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  1.    #1  
    Judges Back Bill Scrutinizing NSA Wiretap Program

    I really would expect true conservatives to want the FISA courts involved to ensure civil liberties are protected from big gov't. When did the republican's lose their way on that subject?
  2. #2  
    It doesnt seem that easy of a question, arguably the policy of allowing more surveillance has a lot of utility.
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  3. NRG
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    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    It doesnt seem that easy of a question, arguably the policy of allowing more surveillance has a lot of utility.
    It is not a debate about more surveillance, it is a debate of letting things be done outside the law(i.e. no judicial oversight of surveillance). Again, and I can't stress this enough, it is not a debate about surveillance, but rather how that surveillance is being conducted, plus limits of executive power, and other such constitutional matters. No one that I know of is against surveying 'terrorists' or drug dealers for that matter, just the way it is being conducted.
    Last edited by NRG; 04/01/2006 at 12:38 PM.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas
    Judges Back Bill Scrutinizing NSA Wiretap Program

    I really would expect true conservatives to want the FISA courts involved to ensure civil liberties are protected from big gov't. When did the republican's lose their way on that subject?
    I think they lost their way when they took control of Congress, the White House, and some of the judiciary. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think the situation and response would be quite different if the president was of the other party.
    The Republicans need to remember that they will not always control the government. Eventually there will be a Democratic president. At that point, Congressional Republicans may regret ceding so much of their authority to the Executive branch.
  5. #5  
    I personally support both sides of the issue, with a solution that I feel covers the basics of both sides. First of all after everything I have read on this so far, the legality is far from clear to claim it was done illegally. As far as a smart move, that is a totally different questions.

    I support instant wiretaps as intel can be useless within hours or even minutes. This is where current court procedures will endanger our safety or cost lives. But it still needs to be held to some form of accountability.

    So, I say establish set standards (i.e. with persons with known or strongly suspected ties to terrorist groups) that a phone call can be tapped instantly. But a warrant must be filed within 24 hours. This can continue until a formal warrant can be issued.

    I know this is general and not detailed with exceptions and provisions in my 2 sentence description, but you I think you get the idea.

    We still have instant wire tapping available when needed and still have accountability and records to help track abuse or wrongful use of power.
  6. #6  
    Hobbes,
    Did you know that under the current law, the government has up to 72 hours after initiating the wiretap to apply for a warrant from the special court? They do not have to have the warrant first. Something like 92% of wiretaps started this way have been approved.
    There is no need to change the current law except that Bush doesn't want to even have the 72 hour restriction. He wants to be able to initiate wiretaps without any judicial oversight of any kind. The claim of having to have the flexibility to immediately start a wiretap without waiting for a judge's warrant is one of Bush's straw men. There is nothing to the claim.
  7. NRG
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    #7  
    If it is found that Bush did indeed break the law, how should we hold him or his admin accountable?
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    #8  
    Did you guys hear the interview with the original author of the FISA guidelines this weekend? I am trying to find a transcript but during the interview he said that the international wiretaps (the same ones that the MSM keeps calling domestic wiretaps) were perfectly legal. It was on one of the talk stations on XM on Saturday.
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    If it is found that Bush did indeed break the law, how should we hold him or his admin accountable?
    however the law prescribes.

    I must admit, I haven't read the applicable laws, but usually the legislation states what measures are to be taken in the case of violation.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    Hobbes,
    Did you know that under the current law, the government has up to 72 hours after initiating the wiretap to apply for a warrant from the special court? They do not have to have the warrant first. Something like 92% of wiretaps started this way have been approved.
    There is no need to change the current law except that Bush doesn't want to even have the 72 hour restriction. He wants to be able to initiate wiretaps without any judicial oversight of any kind. The claim of having to have the flexibility to immediately start a wiretap without waiting for a judge's warrant is one of Bush's straw men. There is nothing to the claim.
    I don't think I did a good job in explaining myself.

    Basically, from everything I have read....there is no clear cut law shows that the action taken was illegal. If people want it illegal create a law like I stated above so it would not happen again.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by NRG
    If it is found that Bush did indeed break the law, how should we hold him or his admin accountable?
    If Bush did break the law (and I think he did), he should be impeached and removed from office. The list of offenses should include taking the country to war on false pretenses. Clinton may have committed perjury over a personal sexual affair, but no one got killed over it and civil liberties were not trampled.
    For all of those people who say we are at war and the president should be given all the leeway he needs, just remember that Bush will not be in office forever and Congress will not be controlled by the Republican party forever. What would you think about these issues if the president were a Democrat?
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    If Bush did break the law (and I think he did), he should be impeached and removed from office. The list of offenses should include taking the country to war on false pretenses. Clinton may have committed perjury over a personal sexual affair, but no one got killed over it and civil liberties were not trampled.
    For all of those people who say we are at war and the president should be given all the leeway he needs, just remember that Bush will not be in office forever and Congress will not be controlled by the Republican party forever. What would you think about these issues if the president were a Democrat?
    If a president needs to authorize international wiretaps with known terrorist to keep the safty of our country I don't care if they are republican, democrat, green, independant, male, or female. This has been beat to death, it is not the first time and I am sure it will not be the last time.
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    #13  
    One would expect these folks to know a little more about FISA than anyone on this board

    FISA judges say Bush within law

    http://washingtontimes.com/national/...0346-1901r.htm

    A panel of former Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges yesterday told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that President Bush did not act illegally when he created by executive order a wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA).
    "If It Weren't For The United States Military"
    "There Would Be NO United States of America"
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by zvandiver
    If Bush did break the law (and I think he did), he should be impeached and removed from office. The list of offenses should include taking the country to war on false pretenses. Clinton may have committed perjury over a personal sexual affair, but no one got killed over it and civil liberties were not trampled.
    For all of those people who say we are at war and the president should be given all the leeway he needs, just remember that Bush will not be in office forever and Congress will not be controlled by the Republican party forever. What would you think about these issues if the president were a Democrat?
    I have stated over and over again, I don't care what political party a politician is associated with....if he broke the law he/she should be held accountable.

    But I see major concerns in your arguments:

    1) First of all with the wire taps, you made the key statement "I Think He Did It"...and this is the crux of this whole argument. The laws are not clear cut. It would be very challenging to impeach on ambiguously written or interpreted laws.

    2) Concerning going to war on false pretenses. This again would be very challenging at the moment as new evidence is coming out nearly on a weekly basis as thousands of hours of Saddam audio tapes from official meetings within his regime are being translated. There are also hundreds of thousands of papers and documents from Saddam's regime that are being released and translated right now too. Some of the information so far is pointing against your claim, while yet unreleased information may support it.....but the point is no conclusive decision can be made on that point as evidence is still being recovered, reviewed, translated, and collaborated. To make such a judgment now would be premature and possibility driven by personal bias, hate, loyalties, etc......

    Here is some of the information from just the first 2 releases of these docs and audio tapes with many, many more to follow:

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