Opening Act

Sunday, December 18, 2005



President Bush in today's radio address, emphasis and annotations [in brackets] mine.

In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.[1] Before we intercept these communications, the government must have information that establishes a clear link to these terrorist networks.[2]

This is a highly classified program that is crucial to our national security. Its purpose is to detect and prevent terrorist attacks against the United States, our friends and allies. Yesterday the existence of this secret program was revealed in media reports, after being improperly provided to news organizations. As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have, and the unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk.[3] Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country.

As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, it was clear that terrorists inside the United States were communicating with terrorists abroad before the September the 11th attacks, and the commission criticized our nation's inability to uncover links between terrorists here at home and terrorists abroad.[4] Two of the terrorist hijackers who flew a jet into the Pentagon, Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al Mihdhar, communicated while they were in the United States to other members of al Qaeda who were overseas. But we didn't know they were here, until it was too late.

The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after September the 11th helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities.[5] The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad.

The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days.[6] Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland.[7] During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation's top legal officials, including the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the September the 11th attacks, and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups.

The NSA's activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the Justice Department and NSA's top legal officials, including NSA's general counsel and inspector general.[8] Leaders in Congress have been briefed more than a dozen times on this authorization and the activities conducted under it.[9] Intelligence officials involved in this activity also receive extensive training to ensure they perform their duties consistent with the letter and intent of the authorization.[10]

This authorization is a vital tool in our war against the terrorists. It is critical to saving American lives. The American people expect me to do everything in my power under our laws and Constitution to protect them and their civil liberties. And that is exactly what I will continue to do, so long as I'm the President of the United States.


Now, this is a very direct statement. If I had to guess, I'd guess that Bush is angry — livid, chair-throwing angry — about this revelation, especially since the Times said in so many words that they withheld publication for a year because publication could harm national security. This raises the interesting question, what changed? If it would harm national security on 1 December, what made it publishable on 16 December?

It would appear that the Times is admitting that they released this information, knowing it would damage national security.

18 USC 793 (emphasis mine):

(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or
(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,
(1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or
(2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.


That's the Espionage Act. Ten years. Expect a criminal investigation, and it's not going to require a referral from NSA — although I understand NSA has already made one.

Notes: Bush is saying —

  1. This is important. These are not communications internal to the US.

  2. It's based on other intelligence, establishing that the person involved is connected to a terrorist network. I'm not a lawyer (and that caveat should be read in all of this) but it appears to me that 50 USC 1801 (b)(2)(C) defines anyone who is believed to be part of a terrorist network is an "agent of a foreign power" under the act, and not a "US person".

  3. He's explicitly saying this revealed "sources and methods"...

  4. ... and that the sources and methods are the ones that the 9/11 Commission criticized the intelligence community for not having.

  5. It was legal and within Bush's power.

  6. This was done and reviewed periodically every 45 days.50 USC 1802 says:
    (a)
    (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year....

  7. This defines them as "terrorists" under 50 USC 1801(c).

  8. It was reviewed by the government's lawyers.

  9. Congress was notified as required under 50 USC 1808.

  10. "Minimization" procedures required under 50 USC 1801(h) were in place and performed.



I don't think any claim that this was "illegal" will stand up to scrutiny.

Discussion: For some time, one of the topics of interest on this blog has been the question of what is happening with these leaks. It looks to me like this is a sign that the Bush administration has (finally?) decided to act. I think this is the opening shot of a "pushback" that may well involve criminal prosecution of both reporters and members of the intelligence community, and very possibly a Tom-Clancy-esque revelation of leaks from within the Senate.

It's going to be very very interesting indeed.



Updates:

  • Jeff Goldstein has an excellent post up.

  • Make that two excellent posts.

  • 2005-Dec-17 12:43:27 — corrected a typo (1801 vice 1800) and a link atrocity from Blogger.

  • Silent Running points out Executive order 12333 as well.

  • Mark Levin has some interesting points.

  • RightWingNutHouse (Gods, I wish they'd picked another name for the blog):
    First, for the President to use the term “improperly provided” regarding a leak involving the National Security Agency is a monumental understatement. The NSA has extraordinarily strict rules about things like leaks. In short, if you’re an employee and you get caught leaking, you go to jail for a very long time.

    Very much my experience with the NSA, by the way.

  • Tom McGuire asks some interesting questions too.

  • Captain Ed weighs in, and points out that ...

  • The Washinngton Post wonders about the timing too.

  • Just continuing to beat this moribund ungulate, Baldilocks has some good words too.




Later update, 2005-Dec-18 15:08:46: In Stop the Bleating says:
Drop the specious arguments that the warrantless eavesdropping ordered by Bush somehow complies with FISA or some other federal statute. It doesn't. If it did, the White House would have issued a detailed explanation first thing Friday morning and would be repeating it loudly, ad nauseum.


But actually if you look at Bush's radio address, I think that's exactly what he did. I'm trying to track down legislative history, but §1801(a) defines people engaged in international terrorism as a "foreign power" and "agents of a foreign power". §1802 points to 1801(a)(1-3) in defining the exception, but I'm willing to bet that when that section was written, (1-3) were all there was of (a) ... and that a court would find that the intent of §1802 was to include all "agents of a foreign power" under §1801(a).

"USA v bin Laden" defined foreign terrorists as "agents of a foreign power" referring merely to (a)(1-2), so there's precedent to think that §1802 applies anyway.

As I show above, I think the radio address was exactly an argument that §1802 applies.

(This update, by the way, is a slight modification of a comment I left there.)



Okay, as I said I was planning to, I've closed comments on this now. Further comments can be applied to the post above.

431 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 431   Newer›   Newest»
flenser said...

"It looks to me like this is a sign that the Bush administration has (finally?) decided to act."

Perhaps. I'll believe it when I see it happen.

Those directly responsible for the leaks are of course the leakers themselves. But when these leaks continue in a steady stream for year after year, and the government does nothing about them, then the government must take partial blame, IMO. And by the government I mean Bush, the WH, and the Republican Congress.

Their total inaction on this issue is simply baffling.

chuck said...

...very possibly a Tom-Clancy-esque revelation of leaks from within the Senate.

How strange, the Senate was one of the first suspects that leaped to my mind also ;) But I will be happy to see anyone else involved indicted, convicted, and sent to prison. The idea that newspapers form some sort of shadow government has got to go. We the people elect our government, we don't elect journalists and newpaper editors. Those folks have to conform to the law of the land or suffer the consequences.

vnjagvet said...

I hope the President stays the course with this approach and tone.

He must continue to be the Commander In Chief because that is what he is.

If by January 2009 there have been no further attacks on our soil he will unarguably have succeeded in a feat that no reasonable person would have predicted on September 12, 2001.

While at country's helm he was faced with one of the most serious physical attacks to its safety in its history.

So far, he has steered around many shoals, any of which could have sunk the ship of state. If he continues this skillful performance for another three years, he will, as Chris Matthews said last night, deserve a place on Mount Rushmore.

All but the most severely infected with BDS will agree.

Results matter.

Buddy Larsen said...

you'd think that the newspaper in the city that lost the World Trade Center to 'walled-off' intelligence, would have better sense than to demand a return to the same sort of technicality-drag that killed all those citizens.

clarice said...

Halevai (from your mouth to God's ears). It seems to me that this IS the last straw..and boy does it make the Libby indictment look stupid.

Rick Ballard said...

Buddy,

That would presume an allegiance that has not been factually supported for some time. Paunch could see that mild sedition wasn't having the hoped for impact - financially or politically. He's now chosen full sedition - with a whiff of treason - as a new marketing/political strategy. We'll see where that idea takes him - along with the wing of the Democratic party that supplied the classified information that made the story possible.

It was as stupid a move as could be expected from Paunch and the Deaniacs. They deserve everything that's headed their way.

Seneca - Really excellent work.

gcotharn said...

I see opportunity. If the Justice Dept. prosecutes vigorously and tirelessly, it could be a watershed moment for our wide open and leaking like a sieve society. Vigorous, tireless, and gigantic prosecution could staunch or reverse our slide into greater and greater vulnerability to modern WMD/terrorist threats.

markg8 said...

The problem is Bush can't legally overrule the statute by executive order no matter what John Yoo thinks. Who is John Yoo? He's the lawyer who wrote this opinion for Bush and he's the same Justice Dept. lawyer who wrote the now discarded "it's not torture if we do it" justifications. No wonder Arlen Spector is outraged.

If Bush can do this he can just decide the torture ban is null and void by secret presidential fiat. And that's just for starters. You can't just keep whittling away at our civil rights and secretly stomping all over the separation of powers and expect our system to survive. Bush is taking us back to the problems we had with the Nixon imperial presidency. And to what purpose?

He's opened a can of worms he didn't have to. There was no need for this.
The NSA can already do this spying for communications from the US
with a warrant from the FISA court that can be had within 72 hours after the wiretaps begin.

You can say the good outweighs the bad but before you do ask yourself this: is that the kind of precident you want to set for a President Buchanan or Dean?

chuck said...

It strikes me that this is also part of the 'impeach Bush' meme that has been poking its head up. Some folks seem to think this is the right time for a coup, democratic opposition having failed. I think we are on the cusp of a major, I mean major, fight. The sides are almost evenly divided, the outcome is not clear, but whatever happens will set the tone in this country for years to come. Time to gird up our loins.

flenser said...

markg8

So is it your position that the Democratic senators who were in the loop on this were complicit in some sort of crime?

Seneca the Younger said...

The problem is Bush can't legally overrule the statute by executive order no matter what John Yoo thinks.

You're not keeping up, Mark. I addressed that, Note 6. It's specifically authorized under 50 USC 1802(a)(1).

ex-democrat said...

markg8 - John Yoo is a brilliant constitutional scholar. Are you?

No, i thought not.

Seneca the Younger said...

Is John Yoo still at Justice? I thought he was teaching law somewhere now.

ex-democrat said...

here, let me help you act like a grown up:
First, provide some authoritative evidence that the President's statement here is based on an "opinion" from John Yoo;
Second, provide a copy of that "opinion;"
Third, provide a critique from an equally qualified Constitutional scholar;
Fourth, demonstrate convincingly how that supports your opinions.

Or, just be quiet.

ex-democrat said...

Seneca - Yoo is on the faculty at Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley). He left Justice in 2003.

Buddy Larsen said...

I just wish that this new teapot-tempest spellbind wasn't cooking up at the same time that Mohammed al-Baredi (and consider THAT source) is saying that IranBomb is on the cusp.

I mean--doesn't the administration have enough crammed into the same old 24/7 ?

Mark--your precedent point is well-taken, but remember the sunset provisions, too.

Peter UK said...

"You can say the good outweighs the bad but before you do ask yourself this: is that the kind of precident you want to set for a President Buchanan or Dean?"

Howard,you have just been flushed by the left

Buddy Larsen said...

ex, right, Yoo's on first.

Peter UK said...

More interesting commentary at Powerline

Peter UK said...

BTW Does this mean that had this been in force during the Vietnam war,John F Kerry's contacts with the Vietcong would have been picked up?

markg8 said...

The Times article

The Wapo Article

The specific citation saying the NSA can wiretap comms in the US if they get a warrant from FISA within 72 hours after they get the Attorney General's approval.

Can't provide a copy of the opinion cuz it's classified. But my guess is we'll see it sooner or later. Bush signed it in 2002 so what's that have to do with whether Yoo is currently serving in the Justice Dept.? Cobbling up some legal mumbo jumbo was probably just an afterthought brought on by some some scaredypants at the NSA who were afraid they might get left holding the bag someday cuz it's long after Bush apparently went ahead with these intercepts.

A word to the wise, it's never good to start drinking before sunset unless you're on vacation or at a party.

Buddy Larsen said...

He had little trouble communing with his "enemy", as his marital (#1) honeymoon in Paris just happened to coincide with the VC/NVA set-up of the Paris Peace Talks--from when flowed "Peace with Honor" and our pull-out from RSVN.

So he made a friendly connection with the "enemy" there in Paris, before the talks.

Secret, 'private' talks to, you know, "help".

Buddy Larsen said...

"Cobbling up some legal mumbo jumbo", Mark?

Whoaaa, there, boy.

WHO is cobbling up some legal mumbo jumbo ?

markg8 said...

Oh and if you think there isn't a chilling effect from some Patriot Act provisions then check this out.

Peter UK said...

Did John Boy connect like this?

ex-democrat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
terrye said...

Good work Seneca.

Buddy Larsen said...

Jeez, wot a way to remember dinner.

Buddy Larsen said...

Mark--your link--you don't think that a nodal that is in contact with terrorists should be monitored by the FBI? Have you missed the academy cut-outs uncovered in the 911 plots?

markg8 said...

Who's cobbled up some legal mumbo jumbo? Apparently John Yoo again for the President who apparently thinks the WOT gives the executive branch carte blanche to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants whenever he wants.

ex-democrat said...

mark - as you clearly lack the intellect to recognize your own ignorance (and, thus, stay quiet) here's a simple question that even you should be able to answer:
are we at war?
(extra points for economy in the answer)

markg8 said...

Yes we are at war and as many of you pointed out the other day to terrye you think the enemy literally are other Americans. I have no reason to believe Bush and Cheney think any differently.

Doug said...

" I think this is the opening shot of a "pushback" that may well involve criminal prosecution of both reporters and members of the intelligence community, and very possibly a Tom-Clancy-esque revelation of leaks from within the Senate."
---
Byron York on the Ingraham Show:
"Mark my words,
there will be an investigation into this."
---
Unfortunately, I'm with flenser, I'll believe it when I see it.
Kinda hard to believe anything else, when stuff in links below is ALL we've seen from the GOP for years.
Thanks to whoever posted them the other day, sorry, I forgot who it was.
. GOP - The Stupid Party .
. Powerline FoxNews The Stupid Party .

Doug said...

ex,
I'm sure you recognize that he lacks the intellect to recognize the wisdom of your advice.

Doug said...

oops, you said that already

markg8 said...

Buddy the law states that if they find "United States persons" that need spying on they have to get a FISA court warrant within 72 hours after the AG oks the wiretap. They can get this warrant renewed after a year if the surveillance needs to continue.

Doug said...

Buddy,
1:16
Who?

Doug said...

Will he Boalt First?

Syl said...

apparently thinks the WOT gives the executive branch carte blanche to do whatever he wants to whoever he wants whenever he wants.

I've found that people who make hysterical over generalizations like this don't have a clue what the laws are in America.

These NSA taps are legal. And, furthermore, there is even oversight! Gee, whoulda thunk?

The program is tweaked and reviewed every 45 days by congressional committee. And, hey, there are DEMS in that committee.

If I find a phone number on a terrorist's computer, I'd sure like to tap it and I'm relieved that US Law actually allows it!

The New York Times and the Dems just want to keep the Left hysterical so they send money.

Mark gets the hysterical part, but I doubt he's ever contributed a penny to the Cause.

Buddy Larsen said...

"you think the enemy literally are other Americans"


Why would anybody think that?

"It is the first independent investigation of the IRS by investigators armed with subpoena power. Civil libertarians concerned about the heavy-handedness of the IRS and its use as an instrument of political repression by the executive branch of the government know that this is very important.

Mr. Dorgan has led the campaign to deny the report's contents to the public. Last April, he attempted to end Mr. Barrett's funding. He was thwarted then, but more recently he tried a new ploy. With Democratic Senators Durbin and Kerry, he bootlegged into an Iraq-war appropriations bill an amendment that would suppress the report completely. Some Republicans defeated this attempt, but Mr. Dorgan and his allies are clever.

Into a later appropriations bill, they got language that would suppress 120 pages of the report relating to Clinton Justice Department and IRS misbehavior. If the butchered report were published in this shape, they promised to do nothing further to delay its appearance. Amazingly, key Republicans in these negotiations agreed, Senator Bond and Rep. Joe Knollenberg.

As things stand now, the expurgated report will appear and the public will be none the wiser as to how the IRS and Justice Department can be used to obstruct justice and harass private citizens. Corrupt administrations in the future will have a free hand at playing politics the way they are played in a banana republic, or 20th century Arkansas."


Mr. Tyrrell is the founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator, a contributing editor to The New York Sun, and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute.

flenser said...

mark

Can you take time out from making wild accusations long enough to answer my question?

Doug said...

ex,
We'd prefer you call it The Boalt School of Law.
Thx.
---
Buddy, Liu's on NPR:

Professor Liu Discusses High Court Racial Discrimination Case on NPR

---
*Boalt's Death Penalty Clinic Director Discusses State Executions
*Boalt Professors Weigh in on Alito Nomination
...I wonder if those two are related?

Buddy Larsen said...

Liu and Yoo are who the two on NPR are?

Doug said...

Did you take that picture of Mark, Peter?

flenser said...

"you think the enemy literally are other Americans."

Well, when other Americans flat out state their views that the Bush regime needs to be overthrown by "direct action", we'd be pretty silly not to take them at their word.

In this instance we see people breaking the law in an effort to damage Bush, regardless of it's impact on the War. Yes, I regard such people as enemies, and as de facto allies of Al Queda.

Buddy Larsen said...

I think we ought to write Fox and try to get O'Rielly or Hannity to demand "The 120 Pages" referred to in my link above (the bolding was mine, I forgot to say). After all, the issue HAS been raised, hasn't it?

Doug said...

ex, 12:47 PM,
You too, I'd bet.
(the brilliant part, of course)
Who was first in his class, though?

vnjagvet said...

Is yoo on first, Buddy?

Doug said...

Is "NPR are" correct?
(obviously I don't mean politically)

Doug said...

"Time to gird up our loins."
---
Is Peter's Picture a Demo?

Peter UK said...

Doug,
Nah, somebody probably tapped his cellphone.

Doug said...

"He's now chosen full sedition - with a whiff of treason - as a new marketing/political strategy."
---
Rick,
Do we have to be "Times Select" subscribers?

Peter UK said...

Flenser,
You mean Mark Garrity equates to Benedict Arnold?

Rick Ballard said...

Vnjagvet,

Yup, Yoo's who's on first - Liu, too!

Buddy Larsen said...

vnjagvet, Liu or Yoo, I forget who's on first. You get NPR number, and I'll dial.

Buddy Larsen said...

Whew, peter's pic--now THAT's a 'whiff of treason'.

Rick Ballard said...

No, that can't be right - if Liu's too on first then it's Yoo's who must be on second - unless it's Yoo who's on second in lieu of Liu. In that case, it's Liu's who's on first in lieu of Yoo who's on second. Where's Wat?

Buddy Larsen said...

Peter's afraid we missed the point, comparing him to benedict arnold...heh heh....

Buddy Larsen said...

"I say, chaps, what the devil is wrong with Benedict Arnold?"

Buddy Larsen said...

...all in good fun, there, Peter! \;-D

Peter UK said...

Yoo Who!

Buddy Larsen said...

Rick, the chinese premier, Hu, is on third. Uh, o.

Rick Ballard said...

Yoo's who's with Liu at Boalt Hall.

Peter UK said...

Much maligned Buddy,he did wonderful egss.

Buddy Larsen said...

they're all in the green room right now, having some sort of hot caffienated beverage--don't know what--with old whats-iz-name, the Gen. Secretary of the U.N.

terrye said...

mark:

Do not drag me into your hysterical rampage.

I was talking generalities, not specifics.

I would say that whoever leaked this classified information is the enemy and what is more his motive maybe money from a book deal as much as anything else.

It is obvious after 9/11 when we knew there were terrorists with cell phones and email addresses all over the world, in and out of the US communicating with each other via means that are often null and void in a few hours time...it is vital to move quickly.

If it ever came out that information that could have saved thousands of Americans was not gathered because the President was worried about the civil liberties of an AlQaida operative people would be outraged.

The knee jerk reaction of the left and a good deal of the media is always the same, attack first...get the facts after.

I had assumed that the government was watching and listening to these people, I would be very upset to think they were not.

Buddy Larsen said...

Speaking of eggs, Peter, wonder who was the first person to look at a chicken laying an egg, and say "Hey, let's EAT that thing!"

Seneca the Younger said...

"ex, right, Yoo's on first."

Oh. My. Gawd.

markg8 said...

flenser even the people who are involved in this seem to know it's illegal. Apparently they were the ones who forced a temporary shutdown of the operation last year because they didn't want to be held liable if Kerry became president and it came to light.

As for Dem congressional leaders in 2002 going along with it? I think they should have spoken up. As I said before this wasn't necessary. If they had a legit need to spy on Americans there are legal ways to do it. If you want us to think the worst of your party then just keep letting them break our own laws in the name of the WOT. There's plenty of people freaked out enough as it is. When that grad student speaks of taking direct action let's make sure he or she is talking about getting involved in a candidate's election instead of thinking the weather underground is the way to go. Cuz Bush seems to want to take us right back to the 60s.

Seneca the Younger said...

Mark, by the way, until and unless you can show some evidence to cite Yoo, from now on I will delete every post in which you use Yoo's name as an ad hominem circumstantial.

And you're mistaken in your reading of the statute: 50 USC 1801 (which I cited) says "without court order... for a period of one year" and says "notwithstanding any other provision."

Since the reporting requirements of §1805 have been satisfied, in any case you're simply wrong.

flenser said...

markg8

"As for Dem congressional leaders in 2002 going along with it? I think they should have spoken up."

As usual, you dodged the question. I did not ask it they should have spoken up. I asked if they were complicit in a crime.

Clearly they did not think they were engaged in a crime, or they would not have gone along with it.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
Who was the unknown hero/heroine who discovered that one could eat lobster?

I know Mark"Jethro Clampett" Garrity was the first to learn how to smoke crawdads.

Buddy Larsen said...

Judging from how the weather underground worked out, it came back to ground-level after the buzz faded, and then it kept on going 'til it got way above-ground, in them wall street skyscrapers, sucking on that capitalist teat with gusto and abandon.

(gusto and abandon are their two illegal-alien houseboys)

ex-democrat said...

mark - to my question "are we at war" you respond: "Yes we are at war and as many of you pointed out the other day to terrye you think the enemy literally are other Americans. I have no reason to believe Bush and Cheney think any differently."

[sorry, but zero points for economy given the unrequested waffle regarding what others may have "pointed out" and whatever you "believe Bush and Cheney think"]

Now, for clarification: Who do you mean by "we" and with whom do you believe "we" are at war?

(Be brief, as this will afford less opportunity for you to confuse yourself.)

vnjagvet said...

Mark:

I trust you are not a lawyer. For you ignore the extensive citations of law the post has provided. Had you read them, you would find that the Commander In Chief was fully exercising his authority provided by statute. Whether you agree with the statute or not, you cannot ignore it.

The fact is that this is a highly technical area of the law and is so because of the infamous Church Commission's work in the 70's.

You even ignore the Yoo analysis (whether he's on first, second or third, he is at Boalt).

Whether you agree or disagree with the legal analysis supplied by the post, at least recognize that there is a position different from your own.

The facts and law fail to support your hysterical accusations of dictatorship and the like.

Try to get a grip, please.

Buddy Larsen said...

We'll know the Weather Underground is back at full fury when, all across the nation, a tire gets slashed.

markg8 said...

vnjagvet why do you think we had the Church Commission and also reined in the FBI in the 70s? Exactly because of stuff like this.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
Markg8 is a member of the
Leather Underwear.

Buddy Larsen said...

Vnjagvet, beautiful prose--but, the Mark-act is not as dumb as it looks--it's the fog from which the bumper-stickers emerge. it's the polictical analoge of celebrity--famous for being famous--and the Dem pols are all over the tube at this moment, calling press conferences right and left, loading the stage with other great patriots, all rolling their eyes heavenward for the cameras, and being visibly "shocked, shocked" at this horrible abuse of power.

Buddy Larsen said...

Peter, no, he's in their auxiliary, the "Whether Someone'sthere".

ex-democrat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
flenser said...

markg8

"Exactly because of stuff like this."

Stuff like what? Our spooks are keeping a close eye on known and suspected terrorists. What is there about that which has you so nervous?

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
This is the Democrats Ardennes offensive,they will do damage,but ultimately they are running on empty.

Buddy Larsen said...

I urge anyone who might think Sen. Frank Church's Committee (during the Dem post 'Nam congressional sweep) was in any way not a direct precursor to the intel failures we're now so richly paying for, should simply google [Church Committee] and read about the left's tit-for-McCarthy tat.

Your hairs will stand on end, Ai promise.

Doug said...

"Peter, no, he's in their auxiliary, the "Whether Someone'sthere"."
---
I thought it was Whether Underwear.

Doug said...

Who saw the knee jerk sign and did Boalt First.
Hee took third on the passed ball.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
He doesn't do any fighting,he just likes the posing in the costume.

Doug said...

He who, Peter?

Buddy Larsen said...

Ha--like those teachers at Wesleyan College--run down to the beach and snap each other in Che costumes, and put it on their website to help 'expose' israel?

Doug said...

I didn't know there was any elastic in a Che Costume.

markg8 said...

Let me spell the law out for you clearly. Courtesy of a commentator at Political Animal:

* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting “surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order.” [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

* Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.” [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

* The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

Doug said...

I sure hope next time there's and "event," again, and they round up a few of those guys with their cell phones and laptops with hundreds if not thousands of contacts to check out that they contact Harry Reid first.

Buddy Larsen said...

Quite fetching, really, the berets just-so. Only the truly committed would drive two hours to get the nice backdrop for the snapshots, even if the school DId pay for it.

Buddy Larsen said...

So, Mark, give it form as an opening-statement in a plaintiff action.

Doug said...

Don't be mean, Bud.

Seneca the Younger said...

Mark:

(1) You note: FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. You're right. However, since §1801 et seq. are statues, it doesn't apply. That argument fails.

(2) Your second citation fails for the same reason. Furthermore, since §1801 says "notwithstanding any other section", your citations don't apply anyay.

(3) Are you familiar with the term "non sequitur"? If not, you ought to look it up. Although it's hard to credit that possibility — I don't think I've ever seen as good an example that wasn't consciously constructed.

flenser said...

Markg8, you have the IQ of a potted plant.


50 USC 1802
"(1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year.."

If you would take the trouble to READ the posts which are put up here it is just possible that your ignorance might be corrected.

ex-democrat said...

"Let me spell the law out for you clearly. Courtesy of a commentator at Political Animal:.."

LOL

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doug said...

SymPATHETIC LOL.

Peter UK said...

Buddy,
Unfortunately,there have been some dress code violations and beret outreach workers from the DU have had to go into the field.

terrye said...

mark:

Some really astute lawyers wrote these orders up and they were reviewed and scrutinized by other lawyers. The program was stopped for awhile due to questions brought up by Senators and then started again after it was revamped. That is called oversight.

I think this story was leaked to hurt Bush, help peddle Resin's book and run cover for the Democratic filibuster of the Patriot Act.

What it really tells me is that even after 9/11 Democrats and their friends in the media are not serious about national security.

It is either something they can exploit or ignore, but they really do not give a damn if some guy is on a cell phone planning to blow up something in Denver.

They will care if it happens when and if they can complain that someone like Bush did not try hard enough to stop the attacks but in the meantime their main thrust will not be to fight terrorism or protect the American people, it will be to trash Bush and win back power.

That is really all they care about. My safety and as far as that is concerned, your safety are not a big deal to them.

The only time they are unified is when they are on the other side of Bush. Everything from border security to catching terrorists runs a slow second to mindless knee jerk obstructionism.

Too bad they can not be that strong when dealing with the really scarey people, maybe they could win elections again.

Peter UK said...

Flenser,
That is an herbivophile remark,Mark is more your simple single cell organism.

Doug said...

Terrye,
One insane aspect to this charade is that the Patriot Act has more Congressional and Judicial oversight than anything similar prior to now, but that doesn't fit the Dems storyline, so they just ignore that fact with all the rest and continue their madness.

ex-democrat said...

to the adults: Mark Levin asks "whether our government is capable of tracking down these perpetrators [of the leaks] and punishing them, or will we continue to allow the Times and Washington Post determine national security policy."
(http://corner.nationalreview.com/05_12_11_corner-archive.asp#084896)
Is it? Should it? Will it?

Doug said...

CAIR Launches Patriot Act Blog
CAIR Launches Patriot Act Blog.
- Atlas

Buddy Larsen said...

"Beret Outreach"---guffawww!

terrye said...

doug:

Oh hell yes, today people can find a lawyer to protect them from damn near anything. The amount of oversight involved in and all of these things is ridiculous.

The truth is the American people want to know someone is watching these people. Americans do not want another 9/11.

Democrats seem bound and determined to make surrender at home and abroad their campaign slogan for 2006. Not a good idea. I have not talked to one person today who seemed scandalized at the thought that AlQaida's phones are tapped. In fact most people just assumed this stuff was going on.

Peter UK said...

This is no laughing matter Buddy,Beret Cranial Constriction can restrict the flow of blood to the brain resulting in delusions caused by lack of oxygen.The symptoms are paranoid out breaks,uncontrolled banner waving and speaking in disconnected fragments of the New York Times.
The later stages can involve a fascination with giant puppets and a compulsion to bang drums.
The terminal stages leave the victim hunched over a computer babbling "I am the way,I am the light".

markg8 said...

flenser I don't know who you think you're trying to kid. You're not dealing with Roger Simon here.

1) Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this subchapter to acquire foreign intelligence information for periods of up to one year if the Attorney General certifies in writing under oath that—
(A) the electronic surveillance is solely directed at—

(i) the acquisition of the contents of communications transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers,
as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title; or

(ii) the acquisition of technical intelligence, other than the spoken communications of individuals, from property or premises under the open and exclusive control of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title;

(B) there is no substantial likelihood that the surveillance will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party;

Unless it meets the above criteria they have to get a warrant from the FISA court. This was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Like Nixon Bush thinks he can do whatever he wants because as President he's above the law. I'm starting to believe this guy actually did spend the entire decade of the 1970s in a stupor.

Doug said...

"Unless it meets the above criteria they have to get a warrant from the FISA court."
---
No, there are exceptions, even for the FISA Court.

Buddy Larsen said...

Har--but rongo, he already said that either we quit having an administration, or by GOD he's gonna join the Whether Underground (which oddly, is a question I sometimes ask of the grocer, about the hamburger meat).

Doug said...

Ah, the Post Scheer LA Times is refreshingly different:

. Senate BlocksRenewal of Patriot Act .
By Richard B. Schmitt
The rebuff to Bush comes amid news that he authorized wiretaps of Americans without court clearance. Fate of post-9/11 law is unclear.
Transcript: Bush Approves Eavesdropping

flenser said...

markg8

Rest assured, nobody will ever mistake you for Roger Simon.

terrye said...

mark:

You are wrong.

Think about it, there has been Congressional oversight from the beginning. There are executive orders for it. The FISA Court is aware of it. The Justice Department has overseen it.

And there is a difference between whether both parties are in the US or not.

Roger L Simon may not be a lawyer, but the guys at powerline are lawyers and they seem to think that Bush is on solid ground here.

And nobody but the denizons of the internet and a few half backed politicians have said this is illegal anyway.

But Bush wanted it so that means it must be bad. I am so tired of this silly crap. I really am.

I give up on the Democrats and the Left. I am doomed to vote Republican whether I like it or not.

Peter UK said...

Mark,
You put all that bumf up,to back up your assertion that a law has been broken,if you were in court doing that the judge would kick your arse from now until breakfast time.

vnjagvet said...

Mark:

If that last post is your exhaustive statutory analysis of the issues raised in the NYT article and the President's speech today, it is incomplete.

You have not taken into consideration that the communications in question are indeed:

"...transmitted by means of communications used exclusively between or among foreign powers, as defined in section 1801 (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this title."

That is because findings were made by the executive branch that both ends of the calls were suspected terrorist plotters. Even if terrorist plotters are citizens of or residents in the US, they are for purposes of the statute considered agents of "foreign powers". Their communications, therefore, are not protected under the statute.

If the interceptors were wrong, of course, the information gleaned from the calls would have been worthless for prosecution purposes even though it could be used to thwart a plot.

All of that information was subject to post facto review, and if there were abuses, it would have to be modified or stopped.

Seneca the Younger said...

Mark, you're wrong. Go read §1801(b)(2): someone engaged in terrorism or the support of terrorism is an "agent of a foreign power" and that makes it "foreign intelligence." The opinion in "USA v. Usama bin Laden" from the US District Court (Southern District of New York) in 2000 upheld exactly that interpretation under Janet Reno and Bill Clinton.

Unless, of course, you think Janet Reno committed a crime then too, but if so I think we need to know the theory under which you think the District Court's opinion is incorrect.

terrye said...

mark:

Before you get in a pissing match with vnjagvet, be warned, he is a lawyer.

Buddy Larsen said...

that's the jag in the handle.

Doug said...

The planning, coordination and sophistication of the Democrat resistance to worldwide freedom and democracy is quite impressive.

Peter UK said...

Doug,There is a lot of money at stake.

markg8 said...

Now why would Bush use this route to order secret surveillance when there are perfectly legal means available?

Courtesy of Josh Marshall let's look at the warrants the FISA Court has approved since it's inception in 1979. It didn't reject a single warrant application from its beginning in 1979 through 2002. In 2003 it rejected four applications. In 2004, the number was again zero. Doesn't sound like court has been a major impediment to national security does it?

But the report also notes court modifications. Before the year 2000 modifications were seldom if ever made. In 2000, there was one; in 2001, two; and in 2002, there were two applications modified but those modifications were later reversed. During 2003, the Court "made substantive modifications to the government's proposed orders" in 79 applications out of 1727 applications made and 1724 approved.

In 2004, the Court made substantive modifications to the United States' proposed orders in 94 applications.

Starting in 2003 the court starts modifying a serious number of requests, something it's rarely done before. Is that why Bush decided to bypass it altogether in many cases? Was this court suddenly staffed by the ACLU or was there something else going on?

terrye said...

Ever notice how when it comes to leaks the only time the left gets excited is when they think some poor widdle tewwowist might be mistreated?

I don't care if it a socalled secret prison with a couple of dozen jihadis or tapping some AlQaida operative's phones, they always jump up and down and carry on when some murdering fanatic might be locked up or spied on or inconvenienced or degraded or whatever.

Maybe the Democrats should sponsor a Terrorist Liberation Act.

It will be the policy of the United States to protect and defend the rights of maniacal jihadis to slaughter, murder, cripple and terrorize the people of the United States and her allies. Any attempts on the part of the United States and her allies to impede the efforts of said terrorists or deprive them of the means to kill and maim American citizens will be considered a criminal offence. I wonder how many of the Democrats would filibuster that one?

I bet the NYT would just love it. I can see the headlines: Democrats stand up for rights of abused Terrorists.

I just get a freaking chill thinking of it, she said wiping a tear from her eye.

Peter UK said...

And the number of applications made in 2000, 2001 and 2003 were?

vnjagvet said...

What is interesting is how few of those agreeing with Mark want to give the benefit of the doubt to those trying to assure there will be no more 9/11/01s. Even on points of law which are subject to several interpretations.

I really believe that the basic political debate is between two basic sides:

One believes we are engaged in the type of war like WW I and WW II. I.e., a war for the survival of both our nation and the right to choose the way we wish to live.

The other thinks we either are not at war, or that the war we are fighting is one we should win with Marquis of Queensbury rules even though the other side chooses brass knuckles, gouging and groin kicks.

I am not a "true believer" in George W. Bush. But I am a "true believer" in in the concept that we are indeed in a war of survival.

That means not that we discard our constitutional rights and principals, but that we construe them in such a way to assure, as did Lincoln and Roosevelt and their administrations, that our nation survives.

That is why I part ways with Mark and his allies.

vnjagvet said...

Mark has now changed the subject.

I guess we are now off the NSA and on to how information has been acquired and processed under FISA.

Neither this post nor its commenters have complained about that.

terrye said...

mark:

Why would he?

These statutes have been around for awhile and I will tell you this the technology today makes it possible for these guys to move from number to number, the information is very time sensitive.

It seems that a lot of people are assuming that this is new. It isn't. It is just that until Bush came along the need to damage national security in an effort to damage a president wasn't an issue with the press.

They just like messing with Bush, Clinton they covered for.

The rampant paranoia of the left is pathologicial.

Fine, tell the Democrats to make protecting the civil liberties of terrorists a campaign issue. It will work just as well run away run away did.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
The Mullahs set up a large slush fund to counter the invasion of Iraq,where would it be best spent?

Peter UK said...

It is plain that Democrats were briefed

flenser said...

vnjagvet

I think you are missing out on another possibility.

Mark and his allies may indeed consider themselves as being in an existental struggle with an opponent which must be overcome, in a struggle in which any means, fair or foul, are permitted.

They just happen to see that opponent as being George W Bush.

Doug said...

Terrye,
Here's a Belmont Poster's effort:
---
whit said...
Friday, while the Bush Administration basked in the after-glow of successful Iraqi elections and rising poll numbers, NYal-Qaeda and Democratiist insurgents unleashed a planned and coordinated attack designed to
derail the Patriot Act and further undermine the War on Terror.

Using familiar tactics, NYal-Qaeda initiated the attack with a vicious innuendo exploding device (VIED).
Taking advantage of the ensuing chaos and smoke screen Democratiist insurgents swept in with small arms fire and rancid propaganda grenades (RPG’s). Analysts described the insurgents tactics as "classic filibuster maneuver. "

Coalition Authorities are still accessing the damage but observers stated,
“There’s a lot of smoke in the air and until it clears, we won’t know the full extent of the damage but we expect it will be light.”

Al-Jazeera reported that the insurgents celebrated the attack at a political rally:

"We killed the Patriot Act," boasted Minority Leader Harri al-Reid, Nevada Democratiist, to cheers from a crowd at a political rally after the attack.
Sen. R.C. bin-Byrd, West Virginia another Democratiist, cited abuse at Abu Ghraib prison and Senator Ted Kennedy, a suspected al-Qaeda member and thought to be a member of the Boston branch of the bin-Laden family was heard railing against, “big brother run amok.”
Witnesses reported that the Democratiists insurgents were joined by four fighters wearing American uniforms. The four have been identified as Sen. John “the Sunni” Sununu, Sen Lisa Murkowski, a convert, Sen Chuck “the Palestinian” Hegel and Sen. Larry Craig al-Idaho.

terrye said...

vnjagvet:

I am not a true believer in many things, but my niece happened to be in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 and for a day and half no one knew where she was.

She was ok, but it dawned on me that it could have been her as easy as any one else that died that day.

I am not a strict libertarian but I do respect civil liberties. However, I don't think that keeping an eye on people like AlQaida is going to effect the civil liberties of Americans half as much as these guys loose among us.

They are dangerous. And I fail to udnerstand why we should put any less effort into putting them out of business than we did the Mafia.

Peter UK said...

And more pulling together in times of peril.

terrye said...

doug:

Sad but true.

One thing is for sure, Christmas is a week away and most people just think this is the same old same old.

After awhile they just expect the Democrats to call Bush the anti Christ and they expect Bush to roll with it.

But I think they really pissed Bushitler off this time.

Can the Gulags be far behind?

flenser said...

In support of my previous comment to vnjagvet, I offer this comment I found at JOM.



"That a few people in congress were told about something like this does not make it ok....how many in Nazi Germany knew about the plans for the final extermination of the
Jews?"

Cue Twilight Zone music.

terrye said...

Peter:

Let me see. I guess they could spend the money on training sessions for all young jihadis.

You know, new technologies that might be available out there that would make it easier to outsmart the Great Satan.

So that Rove can not listen as they plan the big one.

Doug said...

uh, sorry: What's JOM ?

flenser said...

Just One Minute.

Doug said...

Peter,
Isn't it possible that Bushitler had those folks drugged when they were briefed, and they genuinely do not remember the experience?

Doug said...

It'll take me longer than that if you don't tell me ;-)

Doug said...

Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, said the disclosure "ought to send a chill down the spine of every American and every senator."
---
Has Mark Dayton been evacuated yet?

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
They will be buying some political influence,journalists,officials,CIA nearing retirement the odd judge.....think mafia.Works for the Saudis.

Doug said...

What about all those spineless Senators?

Peter UK said...

Doug,
No need these are self administering.

Doug said...

Peter,
How about some Generals?
I forgot Wesley's last act, but it was good.

Peter UK said...

Doug,Money has always been a weapon of war.Alexander was a Great briber.

Doug said...

Doof Serum.

terrye said...

Peter:

I thought of that, but I really don't think it is money that spurs them on, It is a desire to get back in the drivers seat.

Of course if they do and there is another attack, all bets are off.

Doug said...

Clinton was the Great Vibrator.

flenser said...

No, the site is called, "Just One Minute".

The funniest thing I ever saw was a skit on the Scifi channel. It was a "Who's on first?" type of thing, but it played on Noh theater. (A Japanese thing)

"Are you going to the theater?

Yes.

What kind of theater are you going to see?

Noh.

Why won't you tell me?

I'm going to Noh theater.

But I thought you said you said you were going to the theater?"



And so on. I actually cried with laughter.

Jamie Irons said...

What vnjagvet said at 6:04 PM

I really believe that the basic political debate is between two basic sides:

One believes we are engaged in the type of war like WW I and WW II. I.e., a war for the survival of both our nation and the right to choose the way we wish to live.

The other thinks we either are not at war, or that the war we are fighting is one we should win with Marquis of Queensbury rules even though the other side chooses brass knuckles, gouging and groin kicks.



is exactly right. I do believe this is the true divide: on the one hand, those who believe the world changed on 9/11/01, and those who do not.

The latter group believes that if any change has occurred, it is all Bush's fault. If we just left those jihadis alone, everything would be like the glory days when William Jefferson Clinton was president.


Jamie Irons

Buddy Larsen said...

Jamie, I missed the Friday Reading.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Vnjagvet is exactly right.

As long as we require ourselves to fight with our arms tied behind our backs, while our enemies are allowed to use any and all means of attack on us, our long-term prospects are not good.

This isn't a parlor game.

Doug said...

Powerline:

President Bush gave a fantastic speech today, in which he labeled Senate Democrats "irresponsible" for filibustering the Patriot Act.

He also vigorously, and effectively, defended the NSA intercept program that has come under attack since it was leaked to the New York Times.
His argument was crushingly effective.
I was heartened to see that Bush noted both the legality of the NSA program and the illegality of the leaks that exposed the program to the terrorists.
The next step is to appoint a prosecutor to investigate who leaked this important classified information, and begin criminal proceedings against those responsible.
You can watch the President's speech here.

Peter UK said...

Terrye,
"You cannot hope to bribe or twist, thank God, the New York journalist. But seeing
what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to". (Humbert Wolfe). ...

But I still think there are not a few tax returns need looking at.

Rick Ballard said...

Doug,

No special federal persecutor for this one. The DoJ is perfectly capable of conducting an investigation - the provenance of the information provided to the Times is a matter of national security. I know the Times is hoping for a confrontation - which is certainly a large part of their decision to publish but the DoJ is still bound to pursue it.

The Times will get more publicity than they deserve but it's not necessarily going to be of help to them.

flenser said...

Rick

Agreed about the special prosecutor. Among other reasons, they take too long. It would be nce if whoever was behind this leak can be nailed in a couple of months. Given the small circle of people in the know on this project, it should not be hard to find the culprit.

Of course, the WH knew somebody had leaked a year ago. They could/should have lanuched an investigation back then.

Doug said...

Rick,
Last thing we need is another Fitz.
Everybody sang his praises, but his intel appeared to come from the Beltway Media, and the cameras seemed to be affecting his reputed good sense.

Doug said...

Bridge for Sale, Brooklyn .

Bill Keller, the Times' executive editor, said in a statement that the newspaper postponed publication of the article for a year at the White House's request, while editors pondered the national security issues surrounding the release of the information.

But after considering the legal and civil liberties aspects, and determining that the story could be written without jeopardizing intelligence operations, the paper ran the story, Keller said, emphasizing that information about many NSA eavesdropping operations is public record.

"What is new is that the NSA has for the past three years had the authority to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States without a warrant," Keller said. "It is that expansion of authority -- not the need for a robust anti-terror intelligence operation -- that prompted debate within the government, and that is the subject of the article."

Doug said...

Good they were able to make that determination in about a year.
Give or take.

Rick Ballard said...

Flenser,

I don't think that any more than a very light investigation could have been mounted. This is going to involve legislators or legislative staff. An investigation itself could have compromised the security of what was being done.

The legislative would have run to the journo traitors in a heartbeat - this is going to be cast as a Pentagon Paers deal all over again.

The Dems are just that stupid - and just that unworthy of trust.

ex-democrat said...

i agree with vnjagvet too.
notice how squirmy the resident troll gets when confronted with a simple and direct question on the subject:

question: are we at war? and if so, who with?

answer: look! over there! a pink elephant!! ... anyway, as i was saying about halliburton... (silence)

markg8 said...

I believe this is the true divide: on the one hand we have a president who believes God wanted him to be president and seems to take that belief in himself as evidence that he's infallible. And with him are his followers who despite all the evidence to the contrary apparently agree that he is. On the other side there are those of us who see the incompetence, the secrecy, the corruption and the mindless adherence to ideology as serious signs that the other side has lost it's bearings.

Morgan said...

...there are those of us who see the incompetence, the secrecy, the corruption and the mindless adherence to ideology as serious signs that the other side has lost it's bearings.

Count me among them. Those crazy liberal Dems...

flenser said...

Rick

I see your point, to an extent. But once they knew the Times had the story, it was simply a matter of time before the Times released it. So it was not a question of if the project was blown, but of when.

I think there is a case to be made that the salutary effect of seeing a leaker sent away for 160 years would overall outweigh whatever loss is incurred from seeing this project blown open several months earlier than it might have been.

Unless the WH actually though the Times would be good Americans and keep their mouths shut.

Peter UK said...

"other side there are those of us who see the incompetence,"

This from Mark Garrity the troll that couldn't even do rudimentary html,has the attention span of am amoeba,and who is so twisted you could uncork a bottle with him."Ye Gods and little fishes!"

Buddy Larsen said...

mark--find the quote from Bush that your edifice is built on. The one where God appointed, or whatever, him to run the show.

Doug said...

At the Belmont Club , James K wrote:

"For myself, my feelings of doubts and criticisms towards the administration never led me to be sympathetic towards the Left for one simple reason: they weren't interested in victory for the United States or for the Iraqi people; they were only interested in defeat for GWB, and it seemed clear that it didn't matter to them how many people would have to die for them to see that.

I suspect that my outlook is or will be shared by many other Americans. Doubts about the wisdom of OIF, doubts about the administration's competence, but in the end finding the Left's drama and theatrics to be dangerously self-righteous, selfish, and concerned with only the immediate rhetorical value of what they are spewing."

7:51 AM

flenser said...

Well, I think that mark's comments bear out my theory over vnjagvets.

It's not that they don't see danger. They do see danger. They are simply convinced that the danger is called George W Bush.

They are not stuck in a pre 9/11 world. But they think that in the post 9/11 world an evil dictator has taken over the US and is a threat to the whole world.

terrye said...

mark:

The only people who believe that are people such as yourself who are suffering from partisan hatred of such intenstiy that it has effected their reason.

In a couple of years Bush will not be president anymore.

Chances are at least some of the jihadis are still going to be out there.

Question is do the Democrats want to run someone who will protect the American people from some fanatic screaming God is Great while he detonates himself in the Mall of America who do they want to run on turning the clock back to 9/10/01?

If you really do not want to track these people then remember that Atta undoubtedly had conversations via cell phone with folks back home, if NSA had been listening to him think how different the world might be today.

I don't trust people like you mark to protect me or my family. I just do not.

I don't give a rat's ass if the long distance phone call of some terrorist is listened to and the fact that is all you care about tells me all I need to know.

terrye said...

Secrecy????

Good God look at all the stuff that has shown up in the press... I wish there were some more secrets.

As for corruption, the Democrats are in no position to judge on this.

Clinton fixed that.

Buddy Larsen said...

definitely not to be let near the levers of power, ever again.

Specter said...

Evenin' All,

Gotta admit I love reading through all these posts. The bottom line here is that no matter what is said, people like markg8 will never change their minds. It doesn't matter what proof you show them. They have been spoon fed on MSM and hate of Bush so they can't even open their minds to the idea that there could be different side to the story. It truly is sad. These are the same people that base their votes on who looks best on a 10 second sound bite on TV...

Doug said...

(2005-12-14) — President George Bush today confirmed a recent Newsweek magazine cover story, admitting that he’s “living in a bubble” — isolated and aloof.
“I confess that I don’t wake up each day on the same planet as Newsweek’s editors,” said Mr. Bush.

“So, I guess I’m isolated from the world where the U.S. is always wrong, terrorists have legitimate rights, Cindy Sheehan formulates sound foreign policy, record employment figures and falling gas prices signal imminent economic doom, civil rights are endangerd by preserving heterosexual marriage, abortion is the most valued freedom for women and the federal government fulfills the role of the father, the mother, the church and the local government.”

Mr. Bush said he agreed with the Newsweek assertion that he “may be the most isolated president in modern history.”
“I admit,” said Mr. Bush, “that I’m almost completely isolated from public opinion pollsters and journalists who start with answers and craft questions to elicit them. I’m virtually cut off from believing the non-stop barrage of negative news about an emerging democratic nation that will have three legitimate elections this year after decades of dictatorship.

I’m aloof from the world in which bitter critics with no vision are treated as diplomats and sages.”

Mr. Bush added, “When you see a shimmering, transparent bubble wall, you gotta ask yourself: which side of it am I on?”

-Scrappleface

Rick Ballard said...

Flenser,

If DoJ doesn't have a plan I would be very surprised - and disappointed.

This reeks of a Hail Mary effort by Keller and Paunch to hold onto their phony baloney jobs - and for Dean to hang onto his. It's always VietWatergate in their very feeble little minds. They keep driving by looking in the rear view mirror and they are going to make it off a cliff doing so.

Maybe Keller can be sent to jail for non-compliance with a supoena - hopefully we'll see a legal maximum fine when he refuses to comply. Maybe this could be a criminal contempt citation. Let's hope that the DoJ decides to go with the full Monty on this one.

Doug said...

"They keep driveling by looking in the rear view mirror and they are going to make it off a cliff doing so"

Doug said...

Maybe he's checking out his Paunch.
Wish Paunch would check out.

Peter UK said...

Are the Democrats concerned how al Qaeda,the Ba'athists,Syrians and Iranians,not to mention the French and Chinese,are viewing these Shenanigens?

The aforementioned must be laughing themselves sick at this cavalcade of poltroonery...do the Democrats think that if they manage to take over by these means that these people will not be sniggering behind their hands?
What would Howlin' Howie or the Surrendering Stick Insect be President of...the Weak Horse.
Have they no pride?

terrye said...

What about Resin, the author of the soon to be released book, How to betray your country, will he get into any hot water?

So much for Plamegate.

markg8 said...

terrye how interesting you use a hypothetical suicide attack on the Mall of America in your diatribe. As you may or may not recall that was mentioned by Richard Clarke
the counter-terrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council on 9/11 and one of Bush's most vociferous critics in his novel "The Scorpion's Gate".

And I got news for ya. I have no faith in anybody who believes we should workaround the constitution in order to buy some small measure of comfort for themselves. Comfort is not security. You take away the constitution and you take the one tangible thing that makes this country worth fighting for. It's what makes us better than the terrorists. The constitution, not some king, not home or hearth, is what our soldiers vow to defend when they put their lives on the line.

Cheating on it by breaking our laws
sets a horrible example and puts the lie to Bush's supposed devotion to democracy abroad. He doesn't even believe in the rule of law here at home. Why should anybody believe in it over there?

Specter said...

See what I mean?

Rick Moran said...

"RightWingNutHouse (Gods, I wish they'd picked another name for the blog"

This from someone who writes for a blog named YARGB? Puh-leez.

Rick Moran
RWNH

flenser said...

Rick Moran

Ok, thats a fair shot.

:)

Doug said...

Sure easy to find in the history list, though!

flenser said...

markg8

I hate to intrude on your fantasy, but the only people breaking the law here are the people leaking classified information. Remember that? You thought it was a big deal when it concerned Plame. How is it so unimportant now?

Doug said...

Mark is pretty easy to follow here, for the legally impaired like me:

Some brief background:
The Foreign Intelligence Security Act permits the government to monitor foreign communications, even if they are with U.S. citizens -- 50 USC 1801, et seq. A FISA warrant is only needed if the subject communications are wholly contained in the United States and involve a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.
The reason the President probably had to sign an executive order is that the Justice Department office that processes FISA requests, the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), can take over 6 months to get a standard FISA request approved. It can become extremely bureaucratic, depending on who is handling the request. His executive order is not contrary to FISA if he believed, as he clearly did, that he needed to act quickly. The president has constitutional powers, too.

Mark Levin

Doug said...

Why don't they call it:

"RWNH" ?

terrye said...

mark:

If people like Richard Clarke had been doing their freaking job we would not having this idiot conversation because AlQaida would have died in its infancy.

Did you know that is what good old Richard who said that Iraq was training AlQaida to make chemical weapons in the Sudan?

How soon they forget.

What end run??You see I keep hearing about the constitution being raped and pillaged here, but the founding fathers had damn little to say about intercepting the phone calls of terrorists from over seas. In fact they hanged men for spying for the British. Just plain strung them up. Get caught with a message to the wrong guy from the wrong guy and that was all she wrote.

Fine, I get it. We let them do what they want. If we can manage to get a warrant so that we know their plans then maybe people won't die, if not we let them kill people.

You betcha. Run on that. But it on a bumper sticker.

vnjagvet said...

Our Mark is back to substituting buzzwords, labels and rhetoric for analysis.

Now that it is clear that the actions of the NSA are not unlawful, he calls those actions "workarounds" of the Constitution and "breaking our nation's laws".

Even the NYT did not assert anywhere in its article that the NSA activities it revealed were unlawful.

But Mark, with faulty analysis knows better. I am glad no one seems to be taking his advice.

Or buying his act.

Buddy Larsen said...

The key to RICO was the ability to act quickly on probable cause. The procedure to bridge the gap created by the time lost in due process of warranting was to do exactly as has been done here, FISA judges review, and congress reviews that review.

The real effect of RICO's broadened "due process" was that organized crime no longer had so much incentive to corrupt judges who'd let 'em know they just got a warrant application on them. Effect on corruption has been spectacular--and has made Rudy Guiliani--at the expense of the Dem city-machine, tellingly.

So, Mark, when crime and terror begins running amok, society fights back. It "turns to the right" until ordinary people feel reasonably safe again.

You can puff up with hot air about surrendering our freedom for a little safety if you want, but you're gonna have to sell it to an awful lot of practical folks whose fear of their government is really only fear of you.

terrye said...

I guess leaking classified information is not a crime if you have a big fat D behind your name.

So much for the law.

Buddy Larsen said...

As a matter of fact, it is the very existence of your-type thinking in America, that gives bad-asses--from AQ to the Mob--the confidence to challenge us to begin with.

Buddy Larsen said...

Now you're having a wet-dream about indicting everybody you don't like, and taking the government. As if the majority of rational people in the polity are going to stand by and let a small group of the likes of you and the Kerry wing operate a few gray areas and put the nation under your thumb. You've got another think coming, pal.

Buddy Larsen said...

You keep talking about the weather underground going "hot"--you'd better remember your 'blowback'--and worry about the small-town fire depts across the nation going 'hot'. They're--we're--armed, able, well-fed and fueled, meaner n' hell to those that ask for it, and beginning to look for trouble.

Buddy Larsen said...

When people come onto your land to hurt you, if it's serious enough, all these great edifices of interpretation of the law are going to be found to apply in some new ways than the ways that've created hidey holes for destroyers of what has been built by betters.

After all, the police, fire dep'ts, retired military and plain folks out in these hicksvilles, don't read so good, and all those legalistic over-technicalities DO operate on our faith that they aren't just little ink squiggles on pieces of paper.

Buddy Larsen said...

Accidental spills, as it were, that need cleaning up.

Seneca the Younger said...

Now why would Bush use this route to order secret surveillance when there are perfectly legal means available?

Mark, now you should look up "petitio principii" or "begging the question": you're starting the question with the assumption that Bush was not using legal means.

Five yard penalty and loss of down.

But it's not an unreasonable question to ask "why would they use this method rather than go through the FISA process in normal order?" There are several possibilites: they think there's a leak in the FISA court process that might reveal their purposes; they might have intelligence that would go away very quickly, like, eg, getting a phone number that will be lost as soon as the black hats know someone's cell phone was captured; or (and this is what I've heard) if the FISA process takes a long time and they have time-sensitive information.

Seneca the Younger said...

Starting in 2003 the court starts modifying a serious number of requests, something it's rarely done before. Is that why Bush decided to bypass it altogether in many cases? Was this court suddenly staffed by the ACLU or was there something else going on?

Mark, until you can make an argument that they didn't obey the statute as written, who cares?

Buddy Larsen said...

How many major plots have been broken since 911? How many would be too many to let go on and do the nasty, because we were able-dangered or otherwise hamstrung? How many other city centers are worth losing, to let a technical--an overlooked exigency write-in--stand as an immutable law of nature?

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 431   Newer› Newest»