on the Court joined Jackson's opinion at the time, the Court since then has cited it as governing law.

http://www.supremecourtus.gov/publicinfo/speeches/sp_05-16-03.html
 
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