Monday, February 13, 2006

Spying

I've never been good at posts like this. I'm not the best at putting words and thoughts down, but I'm going to give it my best shot. I want to talk a little about this whole "domestic spying" and FISA thing and why I feel President Bush didn't break the law. I mean, it's actually kind of simple. In 1978 FISA(Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) was enacted. It states that a warrant must be obtained within 72 hours after the intercept has taken place. However, President Bush doesn't claim that his ordering of intelligence through wiretaps is authorized under FISA. Instead, he maintains that his authority comes from the U.S. Constitution. And the 4th Court of Appeals, in 1977, agreed saying
"the executive branch has the 'inherent authority' to wiretap enemies such as terror plotters and is excused from obtaining warrants when surveillance is 'conducted 'primarily' for foreign intelligence reasons.'"
And if anyone has any actual proof that anyone other than known terror suspects outside the country were wiretapped I would love to see it. Seeing as how no one actually knows who was tapped because no information has been released as of yet. Sure, there are stories from people who say they've been tapped but have no proof. But in today's political climate and accusation is just as good as solid proof.

I told you I wasn't very good at posts like this. If I were smarter it would be full of facts and long winded speeches and such, but, as you can clearly see, it's not. It's very basic and to the point.
Filed under War On Terror

7 comments:

40 said...

Let me help you with some words. These are from our founding fathers:

"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."

It's call the 4th Amendment.

Indian Chris said...

I agree, but can you show me a shread of proof that an American citizen was tapped without probable cause? Hell, can you show me an American citizen that was tapped, period?

Crazy Politico said...

Chris, 40, nor anyone else can show you any evidence, or prove that someone was targeted NOT as a part of an operation that was primarily for foreign intel gathering.

Instead they will use hyperbole and hysterics to try and make their point.

The funny thing is the more they talk about it, the more the public seems to like the Presidents idea.

40 said...

Yeah, I hate to make "hyperbole and hysterics" to make my point (like the 4th Amendment).

I can point to one shred of evidence, the President's own words:
July 2004
THE PRESIDENT: "Let me -- that's a great question. A couple of things that are very important for you to understand about the Patriot Act. First of all, any action that takes place by law enforcement requires a court order. In other words, the government can't move on wiretaps or roving wiretaps without getting a court order."

June 2005:
THE PRESIDENT: "One tool that has been especially important to law enforcement is called a roving wiretap. Roving wiretaps allow investigators to follow suspects who frequently change their means of communications. These wiretaps must be approved by a judge, and they have been used for years to catch drug dealers and other criminals. Yet, before the Patriot Act, agents investigating terrorists had to get a separate authorization for each phone they wanted to tap."

2006 SOTU: "I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous Presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again."

The data on the polling is 50/50. People are still waiting to know more information and it is not forthcoming. This Administration is the most evasive of any in the history of the US. Facts and disclosure of the truth is the last thing to come out of this group.

Za said...

Hell, can you show me an American citizen that was tapped, period?
Hell yes. The Washington Post, on Feb 5th said this:
"Fewer than 10 U.S. citizens or residents a year, according to an authoritative account, have aroused enough suspicion during warrantless eavesdropping to justify interception of their (purely) domestic calls, as well."

Now Chris, do you really believe they only wiretapped 10 or less people each year? Especially with complaints coming from the FBI at the sheer number of invalid leads the NSA had been sending them?

I'll continue to quote that article:
The Bush administration refuses to say — in public or in closed session of Congress — how many Americans in the past four years have had their conversations recorded or their e-mails read by intelligence analysts without court authority. Two knowledgeable sources placed that number in the thousands; one of them, more specific, said about 5,000.

So in other words, in the past four years, they've wiretapped around 5,000 people... and of those, less than 40 were actual leads. That's about 0.8% of all the people they listened to.

But even if you don't accept those figures, let me ask you another thing - if you truly believe that they were being honest about it, why would the Bush administration require Gonzales to argue that a 2001 bill authorising the government to "use force" to combat Al Qaeda, is actually a legal mandate to wiretap US citizens or residents? Especially when Congress itself does not recognise that act as having anything to do with wiretapping whatsoever?

Indian Chris said...

So wait, that's your proof? What you believe and what two unnamed sources, and we all know how reliable they are, say. You have opened my eyes Za.

Za said...

As opposed to... yourself, who ignores parts of the constitution to say it's constitutionally legal?

Or perhaps Gonzales who argues that bills can mean something entirely different to what Congress thinks they do, so as to justify it?

The FBI has complained that they are swamped with false leads from the NSA, and that verifies that the NSA has been wiretapping people who have nothing to do with any security concerns.

I should point out that your post entitled "Chunky Butt" links to an article by Drudge with an unnamed source, and you're perfectly willing to use THAT one.