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Warrantless Wiretapping Program Brought Under FISA Court

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Bartholomew Roberts, Jan 17, 2007.

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  1. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16673270/

    Well, to be fair to the Democrats, I don't think we would be seeing this if the Republicans had won big in November. It is nice to see some small benefit.
     
  2. FLCLIFF

    FLCLIFF Member

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    If we suffer an attack as a result then the Dems and RINOs will have blood on their hands. Hoepfully we will not.
     
  3. 50 Freak

    50 Freak Member

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    I'm a registered Republican, but I have to tell you....under the leadership of this president and a Congress under Republican control....We've seen the biggest decrease of Individual right's in a very very long time....

    Very scary if you ask me....Made me not vote Republican this last round.
     
  4. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Lost Rights

    I have this discussion with Wife from time to time.

    She: We need these laws (Patriot Act, etc) to protect us; we're at war; there are people trying to kill us.

    Me: Very true. Now imagine that in the next election, someone like Hillary takes the helm, and those same laws are at her disposal. What happens to us?

    She: Well, we have to make sure that doesn't happen.

    (No further rational content.)

    Yeah, I know we have to catch bad guys. The government is fumble-fingered at the best of times, and I don't trust them to get it right.

    An armed, vigilant population is where you start.

    [Long discussion, in detail, of how to conduct intelligence, deploy troops, fight a war, and bring home the dragon's ears, deleted. You never know who's watching.]
     
  5. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, all this does is allow a secret court to conduct secret hearings before it approves electronic surveillance (having denied exactly 4 requests in 25 years and tens of thousands of requests). If that is going to cause blood to run in the streets maybe we should all get chipped now just to be extra safe...
     
  6. ForeverArmed

    ForeverArmed member

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    If we suffer an attack it will be the Democrats' and Republicans' fault because they insist on spending trillions of dollars and thousands of lives creating bitter enemies in the Middle East instead of using those resources to seal America's borders.

    Sometimes I think the Ds and Rs want another terrorist attack on the US. If I were in their position and wanted to see terrorists attack us, I would do exactly what they're doing.
     
  7. GoSlash27

    GoSlash27 member

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    ForeverArmed,
    Now you're startin' to catch on. The Ds and Rs aren't afraid of terrorists...but they are afraid of us.
     
  8. Demiurge

    Demiurge Member

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    Show me the common citizen who was arrested and dragged through the mud against their Constitutional rights, and I'll agree with you. Who can they prop up, Jose Padilla? C'mon...

    I'm so sick of hearing how we need to wait for terrorism to happen before we're allowed to do anything about it because people feel more comfortable with the red tape. The Bush Administration isn't doing anything any other administration couldn't do.

    I really wish the CIA and FBI could talk about all of the foiled plots. It would be better than the alternative, which is another 9/11 style attack or worse. Unfortunately, I feel it will take that or more for this country to wake up. Even conservatives are getting soft. It's a sad commentary on the state of this country, but we have apparently not been hit hard enough.
     
  9. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    So until we can show a common citizen who was spied on under a secret program with neither congressional nor judicial oversight, we shouldn't bother with even the meager step of having a secret court conduct a secret hearing? Are we in such danger from terrorism that even asking a secret court to oversee the program endangers us in some way?
     
  10. ForeverArmed

    ForeverArmed member

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    Demiurge,

    Safety is not supposed to trump freedom in this country. This is supposed to be the "land of the free and the home of the brave," where it's "liberty or death." These aren't meaningless or idealistic slogans; they reflect the principles this country was founded upon. Freedom always brings risks, so you can't have a free country if people are too afraid to accept the risks.

    Moreover, just because a program isn't being abused now does not mean it won't be abused in the future. Government power will always end up snowballing. And without oversight, it will be abused with 100% certainty.

    Finally, it is possible for America to be both free and safe. As I stated above, a big step in the right direction would be to (1) stop stirring up a hornets' nest in the Middle East, and (2) seal the borders. (Ending the Drug War would also be a huge help, but that's for another thread.)
     
  11. insidious_calm

    insidious_calm Member

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    Demiurge,


    You're forgetting the lawyer wrongfully accused in the spain attck. Patriot had a huge role in his arrest and led to the falsification of reports that said they had a fingerprint match. His name escapes me atm, but it DID happen and he was 100% innocent.

    I suppose now you'll want a second example, or say that his being violated was for the greater good and we should all just take one for the team?:banghead:


    I.C.
     
  12. Demiurge

    Demiurge Member

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    Our freedoms are not absolute. They never will be, and they never have been.

    Government power should always be scrutinized, and I whole heartedly agree with that notion. That said, I see nothing amiss here, and nothing that has really changed from how things were in the past. It's merely easier for the federal government to take down a potential terrorist without being hog tied by all of the bureaucracy and red tape. If the government was doing something amiss, and someone was genuinely arrested under false pretenses, the MSM would surely be all over it like flies on crap.

    If you're really interested in becoming like Israel, I can respect your opinion, but I do not understand it. I'm not living in fear now, and I don't want to be in the future.

    There's a fine line from being concerned about what the government is up to and just being paranoid. I think a lot of the concern is pure paranoia.

    I've heard this quote uttered in many different, and false variants:

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    There is a vast difference between essential liberty and absolute liberty. We do not have the latter in this country, as the latter is nothing but anarchy.
     
  13. Demiurge

    Demiurge Member

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    More details please, also if he was 100% innocent, I suspect he was released, correct?
     
  14. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    Exactly how I feel.
     
  15. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    Prior to this program, government only had to ask the secret FISA court for a warrant to conduct electronic surveillance on a suspect. The court did not deny a single warrant in 25 years until the Bush Administration... during that time, when they were issuing over a thousand warrants a year, they denied five total (and one of those was later reversed by the FISA Appeals court).

    They don't even have to ask for a warrant BEFORE they start the surveillance. They can conduct surveillance for 72 hours before they even ask for a warrant. Further, the court is set up to grant or deny requests within 24 hours.

    So, do you characterize this level of oversight as "hogtied by bureaucracy and red tape?"
     
  16. The Real Hawkeye

    The Real Hawkeye member

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    This will sound sexist, and I suppose it is, but it is true: It is in a woman's nature to put safety before anything else, including liberty. That's not to say that all woman will do this, but most will. I think it is wrapped up in the maternal instinct. This is one big reason why extending the voting franchise to propertyless women pretty much doomed our nation to socialism and police statism.
     
  17. Demiurge

    Demiurge Member

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    Truly not much has changed. It's merely crucial timing issues the feds want the ability to avoid if it's warranted. The question is "what is warranted?" With that asked, if there wasn't much red tape there, why is the red panic button being hit as if the government has suddenly gained all of this extra power?

    The bottom line is that the general public will never really know the legality or illegality of the warrantless surveillance until the full scope of the NSA program is released. It's been said by some that Congress gave implicitly authorized exemptions to FISA.

    "This program has been successful in detecting and preventing attacks inside the United States." - General Hayden

    He went on to state that even emergency authorization under FISA required marshaling arguments and "looping paperwork around".

    I'll admit this is all very muddy, but both sides need to admit that. There's nothing clear cut about this. I just want to know if something so minimal is worth potentially hundreds of thousands of lives. It's a fair question. I don't want to live in a country like Israel where terrorism is prevalent. I think there is something to be said fact we haven't seen a terrorist attack in 6 years.

    If there was one we'd have the same people wringing their hands saying the Bush administration didn't do enough to prevent it. I'm curious what you want them to do.
     
  18. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    As long as FISA does not slow down the hunt. Trouble is that is just what bureaucracies do.

    Get hit again by terrorists being the fault of FISA involvement. We will first have to rule out non-existing border enforcement as the cause before going after FISA. The biggest danger in the short term is the lack of a southern border, not FISA.
     
  19. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    I think it is reasonable to ask the government to have its lawyers loop a little paperwork around when they want to electronically surveil domestic communications. I don't think asking them to do so sometime with 72 hours is particularly unreasonable either.

    We seem to be willing to throw billions of dollars at any possible perceived threat of terrorism. Surely we can spare a GS-11 salary for an extra attorney with a TS/SCI clearance to loop some paperwork around if that is what we need to do to give some tiny, meager oversight to this program.
     
  20. Demiurge

    Demiurge Member

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    If only government worked that way.

    9/11 wasn't the first terrorist attack on U.S. soil or U.S. interests around the world perpetrated by Muslims, and by all accounts nobody thought it would be the last. I'm just curious how much these thoughts of the government listening in on "enemy combatants," will go away when it does happen again. I personally don't think it's a question of if, but rather a question of when?

    I'm not fearful of it. I'm just merely recognizing the scope of what it is we're fighting whether we want to fight it or just sit on our hands. We're living in a world with fundamentalists who can't live on a planet where people view and live in a different way. It's just that simple.

    I can respect your watchful eye on the government. I see that you're likely frustrated about the possible government intervention into your life that you deem unnecessary. Unfortunately most who are opposed to it could give a damn about civil liberties and the Constitution and are merely using it as political leverage to get their party into elected office.
     
  21. Derby FALs

    Derby FALs Member In Memoriam

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  22. ceetee

    ceetee Member

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    Except when it comes to eavesdropping on us, wiretapping our phones, and intercepting our e-mails, apparently. Then the government should have an absolutely free hand, with no oversight whatsoever, correct?
     
  23. Jrsmith

    Jrsmith Member

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    My issue is the fact that this whole situation, being so public, seems worthless to me. If the potential terrorists know that the government can tap phones, email, etc on a whim... won't they then just use a different means of communication? Then what's next, cameras on every street with facial recognition software? Random house searches?

    The other thing I worry about is when this is going to end, we are never going to be 'free' from terrorism (at least I think) so any rights we give up, even teeeny tiny ones, are gone for good IMO; so where does this slope lead?

    I guess I'll just keep my guns and stay up here in the nort.
     
  24. Demiurge

    Demiurge Member

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    Sounds like the man was aptly compensated for his troubles.

    Did I say that? I have no problem with the government being scrutinized. All I asked for were examples, and so far we had one guy that was wrongly accused, and consequently acquitted and paid handsomely for his troubles. 1 guy out of a population of nearly 301 million?

    I'm sorry if I don't understand the panic and outrage.

    The point is they [terrorists] didn't know anything about it until that liberal rag, the NYT, leaked everything the CIA and FBI was doing to the general public, which includes all terrorists reading it.

    The way Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are approaching this war is to bank on all of the lefty hand wringing going on over every damn little thing our troops or intelligence officials are doing. The reason the Bush Administration didn't want this out there for the general public is:

    A - This exact paranoid reaction we see from people on both sides of the isle.

    B - So that the terrorists were clueless of the methods being used to track them.

    There's plenty of stuff going on in the government that the general public has absolutely no clue about, and it's kept that way for national security purposes.

    If people like you and me started disappearing out of the blue we have a media, and a freedom of speech to speak out about it. The point is that it's not happening, and we are in a time of war. Our system is full of checks and balances, and this is the removal of a check that involves nothing more than the elimination of a 24 hour time period in emergency circumstances.

    I certainly understand the uneasiness and the frustrations. We also know damn well who the fingers would be pointed at if we were attacked again in a time of war.

    "Why didn't you do more?" "What did they know, and when did they know it?"

    The stuff the NSA is doing will suddenly become logical after the fact. It's the same crap that we heard after 9/11.
     
  25. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow! That's just so awesome.

    Next thing you know, the Dems will repeal the unconstitutional PATRIOT Act, as well as McKang-Feingold.
     
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