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  1. NRG
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    #321  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth


    I just checked my temp internet files... TreoCentral sets a persistent cookie as well. Should I be worried?
    Quote Originally Posted by ATM
    big deal, so does every website. Just went to their website and they no longer are doing it. But, someone should sue them and make this into congressional hearings.
    I somehow don't believe T|C's cookies track what webpages you visit and 'phone home'.

    Mods? Does T|C's cookies 'phone home' and track which websites you visit?
  2. #322  
    You might want to let Cookie-Gate die a quiet death. The Washington Post looks completely idiotic over this. It's an incredible reach that belies their equally incredible bias - or maybe they really are that dumb? Who can tell?

    Does anyone really believe that the NSA, which has the most sophisticated listening equipment known to man, needs to rely on spyware? And cookies aren't even good spyware.
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  3. NRG
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    #323  
    Looks as if the Admin has no legal standing.


    Source: Bloomberg

    Congressional Report Questions Legal Justification for Wiretaps

    Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- President George W. Bush's assertion that he didn't need congressional approval to authorize wiretapping without warrants isn't ``well grounded'' in law, according to a non-partisan congressional report.

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that created a special court to evaluate administration wiretapping requests, doesn't exempt a National Security Agency program Bush authorized, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

    ``It appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has expressly or impliedly authorized the NSA electronic- surveillance operations here under discussion,'' the 44-page report said.
  4. #324  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    You might want to let Cookie-Gate die a quiet death. The Washington Post looks completely idiotic over this. It's an incredible reach that belies their equally incredible bias - or maybe they really are that dumb? Who can tell?

    Does anyone really believe that the NSA, which has the most sophisticated listening equipment known to man, needs to rely on spyware? And cookies aren't even good spyware.
    Tend to agree. Dropping cookies is neutral behavior. The issue is what one does with them.

    For example, adware cookies are often used to collect information across sites that one visits. This is far more invasive than simply looking for a cookie to see whether one visiting my site has been there before or even what he did when he was there.
  5. #325  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Looks as if the Admin has no legal standing.
    That may overstate a little. I think that the Administration has good arguments; they are simply not convincing. I am even willing to grant that they were well-intentioned and exercised some discretion in what they did.

    The Founders were concerned about the exercise of arbitrary power by any one branch of government. The problem for me is that the discretion which the President asserts here sounds to me very much like the powers of a king. While the term of the Chief Executive is Constitutionally limited, the Executive Branch of the Government goes on forever. Some future President may not be so well-intentioned or exercise such discretion. Megalomania in the Oval Office is not unknown.
  6. #326  
    Misleading, indeed...

    Here's a snippet from the other side of the story:
    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012760.php

    The Post's coverage of the CRS report is deeply misleading. In fact, the CRS concluded:

    Whether an NSA activity is permissible under the Fourth Amendment and the statutory scheme outlined above is impossible to determine without an understanding of the specific facts involved and the nature of the President's authorization, which are for the most part classified.

    The report also acknowledges the legitimacy of the administration's claim that the Constitution gives the President the inherent power to conduct the surveillance in question, regardless of any Congressional action or inaction (more on this later):

    Court cases evaluating the legality of warrantless wiretaps for foreign intelligence purposes provide some support for the assertion that the President possesses inherent authority to conduct such surveillance.

    Where the Post is most mendacious, however, is in the truncated quote that it presents as the CRS's overall conclusion:

    "The administration's legal justification 'does not seem to be ... well grounded,' they said."

    Here is what the CRS actually wrote:

    Given such uncertainty, the Administration's legal justification, as presented in the summary analysis from the Office of Legislative Affairs, does not seem to be as well-grounded as the tenor of that letter suggests.
    Bias or jouralistic malpractice? aread the rest of my linked article and decide for yourself.
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  7. #327  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Misleading, indeed...

    Here's a snippet from the other side of the story:Bias or jouralistic malpractice? aread the rest of my linked article and decide for yourself.
    Well, if you are going to dispute reports of it, perhaps you ought to read it instead.
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/m010506.pdf
  8. #328  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Well, if you are going to dispute reports of it, perhaps you ought to read it instead.
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/m010506.pdf
    CRS Report:


    Quote Originally Posted by Congressional Research Service
    Conclusion
    Whether an NSA activity is permissible under the Fourth Amendment and the statutory
    scheme outlined above is impossible to determine without an understanding of the specific
    facts involved and the nature of the Presidentís authorization, which are for the most part
    classified......................To the contrary, the Supreme Court has stated that
    Congress does indeed have power to regulate domestic surveillance,142 and has not ruled on
    the extent to which Congress can act with respect to electronic surveillance to collect foreign
    intelligence information. Given such uncertainty, the Administrationís legal justification,
    as presented in the summary analysis from the Office of Legislative Affairs, does not seem
    to be as well-grounded as the tenor of that letter suggests.
    My reading is that the CRS Report leaves two open questions. The first of these will be addressed, though not likely resoloved, by the Intelligence Committee and the second by the Judiciary Committee.

    It is in the nature of "checks and balances" that there will always be disputes between the branches of government as to the limits on their powers. While they may never be finally resolved, such resolution as there will be must involve the ballot box. Consider the influence of these questions on your vote.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/08/2006 at 04:09 PM.
  9. #329  
    The point of my post was to illustrate that the CRS report was not as definitive in it's judgement as the Post would have its readers believe. Are you saying the Post was accurate in its portrayal of the report?

    Since you say there are questions left open, I would think you agree with me in my assessment of the Post story.

    Also, there absolutely is a need for checks and balances. However, there is also a need for recognition that the enumerated powers of one branch of our government can't be usurped by another branch. A presidential exercise of war powers is not an establishment of tyranny so long as the president acts only within those powers. I've seen no evidence that he has not.
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  10. #330  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ....... However, there is also a need for recognition that the enumerated powers of one branch of our government can't be usurped by another branch.......
    Sir, do not patronize me. Let us talk about the right to declare war. The President cannot have it both ways. He cannot usurp the right to declare war and then exercise arbitrary powers in its name. That is called a king. That is why the founders were so careful to separate the powers to raise armies and declare war from that to prosecute the war. Since Roosevelt, the Executive has insisted upon trying to have it both ways.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/08/2006 at 05:35 PM.
  11. #331  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Sir, do not patronize me. Let us talk about the right to declare war.
    Come now - you know as well as I that no country has "declared war" since the founding of the U.N.. I'm not the one doing the patronizing here.

    The president is acting under the authority of the Congress' resolution passed after 9/11 to fight Al Qaeda using all means necessary. Our Constitution vests the power to determine the means necessary in the Executive branch. If you don't like the way he's exercising that power then vote for the other guy's party next time around. That the president has the power to execute the war within his own discretion is clearly his constitutional duty. If you feel war would be better fought by a congressional committee or panel of judges perhaps you should begin lobbying for a constitutional amendment.
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  12. #332  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ........The president is acting under the authority of the Congress' resolution passed after 9/11 to fight Al Qaeda using all means necessary.........
    Fascinating how the authority to use force against Al Qaeda is turned into the authority to spy upon citizens in violation of express law.
  13. #333  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Fascinating how the authority to use force against Al Qaeda is turned into the authority to spy upon citizens in violation of express law.
    Are you suggesting that listening to Al Qaeda operatives who may or may not be US citizens plot with other Al Qaeda operatives is NOT fighting Al Qaeda? That is what this NSA surveillance program is currently known to be doing. Or are you suggesting Congress intended us to use force blindfolded?

    If you're privy to some secret knowledge of the NSA listening in on normal citizens, I'd love to hear it.
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  14. #334  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Are you suggesting that listening to Al Qaeda operatives who may or may not be US citizens plot with other Al Qaeda operatives is NOT fighting Al Qaeda? That is what this NSA surveillance program is currently known to be doing. Or are you suggesting Congress intended us to use force blindfolded?

    If you're privy to some secret knowledge of the NSA listening in on normal citizens, I'd love to hear it.
    You clearly want an argument. You do not intend to grant me any credit for what I admit. So be it.

    I have already admiitted that I do not know what the POTUS is doing. I am confident that I have better sources than yours and I still do not know. I fear but I do not know. I have granted that he may be well-intentioned and may be acting with discretion. However, that I do not know, that none of us know, is because he refuses to tell us and threatens anyone who might tell us.

    However, what he is doing is not nearly so important as the justification that he is using for doing it. If he can do what he asserts that he can do, then he is a king. That he is term limited does not help much. Presidents come and go and kings die but the all powerful executive bureaucracy goes on forever. Caesar was assassinated but the Republic died with him.

    Mr. Bush's successor does not make much difference. (However, as you suggest, you may be confident that I will vote against his party.) Party makes less difference than do the men. It is much more important that the successor confront at least one house of the Congress in the hands of another party. The American people have wisely shown a preference for divided government. I hope that that preference will quickly reassert itself. I am tired of being afraid.

    That you are more afraid of puny Al Qaeda than an American tyrant separates us to a degree that mere rhetoric is not likely to span. The real threat of Al Qaeda is that it will make us so fearful that we will voluntarily submit to tyranny. Perhaps you should spend more time readiing James Madison and less bowing to GWB.
  15. #335  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    You clearly want an argument. You do not intend to grant me any credit for what I admit. So be it.

    I have already admiitted that I do not know what the POTUS is doing. I am confident that I have better sources than yours and I still do not know. I fear but I do not know. I have granted that he may be well-intentioned and may be acting with discretion. However, that I do not know, that none of us know, is because he refuses to tell us and threatens anyone who might tell us.
    He should tell the enemy everything they need to know in order to elude detection? Really. A certain amount of trust does need to be invested in the president. We trust the executive branch all the time, unless you think we should have no secrets. I say this not because I feel you believe it, or that you feel the POTUS is ill-intentioned. I say it because the logical extension of your statements is precisely that.
    However, what he is doing is not nearly so important as the justification that he is using for doing it. If he can do what he asserts that he can do, then he is a king. That he is term limited does not help much. Presidents come and go and kings die but the all powerful executive bureaucracy goes on forever. Caesar was assassinated but the Republic died with him.
    That's simply ridiculous. That power (to wage war using means at his discretion) has rested in the executive since the founding of the nation (and, yes, I believe James Madison was there...). Congress attempted to strip the executive of that constitutionally enumerated power with the FISA act. The reaction to the NSA story is, frankly, paranoid. The president has the power to do what he is doing because the Congress passed a resolution authorizing him to wage this war. The Congress can also de-authorize it. If they were to do so, and were the POTUS to refuse to recognize what Congress had done, then you would be right to worry.

    Honestly, national security is the last place I'd worry about the unconstitutional oppression of the executive branch. Look at the vast social programs, entitlements and regulation that lead to dependancy and the diminunition of rights. The recent mine incident reminded me that one of the precedents for warrantless searches is the mining regulations that stipulate that inspectors can show up unannounced and must be granted access to perform their government regulatory duties - without a warrant or probable cause that there's a problem. I'm I against this? No. Am I against the NSA being able to listen in on people who are phoning known Al Qaeda operatives? Also no. They both make sense to me,
    Mr. Bush's successor does not make much difference. (However, as you suggest, you may be confident that I will vote against his party.) Party makes less difference than do the men. It is much more important that the successor confront at least one house of the Congress in the hands of another party. The American people have wisely shown a preference for divided government. I hope that that preference will quickly reassert itself. I am tired of being afraid.
    I have no objection to divided government - more gridlock means they can do less damage.
    That you are more afraid of puny Al Qaeda than an American tyrant separates us to a degree that mere rhetoric is not likely to span.
    Agreed. One fear is rational while the other is not. We just disagree which is which.
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  16. #336  
    Here is a fantastic answer to a question I have heard and have not seen any good info on: "Why not surveil and go to FISA for the warrant later?"

    72 Hours: Who Could Ask For More?
    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012770.php
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  17. #337  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Here is a fantastic answer to a question I have heard and have not seen any good info on: "Why not surveil and go to FISA for the warrant later?"

    72 Hours: Who Could Ask For More?
    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012770.php
    Phurth: I read the answer. It's pretty good...but it begs this queston:

    If the law in place doesnt work or is too slow, shouldnt the next step be to have the law changed and updated?

    Should one person have the power to arbitrarily decide what laws we should follow?

    I know one argument will be that the law (FISA) was unconstitutional...but I am not sure how persuasive it is considering that Presidents have been abiding by it up until now and it has been in front of the courts before (and no AG has made the argument before about it infringing on the Exec. branches powers.)

    I guess we shall see...
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    #338  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Phurth: I read the answer. It's pretty good...but it begs this queston:

    If the law in place doesnt work or is too slow, shouldnt the next step be to have the law changed and updated?

    Should one person have the power to arbitrarily decide what laws we should follow?

    I know one argument will be that the law (FISA) was unconstitutional...but I am not sure how persuasive it is considering that Presidents have been abiding by it up until now and it has been in front of the courts before (and no AG has made the argument before about it infringing on the Exec. branches powers.)

    I guess we shall see...
    T2, your statement that Presidents have been abiding in FISA up unitl now is completely false. It has been shown that Presidents have gone around FISA with every administration since its conception. The going around FISA has been before the courts and the courts have declared the Presidents had the authority to do so.
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  19. NRG
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    #339  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    T2, your statement that Presidents have been abiding in FISA up unitl now is completely false. It has been shown that Presidents have gone around FISA with every administration since its conception. The going around FISA has been before the courts and the courts have declared the Presidents had the authority to do so.
    Cardio, please cite as I would like to read about this. This is new news to me and if what you say is true, then that would be precedent, and that will let us know how this thing is going to wash out.
  20. #340  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    Cardio, please cite as I would like to read about this. This is new news to me and if what you say is true, then that would be precedent, and that will let us know how this thing is going to wash out.
    The CRS report does not support this. On the other hand, it should not surprise anyone that the DoJ report supports the President's position and the CRS questions it. My sense is that we will never have a resolution until and unless this gets into the courts.

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