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Court ruling endorses Bush surveillance policy

  1. Jan 16, 2009 #1

    chemisttree

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    The Associated Press reports that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review has issued a ruling that affirms the Bush policy of wiretapping calls involving at least one foriegn party as constitutional. Common sense wins out just in time for Obama to benefit.

    Perhaps this is why Bush's approval rating climbed to 34% recently...
     
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  3. Jan 16, 2009 #2

    Gokul43201

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    Looks like the FISA court only ruled that the amendment passed by Congress was legal, and said nothing about the legality of the wiretapping program that Bush had in place for 2-3 years before Congress found out about it.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2009 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    Which is entirely the point - lack of oversight; abuse of power.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2009 #4
    I would appreciate if you could explain to me what it means. Does it mean that whenever I call my mother, W can listen ?
     
  6. Jan 16, 2009 #5
    We've talked about this for along time and I still don't see the problem with it provided the intent is to intercept communications that may be a detriment to the US.
     
  7. Jan 16, 2009 #6

    Gokul43201

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    Intent can be abused. Of utmost importance are the safeguards that are to be in place to prevent any such abuse.
     
  8. Jan 16, 2009 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    In your case that is probably justified. :biggrin:
     
  9. Jan 16, 2009 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Check and balances are required to prevent abuse of power. This is an essential aspect of Constitutional Law.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2009 #9

    LowlyPion

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    His approval rating may have risen because there is precious little left that he can do to the country any more.

    The man was a disaster of a President, and we can be thankful that there will be a change at least to competent execution and more thoughtful compassionate leadership.

    Only 4 more days until he and Cheney can slink off into their ignominious history.

    As to the FIS ruling I wouldn't put a lot of stock into the sweep of it. It was after all only argued by Bush's self-serving self-justifying Justice Department. Their concept of the Law under Gonzales and Mukasey looks to be a trifle tainted by political Neocon ideology and expediency as opposed to any genuine regard for the Law.

    The fact that it is perilously entangled with Fourth Amendment concerns of unreasonable searches and seizures, means that it may yet be adjudicated differently by courts with greater authority.
     
  11. Jan 16, 2009 #10

    russ_watters

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    If one of you lives in the US and the other not, yes.
     
  12. Jan 17, 2009 #11
    If it is unconstitutional, why hasn't it been ruled as such? I mean, the checks and balances are in place now!
     
  13. Jan 17, 2009 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    They changed the law, didn't they? We have oversight now.

    Many people would like to see the Bush admin investigated and prosecuted for a number of offenses where applicable, but whether or not that will happen is not clear.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  14. Jan 21, 2009 #13

    chemisttree

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    The original FISA statute had allowances for oversight as well and Bush was operating within that framework. The recent amendments to FISA call for enhanced oversight.
     
  15. Jan 24, 2009 #14

    Gokul43201

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    Not true. The original FISA act never made it legal to wiretap any US citizen without a warrant. The new 2007 (renewed in 2008) bill legalized it, in certain cases. The warrantless wiretapping that happened between 2003 and 2007 was almost certainly illegal.

    Quoting the wiki on FISA:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act#Without_a_court_order

    But until yesterday, we were told that the only communications that were snooped on were those involving at least one foreign party...

    ...now that the old administration is gone, the whistle-blowers (Russ Tice, Dave Larson, and who knows how many others) will hopefully start crawling out of the woodwork.

    From the wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Tice

    Video links to interview on MSNBC:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/28781200#28781200
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/28802588#28802588
     
  16. Jan 24, 2009 #15

    LowlyPion

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    I don't think that there is any question that people like Cheney and Bush and Rove would unhesitantly and without regret violate privacy rights. These are people that seemingly considered it their Divine Right to act as they wished with the presumption that any laws they broke were for the good if it was in the pursuit of their agenda.

    Maybe Bush and Cheney can ultimately come to grips with why it is so many people revile them for their Nixonian disregard for the law. (But I doubt it.) I think hearing Bush try to say he was true to his principles throughout his tenure in office is a laughable self deception on his part. I think the only thing he was apparently true to was being corrupted by his power, won through deceit, and insensitive to the role that he was supposed to play to uphold the Constitution for the benefit of all and not warp it to accommodate his particular ideological agenda.

    If he was still in office, I would add the word jihad a number of times in the hopes that the NSA would forward a copy to him.
     
  17. Jan 25, 2009 #16
    I'm sure Democrats will now uphold privacy rights by eliminating the IRS. They would never force anyone to disclose their personal financial situation in order to promote their agenda would they?
     
  18. Jan 27, 2009 #17

    chemisttree

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    The original language of the FISA statute stated the FISA act could be superceded by other statute. The Bush administration interpreted the Authorization to Use Military Force as that statute.

    http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/readingroom/surveillance16.pdf
     
  19. Jan 27, 2009 #18

    Gokul43201

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    Can you point me to this original language?

    The Bush administration interpreted the War Powers act to reject virtually every act of Congress (see his signing statements). We probably won't ever know if this was legal, as it will likely never be challenged in the Courts.

    Even Arlen Specter didn't buy the legality of Bush's claim of authority to reject FISA.
    http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2007_cr/s187.html

    In any case, it is false to assert that Bush was working within the framework of FISA, when he was, in fact, claiming he had the authority to work outside the framework of FISA.
     
  20. Jan 27, 2009 #19

    LowlyPion

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    I think eventually it will be all sorted out. But I think history will recall that Bush acted extra-legally and outside his constitutional powers, this shadow FISA court notwithstanding, and was the reason that subsequent laws were passed to clarify the limits of the Executive/government to spy on citizens.

    This latest ruling is at best dubious cover for the Cheney/Bush extravagant foray into violating civil privacy.
     
  21. Jan 28, 2009 #20

    chemisttree

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    USC 50. Chap. 36, pp. 1809(a)
    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/50/usc_sec_50_00001809----000-.html


    Irrelevant...

    Irrelevant...

    Sorry you misunderstood... He was working within the framework as it applied. That framework allowed that the FISA statute could be superceded by other statute(s).
     
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