Seattle Muslims surveilled without warrant!

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Bush administration’s fear that brown people might have the bomb apparently trumps its respect of the 4th Amendment.

In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts.

The article names Seattle as one of the other cities in which mosques, offices and private residences have been monitored without warrants or court orders. How extensive is the President’s secret, domestic surveillance program? One gets the feeling that recent revelations are only the tip of the iceberg… and it’s an awfully chilly feeling.

Now, I’m not dissing the federal government for being vigilant about nuclear terrorism; many security experts agree that there is more than an outside chance that terrorists might eventually try to set off some kind of nuclear device in a major American city. My concern is our government’s growing habit of ignoring our constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

If the federal authorities had probable cause, surely warrants could have been obtained (though I’m not so sure that being Muslim is probable cause in itself.) But this administration no longer even bothers to ask the courts for permission before invading an American citizen’s privacy. And just as disturbing as this lack of respect for our basic constitutional rights, is the reported threat of retaliation against Justice Department officials who questioned the operation’s legality.

In defending warrantless domestic surveillance, President Bush claims that his powers as a “wartime” Commander in Chief trump those of Congress, or even the Bill of Rights… a legal philosophy that smacks of dictatorship. In Bush’s post 9/11 America, U.S. citizens can now be spied on without warrant, held indefinitely without charge, tortured in custody, and tried without being given access to the “top secret” evidence against them.

Bush once accused the terrorists of “hating our freedom.” Well, a major tactic in his “War on Terror” seems to be to take away this motivation.

Comments

  1. 2

    spews:

    Wingnuts-

    You think these guys won’t take your guns (your precious second amendment)????

    They think nothing of the 4th Amendment. they care NOTHING for the Constitution, which they SWORE to uphold.

    Cripes people…get a clue!

  2. 3

    sgmmac spews:

    You won’t need your guns or your telephones, computers, and any other communication devices you have, when you blasted into the big Seattle skyline with a nuclear weapon!

    If you think you are really free, walk into your local Starbucks and piss on their counter!

  3. 4

    spyder spews:

    Sometimes it tastes like the employees pissed in the Starbuck’s coffee, but i really don’t see how spying on US citizens is going to prevent China, Russia, North Korea from launching nuclear missles against the US????

    On the other hand, this is really a pretty simple debate: one believes that a Singapore-style security state provides the most secure “freedom” that one could expect to experience on the planet; or one believes that the US Constitution was created and grounded upon some incredibly enlightened principles that proposed that the citizens hold the power and retain all of their rights and protections essential to their liberties. There really isn’t a middle ground here; those who suggest a grey area from a paranoid perspective are arguing for the security state and getting rid of the Constitution.

  4. 5

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    If anyone hates our freedom, it is BUSHCO. I ask you, sgmmac, why has the Bush Crime Family refused to fund adequate security for our ports. Yes, we could all glow like watchdials following their limpwristed security precautions. They would rather trample on the constitution and hire cronies than do the really hard work of creating a secure United States.

  5. 6

    sgmmac spews:

    NEST has been around for over 30 years. This isn’t something new. They deployed all over the US for Y2K and various other times. This NEST program doesn’t have anything to do with Bush. Does the King County Health Department need a warrant to go into a bar in Seattle to check for smoking? NO!

    As for the ports, I don’t know what they check or don’t. But I will tell you I don’t think they are secure enough or the borders either.

  6. 7

    sgmmac spews:

    Tree Frog Farmer,

    How do you want it? You cannot have great security without somebody somewhere giving up some rights!

  7. 8

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    If you think you are really free, walk into your local Starbucks and piss on their counter!

    Comment by sgmmac— 12/23/05 @ 2:29 pm

    Hmmm? And here I was given the impression that rightwing loons didn’t believe in litmus tests! Take heart, sgmmac. Perhaps Tim Eyeman will take up your public urinators’ cause with a new inititative drive. Won’t that be fun?

  8. 11

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Brown Skin + Constitutional Violations = GOP Racism

    So … what else is new?

    Comment by Roger Rabbit— 12/23/05 @ 3:01 pm

  9. 12

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    NEST has been around for over 30 years. This isn’t something new.

    True. But ignoring it’s requirement to obtain warrants is.

  10. 14

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    3

    yada yada — Sgt. Mac, the wingnuts were using the same argument 50 years ago when they wanted to pre-emptively nuke the Soviet Union. If right wingers had gotten their way back in the McCarthy era, the planet would be a smoking crater and none of us would be here.

  11. 15

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    13

    Why do we have career military people who don’t even know we have a Constitution, much less what it says? Don’t they give these people any civics training?

  12. 16

    spews:

    Not to mention the THOUSANDS of pieces of containerized freight coming into the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. Those containers need to be screened, but BUSHCO ™ refuses to fund adequately for Homeland Security. A Department, NOT incidentally that BUSHCO did not want…then staffed with incompetent political hack appointees…then funded – inadequately.BTW the “Security Conscious” Republican Congress just CUT funding for DHS in this budget bill.

    So the WOTis won???? Nahhh…Mark the Clueless and Completely Self- Absorbed Fucking Redneck and his “I don’t have to pay taxes ’cause I’m so rich you can’t touch me and besides I just don’t give a fuck as long as I get mine” buddies REALLY NEED another tax break.

  13. 17

    JCH spews:

    I want Bush to spy on the POS terrorists and kill them. You Democrats are suck ups [useful idiots] for the enemy. Too bad it wasn’t Seattle that was hit. Then you pussies would be singing a different song!

  14. 18

    sgmmac spews:

    Roger, you would have to take that up with the Department of Energy and whatever President helped establish NEST teams. They are nothing new and I don’t believe President Bush didn’t change their procedures. They walk around with their test equipment on their bodies or they are parked outside of houses in a truck. Do police need warrants for a stakeout, where they sit and watch, I don’t think so………

  15. 19

    sgmmac spews:

    @16, Jax

    I actually don’t like Homeland Security. Bigger doesn’t mean better. It also contributed to the Fema nightmare we currently have, when people fight over power, it’s not a good thing. DHS overran Fema and that’s on top of Brown’s incompetence.

  16. 20

    Mark the Reddick spews:

    I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. — James Madison

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

  17. 21

    sgmmac spews:

    James Madison and Benjamin Franklin didn’t have their neighbors with bombs in their basements either!

  18. 22

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    James Madison and Benjamin Franklin didn’t have their neighbors with bombs in their basements either!

    Comment by sgmmac— 12/23/05 @ 3:22 pm

    Neither do you.

    My mistake about the warrants, wrong unconstitutional spy program. I may also betray my age and my ignorance, but who the hell is Vin Deisel?

  19. 23

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Let me explain ferin policy and domestic security post 9-11.

    All we need is a suspicion… a mere whiff of angst or just a case of the heebie-jeebies to do anything we fucking please to get more info and if necessary take out brown people with bombs before they hit us again.

    We didn’t start this war, but bygawd, we’re gonna end it. We’re not gonna invite terrorists to Camp David to talk “peace accords”. We’re gonna root ‘em out and kill ‘em, and if we err, it’s gonna be on the side of keeping Murkans alive.

  20. 24

    spews:

    MtR-

    What a fucking STUPID knee-jeck idiotic lame-ass “guaranteed to fail” response.

    ‘Nam really worked out didn’t it? Dumb fuck.

  21. 25

    sgmmac spews:

    Proud, Vin is an actor, the movie XXX is where I abused and used his quote from. His latest movie is The Pacifier. I like action “Kick ass and take names” movies. He’s good looking too, so that helps.

  22. 26

    spews:

    Here’s what our “freedom loving” trolls are angling for:

    “The Ohio Patriot Act has made it to the Taft’s desk, and with the stroke of a pen, it would most likely become the toughest terrorism bill in the country. The lengthy piece of legislation would let police arrest people in public places who will not give their names, address and birth dates, even if they are not doing anything wrong.”

    http://www.newsnet5.com/news/5580743/detail.html

    From NewsNet5 via RawStory.com

  23. 27

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Rujax – Howard Dean couldn’t put it any better. This why you guys gonna get yer heads handed to you in 08. Again.

  24. 29

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Goldy–
    Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 25th.
    Just thought you might need a friendly reminder.
    I’d say Happy Hanukkah…but wouldn’t want to risk the 99% certainty I might offend you or your vast, vast viewing audience of “brown-skinned” viewers.

  25. 30

    marks spews:

    Goldy,

    But this administration no longer even bothers to ask the courts for permission before invading an American citizen’s privacy.

    I guess what bothers me about this is more a point of why government operatives are going to the media and not Congress or the courts? When they do something as part of a sanctioned program (according to their higher authority managers) they are supposed to have avenues under whistle-blower protection rules in order to challenge those orders. I’m fairly certain that using the press to carry out your challenge is a no-no when it comes to classified national security operations. I understand how leak sources only become important to some if they involve political names like Rove, but some consistency and common sense needs to be applied here.

    Having said that, if this report is factual, and the information supplied by sgmmac @6 is wrong (the FBI was directing the NEST teams, according to the report, since 2002), it is far worse than the phone monitoring issue, as these are mainly U.S. citizens on their own property in U.S. cities. If it is a fact that no due process was conducted, there can be no question that this violates the 4th amendment.

    The only remaining question is was it somehow authorized by Congress? They pass laws often enough that nobody reads. If the authorization is there, it is not a Bush boo-boo. I’d be willing to bet the issue has to do with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the bundling of so many agencies into one (FEMA sound familiar?)…

  26. 31

    hardovertoport spews:

    Am I the only person here who remembers Nixon’s enemies list? Spying on American citizens isn’t about security. It’s about domestic political intelligence.

  27. 32

    yo spews:

    REJAX206
    YOU ARE AN IDIOT.DO HOLD YOUR BREATH UNTIL BUSH GOES TO JAIL IVE NEER SEEN A BLUE PERSON BEFORE.LOOSER

  28. 33

    jaybo spews:

    Oh No!

    Do you actually mean that the government is trying to connect the dots before a terrorist strike?

    I know, why don’t you moonbats mass e-mail Moveon.org and Chairman Dean to take up this cause too!

    I think that all of you should condemn the government in the strongest terms for trying to gain intelligence on terrorist suspects. After all, they are innocent until they blow some of us up, right moonbats?

  29. 34

    sgmmac spews:

    Marks,

    I share your concern. Nest teams are made up of nuclear scientists and specialists, they most probably have Top Secret clearances. These guys are the ones who not only protect us, but they also have access to top secret information and some have access to weapons and weapons components.

    If a nest team does ever find something, the least of the citizens in that town’s worries will be their 4th amendment rights.

  30. 35

    jaybo spews:

    Goldy,

    Speaking of scandals, when are you going to post the cover-up of this corruption?

    (Barrett Report)
    “Barrett wants the report released in full. The reports of every other Independent Counsel have been released to the public in full, with only minor redactions where classified material might be revealed. There is a serious public-policy concern for releasing this report. It is the first independent investigation of the IRS by investigators armed with subpoena power. Civil libertarians concerned about the heavy-handedness of the IRS and its use as an instrument of political repression by the executive branch of the government know that this is very important.

    Dorgan has led the campaign to deny the report’s contents to the public. Last April he attempted to end Barrett’s funding. He was thwarted then, but more recently he tried a new ploy. With Democratic Sens. Richard Durbin and John Kerry, he bootlegged into an Iraq-war appropriations bill an amendment that would suppress the report completely. Some Republicans defeated this attempt, but Dorgan and his allies are clever. Into a later appropriations bill they got language that would suppress 120 pages of the report relating to Clinton Justice Department and IRS misbehavior. If the butchered report were published in this shape, they promised to do nothing further to delay its appearance. Amazingly key Republicans in these negotiations agreed, Sen. Kit Bond and Rep. Joe Knollenberg. As things stand now, the expurgated report will appear and the public will be none the wiser as to how the IRS and Justice Department can be used to obstruct justice and harass private citizens.”

    RELEASE THE BARRETT REPORT IN FULL!

    Justice must be served.

  31. 36

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @25: Thanks, sgmmac. As far as this snooping goes–We have been living with “what if” scenarios ever since the USSR got the bomb in ’48. The appeal to fear has been with us ever since. Only the “enemy” has changed. This administration exhibits the worst of this appeal to irrational fear, coupled with the least threat. That is what makes their actions so mendacious. Furthermore, to may way of thinking, they are cowards politically, economically, and morally. Sacrificing our freedoms for this so-called “security” is the heighth of folly. Defend this administration, and you will have niether security nor freedom.

    @31: Alas, no, you are not. I recall hating Nixon even more than Bush (although Nixon did serve admirably in WWII, and pushed some good programs–again, it was his political paranoia and cowardice that did him in). GWB has none of what few redeeming features Tricky Dick had.

  32. 37

    Rex spews:

    If the EPA were to conduct a similar operation on energy production facilities, would you have a problem with these tactics? Would there be indignation and outrage?

    It is routine (which is not to say that I agree with it) in surveillance of marijuana growers to employ heat-detection equipment. Spotting with a geiger counter is not so different.

    It says in the article that NEST started with three teams surveilling 120 sites. That is 40 sites a day per team or one site every twelve minutes during an eight hour run. That is not “spying”, that is turning around in someone’s driveway, that is letting your dog piss on their lawn while listening to the geiger beeps.

    The government does not want to give you the opportunity to scream “Bush knew!” in the aftermath of a nuclear event. There is no story here.

  33. 38

    jaybo spews:

    More Bad News!

    The Latest RealClearPolitics Poll.

    (Presidential Approval Rating)
    RCP Average: 12/12-12/22 (approve)46.0%; (disapprove)51.2%; (spread)-5.2%.

    Darn it! His poll numbers keep rising!

  34. 39

    Seth spews:

    Why would you need a warrant to monitor radiation from a public place? That’s like saying turning on a radio to receive a radio signal constitutes invading a radio station’s privacy.

    There was no entering into anyone’s abode or tapping anyone’s communication. They set up monitoring devices, and operated them from public places.

  35. 41

    jaybo spews:

    Goldy, I hate to say this but the following comment is typical of a bigot;

    “the Bush administration’s fear that brown people might have the bomb apparently trumps its respect of the 4th Amendment.”

    Why do you think that every muslim that attends mosques in seattle have brown skin?

    Your bigotry just slipped out onto the pages of your weblog.

    Oops!

  36. 42

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @39: Great post. The perniciousness of the idea that these self appointed defenders of freedom somehown KNOW who is “guilty” and therefore this “knowledge” justifies warrantless search and seizure is totally lost on those who support this administration. Thus their plaintive and pathetic yelps that they “have nothing to fear” because they know they are, of course, innocent.

  37. 43

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @35: That was last week’s talking point, jaybo. The Mighty Wurlitzur has moved on. Get with the program.

    But think, if there was something really juicy in that report, what’s your hurry? Why not wait until during the dem. primaries in ’08? Or, if there was some really great stuff there, it would have leaked by now (Starr’s team was notorious for this).

    In all likelihood, there is nothing. But keep the tin foil hat on. The black helicopters may come for you yet.

  38. 44

    marks spews:

    bill @39

    too many whistle blowers have been being persecuted lately for there to be any expectation that they will follow channels.

    By your logic, Scooter Libby had every right to disclose the name of a CIA agent to the media, since her husband was lying about his trip to Africa.

  39. 45

    bill spews:

    Not really marks, thats doesnt follow at all. It would only follow if somehow scooter feared reprisals for reporting to his superiors information about plame.

    Nice try at confusing the issue by confusing government leaks with attempts to report malfeasance. If you really cant tell the difference I feel sorry for you.

  40. 46

    Robert spews:

    Goldy,

    You don’t understand W’s plan.

    Since terrorist “hate our freedom”, by reducing freedom in the United States, the terrorists will hate us less. Less hate – less terrorists attacks.

  41. 47

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    NEWS FLASH!!!
    Wife of Congressman Involved in Bar Fight Fri Dec 23, 3:09 PM ET
    DETROIT – The wife of Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers (news, bio, voting record) has been accused of punching a woman in the eye during a bar fight.
    A spokesman for Monica Conyers, a city councilwoman-elect, confirmed Friday that she was involved in an altercation.

    COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. 49

    spews:

    from comment 27

    Rujax – Howard Dean couldn’t put it any better. This why you guys gonna get yer heads handed to you in 08. Again.

    Oh – you mean like how we got our heads handed to us THIS year? I worked on the campaign to fight 912, and we won. Not only that, but we also reelected Ron Sims. If anyone’s going to get destroyed in the coming election years, it’s the GOP. Enjoy the slide, Redneck.

  43. 50

    bill spews:

    You know righton, thats on par with saying all fundamentalist christians should be arrested based on the OK bombing. Its a fairly stupid thought.

  44. 51

    marks spews:

    bill @46

    Nice try at confusing the issue by confusing government leaks with attempts to report malfeasance. If you really cant tell the difference I feel sorry for you.

    Not at all. You have a duty to follow channels, and like all the people in your link, they apparently tried to do that. When the system breaks down, it becomes a matter for the courts to decide. Do you know anything specifically about Tice’s case, other than what was reported? No. It is for that reason that the case must go before a judge. In this case, we see the government convicted without any procedures followed. That is why Libby is not obfuscation, but a clear parallel. Libby went to the media, just as these folks did, without going though proper channels.

  45. 52

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    In 2001, U.S. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) named Murphy “Woman of the Year” for his district. In a news release at the time, Schiff praised the councilwoman for her work on behalf of affordable utility rates, a new library and measures to limit noise from the airport.

    Murphy is the cokeheaded Burbank Mayor who pals around with LEFTIST Carrie Fischer.

  46. 53

    bill spews:

    Once again youve missed the point. The channels have closed.

    Realize that Tice was the case I could find quickly, those stories have been appearing over and over for the last couple of years. The fact that members of the FBI felt they needed to go to the media is an indictment of the government. You really cant compare the actions of low level beurocrats to those of ranking members of the government.

  47. 54

    marks spews:

    bill @54

    You really cant compare the actions of low level beurocrats to those of ranking members of the government.

    No? Why not?

    What I am getting at is that Libby broke the confidence of being privy to matters of national security. Just as these un-named insiders did. There is no difference.

  48. 55

    marks spews:

    Bill,

    However, you bring up a particularly good point. Why is the whistle-blower program so screwed up? I would think it would be easy to implement a simple triumvirate system from non-coordinating agencies. If this is due to crappy methods by the overall authority then something needs to change.

  49. 56

    bill spews:

    The difference is the reason why the divulged the information. One was for political gain and the other was to try to make the government work better.

    And before you jump on relative morality, do you think there is a difference between a soldier shooting an enemy in a war and a gang banger shooting someone on the street? I do. You are focusing on the action and ignoring the motives and they are vital.

    I am actually having trouble figuring out if you actually believe the crap your spouting or if you are just trying to defend the indefensible (specifically federal officials spying on american citizens without a warrent based solely on their religion.)

  50. 57

    bill spews:

    They changed the process about 4 years ago. Now they inform the person being reported on who did the reporting before the investigation, in a few cases that investigation took years and the reprisals and demotions stood for that entire time.

    Also, as in the case of the interpreter who blew the whistle on the CIA supervisors (sorry, I can’t remember the name), the courts are accepting ‘government security’ as a reason to bar any investigation.

  51. 58

    bill spews:

    simple it implement a triumverate system? How are we going to pay for what would be an entire seperate agency? Remember the whole billions in debt thing?

    I suppose you can expand the congressional audit program (GAO) for that, but frankly they have been blocked from several investigations already.

  52. 59

    marks spews:

    bill

    The difference is the reason why the divulged the information. One was for political gain and the other was to try to make the government work better.

    One was for political gain…umm, which one? Why not both? Why the limit?

    A soldier has an obligation to defend their life in battle. A gang-banger has the same obligation. If the gang-banger was provably defending him/herself from an individual who was ready to shoot, hell, no problem. If it was some sort of twisted retaliation and a little kid dies, then he/she deserves the full wrath of society.

    Yes, I do happen to “actually believe the crap [I'm] spouting” thank you.

  53. 60

    bill spews:

    So you are saying that military special forces who are sniping are committing murder?

    Or are you saying that if it turns into a firefight any gang-banger involved should be release immediatly with an automatic self defense ruling?

  54. 61

    marks spews:

    Tough one, that. First off, I happen to trust special forces to snipe those that need sniping.

    Gang-bangers on the other hand cause havoc and adhere to no Constitutional oath that soldiers take. But there are certainly shades of grey. I’ll know it when I see it.

  55. 62

    bill spews:

    In their fundamental actions, there is no difference between a sniper taking out an enemy and a banger shooting someone from an opposing gang in a drive by (assuming they actually hit their target.)

    I say there is still a moral difference based on the motive.

    In a similar way, a ranking official divulging information to discredit someone criticizing the government is different from a low level official saying that the government has been doing something illegal.

  56. 63

    bill spews:

    Yes, it comes down to trust. From where I am sitting, the current administration has abused their authority too many times for me to trust they have the best interest of the entire country in mind.

    On the other hand so have both major parties at this point.

    I’ll trust the low level beurocrats first. They dont seem to have a horse in this race other than trying to make sure things are being done right.

  57. 64

    klake spews:

    You folks should know Seattle is a prime spot for terrorist to hide and move to other places to due their dirty work. When they fear moving around to other locations, Seattle is where these cowards will practice their profession in you back yard. Terrorist use FEAR to win their objective, and in the North West you have plenty of candidates that are afraid of their own shadow.
    Now if you were a Terrorist how and where would hide from the FBI and any other organization. First line of defense, have a city that will not deport illegal aliens or arrest them, and groups that provide shelter for them.
    Next find a location that is color blind, your looks does not draw attention. Find a neighborhood where people are Political Correct, and would not offend your ethnic background. This area could not have any weapons so the citizens could defend themselves, and they could prey on the victims without any threat to the terrorist. No tobacco, drugs, or guns allowed on school grounds, Russia had them drop in for a visit a few years back.
    This neighborhood would need high-speed communication to due you transactions and relay info to other cells. Need a location were you can do transactions in Arabic to receive money to support the local cells. All these activities would go all unnoticed by the locals and receive local political support (Jim McDermott).
    Now you need warrants to monitor these folk’s activities in this city, even if they are here illegally. By the time you get the warrants the Terrorist have already slip out of town to do their dirty work in sum other city.
    My Uncle work as a mole in East Germany during the 50’s when he was in the Army. He stayed there for ten years undercover until he slipped out in the late 50’s. In order not be discovered he used many tactics to hide, but it was not as easy as the Terrorist have it today.
    The President order was to use surveillance tactics to determine who was plotting against this country and bring harm to its citizens. When the Terrorist contacted its source for money out side this country now made it possible for those doing the surveillance to do their job without a warrant. The parties doing the surveillance were in other countries tracking the terrorist. This is not in violation of local laws or any other law that the rabbit says. Parties working for this country, outside this country territory, looking for Terrorist, did the surveillance. When Terrorist are discovered in country the President gave them permission to continue doing their work without a warrant.

  58. 65

    JCH spews:

    I think it’s safe to say that ALL Seattle Muslim terrorists vote Democrat. Bush should kill them.

  59. 66

    marks spews:

    bill,

    You may or may not be surprised, but I agree with you. Thanks for the indulgence.

    Have a great Holiday!

    And Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Hannukah, Hanukah, and the best Kwanzaa and a holy Ramadan (oh, I’m sorry, that was October)…

    C’mon, folks. How ’bout a simple Happy Holidays? I’m not one for putting the X back in Xmas, but whew!…

  60. 67

    bill spews:

    Thanks, and may whatever holiday you are celebrating this week be merry and bright as well.

  61. 68

    marks spews:

    btw – Goldy,

    Bush once accused the terrorists of “hating our freedom.” Well, a major tactic in his “War on Terror” seems to be to take away this motivation.

    That was good! No wonder I am a repeat customer…

  62. 69

    sgmmac spews:

    Roger,

    I could have sworn that the closest we have been to the war of all wars was President Kennedy, a good Democratic President.

  63. 70

    karl spews:

    I have a hard time feeling outrage.

    So they drove a truck around to monitor radiation. Big deal.

    The type of radiatoin that would be detected from out side buildings could not be mistaken for a microwave of anything numdane. I used to do radioactive site monitoring for the Air Force in the 90s. The only thing that would have triggered an alert woulod have been actual fissionables or something for a dirty bomb.

    Did they intrude into premises? Did the look in windows?

    A police car can drive around a neighborhood and if it detects noise that leads it to beleive a crime is in commission, they can act. It can deliberately drive around a place where suspects live. Its not illegal.

    If the areas surveyed had no radioactive material, then who cares. No harm no foul

    There is no constitutional protection to own radioactive material, and there is no reasonable expectation against detection of gamma radiation. There are no constitutional issues here.

    Sorry goldy, this one is just dumb. There were no rights violated unless they actually looked or entered someone premise, and the detection of radiation, had it been detected, would have sufficed to get a warrent.

    Police do not have to have a warrent for every act of survelience.

    I know you love outrage at Bush, but c’mon.

  64. 71

    fire_one spews:

    These fucking Republicans are cowards! They will gladly give up ALL of their Constitutional rights, just so Georgie Peorgie can tell them “It’s Okay, you’re safe now”. Fucking MORONS! We need to dismantle the DHS, repeal the Pat Act, and impeach Bush! Then, I would feel safe. I am willing to live with the possibility of a terrorist act. Fucking COWARDS! Giving away MY rights for THEIR “possible” safety.

  65. 72

    karl spews:

    And hardly new…

    Most staff for the monitoring came from NEST, which draws from nearly 1,000 nuclear scientists and technicians based largely at the country’s national laboratories. For 30 years, NEST undercover teams have combed suspected sites looking for radioactive material, using high-tech detection gear fitted onto various aircraft, vehicles, and even backpacks and attaché cases. No dirty bombs or nuclear devices have ever been found – and that includes the post-9/11 program. “There were a lot of false positives, and one or two were alarming,” says one source. “But in the end we found nothing.”,/i>

    I would prefer then look and find nothing then not look and just hope it isnt there…..

  66. 73

    sgmmac spews:

    Proud,

    I do agree with the the threats from the late 40’s. I grew up with emergency drills in elementary school where we had to hide under our desks. My grandparents had a bomb shelter stocked with food in their front yard.

    Bush is in a NO-win situation, if he does nothing, you scream, if he tells you the intelligence threats, you scream.
    As an example, the 9/11 commission recommended National Driver’s License Standards, because some states issue them to illegal aliens. Washington is one of those and when Congress passed the law prohibiting any state from issuing licenses to illegal aliens, the Times and the PI went crazy.

    We are right back to what kind of security do you want? What freedoms are you willing to give up?

    My question to you is what is the difference between our Democratic Legislature and Govenor passing any and all sorts of laws restricting freedoms and the Federal government restricting freedoms?

  67. 74

    fire_one spews:

    shmmac – – I call bullshit. Unless you are about 65 years old, you never went through any kinda fucking “under the desk” drills, which ended in 58. You’re just another COWARD who is willing to give up your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS for some sort of perceived “safety”.
    — as to Bush doing “nothing” .. .trust me, if he did nothing, I am not going to scream. I am willing to live with the possibility of a terrorist attack. It’s called “Live Free or Die” Moron.

  68. 75

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    6

    “As for the ports, I don’t know what they check or don’t.”

    They check less than 1/2% of the container cargo coming into the U.S., and Republicans (White House and Congress) have consistently opposed increased funding for port security.

    Doesn’t it stand to reason that terrorists are more likely to sneak a nuclear bomb into the U.S. in a container, than they are to assemble one in a U-Store locker?

  69. 76

    Voter Advocate spews:

    This story diverts us from what I think the real concern should be. I don’t mind if the FBI and Dept. of Energy look for radiation release from my home. If I was concocting nuclear weapons, I would have no reasonable basis to believe I was not being monitore, IMHO.

    My telephone, is another matter. It is the NSA revelations that I worry about.

  70. 77

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    But then, nuclear devastation of a U.S. city is essential to the rightwing plan for suspending civil liberties and assuming dictatorial powers. So why would they want to stop it?

  71. 78

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    75

    Don’t get too worked up over Sgt. Mac’s ravings, fireone. She has proved herself to be another mindless shill for whatever Bushco wants to do. No critical analysis to be found in her posts.

    Sgmmac = GOP apologist

  72. 79

    sgmmac spews:

    Fire,

    I was born in 53 and the drills certainly did not end in 58. You are smoking too much Maui Wowie. I was in the same classroom when President Kennedy was assininated. I was under the little desks because of his little wars with Cuba and those Russian missiles pointed at us 90 miles off of the shore of Florida. But, you probably weren’t even born then!

  73. 80

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    65

    “Now if you were a Terrorist how and where would hide from the FBI and any other organization.”

    If I were a terrorist trying to hide from the FBI, I’d dress like a redneck, drive a redneck car with a Bush/Cheney bumper sticker, and live in a trailer park in a Rossi county.

  74. 81

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    This is all very entertaining…. but let me clue you in on how things really work.

    The world is not run by moonbats. Much as you would like to think so, it is not. Issues of life and death and national security are handled by grown ups, and they do things that are FAR beyond the comprehension of the yer average horsesass.

    Murka has satellites in space that monitor every bit of nuclear material in the world. We know where all nuke material in the world is at all times. Every bit of it. As you may know, nuke material emits a number of different kinds of radiation, and while some of the radiation can be shielded, some types cannot and the satellites have very sensitive sensors that can pick it up.

    These satellites have been around for a while, going back at least to when President Reagan, through his courageous leadership, rid the world of the USSR and ended the Cold War. The adults in charge at the time could see it coming, and became concerned about what would happen to their nuke weapons and materials. The satellies were build and launched and went into service back then, and have been there ever since. So no matter what you might read in a Tom Clancy novel or see in a Michael Moore movie, we’re not gonna get surprised.

    Surely Ahkmed would like to get his hands on some of those weapons or at least the fissionable materials to make them. If he gets nuke WMDs, he’s gonna hafta do it the hard way because if the material even starts heading that way, we’re gonna know, and a bunch of guys with guns and a bad attitude ain’t gonna let that happen.

    So you can be goddam sure that if there was nuke surveillance going on at ground level here, that they SAS had a valid reason to be concerned.

    So you kook moonbats can go forth and spew your hate and parade your stupidity. That’s OK. But be assured, the adults are in charge and you’re not.

  75. 82

    marks spews:

    karl @71

    There were no rights violated unless they actually looked or entered someone premise,

    This is the crux. According to the leakers, they did just that, going onto private property. If it were merely a stakeout thingy, I would place this in the realm of tin-foil hat.

    karl @73

    For 30 years, NEST undercover teams have combed suspected sites looking for radioactive material,

    What is new is that the FBI controlled their actions beginning in 2002.

    I could almost be certain that our security was the primary motivation behind this, but I am not about to subscribe to the idea that the 4th amendment does not apply to U.S. citizens, and that the judiciary does not need to take a peek at what our Executive branch does.

  76. 83

    sgmmac spews:

    76

    Yes, it does and I don’t like it, at all. I think I said that. I don’t like the lack of security on or physical borders either, nor do I like the fact that there are 12 million illegal aliens here. The terrorists are most likely already here. The 9/11 highjackers were here long before 9/11

  77. 84

    fire_one spews:

    Rabbit – I hear ya. Jesus, I just find it difficult to believe this is the country I went to war for. And I find it difficult to believe that anyone in, or involved with, the Army can not see the inherent danger of a President that believes himself ABOVE the law.

  78. 85

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And here I thought that hose the Parks Department fascists were shoving into all the rabbit holes in Green Lake Part was for pumping in carbon monoxide! Well if I catch any bunnies building bombs in their underground redoubts, I’ll call FEMA!!!

  79. 87

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    85

    Oh, this always happens when people get excitable. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus; Wilson enacted a sedition act; FDR rounded up Japanese-Americans; Nixon sent a burgler to Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office.

    There’s nothing new about presidents ignoring the Constitution or violating citizens’ privacy or civil rights. The problem is there’s no deterrent because we’ve never jailed a president for that.

    But there’s a first time for everything. he he he he he he he he he

  80. 89

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    If you want to see a historical example of a thin-skinned president who couldn’t stand criticism, had no respect for free speech rights, and energetically went after his political enemies, it’s hard to beat Woodrow Wilson.

  81. 91

    sgmmac spews:

    Fire,

    The majority of Americans are NOT willing to risk another 9/11. You may be, because you can defend yourself and your family, but most Americans can’t or won’t and they rely on the Federal Government and our infantry soldiers to take point on that mission.

  82. 93

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Mac, if Bush had done the job he was paid for, instead of spending 40% of his first 8 months in office goofing off on his ranch, there would have been no 9/11.

  83. 94

    sgmmac spews:

    Roger,

    We also don’t jail them for adultery, using cigars for other than their intended purpose and getting blow jobs at their desk either.

  84. 97

    fire_one spews:

    If he beats Wilson, it will be because he TRIES harder. But, that’s it from the East Coast. Too late, and too many beers. You guys live in the best place in the world, I only get to viisit. Have a great weekend!

  85. 98

    sgmmac spews:

    Fire,

    I don’t like anyone who thinks they are above the law, because they are the lawless. The ‘nest’ stuff came out a few years ago, it was all over the news that nest teams would be in all of our major cities over New Years, because they had received ‘chatter.’ I picked up on it because I am from Las Vegas and my Dad and brother live there. Las Vegas is one of their targeted cities … along with Seattle.

  86. 99

    marks spews:

    fire_one @96

    You guys live in the best place in the world, I only get to viisit. Have a great weekend!

    We rarely agree, but on this you are spot-on…

  87. 100

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    JUSTICE, TEXAS-STYLE

    Here’s an Orwellian example from Bush’s home state of post-Constitution-era law enforcement:

    “Man jailed for over a year saw no lawyer

    “DALLAS (AP) — A man was jailed for more than a year without ever seeing a lawyer as he waited for a repeatedly postponed court hearing, gaining release only after a cellmate told an attorney about the case.

    “Walter Mann Sr., 69, was released Dec. 16 after a year and three months – more than twice the time he would have served if he had been convicted in his contempt-of-court case.

    “Mann’s legal troubles began in 2002, when his 13-year-old son assaulted him and was sent to a juvenile detention center. Mann, who was unemployed and on disability benefits, was ordered to pay $50 a month for the boy’s housing but never did, according to court records.

    “Prosecutors sought to have Mann held in contempt of juvenile court, which led to an order that he be brought before a judge.

    “The judge then incarcerated him in September 2004 for three warrants alleging that Mann wrote bad checks. Then he waited more than a year as his contempt case was postponed again and again.

    “Had he been convicted in the contempt case, he would have served a maximum of six months in jail and faced a $500 fine.
    His release came after cellmate Jim Brooks, 64, heard from Mann that he had never seen a lawyer.

    “Brooks, jailed on minor theft charges, told his public defender, who told another public defender, Shoshana Paige. She made several calls and Mann was released the same day.

    From the Associated Press; for complete story, see http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/s.....CTION=HOME

  88. 102

    Winston Smith spews:

    Do you really think these people are going to blow up the world and queer their own good thing? The part I’m talking about are “these people”. Untold wealth!!!! And all they have to do is keep us at each others throats. THINK!! When the conservatives and liberals start going after the real enemy, then the gig is up and the apocalypse is near. If you let them…

  89. 104

    marks spews:

    sgmmac @97

    The ‘nest’ stuff came out a few years ago, it was all over the news that nest teams would be in all of our major cities over New Years, because they had received ‘chatter.’

    What is new is that the FBI controlled their actions beginning in 2002. That is sufficient to give me pause…

  90. 105

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    I think that the NEST issue is a red herring. Anything like a critical mass of fissile material SHOULD be detectable from the street. Any significant amount of nuclear waste for a dirty bomb, ditto. Those sorts of quantities of radioactive materials pose public health hazards as well as security issues.
    What concerns me is TEMPEST monitoring, whether it is HUMINTEL or ELINT. Van Eck devices, while passive, are intrusive into a citizens personal space,papers, and effects.This is the area of the fourth amendment that needs to be brought into the twenty-first century. I simply do not trust the Bush Crime Family to not abuse these devices and monitor political opponents without warrants and supervision.

  91. 106

    Winston Smith spews:

    They can’t control the fact that we actually talk to each other (conservatives and liberals) and exchange ideas. Who is the one who Banned commenters? Stefan, at uSP. He is a paid propagandist of the crazy right.

  92. 107

    marks spews:

    TFF,

    What concerns me is TEMPEST monitoring, whether it is HUMINTEL or ELINT

    Can you elaborate? I understand ELINT and HUMINTEL, but what is your concern re: TEMPEST?

  93. 111

    sgmmac spews:

    @103

    Marks, 2002? Is that when Homeland Security was founded?
    You know Bush didn’t want anything to do with Homeland Security and one big organization, he was badgered and beaten into accepting it.

    Who but the FBI should direct them?

  94. 112

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    “Local leaders didn’t know about government pollution health-risk scores

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over the past decade, the Environmental Protection Agency created health-risk scores to identify communities with potential hazards from industrial air pollution. But many local leaders were in the dark.

    “In a story last week, the AP mapped those scores to neighborhoods in a computer analysis that found the risks from industrial air pollution disproportionately affect minorities and the poor.

    “The story has stirred controversy and intrigue in communities across America.

    “In Grand Rapids, … mayor said he never had been told the EPA calculated industrial air pollution health-risk scores for every square kilometer of the United States even as his office worked to reduce local pollution.

    “Michigan’s Kent County, where Grand Rapids is located, had 26 neighborhoods in the top 5 percent nationally for the highest health-risk scores calculated in 2000.

    “The scientists who created and managed the EPA project say the AP’s report used the government data properly and helped inform the public about a program that cost millions of dollars but hadn’t gotten much attention.

    “The AP obtained the scores for the entire country from the EPA under a Freedom of Information Act request.”

    http://www.king5.com/business/.....f2d7b.html

  95. 113

    sgmmac spews:

    109

    Winston,

    That is total and complete freedom. Do what you want, when you want, and who you want, and everyone else be damned. No laws, no government, just chaos and anarchy. True freedom.

  96. 115

    sgmmac spews:

    Roger,

    The local leaders didn’t notice that brownish haze over their over populated cities?

  97. 116

    JCH spews:

    shmmac – – I call bullshit. Unless you are about 65 years old, you never went through any kinda fucking “under the desk” drills, which ended in 58. You’re just another COWARD who is willing to give up your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS for some sort of perceived “safety”.
    – as to Bush doing “nothing” .. .trust me, if he did nothing, I am not going to scream. I am willing to live with the possibility of a terrorist attack. It’s called “Live Free or Die” Moron.

    Comment by fire_one — 12/23/05 @ 8:14 pm [Fire_one: yellow traitor!]

  98. 117

    spews:

    Bush spying on Mosques? Bush spying on Muslim? Well as Humphrey Bogart would say, “Here is looking at you kid”

  99. 118

    marks spews:

    sgmmac @110

    Marks, 2002? Is that when Homeland Security was founded?
    You know Bush didn’t want anything to do with Homeland Security and one big organization, he was badgered and beaten into accepting it.

    Who but the FBI should direct them?

    Then you and I are pretty close to agreement. See me @30…

  100. 119

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    If a NEST team finds a ‘hot-spot’ whether it’s just on the street or outside a private residence or a mosque, then that is probable cause for further investigation. . .go to a judge, and get a warrant TO FIND OUT WHY THERE IS EXCESSIVE RADIATION. Fine. The Fourth Amendment is served and preserved.
    But, when a Van Eck device eavesdrops on your keystrokes or other computer activity, it specifically violates your privacy, whether the Device is on the street, or on your property, the Fourth Amendment is breached when there is no probable cause. At the very least, you should have to seek FISA oversight. My qualms also extend to the PREDATOR program and its progeny, even though I understand the telecommunications acts make this a different arena of the law.

  101. 120

    Winston Smith spews:

    re 112: sgmmac: No. I’m talking about PEEING — like in the recent Penthouse magazines.

  102. 121

    sgmmac spews:

    Winston,

    I was referring to my remark somewhere near the beginning of this thread, I don’t do Penthouse, so I don’t know what you mean.

  103. 122

    Richard Pope spews:

    Maybe the ACLU should take up this case. Bush is violating the free speech and privacy rights of Muslims. Radioactivity is another form of electromagnetic radiation, just like TV signals, cellular transmission, and radio waves. Using highly sensitive devices to detect this radioactive speech violates Muslim’s privacy rights, since they intended to keep their radiation secret (at least until they make a major “speech” through sudden public release of large quantities thereof). Likewise, when their privacy is denied in this highly offensive manner, it chills their right to free “speech” — and might even result in them being prevented from making a major “demonstration” of their free “speech” outside the White House, Supreme Court, Congress, or in some central business district of a major city.

    Gee Goldy sure knows how to pick his battles … I don’t think he can even get Hillary, John Kerry, or AlGore to support him on this one.

  104. 123

    Winston Smith spews:

    Richard Pope: How can you talk about free speech when the universal right to PEE in freedom and safety is at stake. And don’t try to tell me that you don’t care!

    sgnmmac is right !!! It’s all about piss —- and maybe vinegar!!! But how would a POINDEXTER like Richard Pope be able to appreciate that fact? No friggin’ way !!! You pointy-headed freak!!!

  105. 124

    Tm Clancy spews:

    Look how scared Mark Reddick, JCH, and all their cronies are. They’ve shat their trousers. The only thing they used to have going for them, their white skin (well, aside from the fact that if their mailman was black they probably have a black father), is fading into irrelevance. As they numbly sit, wondering if masturbation to Prussian Blue videos is pedophilia or simply what Jesus wants them to do, they cower in their bunkers, hoping their manlicious leader will kill all the brown folks for them.

    What’s the word? Pathetic. And I love Mark’s Tom Clancy fantasies about who knows what. Maybe Harrison Ford can be the next president.

  106. 125

    horse whisperer spews:

    Makes one wonder when this thing gets to see the full light of day will be how many political enemies of Bushco have been targeted. Goldy and I may be on the list!

  107. 126

    sgmmac spews:

    Marks,

    I am not sure we are in agreement. I don’t see a 4th amendment issue at all, unless the surveilance isn’t passive. Having NEST teams walk through buildings, roads and sidewalks and through neighborhoods is passive. Who would even know they are there? Law enforcement agencies, all of them, do surveilance. If they are kicking in people’s doors to their homes and poking radiacmeters in their faces, it’s intrusive and would most likely need a warrant. But, I don’t know what the laws concerning nuclear materials are, and there could be an old law or an executive order that says it’s legal. There is a serious public health issue with nuclear materials and certain diseases. The CDC has powers that could trample all over our freedoms.

  108. 127

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    @120 To confuse radioactivity with electromagnetic emissions only displays your confused state of mind.

  109. 128

    Robert spews:

    For all the Bush Apologists, I think we should get this on the record. Sign, notarize, and send to Gold the following:

    I, , do give up all my Constitutional rights* necessary in support of the Federal Government’s ‘War on Terror’. I freely give up these rights indefinitely no matter if a Republican or a Democrat is the President. I will not criticize the President no matter their party as long they are fighting the ‘War on Terror’.


    Full Name

    * Rights to be determined exclusively by the President without any congressional or court oversite.

  110. 129

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    My concern is with the lack of any oversight of any TEMPEST surveillance. Setting aside the the theoretical considerations of the effectiveness of Van Eck devices, I still want what little figleaf of protection the FISA courts and the Fourth Amendment
    provide.
    ELINT overcomes some of the difficulties of the shear volume of information traffic. But we already know these slime-balls in power want to access our IRS records and certainly target political opposition. They can’t effectively monitor the ocean of INTEL noise out there. . .but they CAN use their prejudices and
    political agendas to SELECTIVELY target individuals. FISA oversight hardly interferes with rapid investigation of LEGITIMATE security concerns, but even the lame-assed oversight of a FISA judge WOULD interfere with vindictive and malicious targertting of politcal opponents.

  111. 130

    spews:

    I, , do give up all my Constitutional rights* necessary in support of the Federal Government’s ‘War on Blue Dresses’. I freely give up these rights indefinitely no matter if a Republican or a Democrat is the President. I will not criticize the President no matter their party as long they are fighting the ‘War on Blue Dresses’.

    Harry “Blue balls” Semen

  112. 131

    marks spews:

    sgmmac @124,

    I don’t see a 4th amendment issue at all, unless the surveilance isn’t passive.

    You are correct. That is an issue that I am unsure of. The ultimate question is: What does it take to monitor nukes on any property? Must the government be invasive? I do not believe the government should ignore threats, but I do believe the government should obtain oversight as defined in the Constitution, and the 4th amendment is the place to start. I may be wrong in my faith, but I can’t fathom any abandonment of our laws as written. The government is constrained by them, and making new laws without input from us belies our own responsibility.

  113. 132

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Marks@129 You really need to know that TEMPEST monitoring with Van Eck devices IS passive. It also is or can be a breach of the Fourth Amendment without either a warrant or at least a FISA court action.. This sort of surveillance needs some sort of oversight. On this we agree.

  114. 133

    marks spews:

    Tree Frog Farmer @130

    The primary issue I have is whether the 4th amendment is violated. We could debate seriously the limits of government and TEMPEST, (btw-I loved that video game), but it remains to be seen how far we allow our government to intrude.

  115. 134

    sgmmac spews:

    Marks,

    I understand your concern, but to follow your logic, federal law enforcement officers wouldn’t be able to leave their building without a warrant.

  116. 135

    sgmmac spews:

    With regards to NEST teams and radiation leaks, it is a matter of public health, it isn’t just law enforcement or terrorist watching.

  117. 136

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Marks@131 This is exactly the arena of law that needs discussion in the light of day. Probable cause is always fraught with interprative difficulties. The policeman walking by off your property hears screams and investigates. . .finds a felony in progress and is probably on safe Fourth Amendment grounds. If he takes the time to get a warrant, even better.
    But if the NSA parks a van across the street from your home with $50,000 worth of gear and logs every keystroke of your computer
    action, even when you are not on line, and takes screen captures of your every monitor frame, WITHOUT either a warrant or even a tip of the hat to a FISA judge, then you have Dick Cheney’s wet-dream. (I’m not prepared to discuss the pro’s and con’s of the FISA act) Right now, a real discussion of limiting FISA seems rather remote.

  118. 137

    marks spews:

    sgmmac @132

    I understand your concern, but to follow your logic, federal law enforcement officers wouldn’t be able to leave their building without a warrant.

    And this is a bad idea?

    I’m serious, what does it take to insure our security? A minute in the court and you’re off to your favorite monitoring grounds…

    Tell me why this is bad, and no monitoring or oversight of surveillance is good?

  119. 138

    sgmmac spews:

    Without the surveilance, you wouldn’t get the warrant. The surveilance is where you get the probable cause for the warrant. It is never a minute in court to get a warrant, it takes time and paperwork.

    If a NEST team ever “finds” a site emanating radiation, I don’t think their priority would be a warrant. They would probably lock down the site, surround it, quantine it, and evacuate the surrounding area for miles depending upon the amount of radiation.

  120. 139

    sgmmac spews:

    Where does Hillary, Kerry, and the other leaders of the Democratic party stand on this? and on the NSA spying? It’s all over the news, but the only ones talking are the press, the blogs and Harry Reid?

  121. 141

    sgmmac spews:

    Marks,

    “Tell me why this is bad, and no monitoring or oversight of surveillance is good?”

    I see no reason to handcuff our Federal law enforcement officers in this fashion. Our local law enforcement officers certainly don’t have any oversight over what they have surveilance on. They don’t need a warrant to go hide behind a bridge on I-5 and aim a radar speed gun at you. The local guys didn’t have a warrant when they went and got massages and sex.
    The health departments don’t get warrants to walk in a bar to check if someone’s smoking.

    What I fail to understand about most of these arguments is the complaints that the feds are trampling on rights, when this state does the exact same thing.

    I didn’t hear anyone complaining about the rights of the dead people or their families when the King County Coroner sold their brains to a research group back east.

  122. 142

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    sgmma@139 That’s sad. You served our country with so little an understanding of our Constitution. This is precisely what is proscribed by the Fourth Amendment. Surveillance without judicial oversight is illegal. Change your thinking. This is Civil Society. We are not under the UCMJ.
    Having gotten and served warrants I well know they take time. Having seen police actions set aside by Judicial action when those actions went outside of the limits of the warrant, I also understand the limits of a cowboy mentality.
    Probable cause is the primum motive for any legal surveillance outside of carefully defined public spaces. If Bush wants martal law let him have the cojones to ask for it and to bear the firestorm of discussion that follows. Probable cause, not authoritarian prediliction or prejudice. . .defensible probable cause is what is need.

  123. 143

    Winston Smith spews:

    TOP SECRET. You gotta be kidding. There are no secrets — only ignorant people. They say : ” I am gonna fuck you over, but it’s for your own good! I have TOP SECRET information that you don’t know about that makes it OK.”

    Take a red pill and get out of the matrix.

  124. 144

    marks spews:

    sgmmac @139

    Without the surveilance, you wouldn’t get the warrant. The surveilance is where you get the probable cause for the warrant.

    Where does Hillary, Kerry, and the other leaders of the Democratic party stand on this? and on the NSA spying?

    That is the funny thing about politics. It doesn’t seem to matter when it comes down to making a decision. That is why the Dems are banking on a bankrupt scenario for such a good turnabout in 2006. Just between you and me, I would be surprised if the dems gain any ground. They fail to make the necessary inroads…

  125. 145

    sgmmac spews:

    TFF

    Well, I don’t know where you’ve been, but law enforcement officers perform surveilance all the time without warrants. Driving up and down streets is surveilance, I am not talking about wiretapping………surveilance is watching and monitoring.

  126. 146

    sgmmac spews:

    Marks,

    There are 16 members of Congress who MUST be told of programs like the NSA spying and from what I have heard on TV, they were informed and they knew.

    Maybe that’s why they are silent. Another reason could be that they don’t want to appear to be weak on Defense.

  127. 147

    Winston Smith spews:

    The “freedom” that exists in Bush’s world of inherited wealth, privilige , and power is exactly the “freedom” that terrorists hate. Bush’s mistake is that he thinks we all share in the freedom he has experienced all his life.

    Truth be told. Most of us have more in common with the suicide bombers.

  128. 148

    sgmmac spews:

    Terrorists do NOT hate that freedom, they are longing for it. It is what drives them. If they become a suicide bomber they are promised to go to allah, get their 72 virgins, and have an eternity of sex, drugs and rock & roll!

  129. 149

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Sgmmac@146 That’s cute. This entire thread has been about unwarranted (pun intentional) intrusions by the Federal Government.
    Don’t change the subject so glibly. Surveillance is a technical term, carefully delineated by case law. . . .largely because of the tendency to intrude. Observation, particularly in public spaces is another matter. Confusing the two is rather trollish.

  130. 150

    Richard Pope spews:

    Wabbit @ 101

    DEMOCRATIC IN-Justice, Texas Style

    The Wabbit fails to mention that the horrible screw-up in Dallas County, Texas was the fault of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office — which is responsible for detaining and releasing inmates from the county jail.

    The juvenile court judge had ordered Walter Mann, Sr. released on the juvenile court contempt warrant back in October 2004. Unfortunately, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office failed to process the release order, and kept Mr. Mann wrongfully incarcerated for over a year.

    Now, the Wabbit will try to blame the Republicans, since there is a misperception that Dallas is dominated by the GOP. In reality, John Kerry and the Democrats carried the City of Dallas in November 2004, and George W Bush carried Dallas County as a whole by only 50.32% to 48.93%.

    SO WHO IS THE SHERIFF OF DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS?

    DEMOCRAT LUPE VALDEZ, who was elected in November 2004 by a margin of 51.35% to 48.65% over Republican Danny Chandler.

    http://www.dalcoelections.org/.....ative.html

  131. 151

    sgmmac spews:

    TFF

    I wasn’t changing the subject so gilbly…. Throughout the entire thread I was talking about Goldy’s subject and today’s US News Report about NEST teams surveiling Muslims without a warrant. When I was talking about unwarranted intrusions, I said NSA spying.

  132. 152

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    sgmmac @ 139: Without the surveilance, you wouldn’t get the warrant. The surveilance is where you get the probable cause for the warrant.

    It is exactly this kind of thinking that turns the concept of “probable cause” on its head. It is also the same kind of thinking that gets so outraged when a clearly guilty criminal walks due to a “technicality”. Beleive me, I do understand this emotive reaction. But it is wrong.

    The steadfast refusal of our court system to lower the bar here is essential to preserving our freedoms.* Even GOP appointed judges (well, most of them anyway)have a clear grasp of this principle. It is amusing in a wry sense to watch GOP partisans try to twist this for obvious political advantage as they tie themselves up in knots to defend excessive and\or abusive executive power, be it Nixon, Reagan (Iran-contra), or Bush.

    The GOP sang a way different tune in the late 30’s, and Barry Goldwater is probably spinning in his grave.

    *Yes, Matilda. We have THREE branches of government.

  133. 153

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    To all my Christian Friends on this Blog and the Curious:
    O Holy Night Lyrics

    O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
    It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
    Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
    Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
    A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
    For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
    Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
    O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
    O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
    O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

    Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
    With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
    O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
    Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
    The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
    In all our trials born to be our friends.
    He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
    Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
    Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

    Truly He taught us to love one another,
    His law is love and His gospel is peace.
    Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
    And in his name all oppression shall cease.
    Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
    With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
    Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
    His power and glory ever more proclaim!
    His power and glory ever more proclaim!

  134. 154

    Daddy Love spews:

    In a 2001 decision Kyllo v. the United States, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that police must get warrants before using devices that search through walls for criminal activity. That decision struck down the use without a warrant of a heat-sensing device that led to marijuana charges against an Oregon man.

    Here’s their ruling:
    Held: Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of a private home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a Fourth Amendment “search,” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant.

    Sorry, not only is the selective targeting of innocent Muslims unconstitutional on its face, but their methods are not allowed without a warrant.

  135. 157

    Bax spews:

    Look, I’m as anti-Bush as the next guy, but there seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of the requirements for a warrant in this thread. The 4th amendment protects the person and person’s property against warrantless seizure. I admit I don’t know all of the details of this radiation detection program, but it appears to me to be people who remain outside of the residence or curtilage of the people they’re observing. You do not need a warrant to view what anyone else can view from a public place. This is a fundamental concept, and it would apply to radiation detection. If these guys are using their equipment in a place that is generally accessible to the public, i.e. a street or sidewalk, the 4th Amendment isn’t implicated and they can detect to their heart’s content. It’s only when they start actually entering somebody else’s property that they are required to obtain a warrant and the 4th Amendment’s protections apply.

    Trust me on this one, I deal with these issues every day. Unless these guys are somehow entering the property or person of the people they’re investigating (which can be done in a million different ways), they do not need a warrant. Acting like they do shows a lack of understanding of the law.

  136. 158

    Bax spews:

    The main problem with the Kyllo case is that it specifically limits its holding to devices that are not in general public use. At the time of the search in that case, thermal imagers may not have been widely publicly available. They are now, as are geiger counters. That’s a recipe for being subsequently overturned.

  137. 159

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @158 and 159:

    Bax, a complete reading of the Kyllo decision shoots down your first post in its entirety. With a little more thought and reflection, your second pip at 159 is also dismissed with predjudice.

    I can only conclude that your claim to “deal with this every day” is disturbing, to say the least.

  138. 160

    Winston Smith spews:

    re 154: Thanks for the sentiment , Mr. Cynical! Here’s a question you might want to ponder:

    Is the Christian sacrament of Communion nothing more than ritual cannibalism wherein the eater of the dead tries to absorb the strenghths of a defeated foe by consuming their body?

    Just some food for thought, so to speak…

  139. 161

    jaybo spews:

    I really see something that is even more troubling in Goldy’s post here. It really reinforces the opinion of some that the radical left is an elitist group that is out of touch with mainstream society. This has cultivated within this same group a subtle form of bigotry that sees minority groups as “lesser people” in need of their protection and sympathy.

    Goldy (or his minions) still haven’t responded to the following.

    Goldy, I hate to say this but the following comment is typical of a bigot;

    (Goldy Said)
    “the Bush administration’s fear that brown people might have the bomb apparently trumps its respect of the 4th Amendment.”

    Why do you think that every muslim that attends mosques in seattle has brown skin? What would cause you to come to this conclusion? Can you support it with facts?

    Your bigotry just slipped out onto the pages of your weblog.

    Oops!

  140. 162

    Goldy spews:

    jaybo @162,

    No, actually what has slipped out is that you are a fucking moron. What I’m implying is that the Bush people are bigots who equate Islam with race. I’d say that any idiot should have understood my snipe, but obviously, one particularly idiot didn’t.

    So… eat me.

  141. 163

    karl spews:

    Fire one.,

    Bullshit back

    In the bay area we did those drills until the late 60’s or early 70s when I was elementary school, and had the sirens blare as well.

  142. 165

    karl spews:

    I am all for constitutional protection, but even the 4th ammenedment allows for protect from “unreasonable” searches.

    Considering the amount of destruction available to someone with radioactive material, having nest teams monitor for them is hardly unreasonable.

    It serves the public interest.

  143. 166

    Bax spews:

    Bax, a complete reading of the Kyllo decision shoots down your first post in its entirety.

    Um, not so much. Only if you read that decision and that decision alone. And it also depends on one other, huge factor: whether somebody has a constitutional right to possess radioactive/nuclear materials. Candidly, I have no idea if you do. If you don’t, meaning if it’s illegal to possess these items, then this whole argument is moot, because you have no constitutional right to possess contraband. If you do, then I could be wrong.

    Anyway, subsequent to Kyllo the USSC decided a case out of Illinois dealing with drug sniffing dogs (Illinois v. Caballes), and distinguished Kyllo, holding that the police can use drug sniffing dogs to discover evidence without a warrant, even if they might not be able to use thermal imaging.

    Using radiation detection is factually closer to a drug sniffing dog than a thermal imager. I suspect if this ever got to the Supreme Court, they’d uphold it.

    But this is beside the point. My point is that using this radiation detection equipment is at least legally defensible. It might not be crystal clear under the various caselaw and constitutional provisions that it’s permissible, but it’s not like the other things Bush & Co. are doing that are clearly and flagrantly unconstitutional. You’re better off saving your energy and outrage to direct to those other things rather than this. That’s all I’m trying to say.

  144. 167

    Daddy Love spews:

    One could consider anything to “legally defensible” to someone. The Administration claims that its most egregious abuses are quite legally defensible, as did Nixon, and they will readily quote what they consider to be the precedents for their opinion.

    I would suggest to you that the circumstances of the warrantless searches under discussion are sufficently different from Illinois v. Caballes as to make that case only tangentially applicable as precedent. This is not a traffic stop where a citizen has already been lawfully dtained by a law officer. This is a case of people in their homes, businesses, and places of worship being a) singled out for scrutiny because of their religion and/or national origin, and b) being subjected to invasive search by evolving technology in exactly the way Kyllo warns: “Such a mechanical interpretation of the Fourth Amendment was rejected in Katz, where the eavesdropping device in question picked up only sound waves that reached the exterior of the phone booth to which it was attached. Reversing that approach would leave the homeowner at the mercy of advancing technology–including imaging technology that could discern all human activity in the home. Also rejected is the Government’s contention that the thermal imaging was constitutional because it did not detect “intimate details.” Such an approach would be wrong in principle because, in the sanctity of the home, all details are intimate details.

    Thus also, a drug-sniffing dog is not representative of steadily-evolving technology, which makes Caballes even less relevant as precedent.

    BTW, at least some of the searches in question were performed from on soemone’s private property and not a public easement.

  145. 168

    Daddy Love spews:

    So much for proofing. This should be:
    Thus also, because a drug-sniffing dog is not representative of steadily-evolving technology, which makes Caballes is even less relevant as precedent.

  146. 169

    jaybo spews:

    Goldy,

    You can always post the quote to prove me wrong, but I challenge you to show me anything that references the war on terror as being racially motivated.

    Secondly, you didn’t specifically answer my questions as to why you decided to say that the members of the Seattle mosques were all brown skinned. Instead you do the stereo-typical, radical left “attack the person” routine.

    I guess I thought that you were better than that.

  147. 170

    Voter Advocate spews:

    164.

    I don’t know where you lived in the (making an assumption here) San Francisco Bay Area, but I lived in Hayward and the last time we had a nuclear attack drill was 1957. Hayward Unified School District.

    It was a study of the nuclear escape plans by SF State that led to the abandonment of that nonsense. There was no way out that was fast enough, it found, and the chances of anything being left alive west of Tracy was remote.