More Proof

Don’t let this issue get swept under the rug like every other crime this administration has committed.

Check this out.

For years, Bush (and Cheney) have defended the Patriot Act, by saying that fears are unfounded, because wiretaps would require court orders and warrants.

Bush, on April 19th, 2004: “..Everything you hear about requires court order, requires there to be permission from a FISA court, for example.”

Bush, on the very next day, April 20th, 2004: “Any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. (….) Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.”

Bush, on July 14th, 2004: “A couple of things that are very important for you to understand about the Patriot Act. First of all, any action that takes place by law enforcement requires a court order. In other words, the government can’t move on wiretaps or roving wiretaps without getting a court order. What the Patriot Act said is let’s give our law enforcement the tools necessary, without abridging the Constitution of the United States, the tools necessary to defend America.”

Cheney, at a Kansas City appearance in June 2004, where he said that “all of the investigative tools” under the law “require the approval of a judge before they can be carried out. And similar statutes have been on the book for years, and tested in the courts, and found to be constitutional.”

These were all things that were said while the motherfuckers KNEW that they had ordered surveillance with no warrants, and had done since 2002.

Tell everyone you know. Call your Representatives and Senators. Write to the local newspaper. Don’t let the administration get away with ANOTHER crime, and don’t let the Media help them dodge the issue by re-framing the issue. For example– No questions like “Should the President be allowed unusual authority in the post-9/11 world, or should he give in to political pressure?” Mark my words….this is how it will start being framed. I can see it coming.

Enough is enough.

26 Replies to “More Proof”

  1. Congrats, Gareth. You finally forced me to register. =)

    Let’s just try looking at this from another angle for just a second.

    Is it not possible that the motherfuckers wanted terrorists to think that they would require a court order before wiretapping them?

    Is it not possible this is actually GOOD intelligence work being done here?

    Is this not just a smidgen more likely than the possibility that this is a colossal blunder by these criminal government motherfuckers to listen in on you chatting with your friends about where to go to dinner?

    Honestly, a little perspective here. What exactly do you think is the point of this criminal act? Is it more likely to be the serious engagement of wartime intelligence operations, or some kind of VERY poorly hidden power grab?

    Occam’s Razor and all. Just sayin.

  2. The reasons are immaterial. It doesn’t change the fact that this is a crime, as spelled out in the FISA.

    The usual conservative line of trying to dismiss the concern by framing it as tin-foil-hat raving about “OMG THE GOVT IS LISTENING TO US CHAT” is pretty fucking offensive, as well. It doesn’t matter if they were using it to listen to me ordering a fucking pizza, or listening to the Devil Himself planning to rape 6000 babies in Times Square before setting off the tac-nuke shoved up his ass…..no matter what they were doing, the simple fact that they were doing it IS A CRIME.

    Period. Clouding the issue by trying to justify it won’t change the fact that it’s a proveable criminal offense, and that is impeachable.

  3. John Aravosis at AmericaBlog has the very plausible theory that they were listening in on journalists. That in and of itself isn’t a crime if there is justification for the wiretap and a warrant is obtained. Actively not obtaining the warrant to cover-up what you did is where the crime is being committed.

    Didn’t these guys learn anything from Nixon?

  4. It’s not clouding the issue to ask who they were listening to and what they were listening for.

    The SCOTUS has been lenient with respect to the POTUS’ war powers, erring in favor of the POTUS. If what he was doing was reasonable, it won’t be considered criminal.

    I think “Listening to the conversations to and from known terrorists and terrorist sponsoring states,” or more specifically, “listening to conversations to and from the enemy” will be seen as reasonable– not only by the SCOTUS, but by the US public. So you’re not going to get much traction there no matter how you try to “frame the debate.”

    Listening in on war protest groups?

    Listening in on journalists?

    Listening in on John Doe?

    Clearly there are degrees to the use of executive war powers that vary from reasonable to unreasonable.

    I think clearly the NSA felt there was some good reason to circumvent the FISA. But if it was a criminal offense, it was the worst attempted cover up I have ever heard of. The process had, if not oversight, notification.

    And I think it’s relevant to ask, if you are certain a crime was committed, what the motive was.

    What, exactly, were the motherfuckers trying to get away with?

    That’s an honest question, and the traction this issue will get depends entirely on the answer. That’s how the issue will be framed.

  5. I’m going to regret getting involved here, as I normally only watch Skarka’s jounal so I can keep tabs on what the moonbats are up to. Anyway….

    This problem is that this issue is /far/ more complicated then the moonbats want to make it. What the President did was almost certainly not unconstitutional. It’s hard to say whether it was actually illegal, and probably best left to people who specialize in this kind of thing.

    The NYT specifically noted in the article that the NSA was tapping phone conversations made to people outside the US. FISA only requires a warrant if the conversation is entirely contained within the US. Since the phone calls weren’t, it’s arguable that a warrant isn’t required.

    Your theory that the intentions were honorable is 100% correct. Both the Legislative and Judicial branches of the government were briefed numerous times, and a system was established to ensure that people’s civil liberties weren’t being stepped on. That system is constantly evaluated, tweaked if problems are discovered.

    Of course, the most important thing that Skarka conveniently ignores is that this type of thing was going on under the Clinton administration, and almost certainly would have gone on under the Kerry or Gore administrations. It was probably going on under the Bush I, Reagan, Carter, etc administrations. Hell, something equivalent was probably going on under the Washington administration.

    Whether it’s ultimately proven illegal has yet to be seen. Michelle Malkin has a good round up of relevant commentary, both armchair and scholarly.

  6. It wasn’t my intent to register to post here in order to troll his LJ, or to open up the doors to terminology and tone that’s just guaranteed to piss off Gareth.

    And I would certainly hate for your post to make me regret getting involved, too.

  7. Fair enough. It’s actually not my intention to troll, I just know from past experience Skarka isn’t capable of polite debate, so I don’t bother being polite to him.

    I posted simply because you seemed fairly rational, but undecided, so I wanted to ensure you had accurate information to work with.

  8. Yes, tossing out terms like “moonbats” is very rational and shows that you have no bias and good balance.

    Oh wait, no that’s incorrect. I was just being sarcastic.

    I could care less about anyone’s intentions. The ends do not ever justify the means. If (and I *do* mean “if”) it is determined that Bush’s administration acted illegally in this regard, they deserve the penalties the law calls for. If it was going on in other administrations and it’s termed illegal, then they should pay too.

  9. I didn’t claim to be unbiased. *shrug*

    I also didn’t claim the ends justify the means, nor that nobody should be punished if convicted of a crime. However, it’s as yet /very/ unclear if any crime was committed. Even if the law was broken, it needs to be established that it was broken intentionally. The law generally provides some cover to people who break it unintentionally, especially when the law is confusing/complicated.

  10. I just know from past experience Skarka isn’t capable of polite debate, so I don’t bother being polite to him.

    ….and with that, I have now banned this fucktard from posting here.

    I’ve only had to do this twice. Once was a stalker. You have to reach a very special level of repugnant for me to take this step, and this chucklehead has reached it.

    It’s getting very tempting to consider setting this LJ to friends-only.

  11. “It’s getting very tempting to consider setting this LJ to friends-only.”

    My two cents: yep, you should. There are too many stupid people out there who know your name – you’re probably going to have to deal with the rudeness of someone insulting you on your own journal at least a couple of times a year.

    Why deal with the hassle? Anyone who knows you and wants to read can ask to be added.

    (Made mine friends-only ages ago. Never regretted it for a second.)

  12. Do you prefer “Wingnut” or “Right-Wing Nutjob?” I can do “Mr. Wingnut” if you like.

    Firstly, the Fourth Amendment.

    Secondly, here’s the original NYT article.

    It’s hard to say whether it was actually illegal, and probably best left to people who specialize in this kind of thing.

    Conservative Scholars Argue Bush’s Wiretapping Is An Impeachable Offense. I’ve got more where that came from.

    The NYT specifically noted in the article that the NSA was tapping phone conversations made to people outside the US. FISA only requires a warrant if the conversation is entirely contained within the US. Since the phone calls weren’t, it’s arguable that a warrant isn’t required.

    According to the article, FISA requires a warrant for any electronic transmission that has its origin within the US regardless of the destination. Even then, it’s the role of the FBI to obtain the required warrant and investigate, not the NSA. The NSA is only supposed to monitor completely external communications and no warrant is required.

    Your theory that the intentions were honorable is 100% correct.
    Hey, Jack Ruby’s intentions were honorable, too, but that doesn’t make his actions correct or legal. Road to Hell…blah, blah, blah…

    Both the Legislative and Judicial branches of the government were briefed numerous times

    Very few members of Congress and the Judiciary were made aware of the NSA program. I have not heard of anyone outside of the leadership of either party in both houses and the chairs and vice-chairs of the respective Intelligence Committees being informed of the program. If anyone outside of the 11-member FISC had been informed, we most likely would have heard about this program long before. I would guess that no more than 30 people between those two branches of government knew about the program.

    As to their oversight capabilities, I’ll let Senator Jay Rockefeller comment on those:

    “The record needs to be set clear that the Administration never afforded members briefed on the program an opportunity to either approve or disapprove the NSA program. The limited members who were told of the program were prohibited by the Administration from sharing any information about it with our colleagues, including other members of the Intelligence Committees.

    “At the time, I expressed my concerns to Vice President Cheney that the limited information provided to Congress was so overly restricted that it prevented members of Congress from conducting meaningful oversight of the legal and operational aspects of the program.

    “These concerns were never addressed, and I was prohibited from sharing my views with my colleagues.

    Of course, the most important thing that Skarka conveniently ignores is that this type of thing was going on under the Clinton administration,

    If you are referring to wiretaps in general, it’s true that they’ve been done since the telephone was invented. If you have documented proof of wiretaps being performed by the NSA without warrants since 1978, you, sir, are sitting on a story that would make Woodward and Bernstein look like hacks (not that Woodward isn’t trying his hardest to earn that title on his own). If you are referring to Echelon under the Clinton Administration, and what self-respecting “conservative” wouldn’t bring Clinton into the argument, that program legally obtained warrants. If you’re asserting that the NSA super-secretly spies on whomever they want, take off your tin-foil hat, buddy.

    Considering the bi-partisan attention this is getting, it looks like the administration could be in big trouble.

  13. You live in Columbus. Ok, there’s over a million people in the greater Cowtown area, so that’s not saying much. You’re about my age; that narrows it down a bit more, but that’s still a pretty broad group of people. You like Moxy Fruvous. There’s only about three of us left in Central Ohio. How have I not run into you before?

  14. Me too, please. I think I intro’d myself but maybe I didn’t – I’m ‘s wife and I really enjoy reading you. Of my friends’ list, you’ve got the best recaps of this situation.

  15. According to the ACLU. my wife is one of the people who’d be spied upon, since she’s organizing a conference that includes the ADC.

    Because, you know, if you’re anti-discrimination, you must hate Freedom like the terrorists do.

    Man, that makes me mad.

  16. *grin*

    I just moved here in August, to come and work for GAMA.

    Or we could just blame Metallian. That might work. :-)

    -Trey
    (who could really, really use a Fruvous concert right now)

  17. I think “Listening to the conversations to and from known terrorists and terrorist sponsoring states,” or more specifically, “listening to conversations to and from the enemy” will be seen as reasonable– not only by the SCOTUS, but by the US public.

    The problem isn’t that we know for sure the President is abusing it — the problem is that if there is no oversight to the process, how does anyone know whether it is being abused? By claiming the right to be able to listen in on any conversation without having to justify it, he (or any successor of his if this is let stand) can indeed listen in on journalists, war protest groups, and opposing political parties and there is no way any of the rest of the system could know about it.

    If someone is a known terrorist, it is absolutely trivial to get a FISA warrant or to get an after-the-fact warrant within 72 hours of the tapping. The FISA court rulings are top secret, so it’s not like getting a court order notifies terrorists. Bush made an argument for the Patriot Act that it still had judicial oversight, and Congress granted him those abilities. If he needed further powers — such as tapping without a court order — then he should have brought that before Congress.

    His motive, as far as I can tell, is a simple power grab. He thought that he could simply appropriate these powers without a stir by claiming terrorism. I’m sure he feels that putting more power into his hands is a good way to fight terrorism, because Congress and the courts are not to be trusted, but that doesn’t excuse illegal behavior.

  18. Ah Gareth, you suffer, as I do, from the sin of being too blunt in your opinions and standing your ground hotly when others voice their dissention (particularly when the dissetion is blinkardly ignorant). If you feel you must take this journal friends only, it’s most certainly your perogative. I would suggest you set up, on your info page, however, a mechanism by which those who would wish to be added could contact you, so that you might evaluate whether to let them in on the “party”, so to speak.

    D.

  19. The law generally provides some cover to people who break it unintentionally, especially when the law is confusing/complicated.

    Just so you know, you are laboring under an unfortuante misapprehension about the nature and mechanism of U.S. Law if you actually believe this.

    D.

  20. The law generally provides some cover to people who break it unintentionally, especially when the law is confusing/complicated.

    Just so you know, you are laboring under an unfortuante misapprehension about the nature and mechanism of U.S. Law if you actually believe this.

    Sort of. He might be thinking of the precedent of consultation. If you ask, for instance, the Attorney General if X is legal, and he says yes, but X is later found to be against the law, you are protected from some of the consequences breaking that law.

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