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Correcting Missapprehensions
Posted by: Jon Henke on Friday, March 17, 2006

Sometimes bloggers — pundits in general, really — get on a kick about something and I'm just completely baffled at the way they're apparently just completely missing obvious answers. Cases in point:

(1) Bush re-states the United States Doctrine of Pre-emption in an updated National Security Strategy. Pundits object vociferously...
  • Ted Kennedy: Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy said it was ominous that the Bush administration "would even attempt to resuscitate its radical doctrine of preventive war."


  • TalkLeft: "what is it with Bush that he feels secure enough to tell us that preventive war is still on his agenda?"


  • Hullabaloo: "it's still the case that the worst ideas remain official American policy."

You get the idea. But this criticism largely misses the point. The debate is not over whether the United States should retain the right to pre-emptive attack — it does, and always has — but whether it is correct to employ such a doctrine in specific circumstances. Critics who inveigh against the mere existence of a doctrine of preemption are woefully uninformed of US foreign policy — and even the position of the current Democratic Party Chairman who said...
"America has always had an unspoken doctrine of preemption. The question is whether we have had a spoken doctrine of preemption, and the answer to that is absolutely not," Dean said in an interview with Globe editors. "To lay out a doctrine of the right of the United States to preempt any time there is a threat is pretty much an international outrage."
Dean conceded that the US retains the right to preemptive strike — he merely objects to talking about it. (though he didn't have any trouble conceding its existence; bonus points to anybody who can satisfactorily explain that dichotemy)

Divider



(2) The other curiousity is the Democratic confusion at the failure to censure President Bush for warrantless domestic wiretapping, when Clinton was censured for something far less serious. That's astoundingly dense.

Look, Clinton's relatively minor crime was almost universally acknowledged. Even his defenders conceded that, yes, he lied (or, at least, mislead) under oath. The censure was not over a controversial question. Bush's alleged crime, on the other hand, is still the subject of dispute. Unless it's settled by a court — or Congress somehow comes to some bipartisan consensus — there's simply no broad agreement (among the relevant voters) that the wiretapping was illegal.

So, Clinton was censured and Bush has not been for the same reason that a person who gets a parking ticket will simply pay it immediately, while a murderer gets a long and expensive trial. In one case, there's little dispute — in another, there's a great deal of dispute.

If critics want to ensure a censure — or more — they need to take the warrantless domestic wiretapping case to courts. Until that's done, a censure will get nowhere.
 
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Well, I suspect the inital confusion is that you aren’t describing it right (it’s not domestic, it’s intercepts of internatioal calls), and the second confusion is that the people pushing the resolution are people who don’t know anything about the program (Feingold), while people who have been read in to the program and seen a full presentation say it’s valuable and necessary (Feinstein).

Clear thse little points up and you might have better luck.
 
Written By: Charles Martin
URL: http://
Even a Court decision would likely not settle this. History is rife with Court decisions indicating that the Executive has acted contrary to law or the Constitution; this "Bush broke the law" thing is something of a red herring. Unless I missed something in my history classes, Truman was censured for seizing the Steel mills, which strikes me as a much more direct constitutional violation. There are open questions of con law that could go either way here; it is for that ambiguity that I don’t think he should probably *ever* be censured for the wiretapping.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
Bush’s alleged crime, on the other hand, is still the subject of dispute. Unless it’s settled by a court — or Congress somehow comes to some bipartisan consensus — there’s simply no broad agreement (among the relevant voters) that the wiretapping was illegal.
You keep saying this, and yet you repeatedly fail to explain why Bush’s argument that it is legal is even plausible. Indeed, you don’t even explain what Bush’s argument is. Is he admitting to violating FISA? Is he is saying that he didn’t violate FISA? Is he saying FISA itself is unconstitutional? At a minimum, explain why the Steel Seizure case is distinguishable.

What is the argument?

This is part of a larger strategy on the right. Keep saying there is a debate. Keep saying there is a debate. But don’t actually idenitfy the precise argument on which the Bushies are relying. And certainly don’t make any kind of reasoned legal argument - based on precedent and other authority - to explain why the argument is correct. Just keep saying there is a debate.

And even if there is a debate, why aren’t we having a trial? As you note, murder trials are long and drawn out. But at least there is a trial. So why aren’t you calling for impeachment proceedings to begin?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
And even if there is a debate, why aren’t we having a trial? As you note, murder trials are long and drawn out. But at least there is a trial. So why aren’t you calling for impeachment proceedings to begin?
Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution; "The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

Since Impeachment and conviction are separate and mutually required for removal from office we can reasonably conclude that impeachment proceedings are not a trial. Your point is an apples and oranges comparison.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
It’s pretty clear to me, that the debate in Congress is not at all on-going.

It’s pretty much over except for the political grandstanding and sniping.

The full Congress has not made it illegal, or done anything to stop it.

The intel committees have come to a compromise to include more oversight of the program. This to me tells me that the intel committees, which have reviewed the program, doesn’t think it is illegal.

That’s where it stands as I understand it.

Wiretapping US citizens receiving or placing calls to suspect phone numbers outside this country, is OK.

And I would conjecture, wiretapping those same citizens immediately after such calls to collect intel on who they are connected to (although not neccessarily what they are saying) is OK as well.

If there is a crime, it is up to the accussers to prove it, not the accussed. Innocent until proven guilty is the standard after all. In a court of law anyway. I really believe that a good deal of what we heard about this program in the press was factually wrong. And as such, all the conjecture about why it is illegal, is not based on what is actually occuring.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
it’s not domestic, it’s intercepts of internatioal calls
It’s neither entirely domestic calls, nor entirely international calls. The warrantless domestic surveillance in question involves calls wherein one end of the call comes from a person in the United States. That — surveillance that involves a person in the United States without a warrant — is precisely "warrantless domestic surveillance". Both participants do not need to be in the US for it to be termed domestic.
You keep saying this, and yet you repeatedly fail to explain why Bush’s argument that it is legal is even plausible.
It is not incumbent upon me to offer a rationale for other people’s views. I pointed out, among the relevant voters in the Senate, there is dispute as to the legality of the surveillance. That’s all that I intended to demonstrate.

I happen to think that a court would find the surveillance illegal. Until such a time, though, the only relevant metric is the opinion of the people who can vote for or against censure. And their opinion is divided.
This is part of a larger strategy on the right. Keep saying there is a debate.
Oh, I see. It’s a strategy on the right to point out that people disagree on this issue, whereas the reality based community prefers to believe that nobody disagrees and we could have a censure if the Democrats would just agree to it.

I suspect you know full well that there’s disagreement. You believe there ought not be disagreement, but that’s not what you wrote. Next time, think more carefully before you write.
And even if there is a debate, why aren’t we having a trial?
Refer to: "they need to take the warrantless domestic wiretapping case to courts". I think there ought to be a trial. I’m not sure who has standing to do it, but I’d like to see somebody take the case to the Supreme Court. A Congressional hearing would be a Kangaroo court, no matter who was in control of Congress at the time. You know that and I know that. A Supreme Court trial is the only reasonable way out of this.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I thought the idea of having the words "Kennedy" and "resuscitate" in the same sentence was the real point of humour.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Jon, this is something I found at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
FISA does not regulate the use of electronic surveillance outside of the United States. For instance, electronic surveillance of electronic communications like e-mail is only governed by §1801(f)(4) if the surveillance device is installed "in the United States." When e-mail sent by a U.S. person to a foreign person is intercepted outside the United States, that interception does not meet this definition.
It might be a stretch to say that since FISA doesn’t regulate electronic surveillance outside of the US, then surveillance of foreign telephone calls even though the person at the other end of the call is in the US do not fall under FISA, either. But I don’t think it’s an unreasonable stretch, nor an un supportable conclusion to reach.

By way of another example, if the police in my city had a warrant to tap my phone and you called me (or I called you), the call would be recorded. The police here have no jurisdiction over you, and no warrant to listen to your calls, but the recording is still legal.

So, if it’s legal for an intel agency to tap a foreign phone line without a warrant, and that phone line happens to call someone in the US, I’m not so sure this is an illegal wiretap.

Like you said, the courts should hear this one out. I’ve read a number of opinions by legal experts on this; there are lawyers both conservative and liberal who think the taps were legal...and about as many others who think they were illegal.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
If only certain congressmen are allowed to be briefed on the intelligence gathering, and those breifings are held as classified, how exactly does one go about bringing a civil action against said intelligence gathering?

 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Since Impeachment and conviction are separate and mutually required for removal from office we can reasonably conclude that impeachment proceedings are not a trial. Your point is an apples and oranges comparison.
It’s an open question whether a sitting president can be indicted. It is not an open question whether a sitting president can be impeached. (It is not necessary to be convicted of a crime to be impeached - many judges have been impeached based on allegations not involving criminal conduct.) My point is that if you believe there is a good debate over whether Bush broke the law, then the appropriate fourm - the only one that is constitutionally sound - is impeachment in the House and trial in the Senate. You cannot on the one hand say that Bush may have broken the law, and then on the other reject impeachment as the appropriate vehicle for litigating that question.
Oh, I see. It’s a strategy on the right to point out that people disagree on this issue, whereas the reality based community prefers to believe that nobody disagrees and we could have a censure if the Democrats would just agree to it.

I suspect you know full well that there’s disagreement. You believe there ought not be disagreement, but that’s not what you wrote. Next time, think more carefully before you write.
Sure. And there are people who believe the earth is flat. Therefore, there is a disagreement that the earth is flat. The reality based community prefers to believe there isn’t a debate.

It’s all relative. There is no objective truth. If the GOP disagrees, then we have a disagreement.
Refer to: "they need to take the warrantless domestic wiretapping case to courts". I think there ought to be a trial. I’m not sure who has standing to do it, but I’d like to see somebody take the case to the Supreme Court. A Congressional hearing would be a Kangaroo court, no matter who was in control of Congress at the time.
Not a hearing - impeachment and a trial. And so what if the GOP would vote to acquit. Prosecutors don’t fail to bring cases because they might lose them. And prosecutors prosecute using laws they may not agree with, and people they may actually like. The Senate should do the same, and right wing bloggers who have principles should be calling on them to do that.

Oh - and by the way Jon, this assertion is flat wrong:
Look, Clinton’s relatively minor crime was almost universally acknowledged


Man, do you have a short memory. Tell me, why was lying about Lewinsky material to Paula Jones’ case? Oh - and among the voters who mattered, this was the result:
The perjury charge was defeated with 45 votes for conviction and 55 against. The obstruction of justice charge was defeated with 50 for conviction and 50 against. Again, the impeachment effort did not have bipartisan support, though several Republicans voted to acquit.
So let me get this straight: When Senators disagree about whether Clinton broke the law, including Republicans who voted to acquit, there is near universal agreement. You sure got a funny definition of universal agreement.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
So let me get this straight: When Senators disagree about whether Clinton broke the law, including Republicans who voted to acquit, there is near universal agreement. You sure got a funny definition of universal agreement
And you have a funny way of skewing every statement made. The Senators who voted against conviction said that Clinton’s crimes "didn’t rise to the level of impeachment". That doesn’t mean they disagreed over whether he had committed crimes.
Tell me, why was lying about Lewinsky material to Paula Jones’ case?
Chip shot. Jones’s attorneys were trying to establish a pattern of Clinton’s behavior toward subordinates. The judge on the case allowed the questions...why not ask her why she thought they were material?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
If the GOP disagrees, then we have a disagreement.
No, if a sufficient number of Congressmen disagree, then we have disagreement. That’s the relevant data set. I’m sure there’s absolute unanimity at the Daily Kos, but that’s an irrelevant data set. Surely you are aware of who actually counts on questions of censure or impeachment?
Not a hearing - impeachment and a trial.
Yes, they would be Kangaroo courts. And you know it. You’d scream bloody murder if a trial was prosecuted by the party you oppose. (and, obviously, so would the other side)
Man, do you have a short memory.
Aside from what Steverino pointed out, I’d note that, to this day, there’s just not a heck of a lot of dispute that Clinton intentionally gave misleading answers under oath. He was not convicted — in Congress or in court — of perjury, so arguing that he didn’t commit perjury is a strawman. He plead to giving false testimony, and — minor as that may’ve been — it was just about universally acknowledged.

The question, as Steverino pointed out, was whether it rose to the level of an impeachable offense. I don’t happen to think it did. I’d’ve had no problem with a censure for him, but it would have only been possible because there was broad agreement that he gave false testimony. That broad agreement just doesn’t exist with the warrantless domestic surveillance and it probably won’t until the administration is forced to defend the policy in a court trial. Something similar to Hamdi, etc.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
And you have a funny way of skewing every statement made. The Senators who voted against conviction said that Clinton’s crimes "didn’t rise to the level of impeachment". That doesn’t mean they disagreed over whether he had committed crimes.
Aside from what Steverino pointed out, I’d note that, to this day, there’s just not a heck of a lot of dispute that Clinton intentionally gave misleading answers under oath. He was not convicted — in Congress or in court — of perjury, so arguing that he didn’t commit perjury is a strawman. He plead to giving false testimony, and — minor as that may’ve been — it was just about universally acknowledged.

The question, as Steverino pointed out, was whether it rose to the level of an impeachable offense
So everyone - including the Senators was convinced he committed perjury, but didn’t think it rose to the level of an impeachable offense. Is that right?

Well, lets look at the record, shall we?

Maybe Chris Dodd backs you up.
For these reasons and the careful detailed distinction drawn between the inferences made by the House managers and the direct testimony of deposed witnesses, as outlined by our colleague, Carl Levin, I cannot conclude beyond all reasonable doubt that the President is guilty of the criminal charges enumerated in either article of impeachment. Thus, not only do I shrink from this most drastic of measures, I positively affirm we must not remove this President from office.
Nope.

How about Carl Levin:
Finally, I have had a deep concern about the impeachment process which formed the basis of this trial. While my decision to reject the articles is based on the inadequate proof of the crimes alleged, the process which brought this matter to trial was deeply flawed.
Wrong again.

Joe Biden?
First, the facts do not sustain the House Managers’ case. According to the House’s own theory, we must find that the President has violated federal criminal statutes—not just that he did bad things. In all good conscience, I just cannot believe that any jury would convict the President of any of the criminal charges on these facts. I also believe that it is our constitutional duty to give the President the benefit of the doubt on the facts. To me, the allegations that the President violated Title 18 were left in a shambles on this floor.
Guess not.

Maybe Susan Collins - a Republican - backs you up:
As this case has been argued in this chamber, I have become convinced that the perjury charges of Article I are not fully substantiated by the record. The President’s grand jury testimony is replete with lies, half-truths, and evasions. But significantly, not all evasion is lying, and not all lying is perjury. Even blatantly misleading testimony that all fair-minded people would consider dishonest may not actually constitute perjury, as the law defines it.


Guess not. Even one of the Republicans who voted against impeachment concluded it wasn’t perjury.

Care to restate your sweeping conclusions? Or do you want to continue rewriting history?
Chip shot. Jones’s attorneys were trying to establish a pattern of Clinton’s behavior toward subordinates. The judge on the case allowed the questions...why not ask her why she thought they were material?
You have obviously never been involved in a deposition. One can object with respect to the form of a question. With limited exceptions not relevant in the Clinton case, e.g., the matter is privileged, objections to the substance of a question are overruled. Stated another way, simply because the matter might be excluded on relevance grounds at trial does not make the question objectionsable. The judge’s ruling had no bearing on whether thequestions went to a matter material to the case. I suggest you brush up on your research of the FRCP.

On a more basic point, a consensual sexual relationship several years after the fact seems highly irrelevant to a claim of sexual harassment. Indeed, sexual harassment law is based on power, not sex.
That broad agreement just doesn’t exist with the warrantless domestic surveillance and it probably won’t until the administration is forced to defend the policy in a court trial.
Clinton lied under oath. Bush violated the terms of FISA. No question.

No one is arguing that Bush didn’t violate FISA. If a grand jury were called, Bush would be indicted in two minutes. No one is arguing that Bush did get a warrant before the fact, or got one 72 hours after the fact. No one - and I mean no one - is arguing that Bush did not violate the terms of FISA. Indeed, from a standpoint of whether the law was broken, the conclusion that Bush violated the terms of FISA is a much easier one to reach than that Clinton committed perjury. A perjury charge requires analysis of what is material, and what is not. That requires an analysis of the case as a whole.

The "defenses" offered up by Bush supporters have fallen into three categories: (1) AUMF authorized the violation of FISA; (2) FISA itself is unconstitutional; and (3) Article II authorizes Bush to do what he did. There is some overlap between these "defenses." But no one is arguing that Bush did no violate the terms of FISA.

Now, if Bush wanted to present these defenses at an impeachment trial, fine. Go ahead. Substantively, however, there is no distinction between his offering these defenses to a prima facie case of lawbreaking on the one hand, and a Senator’s conclusion that Clinton’s perjury was not a high crime or misdemeanor on the other.

A defendant offers defenses at trial. Bush has his "defenses" - and he could offer them at trial on the charge that he violated FISA.



 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Care to restate your sweeping conclusions? Or do you want to continue rewriting history?
I never once said that ALL of the Senators thought that Clinton was guilty...simply that most did, even among those that voted against removing him from office. You brought up 4 counter-examples...out of 100 Senators.

When will you go back and correct the egregious factual errors you’ve made here? I noticed you got your clock cleaned a couple of weeks back and disappeared from here, rather than admit you were wrong...now you’re back, spewing one distortion after another.
On a more basic point, a consensual sexual relationship several years after the fact seems highly irrelevant to a claim of sexual harassment. Indeed, sexual harassment law is based on power, not sex.
You’ve gone and hand-grenaded your own argument with your last sentence there. Clinton had power, Lewinsky did not...consent or no, it still showed a pattern of Clinton considering his underlings fair game for sexual favors. His lies on the stand, and his introduction of Lewinsky’s perjured affidavit, were material.

You’ve had your head handed to you on on this issue before, mkultra. Not by me, but by several others. I can go back and search the archives for you if you insist, but I have a business to run, and don’t have the time to destroy you all over again.
No one is arguing that Bush didn’t violate FISA.
There are several lawyers who say that FISA doesn’t apply here. If FISA doesn’t apply when an email is exchanged between a US resident and someone outside the country (and it doesn’t), why would it apply to a phone conversation similarly routed?
If a grand jury were called, Bush would be indicted in two minutes
Only if the grand jurors were partisan hacks like you. Frankly, I’ve never seen a lawyer who could make ANY point in two minutes, much less get someone indicted.
The "defenses" offered up by Bush supporters have fallen into three categories: (1) AUMF authorized the violation of FISA; (2) FISA itself is unconstitutional; and (3) Article II authorizes Bush to do what he did. There is some overlap between these "defenses." But no one is arguing that Bush did no violate the terms of FISA.
If defense (1) as you listed is true, then FISA was superseded. It’s never a crime to break a law that has been superseded by another law.

If defense (2) as you listed is true, then violating FISA is meaningless. Not following an unconstitutional law is not a crime.

If defense (3) as you listed is true, then FISA doesn’t matter. Congress cannot pass a law that limits the President’s Constitutionally authorized power.

So, if any of those defenses are true, FISA is a red herring.
A defendant offers defenses at trial. Bush has his "defenses" - and he could offer them at trial on the charge that he violated FISA.
And people who are innocent offer defenses so that they aren’t even arrested or charged with crimes. Bush isn’t a defendant, and right now there’s no consensus on whether a crime was committed.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
Steverino:

Steverino then - responding to my nested quote:
So let me get this straight: When Senators disagree about whether Clinton broke the law, including Republicans who voted to acquit, there is near universal agreement. You sure got a funny definition of universal agreement
And you have a funny way of skewing every statement made. The Senators who voted against conviction said that Clinton’s crimes "didn’t rise to the level of impeachment". That doesn’t mean they disagreed over whether he had committed crimes.
My point was that Senators disagreed about whether Clinton committed the crime of perjury. Steverino replied that those Senators who voted to not convict did so not on the basis that they did not believe Clinton committed perjury, but because they believed the perjury he did commit did not constitute an impeachable offense. I provided data to the contrary, including the statement of a Republican Senator. So what does Steverine say?

Steverino now:
I never once said that ALL of the Senators thought that Clinton was guilty...simply that most did, even among those that voted against removing him from office.
Actually, that is not at all what Sreverino said. (And it is beside the point; Jon said there was near universal agreement Clinton committed a crime when in fact Democratic Senators and at least one Republican Senator said otherwise. That was what I responding to.)

I reviewed steverino’s earlier posts. He said nothing about some, half, most or all. He didn’t state "most" Senators thought Clinton committed perjury. Moreover, he offered no data to support the conclusion that "most" Senators thought or said Clinton committed perjury. I provided data to the contrary. He did not.
There are several lawyers who say that FISA doesn’t apply here. If FISA doesn’t apply when an email is exchanged between a US resident and someone outside the country (and it doesn’t), why would it apply to a phone conversation similarly routed?
This is what frustrates me most. Steverino lies here. He says FISA does not apply to an email from or to a US citizen. That is a lie. Here is the law:


50 U.S.C. 1809 prohibits "electronic surveillance" except as authorized by statutory law: "A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally . . . engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute."

"Electronic surveillance" is defined in 50 U.S.C. 1801(f) to mean, in relevant part:

(1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;

(2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States. . . .

A "United States person" is defined in 50 U.S.C. 1801(i) as "a citizen of the United States [or] an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence."
I conduct this tedious exercise only because I believe that Steverino is a symptom of a larger problem. Steverino did not think he would be fact checked. For instance, Steverino claims FISA does not apply to US citizens who receive communications from abroad, or sent them from abroad. But it does.

Stop lying, Steverino. You will respect yourself more in the morning if you do.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Care to restate your sweeping conclusions?
You seem to think that I accused Clinton — and his critics of believing that he committed — perjury. I have no idea where you got that idea, since I’ve explicitly disclaimed it.
No one is arguing that Bush didn’t violate FISA.
Plenty of people — wrongly, in my opinion — argue that what he did was not a violation of law. Please, spare me the argument that it was a violation of law. That argument is entirely immaterial to the point I’ve made.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
You seem to think that I accused Clinton — and his critics of believing that he committed — perjury. I have no idea where you got that idea, since I’ve explicitly disclaimed it.
Jon, here is what you said in your original post:
Look, Clinton’s relatively minor crime was almost universally acknowledged
Now what crime are you referring to here? And how in the world can you say that you explicitly disclaimed the notion that Clinton commiitted perjury when you refer in your post to Clinton’s "crime."

Please tell me how saying Clinton committed a crime is an explicit disclaimer of the notion that Clinton committed a crime.

The irony here is that this post is entitled "Correcting Misapprehensions." So why did I incorrectly apprehend that you believed Clinton committed a crime when you referred to Clinton’s crime.?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Here’s what I wrote: "He was not convicted — in Congress or in court — of perjury, so arguing that he didn’t commit perjury is a strawman. He plead to giving false testimony, and — minor as that may’ve been — it was just about universally acknowledged."
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Here’s what I wrote: "He was not convicted — in Congress or in court — of perjury, so arguing that he didn’t commit perjury is a strawman. He plead to giving false testimony, and — minor as that may’ve been — it was just about universally acknowledged."
How is this your disclaimer? You are merely referring to what other people thought regarding what he did, i.e., Congress and the court. Your assertion is that he committed a crime.

And the foregoing passage isn’t even correct. Clinton never said he gave false testimony. He certainly never pled to giving false testimony. In fact, he said his answers were "legally accurate." Clinton was cited for contempt of court (non criminal contempt) by the judge. He didn’t appeal the ruling.

Argh.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Contempt of court for what, MK?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
And why are we even arguing about this? I don’t think Clinton did anything substantially problematic — embarrassing, dishonorable, yes; deserving of impeachment, absolutely not. The entire argument I’ve made is that the relevant voters in each case (Clinton or Bush) perceive the acts differently, and that’s relevant.

There’s not going to be a censure unless you have substantial agreement among the relevant voters that the President acted wrongly. You don’t. QED.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
From the judge’s contempt of court order:
Simply put, the President’s deposition testimony regarding whether he has ever engaged in sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky was intentionally false and his statements regarding whether he had ever engaged in sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky likewise were intentionally false, notwithstanding tortured definitions and interpretations of the term ’sexual relations.’
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Contempt of court for what, MK?
For lying under oath. I have never said he didn’t.

Being found in contempt of court is not the same thing as being found guilty of a crime, however. Unless we are talking about criminal contempt, in which case the accused is entitled to the all the rights accorded a criminal defendant. In a civil contempt proceeding, he is not. That is why the judge had the authority to make a finding Clinton was in contempt of court.

Again, my problem was with the assertion that Clinton’s "crime" was almost universally acknowledged when in fact nothing could be farther from the truth.
The entire argument I’ve made is that the relevant voters in each case (Clinton or Bush) perceive the acts differently, and that’s relevant.
Actually, you made the opposite argument. You said there was near universal acknowlegdement about Clinton’s crime. You certainly did not say that the relevant voters differed. Indeed, that was the entire basis of the post, namely, that Bush’s case is different because the relevant voters disagree, whereas in the case of Clinton they did not.

The reason why any of this matters is because commenters such as yourself should be pointing out the GOP’s (and many Dems’) hypocrisy on their handling
of the legal issue in the NSA scandal in light of what happened to Clinton, not making false assertions to explain why they are being handled differently.

The cases are remarkably similar - Clinton lied. Bush didn’t get warrants. Each case presents a prima facie case of lawbreaking, although I agree with the outcome in Clinton’s case. Legally, what he lied about was not material and hence perjury did not occur. Let Bush have to defend himself, just as Clinton did. Impeach, and have a trial.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
From mkultra:
(1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;
(emphasis mine)

Here’s what I posted before, from the Electronic Frontier Federation:
FISA does not regulate the use of electronic surveillance outside of the United States. For instance, electronic surveillance of electronic communications like e-mail is only governed by §1801(f)(4) if the surveillance device is installed "in the United States." When e-mail sent by a U.S. person to a foreign person is intercepted outside the United States, that interception does not meet this definition.
It is clear from reading the law that FISA only applies when the target of the tap is a US resident. What I have said all along is that if the target is NOT a US resident and happens to be in contact with a US resident, FISA does not apply.
I conduct this tedious exercise only because I believe that Steverino is a symptom of a larger problem. Steverino did not think he would be fact checked. For instance, Steverino claims FISA does not apply to US citizens who receive communications from abroad, or sent them from abroad. But it does.
No, mkultra,it does not. FISA only applies when the target is a US resident.


Stop trying to twist the facts, mkultra.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
Prediction:

mkultra will try to show that I said that ALL communication between US residents and people overseas is not covered under FISA. He will completely ignore what I said in my first post, where I was clearly talking about an intercept overseas. He will also ignore the relevant passage in the law — which he himself quoted — that states the target of the surveillance must be a US resident in order for FISA to apply.

He will not admit he is wrong on this point, just as he has never admitted he was wrong in any of the other mistakes he’s made. He’ll try to talk around it, or else he’ll just stop talking about it.

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com
Whereas Senator Feingold has introduced a motion in the Senate of the United States to censure President Bush.

Whereas the Constitution of the United States does not grant authority or power to the Senate to censure the President.

Whereas said resolution usurps the Power of Impeachment granted by the Constitution only to the House of Representatives.

Whereas said resolution usurps the Power of the Senate to try impeachments.

Whereas said resolution proceeds directly to punishment.

Be it resolved that Senator Feingold is an *ss
 
Written By: Bill
URL: http://theeclecticbill.blogspot.com/
From FISA 1802 a(1)(B)
...there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party
which is not the same as "only applies when the target of the tap is a US resident".


I think it is very clear that the wiretaps violate FISA. You may be able to argue that FISA doesn’t apply based on other laws or constitutional authority, but FISA as written does not require that a person in the US only be designated as a target.

 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"Clinton’s offense" would be a more precise phraseology. Clinton himself admitted that "his actions merited censure", he explicitly agreed to the penalties levied against him, and he acknowledged that his responses were "false".

Not sure what more there is to prove, unless you still think I’m accusing him of perjury or arguing that he should have had additional penalties. Which is not the case.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party"

How many of the warrantless wiretaps are there, and how many end up having a US national on US soil on one end of them. Then compare and contrast to "no substantial liklihood".

I suggest "no substantial liklihood" will be defined by political affiliation.

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

 
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