Gore: Bush broke the law

Former Vice President Al Gore, gave a major speech today before the American Constitution Society and the Liberty Coalition, in which he compared the current wiretapping scandal to the secret surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. that partially prompted the FISA legislation President Bush has ignored. Gore also called for the appointment of a special counsel to conduct a thorough investigation. A complete transcript is available at Raw Story, but here are a few excerpts that particularly struck me.

At present, we still have much to learn about the NSA’s domestic surveillance. What we do know about this pervasive wiretapping virtually compels the conclusion that the President of the United States has been breaking the law repeatedly and persistently.

A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government. Our Founding Fathers were adamant that they had established a government of laws and not men. Indeed, they recognized that the structure of government they had enshrined in our Constitution – our system of checks and balances – was designed with a central purpose of ensuring that it would govern through the rule of law. As John Adams said: “The executive shall never exercise the legislative and judicial powers, or either of them, to the end that it may be a government of laws and not of men.”

An executive who arrogates to himself the power to ignore the legitimate legislative directives of the Congress or to act free of the check of the judiciary becomes the central threat that the Founders sought to nullify in the Constitution – an all-powerful executive too reminiscent of the King from whom they had broken free. In the words of James Madison, “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

The President and I agree on one thing. The threat from terrorism is all too real. There is simply no question that we continue to face new challenges in the wake of the attack on September 11th and that we must be ever-vigilant in protecting our citizens from harm.

Where we disagree is that we have to break the law or sacrifice our system of government to protect Americans from terrorism. In fact, doing so makes us weaker and more vulnerable.

Once violated, the rule of law is in danger. Unless stopped, lawlessness grows. The greater the power of the executive grows, the more difficult it becomes for the other branches to perform their constitutional roles. As the executive acts outside its constitutionally prescribed role and is able to control access to information that would expose its actions, it becomes increasingly difficult for the other branches to police it. Once that ability is lost, democracy itself is threatened and we become a government of men and not laws.

Moreover, if the pattern of practice begun by this Administration is not challenged, it may well become a permanent part of the American system. Many conservatives have pointed out that granting unchecked power to this President means that the next President will have unchecked power as well. And the next President may be someone whose values and belief you do not trust. And this is why Republicans as well as Democrats should be concerned with what this President has done. If this President’s attempt to dramatically expand executive power goes unquestioned, our constitutional design of checks and balances will be lost. And the next President or some future President will be able, in the name of national security, to restrict our liberties in a way the framers never would have thought possible.

But the most serious damage has been done to the legislative branch. The sharp decline of congressional power and autonomy in recent years has been almost as shocking as the efforts by the Executive Branch to attain a massive expansion of its power.

The Congress we have today is unrecognizable compared to the one in which my father served. There are many distinguished Senators and Congressmen serving today. I am honored that some of them are here in this hall. But the legislative branch of government under its current leadership now operates as if it is entirely subservient to the Executive Branch.

It is the pitiful state of our legislative branch which primarily explains the failure of our vaunted checks and balances to prevent the dangerous overreach by our Executive Branch which now threatens a radical transformation of the American system.

I call upon Democratic and Republican members of Congress today to uphold your oath of office and defend the Constitution. Stop going along to get along. Start acting like the independent and co-equal branch of government you’re supposed to be.

Al Gore has transformed himself into one of the few, true statesmen we have on the political scene today. This is an important speech that will most likely be ignored by the mainstream media. So please, read it for yourself.

UPDATE:
Crooks and Liars has video clips of some rousing excerpts. Man… I hope Gore runs for president in 2008.

Comments

  1. 3

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Daniel O’Connell of Ireland spoke truth to power against a level of control and suppression comparable to what the Bush Crime family would like to implement today. His tool was the ‘Monster Rally’.
    The time is coming again. Stand up. Be counted. Today, of all days we should contemplate what non-violent assembly can do. . .

  2. 5

    For the Clueless spews:

    Hmmm. I don’t know. I like the text of the speech but I didn’t care much for the delivery. Did he have a cold?

    Best speech I ever saw Gore give was his acceptance of the Dem’s nomination for Prez. Nothing else has done much for me before or since.

    Many others like Feingold and even Edwards could have delivered this speech better. Innate talents in that area do count unfortunately.

  3. 6

    Michael spews:

    Why didn’t he mention the NSA reading our emails? He did invent the Internet, after all.

  4. 7

    Voter Advocate spews:

    6.

    I know you just interjected the referenced nonsense to bring up a tired old, and untrue, joke. But your pretense in fucked up:

    ‘Yet, just one month ago, Americans awoke to the shocking news that in spite of this long settled law, the Executive Branch has been secretly spying on large numbers of Americans for the last four years and eavesdropping on “large volumes of telephone calls, e-mail messages, and other Internet traffic inside the United States.” The New York Times reported that the President decided to launch this massive eavesdropping program “without search warrants or any new laws that would permit such domestic intelligence collection.”‘

  5. 8

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    @6 To report this tired old lie only confirms that you are a moron.
    Tim Bern-Lee and the ‘Gnomes of Zurich’ should at the very least, cut of your. . . . .internet access.

  6. 9

    For the Clueless spews:

    8 – and it’s a lie these thugs will repeat over and over as prescribed by the modern day sage of propaganda, Josef Goebbels.

  7. 10

    Green Thumb spews:

    About a year ago I read a lengthy magazine profile on Gore. The article’s key theme was that Gore was never all that comfortable in playing the role of a politician; he was too much of an intellectual lone wolf. That was powerfully shown in his many missteps in the 2000 election.

    One of the American left’s chronic problems is that it tends to rally around presidential candidates who may be wonderful thinkers or speakers or organizers or whatnot, but they just don’t cut it as actual presidential material. This makes me wonder: Why do we have such an affinity for “symbolic” candidates?

    I don’t mean to say that symbolic candidates are never helpful. But there is a big difference between tactical symbolism and what journalist/activist Mark Satin once called “beautiful loser syndrome.”

    Yes, Gore is a magnificent statesman. I hope he continues to act boldly in that role. I just hope he doesn’t run for president again for the same reason that I’d be a fool to try becoming a plumber: The aptitude just ain’t there.

  8. 11

    fire_one spews:

    Thumb – WTF are you talking about? Didn’t you watch the speech? He was hitting the points and rousing the crowd… Yes, I agree you shouldn’t be a plumber, you don’t want to jeopardize your job at McDonalds. You probably shouldn’t be a political commentator, either….

  9. 12

    cryin' in my beer lefty spews:

    Why do we have such an affinity for “symbolic” candidates?

    Yes, that explains how Dennis Kuchinech rode early primary victories to a spirited, but losing campaign against Bush in 2004. Oh, wait a minute………

  10. 13

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Green Thumb@10 Unfortunately I find myself in agreement with you. Bill Clinton became the lightning rod he was, because he was electable. He was a symbolic candidate in the same sense that Abe Lincoln entered our American Mythos and symbology reading by the light of a fireplace or walking miles to return proper change. Their Intelligence was a bonus. Would that Bill’s moral stature was up to Abe’s. But his origins in Hope spoke to the mass of Americans.
    How well I remember the night I watched the Democratic Convention nominate ‘the Happy Warrior’, whose primary qualification seemed to be “It’s my turn…” I knew then,that night, we had conceded that election.
    In that sense, all political candididates are symbols. GWB was a symbol we elected. . .unfortunately the’pig in a poke’ of a man we got was nothing like the symbol. . . . . .

  11. 16

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I watched Angelina Pelosi’s documentary “Journeys with George” last night, and it reminded me that GWB flat-out lost that election. He was behind in the polls during the final days, and he lost Florida, too.

    Gore was an adequate campaigner. Warren Christopher was an absolute bust of a choice to supervise the Florida contest for the Democrats. Jim Baker rolled him.

  12. 18

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I think the success of Ronald Reagan has mesmerized us all into thinking that personability makes someone “electable.” Eisenhower, Nixon on Bush 41 weren’t all that much fun to be around.

    Gore’s biggest problem was that he didn’t trust his own insticts and allowed “experts” to stifle him. He seems more comfortable in his own skin lately, and that wouild make him a more attractive candidate.

  13. 19

    spews:

    Wow…troll free thus far…I breathe clean air!

    Gore can and should embrace this role…bringing this illegitimate and immoral administration to task for their (seemingly) never-ending transgressions.

    2008? How about Clark/Edwards or Edwards/Clark.

  14. 20

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    VA@17 True charisma isn’t everything. . .nor is it the only thing. . .but it sure helps. I think part of the genius of the American Democratic Process (unmolested by ‘fixers’) is that you cannot predict exactly what the electorate will seize upon.
    As to Gore’s instincts. . .well that he went to ‘experts’ brings into question those instincts. Both Carter and Clinton were cometary in nature. . .they came from ‘way outside the normal orbits of Democratic ‘experts’.
    That Gore is finding his footing helps, but may not be enough.

  15. 21

    For the Clueless spews:

    Edwards better than Clark. Clark is damn smart but affect-less. I don’t think he’d be comfortable as Veep. However, I think Clark would be great as Director of Central Intelligence. A Dem president like Edwards could mold the DCI just as the 911 Commission envisioned and Clark could be the “terrorism czar”.

    That would work, IMHO.

  16. 22

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    rujax@18 Edwards has to break through Cheney’s assesment of him as a ‘Breck Girl’. Not saying he can’t. He certainly has more gravitas than Dan ‘potatoe’ Quayle.
    Can Clark stand up to a Murtha style ‘swift-boating’?

  17. 23

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Off topic alert! I don’t think Coretta King’s physical frailties kep her home. . .spin though they will.

  18. 24

    Voter Advocate spews:

    19.

    Gore is chairman of the fledgling Current-TV, so he is probably firmly on to different endeavors now.

    More’s the pity, IMHO.

  19. 25

    Voter Advocate spews:

    “… Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.”

    “Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.”

    From a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City

  20. 26

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Back on topic: What if the Billary declares? Without Bill, I think Hillary fits the ‘beautiful loser’ description. With Bill’s active campaigning, you have a wild card that might just do it. What say you?
    Clearly Gore and Hillary do NOT fit in the same frame.Or do they?

  21. 27

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I think Hillary is now so completely a DLC “Democrat” that, a win with her will be Pyrrhic.

    While the complete transformation of the Democratic Party into Rockefeller Republicans may lead to electoral success, it doesn’t make electoral politics very appetizing for me. I mean, a flag burning amendment, continuation of empire, retreat from abortion rights?

    Maybe I’ll buy a boat, instead.

  22. 28

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    VA@27 I have no love for the DLC. and I don’t know quite what to make of Hillary’s posturing and positioning. . .Senatorial or Presidential? The only thing is, if she declares she siphons off a huge block of voters regardless of position papers.

  23. 29

    Sven spews:

    Gore, sadly, is a hypocrite, along with the NY Times.

    I know all the Gore supporters will condemn me as a righty shill, but the fact remains that the Echelon progam existed and was used by the Clinton Administration. If Bush broke the law, then Gore is equally as culpable.

    http://americanthinker.com/art.....le_id=5150

    Under Clinton, NY Times called surveillance “a necessity”
    January 12th, 2006

    The controversy following revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies have monitored suspected terrorist related communications since 9/11 reflects a severe case of selective amnesia by the New York Times and other media opponents of President Bush. They certainly didn’t show the same outrage when a much more invasive and indiscriminate domestic surveillance program came to light during the Clinton administration in the 1990’s. At that time, the Times called the surveillance “a necessity.”

    “If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there’s a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country’s largest intelligence agency.” (Steve Kroft, CBS’ 60 Minutes)

    Those words were aired on February 27, 2000 to describe the National Security Agency and an electronic surveillance program called Echelon whose mission, according to Kroft,

    “is to eavesdrop on enemies of the state: foreign countries, terrorist groups and drug cartels. But in the process, Echelon’s computers capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world.”

    Echelon was, or is (its existence has been under-reported in the American media), an electronic eavesdropping program conducted by the United States and a few select allies such as the United Kingdom.

    Tellingly, the existence of the program was confirmed not by the New York Times or the Washington Post or by any other American media outlet – these were the Clinton years, after all, and the American media generally treats Democrat administrations far more gently than Republican administrations – but by an Australian government official in a statement made to an Australian television news show.

    The Times actually defended the existence of Echelon when it reported on the program following the Australians’ revelations.

    “Few dispute the necessity of a system like Echelon to apprehend foreign spies, drug traffickers and terrorists….”

    And the Times article quoted an N.S.A. official in assuring readers

    “…that all Agency activities are conducted in accordance with the highest constitutional, legal and ethical standards.”

    Of course, that was on May 27, 1999 and Bill Clinton, not George W. Bush, was president.

    Even so, the article did admit that

    “…many are concerned that the system could be abused to collect economic and political information.”

    Despite the Times’ reluctance to emphasize those concerns, one of the sources used in that same article, Patrick Poole, a lecturer in government and economics at Bannock Burn College in Franklin, Tenn., had already concluded in a study cited by the Times story that the program had been abused in both ways.

    “ECHELON is also being used for purposes well outside its original mission. The regular discovery of domestic surveillance targeted at American civilians for reasons of ‘unpopular’ political affiliation or for no probable cause at all… What was once designed to target a select list of communist countries and terrorist states is now indiscriminately directed against virtually every citizen in the world,” Poole concluded.

    The Times article also referenced a European Union report on Echelon. The report was conducted after E.U. members became concerned that their citizens’ rights may have been violated. One of the revelations of that study was that the N.S.A. used partner countries’ intelligence agencies to routinely circumvent legal restrictions against domestic spying.

    “For example, [author Nicky] Hager has described how New Zealand officials were instructed to remove the names of identifiable UKUSA citizens or companies from their reports, inserting instead words such as ‘a Canadian citizen’ or ‘a US company’. British Comint [Communications intelligence] staff have described following similar procedures in respect of US citizens following the introduction of legislation to limit NSA’s domestic intelligence activities in 1978.”

    Further, the E.U. report concluded that intelligence agencies did not feel particularly constrained by legal restrictions requiring search warrants.

    “Comint agencies conduct broad international communications ‘trawling’ activities, and operate under general warrants. Such operations do not require or even suppose that the parties they intercept are criminals.”

    The current controversy follows a Times report that, since 9/11, U.S. intelligence agencies are eavesdropping at any time on up to 500 people in the U.S. suspected of conducting international communications with terrorists. Under Echelon, the Clinton administration was spying on just about everyone.

    “The US National Security Agency (NSA) has created a global spy system, codename ECHELON, which captures and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax, email and telex message sent anywhere in the world,”

    Poole summarized in his study on the program.

    According to an April, 2000 article in PC World magazine, experts who studied Echelon concluded that

    “Project Echelon’s equipment can process 1 million message inputs every 30 minutes.”

    In the February, 2000 60 Minutes story, former spy Mike Frost made clear that Echelon monitored practically every conversation – no matter how seemingly innocent – during the Clinton years.

    “A lady had been to a school play the night before, and her son was in the school play and she thought he did a-a lousy job. Next morning, she was talking on the telephone to her friend, and she said to her friend something like this, ‘Oh, Danny really bombed last night,’ just like that. The computer spit that conversation out. The analyst that was looking at it was not too sure about what the conversation w-was referring to, so erring on the side of caution, he listed that lady and her phone number in the database as a possible terrorist.”

    “This is not urban legend you’re talking about. This actually happened?” Kroft asked.

    “Factual. Absolutely fact. No legend here.”

    Even as the Times defended Echelon as “a necessity” in 1999, evidence already existed that electronic surveillance had previously been misused by the Clinton Administration for political purposes. Intelligence officials told Insight Magazine in 1997 that a 1993 conference of Asian and Pacific world leaders hosted by Clinton in Seattle had been spied on by U.S. intelligence agencies. Further, the magazine reported that information obtained by the spying had been passed on to big Democrat corporate donors to use against their competitors. The Insight story added that the mis-use of the surveillance for political reasons caused the intelligence sources to reveal the operation.

    “The only reason it has come to light is because of concerns raised by high-level sources within federal law-enforcement and intelligence circles that the operation was compromised by politicians—includingmid- and senior-level White House aides—either on behalf of or in support of President Clinton and major donor-friends who helped him and the Democratic National Committee, or DNC, raise money.”

    So, during the Clinton Administration, evidence existed (all of the information used in this article was available at the time) that:

    -an invasive, extensive domestic eavesdropping program was aimed at every U.S. citizen;

    -intelligence agencies were using allies to circumvent constitutional restrictions;

    -and the administration was selling at least some secret intelligence for political donations.

    These revelations were met by the New York Times and others in the mainstream media by the sound of one hand clapping. Now, reports that the Bush Administration approved electronic eavesdropping, strictly limited to international communications, of a relative handful of suspected terrorists have created a media frenzy in the Times and elsewhere.

    The Times has historically been referred to as “the Grey Lady.” That grey is beginning to look just plain grimy, and many of us can no longer consider her a lady.

  24. 31

    Voter Advocate spews:

    One thing is pretty certain with Hillary, she knows how a campaign needs to be run and can manuever with the opposition without being told it needs to be done. This will make those on the campaign staff less shamans and more like the assistants they should be.

    She’d be a hell of lot better president than what we’re stuck with now, that’s for sure.

  25. 33

    Sven spews:

    the facts don’t lie. If the actions of Bush are illegal, so likewise was the Clintopn adminstrations.

    Gore needs to be careful where he throws stones.

    Unless you care to show me how the current surveilence is substantivly different then echelon of course, I am open to that discussion.

  26. 34

    Voter Advocate spews:

    If the actions of Bush are illegal, so likewise was the Clintopn adminstrations.

    Non sequitur.

  27. 35

    Sven spews:

    no, hypocrite. If Al wishes to condemn the Bush Adminstration’s actions while he ignores his own adminstrations even more blatant illegal actions, then Al is a raving hypocrite.

  28. 36

    Sven spews:

    But that’s ok, I expected partisan support to trump reality in this case. This is a leftist board after all. Al cannot lie or be wrong.

    Thanks for proving me right.

  29. 37

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Before any conversations of U.S. persons were targeted, a FISA warrant was obtained. CIA director George Tenet testified to this before Congress on 4/12/00:
    I’m here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency… There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

    GWB has stated that he did and continues to tap U. S. citizens without a FISA warrant, and will continue to do so.

  30. 38

    spews:

    Sven, you are a full of shit liar. You can’t, for one second, lump Clinton/Gore in with Bush/Satan. You are totally bullshitting yourself. Stop ignoring the facts.

  31. 39

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Tell me, Sveni, why do you come here with this latest example of ripe tripe from Michelle Malkin, the Corner, Wizbang and Free Republic while portraying yourself as an “Independent”?

  32. 40

    For the Clueless spews:

    Sven: you’re trotting out right-wing talking points distributed by Newsmax and NRO.

    CIA director George Tenet testified to this before Congress on 4/12/00:

    I’m here today to discuss specific issues about and allegations regarding Signals Intelligence activities and the so-called Echelon Program of the National Security Agency…

    There is a rigorous regime of checks and balances which we, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the FBI scrupulously adhere to whenever conversations of U.S. persons are involved, whether directly or indirectly. We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law. We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

    Bush bypassed FISA entirely. Nice try.

  33. 42

    JCH spews:

    Did Gore comment on the 1000 raw FBI files Hillary had during the Clinton “two for one” in the 90’s??

  34. 43

    Sven spews:

    actually I didnt get it from malkin, but thanks, Ill see what else she Has.

    I have two posts with links held in the filter, including extensive links fromt he aclu complaining about the indiscriminate use of Echelon by the NSA during the clinton admin.

    The facts dont lie.

  35. 45

    JCH spews:

    One thing is pretty certain with Hillary, she knows how a campaign needs to be run and can manuever with the opposition without being told it needs to be done. This will make those on the campaign staff less shamans and more like the assistants they should be.

    She’d be a hell of lot better president than what we’re stuck with now, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Voter Advocate — 1/16/06 @ 3:45 pm [Plus she has raw FBI file data on all and all of her opponents! Hillary: the Robert Mugabe of New York!! She’ll draw 115% of black registration, and all the votes will count because any questions about black voter fraud are racist and cannot be allowed!!!]

  36. 46

    JCH spews:

    Al Gore: get that Buddist monk money!!! Yes, He is very concerned about campaign finances!!!

  37. 50

    JCH spews:

    Al Gore must run again with Tookie Williams. They will dominate the idiot, dead, and black vote!! But first, Al needs to beat Hillary, and not end up in Fort Marcy Park!

  38. 51

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The only fact in the link you supplied was that Echelon exists and that NSA Watch doesn’t like it.

    Even if it was used improperly, and I’m not saying it was, NSA was never given the go-ahead to do what they wanted without a warrant. Everyone during the Clinton administration knew they should get a warrant.

    That’s a lot different than GWB saying “you’re doing a heckava job NSA, do your damndest”.

  39. 52

    JCH spews:

    Maybe Al could kiss Tookie like he kissed Tipper! The dead felon brothers would go for Gore at 115%!

  40. 53

    GBS spews:

    Sven @ 40

    Amen, brother, the facts don’t lie; but conservatives sure as HELL do!

    Kudos to you though, you’re one of the few trolls still posting. For the rest of your ilk the truth is finally sinking in; they we’re lied to by the Republican’s in office and they were played like the fools they are.

    Here’s a partial list of issues that conservatives used to claim.

    Big government, CHECK.
    Fiscal responsibility, CHECK.
    Nation building, CHECK.
    American troops under U.N. control, CHECK.
    Funding education, CHECK.
    Civil liberties, CHECK.
    Moral high-ground, CHECK.
    Obeying the rule of law, CHECK.
    Misuse of the military, CHECK.
    Telling the truth, CHECK.
    Protecting America, CHECK.
    Disaster preparedness, CHECK.

    Now here’s where you claim you’re not a Republican, CHECK.

  41. 54

    gs spews:

    Yes I agree with you Goldy, there is nothing I would like to see than Al (Egor) Gore running for president again. He is so charismatic and relevant in today’s political climate. How about Teddy Kennedy running as VP. That would be one howlin good show. I’ll even bring the champagne! Ooops I wouldn’t want Teddy drinkin Champagne, I’ll bring him Apple Cider.

  42. 57

    GBS spews:

    @ 43

    Laura Bush lost her driver’s handbook. Can you send her the chapter about stopping for predestrians in a crosswalk?

    Thanks.

  43. 59

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Svengali: Nice to see that, even when I’m not here, someone will call u on ur BS. Troll. Oops, sorry. “Moderate” troll. LOL

  44. 60

    Larry the Urbanite spews:

    Sven @ 45: Why is it “partisan” to be concerned about our civil liberties? Oh, I see, if you can find some vaguely related but much less well documented, alleged illegality by the party that is decrying a crime instigated by the oither party, then it’s hypocrisy? That’s twisted, dude.

    Distort, distract, disinform….it’s your typical republican tactics that gave u away as a troll in the first place Sven.

  45. 61

    Voter Advocate spews:

    45.

    Attempting to conflate the existance of surveillance methods with the issue of obtaining the oversight authority to use them is hypocritcal.

    Stop throwing stones.

  46. 62

    klake spews:

    She’d be a hell of lot better president than what we’re stuck with now, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Voter Advocate— 1/16/06 @ 3:45 pm

    Dean Logan how was you trip to chicago? Did you learn how to stuff a ballot box when you were there? When is the FED’s coming to check out your department? Mrs Cliton will need all the tricks in the book to make it a land slide in the next election. Voter Advocate = Dean Logan you have a good King day now.

  47. 63

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @45:

    I despise the hypocrisy in partisan attacks.

    Then quit engaging in them. Perhaps your self-loathing will then subside.

  48. 64

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Dean Logan how was you trip to chicago?
    ?
    Did you learn how to stuff a ballot box when you were there?
    I don’t need to, the voters provide me with more than enough ballots to count, thank you.

    When is the FED�s coming to check out your department?
    You tell me, probably never.

    Mrs Cliton will need all the tricks in the book to make it a land slide in the next election.
    Another tasteless play on words from a tasteless right-wing troll.

    Voter Advocate = Dean Logan
    Roger Rabbit is Dean Logan.

    you have a good King day now.
    I have and will continue to.

  49. 65

    Janet S spews:

    Congress was briefed multiple times on the wiretapping. If they were concerned, why didn’t they pursue it at the time? Why was the whole story broken to coincide with a book being published by a NYT writer, a year after it was first uncovered?

    Jay Rockefeller has admitted he was in the briefings. He talked to the NYT about them. Why didn’t he go to the courts at the time to stop it? Or to his fellow senators?

    It leads me to believe that the senators that knew about it did not think it was illegal. I’m not spinning, I’m just curious about the timing of this and the breadth of knowledge of the program.

  50. 66

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    SUPREME COURT REJECTS INMATE’S PLEA

    In a few hours, California will execute Clarence Allen, 76, a thug who ordered the murders of 3 witnesses from behind bars in retaliation for their testimony against him in an earlier murder trial. Allen is responsible for the deaths of four people, including two 17 year old girls.

    Allen argued that because he is old and feeble, and has spent 23 years on death row, executing him would be cruel and unusual. The Supreme Court disagreed. He has no more legal options.

    Hey Clarence, don’t let the Pearly Gates hit your ass on your way out of this world, and take some sunblock with you because it’s hot where you’re going.

  51. 68

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Goldy – For once we agree. I too hope Gore runs in 2008. Democrats were kind enough to select Howard Dean to run the party, so there’s no reason to think that your kindness will not continue.

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

    8 MORE YEARS !

  52. 69

    spews:

    @ 54

    Knowledge of the program by Democrats is not important! Besides, Sen. Rockefeller is bound to secrecy on these issues, and can’t go to court, talk to newspapers or anything else. That’s why he wrote a hand written letter to the VP saying, “This thing is fucked up, Dick. Explain yourself.” The President broke the law when he declined to use the FISA court to justify spying on Americans. Broke the LAW. He’s claiming executive power on this one, and the GOP congress will roll over for him.

  53. 71

    Jerry Springer Jr. spews:

    @54: “I’m not spinning…”

    Nope, Janet, we’d never accuse you of that.

  54. 72

    Puddybud spews:

    Hello ASSHeads from Europe.

    Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge told an audience this past week at The Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach, Fla.: “Hopefully the president and Congress will develop a new legal framework with the right oversights to get beyond this” controversy.

    President Bush did not overstep his authority by authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on citizens without a warrant.

    We ought to be able to tackle the discussion head-on and leave politics behind.” – But Al Gore said…

    And…

    Despite Democratic efforts to paint the Abramoff influence-pedaling case as a Republican scandal, the GOP holds a slight advantage in the minds of respondents when it comes to integrity – 35% said they believed Republicans have more integrity, while 34% gave the nod to Democrats. 19% said neither party had integrity.

    The nationwide Zogby poll, conducted Jan. 9-12, included 1,030 interviews and carries a margin of error of + / – 3.1 percentage points.

    Amazing what you can find here in Europe that you can’t find in AMerica.

    Goldy, where iz I dis day?

  55. 73

    Janet S spews:

    So now dems are excused their constitutional duty to follow the law? Rockefeller talked to the NYT! He admits to being one of the sources for the story. If he knew about it, and did nothing, doesn’t that make him an accomplice? Why was it not allowed to talk a year ago, but now it is fine? Belltowner – your argument is nonexistent.

    I hope you all run Gore again in 2008. What’s the excuse you all give that he couldn’t even win his home state? Yeah, he is quite the statesman. Didn’t he declare the car to be the most dangerous threat to man’s existence? And yet he drives to all these events . . .

  56. 75

    Janet S spews:

    Here is what one right=wing whacko had to say:

    “The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes,” Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, “and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General.”

    “It is important to understand,” Gorelick continued, “that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities.”

    Executive Order 12333, signed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, provides for such warrantless searches directed against “a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power”…

    …Gorelick signaled that the administration would go along a congressional decision to place such searches under the court — if, as she testified, it “does not restrict the president’s ability to collect foreign intelligence necessary for the national security.” In the end, Congress placed the searches under the FISA court, but the Clinton administration did not back down from its contention that the president had the authority to act when necessary.

  57. 77

    Janet S spews:

    I always love it when polls ask opinions about questions of fact. If 80% believed that the moon is made of cheese, does that mean that it is true? If more than 50% of the sample believes that Bush broke the law, does that make it a fact?

    There is a step before impeaching a president – you have to find him guilty of something. Facts can be pesky things.

  58. 78

    GS spews:

    Wabbit, I hate to say it, but we agree on Clarence Allen, don’t let the pearly gates hit him on his way to hell.

    But

    Al Gore has his head up his ass and is back flapping his gums again.

    Bush DID NOT overstep his authority by authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop ONLY on known enemy al qaida calls to people in this country (most likely al qaida members, not wrong numbers…AL QAIDA MEMBERS…duh) into this country without a warrant.

    Al Gore has his head up his ass
    Al Gore has always had his head up his ass
    Al Gore will always have his head up his ass

  59. 79

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Janet: Your puffery rings hollow.

    So now dems are excused their constitutional duty to follow the law?

    An interesting test case. Publically (or even privately, I guess) revealing that someone is breaking the law is now against the law. How novel!! I can’t wait for that legal genius Scalia to tackle that one using his personal divining rod of “original intent”.

    So I turn it to you, Janet: What do you think the chances are that the GOP will initiate charges (criminal or otherwise) against Rockefeller. They won’t. They are hypocrites and cowards. Oh, and they are also wrong.

    But you’re not suprised, are you?

  60. 80

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    There is a step before impeaching a president – you have to find him guilty of something.

    Your monumental ignorance is showing yet again, Janet. The GOP impeached Clinton, and he was found “not guilty” by the Senate. So you can impeach anybody for anything, especially if you and your fellow wingnuts control the House of Representatives.

  61. 81

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Facts can be pesky things.

    I agree, Janet. Try bringing one or two to the conversation once and a while. You might inadvertently learn something.

  62. 82

    Jerry Springer Jr. spews:

    All of a sudden the professional wingers are pulling out the heavy weaponry. Fascinating. Rove and Co. must be really concerned that Bush’s unconstitutional wiretapping and the systematic corruption of the Republican K Street Project could be their undoing.

    Hey, wingers: Even the best propaganda machine in the world can’t keep the lid on indefinitely.

  63. 83

    nate spews:

    I noticed Goldy was quick to criticize the news media on this… expecting that it would go unnoticed.

    Looks like every news organization in the world is all over this one…

  64. 84

    Mama Bob spews:

    On the execution of any person — I oppoe the death penalty, period.

    It is the only issue the Pope has articulated — that I agee on.

    RR you are showing you callous side and inner barbarian. Too bad. Have you lived in Texas at one time or another, the killer state.

    Punishment for crimes of course, the state as killer, no. Never.

  65. 85

    Mama Bob spews:

    Several tidbits-
    Just watched the Gore speech on C-span. Also quoted on K-5 News.

    His hat is in the ring.

    Great speech – had I been there, the rousing cheers and ovation would have been a natural.

    Bring him to Seattle to rally Dems this summer. Goldy, call a meeting to get that sponsored and rolling — Bloggers lead the charge.

    Fill the stadium, raise mega bucks, and help Elect Maria and stop the anti-gay initiative that most assuredly will be on the ballot if the Cal Anderson bill passes.

    Will not be boring this year in this state. A big chance for Dems.

    Pound and grind the the R’s – out of power for twenty years. The chance is here, this year.

  66. 86

    Janet S spews:

    Proud – you are right, impeachment is the bringing of charges. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen. I’d hate to see you pass out.

    I haven’t figured out, though, why the dems are suddenly so worried about the legality of doing something about an act they think is illegal. That argument makes my head hurt. It is also disingenuous. If they honestly thought there were misdeeds occurring, they have an obligation to pursue it. They have the power and the forum. Why didn’t they? Are they scared?

  67. 87

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Let’s see…

    FBI files & Hillary, Bhuddist monks, Monika-gate…

    I guess you righties are pretty much out of gas. Better call it a day.

  68. 88

    gordy spews:

    I can understand your “head hurt”, probably eyestrain caused from picking the fly shit out of the pepper.

  69. 89

    righton spews:

    Goldy; why no MLKing post?

    i’d love to know your thoughts on story in paper about UW being unfriendly to blacks. What a crock of hooey; asians who can’t pronounce Puyallup can find their way to the engineering department and do just fine..

  70. 90

    marks spews:

    VA @37

    “We do not collect against U.S. persons unless they are agents of a foreign power as that term is defined in the law.”

    Define “the law.” Oh, you can’t, can you?

    We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

    I think I see a key word there. Is not the point that it is looking for certain types of words related to an activity and thus, by definition, not “targeting” any persons? Once a keyword is obtained, I’m sure they did the FISA thingy like any good followers of the Constitution. Just like Bush (Oh, no! This is compellingly different! Or something…)

    But to find out what the bad guys are up to, all electronic communications, including those of the good guys, must be captured and analyzed for key words by super computers. (from Sven’s CBS link @41)

    GWB is most certainly not the first president who has done so based on the Echelon issue (and let us not forget Nixon! Of course, Nixon was a little bit different), but most assuredly he is not guilty in terms of level of impeachment. Prior to 9/11, how many of you would have objected to Echelon? Based on Sven’s info above, quite a few civil libertarians would, and did.

    Yet Bush & Co. has tapped calls to (and one presumes from) the US with ties to suspected terrorists. He did so without obtaining a warrant. And Al Gore wants it to stop because GWB is abusing his (um, Al Gore’s) authority. Excuse me while I laugh hysterically…This is a looser for Democrats, trust me (or not!)…

    Mama Bob @85,

    Pound and grind the the R’s – out of power for twenty years. The chance is here, this year.

    Um, whatever…

    Gordy @88,

    Yeah, your flyshit is really small…doesn’t compare to the pepper at all.

  71. 91

    spews:

    43

    The presidential coke spoon is missing. Have you seen it?

    Comment by GBS— 1/16/06 @ 4:31 pm

    Check next to the smelly cigar, I am sure he was the last one to use it.

  72. 92

    spews:

    @ 89

    Nice one. So I guess those Coons just can’t get with the program? Let’s leave it to you right-wingjobs to increase blacks at UW. You guys like to watch ‘em play football, but when you see them on the sidewalk, you cross the street. Nice.

  73. 93

    Drivel spews:

    and who’s cigar might RUFUS be talking about? J Edgar Hoovers? Is RUFUS still mad that J Edgar didn’t ask him to his special office?

  74. 94

    antidote spews:

    When a Democrat is elected in 2008, the first thing we can do is go through the NSA data for all of Janet S’s e-mails and phone calls. Fun fun fun!

  75. 96

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “Oh, Proud,” Janet whined demurely, “I’d hate to see you pass out.”

    “Well my dear,” Proud replied, “f you’d just put that brew down, we could get to the bottom of this. Your concern for my health is touching, but misplaced as usual.”

    Proud crossed the room and poured himself three more fingers of Bushmills. Janet took another gentle sip from her (non-union) Coors Lite. She straightened her skirt, and crossed her legs demurely. She’d seen Proud get this way before a storm. It wasn’t pretty.

    “But really my dear, when you charge democrats with being disingenuous for not, as you so gently put it, pursuing misdeeds,” he chided, “Since, as you state, they have the power, well, well…”

    “Well what,” Janet asked, unconsciously wiping the foam from her upper lip.

    “Well, it’s just that there are 55 GOP Senators, right?”

    “Why, I believe so,” Janet replied.

    “And Denny Hastert is, like, called the ‘Majority Leader’ in the House, is he not? Isn’t he a republican?”

    “Why, yes. You are right,” she replied. Janet could see where this was going. “Could you open another of these fine free competitive market beers for me, Proud?”

    “You say they have, what? The power? What power would that be Ms. S? What power is that? They don’t control committee agendas. They don’t control much of anything? How, how, could…”

    Proud started to laugh uncontrollably. Janet knew it was time to give it up. Soon the feeling of humiliation would overcome here, and her ears would turn brightly and embarrassingly red.

    Her beer half finished, she left. “You go to heck,” she shouted just before she slammed the door.

    “Goodbye and good night”, Ms. S. “May the power be with you.”

    The neighbors heard the laughter go on for hours.

  76. 97

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    2

    “Gore won’t run in 2008. But he should be our President right now.”

    He is. The White House is occupied by a usurper-pretender.

  77. 98

    Janet S spews:

    I am a citizen, and I have no contact with terrorists. That means any reading of my mail requires a warrant. Those are the rules, even under Bush.

    BTW, Belltowner, when did you become such a rac-ist? The answer to admittance to the UW is better schooling in the Seattle area. Until we stop making excuses, the problem won’t get solved. And Gregoire’s 42 million in summer school isn’t the answer.

  78. 99

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Well we got up to almost 30 comments before Sven the Shill and the other trollfucks weighed in; and, amazingly, almost to 100 before I showed up!

    Sven — get a clue — neither Clinton nor Gore is running the country, and they haven’t a goddamned thing to do with what is happening right now.

    People like you may think it’s okay to use the Constitution as toilet people. Just understand this. If the Far Right tears up the Constitution and declares one of their own as President for Life, it means war. Not a war of words, but shooting war.

  79. 100

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    erratum

    should read “use the Constitution as toilet paper.” Which is what you fucking GOP apologists are doing. After this is over, never talk to us again about Big Government, because if you do we’ll rub your faces in it.

  80. 101

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It amazes me how clueless Republicans are on this issue. Many Republicans are business owners or manager, and they were never dream of letting their employees run the factory or store without supervision, yet they think the president should be able to spy on American citizens, arrest and jail people, and torture people with no supervision by the courts, Congress, or anyone else. The reason we supervise people, assholes, is because humans are fallible and might fuck up. Like arrest the wrong people, or torture or kill the wrong people, which is far more likely to happen if nobody is supervising or watching them.

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  81. 102

    Scared spews:

    Ohhh.. The conservatives are saying the good preznit must listen to my phone conversations, read my mail and search my house when I’m not home at any time for any reason to protect me from the evil terrorists. It’s ok. It’s ok.

    They say Bill Clinton did it too. I believe them…

  82. 103

    For the Clueless spews:

    Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994,

    Sorry Janet, that was in 1994. In 1995 the law was changed. See the seventh paragraph.

    Clever of them NRO boys – they snookered you. Or maybe you just went along on orders from talking point central.

  83. 104

    spews:

    What amazes me about you donks is how short your memories are. This has been going on for years. I mean are you that dumb to not know that telephone conversations could be listen in on by the government. And you donks think you can do a better job protecting the nation.

  84. 105

    Drivel spews:

    Janet S is nothing more than an ‘empty talking point’. She toes the line like good lil party soldier. Maybe she is inline for a ‘high level’ position in the Cheney/Rice Tyrany?

  85. 106

    YO spews:

    GORES
    IQ IS THAT OF THE AVERAGE AMERICANS HAT SIZE.HE CANT EVEN WIN HIS OWN STATE.SO IN MATH YOU HAVE GORE=LOSER.IF BUSH IS AS BAD AS MOST OF YOU WING NUTS THINK HE IS GORE SHOULD OF KICK HIS ASS.DID NOT HAPPEN HE HAD TO GO TO COURT TO TRY AND WIN GUESS WHAT FOLKS=LOSER.YOU SHOULD GET USE TO THE WORD LOSER YOU ARE GOING TO BE HEARING IT A LOT IN 2006.STARTING ON THE 24TH.

  86. 107

    CAPS LOCK STUCK spews:

    YO – REPLACE YOUR KEYBOARD – ITS GOTTEN TOO STICKY WITH DROOL AND “OTHER STUFF”.

  87. 108

    klake spews:

    rOGER is this what you would support for the great world order? Who would you vote for that would make that happen?
    Nation, State, and Economy:

    History has omitted these peace proposals from its agenda. They have never been anything more than literary curiosities that no one took seriously. The powerful have never thought of renouncing their power; it has never occurred to them to subordinate their interests to the interests of humanity, as the naive dreamers demanded.
    Liberalism rejects aggressive war not on philanthropic grounds but from the standpoint of utility. It rejects aggressive war because it regards victory as harmful, and it wants no conquests because it sees them as an unsuitable means for reaching the ultimate goals for which it strives. Not through war and victory but only through work can a nation create the preconditions for the well-being of its members. Conquering nations finally perish, either because they are annihilated by strong ones or because the ruling class is culturally overwhelmed by the subjugated. Once already the Germanic peoples conquered the world, yet were finally defeated.

    http://www.mises.org/nsande/pt1iich2~d.asp

  88. 109

    YO spews:

    HEY ANYBODY HEAR OF A CLUB AT HARVARD CALLED THE OWL SEEMS THEY GOT THROWN OFF THE CAMPUS BECAUSE THE DID NOT ALLOW WOMEN TO JOIN.TED KENNEDY IS STILL A MEMBER AND HE HAS THE BALLS TO TALK DOWN TO SOMEONE ELSE.HE IS A 300 POUND TURD

  89. 111

    Drivel spews:

    Yo Yo, keep up the ‘inteligent’ posts. We all need our daily laughs and between you, Janet S, righton and puddybud we do get our fill.

  90. 112

    YO spews:

    JUST LOVE IT KEEP KEEP UP YOUR DAILY LAUGH=LOSER THANKS FOR PLAYIN OH AND YOUR NAME FITS YOU TO A T

  91. 113

    spews:

    I think I’ll just stay out of it while Mike Webb….I mean Roger Rabbit whines bout Gore being the rightful president.

    Fun topic.

    By the way, did anyone catch Ray Nagin claiming that the Hurricanes were because was pissed off at the US?

    Is he channeling Pat Robertson?

  92. 114

    clay shaw spews:

    re 75: where in your quote does it say the president can spy on americans for no reason other than that he wants to? it doesn’t say that.

  93. 115

    clay shaw spews:

    re 68: why are you so cheered? he beat bush in 2000. you are a fascist and you support a fascist regime.

  94. 116

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Where is Mr. Cynical in this thread? He must be taking a break from HorsesAss to spend more time with his goat.

  95. 117

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    77

    “I always love it when polls ask opinions about questions of fact. If 80% believed that the moon is made of cheese, does that mean that it is true? If more than 50% of the sample believes that Bush broke the law, does that make it a fact?”

    If 99.8% of Washington State Republicans believe Gregoire stole the election, does that make it a fact? Works both ways, sweetcheeks.

    Except — Bush DID broke the law, and Rossi DIDN’T win the election.

  96. 118

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    106

    Iraq war cost = $2 trillion.

    Yo … how about if you write a check? I don’t want this bill.

  97. 119

    GS spews:

    If 99.8% of Democrats plus AlGORE believe that Bush broke the law, then Rabbit, since you are a man of the law, can you tell us all exactly what law Bush broke, with his inherant presidential powers, in this case?

    The Attorney General has already ruled that no law was broken

    So get your best attorneys and have at it, cause there is nothin mo fun den ta watch ya’all droolin on yo spam on dis.

  98. 121

    Michael spews:

    @37 We do not target their conversations for collection in the United States unless a FISA warrant has been obtained from the FISA court by the Justice Department.

    That isn’t how Echelon works. Echelon doesn’t “target” anyone. It targets words or phrases. It is a data mining technique. You can’t get a warrant against a phrase.

    @103 Sorry Janet, that was in 1994. In 1995 the law was changed.

    Congress can not unilaterally pass laws that restrict the power of the executive branch. That would upset the balance of power and is unconstitutional.

  99. 122

    Voter Advocate spews:

    90.

    The only thing “looser” in this conversation is the stool of Bushco now that the realize that they ain’t getting away with spying on U. S. citizens.

    What is a loser for you guys is that getting a warrant is a ridiculously easy thing to do. The question becomes one of why Bushco won’t get warrants. Probably because they are doing it with such recklessness and lack of cause that they know that, eventually, even hand-picked judges from the overwhelmingly GOP appointed judiciary will blow the whistle.

    Here are the definitions. Parse away, the violations Bush committed are clear and he has admitted to the act. Only a fool, such as you, would continue to assert he has a legal basis for violating FISA.

    TITLE 50 > CHAPTER 36 > SUBCHAPTER I > § 1801

    § 1801. Definitions
    Release date: 2005-03-17

    As used in this subchapter:
    (a) “Foreign power” means—
    (1) a foreign government or any component thereof, whether or not recognized by the United States;
    (2) a faction of a foreign nation or nations, not substantially composed of United States persons;
    (3) an entity that is openly acknowledged by a foreign government or governments to be directed and controlled by such foreign government or governments;
    (4) a group engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor;
    (5) a foreign-based political organization, not substantially composed of United States persons; or
    (6) an entity that is directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.

    (b) “Agent of a foreign power” means—
    (1) any person other than a United States person, who—
    (A) acts in the United States as an officer or employee of a foreign power, or as a member of a foreign power as defined in subsection (a)(4) of this section;
    (B) acts for or on behalf of a foreign power which engages in clandestine intelligence activities in the United States contrary to the interests of the United States, when the circumstances of such person’s presence in the United States indicate that such person may engage in such activities in the United States, or when such person knowingly aids or abets any person in the conduct of such activities or knowingly conspires with any person to engage in such activities; or
    (2) any person who—
    (A) knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
    (B) pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;
    (C) knowingly engages in sabotage or international terrorism, or activities that are in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power;
    (D) knowingly enters the United States under a false or fraudulent identity for or on behalf of a foreign power or, while in the United States, knowingly assumes a false or fraudulent identity for or on behalf of a foreign power; or
    (E) knowingly aids or abets any person in the conduct of activities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) or knowingly conspires with any person to engage in activities described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C).

    (c) “International terrorism” means activities that—
    (1) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any State;
    (2) appear to be intended—
    (A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
    (B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
    (C) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping; and
    (3) occur totally outside the United States, or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to coerce or intimidate, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.
    (d) “Sabotage” means activities that involve a violation of chapter 105 of title 18, or that would involve such a violation if committed against the United States.

    (e) “Foreign intelligence information” means—
    (1) information that relates to, and if concerning a United States person is necessary to, the ability of the United States to protect against—
    (A) actual or potential attack or other grave hostile acts of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power;
    (B) sabotage or international terrorism by a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power; or
    (C) clandestine intelligence activities by an intelligence service or network of a foreign power or by an agent of a foreign power; or
    (2) information with respect to a foreign power or foreign territory that relates to, and if concerning a United States person is necessary to—
    (A) the national defense or the security of the United States; or
    (B) the conduct of the foreign affairs of the United States.

    (f) “Electronic surveillance” means—
    (1) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire or radio communication sent by or intended to be received by a particular, known United States person who is in the United States, if the contents are acquired by intentionally targeting that United States person, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes;
    (2) the acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any wire communication to or from a person in the United States, without the consent of any party thereto, if such acquisition occurs in the United States, but does not include the acquisition of those communications of computer trespassers that would be permissible under section 2511 (2)(i) of title 18;
    (3) the intentional acquisition by an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device of the contents of any radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes, and if both the sender and all intended recipients are located within the United States; or
    (4) the installation or use of an electronic, mechanical, or other surveillance device in the United States for monitoring to acquire information, other than from a wire or radio communication, under circumstances in which a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy and a warrant would be required for law enforcement purposes.

  100. 123

    jsa on commercial drive spews:

    rufus @ 104:

    (continued from last thread)

    Yes, there has been an Echelon program for years. Prior to Echelon, the NSA’s 1947 charter gave them the purview to monitor overseas communications. Prior to that, there was the OSS. and so on and so forth. Governments have been spying on each other since the days of the Phoenicians. No big story here.

    The United States also maintains a kick-ass military that is the greatest force ever designed in human history for blowing things up.

    As a US citizen, it is my expectation that I should NEVER be on the receiving end of either of these fine institutions. This is what separates democracies from totalitarian states.

  101. 124

    jaybo spews:

    “Al Gore has transformed himself into one of the few, true statesmen we have on the political scene today.”

    Get out the tinfoil hats!

    I hear that if you wear them (tinfoil hats) the NSA that is listening in can’t read your minds.

  102. 125

    jaybo spews:

    Goldy,

    We agree again!

    My dream is that Al Gore will win the democratic primary and be their nominee for the presidential election of 2008.

    Please, Please, Please!

  103. 126

    jaybo spews:

    Just thought I’d pass on this little polloing question to the “TinFoil Brigade”.

    31. In an effort to identify terrorist activity, do you think the president should or should not have the power to authorize the National Security Agency to do computer searches of large numbers of international phone calls coming in and out of the United States without getting warrants?

    (10-11 Jan 06)
    Should: 60%; (Dems) 42%; (Repubs) 80%; (Indep) 59%
    Should not: 34%; (Dems) 50%; (Repubs) 15%; (Indep) 34%
    Not sure: 7%; (Dems) 8%; (Repubs) 5%; (Indep) 7%

    http://www.foxnews.com/project.....011206.pdf

  104. 127

    windie spews:

    GS: By ‘the attourney General’ you mean ‘Bush’s Crony that told him Torture was okay’ Right?

    RIGHT?@

  105. 128

    Voter Advocate spews:

    A poll conducted by Zogby International, of 1,216 U.S. adults from January 9-12, found that 52% agreed with the statement:

    “If President Bush wiretapped American citizens without the approval of a judge, do you agree or disagree that Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment.”

    43% disagreed, and 6% said they didn’t know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.

  106. 129

    jaybo spews:

    Voter,

    Isn’t it interesting how the percentages change depending on how you phrase the question……..

    I think that it is important to keep this one thing in mind. People do not cast their votes for elected officials based on a polling questionaire. You dems that want to continue to chase this issue may want to consider that point.

  107. 130

    CAPS LOCK STUCK spews:

    Michael Troll @ 121

    If you have a problem with the echelon quote, take it up with George Tenet who testified before Congress. As for the law changing in 1995 take it up with Clinton or Congress who change the executive order or law (I don’t know which).

    Fact of the matter is, the NRO article quoted Gorelick out of context. Propaganda pure and simple. Typical of the bankrupt right.

  108. 131

    GBS spews:

    Sven @ 29 wrote:

    Gore, sadly, is a hypocrite. . . ”

    You are implying that Clinton / Gorre committed the same acts as Bush, and Gore is now pretending to be on the side of justice.

    If Clinton / Gore did something wrong then you’re admitting that Bush is committing illegal acts now.

    So why aren’t you focused on correcting the wrong that is going on in this Republican adminstration right now, instead of trying to deflect attention to the past?

    Sven, sadly, is a hypocrite.

  109. 132

    windie spews:

    I think sven is sincere, but so heavily indoctorinated that he can’t see past arms length. Why else would an eminently (sp) polite person be constantly spewing the rightie propaganda that he is?

    Yeah I know, I’m a smug bitch :p

  110. 133

    Donnageddon spews:

    You dems that want to continue to chase this issue …

    The day that the trashing of the constitution becomes a partisan “issue” is the day our democracy dies.

    But for the wingnut TROLLS the constitution is just another piece of toilet paper, and “democracy” is just another word used for talking points while installing a facist dictatorship.

  111. 134

    GBS spews:

    I know you righty neo-convicts don’t read much on our Founding Fathers, so here’s an excerpt from Thomas Jefferson’s A Summary View of the Rights of British America. ~ July 1774.

    The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail. No longer persevere in sacrificing the rights of one part of the empire to the inordinate desires of another: but deal out to all equal and impartial right. Let no act be passed by any one legislature which may infringe on the rights and liberties of another.

    This passage explains completely the lack of moral clarity the Republican leaders exemplify today that has created the Culture of Corruption and the Constitutional crisis we face today.

  112. 135

    GBS spews:

    Windie @ 132

    Quite frankly, I was in “shock & awe” to learn that you are a “smug bitch :p” I thought you to be more debonair. I’m sure that I’m correct.

    As for Sven, most snake-oil salesmen are charming, but they’re still peddling poison. For people like him to not recognize the plain truth that affects all of our liberties is the demise of democracy.

  113. 136

    Michael spews:

    @130 As for the law changing in 1995 take it up with Clinton or Congress who change the executive order or law (I don’t know which).

    The Supreme Court can rule an Executive Order unconstitutional. Congress cannot. Congress can pass whatever it wants, but an Executive Order has priority unless the Supreme Court says that it is unconstitutional.

  114. 137

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Didn’t Gore break campaign finance laws by accepting laundered campgaign donations from foreign nationals? Oh wait, it was technically a “community outreach” event, and wasn’t “finance related”, even though the day after his appearance Gore received $100,000 in contributions, $62,000 of which were found to be illegal.

  115. 139

    Sven spews:

    Windie,

    I admire your honesty, I dont think you are smug nor condescending.

    I think alot of my comments appear farther right then they are, because I am often opposing what I see as far left opinions.

    Take for example the issue of monitoring. I have known that communications are randomly monitored for years, since I first read it in a PC magazine. To read the Echelon papers only confirms my long held suspicions and (ahem) personal paranoia.

    My only complaint about Gore and others that are speech making about this is they are the pot calling the kettle black. When Echelon was used in the 90’s there was no sense of necessity about it, was just used, and anything that seemed dangerous followed up. And no one really cared. But now its a huge deal.

    With Bush, he at least has a specific target, and that to me at least has the appearence of necessity. Is it likely abused? duh, obviously. I don’t trust the government to have that kind of technooogy without being parnoid that it will be abused.

    Should there be reasonable oversight? Absolutely. Is Bush relying on a self serving interpretation of the law? of course he is. As such, for all the above it concerns me. I dont want my rights violated.

    At the same time I want security in our country, so the next plane I am flying on (friday as a matter of fact) is not going to be used as a weapon by a wacko. I would rather not have to be on the next “flight 93″.

    What I wish I saw more of in DC is both sides coooperating to provide the best levels of security while diminishing the fewest rights. YOu cannot have it both ways in a reasonable sense.

    Instead, I see both sides playing the various cards against the other, and playing on fear- fear of terrorists and fear of government tyranny for two cross aisle examples- to make their party stronger.

    I long in my simple altruistic way for a congress filled with dedicated statesmen(women), who are there to improve the country, to serve their constituants and to do so with integrity and morality, not what many are now, which is partisan opportunists who care about personal and party power over the needs of the people that elect them.

    My disagreement with what Gore said about what Bush is doing is not intended to be support for the methods or justifications Bush presents, it is just that to make a claim that his actions are unique, new and unprecedented is simply not true, and that needs to be kept in persepctive. Our government is out of control and out of touch of the people and it has been for decades. That’s why the closest party affiliation I can claim is Neo-Libertarian.

    The ACLU, who is threatening legal action against Bush, had just as many reservations during the Clinton years over the reports of Project Echelon. They are at least being consistent. I just want more people to be.

    That’s the best way I can explain how I feel about the issue.

  116. 140

    Sven spews:

    GBS,

    So why aren’t you focused on correcting the wrong that is going on in this Republican adminstration right now, instead of trying to deflect attention to the past?

    Sven, sadly, is a hypocrite.

    How so, All I did was point out someone elses hypocrisy? All I said was that Gore was engaged in hypocritical grandstanding.

  117. 141

    spews:

    michael @ 135
    Sorry, the Constitution also directs the Executive to faithfully uphold the law. FISA has been law since 1978, and the Executive has directly declared that they will not abide by their constitutional duty to abide by the law.

    Sven–
    Echelon, as someone else pointed out, is data mining. I don’t like it much either–I did my own little part at one point to make things difficult by putting dozens of trigger keywords into my email sig–but it’s completely different from what Bush is doing. Echelon is rather similar to TSA airport searches…everybody gets searched; those with suspicious characteristics get a closer look. That’s not what’s happening here.

    The absolutely misleading BS from Scott McClellan today regarding warrantless PHYSICAL searches that were legal at the time, and Gorelick’s testimony BEFORE the law was changed (and signed by Clinton), has thankfully already been addressed here as well.

    There goes another talking point!

  118. 142

    Donnageddon spews:

    sven, you are completely oblivious to the facts, Wiretapping performed by the Bush Crime Family is down with out FISA oversight. It is done in a vacumn, by presumed Unitatian Presidential supreme power.

    You try to deflect criticism for your wingnuttery by saying “Gore supporters will condemn me as a righty shill..”

    Well, what do you expect when that is exactly whast you are?

  119. 143

    Sven spews:

    Joe,

    Sven–
    Echelon, as someone else pointed out, is data mining. I don’t like it much either–I did my own little part at one point to make things difficult by putting dozens of trigger keywords into my email sig–but it’s completely different from what Bush is doing. Echelon is rather similar to TSA airport searches…everybody gets searched; those with suspicious characteristics get a closer look. That’s not what’s happening here

    No, its actually worse because it has no standard for necessity and its totally random. And the end results can be the same, all that information gleaned can then be used as cause for further investigation.

    But it has also been used for econmic influence, and political gain.

    The FISA/NSA issue is open and is being debated, and the courts and COngress will determine whose interpretation is valid.

    Echelon is still happening because it is not even fully acknowledged and is almost totally unsupervised. It also circumvents a lot of our legal system, because if a participating country, say the UK gets data on US citizens, it can report it to the US, who has no burden of how the information was gathered and can technically use it at will.

    No oversight at all.

  120. 144

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Let’s figure this out for a moment.

    The Gorelick comment discusses wiretaps. Clinton adds black bag searches to the list in 1995. Did George Bush pursue black bag searches? Are the ACLU and the Center for ??? Rights suing over black bag searches? Someone please tell me what does the link Messr. Smelly_Behind_@103 prove? Are you really that Clueless or do you get paid to play that part on HorsesAss?

  121. 145

    Sven spews:

    Donna

    sven, you are completely oblivious to the facts, Wiretapping performed by the Bush Crime Family is down with out FISA oversight. It is done in a vacumn, by presumed Unitatian Presidential supreme power.

    Echelon exists with even less supervision.

    I clearly indicated in my post that I thought Bush was using a self serving definition of the law, that abuse was likely happening, and that I dont want my rights violated needlessly.

    Exactly what part of that makes me a righty shill?

    sheesh.

  122. 146

    spews:

    sven sez:
    No, its actually worse because it has no standard for necessity and its totally random. And the end results can be the same, all that information gleaned can then be used as cause for further investigation.

    Being totally random is a point in favor, not against. It’s when it’s open for selection that things go awry.

    You’re correct that the information gleaned can be used for further investigation…WITH A FISA WARRANT. And that’s how Echelon tips are to be treated. The Bush administration is bypassing that requirement. So the end result is not the same. One is the result of a legally warranted search; the other is not.

  123. 147

    Sven spews:

    If it is illegal to gather the information without a warrent, then anything gathered by warrentless data mining is essentially illegal too. Right?

  124. 148

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Torridjoe: If Eschelon gleans information from a non-US citizen, you are implying a FISA warrant is needed! Do you really believe that?

  125. 149

    For the Clueless spews:

    stink bomb @ 143

    Sorry your defense of York’s NRO article, “the Bill Clinton broke the law too” argument, doesn’t hold up.

    Bush broke the law stink bomb. Bill Clinton is neither here nor there. Deal with it.

    What wingnut organization pay your bills?

  126. 154

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Comment by GBS— 1/17/06 @ 11:58 am

    “So what’s your relevant point?”

    Thread title: “Gore: Bush broke the law”

    So if Gore broke the law himself, or used some questionable technicalities to circumvent the law, he doesn’t seem to be in a strong position to criticize someone else for doing either, or both. I made the assumption that people could establish that link for themselves without having to explicity state as such.

  127. 155

    spews:

    sven @ 147
    When did I ever say that random monitoring of cyberspace for keywords was illegal without a warrant?

    webb sucks @ 148
    No, I’m not implying that. FISA doesn’t grant protective rights to non-citizens.

  128. 157

    Danno spews:

    You are all a bunch of blithering idiots, and Al Gore is the most blithering of all.

    Goldy says, “Al Gore has transformed himself into one of the few, true statesmen we have on the political scene today.” Just goes to show how irretrievably out of contact with reality Goldy and all you, his lap dogs, are.

    Keep drinking the kool aid, while the rest of the country gets redder and redder you blue fools.

  129. 158

    Sven spews:

    155

    Thats the point. Is it an unreasonable search? I think its a huge scale invasion of privacy considering most people have a fairly high expectation of privacy.

    See my links to the ACLU…they seem to agree.

    So my beef with the whole concept is largely based on my dislike of the underlying big brother informatoin siezures.

  130. 159

    GBS spews:

    Sven:

    You’re whole Echelon argument only demonstrates that you recognize that something is wrong now and you are attempting to change the debate.

    NO! We’re not going to let you set the tone of the debate.

    The issue is: Bush has conducted wiretaps on specific American citizens without judicial oversight. The End.

    He is the one in office, he is the one who swore to up hold and defend the constitution of the United States, he is the one who lied last year and said the government does not spy on it’s citizens without a warrant, he’s the one who admitted later that he’d authorized wiretaps for some time now. He’s the one claiming by powers granted to him by congress through “authorization of force” clause in the bill to invade Iraq. That language, “force”, means military action only, and only in Iraq.

    I’m sorry, but you know what? Congress did NOT grant the president the authorization to use “force” against American citizens, or to violate the 4th amendment.

    THAT IS THE ONLY ISSUE.

    Al Gore this, Bill Clinton that are red herrings to avoid the issue of the DAY.

    Bush has committed impeachable offenses.

    Sorry, but I’ve just about had it with dopes who cannot, or by choice, will not, focus on the law breaking that is rampant in the Republican party at large.

    These are Republican scandals and Republicans only.

    Grow up and get with the program.

  131. 160

    Daddy Love spews:

    The weirdest thing in here is the wingnut rationalization train:
    “Bush didn’t break any laws. Clinton and Gore did, but Bush is only doing what they did before. Bush is justified, but nothing Clinton or Gore did is.”

    I haven’t even mentioned (oops, I just did) the Ames/Gorelick disinformation and lies.

    Like I said, weird.

  132. 161

    Sven spews:

    159

    The legality of all of this is the real issue, and I welcome the furthing of the ACLU’s lawsuit. The attorney General says it is. They say it isnt.

    There are experts on all sides claiming this is or isnt legal, and i want a court to decide it so we have clear legal precedent.

    Then if it is determiend unlawful, he can be impeached, but I’ll bet you right now that the flunkys under him will fall on their swords to protect him first. It happened with Reagon and Nixon, and even Clinton. So I dont expect any traction on an actual impeachment anytime soon. All it will take is the NSA director or the AG to say they mislead Bush, and he loses culpability. Not responsibility, but culpability.

    They protect their own, its how it is.

    For what its worth, I also want the underlying Echelon program given oversight so my privacy is protected.

    So thats my opinion, deal with it.

  133. 162

    Daddy Love spews:

    I am not an expert in these matters and have not been able to get good info on some of it, but as I understand it:

    Echelon mines data for keywords. Once a keyword is identified, the government has to get a warrant to attach the name to the communication and to view whole communications by the sender or recipient. The secret and easy-to-obtain FISA warrants cover communications by “agents of a foreign power” i.e. state-sposored terrorists, the only kind Bush thinks exist.

    If the suspect is an American citizen who is not an “agent of a foreign power” in the FISA sense, a “regular” warrant must be obtained.

    Surveillance of an individual within the US performed without a warrant is de jure and de facto illegal.

    In the case of the warrantless physical search of Aldrich Ames, FISA had not yet been amended to cover such searches and Gorelick testified that in the absence of Congressional action defining and codifying the requirements for this, a move the Clinton administraion supported, the president had the authority to order such a search. Even if you disagree with the argument, it should be notred that OF COURSE a member of the administration is going to argue that the president has power to do X or Y. That’s WHY we must elevate the rule of law, and why oversight is necessary.

  134. 163

    GBS spews:

    CF @ 154

    I didn’t need to you to explain the obvious for my understanding, I only wanted you to say it in your own words to cut off any wiggle room for you later.

    First off, as Torridjoe @ 156 explained the facts DO speak for themselves, Gore broke no laws. Second, they are irrelevant to debating what George W. Bush is doing right now.

    By using your flawed logic though, a bank robber can’t say someone else is bank robber even though they are watching them hold up a bank?

    It doesn’t matter what anyone has done, or not done the past, we are ALL witnesses to the lies George W. Bush has spoken on television regarding getting warrants then saying he authorized NSA to by pass warrants. Period.

    Why can’t you believe your own eyes and ears?

  135. 164

    GBS spews:

    159

    You missing the fatal flaw in your argument: Bush admitted on television that the government does NOT wiretap or spy on citizens without warrant. He was very explicit.

    Then, recently he admitted that HE authorized the NSA to conduct warrantless wiretaps. The firestorm also grows because at the time he authorized the warrantless wiretaps was PREVIOUS to the interview where he stated that no wiretaps or spying were occurring without warrants. That is the other part of the LIE that denies him escape for culpability.

    Why is that so hard to understand??????

    Where can he plead ignorance?

  136. 165

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Daddy Love: Curious and weird?

    My take is the other side, the one you don’t represent, has issues with this self-aggrandizing act being performed by the lefty henchmen from the Light In the Mind Brigade. If you overlook the same actions while your man is in power, then the screaming, the beating of the chest, and the wild ejaculations from a has been vice president, causes one to wonder about the real meaning of this charade.

    Clueless, I perfectly understood what torridjoe wrote. His disingenuous charge over Eschalon sifting through non-citizen transmissions and the need for a FISA Warrant was another dumb attempt to obfuscate! I surmise your issues are with someone questioning your motives? Have we a thin skin today? Are you as clueless at home with the family (do you have one?) as you are here on HorsesAss?

  137. 166

    spews:

    sven @ 158

    Given that the culling of data is done entirely by computer until keywords are triggered, and that no evidence may be obtained to use against someone WITHOUT A WARRANT, I’m not sure where the question of legality realistically comes in. I’m not entirely comfortable with the process, but that doesn’t make it illegal.

    sven @ 161
    I’m not sure what you’re waiting for. FISA prevents what the President directed. The President directed it, apparently with full knowledge of FISA provisions. If you willingly do that which is proscribed by law, you are doing something illegal. End. of. story. Confusing the issue by citing–as only a few hacks have done–unlimited executive power or (laughably) the Afghan ‘war’ resolution, does not cut it. Even if he believes he was justified, he still broke existing US law, that has neither been challenged nor overturned in any court.

  138. 167

    GBS spews:

    Sven @ 161 wrote:

    So thats my opinion, deal with it.

    Opinions are like assholes, yours just happens to smell like one.

  139. 168

    For the Clueless spews:

    Just heard former CIA agent Larry Johnson on Ed Schultz.

    Why did Bush bypass FISA?

    He would have had to reveal to the Judges that he got his leads from the torture prisons.

  140. 169

    spews:

    mike webb @ 165

    “Clueless, I perfectly understood what torridjoe wrote.”

    Really?

    “His disingenuous charge over Eschalon sifting through non-citizen transmissions and the need for a FISA Warrant was another dumb attempt to obfuscate! ”

    Care to note where I said the first thing about non-citizens, before you asked me about it directly (and I responded, ‘what the hell are you talking about?’)

    You may need to have another go-round before you claim to understand what I said. What I said is that further action after flagging by Echelon, requires a warrant. Which is true.

  141. 170

    GBS spews:

    @ 168

    Not only that, it may very well reveal that he was also spying on the Kerry campaign. That’s the problem, nobody knows what the HELL he’s doing.

    Sole power like that is only vested in kingdoms. Like Saudi Arabia.

    No thank you. I’ll keep my democracy and civil liberties.

  142. 171

    Daddy Love spews:

    I got no problem with investigating and instituting oversight on ECHELON, but that has nothing to do with the culpability of the president violating US law. Read the FISA laws. It’s not that long. They’re quite explicit about both who CAN and CANNOT be surveilled legally as part of a terrorism investigation, and about what DOES and DOES NOT constitute “breaking the law” regarding same.
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/.....i/toc.html

    Bush claims that the authorization of the use of force passed in 2002 authorizes this action (for a program that began in 2001). Notwithstandign the statements by COngresspeople involved in dafting that authorization that the administration REQUESTED language authorizing domestic actions and they were refused. The administration also argues that such power in inherent in the presidency. Such arguments are to be expected from teh administration. The law is explicit. Is the president above the law? Heck, I thought we settled that with Nixon, and/or when a private party was allowed to proceed with a lawsuit against a sitting president.

  143. 172

    Sven spews:

    166

    Thats why I want it vetted firmly by a court to determine just that, and why I support the ACLU for taking to court.

    I have already said I oppose it, and I have already said I think Bush’s definitions are self serving. I dont know what else You want me to say.

    What is unknown is whether that will stand up in court or not. So let’s find out.

    Oh..and GBS? Stop smelling my ass..

    :)

  144. 173

    GBS spews:

    MWS @ 165 wrote:

    causes one to wonder about the real meaning of this charade./i”

    What does it matter who points out that Bush has been caught lying on television regarding the infringements on our civil liberties?

    What part of the 4th Amendment don’t you understand? I’ll clarify it for you if you need some help with the big words.

    For you reading pleasure, read ‘em and weep!
    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.

    Is this really too hard for you neo-convicts to understand, or is it too painful to admit your party is destorying the foundations of America?

  145. 174

    Donnageddon spews:

    People like sven zare astounding. He presents the wingnuttiest fact-challenged nonesense and still tries to proclaim himself as an “independent” “moderate”, or now he says “neo-libertarian”.

    Facts:

    1. No wiretapping was performed on ANY US citizen withoutr a warrant under the Clinton administration.

    2. Bush explained the illegality of wiretapping without court approval before it was revealed that he was doing exactly that. Absolutely no defense of “I was mislead” is possible.

    3. Subverting the constitutional gaurantee of privacy is an impeacheable offense (if ever there was a high crime…)

    But still sven, against all the facts undermining his trollish beliefs still spins the RNC talking points.

    “So thats my opinion, deal with it.”

    Bullshit! No one continues to argue against the facts as you have done without being nothing but a wingnut shill.

  146. 175

    GBS spews:

    @ 172

    Can you do us all a favor and get next to a bar of soap and some water. It’s impossible NOT to smell your ass.

    Also, it that is truly your opinion, and I’ll assume that it is, then get off the whole Gore did thing. It demeans your position.

  147. 176

    spews:

    sven @ 172
    What I’d like, is for you to admit that violating FISA willingly, is prima facie evidence of breaking the law. It’s not that difficult a concept to grasp.

    Re Gore–here’s his response today:

    > “The Administration’s response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program.
    >
    > The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.
    >
    > There are two problems with the Attorney General’s effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration’s behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

    > Second, the Attorney General’s attempt to cite a previous administration’s activity as precedent for theirs – even though factually wrong – ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.
    >
    > The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.
    >
    > The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration’s program.”

  148. 177

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Comment by torridjoe— 1/17/06 @ 1:29 pm

    “Good thing the evidence makes clear that Gore broke no laws.”

    I think the evidence shows Gore did a great job of circumventing the law. Ironic, since that’s similar to the criticism of Bush’s justification, “it’s not technically illegal”, for the NSA wiretaps.

    Comment by GBS— 1/17/06 @ 1:45 pm

    “By using your flawed logic though, a bank robber can’t say someone else is bank robber even though they are watching them hold up a bank?”

    You analogy is flawed. Go back and read my post, I didn’t say Gore couldn’t criticize Bush I said that he isn’t in a strong position to do so. Gore is free to say whatever he wants based upon his First Amendment rights, it doesn’t mean he’s correct or even credible.

    “It doesn’t matter what anyone has done, or not done the past, we are ALL witnesses to the lies George W. Bush has spoken on television regarding getting warrants then saying he authorized NSA to by pass warrants. Period.”

    Actually I rarely watch the news on TV, so “all” of us didn’t witness Bush do anything. If you can provide a link where Bush has made the statements you claim, I’d be glad to read it. I think my previous comment put the past in the proper perspective, as the credibility of the source of criticism is important.

  149. 178

    Sven spews:

    Oh donna, how disappointing.

    If you won’t read what I say, then what’s the point?

    I said clearly that the legality is under debate, which it is, and needs to be determined. Its not illegal simply because Donna say it is, it takes a finding in law to determine that. Right now the US AG has said it is legal, which is a valid legal opinion, even if I personally think it is self serving, and now it is up to a federal court to determine if it is or not, which is why i applaud the ACLU lawsuit.

    I said clearly that if it is determined it was illegal despite his justificatoins, he should be impeached.

    I also said (cynically) that I think one of his flunkys will take the rap if he does get threatened with impeachment, and he will never be impeached because politicians protect their own. Reagan was clear proof of that in the Iran Contra debacle.

    And I said that I find the underlying data mining which captures everything to be *more* troubling then Bush’s NSA tappping phones because whereas he claims to have a target, the Echelon taps gather everything with no regard for any jsutification, and for the most part, no one cares about the Echelon program. And Echelon enlists the help of foreign governments to spy on americans in a curcumvention of the 4th ammendment.

    So wire tapping, bad, echelon worse.

    As for Gore, I stand by what I said, it was a partisan grandstand. The republicans would have done the same had the situation been reversed. He is trying to try the case in the court of public opinion, not the federal court. And since when he was VP his adminstration defended echelon, I find his outrage somewhat staged. Yes, it is a slightly different context, but the overall issue of citizen rights to privacy transcend that. Thats all I have to say about Al.

  150. 179

    Voter Advocate spews:

    In an article in the NYT today, complaints by the F. B. I. that the N.S.A. material became so volunimous after 9/11 that is was viewed as a source of unproductive leads, prompting agents to joke that a new bunch of tips meant more “calls to Pizza Hut.” It is clear that the government went wild with tapping communications of everybody after the World Trade Center assault.

    As I said before, and other have pointed out here, it’s no problem for the executive to obtain a FISA warrant. It’s basically a fig-leaf to assure that a repeat of COINTELPRO under Kennedy/Johnson/Nixon, where MLK Jr. and peace organizations were monitored because of their political views and opposition to the President or J. Edgar Hoover.

    Bushco didn’t want to go to FISA, because he knew that they would stop him, because he knew that what he was doing was a massive assault on the privacy of citizens.

  151. 180

    Voter Advocate spews:

    You mean you righties knew Clinton was doing this and impeached him for getting a blow job?

    What a bunch of morons you run with, Sveni.

  152. 181

    Sven spews:

    Joe,

    sven @ 172
    What I’d like, is for you to admit that violating FISA willingly, is prima facie evidence of breaking the law. It’s not that difficult a concept to grasp.

    I will say it is clearly possible that it is illegal. The AG has said it isnt, and critics say it is, so I want a third party, IE *the Court* to make a legal determination.

    I do think that the AG’s justification based on past actions is weak, and Bush’s justification based on the Congresses granting him the use of force is weak. What is needed is a clear defining of the presidental powers, and it is needed now.

    It may be however that a court will determine it *was* sufficient. I found the arguments for the land grab of emminent domain to be horribly unconstitutional, yet the SCOTUS accepted them. I find the Feds refusal to allow states to regulate medicianl marijuana to be a voiolation of states rights, but the SCOTUS differs there as well.

    If (sure, a big if..) this goes to court, and the SCOTUS upholds his actions what then?

    I think that such power is an obvious candidate for misuse and should have proper oversight. I think in drastic situations only should it be overridden, for imminent and clear national threats only.

    I beleive in the constitution and the rights it grants us, checks and balances it provides our government.

  153. 182

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Oh, Sveni, you righties are such morons. Clinton was impeached for fun with Monica, when you could get him for cause?

    Idiots, don’t complain now that you blew it.

  154. 183

    Sven spews:

    VA?

    huh?

    When did I say anything about Clinton? I specifically referenced Reagan and Iran Contra.

    Since you bring it up, he was not impeached for having sex…sorry, not sex, but intimate relations with Monica. That would have been a crime of bad taste, nothing more. He was impeached for perjury, for lying under oath. Big difference. Had he not lied during his depositions, it wouldn’t have happened.

    And rightly the Senate rejected the impeachment because it was realistically a farce. The court dealt with his actual crime of perjury, as it should have been, with a fine and disbarrment. End of issue.

    But I do look forward to the publication of the Barrett report….

  155. 184

    Sven spews:

    VA,

    Bush and Gore aside, where do you stand on Data Mining ala Echelon?

    Just curious. Because that data mining producing far more of the pizza hut conversations…..

  156. 185

    Voter Advocate spews:

    Sven, you are a complete tool of the GOP.

    You bark the Chris Vance line here about KC elections. Totally a bunch of allegations with no proof, allegations that have been adjudicated, reviewed by committees, voted on by the public and found wanting, but you will continue to assert wrong doing.

    Now Bush disses FISA, admits it, and you come back with allegations, no testimony of wrong doing, and say that the confession of Bush equates with suspicions of Clinton.

    You ain’t serious man, you’re a word vomiter.

  157. 186

    Donnageddon spews:

    sven

    If you won’t read what I say, then what’s the point?

    And if you will only continue to post the same thuroughly refuted wingnut taking points (of which I obviolsy read every single one from you) then why do you even post here?

    I also said (cynically) that I think one of his flunkys will take the rap if he does get threatened with impeachment, and he will never be impeached because politicians protect their own.

    If only you would read my, and others posts, you would not keep saying this particulary ludicrous talking point. Bush already publically defined the requirement for court oversight of wwiretapping US citizens. No one can take the rap for him. Do you finally get it?

    The only reason any troll would continue to make this claim is to attempt to stop people from looking for justice. It ain’t gonna work, trollboy. You can be as cynical as you want to be, but others have much more faith in what is left of our democracy. And we will continue to demand justice, which in this case, demands impeachment.

    wire tapping, bad, echelon worse

    And as myself and others have tried to educate you on, that is complete wingnut BULLSHIT!

    Echelon did not wiretap ANY US citizen. And when wiretaps were called for, the court system was used. Therefore, dumbass troll fuck,:

    -wiretap without court oversight = horrifically appalling impeaheable offense, Echelon = fully law compliant security measure

    If Bush wanted to wiretap people, FISA was there for his extremely timely, legal and secret use. But he did not want ANY oversite so he bypassed this requirement of law, and became an outlaw.

  158. 189

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I don’t know what the quality of your voice is, but you don’t tell lies as effectively as Rush, so give up on the talk radio career, huh?

  159. 190

    GBS spews:

    Sven @ 177 wrote:

    I find his outrage somewhat staged. Yes, it is a slightly different context, but the overall issue of citizen rights to privacy transcend that. Thats all I have to say about Al.

    Comment by Sven— 1/17/06 @ 2:32 pm

    Sorry, Sven, but I’m just not going to let partisan attacks on Al Gore stand unchallenged. “Slightly different context,” please. The Clinton/Gore administration fully complied with the LAW!

    The Bush administration has not. These are two completely divergent stances on the issues of legality.

    Claim all the independent thought you want, your words say your a right-wing, partisan hack and nothing less.

  160. 191

    Sven spews:

    All your comments prove is tha tyou ahve no clue how deep the data mining of Echelon is.

    if you beleive it wasnt enough to constitute tapping information when everything you post or say is monitored, then have fun with that.

    And since you consistently ignore my actual comments about Bush, then this is pointless. keep the ad hom attacks going on me, they mean nothing. The only prove that you care more for insults then you do for discussion.

  161. 192

    Sven spews:

    GBS

    The Bush administration has not. These are two completely divergent stances on the issues of legality.

    I am hoping the court will determine exactly that.

  162. 194

    spews:

    sven @ 179
    The AG has declared it to be legal on the basis of the Afghan war resolution, something that clearly fails the sniff test. He has furthermore used an “but anyway” defense, saying “but anyway, the Executive has the power to do what he did.” That’s not a claim of legality; it’s a claim of superordination of one branch, otherwise known as privilege. That has nothing to do with legality, rather it concerns constitutionality.

    The reason the AG has to do this, is because otherwise the facts are 100% clear: what the Executive did and willingly continues to do, is prima facie illegal. It is not permitted under law. You simply cannot characterize the admission that Bush purposely did not follow the law, as anything but an illegal act.

    Whether it’s constitutionally permissible, or whether the Act itself is constitutional, is another question entirely. What I am asking you to admit, is that there is no doubt that what he did broke the law. This conclusion is logically inescapable; I’m trying to test your ability to stay within the bounds of logic on this question.

    For the record, please don’t count me in with some of the others working on you here. I think you’re being disingenuous with your political stance, but you’ve been nothing but courteous with me.

  163. 195

    Donnageddon spews:

    All your comments prove is tha tyou ahve no clue how deep the data mining of Echelon is.

    if you beleive it wasnt enough to constitute tapping information when everything you post or say is monitored, then have fun with that.

    sven… sigh.. now you pursue unfounded conspiracy mongering to prop up the wingnut neocon’s most basic tool: fear.

    Let’s try this, sven, all your statements prove is that you do not realize that BushCo’s wiretapping extends to putting microchips in your buttocks so they could minitor what you ate last night.

    How’s that for unfounded conspiracy mongering?

    See? It doesn’t work nearly as well a facts.

  164. 196

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Does the 4th Amendment represent non-citizens or people here illegally or just US Citizens only; oh torridjoe, Swami of Constitution/Bill of Rights? Since you claim I have issues with large words, please define for everyone how the 4th Amendment provides protections for illegals and non-citizens.

    Didn’t you respond to me with: “What I said is that further action after flagging by Echelon, requires a warrant. Which is true.” I again ask: If the individual is a non-citizen, what further action does anyone need after Eschalon flags them?

  165. 197

    Donnageddon spews:

    Mike Webb Sucks, do you not realize that everyone can see that your jabbing at torridjoe is missing every punch? He never stated what you claim he did. Everyone can see that.

    Your attacks are pointless.

  166. 198

    Voter Advocate spews:

    I’ll go along with torridjoe on one thing, Sveni.

    You are a courteous, if disingenuous, right-wing hack.

  167. 199

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Donnageddon. I am not jabbing anyone. I asked torridjoe a simple question around Eschalon. If he claims non-citizens don’t have US Constitutional rights, why does the AG have to get a warrant for non-citizen activities with informaiton acquired through Eschalon? He initially hinted this in comment #146. That’s all I am asking. I am still waiting for his response!

  168. 200

    Dr. E spews:

    “You are all a bunch of blithering idiots, and Al Gore is the most blithering of all.
    Keep drinking the kool aid, while the rest of the country gets redder and redder you blue fools.”

    Way to go, Danno. That’s a great “argument”.

    All I can say in response is better blue than fascist, in my book, anyway.

  169. 201

    Dr. E spews:

    By the way, Danno, I seem to recall several “wars” on other abstract concepts waged by administrations past: the “War on Poverty”, the “War on Crime”, etc. How come none of those required the infringement of my civil rights?

  170. 202

    Donnageddon spews:

    MWS

    If he claims non-citizens don’t have US Constitutional rights, why does the AG have to get a warrant for non-citizen activities with informaiton acquired through Eschalon? He initially hinted this in comment #146

    Uh… no he didn’t hint about the AG needing a warrant for non-citizen activities acquired through “Eschalon” @ 146.

    And that makes your jabbing pointless, and frankly disingenous.

    Not to mention annoyingly stupid.

  171. 203

    GBS spews:

    Sven @ 190 wrote:

    GBS

    The Bush administration has not. These are two completely divergent stances on the issues of legality.

    I am hoping the court will determine exactly that.

    Comment by Sven— 1/17/06 @ 3:00 pm

    Actually, I’m hoping the new Democratic led house will bring articles of impeachment and that the new Democratic Senate will make the determination.

  172. 204

    Sven spews:

    Joe,

    OK, let me see if I follow you.

    The question boils down to two related issues.

    One: Does Fisa require warrents (including the 72 delay authorized by the Patriot act) for wiretaps. (grossly simplified)

    Answer: yes.

    Did Bush authorize wiretaps without warrents or outside the 72 hour delay?

    Answer: yes.

    Therefore Bush authorized actions that were in apparently in violation of FISA.

    But as you note, that is only half the issue. The real issue is whether he has the ability to circumvent that either by statute or constitutional priviledge.

    Anonymous congressional sources claim “…there were conditions under which it would be possible to gather and retain information on Americans if the surveillance were part of an investigation into foreign intelligence..” (source Washpost 12-16-2005)

    The article does note that those cases are “supposed to be minimalized, but that leaves open the question of *what* those conditions are, and what *minimalized* means.

    So, *if* there are legitimate exemptions, then the issue becomes one of determining if they used that exemption too much and are abusing it. That is a serious issue on its own merit.

    I personally don’t think those exemptions apply here, but others certainly make that case, and that reamins to be determined.

    Also at issue, is did the Authorization of War in October of 2002 (which was not limited to war in Afghanistan) grant him the power to override the law in the interest of nation security under executive privilage and presidental war powers.

    That has to be determined as well. The Adminstration’s justification is based on this:

    “The NSA activities were justified by a classified Justice Department legal opinion authored by John C. Yoo, a former deputy in the Office of Legal Counsel who argued that congressional approval of the war on al Qaeda gave broad authority to the president” (source Washpost and NYTs)

    All the violation of FISA is meaningless if that is true, and that is another aspect that remains to be seen.

    That is why there needs to be investigation and a ruling of law on this.

    And in the midst of this, Yoo has placed his head on the block as validating the whole thing, and is prime candidate to be the scapegoat if Bush decides he needs an escape route from responsibility. That’s what I was referring to when I said others would fall on their swords to protect the office of the president. That does not erase any wrong doing, it simply shifts accountability.

    And in my opinoin, that is what will happen, if it happens at all, because it will take years before any of the legal matters are settled.

    Bush, if he had a brain left, should do one of two things.

    Either bow to public outcry and conform to FISA standards hencforth….

    or

    Provide the hinted at proofs that their actions have directly foiled tangible terrorist plots in the US and claim that their justification was further supported with results.

    And you know what? He wont do either.

    He will continue on the same path as now, convinced his position is morally and legally right, until the court eventually, as I assume it will, slaps him down.

    And in the unlikely event that he is vindicated by either congressional investigation or legal challange, the Republicans will turn this into a slam against the democrats, and we will here more BS about anti patriotic liberals interferring with national security.

    That is why this needs to be put into Court and into Formal Congressional Investigation as soon as possible.

  173. 205

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Apparently donnageddon you miss the point in this paragraph previously written by torridjoe: “You’re correct that the information gleaned can be used for further investigation…WITH A FISA WARRANT. And that’s how Echelon tips are to be treated.”

    I asked torridjoe if this included non-citizens. What part of his blog entry has you confounded? Does the AG have to visit the FISA court when Echelon tips are from non-citizens? If the answer is no, then why are we worried about what Echelon aquires for non-citizens? If the answer is yes, then there is something wrong with the FISA warrant system; do you agree? Do you get it donnageddon?

  174. 207

    Sven spews:

    Lefties,

    Let me translate for MikeWebb sucks.

    He is saying that since the 4th ammendment doe not apply to foreingers or illegals, and that FISA does not require it for non citizens.

    Since the Bush admin is claiming that they only tap conversation originating overseas, or with a participant who is either foreign, non domestic or illegal, that there is not requirement for a FISA warrent, as the foreign/illegal/nondomestic person is the target.

    Right?

    I wont say I totally buy it, but it is an interesting theory on how they can justify the end run around the 4th ammendment anmd FISA.

    The problem is Mike, that courts have applied constitutional protection/priviledge to illegals/foreigners before, so case law isnt going to totally support you here.

    Just trying to help.

  175. 209

    Donnageddon spews:

    Jeeze MWS, why the hell can’t you make a point (stupid as it is) without attemptng to put words in other people’s nouths?

    If he claims non-citizens don’t have US Constitutional rights, why does the AG have to get a warrant for non-citizen activities with informaiton acquired through Eschalon?

    No where in torridjoe’s post does he in fact make that claim. That is your fucking claim so just state it you dolt!

    Let’s follow the dancing logic as stated by sven:

    1. “the 4th ammendment doe not apply to foreingers or illegals, and that FISA does not require it for non citizens”

    2. The “Bush admin is claiming that they only tap conversation(s):
    a) “originating overseas”
    b) “with a participant who is either foreign, non domestic or illegal”
    QED : there is not requirement for a FISA warrent, as the foreign/illegal/nondomestic person is the target.

    Unfortunately, this is complete bullshit, since a US citizen is having their phone conversation tapped (regardless of the person on the other end), it requires a FISA warrent.

    QED: without FISA, this act is an Impeacheable Offense. Attempts to make the other end of the line the target matters not, because a US citizen does not forego their constitutional rights when speaking to a foriegner.

    Or else following your logic, it would be permisseable for the Imperial Pressident to have you arrestd without access to a lawyer indefintely the next time you chat up that foriegn exchange chick in your Sociology class.

    But then again, maybe that is the kind of extreme dictatrial powers they are after, and that you, as a coward, are willing to give them.

  176. 210

    Donnageddon spews:

    The “coward” remark is intended for MWS, not sven. sven may be many things, but I have not sensed cowardice.

  177. 211

    Cougar spews:

    GBS @ 170 So what do you expect from a family that considers the Saudi Royal next of kin?

  178. 212

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Donnageddon, I can see why the people on the right jump down your throat. Where has any evidence been displayed that the president has wiretapped US citizens. I haven’t seen it. The senators ejaculating all over TV haven’t given any proof. It’s the people from your side who are screaming all over the news.

    Goold old torridjoe did say “You’re correct that the information gleaned can be used for further investigation…WITH A FISA WARRANT. And that’s how Echelon tips are to be treated.”

    I can also understand donnageddon why some on the right claim you are logic impaired. Did you once say you are/were an Environmental Chemist a few weeks back, screaming your head off about the woes of spent uranium? Well if you are college or university educated can you follow logic? Better yet, I’ll wait until torridjoe figures out what he said and HE can reply. You on the other hand donnageddon, shut up!

    So my last try torridjoe, and donnageddon shut up here; why do you think a FISA warrant is needed if an islamofascist from over the pond calls his illegal friend in America and Echelon captures the information? Just a simple answer will do torridjoe. Don’t let donnageddon speak for you, unless you need lackeys as your surrogates!

  179. 213

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    But I do look forward to the publication of the Barrett report….

    Just another right wing cannard, Sven. I can’t wait either, since Barrett has found absolutely nothing. Careful. You might get what you ask for.

  180. 215

    For the Clueless spews:

    Where has any evidence been displayed that the president has wiretapped US citizens. I haven’t seen it.

    We have press reports that have been over a year in the making from multiple sources like former NSA agents and members of Congress. No one in the executive branch has categorically denied anything. Bush even admitted he authorized something after 9/11.

    Now all we need is a Congressional hearing to nail down what that something was. You wouldn’t be against that would you?

  181. 216

    Donnageddon spews:

    MWS “You on the other hand donnageddon, shut up!”

    Not likely for that to happen MWS.

    As for following logic, I am pretty good at that. But logic needs to be present for it to be followed. Your nonsensical posts are dearly lacking in that essential ingredient.

  182. 217

    Donnageddon spews:

    Mike Webb Sucks, why do you think it is OK for President Bush to wipe his ass on the constitution? You hint at that @ 203.

  183. 218

    marks spews:

    Cougar @212

    Read it. Almost pushed the snooze button, but am still awake. Barely…So can you tell me why that was so important?

  184. 220

    Voter Advocate spews:

    “The Administration’s response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program.

    The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.

    There are two problems with the Attorney General’s effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration’s behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

    Second, the Attorney General’s attempt to cite a previous administration’s activity as precedent for theirs – even though factually wrong – ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.

    The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.

    The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration’s program.”

    Al Gore responding to White House slanders.

  185. 221

    spews:

    Donna

    Actually you hit the nail on the head with this:

    Unfortunately, this is complete bullshit, since a US citizen is having their phone conversation tapped (regardless of the person on the other end), it requires a FISA warrent

    The question will boil down as to whether a person engaged in a conversation with someone not domestic has the same expectation of privacy.

    That is the point that the Bush admin seems to hinge their justification on: That if one party is not american, they can use the rules to listen to *that* non american and any incidental american people are just collateral information.

    It will be interesting to see the court rule on it.

    Regarding the ACLU suit, one analyst I heard on the radio said the burden will be hard for them, ecause they will have to prove a specific person’s rights were violated, and with the informatoin secret, its not going to be easy.

    If so, that to me constitutes an unfair burden of proof.

  186. 222

    Donnageddon spews:

    I understand your positioning of the question, Karl. That is why it is important for people to view the question thusly:

    “The question will boil down as to whether a person engaged in a conversation with someone not domestic has the same expectation of privacy consitutional rights.”

    This little loop hole BushCo is banking on is plenty scary.

  187. 223

    TheDeadlyShoe spews:

    That is just the same word game bullshit as ‘enemy combatant’ status. It’s a stupid question.

  188. 224

    spews:

    not really. If the US as a soveriegn nation has the right to monitor communicatoins coming into its country, then it could be ruled that there is no expectation of privacy to anyone living here who chooses to engage in that communication.

    As I said, I look forward to hearing the lawsuit, a position I dont like to take…..

    It’s the same one O’Reilly has taken.

    Gag.

  189. 225

    Donnageddon spews:

    There you go, Karl.

    “If you talk to someone we deem suspect, your constitutional rights are null and void.”

    Shiver.

    Gag.

  190. 228

    JCH spews:

    End.Of.Democracy.

    Constitution.Null.Void.

    Fascist.State.

    Comment by Donnageddon —
    [This happened when Hillary stole the 1000 raw FBI files. I must have missed your outrage post! hehe…..Democrats: dumbshits!]

  191. 229

    JCH spews:

    All.Heil.The.Leader.

    Comment by Donnageddon — 1/17/06 @ 11:10 pm
    [Fidel, Dear Leader, and Hillary. All LOVE power and Big “Gubment”!!!]

  192. 230

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    For the Clueless: If the Prez broke the law he has to be accountable. Senators discussing this activity with the NYTimes are not the court of law. The SCOTUS should determine if the Executive Order is lawful or not! This must become fast track status through the court system. Thank goodness the 9th Clown Appeals Court does not have jurisdiction! If the SCOTUS says the Prez is not guilty and the Kennedy & Souter types agree, what will be the next attack point by your side?

  193. 231

    karl spews:

    donna.

    i said *could*

    The SCOTUS recently ruled that a city can scrap your house to build a luxury resort because the taxes gained are more important tnem your privacy or happiness.

    Who is to say how they will rule on this?

    For my part, if the target of the wiretaps is the foreign/non domestic half of the conversations, which some claim is legal without a warrent, then the fact a us citizen is included in the conversation is collateral information for that conversations purpose.

    But if they move to target *all* calls made by that identified citizen, regardless of source and destination, at that point I want the 4th ammendment in play. At that point they are the target, and deserving of their rights.

    that would be akin in principle to capturing a key word in an echelon data mine then needing a warrant for detailed searches.

    I dont see that as too unreasonable on its face, but I welcome your opinion on it.

  194. 232

    Donnageddon spews:

    Karl, you seem to eager to forego your constitutional and legal rights.

    I am not.

    that would be akin in principle to capturing a key word in an echelon data mine then needing a warrant for detailed searches.

    The problem is that BushCo, DID NOT EVER get a warrant for the wiretapping they have (and still do) perform against US citizens. That is the MAJOR point. Bush bypassed the constitution and the rule of law. He is a high criminal, and as such he should be impeached.

    I have no problem with lawful wiretapping of US citizens. But the Bush administration’s are not lawful. Get it now?

    people willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both

    -Benjamin Franklin

  195. 233

    Donnageddon spews:

    MWS “The SCOTUS should determine if the Executive Order is lawful or not!”

    Nope. The House of Representatives should (and will in 2007) draw up impeachment papers, and the Senate should try (and convict) Bush and Cheney or high crimes against the American public.

  196. 234

    Sven spews:

    211.

    Then let the full unredacted report be released and end the issue once and for all.

    I want the truth to be told, regardless of who it vindicates or indicts, and I am tired of the politicians in Washington *protecting* us from this information.

    And to be clear, there was joint collaboration from both parties to redact 100 pages of the Barrett report.

    Freedom of information means all of it.

  197. 235

    Voter Advocate spews:

    229.

    That’s the legal remedy the Constitution calls for when the executive becomes a dictator.

    GWB, Il Duce.

  198. 237

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Donnageddon where in our wonderful Constitution does it say the Legislative has oversight onver the Executive when Executive Orders are written, approved, and implemented? To test the validity of your argument, any of the last few Republican Congresses could have overrode Clinton Executive Order No. 12836 on forced union dues. President Bush implemented Executive Order No. 13201, (http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/st.....o13201.htm) which your union thug friends immediately sued but lost. The SCOTUS has final authority on Executive Orders. I wonder when your spent uranium coated brain will wake up and understand Legislative oversight does not work here! Keep dreaming though! I love reading your commentary, even though I continually my special liberal decoder ring to wade thru your crapola!

  199. 238

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Darn… too much coffee… erratum… should read: even though I continually use my special decoder ring…

  200. 239

    Donnageddon spews:

    MWS, SCOTUS has no say whatsoever in the Impeachment process for the commission of high crimes (and misdemeanors) by the executive branch.

    And no amount of changing the subject will ever get away from that constitutional fact.

  201. 240

    Daddy Love spews:

    A quick one:

    The Authorization of the use of force in 2001 did not authorize surveillance. It authorized the use of FORCE. To wit (I linked to it; read it):

    the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    Note no exculpation from US law. Note no powers regarding US citizens.

    The WaPo reports that the White House ahd asked for language authorizing the use of military force to “deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States.” The Congress disagreed.

    The WH further requested the following language: “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force in the United States and against those nations, organizations, or persons…” . The COngress again disagreed.

    Game over.

  202. 241

    Daddy Love spews:

    Hey, If ECHELON is a defense of the president’s actions, how come the administration doesn’t say so?

    Um, because it ain’t?

  203. 242

    A Moss spews:

    I cannot believe that I actually voted for Gore in 2001. How thankful I am that he lost. What is the legal limit of idiotocity? We have men and women in the middle east fighting for us and what they believe in, and we have to do whatever it takes to protect our country so we can bring our soldiers home. He needs to shut up and go back to doing what he does best, whatever that is. There is no privacy invasion when there is lives on the line.
    Angie Moss
    Sperry, Oklahoma

  204. 243

    Cougar spews:

    Congratulations A Moss, hmmmm. what did you vote for him in 2001? I guess Okies are just a year behind the norm.

  205. 244

    Mike Webb Sucks spews:

    Donnageddon, correct regarding the impeachment process through Congress. But you can’t impeach him on a premise if the SCOTUS determines the premise is allowable under US Law! BTW who said Echelon is an excuse for the president’s actions? I’ll wait for the SCOTUS decision on presidential powers.

  206. 245

    GBS spews:

    Angie Moss @ 242 wrote:

    What is the legal limit of idiotocity?

    I don’t know the limit, but if Al Gore is your measure for it, then George W. Bush is the mental equivalent of doing 250 mph in a school zone crowded with children.

  207. 246

    Daddy Love spews:

    A Moss @ 242

    There is no privacy invasion when there is lives on the line.
    Try to imagine the point. The law is the law. The president MUST follow the law. That’s it.

    Another part of the point is that, even you must know that certainly a warant would be granted if “lives [are] on the line.” It’s not that the president’s boys wouldn’t get a warant if they asked (for a legit reason, such as your “lives on the line”); they just decided that asking at all is for pussies, and they’re two-fisted men who wiretap illegally because that’s how real men do it. They should be in f-ucking jail.

    Hey, if there are lives on the line and for some reason the law doesn’t allow a wiretap that would save them, the president should have the balls to say “yeah, I broke the law to save a bunch of lives, and I’d do it again” instead of hiding behind all of his little pet lawyer’s bullsh-it. No court in the country would convict him if he broke the law doing right and admitted it. Then, of course, the right thing to do would be for him to go to Congress and ask that the laws be changed so that these legitimate purposes be included as grounds for a warrant.

    My OPINION is that he broke the law doing WRONG and that’s why they don’t admit it.