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Rights groups greet reform with fire and brimstone

As expected, President Bush signed the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 into law Thursday morning, revamping the United States’ aging surveillance rules and granting telecommunications companies amnesty for their assistance in a post-9/11 mass wiretap.

Under the new law, the government gains a number of sweeping new surveillance powers, in addition to a number of additional limitations to work under. One such expansion allows the government to force e-mail providers to forward the government all communications where one side of the party is believed to be overseas – including e-mail, phone conversations, and text messages. Such surveillance includes a number of rules designed to protect the privacy of American citizens.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union announced a counterattack just hours after the law’s signing, filing a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a wide range of plaintiffs, including attorneys, journalists, and human rights organizations.

Journalists Chris Hedges and Naomi Klein of The Nation said the law creates a chilling effect on their international reporting -- since their jobs requires speaking with overseas parties that often work against American objectives, their contacts might be wary of further communication. Hedges, in particular, says that one of his sources – a secret contact close to Hamas – is already more hesitant to speak openly.

Hedges compared the passage of FISA to the tactics of authoritarian regimes he had previously worked inside, noting that their objective was to openly “prevent any dissidents, anybody who had information that countered the government” from contacting him.

“I have little doubt that the passing of this FISA bill essentially brings this type of surveillance system, and the effectiveness of that system, to the United States,” said Hedges.

The ACLU’s lawsuit asks the court to stay FISA’s immunity provisions until their constitutionality is fully evaluated.

The EFF says it will continue its supervision of the – possibly doomed – 40+ lawsuits filed against AT&T, Verizon, and others, and it is also “preparing a new case” against the government for its wiretapping program, “past, present, and future.”

Both the EFF and ACLU argue that the FISA’s dismissal of the lawsuits – the legislative branch interfering with the judicial branch, essentially – violates the constitutional principle of separated government powers.

The FISA amendments’ opponents fought long and hard in their attempts to scuttle the law before its signing, with opposition Senators attempting to stall proceedings with a filibuster and amendments that would have watered it down. Congress ultimately voted down these attempts, and instead allowed the bill a swift trip through both branches of Congress. Previous FISA law was set to expire in August, and many feel that Congress hastened the amendments’ passage in order push them out the door before the deadline. Previous attempts to update FISA died in Congress earlier this year, after grinding into a Congressional deadlock – talks were immensely complicated by a Presidential vow to veto any reform that failed to include the immunity provision.



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bLAHBLABLA
By TETRONG on 7/11/2008 1:37:14 PM , Rating: 4
Was flicking through George Tenets book the other day. You know the one who was running the CIA.
Seems he recalls telling the president innumerable times about the imminent attacks.

They got their "New Pearl Harbor" that all of those project for a new american century bozos were itching for.

Hmmm...Pearl Harbor - let's see if there was any advance indication of that attack. What do you know a cursory glance at the FACTS indicates there was.

You were born a slave and you will die a slave.





RE: bLAHBLABLA
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: bLAHBLABLA
By TETRONG on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: bLAHBLABLA
By TETRONG on 7/11/2008 11:23:21 PM , Rating: 4
March 2001 - Italian intelligence warns of an al Qaeda plot in the United States involving a massive strike involving aircraft , based on their wiretap of al Qaeda cell in Milan.
July 2001 - Jordanian intelligence told US officials that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on American soil, and Egyptian intelligence warned the CIA that 20 al Qaeda jihadists were in the United States, and that four of them were receiving flight training.
August 2001 - The Israeli Mossad gives the CIA a list of 19 terrorists living in the US and say that they appear to be planning to carry out an attack in the near future.
August 2001 - The UK is warned three times of an imminent al Qaeda attack in the United States, the third specifying multiple airplane hijackings . According to the Sunday Herald, the report is passed on to President Bush a short time later.
September 2001 - Egyptian intelligence warns American officials that al Qaeda is in the advanced stages of executing a significant operation against an American target, probably within the US.

In her testimony to the 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice stated that "the threat reporting that we received in the spring and summer of 2001 was not specific as to time nor place nor manner of attack. Almost all the reports focussed on al Qaeda activities outside the United States." However, on August 6 2001, President Bush's Presidential Daily Briefing, which was entitled " Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States " warns that Bin Laden was planning to exploit his operatives' access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike:

FBI information... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country, consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attack.

Rice responded, when being asked about the PDB at the Commission hearings, that " it wasn't something that we felt we needed to do anything about ".

On August 15, 2005, Army intelligence officer Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and Congressman Curt Weldon (R-Pa), charged before the Senate Judiciary Committee that a Special Operations Command data mining program run by a secret US intelligence unit had identified alleged 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and three other al-Qaeda operatives operating in the United States prior to 911.

"There is only one politically serious explanation of this now-indisputable fact: powerful forces within the US military/intelligence complex wanted a terrorist incident on US soil in order to create the needed shift in public opinion required to embark on a long-planned campaign of military intervention in Central Asia and the Middle East. Whether or not they knew the scale of the impending attacks and what the precise targets would be, they acted in such a way as to block the arrest of known terrorist operatives and allow them to carry out their plot."
--Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_advance-knowledg...


RE: bLAHBLABLA
By stilltrying on 7/12/2008 1:50:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well said TET. Down with the NWO. Some people will never get a clue or they are for it. Either way you're not alone on here and have at the least my support.


Proud
By FingerMeElmo87 on 7/11/2008 8:41:02 AM , Rating: 5
im proud to be an american by im not proud of my government




RE: Proud
By Grast on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
Warrantless wiretaps are your friend
By crafty on 7/11/2008 3:38:42 PM , Rating: 2
Good afternoon fellow citizens. I just wanted to voice my approval for the new "Government cares enough about you to wiretap you" law. I mean there are terrorists out there using the internet somewhere to plan nasty stuff. Time was you had to get warrants from a secret court that disapproved them in single digits over the course of 30 years. But thankfully times are changing.

We don't need laws or the Constitution to get in the way of our government paying off large telecommunications organizations to tap their large traffic hubs. We may never know now what was going on in Room 61A of the AT&T hub in San Francisco or the Verizon circuit that went out to Quantico, VA, but now we can feel safe in knowing that the government is probably data mining every single electron in its hunt for evildoers. I say probably because that is classified as is how to win the war in Iraq.

If you ever get accused of anything, you will be comforted to know that your life is just a click away. Emails, credit history and rating, phone calls, web search history...the government has the right to know all to save all. Remember kids, the fight against evildoer terrorists is the most dangerous force the US has ever faced, more dangerous than the Soviet Union, Japan, and Germany combined. They are coming for us all but they are also lawyers. They love US laws because US laws give protection to all sort of evildoers while killing innocent victims. The founding fathers insisted on this for some reason. SO it is imperative we ignore our laws and pass others that give all the power to one person that will protect us. This is the only way to save us. One Great Protector will do what a million laws cannot. And when the terrorists come to our homes and take us hostage like some 1980s Chuck Norris movie, the Great Protector(Chuck Norris) will come and kill 'em all.




By darkfoon on 7/12/2008 6:29:31 AM , Rating: 2
Bravo!
That was some well composed sarcasm.

It's been a while since I read something that made me laugh like that.

Kudos!


Do not trust email anyway
By tmouse on 7/11/2008 8:34:40 AM , Rating: 1
While some of the provisions may have chilling effects the email part should have little effect. Maybe in journalism but outside of that people should by now know that email is has never been protected communications. Those little disclaimers people tack on to the bottom of their email have absolutely no legal standing. In the US email has always been considered the property of the owners of the email server, or the people who contract for the service. So while the government did have to receive permission to snoop around the owners did not and they could give it whom ever they pleased. The only times a lawsuit was risked would be if an ISP gave email from a company whose servers they were hosting (note this is not the same as getting email accounts on the ISP's servers). There are volumes of law supporting this position and I have never heard of a single case where the owner of the email system was successfully sued by a user. I'm pretty sure groups like Hamas are aware of this so if Chris Hedges is having problems with his contacts they are either phony anyways or incredibly stupid. I mean does he really rely on email for his contacts? How does he ever know the email is really from his source? If this is really the case he probably does a lot of stories on all of the Nigerian business men who have died leaving no one to receive their fortunes in the state owned banks....

Now to be fair Chris Hedges may be referring to other provisions and the usual hack jobs from the original article or the blog have butchered the information so badly it seems its the email provisions that are the main problem here.

Bottom line never write anything in email you would not say in a crowed room.




RE: Do not trust email anyway
By ajdavis on 7/12/2008 10:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
It's called PGP encryption. Keeps snoopers out and assures your identity. You'd do well to read about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy


Proud
By FingerMeElmo87 on 7/11/2008 8:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
im proud to be an american but im not proud of my government




WWF
By BruceLeet on 7/11/2008 2:02:59 PM , Rating: 2
J.R.: Straight from HELL FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, MY GOD!!!

Lawler: Ahhh!!! I cant believe it JR!!!

J.R.: Oh here comes Sable

Lawler: AHH!! PUPPIES!!!

J.R.: Oh would you stop it..

100% irrelevant to the article but the saying "fire and brimstone" as a sub heading got my attention.




Nice Picture
By Yawgm0th on 7/11/2008 5:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
Way to make obscure references with that picture, Tom. I feel sad that I instantly recognized it.




By stilltrying on 7/11/2008 5:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
this is only about control, power, and money. the fascists running the country only want power, control, and money. prescott bush - fascist who tried to hire a general smedley butler to overthrow us govt and install a fascist dictator. read your history. you think those family values dont get presented to the rest of the bush kids. most of congress are just pawns who take their bribe to do general population wrong and follow the elites orders so maybe when they get out of congress they can be on a board of directors or what not. america was bought and sold in 1913 with the defining characteristic of socialism/communism, ala central banking. end of story




Freedom: 12/15/1791 - 07/10/2008
By maximal on 7/12/2008 6:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
In the words of George Lucas: "This is how freedom dies"




Want some whine with that cheese....
By rtrski on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By DOSGuy on 7/11/2008 9:16:49 AM , Rating: 5
It's not simply a matter of having to work harder, but whether or not he'll be able to do his job at all. People will be afraid to talk to American reporters. He's not the only one who will lose valuable contacts because of this law. The United States is isolating itself from the rest of the world, and Americans in a great many professions are being hurt financially.

For instance, Canadian banks used to outsource some of their data management to American companies, but fear that those companies could be forced to hand over their personal records has led to backlash from customers. Around the world, people won't do business with companies that allow their personal records to be handled by American companies out of fear for their privacy. Finding out that any communication I have with Americans could be handed over to the American government definitely makes me uneasy about doing business with the U.S. Americans have no idea how much business they've already lost because of bills the current administration has passed into law, and this is just another blow to the U.S. economy. I can only hope that voters will eventually get tired of watching the government flush their money down the toilet.


RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By emarston on 7/11/2008 10:37:24 AM , Rating: 1
What is sad about all this is that people are assuming that the other country involved in the two parties communications (be it telephone, text chat, e-mail... etc) are going to care? They can just as easily be recording everything, too. Not to mention whoever is on the electronic route between the parties.

This is more the price of technology than anything else. If one is truly worried there are ways to encrypt data several times over to make it insanely hard for anyone to steal, spy, observe your comms. Of course that may cause you to be targeted and they may try and crack your encryption. One thing is for sure though, there is so much data out there that just sifting through it in a reasonable time is pretty darn close to impossible. Especially between the US and anywhere, let alone worldwide comms. Personally I'd be more concerned about trying to live my life than things like this.


RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By othercents on 7/11/2008 10:54:15 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
One thing is for sure though, there is so much data out there that just sifting through it in a reasonable time is pretty darn close to impossible.

If you know someone is watching then instead of reducing the number of times you talk you should increase it to increase the chatter or irrelevant information. This is done in war time to mask the relevant information. However with our current system anything not encrypted can quickly be sift through based on keywords. Most of this communication will be disregarded quickly and they will spend their time trying to break the encryption on all other communication. This is where rotating keys or one time use keys works best. Then they will have to hack every email separately. Add encrypted chatter and the government will just be spinning their wheels (and all of my money).

Other


By emarston on 7/11/2008 11:06:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I completely understand about keywords, but most of those words are pretty common in communications today. But I understand what you are saying, though. And yep, encrypting stuff especially lots of encrypted stuff slows down the process severely.


RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By HinderedHindsight on 7/11/2008 11:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Take Intel's or Microsoft's dealinsgs in Europe, for instance....every business deal they've ever made has had the details subpoenad and examined under the microscope by the EU. That doesn't bother you-- but this does? A curious dichotomy.


Interesting, but nowhere in his post did I read him say that the issue of American corporations dealings being under EU scrutiny didn't bother him.

But on a secondary note, I think that this revision not only involves personal privacy, but corporate privacy as well. It is no secret that the current administration as well as a number of members in the legislative branch have substantial business ties. Though most corporations manage their own mail services, there are still quite a few that outsource IT infrastructure services to other companies. If I were running a company, it would bother me that business related email could potentially be subject to unfettered access by people who could use that information and pass it on to their ties within the corporate world to unfairly compete against me. I'm sure those cases that actually happen would be few and far between, and even more difficult to detect, but I don't think it is unlikely, especially when you consider so much of our economy is based on imports and exports.


RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By Chaser on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By SigmundEXactos on 7/11/2008 11:00:12 AM , Rating: 5
The main difference is that this law allows surveillance without a warrant ...you know, due process.

quote:
Unless of course the people planning my demise planned everything around available judge working hours.


This is so much FUD. The previous law allowed you to start your wiretaps and surveillance now, and just present it to the judge up to a week later.

The previous secret FISA court has never in its history rejected a request, even after the fact .

quote:
I think companies even on the other side of the looking glass are not immune from court ordered requests for "records".


Again, this is all fine, as long as they get a warrant!

I'm not proud to be an American today. :(


RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By JustTom on 7/11/2008 12:25:53 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The previous secret FISA court has never in its history rejected a request, even after the fact .


This is wrong and slightly misleading. While the FISA court approves without modicification the vast majority of warrant requests it has in the past rejected a handful of such requests-I believe the number is 4. And it has modified a significant number of requests.


By Ringold on 7/11/2008 4:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately for Sigmund, bolding and italicizing it didn't make it any more true. :P


RE: Want some whine with that cheese....
By kc77 on 7/11/2008 7:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ah ya might want to put it in perspective out of 18,000 requests 4 were rejected leading to 2004. That's 99.99%. Even if you threw in modifications you are still talking about 80% granted without. Sigmund's overall message is still true. It's rare for FISA to reject a request and surveillance can start without one. So what's the problem???

The answer is that there isn't a problem and this is just a play for the power hungry, ignorant, or just plain evil.


By JustTom on 7/12/2008 1:08:59 AM , Rating: 2
I did say the FISA court approves without modification the vast majority of requests, I did not use actual statistics because I did not have any handy and am loathe to make them up on the spot.


By emarston on 7/11/2008 10:22:15 AM , Rating: 2
The funny part about what you are saying is that the assumption by these companies is that the countries which they reside or do business in (outside the US) don't do similar things we are freaking out about here. It hasn't stopped us from doing business in China where it's assumed that information is spied upon by the government (especially communications of any electronic form). To make a claim like this in a vacuum makes no sense. We are part of a global economy, but it's not like other countries are not stealing stuff from our companies yet they still do business anyway.

To state that this law will make great changes in how the world views us is laughable. People will still do business where it's profitable for them.


By myhipsi on 7/11/2008 11:30:01 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I can only hope that voters will eventually get tired of watching the government flush their money down the toilet.


...and their constitution.


By larson0699 on 7/11/2008 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry.. Canadian banks..

Times have changed
Our kids are getting worse
They won't obey their parents
They just want to fart and curse!
Should we blame the government?
Or blame society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?
No, blame Canada


ACLU
By mdogs444 on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: ACLU
By napalmjack on 7/11/2008 8:25:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I too get a bad taste in my mouth when I think about the ACLU, but on this matter, I'm glad they have our back.

I kinda like those constitutional rights.


RE: ACLU
By Chaser on 7/11/2008 8:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
Be sure to let the ACLU the instance your rights have been violated.


RE: ACLU
By AntiM on 7/11/2008 8:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
I greatly admire the ACLU and EFF for the things they do. They fight very hard for the rights that others have died for. I suppose you would be more comfortable living in Iran where you can be put to death for speaking your mind.

As for American constitutional rights for terrorists captured on the battlefield, I suppose that is kind of dumb. It's ok to kill enemy combantants, but don't capture them and violate their rights.


RE: ACLU
By nvalhalla on 7/11/2008 9:00:47 AM , Rating: 5
And why do we have those rights for Americans? Because we are special and thus deserving of special rights, or because "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

We give them the same rights as Americans because we feel all people are deserving of those rights, no matter who they are or where they are from.


RE: ACLU
By Denigrate on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: ACLU
By nvalhalla on 7/11/2008 11:18:48 AM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the ACLU is a perfect organization. They can get extremely overzealous! I just happen to agree with them on this point. I probably should have mentioned that in my post.


RE: ACLU
By Cygni on 7/11/2008 11:57:15 AM , Rating: 2
Holy god are you stupid.


RE: ACLU
By AntiM on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: ACLU
By Pythias on 7/11/2008 12:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
I kind of don't have a problem with killing my enemies. That makes sense in a natural sort of way. If we kill more of them, they kill fewer of us. I mean, think about it.


RE: ACLU
By TeamTebben on 7/11/2008 11:25:53 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you!! Thank you for perfectly expressing the cause of my discomfort with this law - and the "Patriot" Act, and nearly everything else that has been done in the name of stopping terrorism. It was just over two and a quarter centuries ago that those powerful words were written in response to a different government who did not respect personal freedoms. Let us not become the oppressors that our fore-fathers fought and died to escape.

(I know I'm inviting comments about slaves and Native Americans and anyone else who has suffered at the hands of the "white man" in North America, but if we can't learn from our mistakes then what good is remembering our past?)


RE: ACLU
By Polynikes on 7/11/2008 12:54:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well said, my friend. I completely agree. They may be terrorist scumbags, but they may not. Just because they're in Guantanamo doesn't mean they're definitely bad guys. Everyone deserves the same brand of justice if they're being prosecuted under our laws.


RE: ACLU
By myhipsi on 7/11/2008 8:45:34 AM , Rating: 5
No matter what your opinion of the ACLU is, I'm glad there are organizations out there whos principle objective is to preserve individual rights and the constitution. These "terrorists" you refer to aren't always guilty in every case. Some of these people were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and they should be given the opportunity to face their accusers and be allowed to defend themselves. After all, if they are in fact proven to be terrorists then they'll be convicted as such. Justice served.

I'd rather err on the side of liberty and justice than to err on the side of blanket fear based, emotion based "lock'em all up and throw away the key" or worse, "kill'em all" attitude. America is supposed to be better than that.

With all due respect mdogs, I'm sure you'd feel differently if you were captured under similar circumstances and knew you were innocent, yet weren't given the opportunity to defend yourself.


RE: ACLU
By Misty Dingos on 7/11/2008 9:30:05 AM , Rating: 4
The issues here are to complex to over simplify. American citizens have constitutionally protected right against unreasonable search and seizure. The president (not just the one in office now) has the constitutional requirement to provide the best protection of the USA that he can muster.

These two constitutional requirements have often been at odds with each other. Some of you would argue that the threat does not warrant the reaction. But that is simply not true anymore. In the last 30 years terrorists have gained an enormous sophistication and a penchant to kill not in ones and twos but in thousands. This is sadly now a demonstrated ability. Their obvious desire to kill millions is not a pipe dream but an obtainable goal.

So what is any government to do when faced with a threat that seeks to kill thousands to millions of your countries citizens? Sit on your hands and arrest a few here and there? Put them on show trials that last years and only serve to give them a pulpit to spout their poison? Do you open season on them and let loose the full weight of our military might on them without regard to who may be hiding them or who you might harm with your efforts or what the international repercussions might be? And how do you balance the absolute need to gather credible, reliable and timely intelligence on those that seek to do you and your nation harm against that of the privacy of your own citizens?

Well these are the questions of the day. Right now I think we are doing the best we can to balance responsibilities versus rights. But then again I don’t have relatives that live in any of the countries we often call the Stans, so when I call my family and talk them I pretty much know the NSA isn’t recording my conversation. If I did have relatives in one of those countries I might feel differently. But then again maybe I wouldn’t because I would at least hope that I would live in a country that has some desire to keep me alive by stopping the next terrorist attack before it happens.

I wonder sometimes if the ACLU and others care that much for the citizens of our country.


RE: ACLU
By punko on 7/11/2008 10:39:16 AM , Rating: 4
This has next to nothing to do with security, but it has a lot to do with control.

As pointed out, terrorists aren't scared by this, as it won't apply to them. What it does do is make it that any American who wished to communication to anyone outside the US can be (and will be) wiretapped without a warrant.

Sorry guy, you want to complain about the iron curtain or the great firewall of China? You've just seen you government enable your own version.

The US has just indicated they intend to monitor all communication from inside the US to outside.

Let just hope that none of your internal to the US conversations happen to go through a router located outside the country. Because if it does, your internal to the US conversation can now be freely recorded.

What's that? AT&T now moves all their routers into embassy space for a friendly (and complicit) nation? Doesn't that mean that all that communication technically left the country?

This plan has opened up an whole bunch of loop holes allowing a whole lot of abuse.


RE: ACLU
By emarston on 7/11/2008 11:03:13 AM , Rating: 1
This has next to nothing to do with security, but it has a lot to do with control.

Regardless of your bold and baseless statements it does have something to do with security. Comparing this to China is like comparing a house kitten to a full grown tiger.

The US has just indicated they intend to monitor all communication from inside the US to outside.

So they monitor communication? Corporations do it already. Other countries are doing it, too. In China if you do bad things (according to their government) they can do pretty much anything they want to you. At least in the US there is still the court system that must be dealt with. They will still have to get a warrant if US citizens are involved in the conversation (even if it's after the recording is made). In other words the US citizen still has protections.

People need to get a grip and quit screaming about how the sky is falling! We have so many bigger issues than this to deal with in this country.


RE: ACLU
By Denigrate on 7/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: ACLU
By AgentPromo on 7/11/2008 11:18:24 AM , Rating: 3
So basically your position is we should ignore the US constitution if it saves even one life from the terrorists?

Based on your standpoint I guess I dont know what the point of even fighting the terrorists is? Where does it stop...we give up privacy...then perhaps the freedom of the press or free speech...the list goes on.

I would like to beleive that our nation is fighting the terrorists so as to protect our way of life. As far as I know, our way of life is expressly defined in the Constitution. Start destroying the Constitution and there is nothing left but a statist regime that is not worth fighting for.


RE: ACLU
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2008 12:31:47 PM , Rating: 5
> "but if the wiretaps prevent one terrist plot to kill my fellow citizens, I'm all for it. "

We could save a lot more lives than that by banning cars, swimming pools, contact sports, and outdoor activities on rainy days. Who cares if we lose a little freedom, as long as we save lives, right?


RE: ACLU
By emarston on 7/11/2008 12:38:23 PM , Rating: 2
I still don't get it? What freedom are you losing?


RE: ACLU
By masher2 (blog) on 7/11/2008 1:53:41 PM , Rating: 3
Freedom from government monitoring and oversight.


RE: ACLU
By larson0699 on 7/11/2008 1:59:55 PM , Rating: 2
shhh...!! (they're watching us...)


RE: ACLU
By kc77 on 7/11/2008 7:34:09 PM , Rating: 2
Strange but I'm agreeing with masher and banshee on this.... did hell freeze over or something?


RE: ACLU
By PhantomRogue on 7/11/2008 3:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
so when I call my family and talk them I pretty much know the NSA isn’t recording my conversation.

You DON'T know. You can't know. My liberties, as guaranteed to me by the Constitution of the United States, keeps me free from WARRANT-LESS searches and seizures. The key word there is warrant-less. If they have reasonable suspicion to tape my conversations, by all means, go for it. But the fact remains, is that during the post 9/11 panic period, they tapped EVERYTHING they could.

That is illegal and every citizen is protected against that. Innocent until proven guilty my friend. I am not guilty until you prove it. The ends do NOT justify the means on this. So you tape my conversations, next will you tape my viewing habits, or my buying habits...

I buy 4 handguns. I make some wisecrack about war and assassination to my buddy while drunk dialing him. I go to a militia meeting. Next thing you know, I disappear for 5 months.

Sorry, but I like my freedoms. I would much rather suffer the consequences of too much freedom, than the penalties of not enough. I don't agree with the preacher on the corner, but its his will to be out there preaching. The biggest power we hold over everyone else, is that our country allows people to dissent from the norm.


RE: ACLU
By Bender 123 on 7/11/2008 9:02:21 AM , Rating: 1
So is this going to turn out like that one south park episode where they convinced the KKK to fight for a new town flag, thus making all the people that wanted a new flag want to keep the old one, just so they did not come down on the same side as the KKK.

Thats how I feel about the ACLU...I cant stand them, but I want them to win in this instance. BUT I CANT STAND THEM! BUT THEY ARE SOOOOOO RIGHT ON THIS!!!!

If I were a scifi robot, my head would be spinning and I would be yelling "Does not compute" right up until I explode...


RE: ACLU
By DOSGuy on 7/11/2008 9:03:15 AM , Rating: 5
Yeah, don't you just hate organizations that try to give innocent people the right to prove their innocence? I mean, everyone in Guantanamo Bay is automatically guilty, because the government never, ever makes mistakes. Sigh.

What you're failing to understand is that when you fail to stand up for the rights of others, it's a slippery slope that empowers the government to take rights away from more and more people, until eventually they start to take away rights that you care about.

quote:
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;

And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;

And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

~ Pastor Martin Niemöller


RE: ACLU
By HeavyB on 7/11/2008 10:37:55 AM , Rating: 2
This may reveal my true dorkiness, but isn't the photo in the upper left corner from a MtG card?


RE: ACLU
By Shodan on 7/11/2008 11:09:47 AM , Rating: 2
Its the image from an old version of the MtG card "Stone Rain".


RE: ACLU
By TheDoc9 on 7/11/2008 10:40:55 AM , Rating: 1
I'm so sorry you see the world like this, non of that is happening right now.


RE: ACLU
By JustTom on 7/11/2008 12:41:25 PM , Rating: 1
Conflating this law and Guantanamo Bay is a little bit of an overreach.


RE: ACLU
By larson0699 on 7/11/2008 1:48:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
this law
quote:
is a little bit of an overreach.

Thanks, people. I'll be here all day.


RE: ACLU
By SigmundEXactos on 7/11/2008 11:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The same ACLU who wants American constitutional rights for terrorists captured on the battlefield? Pffftt.


If you actually read the constitution, no where does it say that those rights are restricted to American citizens...because the concept of formal citizenship in a land of immigrants was an alien one. The only thing it even mentions is that the president must be born here, and that was because of the large number of supporters of the British crown still around (~40-50% the population by some estimates).

We want the moral high ground. I want to be a proud American. I want to be proud of its people. I want to be proud of our government. If the people we think are terrorists are guilty, then let's put them in court (military court is fine), present evidence, provide for their defense if they can't afford legal council, win the case on its merits, and hang them. If we think they are POW, then the Geneva Conventions apply (even if the enemy doesn't follow them!).

Nevertheless, everyone must have due process, or we are no better than some Sharia court! Innocent until proven guilty. No torture. Right to a speedy trial. Right to council. No cruel and unusual punishment.

Remember: all bad laws are pass "to protect us against bad people" or "to protect the children". They're never passed because we're trying to be bad.

If mere accusation is proof of guilt, then (paraphrasing) I have in my hands a list of know Communists and Communist sympathizers...

From the Declaration of Independence....
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."


RE: ACLU
By Grast on 7/11/2008 12:57:34 PM , Rating: 1
Do you really believe that during the war of indepenance and the war of 1812, we allowed captured British soliders to be charged in a court of law. NO.. They were either executed or sent back to the COUNTRY. But then again, they had a country unlike the terrorist we are fighting now.

I can say the exact opposite to you. NO where in the constitution does it state that these rights are not explicitly for American citizens. I find difference in a immigrate looking to make a better life and a terrorist whos entire motive is to kill other Americans.

The higher moral ground, do you hate your self that much. I could care less about the moral high ground. I would prefer to WIN and protect my family. In the first Gulf War, I did not and still do not care about the men which I killed during the course of my duties. I saw my buddies being fired upon and eliminated that threat. The were and are still my ENEMY. My ENEMY does not deserve my pity or mersy. Unless they are willing to throw down their arms and surrender, no quarter or mercy will be given.

That is the measure of my resolve. That is the reason you have the right to be high and mighty and have the option to stand by your morals. Only due to the sacrafice of people will to sign on the dotted line and protect your freedoms. I do not care if you understand what it means to actually have to fight for something. Anyone that tries to harm my family deserves what they get in response.

The defence of this country comes first...


RE: ACLU
By sgw2n5 on 7/11/2008 11:23:09 AM , Rating: 2
The stupid is strong with this one.

If you don't enjoy civil liberties nor mildly appreciate the people trying to protect them, and are willing to live in a pure market driven economy with none of those dern' dirty libs that Rush and O'rielly keep telling you about... I'd suggest you move to Ethiopia.


RE: ACLU
By larson0699 on 7/11/2008 1:45:34 PM , Rating: 3
And right below your post was...

"This is from the DailyTech.com. It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh


Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By kellehair on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By themengsk176 on 7/11/2008 11:11:24 AM , Rating: 5
Maybe if our government didn't treat the Middle East like a giant game of RISK, there wouldn't be as many terrorists that wanted to kill us.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By geddarkstorm on 7/11/2008 1:22:30 PM , Rating: 1
There will always be someone somewhere wanting to kill someone else.

For countries (and corporations): the bigger and richer, the more people are going to be out to harm it. That's just a reality of life.


By Myg on 7/11/2008 3:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
It seems the US government has officially lost its war against terror; They have become what they sought to destroy.

Middle-eastern terrorists - 2
United states - 0

Scoreboard ain't looking too good lads, you best get yourself sorted before they take credit for "freeing" you from your government by being the catalyst for its eventual downfall.

Wouldn't want to have to face that feeling, now would we? Imagine all those people converting to Islam because the words of a mad-man rang true. I can see it happening now, I suppose if you dig your own grave, you've gotta lie in it, eh?

All those people would have lost their lives in 911/Iraq/Afghanistan for nothing if this nonsense continues. The US needs to pull their head out of the sand and start facing the "reality" of the world around them.

How bout you lot start spreading some of that good old Christian love that you were so well founded upon, its the only solid thing that you can offer the world.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Pneumothorax on 7/11/2008 11:20:07 AM , Rating: 5
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Written by one of our founding fathers.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By JustTom on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
By Chaser on 7/11/2008 12:38:11 PM , Rating: 1
Thank you


By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2008 8:36:16 AM , Rating: 2
" The Constitution is not a suicide pact "
Written by that same founding father.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By BansheeX on 7/11/2008 11:40:33 AM , Rating: 5
This bill is pure nonsense. It wouldn't have prevented 9/11 and we had all the information and government funding we needed to take preventative action back then and did NOTHING. So what good is being able to spy on everyone going to do us? Nothing. We knew people were learning to fly planes here and but not land them. All that money, all those people running around the CIA paid with our taxes, and threat of the threat of using planes as missiles was never taken seriously. Instead, they spent all their time gathering bunk evidence about Iraq to drum up support for a war that has cost us enormous sums of life and transferred enormous sums of its people's wealth.

This bill is half posture, half deceit. Imagine some collusive heavily lobbied individual with business ties becoming President (not hard to imagine) and using this new power to spy on competitors or market phenomena to know what's going to happen before it goes public so they can maneuver their wealth around it. Or better yet, suppose it's used to obtain juicy tidbits for blackmail in order to prevent an insider who otherwise might have blown a whistle by threatening them with stuff obtained through this "anti-terrorism" program. Only rational skeptical people think of this stuff before it happens while the sheep are only thinking of the lovely ideal promise of government. "Oh, we promise, we'll use it responsibly to better protect you." By it's very nature it is going to be abused, anyone with a brain can see it now.

Terrorism can be prevented in ways that don't involve warrantless spying on people. For one, we can end our empire around the world and defend our now porous borders. And two, we can stop making oh-so-clever alliances and deals with people like Musharraf and Hussein as we have in the past, which always comes back to bite us, or dictating for people who their leaders should be like we did with Iran sixty years ago. We give so much ammunition to radical muslim propaganda it isn't even funny. They can point to any number of things we've done to exert our will in that part of the world for our unnecessary benefit rather than necessary defense.


By Chaser on 7/11/2008 12:11:39 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Terrorism can be prevented in ways that don't involve warrantless spying on people. For one, we can end our empire around the world and defend our now porous borders.


I'm sure that would go a long way to assuring the smooth flow of oil out of the Persian gulf.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By emarston on 7/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By dever on 7/11/2008 2:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why the heck else would they submit themselves to the background checks, interviews, polygraphs and what not every few years to do their job.
Hopefully, like every other rational human, they have their own self-interest in mind... money, convenience, etc.

Anyone doing a government job because they believe they're doing me a favor is dangerous.


By Ringold on 7/11/2008 4:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure how wanting to serve the country would be dangerous -- unless it went to their heads, of course.


By emarston on 7/14/2008 7:52:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hopefully, like every other rational human, they have their own self-interest in mind... money, convenience, etc.


Like I said they can make more money and have the same convenience on the outside as people that qualify for those positions make them very valuable to corporations. They don't do it as a favor to you. The ones that stick to that world do it because they believe they are doing the best they can for this country (in most cases).


By TETRONG on 7/11/2008 8:39:05 PM , Rating: 1
To run with your theory a little more.

Could you imagine if there was a dynastic interbreeding bloodline descended from Charlemagne. What if Bush, Gore, Kerry, Dean, etc... were all cousins !!!

Ooh..oohhhh, what if there were a man who's son was president, and the father who used to be president was making huge business deals all around the world, knowing that his son would set policy in such a way as to guarantee their own continued success.

That would be a pretty wild fucking movie!

:(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlemagne


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2008 8:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This bill is pure nonsense. It wouldn't have prevented 9/11 and we had all the information and government funding we needed to take preventative action back then and did NOTHING. So what good is being able to spy on everyone going to do us?


There is no way you can back this statement up. With all due respect Mr. Armchair Internet expert, things like the Patriot Act and this bill most certainly COULD have prevented 911.

quote:
All that money, all those people running around the CIA paid with our taxes


The CIA that had 80% of its HUMIT budget cut by Bill Clinton AND were prevented from working with the FBI and share information because of a law signed by Bill Clinton ?

quote:
using this new power to spy on competitors or market phenomena to know what's going to happen before it goes public so they can maneuver their wealth around it.


Completely manufactured scenario. Did this bill suddenly throw all checks and balances out of the window ? Predictions of bold governmental abuse to back up your position is purely speculative and manipulative. Argue the merits and leave the Chicken Little claims at home.

quote:
Only rational skeptical people think of this stuff before it happens


Rational ? You are not being rational at all. More like chronically paranoid dillusional.

If you were rational you would realize having concerns about something doesn't mean its automatically something thats %100 bad and should be done away with. You probably said the same thing about the Patriot Act, and now years later after several investigations its been proven to be solid good legislation. People like you just move from rant to rant without ever admitting they were wrong about something. I'm sure a year from now, without you even admitting this hasn't impacted your life or rights, you'll find something else to whine about and make bold predictions about. " the sky is falling " indeed.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By BansheeX on 7/12/2008 1:51:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The CIA that had 80% of its HUMIT budget cut by Bill Clinton AND were prevented from working with the FBI and share information because of a law signed by Bill Clinton?


I don't like Clinton and I'm not a Democrat, but to blame it on him or the lack of a patriot act is the height of neo-con absurdity. Do you remember what neo-cons what doing back then? In the pre 9/11 atmosphere, Clinton was actually criticized for being too obsessed with Bin Laden. Is that the kind of environment in which a lack of constitutional restriction would have prevented 9/11? Bush didn't do dick when he got in, and frankly it's on both parties heads for inciting it with sixty years of foreign policy blunders and CIA cloak and dagger work.

quote:
Completely manufactured scenario. Did this bill suddenly throw all checks and balances out of the window ?


You mean the check between executive branch and judicial, wherein the executive branch must obtain a warrant before searching someone or spying on them? Yeah, I would say so. I kind of thought you knew what we were talking about.

And LOL at the hypothetical scenario. Right, we haven't had presidents before abusing their powers for political gain. Nixon, anyone? Also, we're relatively early on in the game here. If we gave a kid a water gun for the first time and told him not to squirt it at his sister, this is like criticizing someone for hypothesizing that he eventually will. This isn't mass paranoia or rocket science here.

http://www.vimeo.com/1295224

quote:
If you were rational you would realize having concerns about something doesn't mean its automatically something thats %100 bad and should be done away with. You probably said the same thing about the Patriot Act, and now years later after several investigations its been proven to be solid good legislation.


You're using the benevolent dictator argument. Is it possible to have a benevolent dictator? Is it possible for too much power to appear beneficial for many years before eventually falling into the hands of someone who WILL abuse it? The answer is yes. That's why previously you had to get a warrant for searches. That's why the president can't declare war without congressional approval. We haven't followed that "oppressive" constitutional restriction since WWII, and look at the pointless loss of life and property this country has endured in Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq. Yeah, right, the hell with that antiquated document, it just bogs the president down. You're a dim bulb.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2008 7:05:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't like Clinton and I'm not a Democrat, but to blame it on him or the lack of a patriot act is the height of neo-con absurdity.


Then what are you ?

And lets be clear, I'm NOT and have not blamed Clinton for 911. I used something he did as a counterpoint for others playing the blame game. Also what I said was 100% fact. He DID prevent the FBI and CIA from working together, along with his Democratic congress. The same ones who voted for the War on Terror btw.

quote:
In the pre 9/11 atmosphere, Clinton was actually criticized for being too obsessed with Bin Laden.


Obesssed ? On the same day the Monica Lewinski story broke, he lobbed a few cruise missiles in his general direction. Coincidence ?

Damn right the neo-cons were critical of a president using military hardware to cover up the fact that the White House was being used to get head ! Wouldn't you be critical of this ?

quote:
You mean the check between executive branch and judicial, wherein the executive branch must obtain a warrant before searching someone or spying on them? Yeah, I would say so. I kind of thought you knew what we were talking about.


We're in a time of war, and I think its a bit fuzzy to say the constitution applies to terrorist intending to kill or harm citizens in some way. This is EXACTLY what Franklin meant when he said " the Constitution is not a suicide pact ".

quote:
If we gave a kid a water gun for the first time and told him not to squirt it at his sister, this is like criticizing someone for hypothesizing that he eventually will. This isn't mass paranoia or rocket science here.


Sure your not a liberal ?

The same kind of arguments were used against the Patriot Act. At some point concerns need to be realized as just that, CONCERNS. Does that mean we duct tape ourselves to a chair and do nothing ? Sooner or later you just have to move forward with a plan and do the best you can to minimize mistakes or oversights. Stop being a defeatist and buying into liberal fearmongering and their entire " can't do " attitude.

You think I LOVE the idea of wiretapping or something ? Hell no. As a conservative I'm damn concerned. But if I have to choose between watching another 911 or wiretapping, your damn right I'm choosing wiretapping.

And don't give me that " it wont happen " crap. Thats what people said before ! Its time to wake up.

quote:
You're using the benevolent dictator argument. Is it possible to have a benevolent dictator?


And your using recycled Lib talking points. The president of this country cannot, and will never, be a dictator. The idea that wiretapping in ANY WAY moves us toward a dictatorship is a complete joke.

quote:
We haven't followed that "oppressive" constitutional restriction since WWII, and look at the pointless loss of life and property this country has endured in Vietnam, Korea, and Iraq. Yeah, right, the hell with that antiquated document, it just bogs the president down. You're a dim bulb.


Iraq was approved by congress and made an official declaration of war. Sigh...

quote:
I kind of thought you knew what we were talking about.


Ditto.


By kc77 on 7/12/2008 9:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
There you go again little Billy getting out of the kiddie pool .... let me help you.

quote:
He DID prevent the FBI and CIA from working together, along with his Democratic congress. The same ones who voted for the War on Terror btw.
Um Republicans had majority in both houses of Congress from 1994 till 2006. Here's a link

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/repub_po...

..it's even got pictures (just don't skip over all of the words)

You know what this is like playing Marco Polo with a hearing impaired person. Let's play little Billy...

Marco!!
quote:
On the same day the Monica Lewinski story broke, he lobbed a few cruise missiles in his general direction. Coincidence ?


Polo!!
Clinton didn't bomb Afghanistan till August 1998. Lewinsky scandal broke in January 1998, with the following events happening before and after

quote:
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation placing bin Laden on its Ten Most Wanted list. Along with the Mohamed Elhajouji 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia, and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, the Embassy Bombing is one of the major anti-American terrorist attacks that preceded the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Wikipedia

Marco!!!
quote:
This is EXACTLY what Franklin meant when he said " the Constitution is not a suicide pact "


Polo!!
Franklin didn't say that Justice Robert H. Jackson said that in 1949. Terminiello v. Chicago

Come on little Billy play with me and not with electricity...

Marco!!

quote:
Does that mean we duct tape ourselves to a chair and do nothing ?


Polo!!


Hmm isn't that pretty close to hiding in a elementary school and reading "My Pet Goat" while planes explode onto the side of buildings?

Uh oh little Billy I think you drifted onto the deep side of the pool....where are your floaties?


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By kc77 on 7/12/2008 2:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There is no way you can back this statement up.
Um reclaimer if you had actually read his post he makes mention and a few others do as well that we had plenty information to stop what happened during 9/11. There's information all over the place that clearly makes it known that we were warned tons of times of an immanent attack in 2001, which later became an immanent attack in Sept 01.

quote:
The CIA that had 80% of its HUMIT budget cut by Bill Clinton AND were prevented from working with the FBI and share information because of a law signed by Bill Clinton
You're like 40 years off on that. Laws restricting CIA powers started in the 60's with Watergate, Bay of Pigs and again during Iran Contra. Pretty much once every 10 years laws were created which restricted CIA's maneuverability.

Also it's not HUMIT it's HUMINT... In addition the budget for HUMINT was increased in 1997. By and large the operating budget for HUMINT was stagnant or increased year on year with a large increase in 1997 after the bombing of Khobar Towers. Before this period most of the additional money was acquired through supplementals.

quote:
Completely manufactured scenario. Did this bill suddenly throw all checks and balances out of the window ?
Really ... are u serious??? After bringing up CIA and the FBI your case of Alzheimer's acts up and you conveniently forget about how many times the FBI / CIA have spied on average Americans illegally. Lets see we have MLK, the Kennedys, Watergate, Iran-Contra and a crap ton more of people who have been spied on illegally. Not to mention the class action suits of people who had been wiretapped....yes Americans.

I find it really odd that the same people who talk about being patriotic, and for military defense are the same ones that want me to believe that before Bush got into power that NORAD, the Air Force, CIA, the FBI and the rest of our military were all idiots until Bush had his crack at the Presidency. Are you serious??

We know that's not true because they received a memo that said "Bin Laden determined to attack within the United States." What more did they need a red phone under a glass case and a bat symbol on the roof? I guess they were waiting for the next memo "He's Standing Right Behind You!"

Might as well put in their that we can find Hussein in a dirt hole in a village but we can't capture a 6'4 Middle Eastern guy with diabetes and kidney problems and an incredibly large entourage..Yeah ....right.

You've got chutzpah to call someone delusional while suffering from a chronic case of denial yourself. That's not patriotism that's ignorance.

If you are going to attack someone else's patriotism at least learn how to spell the acronym HUMINT and do the due diligence on the history of the FBI and CIA before becoming a "Mr. Armchair Internet expert" yourself.


RE: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
By Reclaimer77 on 7/12/2008 6:42:40 PM , Rating: 1
Clearly building half your argument on a typo on my part is key to success.

quote:
There's information all over the place that clearly makes it known that we were warned tons of times of an immanent attack in 2001, which later became an immanent attack in Sept 01.


Common FUD thats been spread and has already been disproven. The 911 investigations set out to specifically proove that Bush and Rice knew beforehand about the attacks. They did not. There was no smoking gun. A warning about a possible threat is NOT enough to say it could have been prevented. Saying " bin laden is planning to attack within the united states " is pretty damn vague isn't it ? How exactly would you go about stopping 911 with barely a few clues of information ? Short of shutting down all flight traffic in the entire country and declaring Marsall law ?

The FBI knew half of the puzzle, and the CIA knew the other. And they were prevented from sharing the information and working together because of a law Bill Clinton signed. And I'm going to keep saying this absolute fact until you admit its true and stop circular arguments like..

quote:
You're like 40 years off on that. Laws restricting CIA powers started in the 60's with Watergate, Bay of Pigs and again during Iran Contra. Pretty much once every 10 years laws were created which restricted CIA's maneuverability.


Nice try, but laws specifically barring the FBI and CIA from cooperating and protecting our country have NOT been signed since the 60's.

quote:
I find it really odd that the same people who talk about being patriotic, and for military defense are the same ones that want me to believe that before Bush got into power that NORAD, the Air Force, CIA, the FBI and the rest of our military were all idiots until Bush had his crack at the Presidency. Are you serious??


I find it odd that you just spoke about how we " knew " 911 was going to happen and how it was going to happen, and yet it wasn't prevented. So aren't YOU the one claiming NORAD, the Air Force, CIA, and FBI and the rest of our military were all idiots ? Oh I'm sorry I forgot, its all just George Bush's fault. Right ?

Lets cut the bullshit shall we ? Everyone throwing up the constitution now thats its convenient on this issue could care less about rights, its only because Bush is the president when this happened. When Liberals are in office, rights are trampled constantly and none of you have a problem. All this talk about rights and the constitution by DT armchair lawyers is nothing but the same anti-war anti-Bush crowd spewing fearmongering and partisan slander. You know it, I know it, its that simple.

It never ceases to amaze how two faced people like yours beliefs are. How many babies in this country are aborted every year ? Or do constitutional rights only apply to life AFTER its been born ? Yet libs say nothing. Oh but let someone be executed because they are a convicted murderer and THEN Dems have a big problem with it.

How about the Department of Social services taking away parents children for sometimes questionable reasons ? With absolutely NO due process ! Is that Constitutional ?

If you guys have a problem with Constitutional " rights " being stepped on for whatever reason, fine. But please be consistent at least. But good lord, all this whining over this as if its the first time our government has wire tapped ? Where were you guys with all your constitutional arguments when Bill Clinton signed ECHELON ?

Deep down inside you know this wiretapping isn't about violating rights, its about defending this nation. This is just another excuse to Bush bash by DT liberal pacifists kids without a clue.


By kc77 on 7/12/2008 8:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Clearly building half your argument on a typo on my part is key to success.
Clearly making sure you know what you are talking about before you type it isn't apart of your argument either.

quote:
Common FUD thats been spread and has already been disproven. The 911 investigations set out to specifically prove that Bush and Rice knew beforehand about the attacks. They did not.


Like I said denial. You could say all sorts of things but to say that they weren't warned just makes you someone who doesn't like reality much.

quote:
And I'm going to keep saying this absolute fact until you admit its true
Isn't that the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result?

As for me making crap up this came from Wiki....

quote:
"By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting foreign intelligence concerning the domestic activities of US citizens. Its mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. By direction of the President in Executive Order 12333 of 1981 and in accordance with procedures approved by the Attorney General, the CIA is restricted in the collection of intelligence information directed against US citizens. Collection is allowed only for an authorized intelligence purpose; for example, if there is a reason to believe that an individual is involved in espionage or international terrorist activities. The CIA's procedures require senior approval for any such collection that is allowed, and, depending on the collection technique employed, the sanction of the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney General may be required. These restrictions on the CIA have been in effect since the 1970s."


Hmmm 1981.... unless you have some knew fangled time machine that counts every other decade I would say 1981 was before Clinton's presidency wouldn't you? Hmmm been in effect since the 70's hmmmm if i couldn't count I would think that Bill Clinton was the President during the 70's but I can so i really don't know what your problem is .... oh yeah that denial thing..... I also found a number of information exchange programs that were alive in the 90's (as late as 1999) between the CIA and FBI so I just think you're full of it... as for the rest of your blabbering there's really no use in responding ... you voted for Bush apparently and if you can't handle the "side effects" of your vote that's not my problem that's yours.

The rest of us who can see the problems with this president will deal with it and clean up your mess while you face the corner and throw a tantrum.

You've got so many knee-slappers in your post I could laugh for days... I personally like this one...

quote:
Short of shutting down all flight traffic in the entire country and declaring Marsall law ?
You mean like they did right after 9/11 right?? ..LOL

Listen Little Billy here are your jacks, and your jump rope, I'm sorry I stepped on your crayons but the street light is on...don't you think you should go home?


By HinderedHindsight on 7/11/2008 11:50:12 AM , Rating: 4
Part of the problem with this idea is that we know unwarranted wiretapping was happening prior to 9/11. Intelligence agencies were already getting records from telecoms before the towers fell. This did not help prevent 9/11 from happening. In fact, tapped conversations could be just as easily used to disseminate misinformation, especially since it is now known that the gloves are officially off unwarranted wiretapping. By granting this immunity, the executive branch has (essentially) publicly acknowledged that telecoms have been passing unwarranted information to the government. And as a result, any future information gleaned by wiretapping or forwarding email will be unreliable at best.

As a terrorist interested in American politics, would you try to transmit your plans of terror through conventional means knowing they might be overheard or the email may have been forwarded? And that the entities involved now have official government protection from lawsuits?

The government should have kept this unofficial if they wanted to best keep terrorists off balance. Now it's publicly known. Providing this kind of protection only serves one purpose, to grant immunity any entity involved in the act of violating anothers privacy. There is NO demonstrable evidence that this will HELP intelligence gathering agencies gather more accurate information.


By CigarSmokedByClinton on 7/12/2008 11:27:57 PM , Rating: 1
What really bothers me is the lack of a clear logical conclusion to this debate.

There is so much conflicting information out there that it is difficult for an objective person to really KNOW what the best thing to do is. I have read everyone's postings above and both sides seem to make good points, assuming their facts are true. The problem is so often its difficult to know what to believe. And even facts that are held true by both sides of the debate are often interpreted differently.

How are we as regular citizens supposed to know what to do? How do we empower people? The Bill of Rights states the government gets its power from the people. But I look at general citizenry and see a hopelessness and a helplessness about what to do about the things that are happening in our world. I think it is because there is no clear path, no obvious choice, that people just feel confused and helpless.

Does our government not seem broken? And yet what to do?


By Gman007 on 7/14/2008 1:52:55 PM , Rating: 2
Somewhat satisfy my curiosity and tell me which Magic card that is?


Journalism?!?
By ChristopherO on 7/11/08, Rating: -1
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer














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