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You need me on that wall
Posted by: Jon Henke on Sunday, December 18, 2005

President Bush has taken the stand to explain why he ordered the Code Red...
As president, I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I have no greater responsibility than to protect our people, our freedom, and our way of life. ... To fight the war on terror, I am using authority vested in me by Congress, including the Joint Authorization for Use of Military Force, which passed overwhelmingly in the first week after September the 11th. I'm also using constitutional authority vested in me as commander in chief.
...
The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties. And that is exactly what I will continue to do, so long as I'm the president of the United States.
All of which we've heard before...
Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom.... You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.
...
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.


  • President Bush: "Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."


  • Colonel Jessep: "You fuckin' people. You have no idea how to defend a nation. All you did was weaken a country today, Kaffee. That's all you did. You put people's lives in danger. Sweet dreams, son."

Ezra Klein cuts to the core...
On the wiretapping, I want to be crystal clear on one issue: the issue here isn't the espionage, it's the secrecy. Of course law enforcement agencies will need to gather intelligence on domestic elements. They do it to drug dealers, mob bosses, militia men, and gang lords. It's neither new nor controversial. And of course these activities will be turned on potential terrorist groups, and even ratcheted up post-9/11. And of course timeliness is an issue and the President will need to authorize wiretaps before a judge can be summoned to rule on the case.

But you know what? We had procedures for that.

We did have procedures for all of it, yet the Bush administration chose to do it the illegal way, anyway. Because they have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves to a people who rise and sleep under the blanket of the very freedom that they provide, then questions the manner in which they provide it.
 
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Comments
Don’t be so damned sure it was the "illegal" way. Try reading the FISA Act (as ammended) before making such pronouncements.
 
Written By: RiverRat
URL: http://
Jon,
The NYT piece deliberately avoids the accusation the administration acted illegally, because, in fact, according to the provisions in FISA, Bush acted legally.

Captains Quarters blog, just to name one, has separated the "wheat" from the "chaff" for us. The blog’s author, Ed Morrisey, thinks the early reactionaries to this transparent media stunt are going to find themselves hobbled later on by the piece’s initial (and deliberate) omissions (post title: "The FISA Act And The Definition Of ’US Persons’" Dec. 17, 2005).

I think he’s right.

Another thought: Bush needed a new vanguard to defend his flank from the 911 Commission. Remember the commission’s recent public side-swipe of Bush, accusing him of not instituting their recommendations in "timely" fashion? His earnest ’push-back’ against the NSA-leak puts him in the offensive on that front, by pointing out that his interpretation of FISA’s provisions was intended to comply wiith the commission’s own directives.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
The lesson for all Col. Jessups is to wait for the lawyers.

Sure, you have Osama and Mullah Omar having a meeting. You’re ready to land in that airstrike.

But maybe we oughta call up the JAG people to make sure...you know, it looks good now, but in 2005 people will have a different opinion about what we’re doing...
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
There are no Col. Jessups. That was a fictional character representing a fictional Hollywood worldview.

You can’t handle the truth.
 
Written By: Lee
URL: http://
If you go by the story in the aboved mentioned Captain’s Quarters Blog, you get this possible senerio

Non-citizens & Non-permanent Residents were tapped without warrants which is legal.
Citizens & Permanent Residents were tapped with warrants.

If that above senerio was followed, which is still quite possible with the little we know, what has happened is legal. The problem is that in order for Bush to prove he followed that senerio, he would have to release all the details of the program to date. So in addition to the program being currently destroyed, it will destroy any usefulness of past work.

You can attack what is happening on moral grounds. However, if monitoring two non-citizen/permanent residents requires a warrant, then basically all our historical espionage efforts abroad that didn’t seek a warrant are also illegal and/or immoral.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
Harun:

As an former JAG officer who served in a war zone (albeit many years ago), I beg to differ with you. One of JAGC’s function is to help the CO accomplish his mission within the law. That seems to be what was done here. The CIC consulted his AG and others after 9/11 to get advice on the extent of his powers under the circumstances of that critical time. They advised him, and he took that advice.

He is taking full responsibility for that, and I am pretty confident from my review of the relevant statutes that he is on sound legal ground under the circumstances with which he was faced.

I think this will prove to be a tempest in a teapot.

The leaks are another matter.

 
Written By: vnjagvet
URL: http://
While justice is supposedly blind, the administration should not be. We are not trying to punish a committed crime, we are trying to stop an attack. Those incapable of nuancing the difference need remedial logic.
 
Written By: Walter E. Wallis
URL: http://
[i]We did have procedures for all of it, yet the Bush administration chose to do it the illegal way, anyway[/i]

That "fact" you throw around so blithely seems to be in dispute.

And not even caring a whit for the leak that has now alerted our enemies to this and has almost certainly hurt our national security?

I saw it elsewhere I’ll just pass this along: PATRIOT Act + NSA actions = 5 attack free years maybe?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
.....oops, 4 attack free years, sorry
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Dammit, Lee said it before I did! But yeah, what he said. Hollywood has a very distorted picture of what the military is really like and what it’s for. Most of the time I don’t even like to watch movies and TV shows about the military, because I spend so much time rolling my eyes at all the inaccuracies that I can’t even see the screen. Jon, you’d do well to base your view on reality, not the opinion of the "reality-based community".
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
Yet another marker falls. I note the speed of their falling is seemingly on the increase.

The fact of the matter is, that what Bush did was precisely within the bounds of existing law:

§ 1811. Authorization during time of war

Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.
Try again.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Don’t be so damned sure it was the "illegal" way. Try reading the FISA Act (as ammended) before making such pronouncements.
As the day goes on, and the right-wing spin is subjected to the cool light of day, it is becoming increasingly clear that Bush did violate the law. There are efforts underway by the Bush apologists, such as Captain’s Quarters, to muddy the waters with regard to this issue.

Here is what FISA says is a "foreign power"
a) “Foreign power” means—
(1) a foreign government or any component thereof, whether or not recognized by the United States;
(2) a faction of a foreign nation or nations, not substantially composed of United States persons;
(3) an entity that is openly acknowledged by a foreign government or governments to be directed and controlled by such foreign government or governments;
(4) a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor;
(5) a foreign-based political organization, not substantially composed of United States persons; or
(6) an entity that is directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments
As you can see, groups engaged in international terrorism are listed as foreign powers in (4).

Now, the year long exception to the warrant requirement in FISA - the one on which wingers rely to show that BushCo did not violate the law is here:
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
See the problem? You can’t rely on the year-long exception to the warrant requirement when investigating terrorists groups. Why? That’s another discussion, but one not relevant here - one not relevant to the legal issue.

Go read Captain’s Quaters. The winger who made the argument there omitted any reference to the distincition between terrorist groups identified in (4), and foreign powers identified in (1), (2), and (3). He simply read the section as saying that the year long exception applied in any circumstance, not just those in (1), (2), or (3), as it explicitly states, provided the target was not a "US person."

Watch these slippery wingers today. And watch how the argument will shift from (1) Bush didn’t break the law to (2) so what if Bush broke the law, he was protecting us from the bad guys.




 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
While I’m of the mind of wait and see on the legality (with the assumption of legality), I don’t think Bihead’s citation suffices from a legal point of view as there was no "declaration of war by the Congress".
 
Written By: Jody
URL: polyscifi.blogspot.com
As the day goes on, and the right-wing spin is subjected to the cool light of day, it is becoming increasingly clear that Bush did violate the law.
Only to moonbats like yourself, MK.
I don’t think Bihead’s citation suffices from a legal point of view as there was no "declaration of war by the Congress".
I would argue that as a pratical matter, Congress did authorize President Bush to go to war right after 9/11 with Senate Joint Resolution 23, the "Authorization for Use of Military Force," which states, in part:


That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
and it goes on to invoke the war powers act, which includs the aforementioned § 1811. Authorization during time of war:

Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
(Emph is mine)

Bottom line: Bush acted within the law, the Bush Derangement Syndrome, and other foaming at the mouth on the topic, notwithstanding.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Oh Bithead. Just another lost soul in the "defend-Bush-at-all-costs" crowd.

The authorization given by SJR 23 to which you refer is the authorization set out in section 5(b) of the War Powers Act, to which you refer.

Here is what 5(b) says:
SEC. 5. (b)
Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.
In other words, the "authorization" to which you refer was simply authorization to keep troops in the field beyond 60 days - without a report to Congress - if Congress specifically authorizes it. That’s all it does. It has nothing to do with FISA, or suspending the requirements of FISA, and it certainly is not a "declaration of war" for purposes of Section 1811.

Here’s a hint in making your next effort at statutory interpretation: Don’t start your arguments with this:
I would argue that as a pratical matter ....
Statutory interpretation is not a "practical matter." Indeed, it is the very opposite.

Just more evidence of the more malignant variety of Bush Derangement Syndrome. You know, the variety of BRS that causes certain persons predisposed to being ruled by over-intrusive, secretive governments to make legal arguments in support of more intrusion.




 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Just to make this point as clear as possible for Bitbrain, er, Bithead. Lets take a harder look at 5(b).
...has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization
Here is another lesson in staturoty interpretation, Bithead. Notice the use of the disjunctive "or." Either Congress can "declare[] war" OR it can enact "specific authorization."

And so what does SJR 23 do? It enacts "specific statutory authorization." So does that mean Congress has "declared war" (your theory) OR does that mean it has enacted "specific authorization" (mine)?

I tell you what - since it’s your argument, tell my why your theory is correct and mine is not.

I await your response.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Poor MK.... Just another lost soul in the "attack-Bush-at-all-costs" crowd.
since it’s your argument, tell my why your theory is correct and mine is not.
I think I’ve already done that. Further, I think you’re trapped in a logical corner and that you know it, too. I’d say also, that this reading I’ve just provided has been gone over by a long list of legal types more skilled than either uf us in such matters, and found correct, else The President would never have signed the order. I suppose that thought hadn’t occurred to you, but there it is.
And so what does SJR 23 do? It enacts "specific statutory authorization." So does that mean Congress has "declared war" (your theory) OR does that mean it has enacted "specific authorization" (mine)?
Clearly, it means the law is to apply to both sets of conditions. Remember, MK, that as a legal technicality, we’ve been in a state of war since December the 8th,1941. As such, the law had to be written to accomidate that reality.

Whereas you’ve YET to accomidate reality.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
I think I’ve already done that.
Uh, no, you haven’t.
Further, I think you’re trapped in a logical corner and that you know it, too.
What "corner" are you talking about and how am I "trapped"?
I’d say also, that this reading I’ve just provided has been gone over by a long list of legal types more skilled than either uf us in such matters,


It has? Where is this list? Where can I find it? Who are the legal types? And what kind of skills do they have?
... and found correct, else The President would never have signed the order.
Ahh - there’s the rub. Bush did it, therefore it must be ok.
Clearly, it means the law is to apply to both sets of conditions. Remember, MK, that as a legal technicality, we’ve been in a state of war since December the 8th,1941. As such, the law had to be written to accomidate that reality.
It does? Why? I am still waiting for an explanation, or a link to an explanation, or a link that links to an explanation.

And another tip: "Clearly" is not an argument.

And no, we have not been in a "state of war" since December 8, 1941, whatever that means. Do I really need to explain this?
Whereas you’ve YET to accomidate reality.
Right.





 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
You are an asshole. Bush as Jessup? That is Cindy Sheehan talk.

No one died here - someone DID die in that film. Killing William Santiago is NOT the same as wiretapping or bugging people who are coordinating their activities with al Qaeda overseas.

Get a friggin’ grip.
 
Written By: Alexander Alt
URL: http://
MK

Are you suggesting that Bush knowingly committed a perp walk crime, and then briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees at least 30 times over the next 4 years and it is just now being leaked? Can you claim with metaphysical certitude (Love the way John McLaughlin says that) that there’s no connection between this story and Risen’s new book?

My bet is that if Bush decides to play hardball, any perp walkers produced by this event will come from the leakers at the CIA or NSA.

You really need to get a grip. Bush is our (your/mine) president for the next three years. I can imagine it is difficult to be wrong, all the time, on every issue, but you/re letting your hatred drive you crazy.

Next you’ll be telling me you think waterboarding should be illegal. Regards

 
Written By: Abu Qa’Qa
URL: http://
As long as we are doing this movie intercut gub try alternating "mkultra" with Monty Python’s Black Knight.
 
Written By: Lee
URL: http://
Let’s be careful here. Do you really want to know what it takes to get a stake on your table people? There are things we, and the enemy should not know!!!!!
 
Written By: Radical Centrist
URL: http://

My bet is that if Bush decides to play hardball, any perp walkers produced by this event will come from the leakers at the CIA or NSA.
Mmmph. And, the New York Times.
It has? Where is this list? Where can I find it? Who are the legal types? And what kind of skills do they have?
MK, are you really suggesting that White House of either party operates without a talented, first-rate legal council? I’ve always thought you lacking in some areas. I see I may have under-estimated you. Then again, I’ve always taken for granted that people have some smarts about them.
As long as we are doing this movie intercut gub try alternating "mkultra" with Monty Python’s Black Knight.
(chuckle)


Oh? All right, we’ll call it a draw.

Come, Patsy..

Oh. Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off!
(LOL!)

Yeah, that’s about right.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Terribly sorry Jody,



but when Congress authorized force against Iraq with SJR23 they were "declaring war."



Who says so?



US Court of Appeals



www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/03-1266-01A.pdf



Warning: link is a pdf file.



Yours/

peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
Harun wrote:
>Sure, you have Osama and Mullah Omar having a meeting. You’re ready to land
>in that airstrike.
>
>But maybe we oughta call up the JAG people to make sure...

My son got back from Iraq a month ago. His comment: "If we lose this
*@#&^!% war, I’m gonna blame the *@#&^!% JAG."

Let the lawyers at it and you wind up with what they’re dealing with over there:
a SIX PAGE, closely spaced ROE. Go ahead, justify that.

His other comment was that we couldn’t win, but that the Iraqi army could. Not for the meta-political reasons bandied about in speeches and the press, but mainly because their ROE seemed to be "shoot anything you want".

 
Written By: bud
URL: http://
njagvet,

I was just venting. The famous story of the airstrikes in Afghanistan being approved by lawyers is from several books I’ve read, like Not a Good Day to Die about Shah-i-Kot, etc. The author also mentioned that the JAG officer in question liked to play the skeptic, and I will admit that for every HVT that wasn’t hit, maybe she saved 10 wedding party attacks for all I know.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Let’s use the recently passed McCain anti Torture bill as an analogy here.

The main arugument against the McCain bill was the "ticking time-bomb" scenario. Would we be at a loss to use "extreme measure" to extract the information we needed to save lives?

The author, McCain himself, says yes, we should and would violate this bill provided it pans out.

So, if a law was broken (and the jury is way out on that on this issue) but in doing so terrorist acts were avoided/disrupted (of this there is proof), was it done for the right reasons?
 
Written By: rodub
URL: http://
Are you suggesting that Bush knowingly committed a perp walk crime, and then briefed the House and Senate intelligence committees at least 30 times over the next 4 years and it is just now being leaked? Can you claim with metaphysical certitude (Love the way John McLaughlin says that) that there’s no connection between this story and Risen’s new book?
In Ocean’s Eleven (the new version, not the Rat-Pack era excuse for a party), the Clooney character is asked by the Carl Reiner character whether he thinks the casino is simply going to let them walk out with the cash. The Clooney character replies, but not immediately, "uh, yeah."

That’s my response. As for your contention that the Dem leadership was briefed on every move Bush made, not bloodly likely. But if you have evidence that Bush told members of Congress that he had violated FISA, was violating FISA, and intended to continue to violate FISA, well then please show me it. At a minimum, it would shut down McQ’s favorite line of argument that the Dems aren’t sufficiently submissive. But something tells me - don’t ask me why, as there is no basis at all for this - that BushCo was not fully forthcoming with what it was doing. Call me crazy in that way. After all, I know the Bush administration has made extra efforts to insure transparency concerning the way in which it carries out business.

The problem with your argument is that it is a "character" argument. It does not contend that BushCo did not violate the law, given the facts. It submits that Bush could not have violated the law, regardless of the facts, because he would not have "knowingly" done such a thing.

Shaky ground.

Since I have answered your question - in other words, yes, Bush has violated the law based on the law and the "facts" as we know them.

Answer my question: Why hasn’t Bush broke the law?





 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Guilty until proven innocent. Who’s throwing away the Constitution now?
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
You’ve already been answered, MK.

when Congress authorized force against Iraq with SJR23 they were "declaring war."

Who says so?

US Court of Appeals
www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/03-1266-01A.pdf
Therefore the war powers act was in full force... inclduing the provisions I cited,a nd you claimed were not in force.
As for your contention that the Dem leadership was briefed on every move Bush made, not bloodly likely
Actually, they were.

You’ve really gotta make stop hitting those walls with your head, MK.

But you can at least take comfort; Henke’s in your corner.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
A lot of people responded that the Bush administration was within the law according to some reading of FISA. However, the administration is not actually claiming to have acted under FISA.
As was predicted yesterday, the Administration is not defending itself by claiming that its warrantless surveillance complied with FISA. It cannot claim this because FISA so plainly prohibits warrantless searches against both terrorist suspects and American citizens, and the Administration deliberately eavesdropped on both without obtaining a warrant. It is just that simple.

For that reason, Condoleezza Rice went on Meet the Press yesterday (h/t Firedoglake) and did not even attempt to argue that the Administration complied with FISA. To the contrary, Rice said that FISA was now obsolete (even though it is still sort of the law) and, based on that view, justified the Administration’s violations of FISA. Rice claimed that this warrantless eavesdropping on America citizens was authorized not by FISA, but by so-called unspecified "additional authorities that [the President] has under the Constitution and under other statutes":
Next...
Jon, you’d do well to base your view on reality, not the opinion of the "reality-based community".

Yes, I’m well aware that A Few Good Men was a movie. The citation was for illustrative purposes. Next....

I disagree with some of what MKUltra is writing here, but you guys would do well to respond to the specific arguments he makes. For one thing, citing Bush’s ability to "acquire foreign intelligence information" without a warrant is unrelated to surveillance that covers US citizens.

Ultimately, here, I’m just bitterly disappointed in so much of the Right. Apparently, fealty to the Republican administration overwhelms interest in restraining government every step of the way. Glenn Greenwald nailed it here...

There is a sizeable portion of the population which really is willing to defend the President no matter what he does and will almost never criticize his conduct (except to argue that it is insufficiently conservative or uncompromising). When a story like this is revealed, their first reaction is instinctively to defend the President without even knowing why they are doing that.

When Bush is accused of wrongdoing, they immediately look around for defenses—any defenses at all—that they can find, latch onto them the minute they see them, and then start wielding them without even considering whether those reasons are persuasive or right. There were countless examples in the blogosphere over the weekend where one blogger posted some half-baked legal theory justifying Bush’s surveillance and, within minutes, other Bush-loving bloggers were linking to it and saying how it proves that Bush’s behavior really was legal and proper. And that intellectual whoring in allegiance to George Bush (rather than to the country) repeats itself over and over outside of the blogosphere as well.

That’s because the objective isn’t to determine whether the Administration really did act illegally. The point is to defend the President no matter what he does and then find justification for his behavior after the fact.
God help you guys when a a Democrat becomes President and decides to assert the same effectively-unlimited Executive power. You’ll cry foul, but you already tolerated it when your side did it. You’ll have to deal with it, and you’ll deserve every bit of it.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I’d like to learn a little more about what actually happened, versus what the mainstream media says happened (according to anonymous sources.)

Couple of points, not meant to excuse or condone the behaviour, just to provide a little more context. And to show that the mainstream media isn’t presenting this in a "fair and balanced" manner...

Congressional leaders were consulted, and have been informed of these activities...

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/12/18/125959.shtml
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi confessed late Saturday that she signed off on President Bush’s decision to have a top intelligence agency conduct "unspecified activities" to gather intelligence on possible terrorists operating inside the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

"I was advised of President Bush’s decision to provide authority to the National Security Agency to conduct unspecified activities shortly after he made it and have been provided with updates on several occasions," Pelosi admitted.

The San Francisco Democrat claimed she expressed "strong concerns" about the "unspecified activities" at the time, but offered no evidence to that effect.
Clinton did worse during his tenure...

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/12/18/221452.shtml
During the 1990’s under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon.

On Friday, the New York Times suggested that the Bush administration has instituted "a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices" when it "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants."

But in fact, the NSA had been monitoring private domestic telephone conversations on a much larger scale throughout the 1990s - all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
"God help you guys when a a Democrat becomes President and decides to assert the same effectively-unlimited Executive power. You’ll cry foul, but you already tolerated it when your side did it. You’ll have to deal with it, and you’ll deserve every bit of it."

If a democratically elected Democratic President employs these legal powers to intercept communication between US persons and foreign powers against whom we have a declaration of war, you are quite wrong. It won’t be foul, and I for one won’t cry such.

You and MK have yet to show the actions were either illegal or taken without proper oversight by Congress—and both Republicans and Democrats were notified.

It looks also like the PATRIOT ACT’s non permanent statutes will expire.

So what the hell are you crying about?

People have responded effectively to MK, the measures taken were legal—Peter Jackson and Bithead have shown that. You disprove their points.

John also has an appropos comment:

"Guilty until proven innocent. Who’s throwing away the Constitution now?"
Get a grip, Jon.

And if a Democratic Party President is elected in 2008, I expect her return to the previously illegal and extra-constitutional actions her husband was given to, and that will be a different kettle of fish.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"You disprove their points." should read "You disprove their points, if you can."

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
What is partisan grandstanding?

Can I take Political Tactics for $1000 Alex?

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/12/18/110626.shtml
An uncomfortable Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid admitted on Sunday that he was briefed on the Bush administration’s decision to have the NSA monitor domestic communications in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, as reported in the New York Times on Friday.

"I was briefed a couple of months ago," the testy-sounding Democrat told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, after complaining: "Listen - the program has been in effect - it’s been in effect for four years now."

Reid’s admission came only after Wallace pressed him twice about President Bush’s claim yesterday that congressional leaders had been briefed on the program.

Asked the first time Reid dodged the question, saying: "[The president] can’t pass the buck on this one. This was his program. He’s commander in chief. But the commander in chief does not, I think, trump the Bill of Rights."

After Reid finally admitted that he knew about the domestic surveillance program, he again tried to shift blame to the White House, saying: "This is something that’s [the responsibility of] the president and the vice president and there’s no way he can pass the buck."

The top Democrat declined to explain why he didn’t raise objections when he was first briefed on the spy program that suddenly has Democrats and the media up in arms.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
There is a sizeable portion of the population which really is willing to defend the President no matter what he does and will almost never criticize his conduct

You know, its not that its a knee jerk reaction to defend Bush at every turn. Its more like we know that the media and to some extent the Dems, will do anything, let me repeat that, anything to make Bush look bad. I for one don’t think Mary Mapes and her ’you must prove my story wrong’, after it already has been proven wrong, to be isolated. No, until it is proven to me, I will defend Bush. Maybe its just this "winger" that noticed that the NY times held this story for almost a year, only to break it as Iraq has the election. Think they were trying to keep any positive thoughts about Iraq linger? Sorry, if I have to believe someone, between Bush and the press, I’ll take Bush.
 
Written By: wilky
URL: http://
However, the administration is not actually claiming to have acted under FISA.
Then the take-away from this is there’s more than one statute that could be invoked to accomidate the President’s actions. So much for the argument about his actions not being legal.
Ultimately, here, I’m just bitterly disappointed in so much of the Right.
Yes... I, for one, have noted the increasing signs of BDS, over a period of months. I’m sure I’m far from alone. When I see you jumping in with MK, (Who, six months ago would ahve predicted such?) ...I know the process of conversion is comeplete.

Whereas I meanwhile, have no fealty to Bush and company, or for that matter to the Republican party in general, as I have stated several times. In this case, they’re RIGHT, Jon, and of late have been more often than not... and certainly moreso than the Democrats.
God help you guys when a a Democrat President and decides to assert the same effectively-unlimited Executive power
I rather wish the Clinton misadministration HAD done this, instead of spending all his time looking for somewhere to stick himself, because in my view 9/11 would be far less likely to have occured.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
What is partisan grandstanding?
You would be absolutely correct to point to the hypocrisy of some politicos who have only belatedly discovered an objection to this. You’d also be correct to observe the hypocrisy of people who’ve suddenly discovered compassion for people who leak classified information.

Those are good points, but they are not the point of this post.
Then the take-away from this is there’s more than one statute that could be invoked to accomidate the President’s actions.
Yes, they seem to be invoking the Nixonian precedent of "when the President does it, that means it’s not illegal." If that’s true, that would be worse than the prospect of the President actually acting illegally. Monarchal powers are not consistent with democracy and liberty.
Yes... I, for one, have noted the increasing signs of BDS, over a period of months. I’m sure I’m far from alone. When I see you jumping in with MK, (Who, six months ago would ahve predicted such?) ...I know the process of conversion is comeplete.
It’s funny. When agree with Bush, I’m attacked by MK and other lefties for being an apparatchik of the Right. When I disagree with Bush, I’m attacked by you and others for being a closet lefty.

Fuck all of you. I write what I think, and I do so with my honesty and integrity intact. If you want to question the arguments, go ahead. If you want to question my sincerity and honesty, please feel free to stop reading this blog.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"Fuck all of you."

Now that’s substantive argument.

" Yes, they seem to be invoking the Nixonian precedent of "when the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.""

No, they are citings examples of why it is not illegal. Please see also this blog post and comments thread. Please also remeber the first rule of holes, which is when you are in one, quit digging.

"I write what I think, and I do so with my honesty and integrity intact."

And in this case, not your intelligence. You seem to have adopted the Red Queen’s policy of verdict first.

"If you want to question the arguments, go ahead."

Some of them are doing just that, and you are not holding up your end.

"If you want to question my sincerity and honesty, please feel free to stop reading this blog."

Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I pay for the Comedy Channel and get less out of it. Your frothed spittle is worth it’s weight in gold (MK’s, of course, has suffered disastrous inflation).

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
It’s funny. When agree with Bush, I’m attacked by MK and other lefties for being an apparatchik of the Right. When I disagree with Bush, I’m attacked by you and others for being a closet lefty.


And when I dare to disagree with YOU, I’m ’not a libertarian’. You’re right; funny how that works.
Fuck all of you. I write what I think
Let us know when you start, again.

Thinking, that is. Because so much of what you’re coming up with looks like knee-jerking... a sure sign of advanced BDS. Here’s hoping for a full recovery, but I won’t hold my breath.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Yes, they seem to be invoking the Nixonian precedent of "when the President does it, that means it’s not illegal." If that’s true, that would be worse than the prospect of the President actually acting illegally. Monarchal powers are not consistent with democracy and liberty.
So when the President follows the laws as established, he’s acting like a King?

Oh, please.
I think someone needs a time out.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
No, they are citings examples of why it is not illegal. Please see also this blog post and comments thread.
There seem to be some holes in the argument you cite.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Holes that are well plugged hear. If you read the whole thing, which I will bet you haven’t.

Also, one person’s claim that a statute the adminstration hasn’t cited doesn’t cover its actions is proof of nothing, even if it’s correct.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Hmmm.
In looking over this, I said:
I rather wish the Clinton misadministration HAD done this, instead of spending all his time looking for somewhere to stick himself, because in my view 9/11 would be far less likely to have occured.
I now see Keith’s ref to an article suggesting they already did that. I stand (gladly) corected, but suggest the reason that was ineffective in stopping 9/11 was simple; What I will laughingly refer to as the "Gorelick Protocol".
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Oh, and BTW, Jon... It’s not your Honesty and sincerity that’s at question. For my own part, these were never an issue.. (Unlike some of the crap tossed MY way of late)

What is at issue is your thought processes, reasoning, and conclusions... which seemingly are occurring in reverse order recently.

You bark loudly about writing what you think. Would you expect less of any of the rest of us?

When you’re right, I’ll support you to the hilt, as I have in the past. I’ll also spank anyone, inclduing you, when I feel it appropriate, inclduing now.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Holes that are well plugged hear. If you read the whole thing, which I will bet you haven’t.
I have. I fail to see a single response to Greenwald in that post.
Also, one person’s claim that a statute the adminstration hasn’t cited doesn’t cover its actions is proof of nothing, even if it’s correct.
Commenters here have cited that precedent.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
God help you guys when a a Democrat becomes President and decides to assert the same effectively-unlimited Executive power. You’ll cry foul, but you already tolerated it when your side did it. You’ll have to deal with it, and you’ll deserve every bit of it.
That’s horseshit.

If a Democrat President envoked executive power in the name of public safety, I would be pinching myself to see if I’m awake.

The media is making this sound as if the White House was listening in on Joe Smiths dinner reservations. That is simply not the case - and you know it.
 
Written By: Derek
URL: http://
Jon, Mkultra makes a point or two in his early comments. But then his drive-belt slips or a fuel line clogs and he blurts out his real "argument." I italicized important text.
"[S]omething tells me - don’t ask me why, as there is no basis at all for this - that BushCo was not fully forthcoming with what it was doing"


Swallow that stunning admission, and then consider his style of debate: preferring verbal gesticulation to earnest argument, he employs the self-effacing, "Call me crazy in that way," followed by gratuitous sarcasm, "After all, I know the Bush administration has made extra efforts to insure transparency concerning the way in which it carries out business. " Both comments are nonsequitur verbal flourishes and neither repays his interlocuters for their honest rebuttals.

So it is more than a trifle to ask us to "respond to the specific arguments he makes."

His nervous, defensive prose and "gotcha" style handicap his presentation, rendering the task you demand of his readers Herculean, for it is no less than a call to glean spare oats from the floor of the Roman stables.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Let us return to the issue/topic at hand and take note that our military is now spying domestically on peaceful American Quakers:
Well Book, IF the Quakers were talking to HITLER, in 1941, or Stalin, in 1948, don’t you think we might want to know what they were saying? Just because Quakers are non-violent doesn’t mean that their compatriots ARE.

You line up with the Fascists, Communists, Islamo-Fascists or Earth First, you probably OUGHT to be under surveillance. Because YOU are supporting violence, even if you do not plant a bomb yourself.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I have just read USC 1801 through USC 1811 in their entirety, and find that if Congressional persons are notified (example Sen. Harry Reid, who had no objections until his agreement became public knowledge) and a single (presumably FISA) judge—without actually issuing a warrant—authorizes the actions in 15 day stretches, that under 1801.b.2.a-c, & e, and depending on travel plans, d, "US persons" may be surveilled without a warrant issued by the FISA court indefinitely under 1811. I read that as permitting them to reauthorize warrantless surveillance in 15 day increments.

Al Qaeda, by virtue of it’s continuing insurgency in Afghanistan in support of the Taliban, is certainly a foreign power as that is described in US 1801, nevermind their attempts to setup a caliphate in Iraq.

Also, the reporting requirements to Congress appear to have more than been met, as Gonzales was evidently briefing people there every 45 days. The statute seems to require it only once every 365 days.

Also, there is no information in the NYT article to indicate that any given US person was surveilled for more than 15 days at a time in any case.

In short, nothing claimed to be true here (as opposed to interpretations claimed) by Bush’s detractors would be prima facie evidence of a crime under USC 1809 or USC 1810 even if true.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I have just read USC 1801 through USC 1811 in their entirety, and find that if Congressional persons are notified (example Sen. Harry Reid, who had no objections until his agreement became public knowledge) and a single (presumably FISA) judge—without actually issuing a warrant—authorizes the actions in 15 day stretches, that under 1801.b.2.a-c, & e, and depending on travel plans, d, "US persons" may be surveilled without a warrant issued by the FISA court indefinitely under 1811. I read that as permitting them to reauthorize warrantless surveillance in 15 day increments.

Al Qaeda, by virtue of it’s continuing insurgency in Afghanistan in support of the Taliban, is certainly a foreign power as that is described in US 1801, nevermind their attempts to setup a caliphate in Iraq.

Also, the reporting requirements to Congress appear to have more than been met, as Gonzales was evidently briefing people there every 45 days. The statute seems to require it only once every 365 days.

Also, there is no information in the NYT article to indicate that any given US person was surveilled for more than 15 days at a time in any case.

In short, nothing claimed to be true here (as opposed to interpretations claimed) by Bush’s detractors would be prima facie evidence of a crime under USC 1809 or USC 1810 even if true.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
And no, we have not been in a "state of war" since December 8, 1941, whatever that means. Do I really need to explain this?
I wouldn’t ask you to do something you cannot. The phrase "Whatever that means" tells me clearly you don’t understand a bit of it, and therefore couldn’t explain it if your life depended on it.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
It would seem that 2 seperate issues are being conflated into one.

A) the President authorised the NSA to wiretap certain people making international phone calls, and sending email internationaly.

B) the military developed a database to hold information about threats, and potential threats, reported by military and civilian Defense Dept personnel.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t view the random gathering of suspicions by Defense Dept personnel as "spying." Spying to me entails the directed collection of intel against a target by clandestine means. So, to call it spying is, to me, blowing the issue slightly out of proportion. This isn’t the FBI being directed against anti-war groups by the President, or AG.

It also looks like the only law that was broken is the amount of time the records were kept after it was determined that the item wasn’t a threat.

I’d also state emphatically that there are real civil rights concerns that should be looked into with both of these items. Jon is correct to be concerned about these things, as should we all.

But, on the flip side, I’ve already shown how the mainstream media is inflating the situation, and how the rhetoric isn’t quite matching the facts, ie there is Congressional oversight, and possibly some authority to do the wiretaps.

I’m in the same boat as far as trusting the MSM to bring me all the facts. And that’s why I’ll wait to judge these actions until a more indepth look at it comes out.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Jon, damn right! Fuck them and speak your mind. This blog wouldn’t be what it is without your distinct opinion.

I think Keith’s right. Just like the Delay and Scooter Libby brouhahas, Katrina Cannabilism, the Plame-Wilson "scandal," Iraqi war successes - the list is long - the MSM can’t be relied on to provide a clear picture of the facts.

Worse, in the current journalistic environment it seems where a journalist doesn’t have a fact, he has a license to fabricate one as long as it is "accurate."

One thing’s for sure. We’re being treated to some ripe political theater, like none I’ve ever seen. Pull up a chair and enjoy the show!
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
I wouldn’t ask you to do something you cannot. The phrase "Whatever that means" tells me clearly you don’t understand a bit of it, and therefore couldn’t explain it if your life depended on it.
Bitbrain, er, Bithead, the point was that the term "state of war" has no legal meaning. We can declare war, and theoretically we are still at war with North Korea. But there is no such legal animal as a generalized "state of war."

So why don’t you explain what it means.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Al Qaeda, by virtue of it’s continuing insurgency in Afghanistan in support of the Taliban, is certainly a foreign power as that is described in US 1801, nevermind their attempts to setup a caliphate in Iraq.
No - it’s not. Sorry Tom. I know you would like it to be, but it’s not. Indeed, that has been the rationale the Bush administration has used all along to justify treatment of detainees.

More to the point, it is defined as a terrorist organization under US law. It is not defined as a foreign power (look at the list of nations we recognize) nor would the Bush administration want it recognized as such.

In any event, that is not what Gonzalez is arguing. You guys need to get on the same page.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Bitbrain, er, Bithead, the point was that the term "state of war" has no legal meaning. We can declare war, and theoretically we are still at war with North Korea. But there is no such legal animal as a generalized "state of war."

So why don’t you explain what it means.
Here’s your assignment; Study the war powers act. Get back to us on the differences of what is authorized under that act, during peacetime and during wartime.
In any event, that is not what Gonzalez is arguing.
Which means, your argument that "what Bush did is illegal", is being defeated on multiple fronts, not just one.

Spit the chewing gum out, stop walking, sit down, and pay attention.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
MK wrote:

"No - it’s not. Sorry Tom. I know you would like it to be, but it’s not. Indeed, that has been the rationale the Bush administration has used all along to justify treatment of detainees."

You assert that, you do not show it. The rationale is that they are not lawful combatants according to the Geneva convention and they are not, this does not preclude them from being a foreign power.

"More to the point, it is defined as a terrorist organization under US law. It is not defined as a foreign power (look at the list of nations we recognize) nor would the Bush administration want it recognized as such."

I am sure there are statutes which define them to be a terrorist organization for puroposes of that statute, that definition is not fould USC 1801.

"In any event, that is not what Gonzalez is arguing. You guys need to get on the same page."

I don’t need to be on his page, I just need to point out to you, the hitler heiler, and Jon Henke that you are making a charge incoherently, assuming things not in evidence. I am pleased as well to show that there is at least one title in that subchapter of the USC, 1811, which authorizes warrantless surveillance of anyone for an indefinite period, provided it is authorized (without a warrant) 15 days at a time.

I might also point out that since the minority members of Congress who were briefed on this had no issues with it at the time, maybe you need to check to see what page you should be on.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
"fould USC 1801" should read "found in USC 1801" Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I am sure there are statutes which define them to be a terrorist organization for puroposes of that statute, that definition is not fould USC 1801.
Right. 1801 has no definitions of "foreign government" or "terrorist organization." Which suggests we should look elsewhere, but the absence of such definitions don’t help your case.
I don’t need to be on his page, I just need to point out to you, the hitler heiler, and Jon Henke that you are making a charge incoherently, assuming things not in evidence. I am pleased as well to show that there is at least one title in that subchapter of the USC, 1811, which authorizes warrantless surveillance of anyone for an indefinite period, provided it is authorized (without a warrant) 15 days at a time.
God Dammit Tom we have been through this already - did your momma drop you on your head?

Here is what 1811 says in its entirety. (Emphasis mine.)
Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress.
A declaration of war, Tom. That didn’t happen here. We haven’t declared war on anyone for over 60 years. This statute is simply irrrelevant here.

***

Bithead said:
Here’s your assignment; Study the war powers act. Get back to us on the differences of what is authorized under that act, during peacetime and during wartime.
Again, we are not in wartime. We are in peacetime. Congress did not declare war. CONGRESS DID NOT DECLARE WAR. CONGRESS DID NOT DECLARE WAR. Therefore, any executive authority that exists during war under the War Powers Act did not exist here.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Peter and Bitbrain:

Not that citing a judicial opinion is an "argument," but this opinion
www.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/03-1266-01A.pdf
doesn’t get you anywhere. There were two issues in the opinion: (1) Did Bush exceed the terms of the October 2001/SJR 23 resolution and (2) Did Congress unconstitutionally abandon/transfer its warmaking power to the president. The first issue was decided on ripeness grounds. The court answered no with respect to the second issue.

What the court did not do is discuss FISA, or make some more generalized statement that Congress had declared war for purposes of FISA, or, for that matter, that Congress made a formal declaration of war.

I could see though why someone like yourself without an apparent real training in reading judicial opinions would misread the opinion. Heck, a lot of first year law students would. So don’t feel bad.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
So what does this mean....
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
MK wrote a bunch of stuf which is no more relevant or true than what all it normally writes.

In response I write...

USC1801 has definitions of foreign power which fit AlQaeda to a "T", I’ve already mentioned them, you tell me how they don’t fit. Be specific, and bear in mind AQ’s cogovernemntal nature with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Here they are:
As used in this subchapter:
(a) “Foreign power” means—
(1) a foreign government or any component thereof, whether or not recognized by the United States;
(2) a faction of a foreign nation or nations, not substantially composed of United States persons;
(3) an entity that is openly acknowledged by a foreign government or governments to be directed and controlled by such foreign government or governments;
(4) a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor;
(5) a foreign-based political organization, not substantially composed of United States persons; or
(6) an entity that is directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.
I think that to a degree these all describe AlQaeda, some quite exactly.

"Again, we are not in wartime. We are in peacetime. Congress did not declare war. CONGRESS DID NOT DECLARE WAR. CONGRESS DID NOT DECLARE WAR."

Saying it in all caps doesn’t make it so. Congress declared war, the President says so, the Courts say so, the Congress doesn’t say they’re wrong and in fact they volunteered to pay for it. What authority do you go by?

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
MK wrote:

"What the court did not do is discuss FISA, or make some more generalized statement that Congress had declared war for purposes of FISA, or, for that matter, that Congress made a formal declaration of war."

And that begs the question of why you assume it did not.

Oh, I see Keith, Indy got there first. Go Keith.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
MK;
We are in peacetime. Congress did not declare war. CONGRESS DID NOT DECLARE WAR.
Actually, they did, according to the courts. (nod to Keith)

Your chanting doesn’t make what you’re chanting true, MK.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

(b) War Powers Resolution Requirements-

(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.

(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this resolution supercedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
So what does this mean....
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
sorry for the double-tap...
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
So what does this mean....
It’s like a merry-go-round with you people.

Keith:

First, I discussed above in some detail the interplay between SJR 23 in October 2001 and the War Powers Act, specifically section 5(b) of the War Powers Act. Section 5(b) envisions two possibilities: Congress declares war OR Congress provides more limited statutory authorization to use force. The language you quote, Keith, "specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution" establishes that Congress did the latter, not the former. It specifically did not declare war under section 5(b). This fact alone is enough to render any claim to the contrary meaningless.

Second, as for the authorization of the use of "necessary and appropriate force," that is all it is: the authorization of the use of "force." (It’s funny how wingers move from strict constructionists to loosey gooesy types when the spirit moves them.) There is nothing in the resolution that says he can also eavesdrop or wiretap or anything of the like.

Tom:

(1) Al Qaeda is not a foreign government. If it is, which country does it govern.
(2) Al Qaeda is not a faction of a foreign nation. Which nation would it be a "faction" of? In what way would be a "faction"? Al Qaeda, as Bush has told us time and again, is transnational terrorist organization. It’s the opposite of the faction of a particular nation. A faction of a "nation" in all likelihood refers to a situation where a traditional "nation" is geographically split into two factions.
(3) No government has openly acknowledged sponsoring Al Qaeda.

More to the point, given that the exception allowing for year-long wiretapping without a warrant applies to 1, 2 and 3, but not terror organizations, 4, it would defeat the purpose of not including 4 if an organization that is clearly in 4 could be easily lumped into 1, 2 or 3.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Regardless of FISA, where was Congress?

Why didn’t any of the Democrats who were briefed on this say anything at the time? Tell the President "no, we don’t think that’s okay", or pass a law making it clear?

Perhaps because there really isn’t anything to this beyond point-scoring?

MK: While Tom is not right that "all of those" apply to Al Quaeda, you cannot deny (well, without being crazy or lying) that meaning (4) definitively applies to them, and thus for the purposes of that act they are a "foreign power", regardless that they are not a nation. (And which exception does not apply to (4)? Could you give us a cite to the USC? Title, Section, subsection if any?)

And if you have some legal reasoning that states that an authorization under the WPA does not count as a "declaration of war" for purposes of 50USC1811? (Or is it assumed that Congress must say the magic words "we declare war"?) Congress has not issued a formal declaration of war since 1939, but that is not the same as one for purposes of law, unless you have some precedents or aan obscure section of the USC that says otherwise...?

 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
It’s like a merry-go-round with you people.
No, you’re just getting it from all sides, MK.

With no small justification.
(well, without being crazy or lying)
I think that’s pretty much the situation, Sigivald.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
MK: While Tom is not right that "all of those" apply to Al Quaeda, you cannot deny (well, without being crazy or lying) that meaning (4) definitively applies to them, and thus for the purposes of that act they are a "foreign power", regardless that they are not a nation. (And which exception does not apply to (4)? Could you give us a cite to the USC? Title, Section, subsection if any?)

And if you have some legal reasoning that states that an authorization under the WPA does not count as a "declaration of war" for purposes of 50USC1811? (Or is it assumed that Congress must say the magic words "we declare war"?) Congress has not issued a formal declaration of war since 1939, but that is not the same as one for purposes of law, unless you have some precedents or aan obscure section of the USC that says otherwise...?
The dangers of a long thread.

Yes, (4) does apply. Definitively.

50 USC 1802 says you can do year-long surveilance on (1)(2) & (3) without a warrant. It mentions 1, 2, and 3 only, i.e., you cannot do it on 4. That’s why the difference matters.

As for your last question, here is what the senate resolution said, in part:
Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
And here is what 5(b) says:
SEC. 5. (b)
Within sixty calendar days after a report is submitted or is required to be submitted pursuant to section 4(a)(1), whichever is earlier, the President shall terminate any use of United States Armed Forces with respect to which such report was submitted (or required to be submitted), unless the Congress (1) has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization for such use of United States Armed Forces, (2) has extended by law such sixty-day period, or (3) is physically unable to meet as a result of an armed attack upon the United States. Such sixty-day period shall be extended for not more than an additional thirty days if the President determines and certifies to the Congress in writing that unavoidable military necessity respecting the safety of United States Armed Forces requires the continued use of such armed forces in the course of bringing about a prompt removal of such forces.
In other words, Congress had a choice: It could delacre war or specifically authortize dispensing with the reporting requirement. It did the latter. It had a choice. It could have said "we declare war" for purposes of 5(b) or it could have given specific authorization. If it had declared war, why didn’t it say so with respect to 5(b)?

Answer: because it didn’t declare war.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
AH, but they did. You keep brushing off the court ruling, but it keeps coming back because it applies here. Congress declared war.... or as close as they could come while still in a state of war.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
MKULTRA wrote:
"1) Al Qaeda is not a foreign government. If it is, which country does it govern."
It participated in and was openly supported by the Taliban of Afghanistan, who were certainly the unrecognized but defacto government of most of that country. Taliban forces and AlQaeda forces are still attempting an insurgency in that country.
(2) Al Qaeda is not a faction of a foreign nation. Which nation would it be a "faction" of? In what way would be a "faction"? Al Qaeda, as Bush has told us time and again, is transnational terrorist organization. It’s the opposite of the faction of a particular nation. A faction of a "nation" in all likelihood refers to a situation where a traditional "nation" is geographically split into two factions.
I have just shown how they meet this requirement very well in Afghanistan, there fore they and their hangers on can be taken as we find them, and can.
"(3) No government has openly acknowledged sponsoring Al Qaeda."
And I just mentioned a government that did, the Taliban. We’re still working on AlQaeda.

"More to the point, given that the exception allowing for year-long wiretapping without a warrant applies to 1, 2 and 3, but not terror organizations, 4, it would defeat the purpose of not including 4 if an organization that is clearly in 4 could be easily lumped into 1, 2 or 3."
The Al Qaeda organization meets definitions 1, 2, and 3.
"has declared war or has enacted a specific authorization"
They did. It’s been cited here. None of the language you’ve brought forward opposes the statement that we have declared war.

Please actually explain how you feel you are correct in the face of these incontrovertible facts.

If you can.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Congressional leaders were consulted, and have been informed of these activities...

...

Can I take Political Tactics for $1000 Alex?

Only if you could afford to lose.

The Dems say that they couldn’t disclose that information or that they even had been iformed due to the classified nature.
Sen. Rockefeller even saved a message to himself in a sealed envelope.

You should thank me Keith,
I just saved you a thousand dollars.

(Reading Newsmax sounds expensive.
...
Newsmax.
LOL.
You might as well get your news from Rush.)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Maybe its just this "winger" that noticed that the NY times held this story for almost a year, only to break it as Iraq has the election. Think they were trying to keep any positive thoughts about Iraq linger? Sorry, if I have to believe someone, between Bush and the press, I’ll take Bush.


Maybe they should have broken it a year ago, i.e, before they US election rather than the Iraqi one.
 
Written By: symptomless
URL: http://
And if all these Congressmen had concerns about this, way back when, why didn’t they hold hearings, way back when???

We have Reid, Pelosi, and now Rockefeller, comming out saying, we had concerns, but it doesn’t seem like they did their job of asking for hearings in the relevant committees, at the time they had concerns.

So, yes, it sounds like a political tactic to come out and say they had concerns, after the story hits the front page. To me it sounds like they said, let’s wait until we can use this against the administration.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Keith, Indy wrote:

"We have Reid, Pelosi, and now Rockefeller, comming out saying, we had concerns, but it doesn’t seem like they did their job of asking for hearings in the relevant committees, at the time they had concerns"

And I’m particularly disgusted at my one time home state Senator Rockefeller, who essentially said he didn’t feel competent to evaluate the program because he wasn’t a technician or lawyer. He’s supposed to be able to write laws, isn’t he?! He says he needs training wheels?!

Although his comment about not being a technician is intriguing. What if there are no wiretaps (or what have you) on any American phones, but they are all on the foreign based equipment and operated off of US territory, the intercepts of American voices being incidental to tapping a phone they are calling?

It’s also intriguing no one has shown why AlQaeda is not a foreign power according USC1801.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Pogue Mahone wrote:

"The Dems say that they couldn’t disclose that information or that they even had been iformed due to the classified nature."

This is true, this the way it should be, however much I dislike it when it’s an aerospace "black" program that I think could better be acknowledged so the technology can get in to private sector.

Also, minority party senators should not be able to reveal state secrets for partisan political purposes. They are perfectly free to try to defund the program by passing laws banning it without referring to the specifics of the operation in question.

They didn’t think it was a big deal then, we shouldn’t let them act like it’s a big deal now unless they are willing to take the heat they deserve.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
www.law.syr.edu/faculty/ banks/terrorism/FISCRedit022003.pdf
"It will be recalled that the case that set forth the primary purpose test as constitutionally required was Truong. The Fourth Circuit thought that Keith’s balancing standard implied the adoption of the primary purpose test. We reiterate that Truong dealt with a pre-FISA surveillance based on the President’s constitutional responsibility to conduct the foreign affairs of the United States. 629 F.2d at 914. Although Truong suggested the line it drew was a constitutional minimum that would apply to a FISA surveillance, see id. at 914 n.4, it had no occasion to consider the application of the statute carefully. The Truong court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information.26 It was incumbent upon the court, therefore, to determine the boundaries of that constitutional authority in the case before it. We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power. The question before us is the reverse, does FISA amplify the President’s power by providing a mechanism that at least approaches a classic warrant and which therefore supports the government’s contention that FISA searches are constitutionally reasonable."
 
Written By: Anon
URL: http://
When was the last time that someone being accussed of "high crimes" came out and said, YES, we did it, and we believe that we were right in doing so?

For year old "breaking" news, the New York Times has certainly done a shoddy job of reporting. Well, I suppose as long as the "fake but accurate" standard is held, anything goes, even if it compromises national security.

*************

So, Person A (living in the US) phones Person B (living outside the US, and connected to al Qeada,) the NSA picks up that conversation. Nothing wrong there. (I assume)

Person A also calls Person D (living in the US) but not on any lists as a possible threat. Can that call be tapped in order to determine if there exists sufficient cause to target Person D? Is that what is happening here?

Person C (a full blown terrorist) is caught outside the US, on his cellphone is Person As phone number. It would seem logical that we need to watch Person A in order to determine if they are planning a crime, or connected to any terrorists.

Is the existance of Person As phone number on a terrorists phone, enough "probable cause" to issue a warrant?

If not, then what should be done in order to gain more knowledge of Person A?

**************

To many questions, not enough verifable facts, lots of assumptions, and the source of the story has a biased interest in it.

This just in from the WaPo, via Just One Minute

http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/12/nsa_eavesdroppi.html
A high-ranking intelligence official with firsthand knowledge said in an interview yesterday that Vice President Cheney, then-Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet and Michael V. Hayden, then a lieutenant general and director of the National Security Agency, briefed four key members of Congress about the NSA’s new domestic surveillance on Oct. 25, 2001, and Nov. 14, 2001, shortly after Bush signed a highly classified directive that eliminated some restrictions on eavesdropping against U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

In describing the briefings, administration officials made clear that Cheney was announcing a decision, not asking permission from Congress. How much the legislators learned is in dispute.

Former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who chaired the Senate intelligence committee and is the only participant thus far to describe the meetings extensively and on the record, said in interviews Friday night and yesterday that he remembers "no discussion about expanding [NSA eavesdropping] to include conversations of U.S. citizens or conversations that originated or ended in the United States"—and no mention of the president’s intent to bypass the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

"I came out of the room with the full sense that we were dealing with a change in technology but not policy," Graham said, with new opportunities to intercept overseas calls that passed through U.S. switches. He believed eavesdropping would continue to be limited to "calls that initiated outside the United States, had a destination outside the United States but that transferred through a U.S.-based communications system."

Graham said the latest disclosures suggest that the president decided to go "beyond foreign communications to using this as a pretext for listening to U.S. citizens’ communications. There was no discussion of anything like that in the meeting with Cheney."

The high-ranking intelligence official, who spoke with White House permission but said he was not authorized to be identified by name, said Graham is "misremembering the briefings," which in fact were "very, very comprehensive." The official declined to describe any of the substance of the meetings, but said they were intended "to make sure the Hill knows this program in its entirety, in order to never, ever be faced with the circumstance that someone says, ’I was briefed on this but I had no idea that—’ and you can fill in the rest."

By Graham’s account, the official said, "it appears that we held a briefing to say that nothing is different . . . . Why would we have a meeting in the vice president’s office to talk about a change and then tell the members of Congress there is no change?"
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
To my limited knowledge:
So, Person A (living in the US) phones Person B (living outside the US, and connected to al Qeada,) the NSA picks up that conversation. Nothing wrong there. (I assume)
and
Person C (a full blown terrorist) is caught outside the US, on his cellphone is Person As phone number. It would seem logical that we need to watch Person A in order to determine if they are planning a crime, or connected to any terrorists.
are the circumstances in question.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
BITHEAD: “When I see you jumping in with MK, …”
JON: “If you want to question my sincerity and honesty, …”
So accusing someone of jumping in with MK is the equivalent of questioning their sincerity and honesty? MK, the Rodney Dangerfield of qando.
By the way, the screenwriter in “A Few Good Men” wisely had the questionable act be the death of an innocent young man so that we could have an acceptable arc to the story. Imagine the exact same film, but with the questionable act being the group of Marines listening in on the young man’s phone conversations with Fidel Castro’s henchmen. Hmmmmm. Not the same movie at all.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
So accusing someone of jumping in with MK is the equivalent of questioning their sincerity and honesty?
Well, hell yeah!

It also brings their intellect strongly into question.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Hey, no fair Tom. A broken clock is still right twice a day... :)
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://

 
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