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Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You're Calling

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posted on May, 15 2006 @ 08:10 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I’m all for a free and independent media but the media is not given a free pass to endanger our national security...


What's the point of national security if you don't have any freedoms left to secure? A free press helps to maintain national security by keeping a check on the government. There are no safeguards to this sweeping "let's check everything we can find in the name of national security" attitude. National security is being used as a pretense for every single way the government can find to intrude in the lives of its citizens. It does not take much foresight to realize that an all-powerful, intrusive government will defeat the idea of a free state. Do you honestly think that this will not be used by the government to pressure and intimidate journalists to write and report favorably of the government? But, you are probably for this as well because "criticizing the government helps the terrorists win."




posted on May, 15 2006 @ 08:15 PM
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Yes, I am aware of that, however as you noted below, non of the revealed programs have been ruled as being illegal (and they aren't). So there has to be some enforcement of the laws to prevent people from disclosing any program they want for whatever reason or agenda they may have and then retroactively claim protection under some Whistle-Blower Protection Act. Also, the government is not using any illegal means to obtain the sources of these leaks, these leaks put our national security at risk hence why these means which may be viewed by some as extreme are necessary. I’m all for a free and independent media but the media is not given a free pass to endanger our national security without any repercussions whatsoever. I hope you can understand what I’m trying to say.


yea i get what you're trying to say, though the whole process still seems fishy to me.
it's like creating some intricate plan to break into a house, when you could just as eaisly use the unlocked front door.
unless, of course, you're afraid of being seen for some odd reason..

[edit on 15-5-2006 by karby]



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 08:26 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Also, the government is not using any illegal means to obtain the sources of these leaks, these leaks put our national security at risk hence why these means which may be viewed by some as extreme are necessary.


This article doesn't say, we got subpoenas and warrants and found out who you're calling, while investigating the source of leaks. Even getting the name associated with a phone number, without a court instrument, may violate the law.

And its an assumption that the government is not using illegal means. Its a leap of faith that I'm certainly not willing to take.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by karby
yea i get what you're trying to say, though the whole process still seems fishy to me.
it's like creating some intricate plan to break into a house, when you could just as eaisly use the unlocked front door.


Not really, the reporters may not be willing to divulge their sources for various reasons, in that case the government only has one option left. To use all its resources within the law to investigate and discover the source(s) of these leaks. However it seems to me that some people dislike the notion of the government investigating the source(s) altogether, and no matter what I say they will still believe that the government must be breaking some law, they simply must. :shk:


Originally posted by MrPenny
This article doesn't say, we got subpoenas and warrants and found out who you're calling, while investigating the source of leaks. Even getting the name associated with a phone number, without a court instrument, may violate the law.


The article say’s that the government is using call records to investigate the source of the leaks. You do not need a subpoena or a warrant to analyze call records, nor is investigating call records considered an invasion of privacy, according to the Supreme Court. The article also says that names or other identifying information is not being used, yet, to figure out the source(s).

If you don't think that the government will get the proper legal requirements before they try to figure out the actual identity of the source(s), fine, you are entitled to such a view. But you should not present your view as fact without any supporting evidence.


Originally posted by Jamuhn
What's the point of national security if you don't have any freedoms left to secure? A free press helps to maintain national security by keeping a check on the government.


Please, lets not try to exaggerate, sensationalism never proves anything, your freedoms, and mines are still there. Now, I have one simple question, who maintains a check on the press?

Or should I be prosecuted for even hinting that the all powerful, all knowing, never corrupt, law abiding national press needs to be checked? You believe that without leaks and an intrusive media the government would become too corrupt, secretive and powerful, correct? However you want me to believe that the same is not true for an unchecked media!? Sorry, but the media is not some saintly utopian entity that some make it out to be.

[edit on 15-5-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
If you don't think that the government will get the proper legal requirements before they try to figure out the actual identity of the source(s), fine, you are entitled to such a view. But you should not present your view as fact without any supporting evidence.

My view is that the potential for abuse increases as the capabilities increase. And, I don't have much confidence in the current administration to police those possible abuses. They have not impressed me with their due diligence.

I have not offered my view as fact. It is my view. Admittedly, it is constructed primarily out of intuition. Intuition that has worked remarkably well for me to this point. It's also an evolving view......

This is from next article in the news blog

Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).

The NSLs are a version of an administrative subpoena and are not signed by a judge. Under the law, a phone company receiving a NSL for phone records must provide them and may not divulge to the customer that the records have been given to the government.

This does not make me feel more secure.



posted on May, 15 2006 @ 10:19 PM
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Originally posted by Mrpenny
This does not make me feel more secure.


That's unfortunate, but the Patriot Act has been passed into law by Congress (twice) so as I’ve said before until/if ruled otherwise by the high court its provisions are legal laws.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 02:11 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Please, lets not try to exaggerate, sensationalism never proves anything, your freedoms, and mines are still there.

Yet the guarantee that they will be is not. Instead of being inalienable they have been granted to us with controls in place to easily take them away. That's a fact.


Now, I have one simple question, who maintains a check on the press?

There already is a check on the press. The same check that is on all of us each and everyday. They are subject to the same law enforcement as the rest of us. The same process can be undertaken with warrants and court orders as the rest of us. Yet, the government would like to claim that it is "preventing crime" by tracking who they call. Frankly, that's a bunch of BS, if they want to see who someone is calling, then get a court order.


Or should I be prosecuted for even hinting that the all powerful, all knowing, never corrupt, law abiding national press needs to be checked?

It is you who is advocating taking away the rights of citizens. The essense of maintaining civil liberties extends to everyone, so why do you think it would not extend to you?


You believe that without leaks and an intrusive media the government would become too corrupt, secretive and powerful, correct?

Frankly, yes. The government gives "secret" information to people who gladly leak it, yet feel threatened by introducing it to a judge to get a court order. The government is trying to take away accountability from itself and its workers.


However you want me to believe that the same is not true for an unchecked media!?

Never did I say unchecked media. Court orders and warrants. Read above.


Sorry, but the media is not some saintly utopian entity that some make it out to be.

Obviously, I can name quite a few "media outlets" that are the essence of bad journalism.

[edit on 16-5-2006 by Jamuhn]



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 06:55 AM
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Not too long ago, i was involved in an impassioned stance against the illegality of the government encroaching on our civil liberties. Some of the same folks here were for it then. Kind of interesting when, however, it begins to involve the big money groups like newspapers, television, radio, etc. wherein the reporters earn their bread and butter.

jsobecky! I still say that the end of where this is going isn't in sight yet and it will be very ugly when it gets here.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 07:09 AM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn
Instead of being inalienable they have been granted to us with controls in place to easily take them away. That's a fact.


No its not, there are no controls in place to ‘easily take them away’, what exists are measures that under circumstances would limit those rights. However this is nothing new, it has existed for a long time, nor is it something that's illegal, as it has been proven by precedent and court cases than such measures are in extreme case necessary.


Originally posted by Jamuhn
Frankly, yes. The government gives "secret" information to people who gladly leak it, yet feel threatened by introducing it to a judge to get a court order. The government is trying to take away accountability from itself and its workers.


There are plenty of other ways to hold the government accountable, and there are other means by which you can investigate the government. Leaking secret programs to the national media which you think are illegal is stupid because you are doing more harm than good, and it should only be done as a last resort, or only when one is as sure as possible that a program is indeed illegal. Having said that however I am not for illegal disclose because someone just happened to not like the program, or happened to think it was illegal. When a program which lives may depend on is being revealed I’d like a bit more than just a “oh, my bad, I thought it was illegal, oops.”


Originally posted by Jamuhn
There already is a check on the press. The same check that is on all of us each and everyday. They are subject to the same law enforcement as the rest of us. The same process can be undertaken with warrants and court orders as the rest of us.


It has been established that they do not need a court warrant or court order to analyze call records, nor is the government looking at call records deemed an invasion of privacy.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Leaking secret programs to the national media which you think are illegal is stupid because you are doing more harm than good,

Can you give me an example of which of these "leaks" over the past several years have done more harm than good?



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by MrPenny
This is from next article in the news blog

Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).

The NSLs are a version of an administrative subpoena and are not signed by a judge. Under the law, a phone company receiving a NSL for phone records must provide them and may not divulge to the customer that the records have been given to the government.

Emphasis added by MrPenny



Yes, I'm requoting myself.

Doesn't it make you nervous that a law enforcement agency has been apparently granted judicial powers? Read the first bold section carefully...the courts, or a judge, don't see the subpoena until, when?

The foundation concept of innocent until proven guilty only applies to our judicial system. Arresting officers and agents are in fact working on the exact opposite principle. I guarantee, they don't think they are arresting innocent people.

I understand the mechanics of legality and how laws are made, but it appears to be fundamental to me that at some point the law can be ridiculous. It seems to me that some Americans feel anything goes as long as it is made a law and appears to be legal. There are precedents for badly written laws to be repealed and that what may be considered normal is in fact flawed reasoning...see Jim Crow laws, the civil rights movement, prohibition, slavery, etc., etc....

[edit on 16-5-2006 by MrPenny]



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 10:23 AM
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Aside from the obvious attempt to squeltch the whistleblowers within this administration, we have an attempt to control the media thru intimidation, an open admittal that they are being targeted for control.

So how long before this administration uses this data to undermine a campaign by an opposing political party?

A contributor to an election, could have phone records held against him if he/she was expecting a payback for that contribution... that could lead to an all or none, type of support (contributors usually hedge their bet, by contributing to both parties)
"uh, john doe corporation... we notice that you have been called by the democratic election committee... dont make us sopeana your bank records to see if you gave them money, you know if you did, that would make your chance of getting a return on your investment with us totally nil."

I can only estimate the horrid effect this could have on our country, and its democratic process, and lobbying restrictions...

I say it again,
If we give up all the freedoms that make us free, then we did the job for the terrorists...
without them firing a shot...

Once again, what the hell does our government think they are doing? does anyone still beleive that forcing reporters to reveal their sources (by hook, or crook) is a required measure on the war on terror? Got news for ya... the opposite is true...



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by MrPenny
Doesn't it make you nervous that a law enforcement agency has been apparently granted judicial powers? Read the first bold section carefully...the courts, or a judge, don't see the subpoena until, when?


Not at all, Congress has granted this authority to the executive branch, and the Supreme Court has established that investigating call records is not an invasion of privacy. If you think both the Congress and the Supreme Court are wrong, fine, just don't claim what the government is doing is illegal, because it clearly isn't.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Can you give me an example of which of these "leaks" over the past several years have done more harm than good?


Ah, that is difficult to prove beyond a doubt without information I cannot access, and without an event as a result. But I will say this though, releasing specific details of several classified programs which are aimed at stopping , or catching terrorist will inevitably help said terrorist. They watch TV too, and now as a result are now more aware of our techniques and measures. That is why I firmly believe that before any classified program which deals with national security is leaked the gains and risks have to be considered and seriously thought about. What has been gained by the leak of these programs? As far as I’m aware they are not illegal, controversial, perhaps, but not illegal. So what is the justification or reason behind their release? All that those leaks have done is undermine our efforts in the war on terror, and no, its not some BS line, its reality, the world isn't full of people that run around with flowers and lollipops. Furthermore, I do not support a mentality of false complacency because it may appear in the short term that these leaks have not have not done our efforts any harm. Accordingly, I do not support more classified programs being leaked because of the appearance that no grave consequences or repercussions can come of it. When the lives of thousands, or perhaps millions are on the line there better be a damned good reason in order for you to leak a classified program. As we all know, when you play with fire you will get burned, its only a matter of time, I just hope it isn't too late for us.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 05:48 PM
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Originally posted by Toadmund
You see more and more desperation each day. It's like dissent is a jar of marbles, The jar of marbles falls off the shelf and they are trying to catch them all before they hit the floor.
Are they going to catch all their marbles, or are they going to cast a big net over the entire floor?

They are losing their marbles.

Desperation, you bet! Scary? YUP!

And they are looking for reporters sources, just another attempt to shut up the media and keep Americans in the dark. They don't want anybody to be a source of Anti-Bush regime info.
No addresses or names, just #'s? HA!!, they can get all the info they need, all that's needed is a computer and a keyboard.

It's an abuse of power, put these bums out to the curb!


i know what u mean- but don't ever use such a phrase as "put these bums out to the curb."

i know you've never been broke as a joke and cold, but still....
don't use that phrase again please.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:38 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
Can you give me an example of which of these "leaks" over the past several years have done more harm than good?


Ah, that is difficult to prove beyond a doubt without information I cannot access, and without an event as a result.


Oh rly? So while you are hung up on this conjecture, here are some VERY REAL news stories about the US pressuring and intimidating media as well as abusing the personal information of its citizens.


The government has a long record of abusing personal information that's gathered in the name of national security. From the Red Scare in the 1920s to illegal wiretaps during the Nixon era, Americans have struggled to find the right balance between individual rights and collective security.

"The potential for abuse is awesome," a Senate investigation committee concluded in a 1976 report detailing illegal wiretaps, break-ins and other abuses that government agents committed in the 1960s and '70s.
...
By the Red Scare in the 1920s, when the government made large-scale arrests of radicals and leftists after communists came to power in Russia, the bureau had assembled a rapidly expanding database of more than 150,000 names.

Abuses over the years cross party lines and political ideologies. Franklin Roosevelt wanted a file on Americans who sent him critical telegrams. Lyndon Johnson asked the FBI to get him the phone records of Republican vice presidential candidate Spiro Agnew.

Attorney General Robert Kennedy, remembered today as a champion of the underdog, approved wiretaps on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Government has long history of abusing personal information


Jack Anderson turned up plenty of government secrets during his half-century career as an investigative reporter, and his family had hoped to make his papers available to the public after his death in December — but the government wants to see, and possibly confiscate, them first.
...
Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at George Washington University and Anderson's biographer, said he felt "intimidated" after two FBI agents showed up at his house. They asked if he had seen any classified documents or knew about how they could be accessed, and they wanted the names of all of his graduate students who had seen the papers.
...
"If the FBI can persuade a court that there is probable cause that there are stolen records in that collection, then they should go to court," said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Project on Government Secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists.

Late Journalist's Family Resists FBI Request for His Documents


The FBI came calling in Windsor, Conn., this summer with a document marked for delivery by hand. On Matianuk Avenue, across from the tennis courts, two special agents found their man. They gave George Christian the letter, which warned him to tell no one, ever, what it said.

Under the shield and stars of the FBI crest, the letter directed Christian to surrender "all subscriber information, billing information and access logs of any person" who used a specific computer at a library branch some distance away. Christian, who manages digital records for three dozen Connecticut libraries, said in an affidavit that he configures his system for privacy. But the vendors of the software he operates said their databases can reveal the Web sites that visitors browse, the e-mail accounts they open and the books they borrow.
...
Christian refused to hand over those records, and his employer, Library Connection Inc., filed suit for the right to protest the FBI demand in public.

The FBI's Secret Scrutiny



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 08:56 PM
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Thanks for that, but I'm aware of the colorful past concerning some actions taken by the US government. But I must point out that the programs being leaked today do not appear to be illegal, nor has any evidence been presented stating that they are being used for more sinister reasons. You have a right to be weary of the government, however some people take it to the extreme when in my opinion its uncalled for and when there not much corroborating their stance.



posted on May, 16 2006 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Thanks for that, but I'm aware of the colorful past concerning some actions taken by the US government. But I must point out that the programs being leaked today do not appear to be illegal, nor has any evidence been presented stating that they are being used for more sinister reasons. You have a right to be weary of the government, however some people take it to the extreme when in my opinion its uncalled for and when there not much corroborating their stance.


Yea, frankly I'm surprised more people aren't pointing out the real abuses and intimidations that have happened past and present. But, I must point out a couple things about these leaks occurring. One, is that the government can easily get a court order, such as with the recent case of Valerie Plame. Second, the government is trying to legalize these occurrences and their legality has not been fully established. The pretext for this "legalization" is that during the war on terror, the President can use (what seems to me like) any power he wants. The Patriot Act is another supporting document for these government activities which is still mired in controversy this day. So, I do not think this is a simple case of "legal" or not "legal" and eventually the Supreme Court and other lower courts will have to step in.

But wait! The government is not providing information to the courts as well as sidestepping court orders, so that does not seem to be possible either. As you see, the checks on an out-of-control government are rapidly declining because of the "war on terror."



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 08:12 AM
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Originally posted by sigung86
I still say that the end of where this is going isn't in sight yet and it will be very ugly when it gets here.


That may be the single most important concept of this whole thread. That thought is the reason I'm so against this 'encroachment' into our private lives. People ask, "How has your personal privacy been affected"?

And I think, "Get back with me."

Many people don't seem to be able to see where this is going and that it will eventually affect not only me, but them, too. No matter how people spin it or how many times they quote the 4th Amendment or how much we argue about this, it's going to come back and bite us all in the ass. All of us. Not just the 'bad guys'.



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 09:51 AM
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[edit on 17-5-2006 by Toadmund]



posted on May, 17 2006 @ 10:08 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

Originally posted by karby
yea i get what you're trying to say, though the whole process still seems fishy to me.
it's like creating some intricate plan to break into a house, when you could just as eaisly use the unlocked front door.


Not really, the reporters may not be willing to divulge their sources for various reasons, in that case the government only has one option left. To use all its resources within the law to investigate and discover the source(s) of these leaks. However it seems to me that some people dislike the notion of the government investigating the source(s) altogether, and no matter what I say they will still believe that the government must be breaking some law, they simply must. :shk:


Something important here that must be understood, if reporters can't protect their sources, well then the sources aren't going to talk.
This here is an efficient means to stop government whistleblowers, effectively crippling your ability to know what is going on behind the government curtains.
The Bush assministration is only trying to stop people from finding out about all their
misdeeds on the American people.

Don't talk, or we'll be talking to you!


Originally posted by chibidai_rrr

Originally posted by Toadmund


.......It's an abuse of power, put these bums out to the curb!


i know what u mean- but don't ever use such a phrase as "put these bums out to the curb."

i know you've never been broke as a joke and cold, but still....
don't use that phrase again please.

Relax, I meant those bums, not poor bums, big difference!
I meant no offense to the poor, in fact I am not exactly rich myself and I root for the poor folks.

so.....Lets put them (rich) knobs out of business!

Better?



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