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POLITICS: Bush Faces Republican Revolt Over Spying

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posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 11:36 AM
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Here's more on this:



The Clinton and Carter orders, which were published, permitted warrantless spying only on foreigners who are not protected by the Constitution. Bush's secret directive permitted the NSA to eavesdrop on the overseas calls of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

The RNC's quotation of Clinton's order left out the stated requirement, in the same sentence, that a warrantless search not involve "the premises, information, material, or property of a United States person." Carter's order, also in the same sentence quoted, said warrantless eavesdropping could not include "any communication to which a United States person is a party."


That's not to say it didn't happen. I'm aware of Echelon. However, as I have stated, I'm not defending the actions of Clinton and Carter. If Clinton and Carter did the same thing, then they should have been impeached for it. Plain and simple. But it is irrelevant, certainly to this thread.

Speaking hypothetically, if I were to have murdered someone 10 years ago and did not get caught or prosecuted, does that make it OK for you to murder someone now? No. You should still be punished.

I'm saying that I believe the current President has broken the law and I believe steps should be taken (and apparently they are) to make sure he is held responsible.

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




posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Benevolent Heretic your lead off article makes a very large assumption concerning the electronic eavsdropping being done by the NSA--Namely, that it is illegal. In point of fact, the activity may be found perfectly legal after further review. IMHO this entire pissing contest is because not very many members of congress are cleared to receive the information, in detail, pertaining to NSA eavsdropping and they don't like that. However past events have proven that congress as a whole cannot be trusted with vital national secrets. Therefore, a special sub-committee of both the House and Senate Intelligence Oversight committees was created in the past just to make sure congress was kept informed of all Executive Branch intelligence operations. All the members of the sub-committee have had extensive background checks run and have been cleared and congress has agreed to abide by the existing arrangement.

Mostly what you're seeing in the press just now is coming from members of congress who do not have the required clearances to realize that NSA is, in-fact, acting within the law. What they are doing is not so very different from someone eavsdropping on a conversation overheard in public. When a radio signal is broadcast over the airwaves any person with the right equipment can tune in to the signal and listen in. There is no assurance of privacy at all, nor can there be because of the nature of electro-magnetic wave propogation.

In the not-so-distant past, before the widespread adoption of cell-phones, almost all long distance communicating was done via mail or via telephone lines. Listening in to someone else's conversation was not so easy then. To do so generally required what is commonly called a wiretap--a physical junction with the telephone line one wanted to listen in on. Such physical "wiretaps" were necessarily done very close to the source of one or the other of the telephones being used and quite often required the telephone line to be tapped within the confines of a private residence, or business. This clandestine breaking and entering by intelligence agents or law enforcement personnel was in clear violation of constitutional guarantees against illegal search & seizure and therefore was not done very often and only then after obtaining a warrant from a court of law--or in the case of the feds, from a special court created especially for the purpose of reviewing warrant applications related to intelligence operations.

NSA did not perform more than a relative handful of wiretaps within the U.S., instead they rightfully deemed such activity to be within the purview of the F.B.I., as did all the other intelligence agencies. To be sure, there were some exceptions to the above policy when the intelligence operation being conducted was particularly sensitive and it was thought that bringing additional people in on it would unduly jeopardize potentially vital national security. For the most part though that's how the system worked.

The advent and increasingly widespread adoption of cell-phones; however, fundamentally changed everything. People willingly gave up the relative privacy of physical telephone lines for the convenience of wireless communications. This rapid conversion of communications practices presented the intelligence and law enforcement agencies with quite a problem. Firstly, there were no longer physical lines that could be tapped without easy discovery by the person concerned and secondly because communications were now being carried from one location to another via radio waves instead of physical telephone lines. Finally, there was the question of constitutional guarantees against illegal search & seizure, etc.

It has been determined that listening in to another persons conversation is not illegal--if they didn't want you to listen they could have spoken more quietly, or not at all. Likewise, listening in to shortwave radio conversations, such as between ships & shore, or between planes & the ground, or between truckers, etc. is not against the law. Since cell-phone conversations are carried between two points in exactly the same way as shortwave radio calls, there is no law being broken by anyone who listens in. You and others may feel somehow violated by people listening in, but as I said earlier, it isn't much different form eavsdropping on a public conversation and it is not against the law.

[edit on 11-2-2006 by Astronomer68]



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer68
Benevolent Heretic your lead off article makes a very large assumption concerning the electronic eavsdropping being done by the NSA--Namely, that it is illegal.


I'm sorry. Which article do you mean? I don't know what 'lead off' means.

If you mean the one in the original post (Financial TImes), it does not. Arlen Specter thinks it's illegal and that's why he's calling for further review in the FISA courts. But the article itself makes no claims as to the legality of the eavesdropping.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

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?


BH if the above three paragraphs from your original posting don't clearly show your assumption regarding the legality of NSA eaavsdropping then I simply can't comprehend the English language.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 03:14 PM
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Face it, if those wiretaps were all above board and legal, you think Bush and company would be making such a fuss over it insisting that they were? I doubt it seriously. No their hand was caught in the cookie jar and now they are busy trying to convince us that their hand was in there only to protect the cookies



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer68
BH if the above three paragraphs from your original posting don't clearly show your assumption regarding the legality of NSA eaavsdropping then I simply can't comprehend the English language.


I told you I didn't know what you meant by the term "Lead Off Article". Now I know. You meant the 'personal opinion section' of the ATSNN submission.

Yes, I'm assuming it's illegal. That is my opinion. My opinion could change with further information, but I have no reason to think it will at this time.


Originally posted by grover
No their hand was caught in the cookie jar and now they are busy trying to convince us that their hand was in there only to protect the cookies


Love that!



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic




I told you I didn't know what you meant by the term "Lead Off Article". Now I know. You meant the 'personal opinion section' of the ATSNN submission.


Close--I was actually referring to the fact your article and opinion were the initiators of this thread--in other words, the lead-off.


Yes, I'm assuming it's illegal. That is my opinion. My opinion could change with further information, but I have no reason to think it will at this time.


In other words, I might as well have not posted anything. Don't try to confuse me with facts boy, my mind's already made up.

Be well BH, see you around.

[edit on 11-2-2006 by Astronomer68]



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 04:33 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer68
In other words, I might as well have not posted anything. Don't try to confuse me with facts boy, my mind's already made up.


No, not at all. I said


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
That is my opinion. My opinion could change with further information...


You're totally misinterpreting and misrepresenting what I said.



Be well BH, see you around.


Buh-bye.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 10:32 PM
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Originally posted by grover
Face it, if those wiretaps were all above board and legal, you think Bush and company would be making such a fuss over it insisting that they were? I doubt it seriously. No their hand was caught in the cookie jar and now they are busy trying to convince us that their hand was in there only to protect the cookies

Actually, their response indicates that they sincerely thought they were acting within the law. If they were intentionally breaking the law, they would be silently regrouping and they would quickly agree to let this case be ruled upon. Once it got to the SCOTUS, they'd most likely win a judgement.

As Astonomer68 pointed out, conversations are free pickings once they are in the ether. This case may eventually make it's way through the court system, and even if it cannot be resolved before Jan, 20, 2009, the goals of one group will be met. And those goals don't necessarily include clarification of the law; that's only a side benefit. Bringing down the current administration is their primary goal.



posted on Feb, 11 2006 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Actually, their response indicates that they sincerely thought they were acting within the law.



No they don't they knew exactly what they were doing and they knew that was against American citizens constitutional rights. But the Bush administration was cashing into the fact that they have Bush patriot act to cover their butts.

It will never make it to the courts, because the only way that they can make it an issue in court is if the name of an American citizen is link to the wiretapping then the citizen can sue the government for violation or possible violation of privacy rights.

But the Bush administration knew very well what they were doing and they never got any names or arrested anybody neither that is why they opted out getting warrants.

The knew what they were doing and how to go over it without risking a possible law sue by a citizen or perhaps taking it all the way to the supreme court.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 01:31 AM
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Well, seeing as how the NYT are the ones that leaked this info (again), we'll just have to see who has a book deal coming out, won't we?

Why didn't we ever hear objections from the 8 members of Congress who were regularly briefed on this program? Even the general (Hayden?) who was in charge of this NSA program said he never walked out of a debriefing meeting feeling that they had to do something different in terms of citizen privacy.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 05:45 AM
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So, is it wrong to listen to another's phone call? Isn't it an invasion of privacy?



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 06:49 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
If they were intentionally breaking the law, they would be silently regrouping and they would quickly agree to let this case be ruled upon. Once it got to the SCOTUS, they'd most likely win a judgement.


I've tried reading this from every direction and I can't understand what you mean by this? Surely you're not saying that the administration can intentionally break the law and then decide whether to allow the Supreme Court to rule on it? And then expect to win in a case where they intentionally broke the law?

That can't be right, can it?



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'll be interested to see what you can produce that
proves that Carter and Clinton spied on US citizens


I am still looking for the names of the two people Carter's
wiretaps sent to prison. I haven't found the documents
on the internet. That doesn't necessarily mean they
aren't there ... I just haven't found them.

I have been listening to the news to see if they repeated
the story. The first time it was told they said the names
of the two people, what they got caught doing, and the
fact that the courts upheld their conviction (thus upholding
Carter's wiretap policies).

I haven't forgotten ya' ....
I'll have another go at it ...
(as long as the power stays
on here ... winter storm ya' know)



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by MacDonagh
So, is it wrong to listen to another's phone call?
Isn't it an invasion of privacy?


The government is ONLY listening in on international
phone calls made from this country to suspected
terrorist entities/cells overseas.

I would hope to God that they would do this!!!

They aren't listening in on your phone calls to
grandma, or to your football buddies, or your
kids soccer coach ...

It's just calls from here to overseas terrorists.

So to answer your question -
NO that's not wrong and
NO that's not an invasion of privacy.
It's keeping us safe! I'm all for it.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 08:35 AM
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Originally posted by FlyersFan

Originally posted by MacDonagh
So, is it wrong to listen to another's phone call?
Isn't it an invasion of privacy?


The government is ONLY listening in on international
phone calls made from this country to suspected
terrorist entities/cells overseas.

I would hope to God that they would do this!!!

Hi this is an international terrorist...I would like to make a call to America to plan mayham and destruction with my cohorts against your country...could you put me through please.

That has never been the issue, and to claim so is to obstruct the real issue, which is not going by already existing laws which give ample leaway to conduct the spying as it is. The one way it is obvious that they are lying through their teeth is that they cannot give one clear, coherant reason why how following the law would hender them.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 09:47 AM
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P.S. The same logic applies to Iraq and any of the other Bush Admin. scandals (or would be scandals if the press was doing their job properly) if they cannot, won't or are incapable of giving a clear, coherant reason why they have done___________________ (fill in the blank) they are obviously lying....also Bush bats his eyes alot when he lies.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by MacDonagh
So, is it wrong to listen to another's phone call? Isn't it an invasion of privacy?



Originally posted by FlyersFan
The government is ONLY listening in on international
phone calls made from this country to suspected
terrorist entities/cells overseas.


Putting aside for a moment that I don't share your opinion on that and don't believe it for a second, the question was, Is it wrong? The answer? Yes, it is.

It's not only morally wrong, it's illegal.

Eavesdropping Law and Legal Definition



The crime of eavesdropping means to overhear, record, amplify or transmit any part of the private communication of others without the consent of at least one of the persons engaged in the communication, except as otherwise provided by law.


Meaning if one has a warrant to do so.



Private communications take place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance, but such term does not include a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access. A person commits the crime of criminal eavesdropping if he intentionally uses any device to eavesdrop, whether or not he is present at the time.


This is pretty clear, isn't it?

[edit on 12-2-2006 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe

Originally posted by jsobecky
If they were intentionally breaking the law, they would be silently regrouping and they would quickly agree to let this case be ruled upon. Once it got to the SCOTUS, they'd most likely win a judgement.


I've tried reading this from every direction and I can't understand what you mean by this? Surely you're not saying that the administration can intentionally break the law and then decide whether to allow the Supreme Court to rule on it? And then expect to win in a case where they intentionally broke the law?


That can't be right, can it?

Someone had proposed that the reason Bush is making such a fuss over the legality of the eavesdropping was that they knew it was illegal when they were doing it, but got caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

I said their actions indicate the opposite, imo. They sincerely thought what they were doing was legal.

I further said that if they were knowingly breaking the law, they wouldn't be protesting so loudly. Rather, they would rely on the courts to decide it. And if/when it got to the SCOTUS, they would most likely win. Why? Because the recent appointments to the bench would favor the administration and tilt the scales in their favor.

All of it was merely speculation. Sorry if I didn't write more clearly.



posted on Feb, 12 2006 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic


Private communications take place where one may reasonably expect to be safe from casual or hostile intrusion or surveillance, but such term does not include a place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access. A person commits the crime of criminal eavesdropping if he intentionally uses any device to eavesdrop, whether or not he is present at the time.


This is pretty clear, isn't it?

The same source states:


There are certain limited exceptions to the general prohibition against electronic surveillance. The exceptions exist for so-called "providers of wire or electronic communication service" (e.g., telephone companies and the like) and law enforcement in the furtherance of criminal investigative activities.

It does't mention anything about a warrant.

Also, are these devices illegal?


Orbitor Electronic Listening Device

While we're at it, what about radar detectors? Constitutionally illegal?


[edit on 12-2-2006 by jsobecky]



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