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Old 01-05-2006, 12:55 PM   #301
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Originally posted by nbcrusader
Looks like a great example of the media becoming the media story. A theory based on a question asked by a reporter?

perhaps the question was a bit premature for print, but this is how investigative journalism works, questions beget more questions and theories emerge, then they must be researched and verified -- let's let it simmer and see what happens.

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Old 01-07-2006, 06:34 PM   #302
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Report Rebuts Bush on Spying
Domestic Action's Legality Challenged

By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 7, 2006; Page A01

A report by Congress's research arm concluded yesterday that the administration's justification for the warrantless eavesdropping authorized by President Bush conflicts with existing law and hinges on weak legal arguments.

The Congressional Research Service's report rebuts the central assertions made recently by Bush and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales about the president's authority to order secret intercepts of telephone and e-mail exchanges between people inside the United States and their contacts abroad.

The findings, the first nonpartisan assessment of the program's legality to date, prompted Democratic lawmakers and civil liberties advocates to repeat calls yesterday for Congress to conduct hearings on the monitoring program and attempt to halt it.

The 44-page report said that Bush probably cannot claim the broad presidential powers he has relied upon as authority to order the secret monitoring of calls made by U.S. citizens since the fall of 2001. Congress expressly intended for the government to seek warrants from a special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court before engaging in such surveillance when it passed legislation creating the court in 1978, the CRS report said.

The report also concluded that Bush's assertion that Congress authorized such eavesdropping to detect and fight terrorists does not appear to be supported by the special resolution that Congress approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which focused on authorizing the president to use military force.

"It appears unlikely that a court would hold that Congress has expressly or impliedly authorized the NSA electronic surveillance operations here," the authors of the CRS report wrote. The administration's legal justification "does not seem to be . . . well-grounded," they said.

Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has pledged to hold hearings on the program, which was first revealed in news accounts last month, and the judges of the FISA court have demanded a classified briefing about the program, which is scheduled for Monday.

"This report contradicts the president's claim that his spying on Americans was legal," said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), one of the lawmakers who asked the CRS to research the issue. "It looks like the president's wiretapping was not only illegal, but also ensnared innocent Americans who did nothing more than place a phone call."

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the president and the administration believe the program is on firm legal footing. "The national security activities described by the president were conducted in accord with the law and provide a critical tool in the war on terror that saves lives and protects civil liberties at the same time," he said. A spokesman for the National Security Agency was not available for a comment yesterday.

Other administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the CRS reached some erroneous legal conclusions, erring on the side of a narrow interpretation of what constitutes military force and when the president can exercise his war powers.

Bush has said that he has broad powers in times of war and must exercise them to target not only "enemies across the world" but also "terrorists here at home." The administration has argued, starting in 2002 briefs to the FISA court, that the "war on terror" is global and indefinite, effectively removing the limits of wartime authority -- traditionally the times and places of imminent or actual battle.

Some law professors have been skeptical of the president's assertions, and several said yesterday that the report's conclusions were expected. "Ultimately, the administration's position is not persuasive," said Carl W. Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor and an expert on constitutional law. "Congress has made it pretty clear it has legislated pretty comprehensively on this issue with FISA," he said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. "And there begins to be a pattern of unilateral executive decision making. Time and again, there's the executive acting alone without consulting the courts or Congress."

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the report makes it clear that Congress has exerted power over domestic surveillance. He urged Congress to address what he called the president's abuse of citizens' privacy rights and the larger issue of presidential power.

"These are absolutely central questions in American government: What exactly are the authorities vested in the president, and is he complying with the law?" Rotenberg said.

The report includes 1970s-era quotations from congressional committees that were then uncovering years of domestic spying abuses by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI against those suspected of communist sympathies, American Indians, Black Panthers and other activists. Lawmakers were very disturbed at how routinely FBI agents had listened in on U.S. citizens' phone calls without following any formal procedures. As they drafted FISA and created its court, the lawmakers warned then that only strong legislation, debated in public, could stop future administrations from eavesdropping.

"This evidence alone should demonstrate the inappropriateness of relying solely on executive branch discretion to safeguard civil liberties," they wrote. The lawmakers noted that Congress's intelligence committees could provide some checks and balances to protect privacy rights but that their power was limited in the face of an administration arguing that intelligence decisions must remain top secret.

Researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

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Old 01-08-2006, 12:07 PM   #303
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Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME): "We ... express our profound concern about recent revelations that the United States Government may have engaged in domestic electronic surveillance without appropriate legal authority."

Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA): "I think it does not constitute a check and balance ... you can't have the administration and a select number of members alter the law. It can't be done."

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN): "I think the Congress quite rightly is trying to take a look at now the fact that we're past 9-11, we're going to have to live with the war on terror for a long while. And whether it's the treatment of prisoners that we've been discussing, for example, or elements of the Patriot Act, likewise intercepts are going to have to be given, I think, a pretty good hearing."

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) called the allegations of surveillance abuses 'extremely troubling.' Collins said the report 'warrants further inquiry by Congress' and that she has asked the NSA for a full briefing."

Senator John E. Sununu (R-NH): "I don't think the 'use of force' resolution authorized this use of NSA resources for domestic surveillance ... this is the kind of activity that should be approved in statute."

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): "I'm particularly concerned about the long-term effect of the line we may be crossing. When we flipped the FISA over from just foreign governments and known spies and blended it into a gray area of the Patriot Act, we're now talking about somebody who we have reason to believe is connected to a foreign government, but they are a U.S. citizen."

Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID): "The Founders envisioned a nation where people's privacy was respected and the government's business was open ... these actions turn that vision on its head. If the government is willing to bend the rules on this issue, how are we supposed to believe it won't abuse the powers granted by the Patriot Act?"

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC): "We can't become an outcome-based democracy. Even in a time of war, you have to follow the process, because that's what a democracy is all about: a process."

Senator John McCain (R-AZ): "Why did the president choose not to use FISA? That's a legitimate question."

Former Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA): "Exactly like Nixon before him, Bush has ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct electronic snooping on communications of various people, including U.S. citizens. That action is unequivocally contrary to the express and implied requirements of federal law that such surveillance of U.S. persons inside the U.S. (regardless of whether their communications are going abroad) must be preceded by a court order."

William Safire, a former speechwriter for President Nixon: "During wartime, we have this excess of security, and afterwards we apologize. And that's why I offended a lot of my conservative and hard-line friends right after September 11th, when they started putting these captured combatants in jail, and said the president can't seize dictatorial power. And a lot of my friends looked at me like I was going batty. But now we see this argument over excessive security, and I'm with the critics on that.
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:22 PM   #304
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Old 01-08-2006, 03:02 PM   #305
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It was nine o'clock at midnight at a quarter after three
When a turtle met a bagpipe on the shoreside by the sea,
And the turtle said, "My dearie,
May I sit with you? I'm weary."
And the bagpipe didn't say no.
Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "I have walked this lonely shore,
I have talked to waves and pebbles--but I've never loved before.
Will you marry me today, dear?
Is it 'No' you're going to say dear?"
But the bagpipe didn't say no.

Said the turtle to his darling, "Please excuse me if I stare,
But you have the plaidest skin, dear,
And you have the strangest hair.
If I begged you pretty please, love,
Could I give you just one squeeze, love?"
And the bagpipe didn't say no.

Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "Ah, you love me. Then confess!
Let me whisper in your dainty ear and hold you to my chest."
And he cuddled her and teased her
And so lovingly he squeezed her.
And the bagpipe said, "Aaooga."

Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "Did you honk or bray or neigh?
For 'Aaooga' when your kissed is such a heartless thing to say.
Is it that I have offended?
Is it that our love is ended?"
And the bagpipe didn't say no.

Said the turtle to the bagpipe, "Shall i leave you, darling wife?
Shall i waddle off to Woedom? Shall i crawl out of your life?
Shall I move, depart and go, dear--
Oh, I beg you tell me 'No' dear!"
But the bagpipe didn't say no.

So the turtle crept off crying and he ne'er came back no more,
And he left the bagpipe lying on that smooth and sandy shore.
And some night when tide is low there,
Just walk up and say, "Hello, there,"
And politely ask the bagpipe if this story's really so.
I assure you, darling children, the bagpipe won't say "No."

-- Shel Silverstein

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Old 01-08-2006, 04:10 PM   #306
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:12 PM   #307
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Bush has abused his power. Bring on the investigators.
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Old 01-08-2006, 09:55 PM   #308
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I've been waiting for Bush to screw up enough to get him in real impeach him! Then get rid of Cheney (cause non of us want him in office either) Also, does anyone think that maybe, just maybe the people being watched weren't linked whatsoever to terrorism? I may be on the list...
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Old 01-08-2006, 10:26 PM   #309
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Originally posted by onebloodonelife
I've been waiting for Bush to screw up enough to get him in real impeach him!
i fear this may not be enough for an impeachment...he hasn't preformed any sex acts outside of marriage that we know of
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:16 PM   #310
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Groups Sue to Stop Domestic Spying Program

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press Writer

Federal lawsuits were filed Tuesday seeking to halt President Bush's domestic eavesdropping program, calling it an "illegal and unconstitutional program" of electronic eavesdropping on American citizens.

The lawsuits accusing Bush of exceeding his constitutional powers were filed in federal court in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights and in Detroit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The New York suit, filed on behalf of the center and individuals, names Bush, the head of the National Security Agency, and the heads of the other major security agencies, challenging the NSA's surveillance of persons within the United States without judicial approval or statutory authorization.

It asked a judge to stop Bush and government agencies from conducting warrantless surveillance of communications in the United States.

The Detroit suit, which also names the NSA, was filed by the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace and several individuals.

Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday morning with the National Security Agency and the Justice Department.

Bush, who said the wiretapping is legal and necessary, has pointed to a congressional resolution passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that authorized him to use force in the fight against terrorism as allowing him to order the program.

The program authorized eavesdropping of international phone calls and e-mails of people deemed a terror risk.

But the New York lawsuit noted that federal law already allows the president to conduct warrantless surveillance during the first 15 days of a war and allows court authorization of surveillance for agents of foreign powers or terrorist groups.

Instead of following the law, Bush "unilaterally and secretly authorized electronic surveillance without judicial approval or congressional authorization," the lawsuit said.

At a news conference, Center for Constitutional Rights Legal Director Bill Goodman portrayed the president as a man on an unprecedented power grab at the expense of basic democratic principles.

He said the public was starting to understand the assertion that the erosion of individual rights is a slippery slope that lets the government "brand anyone a terrorist with no right to counsel, no right to be brought before a judge and no right to privacy in communications."

The Detroit lawsuit said the plaintiffs, who frequently communicate by telephone and e-mail with people in the Middle East and Asia, have a "well-founded belief" that their communications are being intercepted by the government.

"By seriously compromising the free speech and privacy rights of the plaintiffs and others, the program violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the United States Constitution," the lawsuit states.

In its suit in New York, the Center for Constitutional Rights maintained its work was directly affected by the surveillance because its lawyers represent a potential class of hundreds of Muslim foreign nationals detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

It said its attorney-client privilege was likely violated as it represented hundreds of men detained without charge as enemy combatants at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and a Canadian citizen who was picked up at a New York airport while changing planes, sent to Syria and tortured and detained without charges for nearly a year.

The group said the surveillance program has inhibited its ability to represent clients vigorously, making it hard to communicate via telephone and e-mail with overseas clients, witnesses and others for fear the conversations would be overheard.

Plaintiff Rachel Meeropol, an attorney at the center, said she believes she has been targeted. "I'm personally outraged that my confidential communication with my clients may have been listened to by the U.S. government," she said.
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Old 01-17-2006, 01:46 PM   #311
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #312
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Just ask Dan Rather what happened when he tried to report a lie.
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Old 01-17-2006, 04:43 PM   #313
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Originally posted by BOCAGATOR
Just ask Dan Rather what happened when he tried to report a lie.
Dan Rather reported the truth

he broke the Abu Graib torture scandal

and then someone created a forged document, much like the yellow cake forged document, and dropped in the hands of a person they knew would go public.

result, Dan Rather is taken out.

He did not create the forged document.

Interesting that this administration does not care who forges documents that serve their purposes?

Good chance they already know.
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Old 01-17-2006, 05:13 PM   #314
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And the CBS factcheckers were all on the take deliberately missing the points that the blogosphere picked up within hours.
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Old 01-18-2006, 03:24 PM   #315
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I got this in an e-mail from, I'm not endorsing them just throwing it out there. The footnotes are from news articles, if anyone wants them I could post them

If you want some more information on this issue, here's a briefing on what the Bush administration has said—and what the truth is. As you can see, they're pretty far apart on this issue.


They have claimed this unauthorized wiretap on phone calls and email was legal because of Congressional resolution.8
WRONG: Congress has passed no resolution allowing the president to ignore the 4th Amendment and spy on Americans.9 Moreover, Congress explicitly denied this right to the administration.10


Then they claimed that they did it because they needed to act swiftly.11
WRONG: Current law allows immediate wiretaping, with up to three days after the tap to get the official court order. 12


They claimed that Congress was fully briefed and knowledgeable on the program.13
WRONG: Only a handful of Congressional leaders were briefed on the program. Those who attended briefings were ordered to keep quiet about it.14 When Congressional leaders submitted concerns to Vice President Cheney's office about the program, there was no response. 15 Now, it also seems that the administration wasn't forthcoming on major parts of the program.16


They argued that the administrative overhead is too high.17
WRONG: Too much 'paperwork' is not an excuse to break the laws of the land. If it did prove to be too difficult, the president could have sought to fix the law; after all, that's what the Patriot Act is all about.


They said that the spying program was narrow and limited.18
WRONG: A New York Times article about the program reports that the data from the eavesdropping program was 'swamping investigators.' "The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month. But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans."19


The president said the person who leaked the spy program to the New York Times caused great harm to our security and now the Justice Department is involved in an investigation to discover their identity.20
WRONG: Anyone who brings illegal and unconstitutional activity to light is just doing their job—upholding the laws of the land. Our nation has a rich history of protecting whistleblowers—they are heroes who keep our democracy strong.


The administration is now attacking the Clinton-Gore White House by saying they also engaged in warrantless searches of Aldrich Ames' home.
WRONG: The Clinton White House never violated the law in its searches. Warrants were not required for physical searches at that time, and Clinton supported and signed legislation changing the law to require warrants.21

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