Attorney General Won't Rule Out Domestic Warrantless Taps


PDA






Flyboy
April 8, 2006, 04:41 PM
http://www.politechbot.com/2006/04/06/attorney-general-wont/
After citing his concerns that there was no limiting principle to the Administration's claim of authority in the War on Terror, Rep. Schiff asked the Attorney General whether the Administration believes it has the authority to wiretap purely domestic calls between two Americans without seeking a warrant.

"I cannot rule that out," responded the Attorney General.

From a press release from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA:


WASHINGTON, DC (April 6, 2006) - During a hearing before the House
Judiciary Committee today, Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-CA) questioned
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about the NSA's secret domestic
wiretapping program.

The Administration has cited the Authorization to Use Military Force
and the commander in chief powers as authorizing the NSA to intercept
international communications into and out of the U.S. of persons linked
to al Qaeda or related terrorist organizations.

After citing his concerns that there was no limiting principle to the
Administration's claim of authority in the War on Terror, Rep. Schiff
asked the Attorney General whether the Administration believes it has
the authority to wiretap purely domestic calls between two Americans
without seeking a warrant.

"I cannot rule that out," responded the Attorney General.

"This is very disturbing testimony," Rep. Schiff commented later, "and
represents a wholly unprecedented assertion of executive power. No one
in Congress would deny the need to tap certain calls under court order
-- but if the Administration believes it can tap purely domestic phone
calls between Americans without court approval, there is no limit to
executive power. This is contrary to settled law and the most basic
constitutional principles of the separation of powers."

Rep. Schiff and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced bipartisan
legislation -- the NSA Oversight Act -- to reassert that FISA and Title
III are the sole authority for domestic surveillance. The bill would:

1. Reiterate Exclusivity of Current FISA and Wiretap Laws - states that
FISA and the federal criminal wiretap statutes shall continue to be the
exclusive means by which domestic electronic surveillance may be
conducted.

2. Clarify Military Force Statute - makes clear that the Authorization
to Use Military Force (AUMF), passed days after the September 11th
attacks, does not provide an exception to that rule.

3. Require Congressional Action - makes clear that current laws apply
unless Congress amends the laws or passes additional laws regarding
electronic surveillance.

4. Require Report on the Extent of the Wiretapping Program - requires
classified disclosure to Congress of information about U.S. persons who
have been the subject of any such electronic surveillance.

If you enjoyed reading about "Attorney General Won't Rule Out Domestic Warrantless Taps" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
antarti
April 8, 2006, 06:24 PM
Rep. Schiff and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced bipartisan
legislation -- the NSA Oversight Act -- to reassert that FISA and Title
III are the sole authority for domestic surveillance. The bill would:

Why legislation to reassert anything, shouldn't they get this before a judge first? Won't the new legislation just be ignored too?

Malone LaVeigh
April 8, 2006, 07:51 PM
Given this administration's track record, I would say that it's a safe bet that if they refuse to "rule out" anything, they are in fact doing it. It would be foolish to assume anything else.

garyk/nm
April 8, 2006, 08:05 PM
Hey Berto! We can't rule out you being forcibly removed from office, either.

Just who do these idiots think is working for whom? Is it time for a reminder?

American By Blood
April 8, 2006, 08:15 PM
I really should print up a batch of "Don't blame me--I voted for Peroutka" bumper stickers.

tellner
April 9, 2006, 12:40 AM
Hmph.
John Yoo says the government can "crush the testicles of an innocent ten year old child" to get his parents to talk.

Samuel Alito and Alberto Gonzales believe the power of the "Unitary Executive" may not be diminished by law or act of Congress and that the Executive branch has the power to interpret the law.

The Committee for State Security has grown to include a sex crime division - run until recently by a guy who got arrested for wanking in front of young girls and an office whose whole purpose is to siphon taxpayer money to religious groups (in exchange for what? intelligence assessments by church pastors? votes?)

The POTUS believes he can order wholesale warrantless spying on conversations in the US between American citizens who are not suspects in any criminal case.


And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve
of destruction.


How much worse does it have to get before people will pull their heads out and realize that a democratic republic requires citizens who will educate themselves and take an interest in their governance? Have we really fallen that far in one lifetime?

Heck, while I'm thinking songs and poetry here's one from the late Phil Ochs:


In many a time, in many a land,
With many a gun in many a hand,
They came by the night, they came by the day,
Came with their guns to take us away

With a knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
One more.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire,
They died by the cross and they died by the fire.
In the stone coliseum, the crowd gave a roar,
And it all began with that knock on the door

Just a knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
One more.

The years have all passed, we've reached modern times,
The Nazis have come with their Nazi war crimes.
Yes the power was there, the power was found,
Six million people have heard that same sound

That old knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
One more.

Now there's many new words and many new names,
The banners have changed but the knock is the same.
On the Soviet shores with right on their side,
I wonder who knows how many have died

With their knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
One more.

Look over the oceans, look over the lands,
Look over the leaders with the blood on their hands.
And open your eyes and see what they do,
When they knock over their friend they're knocking for you

With their knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
With their knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
One more.

ArmedBear
April 9, 2006, 10:41 AM
Samuel Alito and Alberto Gonzales believe the power of the "Unitary Executive" may not be diminished by law or act of Congress and that the Executive branch has the power to interpret the law.

Do you understand what this means?

Do you think that Congress has the power to intepret the law regarding the Executive Branch? It doesn't and shouldn't. Do you think Congress has the last say about what the Executive Branch does? I suggest you go back and read some simple literature about the Constitution and the three independent branches of government.

Congress does, in fact, interpret the law regarding itself, too. The President has nothing to say about that, either. The Supreme Court can overrule the Executive or Legislative Branches by interpreting the law, but neither the President nor Congress has the Constitutional authority to oversee the other.

Basic stuff.

I despise Gonzalez, but there's nothing in your statement that indicates that he or Alito are doing anything but follow the Constitution as written in this case.

The POTUS believes he can order wholesale warrantless spying on conversations in the US between American citizens who are not suspects in any criminal case.

What, Gonzalez' statement that he "couldn't rule that out" says this to you? I don't see where his not wanting to make an absolute statement like that while testifying to Congress equates to ordering "wholesale warrantless spying."

Here's why this appears like little but a partisan fight...

This is what I'd want to know, and it's what I'd expect honest people trying to work toward a productive resolution would want to know:

1. Who was tapped, on what justification, and was any information gathered used.

2. How was information used?

3. How was information used inappropriately?

4. Was anyone actually harmed?

If anyone were actually harmed, I'd want restitution for them. If there was an indication of the intent to do harm to the innocent, then I'd want people punished, especially the President.

Then I'd want the law to be changed to clarify "who, what, where and how" for the future.

That would be a productive inquiry. As it stands, there are a lot of blowhards trying to get more face time on CSPAN and score points for their parties. Whatever the outcome, I doubt that we the people of the US will end up better off.

BTW shouldn't this be a Supreme Court case rather than a Congressional grandstand if it's a violation of the Constitution as people assert? If so, why isn't it?

Tellner, though, lay off the bongloads. Hippie music and critical thinking are almost mutually exclusive.

DKSuddeth
April 9, 2006, 10:51 AM
This is what I'd want to know, and it's what I'd expect honest people trying to work toward a productive resolution would want to know:
1. Who was tapped, on what justification, and was any information gathered used.
2. How was information used?
3. How was information used inappropriately?
4. Was anyone actually harmed?
If anyone were actually harmed, I'd want restitution for them. If there was an indication of the intent to do harm to the innocent, then I'd want people punished, especially the President.
Then I'd want the law to be changed to clarify "who, what, where and how" for the future.
It's for those exact reasons that this info will forever be 'classified', so we can run into a hundred brick walls trying to plug the power gap.

ArmedBear
April 9, 2006, 10:54 AM
Supreme Court.

If Congress wants to see information it has the right to see and the President is withholding, it needs to go to the Supreme Court. Judicial Branch.

Going on television with a stalemate accomplishes little but scoring partisan points. That's why it's disingenuous.

TallPine
April 9, 2006, 12:36 PM
With their knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
With their knock on the door, knock on the door.
Here they come to take one more,
One more.

Ah, but times have changed, and we don't need to worry about getting a "knock on the door" anymore :)

These days, they just don't bother knocking ... :uhoh:

Biker
April 9, 2006, 12:48 PM
Hah!


Biker

mordechaianiliewicz
April 9, 2006, 03:52 PM
This is why the Republican party will die. The Neo-Cons don't care about the constitution. Where do the Republicans who still want a free country go? The Dems. Right now I'm wondering who is worse for our liberties. Not who is better.

If you enjoyed reading about "Attorney General Won't Rule Out Domestic Warrantless Taps" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!