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  #11  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:02 AM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

If you google for and read some more in depth on this issue, you will find that although it is true that the secret court is fairly speedy in its mostly rubber stamp approvals once the issue has been heard, that it nonetheless is very time consuming to prepare the matter for the court and get it on the docket and heard. That shows that there is in fact an issue of urgency in many of these matters that is hampered by the entire process.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:15 AM
Nepa Nepa is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

[ QUOTE ]
If you google for and read some more in depth on this issue, you will find that although it is true that the secret court is fairly speedy in its mostly rubber stamp approvals once the issue has been heard, that it nonetheless is very time consuming to prepare the matter for the court and get it on the docket and heard. That shows that there is in fact an issue of urgency in many of these matters that is hampered by the entire process.

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't believe that this is the reason that they did this? At least nothing that I'v read or heard would lead me to believe this. This is a weak taking point.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:22 AM
QuadsOverQuads QuadsOverQuads is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

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Did G.W. spy on John Kerry and his staff during the election?

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Now that is an interesting question.


q/q
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2005, 02:25 AM
andyfox andyfox is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

It is my understanding that the approval from the special FISA court can be gotten after the fact. That is, that they can do what they want for 72 hours and get approval thereafter for what they did. And out of about 19,000 requests for approval, only five had been denied since the law was passed.

The law was passed with this in mind. Namely that the situations involving terrorism or other emergencies would require quick action that wouldn't necessarily come from regular courts.

If the Bush administration, in the aftermath of 9/11, had felt that FISA was inhibiting fighting the war on terrorism, they could have gone to Congress with a proposal to amend the law. Who in Congress would have opposed this?

The most obvious explanation for the failure to get approval from the FISA court is that is might not have been given. For the president to say that he didn't have to go to the court because of the Constitution or the congressional authorization for the use of force against Afghanistan is quite a stretch.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2005, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

[ QUOTE ]
If you google for and read some more right wing lies and propaganda in depth on this issue, you will be fed the canard that although it is true that the secret court is fairly speedy in its mostly rubber stamp approvals once the issue has been heard, that it nonetheless is very time consuming to prepare the matter for the court and get it on the docket and heard. That pretends that there is in fact an issue of urgency in many of these matters that is hampered by the entire process.

[/ QUOTE ]

FYP. Or, just read anyfox.
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2005, 11:39 AM
BluffTHIS! BluffTHIS! is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful left-wing distortion on the law in this matter

Excerpt below from today's WSJ op-ed page gives the president's legal authority for warrantless wiretaps.

Thank You For Wiretapping

The allegation of Presidential law-breaking rests solely on the fact that Mr. Bush authorized wiretaps without first getting the approval of the court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. But no Administration then or since has ever conceded that that Act trumped a President's power to make exceptions to FISA if national security required it. FISA established a process by which certain wiretaps in the context of the Cold War could be approved, not a limit on what wiretaps could ever be allowed.

The courts have been explicit on this point, most recently in In Re: Sealed Case, the 2002 opinion by the special panel of appellate judges established to hear FISA appeals. In its per curiam opinion, the court noted that in a previous FISA case (U.S. v. Truong), a federal "court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue [our emphasis], held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information." And further that "we take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2005, 11:53 AM
tylerdurden tylerdurden is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

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The other day in the spying thread, one of the ditto-heads repeated the fox news spin that democratic legislators knew about the domestic spying program.

[/ QUOTE ]

The funny part of this debacle is that some people actually believe that only Republicans are capable of this stuff. Lyndon Johnson gave J. Edgar Hoover the Distinguished Achievement Award. Do you think it was for his work organizing church bake sales??
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

[ QUOTE ]
In a time of war the executive branch has the power to do anything it wants. The only way to stop the executive branch from a specific course of action is for congress to become organized and pass a bill to stop the executive branch.

[/ QUOTE ]

Funny, I don't remember a Congressional declaration of war. And, although I'm pretty young and unlearned when it comes to many things, I'm pretty sure the executive branch can't do anything it wants.

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I am grateful for such a committed leader in this trying time.

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Please, spare us. For the vast majority of people, the time isn't 'trying.' Bush could've asked for some shared sacrifice a few years back, but wanted us to keep on mallratting and guzzling gas. What exactly is he committed to, anyway? Getting the WMDs? Catching bin Laden?

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The U.S. military is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing; fighting the war on foreign soil. Since 9/11 when was the last attack on American soil? That is the only real issue at stake during wartime.

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I can almost hear Fox News in the background of this post. So we invaded Iraq to fight the terrorists on foreign soil? Also, I don't really discriminate between American lives on U.S. soil and on Iraqi soil. Actually, I don't discriminate lives based on any geography.

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I am not sure but I do think it was an executive decision in WWII to round up all the Japanese into camps. That was accomplished by a democratic president.

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What does this have to do with anything? This is just an extension of the "but, but, but Clinton..." argument whenever a conservative is attacked. These little potshots don't do much for your image, and definitely nothing for your argument. If I dig up some crazy [censored] that Nixon did can I win the argument? Or do I have to go further into the past? You know Lincoln, the most famous and lauded Republican, suspended habeus corpus. Do I win now?
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:26 PM
MtSmalls MtSmalls is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful right-wing distortion on the domestic spying issue

[ QUOTE ]
In a time of war the executive branch has the power to do anything it wants

[/ QUOTE ]

I hope that you and all the members of the Republican party really realize how wrong this is. Would this include invalidating the Second Amendment by rounding up all the personal firearms in the country, so no terrorists here could ship them to terrorists over there? Or use them in a shopping mall at Christmastime? Would THAT fall under executive priviledge??

We've already seen this adminstration fight for the right to seize ANY American citizen and hold them, without charges and without legal counsel, for suspicion of terrorist activities. In Jose Padilla's case for THREE YEARS.

Each and EVERY President as part of their oath of office has sworn to "Defend and UPHOLD the Constitution of the United States". Discarding the bill of rights because it is inconvienent (or just a god damn piece of paper) does not qualify as fulfilling this oath.
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  #20  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:43 PM
andyfox andyfox is offline
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Default Re: The disgraceful left-wing distortion on the law in this matter

Thanks for the link. It's going to take a lot to analyze the editorial. A whole shovelful.

"America's Founders gave the executive branch the largest measure of Constitutional authority on national security. They recognized that a committee of 535 talking heads couldn't be trusted with such grave responsibility."

Really? Where does the Journal see that in the Constitution? I can't imagine the framers didn't recognize that 535 "talking heads" couldn't have grave responsibilities because they clearly wanted a balanced government where congress made the laws and the executive executed them. And, of course, there were not 535 members of congress in 1789.

"FISA established a process by which certain wiretaps in the context of the Cold War could be approved, not a limit on what wiretaps could ever be allowed."

The president and the attorney-general are claiming that the Constitution grants them the right to wiretap whenever they feel like if they say national security is involved. One wonders where in the Constitution they see this. The vice president weighed in on this today. More on that below.

"the evidence is also abundant that the Administration was scrupulous in limiting the FISA exceptions. They applied only to calls involving al Qaeda suspects or those with terrorist ties"

Where is this evidence?

"Inside the executive branch, the process allowing the wiretaps was routinely reviewed by Justice Department lawyers, by the Attorney General personally, and with the President himself reauthorizing the process every 45 days. In short, the implication that this is some LBJ-J. Edgar Hoover operation designed to skirt the law to spy on domestic political enemies is nothing less than a political smear."

The fact that Mr. Gonzalez approved the wiretaps is no consolation to me. He believes in an apparently unlimited presidential prerogative to do whatever the president wants; if the president does it, it's legal. And there is no smear as the Journal insinuates. I heard President Bush's most prominent critic on this issue, Senator Feingold, on Jim Lehrer's show last night and he said nothing of the sort.

"All the more so because there are sound and essential security reasons for allowing such wiretaps. The FISA process was designed for wiretaps on suspected foreign agents operating in this country during the Cold War. In that context, we had the luxury of time to go to the FISA court for a warrant to spy on, say, the economic counselor at the Soviet embassy."

There is no time constaint whatesoever. The president can wiretap and then has 72 hours to get ex post facto approval from the FISA court. That approval has been granted in all but five of the thousands of times the government has gone to the court. In fact, critics of the court have called it the Rubber-Stamp Court. There is no time constraint and no problem in getting court approval.

"Too many in the media and on Capitol Hill have forgotten that terrorism in the age of WMD poses an existential threat to our free society. We're glad Mr. Bush and his team are forcefully defending their entirely legal and necessary authority to wiretap enemies seeking to kill innocent Americans."

In a word, [censored]. Too many in the administration have forgotten that the executive is only one branch of government and that we have a free society only so long as all three branches follow the laws.

That brings us to Vice President Cheney's comments today:

"I believe in a strong, robust executive authority and I think that the world we live in demands it. And to some extent, that we have an obligation as the administration to pass on the offices we hold to our successors in as good of shape as we found them."

What is he talking about? Does he really think the executive authority has been attenuated?

"If there's a backlash pending," because of reports of National Security Agency surveillance of calls originating within the United States, he said, "I think the backlash is going to be against those who are suggesting somehow that we shouldn't take these steps to defend the country."

Note that language. Those who disagree with the wiretaps or other things ("these steps") are saying that we shouldn't defend the country. This has been a consistent argument of the administration, questioning the patriotism of those who take issue with the administration's tactics.

"Either we're serious about fighting the war on terror or we're not," the vice president said. "The president and I believe very deeply that there is a hell of a threat."

Apparently then, by implication, those who disagree with the administration are not serious about the war on terror and don't believe there is a hell of a threat.

This is simply shameful. It's a throwback to the redbaiting of the McCarthy era when politicians at the same point in the political spectrum as Mr. Cheney constantly smeared those who disagreed with them with the accusation of being "soft" on Communism.

"Watergate and a lot of the things around Watergate and Vietnam both during the '70s served, I think, to erode the authority I think the president needs to be effective, especially in the national security area," Cheney said. But he also said the administration has been able to restore some of "the legitimate authority of the presidency."

Watergate and Vietnam showed us that we had an imperial presidency that was out of control. Pathological liars, most prominents, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon shamed America, one quitting before he could be chased out of town and the other resigning in the wake of illegal actions. It was Nixon who said, "If the president does it, it's legal." This is apparently the doctrine the administration believes in, since both the vice president and the attorney general have said as much this week.

Cheney said that "many people believe" the War Powers Act, enhancing the power of Congress to share in executive branch decision-making on war, is unconstitutional and said "it will be tested at some point. I am one of those who believe that was an infringement on the authority of the president."

I await further explication from the vice president. According to the constitution, the congress has the war-making power.

"But I do believe that especially in the day and age we live in, the nature of the threats of we face - and this is true during the Cold War as well as I think is true now - the president of the United States needs to have his constitutional powers unimpaired, if you will, in terms of the conduct of national security policy," the vice president said.

His constitution powers "unimpaired"? Mr. Cheney should read the constitution sometime.

"You know, it's not an accident that we haven't been hit in four years," Cheney said. "I think there's a temptation for people to sit around and say, 'Well, gee that was just a one-off affair, they didn't really mean it.'"

What people have been sitting around saying this? (According to the 9/11 commission, it's the Bush administration, who got a terrible report card from the commissioners recently.) Who has said, "they didn't really mean it?" Again, it's a smear on opponents insinutating that either "you're for us or you're against us."

"The bottom line is we've been very active and very aggressively defending the nation and using the tools at our disposal to do that," he said.

The criticism is not that the administration is not defending the nation but that it might have broken laws in doing so.

The administration has brought back a hubris and arrogance, and a disdain for respect for the law that we haven't seen since the worst days of Vietnam and Watergate. And, according to Mr. Cheney, he thinks it should, because the aftermath of Vietnam and Watergate was an unwarranted diminution of presidential power.

The comparison of Iraq with the disaster of Vietnam becomes more apt every day.
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