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Author Topic: Pentagon spying on Americans
Cytania
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Wow the story gets better. The Pentagon breaking a law made after it did exactly the same things in the sixties.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-huffington15dec15,0,6606855.story?coll=la-news-comment-opinions

Perhaps all the staffers who wasted time and tax dollars creating this stupid database should be sent to Iraq to gain a sense of perspective and priority.

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javelin
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Well, ain't that article cute, and dead wrong? Maybe Mr LA Times opinion writer would like to cite the law being broken here?
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javelin
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THIS , on the other hand, is a real story, and I'm gonna be pissed, if it is true:

quote:
President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States -- without getting search warrants -- following the Sept. 11 attacks, The New York Times reports.

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Everard
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Hrm. Yes, if thats true, then one of Daruma's contentions about bush haters will finally apply to me.
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RickyB
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Which one? [Smile]
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Everard
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Guess [Smile]
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Everard
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Calls logged with both my senators.
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Cytania
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OK here's the DoD guidelines that prohibit what they've just done;

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/DOD.1982.IntelligenceCollectionOnU.S.Persons.pdf

And here's the 1974 Privacy Act which prohibits what the Pentagon have just done;

http://www.usdoj.gov/foia/privstat.htm

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RickyB
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I dunno....wanting him dead doesn't strike me like you. Which one?
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Everard
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Impeach.

Depending on the details, Bush violated his oath of office, and broke federal law.

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RickyB
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Ahhhh, yes. Despite congress (especially the Senate) recently finding some of its backbone, I strongly doubt it. But no doubt this fits the bill.
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erik the awful
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More Linkage:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16program.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4534488.stm

The problem with impeachment is that we'd wind up with Dick Cheney, who is a greater threat to civil liberties than Bush is.

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Joe Schmoe
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quote:
Originally posted by erik the awful:
More Linkage:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/16/politics/16program.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4534488.stm

The problem with impeachment is that we'd wind up with Dick Cheney, who is a greater threat to civil liberties than Bush is.

good point. Still, something should be done.
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erik the awful
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Perhaps a vice presidnent to succeeded (is that the right word?) a president removed for civil liberties violations would be more careful.
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Sancselfieme
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I am interested to hear the admin.'s appologists' stance on this new development. "Oh it's the war on terror! It's ok to break the law and violate American rights!" [Roll Eyes]
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Pete at Home
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American citizens like Hamdi, Osama Bin Ladin's personal driver?

Dude, we've got hundreds of thousands of Americans rotting in jails all over the country, lots of them stuffed in a hole because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or they didn't know that getting in a fistfight with their brother in law in a park was "domestic violence."

Broke his oath of office? I don't think so.

As for unconstitutional, [Big Grin] There are constitutional violations, and then there are I had a beer in Michigan when I was 17. That is a violation of the 17th Amendment. I violated the constitution, guys. Sue me.

Broke federal law? Remains to be seen. Americans are almost French over sacred telephone garbage. You give someone more years for tapping a phone than for gang-rape. I don't get it. Listening to your phone call is more a violacy violation than someone actually violating your privates?

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Pete at Home
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I'm at the library the other day, and there's only one copier, and this ugly lady's been on it for 15 minutes, I've been waiting patiently. I only have one copy to make. She sets her book down on the copier and walks out to her stuff. I see I have 45 seconds, I move her book, I use the copy machine, I put her book back. No harm done, right?

Guess again.

She saw me through the window.

I had "violated her rights!"

OK; I wasn't raised in this country; I'm more American than anything else; I love my country; but every so often I run into some moronic spoof of an American who makes me feel like I'm from a far away land and homesick.

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Everard
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"Broke his oath of office? I don't think so."

I'm not what to say, Pete, other then "Partisan blinders." Maybe thats not entirely fair. But, you know what? I don't care. Its certainly a violation of our fourth amendment protections, and the oath of office includes upholding the constitution. Actively UNDERMINING the constitution by signing an executive order in direct violation of the fourth amendment, Pete, is breaking his oath of office.

If you choose not to see it that way, fine. And perhaps the facts are not as they currently appear to be. If so, I will happily withdraw my charge. But if you try to "legalese" into showing me how this is not a violtion of fourth amendment rights, I am going to snicker at you.

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TinMan
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I'm concerned about both sides. But since the one side, Bush's actions, are allready being decried, how about the other side.

Is no one concerned about the timing of this story, which apparently has been "sat on" for over a year, ostensibly at the White House's request.

quote:

Bill Keller, the Times' executive editor, said in a statement that the newspaper postponed publication of the article for a year at the White House's request as editors pondered the national security issues surrounding the release of the information.

No one finds it disturbing/obscene that the timing of the release of this story directly impacts critical voting on the Patriot Act? So much so that it is rather clear manipulation of public policy by the media?

Especially since the story is timed so that a full or partial retraction, or other mitigating factors, will be meaningless, as they have already manipulated the vote...[i.e.]

quote:

Calls logged with both my senators.

I know which possibility I find more obscene. As usual, and sadly, I think I will find myself once again in the minority.
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erik the awful
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quote:

Bill Keller, the Times' executive editor, said in a statement that the newspaper postponed publication of the article for a year at the White House's request as editors pondered the national security issues surrounding the release of the information.



I was nauseous. Now I'm really going to be sick.

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RickyB
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What are you talking about, Pete? searches without warrants? "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

I tried to find the part where it says "The president shall not be bound by these amendments in case of war, or if there shall be a particularly potent boogieman at the time". Couldn't find it. Can you point me in the general direction?

As for your beer quip - you're not my employee (not that I understand what a beer has to do with the 17th amendment... were you having a beer with an improperly elected Senator? In any case, you committing a crime and the president undermining 4th amendment rights via executive order are completely different things. But you know that. You're just trying to be cute. Trying being the operative word.

TinMan - it is precisely the proper timing. I for one don't like to vote, or have my employees vote, out of ignorance.

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PunkFairy
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Wow, what a week for our country. The president flipflops on torture. We're promised a ban on torture. Protesters are equated to domestic terrorists by the Pentagon. The P. illegally failed to destroy the database on groups that were deemed non-credible threats. We learn with the president's authority, ignoring the constitution and top dogs in senate intelligence, the NSA spies on Americans who communicate via emails or phone with people outside the U.S. The New York Times held the story at the request of the White House when elections were going on ('cause the terrorists might win). The NYT is still withholding information relevant to the story. The cherry on top is the interview I listened to recounted by a journalist about an Iraqi detained, tortured and never charged, eventually released. The former detainee said and I paraphrase a word ()...the military got electricity to my (rectum)before they ever got it to my house. Nice. I'm hotly anticipating Orson Scott Card's next essay. Maybe the title will be: Constitution Schmonstition.
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TinMan
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The key word there Ricky, is "unreasonable". That's how you address a particularly potent bogeyman. The definition of unreasonable changes with the times, as it was meant to, such as War time, civil unrest time, prosperity time, et al.

And sadly Ricky, you are voting in something that's worse than ignorance. Tilted, or possibly full misinformation. The POTUS may well be responsible for this, but note that nowhere in the article is there anything but innuendos and second-hand reports. Nothing is confirmed, as of yet. Much like the "Koran flushing", this is probably being blown fully out of proprtion with actual wording or actual circumstance. I will admit it may be accurate, but I have a feeling that it is far less than it is being blown up to be, with clearly politically manipulated timing by individuals who have no business doing so.

It's amazing to me that so many are so full of hatred that they are willing to condemn a man who has nth levels of accountability based upon the hearsay reporting of a group of individuals who are admitted liars, manipulators, and have a huge political bias, yet hold no accountability whatsoever. Of course, I'm sure you were ready to lynch Bush based on Tom Brokaw's reports as well....

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RickyB
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No, the key word is "warrants". Have a probable cause? Go to a judge and get a warrant. After 9-11, warrants for surveillance on terror suspects were not hard to get, to put it mildly.

No, nothing is confirmed yet, and I personally would vote against many provisions of the so-called PATRIOT act regardless of this story. But not knowng about this story would be worse, for purposes of being informed, than knowing about it.

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RickyB
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Oh, as for Tom Brokaw - not really. I already knew he skated on his ANG duties regardless, and that's not a big crime - merely goes to character. The pathetic (and possibly setupish) attempt to fraudulently prove this was very sad.
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RickyB
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Well, it appears that the gist of the story is true. Bush has confirmed. At least that's behind us. Back to expalaining how it's ok, now.
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TinMan
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Agreed, Bush has done this. Gonna be some hefty fallout.

I'm still more concerned as to how the media directly manipulated a key Senate vote and nobody really seems to care. Maybe they're quite a bit more clever than I give them credit for.

Oh well, you have your ammo and what you wanted. There's Bush, go get 'em.

Anyone have some brochures on Australia? It's currently highest on my list of new home countrys.

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RickyB
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Well, we have two options:
1. Administration officials really did ask the Times to hold on the story.
2. They did not, and the Times waiting with it was totally designed to maximize political gain.

I think that if there is any chance 2 is correct, the claim will be made and we'll see if the Times can prove this assertion.

As for your new home country - be careful, mate. It has the highest concentration of toxic fauna of any in the world. Just saying. [Big Grin]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm hotly anticipating Orson Scott Card's next essay. Maybe the title will be: Constitution Schmonstition.
Hm. My bet is that if he addresses it at all, it will be to come up with an excuse for the illegal taps. OSC has more patience with authoritarianism than many people do.

quote:
I'm still more concerned as to how the media directly manipulated a key Senate vote and nobody really seems to care. Maybe they're quite a bit more clever than I give them credit for.
Well, if you believe the Times -- which is your source for believing that they sat on the story at all -- then they did so because the federal government asked them to sit on the story, thus manipulating not just a key Senate vote but the actual presidential election.
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Lewkowski
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"Treating utterly peaceful dissent as "potential sources of danger" is obscene. We've been through this before in the 60's, and a single bit of good came of it. All it does is alienate people from their employees - AKA the government. "

As soon as you block traffic one time, throw one rock at a police officer, violate a zoning law on your protest march, then you are a danger to the United States of America. Hell diverting police forces to make sure groups don't start a riot is causing a danger in of itself.

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RickyB
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Except of course when anything remotely resembling such insanely draconian approaches are used against you or someone you support, in which case it becomes a liberal plot to stifle the moral majority and overthrow America.

Democracy is often somewhat messy, Herr Lewkowski. You vant abzolute ordah? zen go liff zomeplace vere zey haff a different system. Ya?

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flydye45
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That was uncalled for, RickyB.
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flydye45
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I wonder, where exactly did the Weathermen recruit from, if not these "peaceful" protest groups? Where did the Soviets get their spies and moles, if not with "peaceful" dissenters who happened to be American Socialists.

Look, I don't want to stifle dissent. It keeps both sides honest. But to pretend that there was not a progression from debater in school, to peaceful protestor, to wide eyed bomb throwing fanatic is to deny reality and history. One doesn't wake up and say "Today I'll build a shack in the woods, write bad manifestos and mail bombs". No, I bet Teddy did a little time in Greenpeace or other related "peaceful" groups first before deciding they weren't tough enough for him.

SHOULD the FBI et al check these protest groups automatically? No. Still need a little thing I call probable cause. But those who are flogging the elephant cannot say that there is no probable cause either unless I'm missing something, if for no other reason then scarcity of resources.

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flydye45
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Just reread that piece. I am not saying that all members of such organizations make that progression. SOME do. The loud ones who suddenly disappear for several months...and then an animal testing lab burns down.
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The Drake
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At best, you can call the observation of protestors a waste of resources. Members of the public can attend rallies and meetings of those organizations. Government employees are members of the public. We're not talking about breaking into somebody's house here, right?

This is the same stuff that Michael Moore put in his film about a LEO infiltrating a protest group, and it is 100% benign.

As far as the other story goes, I am deeply disturbed by the NSA taps. I can only think of two reasons why they would not have gone through the loose Patriot Act provisions for such surveilance.

1. Concern about a federal judge leaking highly classified information. The data is so sensitive that they felt it was an unacceptable risk.

2. These were fishing expeditions. They picked somebody at random, like another Arab guy who lived in the same apartment building as a suspect, just to see if he might be a terrorist.

I feel it is hard to make the first case. Federal judges, especially WOT-friendly judges, are not a security risk.

It is more likely that it is the second case.

Now, I'm willing to stipulate that such eavesdropping might have found a couple new terror suspects. The question is whether it is an acceptable trade off of rights. I have to say no, even though my first reaction was to support the action.

Personally, I don't really care if the government listens to my phone conversations 24/7. But that's only because I don't believe they would act on anything that I say, or that I would not have a chance to clear my name if they did mistake me for a terrorist.

But, I think it is dangerous to think that way. What if you had been flagged as a suspect, and couldn't get a government job because of the secret blot on your name? What if you were denied a visa renewal? Etc.

I could probably accept this, if there were some oversight. But to hand such broad powers to the executive branch alone, that is not acceptable to me.

If they have any basis for the tap at all, they can go to a judge.

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flydye45
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I am opposed to this action by the President. I do not believe that the terrorist threat is sufficient to void judicial oversight in the case of wiretaps.

However, this "horrible" "obscene" President that has so many hyperventilating, DID establish Congressional oversight, a step which takes him from illegal to legally dubious. The onus is on Bush for this one.

If the NYT DID sit on the story for a year, then I (gag, hack) have to mention their sense of responsibility. I may be ill...

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RickyB
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I didn't say you couldn't follow the weathermen. But the Quakers? Jeez.

Besides, the muhammad atta's of the world don't tip their hand by shouting how much they hate us or marching and vigiling. They keep their mouths shut until they strike.

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flydye45
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Try reading my post again. Atta, AT ONE POINT, marched and waved and vigiled. He then moved on to bigger and more aggressive things.

Look at Lindh. Experiment with Islam, join a mosque, find a new "better" mosque, go to Afganistan, start shooting at people, get a CIA agent killed (IMO). But to start looking at a mosque? Well in your world, that's beyond the pale. What about the "better" mosque? Sure. Because sure as hell you are not getting an invite to the Weathermen level. They are the Tora Bora level of the chain.

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RickyB
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Where does it say that Atta marched and vigiled? As for your Lindh example - the point where he goes to Afghanistan would be the right point to get a warrant.
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flydye45
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When he went to Afganistan, it was too late.

However, if they watched the mosque, they could see who disappeared, and more importantly, GET THE GUY WHO RECRUITED HIM.

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