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POLITICS: Bush Faces Republican Revolt Over Spying

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posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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In December of 2005, it was announced that the National Security Agency (NSA), under President Bush's instruction, had been 'listening in' on communications of US citizens, without warrants to do so, ostensibly to aid in the capture of terrorists who are in contact with American citizens. For some time, the President's wiretapping program has been under scrutiny from Democrats and many who are concerned about civil rights of the citizens of the US. Now, it seems, Republicans are also starting to be concerned about the legality of the program under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Arlen Specter, Republican chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, is proposing legislation that would force the matter to the court of FISA for the purpose of determining whether or not the President's wiretapping program is legal.
 



news.ft.com
Arlen Specter, Republican chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, said on Wednesday he was drafting legislation that would require the administration to seek a ruling from a special US intelligence court on whether the spying programme was legal.

The move could put the Republican-controlled Congress on a collision course with the administration, which has insisted that it is acting legally in monitoring calls and e-mails that might help disrupt future terrorist plots.

The US has been embroiled in a contentious debate over security versus civil liberties since the revelation in December that the National Security Agency had been intercepting communications on US soil since early 2002. The administration says the effort is aimed narrowly at communications involving suspected members of al-Qaeda or their supporters, but in order to identify such suspicious conversations many suspect that the NSA is combing through a far broader range of ordinary calls and e-mails.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I am glad to see this kind of non-partisan activity in Congress. One of the most dangerous conditions is to have power run unchecked, which is what we’ve had for the past 6 years. I’m encouraged to see the Republicans in Congress holding Bush up to a standard of legality after so many years of simply going along with him because of political party lines.

Fighting terrorism can just as easily be done under the law. If it is difficult to get the necessary warrants, then that problem needs to be addressed. The answer isn’t simply to scoff at the law and go around it to get the desired results, especially not for years without Congress approval.

While some corruption in the government is expected, there comes a time when we must examine how far removed we are from the original intention of the founders of this country, and determine whether or not we want to continue down this path. I think holding the highest office in the land to the law is a great start. If our leader deliberately and obviously breaks the law, what kind of corruption becomes acceptable for those who follow him?


Related News Links:
fairuse.100webcustomers.com
www.themoderatevoice.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Rove threatens to blacklist any Republican who votes against the president
Bush Politicizing about Wiretaps...How convenient!

[edit on 10-2-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]




posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 02:25 PM
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I could not agree more....

We have been on a dangerous political path for a very long time.

Our petty political bickering, and exchange of useless platitudes, does nothing other than disguise the real danger we face by the erosion our political institutions.

It's all broke....and nobody seems to want it fixed.



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 03:13 PM
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I'm still wondering why they didn't revolt over the this spendomania, no holds barred, bottomless pit of a budget. Nation has been bankrupted to record levels, personal savings levels at lows not seen since 1929, the housing market is buckling, and it all is an invitation for good pile of Weimar styled hyper-inflation.

So will the Repubs actually revolt over eavesdropping? Hard to imagine they could manifest any real dissension based on past performances of their old hustle, shuck and jive. Greed has bought them all and this is most likely false bravado, like that Alito filibuster as a flamboyant display of nothingness.

Consider this:Senate Republicans Announce Deal for Renewal of Patriot Act

So we want change? Then it's best not to delude ourselves with partisan koolaid crap and think this broken federal machine can fix itself without a complete overhaul and new parts.


[edit on 10-2-2006 by Regenmacher]



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 08:25 PM
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Amen to that, is about time that the congress do what they are supposed to do, to keep the balances in check.

Fighting terrorism is a priority and a needed problem that has to be addressed.

But it can be done easily without tampering with the constitutional rights of the American citizens.

The issue that bothers me the most is the fact that in order to avoid American citizens taking the government to court for violation of privacy rights the government has not done any arrest or warrants against any citizen and no names has come out of the surveillance.

Because onces an American citizen is name he or she can take the issue of privacy to court.



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 10:38 PM
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Public Privacy

Maybe I'm misinformed or just getting jaded, but as far as I know it's never been established that any laws have actually been violated in this whole made-for-TV deflection drama.

The fact that Senator Specter is drafting this legislation indicates that he, at least, must think it's legal.

Otherwise, why draft a law to outlaw something that's already illegal?

Am I wrong about this?


If I'm not -- and I'm pretty sure I'm not -- then what's the point of this exercise, other than grandstanding for the cameras?

Looks like a puppet show to me. Must be something more interesting going on in one of the other rings of this circus.

Quick! Look over here!



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 10:54 PM
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First off, congrats on your first ATSNN contribution, BH. You're wrong as usual, but congrats anyway. (j/k)

I have to agree with Majic - Specter's actions indicate that he thinks it was legal. And as Bush has said, if he was breaking the law, why would he keep key members of Congress informed, as he did?

Democrats have eavesdropped when in the WH also. Clinton did.

The sad part about this is, once again, a leak has compromised the methods we have been using to keep the country secure.



posted on Feb, 10 2006 @ 11:51 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
Public Privacy

Maybe I'm misinformed or just getting jaded, but as far as I know it's never been established that any laws have actually been violated in this whole made-for-TV deflection drama.


Established, no. But isn't that what everyone is trying to figure out? Moreover, there are clearly many who think it SHOULD be illegal...Specter among them.


Originally posted by Majic
The fact that Senator Specter is drafting this legislation indicates that he, at least, must think it's legal.


I'm not sure how you arrived at that. The legislation is to ensure FISA review. Are you saying he has made public statements that he believes the President acted properly?


Originally posted by Majic
Otherwise, why draft a law to outlaw something that's already illegal?


To remove any ambiguity or dispute. And it looks like the public is demanding it as well.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 12:44 AM
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There Ought To Be A Law


Originally posted by loam
The legislation is to ensure FISA review. Are you saying he has made public statements that he believes the President acted properly?

Let's ask him:


From Specter Says Surveillance Program Violated the Law

The program "is in flat violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," said the chairman, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who will open committee hearings on Monday.

That's what he's saying, according to Brian Knowlton of the International Herald Tribune.

My quandary arises from the fact that if this is true, then what's the point of passing another law?

How does that make sense?


The Art Of Not Making Sense

If the President is breaking the law, then passing more laws isn't going to fix that.

My problem with this story is that it defies my ability to understand it.

Maybe it's an indication of a profound reasoning deficit on my part, or maybe it's an indication that this whole issue doesn't make sense.

Why doesn't it make sense? I'll speculate.

Laws Of Deception

I suspect it's because information necessary to understand what's really going on is being withheld.

Why do that? To achieve some sort of political objective.

Who benefits? Probably not someone obvious, and probably not the people being deceived.

Suspicion deliberately turned in one direction usually indicates a desire to turn it from another direction.

I'm getting too damn old to keeping salivating every time some huckster rings a bell, which is why I'm unwilling to play along with this.

And I still expect real violations of law involving the illegal release of classified information to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Unless the law truly has become meaningless, of course.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 12:59 AM
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Originally posted by Majic
Unless the law truly has become meaningless, of course.



I am concerned it has gone that way...


Specter needs a new law because the truth is he can do nothing else. Bush's arguments force a constitution crisis...one that nobody seems to be talking about.

The Executive is claiming, under inherent Constitutional authority, unbridled power when deployed in the defense of the nation.

Bush has cast a wide net with this view, making the remaining two branches far less relevant.

Was that the democracy we thought we had???

I suspect many are only just realizing what might be happening.


[edit on 11-2-2006 by loam]



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 06:24 AM
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Of course the reality is the Republician congress is really less concerned about illegal wiretapping (which of course it was and no amount of spin from our local true believers will change that) as they are about their own well padded arses. Like the true rodents that they are, they see an issue that could seriously damage them in November and possibly beyond, and they are abandoning fearless leader as fast as they can without losing too much face. Mark my word, if this was an off year with no elections on the horizon, we wouldn't hear a peep from the congressional Republicans over this. Remember Nixxon put the Republican party back almost a decade.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 06:29 AM
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This is nothing more that a power grab by over-self-important arrogant Senators who are nothing but "want-to-be's".

Time to repeal the 17th amendment



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Democrats have eavesdropped when in the WH also. Clinton did.


YES, that is sooooo true!

Carter and Clinton both used the same type of wiretaps Bush did.
Yet the hypocrites claim Bush broke the law.

www.frontpagemag.com...
www.washtimes.com...



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 08:06 AM
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This is just a ploy--this is how they do it--they make a big stink--"oh we are outraged and we don't agree with the president." Then behind our backs when you aren't looking anymore they support whatever bullcrap G-dub wants. Just like with the student loan/food stamp cuts, the Reps made a big stink but still voted for it. So, until Mr. Specter says the legislative branch is going to take back the power given them by the constitution and act like they are equal to the executive branch he can take his phony legislation and stick it up his overpriced, over-insured, overindulged behind. I'm so tired of these people that I cringe at the thought of them sitting up on capital hill doing nothing to promote the welfare of the american people.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 08:34 AM
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In Majic form...

FISA vs The Constitution


Originally posted by Majic
Maybe I'm misinformed or just getting jaded, but as far as I know it's never been established that any laws have actually been violated in this whole made-for-TV deflection drama.




2nd Source

The senator, who has clashed with the administration before, said that it was clear to him that the law had been violated. The program, he said on NBC, "is in flat violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act." But it remained to be seen, Mr. Specter added, whether that statute is inconsistent with the Constitution.


It's clear to Mr. Specter that the law has been broken, but he is not the ultimate word on this. The FISA court must look at this as a first step to determining its Constitutionality. That's how I read this anyway.


Originally posted by jsobecky
The sad part about this is, once again, a leak has compromised the methods we have been using to keep the country secure.


As far as I know there is NO indication that the eavesdropping program has contributed at all to keeping us secure.


Originally posted by FlyersFan
Carter and Clinton both used the same type of wiretaps Bush did.
Yet the hypocrites claim Bush broke the law.


No, the hypocrites would claim that Carter and Clinton didn't break the law. I don't see that happening here. I'm certainly not claiming that. But I can tell you that I (and millions of others) would trust both Clinton and Carter with a program such as this, where we don't trust Bush to do what's in our best interest. That's the difference for me.


Originally posted by Saphronia
This is just a ploy--this is how they do it--they make a big stink--


This may be closest to the truth. It may be all for show. I hope not, but history speaks otherwise.


Originally posted by jsobecky
First off, congrats on your first ATSNN contribution, BH. You're wrong as usual, but congrats anyway. (j/k)


Ouch! But thanks.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 10:49 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by FlyersFan
Carter and Clinton both used the same type of wiretaps Bush did.
Yet the hypocrites claim Bush broke the law.

No, the hypocrites would claim that Carter and
Clinton didn't break the law.


Oh? HA! The TV news is reporting that two criminals nabbed
by Carter using the same type of wiretaps went to prison.
They then took the issue to court claiming how they got
caught was against the law. The court UPHELD CARTER and
said it was absolutely legal for the President to have
authorized the wiretaps.

The US Courts disagree with you.
Those educated in the judicial system disagree with you.

The TV news reported this incident this morning.
I'll see if I can find it on the internet ...unless someone else
finds it first.


[edit on 2/11/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan
The TV news is reporting that two criminals nabbed
by Carter using the same type of wiretaps went to prison.


I don't suppose you have any way of letting me explore this on my own instead of taking your word and trusting that you've left nothing of import out of the story? Like a link?

Edit: I see your edit now. Thanks.

[edit on 11-2-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
As far as I know there is NO indication that the eavesdropping
program has contributed at all to keeping us secure.


Administration officials say Bush’s program has uncovered
Iyman Faris’ plan to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge and another
bombing plot in Britain. VP Cheney said that it has saved
'thousands of lives'. Those are only two plots that they
can reveal. We can't know every detail of what it has helped
with. That would jeapordize operations and undercover
personnel. The program absolutely helps keep us secure.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:09 AM
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Getting close ...

en.wikipedia.org...

It's too long to exerpt.

I'm still looking for a link to what the TV news is reporting...


[edit on 2/11/2006 by FlyersFan]



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:19 AM
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I think all this fuss is just a load of BS put on for the American people. Arlan Spectre did not have the Attorney General sworn in when he testified. Me thinks something stinks and that is they are all just playing us a tune to make it look like they are doing something about it now that it is out in the public but in the end we will continue to lose our rights. The democrats and the republicans are playing us all for fools, they are one party now and we are just slaves for the corporations and that who they want to keep happy not us.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:26 AM
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In the meantime, you can read here about the strict limits included in Clinton and Carter's wiretapping and how that's different than Bush's; namely they didn't spy on US citizens.

Source



Debunking the Carter/Clinton Myth


I'll be interested to see what you can produce that proves that Carter and Clinton spied on US citizens... Not saying it didn't happen, just saying I haven't seen it.



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