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WAR: Bush Allowed NSA to Spy on U.S. International Calls

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posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 11:08 AM
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I find it somewhat humorous that many people invoke the names of the "founding fathers" when trying to justify a curtailment or restrictions on intelligence or para-military operations. In fact, most of our founding father embraced these concepts with gusto, with the notable exception of Thomas Jefferson, who was by all accounts a singular man in thought and deed.

George Washington was our nation's first chief of intelligence, and although his intelligence activities have received far less praise than his military exploits, they were nontheless impressive and effective. Washington once wrote "There is nothing more necessary than good intelligence to frustrate a designing enemy, and nothing that requires greater pains to obtain". During the Revolutionary War, Washington spend about 10% of his military funds on intelligence-related activities. Early in the war, Washington spent money to establish spy networks, and to establish para-military groups like "Knowlton's Rangers". Washington was a master of spreading disinformation to aid his military campaigns.

Benjamin Franklin was a master of propaganda, who was key indeveloping and maintaining our relationship with the French during the war. Franklin also organized and directed dozens of privateers who operated out of friendly French and European ports against British merchant shipping, and set up a network of contacts in ports around the world to keep these units supplied.

The Founding Fathers were hardly concerned with the fair treatment of all Amercians, as is evident by the way that British loyalists were treated during and after the war, which caused most of them to flee north and help set the foundation of Canada. I suspect that if someone were to suggest to Gen. Washington or his cabinet that "the privacy rights of the people must be maintained, at all costs, evenif it means we give our foes the advantage"....well, I would be willing to bet that those old wooden teeth would be chuckling.

The same people wo complain about the NSA spying on them are undoubtedly the same people who fault the intelligence community for not preventing 9/11, or for not sharing pre-war intelligence with law enforcement agencies. You cannot have it both ways. Intelligence is not a precise science, where you select the single point of weakness and gather only that tidbit of data that you need. Intelligence is a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up all information so that it can be processed, categorized, sorted, and analyzed. In order to harvest the kernel of wheat, you must separate alot of chaff.

Now, if you want to critized the government for misusing the data collected during intelligence operations - thats fine. But, so far, I have yet to hear of anybody claiming that they were unfairly prosecuted for non-terrorist activities because the NSA was tapping their overseas phone calls.




posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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PYRO at that time America was not America. In fact it was a rebellious set of colonies of the English that was covertly and overtly funded by the French. They were terrorist or freedom fighters or guerillas or whatever. By today’s standards if Bush had his way they would not be bound by the Geneva Conventions and probably flown to a third country to be tortured and killed. Without a trial or notifying the next of kin.

Is this what america is suppose to stand for? Do as i say not as i do? I think not!

[edit on 12/09-2005 by BlackThought]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 12:03 PM
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Originally posted by BlackThought
PYRO at that time America was not America. In fact it was a rebellious set of colonies of the English that was covertly and overtly funded by the French. They were terrorist or freedom fighters or guerillas or whatever. By today’s standards if Bush had his way they would not be bound by the Geneva Conventions and probably flown to a third country to be tortured and killed. Without a trial or notifying the next of kin.

Is this what america is suppose to stand for? Do as i say not as i do? I think not!



And what did George Washington do when there was a rebellion. Like for example the Whiskey Rebellion? I guess what Timothy McVeigh did was the right to act against the U.S. govt, right? That should as hell send a message to the govt and the American people who jumped on the bandwagon for Timothy McVeigh and other anti govt organizations.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 12:17 PM
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People still remember the preamble of this country the freedom to pursue happiness. We fought partly of no taxation without rep, because of undue search and seizures, the ability to represent themselves as a governing body OH AND YES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. Yes you should read the writings of Good ole George after the war. Because when he sent his representatives into the same areas that just kicked out the British they too were tarred and feathered. You do not have to become the animal to beat it.

Spying doesn’t just effect the guilty it affects the innocent also. Who has access to this info after it is collected? How will it be used? Do you honestly think those who have access will not use it to their advantage? Especially with the level of corruption in American politics today.



[edit on 12/09-2005 by BlackThought]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 01:38 PM
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So why does it seem that no one's too concerned that someone or multiple people released classified information for political gain?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
So why does it seem that no one's too concerned that someone or multiple people released classified information for political gain?


Where's the evidence of this claim? Isn't it just as feasible that people within this effort became concerned about what was happening and released it to get media coverage?

The articles themselves state that officials and agents within the involved agencies voiced concern over what was happening.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 01:55 PM
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Here's a transcript from an interview regarding Echelon. This will give you an idea of what they can do.


Television Broadcast February 27, 2000

60 MINUTES

I wonder where all you people obsessed with the loss of freedoms were 5 years ago? This is nothing new, and it really is necessary, depending on your view/understanding of the world I suppose.



[edit on 19-12-2005 by CogitoErgoSum1]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:11 PM
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The sort answer is the CIA was under attack from the Whitehouse. The lead up to the war VP Dick C made sure the Intel it was close to what they wanted. When things start to fall through about the reasoning that we went to war they blamed the CIA. These people are bureaucrats’ not even politicians. If you remember a lot of senior workers at the CIA left because of the Whitehouse. The war is getting worse in some eyes and someone has to pay for it like George Tenet did. This time I think they fought back they did not wait for the “why didn’t I know” speech from one of the politicians. They released basically something that will save their jobs. I wound where all this was when the CIA operative was released knowingly out of the Whitehouse yet no one has been charged?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:14 PM
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Technology is used to gather information from people.
They have been doing this for years, this is no surprise.

The question is, why the public theatre?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall

Originally posted by junglejake
So why does it seem that no one's too concerned that someone or multiple people released classified information for political gain?


Where's the evidence of this claim? Isn't it just as feasible that people within this effort became concerned about what was happening and released it to get media coverage?

The articles themselves state that officials and agents within the involved agencies voiced concern over what was happening.


Yes, it's feasible, and because they were concerned over something they agreed to, the broke federal law possibly compromising investigations and agent's lives? It is also feasible that they did it purely for political purposes.

As to the claim of a leak of classified information, if that's what you're getting at, how else would the NYT get classified information except by a leak?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:37 PM
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Not sure if a thread exists on this subject, but in recent news: a college student wants to loan a translation of a Mao's book from his library, and gets a visit from Homeland Security officers. This is Dartmouth, I believe.

What I don't believe is that sort of thing is happening at all in this country. I was born in Russia, and let me tell you, a visit from KGB based on the book title would have seemed heavy handed even then and there.

Everybody wants to scream about how freedom needs sacrifice, but it looks like the freedom itself is being sacrificed. What do we stand for? One blogger blantly said that the war it worth fighting because he like his way of life, including being able to order a pizza at 2 in the morning. Have we become walking stomachs? Content to acquiesce to all sort of crap, as long as we get a pizza?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 04:39 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake


Yes, it's feasible, and because they were concerned over something they agreed to, the broke federal law possibly compromising investigations and agent's lives? It is also feasible that they did it purely for political purposes.

As to the claim of a leak of classified information, if that's what you're getting at, how else would the NYT get classified information except by a leak?


No, it's quite obvious they got a leak! LOL Here's my question to you...

you work for the NSA and you become privy to actions that are in violation to citizen's rights and the processes put in place to ensure checks and balances (FISA in this instance) - who the heck else are you going to blow the whistle to? It's not like you're working for a bank that you find is stealing people's money and you can call the FDIC. In fact, it's not like anything else you can come up with.

I don't think it's fair to jump to the conclusion that whomever within the NSA that leaked this did it for political or nefarious reasons. Why do we have to go with the negative? What if they downright disagree with violations against the constitution? That's good enough for me.



[edit on 12-19-2005 by Valhall]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
I don't think it's fair to jump to the conclusion that whomever within the NSA that leaked this did it for political or nefarious reasons. Why do we have to go with the negative? What if they downright disagree with violations against the constitution? That's good enough for me.


And what happens if that person did it because of secrecy. After all it is in the tradition of America where Americans hate secrecy. Heck we didnt even have an intelligence agency until the attack on Pearl Harbor. So imagine a person who hates secrecy and that all Americans must know everything. Even to know where our soldiers are at.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
I don't think it's fair to jump to the conclusion that whomever within the NSA that leaked this did it for political or nefarious reasons. Why do we have to go with the negative? What if they downright disagree with violations against the constitution? That's good enough for me.
[edit on 12-19-2005 by Valhall]


Ahh, now I see where you're coming from. You have the assumption, though, that the leak came from the NSA. I, personally, highly doubt it. The psychological testing involved in getting into the NSA is more rigorous than those taken to get into the CIA, and there is a very, very small chance a plebe would expose anything. It could have been one of the higher ups, as was the case with Deep Throat (not NSA, I know) exposing a high crime...Yet even in that case, it has turned out that that, too, was done for personal gain, or rather a personal vendetta.

There is another group of people who were not only aware of this executive order, but were consistently briefed every time the power was used. That would be the legislative branch. Given the enormous amount of leaks coming out of our legislative branch, often to sway political opinion, there is no reason for me to suspect this was leaked by anyone else. You have one group, the legislative, that is known for leaking, and another group, the NSA, that is known for its secrecy. Both groups were aware of the leaked information; who would you suspect leaked the info?

If it was congress and the person or persons who leaked it were doing it because they were concerned about the freedoms of Americans, why was it spun so well as to neglect any mention of congress's responsibility in it, and why was it leaked in such a way as to indicate this is a new policy? The only new thing about this executive order is that the special court set up to approve electronic surveillance by the NSA can be subverted in some instances with detailed audits of all actions presented to the senate intel committee. The information put forward on this order by the NYT and many politicians following the story is very biased and doesn't explain what is really going on. Therefore, I suspect leak for political gain.

Now to ask one of the most dangerous questions one can ask, especially on a thread where Val and seeker are contributing...
Where is my logic flawed?

EDIT: Delatboy said, "Even to know where our soldiers are at."
I don't think it was Geraldo who leaked this story


[edit on 12/19/05/19 by junglejake]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:13 PM
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I agree that this was very timely for political game, but also I find very disturbing that the White House have the Time magazine timely held back from making the information public.

That is also another political move, so lets see . . . who benefited from the held back and the publishing.

Well I guess you make your choice.

I still feel that We the People are the ones losing in all these games.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 05:25 PM
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Was it political?

Make no mistake, terrorists who come to this country for the purpose of committing acts of terror are well versed in our law enforcement techniques (they're very public) and what they can and cannot do. The secret nature of this order allowed possible threats to be monitored in a way they wouldn't have suspected. Now they know, and can take preventative measures. Unless, of course, the terrorists are all idiots. I doubt that.

Was it political asking the NYT to sit on that story? Possibly, but I suspect that only partly figured into it. I'm sure the administration, if it wants the Patriot Act extended, would want this information to either come out well before (say, a year) or after the vote on the patriot act. Yes, there is some major backlash on this becoming public, and I'm sure they suspected there would be if it was made public. However, it could have to actually do with...pending investigations.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 06:15 PM
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It amazes me the number of people that don't have a problem with this.

Sure, I'm all for getting the "terrorists", but not at the price of my own liberties and freedoms.

First off, this is a violation of Amendment IV of our Bill of Rights:


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


These searches are unreasonable and are without warrants.

Sure, they may tout that they have captured a "terrorist" or two using this method (although I have yet to see any evidence of this), but what about all of the other stories that they DON'T tell you about? For example, since September 11, 2001, there have been over 2,500 noted abuses of the Patriot Act - instances where the Patriot Act shouldn't have been used at all or instances where they obtained information under the Patriot Act but were not supposed to. I'm sure if someone were to dig deep enough, there would probably be thousands more.

And, although the current President reportedly may only use the laws given to him by the Patriot Act to spy on the citizens of his own country, what's going to stop the next President or the President after that for using the laws to his or her liking? Laws are originally made with good intentions, but over the years they are subverted and twisted into what the current regime thinks they should be defined as.

What's even scarier is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' response to this whole ordeal:


Gonzales said that when Congress passed a resolution shortly after September 11, 2001 giving the president the authority to use force to fight terrorism, this included the domestic spying program. Gonzales also insisted the domestic spying was part of the president's 'inherent powers' as commander-in-chief.


And the law is as follows:


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.


As you can see, the law written in 2001 is already being subverted and used against the very people that made it a law.

I think former Justice William O. Douglas had it right when he said "The privacy and dignity of our citizens are being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen -- a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a person's life."

You really have to wonder if you can trust a government that doesn't trust its own people.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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Well is a reason why the checks and balances has to be kept in the white house but as we all know that has been taken away when the Republicans won the elections.

Now we can see how one side can not work without the watchful eyes of the other side.

When that is not done one side become absolute and Bush thought that he held absolute power.

All the secrecy has not been for the good of the nation or the citizens but actually has open the way for abuses of power.



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by junglejake
So why does it seem that no one's too concerned that someone or multiple people released classified information for political gain?

...and why did the NYT hold this story for a year before releasing it, except to maximize the damage to the administration?

The act of leaking information has many of the same characteristics of gathering intelligence on a person.

Once again, I'm not condoning all instances of "spying" ( that needs to be constantly reinforced so that line is not used to derail the conversation ). Pyros had an excellent point when he said this:


The same people wo complain about the NSA spying on them are undoubtedly the same people who fault the intelligence community for not preventing 9/11, or for not sharing pre-war intelligence with law enforcement agencies. You cannot have it both ways. Intelligence is not a precise science, where you select the single point of weakness and gather only that tidbit of data that you need. Intelligence is a giant vacuum cleaner, sucking up all information so that it can be processed, categorized, sorted, and analyzed. In order to harvest the kernel of wheat, you must separate alot of chaff.

Now, if you want to critized the government for misusing the data collected during intelligence operations - thats fine. But, so far, I have yet to hear of anybody claiming that they were unfairly prosecuted for non-terrorist activities because the NSA was tapping their overseas phone calls.


That was so good I'll spend my last vote on it.



You have voted Pyros for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have used all of your votes for this month.





posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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Originally posted by Valhall
I don't think it's fair to jump to the conclusion that whomever within the NSA that leaked this did it for political or nefarious reasons.

Wait, let me see if I understand this correctly: it is not fair to jump to conclusions, especially concerning the leaker of this leaked national security and possible Constitution violation(s) issue, but on the other hand, it is simply AOK to jump to conclusions that the Bush administration has indeed violated the Constitution and the "rule of law"?




Why do we have to go with the negative?

Probably for the same reason that anything that the Bush adminstration does is met, seen, and intepreted in the negative.




What if they downright disagree with violations against the constitution? That's good enough for me.

Yeah, I guess I can see that point about as much as I can see those few who have given US national security secrets to other nations simply so as to maintain the status quo and balance of power. I am sure that these few individuals were doing what they thought was best for all of us too.







seekerof

[edit on 19-12-2005 by Seekerof]




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