Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Republicans support Domestic Surveillance Investigation
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The New York Times reports a little spine among House Republicans...
A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping program.
Unmentioned in that story, but reported here recently, is the fact that new Republican House Majority Leader John Boehner has already expressed support for an investigation...
Jon Henke: Mr. Congressman, on the NSA warrantless surveillance issue, do you believe the President has the inherent authority to do what he has been doing? Or do you think we need to codify the process somehow?

Rep. John A. Boehner: I think that it's unclear to me. Now the President, clearly, and his people believe that they have the ability to do this and frankly I'm very interested in hearings to see in how, I mean they've attempted to justify it, but frankly I want to make, if it's not clear in the law or Constitution today, it ought to be made clear in a law or the Constitution that he can do this and what the limits are. But at this point, I'm not, it's not clear in my mind under that he has, under what authority he has to get it done.

Jon Henke: Would you support an investigation to look into that question?

Rep. John A. Boehner: I would. I'd think it would be of interest of all Americans to get to the bottom of how does this happen? Under what authority? And what are the protections?

So, in addition to the chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, the Republican House Majority Leader supports an investigation into the domestic spying. They should be reminded of it until it happens.

Right, then. On with it.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Conversation with a liberal on the NSA issue [that’s “NSA scandal” for you liberals].

Me: You say it is a “scandal”?
Liberal: Oh yes! Why, Bush says he has the power to listen in on Americans and neither Congress nor the Supreme Court can stop him!
Me: That sounds terrible. What did they catch him doing?
Liberal: He exceeded his authority under FISA.
Me: Yes, but he says Congress did not have the authority to limit him. So it’s “he says” versus “you say”. Even if he did break this law, what harm has he done? You know, where is the “smoking gun”?
Liberal: Well, but we are a nation of laws....
Me: Hold it!. Slogans are strictly for stupid liberals, get me?
Liberal: Ah, yeh, I forgot. Anyway, no person is above the law....
Me: I just told you, no slogans.
Liberal: Yeah, sorry. Anyway, even if NSA is OK, we know that there are other government spying programs that they haven’t told us about.
Me: How do we know that?
Liberal: The Attorney General told us so.
Me: You means he slipped...
Liberal: No, no no. He repeatedly made an issue of it himself in his testimony before Congress.
Me: I see. Well, then whether it’s the NSA program or any other program, what’s the big deal? If Bush isn’t doing any harm, why should we care? Why shouldn’t we wait until a whistleblower finds a smoking gun, like we always have? You know, Deep Throat.
Liberal: We can’t just wait!
Me: Why not? Doesn’t seem so harmful to me, even if Bush is exceeding his authority.
Liberal: Don’t you see? The only other major issues the Republicans are vulnerable on is spending and corruption; where are we going to go in the campaign with that?
Me: You want me to be excited about the NSA issue so the Democrats can have a campaign talking point?
Liberal: Yes! We are a nation of laws and no person is above the law! And [I’m short-cutting here] ...Bush should be impeached right now! Er, no, I mean that we should have a full Congressional investigation right now.
Me: Oh, Impeachment. Why didn’t you say that before?
Liberal: Well, we started our campaign saying that, but our political advisors told us that it didn’t resonate too well other than with our fever swamp base. So we’re just laying off the “impeachment” word until it sort of “comes up” at the appropriate time – you know, when we find something that we can make look like a smoking gun. Hell, maybe we can even find a REAL smoking gun; who knows? ...doesn’t matter. I tell you, this is Hot! Read the comments on the lefty blogs. Check out Feingold’s speech!
Me: I read the transcript. Well written, but I don’t think it is a good idea to include a arehash of old partisan issues that have been totally discredited in a speech decrying a lack of principles on the other side. How have your efforts been going over with the general public? Have any polls?
Liberal: All those dummies see is Bush defending the country. The more we talk about how far he is willing to go to accomplish that, the more they cheer. They just don’t get it.
Me: I know. Sigh.
Liberal: Listen, this stuff is dynamite for the base. You ought to see the money rolling in! If only it was the old days when we could count on the media to get behind something like this. Ptooey! All they say now is: “We’re ready. Bring us a smoking gun.” H*ll, if we’d waited for that, we’d never have gotten Nixon. You gotta stir things up and see what comes out.
Me: Is this a good time to “stir things up”? I mean, we’re trying to catch Al Qaeda....
Liberal: H*ll yes! Weren’t you listening? We got no other hot issues for the ’06 campaign. In fact, given the stupidity of the voters, we are already behind.
Me: Oh, I see. Well, good luck
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
I, for one, wish that the GOP would not call for an investigation here. As will become abundantly clear when this little dog and pony show is over, the Congressional Republicans will take absolutely zero action. Worse, their posturing and puffery will lead the American people to believe that something has actually been done, that someone has looked into it, and all is ok.

Rove owns their a**es, so why would they do anything to displease him?

From a political standpoint, the Congressional hearings are a boost for Bush. The legal issues won’t get a thorough airing, because the media are too soft-headed to understand them, and because the fourm is not appropriate for adequate discussion of the legal issues. So it will become an exercise in accusing Democrats of obstructing Bush’s efforts to protect America. What did Georing say at Nuremberg?
"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
As I have said before, Bush’s legal case is beyond weak. It must suck to be a DOJ lawyer having to defend this program. To have to make arguments you know are baseless and frivilous. To sacrifice your intellectual integrity in order to defend the Bush administration’s unconstitutional power grab.

But - of course - if a case ever gets to the Supreme Court involving the legal issues, don’t expect anything to come of it either. Alito’s nomination was not an accident. Unitary executive, anyone?

In the end, the NSA issue will come to nothing. Congressional GOP’ers won’t do a damm thing, the Dems are out of power, and will be so after 2006, and the court’s won’t do anything either. The Bush cult members will get on their knees and thank Bush for being bold enough to break the law to protect them.

This is just siliness.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
As I have said before, Bush’s legal case is beyond weak.
And, yet, liberal Con-Law professor Cass Sunstien disagrees, as does Jamie Gorelick and other Clinton-era DOJ officials.

Hmm. Now, I wonder who to beleive: One of the nation’s premier law professors and former Clinton-Administration high-level DoJ officials, or...you?

Tough choices.

Tough choices.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
I care very little for the left/right political circus this will undoubtably turn into. (already has in some ways)

I have read FISA and the Bush defense. It is obvious they broke the law. Their defense is very weak. Obviously, they feel the ends justified the means. They seem to be willing to throw some of the very foundations our government was built upon out the window (checks and balances). I don’t care who is in power, if you break the law there must be consequences. If the laws do not allow you to adequately defend the country, you change the laws.

Notherbob, do you have any opinions on anything other than liberal bashing?

Dale, appealing to an authority will do no good as you will hear opposite opinions on both sides. You have to take a look at the law and judge for yourself.
 
Written By: fade
URL: http://
Dale: Jamie Gorelick does not disagree; as she apprised the Judiciary Committee by letter that was entered into the record during the Gonzalez testimony, whatever theories of Executive power she may have had, she thought it best to abide by the law of Congress, and did so. When FISA said to get warrants, they got warrants.

To some degree, the partisanship on this issue is Executive v. Legislative, hence Carter-DoJ member Sunstein’s positions. But — and I write this as a lawyer competent to assess the arguments made by both sides, and one who voted for Bush — Bush’s legal theories are...codswollop. That is why a right-of-center fellow like Prof Orin Kerr speculates over at Volokh that Bush would lose in the SCOTUS by 8-1. I will further affirm that virtually all of the legal analysis Glenn Greenwald posts at his blog is accurate.

Look, this issue is exposing some utterly appalling levels of devotion to Bush and his power that, well, I would have dismissed as moonbat hysteria if lefties had told me — a few months ago — I would ever observe in prominent Republicans. Andy McCarthy over at The Corner has actually argued that the courts cannot bind Bush; that he should not submit his warrantless surveillance program to the FIS Court as Specter pushed Gonzalez they should do, because the judicial branch cannot stop Bush. Everything in the logic of McCarthy’s opinion would apply equally to the SCOTUS being impotent to bind George Bush. You will hear more of that; it is already hinted at in some Administration mutterings.

So much for Marbury v. Madison, the rule of law, and judicial review.

When I pulled the lever for George Bush, I was not voting for warrantless eavesdropping on U.S. persons in violation of a duly enacted law, pursuant to a legal theory that would allow Bush to do virtually anything he wishes as long as he invokes national security, and with no capacity for the courts to review his decisions or to order him to desist. I. Did. Not. Vote. For. That.

Bruce Fein (DoJ- Reagan), Grover Norquist, Bob Barr, John McCain, Sam Brownback, Richard Epstein (Sunstein’s libertarian colleague at the U of Chi-town Law School), Reagan-appointed FBI Director (and former federal judge) Bill Sessions...these have all said what Bush is doing is illegal. They are right.


 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
fade,

Did it ever occur to you that 1) Dale did look at the law and has decided for himself, and that he was simply rebutting a rather stupid and specious argument from the blog’s pet troll? Or 2) Maybe he has looked at the law, decided himself unqualified to make the judgement and deferred to legal scholars (unlike yourself)?

You don’t, and more than likely can’t, know the current administration broke the law because most of the program is classified.

Get a clue, troll. Or better yet, go befoul someone else’s comments section with your self-satisfied smugness and arrogance.
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
@Notherbob2:
I just want limited government and some oversight into what this information is and how it is being used. When did conservatives decide that trusting the government completely and totally was a good thing?

"If Bush isn’t doing any harm, why should we care?"
Because the very act of spying on US citizens without a warrent IS harm.
This has become such a cliche, but if it was Pres. Clinton who had done this warrantless spying, would you still agree that it was "harmless"? What if the next president is a Dem? Would you still support these powers?

And no, it’s not a campaign issue for 06, because the Dem politician’s can’t find their a$$h*le with both hands, a flashlight and a map. So no matter how bad the republican’s f’ things up, the Dems will try even harder to blow it.


 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Dale (and McQ and Jon),

I apologize for using your bandwidth for telling off someone I perceived to be a troll. I recognize that deciding who’s a troll and who is not is NOT my job. But statements like fade’s (making the declaration something is the truth, which then becomes the truth, a tactic long enjoyed by the news media) no longer sit well with me. It’s not my place to decide who’s a troll on your blog, and I apologize again.
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Professor Sunstein is dead wrong when he says the domestic spying program is legal. What the Administration argues is specious. As we lawyers say: It doesn’t even pass the straight-face test. I have no doubt that the Supreme Court would so hold (with at least 6 votes, and maybe all 9) and I hope we have such a decision eventually. I would not be surprised to learn that Professor Sunstein regrets his initial pronouncements of support for the domestic spying program, and the box those pronouncements have placed him in. In my view, he would be best-served by admitting his error. Everyone makes mistakes, even brilliant law professors.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
And, yet, liberal Con-Law professor Cass Sunstien disagrees, as does Jamie Gorelick and other Clinton-era DOJ officials.

Hmm. Now, I wonder who to beleive: One of the nation’s premier law professors and former Clinton-Administration high-level DoJ officials, or...you?
Sunstein has not said its legal, and he has not said its illegal. Here is what he said in part on February 5:
Listen to the political partisans and you’re likely to believe that this is one of those black-and-white issues. But the truth is that this case falls in the gray zone. The reason that it’s dividing experts is that it’s genuinely difficult — the type of case that would make the Supreme Court think long and hard.
When the best you can do in terms of marshalling scholarly support for a given legal position is to cite someone who says the issue falls into a "gray" zone, you have already lost the battle. If that’s the best you can do, I rest my case.

And if you believe that I am the only one who says the case is beyond weak, you need to blog less and read more.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
David Shaughnessy says: I have no doubt that the Supreme Court would so hold (with at least 6 votes, and maybe all 9) and I hope we have such a decision eventually.

Agreed. Kerr thought Thomas — not Alito — might be a hold-out. Reading Thomas’s dissent in Hamdi actually persuades me Bush would lose Thomas, too.

As you say, the Bush DoJ and its apologists’ arguments do not even pass the giggle test, if you are a lawyer of even the slightest sophistication. What really annoys me are the JDs shilling for Bush online in this matter, who allow non-lawyers to point to them and say: "See, Powerline/Hewitt said [fill in the blank with latest distortion of case holding or legal doctrine] so it must be legal."

I believe my favorite moments were when John Hinderaker twice announced that Justice Robert Jackson’s concurrence in Youngstown should be ignored, and constitued "sloppy thinking." Funny, then, how every DoJ letter addressing the NSA surveillance, and every public analysis by respected lawyers who are criticial of it, go into an extensive Jackson Category III (and sometimes I and II) analysis. They must not have gotten the Sloppy Thinking Memo, and neither did the SCOTUS when they handed down Hamdi.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Josh Davis asserts: Maybe rather than citing a source that doesn’t really help out your argument you should find some strong sources that prove you right - but good luck ’cause most lawyers not driven by partisanship are saying it’s a tough one.

What is your evidence for that claim? It isn’t tough. That is why Andy McCarthy at The Corner — notwithstanding that he and Powerline have been trumpeting some confused dicta from the FIS Appeals Ct that they claim settles the question in Bush’s favor — does not support that Bush should make an application to the FIS court for permission to avoid the FISA warrants requirement, and to set forth its theories as to why it need not have warrants. McCarthy is clearly afraid Bush would lose. He would.

So now McCarthy is arguing that if the FIS Court ruled against Bush, Bush should ignore the order since the courts cannot bind Bush.

Are you on board with that?

 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Let’s assume for a moment that there is a true question of legality...

If the program was legal then its revelation and any further revelations *will* damage national security unnecessarily.
If the program was Not legal then its revelation is mandated by our system, even though it will damage national security.

This brings up several questions:
1. Why aren’t the current hearings being held in secrecy? Until after a determination by the Supreme Court if necessary as to the basic legality is complete. It seems like we have the cart before the horse in the current model... note being aware of an investigation (like the Plame one - for which we still don’t have the honest results even though at this point it wouldn’t damage security) is typical in this country.
2. When in a fight with an enemy who will do anything to win, should we decide to do less? To word in a simpler fashion - if we say that our military will stand down every Sunday because we want them to have a day off every week will our enemies do the same? Will they stop calling from external to the US to internal to the US?
3. If calls were between US and non-US residents were intercepted because we have some form of intercept which exists outside of the US, should US citizens expect that unlike their bodies that their possessions (words) have some access to US rights beyond our borders? If this was the case then doesn’t our ability to directly access items outside the US place covert foreign operatives at risk of exposure?

I think the fact that people want public hearings but admit they can’t talk about the details implies that hearings are not being held to determine the truth.
 
Written By: Bill
URL: http://
What plausible reasons are there for not going through the FISA courts considering the huge advantage the government has concerning who to surveil and when to even take it to court?
What plausible reason is there to believe that the information collected without the FISA warrant would be allowed in a court of law?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"When in a fight with an enemy who will do anything to win, should we decide to do less?"

By that logic, should we decide that beheading and mutilation is acceptable? What about massacres and the targeting of civilians? It also follows from that since "they" attacked our cities killed thousands of civilians on 9/11 we should just level whole cities and be done with it.

Is there ANYTHING that Bush should not be allowed to do in the name of national security?

Note, I’m not saying the NSA program in question is equivalent to the above ridiculousness. I am saying however that "they did it first" just doesn’t cut it as any kind of supporting argument.

"Fear cuts deeper than swords."
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
... the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.
I truly wonder how much of the sanctimonious preaching about "blatantly" "illegal" "wiretapping" etc. would be silenced if just this one (erroneous) phrase would stop appearing in every description of the NSA program.

It is not domestic.

It is not eavesdropping.

It is not wiretapping.

It is not "real-time" communication monitoring.

It is not directed at anyone in the US.

Monitoring enemy communications in the theater of war has never, EVER, come under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court or Congress, and I don’t think it should now either.

There certainly are some interesting issues being raised as far as the power struggle between the Executive and the Legislative branches of government. Almost none of those issues are actually relevant to the NSA matter, which is why, once such matter comes before the Supreme Court, nearly every last bit of it will be thrown out as non-justiciable.

Meanwhile, the members of that kabuki theater called "Congress" will continue to do their dances for us in order to convince us they should retain the reins of power this Fall. We are supposed to be impressed with their "integrity" and "forthrightness" and "speaking truth to power", and yet the only thing that Congress is really worried about is retaining power — as a whole, with respect to the President; and individually, with respect to this Fall’s election.

How impressive.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://
One has to wonder if the chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico isn’t just feeling the heat…

Either way,
Right, then. On with it.
Damn the torpedoes.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Dale, appealing to an authority will do no good as you will hear opposite opinions on both sides. You have to take a look at the law and judge for yourself.
I’d remind you that "appealing to authority" is only a fallacy when the the appeal to the authority falls outside the expertise of that authority. Like claiming Einstein would agree that the officials mad a bad call in the Super Bowl.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
McQ,
I was merely trying to point out that it seems law professors and such (regardless of political motivation) have varying opinions on the legality of what we know about the NSA program. Picking certain ones out and appealing to their authority seems fairly pointless when one could easily pull a number out that claim the opposite. But, maybe that was Dale’s point in the first place.

At any rate, I was only offering my opinion on the matter after looking at what we have to go on...namely FISA and Bush’s defense arguments.

For this, I was called a troll. I was deemed smug and arrogant. Maybe I’ll stick to reading the articles but find somewhere else to engage in conversation....
 
Written By: fade
URL: http://
Conversation with a winger on the NSA issue [that’s “NSA scandal” for you liberals].

Me: Liberals say it is a “scandal”.
Winger: Scandal? What is a scandal is the way the Democrats are defaming the President on the floor of the Senate! [Feingold’s speech accusing Bush of breaking the law contains slander per se, I think.]
Me: That sounds terrible. However, one cannot be sued for defamation if it is only a speech on the floor of Congress where defamation and worse is the order of the day. Of course, publishing a transcript might be libel on the part of the publisher, I think. No problem now, but if eventually the SCOTUS were to rule that Bush broke no law, everyone who prints the transcript or quotes that section might be liable. Talk about breaking the law. Well, hey, it’s a campaign, right?
Winger: Democrats have no principles. Look at all the lies in Feingold’s speech.
Me: Yes, that’s true, he does treat a lot of discredited information as truth, but Feingold also has some fine-sounding stuff in there about the Constitution and our rights and all. And you must admit that Representative Rep. Heather Wilson, a Republican is going for it.
Winger: Yeah. Going for the presidential ticket in ’08.
Me: What? You must be kidding!
Winger: Well, I probably shouldn’t be talking, but....Here’s the deal. This NSA thing is all the Dem’s have this year, so it wasn’t going to go away in any event. So why not make some lemonade? Rep. Wilson is one of our dark horses for Vice President. You know, the anti-Hillary. Women constitute 53% of the vote, don’t forget. Check her out. Ex-serviceperson, thin, comes from a state no one knows anything about, ... say, do you remember Thomas Dewey? Well, yeah, too far back, but he was a crusading DA who got the bad guys and we put together one heck of a campaign around that. Even won, according to the Washington Post. Yeah... they had to retract. Anyway, ...
Me: You say “a deal?”
Winger: Is this off the record? OK. Yeah, she gets the Super Bowl for Albuquerque in 2010, a speech at the convention –she needs it; lot of liberals in New Mexico, and a guaranteed appearance by the Republican of her choice during her campaign for governor if the presidential thing doesn’t work out. In exchange, she gets lots of good ink as a non-partisan, you know, truth-telling, straight arrow. Kind of like the Dems have been grooming Obama. Whatever the Democrats do that gets good press, she does it too. Since she is not one of the Gang of Eight, she has great deniability for any bad stuff. It was Rove’s idea. Gotta think of the future and Bush can’t run. Think where she would be if she got credit for getting Bush? I tell you, Rove is expensive, but he is worth it.
Me: Interesting sidelight, but back to the NSA thing. Why are you not really concerned?
Winger: Bottom line is I trust Bush. And that Cheney! Did you see him on Lehrer?
Me: Yes, he was very good. But he mostly just delivered Republican talking points. Yeah, he implied that the Democrats were hurting our intelligence efforts, but he didn’t say just how. Mostly innuendo.
Winger: Yeah, wasn’t that great! Nobody does innuendo like Cheney. And no specific statutes or anything that can be used to make trouble later. Masterful.
Me: You trust Bush? Isn’t that incredibly stupid?
Winger: Stupid to trust our elected leader? This IS America, isn’t it? Let me put it this way. We have a choice between him and the Democrats. Are the Democrats running this year on “You can trust us”? For obvious reasons. They are attempting to substitute: “Yeah, OK, but you sure as h*ll can’t trust HIM!” They are making some headway with that. Still, people aren’t dumb. They say: “Yeah, maybe you’re right. But if we get rid of him, what do we get.? The Dems got nothing but traditional partisans and Obama; and McCain just nailed him. And there’s Laura. Would she be married to a crook?
Me: Ahh, Laura. What do the Democrats say about her?.
Winger: Nothing. They’re not stupid. Don’t quote me on that.
Me: So, from your responses, I take it that you’re not worried about the NSA issue.
Winger: Well, you know, until the very end I thought Nixon was telling the truth. So, it scares me when the Democrats start in on Bush like this. Once burned, you know.
Me: Let’s see if I have this right. If this scandal gets off the ground, you’re saying that, one by one, the Republicans will line up behind Rep. Wilson and by the time it’s over it will look like the Republicans cleaned house.
Winger: Yup. There are several other issues that aren’t looking too good for us and we can throw them on the fire too. A new broom! That is one of the slogans being suggested for ’08. Or, we can run the second team from the Bush years if it goes the other way. Either way, we got’em, so we’re not really worried.
Me: Why are you so confident?
Winger: Check this out: “We are at the beginning of a comprehensive reformation of the Democratic Party— driven by committed progressive outsiders. Online activism on a national level, coupled with offline activists at the local level, can provide the formula for a quiet, bloodless coup that can take control of the party.”
Me: I see what you mean. But what if the progressive takeover is not successful. You’ve seen the polls. Lots of people think that Democrats can do a better job of running the country.
Winger: Democrats have a tin ear for anyone other than their base. For example: look at this: Islam is killing people and burning embassies and all they say about that is “multiculturism is good” and standing up for American culture [Freedom of Speech] is bad. What do they get excited about? This. Their response to this criticism is typical. They are supposedly complaining about stereotyping and coloring [pun intended] everyone in a group with the same brush, right? I mean, otherwise they would be standing for the principle that there are people who just cannot be criticized at all. So how do they do it?
This way:
“And people wonder why we connect the hatred of the civil rights movement and the legacy of segregation to Reagan’s lies about ’welfare queens.’ ...I think the country has moved past this.”
Me: Yeah, I see what you mean. Sounds like the Sixties. I haven’t heard “civil rights movement”, “legacy of segregation” and “welfare queens” for a long time. Sometimes I think about the new bicycle I got for Christmas...Anyway, it’s clear that part of the country hasn’t moved past this.
Winger: The irony is the next part. They go on to say: “The right-wing though is clearly a hotbed of racism and anger. ” Talk about stereotyping. These folks are locked into a time long gone. It isn’t just Vietnam.
Me: Well, they only read stuff in the liberal cocoon, so how would they know what right wing people think? I’ll answer that one. Whatever their cocoon pundits tell them right wingers think.
Winger: Right On!
Me: Do you ever read left wing blogs?
Winger: Are you kidding?
Me: Well, good luck.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Messages directly from what Christians call their holy spirit on the Christian Prophecy blog recently have talked about releasing fear of domestic spying, but have also said that government will someday be funded totally voluntarily without taxation. Funded voluntarily would probably eliminate spying, wouldn’t you say?
 
Written By: A Christian Prophet
URL: http://www.blogcharm.com/christianprophecy/
That question can have a couple different meanings. Could you ellaborate?
Sure.

I consider the monitoring to give us military intelligence to use against our external enemies. Since it was not gathered with the appropriate FISA warrant, it is tainted evidence and would be thrown out if attempted to be used in legal actions against a US citizen.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
McQ,
I was merely trying to point out that it seems law professors and such (regardless of political motivation) have varying opinions on the legality of what we know about the NSA program.
I agree completly, which is why it is hard, as a layman, to say who is correct in this argument. I think there are some deeper issues as well. And those are to be found in the arguments about the inherent powers of the office of the executive and what those entail and how they stack up against law (i.e. if Congress is tresspassing by passing laws which infringe on it and whether Congress has that power).
At any rate, I was only offering my opinion on the matter after looking at what we have to go on...namely FISA and Bush’s defense arguments.

For this, I was called a troll. I was deemed smug and arrogant. Maybe I’ll stick to reading the articles but find somewhere else to engage in conversation....

Like many arguments this one has a tendency to generate intense rhetoric which can be deemed to be, by some, hyperbole. And hyperbole is one sign of trolling. For what it’s worth, I didn’t see your comments as trolling at all. Hopefully you’ll stick around and contribute more here. Well spoken dissenting voices are always needed.

Now if we can just stop NotherBob from talking to himself in public I’ll consider this to have been a good day.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
What? Congressmen upset that the run of of the government doesn’t entirely rest with them? Halt the presses, we have a new front page!
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
Well its interesting to see the latest news from Breitbart: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/02/08/D8FL8N7O0.html There are alot of quotes in that article and reading between the lines what it comes down to is 8 members of congress did know exactly what was going on, and the other 62 on the various intelligence comittees are in a huge snit because they don’t. My favorite quote involves Bud Cramer - who was beginning to let himself believe the spin.

So if one of them leaks the program details can we put them in jail... its sounding like they are backing off the claims that what they didn’t know must be illegal. However, if it’s not illegal then whoever leaked to the Times and in fact the Times itself so can we put in jail those that publicised it?

Josh - note that the ’secret’ hearing is revealing alot of information publicly. This shouldn’t have been public and the 8 senior intelligence committee members and president should have done a better job of managing the remaining members of congress - but hearings were for show I stand by that they were pointless.

Tito - Anything was poor word choice on my part. But then it seems to me you weren’t really interested in proposing an actual argument on the facts, more looking to throw hypothetical crap and unsubstantiated accusations. Let me say up front, I think that monitoring calls between suspected North Korean and Chinese infiltrators that go over seas is legal and they haven’t bombed us - it’s not fear I don’t like being stolen from either and people passing industrial secrets steal intellectual property - the list could go on.

By ’anything’ I still expect us to follow reasonable decency - not targeting women and children (although they may be killed when targeting military targets - before you ask) not mutilating or executing captured personnel and similar items - however it would probably confuse you when I say that most of the items you mention I don’t support in large part because they wouldn’t help us win. Again the #1 goal in war is to win - everything else comes in second.

Would ’win’ include peace yes - it wouldn’t include a cease fire but treaties ending hostilities, statements from enemy leaders stating they had chosen to end the war, that the issues that started the war weren’t worth dying for would work just fine. But failing that, if they want to keep saying they will kill us we need to act accordingly.
 
Written By: Bill
URL: http://
Sunstein has not said its legal, and he has not said its illegal.
And here’s what he said of 21 Dec 05:
The authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) says, "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."

This authorization clearly supported the war in Afghanistan. It also clearly justifies the use of force against Al Qaeda. In the Hamdi case, the Supreme Court added that the AUMF authorizes the detention of enemy combatants—notwithstanding 18 USC 4001(a), which requires an Act of Congress to support executive detention. In the Court’s view, the AUMF stands as the relevant Act of Congress, authorizing detention. It is therefore reasonable to say that the AUMF, by authorizing the use of "all necessary and appropriate force," also authorizes surveillance of those associated with Al Qaeda or any other organizations that "planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks" of September 11.

The reason is that surveillance, including wiretapping, is reasonably believed to be an incident of the use of force. It standardly occurs during war. If the President’s wiretapping has been limited to those reasonably believed to be associated with Al Qaeda and its affiliates—as indeed he has said—then the Attorney General’s argument is entirely plausible.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
When I was refering to the government having an advantage in court I meant the FISA court - where they should have gotten the warrants.
And yet, the FISA court rejected a warrant application for surveillance of Zacharias Moussoui, thus losing us the chance to stop the 9/11 attacks before they occured.

How terribly odd that in this one case, the government’s advantage wasn’t quite enough to help us get information to stopp 9/11 before it happened.
 
Written By: Dale Franks
URL: http://www.qando.net
And yet, the FISA court rejected a warrant application for surveillance of Zacharias Moussoui, thus losing us the chance to stop the 9/11 attacks before they occured.

How terribly odd that in this one case, the government’s advantage wasn’t quite enough to help us get information to stopp 9/11 before it happened.


Citation, please?
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
“Notherbob, do you have any opinions on anything other than liberal bashing?”
"For this, I was called a troll. I was deemed smug and arrogant. Maybe I’ll stick to reading the articles but find somewhere else to engage in conversation....”
From me to you Fido: are you familiar with the term “passive aggressive”? You have read my stuff. It contains lots of opinions on things other than “liberal bashing”. You are definitely smug and arrogant. Go back to the liberal cocoon. They will accept your avoidance of confrontation (and a lot worse). You want to test your ideas? Stick around.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
"This has become such a cliche, but if it was Pres. Clinton who had done this warrantless spying, would you still agree that it was "harmless"? What if the next president is a Dem? Would you still support these powers?"
Ugh, for what it is worth, Yes and Yes. No difference. It is the Democrats that need the campaign issue. Lots of reasonable people on both sides of the issue are motivated by reasoning other than impeaching Bush.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Tito, I think you have a sincere interest. Actually, I think that we should, one way or another, get it established what the powers of the President are and what they are not. Ask yourself: is this the best time to do this? Immediately after the resignation of Nixon was not the best time to determine what the powers of the President should be. I suggest that picking the time when the Democrats desperately need a campaign issue and have settled on the NSA issue (because of BSD out there) is not a good time.
What terrible risk are we taking if we calmly perform a measured investigation, safeguarding our secrets, and come up with some recommendations just after the ’06 elections? Have we learned nothing from the past? Is this giving Bush or the Republicans a pass of any kind? He cannot run again and Republicans running for Congress have not had anything to do with the NSA program - other than the Gang of Eight. So, ask yourself, what is the rush?
Glenn Greenwald is chewing up the scenery:
“But whatever arguments are selected, what matters is that there be a coordinated, comprehensive, and full-fledged campaign to persuade the public of the importance of this scandal ... by implementing a campaign designed to allow Bush opponents to control our own message and communicate directly to Americans. In my view, whether this can be accomplished will, far more than any other factor, determine whether the Administration is held accountable for their law-breaking or whether this scandal will join the countless others which meekly and inconsequentially fade away into the attention-deficit media whirlpool.”
Your clue is: “...the attention-deficit media whirlpool.” Yeah, I am about to believe that the media, given a chance to write a story, any story, about the [Republican] [Bush] President breaking the law has an attention deficit. How can even whacko moonbats believe THAT? Yet this is the prophet that Jon Henke brings to us. And, by the way, what is the “media whirlpool”?
Get ready. The frenzy on Greenwald’s site has almost built to the point that the release will be offered. “Something must be done! What can we do?” Wait for it..... You can send money! Oh Glenn, just tell us where. We have to save America. Uh-huh.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
And yet, the FISA court rejected a warrant application for surveillance of Zacharias Moussoui, thus losing us the chance to stop the 9/11 attacks before they occured.

How terribly odd that in this one case, the government’s advantage wasn’t quite enough to help us get information to stopp 9/11 before it happened.


Tsk, tsk. You really should tell the whole story Dale.
Here’s a citation from the 9/11 report. Money quote:

"In August 2001, FBI headquarters rejected a Minneapolis field office request to seek a FISA warrant to search Zacharias Moussaoui’s computer and other personal effects, because headquarters officials apparently believed that FISA requirements could not be satisfied. That belief was simply incorrect, and inexplicably so. FISA required (and would still require) probable cause to believe that Moussaoui was associated with an international terrorist group, but the French intelligence report on Moussaoui easily satisfied the "common sense, practical" probable cause standard.*"
You see, to make a long story short, FISA did not reject the warrant — the FBI head bureau refused to pass it on because their field agents couldn’t write a warrant. So Dale was sorta right... while leaving a vital part out.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Seriously, after all this time, are y’all on the Left saying that you still honestly believe that it only takes just three days to produce a FISA warrant application? Are you actually still completely ignorant of the the large mass of documents (all individually unique to each particular case - no assembly line) that must be included in a FISA warrant application? Have the repeated assertions of so many experts who have actually prepared FISA warrant applications, that they take weeks to prepare completely sailed over your head?

What about the provisions of FISA that require the identity of the target of surveillance to be ascertained and put before the judge in the warrant application? What if it’s prepaid cellphone number and the identity of the owner is yet to be determined?

Now, I am certain y’all are going to echo the faux-anguished complaint that just because the law is inconvenient doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be followed ... that the Administration should have simply gone before Ted Kennedy and Co. and asked for FISA to be amended so that this program would be legal under FISA.

Please pay attention; the answer to that is simple. The Administration’s argument is that the program does not violate FISA because it is operating under FISA’s statutory exemption, which they believe is provided by the AUMF. You may not be convinced of this. That’s okay.

But I’d like you to note that this is the same argument the Administration made to the Supreme Court in the Hamdi case. The Administration argued that the AUMF authorized the Federal Government to detain Al-Qaeda affiliated American citizens for the duration of the conflict. This is even though the Non-Detention Act prohibits the Federal Government from doing so ... unless otherwise authorized by statute. The Administration argued that the AUMF was that statute.

Again, you may disagree with the Administration ... but the Supreme Court agreed with it then.

The Non-Detention Act of 1971 requires that there be a Congressional Authorization (i.e. a statute) for the Executive Branch to legally detain an American citizen without the Judicial Branch signing off on it. The Court’s ruling in the Hamdi case effectively told the Administration that the AUMF satisfied that requirement. Likewise with FISA. FISA requires that there be Congressional Authorization (i.e. a statute) for the Executive Branch to legally surveil without going through the Judicial Branch (the FISA Courts). Under the precedent of the Court’s ruling in Hamdi, the AUMF satisfies that requirement.

In other words, that the AUMF did not explicitly cite, mention or name the Non-Detention Act does not mean that the AUMF is not an Act of Congress that authorizes the detention of certain American citizens - those that happen to be part of the "those nations, organizations, or persons" who would commit acts of terrorism on the United States. The AUMF authorizes the use of military force. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would actually exclude the detention of enemy combatants, whoever they may be.

The same thing applies to the AUMF and FISA. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would actually exclude the use of American Intelligence assets. That FISA was not cited in the AUMF does not mean that the AUMF is not the statutory exemption (as required by FISA) that authorizes the President to order warrantless surveillance within the United States, especially when carefully targetted at people he reasonably believes to be linked to an enemy, that successfully launched an attack on the United States from American soil, that the Congress has expressly authorized him to use military force against.
Is there ANYTHING that Bush [is not] allowed to do in the name of national security?
Yes.

For example, the President cannot legally order the seizure of your house and home to give to individual soldiers because it would boost their morale. The AUMF does not authorize that because it is not part and parcel of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and to protect the homeland from such organizations. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would include such an act.

The President cannot legally order you off the street and have you tossed in jail because you wore a T-Shirt saying “I Hate Bush!!” even though it insults the Commander in Chief in a time of war. The AUMF does not authorize that because it is not part and parcel of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and to protect the homeland from such organizations. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would include such an act.

The President cannot legally raise or lower taxes without Congress’s consent, even though he may need the money to fund the war. The AUMF does not authorize that because it is not part and parcel of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and to protect the homeland from such organizations. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would include such an act.

The President cannot legally order your wife or husband to sleep with him even though he says it would help him better discharge his Commander in Chief duties. The AUMF does not authorize that because it is not part and parcel of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and to protect the homeland from such organizations. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would include such an act.

The President cannot legally walk into your home and strip-search your children even if he claims it is a 100% guaranteed to frighten Usama Bin Laden into surrendering. The AUMF does not authorize that because it is not part and parcel of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and to protect the homeland from such organizations. No common-sense examination of the use of military force would include such an act.

Now, what this means is that the argument y’all on the Left have to effectively make, is that the surveillance of phone numbers and e-mail addresses found on Al Qaeda members’ contact lists in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, etc., even if they happen to be American numbers or e-mail addresses, is not part and parcel of the use of military force against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and to protect the homeland from such organizations.
 
Written By: Martin A. Knight
URL: http://
Hello everyone,

I happened across your defense, Mr. Knight, and I have a few questions:

You claim that FISA warrants take far too long to prepare and are in adequate to fight the current WoT, yet the administration did reject an attempt by Mike DeWine to amend FISA.
"DeWine’s legislation proposed to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to modify the standard of proof for issuance of orders regarding non-United States persons from probable cause to reasonable suspicion. . . ."

The administration’s response shows they believed the Patriot Act modifications allowed them to make "full and effective use of FISA’s pre-existing emergency provisions to ensure that the government acts swiftly to respond to terrorist threats. " They also rejected the amendment. So they were, or claimed to be, happy with FISA the way it was, and claimed to need no extra time to prepare a warrant in 2002. So yes, I do believe it takes just three days to prepare a warrant. Because the Justice Dept. told me it did (before they said it didn’t, of course — ie post Ashcroft).

My second question concerns your claim that we can’t listen to prepaid cell phone #’s because a name is needed. Nonsense — if that prepaid phone number is listed on an AQ contact list, then regardless of whether or not we know who purchased it, that is probable cause for wiretapping. In fact, anyone’s name or any institution, bank account #, etc. found in an AQ member’s possession is probable cause. Whether or not my neighbor donating to a charity that talked to a mosque that employed a janitor that talked to AQ is cause to tap my neighbor is another question entirely.
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Sorry, forgot to actually post my questions. They are as follows:

1) If the FISA statutes are inadequate and the process cumbersome, why did the DoJ refuse to amend them and claim that they are?

2) What do you believe constitutes probable cause to listen to the aforementioned hypothetical prepaid phone? Is any proof necessary? Can the administration listen to any phone because someone with nefarious motives may have purchased it?
 
Written By: Tom in Texas
URL: http://
Maybe because they did not feel it was necessary to obtain warrants in the first place? I believe you may have missed the point of my post. FISA has a clause that states that following the passage of an authorizing statute, the Executive Branch may surveil without going through the FISA Courts. The Administration believes that authorizing statute was the AUMF.

From the information I’ve gathered, FISA Warrants were obtained to monitor the intra-national (within country) calls to and from numbers of interest ...

Number 2: I believe the FISA Act actually does require the identity of the target before a warrant application is considered complete. It was written in 1978, after all.
 
Written By: Martin A. Knight
URL: http://
Please pay attention; the answer to that is simple. The Administration’s argument is that the program does not violate FISA because it is operating under FISA’s statutory exemption, which they believe is provided by the AUMF. You may not be convinced of this. That’s okay.
Ah, but this is only the administration’s first line of defense, as A.G. Gonzalez made abundantly clear during the Judiciary Committee hearings Monday. If the AUMF argument gets shot down, the administration is prepared to argue that the president has "inherent authority" to conduct this program under Article II of the Constitution. Despite any congressional statutes to the contrary, I would assume.

Are you comfortable with that argument as well, Martin? As weak as I find the AUMF argument, I find the inherent authority argument much, much scarier.
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
Are you comfortable with that argument as well, Martin? As weak as I find the AUMF argument, I find the inherent authority argument much, much scarier.
No less comfortable than I would have been with FDR’s internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry.

So I suggest you calm your pounding heart. The Presidency would still have to contend with Congress and the Supreme Court, who have plenary power over certain aspects of running a war. They can declare the AUMF null and void (i.e. the Congress has to sign off on a declaration of war). And they can defund the war and any and all aspects of it.

And finally, you must remember that the nation’s armed forces are sworn to uphold the Constitution of these United States. They’re not automatons who would follow the President’s every command, legal or not. Even if you do not trust Bush, you can at least have a bit more faith in them.
 
Written By: Martin A. Knight
URL: http://
Get a clue, troll. Or better yet, go befoul someone else’s comments section with your self-satisfied smugness and arrogance. Written By: A fine scotch
QandO...love it or leave it. Hilarious
 
Written By: miss manners
URL: http://
while i tend to be more conservative-leaning, i cannot condone the president’s actions concerning the issue of surveillance.

i stumbled across this website and respect the way they don’t try to make conservatives look like idiots:

www.littlebrotheriswatching.com

they have a poll where you can vote on whether or not you would like congress to call for a special investigation; i urge all of you to vote. this site seems to be getting some attention (i.e. washington post).
 
Written By: samantha
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider