Friday, February 03, 2006

Another Key Conservative Comes Out Against Bush's Warrantless Surveillance Program

The White House and its friends in the conservative media would have you believe that Democrats are alone in protesting President Bush's warrantless surveillance program.

For example, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said on Jan. 22:

Senate Democrats continue to engage in misleading and outlandish charges about this vital tool. ... It defies common sense for Democrats to now claim the administration is acting outside its authority. ...

Don't believe the empty spin.

Grover Norquist, a long-time conservative leader, declared the surveillance program illegal:

Referring to what some see as a choice between fighting terrorists and upholding civil liberties, Norquist said: “It’s not either/or. If the president thinks he needs different tools, pass a law to get them. Don’t break the existing laws."

Norquist is the latest Republican to suggest the program is in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and circumvents rules that say the National Security Agency must obtain a warrant before proceeding.

George Will called Bush's actions a mistake. William Safire said he sided with Bush's critics. Bruce Fein, former deputy attorney general in the Reagan Administration, and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute have actually suggested Bush's personally authorizing the surveillance was an impeachable offense.

Additionally, at least 11 Republican Senators have publicly questioned the program: Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, as well as Sam Brownback of Kansas, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Larry Craig of Idaho, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Dick Lugar of Indiana, John McCain of Arizona, Olympia Snowe of Maine and John Sununu of New Hampshire.

The question that should be asked is: what will it take for the 44 other Republican Senators to agree?

30 Comments:

Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Isn't there criminal negligence here?
The Whitman/Bush Administration assurances immediately following 9-11 that Wall Street and lower Manhattan safe were safe had been repeated ad naseum on all media for several weeks.
Why doesn't this story of the apparent lie and coverup receive the same attention?
A web search indicates the story hardly captured front-page treatment since breaking within the last two days. Expect it too quietly disappear in a few days.
By the time the court issues a final decisions and taxpayers are left on the hook for a multibillion dollar damage award for this crime, Bush will be on his Texas ranch writing his memoirs.
For now, the follow-up story should be appropriately placed in the context of a major Headline Bush Administration scandal.
I suppose giving too much coverage to a District Court Judge's decision would be construed as "partisan."

10:04 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Note: I meant to put above statement under the Whitman piece below.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Ken Grandlund said...

Maybe a good ass-whooping in the '06 election?

Anyone with a pair of eyes (to read the FISA laws) and a sixth grade education
(to understand the restrictios) can discern that laws are being broken. Hell,
the president admitted to breaking the laws by concurring that what is being
reported is in fact true.

That must be some pretty strong Kool-Aid the serve in the RNC.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous blm said...

WELL DONE. This is a VERY USEFOOL TOOL for all of us. THANKYOU JABBS!!!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous MJDuncan1982 said...

I'm working on a paper dealing with the issue of the Fourth Amendment:
There appear to be judicially created exceptions to the amendment which the Administration is relying upon. Check out the DOJ release defending the wiretapping.

I've just started my research but it seems that the Admin. is relying on the extreme outer edges of the concept to make its case.

Plus, out of 42 pages the DOJ only defends against the Fourth with 6 pages - hinting to me that it may be the chink in the armor.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"The question that should be asked is: what will it take for the 44 other Republican Senators to agree?"


For the sake of our national security, I hope that the balance of the Republicans, viz: those 44 remaining Senators you mentioned,
will have the courage of their convictions and hang tough in their efforts to surveil terrorists.

Keep in mind, David, that the large majority of those Senators you listed are notorious RINOs, and it is the rule, rather than the exception, when they side with Democrats on issues. No conservative is shocked to see them do that here.

As for Grover Norquist, there is a lot of real concern in recent years on the part of his friends and former supporters with regard to his close ties with suspect radical Islamic groups. Perhaps Grover should stick to tax reform.

Here is an excerpt from David Horowitz's website....

"Up to now, the controversy over these charges has been dismissed or swept under the rug, as a clash of personalities or the product of one of those intra-bureaucratic feuds so familiar to the Washington scene. Unfortunately, this is wishful thinking. The reality is much more serious. No one reading this document to its bitter end will confuse its claims and confirming evidence with those of a political cat fight. On the basis of the evidence assembled here, it seems beyond dispute that Grover Norquist has formed alliances with prominent Islamic radicals who have ties to the Saudis and to Libya and to Palestine Islamic Jihad, and who are now under indictment by U.S. authorities. Equally troubling is that the arrests of these individuals and their exposure as agents of terrorism have not resulted in noticeable second thoughts on Grover’s part or any meaningful effort to dissociate himself from his unsavory friends."

Here also, is the URL to Horowitz's complete comments, in addition to "A Troubling Influence" by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., the disturbing piece that he references above. It appears that Norquist's opinion can no longer be considered trustworthy or objective.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.asp?ID=11209

4:09 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

David Horowitz is one of the least credible people you could source, Trinity.

I'm all in favor of alternate views, but he's a wacko. Ann Coulter-level wacko.

I think it's a valid point to note that there are quite a few conservatives who disagree with the president. The list keeps getting longer, you may have noticed.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous OTTMANN said...

So while we wait for the outdated laws to be updated, we should do nothing?

And what if we get attacked during that time? Libs would scream bloody murdrer with “why didn’t he connect the dots.” “Why didn’t we know?”

Damn hypocrites want everything both ways!

We’ve heard it all before, and so has Al Qaeda who is counting on liberals to screw it all up.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Jeffersons Ghost said...

Nice Shot!
Did you know repuke season just opened in my state? Great post JABBS!

11:00 PM  
Anonymous druidity33 said...

valuable resource

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Catrina said...

Great post ~ let's hope more real Conservatives get the courage to stand up for their country.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous fooj said...

This is not a partisan issue. This is about being an AMERICAN.

A true patriot is a patriot. Political party affiliation can't change that.

Peace.

11:01 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

A message to Trinity and the rest of you conservatives on warrantless spying:
Is that the best you can do is quote David Horowitz?
Trinity, if you're going to discuss Grover Norquist's alleged ties to "radical Islamic groups", I will talk about business ties of the Bush family to Osama Bin Laden.
Besides,
why should we believe Horowitz considering the REAL authoritative BIPARTISAN figures who have weighed in on the issue:
And again, please consider:
The bipartisan Congressional Research Service has repeatedly concluded that Bush's warrantless surveillance broke the law. The CRS also repudiated Bush's claim he had congressional authorization after 9-11
Heres a news story summarizing the report:
11.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010601772.html
And the reports themselves:
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/intel/index.html
Several prominent, BIPARTISON constitutional legal scholars and former governor officials have a few days ago jointly submitted a letter to Congress. Their finding: "Although the program's secrecy prevents us from being privy to all of its details, the Justice Department's defense of what it concedes was secret and warrantless electronic surveillance of persons within the United States fails to identify any plausible legal authority for such surveillance. Accordingly the program appears on its face to violate existing law."
Read more of the letter:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18650
JABBS above named all 11 Republican Senators who have questioned the spying program so it is not only a concern of "liberals."
Even if we should forget the legal repercussions, a New York Times report on Jan. 17 provides a solid reason why even conservatives should be behind a full investigation of Bush's spying program:
The New York Times reported on Jan. 17, that the FBI complained NSA spying was not narrow and focused as represented by Bush, rather broad and sweeping, turning up thousands of leads on innocent citizens each month, all of which failed to turn up anything.
The conclusions of many bipartisans: we have no reason to believe the Bush spin that the program is limited only on domestic people with "known" affiliations to Al Quada.
And by that reasoning, the spying can be on people believed to have known affiliations to Al Quada, and for that matter, only on people believed to know some one believed to have known affiliations to Al Quada, and for that matter, only on people believed to know some one who knows some one else who is believed to have known affiliations to Al Quada. Bush had better spy on Kevin Bacon because he is said to have six degrees of separation from everyone!
Seriously now, under the popular reasoning: the spying program is a violation of 1947 NSA laws, the 1978 FISA law, as well as the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. constitution against unlawful searches and seizures and a right to privacy.
Now if you want to carp on those laws which clearly complete our Democratic government, then maybe you should consider relocating to Russia or China.
Well, I gave it my best shot.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...
"David Horowitz is one of the least credible people you could source, Trinity."


Oh, and why is that? Simply because alias: "cutiepie" johnson says so? Or because those on the radical Left say so? Notice I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt here, and not assuming you are one and the same. ;)

In any case, there's a good reason why those on the Left dislike David Horowitz so, and that is because they consider him to be a traitor to their cause.

I'm sure I don't have to remind you that back in the 60s he was, himself, a Marxist, and very involved in the American New Left movement. Horowitz was "born into" his Marxism, as both of his parents were card-carrying members of the CPUSA.

But whatever. There were tons of radical Leftists on campus during those years. Michael Medved, Tom Hayden, Hillary, etc. were all part of the "radical chic" gang. Actually, Hillary used to be a Goldwater girl before Saul Alinsky became her mentor, and she's been a Marxist ever since. Horowitz, to his credit, grew up, abandoned that nonsense, and embraced conservativism, which is why liberals hate his guts.

So, imo, cutiepie, Horowitz is even more credible than most as a source on these matters. Having lived both ideologies, he is in a perfect position to understand 1) the failings of socialism, and 2) the devious, ruthless, scheming methods that radical liberals use to undermine their enemies, ala, Saul Alinsky's "Rules For Radicals".

More importantly, as fellow-poster, fooj, points out. Horowitz is a patriot, and is not embarrassed to express his love for America.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"A message to Trinity and the rest of you conservatives on warrantless spying:
Is that the best you can do is quote David Horowitz?"


Another one. Yes, I know you don't like David Horowitz. I just went through all that. What I forgot to mention in my last post, however, was that Horowitz's comments were only an introduction to Frank Gaffney's piece on Norquist, and Gaffney, too, is a man for whom I have the greatest respect. But I guess you guys couldn't be bothered reading that far.

Heaven forbid you actually make an attempt to inform yourselves about what other conservatives say, without having it first pass through the filter of your wacko radical websites, where they can then discard the facts and spoonfeed you the truth as THEY want you to see it. Lemming!

4:56 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Now if you want to carp on those laws which clearly complete our Democratic government, then maybe you should consider relocating to Russia or China.
Well, I gave it my best shot."


That was your best shot? ;)

4:59 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity.
I've tried to put my argument in the context it stemming from bipartisan sources, and as JABBS has indicated, your own Republican allies. (To say, like you do, those Republicans lean to the left is a weak argument. In most cases, they stand up for the causes of the Republican majority in Congress).
You smugly suggest "my best shot" wasn't very good. Then you fail to tell me what was wrong with my argument.
Your argument seems to be the old conservative standby, if you cannot fight with facts, resort to name calling, which does not stop with branding anyone who disagrees with you anti-American or a "Marxist."
How weak indeed.
I doubt you had even read my argument. I surely have read yours.
I fight with facts and quote from bipartisan sources, your argument cites a known, extreme right wing nut.
I repeat, your overall argument of late, since it changes by the hour, seems to be that anyone who questions Bush's warrantless spy program is automatically a "Lemming" or a radical socialist.
In fact, my friend, you yourself are the Marxist, socialist, anti-American, communist, whatever you want to call it, because you are obviously so opposed to anyone besides your party standing up for the U.S. Constitution, and you possess a deep hatred for anyone who does.
By your actions, you are the greatest threat to a free and open Democracy -- and the biggest, self-proclaimed Marxist of them all.
I don't know why I bother. You lost me yet again the second you made a completely baseless claim fitting of a elementary school playground spat that Hillary is a Marxist.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Trinity. I've tried to put my argument in the context it stemming from bipartisan sources, and as JABBS has indicated, your own Republican allies.

twot, most Republicans support the President on this matter. Whether you agree with me or not on the way I characterized them, most of those who are following the Democrat's lead in questioning Bush's policy on international intercepts, are chronic critics of the President who often vote with the Dems. They are not my favorite people, I do not agree with most of what they say, and I don't consider them allies.

"You smugly suggest "my best shot" wasn't very good."

Actually, I was trying to be playful, not smug. Sorry if I failed. Plus, it was more in response to your own snide comment, that I relocate to Russia or China.

"Then you fail to tell me what was wrong with my argument."

What's wrong with your argument, twot, is that you fail to make one. How can you claim to make a case one way or another when from all indications, you never even read Frank Gaffney's very comprehensive and compelling piece? What did you learn about Grover Norquist that you didn't know before? Anything?

And I didn't refer to you as a "lemming" because you disagree with the President on the NSA surveillance program. I don't have a problem with an honest disagreement. I called you a lemming because you do not look beyond your nose, or beyond what you read from people who agree with you. How about reading something from the other side and see if what they say is convincing or not, and then make an informed decision?

And with regard to what Hillary's political views are, since she believes in the ideas of Marx, I do not see why you would object to my calling her a Marxist, since she is one. What word do you think best describes her political ideology? Is she a conservative? A capitalist? What? What are radical liberals if not socialists/communists? Or what's the word that's used now, progressives? Why run away from the meaning of words? If you believe in something, don't be afraid to shout it from the rooftops. Real conservatives don't shrink from the term that defines them. Why do so many liberals?

Several prominent, BIPARTISON constitutional legal scholars and former governor officials have a few days ago jointly submitted a letter to Congress.

Could you do me a favor and list for me which of those legal scholars historically support Democrats, and which of them support Republicans? Thanks. If you can't, for some reason, then just say so, and I'll make the list for YOU.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Since this article refers to one of the 11 Republicans that you guys keep mentioning, I thought you might find this of interest. I wasn't sure whether or not JABBS would post it.

Arlen Specter: FISA Law May be Unconstitutional

Sen. Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter said Sunday that while President Bush's terrorist surveillance program is a "flat out violation" of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, it may be entirely legal because of powers granted the president by the Constitution.

"There is an involved question here . . . as to whether the president's powers under Article 2, his inherent powers, supersede a statute." Specter told NBC's "Meet the Press."

The Pennsylvania Republican said that if the FISA statute "is inconsistent with the Constitution, the Constitution governs and the constitutional powers predominate."

Specter, whose committee is set to commence hearings Monday into the surveillance program, said that when the FISA law was signed by President Carter, he voluntarily surrendered his power to conduct independent domestic surveillance without a warrant.

"But that’s not the end of the discussion," the top Republican cautioned, promising that his hearings would explore the issue of presidential prerogatives and the FISA Act's constitutionality - or lack thereof.

Specter said he may call Carter as a witness to explain his thinking on the FISA law.

"I’ve been discussing that, and it’s on the agenda for consideration," he explained.


Specter, who is one of my own U.S. Senators, is considering checking the U.S. Constitution to see if perhaps the FISA law actually violated the authority given to the President in Article II. Has the Senator been reading my posts?

How refreshing that he would think to check that out, finally. I was afraid he might turn to some archaic Scottish law for insight, like he did in the Clinton impeachment trial. :rolleyes:

5:55 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

JABBS wrote: "Additionally, at least 11 Republican Senators have publicly questioned the program."

The key word is "questioned," isn't it? He's not saying that 11 Republican Senators have found it unconstitutional -- although that may be the ultimate outcome.

I don't see anything wrong with what JABBS wrote, nor do I find it inconsistent with your comment, Trinity.

11:00 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, your arguments are weak on their face because they attack the source of the argument, rather than the argument itself.
I tried to show not only that parties of each side question, and I said question, the warrantless spying (where you can only rely on right wing sources) but that their arguments factually make sense themselves.
I for example used concrete examples to show (a) evidence discounting Bush's claim of the limits of the program and (b) how difficult it would be to limit the scope of the program to only on those people known or believed to have an affiliation with Al Quada. You do not address my claims here.
I do listen to the other side and each one of the bipartisan sources I've mentioned above have done the same.
Do your own research on whether these recognized, senior congressional scholars and former goverment officials tend to lean right or left. I think you will find they collectively have supported both parties at various times.
And there is no base for calling Hillary a Marxist. Why don't you provide some support, such as her voting record, to demonstrate why you think she is a Marxist. You can perhaps legitimately attack her on many fronts, but characterizing her as a Marxist is not one of them.

9:15 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, on your reference to Spector I would say this: if the FISA statute is unconstitutional, congress should make that determination. The record shows congress was not given such a chance and was not properly informed of the spying.
But more importantly, are you suggesting that the bipartisan Congressional Research Service and other parties I have named above did not reference the U.S. Constitution when they found reason to question the warrantless spying? Are you trying to suggest Spector was the first to come up with this idea?
Give me a break.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...
"I don't see anything wrong with what JABBS wrote, nor do I find it inconsistent with your comment, Trinity."


I'm not sure I said that there was anything wrong with what JABBS wrote, cutiepie. I was simply pointing out that those particular "Republicans", tended to oftentimes buck the administration, rather than support it. That's all. :)

1:20 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said....
"Trinity, your arguments are weak on their face because they attack the source of the argument, rather than the argument itself."


Oh. You mean, kind of like you did when you discounted what I said about Grover Norquist, simply because you thought David Horowitz was the source? Which he wasn't, btw. And you would have known that had you read a bit further.

I tried to show not only that parties of each side question, and I said question, the warrantless spying (where you can only rely on right wing sources) but that their arguments factually make sense themselves.

twot, it's just not a true statement to say that only those on the right agree with the Bush Administration concerning warrantless surveillance for national security reasons. You can buy into the Left's spin about what Jamie Gorelick has said on the subject, but you'd be wrong to do so, because she clearly stated on more than one occasion that she and former President Clinton believe that the President has the inherent authority to take such measures. True, that the Clinton Administration went along with Congress's wishes to give the FISA court the authority to pre-approve physical searches/break-ins, but they never retreated from their position that the president himself always maintained that authority.

"The Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes," Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on July 14, 1994, "and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General."
"It is important to understand," Gorelick continued, "that the rules and methodology for criminal searches are inconsistent with the collection of foreign intelligence and would unduly frustrate the president in carrying out his foreign intelligence responsibilities."


And if her testimony itself doesn't convince you, then this statement that she made subsequent to that to the Legal Times in November of 1994, should erase all doubt and ambiguity. She said in plain language, clear as day.......

"Our seeking legislation in no way should suggest that we do not believe we have inherent authority."

And she is not alone, either. John Schmidt, who also served in the Clinton Justice Dept., as Associate Attorney General, has come out and expressed his strong belief that Presidents Clinton, Bush, and any other chief executive -- has the inherent authority to order warrantless surveillance. He cites how the courts have upheld that position several times, and stated that, "Every president since FISA's passage has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act's terms." He went on to say that, "We cannot eliminate the need for extraordinary action in the kind of unforeseen circumstances presented by Sept. 11,"....and "I do not believe the Constitution allows Congress to take away from the president the inherent authority to act in response to a foreign attack. That inherent power is reason to be careful about who we elect as president, but it is authority we have needed in the past and, in the light of history, could well need again."

So, as you can see, in addition to bi-partisan critics, there are also bi-partisan supporters of this inherent Constitutional presidential authority. As far as your doubts concerning what the administration claims is a very narrow scope of these intercepts, well, if there are concrete examples of abuses of this policy, they can present that evidence at the hearings. I think they touched on this subject at the hearings today, and I believe those claims made by the FBI that you mention had to do with the issue of data mining, and not this specific NSA intercept program.

When I have a moment, I'll check out those individuals who signed that letter, and let you know where they stand politically. And I stand by my characterization of Hillary. I'm completely OK with the fact that you do not agree with me. People who know her best are aware of her ideology. She's a radical Leftist, trying to appear more centrist so that she will have half a chance in '08.

2:26 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity. The only argument you have is John Schmidt, and he hardly stands up against the armies of people I've referenced above.
Try to give me some more examples of supporters who aren't Republicans. You have enough fingers that is for sure.
As for Gorelick, actions speak louder than words. I don't care about Gorelick's opinion on the matter. The fact is she and Clinton's administration WENT OUT AND GOT A LAW PASSED so they could conduct searches believed in the national interest VIA AN LEGAL MECHANISM. They followed the proper course.
Gorelick cannot be compared to Bush who opted not to seek passage of a law.
Actions speak louder than words.
Also, you and other conservatives choose to ignore info JABBS reports above that the program encompassed tens of thousands of innocent Americans with no connection to Al Quada.
Tell me if my statement is wrong here. (I know I also posted this as a response to a JABBS post above).
Since you believe it's okay for Bush to spy on people without obtaining warrants from a FISA court, are you not also acknowledging it's okay that he establishes a precedent so that future president and future governments can do the same thing?
You put blind faith that Bush is limiting the program to terrorists. Are you willing to extend that same faith to future presidents?
Don't tell me that Bush has installed checks and balances into the system via a claim he regularly reviews the program with congress. Gonzalez acknowledged in hearings yesterday that no one is overseeing whether Bush follows that guidance. The senator responded it is the administration watching the administration.
Give me an honest answer, if you even can.

11:00 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Trinity, regarding my post above I thought I would also save you some typing. Please don't respond with widely disputed info that Carter and Clinton also spied on people -- unless you're willing to also include Nixon in that discussion.
Yes, Nixon spied on people, and because of it we had extra protections made law called the FISA law of 1978.
So, give me your response to my concern: Are you willing to extend that ability of Bush to spy on alleged terrorists or people believed to be terrorists without authority of the FISA court or otherwise without any system of checks and balances in place to ALL future presidents?
Please Trinity, make my day and respond.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"As for Gorelick, actions speak louder than words. I don't care about Gorelick's opinion on the matter. The fact is she and Clinton's administration WENT OUT AND GOT A LAW PASSED so they could conduct searches believed in the national interest VIA AN LEGAL MECHANISM. They followed the proper course."


Proper by whose standards, twot? First of all, I am not arguing the fact that the Clinton Justice Dept. acquiesced to allow Congress to pass legislation that "permitted" warrantless physical searches in cases involving our national security.

What I am saying is that those of us who believe that the U.S. Constitution trumps any law that Congress passes, would argue that rather than following the "proper course", all Clinton and Gorelick did was give the mistaken impression that the president could not execute his inherent Constitutional rights until and unless, Congress granted him that favor, which is a load of BS, in case you are not aware.

All they succeeded in doing was to muddy the waters, and to kick the debate can further down the road. Unfortunately, this left it for some future president with more of a backbone, viz: President G.W. Bush, to fight to regain the Constitutional authority that some believed he ceded to Congress.

It's a matter of separation of powers, twot. Why does your side seem to recognize the co-equal nature of the judiciary, and of the Congress, (and of a Democratic president) yet play deaf, dumb and blind when it comes to acknowledging the co-equal status of a Republican president? That's a purely rhetorical question, btw, as I am bright enough to figure the answer out for myself. Duh!

2:46 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

It is highly questionable and a topic of debate whether the Constitution grants the President authority to spy on people during alleged "war time." You make it sound like it's already proven fact.
And even if it were true, here is a fact that should perk your ears.
If the Constitution triumphs law, then the FOURTH AMENDMENT by its very nature triumphs over the Constitution.
This is what "amendment" means.
The amendments were designed specifically to address with finality any ambiguities created by the original Constitution document. AND THE FOURTH AMENDMENT WAS DESIGNED TO CLARIFY AMBIGUITIES WITH THE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. So the amendment triumps over Bush claims of executive powers.
Courts have upheld that protections of privacy and against search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment encompass government surveillance activities as well.
So your right, the Constitution triumps over Congress, and the Amendments to the Constitution triumph and embellish the original constitution.
And you still haven't answered my overriding question on whether you believe warrantless spying should extend to other administrations after Bush.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

TRINITY: all Clinton and Gorelick did was give the mistaken impression that the president could not execute his inherent Constitutional rights until and unless, Congress granted him that favor, which is a load of BS, in case you are not aware.

>>

I don't know whether I agree with this or not, but Trinity, that doesn't change the fact that the RNC and most of conservative talk radio -- including your man Mark Levin -- demonized Clinton and Gorelick for violating the FISA law.

Your above statement says the exact opposite -- that Clinton and Gorelick got a FISA amendment passed when they didn't have to, because they had the authority to do warrantless searches.

So, Trinity, are you prepared to say that the RNC and conservative talk radio -- including your man Mark Levin -- were incorrect to suggest that Clinton and Gorelick violated FISA? That has been a key conservative talking point, as you know, and fought vigorously by JABBS and others.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

thewaronterrible said...
"Trinity, regarding my post above I thought I would also save you some typing. Please don't respond with widely disputed info that Carter and Clinton also spied on people -- unless you're willing to also include Nixon in that discussion."


How silly, twot. I'm well aware of how Nixon, in his paranoia, abused his powers by spying on his political enemies. Why on earth would I deny what is historical fact? I'm insulted you would think that.

Yes, Nixon spied on people, and because of it we had extra protections made law called the FISA law of 1978.

And while we're at it, since the death of Coretta Scott King is current news, let's not forget how the Kennedy Administration eavesdropped on Martin Luther King, Jr. in his hotel rooms to gather dirt so that they could use his womanizing to hurt him. There were a lot of past abuses by former presidents, twot.

So, give me your response to my concern: Are you willing to extend that ability of Bush to spy on alleged terrorists or people believed to be terrorists without authority of the FISA court or otherwise without any system of checks and balances in place to ALL future presidents?
Please Trinity, make my day and respond.


Why not? If it will really make your day, twot, I'll be happy to respond to your concern. My response is that ALL presidents, past, current and future, are already empowered by the U.S. Constitution to conduct such operations for the purpose of preventing acts of international terrorism against the United States. How can you not be aware of this?

Also, I do not accept your premise that there are no checks and balances in place. As I tried to explain to Anonymous once, if Congress truly believed that what President Bush is doing is wrong and illegal, they not only have the power to put a stop to it, they have a duty to do so. They can 1) immediately vote to cut off funding for the NSA program, and 2) they can move to impeach him. What would you call those options, if not checks and balances?

The reality is, twot, that although the Dems would definitely love to avenge Clinton (as well as the 2000 Election) by impeaching this president, I highly doubt they would be foolish enough to attempt doing it. 1) Because your party's leadership is demagoguing the issue, and they really do not believe what he is doing is unconstitutional, and 2) They know that the American people would not stand for them impeaching this president for trying to protect this country.

8:03 PM  

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