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January 10, 2006

Comments

richard mcenroe

r_Flanagan — You're not trying to tell me you never heard a lefty use "Bushitler?" That's like saying you never heard Robert Byrd say "nigger."

clarice

And the sort of person VIPS would use as a beard.

topsecretk9

Kim
You are brave and kind, and I wish you luck...and will watch how that goes, because it has made me feel bad not to trust.

Anonymous Liberal

David,

I actually made the exact same argument back when this story first broke. I was trying to give Bush the benefit of the doubt. But subsequent developments have led me to doubt my theory. The DOJ letter and Alberto Gonzales' statements just don't seem consistent with it. Why wouldn't they at least hint that they have a better justification for the program that they are not at liberty to disclose publicly? In fact, they could make a big deal about providing a top secret legal briefing to select members of Congress (e.g. Rockefeller). But the administration's letter and statements all but concede that the program violates FISA. Maybe you're right, but the longer this controversy drags on, the more doubtful it seems to me that there is some secret legal argument that justifies this program.

As for you, Specter, the Sealed Case isn't nearly as important as you seem to think it is. The line you quote is mere dicta (i.e. an aside that has nothing whatsoever to do with the court's holding). Moreover, it's not at all clear what the court even means by that passage. I'm positive, however, that they were not intending to imply that the president has the inherent authority to authorize spying on U.S. citizens in direct contravention of FISA.

TM

On the probably inexhaustible subject of Congressional incompetence:

...but if you don't understand the law very well and the administration never even hints that it's relevant, it might not occur to you to even ask. And even if it did, you couldn't share any of the facts with your staff and you'd have to work from memory regarding what you yourself knew. That's not a very good recipe for thorough legal analysis.

Actually, a moment's reflection will guide the Congressman to the right question - "May I see the legal opinions supporting this?"

Then ask to speak with a few DoJ briefers, if there are still questions.

And if these guys can't figure out that FISA *might* be involved without having been told, they really need to go home.

This, I really dispute:

If you're right, and the technology being used is so novel that its use doesn't violate FISA, then why on earth wouldn't the Bush administration just say so...

Hmm. Because they want to keep it secret?

In that scenario, this debate has actually unfolded to the Administration's (and nation's) advantage (Dems, take a bow!) - if AL Qaeda goes away conviced we are just doing more of the same, when in fact we are doing something very different, we may catch them even more off-guard.

ASSUMING that the technology really is that different; obviously, it may not be.

PS: Even if we have totally spoofed AQ by *pretending* security has been harmed by this leak, we have to continue the charade by investigating and jailing James Risen. And his dog, too.

He can think of it as more national service.

kim

TSpooch: I figured out that the echoing quality to which CT objects is a pedantic device, a re-inforcement of the lesson. But I've seen original insight. And sometimes I wonder about me. So let's go do the Guinea stamp,
Let's all coronet behind a cart.
=========================================

Sue

Kim,

I seem to recall a post from Tom telling us of a three-fer. Jay Dee, Katrina and Maryrose. I'm sure Tom will correct me if I'm wrong. And if so, apologies to Maryrose.

Sue

Did anyone else see Tice? Didn't Risen say his source didn't have a beef? Seems to me if you are fired from your job, you might have a beef.

kim

I about half feel sorry for Tice. Likely to be discarded soon and treatment warped for the rest of his life by his notoriety, or his perception of it.

Risen doens't have the same claim on my sympathy. Where's the Beef, James?
=========================================

TM

FWIW - drawing on the vast powers vested in me by Typepad, I can say that Mary Rose has been posting here as Mary Rose since late November, and her IP addresses are not tossing up other names that I can find.

Quite a determined spoof, if that is what it is.

This tech stuff from Tice is interesting, in a "Friendster" way:

Tice says the technology exists to track and sort through every domestic and international phone call as they are switched through centers, such as one in New York, and to search for key words or phrases that a terrorist might use.

"If you picked the word 'jihad' out of a conversation," Tice said, "the technology exists that you focus in on that conversation, and you pull it out of the system for processing."

According to Tice, intelligence analysts use the information to develop graphs that resemble spiderwebs linking one suspect's phone number to hundreds or even thousands more.

Pen registers, key words, and friendster charts - how does FISA cover that?

Specter

AL,

And you are not nearly as important as you seem to think you are. Gotta laugh - you said no court rulings except for pre-FISA. I put one forward. You now say, "....but...but....but...that doesn't count." And then you attempt to say that Youngstown Steel is the case that controls - What? Based on the concurring opinion of Judge Jackson? Maybe tomorrow I'll tear that one apart for you.

No-I suspect you are wrong about the Sealed Case...the case states that the President has the right to intercept the communications of "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers" on a warrantless basis within the practice of intelligence gathering. So now we come down to what the heck is the definition of these things. The FISA LAW is Title 50, Chapter 36. Here are some definitions for ya:

Lets go to the law - Title 50;Chapter 36; SubChapter I; Section 1801 (emphasis mine):

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).

OK...so now we know the official definitions. An "agent of a foreign power" can be "any person" who "knowingly engages in sabotage or international terrorism, or activities that are in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power." Quite clearly, that could be a US Person. Note that the subsection prior to where this defintition is found specifically refers to non-US Persons. That would not have been necessary if the entire definition applied to non-US Persons.

Now let's go further into the very law you say was broken. Section 1802 specifically authorizes the President to conduct warrantless searches (as always, emphasis mine):

§ 1802. Electronic surveillance authorization without court order; certification by Attorney General; reports to Congressional committees; transmittal under seal; duties and compensation of communication common carrier; applications; jurisdiction of court
Release date: 2005-03-17

(a)
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—
(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or
(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;
(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party; and
(C) the proposed minimization procedures with respect to such surveillance meet the definition of minimization procedures under section 1801 (h) of this title; and
if the Attorney General reports such minimization procedures and any changes thereto to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at least thirty days prior to their effective date, unless the Attorney General determines immediate action is required and notifies the committees immediately of such minimization procedures and the reason for their becoming effective immediately.

Now note that I bolded the section that talks about US Persons. The problem here is that according to the definition of "agent of a foreign power", someone from the US, a citizen or not, that is communicating with any of the terrorist organizations that we want to keep track of, is so defined. Since the definition specifically draws distinction between "non-US Persons", and/or "any person", it can be reasonably concluded that citizens talking with Al Quaeda are included.

Sorry....I quoted the law you say was broken. So where is the direct contravention of FISA? And notice that I based this argument on FISA alone and not on constitutionally derived presidential powers during a time of war - which go even further.

topsecretk9

Well I am determined to be nice and if the motive is otherwise then someone's got some heavy karma coming their way!

Didn't Tice also sorta defend his knowledge in the LA Times too?

Anonymous Liberal

Specter, Sealed Case simply does not stand for what you think it stands for. Trust me that the judges in that case were not attempting to up-end Youngstown Steel with one toss away bit of dicta.

As for Youngstown, your dismissal of Justice Jackson's opinion shows me that you've never actually read the case. First, his opinion has been cited approvingly by subsequent Supreme Court majorities, so it is good law. Second, although no other justices signed on to his opinion, if you read the other 5 concurring opinions, you'll see that most of them used language STRONGER than Jackson's, and none of them (including the dissenters) said anything inconsistent with his "lowest ebb" principle. For excerpts, click here. In fact, the reason subsequent courts have cited Jackson is because his opinion does a good job of summing up what, at minimum, everyone seemed to agree on. His opinion was a sort of "common denominator" among the various opinions. Indeed, I question whether any support for Bush's current legal position can be derived from any of the opinions in that case, including the dissent (at least without taking quotes totally out of context).

Anonymous Liberal

If you're right, and the technology being used is so novel that its use doesn't violate FISA, then why on earth wouldn't the Bush administration just say so...

Hmm. Because they want to keep it secret?

Fair enough, TM. Poor choice of words on my part. But as I tried to explain in the rest of that post, I don't see why--if this is true--the Bush administration can't say something to the effect of "national security concerns are preventing us from publicly explaining why we feel the NSA's activities are not inconsistent with the prohibitions of FISA. We are willing to explain why this is so in our secret briefings to Congressional leaders."

Such a statement would not reveal anything sensitive and would go along way toward explaining their position. But they haven't even hinted that this is the case. In fact, they seem to have conceded that the program at issue violates FISA.

MayBee

AL-
I am still doubting your proposed statement would convince anybody. We see many critics (including the NYTs) disbelieving the administration when it says the whole program should be kept quiet for national security purposes. We see still others calling it Spying on American Citizens. These critics are obviously not prone to take Bush at his word.

Whatever the Bush people would have said to explain their legal position was simply not going to be believed by those that make it a practice not to believe him.

But the American people aren't outraged regardless. Why should the Bush people keep defending the legal argument to the press?

noah

Jackson of "the constitution is not a suicide pact" fame I presume?

Extraneus

Isn't it interesting that the whole issue of who should be prosecuted for disclosing classified intelligence information has been eclipsed by an esoteric debate over whether a "program" we don't know much about has technically violated a complicated inter-related set of possibly conflicting legal constructs that even experts aren't clear on?

boris
Isn't it interesting that the whole issue of who should be prosecuted for disclosing classified intelligence information has been eclipsed by an esoteric debate over whether a "program" we don't know much about has technically violated a complicated inter-related set of possibly conflicting legal constructs that even experts aren't clear on?
Same with Plame too. This one has the added quality of illustrating that conservatives give priority to the president's duty to "protect" the country and liberals give priority to congress authority to "regulate" the president and interfere with protecting the country.
Extraneus

This one has the added quality of illustrating that conservatives give priority to the president's duty to "protect" the country and liberals give priority to congress authority to "regulate" the president and interfere with protecting the country.

The beauty of that last part is that the argument for why Rockefeller, Reid, Harman and/or Polosi didn't attempt to introduce legislation or take other action is that they weren't familiar enough with the relevant laws.

Gary Maxwell

Anybody see the ABC/Washinton Post poll released yesterday on this? Its a rout. The American people are firmly behind the President doing this and trying to prevent another attack.

To you whiners, I keep saying. Quit being such pantywaists and bring your resolution to the floor of the House. I am sure McKinney or McDermott or Stark or... ( fill in the blank here with your own favorite moonbat) will be GLAD to carry the water here. Get multiple sponsors and bring it on.

HAHAHA! Just like Plame, you guys lose and lose badly AGAIN.

Specter

AL,

I have read most of the case, and the excerpts on your site could be viewed as "cherry picked" at least. In that case, the underlying problem was did Truman have the right to take over private interests and interject himself into a corporation vs. labor matter. In essence, did the president's war powers as Commander in Chief allow him to take over the mills. The answer was clearly no. The reason is simple - even though there was a war going on, the issue was entirely a domestic one.

But if I could cherry pick some other statements from the case:

Justice Black wrote (emphasis mine):
The order cannot properly be sustained as an exercise of the President's military power as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The Government attempts to do so by citing a number of cases upholding broad powers in military commanders engaged in day-to-day fighting in a theater of war. Such cases need not concern us here. Even though "theater of war" be an expanding concept, we cannot with faithfulness to our constitutional system hold that the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has the ultimate power as such to take possession of private property in order to keep labor disputes from stopping production. This is a job for the Nation's lawmakers, not for its military authorities.

So here we see that the issue was not about the president's constitutionally granted war powers as applied to an entirely domestic issue.

Justice Jackson wrote (again, emphasis mine):
There are indications that the Constitution did not contemplate that the title Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy will constitute him also Commander in Chief of the country, its industries and its inhabitants. That military powers of the Commander in Chief were not to supersede representative government of internal affairs seems obvious from the Constitution and from elementary American history.

We should not use this occasion to circumscribe, much less to contract, the lawful role of the President as Commander in Chief. I should indulge the widest latitude of interpretation to sustain his exclusive function to command the instruments of national force, at least when turned against the outside world for the security of our society. But, when it is turned inward, not because of rebellion but because of a lawful economic struggle between industry and labor, it should have no such indulgence.

In that statement Justice Jackson states quite clearly that when the President's powers are being used to protect the US from outside (i.e. "foreign power" or "agent of foreign power"), that his powers should not be circumscribed or contracted. Seems pretty clear to me.

From your site (emphasis mine):
In the current controversy, however, there is a law on the books that specifically forbids the executive branch from conducting warrantless spying on U.S. citizens. And no one has ever questioned, at least until a few weeks ago, that Congress has the power to regulate spying on U.S. citizens within the U.S. So we appear to be presented with a situation in which the president has acted in direct contravention of expressed congressional will. It is unlikely that any of the justices in the Youngstown case would have found such action to be a lawful exercise of presidential authority under the Constitution.

In my previous post I ponted to the FISA law where it states that the President is given authority to conduct electronic surveillance without a court order against someone who is a "foreign power" or the agent of a "foreign power". And within the law I argued that the definitions for "agent of a foreign power" can clearly be illustrated to include a US citizen. You haven't responded to that yet.

Sue

AL,

Bush administration can't say something to the effect of "national security concerns are preventing us from publicly explaining why we feel the NSA's activities are not inconsistent with the prohibitions of FISA. We are willing to explain why this is so in our secret briefings to Congressional leaders.

And you think that would do it? The wind would have been sapped from the sails of those who are out to discredit the president, no matter the cost?

boris

widest latitude of interpretation to sustain his exclusive function to command the instruments of national force, at least when turned against the outside world for the security of our society

The other point this brings up ...

The power of the executive is rather sweeping within it's own branch, just as the power of the SCOTUS is rather sweeping within the judicial branch.

There is no constitutional power giving congress the authority to "regulate" the president's exercise of executive constitutional authority. Just as there is no constitutional power giving congress the authority to "regulate" SCOTUS exercise of it's constitutional authority.

There is no mechanism for courts or congress to take control of NSA or remove control from the president without also removing the president's ability to protect the country or wage war. Defunding NSA would be political suicide, and impeaching the president would not prevent Dick Cheney from continuing the program.

maryrose

Boris:
You have stated the dilemma accurately,and i would add this codicil; if the dems were in the White House they would want their president to protect the country and would want congress to have less say so and power, especially if it remained a republican majority congress.

maryrose

P.S.
Thank you Kim ,T.S. and Sue for your support.I do enjoy reading all the different posts and I am learning quite a bit in the process. I have survived the initiation and look forward to future topics.

Sue

Boris,

Read Dickerson v United States.

kim

MR, your kind heart crowns your speech.
=====================================

kim

Or, there's a corona around the output of your heart.
=====================================

Cecil Turner

Cecil, I may owe you an apology. Although I've seen many honest conservatives (and liberals and independants) who couldn't grasp the most basic concepts, MaryRose here may well be a Dougj wannabe.

Perhaps. But there's little doubt about marianna. (And my initial suspicions about MaryRose were mostly due to interaction with other DougJ incarnations . . . which now appear less convincing.)

kim

Kind coronaries and chariots, are worth more than the Gimmee Slant.
=======================================


kim

Our suspiciousness was a measure of the perversion instigated by the dishonest troll. You, Sue, know precisely why we scorned him so much. It feels bad to deal with the mistrust engendered by falsity. It is evil, though I'm sure it didn't feel that way to the perp.
==============================================

Rick Ballard

MaryRose,

I concur with Justice Kim.

(I've almost completed all the requisite acts of contrition required wrt the DougJ matter)

The problem with conservatives is that they are far too trusting and kind.

kim

A continuing mystery to me is why so many leftists with whom I argue can be perfectly honest and rational until the topic is politics. Time and time again, they then degenerate to snark and hate.

What's up? I'm almost certain I'm not imagining this phenomenon.
============================================

Sue

I remember 3 names. Jay Dee. Katrina. The other I must have confused with Maryrose. I apologized in advance if I was wrong, and Tom assures me I am, so I will again apologize to Maryrose.

Just goes to show how one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch...we must adopt the Reagan mantra...trust but verify. ::grin::

maryrose

Thank you all, you have made me feel most welcome. Your posts are among my favorites.

Sue

Last night, Mr. Tice said this:

"The mentality was we need to get these guys, and we're going to do whatever it takes to get them," he said.

I got the impression he was saying he thinks that is a bad thing. I wonder how the American public will see it?

Someone last night said they couldn't get ABC where they were. There is a video link http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1491889>here

Rick Ballard

"one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch"

Not to mention what a rotten banana does to the whole barrel...

kim

You should see what rotten mulberries do to the whole flock.
==================================================

Larry

Why won't W simply say why?

1) The admin is notoriously bad, until recent times, at making their case known.

2) Bush has, on occasion, let his enemies get waaaay out on that limb before he chops it off.

Probably a combination of many reasons. Just a couple more to consider.

kim

He's poker player, and bin Laden dealt himself a lethal hand.
============================================

Anonymous Liberal

Specter:

The quotes you chose from Youngstown only seem to support the idea that there is a signficant distinction to be made between the President's war powers when it comes to foreign powers and agents and his powers when it comes to spying on U.S. citizens within the U.S. Like I said, no one, until a few weeks ago, has ever questioned that Congress has the authority to regulate spying on U.S. citizens within the U.S.

And your reading of FISA is just flat-out wrong. Yes, the president, under FISA can engage in warrantless spying for up to one year, but only if:

there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party

You even bolded that section in your post. How is that section in anyway unclear to you? Trust me when I say that your "legal" interpretation of FISA is not shared by any serious person, and that includes the administration's own lawyers.

boris

spying on U.S. citizens within the U.S

Error. Spying on US citizens to collect foreign intelligence was regarded as inherant.

larwyn

KIM you wrote:
"A continuing mystery to me is why so many leftists with whom I argue can be perfectly honest and rational until the topic is politics. Time and time again, they then degenerate to snark and hate."

The following has been working for me and keeps my blood pressure down.
We are experiencing the behavior of a "crisis cult which involve non-rational belief systems that cultures develop when under severe stress and faced with breakdown."

HERE IS THE BEGINNING:

End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance


The great psychoanalytic anthropologist Weston LaBarre wrote extensively of "crisis cults," which involve non-rational belief systems that cultures develop when under severe stress and faced with breakdown. Similar to the neurotic individual, at the core of every crisis cult is a welcome but false "noble lie" which "is defended with the same religious fanaticism as neurosis." As he writes, "Crisis cults are notable for their foolishness and unreality, because they tend to deny and misapprehend the real situation surrounding the society. But they all promise relief from unendurable current catastrophe." In fact, as irrational as they may appear on the surface, the crisis cult is "the would-be therapy of the traumatized culture." It doesn't do anything in the real world, but it comforts those who cling to the beliefs of the crisis cult.

In his book The Ghost Dance, LaBarre describes dozens of crisis cults. In fact, the book takes its title from one of the most famous crisis cults, the Ghost Dance of the late 19th century, when American Indians were facing the complete dissolution of their way of life--loss of their hunting territories, near extinction of the once vast buffalo herds, a series of disastrous military defeats, multiple droughts, and new and fatal diseases. The Ghost Dance was a fantasied solution to all their problems, involving the widespread idea that "a new skin would slide over the old earth, covering up the whites and all their works, and bringing upon it new trees and plants, great buffalo herds, the ghosts of the dead, and the great departed warriors and chiefs." This utopia would come about if only each person in all the tribes danced the elaborate Ghost Dance.

Another famous example is the "cargo cult" of early 20th century New Guinea. There, the natives couldn't help but notice that they had to work very hard, while the white colonialists seemed to sit around a lot, and received great stores of goods simply by sending out little scraps of paper. They reasoned that this had something to do with the mysterious cargo ships that left with native products and returned loaded down with all of the machines and other items that seemed to make the white men so powerful. The New Guineans developed the idea that these powerful objects were fashioned by their ancestors in a far-off volcano and were actually meant for them. But in order to ensure receiving them, they would have to imitate the behaviors of the white men by "sitting solemnly and speechlessly around tables," waiting for their ship to come in, so to speak.

YOU MUST READ IT ALL - YOU'LL HEAR THE "GHOST DANCE" DRUM
BEAT WHENEVER MURTHA,PELOSI,REID, KENNEDY AND ALL THE
LSM & 527 MINIONS OF THE LEFT!

http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/2006/01/end-time-panic-and-liberal-ghost-dance.html
Click here: One Cosmos: End-Time Panic and The Liberal Ghost Dance

OneCosmos also wrote on the "saturation" point of certain words yesterday.

Having gone thru the "terrible 2's"
with my own children and now some grandchildren - using Phil 101 (Logic) just cannot be relied on
for resolving issues.

Have tried to put LEFT'S rants/memes
into this catagory - but problem was we look forward with hope that we will prevail in bringing the two year old thru this stage.

Visualizing the usual suspects doing the "ghost dance" allows me
to not only look at it from a different perspective, but YOU CAN
SEE THE POSITION and SEE THE DIRECTION THEY ARE GOING at the same time.

Example: MacsMind has pics up of
Murtha in full Code Pink celebration - flowers and babes included.

kim

Sitting solemnly and silently around a table, drinking koolaid.

En masse.
===============================

Anonymous Liberal

spying on U.S. citizens within the U.S

Error. Spying on US citizens to collect foreign intelligence was regarded as inherant.

Boris, this is where you are the most confused. "Inherent authority" and "exclusive authority" are not the same thing. Yes, the president has inherent authority to spy on American citizens for national security purposes. But all that means is that the president has the authority to act in the absense of an applicable statute. No one has ever seriously contended that the President has "exclusive" authority in this regard. Clearly Congress has the power to regulate the spying of U.S. citizens within the U.S. should they choose to do so. They did choose to do so in 1978 when they passed FISA. Under well established Supreme Court precedent, the president's "inherent" powers do not trump Congress's powers unless the president has EXCLUSIVE authority. Even the administration isn't arguing that that is the case (because it is a dumb argument that would imply that any number of long-standing statutes are unconsitutional). That's why the DOJ is claiming that the AUMF authorizated this spying.

Long story short, inherent authority doesn't mean what you think it means.

boris

the president's "inherent" powers do not trump Congress's powers unless the president has EXCLUSIVE authority

Collecting foreign intelligence IS EXCLUSIVE presidential authority. The entire debate here is FISA imposes regulation of such, citizen or not.

Congress cannot deny NSA access to the switches for reasons of national security FISA notwithstanding. Once NSA has access their obligation to comply with FISA is purely self imposed. Congress can piss and moan till the cows come home.

Specter

AL,

I bolded that section on purpose to bring out that fact. But the real question comes down to if a person has been deemed an "agent of a foerign power" then they are fair game.

All of your obviously arrogant condescenion aside, how do you explain the fact that the definitions presented from section 1801 show two different and distinct types of entities that are "agents of foreign powers"? Just to refresh your "legal" memory - The first section 1801(b)(1) talks about "any person other than a United States person..." Section 1801(b)(2) states, "any person who..."

It is quite apparent that those who crafted the law understood that there could be situations where maybe US citizens might be involved. IF that were not the case, then why would they even need 1801(b)(2)? So again we come down to the question of is a US Person, who is known to be in communication with our enemies, still afforded the protection by this law? Or are they actually considered "agents of foreign powers" and the law is applicable to them?

When you tried to question my intelligence and integrity you condescendinly said:
"Trust me when I say that your "legal" interpretation of FISA is not shared by any serious person."

Let's see:
John Ashcroft
Hugh Hewitt
Cass Sunstein
John Hinderaker
William E. Moeschella

I guess they aren't serious people....
Want me to find more?


Bill Arnold

Specter,
you bolded "as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;"
These sections of 1801 (a) do not include terrorist organizations, just traditional foreign powers. [I am not a lawyer]

Regarding the actual TM post, well, how else would you design such a system (given a vast hardware budget)? One good guess is that the administrative controls that the NSA probably insisted on are just to simulate the warrant process, where "warrant" means to select recordings or perhaps even machine analyses for human attention.


Anonymous Liberal

Specter:

You are hopelessly confused about this. Those people you are listing do NOT support your interpretation of FISA (actually, for all I know Hinderaker and Hewitt do, but neither are known for their analytical abilities or legal insight). Ashcroft, Sunstein, etc. believe that the AUMF authorized the president to disregard FISA. They don't think that FISA itself allows warrantless spying on U.S. citizens, because it clearly doesn't.

The statute is clear. Like most statutes, it sets out definitions, which, you're right, define "foreign agents" in a way that includes U.S. citizens. No one questions that, under FISA, U.S. citizens may be wiretapped WITH a warrant (or by getting a warrant within 72 hours after surveillance). But the provision you are pointing to is the one that authorizes warrantless spying for up to a year, but only if it in no way involves any U.S. person. There is no ambiguity there whatsoever. The provision in question provides a clear exception to the broad definition of "foreign agent" used by the statute. This is how all statutes are structured. The definition section NEVER trumps the specific exceptions made in the substantive provisions of the statute. NEVER. It's silly to suggest otherwise. Not even the Bush administration is making such an argument. And if such an argument had any merit whatsoever, they certainly would argue it, because it would put this controversy to rest for good.

Specter

Bill,

Section 1801 a:

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;

Specter

AL,

So...you ask for legal standards - I give them to you and you say, "they don't cout". You tell me no serious person would look at things the way I did. When I name names you say, "they don't count".

Sure sounds like the regular whining DemoNcrat to me. Provide proof - they change the subject....same old same old. You sure are arrogant.

Specter

and AL,

why would they include a definition that includes US citizens if the law says you can't monitor them? That doens't make sense at all.

Midterm elections are coming....the DemoNcratic party is dwindling....so much fun to watch them self-destruct.

Bill Arnold

Specter, right, section 1801 (a) is subsetted
in 1802 to just include (1),(2),(3) [I am not a laywer]

Cecil Turner

Specter, I think Bill's right about that particular section requiring one of the first three definitions. I missed it the first time I read it, but Orin Kerr (I think) highlighted it over at Volokh.

I also don't think it really matters, since surveillance won't meet the requirement of not intercepting US persons, and hence would require a warrant--at least under that section. But IA(also)NAL.

larwyn

Just in at AJSrata - FYI

Courts Rejected NSA Intel?


Our reader SBD does some excellent research using Lexus-Nexus. He has found a case where the FBI alerted all the agencies they had a terrorist lead and wanted intel on the person gathered in the normal routine of the intel agency! Nothing special, just watch for this name and give us what crosses your desks.

The US District Court in 1979 held this was unwarranted surveillance:


If, in fact, the object of the surveillance in question was an agent or collaborator of a foreign power, [**53] it is arguable that a warrant would not have been required for interception. See Part V, Supra. Despite this, the defendants’ argument overlooks the fact that the FBI requested NSA to supply the Bureau with any information about Jabara which came into NSA’s possession in the course of its foreign intelligence activities. Thus, while the impetus for intercepting [*579] the communications in question may not have been Jabara’s activities, Jabara clearly was the target of this intelligence activity insofar as it was the FBI’s request which caused Jabara’s communications to be targeted for transmission to and examination by the Bureau.

Got that? If the NSA performs its normal surveillance activities, but is alerted by the FBI to watch for anything regarding a person THEY HAVE UNDER SURVEILLANCE, then NSA is barred from providing anything they have on hand on the person in question.
Folks, this is why the liberals are insane ideologues. They are mindless robots. They are suicidal obsessives. No one in their right mind would call it illegal to check records of other agencies on someone of interest who is a threat.
OK, this is mindless liberal world of 1979. But this is the same mindset we see in the FISA-NSA debate.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1174
Posted by AJStrata on Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 at 2:58 pm.


larwyn

Just in at AJSrata - FYI

Courts Rejected NSA Intel?


Our reader SBD does some excellent research using Lexus-Nexus. He has found a case where the FBI alerted all the agencies they had a terrorist lead and wanted intel on the person gathered in the normal routine of the intel agency! Nothing special, just watch for this name and give us what crosses your desks.

The US District Court in 1979 held this was unwarranted surveillance:


If, in fact, the object of the surveillance in question was an agent or collaborator of a foreign power, [**53] it is arguable that a warrant would not have been required for interception. See Part V, Supra. Despite this, the defendants’ argument overlooks the fact that the FBI requested NSA to supply the Bureau with any information about Jabara which came into NSA’s possession in the course of its foreign intelligence activities. Thus, while the impetus for intercepting [*579] the communications in question may not have been Jabara’s activities, Jabara clearly was the target of this intelligence activity insofar as it was the FBI’s request which caused Jabara’s communications to be targeted for transmission to and examination by the Bureau.

Got that? If the NSA performs its normal surveillance activities, but is alerted by the FBI to watch for anything regarding a person THEY HAVE UNDER SURVEILLANCE, then NSA is barred from providing anything they have on hand on the person in question.
Folks, this is why the liberals are insane ideologues. They are mindless robots. They are suicidal obsessives. No one in their right mind would call it illegal to check records of other agencies on someone of interest who is a threat.
OK, this is mindless liberal world of 1979. But this is the same mindset we see in the FISA-NSA debate.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/1174
Posted by AJStrata on Wednesday, January 11th, 2006 at 2:58 pm.


BurkettHead

We might need to look a little further into Jabara:

Jabara v. Kelley, 476 F. Supp. 561, 581 (E.D.Mich. 1979), vacated and remanded sub nom. Jabara v. Webster, 691 F.2d 272 (6th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 863, 104 S.Ct. 193, 78 L.Ed.2d 170 (1983)

Anonymous Liberal

Specter:

I'm sorry for coming across as arrogant, but you're trying to interpret FISA in a way that makes no sense at all and that no court would accept. Statutes just aren't interpreted the way you suggest.

why would they include a definition that includes US citizens if the law says you can't monitor them? That doesn't make sense at all.

Specter, the law says you CAN monitor U.S. citizens, with a warrant. That's the whole point of FISA. The law was designed to allow surveillance of US citizens under certain conditions, which are clearly laid out in the Act.

You're focusing on particular section of the Act that allows for warrantless surveillance under certain limited conditions (i.e. that it's done for less than 1 year and that no U.S. persons are involved). There is simply no way to read that section to allow warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens. Even John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales will tell you that. There's no dispute at all about this point.

Almost all statutes provide broad definitions which are then limited in specific situations by language later in the statute. That's all that's happening here.

BurkettHead

"[21] We conclude, therefore, that Jabara's fourth amendment rights
were not violated when the FBI obtained summaries of his overseas
telegraphic communications from NSA and that the district court
erred in granting summary judgment to Jabara and that, on the
contrary, it should have granted summary judgment to defendants
as to this claim.[fn9]"

"[fn9] In note 5, Halkin v. Helms, 598 F.2d at 4 (D.C.Cir. 1979),
it is pointed out that, as a result of Exec. Order No. 12,036, 43
Fed.Reg. 3673 (1978), requests such as that made by the FBI here
are screened by a Policy Review Committee of the National
Security Council and must be validated as legitimate foreign
intelligence needs."

JABARA v. WEBSTER, 691 F.2d 272 (6th Cir. 1982)

BurkettHead

"[5] The NSA intelligence gathering operation is described
sufficiently for present purposes in Halkin, 598 F.2d at 4, as
follows (footnote omitted):[fn4]

A brief description of NSA and its functions is
appropriate. NSA itself has no need for intelligence
information; rather, it is a service organization
which produces intelligence in response to the
requirements of the Director of Central Intelligence.
Intelligence Activities: Hearings Before the Select
Comm. to Study Governmental Operations with Respect
to Intelligence Activities of the U.S. Senate, 94th
Cong., 1st Sess. Vol. V at 9 (1975) (Hearings). The
mission of the NSA is to obtain intelligence from
foreign electrical communications. Signals are
acquired by many techniques. The process sweeps up
enormous numbers of communications, not all of which
can be reviewed by intelligence analysts. Using
"watch-lists" — lists of words and phrases designed
to identify communications of intelligence interest —
NSA computers
scan the mass of acquired communications to select
those which may be of specific foreign intelligence
interest. Only those likely to be of interest are
printed out for further analysis, the remainder being
discarded without reading or review. Intelligence
analysts review each of the communications selected.
The foreign intelligence derived from these signals
is reported to the various agencies that have
requested it (Hearings at 6). Only foreign
communications are acquired, that is, communications
having at least one foreign terminal (Hearings at 9)."

"[fn4] See also: Note, Government Monitoring of International
Electronics Communications: National Security Agency Watch List
Surveillance and the Fourth Amendment, 51 S.Cal.L.Rev. 429, 431
(1978)."

JABARA v. WEBSTER, 691 F.2d 272 (6th Cir. 1982)

larwyn

Just have to share 2 great catches by AmericanFuture.

The Ayatollah uses the NSA monitoring to dis America.

The French. who may be caught, surrender and praise America?

Read both short captures.

Word Gets Around

January 11th, 2006 Among other things, “Leader of the Islamic Revolution” Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said this in his annual message to the pilgrims making hajj in Mecca on Tuesday:

The U.S. and British governments, which consider it permissible to torture or even kill suspects in the streets, and even allow themselves to eavesdrop on the telephone conversations of citizens with no court order, have no right to introduce themselves as the supporters of civil rights. [emphasis added]

From illegal leaks to the pages of the New York Times to the mouth of Iran’s Supreme Leader to the eyes and ears of a couple of million devout Muslims.
Posted in Iran | No Comments »

It’s true! From Le Figaro:

The release of French hostage Bernard Planche yesterday earned the Americans warm thanks from Paris. This reflects the rapprochement between the partners on Iraq as well as on other matters in the Middle East. Expressing his thanks to “all those who mobilized” to help the French hostage regain his freedom, Jacques Chirac “thanked the coalition forces that permitted this release”. Dominque de Villepin was more explicit. Thanking “the diplomatic services and intelligence services”, the prime minister also thanked “the US authorities that lent their assistance to this release”.

Here’s an interesting part of the story:

[ . . . ] other reasons than simple diplomatic courtesy may have caused the French authorities to be sweet to the Americans. “In this kind of affair, they are able, thanks to their system of wiretapping and intelligence, to obtain a lot of information that can sometimes be embarrassing. It is better not to incite them to make it public,” said one source who has followed closely the kidnapping of Westerners in Iraq. [emphasis added]
Posted in Iraq, France | No Comments »

http://americanfuture.net/

Click here: AMERICAN FUTURE

woof

This coupled with the Congresspersons' literal inability to consult their own legal counsel made the probability that they would have been keyed into possible legal problems near zero. .....


I am so tired of this particular defense.

You are saying that on the (formerly) bi-partisan intelligence committee, a committee that is the lead legislative entitity to protect the american people in this war, that Democratic Congress people couldn't trust and confer with the committee legal counsel? Thats Nonsense. If they had doubts at that level, there surely our congressional rules to elevate concerns. The chairman of the committee (Roberts) has alluded to alternatives that would have been available to them.

They have responsibility as an oversite committee. If they really had doubts they could have drafted additional laws or revisions to FISA to address their concerns or the new technology they were faced with.

Why in the world do you think that we would believe that Sens Rockefeller, Durbin would act differently in a secret committee meeting than Sens Schumer, Kennedy, and Durbin did in today's Judiciary Committee? You're saying they were bulldozed?

Please, please don't tell me again that long serving Senators were helpless victims in this committee. It is just too pathetic

kim

Rockefeller's note, instead of capturing his frustration and impotence, immortalizes his cowardice and knavishness. I don't know why some of these people are heroes to the left. It is a shameful display of polity management. It has finally struck me that Kennedy also died at Chappaquiddick. He's been a Ghost Dancer ever since.
==========================================

Syl

The Ghost Jihad was a fantasied solution to all their problems, involving the widespread idea that "a new skin would slide over the old earth, covering up the infidels and all their works, and bringing upon it new trees and plants, great goat herds, the ghosts of the dead, and the great departed mujahadeen." This caliphate would come about if only each person in all the tribes danced the elaborate Ghost Jihad.

Perhaps?

kim

The Caliphate is stressed. Cap'n Ed has German reports of Sunni Iraqi turning against al Qaeda.
==================================================

kim

Here's another Song of the Ghostly Godocrats; An Iranian ayatollah lecturing George Bush on civil liberties to a crowd of Meccan pilgrims.
==========================================

maryrose

No excuses now for lack of action in the past for Rockefeller, Pelosi Harman et al. At least Harman has the guts to go on Fox News and face questioning by Brit Hume. All others are unworthy of their post and should be replaced in the leadership and on their committees. Interesting that only the mentally ill Tice[ sounds like bipolar disorder to me } has come forward as a source of the leaking. All others are shaking in their boots.

maryrose

No excuses now for lack of action in the past for Rockefeller, Pelosi Harman et al. At least Harman has the guts to go on Fox News and face questioning by Brit Hume. All others are unworthy of their post and should be replaced in the leadership and on their committees. Interesting that only the mentally ill Tice[ sounds like bipolar disorder to me } has come forward as a source of the leaking. All others are shaking in their boots.

clarice

The Echelon prograsm (clinton), how it was abused, how the story broke abroad, and how, once it did, the NYT defended it. http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5150

clarice

proGRAM..URGH

boris

Talk about Freudian ! LOL

kim

Heh. Was that for Echelon or Clinton? Don't answer.
======================================

Sue

I can't remember who it was that pooh-poohed my concern over terrorists using disposable cell phones...they will remember though...

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1499905>I won't hold my breath waiting for an apology

Gabriel Sutherland

Sue: Lots of people use disposable cell phones. They're big among criminals and non alike. I've purchased one before. I picked it up when I was doing two weeks in New England where roaming charges would have crushed me.

Obviously, to purchase such a large bulk is enough for alarm. However, it would take a very stupid person to try this.

clarice

Boris, I knew that typo wouldn't escape you. DRAT

Rider

clarice - The American Thinker should think again.

Aside from the fact that their Clinton-did-it-so-Bush-can-do-it-too argument makes Bill Clinton into magnetic north on your moral compass, Clinton's use of Echelon complied with FISA, used FISA warrants. So testified George Tenet in 2002:

"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 broke the law. That's the difference.

And in any case, do you really want to argue that if Clinton did whatever, Bush gets a free pass on doing the same thing? If it's precedent you are looking for, here's a precedent for you: we impeached Bill Clinton. We can do the same for Bush. But surely you are not content with this argument, which says essentially Bush is no worse (and no better) than Bill Clinton.

Rider

corr: Tenet testified April 12, 2000

kim

FISA was too unwieldy to stop terrorists. Bush used other authority. Perhaps if Clinton had, bin Laden would have been pre-empted.
======================================

kim

I'm not sure why you're so proud of that quote. Tenet may be detailing the precise reason for our failure to thwart the 9/11 attack.
================================================

Rider

kim

I'm afraid not. It has now come to light through declassified documents that Bush had the NSA doing warrantless domestic surveillance without informing Congress before 9/11, in fact as soon as he took office. So there is no point in saying "if only he had used NSA then" because he did and still failed to prevent 9/11 it because he is an incompetent besides being a liar. He lied to you again:

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/011306Z.shtml

"Bush Authorized Domestic Spying Before 9/11"

The National Security Agency advised President Bush in early 2001 that it had been eavesdropping on Americans during the course of its work monitoring suspected terrorists and foreigners believed to have ties to terrorist groups, according to a declassified document.

The NSA's vast data-mining activities began shortly after Bush was sworn in as president and the document contradicts his assertion that the 9/11 attacks prompted him to take the unprecedented step of signing a secret executive order authorizing the NSA to monitor a select number of American citizens thought to have ties to terrorist groups.

Bush has no protecting national security / preventing 9/11 / catching terrorists before they attack argument. Bush has no legal-constitional argument. Bush has no logical argument. Bush no ethical argument. Bush has no political Clinton-did-it-so-I-can-too argument.

We impeached Clinton for a lot less than this. We can impeach Bush too.

kim

You miss my point. Clinton should have done what Bush did.
=============================================

kim

I'll concede there is honest disagreement over the legality of Bush's actions. It is an extremely complex area, with one convoluted interpretation competing with another. There is no honest disagreement about the efficacy of the program, despite a paucity of overt data, and there is no honest evidence of harm to innocents.

Perhaps some of the suspicion of the left is not just that they fear being targetted, but also, and related, they expect Bush to have the ethics of Clinton. They err.

Kos Dancers.
==============

Rider

they fear being targetted

In light of constant insinuations like this one that the opposition are fifth columnists, shouldn't any American opposed to Bush fear being targeted?

You missed my point. Your idea was that Bush was supposed to have better ethics than Clinton. But whenever Bush is caught with his pants down, as it were, his supporters just point to Bill and say, "He started it." When you do that, you make Bill Clinton your ethical paragon instead of rising above him.

As to the efficacy of the program, there's the problem that 9/11 ocurred after the program was already up and running. The program didn't prevent the last attack and it probably won't prevent the next one. If you want to argue the ends justify the means, your means had better be something that works.

kim

No, for this to remain a tool of those legitimately in power, it must be used fairly and wisely. Bush and Rice have the character to do that.

I don't think Bush is pointing to Bill and saying "He did it, too." Once again, you miss my point; Bill didn't use it.

And that segues into the next point. Bill might have been able to stop 9/11, had Berger, Clarke, et good ol al had been strong. Bush hadn't enough time to get in the groove. 9/11, if it were preventable, was Bill's job.
==================================

Rider

Domestic spying by the NSA using Echelon was leaked by the perfidious fifth columnists over at Popular Mechanics in an article they published in January, 2001:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/defense/1281281.html

Can we get a firing squad over there right away, please? Why is this not being investigated? The 9/11 attacks on the WTC are probably due to the leak in this Popular Mechanics article. That tipped Al Qaeda off to use other means of communications. Fortunately, the NSA was still able to intercept two calls on September 10th, one of which said, "Tomorrow is zero hour." Yep, shoulda caught that.

To listen to you talk, one would think that 9/11 took place on Clinton's watch. Obviously, it was nine months after Bush took office, just a couple of weeks after his first month-long vacation in Crawford...nine months after he started allowing NSA to use Echelon to data mine domestic-foreign terrorist traffic. Can you imagine how much he must have known about the WTC attacks before they happened with that kind of data mining going on?

Rider

The newly declassified NSA document says on page 39 that normally 60% of the President's Daily Briefing consists of their sigint reports. That means that when Bush received the August 6th PDB in Crawford entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside U.S." it was anything but "historical information" as Dr. Rice mendaciously claimed at her confirmation hearing as SECSTATE. It was signals intelligence from NSA that was less than 24 hours old. Bush is either grossly incompetent and was grossly negligent, or he enabled the attack by letting it happen. Your choice.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB24/nsa25.pdf

kim

By August, the attack was so far along in its trajectory that it would have been fortuitous for Bush to stop it. Clinton, Berger, Clarke, Beers, et al dropped the ball. 9/11 was not unilaterally their fault, but most of it was.
=================================================

Rider

Bush hadn't enough time to get in the groove. 9/11, if it were preventable, was Bill's job.

Bwahahahahaha!

Sue

Truth Out forgot to check the dates. So did Rider.

kim

You laugh. I don't think it's funny. What's Berger hiding? Would you buy a used car from Clarke? Would you send Wilson on a delicate errand? Would you buy a used schtick from Clinton?
====================================

Harry Arthur

That means that when Bush received the August 6th PDB in Crawford entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside U.S." it was anything but "historical information" as Dr. Rice mendaciously claimed at her confirmation hearing as SECSTATE. It was signals intelligence from NSA that was less than 24 hours old. Bush is either grossly incompetent and was grossly negligent, or he enabled the attack by letting it happen. Your choice.

One only needs to read the PDB in question to discern that your assertion is incorrect. And this "signals intelligence from NSA that was less than 24 hours old" told us exactly what?

Specifically, the PDB had nothing whatsoever to say about flying aircraft into buildings.

Specifically, the PDB discussed in general terms the presumtion that any hijacking threat was for the purpose of securing and trading hostages for jailed terrorists.

Specifically, the PDB mentioned NY in the context of terrorist surveilance of government buildings. Were the Pentagon or the capital mentioned at all either as targets or in some other context?

We are therefore to jump to the conclusion that Dr Rice was mendacious through exactly what convoluted scheme of illogical thinking?

And given all that, now we're supposed to wait for FISA warrants, right? This improves our admittedly poor pre-9/11 intelligence gathering and disemination process exactly how?

Harry Arthur

Obviously, it was nine months after Bush took office, just a couple of weeks after his first month-long vacation in Crawford...nine months after he started allowing NSA to use Echelon to data mine domestic-foreign terrorist traffic. Can you imagine how much he must have known about the WTC attacks before they happened with that kind of data mining going on?

Sorry to pick at nits but it was 8 months after Bush took office and fully 8 years after Clinton took office that Bush assumed the presidency. Furthermore, I don't recall that the transition went all that smoothly so the Bush WH started way behind at the onset. That happens to be the context, like it or not.

The facts are that prior to 9/11 both the Clinton presidency and the Bush presidency were functioning in a system and with a mindset that pretty much prohibited the effective sharing of intel between the criminal investigators in the FBI and the national intelligence assets developing foreign intelligence. Might not have been the best situation on the part of either administration but our mindset was clearly different then. We're now in a post-9/11 world where at least Bush's mindset has changed. That's what this NSA discussion is all about, isn't it?

Just another little nit to pick - whether Bush is in DC or Crawford makes not the tiniest bit of difference regarding his ability to function as the president or the CiC. Get used to this fact.

At some point you really should consider giving up beating this dead horse about vacations in Crawford. Menioning this only diminishes further your other poor arguments.

If all else fails, I recommend Reynolds. Their foil makes a great hat. The voices will stop.

Sue

Their foil makes a great hat. The voices will stop.

He is going to need lots of. I think I will purchase stock in the company... ::grin::

kim

Kos Riders In the Sky
======================

Sue

Rider,

Just for clarification...do you realize the document you are relying on is dated December 2000 and the cover page says...transition? Before you step over the edge...check it out for yourself.

MJW

Here's a link to "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside U.S." for those who wish to contrast Rice's mendacity to Rider's.

Those who can't reach a conclusion might consider the dates specifically mentioned: 1993, once; 1997, three times; 1998, six times; 1999, once; 2000, never; 2001, never.

MJW

Rider:

As to the efficacy of the program, there's the problem that 9/11 ocurred after the program was already up and running. The program didn't prevent the last attack and it probably won't prevent the next one.
I was looking back in some really old JustOneMinute archives, and happened upon the following post from "Rider's Dad" posted just before the Battle of Midway:
As to the efficacy of the code-breaking program, there's the problem that Pearl Harbor ocurred after the program was already up and running. The program didn't help in the last attack and it probably won't help in the next one.

Harry Arthur

MJW, excellent. As I said one has to be pretty obtuse not to take the memo in precisely the context suggested by Dr Rice.

Also no mention of the US capital or the Pentagon and no mention of the potential use of airplanes as suicide weapons of mass destruction.

Not a single mention. Not a probability. Not an actionable hint.

70 ongoing FBI field investigations mentioned without the slightest of specifics. The predominance of the threat was clearly viewed to be against our foreign embassies.

But Bush should have known. He should immediately assumed upon taking office that Clinton was completely missing the point about Bin Laden and that we were in imminent danger. Furthermore, he should have immediately directed the FBI, CIA, NSA and all other intelligence assets to fully cooperate and immediately share all intelligence information across all "walls" and without any "cultural" inhibitions. And he would do all of this, and more, based on exactly what?

If in a post 9/11 world the criticism of Bush's NSA orders is as harsh as we've seen, imagine the reaction prior to 9/11 had Bush directed the NSA to accomplish warrantless intercepts. Just doesn't pass the common sense test, does it?

And, of course, even subsequent to 9/11, no warrantless NSA intercepts, even of foreign sources, could possibly be allowed - why that violates the constitution.

Have we taken leave of our senses?

kim

They don't care if it makes sense; it's all about the dance.
=====================================

Sue

Have we taken leave of our senses?

Ahh...Harry. You are assuming they had sense to begin with. Just read the text of Al Gore's speech. The president has the authority...the president is committing illegal acts. And the thunder roared.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame