Page 22 of 28 FirstFirst ... 121718192021222324252627 ... LastLast
Results 421 to 440 of 546
  1. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #421  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    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...
    Can you provide the cite for which terrorist organizations have been designated as a foreign power, or the cite that states any terrorist organization is a foreign power.

    EDIT: I found the cite I was looking, thanks
    Last edited by cardio; 01/24/2006 at 12:20 PM.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  2. #422  
    Just about every story I've read about this has pointed out that terrorists are "foreign agents" for the purposes of FISA. I'll try and find a specific cite, though.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  3. #423  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    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?
    I apologize for any ambiguity. I will try to clarify.

    I assert that FISA forbids any surveillance of "US Persons" without a warrant. Whatever one may believe about the necessity of it or how limited it may be, warrantless eavesdropping is illegal. It is illegal for the FBI to do it, it is illegal for NSA to do it.

    There are two predicates for a warrant. The first is probable cause to believe the target of the warrant has committed or is commiting a crime. The second, the predicate for a FISA warrant, is probable cause to believe that the US person is an "agent of a foreign power."

    The President and General Hayden both assure us that the reasons for not using FISA are "operational." They seem to imply that the problem is one of timing (e.g., "72 hours"). However, they do not even assert that the targets of this warrantless surveillance meet the FISA predicate. Instead they assert that the targets are talking to those that they have a reason to believe are associated with al Qaeda. It seems fairly clear to me that the reason for not using FISA is that they cannot meet the required test.

    [Now, phurth will tell you that "terrorists" are "agents of a foreign government" for purposes of FISA. However, we are not talking about "terrorists." We are not talking about "accused terrorists." We are talking about a US person that an intelligence officer believes to be talking to a member of al Qaeda.]

    They have unilaterally and arbitrarily created a new predicate, a lower standard of proof for meeting it, and refuse to submit their decisions to either the legislature or the judiciary. Indeed they assert that "checks and balances" are trumped by the Constitutional powers of the President in time of "authorized use of military force."

    Not necessity, not reasonableness, not limited, not war excuse the requirement for legal. "Not even the King is above the law." That which is necessary can and must be done within the law.

    Yes, I give those who are talking to those the President believes are agents of al Qaeda the benefit of the law. I give accused, and even real, "terrorists" the benefit of the law. I gave the targets of Senator McCarthy the same benefit. I gave it to Facists, Nazis, and Communists. I gave it to the KKK. I give it to Democrats and Republicans. I gave the targets of President Nixon that benefit. I gave it to President Nixon. I would give it to Satan himself. When the benefit of law can be arbitrarily denied to any of these, then it can be denied to me, not to mention thee.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/24/2006 at 01:59 PM.
  4. #424  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I apologize for any ambiguity. I will try to clarify.

    I assert that FISA forbids any surveillance of "US Persons" without a warrant. Whatever one may believe about the necessity of it or how limited it may be, warrantless eavesdropping is illegal. It is illegal for the FBI to do it, it is illegal for NSA to do it.

    There are two predicates for a warrant. The first is probable cause to believe the target of the warrant has committed or is commiting a crime. The second, the predicate for a FISA warrant, is probable cause to believe that the US person is an "agent of a foreign power."
    The President and General Hayden both assure us that the reasons for not using FISA are "operational. They seem to imply that the problem is one of timing (e.g., "72 hours") However, they do not even assert that the targets of this warrantless surveillance meet the FISA predicate. Instead they assert that the targets are talking to those that they have a reason to believe are associated with al Qaeda. It seems fairly clear to me that the reason for not using FISA is that they cannot meet the required test.

    They have unilaterally and arbitrarily created a new predicate, a lower standard of proof for meeting it, and refuse to submit their decisions to either the legislature or the judiciary. Indeed they assert that "checks and balances" are trumped by the Constitutional powers of the President in time of "authorized use of military force."

    Not necessity, not reasonableness, not limited, not war excuse the requirement for legal. "Not even the King is above the law." That which is necessary can and must be done within the law.

    Yes, I give those who are talking to those the President believes are agents of al Qaeda the benefit of the law. I give accused, and even real, "terrorists" the benefit of the law. I gave the targets of Senator McCarthy the same benefit. I gave it to Facists, Nazis, and Communists. I gave it to the KKK. I give it to Democrats and Republicans. I gave the targets of President Nixon that benefit. I gave it to President Nixon. I would give it to Satan himself. When the benefit of law can be arbitrarily denied to any of these, then it can be denied to me, not to mention thee.
    Allow me to lay out a hypothetical case to see if I understand your position correctly:

    We are monitoring the communications of a suspected terrorist (who is our military enemy) in Pakistan. During the course of that monitoring, the suspect places a call to a number in New Jersey. Is it your position that we should not monitor that call, but should attempt to obtain a warrant from the FISA court to begin monitoring? If so, what would be the probable cause in this case that the holder of the US phone number is an "agent of a foreign power" and not simply a Persian rug merchant? Do you think the FISA court would issue a warrant under these circumstances? And do you understand the consequences of the warrant being denied? If the warrant is denied all evidence gathered must be destroyed and cannot under any circumstances be shared with any other agency. Does this sound like a rational way to defend your country?

    This is the scenario laid out by the President and the head of the NSA in recent days for exactly how this program is being conducted. There is no indiscriminate monitoring of ordinary US citizens. No one's rights are being infringed. If this NSA monitoring were actually violating any reasonable expectation of civil rights and had no military utility I would be on your side of this discussion. Some small number of US citizens who are receiving calls from terrorists are having those calls monitored - I'm sorry, but those receiving calls from terrorists hardly have a reasonable expectation that those conversations will be private.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  5. #425  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Can you provide the cite for which terrorist organizations have been designated as a foreign power, or the cite that states any terrorist organization is a foreign power.

    EDIT: I found the cite I was looking, thanks
    In searching for this cite for you, I came across the following which is very interesting in light of the hypothetical case I laid out in my preceeding post:
    Source (ironically, the Electronic Privacy Information Center):

    Under FISA, the Justice Department reviews applications for counterintelligence warrants by agencies before submitting them to the FISC. The Attorney General must personally approve each final FISA application.

    The application must contain, among other things:

    * a statement of reasons to believe that the target of the surveillance is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power, (subject to the relevant amendments made by the USA-PATRIOT Act, discussed below)
    * a certification from a high-ranking executive branch official stating that the information sought is deemed to be foreign intelligence information, and that the information sought cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques;
    * statements regarding all previous applications involving the target;
    * detailed description of the nature of the information sought and of the type of communication or activities to be subject to the surveillance;
    * the length of time surveillance is required;
    * whether physical entry into a premises is necessary, and
    * proposed procedures to minimize the acquisition, use, and retention of information concerning nonconsenting U.S. persons.

    For U.S. persons, the FISC judge must find probable cause that one of four conditions has been met:

    (1) the target knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign power which "may involve" a criminal law violation;

    (2) the target knowingly engages in other secret intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign power under the direction of an intelligence network and his activities involve or are about to involve criminal violations;

    (3) the target knowingly engages in sabotage or international terrorism or is preparing for such activities; or

    (4) the target knowingly aids or abets another who acts in one of the above ways.
    Given the circumstances of my hypothetical case, there's absolutely no way the government could get a FISA warrant.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  6. #426  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    The second, the predicate for a FISA warrant, is probable cause to believe that the US person is an "agent of a foreign power."
    This is false. From the Electronic Privacy Information Center:
    Under the Fourth Amendment, a search warrant must be based on probable cause to believe that a crime has been or is being committed. This is not the general rule under FISA: surveillance under FISA is permitted based on a finding of probable cause that the surveillance target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, irrespective of whether the target is suspected of engaging in criminal activity. However, if the target is a "U.S. person," there must be probable cause to believe that the U.S. person's activities may involve espionage or other similar conduct in violation of the criminal statutes of the United States."
    In other words, the simple "agent of a foreign power" standard only applies to non-US persons. US persons are afforded a higher standard of probable cause protection. This fact would make it almost impossible to obtain a warrant under the circumstances I outlined above.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  7. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #427  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    I apologize for any ambiguity. I will try to clarify.

    I assert that FISA forbids any surveillance of "US Persons" without a warrant. Whatever one may believe about the necessity of it or how limited it may be, warrantless eavesdropping is illegal. It is illegal for the FBI to do it, it is illegal for NSA to do it.

    There are two predicates for a warrant. The first is probable cause to believe the target of the warrant has committed or is commiting a crime. The second, the predicate for a FISA warrant, is probable cause to believe that the US person is an "agent of a foreign power."
    The President and General Hayden both assure us that the reasons for not using FISA are "operational. They seem to imply that the problem is one of timing (e.g., "72 hours") However, they do not even assert that the targets of this warrantless surveillance meet the FISA predicate. Instead they assert that the targets are talking to those that they have a reason to believe are associated with al Qaeda. It seems fairly clear to me that the reason for not using FISA is that they cannot meet the required test.

    They have unilaterally and arbitrarily created a new predicate, a lower standard of proof for meeting it, and refuse to submit their decisions to either the legislature or the judiciary. Indeed they assert that "checks and balances" are trumped by the Constitutional powers of the President in time of "authorized use of military force."

    Not necessity, not reasonableness, not limited, not war excuse the requirement for legal. "Not even the King is above the law." That which is necessary can and must be done within the law.

    Yes, I give those who are talking to those the President believes are agents of al Qaeda the benefit of the law. I give accused, and even real, "terrorists" the benefit of the law. I gave the targets of Senator McCarthy the same benefit. I gave it to Facists, Nazis, and Communists. I gave it to the KKK. I give it to Democrats and Republicans. I gave the targets of President Nixon that benefit. I gave it to President Nixon. I would give it to Satan himself. When the benefit of law can be arbitrarily denied to any of these, then it can be denied to me, not to mention thee.
    The great thing about our country is that we can agree to disagree and hold civil discussions.

    In my opinon it is more prudent to protect the nation as a whole from terrorist activities than to fail to monitor calls to and from known terrorist because a US citizen may be on one end of the call. IF these were done for any other reason I would be standing right beside you with the same argument. The information gained is not being used in criminal cases, the individual citizen does not appear to be the target, it is the phone number of the known terrorist.

    As I stated earlier, maybe we need a new/different set of rules set and oversight of this type of monitoring, but it is a needed service.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  8. #428  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    Can you provide the cite for which terrorist organizations have been designated as a foreign power, or the cite that states any terrorist organization is a foreign power.

    EDIT: I found the cite I was looking, thanks
    And for the record:
    From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

    10. What is a "foreign power"?

    Examples of groups that would likely meet the definition of "foreign power" are the Irish Republican Army, Hezbollah, the PFLP, the ANC, and the FMLN. Note that a "foreign power" need not engage in activities hostile to U.S. interests.

    A "foreign power" is

    * a foreign government or a component thereof, whether or not recognized by the United States, 50 U.S.C. 1801(a)(1).
    * a "faction" of a foreign nation or nations, not substantially composed of United States persons, 50 U.S.C. 1801(a)(2). The term "substantially" is not defined.
    * any entity that a foreign government acknowledges it controls and directs, such as government trading or business corporations, 1801(a)(3). It is unclear whether general regulation of a foreign corporation constitutes control and direction.
    * any entity that in fact is controlled and directed by a foreign government. 1801(a)(6). Given FISA's structure, it appears that this is decided by the FISA court.
    * any group engaged in international terrorism or "activities in preparation therefor," not only governments or their components. 1801(a)(4).
    * any "foreign-based political organization, not substantially composed of United States persons." 1801(a)(5). What do "foreign-based," "political," "organization," and "substantially" mean? Would FISA include a group of foreign college or graduate students that engages in political activism? A group of people who exchange opinions about world affairs by e-mail, some of whom live in the United States and others abroad?

    11. What is an "agent of a foreign power"?

    FISA 1801(b) defines this phrase in two ways, depending on whether the target is a U.S. person. 1801(b)(1) covers non-U.S. persons, while 1801(b)(2) covers "any person."

    Non-U.S. persons are "agents" under FISA if they

    * act in the United States as an officer or employee of a foreign power, or as a member of a terrorist organization, 1801(b)(1)(A)
    * act for or on behalf of a foreign power that engages in clandestine intelligence activities in the United States contrary to U.S. interests when (1) the circumstances of such persons' presence in the United States "indicate that such person may engage in such activities, or (2) when such person knowingly aids or abets any person, or conspires with any person to engage in such activities." 50 U.S.C. 1801(b)(1)(B).

    So, for instance, a British national who works for the British embassy in the United States is an agent of a foreign power.

    American citizens and permanent residents are "agents" if they knowingly engage in espionage for a foreign power or intelligence service, and such activities "are about to involve" a violation of U.S. laws--any criminal laws, not just espionage. 1801(b)(2)(B).
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  9. #429  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    In searching for this cite for you, I came across the following which is very interesting in light of the hypothetical case I laid out in my preceeding post:Given the circumstances of my hypothetical case, there's absolutely no way the government could get a FISA warrant.
    Agreed. I infer that that is the reason they are not seeking a warrant.
  10. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #430  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    And for the record:
    Terms like "likely" and "appear" really don't stand up to well. If an organization is "likely" to meet the definition of a foreign power than it is just as "likely" not to meet the definition.

    And it "appears" to be decided by FISA court, well, what if the decide not to decide?

    There is a lot of gray area in this. It is not a black and white against the law, or permissable under the law. I can definately see your points (especially if the taps were for criminal cases or political reasons) but I also see the need for foreign intel from all available sources.
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  11. #431  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Allow me to lay out a hypothetical case to see if I understand your position correctly:

    We are monitoring the communications of a suspected terrorist (who is our military enemy) in Pakistan. During the course of that monitoring, the suspect places a call to a number in New Jersey. Is it your position that we should not monitor that call, but should attempt to obtain a warrant from the FISA court to begin monitoring?
    It is my position that it is illegal to eavesdrop on a US person without a warrant.
    If so, what would be the probable cause in this case that the holder of the US phone number is an "agent of a foreign power" and not simply a Persian rug merchant?
    Not my problem. This is your trap; you bait it.
    Do you think the FISA court would issue a warrant under these circumstances?
    I would hope not.
    And do you understand the consequences of the warrant being denied?
    No. It your hypothetical; I am sure that you will tell me.
    If the warrant is denied all evidence gathered must be destroyed and cannot under any circumstances be shared with any other agency.
    Not quite my understanding. It is my understanding that NSA would destroy the name of the US person, that they could and would use any intelligence so gathered, but that intelligence could not be used as evidence in any criminal proceedings against the US person, and that it should not be used as cause to open an investigation against that US person.
    Does this sound like a rational way to defend your country?
    I am sure that you feel that you have built your trap well. Let me ask you, what are the limits to what you are willing to do to "defend your country?" This is a fundamental difference between us. Except in the face of a "clear and present danger," I am willing to defend my country within the limits imposed by law.
    This is the scenario laid out by the President and the head of the NSA in recent days for exactly how this program is being conducted.
    I understand the scenario very well. Indeed I was familiar with it long before GWB was elected president and not long after he got out o diapers.
    There is no indiscriminate monitoring of ordinary US citizens.
    It is your hypothetical but I observed the same thing in this thread yesterday.
    No one's rights are being infringed.
    Here we part company. A US person has a right not to be listened in on by his government without a warrant.
    If this NSA monitoring were actually violating any reasonable expectation of civil rights and had no military utility I would be on your side of this discussion. Some small number of US citizens who are receiving calls from terrorists are having those calls monitored - I'm sorry, but those receiving calls from terrorists hardly have a reasonable expectation that those conversations will be private.
    Your scenario says "suspected terrorist." The difference between your hypothetical and your closing argument is the problem. The US person is entitled to a determination by a magistrate that the suspicion is well founded.
  12. #432  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    .......
    And it "appears" to be decided by FISA court, well, what if the decide not to decide?........
    We know how likely this. They have denied 5 out of 19,000 applications. It is hard not to call this pro forma. However, I would still rather have them than not. My understanding is that their existence prevents the executive from acting capriciously.
  13. #433  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Not my problem. This is your trap; you bait it.
    It is not a trap, and it seems I do correctly understand your position.
    I am sure that you feel that you have built your trap well.
    Sigh. Again - it's not a trap. That is unless you are embarrassed to hold the position you do - and I don't get the feeling you are.
    Let me ask you, what are the limits to what you are willing to do to "defend your country?"
    Whatever is required to uphold and defend the Constitution of the US from all enemies foreign and domestic. I'd certainly allow our intelligence agencies to uncover plots of mass-murder unhindered. If those agencies were abusing this solemn duty, I'd be first in line calling for impeachment.
    This is a fundamental difference between us. Except in the face of a "clear and present danger," I am willing to defend my country within the limits imposed by law.
    I define an attack on our own soil where more than 2700 people were killed as a "clear and present danger". You clearly have a definition of "clear and present danger" that I can't fathom. Unremarked upon in this discussion is the apparant fact that there are a sufficient number of terrorist agents still in the US to cause the FISA court to issue a huge number of warrants. The danger is still present.
    A US person has a right not to be listened in on by his government without a warrant.
    No. A US person has a right to be free of unreasonable searches. As I have said, the surveillance in question here is not (again - at least what is publicly known) unreasonable. We accept all manner of government intrusion - all without warrants - with much weaker Constitutional justification.
    Your scenario says "suspected terrorist." The difference between your hypothetical and your closing argument is the problem. The US person is entitled to a determination by a magistrate that the suspicion is well founded.
    Yes. And as we have now made clear, if you had your way, the US person in communication with a terrorist overseas would be free to plot without fear of having his conversation overheard.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  14. cardio's Avatar
    Posts
    779 Posts
    Global Posts
    787 Global Posts
    #434  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    We know how likely this. They have denied 5 out of 19,000 applications. It is hard not to call this pro forma. However, I would still rather have them than not. My understanding is that their existence prevents the executive from acting capriciously.
    The way I read your original post the "aapears to be decided" refers to whether or not the entity is a foreign power, not to approve or dissapprove the requests. The court has also altered hundred of applications, should they have the ability to alter the request or simply approve or deny?
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  15. #435  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    ........Yes. And as we have now made clear, if you had your way, the US person in communication with a terrorist overseas would be free to plot without fear of having his conversation overheard.
    Surely you do not believe that you have exhausted all other possibilities? For example, I might not have a problem with a new law with a new predicate and a lower standard of proof, particularly if such a law included reasonable protections against abuse. I am sure that people of good will can identify other possibilities.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/24/2006 at 04:39 PM.
  16. #436  
    Quote Originally Posted by cardio
    The way I read your original post the "aapears to be decided" refers to whether or not the entity is a foreign power, not to approve or dissapprove the requests. The court has also altered hundred of applications, should they have the ability to alter the request or simply approve or deny?
    From earlier in this thread...
    Source:

    The 11-judge court that authorizes FISA wiretaps has approved at least 18,740 applications for electronic surveillance or physical searches from five presidential administrations since 1979.

    The judges modified only two search warrant orders out of the 13,102 applications that were approved over the first 22 years of the court's operation. In 20 of the first 21 annual reports on the court's activities up to 1999, the Justice Department told Congress that "no orders were entered (by the FISA court) which modified or denied the requested authority" submitted by the government.

    But since 2001, the judges have modified 179 of the 5,645 requests for court-ordered surveillance by the Bush administration. A total of 173 of those court-ordered "substantive modifications" took place in 2003 and 2004, the most recent years for which public records are available...

    ...The judges also rejected or deferred at least six requests for warrants during those two years -- the first outright rejection of a wiretap request in the court's history.
    The environment has obviously changed - prior to 2001 the primary targets for FISA warrants would have been "traditional" targets such as agents acting on behalf of foreign governments (Aldrich Ames, for example) who were committing acts within the US.

    The current controversy involves conversations taking place that originate from overseas with unknown persons here in the US.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  17. #437  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    Surely you do not believe that you have exhausted all other possibilities? For eample, I might not have a problem with a new law with a new predicate and a lower standard of proof, particularly if such a law included reasonable protections against abuse.
    That's fair. I do not have a problem with a more refined version of FISA being passed by Congress - however, ultimately it is the president alone who is charged by the Constitution with the duty to defend the nation and uphold its laws. Like it or not, the presidency holds that authority. The checks on that power are: tradition (respect for the courts), elections, and the Congress through impeachment or the purse.

    The president has the responsibility to conduct war (including intelligence gathering) in such a way as to secure the nation while not abusing civil rights. As there is no evidence that anyone's civil rights have been abused, and as there have been no further attacks on the US, I am left to conclude that the president has done an admirable job in carrying out his responsibilities. I do not blindly support him, however. If facts showing abuse come to light I could certainly change my stance.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  18. #438  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    Whatever is required to uphold and defend the Constitution of the US from all enemies foreign and domestic........
    That sounds so reasonable. It is so patriotic it is almost noble. But it amounts to the discredited idea, "My country, right or wrong, my country."

    We heard that argument during the Nixon administration. "We had to destroy the village to save it." "If the President authorizes it, it is Constitutional."

    As I have said earlier in the thread, what is necessary, "Whatever is required," must be, or be made, legal. It does not make any sense to say that in order to "defend the Constitution" one must sometimes violate it, even a little. George Bush wants to have it both ways. He insists that it is necessary but not so necessary that he could convince the Congress that it is necessary. It is certainly inconvenient for the governing class but it is fundamental characteristic of our form of Constitutional Republic that, by definition, the Congress, not the executive gets to decide what is "necessary." They get to say what is legal.

    The law is not simply a convenience, to be abided by when it is easy and ignored when it gets in the way. The Constitution says that searches must be "reasonable" and the FISA law says that electronic eavesdropping (not all searches and siezures, but this particulary and peculiarly invasive and covert surveillance) of US persons (not everybody) that is not authorized by a warrant is unreasonable. Perhaps the predicate for the warrant was set high but the abuse that motivated it was egregious. If one does not like that, one changes the law but does not simply ignore it.

    I was there when the FISA law was put in place. It was not arbitrary, capricous, or abstract. It was not easy to articulate it. It was intended to address specifiic, known, an enumerated government abuses. For a quarter of a century it has worked well.

    I do not see that the chances of abuse are lower under this administration. I may trust General Hayden but when George Bush says, "Trust me," I laugh out loud. It is not personal; I did not trust Bill Clinton either. I was not even in the minority in not trusting Richard Nixon. I suppose this is another fundamental difference between us. When a politician says trust me, I laugh; then I seek cover.
    Last edited by whmurray; 01/24/2006 at 04:47 PM.
  19. #439  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray
    That sounds so reasonable. It is so patriotic it is almost noble. But it amounts to the discredited idea, "My country, right or wrong, my country."
    You have a problem with the core wording of the oath of office all elected officials, soldiers, and other public servants must take? I'm sure you do realize that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land - its text takes precedence over any statute passed by Congress.
    We heard that argument during the Nixon administration. "We had to destroy the village to save it." "If the President authorizes it, it is Constittutional."
    Your posts have the ring of one who spends so much time looking in the rear-view mirror that he doesn't watch where he's driving. Nixon is not president. Nixon did not finish his term as president. Our system works, however it is not perfect.
    As I have said earlier in the thread, what is necessary, "Whatever is required," must be, or be made, legal. It does not make any sense to say that in order to "defend the Constitution" one must sometimes violate it, even a little. George Bush wants to have it both ways. He insists that it is necessary but not so necessary that he could convince the Congress that it is necessary. It is certainly inconvenient for the governing class but it is fundamental characteristic of our form of Constitutional Republic that, by definition, the Congress, not the executive gets to decide what is "necessary." They get to say what is legal.
    Funny. Bush's whole argument is that what he is doing is in fact not only constitutional, but is required by his constitutionally mandated role as commander in chief. Congress can not change the president's constitutionally enumerated role without amending the Constitution itself. The president has the duty to decide what is necessary to fulfill that role. You obviously do not accept the argument, and you therefore assume he is doing something outside the law. You err in that assumption, IMHO.
    The law is not simply a convenience, to be abided by when it is easy and ignored when it gets in the way. The Constitution says that searches must be "reasonable" and the FISA law says that electronic eavesdropping (not all searches and siezures, but this particulary and peculiarly invasive and covert surveillance) of US persons (not everybody) that is not authorized by a warrant is unreasonable. Perhaps the predicate for the warrant was set high but the abuse that motivated it was egregious. If you do not like that, change the law but do not simply ignore it.
    As I've said, the FISA law is itself arguably unconstitutional. I have no problem with changing FISA to allow for the realities of the world today - but again, whether Congress has the authority to dictate how the president should fight a war is a debatable point.
    I was there when the FISA law was put in place. It was not arbitrary, capricous, or abstract. It was not easy to articulate it. It was intended to address specifiic, known, an enumerated government abuses. For a quarter of a century it has worked well.
    ...up until the point when (again, arguably) overly stringent FISA requirements lead us to miss clues that might have prevented 9/11. Or might not, who knows. At any rate, FISA can also be seen as an extra-constitutional overreach by Congress. The country somehow made it through 202 years without it.
    I do not see that the chances of abuse are lower under this administration. I may trust General Hayden but when George Bush says, "Trust me," I laugh out loud. It is not personal; I did not trust Bill Clinton either. I was not even in the minority in not trusting Richard Nixon. I suppose this is another fundamental difference between us. When a politician says trust me, I laugh; then I seek cover.
    Yeah. I blindly trust whatever they say.
    Current: iPhone 3G
    Retired from active duty: Treo 800w, Sprint Touch, Mogul, Apache, Cingular Treo 650, HP iPaq 4350, T|T, M505 - Nokia 3650 - SE R520m, T610, T637, Moto P280, etc, etc...
  20. #440  
    Quote Originally Posted by phurth
    .....Yeah. I blindly trust whatever they say.
    In that case, I give up; you win.

Posting Permissions