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More controversy result

A report in the Washington Post said that President Bush blocked an internal investigation into the controversial NSA wire tapping program that was being put together by the Office of Professional Responsibility. The OPR launched an investigation into the NSA wire tapping program to see whether or not there were questionable activities. The wire tapping program was launched after 9/11 but Congress and the Bush administration has been arguing over its legality since.

According to the OPR, this type of block is a first in all of American history, and suspicion has mounted in regards to President Bush's decision. "Since its creation some 31 years ago, OPR has conducted many highly sensitive investigations involving Executive Branch programs and has obtained access to information classified at the highest levels," said OPR chief lawyer H. Marshall Jarrett in a memorandum. Jarret said that "in all those years, OPR has never been prevented from initiating or pursuing an investigation."

Some government officials say that Bush's decision to block the investigation is unusual. The OPR is part of the Justice Department. Because of the decision, the OPR was forced to drop the investigation on the NSA tapping program, which many government officials and outsiders previously stated was extremely controversial. The Bush administration allowed the NSA tapping program to conduct its business without first acquiring warrants from the Justice.

Representatives for the Bush administration stated that Bush's decision was based on national security, and that allowing too many people to gain knowledge of the details of the NSA program would pose a threat to that security. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told reporters that "the president decided that protecting the secrecy and security of the program requires that a strict limit be placed on the number of persons granted access to information about the program for non-operational reasons."

The program itself is allowed to be submitted to a secret government court that deals with terrorism and intelligence for review of legality, but President Bush has not yet done so.





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hehehe
By kattanna on 7/21/2006 12:50:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
the president decided that protecting the secrecy and security of the program


hehehe...protecting the secrecy of the program..yeah its so secret everyone knows about it

too funny





RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 12:56:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah thanks to a news media that can't keep their mouth shut. I'm sure the German's would have loved to know all our secret programs during WW2.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
It is impossible to keep secrets in America like that. If the success of the program truly depended on secrecy, then it was a bad plan in the first place. Organizations like the media, watchdog groups, PACs, etc. spend considerable resources towards finding out secrets like these, especially those that would not sit well with U.S. citizens, and that might actually be illegal.


RE: hehehe
By rushfan2006 on 7/21/2006 2:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
Well don't know how much I'll contribute to these thread..lol...getting in a debate over the Mid-east anymore is one of those "damn if you do damn if you don't " kind of things...like its almost easier to talk about abortion.....

But just my summary....first Iraq wasn't an immediate or direct threat to the USA, that's correct. To folks who say they were never a threat, would never be a threat,etc. That is just silly.

Next...the "war or terror" is kind of BS, I'll give you that -- for more reasons than one. I don't think we should be over there...of course Hannity, Limbaugh (and while I'm at it btw..my nic "rushfan" has NOTHING to do with that guy...I'm a fan of the band rush...not the talk show host) will say otherwise and they'll cry how its essential for us to be there yadda yadda.

Terror will always exist -- in turn...terrorists will always exist, democracy won't "stick" in Iraq -- its barely working now. Again the talk show guys will say other wise of course, but its laughable how we think we can change a region of the world who hasn't known long term peace in literally thousands of years. But now we are gonna step in and go -- wait let us wipe out your government, kill everyone who was apart of the old government then we'll form a new one...and boom! "ALL BETTER!".

Not quite.

I think we (USA) should stop getting involved in everything that happens in the world. Now I hear we'll be intervining in Israel over that crisis. It just never stops. Some, rare times -- we are right and just in getting involved....like WWII. However the overwhelming amount of times we have no business and we only bring more pain and suffering through our meddling.

Beyond all that, everyone needs to realize that to really understand the situations in the mid-east you have to go back in history..you can't just be going from 2001 forward and forming opinions from there, if you are -- you don't know the half of it.



RE: hehehe
By Pirks on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 4:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
It is always easy to make the argument for being more proactive, especially when you consider such extreme situations as Hitler and World War II. It is possible to use your logic to build a case to remove probably the sitting head of state of every nation in the world, based on an extrapolation of the possibilities. The reality is that a reasonable risk assessment needs to be done to determine whether such a proactive action is actually justified.

In the case of Iraq for example, Hussain's power was relatively constrained by the strength of its neighbors. Iraq possessed, at the time of our invasion, no air force, no navy, and only a very basic military (what was left after the first Gulf War). Furthermore, it was the subject of an embargo which made it impossible for it to further build any military strength, except for the possibility of some WMDs, a possibility that seems to have not been true.

So I would argue, in the case of Iraq, no credible threat actually existed. Even if it were true that Hussain had WMDs, I still don't think this changes the conclusion, since Hussain didn't seem to have the ability and/or desire to attack U.S. citizens using them. After all, Husain was a bad guy, but he did nothing to promote terrorism outside of Iraq, AFAIK.

So in the end, we took out a country that was no threat, had no clear indication of being a problem in the long term, at the expense of thousands of U.S. killed, tens or hundreds of thosands of Iraqis killed, and cost to the U.S. taxpayer well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. If this is not a failure of the super pro-active "war on terror" policy, I don't know what would be.


RE: hehehe
By Shivian on 7/23/2006 6:55:16 AM , Rating: 2
Saddam originally was fighting against Iran in a conflict that the US supported him for. Saddam was supplied weapons by the US. The US knew what he was doing to his people before this time yet they didn't do anything about it then. Why have they done something about it now? Because it suits them.


RE: hehehe
By PrinceGaz on 7/23/2006 8:17:09 AM , Rating: 3
The strange thing is that if Saddam had not invaded Kuwait and instead stayed on reasonable terms with the west, that America would be supporting Saddam again and encouraging him to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 10:50:38 AM , Rating: 2
> "The strange thing is that if Saddam had not invaded Kuwait and instead stayed on reasonable terms with the west, that America would be supporting Saddam again "

That's like saying "had Barry Bonds not taken steroids, he'd still be idolized as a great player". Or like saying, "Had Dennis Rader not become the BTK Killer, he'd still be a respectd member of his church and community".




RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 10:47:08 AM , Rating: 2
> "Saddam originally was fighting against Iran in a conflict that the US supported him for"

At that point in history, Iraq was seen as the lessor of two evils...and Hossein was quite moderate. It wasn't until he consolidated his grip on Iraq that his excesses began to show.

> "Saddam was supplied weapons by the US"

All his heavy weaponry was supplied by the Soviet Union, and or European nations such as France. Germany sold him outright a few plants to produce chemical weapons, and France sold a large amount of nuclear technology.

The US sold him a very tiny fraction of his arsenal, primarily C&C, comm gear, and a few light arms.

> "The US knew what he was doing to his people before this time yet they didn't do anything about it then"

Totally false. Once the news of his chemical attacks on Kurd villagers reached the West, the US instituted a total ban on arms sales to Iraq, and submitted a resolution to the UN calling for action against Iraq...a motion vetoed by the Security Council.





RE: hehehe
By retrospooty on 7/21/2006 1:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
The war on Terror is the biggest buch of BS there is. Not to say violence is justifiable under any circumstances, but the reason these extremists hate us is because of the crap our government has done, and continues to do in secrecy. Our government kills for profit, and ignores the consequences. When those consequences turn into terrorist acts against our citizens, they lie to us and act like they dont know why, and send our youth off to die for thier profits.

We voted for him (barely) now we have to live with it.

Nice job USA... Nice job.


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 1:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah it is B.S. because we are pussy footing around. America kind of does a thing right and then gives into pressure. We seem to care a little too much what people think whether it is right or not. Bottom line is that these terrorists hate us, our way of life, and that fact not all of us are Islamic. Instead of worrying what people think we need to take more action now not later. We already give tons of money away every year in humanitarian aid to these countries. Their corrupt and oppressive governments horde it for themselves. The U.S. is the only country with the balls to get rid of the middle man and the terror organizations that are propped up by them. Last time I checked helping people attain freedom and choice isn’t a bad thing. This isn’t like the old days where the military only had some muskets and swords that could be matched by the general populace. It’s much harder for the people of these countries to overthrow their government. Perfect example is North Korea.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:53:29 PM , Rating: 2
The problem that the policies of the Bush Administration are way too proactive relative to the actual threat. This idea of "taking the battle to them" goes way overboard. The Iraq war, one of the results of this policy, was totally unjustified, and illustrates how ulterior motives can get co-mingled with the so-called "war on terror."

Clearly continuing to apply such a misguided policy to solve the West's problems with Syria, Iran, and N.Korea would lead to disaster. We need to return to more mild, measured military actions, along with diplomacy, economic sanctions, etc. This is the right type of response for these problems, not invasion to remove the governments. Large-scale military operations like Afghanistan and Iraq cannot become the norm.


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 2:00:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Clearly continuing to apply such a misguided policy to solve the West's problems with Syria, Iran, and N.Korea would lead to disaster. We need to return to more mild, measured military actions, along with diplomacy, economic sanctions, etc. This is the right type of response for these problems, not invasion to remove the governments. Large-scale military operations like Afghanistan and Iraq cannot become the norm.


Because that was clearly working with Iraq? We jumped the gun but sanctions weren't working. Iran and North Korea have to be stopped in soon and probably military action will be the only way that works, at least in North Korea. Well maybe not if we can get Kim a directors job in Hollywood. He'd fit in there great.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because that was clearly working with Iraq?

No, the point is that Iraq was a "don't care" in the "war on terror." Iraq and Hussain's government was no threat to the US - zero - and gave little/no support to terrorists. The situation now in Iraq is really a lot worse. Terrorists are active and killing people on a daily basis. 6000 Iraqis killed in the past two months - with such violence continuing on a daily basis. Iraq is now the home to Al-Qaeda and lots of other terrorist groups. What was not a threat before, is now a threat, due to our overly proactive decision to remove Hussain's government and occupy Iraq.

Granted, Afghanistan was a slightly different situation, but with a weak government there could easily go back to what it was prior to our invasion.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
> "Iraq and Hussain's government was no threat to the US - zero "

Then why were we still patrolling the Northern and Southern No-Fly zones over Iraq, over a decade after the Gulf War ended?

By the way, you might want to look up how many times Iraq took potshots at US and British overflights during that period...each of which was, under the original peace treaty and international law, sufficient grounds for a declaration of war and invasion.


> "6000 Iraqis killed in the past two months "

At that rate, in only 500 more months, we'll match the number of Iraqis killed by Hossein.

Just curious...did you support the US attacks on Serbia? If so, why? Far fewer people were killed by Milosevich in Kosovo than the number of Kurds and Shias killed by Hossein.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 4:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then why were we still patrolling the Northern and Southern No-Fly zones over Iraq, over a decade after the Gulf War ended?

The original intent of these zones was to protect the rebellious Iraqi minorities (Kurds and Shiite Muslims) in northern and southern Iraq, respectively. The Coalition was permitted to fly warplanes over these zones to prevent Saddam Hussein's government from using military aircraft to attack these minorities. As time progressed though, the No-Fly Zones became a means for the Allies to force Iraq to comply with UN and Coalition demands, often related to the status of the weapons inspectors.
http://www.historyguy.com/no-fly_zone_war.html

The threat was to Iraqis and possiblty Iranians due to the possibility of WMD, but not to U.S. citizens.
quote:
By the way, you might want to look up how many times Iraq took potshots at US and British overflights during that period...each of which was, under the original peace treaty and international law, sufficient grounds for a declaration of war and invasion.

OK, understood, and there is some threat to U.S. citizens due to that. But I don't think this ties into any threat due to terrorism.
quote:
At that rate, in only 500 more months, we'll match the number of Iraqis killed by Hossein.

I understand this; however, invading a country to remove its government is not justified due to the possibility of future atrocies. Such situations should be handled in situ, ideally by the U.N. (half-jokingly), although admittedly, the U.S. has done a poor job in this area in the past.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 5:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "invading a country to remove its government is not justified due to the possibility of future atrocies"

But past atrocities occurred, and were ongoing when we invaded in fact. We weren't simply hypothesizing what might occur in the future.

> "OK, understood, and there is some threat to U.S. citizens due to that. But I don't think this ties into any threat due to terrorism"

Anyone whose read the full text of any the UNMOVIC reports understands that Iraq was doing everything possible to retain elemetns of its pre-Gulf War WMD programs, and continuing new research, particularly in banned ballistic missile programs. Do you know how many banned items WERE found and destroyed by UNMOVIC, hidden away for future use?
Why would Iraq do so, unless it planned, upon the eventual termination of UN oversight, to restart these programs?

So regardless of the existence of *new* weapons, we have a situation where, either we monitor permanently, till the end of time, or at some point we withdraw, then face a new, larger threat in the future.

Remember than the IAEA (headed by Hans Blix, no less) was the agency that failed, in the 1970s, to detect Iraq's Osiraq reactor which, had Israel not destroyed it, would have given the nations nuclear weapons by the Gulf War.

Remember also that Hossein is a man who invaded Kuwait, Iran, and attempted to invade Saudi Arabia. I don't see how you can call the eventual results of such actions harmless to US citizens. He's also the man that THREW OUT UN Inspectors several times, and readmitted them only when it became clear military attack was inevitable.

Do you feel the man had somehow changed heart, simply because for 12 years the US and Britain had kept him at the point of a gun?


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 5:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
You've made a lot of good points, and maybe I'm being dense, but I don't see how any of this ties into preventing terrorism here in the U.S., which is what the Iraq was was supposedly all about.

The other aspect of this thread was a comparison to Hitler and Nazi Germany. Do you feel that Hussain was a similar threat?

I totally agree that Hussain was a serious problem for the region, just as others are today. I just am not able to conclude that U.S. actions were justified relative to possible threats to U.S. citizens in the case of Iraq.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 5:31:24 PM , Rating: 3
> "I don't see how any of this ties into preventing terrorism here in the U.S., which is what the Iraq was was supposedly all about."

That was one of many reasons advanced for the invasion, each sufficient in of itself. As for how it relates to domestic terrorism, the argument was that Hossein, in possesion of WMD, would be a huge proliferation risk. That those weapons and technologies would be sold or traded to terrorist organizations, or to other nations, who would do the same.

Farfetched? Hezbollah is attacking Israel now, with cruise missile given to them by Iran. And the US has already intercepted several shipments of long-range missile technologiy, bound from North Korea to Iran and other destinations.

> "The other aspect of this thread was a comparison to Hitler and Nazi Germany. Do you feel that Hussain was a similar threat? "

No, I feel Hossein was a larger threat to US interests than Germany was to the US. How exactly did Germany threaten our interests? Had it not been for Pearl Harbor, we never would have entered the war...or entered it far too late to prevent the outcome.

Now let's examine the potential threat of Hossein. Assume we didn't get involved in the Gulf War. He retains control of Kuwait and, with much larger resources, eventually resumes his war with Iran. Perhaps he invades Saudi Arabia also...he was certainly lining tanks up on the border before the US arrived. Then, with four times his oil finances, resumes his nuclear program.

Now, is that a threat to our interests? Pretty much all the Mideast oil, in a nuclear-armed nation hostile to the US.





RE: hehehe
By Suomynona on 7/24/2006 10:17:27 AM , Rating: 2
So it's a-okay for the US and Israel to butcher innocent civilians, gang-rape children, and wipe out political dissidents right and left, but for freedom fighters to try to win basic human rights for the oppressed is heinous?


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/24/2006 11:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
> "So it's a-okay for the US and Israel to butcher innocent civilians, gang-rape children..."

I didn't see anyone condoning "gang-raping children". You are, of course, free to make whatever statements you wish. But emotional exaggerations like this hurt your case, not help it.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 5:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "Just curious...did you support the US attacks on Serbia? If so, why? Far fewer people were killed by Milosevich in Kosovo than the number of Kurds and Shias killed by Hossein"

To TomZ...I'd like to reiterate this question.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 5:58:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
To TomZ...I'd like to reiterate this question.

Sorry, I don't have an opinion on that. I didn't follow current events closely at the time that occurred; nor have I since studied the history of what happened. Therefore, I can't really express any kind of informed decision.


RE: hehehe
By maxusa on 7/21/2006 10:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, let's get things straight. The war in Iraq was conceived and executed with primary reasons other than protecting Iraq citizens and protecting "democracy" or "freedom." The fact that the U.S. is acting as an international gendarme often in its own interests, upsets and aggravates people around the world, hence rebellion against the U.S. So the shots fired at U.S. planes flying in the other country's sky surprise you?

Also, where was the U.S. when "democracy" and "freedoms" needed protection in other (non oil rich places)? Where is the U.S. worrying about the world security when India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons? Seems like a very selective application of "freedom" and "democracy."

All U.S. citizens share the burden of allowing its dumb president and his loyal White House servants kill tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, destroying Iraq's infrastructure, screwing lives of the survivors, etc. The fact is that W and the crew are international criminals who shall be prosecuted by the international community. And the U.S. citizens shall be levied a recovery tax to compensate for what U.S. did to Iraq.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/22/2006 1:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
> "fact that the U.S. is acting as an international gendarme often in its own interests, upsets and aggravates people around the world,...So the shots fired at U.S. planes flying in the other country's sky surprise you? "

The shots I referred to were fired at US and British planes flying in support of a UN-approved mission. A mission authorized by unanimous vote of the UN Security Council, and the vast majority of the nations in the world. The US wasn't flying in its own interests, it was attempting to prevent the Hossein regime from butchering a few million more Kurds and Shias. I call that a worthy goal, even if you don't.

> "Where is the U.S. worrying about the world security when India and Pakistan developed nuclear weapons?

Excellent question! In the case of India, the US was desperately trying to prevent the acquisition. France, however, supplied India with breeder reactors, and the USSR supplied them with heavy water. In the face of support by two members of the UN Security Council, our options were quite limited.

In the case of Pakistan, we fought even harder. In 1987, Pakistan acquired critical tritium technology from West Germany, and then, two years later, a complete reactor from China. The Bush administration then declares economic sanctions against Pakistan, and submits several UN resolutions for further action, all of which are vetoed by one or more Security Council members. In 1998, Pakistan conducts its first nuclear test.

I still remember what Pakistan PM Sharif responded, when called by Clinton in an attempt to stop to test. He said, "the world didn't punish India for developing nuclear weapons-- it won't punish us either".

> "W and the crew are international criminals who shall be prosecuted by the international community"

I think you'll find it impossible to name any "international law" which was broken by the invasion of Iraq.

> "Wow, let's get things straight"

Keep trying.


RE: hehehe
By maxusa on 7/23/2006 12:51:42 PM , Rating: 3
> The US wasn't flying in its own interests, it was attempting to prevent the Hossein regime from butchering a few million more Kurds and Shias. I call that a worthy goal, even if you don't.

This would have been a worthy goal is it was such; however, as they official White House message purported and the reality demonstrated, the goals were different. And please don't try to portray as if I am incapable of or don't support worthy goals. You can do better than that.

The point of my comment was to bring attention to your ridiculous suggestion that killing thousands of Iraquis is okay because the Saddam regime killed many more, and your attempt to link Iraq threat to the U.S. because of potshots at war planes over Iraq's territory.

You also speak about aborted or failed attempts of the U.S. to mitigate nuclear proliferation in India and Pakistan. How convenient! The U.S. decided to drop the ball in these directions, yet destroy Iraq amid the U.N. and the majority of the international community objections to the invasion. Very selective and certainly fitting the needs of the moment.

> I think you'll find it impossible to name any "international law" which was broken by the invasion of Iraq.

You're probably right here, just as you would be in the case of using nuclear weapons to wipe off several Japanese cities.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 5:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "This would have been a worthy goal is it was such; however, as they official White House message purported and the reality demonstrated, the goals were different"

We're speaking of the Iraqi overflights, from 1991 to the invasion of Iraq itself. If you feel the "reality demonstrated" of these missions differed from the official mission goals, you'll have to back it up with a little more than just your own statement.

> "...that killing thousands of Iraquis is okay because the Saddam regime killed many more"

Longterm, the invasion of Iraq saved Iraqi lives. You can't run from this fact.

> "You also speak about aborted or failed attempts of the U.S. to mitigate nuclear proliferation in India and Pakistan. How convenient! The U.S. decided to drop the ball in these directions"

How did the US "decide" to drop the ball? Do you think Clinton made an active decision to allow Pakistan nuclear weapons? In the case of India which, at the time was supported by the Soviet Union...do you think the risk of WWIII and possible nuclear armaggedon was worth blocking India's test?

Answer please.

> "I think you'll find it impossible to name any "international law" which was broken by the invasion of Iraq."
You're probably right here...


So if I'm correct, and no law was broken...why are you calling Bush an "international criminal? You just like the flavor of the phrase?







RE: hehehe
By maxusa on 7/24/2006 9:04:06 AM , Rating: 2
Decisions revolve around the risk/reward ratio, don't they? Especially so in the foreign policy of the U.S. and its leadership. India and Pakistan are too big and too populated and there is no oil = high risk and low reward. Iraq, on the other hand is weakened by the sanctions, effectively disarmed over the years, not that big, and number 2 country with the world's oil reserves. It's an excellent and easy prize. So how can the U.S. leadership brainwash the citizens and, preferably, the international community into allowing the U.S. a license to kill?

This is a simplified but very likely reasoning of the current administration. Then followed the actions to conspire the war, deceive citizens and international community, abuse powers, then engage in killing of Iraq citizens, destruction of the country, ruining lives of survivors, removing foreign government, and, eventually, misappropriating of government funds, enriching their friends and family members (with handsome kickbacks), while covering it up with "war on terror," or "democracy," or "freedom" arguments. These crimes-domestic and international-surely warrant the responsible to answer. The reality, however, is that the 800-pound guerrilla does pretty much what it wants and laughs at everyone else.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/24/2006 10:22:10 AM , Rating: 2
> "Decisions revolve around the risk/reward ratio, don't they?"

No, they revolve around the likelihood of actually being able to prevent proliferation, coupled with the danger the respective nation at risk of having nuclear weapons.

In the case of India, what would you have suggested we do? Invade? A nation of nearly one billion people, supported by the already nuclear-armed USSR? In the height of the Cold War...with the US still reeling from the Vietnam War? Only a child could believe the US had any practical response in this situation.

There's another factor that's even more nearsighted to ignore. The difference in the behavior of the respective governments. India has *never* invaded another nation, nor has it ever used WMD. Iraq, on the other hand, had been busily engaged in invading all its neighbors for profit, and its used WMD on its own citizens, as well as Iran.

You forget that the US wasn't the only nation worried about Iraq gaining WMD. Every single nation of the world (save for Libya, Cuba, and Yemen) considered Iraq enough of a threat to warrant the strictest sanctions ever applied by the UN, monitoring and destruction of all WMD assets and programs, and continual US-British overflights.

> "number 2 country with the world's oil reserves"

Oops, Iraq is #4 actually. Canada is #2...and its much closer, with a much smaller military, and a wide border for invasion. And yet we don't attack Canada.

So much for the "oil" theory.

> "This is a simplified but very likely reasoning of the current administration"

Only in the mind of a child. But I have a question for you. Did you support the US/NATO attack on Serbia, over the Kosovo situation? Yes or no.




RE: hehehe
By Mclendo06 on 7/21/2006 3:18:32 PM , Rating: 2
The goal of the terrorists is to create new extreme Islamic theocracies. They cannot anticipate being able to do this in the United States, but the United States is among the primary obstacles to them being able to set up such governments in more likely places. As long as we stand in their way, they are going to strike at us. In order to do that, they have to come over here. Chances are, they are going to communicate with their associates overseas after they arrive. The United States obviously has significant capabilities to monitor communications lines in and out of the country, and so the NSA uses those capabilities to figure out who in this nation is a terrorist based on who they speak with and what they say. Once they find someone who is a terrorist, they look at who they call internally with the phone call history. From this, they are able to track down entire terror networks within the country. Once they know who the people are, they go through more appropriate channels to collect evidence on them and prevent them from carrying out attacks. I think there are a few important distinctions to make. First off, the NSA is collecting intelligence, not evidence. An NSA recording from the wire-tapping program would never be allowed by any judge in a criminal trial case. The NSA is not prosecuting terrorists, it is identifying them. The less the terrorists know about how we find them, the easier it is going to be for us to figure out who they are. The fewer people who know about the programs we use to find terrorists, the less likely it is the terrorists will learn more about how to evade detection. I'm not saying that people from the OPR are going to find terrorists and tell them how we go about finding them; a more likely scenario is for someone at the OPR to leak details to the press, who then writes a juicy story about this controversial issue which includes details which causes the program to become less effective. My non-lawyer mind doesn't see how listening to my telephone conversations to determine if I am likely a terrorist constitutes unreasonable search and seizure. First off, knowing that there are plenty of people in the world whose sole purpose in life is to kill Americans makes a program like this seem prudent, much less reasonable. Secondly, I am fairly confident that if I am foolish enough to use a phone conversation to execute some sort of crime and get arrested for it, the prosecution isn't going to be presenting "Exhibit A - NSA phone tap recording 184730957" at my trial.


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 3:23:12 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 3:29:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The goal of the terrorists is to create new extreme Islamic theocracies. [etc., etc]

Agree, with the caveat that the Bush Adminstration and NSA do this work lawfully .

I don't think anyone here has argued against the validity of the work or of the obectives, just the fact that (it appears) that laws may have been broken and/or Judicial oversight bypassed.


RE: hehehe
By MrDiSante on 7/21/2006 1:31:09 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Our government kills for profit, and ignores the consequences. When those consequences turn into terrorist acts against our citizens, they lie to us and act like they dont know why, and send our youth off to die for thier profits.

Buddy, you've been listening to waaaaay too much liberal propaganda. The reason they hate us is that we're rich and powerful and they're dirt poor. It's a simple thing called envy and a messed up inbred culture, been around for thousands of years and it's not going away. Look at places where Americans are actually turning a huge profit on local labour/goods/whatnot: Asia and Africa, yet none of them are running around flying planes into American buildings or anything of the sort. And guess what, they won't leave you alone just because you don't bother them as the case with Israel withdrawing from most of its territories showed too clearly.


RE: hehehe
By retrospooty on 7/21/2006 1:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
You have a good point. We are dealing with some stone age mentality for sure, I also said "Not to say violence is justifiable under any circumstances". I do not at all agree with what these extremists are doing, I am just pointing out that our beleved government lies to us on a daily basis, and it is all for profit (not for the actual US government, but the the corporate culture that controls it, specifically the oil companies).

My point is this... Althought he terrorist are 100% wrong, and screwed up in many many ways, I do NOT trust the US goverment to be listening in to phone calls. They are NOT honest, and do NOT have the best interest of US citizens on thier agenda, at all.



RE: hehehe
By Ringold on 7/21/2006 4:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
They hate us for our money? You're listening to the simple-minded ignorant right-wing propaganda. Sure, it sounds good and upon superficial analysis apparently might make sense. And of course the masses leave it at that and, like you, take it as truth.

The Iranian public hates us and burns their flag for our money. Okay, you'd assume that to be logical. Except that on 9-12-01, a million people filled the streets of Tehran, many in tears, mourning the loss of an American icon. Millions filled the streets of cities across the world, the same streets where now the ashes of burnt American flags now lay. Do you, in your ignorance, think our GDP has really increases much since 2001? yeah. Right. Good anaylsis.

On the other hand, these terrorist groups do seem to have the ultimate goal of establish a global caliphate and dont mind sending minions off to die and dont mind the process taking generations to accomplish. As TomZ and others said, however, it also doesn't mean that we should allow a single one of our values or rights to compromised. When we do, as we've done over the past few years, morally we are only marginally better than our enemies, falling down a slippery slope of our own.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
> "Our government kills for profit, and ignores the consequences"

I wish you chaps would make up your mind. First you claim the war in Iraq is "too expensive", then you claim we're making a profit from it. Which one is it?

And, by the way, if you think we're "ignoring the consequence" in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else...you haven't been reading the news. We're still there, helping to support the governments, and rebuild the country.


RE: hehehe
By retrospooty on 7/22/2006 9:53:20 AM , Rating: 2
I have to reply to this one... Listen, you just dont seem to get how this country works so I will spell it out clearly for you...

1. Yes, the war is extremely expensive and a HUGE drain to taxpayers. That money is being spent by our government to pay for defense and rebuilding.

2. The oil companies and corp. fatcats like Haliburton are make billions off this venture. They are winning bids to rebuild destroyed bridges, the Iraqi company bids $500,000 and Haliburton bids $50 million, and Haliburton wins the contract. Do you see whats happening? Most of the war budget is going to make Halibuton and others like it rich beyond belief, while our taxes are paying for it under the disguise of patriotism. Boold for money... Not cool.

Dumbass.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/22/2006 12:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
> "Dumbass. "

I commend you on your excellent debating tactics, and the strength of your logical arguments.

> "They are winning bids to rebuild destroyed bridges, the Iraqi company bids $500,000 and Haliburton bids $50 million"

Ah, you have a reference for Haliburton (or any other US company) winning a contract with a bid 100 times higher than the low bidder?

I didn't think so.


RE: hehehe
By retrospooty on 7/23/2006 12:22:49 AM , Rating: 2
Your eyes and mind are both sealed shut. Lets jsut end it here.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 10:53:42 AM , Rating: 2
> "Lets jsut end it here. "

You make wild accusations and farfetched conspiracy theories, then when someone asks you to back them up, you say this?

A very illuminating response.


RE: hehehe
By retrospooty on 7/23/2006 1:12:55 PM , Rating: 2
I really hate myself for doing this, because I know it wont change your mind and you will come up with some way to negate the facts but here we go for a start... Its just the tip of the iceberg, and it should be understood that these people have very high powered lawyers and friends in the highest offices, so actual convictions are impossible with the president blocking investigations... Welcome to reality.

http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.c...

http://www.williambowles.info/halliburton/hal_over...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3963967.stm

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6363896/

http://dissent.blogspot.com/2005/06/robbing-piggy-...


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 5:48:34 PM , Rating: 2
> "you will come up with some way to negate the facts "

lol, your own links demonstrate that, far from "blocking" any investigation, the FBI investigated. You might want to check up on the results of that investigation, by the way.

The NBC and BBC stories date from the week before Bush'd reelection. A convenient time...but unfortunately there is plenty of innuendo here, but no "facts" whatsoever in them. No evidence of wrongdoing by *anyone*, much less Bush or Cheney.

The "star witness from all this is Miss Bunny Greenhouse, a civilian worker who was demoted for poor job performance, a fact her own coworkers bear out (this is repeated in YOUR stories no less). And what does Bunny have to say? That she felt a 1-year contract for Haliburton was justified...but a 5-year contract was awarded.

Wow. Stop the presses.





RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm sure the German's would have loved to know all our secret programs during WW2.

I also wanted to respond to this. You simply cannot put the "war on terror" and WW2 into the same category. Millions of people died in WW2 with some countries set on world domination. The "war on terror" is not exactly the same thing. It may have some similar qualities, but the scale of the threat is not the same.

The only sense that the "war on terror" is a war is that the U.S. created wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, maybe justified, maybe not.


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 1:30:37 PM , Rating: 1
Sure it is. WW2 was a nation state Germany looking for world domination. Now it’s terrorists groups looking for world domination that our supported by nation states. Just makes it harder to put all the blame on one country. I guess we’d all like to take a trip back to third world living and live by Islamic law. No thank you, I’m happy with the melting pot we call the USA. Sure we have our problems but nothing like these guys. Last time I checked the KKK doesn’t go shooting missiles into black neighborhoods.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Now it’s terrorists groups looking for world domination that our supported by nation states.

No, terrorist groups are not looking for world domination. Nor do they have anywhere near the military potential for that even if it was their goal. Even well-organized, well-funded groups like Hezbollah have very focused, local goals. Even Al-Qaeda's goals are simply to reduce the West's influence into Islamic affairs. Not hardly world domination, and not hardly a threat that should seriously keep us up at night. We should worry more about traffic accidents than Al-Qaeda.


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 1:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
Nice that you bought into their propaganda because that’s exactly what they want you to believe. Trust me these people want nothing better more then to destroy our very way life in time. (I’m assuming you’re from a western country) Right now it’s regional but if there was ever to be a formation of a Fascist Islamic Super Power, God help us. That is exactly what we are trying to stop looking at the big picture. Remember always look big picture with these kinds of things. Israel first, then Europe, then the U.S.A. Hopefully the Chinese and Russians catch on quick because they’ll meet the same fate at the hands of radical Islam.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't buy into their propaganda, nor do I agree with their goals and objectives. But a realistic assessment of the threat does not include the possibility of world domination, or even any real threat to our way of life, despite what the Bush Adminstration would tell us.


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 2:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Basically what these people want is a barbaric Islamic state. If you looking into Islam even a little you'll know these people take it to the extreme. They'd be more then happy to kill you if you’re not Islamic. Last time I checked I'm not a follower of Islam nor do I ever want to be. Just take a minute and imagine these guys as the KKK. Would you want them to take control of a region of the world and us it so spread their power of hate globally. While I am a Catholic I'm starting to believe religion was developed just to create more separation between people.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:26:03 PM , Rating: 3
Islamic extremists don't hate us for who we are; they hate us for what we do. Again, this is the opposite of what the Bush Administration tells us ("These people hate us because we love freedom" or something like that), because we are supposed to believe that we are in no way responsible for our actions or their reactions.

To clarify, I'm not saying we shouldn't be involved, e.g., in the Middle East, but what I am saying that our actions do have consequences. And again, I'm not condoning the activities of terrorists; I'm just saying that the hatred that the extremists have for us is not entirely unjustified.

Finally, most Islamic people do not share these views, it is just the extremist minority.


RE: hehehe
By ttowntom3 on 7/21/2006 3:42:52 PM , Rating: 1
> "this is the opposite of what the Bush Administration tells us ("These people hate us because we love freedom" or something like that), "

To be fair-- pretty much what the Clinton Administration told us, when they ordered Iraq bombed in 1993.


RE: hehehe
By Pirks on 7/21/06, Rating: -1
RE: hehehe
By rushfan2006 on 7/21/2006 2:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure it is. WW2 was a nation state Germany looking for world domination.


You want to know the similarity with WW2 and the War on Terror, there are two: 1) people got shot and died and 2) the word "WAR" is in both of them. Similarities end there.

Comparing the two is a huge stretch. And its ludicrous to even consider the fact that someone seriously thinks the two are comparable.



RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 3:06:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Comparing the two is a huge stretch. And its ludicrous to even consider the fact that someone seriously thinks the two are comparable.


It's ludicrous to not think this is comparable. The biggest problem is the U.S. hasn't officially gone out and made it a war. We "the west" have an enemy that like the Nazi's have a vision for the world. This vision just happens to be pretty narrow and based off twisted religous beliefs. It was been stated many times that they do not like the way we live and wish to end it. I'm not interested in living under a Taliban style of rule. We wouldn't all be talking about this on the internet that's for sure. Just in person while our wives were all wrapped up in black. No thanks! I'll take my freedom, technology, and quality of life over that everyday!


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 3:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It was been stated many times that they do not like the way we live and wish to end it.

Incidentally, who did you hear that from? It wasn't President Bush, was it? Do you think he might have any ulterior motives, you know, being a politician and all?


RE: hehehe
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 3:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
Well I haven't had a chance to talk to UBL directly so I don't have the other side of the story from the horses mouth. I do listen to Bush but don't agree with everything. Most of my information comes from various media sources. I don't make decisions on what just one person says. How about you? Where do you get your info? How do you know all these terrorist groups just want to keep it local? Do you really believe Iran want's nuke tech for power plants? If you do I have this 88 Buick I can sell you for $75,000.


RE: hehehe
By rushfan2006 on 7/21/2006 3:27:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's ludicrous to not think this is comparable. The biggest problem is the U.S. hasn't officially gone out and made it a war. We "the west" have an enemy that like the Nazi's have a vision for the world. This vision just happens to be pretty narrow and based off twisted religous beliefs. It was been stated many times that they do not like the way we live and wish to end it. I'm not interested in living under a Taliban style of rule. We wouldn't all be talking about this on the internet that's for sure. Just in person while our wives were all wrapped up in black. No thanks! I'll take my freedom, technology, and quality of life over that everyday!


No its not comparable. With the most respectful way I can say this, I don't think you understand why we have said its not comparable to WWII. Research what led to WWII, then examine the reasonings for the "War on Terror" -- if you still then see how they are similar....then either you can't read, you are reading very biased sources or I don't know what.

And for starters the Taliban are not conquesting for the world, that's just the very start of why the two events aren't the same.

However, I don't have the time or the inclination (as I would rather do other things with said time) to explain in full detail the reasons why they aren't comparable.

Its even funny when you think about it -- you just say "Well the taliban wants to impose their way on the world"....if that's your standard, you can say nearly any war is like WWII..LOL....of course....almost every war is fought because one side or the other wants to conquer more territory and impose their views, culture and way of life on others....LOL..



RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:37:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "And for starters the Taliban are not conquesting for the world, that's just the very start of why the two events aren't the same."

Nazi Germany desired Lebensraum, and "Großdeutschland", a greater German state, free from ethic pollution. That was their rhetoric motivating Germany to begin WW2.

Muslim Fundamentalistics want a greater Islamic State, free from religious pollution. The terms are slightly different, but the rhetoric is more similar than you think.


RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 4:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The terms are slightly different, but the rhetoric is more similar than you think.

Agreed, but do you take the view that the War on Terror is similar to World War II; or that the War on Terror is effectively World War III?


RE: hehehe
By Pirks on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 6:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ionly saw two ways - 1) stay back and do nothing or 2) prevent bad things from happening by acting early. Now, we're all lsitening - tell us your alternative way number three.

3) Respond in situ with moderation. A perfect example of this was the first Gulf war after Iraq invaded Kuwait. We didn't invade Iraq prior, to prevent an invasion. Instead, we dealt with it as it happened. We freed Kuwait and waged an air war, destroying Iraq's military capacity, and thus their ability to repeat their Kuwait invasion. IMO, this was very effective, and met all the same objectives you outlined without being overly proactive or argressive.

There are problems with the super proactive strategy that you advocate. First and foremost is the cost in terms of human lives and dollars, and the possibility that we will not accurately understand a situation properly prior to executing such a war (i.e., we reach the wrong conclusion, as may have happened in Iraq).

The next problem I see is that, once we remove the government, then we inherent total responsibility for all the services that the government previously provided. We also gain responsibility for rebuilding and creating a new government. These are not activities that the U.S. is particularly good at.


RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 6:19:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
> "A perfect example of this was the first Gulf war after Iraq invaded Kuwait. We didn't invade Iraq prior, to prevent an invasion...There are problems with the super proactive strategy that you advocate. First and foremost is the cost in terms of human lives and dollars...

I think any military analyst would agree that, had we fortifiled Kuwait prior to the invasion, the cost in lives and dollars would have been considerably lower, not higher.

quote:
and the possibility that we will not accurately understand a situation properly prior to executing such a war (i.e., we reach the wrong conclusion, as may have happened in Iraq)...

A very valid point. Its hard to use your crystal ball to act appropriately.



RE: hehehe
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 6:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think any military analyst would agree that, had we fortifiled Kuwait prior to the invasion, the cost in lives and dollars would have been considerably lower, not higher.

Yes, an even better idea! Much, much better than removing a government.


RE: hehehe
By Pirks on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: hehehe
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 6:00:14 PM , Rating: 3
> "Agreed, but do you take the view that the War on Terror is similar to World War II; or that the War on Terror is effectively World War III? "

Personally, I think the rhetoric on both sides of the fence are overstated. You can't fight a war on terrorism. You can only fight specific terrorists.

However, I do see the potential for a future large-scale war, between the US, its allies, and a diverse coalition of Islamic nations. If that eventually ever occurs, it will be motivated, not by innate hatred of our "richness" or our "freedom", but primarily by our support of Israel's more questionable acts.


RE: hehehe
By Suomynona on 7/23/2006 3:45:47 PM , Rating: 2
Even the most fundamentalist of the extermists only wants isolationism and freedom from the meddling of foreign governments in their internal affairs. That is entirely different from what the Europeans you cite desired.


RE: hehehe
By Ardan on 7/21/2006 1:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, so glad I didn't vote for him in either of the elections :). Hate that man and his policies so much!

Yeah I thought that was funny too...protecting the secrecy of a program we all have heard about now...hahaha. I got a good laugh out of the whole 'stem cell research' and 'murder' connection he manages to put forth, too, though I suppose the display that a Kansas senator used is more amusing. Did anyone see the clips of it on the daily show too? LOL. I think his name was Sam Brownback or something. I also enjoyed how he wanted to protect the 'sanctity' of marriage. I thought that was funny because come on, how many people get divorced again? Sounds like a joke to most people :P. Hope nobody tries to debate this because they won't get one. Just pointing out what I've found funny is all. To anyone that gets angry at this, I give them this response: lighten up already! :D

Hope you all have a great weekend.


Separation of Powers
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 12:43:23 PM , Rating: 5
A very clear example of why the principle of Separation of Powers is important. It is ridiculous that the Bush Administration can call off an investigation into the legality of its actions. We need action from Congress or in the Courts.




RE: Separation of Powers
By creathir on 7/21/2006 12:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, this is why the AG office resides under the executive branch. OTHERWISE, the congress would have a check that would superseed the executive branch, making the balance of power out of wack. I could see it now...
A democract/republic congress taking legal action over law it creates against the opposing party's president. Yeah... thats a good idea... no thanks.

- Creathir


RE: Separation of Powers
By edogwv on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: Separation of Powers
By retrospooty on 7/21/2006 1:02:24 PM , Rating: 2
What if they decide to listen to you? We have clear laws of privacy in this counrty that are there for a reason... Freedom is that reason. Bush is breaking those laws and blocking investigations into thge legality of his own actions.

This is not the USA I grew up in, this is BS.


RE: Separation of Powers
By edogwv on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: Separation of Powers
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:35:18 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
If a bomb blows up on a Subway train and kills someone you know or love, are you going to be happy that you maintained your privacy ?

Seems like a logical argument, but it ignores the relative risk. What if the risk of dying in such a situation is less than 1 in 10 million? Are you still worried about it? And in that case, how much of your privacy rights are you willing to spend, and how much do you think that will further decrease the risk?


RE: Separation of Powers
By cwalk on 7/21/2006 4:12:26 PM , Rating: 5
New Hampshire says it best: "Live Free or Die"


RE: Separation of Powers
By tfranzese on 7/21/2006 2:50:00 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.


RE: Separation of Powers
By retrospooty on 7/21/2006 3:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
welll said... Who said it?


RE: Separation of Powers
By elmer92413 on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: Separation of Powers
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:00:09 PM , Rating: 2
> "Benjamin Franklin said that"

Often incorrectly attributed to him...but the origin is actually unknown.


RE: Separation of Powers
By tfranzese on 7/21/2006 5:05:29 PM , Rating: 3
Which is why I didn't cite it ;)


RE: Separation of Powers
By Mithan on 7/23/2006 4:02:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

They can listen to me all they want... I have nothing to hide and not to mention it would be a complete waste of their time -

If a bomb blows up on a Subway train and kills someone you know or love, are you going to be happy that you maintained your privacy ?

Sorry... might be an extreme example-



K and what if at some point in the future they hear you "disagree" with the party in Power and then add you to a blacklist or something?

Think thats stupid? Its happened in other countries.

Privacy is important.


RE: Separation of Powers
By ebakke on 7/23/2006 5:54:00 AM , Rating: 2
the argument you stated isn't that privacy is important, it's that stopping the temptation for corruption is important or that keeping 'bad' people out of positions of power is important.


RE: Separation of Powers
By PrinceGaz on 7/23/2006 8:04:16 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
They can listen to me all they want... I have nothing to hide...


Ah yes, the famous line "if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear". Wasn't it the Stasi, the former communist East German secret-police who said that? The Stasi who kept detailed dossiers on every citizen to ensure they weren't doing anything the government disapproved of.


RE: Separation of Powers
By Suomynona on 7/23/2006 3:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
Why aren't you walking around naked? Why are your walls not made of glass? Why don't you have webcams broadcasting your every action to the world? Why aren't you giving out copies of your credit cards, medical records, and social security card on the street?

Though you may have no criminal activity to hide, voyeurs, identity thieves and blackmailers do not need such to get their kicks.


RE: Separation of Powers
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:02:49 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
National security is national security.... The Washington Post and others seem to enjoy uncovering government secret programs that are designed to protect our country

This is an assertion made by the Bush Administration that is not proved. And sorry, I don't accept that the Administration can break the law (if that is what in fact happened) for the interests of "national security." As many politicians have pointed out, if the laws need to change, then let's change them. Also, it was never explained, AFAIK, why the Administration never got warrants from FISA. They could have done that in complete secrecy.
quote:
If our goverment wants to listen on phone conversations regarding suspected terrorist activities I really don't see a problem here

The problem is of course "slippery slope." Today, they are listening to our conversations for "national security," and tomorrow, they're listening to find political dissenters. Back to the 1950's when the FBI was used against law-abiding U.S. citizens. So I for one, do mind.


RE: Separation of Powers
By segagenesis on 7/21/2006 1:34:22 PM , Rating: 5
Damn, and I though I was the only one left in the US who remembers what Mcarthyism is.

Some quick Martin Niemöller before everyone beings to think that the Bill of Rights is "just a goddamned piece of paper" also.

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


Slippery slope could not be better well said.


RE: Separation of Powers
By bersl2 on 7/21/2006 1:10:45 PM , Rating: 5
If there's no oversight by the other branches of government, I personally see plenty of problems.

Honestly, if the Executive wants to engage in warrantless wiretapping (circumventing Judiciary oversight), I therefore demand that there be Congressional oversight. Even if they're (the President and Congress) both scum, I can at least rely on the fact that if there's any malfeasance, the scum will turn on each other.


RE: Separation of Powers
By bamacre on 7/21/2006 3:29:48 PM , Rating: 3
Rights > National Security.

It's that simple. Take away out rights, and what have we left to secure?


RE: Separation of Powers
By bob661 on 7/21/2006 3:48:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Rights > National Security.
Hear! Hear! Being an American is more than having the means to buy 22" rims for your Escalade!!!


RE: Separation of Powers
By Wwhat on 7/23/2006 10:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is simple, they did it without proper clearance, they violated the law and basic rights and listened to non-suspects, they violated the constituition, they are therefore the very underminers of amwerica they are suppose to protect against.


RE: Separation of Powers
By Wwhat on 7/23/2006 10:53:53 PM , Rating: 2
Here's a newsflash: Any terrorist in america would assume the phones were bugged already, this would be no revelation to them.
In fact any foreigner and specifically muslim in america knows they are listening in for years already.


RE: Separation of Powers
By masher2 on 7/24/2006 2:14:57 AM , Rating: 2
> "Here's a newsflash: Any terrorist in america would assume the phones were bugged already"

Here's a newsflash; the NSA was data mining for suspicious call patterns. So even you assumed your phone was bugged, the mere virtue of who you called, when, and where from could compromise a terrorist cell.


RE: Separation of Powers
By DallasTexas on 7/21/2006 1:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
Agree with your points. It's an outrageous abuse of power that the American people are dismissing or just don't understand the implications. Another frightening proof this generation of apathetic voters is letting separation of powers get flushed down the toilet as if it's recoverable later.


RE: Separation of Powers
By TheDoc9 on 7/21/06, Rating: 0
RE: Separation of Powers
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 3:02:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
seriously, so far almost all of the comments I've read are taking this far too seriously, and in the wrong way.

If the facts bear truth: Our president, breaking the law, authorizing domestic wiretapping, involving U.S. citizens, without warrants. Are you sure that doesn't bother you, not even a little?
quote:
The problem is that we don't 'see' the war.

That's because it is not a "war" (excluding Iraq and Afghanistan of course) - it is intelligence gathering and law enforcement, which when done legally, are good things.


RE: Separation of Powers
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:12:22 PM , Rating: 3
> "Our president, breaking the law, authorizing domestic wiretapping..."

As far as I know, the allegations are that international calls were monitored, not purely domestic ones.

> "That's because it is not a "war" (excluding Iraq and Afghanistan of course)"

Why do you exclude these two wars? The fact is, during the time in question, the US was prosecuting one, if not two wars. Our enemy in Afghanistan was manifold, but al Qaeda was certainly a part of it.

Now, assuming that that NSA is eavesdropping on calls to and from suspected al Qaeda members, that is clearly a legal wartime power. If the NSA is listening in on love calls from Skokie to Chicago, now...that's a different story.


RE: Separation of Powers
By Motley on 7/21/2006 2:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
The president has the right to do such things. Congress does have separation of powers and they can override his say if they choose. It's called impeachment.

We don't need action from Congress or the Courts. It's really not worth the bother, and they both know it, which is why it hasn't been done. Bush's term is almost over, by the time Congress has get their crap together enough to actually complete the impeachment process (After consuming much time, and resources), his term will most likely have either been completed or nearly complete. And that assumes that they actually want to impeach him. Sure they could try and punish him (jail time, etc), but the next President would pardon him anyhow.

All is working as it should. If you didn't like Bushes policies vote for someone else next election, rather than trying to get all three branches of government bogged down trying to second guess every decision by the other two. We have enough of that already without wasting more of tax dollars when there are more important issues that need addressing.


RE: Separation of Powers
By MrPickins on 7/22/2006 12:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
Pray tell, what are the issues that are more important than preserving our rights? How about our childrens rights, or their childrens?

Terrorists can't take those away, but a government with no checks and balances can.

I say, money well spent.


RE: Separation of Powers
By rushfan2006 on 7/21/2006 2:14:55 PM , Rating: 2
Well I for one am only upset at this issue because of the fact that there's just something perverted when the highest "officer" in the land breaks the laws himself. I don't however, give two craps about the government listening in on my phone conversations (though it would be rather dull -- I hate talking on the phone...if I have a lot to say I often go over to the person and talk face to face, good or bad, the personal conversation is much more rewarding anyway than getting your ear chewed for 2 hours on the phone).

Privacy is an illusion - there is, never was and never will be true privacy so long as mankind walks this earth.

That all said...Bush should be nailed to the wall over this because he didn't follow the rules / laws. And I heard the excuses about him not having time -- that's all crap...and just that excuses.

On stuff like this though - I'd rather see it handled in Congress than Courts -- but don't get me started....as I think our Judicial branch is fastly challenging even the "corruptness" of Congress.....;)



RE: Separation of Powers
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:22:02 PM , Rating: 3
> " there's just something perverted when the highest "officer" in the land breaks the laws himself"
The issue here is whether or not the law was broken or not. If a city passes a bill outlawing free speech in city limits, and you break that law...are you guilty of a crime? No...because the Constitution trumps all.

The Executive Branch argues that, in time of war of emergency, the Constitution grants them the power to conduct warrantless interception of international calls. The Legislative Branch argues that legislation passed specifically by them outlaws this. Which branch is correct?

The situation is even more complex when one considers the text of a law passed in 2001 by that Legislative Branch, which reads, in part:

quote:
the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons...


Is intercepting a phone call to a suspected al Qaeda member "all necessary means" of preventing a future act of terrorism? You be the judge.



RE: Separation of Powers
By rushfan2006 on 7/24/2006 10:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
Say what you want, we are all entitled to say what we want on such forums. The president could well have been justified in his actions, maybe I mis-spoke by saying he clearly broke a law..that's yet to be fully determined by congress...however, he certainly did wrong. He went behind the backs of the system that is in place - if you tell me that isn't shady or at the least an insult to the system - I'll tell you right now that's incredible if you approve of that. And there is no excuse for that, anyway you want to word it.

FISA is there for a reason...and by the way some of the whole point of the argument that's been going since this thing started is the interruption of the law you quoted. Some are saying that law didn't apply to this situation, as many are saying that wasn't "appropriate".

Again, removing the controversy of the legal issues and politics -- I personally don't give a rat's arse if our government is tapping my home phone 24/7/365 -- as I'm a firm believer in -- if you live a "good live" and have nothing be ashamed of, why be afraid of such things?





RE: Separation of Powers
By masher2 on 7/24/2006 11:35:10 AM , Rating: 2
> "maybe I mis-spoke by saying he clearly broke a law..that's yet to be fully determined by congress"

No, its yet to be determined by the Supreme Court-- if ever. Congress doesn't control the Executive Branch...as much as they wish to.

> "He went behind the backs of the system"

As of right now, what exactly was done, if anything, isn't known. We don't even know if phones were even tapped. Certainly call data was collected...but does the Constitution give one the right to dial Iran without the government knowing you did, even if they don't listen? Is the record of your call attempt your "property and effects"..and is government knowledge of that attempt an "unreasonable search"? I'd say anyone able to interpret the Constitution as allowing cities and states to ban firearm ownership is going to have a rough time justifying this as an infringing action.


RE: Separation of Powers
By Shining Arcanine on 7/21/2006 4:27:18 PM , Rating: 2
It was not an investigation into the legality of any actions. It was an investigation into the constitutionality of some actions. The government does not abide by laws; instead private citizens do. However, the government abides by the Constitution, and the equivalent of something being illegal for a private citizen is something being unconstitutional for the government. Luckily though, there is nothing in the Constitution that says that the privacy of potential terrorists must be enforced above the perservation of the nation, so there is nothing that can be found unconstitutional.


RE: Separation of Powers
By Suomynona on 7/24/2006 10:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
It could easily be claimed that everyone is a "potential" terrorist. Especially members of the DNC.


The terrorists are winning...
By shadow300z on 7/21/2006 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about everyone else here, but I would much rather live with say a 1/10,000 chance of dying in a terrorist attack then have to yield a single freedom. Do you all not see that when we start changing our way of life that terrorism is accomplishing it's mission?

Terrorist organizations don't want to control the world per se like Nazi Germany, rather they wish to fundamentally alter/cripple national powers that differ from their ideology.

Oversight of the three branches is what this country was founded on, and yet we are moving towards a radical right-wing dictatorship. We certainly aren't there yet, but where do we as citizens draw the line? When do we actually stand up for ourselves?




RE: The terrorists are winning...
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We certainly aren't there yet, but where do we as citizens draw the line? When do we actually stand up for ourselves?

Hopefully in November, 2006, and again in November, 2008. Until then, we bite the bullet and hope not much else gets screwed up in the meantime.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By beastyben1 on 7/21/2006 2:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hopefully in November, 2006, and again in November, 2008. Until then, we bite the bullet and hope not much else gets screwed up in the meantime.

Best of luck to you with Hilary in 2008.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 2:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 2:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, this was meant to go below. But it can't be said enough, and perhaps if our leaders had listened to rather than made a royal mess of everything we're involved in right now, we'd be in a much better place.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By beastyben1 on 7/21/2006 2:20:02 PM , Rating: 2
Essential? Well that sir is up to debate.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 2:26:50 PM , Rating: 2
Granted we may differ on our beliefs as to what is essential. For me, communications that are intended to be private, such as phone calls and e-mail, are essential.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By zsdersw on 7/21/2006 3:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Trust me you don't even know what a right winged government is. The GOP is the DNC light. We do have to protect our freedoms but this is a war and as citizens are rights are a little more limited. I think the best thing to do would be for Bush to get on TV. Be real as say this is WW3 and have congress approve it. That way people will understand what this is. We all just don't want to have to sacrifice our cushy lives for a little while in the name of a better future for all. I find this to be a very sad state and what lead every previous world power to fail.


No, sorry.. but government doesn't know best.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 3:14:09 PM , Rating: 2
Never said they know best. I'm not sure how you got that from what I said.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By zsdersw on 7/21/2006 6:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
Well, you apparently trust them to not abuse their power and that we shouldn't be concerned about this and other programs; that they know best what should and should not be done vis-a-vis the terrorism threat.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Best of luck to you with Hilary in 2008.

That's only one of a thousand different possibilities for 2008. In my experience, it is totally impossible to predict with any accuracy which candidates might be viable in a future presidential election. Candidates that I though had great potential get sidelined early on, and some that I think couldn't get very far for whatever reason go on to the end.


By shadow300z on 7/21/2006 3:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
I have so little faith in our electorate. With voting laws basically a free for all in every state/district the potential for abuse is overwhelming. One constitutional amendment I would support would be the abolition of the electoral college.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 2:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Trust me you don't even know what a right winged government is. The GOP is the DNC light. We do have to protect our freedoms but this is a war and as citizens are rights are a little more limited. I think the best thing to do would be for Bush to get on TV. Be real as say this is WW3 and have congress approve it. That way people will understand what this is. We all just don't want to have to sacrifice our cushy lives for a little while in the name of a better future for all. I find this to be a very sad state and what lead every previous world power to fail.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 2:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
"Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin


By ProsperoLT on 7/21/2006 3:21:49 PM , Rating: 2
what do you think he means by essential liberties? freedom? privacy? could you imagine a U.S. with absolute freedom to do whatever we like? could you imagine a U.S. with absolute privacy that could essentially protect terrorists from ever being detected? there are lines drawn for a reason, it's just a matter of defining where exactly those lines fall, imho


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By JWalk on 7/21/2006 2:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
That is, in fact, the perfect quote.

Thank you.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:54:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Be real as say this is WW3 and have congress approve it.

It's a good idea, except for the "little fact" that this is not World War III .

Study your history, man. The "war on terror" is just a grain of sand on the beach or compared to WW2.

It is believed that approximately 62 million people, or 2.5% of the world population, died in the war; estimates vary greatly. About 60% of all casualties were civilians, who died as a result of disease, starvation, genocide (in particular, the Holocaust), massacres, and aerial bombing.

More at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 3:10:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah so far in lives lost it is a day at the beach. WW2 didn't start with millions of lives lost right off the bat. This is just the start of a very long and drawn out war. One that isn't as easily identifiable with bombs, tanks, and jets. This is a very sad fact that people need to see those kind of things before they take stuff like this serious.


By beastyben1 on 7/21/2006 3:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yeah so far in lives lost it is a day at the beach. WW2 didn't start with millions of lives lost right off the bat. This is just the start of a very long and drawn out war. One that isn't as easily identifiable with bombs, tanks, and jets. This is a very sad fact that people need to see those kind of things before they take stuff like this serious.


Yes, I agree. These people need the body count to hit a certain level before they concede it to be a World War. Maybe factors such as geographic scope and world military participation would count?


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By JWalk on 7/21/2006 2:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
You and I have made almost the exact same point. Unfortunately, there appear to be alot of people who don't see our rights and freedom as being the highest priority. They have replaced the words freedom and independence with safety and security. They would rather live in a police state and just go along with what their leaders tell them.

You know its funny, isn't that exactly the sort of country that the terrorists want to create? Hmmm...


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 3:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
It's true, and it's sad. They'll only realize the mistake they made in giving up all our hard-won freedoms when it's too late, and they're living in the police state they've created.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By TheDoc9 on 7/21/2006 6:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting argument. Although 1/10,000 is a little high for me, these TERRORISTS want to KILL you. That number you quoted will quickly drop as soon as you start eleminating programs like this.

I can't believe what I'm reading on this board. It's obvious that the majority of people here are secular progressives. I.E. you've all been brainwashed by the far left.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By Suomynona on 7/23/2006 3:42:46 PM , Rating: 2
One in ten thousand is much too great an estimate. One in a million would be overstating it -- statistically, you're much more likely to be struck by lightning whilst driving your car over a cliff than to be a victim of Al-Queda here in the US.


RE: The terrorists are winning...
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 5:55:01 PM , Rating: 2
> "statistically, you're much more likely to be struck by lightning whilst driving your car over a cliff than to be a victim of Al-Queda here in the US. "

I'm surprised you didn't sprain a finger typing such nonsense. How many people in the entire history of the US have been "struck by lightning while driving a car over a cliff"? Zero, I suspect. How many have been killed by al Qaeda, just in the past 5 years? Counting 9/11 alone-- several thousand.



What's the big deal with the program?
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 12:55:26 PM , Rating: 3
So the NSA can listen in on conversations of Americans contacting possible or know terrorists overseas. Last time I checked listening in on the bad guys isn’t a bad thing. Now I realize they are doing it without the normal warrant process. However they way this new War On Terror works some of the traditional rules have to take a back seat. It's not like they are listing to your call to Dell Tech support. Then again maybe they are...




RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By Goty on 7/21/2006 1:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on this one. I don't see why people are getting all upset about the NSA listening in on phone conversations. I don't have anything to hide, and you shouldn't be upset about it unless you do.


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By WeaselITB on 7/21/2006 1:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
In essence, you're saying you would allow a police officer to freely go through your house, monitor what you watch on television, rifle through the food in your pantry, etc., all without a warrant, simply because you have "nothing to hide"?

Wow ... just, wow.


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 1:40:40 PM , Rating: 2
That's taking what he said to an extreme. Sometimes you have to trust the gov. I know it's even hard for me to do but this is some serious life and death stuff. Not Johnny smoking some weed at his house. They said this is aimed at specific people with known terror ties. Would you like them to submit the whole program, how it works, and the names and numbers of the people involved for your "and the terrorists" review? People lets get real about this already!


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:47:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sometimes you have to trust the gov.

LOL. Trust 'em if you want. The rest of us will fight for your rights until you wake up and smell the coffee. How old are you, anyway? I used to think like that when I was back in school before I learned much about history and the real world. I'm not paranoid, either; but I do believe that government, left to its own volition, will not find the proper balance without some "push" by its citizens.


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By 05SilverGT on 7/21/2006 1:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
27


By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 2
That was a rhetorical question, but thanks for sharing. :o)


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By JWalk on 7/21/2006 2:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
The problem here is that you think trading our rights for the possibility to save lives is a fair trade. It is not. The idea of freedom exists in this country because its citizens have given their lives to protect it.

The idea is bigger than either you or me or anyone else. Giving away our rights is not an option. Period. No matter how many lives are at stake. Freedom comes first.

Too many Americans have died to protect those rights for us to hand them away because we are paranoid.


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By TheDoc9 on 7/21/2006 3:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
"The problem here is that you think trading our rights for the possibility to save lives is a fair trade. It is not. The idea of freedom exists in this country because its citizens have given their lives to protect it. "

You sir are someone I hope I never meet. I can't believe that a person exists that thinks like you do. We're not talking about a police state here, we're talking about the gov listing for terrorists chatter.

Why don't you go visit Isreal for a few months, tell us what you think then.


By mino on 7/21/2006 4:16:06 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe you should not meet him, for his sake.

I lived in communist Czechoslovakia and the sad fact is the laws "to stop imperialist agents" were the first ones.
The real terror came only after the communist party had most of the country under control(not most people, just most opponents) through those "neccessary" laws against the enemy inside.

You know what was on of the first(if not first) laws Hitler put through in '33 ??? The directive against the enemies of the state!
Remember, until the change in the constitution, all of these laws passed by "democratic" votes in the parliament!

Government(any for that matter) is to be watched, not to be believed. Of course, only provided the democracy is what you want.


By Suomynona on 7/24/2006 10:20:45 AM , Rating: 2
If one were to visit Israel, one could not tell you what one thinks, only what the Israeli governments wants one to say. Hence the propoganda we see from "unbiased" sources such as CNN and FOX News.

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?Sectio...


By JWalk on 7/21/2006 2:17:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree with you on this one. I don't see why people are getting all upset about the NSA listening in on phone conversations. I don't have anything to hide, and you shouldn't be upset about it unless you do.


Ok, let me quickly destroy this argument. First, your assertion relies on totally trusting the government. You believe that Bush and the NSA would never use illegal wire-tapping for anything other than "Protecting the safety of our great nation". That is insane, but fine. For the sake of this argument, lets assume this to be true.

Now, what happens when an administration takes power that you didn't vote for? One that you don't trust? One that you don't believe has your very best interests at heart? Do you think the power you have placed in the hands of the President and the NSA will suddenly become null and void? Do you think that every president and every administration will do the right thing with that extra power?

Terrorism isn't about blowing up buildings and killing your enemy's citizens. Terrorism is about DESTROYING FREEDOM. And, if you take a good look at where our country is headed these days, the terrorists are well on their way to winning the real war.


By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you draw the line about what is acceptable intrusion into privacy, and what is not? Are you okay with moving that line to encroach more and more into our privacy any time there is a real or perceived national security threat? Remember, it is never in the government's best interest to, on its own, grant more liberties to its citizens because it makes their jobs harder.


RE: What's the big deal with the program?
By sonoran on 7/21/2006 1:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
>they way this new War On Terror works some of the traditional rules have to take a back seat

If they have good reason to believe an attack is imminent (for argument's sake let's define "imminent" as expected to occur within the next week), I have no problem with them breaking whatever rules are needed to stop it.

But under normal circumstances this is BS. Waiting 24 hours to get a warrant won't lead to America's demise. There's a reason warrants are required for wiretaps - because power corrupts. And Bush seems to believe he is utterly and completely above the law, and should be allowed absolute, unmitigated power. I will be very happy if congress returns to Democratic control this fall. Then the president and congress can go back to stonewalling each other. At least then, they won't be making things any worse. ;)


By TheDoc9 on 7/21/2006 3:25:29 PM , Rating: 2
So I guess your part of the inner circle and know when terrorists are going to strike.


What exactly are we sacrificing?
By ProsperoLT on 7/21/2006 3:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
What exactly are we sacrificing? Our freedom to have a private conversation over the phone? Not entirely... let's say the NSA is tapping everyone's phone. Who has access to that information? NSA. Is that information public? No. Does the CIA have access to the phone taps? No. Does the FBI? No. Does Congress? No.

This was meant to be a top secret operation DIRECTLY related to threats made to this country. The president's actions IMHO are to protect the secrecy of what should be considered as one of the most highly confidential operations in our country... I am confident that any decision to work around warrants was done so for the concern of secrecy, not abuse of power. Granted there should have still been a small commitee for oversight, but when there are more people that know about it, obviously the less secret it becomes. AIMHO.




RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 4:02:43 PM , Rating: 2
The facts as I understand them.

1. The Bush Administration broke the law in asking NSA to conduct these wiretaps of U.S. citizens domestically because it did not secure warrants prior

2. FISA is readily available for secret, timely warrants; however, the Bush Administration decided to not ask FISA for such warrants

3. Now, the Bush Administration has directed the Attorney General to not investigate the legality of such actions

What are we sacrificing? How about the rule of law for one thing? How about the right we have to be protected from our government in terms of invasion of our privacy? How about Judicial or Congressional oversight?

This Administration has clearly demonstrated its view that it is above the law. This is something that concerns me deeply.


RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:47:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "FISA is readily available for secret, timely warrants; however, the Bush Administration decided to not ask FISA for such warrants "

FISA is the act; FISC is the actual authorizing court.
And we don't know if sealed warrants were obtained or not...and we may never know, until such data is declassified, decades from now.

But since Bush (and many presidents before him) have argued they have the power to proceed without FISC, let's assume they, in fact, did do so in this case. Now, lets couple that with the fact that FISC is, more so than any other, a "rubber stamp" authority...out of several thousand warrant requests since their inception, they disallowed only 3 or 4...and all of those were approved after being resubmitted.

Now, ask yourself an honest question. If Bush did proceed without FISC warrants...why did he do so? You're too intelligent to believe he did so, without being cognizant of the political harm, or that he simply desired to suborn civil liberty or make an ostentatious display of power. So, why was this particular method chosen?


RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 4:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
FISA is the act; FISC is the actual authorizing court.

Thank you for clarifying that.
quote:
Now, ask yourself an honest question. If Bush did proceed without FISC warrants...why did he do so? You're too intelligent to believe he did so, without being cognizant of the political harm, or that he simply desired to suborn civil liberty or make an ostentatious display of power. So, why was this particular method chosen?

I don't know! That's the point. This is the President that just vetoed the bill to widen stem cell research, so I personally just don't trust him to "always do the right thing."

But you are probably right; he probably did do the right thing, and all this discussion becomes a moot point.


RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 5:21:46 PM , Rating: 2
> "This is the President that just vetoed the bill to widen stem cell research..."

In this particular case, we know why he vetoed it. And its a decision I strongly disagree with.

> "But you are probably right; he probably did do the right thing"

Don't let him off that easy. My main intention was to point out, that for the call pattern data-mining the NSA intended, I doubt there was any reasonable method of even seeking FISC approval...its not a wiretap of a specific person or persons...its not even really a wiretap per se.

So that lets us frame the argument correctly. Its not a question of "why did Bush circumvent the legal framework to do this". In my interpretation, there isn't any such framework at all, other than Executive Order, based on a wide interpretion of AUMF and the Constitution A.2 S.3.

So the choice we're left is...either we, the government, authorize this via Executive Order. Or we don't do it at all, and we don't identify those potential terrorist cell members....and, quite likely, some of the recent terrorist atttempts on the US don't get thwarted after all. We can't have our cake and eat it too....the path Bush choose was the only way to do this.

Personally, I'd be fine with the second choice. Let the terrorists attack us...then investigate the crime. But then, I'm a civil libertarian. I do think, though, its important to frame the argument correctly.


RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By TomZ on 7/22/2006 2:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the only conclusion that I can draw from all this is that I still don't trust the Bush Administration, and I certainly don't like their track record w/r/t civil rights post-9/11.


RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By mino on 7/21/2006 4:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
Things are usually not as rosy as they were "meant" to be ...


RE: What exactly are we sacrificing?
By Ralph The Magician on 7/21/2006 4:37:52 PM , Rating: 3
Tapping everyones phone is impossible. Most of what the NSA is actually collecting is just call data. What number called what other number and for how long. Sure, they tap phones. They do that all the time. Secret courts have granted wire taps since forever. Nothing new here.

This thing got blown way out of proportion with AT&T. People actually think that the NSA has this huge database of phone conversations, and that they can easily just punch in a number and tap that phone. It doesn't work like that. The way the current phone system is laid out in the US the only thing that can really be recoreded is call data. It's not like the NSA said to AT&T, "We want you to record all the conversations going into and out of the New York area, and send them to us." That's impossible. AT&T can't do that. The infastructure simply doesn't support it.

People just get their panties in a twist because they have no idea what's actually going on. People believe that the NSA is can listen to anyone's phone call at the flip of a switch, and they are recording massive amounts of calls. Not true. Not possible.

What's really going on is that the NSA can, at a whim, more or less see your monthly itemized phone bill. Then, if they see that everyday you spend 6hrs on the phone talking to Allah Ackbar Muhammad Jihad, they might consider taping your phone.

My guess is that what they actually do is search a call database for suspicous numbers and try to recreate a network of whos making calls to and from that number, and tap those phones accordingly. Makes sense to me.


By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
> "Tapping everyones phone is impossible. Most of what the NSA is actually collecting is just call data"

Exactly so. The NSA, under Executive Authorization, got access to 'Hawkeye', the 400 terabyte database of AT&T call records....and did some (semi) realtime data mining to look for suspicious call patterns.



How do you know
By creathir on 7/21/2006 1:16:45 PM , Rating: 4
They are not getting warrants???

Are you part of the NSA?

Nope. You are listening to allegations...

With NSA, they acquire warrants through special magistrates courts that are held in secret.

Hint:
NSA = N ational S ecurity A gency

Think LOGICALLY here. If you owned say... a telecom, and the NSA comes to you and says, let us listen in on your customers conversations, would you just LET them? NOPE. Costs would dictate that it would be something you would not want them to just be able to do willy nilly. Instead, you would demand they obtain a warrant, which they would, and that would be the end of that argument. You people jump on this panic bandwagon and throw reason out the window.

As I have said MANY MANY MANY times before,

THINK

- Creathir




RE: How do you know
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 1:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
You make some good points, but this controversy is after all called the "warrantless wiretapping program." The implication is that there were no warrants. If the news media has duped us on that fact, then shame on them. If the NSA had, in fact, obtained proper warrants, then they could have sidelined the entire debate/debacle by stating that they had obtained proper warrants.

So in short, I do not buy your supposition that they had proper warrants.


RE: How do you know
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 3:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
> "this controversy is after all called the "warrantless wiretapping program." The implication is that there were no warrants. If the news media has duped us on that fact, then shame on them"

How would the media even know? Even the existence of a warrant sealed under classified status is kept secret.

In any case, I think more likely than a sealed FISC warrant is a sealed executive order granting authorization under excuse of war. Is such an end-run around FISA legislation illegal? I could argue it either way. Does the Legislative branch have the power to restrict those of the Executive? Clearly not.

The fact is, neither you nor I have the ability to adjudge such a case. Presidents Bush, Clinton, and others before them have argued they _have_ this power. Legislators have argued they have not. According to the Constitution, then, resolving power for this tie lies in the Supreme Court...and we won't have that answer until someone sues the NSA itself, and the USSC agrees to hear the case.


RE: How do you know
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 4:37:24 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, but my point is that if the Bush Administration truly feels it has done nothing wrong, why doesn't it just come out and explain what it did and why. I don't see how such a disclosure of the understood legal authority, assuming it was devoid of details of the surveillance itself, would harm national security. And such an explanation would help restore the public confidence in the Administration, as well as short-circuit what is sure to be a future political battle.

The fact that Bush personally directed the Attorney General to not investigate will certainly be interpreted by many as a possible cover-up. Or it could be a legitimate decision. Who knows? But without the facts, the American public is left in the dark as to whether Bush acted properly or improperly. That is a bad outcome in a society like ours.


RE: How do you know
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 5:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
> " if the Bush Administration truly feels it has done nothing wrong, why doesn't it just come out and explain what it did and why"

The existence of a Terrorist Surveillance Program has been acknowledged, and the President has briefed the Senate and House Intelligence Committee leadership several times on the details. He's also stated his rationale for the justification of the Executive Order creating the program.

The only other information he can divulge is the specific details of the program itself, and how it specifically operates. All classified data which, if released, would certainly destroy the value of the program entirely.


RE: How do you know
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 5:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "The fact that Bush personally directed the Attorney General to not investigate... "

Let me clarify a few things which aren't obvious from the slanted reporting on this story. First of all, Bush didn't direct the OPR to not investigate. He refused them access to classified data on the program itself. This has been interpreted as a de facto block, as the lack of disclosure will certainly hamper the investigation.

Second of all, the investigation isn't of the NSA program itself, but rather of the Justice Department's role in it. Specifically, it was to answer the question that, did any USDOJ agents participate and, if so, did they observe all legalities in so doing.


RE: How do you know
By creathir on 7/21/2006 2:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
Had they done thay, they would have acknowledged the existance of the program...

Until a few years ago, even THEIR existance was not publically known...

This is NATIONAL SECURITY... not CIA or FBI, but NSA. TOTALLY different ballgame here.

- Creathir


RE: How do you know
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 2:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Had they done thay, they would have acknowledged the existance of the program...

But now that it is an open secret, if they had warrants, it would certainly be in their best interest to say that, because it completely short-circuits the political debate and would add much-needed credibility the Bush Administration.


Just Curious
By masher2 on 7/21/2006 4:57:09 PM , Rating: 3
Just curious, but a question for all of you arguing so eloquently for preservation of our right to private international phone calls. Are you so passionate for all your other rights and civil liberties which have been eroded over the years?

In most states, we lost the right to bear arms many years ago. You need a permit from the government to assemble. Recently the Supreme Court has ruled the government can seize your property, for no reason other than to sell it for a profit to local developers. And all this is just for starters.

I could fill twenty pages with civil liberties being eroded by the government, each and every one far more crucial than the right to dial Iran without the government knowing you did. Do the rest of care about these issues also?




RE: Just Curious
By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 5:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Of course!!! One of the most important civil liberties that has been evicerated, in addition to those you mentioned, is the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. The 4th Amendment is practically worthless now, and the police can do almost anything. Warrants are rubber-stamped, and the products of warrantless searches are generally accepted as evidence in court. It used to be that there were few exceptions, now there are few times that a police action is not upheld by the courts.

You may ask what harm does this cause. First, you may value your freedom and wish not to live in a place where the police can some in your house anytime and do anything. This might remind you of the Soviet Union. But even if this were not the case, the 4th Amendment is responsible for the creation of excellent police forces in the U.S. A strong exclusionary rule based on Constitutional protections forces police officers to be well-trained and thorough. Compare our agencies to those of, say, Mexico. Ours are better because we required them to be. Until the past couple decades. Now they can be sloppy and still obtain convictions.


RE: Just Curious
By TomZ on 7/21/2006 5:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
As usual, you bring up some teriffic points.

But I must admit, that the typical American citizen is basically powerless to do anything about these situations you describe. Maybe all we can do is write letters to the president, write letters to members of Congress and the House, support organizations like ACLU, be informed and participate in elections, and maybe speak out in forums like this. Even doing all these things, which I feel amount to a drop of water in the sea, doesn't make me feel like I'm personally making any difference.

Anyway, it's not about me - back to the debate!


RE: Just Curious
By INeedCache on 7/22/2006 2:12:53 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone who thinks this wiretapping deal is solely about combating terrorism needs to contact me about some prime real estate I have for sale.


RE: Just Curious
By TomZ on 7/22/2006 2:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anyone who thinks this wiretapping deal is solely about combating terrorism needs to contact me about some prime real estate I have for sale.

OK, fine; I'll bite. What are your theories about ulterior motives the Bush Administration might have?


Of More Worry
By porkster on 7/22/2006 10:34:51 AM , Rating: 1
Of more worry is the number of Israeli's or those with dual citizenship, in the US Government.




RE: Of More Worry
By captchaos2 on 7/22/2006 1:23:53 PM , Rating: 1
Ok, before we start hearing the anti-semetic rhetoric, Israel and "the Jews" have every right to defend themselves. They've been doing it for over 60 years and are very good at it. They live in the middle of the terrorist countries, but they have never had their commercial airliners flown into their buildings. Now, about this tempest in a teapot over "wire-tapping" and civil liberties, the only people who should be worried about this are the few middle-eastern citizens who are living here in the US. Sorry, but none of us are so important that the NSA feels it has to listen to all of our conversations. Sorry, but they couldn't care less about our swapping recipes, or how stupid our girlfriend/boyfriend is, or whatever we did over the weekend, etc., etc., etc. The NSA could never hire enough employees to listen to one tenth of the phone calls going on in the US at any time. They only have enough people to listen to suspected terrorists or people suspected of helping them. If you don't fall into either of those categories, then I'm sorry to have to tell you that you've crapped yourselves for nothing. All that happened was the New York Times found out about a covert NSA operation being carried out against suspected terrorists, and promptly blew it open just so they could try to make up a story about the "evil US government" spying on us and play on our insecurities to make a profit. Of course, over the next few days after the story came out, various stores were calling the FBI about middle-eastern type people coming in and buying prepaid untraceable cell phones in bunches of 50's and 100's, so now the "wire-tapping" is over anyway. Just another example of irresponsible journalism undermining our nation's security and frightening our citizens, again.


RE: Of More Worry
By TomZ on 7/22/2006 2:22:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Of course, over the next few days after the story came out, various stores were calling the FBI about middle-eastern type people coming in and buying prepaid untraceable cell phones in bunches of 50's and 100's, so now the "wire-tapping" is over anyway.

Criminals have used these types of phones for years already. I seriously find it hard to believe that terrorists only just started using them after reading the article in the paper.


RE: Of More Worry
By captchaos2 on 7/22/2006 3:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
But yet it was reported to the FBI and investigated. Maybe home-grown criminals are a little more savvy to how things work here in the US?


RE: Of More Worry
By Suomynona on 7/23/2006 11:10:09 AM , Rating: 2
Anti-Semetic? Hardly. Ignore entirely the fact that the Arabs that you so brazenly categorize as "terrorists" and unworthy of life are themselves Semetic; that Israel is perhaps the most undemocratic, unfree nation on the face of the planet, one that strips every shred of dignity and basic human rights from its indiginous population in a way remniscent of that of the United States' treatment of Native Americans or of African slaves in the 1800s, is enough reason for any rational, compassionate human being to be deadset against the truly terrorist organization that is the Israeli government.

As to your second argument: Given our own (American) government's historical tendencies to blackmail, deport, imprison and murder even the most pacifistic of those who dare question the powerful, it would be foolish to assume that President Bush's illegal wiretapping program is being used solely to keep tabs on Al-Queda et al. We already know about the government's atrocities against innocent civilians in Iraq and Guantanemo; these are crimes against humanity that they justify by the very logic that Al-Queda itself uses.


RE: Of More Worry
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 11:37:01 AM , Rating: 3
> "the fact that the Arabs...are themselves Semetic"

There is some overlap between the Arab and Semitic ethnic groups, particularly among the Qahtanite Arabs...but all Arabs are not Semites, and vice versa. In any case, the contemporary usage of the term "anti-Semitic" refers strictly to the Jewish peoples. You can argue with some justification that this usage is incorrect...but the facts remain.

> "Israel is perhaps the most undemocratic, unfree nation on the face of the planet."

Not even close, my friend. Israel has a great deal to answer for in its treatment of the Palestinian peoples...but it doesn't compare to the worst regimes found around the globe. Overly emotional hyerbole doesn't help your case.

> "Given our own (American) government's historical tendencies to blackmail, deport, imprison and murder even the most pacifistic of those who dare question the powerful"

Currently in the US there are hundreds of thousands of people who are doing more than "questioning" the powerful...they are outright condemning them. Openly. In public demonstrations, on TV, newspapers, and a dozen other sources. Many have been doing this nonstop for years or decades.

How many of those people have been deported, imprisoned, or murdered?

I'll wait while you answer. But I won't hold my breath.






All the Hubbub
By NowPartOfThem on 7/22/2006 6:05:30 PM , Rating: 1
I have been part of the "they" that many like to refer to. FYI, there are not enough of us to chase the wackos, there are plenty of wackos, and none of "us" care about your conversations with the sultry 1-900 lady.

If you are bored and think that we are bored and peruse your phone records for kicks, find something to do. Many of us work really long hours for not a whole lot of money because there really are a large number of people who want to kill you and your family and my mom and sister. Please don't help them...or if you are going to, move out of the states and support them openly.

I once thought all the spy stories and government conspiracies were cool and I wanted to know all about them. I am part of “them” now and I want to know less. Unfortunately, there are many out there who really want to kill you, yes you, and would take pleasure in watching your head fall off or the blood slowly trickle out of you. It is sick.

Many do not believe this and can't as death and violence are far removed from the soft pillow, Caramel Macchiato, or sitcom that has become your reality. But please keep your mouth shut about what you don't know and realize that it is a better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and get my sister or mom killed.

God Bless




RE: All the Hubbub
By mindless1 on 7/22/2006 6:56:32 PM , Rating: 3
As a country that values individual freedom, we accept that freedom comes at the cost of a few lives. We have demonstrated as much decade after decade and supposedly believe as much in our current foreign affairs.

There was a reason these wiretaps were expressly prohibited, so that some damn fool wouldn't come along and claim we have an excuse to do it as is the case today. It was quite specifically intended to PREVENT what is happening.

So in short, if you work long hours, we should have sympathy. If you protect someone's life, again you deserve some credit. It does not entitle or excuse violation of privacy rights.

Do not catch the wackos if it means violating our rights to do it.


RE: All the Hubbub
By jonmcguffin on 7/22/2006 7:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhh... Thanks so much for this comment. I completely agree with you. I just can't even believe some of the people in here who actually think some of us Americans should be taken to international court! What traders we have around here.

I for one do not support the governments ability to listen into my phone calls but the why confuses me so much is that all the jokres on here who scream and yell privacy and personal rights are the same ones who love to take our individual rights away by advocating an elitiest "liberal" policy whereby those who know dictate over those who do not. They believe that "corporate america" is to blame for wars and poverty and that personal rights means taking away from one person and handing to another in the name of "fairness". Take the Microsoft EU debaccle. EU wants Microsoft to give up it's PRIVATE right to own and control it's OWN software that nobody HAS to buy, yet the same wackos in here who are screaming about their private rights have no worry about microsofts rights to their property and believe the UN should be able to dictate to Microsoft. So in this case they think government organizations should control, and on this topic they are all upset about government on the phone's. Crazy..


RE: All the Hubbub
By Suomynona on 7/23/2006 3:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
Not every group ("THEY") you hate is one and the same. Some day, perhaps, you might realize this.


Another Abuse of Power that Bushy gets Away With
By techhappy on 7/23/06, Rating: 0
RE: Another Abuse of Power that Bushy gets Away With
By Pirks on 7/24/2006 3:37:29 PM , Rating: 1
no techiehappy it won't be over since changing president usually doesn't change much, I've seen many changes and even mild revolutions in my life (1991 was the wildest) and I saw a LOT of presidents changed everywhere - and guess what - it didn't change that much in the lives of their citizens, at least immediately. just keep bitchin' with your next president and next after that, you're good at it ;-)


By masher2 on 7/24/2006 4:59:49 PM , Rating: 2
> " just keep bitchin' with your next president and next after that, you're good at it ;-) "

That's the real value of democracy, one of the least efficient forms of government known. Its primary value is people rarely get upset enough to revolt.


RE: Another Abuse of Power that Bushy gets Away With
By Pirks on 7/24/2006 7:31:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
That's the real value of democracy
Exactly! It allows people to keep bitching 'round o'clock :-) The constant bitching still looks moronic anyway... unlike in a totalitarian society where public bitching is a REAL heroism. This is why everyone spits so much dirt about Bush - because they are ALLOWED to ;-)


By techhappy on 7/30/2006 7:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
Of course bitchin' is important to democracy, if we don't speak up, then what's the point of free speech? If you want to keep your silence, move to China and Cuba and enjoy the silence.

The problem is, not enough people are talking about these issues. Sheeps led to the slaughter. Exercise your free speech. Don't be afraid or modest, because you will get trashed if you don't say anything.

Not that this discussion is going to change the world, but at least it's an outlet to vent on political issues. Only an idiot would think that these posts on Anandtech would amount to Public Heroism. These are perspectives, do what you will them and stop bitchin' about other people's right to a point of view, you communist sounding whiners.


By techhappy on 7/30/2006 7:50:01 PM , Rating: 2
Bitchin'? I'm sorry, am I only one here who is upset with Bush's management? Take a look around Pirks, try reading the newspaper and watching the news. This is a pretty universal feeling here.

So I'm guessing, you're one of the guys who voted for Bush? Did you send your kids to Army too? How do you like what's happening to all the kids who are coming back handicapped, with their lives ruined from Iraq? How do you like paying $3.50 per gallon of gas?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out, Bush has been one of the worst Presidents ever. I guess we will keep having bad presidents take over, with guys like you voting for Bush.



1984
By delta53 on 7/21/2006 3:14:58 PM , Rating: 2
Big Brother is watching you! Soon there will be the ministry of plenty, ministry of truth, and ministry of love.

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

For those who have not read 1984 by George Orwell...read it!




RE: 1984
By ahkey on 7/21/2006 3:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
This thread has some great comparisons (1984), anti-comparisons (WWII) and quotations (Franklin) - how about "power corrupts" as a subtitle?

In the absolute best case scenario and at the lowest possible "threat level" (a phrase cropping up suspiciously frequently these days), one person in the entire US Government is corrupt and self-serving.

How long before your logged calls to Barclays find their way into his clutches?

As for the higher level "threats", I can see no end to the possiblities suggested by the free-minded speakers among us, and an equally unending tirade of overbearing and unsupported badly-quoted propaganda.

For a country that values Freedom above all else, many of you seem suprisingly keen to give up your freedom as individuals; to place your trust in a government that has never had the power to protect you from harm, and that never will.

Is it any wonder that the rest of the world regards the "crazy", "warmongering" Americans with hostility and distrust?

They just can't fathom your values.


RE: 1984
By Suomynona on 7/24/2006 10:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
Certainly our government-controlled propoganda machines and pro-terrorism voting record doesn't help matters:

http://www.action-for-un-renewal.org.uk/pages/isre...


Skype Bugging... Coming soon in computers near you!
By Niv KA on 7/21/2006 3:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
What next, bugging Skype and VOIP Programs, maybe messenger programs too.

You think terrorists aren't smart enough to find other forms of comunication. This is like India's Blog sites.

Heck they could even put up a chat room at www.Al-Queida-Online.com at $10 a month

E-mails with encriptions, privet networks, normal mail in coded... I can think of over 100 different posibilities, even without the use of computers and with computers it goes into the thousands. Comeon USA Gov, don't be THAT stupid.

I also agree with Dead old Mr. Ben. Franklin. This is even worse as the chances of terrorists talking on bugged lines is nearly not existing

- Niv K Aharonovich




By masher2 on 7/21/2006 3:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
> "What next, bugging Skype and VOIP Programs, maybe messenger programs too"

Err, those are already covered under existing wiretap laws. If you think you can't be bugged by using VoIP, you're mistaken.


error in article
By Wwhat on 7/23/2006 10:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
"was launched after 9/11"
Is not correct, it has been shown now that they started it before 9/11.




RE: error in article
By masher2 on 7/23/2006 10:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
> "it has been shown now that they started it before 9/11."

Not according to the information I have. You're going to have to support this one if you want it on the table.


By johnnyMon on 7/21/2006 1:38:57 PM , Rating: 3
...and for what? So we could have a society where our phones can be tapped without a warrant and in complete secrecy? God only knows what else they are doing. This is freedom? It's closer to Skynet than it is to freedom.




I would block it too...
By Trisped on 7/21/2006 4:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't let others into the NSA business until the current NSA scenario is over. Even then, I would only let select people I could trust not to leak vital info.

The military performs questionable research all the time. We don't stop them from doing it because they are responsible and doing what is necessary to protect the country. It should be the same with the NSA who is currently fighting a war with people just as dangerous as typical fighters.




"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein










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