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http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&u=/ap/20051216/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_nsa_20

This is absolutly ridiculous.

Quote:
Shocked Lawmakers Demand Spy Program Probe By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer
32 minutes ago



Dismayed lawmakers demanded on Friday that Congress look into whether the highly secretive National Security Agency was granted new powers to eavesdrop without warrants on people inside the United States.

"There is no doubt that this is inappropriate," declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record) of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year.

President Bush refused to discuss whether he had authorized such domestic spying, saying to comment would tie his hands in fighting terrorists.

Nor would other officials confirm or deny whether the nation's largest spy agency was permitted to gather communications from Americans under a presidential directive signed in 2002.

Instead, they asserted in careful terms that the president would do everything in his power to protect the American people while safeguarding civil liberties.

"I will make this point," Bush said in an interview with "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." "That whatever I do to protect the American people ? and I have an obligation to do so ? that we will uphold the law, and decisions made are made understanding we have an obligation to protect the civil liberties of the American people."

The reported program, first noted in Friday's New York Times, is said to allow the agency to monitor international calls and e-mail messages of people inside the United States. But the paper said the agency would still seek warrants to snoop on purely domestic communications ? for example, Americans' calls between New York and California.

"I want to know precisely what they did," said Specter. "How NSA utilized their technical equipment, whose conversations they overheard, how many conversations they overheard, what they did with the material, what purported justification there was."

Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., said he wanted to know exactly what is going on before deciding whether an investigation is called for. "Theoretically, I obviously wouldn't like it," he said of the program.

Sen. Russ Feingold (news, bio, voting record), D-Wis., a member of the Judiciary Committee, said, "This shocking revelation ought to send a chill down the spine of every American."

Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush chief of staff Andrew Card went to the Capitol Friday to meet with congressional leaders and the top members of the intelligence committees, who are often briefed on spy agencies' most classified programs. The Times said they had been previously told of the program. Members and their aides would not discuss the subject of the closed sessions Friday.

Some intelligence experts who believe in absolute presidential power argued that Bush would have the authority to order searches without warrants under the Constitution.

In a case unrelated to NSA eavesdropping in this country, the administration has argued that the president has vast authority to order intelligence surveillance without warrants "of foreign powers or their agents."

"Congress cannot by statute extinguish that constitutional authority," the Justice Department said in a 2002 legal filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

Other intelligence veterans found difficulty with the program in light of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, passed after the intelligence community came under fire for spying on Americans. That law gives government ? with approval from a secretive U.S. court ? the authority to conduct covert wiretaps and surveillance of suspected terrorists and spies.

In a written statement, NSA spokesman Don Weber said the agency would not provide any information on the reported surveillance program. "We do not discuss actual or alleged operational issues," he said.

Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, former NSA general counsel, said it was troubling that such a change would have been made by executive order, even if it turns out to be within the law.

Parker, who has no direct knowledge of the program, said the effect could be corrosive. "There are programs that do push the edge, and would be appropriate, but will be thrown out," she said.

Prior to 9/11, the NSA typically limited its domestic surveillance activities to foreign embassies and missions ? and obtained court orders for such investigations. Much of its work was overseas, where thousands of people with suspected terrorist ties or other valuable intelligence may be monitored.

The report surfaced as the administration and its GOP allies on Capitol Hill were fighting to save provisions of the expiring USA Patriot Act that they believe are key tools in the fight against terrorism. An attempt to rescue the approach favored by the White House and Republicans failed on a procedural vote.



Copyright ? 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

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December 16th, 2005, 7:47 pm
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I guess Bush needs to "protect us" from environmental lawyers, vegans, and hippie peace activists? Didn't we already get rid of a King George?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01777.html

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December 20th, 2005, 3:51 pm
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I am not even gonna start on this one. :evil:

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December 20th, 2005, 5:46 pm
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WERE DOES IT STOP ? I GET PLAYBOY ,THE ROLLING STONE AND THE NATION ,I KNOW IM ON THE LIST PROBABLEY RIGHT BEHIND BEN HIDEN. :(

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December 20th, 2005, 6:25 pm
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First off these cases of eavesdroping without warrants are situations where the U.S. citizen is making calls to foreign countries and to people with terrorist links, this is not a call home mother on the weekend, this calling a suspected terrorist is a foreign country.

This power has been utilized for years by multiple presidents including Bush and Clinton, where was the fire storm when Clinton did it?.

Quote:
I guess Bush needs to "protect us" from environmental lawyers, vegans, and hippie peace activists? Didn't we already get rid of a King George?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 01777.html


PETA has a long history of making threats to the U.S. food supply, and members of that organization have made attempts of putting illegal substances into the food supply, and also of encouraging and even planning to introduce foreign diseases into domestic animal populations.


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The real question is do you as a U.S. citizen have the right to privacy when your talking to a suspected foreign terrorist?, i really dont know what do you all think?.


December 20th, 2005, 8:41 pm
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HunterMSU wrote:
The real question is do you as a U.S. citizen have the right to privacy when your talking to a suspected foreign terrorist?, i really dont know what do you all think?.


If the government had a warrent in all of these cases, I wouldn't really have a problem, except that I don't like the secret nature of the court. But going around a warrent because of "Inefficiencies" is a huge abuse of power. Democracy has never been the most efficient type of government, but it protects the rights of the people better than any type.

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December 20th, 2005, 9:35 pm
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bsand2053 wrote:
HunterMSU wrote:
The real question is do you as a U.S. citizen have the right to privacy when your talking to a suspected foreign terrorist?, i really dont know what do you all think?.


If the government had a warrent in all of these cases, I wouldn't really have a problem, except that I don't like the secret nature of the court. But going around a warrent because of "Inefficiencies" is a huge abuse of power. Democracy has never been the most efficient type of government, but it protects the rights of the people better than any type.


True but the U.S. is not a Democracy, its a constituational republic, and as such the constitution is the supreme and overriding law of the land, these wiretaps could be argued to fall under the presidents power to conduct foreign intelligence during a time of war because these taps are between a suspected enemy combatant and a U.S. citizen, the question is just because one of the two parties is a U.S. citizen does it then cancel out a constitutional power?.

Its a very difficult question because on the one hand you have a U.S. citizen and their rights, and on the other hand you have a foreign enemy agent.

IMO, i tend to think that if its two U.S. citizens then clearly these wiretaps should not be allowed, however since one of the two parties are a foreign suspected terrorist i think that should not be protected by privacy rights as foriegners do not have the same rights as a U.S. citizen has especially in war time.


December 20th, 2005, 11:28 pm
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I did not realize there was an al Qaeda-PETA link. You learn something new every day. :wink:

I do not think anyone would have any problem with the FBI tapping al Qaeda suspects. You might as well use your 9/11 Patriot Act powers for that. That is what they are for. Of course, no judge is going to allow you to spy on hippies and quackers just because they are against war.

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December 21st, 2005, 12:55 am
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Personally I don't care. If they get caught on the wrong side of the law, they will pay. Just keep the Motherland safe from all enemies foreign and domestic.


December 21st, 2005, 2:09 am
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HunterMSU wrote:
these wiretaps could be argued to fall under the presidents power to conduct foreign intelligence during a time of war


Funny, I don't remember Congress declaring war...

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December 21st, 2005, 8:41 am
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LostinIA wrote:
HunterMSU wrote:
these wiretaps could be argued to fall under the presidents power to conduct foreign intelligence during a time of war


Funny, I don't remember Congress declaring war...

I don't know about everyone else, but for me, we were at war the moment the terrorists used our planes as missiles to kill 3,000 people on 9/11. Whether congress declared war or not makes no difference to me.

Also, this whole issue has been brought up in the past. This is from the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday:

Wall Street Journal wrote:
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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The mere Constitution aside, 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. Far from being "secret," key Members of Congress were informed about them at least 12 times, President Bush said yesterday. The two district court judges who have presided over the FISA court since 9/11 also knew about them.

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.

Based on this information, it doesn't sound to me like they did anything wrong. I personally could care less if they're eavesdropping on calls made to suspected terrorists. If you're not associating with suspected terrorists, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about.


December 21st, 2005, 10:18 am
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Sounds like cowering into legalisms to me. Wasn't their talk about restoring respect to the Oval Office? Whether Bush's actions are determined illegal or not is second to the question of their morality. He was not spying on al Qaeda at all but on people he deemed his enemy, ordinary Americans like quackers and environmental lawyers. That is not about protecting Americans from al Qaeda as he would like you to think, but about using police powers to subdue natural dissidence to his obviously flawed policies. Using the FBI to spy on dissidents is a clear misuse of power and his playing the 9/11 card once again to justify it is such a tired ruse that I am surprised that people still fall for it.

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December 21st, 2005, 12:19 pm
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Yorick wrote:
Sounds like cowering into legalisms to me. Wasn't their talk about restoring respect to the Oval Office? Whether Bush's actions are determined illegal or not is second to the question of their morality. He was not spying on al Qaeda at all but on people he deemed his enemy, ordinary Americans like quackers and environmental lawyers. That is not about protecting Americans from al Qaeda as he would like you to think, but about using police powers to subdue natural dissidence to his obviously flawed policies. Using the FBI to spy on dissidents is a clear misuse of power and his playing the 9/11 card once again to justify it is such a tired ruse that I am surprised that people still fall for it.

Look, I'm not advocating spying on ordinary Americans who are simply voicing their opposition to a political party/decision or anything else. If that is being done, it is wrong. My point is that I have no problem with the President using his executive powers to authorize spying on foreign suspected terrorists. And the reason I cited the WSJ article is that cases of presidents spying on foreign people without going through the courts have been ruled upon by many judges, and all of them have found that it does not violate the constitution, and the president is within his rights to do it.

As for your comment about "playing the 9/11 card"... well I guess it's easy to fall back into a sense of complacency isn't it? After 9/11, people were up in arms because the government didn't do enough to protect us. Then they passed the Patriot Act and most people lauded it as a good idea (And yes, I recognize that there were some things about it that needed to be amended, but that's another topic). Now people are saying that the government is using 9/11 as a political card to play and accusing them of going too far... I guess I don't understand what it is that people think the government should do.


December 21st, 2005, 12:43 pm
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Yorick wrote:
Sounds like cowering into legalisms to me. Wasn't their talk about restoring respect to the Oval Office? Whether Bush's actions are determined illegal or not is second to the question of their morality. He was not spying on al Qaeda at all but on people he deemed his enemy, ordinary Americans like quackers and environmental lawyers. That is not about protecting Americans from al Qaeda as he would like you to think, but about using police powers to subdue natural dissidence to his obviously flawed policies. Using the FBI to spy on dissidents is a clear misuse of power and his playing the 9/11 card once again to justify it is such a tired ruse that I am surprised that people still fall for it.


Amen!!

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December 21st, 2005, 1:02 pm
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Yorick wrote:
Sounds like cowering into legalisms to me. Wasn't their talk about restoring respect to the Oval Office? Whether Bush's actions are determined illegal or not is second to the question of their morality. He was not spying on al Qaeda at all but on people he deemed his enemy, ordinary Americans like quackers and environmental lawyers. That is not about protecting Americans from al Qaeda as he would like you to think, but about using police powers to subdue natural dissidence to his obviously flawed policies. Using the FBI to spy on dissidents is a clear misuse of power and his playing the 9/11 card once again to justify it is such a tired ruse that I am surprised that people still fall for it.
I HAVE TO AGREE. thers too much room for abuse of power,we have already seen what happens when you piss off uncle dick(CIA leak).whats next the IRS pays a visit to dissenters, obviously this bunch dosnt play fare (torture issue)

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December 21st, 2005, 1:04 pm
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