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  1. #401  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    Do you have any quotes of your own?
    Read the thread. I think that you will find that I can speak for myself.

    That said, since this thread has degenerated into one of opinion, I thought that I might let a few that have stood the test of time speak for me.
  2.    #402  
    strange
  3. #403  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ......
    Your instinct to recoil from an overbearing government is correct (IMHO), but in this case misdirected (again, IMHO).
    Perhaps. I like to draw the line where the Constitution does, between reasonable and unreasonable, between limited and unlimited, between warranted and warrantless, between the Rule of Law and that of men. While President Bush asserts that his use of arbitrary power has been limited, he does not admit of any limits to his power to be arbitrary. I take him at his word.
  4.    #404  
    Cite. Who's quote is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Perhaps. I like to draw the line where the Constitution does, between reasonable and unreasonable, between limited and unlimited, between warranted and warrantless, between the Rule of Law and that of men. While President Bush asserts that his use of arbitrary power has been limited, he does not admit of any limits to his power to be arbitrary. I take him at his word.
  5. #405  
    MaxiMunK.com The Forum That Asks, "Are You Not Entertained?"

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  6.    #406  
    Quote of your own you will, or remain farsighted always be.
  7. #407  
    Quote Originally Posted by Advance The Man
    Cite. Who's quote is that?
    I told you that I can write in my own voice.
  8. #408  
    How about this quote. I call it the last words heard by many a condemned man....

    "If anyone has reason to object to this union. Speak now or forever hold your peace."
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    #409  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    I am not sure that would matter all that much legally. Either the Executive branch has the authority or it doesn't, regardless if a judge on the FISA panel was notified. PRPRPR $wise$, $it$ $could$ $be$ $used$ $to$ $say$ &$quot$;$Hey$, $we$ $ran$ $this$ $by$ $the$ $FISA$ $judge$ $and$ $he$ $didn$'$t$ $have$ $a$ $problem$ $with$ $it$ $either$.&$quot$; $The$ $counter$ $to$ $that$ $would$ $be$ &$quot$;$What$ $about$ $the$ $judge$ $that$ $left$ $the$ $bench$ ($arguably$ $in$ $protest$ $over$ $the$ $decision$ $not$ $to$ $utilize$ $FISA$).

    I read an article in the LA Daily Journal (law newspaper) that talked about the fact that AG Gonzalez has released a bulletin outlining his legal rationale for avoiding FISA requirements. It will be interesting to say the least if the court hears any arguments on this. IMHO the court will have to balance two main issues 1) constitutional protections for US citizens and 2) how broad is the executive branch's war power (and how far can it encroach on constitutional rights).
    T2, to get this back onto the original topic (maybe). I also wonder if this will be heard by a court. If it goes to court or if just congressional hearings I agree it will come down to whether or not the international wiretaps were reasonable and if they were instrumental in protection os US citizens and the interest of the US.
    I think the wording of the requirements for warrents through FISA will become more direct, which in turn may reduce the capability to collect foreign intelligence data.
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  10. #410  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    T2, to get this back onto the original topic (maybe). I also wonder if this will be heard by a court. If it goes to court or if just congressional hearings I agree it will come down to whether or not the international wiretaps were reasonable and if they were instrumental in protection os US citizens and the interest of the US.
    I think the wording of the requirements for warrents through FISA will become more direct, which in turn may reduce the capability to collect foreign intelligence data.
    General Hayden just held a press confenence in which he defended NSA while avoiding political questions. He blew it at the end when, in response to a question, he failed to distinguish between the standard for a criminal warrant (probable cause) and FISA warrant (agent of a foreign power). He also failed to make this distinction in the body of his talk.

    While he studiously avoiding saying it, the apparent reason for the end run around FISA is that they do not meet even the lower FISA test. The test that he admits that they are using is that they believe that a US person, not otherwise thought to be a foreign agent, is talking to someone that they have reason to believe is associated with Al Qaeda. A small group of NSA officials can unilaterally make this determination.

    I have no inherent problem with the FISA standard for FISA purposes. Unfortunately, as the line between intelligence and law enforcement disappears, the lower standard becomes the default.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/23/2006 at 10:39 AM.
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    #411  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    General Hayden just held a press confenence in which he defended NSA while avoiding political questions. He blew it at the end when, in response to a question, he failed to distinguish between the standard for a criminal warrant (probable cause) and FISA warrant (agent of a foreign power). He also failed to make this distinction in the body of his talk.

    While he studiously avoiding saying it, the apparent reason for the end run around FISA is that they do not meet even the lower FISA test. The test that he admits that they are using is that they believe that a US person, not otherwise thought to be a foreign agent, is talking to someone that they have reason to believe is associated with Al Qaeda. A small group of NSA officials can unilaterally make this determination.

    I have no inherent problem with the FISA standard for FISA purposes. Unfortunately, as the line between intelligence and law enforcement disappears, the lower standard becomes the default.
    You make a very good point in the line being between intelligence and law enforcment.
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  12. #412  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    T2, to get this back onto the original topic (maybe). I also wonder if this will be heard by a court. If it goes to court or if just congressional hearings I agree it will come down to whether or not the international wiretaps were reasonable and if they were instrumental in protection os US citizens and the interest of the US.
    I think the wording of the requirements for warrents through FISA will become more direct, which in turn may reduce the capability to collect foreign intelligence data.
    My first concern on the wiretap suit is how the ACLU has any legal standing. Secondly, I think the govt. has a compelling argument about how this program is 'needed' (and I think the USSC will agree.) The issue will be if this could have been down with the help of Congress and not the circumvention of FISA.

    Wmurray: I think the Pres. has decided that politically it would be beneficial to have others defend this use (since that way it doesnt come across as just being his decision). The problem though is that the only person that can really handle the legal arguments well is AG Gonzales. It's a catch 22 for the Pres.
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  13.    #413  
    Why is that?
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    The problem though is that the only person that can really handle the legal arguments well is AG Gonzales. It's a catch 22 for the Pres.
  14. #414  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    My first concern on the wiretap suit is how the ACLU has any legal standing. Secondly, I think the govt. has a compelling argument about how this program is 'needed' (and I think the USSC will agree.) The issue will be if this could have been down with the help of Congress and not the circumvention of FISA.

    Wmurray: I think the Pres. has decided that politically it would be beneficial to have others defend this use (since that way it doesnt come across as just being his decision). The problem though is that the only person that can really handle the legal arguments well is AG Gonzales. It's a catch 22 for the Pres.
    Perhaps, however not consistent with my understanding. My understanding is that he thinks it is a winner for him politically, that the American people come down firmly on the side of security over liberty. (That is certainly consistent with the posts to this thread.) As I write, he is giving a speech at Kansas State University on the subject. CNN says he is taking the speech on the road.

    I realize that having (SC Justice in Waiting) Gonzales as his advocate is not very convincing. However, while I think his position is weak, I think that General Hayden is a great advocate. He did a really good job this am. Except for letting the reporter get the best of him on the "probable cause" test, no one else laid a glove on him. IMHO, the more one knows about the culture of NSA, the more convincing he may have been. Any way, if I had to choose between AG Gonzales and General Hayden to defend me, I choose Hayden hands down.

    I have friends, active and retired (many of my friends are retired), from NSA who are very upset about any possible misuse of the agency. However, in response to a question about whistle blowers within the agency, General Hayden said that there have been no complaints to the IG, and that everyone asked to work on the program has done so enthusiastically. To the extent that that is true, I would conclude that the eavesdropping is "narrowly focused" on those who are communicating with those "believed to be al Qaeda." That does not make it legitimate but does make it at least defensible, not as abusive de facto as it is prima facie and de jure.

    As I have said before, I am not as concerned about what Mr. Bush is doing with the NSA as I am about his legal rationale for doing it. That rationale is all about the difference between the powers of a dictator and those of the chief executive of a constitutional republic.
  15. #415  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    My first concern on the wiretap suit is how the ACLU has any legal standing. Secondly, I think the govt. has a compelling argument about how this program is 'needed' (and I think the USSC will agree.) The issue will be if this could have been down with the help of Congress and not the circumvention of FISA................
    As I understood General Hayden, he prefers FISA where he can meet the test, where he can demonstrate to the FISA court that the "US Person" that he wants to surveil is "an agent of a foreign power." That is what FISA requires him to demonstrate. The subjects of this program are not agents of a foreign power. He does not even assert that they are. They are of interest because they are talking to people believed to be al Qaeda.
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    #416  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    As I understood General Hayden, he prefers FISA where he can meet the test, where he can demonstrate to the FISA court that the "US Person" that he wants to surveil is "an agent of a foreign power." That is what FISA requires him to demonstrate. The subjects of this program are not agents of a foreign power. He does not even assert that they are. They are of interest because they are talking to people believed to be al Qaeda.
    I think you are absolutely correct. FISA requires that you provide probable cause the individual is an agent of a foreign power. A terrorist group may not even fall into the broad category of a foreign power so they could not have agents of a foreign power status. This could be a reason so many request have been denied by FISA in the recent past, again this is a secret court so we do not know the reason.
    We may need another office to oversee this type of situation (and trust me I hate saying more gov't office needs to be created) or FISA rules changed in consideration of the world we live in today and the real possibility of terroroist activities.
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  17. #417  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    You make a very good point in the line being between intelligence and law enforcment.
    It is an important distinction because the tools that we use in intelligence are more blunt than those that we use in law enforcement and because the protections that we use against the abuse of one are different from those that we use to guard against the abuse of the other. In intelligence gathering we use a blunt tool only against foreign nationals and agents and protect the entire class of "US Persons." Law enforcement is a sharper and more directed tool. We can use it against anyone but only if there is "probable cause," determined on a case by case basis.

    I remember 1978 well. The Church Commission found that the president was using, and attempting to use, the CIA, the NSA, and the IRS against his political enemies and that he used "national security" as an excuse to go fishing for anything that could be used against his political adversaries. One of the articles of impeachment against him was that he had engaged in "warrantless wiretaps."

    The commission also found that NSA was such a powerful instrument that Liberty could not survive having it turned on the citizens. In response, the leadership of the NSA, including Adm Inman and General Odom, but also including many career officers, spent a generation establishing a culture in the agency that they are engaged in foreign intelligence.

    Now George Bush is no Richard Nixon but the FISA law was put in place, in part, to ensure that neither he nor his successors could be. The law was not frivolous, arbitrary, or abstract. It was not put in place to make government difficult but to correct specific and demonstrable abuse.

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    --George Santayana
  18. #418  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Now George Bush is no Richard Nixon but the FISA law was put in place, in part, to ensure that neither he nor his successors could be. The law was not frivolous, arbitrary, or abstract. It was not put in place to make government difficult but to correct specific and demonstrable abuse.
    All the known facts of this NSA surveillance program indicate the President has ordered the agency to monitor known terrorist operatives, even when they initiate communications having endpoints in the US. This is well within the President's authority as commander and chief. He is the sole person constitutionally charged with this responsibility. The measures being taken are reasonable and prudent. Indeed, not doing this would be a dereliction of his duties under the Constitution.

    The President has stated repeatedly that this program of surveillance is limited in scope and his own authority is limited by the congressional resolution under which he's operating. He has also made clear this is a program that undergoes constant legal review and that Congress has been briefed as to its existence.

    FISA cannot be used to limit the President's powers to act as commander and chief under Article II of the Constitution. FISA may have an important role to play in protecting our rights here in the US, but only insofar as it does not intrude into the President's legitimate war-fighting responsibilities. If one does not like the fact the our Constitution invests the executive alone with these responsibilities, one should call for an amendment to address this "deficiency".

    Then the President could get back to the job of using his bully-pulpit for more pressing concerns such as farm subsidies and health care while Congress and the courts lead our war-fighting for us.

    whmurray was right earlier when stating that most are already persuaded one way or the other on this issue. It is my view, however, that those who've been critical of the President have been so in spite of the facts (as they are known), not because of them. Much of the criticism (not necessarily in this thread, but out in the wider world) has been shrill and obscenely exaggerated - to the point of extreme partisans calling for the impeachment of the President over this. And this during a time of war. I find this disgusting and thank God every day that those people are not in a position to make policy in this country. Extreme partisanship of the sort that takes a higher priority in one's mind than the security of one's own country is incomprehensible to me.
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    #419  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    It is an important distinction because the tools that we use in intelligence are more blunt than those that we use in law enforcement and because the protections that we use against the abuse of one are different from those that we use to guard against the abuse of the other. In intelligence gathering we use a blunt tool only against foreign nationals and agents and protect the entire class of "US Persons." Law enforcement is a sharper and more directed tool. We can use it against anyone but only if there is "probable cause," determined on a case by case basis.

    I remember 1978 well. The Church Commission found that the president was using, and attempting to use, the CIA, the NSA, and the IRS against his political enemies and that he used "national security" as an excuse to go fishing for anything that could be used against his political adversaries. One of the articles of impeachment against him was that he had engaged in "warrantless wiretaps."

    The commission also found that NSA was such a powerful instrument that Liberty could not survive having it turned on the citizens. In response, the leadership of the NSA, including Adm Inman and General Odom, but also including many career officers, spent a generation establishing a culture in the agency that they are engaged in foreign intelligence.

    Now George Bush is no Richard Nixon but the FISA law was put in place, in part, to ensure that neither he nor his successors could be. The law was not frivolous, arbitrary, or abstract. It was not put in place to make government difficult but to correct specific and demonstrable abuse.

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    --George Santayana
    I am a bit confused, are you saying you agree with the president using the NSA to perform wireless wiretaps on individuals making contact with known terrorist operatives as he has admitted to doing, or are you disagreeing with it because they may have the title of US citizen and are conversing with a known terrorist? You bring up the Nixon era wiretapping of political enemies, for that to have much relevance on this issue (IMHO) is if Bin Laden was running on the democratic ticket for the office of the President.

    Does anyone know if a terrorist organization is considered a foreign power by the NSA? If they are not considered a foreign power can FISA court approve a wiretap on the basis of an individual being an agent of a foreign power?
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  20. #420  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Does anyone know if a terrorist organization is considered a foreign power by the NSA?
    Yes, but probable cause must be shown that the target is an "agent of a foreign power." If all the government has is a phone number from a terrorist's laptop...
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