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Local Rebel
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25 posted 07-13-2009 08:52 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

It doesn't really surprise me. The stimulus package is failing. Those shovel-ready jobs seem to have disappeared. The unemployment, which Obama assured us would not go over 8% is almost to 10. A group of Democrats have announced they are not buying Obama's health plan unless major changes are made. The cap and trade looks like it's headed for trouble in the Senate. Obama's popularity is dropping all over the country. What does one do in such a situation. I know...let's have a Bush-bashing party again, go back a few years to take people's minds off the present. As I said, I'm not surprised....



Aside from rejecting the grounds of your argument Mike, even if your assertions were true this would be an extremely unproductive way to change the subject:

quote:

Now, sitting at his kitchen table in jeans and a gray polo shirt, as his 11-year-old son, Buddy, dashes in and out of the room, Holder is reflecting on his own role. He doesn't dwell on the fact that he's the country's first black attorney general. He is focused instead on the tension that the best of his predecessors have confronted: how does one faithfully serve both the law and the president?

Alone among cabinet officers, attorneys general are partisan appointees expected to rise above partisanship. All struggle to find a happy medium between loyalty and independence. Few succeed. At one extreme looms Alberto Gonzales, who allowed the Justice Department to be run like Tammany Hall. At the other is Janet Reno, whose righteousness and folksy eccentricities marginalized her within the Clinton administration. Lean too far one way and you corrupt the office, too far the other way and you render yourself impotent. Mindful of history, Holder is trying to get the balance right. "You have the responsibility of enforcing the nation's laws, and you have to be seen as neutral, detached, and nonpartisan in that effort," Holder says. "But the reality of being A.G. is that I'm also part of the president's team. I want the president to succeed; I campaigned for him. I share his world view and values."

These are not just the philosophical musings of a new attorney general. Holder, 58, may be on the verge of asserting his independence in a profound way. Four knowledgeable sources tell NEWSWEEK that he is now leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's brutal interrogation practices, something the president has been reluctant to do. While no final decision has been made, an announcement could come in a matter of weeks, say these sources, who decline to be identified discussing a sensitive law-enforcement matter. Such a decision would roil the country, would likely plunge Washington into a new round of partisan warfare, and could even imperil Obama's domestic priorities, including health care and energy reform. Holder knows all this, and he has been wrestling with the question for months. "I hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the president's agenda," he says. "But that can't be a part of my decision."
http://www.newsweek.com/id/206300



quote:

I don’t think there’s enough information to form an opinion at this point, someone may have done something that may or may not have been legal and may or may not have been morally justified even if it was illegal.

I think I’ll wait for the paperback.



OK Craig -- here's the paperback:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/17267628/Unclassified-Report-on-the-Presidents-Surveillance-Program

The possible laws/rights that have been violated -- let's start with the 5th amendment -- and the President's responsibility to keep the Congress informed.

Then there is that matter of 'innocent until proven guilty' -- which is what you want to (correctly) apply to the accused in this matter -- but as we learn more of Darth Vader's death squad -- we see that the blatant disregard for the Constitution was SOP for the former administration:

quote:

the former vice president, ordered a highly classified CIA operation hidden from Congress because it pushed the limits of legality by planning to assassinate al-Qaida operatives in friendly countries without the knowledge of their governments, according to former intelligence officials.

Former counter-terrorism officials who retain close links to the intelligence community say that the hidden operation involved plans by the CIA and the military to launch operations, similar to those by Israel's Mossad intelligence service, to hunt down and kill al-Qaida activists abroad without informing the governments concerned, even though some were regarded as friendly if unreliable.

The CIA apparently did not put the plan in to operation but the US military did, carrying out several assassinations including one in Kenya that proved to be a severe embarrassment and helped lead to the quashing of the programme.

A former intelligence official said the plan was hatched in the cauldron of the September 11 attacks when officials were pushing various forms of unilateral action and some settled on the Israelis as an example.

"One of the most sensitive areas has been what we do in friendly countries that don't want to co-operate or maybe we don't have enough confidence to entrust them with information. If you have an al-Qaida guy wandering around certain bits of the world we might decide that we need to deal with that ourselves, directly, without making a lot of noise," he said. "There was a plan to deal with that. It was much talked about in the CIA and the military had its own operation."

Another former senior intelligence official responsible for dealing with al-Qaida said that assassination plans were reined in after similar covert operations by the military were botched and proved to be embarrassing, particularly the killing in Kenya. He did not give details of the operation.

The official said he believes from conversations with serving members of the CIA that the area of real concern in Congress is that the planned operations may also have involved the covert surveillance of American citizens.

There appears to be common agreement among knowledgeable former intelligence officials that the controversy goes beyond the immediate question of assassination and capture of al-Qaida operatives as there have been numerous killings and detentions since the 9/11 attacks
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/13/cheney-cia-al-qaida-assassinations


Local Rebel
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26 posted 07-13-2009 09:04 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Like it or not, as one
is made aware at airports from O’Hare to JFK
it is the world we now live in.



It's the world we've always lived in John.  Your heightened awareness of the dangers of the world are no different from the world the framers of the Constitution experienced.

quote:

I certainly do not believe
applicable national policies should be predicated
on our past, present, or future sin or guilt.



How about predicating them on the Constitution John?

quote:

It doesn't matter in the least whether illegal surveillance is effective. Not until you can show that legal surveillance would have been less effective. Put another way, no one in their right mind is arguing that we shouldn't keep a close eye on the bad guys. It's just sort of nice when the checks and balances built into our Constitution aren't ignored for the sake of expediency.



Just take it right back to the source information Ron:

quote:

Many senior intelligence officials believe the program filled a gap in intelligence. Others, including FBI, CIA and National Counterterrorism Center analysts, said intelligence gathered by traditional means was often more specific and timely, according to the report.



Balladeer
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27 posted 07-14-2009 12:11 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Me changing the subject? Hardly. I'm explaining why the subject is all of a sudden in the headlines. Hey, at least it's a better try than bombing an aspirin factory.

Balladeer
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28 posted 07-14-2009 12:33 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Personally I think the fact that you voted for someone is a bad criterion to judge the suitability of their subsequent actions and the benefit of your trust.

True enough, grinch, but I didn't vote for Obama because I knew what his subsequent actions would be. Anyone bothering to listen to him would have known and he hasn't disappointed.

Bush? I can't say I voted for him because I felt he would be an excellent president I could trust but I knew that Gore would be one I couldn't. Bush got my trust for the security of the country based of his reactions after 9/11. I felt he would do whatever necessary to prevent another attack and maintain the safety of the country and take the fight to the terrorists...and he did.

Nixon? I wasn't living in the country and didn't even vote. I was in a remote area in South America and didn't even follow what little news we got of American politics. There were no American newspapers, magazines or tv programs. Someone even  had to explain Watergate to me when I got back.

Kennedy I would have voted for if I had been old enough. He impressed me with the way he handled the Cuban missile crisis and the steel unions. I felt he was a man I could trust. So what happened? He escalated Viet Nam and sent thousands of soldiers to their deaths for little reason but, since no one really talks about that, I guess it's a non-issue, right?

You may think I am some wild political person or a right wing nutjob or whatever you like but you can believe me when I say that politics was never part of my "things to care about" when I became of age. I judge people on a personal level. It just so happens that I considered Clinton, Gore and Kerry to be nothing more than men out for their own personal gain with the welfare of the country coming in a distant second...and they all happened to be Democrats. That's about it....
Bob K
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29 posted 07-14-2009 01:33 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Mike,

quote:

Well, Bob, I - and around 70% of the public polled - disagree with you. Some of us feel that it was a smart thing to do. One fact that cannot be disputed is that we were not attacked again after such things were implemented. Does the wiretapping get the credit for that? Beats me. That's a question that can't be answered, since it didn't happen. I would much rather have any inconvenience incurred by it than another 9/11. It damaged our civil liberties? That would not be a first,  considering the Japanese interrment camps and the McCarthy trials and too many other instances that could be listed. Do you feel your own personal liberties were damaged? In what way?



     You bury me with off the subject questions.  The subject is what were the things that happened in addition to the wire taps that we know about following the 2001 imposition of the restriction of civil liberties.  You are eating up that space.  I will try to answer you in the Red Herring thread.

     Time I spend talking about those questions takes time away from me researching my subject of interest here.  This is one of the ways that Red Herrings prove useful in a debate.  As I believe you know.

     Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Local Rebel
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30 posted 07-14-2009 04:12 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Your Fruedian slip may be showing Mike,

You ARE trying to change the subject -- but that's not what I said.  Read it again.

What I said was that IF your assertion (that Obama is trying to change the subject) were true -- this would be an extremely unproductive way to do it (since it can engulf the entire domestic agenda).  
Huan Yi
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31 posted 07-14-2009 08:22 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


.


“Democrats have trumped up a charge that the CIA, on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney, failed to notify Congress that it was contemplating — not implementing, but essentially brainstorming about — plans to kill or capture top al-Qaeda figures.

This is their most ludicrous gambit in a long time — and that’s saying something. Given their eight years of complaints about President Bush’s failure to kill or capture Osama bin Laden, and given President Clinton’s indignant insistence (against the weight of the evidence) that he absolutely wanted the CIA to kill bin Laden, one is moved to ask: What did Democrats think the CIA was doing for the last eight years?

And if Democrats did not believe the CIA was considering plans to kill or capture bin Laden, why weren’t they screaming from the rafters about such a lapse?  . . .

Fourth, this bizarre complaint comes in the form of grousing about a failure to notify Congress, voiced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, among others. But consider that back in February, Senator Feinstein publicly revealed that Pakistan’s government was allowing the United States to use Pakistani territory as a base for Predator drones being used for controversial targeted assassinations. Unlike Leahy’s aforementioned malfeasance, Feinstein’s unfortunate revelation was doubtlessly inadvertent. But it underscores the danger of informing Congress about intelligence activities.

The last point is a critical one, showing starkly the difference between Democrats and Republicans on national security. President Obama is clearly conducting a war in Pakistan, a country with which we are formally at peace. The legitimate existence of wartime conditions is crucial: If we are not at war, there is no basis in international law for killing Pakistanis (or non-Pakistanis) in Pakistan. But the Right is not accusing the president of conducting an illegal war, of failing to seek congressional authorization, or of committing war crimes. Nor did Republicans seek to exploit Feinstein’s gaffe — while there might have been political sport in it, doing so would have made it more difficult for Pakistan to cooperate with the Obama administration in an effort that advances American security interests.

That is, while Democrats politicize “torture,” “domestic spying,” the Patriot Act, and now the CIA’s efforts to defeat al-Qaeda, Republicans are generally supporting Obama’s Pakistan policy for the greater good of protecting our national security.

Eventually, people do figure out who the grown-ups are.”


http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjYxMzEyMmFmYzZkOWY1Y2NiNWU3YWM3NTNkNjEwMjk=&w=MQ==

.
Balladeer
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32 posted 07-14-2009 09:33 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks for pointing out the error of my ways and means, reb.

Actually I gave Obama a pass on this one, as I mentioned in reply #9.

Obama has repeatedly expressed reluctance to having a probe into alleged Bush-era abuses and resisted an effort by congressional Democrats to establish a "truth commission," saying the nation should be "looking forward and not backwards."

It seems to he Holder and the other Dems carrying the torch on this one. Of course, it COULD be Obama behind it, telling the others to push it while he pretends to protest but I agree with you that it would not be the greatest tactic at this time/
Bob K
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33 posted 07-14-2009 11:39 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

quote:
: you say:

That is, while Democrats politicize “torture,” “domestic spying,” the Patriot Act, and now the CIA’s efforts to defeat al-Qaeda, Republicans are generally supporting Obama’s Pakistan policy for the greater good of protecting our national security.



     I am glad to see you responding in detail.  While not agreeing with your opinion, I am pleased to see this more detailed version of it and having this chance to understand  your thinking with a bit more depth.

      “[T}orture,” “domestic spying,” should both be publicized as widely as possible.  The reason that the publicity has been politicized is that one party actually had the bad judgment to go against this government's long term policy against torture and to even try to shift its definition.  This may be the reason that your attempt to use the word has failed.  The stuff we are doing was torture in WWII and in Korea when it was done to us, especially waterboarding, and I believe Japanese were tried for it in Manchuria and in other places.  We publicized it widely when it was done to us.  We not only sought to suppress the fact that we used it, we first lied outright when it came the saying we were responsible for using it.

     These are not the actions of somebody with nothing to hide.  The Bush administration knew it was wrong, that it was against international law, against military policy, against tradition, and, I believe, against US law.  Check on that, I may be wrong.  The military was solidly against it for good reason.  The folks they targeted against in Iraq for several years may have been, some of them, criminals, though it appears that many of them were people caught up in large sweeps and included a large cross section of the population, but one thing they weren't was Al Quaeda.

     That particular terrorist franchise didn't come to Iraq  till the US had been there several years.  The very fact that there is anybody who is in favor of torture as U.S. government policy completely puzzles me.  One of the clauses in the Bill of Rights is supposed to protect us against Cruel and unusual Punishment.  We used to point at other countries and say look have savage a place this country is.  They're so crazy, they take political prisoners and they torture them.  Now we send those crazy folks business as subcontractors, as though that absolved us from anything.

     Had the torture taken place under a Democratic watch, I'd call attention to that as well. My wife belongs to Amnesty, and she's writing letters all the time for their children's network about kids or mothers and kids in other countries.  I occasionally will write a letter myself.  To have anybody help with such an abomination in our government is unbearable for me.

     The reason that the issue is politicized is that there were Republicans and some Democrats too, I believe, though I don't know who weren't willing to vote to stop it.  

     Which brings me to the PATRIOT Act.  Even if a majority of both houses of the congress had voted for an immediate stop to torture, it's unclear whether or not the administration would have obeyed.  I remember the signing statements in which the President, quite ominously I thought, detailed those portions of the law that he was going to follow.  Having stretch the limits of Presidential power that far without consequences, there is very little that congress can do now should a president again to wield such powers.  The case has been made, hasn't it.  As has the case for the President for not allowing members of his administration to testify before the the houses of congress.  Where were all the Republicans when these precedents were being set and while the constitutional balance of powers was being dismantled?   Where were these strict constructionists who should have been screaming?

     They were screaming!  They were also whistling and applauding because it was a Republican doing it.  There was absolutely no thought for what might happen should there be a shift in power, just as today there appears to be no thought about that change in power and the fact that those laws are still there.  They can still be pushed further, Huan Yi.

     We need a bi-partisan alliance to get those laws out of there.  We need to have a country in which the President cannot declare somebody an enemy alien by himself.  Nobody should be able to draw up that kind of enemies list, Democrat or Republican.

     As for domestic spying, I don't want Big Brother listening in.  It's creepy.  You have no idea what will cause them to do so.  Ownership of Firearms?  Reading some material that they're nervous about anybody buying or reading?  Doing too much gardening, and using too much of specific garden chemicals.  Has your cold gone on too long and are you buying too much of specific kinds of cold medication.  Do you hang around in bars where a lot of guys who like guns hang out?

     Almost anybody can have some sort of profile that could trigger an investigation.  That's why warrants are supposed to show probable cause.  It's supposed to protect the citizenry from exactly this sort of fishing expedition.  Domestic spying threatens to put this constitutional protection out the window.  Not being notified that the warrant has been served in some cases
seems like a date rape drug.  You may not know you've been had, but you've still been had.  

     The CIA's efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda are appreciated.  They are however, circumscribed by law. The President may have issued a finding against several of these guys, in which case they may well be appropriate targets (I believe) but as I understand it that finding has to be run by the Senate oversight committee, or selected members of it.  And I do not recall that the vice-president is granted any such powers at all.  Has the Oversight Committee been notified?  And did the President write up the finding himself, taking responsibility.  The congress felt that such findings required that level of supervision.  Less would not do.  

     This may be the successful government program that has been such a help to us in Iraq that the Administration was talking about in Bob Woodward's last book.  He said that he had been sworn to secrecy, that he knew what it was, and that the documentation had been sealed for years, a sort of updated Phoenix Program.

     Obama's Pakistan Policy is one that I know little about.  You act as if the Republicans are doing him a favor by supporting this war.  If they didn't like it, they vote against it.  They vote en bloc against lots of other programs without a flinch.  They don't want to run the risk of being seen to be weak on defense.

     As a matter of principle, I tend to be a war skeptic.

     That's all I have time for at this point.  I'd be interested in your comments.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
    
Grinch
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34 posted 07-14-2009 03:22 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
OK Craig -- here's the paperback:


I’ve already read it LR.

It’s more like a book review than a paperback, written to give the gist of the plot without enough information to ruin the story.

I’m still not sure what I should be mad about – can you spell it out.

Is it that Bush might have done something wrong for the right reasons?

quote:
The possible laws/rights that have been violated -- let's start with the 5th amendment


I’d rather start by looking at whether the actions undertaken were necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. Then we might discuss whether the law needs to be changed to fit changing circumstances instead of constantly amending what could be the best course of action to work within an outdated law.

That’s what amendments are for.

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35 posted 07-14-2009 06:24 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bravo, Mr. Grinch...I agree completely.

The possible laws/rights that have been violated

How is it we have judges, juries, and executioners here over laws and rights that were "possibly" violated? That's like saying, "Buy Fixodent...it will possibly hold your teeth in place."
Bob K
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36 posted 07-14-2009 09:34 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



quote:

How is it we have judges, juries, and executioners here over laws and rights that were "possibly" violated? That's like saying, "Buy Fixodent...it will possibly hold your teeth in place."



     As I understand it, that's the nature of the Justice system.  You may be used to thinking of it differently, I don't know.  But in our Justice system I'm told that a person is considered innocent until proven guilty, and people are brought up on charges that must be proved.  That means that the laws and rights "may have been violated" in the phrase that you use with such a surprising tone of disrespect.  Often prosecutors will refuse to bring a case because they feel the case is too weak to be tried, and it never gets to trial, or they feel that other circumstances make it important to either push forward or quash the charges.  These can involve public or governmental pressures, as the pursuit of environmental cases was often delayed or quashed in the Bush era, and as the impeachment hearings were pushed forward in the Clinton era.  Or, if you will, the Whitewater investigation is felt by the Republicans to have been quashed, and Bush to have been bashed throughout his administration.  Happens apparently to everybody.

     This is the nature of the judicial system, Mike.  Most of the time the executioner doesn't come into the picture, and I think that your use of the term was probably to fill out the idiom rather than an actual expectation that there will be Republicans lined up and shot.  I, for one, am not in the mood for a localized civil uprisings, which I believe such a course of action might well provoke.

     I also believe that many Republicans have an authentically useful point of view that the country needs to hear.  I tend not to agree with it, or large parts of it, but that doesn't relieve me of my obligation to understand it and the people who hold it in the most sympathetic light I can muster.  I also feel that some of the folks in this last administration belong in jail, or should, at the very least, have the country witness the details of what they've done, and to have a jury make a decision on whatever appropriate charges might be.  If that means they are judged "Not guilty," that's fine with me too.

     Anyway, I believe that answers your perhaps rhetorical question:  Because that's the way the Law works.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Huan Yi
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37 posted 07-14-2009 09:37 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Are we in a war
or not?


.
Local Rebel
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38 posted 07-14-2009 11:06 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

SEC. 501. [50 U.S.C. 413] (a)(1) The President shall ensure that the congressional intelligence committees are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity as required by this title.

       (2) Nothing in this title shall be construed as requiring the approval of the congressional intelligence committees as a condition precedent to the initiation of any significant anticipated intelligence activity.

       (b) The President shall ensure that any illegal intelligence activity is reported promptly to the congressional intelligence committees, as well as any corrective action that has been taken or is planned in connection with such illegal activity.

       (c) The President and the congressional intelligence committees shall each establish such procedures as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this title.

       (d) The House of Representatives and the Senate shall each establish, by rule or resolution of such House, procedures to protect from unauthorized disclosure all classified information, and all information relating to intelligence sources and methods, that is furnished to the congressional intelligence committees or to Members of Congress under this title. Such procedures shall be established in consultation with the Director of Central Intelligence. In accordance with such procedures, each of the congressional intelligence committees shall promptly call to the attention of its respective House, or to any appropriate committee or committees of its respective House, any matter relating to intelligence activities requiring the attention of such House or such committee or committees.

       (e) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as authority to withhold information from the congressional intelligence committees on the grounds that providing the information to the congressional intelligence committees would constitute the unauthorized disclosure of classified information or information relating to intelligence sources and methods.

       (f) As used in this section, the term "intelligence activities" includes covert actions as defined in section 503(e), and includes financial intelligence activities.

REPORTING OF INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES OTHER THAN COVERT ACTIONS

SEC. 502. [50 U.S.C. 413a] To the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters, the Director of Central Intelligence and the heads of all departments, agencies, and other entities of the United States Government involved in intelligence activities shall -

       (1) keep the congressional intelligence committees fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities, other than a covert action (as defined in section 503(e)), which are the responsibility of, are engaged in by, or are carried out for or on behalf of, any department, agency, or entity of the United States Government, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity and any significant intelligence failure; and

       (2) furnish the congressional intelligence committees any information or material concerning intelligence activities, other than covert actions, which is within their custody or control, and which is requested by either of the congressional intelligence committees in order to carry out its authorized responsibilities.
http://www.intelligence.gov/0-natsecact_1947.shtml

3.1Congressional Oversight. The duties and responsibilities of the Director of Central Intelligence and the heads of other departments, agencies, and entities engaged in intelligence activities to cooperate with the Congress in the conduct of its responsibilities for oversight of intelligence activities shall be as provided in title 50, United States Code, section 413. The requirements of section 662 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2422), and section 501 of the National Security Act of 1947, as amended (50 U.S.C. 413), shall apply to all special activities as defined in this Order.
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12333.html#3.1    

2.5Attorney General Approval. The Attorney General hereby is delegated the power to approve the use for intelligence purposes, within the United States or against a United States person abroad, of any technique for which a warrant would be required if undertaken for law enforcement purposes, provided that such techniques shall not be undertaken unless the Attorney General has determined in each case that there is probable cause to believe that the technique is directed against a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. Electronic surveillance, as defined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, shall be conducted in accordance with that Act, as well as this Order.
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12333.html#2.5    

2.11Prohibition on Assassination. No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/codification/executive-order/12333.html#2.11




This is the law.  The AG is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of Federal crimes.  Can an independent judiciary NOT mount an investigation even if the President doesn't want him to?  If the President put political pressure on the AG to investigate or not investigate is that not also a criminal act?

What if the President puts political pressure on the AG to authorize a surveillance warrant?


quote:

Are we in a war
or not?



We talk about war a lot.  Are we in a war?  If so -- a war to do what?  Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States of America?  Can we violate the Constitution to save it?  

quote:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment05/

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.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment04/



Being in the battlefield and ordering a strike on an enemy, in a time of war, is not sneaking up on someone in a friendly country and putting a bullet in their brain.

quote:

How is it we have judges, juries, and executioners here over laws and rights that were "possibly" violated? That's like saying, "Buy Fixodent...it will possibly hold your teeth in place."



So you want the Vice-President to be the judge, jury, and executioner -- running his own little hit-squad Mike?  How about if Panetta just kept Cheney's death squad operational and turned the keys over to Joe Biden?  

Local Rebel
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39 posted 07-14-2009 11:32 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

But the Right is not accusing the president of conducting an illegal war, of failing to seek congressional authorization, or of committing war crimes. Nor did Republicans seek to exploit Feinstein’s gaffe — while there might have been political sport in it, doing so would have made it more difficult for Pakistan to cooperate with the Obama administration in an effort that advances American security interests.

That is, while Democrats politicize “torture,” “domestic spying,” the Patriot Act, and now the CIA’s efforts to defeat al-Qaeda, Republicans are generally supporting Obama’s Pakistan policy for the greater good of protecting our national security.

Eventually, people do figure out who the grown-ups are



So then, the Conservatives, who hate government, love war and military.

And Liberals, who love government, hate war and military.

Is that what you're trying to say John?  Republicans hate democracy and Democrats love democracy?  

Or are you saying that the Republicans never saw a war they didn't love?
Local Rebel
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40 posted 07-14-2009 11:40 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home ...

"These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones," said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA's Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.

Kinne described the contents of the calls as "personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism." .....

She said US military officers, American journalists and American aid workers were routinely intercepted and "collected on" as they called their offices or homes in the United States.

Another intercept operator, former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk, 39, said he and his fellow intercept operators listened into hundreds of Americans picked up using phones in Baghdad's Green Zone from late 2003 to November 2007.

"Calling home to the United States, talking to their spouses, sometimes their girlfriends, sometimes one phone call following another," said Faulk.

The accounts of the two former intercept operators, who have never met and did not know of the other's allegations, provide the first inside look at the day to day operations of the huge and controversial US terrorist surveillance program.

"There is a constant check to make sure that our civil liberties of our citizens are treated with respect," said President Bush at a news conference this past February. ....

Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of "cuts" that were available on each operator's computer.

"Hey, check this out," Faulk says he would be told, "there's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, 'Wow, this was crazy'," Faulk told ABC News. ....

In testimony before Congress, then-NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden, now director of the CIA, said private conversations of Americans are not intercepted.

"It's not for the heck of it. We are narrowly focused and drilled on protecting the nation against al Qaeda and those organizations who are affiliated with it," Gen. Hayden testified.

He was asked by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), "Are you just doing this because you just want to pry into people's lives?"

"No, sir," General Hayden replied.

"They certainly didn't consent to having interceptions of their telephone sex conversations being passed around like some type of fraternity game," said Jonathon Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University who has testified before Congress on the country's warrantless surveillance program.

"This story is to surveillance law what Abu Ghraib was to prison law," Turley said.
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5987804&page=1



um... about those grown-ups.
 
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