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An Army of J. Edgar Hoover’s
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, May 16, 2006

At the risk of offending the "it could never happen here" crowd, this strikes me as a hideous bit of police state surveillance...
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
And:
The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters' phone records in leak investigations. "It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official.
[...]
Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL). The NSLs are a version of an administrative subpoena and are not signed by a judge.
Getting a judge-authorized specific warrant to conduct an investigation of a crime is one thing. Simply monitoring reporters call records to is another thing entirely. (bear in mind the quickly-deleted NBC question about Christiane Amanpour's phone being "eavesdropped upon") Kevin Drum worries that the oversight envelope has been stretched beyond the breaking point...
The FBI is now harrassing reporters in a way that previously required the consent of a judge — which usually wasn't given except as a "last resort." NSLs, by contrast, are issued by the FBI itself. There. Is. No. Oversight. At. All.
That, of course, is the problem with these small steps. Eventually, you end up somewhere unrecognizable and you wonder how you ever got there? The Patriot Act was a very big small step. We've deputized an Army of J. Edgar Hoover's.
The ’90s weren’t that long ago. And I remember a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth over misused FBI Files and suspicious IRS audits. Over the last four and a half years, many of the same wailers and gnashers have cheer-led the concentration of unreviewable power in the executive branch, as if George W. Bush would be the last president ever to wield that power.
Meanwhile, the next President will "be able to lay claim to a number of vast, extraconstitutional powers". Like, for example, the power to spy on domestic reporters with nothing more than the stroke of a beauracrats pen. These National Security Letters can be issued by "FBI field supervisors" — and they are, to the tune of "more than 30,000" letters a year.

We've deputized an Army of J. Edgar Hoover's.

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Having said that, let me add: I would be a lot more credulous of the Left's newfound interest in preserving our privacy and independence from the government if they applied it a bit more consistently. Patterico observes...
Well, obviously, this is a complete outrage. Next thing you know, the government will require me to tell it: what I do for a living; exactly how much I make; where I live; what stocks I buy and sell, and for how much; what I pay in property taxes; and how much profit I make on my investments. If we just sit still like sheep, we’ll end up having to disclose our birthdates — and, God help us, even our Social Security numbers. If that ever comes to pass, you’ll know that we are truly living in the reincarnation of Nazi Germany.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do my taxes.

Similarly, I just got the American Community Survey, which I am required by law to accurately complete and return. The information I'm required to give goes far beyond the information required to determine "how many people live where for the apportionment of seats in the US House of Representatives". Why is it only the libertarians fighting to resist that incursion?
 
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I know the letters A.C.L.U will no doubt upset many who read this blog. They have a long track record standing up for civil liberties and against the slow drift towards the police state. They stand on principal first, liberal and conservative should don’t really matter.

BTW: Their most recent PR problem was to be defending the right to free religious speech at the funerals of military personnel who died in Iraq. BTW: Those are not liberals demonstrating at those funerals. They are fundamentalist Christians who believe that our fighting men deserve to die and go to hell because they are fighting in a country where homosexuality is legal.

Their attitude is that if anyone loses their rights, we all do.

 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
I agree with the ACLU on a lot of subjects. I should point out, however, that the Fred Phelps group to which you point is neither liberal nor conservative — in fact, they protested the Reagan funeral, too, with signs like "Reagan in hell" — and they are only "Christian" in the loosest sense of the word. They’re an unaffiliated cult group.

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
This would be upsetting if true, I don’t know that it is. However, I believe it would only be illegal if the information was being used to prosecute people for crimes.

It may be the otherwise puzzling fact the Democratic Party hack CIA employee who was recently fired was not prosecuted is that the information that she was the leaker was generated from sources that made prosecution for her crime impossible.

CindyB, you are a hack, and hath no understanding.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Cindy B beat me to the punch. The bottom line is this: When it comes to defending privacy rights and the rights of individuals to be free from overly intrusive government snooping, the left is on the side of the individual and the right is on the side of the government. Are there exceptions to this general rule? Of course. But the bottom line remains true.

Indeed, look at the title of the post. What side of the political divide was JEH associated with?





 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
That the right wing is in love with Big Brother is Res Ipsa Loquitur. But if you want fresh evidence, read this from The Hill:
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and conservative members of his panel have reached agreement on legislation that may determine the legality of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance program, GOP sources say.

Specter has mollified conservative opposition to his bill by agreeing to drop the requirement that the Bush administration seek a legal judgment on the program from a special court set up by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978.

Instead, Specter agreed to allow the administration to retain an important legal defense by allowing the court, which holds its hearings in secret, to review the program only by hearing a challenge from a plaintiff with legal standing, said a person familiar with the text of language agreed to by Specter and committee conservatives.

Conservative Republicans who pushed for the change say that it will help quell concerns about the measure’s constitutionality and allow the White House to retain a basic legal defense.

An expert in constitutional law and national security, however, said that the change would allow the administration to throw up huge obstacles to anyone seeking to challenge the program’s legality.
Wingers are in love with Big Brother. Why won’t they simply admit it?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
"When it comes to defending privacy rights and the rights of individuals to be free from overly intrusive government snooping, the left is on the side of the individual and the right is on the side of the government."

MK, the left wants to know what guns I have (in fact, they don’t want me to have them), they don’t want me to have high level encryption, they don’t want me to...

Anyway, you are also a hack.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
The bottom line is this: When it comes to defending privacy rights and the rights of individuals to be free from overly intrusive government snooping, the left is on the side of the individual and the right is on the side of the government. Are there exceptions to this general rule? Of course.
As in "almost every example."
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Like it or not Smith v. Maryland clearly stated that no one can have a reasonable expectation of privacy for these types of phone records. Not even reporters.
 
Written By: Iconic Midwesterner
URL: http://www.iconicmidwest.blogspot.com
MK also doesn’t want to be reminded Clinton come up with a lot what "Bush" has done that has it in a tizzie, and what Clinton didn’t come up with, Presidents have been insisting on since dirt was new.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
MK, the left wants to know what guns I have (in fact, they don’t want me to have them),
Oh Tom. Just another consumer of the right-wing myth machine:
HATCH-CRAIG GUN CONTROL AMENDMENT (May 14, 1999) -

In response to the Lautenberg amendment and its harsh gun control provisions, Senate Republicans presented a less stringent version. The amendment offered by Orrin Hatch (R–UT) and Larry Craig (R-ID) passed by a 48-47 vote.

The Republican bill provided several restrictions on gun ownership. It would require background checks for any private sale at a gun show. Additionally, it would assign a U.S. attorney to every district for the purpose of harassing gun owners.

47 of 55 Republican Senators voted FOR this legislation.

BANNING PRIVATE SALES OF FIREARMS AT GUN SHOWS

This amendment would ban private sales at gun shows unless the buyer first submits to a background registration check. The amendment would also impose numerous restrictions on gun show promoters.

On May 20, 1999 , this amendment passed. Six Republicans sided with the Democrats in favoring this anti-gun legislation, resulting in a 50-50 tie vote and allowing Vice President Al Gore to cast the tie breaking vote.

BACKGROUND REGISTRATION CHECKS (May 20, 1999)-

Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and James Jeffords (R-VT) introduced more restrictions on gun sales with this amendment. It subjects pawnshop and repair shop transactions to the same registration and background check requirements as purchases from dealers.

The amendment passed 79-21, with 34 of 55 Senate Republicans voting FOR the gun control legislation.

JUVENILE CRIME BILL (May 20, 1999) –

The Senate passed the anti-gun juvenile crime bill by a 73-25 vote. Senate Bill 254 contained several gun control amendments in addition to the various provisions related to punishing juveniles who commit crimes.

31 of 55 Senate Republicans voted FOR the anti-gun bill.

OMNIBUS REPUBLICAN GUN CONTROL PACKAGE

On June 18, 1999 , the House defeated the Hyde-McCollum “Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act” by a 280-147 vote. This bill contained many anti-gun provisions, including trigger locks, a young adult gun ban, and lifetime gun ban for certain juveniles.

137 House Republicans voted for the gun control package.

ENFORCEMENT OF EXISTING GUN LAWS AND PROTECTION OF GUN OWNERS

Senator Trent Lott (R-MS) offered a resolution that called for more aggressive enforcement of existing gun laws, tougher penalties for gun-related crimes and protection for the rights of law-abiding gun owners. On May 17, 2000 , the non-binding vote passed 69-30.

52 of 55 Senate Republicans voted FOR more stringent enforcement of existing gun laws.

NO U.N. GUN CONTROL ( July 18, 2001 ) –

Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) offered another amendment to withdraw the United States from the United Nations. Paul argued that the country should boycott the international gun control organization, which is actively “taking guns away from civilians”.

164 House Republicans voted against the amendment.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
MK also doesn’t want to be reminded Clinton come up with a lot what "Bush" has done that has it in a tizzie, and what Clinton didn’t come up with, Presidents have been insisting on since dirt was new.
Clinton come up with? Has it in a tizzle?

Tom, it is hard to respond to your grammatically challenged assertions. But if you are trying to assert that Clinton did what Bush is now doing, you are wrong.

The Padilla case is the Rosetta Stone for this issue. Again, wingers were by and large for keeping Padilla - a citizen - in prison indefinitely, as he sat there uncharged and without access to the courts. The left was almost uniformly against doing that.

The Padilla case settled the matter. Once wingers began to contend that the government has the right to indefinitely detain US citizens, the debate about which side of the political aisle was more in favor of individual liberties ended. It was over.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Jon,
When I looked into the American Community Survey, at least someone who was interviewed personally was able to ’refuse to answer’ alot of the questions he didn’t feel like answering. There are a small number of questions that are mandated by law, but all of the questions are not mandated.
That may help you a little.
 
Written By: anomdebus
URL: http://
’Right-wing myth machine’? Well, that explains Feinstein and Boxer and Schumer and Gore and Clinton and on and on...

If you’re counting on that ’R’ after a name to class someone, give it up. Two-faced little weenies like Specter & Co. are anything but ’right-wing’.
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
And allow me to point out that most branches of the ACLU will have nothing to do with 2nd Amendment cases, having decided that in the middle of a bunch of noted individual rights the 2nd is a ’collective’ right only.
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://elmtreeforge.blogspot.com
The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations. "It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official
I simply can’t be bothered to care about this. After all, the NYTimes, Wash Post and variuous other MSM outlets incessantly beat the drum about how evil the Plame leak was, how "SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE", how there needed to be an investigation and prosecutions. So why should they complain now, when the admin. is doing what they wanted and cracking down on leaks?

Guess they’re finding it a lot different when they’re on the hot seat instead of Karl "Enemy #1" Rove. This is nothing more than the equivalent of yelling "not in the face!" when you finally get thrown a beating you were agitating for but never expected to get in a hundered years.

Lets consider this a teaching moment and move on to more important issues, shall we?

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations. "It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration," said a senior federal official.
Umm, just how many leaks were there in the Clinton administration?

Admittedly Law and Order is probably as accurate a rendition of the legal process as Hollywood’s efforts to show military events, but I don’t remember any of the detectives in a police drama going through any hoops to get call records.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Tom Perkins: CindyB, you are a hack, and hath no understanding.

Tom Perkins: Anyway, you are also a hack.

Physician, heal thyself.

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
"When it comes to defending privacy rights and the rights of individuals to be free from overly intrusive government snooping, the left is on the side of the individual and the right is on the side of the government."

Nice phraseology. What does "overly intrusive government snooping" mean exactly? Clearly there is no such thing when it comes to seeking "social justice."
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Like it or not Smith v. Maryland clearly stated that no one can have a reasonable expectation of privacy for these types of phone records. Not even reporters.
(Sigh) I sometimes feel as I’ve been repeating the same point in an endless loop, and will continue to do so, perhaps forever?

As is true of some case law folks persist in citing vis-a-vis the warrantless intercepted calls by the NSA, Smith pertains to the FOURTH AMENDMENT. When Congress doesn’t think the SCOTUS has extended enough protection via the 4th — or the other rights vouchsafed in the BoR — it can and frequently has provided such protection by statute.

FISA requires warrants when the NSA wants to intercept your international calls, and that is so independent of whether the SCOTUS should ever decided (as it has not) that the 4th Am does not require national security warrants. Similarly, several statutes require a warrant or subpoena before a telco may legally turn over records of your calls. And that is true no matter what the Smith holding about the 4th Am is.

Please, dear god, let this be the last time I have to spew this out....
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
(Sigh) I sometimes feel as I’ve been repeating the same point in an endless loop, and will continue to do so, perhaps forever?
You can awaken a person who is sleeping...But you can’t do much about people that are pretending to be asleep...Dont bother

 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Similarly, several statutes require a warrant or subpoena before a telco may legally turn over records of your calls.
And which statutes are those? The SCA?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
You know, the story seemed a bit odd to me and I couldn’t put my finger on it but I wonder if the whole thing wasn’t another mole hunt like the secret prisons story (of which the Europeans can’t seem to prove ever existed) which netted Mary McCarthy

MacRanger seems to think so.

Rick Moran has lots of links too.

Even CBS is wondering about it.

I don’t doubt that there is an outgrowth program of what was echelon but I wonder if that was "sexed up" (as our opponents on the left would say) to entice certian scurrying creatures into the light.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Mona wrote:
"FISA requires warrants when the NSA wants to intercept your international calls, and that is so independent of whether the SCOTUS should ever decided (as it has not) that the 4th Am does not require national security warrants. Similarly, several statutes require a warrant or subpoena before a telco may legally turn over records of your calls. And that is true no matter what the Smith holding about the 4th Am is."
And since all other declarations of war have permitted warrantless surveillance of the enemy, and the AUMF is no different from any in the past, then this AUMF authorizes such surveillance.

Similarly, because there are no constitutional protections for "addressing" information—as opposed to looking in a package or envelope—what numbers call orginate from and what numbers they reach is also not data the government has to have a warrant in order to learn.

I note no one has reported information gleaned from powers exercised persuant to the AUMF is information that has been used in criminal prosecutions. Why do you think that is?

Because our Constitutional protections are fully intact, that is why.

Full stop, too, unless you have a fact—instead of an opinion—otherwise.

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

"Physician, heal thyself."
There should be something wrong with the physician first before you give out that advice, Glasnost.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
MK, there is nothing Bush is doing now that Clinton did not claim to have the power to do—Clinton didn’t have a declaration of war to authorize his actions, Bush does. Now there is very little I can think of which Clinton did which I didn’t like which Bush stopped doing—although he certainly didn’t lift a finger to preserve the sunsetting portions of the last big guntrol law—but there is nothing you can claim Bush has done which is not traditionally authorized by declarations of war, which the AUMF was.

In fact, the really eggregious "ignorings" of the constitution have been bipartisan and come fromt he legislature, McCain-Feingold, DMCA, the big gun control bills. Funny, Bush had almost nothing to do with any of those*.

*Of course he should have vetoed McCain-Feingold, but I expect he was sure the SC would take that heat for him, and reasnably so—it just wasn’t proper for him to test that reasonable expectation.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Mr Rhetorical
Why is it only the libertarians fighting to resist that incursion?
Because doing so requires thought, and thought requires effort.

Mr Mistaken
Clinton didn’t have a declaration of war to authorize his actions, Bush does.
[pedanto-rant]
The last declaration of war legislated in these United States was in 1941. Not that there’s been any shortage of war, since then, but seriously, the term "declaration of war" has a specific meaning.
[/pedanto-rant]
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
Snator and Constitutional Law Professor Biden disagrees: and says that there is no distinction between between a fornal declaration of war and an AUMF:
"M: (Inaudible) Talbot(?). Senator, thank you for this broad gauged
approach to the problems we face. My question is this, do you foresee
the need or the expectation of a Congressional declaration of war, which
the Constitution calls for, and if so, against whom? (Scattered
Laughter)

JB: The answer is yes, and we did it. I happen to be a professor of
Constitutional law. I’m the guy that drafted the Use of Force proposal
that we passed. It was in conflict between the President and the House.
I was the guy who finally drafted what we did pass. Under the
Constitution, there is simply no distinction ... Louis Fisher(?) and
others can tell you, there is no distinction between a formal
declaration of war, and an authorization of use of force. There is none
for Constitutional purposes. None whatsoever. And we defined in that Use
of Force Act that we passed, what ... against whom we were moving, and
what authority was granted to the President."
http://biden.senate.gov/newsroom/details.cfm?id=229598&&
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
Snator and Constitutional Law Professor Biden disagrees
If that’s not validation, what would be? I’m soooooooooooo right! And an inverse appeal-to-authority is SO not beneath me... Hey wait, whose word do I have it on that this fellow says what you say he says? How do I know you’re not some anonymous malcontent who disagrees with me, as opposed to being, as I hope, an anonymous malcontent who does agree with me, eh? How about that then there, eh?
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
Your concession is accepted.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
"I happen to be a professor of
Constitutional law."

It’s a part-time job. Adjunct prof. since 1991, when it doesn’t interfere with the onerous duties of a US Senator. Not that impressive, if you bother to check his bio. But then he does tend to exagerate and embellish his record. At least Bill Clinton was a full-time prof. of constitutional law.

This took less than 5 minutes to research with google.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
You also do not dispute the statement that there is no distinction between the AUMF and a formal declaration of war.
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
I do so!
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
"I do so!"

Sure you do.

You don’t have any credibility, but sure you do.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Guess we can’t all be adjunct professors of Constitutional Law, eh?
 
Written By: Stoop Davy Dave
URL: http://
Yet those who are and are also Senators involved in writing an AUMF might know more about it than you, in fact, the only people who "know" more are the Justices of the Supreme Court.

You can still raise if you can show they’ve said AUMFs are not constituionally declarations of war, otherwise, you fold.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Seems the original topic was American Community Survey (ACS) Focusing on that topic alone, I jumped in as a novice blogger to create awareness and activity by searching all blogs for information and comments— doing a little posting and back-linking to my blog Just Say No— The American Community Survey. It’s a start, a grain of sand on the Cyberbeach— just a heads up.
 
Written By: CalGal
URL: http://www.notoacs.blogspot.com

 
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