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Breaking: Federal Judge in Detroit Rules NSA Surveillance Program Unconstitutional

This is terrible news for our national security. The NSA's terrorist surveillance program was instrumental in stopping the British terrorists from blowing up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean.

From the AP:

DETROIT (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.


U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on behalf of journalists, scholars and lawyers who say the program has made it difficult for them to do their jobs. They believe many of their overseas contacts are likely targets of the program, which involves secretly taping conversations between people in the U.S. and people in other countries.

The government argued that the program is well within the president's authority, but said proving that would require revealing state secrets.

The ACLU said the state-secrets argument was irrelevant because the Bush administration already had publicly revealed enough information about the program for Taylor to rule.

I'm assuming the government will appeal and that Attorney General Alberto Gonzoles will file an emergency motion to prevent it from being halted as it's being appealed. Do any attorneys have any insight into this?

Update: Last week the RCP Blog linked to a profile of Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in the Detroit Free Press.

But there's this toward the end of the article:

But even if Taylor harpoons the spying program, experts said, the decision likely would be overturned by the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.


"Given the composition of the 6th Circuit and its previous rulings in related areas, it seems more likely to favor national security over civil liberties if that issue is squarely presented," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia. "And that's what this case is all about."

Update II: From Reuters:

DETROIT (Reuters) - A federal judge in Detroit on Thursday ordered the Bush administration to halt the National Security Agency's program of domestic eavesdropping, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution.


Judge Anna Diggs Taylor said the controversial practice of warrantless wiretapping known as the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" violated free speech rights, protections against unreasonable searches and the constitutional check on the power of the presidency.

The ruling marked a setback for the Bush administration, which had asked for the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union to be thrown out, arguing that any court action on the case would jeopardize secrets in an ongoing war on terrorism.

Update III: Read the opinion here (pdf)

Update IV: Mary Katharine Ham at Michelle Malkin is also on top of this. Check out Ankle Biting Pundits, Jawa Report, Ace.

Update V: Rob at Say Anything reminds us that the plaintiffs didn't even know that they were being listened to. They just thought they might have been listened to.

Update VI: John at Power Line also notes Judge Taylor's past history of judge-shopping. She tried to stack the deck in the case about the U of M Law School's affirmative action program in the liberals' favor:

Chief Judge Anna Diggs Taylor of the federal District Court in Detroit tried to take the suit against the law school away from Judge Bernard Freedman, who had been assigned it through a blind draw--and who was suspected of being skeptical about affirmative action--and consolidate it with a similar suit against the university's undergraduate admissions practice, which Judge Patrick Duggan was hearing. The chief judge dropped that effort was dropped after the judge hearing the law school complaint went public with a blistering opinion objecting to what he termed "the highly irregular" effort of the chief judge. Judge Duggan ruled in favor of the undergraduate racial preferences, while Judge Freedman ruled against the law school preferences.

Update VII: Fox News says the Justice Department has appealed the ruling.

Update VIII: Macranger at Macsmind has a statement from the Dept. of Justice:

"The Terrorist Surveillance Program is a critical tool that ensures we have in place an early warning system to detect and prevent a terrorist attack. In the ongoing conflict with al-Qaeda and its allies, the President has the primary duty under the Constitution to protect the American people. The Constitution gives the President the full authority necessary to carry out that solemn duty, and we believe the program is lawful and protects civil liberties. Because the Terrorist Surveillance Program is an essential tool for the intelligence community in the War on Terror, the Department of Justice has appealed the District Court's order. The parties have also agreed to a stay of the injunction until the District Court can hear the Department's motion for a stay pending appeal."

Update IX: Debbie Schlussel has more on Judge Taylor's misconduct in the U of M affirmative action case.


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Comments (86)

The NSA's terrorist surv... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The NSA's terrorist surveillance program was instrumental in stopping the British terrorists from blowing up airliners over the Atlantic Ocean.

You are so full of shit, Kim. The eavesdropping instrumental in stopping that plot was acquired by getting warrants from the FISA court:

In the days before the alleged airliner bombing plot was exposed, more than 200 FBI agents followed up leads inside the United States looking for potential connections to British and Pakistani suspects. The investigation was so large, officials said, that it brought a significant surge in warrants for searches and surveillance from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the secret panel that oversees most clandestine surveillance.

One official estimated that scores of secret U.S. warrants were dedicated solely to the London plot. The government usually averages a few dozen a week for all counterintelligence investigations, according to federal statistics.

The purpose of the recent warrants included monitoring telephone calls that some of the London suspects made to the United States, two sources said.

No matter how many times you lie about it, the objection has always been eavesdropping without court oversight, not eavesdropping entirely. The London plot was foiled by doing it legally, and no one objects to wiretapping with warrants. I for one have had enough of your bullshit.

call me a dhimmi-conspiracy... (Below threshold)
yo:

call me a dhimmi-conspiracy theorist (or just a flat-out asshole); but, something about a ruling like this coming from Detroit (home to the largest muslim popultion in America) by a liberal Democrat (who campaigned for Carter, no less) who has a history of siding with the ACLU ...

hm

Yes, the Judge is a Democra... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Yes, the Judge is a Democrap. And a Jimmy Earl Carter appointee, no less.

Sheesh. Let the Appeals Courts clean up this mess now.

I don't practice law in thi... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I don't practice law in this area, but I would think the National Security of the country would lead Fed. Appeals Court to stay the order pending appellate review. If this ain't stayable, I don't know what the hell is.

Here's a surprise, guess wh... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Here's a surprise, guess who nominated her to the 6th...

http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=2345
http://www.daahp.wayne.edu/biographiesDisplay.asp?id=64

Looks like th good ole ACLU did a little Judge shopping when they filed that lawsuit...

Figures.

Violates free speech and pr... (Below threshold)

Violates free speech and privacy?

Foreign nationals have no US constitutional rights to free speech or privacy, so this 'ruling' can only apply to US citizens.

As I understand it, the only free speech 'repressed' would center in areas regarding terrorism, right? That's because computer software programs are doing the 'listening' and 'flagging' conversations to review by specialists when 'trigger' words are used.

AND, as the goal is effectiveness, those calls targeted are between known and suspected foreign terrorists and those engaged in conversations with the terrorists...

So the judge has ruled that US terrorist supporters have a right to free speech and privacy in the pursuit of goals which would end the 'American experiment' and most certainly the lives of the Judge, the ACLU and all of their supporters.

How 'noble', to take the position that better a dead but once free people than one living but compromised in principle.

Intellectual vanity, taken to the point of using the US Constitution as national and civilizational suicide.

I think it is forum shoppin... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I think it is forum shopping. Why Detroit, for God's sake?

It should have been brought where the FISA court sits in D.C. But that wouldn't have gotten the ACLU the result it was shopping for.

Looks like th good ole A... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Looks like th good ole ACLU did a little Judge shopping when they filed that lawsuit...

Judges are assigned randomly, Greg.

I think it is forum shop... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I think it is forum shopping. Why Detroit, for God's sake?

There are currently four cases on this issue. The Michigan one is the first to arrive at a ruling.

Posted by: mantis at August... (Below threshold)
yo:

Posted by: mantis at August 17, 2006 12:59 PM

What are the other three?

Judges are assigned rand... (Below threshold)
La Mano:

Judges are assigned randomly, Greg.

Mantis, read the facts in THIS CASE before you shoot your mouth off.

Mantis, read the facts i... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, read the facts in THIS CASE before you shoot your mouth off.

The facts of this case are irrelevant. The District Court of Eastern Michigan assigns judges randomly.

What were you saying about shooting your mouth off?

mantis: Regarding your open... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

mantis: Regarding your opening comments, are you unable to speak forcefully without using obscenities?

Mantis's mouth is just like... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Mantis's mouth is just like old "pucker puss" (lee lee)'s--it has a permanent pucker.

While Mantis is largely blo... (Below threshold)

While Mantis is largely blowing smoke ("I for one have had enough of your bullshit." - so what the heck are you still doing here commenting and commenting and commenting? Guess you haven't had enough, have you?), it's correct that this ruling shouldn't be blown out of proportion or compared incorrectly. There is nothing in the ruling that will affect us from pursuing wiretaps in the presence of actionable intelligence (in other words, when we can get a warrant) as happened with the recent airline case (at least my understanding is that the ruling does not stop such surveillance, what with it being up and down the line in accordance with the FISA law). The potential problem is the time lag between the ruling and it being overturned (as is almost certainly will, given prior FISA rulings on Presidential authority), assuming that the administration decides to hang up the phones for that period instead of asking for warrants in each and every case, even when they know one will not be granted. The cost will be astronomical in terms of lawyer man-hours, and the court will be overwhelmed with the requests that they have to evaluate and then rule on, but it's probably the right thing to do. The question is how this serves any purpose to the ACLU? Basically there is nothing to keep the NSA from listening, as long as they then apply for a warrant, unlike, for example, routine police search warrants that you have to get first. If the warrant is denied...oh well, all that means is the data collected cannot be used in a criminal case. They will still have complied with the law (provided they make a realistic attempt to justify the request, which should be simple when one party is a known or highly suspected terrorist), but, like an improper search, the 'evidence' will be thrown out. Except in this case, the call record that gets thrown out will be useless material, because if there was anything actionable in it they would get their after-the-fact warrant. I must admit I don't understand all the fuss, other than tying up the AG and government lawywers, as well as the FISA court, I'm not sure what you're going to accomplish. Given the ability to apply retroactively for warrants all you have to do is apply for one every time. I guess that's what the ACLU wants, the AG says it's a pointless exercise ('we're going to listen to terrorists' phone calls, if they say anything that would trigger a warrant we'll get one, if they don't say anything to justify a warrant during that particular conversation, we're not going to waste everyone's time asking for one'). We'll see. I'm not nearly as disturbed by the ruling as I thought I might be. Mostly I'm ticked about the expense...this isn't going to shut down 'hot' investigations.

Regarding FISA warrants, ov... (Below threshold)

Regarding FISA warrants, oversight and the London conspiracy.

The London conspiracy was discovered long ago and thus there was plenty of time and evidence to pursue FISA procedures.

FISA alone is inadequate for dealing with terrorism's cellular nature.

To suggest otherwise is to reveal a profound misunderstanding of the nature of the terrorist threat.

To focus on 'legalities' and baseless fears of 'reduced' freedoms in a time of war with an existential threat is to reveal incompetence.

To posit that Judicial and Congressional 'oversight' is required is to reveal a desire to replace singular executive administration with 'rule by committee.

No 'committee' ever won any war.

Lose this war and their will be only one set of laws.

Sharia.

Well, it is unconsti... (Below threshold)
Jay:

Well, it is unconstitutional.

Doesn't mean it is of no benefit. Doesn't mean the ultimate ruling won't allow it - look at Kelo, after all; the Supremes no longer follow the Constitution.

None of that changes what is.

Mantis:The recent ... (Below threshold)
enigma:

Mantis:

The recent investigative work was accomplished thru FISA. No information has been declassified that points to how the plot was discovered. We probably will never know how it was discovered, unless the NY Times decides to leak the information.

Also, I hope W pulls a President Jackson (remember him, one of your great Democratic presidents?)and tells the court to stuff it.

Isn't it great that our taxpayer dollars allow an organization like the ACLU to shotgun cases around the country, taht are designed to lose the War on Terror? Almost makes one nostalgic for the Sedition Act of our early history.

It's creeps like the ACLU a... (Below threshold)
Atu:

It's creeps like the ACLU and Democrap Judges like Taylor that would strike down a seperate line at the airport for Muslems and making Muslems wear Yellow Cresents on thier outer clothing.

Unpatriotic America haters !! All of them ! We will surely die now thanks to the Godless ACLU and Democrats

Atu

As an attorney practicing f... (Below threshold)

As an attorney practicing for more years than I care to member, be assured this will be overturned in the 6th circuit. Putting all politics aside, law is not made by a sole individual. That is truly why we have appellate courts.

And an issue as important as this one -- both from a security level and with certain political ramifications in light of recent events and upcoming November elections -- would find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if need be!

Trust me, it will not be decided by one individual.

Surprise, Surprise. Didn't ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Surprise, Surprise. Didn't everyone know they would Eventually dig up a Dimmy Carter/Slick Willie appointed judge (and use the term judge loosely) to make a political and not a legal decision. You can not only indict a ham sandwich before a liberal (stupid) jury, can find a Judge (liberal politician) to make any decision the anti-american socialist/communist wing of the democratic party wants.

Just read the Dimmy made the statement that Israel had 'no right' to defend itself when invaded by a terrorist organization. Truth is I spent 22 years in the military and intended to spend 25+ but got out because of Dimmy's destruction of the military capability. That is fact not fiction. Had orders to Iran in 1979, they invaded the American Embassy (same as America) and Dimmy did nothing. I retired at the earliest op. which was 1980. Someone put that senile (idiot before he became senile) in a cage and keep him there.

Just finished reading the r... (Below threshold)

Just finished reading the ruling...I highly recommend it before railing against it or proudly defending it. The first 3/4 are excellent reading. The last 1/4 could, and has, I'm sure, appear on Kos. First, the good:
- the judge openly and repeatedly points out that the program is completely and utterly INTERNATIONAL in scope, so continue to fight the 'domestic wiretapping' parrots.
- the judge openly and repeatedly points out that the administration has claimed the program is legal, so keep fighting the 'Bush says he's above the law' looniness.

And the bad:
- as I said, the first 3/4 are good reading, it's well researched and presented...unfortunately it all leads up to the plaintiffs being given standing on the basis that they absolutely have to have the ability to communicate with terrorists without the pesky government listening in without a warrant (oddly, I didn't see the issue raised of how surveillance with a warrant would 'chill' their relationships with terrorists)
- and the last 1/4 is mostly insanity, at least as far as I can tell, the judge wanders off into 1st amendment violations, claims that the defense's argument is that their program is unconstitutional, applies mid-1900's issues to modern day communications (piles of trac phones, anyone?), fails to acknowledge the overlap between times when the surveillance resulted in warrants and those when it didn't, and discerns limitations on things like the congressional aumf that, frankly, aren't there (finding some things that aren't there are there and other things that aren't there aren't there, if you can follow that).

Three keys to take home with you:
1) this reinforces the fact that the 'domestic surveillance' meme is a lie
2) this reinforces the fact that the administration has made that claim that the program is legal, not that they are 'above the law' (although the ruling ultimately is that it is not legal, that is not the point I make here)
3) the ruling is based on the fact that the plaintiffs relationships with terrorists is 'chilled' by the program, so they have standing

My take is that, up until the last 1/4, the judge is very careful in her ruling to keep it targeted to these plaintiffs, and she does a good job, because, hey, we should all have the right to talk to terrorists if we want without fear of repurcussion, by limiting it to ruling on public statements. I think where she's going to get overturned is in finding limitations on the Presidency that other courts have specifically said are constitutional powers and her attempt to tie this to the FISA court...not that it shouldn't be, but in the way she goes about it.

It technically wasn't "judg... (Below threshold)

It technically wasn't "judge shopping." It was "forum shopping." As another commenter above noted, there was no other reason to file suit in Eastern Michigan.

Overturned on appeal. Ho-hum.

What kind of judge thinks p... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

What kind of judge thinks putting a wiretap on a phone in the Middle East requires a warrant?

What's next, warrants before we do satellite reconnaisance of places overseas?

You think this judge would ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

You think this judge would feel differently if her ruling allowed terrorists to kill another 3,000+ peple. Would she say that the Constitution doesn't allow us to protect our citizens? Would she agree she's interpreted it as a "suicide pact?"

Mantis and her Judge live in an alternate universe, clearly. It's interesting to me that FISA judges, the judges tasked with interpreting this area of law, have been pretty uniform in finding the Prez. has inherent authority, and the court even penned a decision with dicta to this effect. (And, yes, I know there was one lib. judge who got off the FISA court ostensibly as a "protest" despite his being a judge, ethics bound to judge these cases, and now refusing to do so, for what purpose, exactly . . .is he indicating he thinks the FISA court is a Bush-controlled conspiracy; it's idiotic).

But we have a garden-variety fed judge in Detroit who is going to make a name for herself, so a serious discussion is damned in her courtroom.

Addison is correct, Mantis.... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Addison is correct, Mantis. Typical numb-nuts changing the terms of what was said here . . .

And you are the first to post here, Mantis. Are you poised at the keyboard for CNN newsflashes to type out your idiotic rants? Why here?

You really don't have a life, do you, Mantis?

The one thing that the GOP ... (Below threshold)
kirktoe:

The one thing that the GOP base shouldtake away from this ruling today is a determination to get out and vote this November. We cannot afford to let the Dem's have control because if we do, then they will dismantle every effort Bush ahs made to protect thiscountry from terrorists.

Not to mention that we'd be subjected to 2 years of Impeachement hearings.

If these type of things don't motivate us, then what will (short of another attack in this country).

Falze,While Man... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Falze,

While Mantis is largely blowing smoke ("I for one have had enough of your bullshit." - so what the heck are you still doing here commenting and commenting and commenting? Guess you haven't had enough, have you?)

I wish she would stop lying, is all.

The question is how this serves any purpose to the ACLU? Basically there is nothing to keep the NSA from listening, as long as they then apply for a warrant, unlike, for example, routine police search warrants that you have to get first.

Yeah, what is the ACLU thinking, wanting the government to follow the law? The nerve!

d_brit,

FISA alone is inadequate for dealing with terrorism's cellular nature.

How so?

To focus on 'legalities' and baseless fears of 'reduced' freedoms in a time of war with an existential threat is to reveal incompetence.

Nice that you consider the law to be waste of time "legalities". We like our rule of law, thank you very much. As far as baseless fears, do a little reading of our history and find out how "baseless" the fears are of government violations of citizens' rights.

To posit that Judicial and Congressional 'oversight' is required is to reveal a desire to replace singular executive administration with 'rule by committee.

Read our Constitution. Separation of powers is fundamental to functioning of this democracy. Apparently you pine for the days of your all powerful King.

No 'committee' ever won any war.

The Allies did (The Atlantic Charter, Tripartite Treaty of Alliance, etc).

Lose this war and their will be only one set of laws.

If we have to get warrants to wiretap, the Muslims will take over the world!

enigma,

The recent investigative work was accomplished thru FISA. No information has been declassified that points to how the plot was discovered. We probably will never know how it was discovered, unless the NY Times decides to leak the information.

I find it hard to believe there are a bunch of government officials lying about the procurement of FISA warrants, as there would be little reason to do so.

Also, I hope W pulls a President Jackson (remember him, one of your great Democratic presidents?)and tells the court to stuff it.

That didn't actually happen the way you probably think it did. Jackson said "the decision of the supreme court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate,". Jackson's only action was to not send federal marshalls to enforce the decision, which the court did not require. The current case is not analagous to that, and if the President were to ignore the ruling he would do so at his peril. It is interesting that you like what Jackson did, considering the effect it had on the Cherokee under Van Buren (the Trail of Tears is not an admirable chapter in our history). By the way, Jackson is not one of my Presidents, as I didn't vote for him. He is one of our Presidents, as in all Americans. You are an American, right?

Isn't it great that our taxpayer dollars allow an organization like the ACLU to shotgun cases around the country, taht are designed to lose the War on Terror?

Taxpayer dollars do not fund this type of case. The only time the ACLU gets any money from taxpayers is when they win establishment cases and recoup attorney fees, as allowed by law.

Almost makes one nostalgic for the Sedition Act of our early history.

You don't have much respect at all for the Constitution, do you?

I don't understand how you ... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

I don't understand how you can state what you have in your post Kim. As mentioned the London bombing arrests were based on warrants secured, not circumventing the law.

The meme that FISA doesn't adequately protect the country from terrorism is (a) wrong, in my opinion and (b) changeable if brought through congress.

Addressing (a) the government can spy on whomever they want at any time then get the warrant afterwards. They have three days to secure it. How does this not keep up with the cellular aspect of terrorism? Addressing (b) the judge may be a dem, may be an activist judge, my hate Bush, but by law technically what the Bush administration is doing is illegal. Either change the law or shut up. If this is such a huge deal, and the Bush administration thinks its 100% necessary (which, it isn't) why not change the law to state as such? Is it because it would be unpopular politically and the Republicans don't want to have their members to have to vote on it?

Let us not despair. We are... (Below threshold)
cagey1:

Let us not despair. We are not ruled by Dearbornistan, nor by the Courts in Michican. Appeals' Court will chuck this smelly crap.

It technically wasn't "j... (Below threshold)
mantis:

It technically wasn't "judge shopping." It was "forum shopping." As another commenter above noted, there was no other reason to file suit in Eastern Michigan.

The district has many citizens of Middle Eastern descent, and the fact that their conversations may be listened to without warrants gives good reason for the suit. Admittedly this is probably the weakest part of the Judge's opinion, and the one most likely to cause an overturning on appeal, but that is the reason this suit was filed in that district, not "forum shopping".

Points for anyone who can dig up any real reason why this particular district has judges who would be more likely to find in favor of the plaintiffs than other districts.

Falze,

You completely ignore the Fourth Amendment argument in your second post. Plus it should be noted that the sealed cases which have found for Executive power have not dealt with the communications of U.S. citizens.

Bill K:The reason la... (Below threshold)
sam:

Bill K:
The reason lawmakers cannot "change the law" is because it is inherent in the Constitution that the president has the authority to maintain such a program.

The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Circuits have so held, as has the special FISA Court of Review. And those cases dealt with domestic warrantless intercepts, as opposed to the international communications that fall within the NSA program.

There is a reason the ACLU went to Detroit to file this case, because the Sixth Circuit Court has not opined on it yet. When they overturn this ruling, look for ACLU to file in DC, Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts.

The only thing this ruling does is keep the issue alive for Republicans to beat the Dems with. Hopefully, between now and end of October, some courts will legalize gay marriage and declare the pledge of allegiance illegal. That would turn the mid-term elections into a cakewalk for the Republicans.

"Yeah, what is the ACLU thi... (Below threshold)

"Yeah, what is the ACLU thinking, wanting the government to follow the law? The nerve!"

mantis, you're so full of crap, you completely ignored the entire argument against applying for warrants retroactively for nonactionable intelligence to catch instances of actionable intelligence where warrants would be requested, as in the british case. And, as for 'follow the law', this ruling does absolutely nothing, try as hard as she might, to disprove presidential authority via the constitution in this instance (she simply decides it's unconstitutional with poor precedents as her backing), in fact her ruling flies in the face of the most apt precedent, that by the FISA court a couple of years ago, that specifically spoke to this authority. That's where she's going to get overturned, as I said. But go ahead and ignore all that. Here, have a few ellipses ... ... ... to ignore the stuff you want to leave out. I've got more if you need them.

You can go back to shredding the morons that are attacking this ruling without actually understanding it now or calling for the judge's head. It's a better use of your time.

Actually, the DOJ should te... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

Actually, the DOJ should tell the court that they are really, really busy with "diversity" enforcement right now and don't have the time to bother the NSA.

The NSA is so classified that neither the judge nor the DOJ has access to it.

So, how is the judge going to know if the NSA complies? She isn't.

She can stamp her tiny feet til the end of time. She is way, way out of her league here.

The President's authority in this matter is clear. (don't bother aruging, I don't argue this anymore). He should have the appeal go forward, but should not order the NSA to do anything.

The reason lawmakers can... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The reason lawmakers cannot "change the law" is because it is inherent in the Constitution that the president has the authority to maintain such a program.

Wrong. The Constitution does not grant powers. The President is bound to Constitutional restrictions, and Congress does have the power to make laws governing the execution of laws by the Executive.

Article 1:

"To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

"You completely ignore the ... (Below threshold)

"You completely ignore the Fourth Amendment argument in your second post. Plus it should be noted that the sealed cases which have found for Executive power have not dealt with the communications of U.S. citizens."

Sorry, wrong again. I focused on the 'standing' issue which is needed before you can even look at the 4th amendment issue. If something doesn't exist there is no reason to debate its particulars.

Dick Morris discussed how t... (Below threshold)
jp:

Dick Morris discussed how the "wiretaps" work, and why its impossible to go to FISA for a warrant for what they are doing, the other night on H&C, of course they made it a political football anyway, even though its a loser for them

"The Constitution does not ... (Below threshold)

"The Constitution does not grant powers."

That's about the stupidest thing I've read today.

"All legislative powers herein granted..."

"and shall have the sole power"

"The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate..."

"The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments..."

"Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for
disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member..."

"and if approved by two thirds of that House, it
shall become a law..."

"The Congress shall have power..."

"The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States,
and of the militia of the several states..."

"He shall have power..."

"The President shall have power..."

"and he shall have power..."

"The judicial power shall extend to all cases..."

and that's just a VERY quick sampling.

Now Bush will have to crawl... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Now Bush will have to crawl on his belly to Arlen Specter and beg him to introduce some type of compromise legislation before the Dems take control of the Senate in November.

I always trot over to the <... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

I always trot over to the Volokh Conspiracy to see what they say about matter such as these

Much of what they say, Falze is iterating here in his/her own words.

Anwyay, interesting stuff and worth a read.

That's about the stupide... (Below threshold)
mantis:

That's about the stupidest thing I've read today.

You're right. Sorry, that wasn't actually what I meant to write, I'm doing about five things right now. I meant to write "the Executive holds no powers not granted by the Constitution and that the President is bound by the restrictions of both the Constitution and of laws passed by Congress". Believe it or not, I do know that the Constitution grants powers; I wrote that erroneously.

phew, I was afraid you'd re... (Below threshold)

phew, I was afraid you'd really gone off the deep end, mantis :)

I agree with Falz: Mantis'... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I agree with Falz: Mantis' wild claim that "the Constitution doesn't grant powers." Even the idiot realized this one was off, after the fact.

How does the President execute his authority under the C., dumbass? He has any power reasonably necessary (inherent power) to execute those enumerated. The Constitution isn't a legal code, and there are many inherent powers not spelled out therein.

At least that's what all you Democraps say when it comes to the enormous powers they've seized for the Congress, to basically try to regulate anything, even hand gun possession near a school, despite there being no such "authority" under the Constitution.

Manitis, quit playing lawyer; you look stupid.

FISA alone is inadequate... (Below threshold)

FISA alone is inadequate for dealing with terrorism's cellular nature.How so?

FISA is a tool designed for police agencies, to say it is adequate presupposes that terrorism is a law-enforcement 'problem'. Anyone so ignorant of the structural foundations of Islamic terrorism as to suggest such is either ignorant or more likely, promoting an 'agenda'.

To focus on 'legalities' and baseless fears of 'reduced' freedoms in a time of war with an existential threat is to reveal incompetence.

Nice that you consider the law to be waste of time "legalities".

When the 'law' is used to reduce national security it is being misused.

We like our rule of law, thank you very much.

The question is will you like Sharia law? Your rhetoric is increasing that possibility.

As far as baseless fears, do a little reading of our history and find out how "baseless" the fears are of government violations of citizens' rights.

'Readings' by such as Chomsky, perhaps? There have been far worse suspensions of 'laws' in the past. Lincoln did more than suspend Habeas Corpus. He jailed over 13,000 protestors, pacifists and appeasers. Many actual governmental officials. The country survived quite nicely...

To posit that Judicial and Congressional 'oversight' is required is to reveal a desire to replace singular executive administration with 'rule by committee.

Read our Constitution.

You continue to suggest that disagreement with your positions is prima facie evidence of ignorance, a useless tactic on this forum.

Separation of powers is fundamental to functioning of this democracy.

Yes it is, since the President has an arguably valid claim that his programs are legal, it is the other side who is attempting to claim powers not constitutionally mandated.

Apparently you pine for the days of your all powerful King.

Unwarranted personal attacks are always a sign of intellectual bankruptcy.

No 'committee' ever won any war.

The Allies did (The Atlantic Charter, Tripartite Treaty of Alliance, etc).

That is either a foolish, ignorant assertion or purposely disingenuous. Churchill and Rooseveldt's leadership, an assertive military and a supportive public won the war.

Lose this war and their will be only one set of laws.

If we have to get warrants to wiretap, the Muslims will take over the world!

The Hungarian Jews of the 30's refused to acknowledge the threat from the Nazi's as well. They regreted that, briefly.

History is repleat with fools such as you. Every generation presents a crop of such, yours is simply the latest.

Mantis, for you and the oth... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Mantis, for you and the other idiots, from Powerline (and my research confirms it):

"the President has the constitutional power under Article II to order warrantless surveillance for national security purposes. The Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth Circuits have so held, as has the special FISA Court of Review. And those cases dealt with domestic warrantless intercepts, as opposed to the international communications that fall within the NSA program."

Mitchell,Do you me... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Mitchell,

Do you mean this judge might feel as guilty as someone who was warned about UBL attacking Americans with hijacked planes, but istead went on a summer-long vacation when 3000 citizens under their watch were killed?

History says, probably not.

phew, I was afraid you'd... (Below threshold)
mantis:

phew, I was afraid you'd really gone off the deep end, mantis :)

Understandably so.

you completely ignored the entire argument against applying for warrants retroactively for nonactionable intelligence to catch instances of actionable intelligence where warrants would be requested, as in the british case.

This is the crux of the problem here, isn't it? I don't believe that the Executive has the authority to wiretap citizens looking for actionable intelligence in order to get warrants; they must get the warrants first. If the Congress were to change the law to allow such, then that would be a different matter. For the time being, I believe the administration is operating outside the law as stated by FISA in doing so.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in court, but I believe it has a good chance of being thrown out in the 6th on the basis that the plaintiffs did not have proof they are being tapped, and the issue of Executive Power not be given a wider hearing, unfortunately. Could be wrong, of course, that's just my tentative prediction.

Kerr's analysis of the Article II argument is a good read on this issue, but is pretty inconclusive ultimately.

I found it interesting that... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

I found it interesting that it was the journalists who brought this case. Sounds to me like they want to be able to find out about terrorist attacks before hand, so that they are able to be "johnny on the spot", with their cameras to catch all the morbid details, and not have to explain why they didn't report the impending attacks. Personally, I wouldn't put it past them.

There sure are a lot of law... (Below threshold)
eman:

There sure are a lot of lawyers and judges out there that can't understand the Constitution. Actually, I think many of them understand it perfectly well; they just don't like it very much.

The Constitution is pretty darn clear about which branch has what power. The NSA program is completely consistant with Constitutional text, Federal Court rulings, and Federal statutes. This is easy to see and accept if you have an open mind and you are not feverish with silly emotions and twisted nonsense.

The lefties will have a few ten-minute orgasms, but the listening program won't stop, and the Republicans will use this to pound the Democrats into the mud in the Fall.

Robert, tell us all when an... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Robert, tell us all when and how Mr. Bush was informed UBL was going to hit us with planes?

It wasn't anything more than speculation. How much speculation do you think exists relating to the terrorists. Probably volumes.

Get real.

FISA is a tool designed ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

FISA is a tool designed for police agencies, to say it is adequate presupposes that terrorism is a law-enforcement 'problem'.

Intelligence agencies, anyway.

Anyone so ignorant of the structural foundations of Islamic terrorism as to suggest such is either ignorant or more likely, promoting an 'agenda'.

So terrorism should only be fought militarily? Ok, I guess we can tell the FBI, CIA, IRS, and various other agencies to get off the case.

When the 'law' is used to reduce national security it is being misused.

You misunderstand rule of law, apparently. I like how you put 'law' in quotes, as if it is a term in question.

The question is will you like Sharia law? Your rhetoric is increasing that possibility.

Oooh, scary. Those Muslim armies are just poised to invade, aren't they? Let me ask you this, how come even though Hezbollah has not managed to take over the government if Lebanon, even though Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan have secular governments, and even though no sane person believes that terrorists will somehow manage to take over the government of any country other than post-Soviet Afghanistan, you somehow believe that the institution of Sharia law in the United States is in the realm of possiblity? Oh, wait, it will happen because I say we should live by rule of law. Good argument.

'Readings' by such as Chomsky, perhaps?

Chomsky is a fool.

There have been far worse suspensions of 'laws' in the past. Lincoln did more than suspend Habeas Corpus. He jailed over 13,000 protestors, pacifists and appeasers. Many actual governmental officials. The country survived quite nicely...

My point exactly. I'm not claiming that we wouldn't survive as a nation if the NSA wiretaps civilians without warrants, I just think we should learn from our past mistakes, including those of Lincoln and Roosevelt, who are not saints by the way.

Yes it is, since the President has an arguably valid claim that his programs are legal, it is the other side who is attempting to claim powers not constitutionally mandated.

The other side being the District Court of Eastern Michigan? That's called separation of powers, friend. Anyway, what powers is the "other side" claiming, exactly?

Unwarranted personal attacks are always a sign of intellectual bankruptcy.

It's not an unwarranted personal attack. From your words it's clear you think the President should not be bound by laws created by another branch of government.

That is either a foolish, ignorant assertion or purposely disingenuous. Churchill and Rooseveldt's leadership, an assertive military and a supportive public won the war.

Oh, so by "no committee ever won a war" you meant through the committee members taking up arms and fighting it themselves, with no military? Ok, granted, no committee ever won a war.

The Hungarian Jews of the 30's refused to acknowledge the threat from the Nazi's as well. They regreted that, briefly.

And the armies of Germany and Italy are comparable to terrorists how, exactly?

History is repleat with fools such as you. Every generation presents a crop of such, yours is simply the latest.

Unwarranted personal attacks blah blah blah whatever you said.

getting a warrant for this ... (Below threshold)
jp:

getting a warrant for this type of thing is impossible, repeat impossible. They do not know what they are looking for, so they scan all calls through a grid to look for repeating words and to make a connection, like "Brooklyn Bridge"(which this saved from being blown up), after it being repeated over and over they went and got a Warrant to intercept the domestic calls and track down the terrorist about to blow it up. The first part of this is impossible to get a warrant for, "please give me a warrant for possibly every international call, I will not be actually listening just screening for keywords"..."What words", "Well I don't know, it depends but I can't say defenitely"......impossible.

It's humorous to once again... (Below threshold)
Brian:

It's humorous to once again see all the strict constructionalists suddenly talk about all of the presidential powers "inherent in the Constitution".

Hey "praying" mantis yor po... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey "praying" mantis yor post are getting longer and loooonger and looonnnggger and -------.

Michell,That would... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Michell,

That would be the Presidential Daily Brief of August 6, 2001.
This is the same PDB Condi lied about to the 911 Commission by saying it was vague. She said that while the PDB of 8/6/2001 was still classified.

It's since been de-classified and is a stark reminder about how this Admin will lie to ANYONE who wants to hold them accountable.

What else you got?

About time the government s... (Below threshold)
lurker:

About time the government started working. Bush said things would be easier if he was the dictator. It got too close to that. But the Judiciary and the Legislative both need to impeach nearly all of his administration.

Robert:That docume... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Robert:

That document contained no specific threat against any building(s), only a possible threat of hijacking airliners and flying them into buildings. Are the words "World Trade Center" , "Sears Tower" or "TransAmerica Building" in there? No. In fact, this is a specific as it gets:

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

So even IF the government decided to protect those "federal buildings" somehow (you try and figure out how), they still would've been guarding the wrong targets!

Condi didn't lie, she was telling the truth; the memo was vague in its threats.

For God's sake, quit losing sleep over this f***ing memo and get over it already.

Robbie doesn't know anythin... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Robbie doesn't know anything about the multiple potential threats out there and what the gov't does about them. And no, there were no specific or actionable threats, so what is your point exactly? Bush should have shut down the airline industry?

No one, not even lil Rob, forecast box cutters as means to hijak airliners. Security was looking for bombs and traditional weapons.

This is the reason we can't just target weapons; there will always be a new, sick iteration of means to terrorize. We have to target those persons most likely to carry out terror. This is why El Al has not been hit with terror in decades.

Rob, Mantis, Lee just don't get it, and the poor bastards probably never will.

Peter F.,True enou... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Peter F.,

True enough.
It also didn't say 2 planes would crash into the World trade center towers. The first at 8:45 AM on September 11th, 2001 into floors 90-93 of the south Tower, etc.

you're right. May as well ignore it and go on vacation.

Condi was asked if there was anything specific about the threat in the PDB. The questioners knew what it said. She was asked if it mentioned anyone in particular or what kind of threat it was.
She said it was a vague, historical threat and didn't mention anything specific.
It did: UBL and his quest to hijack planes and use them as weapons.
Since it didn't say what the flight numbers were and made no reference to the manifest of the flights, the warning was vague, I suppose.

I apologize for trying to hold anyone in the administration accountable for anything.

We all know where the responsibility lies: Clinton's penis.

We have to target those ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

We have to target those persons most likely to carry out terror. This is why El Al has not been hit with terror in decades.

Rob, Mantis, Lee just don't get it, and the poor bastards probably never will.

I said exactly the same thing last week when the liquid plot was reported on. Nice try though.

So you are ok with profilin... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

So you are ok with profiling, but don't think the President has the power to do warrantless wiretaps of international terror suspects.

That's just not coherent. Again, your powers of reasoning are just not up to the task.

So you are ok with profi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

So you are ok with profiling, but don't think the President has the power to do warrantless wiretaps of international terror suspects.

That's just not coherent. Again, your powers of reasoning are just not up to the task.

Wow you're dumb. The funny thing is you pretend you're a lawyer. Warrantless wiretaps are unconstitutional, and unnecessary. Profiling is not. Coherent enough for you?

I'd also like to note that ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'd also like to note that you reveal quite a bit about your intellect with that comment. Apparently you believe that if one approves of one security procedure, one must approve of any and all possible procedures in order to be "coherent". Very simplistic and, frankly, idiotic thinking. I guess since I think we should be profiling in airport security screening I should also approve of shooting Muslims in the street. Gotta be coherent, right?

Heres the bottom line. All ... (Below threshold)
jainphx:

Heres the bottom line. All this was brought about by the NYT leaking the program,regardless of what the courts think or don't think the president has got to prosecute both the editors and the leakers wheather they want to or not.We the people expect, no make that demand, nothing less.He's the leader of all the people not just those who think they should decide what is defence and what isn't of this country.

Wrong again, Mantis the Nit... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Wrong again, Mantis the Nitwit.

You don't have a clue. There are numerous exceptions to the warrant requirement, you little shit.

The point, which your flea-sized brain missed, is that you find no Constitutional right of the President to prosecute a war against international terror with wiretaps, but you find it Constitutional to profile members of ethnic groups.

You're too dim to figure out the problem with that view, and how illogical it is.

Telling bald-face lies, lik... (Below threshold)
fwboy:

Telling bald-face lies, like "foriegn nationals have no rights" , and "In the ongoing conflict with al-Qaeda and its allies, the President has the primary duty under the Constitution to protect the American people. The Constitution gives the President the full authority necessary to carry out that solemn duty, and we believe the program is lawful and protects civil liberties." does not help your cause - it either hurts your side's credibility, or shows what dumbsh*ts fill its ranks. [The President's primary duty under the Constitution is to PROTECT THE CONSTITUTION (DAMMIT!).]

You don't have a clue. T... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You don't have a clue. There are numerous exceptions to the warrant requirement, you little shit.

I realize that. The NSA warrantless wiretapping of US citizens isn't one of them. Btw stop with all the names, you're hurting my feelings!

The point, which your flea-sized brain missed, is that you find no Constitutional right of the President to prosecute a war against international terror with wiretaps

No constitutional right, no. I do find that the President has such powers against foreign powers and even US citizens, if he gets warrants. It's not hard to understand, just read FISA. And please point to somewhere where calling another country has been accepted as an exigent circumstance, if that is in fact what you are arguing (it's hard to tell since you don't know how to argue).

but you find it Constitutional to profile members of ethnic groups.

I never said members of ethnic groups. I agree with you that we should be profiling, as you said, those persons most likely to carry out terror. This is more complicated than just ethnicity. Plus keep in mind I'm only talking about airport screening and who gets singled out for more rigorous screening.

Since you have yet to point out how holding these two views is illogical or inconsistent in any legal or constitutional way, I can only assume it is because you believe, as I noted above, that approving of one method means you must approve of all methods.

While I don't particularly ... (Below threshold)
epador:

While I don't particularly agree with mantis's arguments, they are coherent and do not deserve the ad hominem attacks seen above. Kudos to those who have kept their comments collegial and logical. And silence to those who haven't.

This is truly an interestin... (Below threshold)
Syntax:

This is truly an interesting forum. I enjoy the legal and legally educated minds here that present good points from both sides of this ruling.

I read the Judge's ruling and I agree that the first 3/4 made a tremendous amount of sense although the final ruling did fall on the side of liberalism. And if people need reminding of what liberalism means, here is the link: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberalism
This may give certain people a wake-up call as to what it means to hate America.

We seem to have identified the bigger problems, older methods may very well be obsolete and need of reviewing and reworking but having one branch of the government conduct this type of program without oversight truly is unconstitutional. If Clinton had instituted this type of program in the name of national security, most of the morons ranting like they even understand this ruling would be screaming for his head on a platter. Barring all the anti-liberal thumb-sucking childishness aside, there is a desperate need to bring this matter to a greater debate and resolve it. On the one hand, we need our nation to be secure and safe within the powers of our government. On the other hand, we as Americans need oversight to make sure this program is not abused and is being run effectively and within the confines of the law. I would hate to see terrorists get caught and then set free because of poor oversight or unconstitutional practices. When it comes to national security, I'd believe that we all as Americans would want to make sure that all the T's were crossed and the I's were dotted.

Maybe some people need to be reminded of the Constitution and what it stands for and what it means to our freedom and democracy to have three seperate and equal branches of government. Here is a great link to start: http://www.law.emory.edu/FEDERAL/usconst.html

Perhaps certain people need to be reminded of how important it is to maintain these checks and balances. Here is a great link to start: http://www.house.gov/house/Contract/CONTRACT.html The Republican Contract With America is a great reminder of how important it is to maintain the checks and balances especially with the Executive branch of the government. The Fiscal Responsibility Act always is great for a good laugh.

Question: What limitations,... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Question: What limitations, if any, do you recognize on the power of the executive branch? How would you feel about a Democratic president having these powers?

Unfortunately, mantis' argu... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Unfortunately, mantis' arguments range far from the law, and when confronted with the actual precedents in this area, which I have provided above, he continues to change the subject. There is some intellectual dishonesty or laziness here.

Mr. Mantis has made ad hominem attacks. The difference is that he doesn't back it up with fact. Typical lib. approach--change the subject and discuss generalities.

It would be inchoherent, would it not, for the 4th Amendment proscription against "unreasonable searches and seizures" to prohibit the President from fully prosecuting the war with the power to intercept enemy communications without warrant, but allow government security officials to search a person based on race, ethnicity, religion or whatever factors which would likely assist in preventing a terrorist attack? You don't see the irony and conflict here?

Wow.

The Washington Post's take ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The Washington Post's take on the judgment rendered yesterday--not a serious discussion of the legal issues--

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/17/AR2006081701540.html

How does getting warrants t... (Below threshold)
Robert:

How does getting warrants to wiretap alleged terrorists harm the War on Terror?

Robert:We all k... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Robert:

We all know where the responsibility lies: Clinton's penis

More accurately, Clinton's inability or lack of fortitude to deal with OBL when he had him "in the sights" (remember the old Predator drone after the African embassy bombings?) WHILE he was having his penis played with!

Second, get reacquainted with the words "specific" and "vague" because apparently you don't know the difference between the two. Your clever little quips about the WTC and the times of the atttack do zip, zero, nada to prove your empty-headed point.

Robert, since when do we ob... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Robert, since when do we obligate our intelligence agencies to get warrants when they're collecting information in other countries? Are we going to require them to get warrants for satellite reconnaissance also? Are we going to require a warrant everytime a Navy ELINT plane goes collecting signal intelligence?

In fact, two FISA courts ha... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

In fact, two FISA courts have discussed in passing the fact that there is no dispute, until our Jimmy Carter Judge's decision, that there can be warrantless taps/searches in this arena.

Read some law and get back to us, Rob.

Oooh, scary. Those Musli... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Oooh, scary. Those Muslim armies are just poised to invade, aren't they? Let me ask you this, how come even though Hezbollah has not managed to take over the government if Lebanon, even though Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan have secular governments, and even though no sane person believes that terrorists will somehow manage to take over the government of any country other than post-Soviet Afghanistan, you somehow believe that the institution of Sharia law in the United States is in the realm of possiblity?

I can see mantis in 1925 Germany.

"Dude, those Nazis can't do anything. Look, their main speaker is IN JAIL. We got NOTHING to worry about. No sir."

My point exactly. I'm not claiming that we wouldn't survive as a nation if the NSA wiretaps civilians without warrants, I just think we should learn from our past mistakes, including those of Lincoln and Roosevelt, who are not saints by the way.

The courts ruled their actions legal.

That whole stare decisis thing, which you on the left obsess over so, is going to be a problem.

It's not an unwarranted personal attack. From your words it's clear you think the President should not be bound by laws created by another branch of government.

If the President says "I'll disband Congress", would you expect Congress to go along with it?

Just because branch feels they can take powers away from another does not necessarily make it so.

And the armies of Germany and Italy are comparable to terrorists how, exactly?

Well, they are clearly stronger than Germany's was up until about 1937.

That would be the Presidential Daily Brief of August 6, 2001.
This is the same PDB Condi lied about to the 911 Commission by saying it was vague. She said that while the PDB of 8/6/2001 was still classified.

It's since been de-classified and is a stark reminder about how this Admin will lie to ANYONE who wants to hold them accountable.

Several years old intel with no info as to:
1) date
2) location

...is more than mildly useless.

Of course, you also want to strip the President's ability to get the info needed...so at least your consistent.

Condi was asked if there was anything specific about the threat in the PDB. The questioners knew what it said. She was asked if it mentioned anyone in particular or what kind of threat it was.
She said it was a vague, historical threat and didn't mention anything specific.
It did: UBL and his quest to hijack planes and use them as weapons

Which is specific in WHAT way exactly?

When was he going to do it?
Where?

See, THAT is called a "specific".

Since it didn't say what the flight numbers were and made no reference to the manifest of the flights, the warning was vague, I suppose.

OK, you're given the info on 8/6/01.

Tell me what you do to prevent 9/11. Please. Specific plans of action.

Question: What limitations, if any, do you recognize on the power of the executive branch? How would you feel about a Democratic president having these powers?

Democrats HAVE. Clinton did it.
-=Mike

Hehe, ok.I can ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Hehe, ok.

I can see mantis in 1925 Germany.

"Dude, those Nazis can't do anything. Look, their main speaker is IN JAIL. We got NOTHING to worry about. No sir."

Seriously? You actually believe that the terrorists that may be in this country are the equivalent of the Nazi Party of Germany 1925? Who are they? Who is their leader? Can I visit their political offices? What positions in government have they been running for? Wow, it's almost as if their attempts to institute Sharia law here are, well, nonexistent. Scary. Let me know when you find some, and I'll oppose them.

The courts ruled their actions legal.

That whole stare decisis thing, which you on the left obsess over so, is going to be a problem.

Not really. We've made plenty of mistakes that were declared legal at the time, only to be reversed by the courts later, such as those I cited. Not familiar with Ex parte Milligan? Coram nobis? Guess not.

We've made plent... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

We've made plenty of mistakes that were declared legal at the time, only to be reversed by the courts later, such as those I cited. Not familiar with Ex parte Milligan? Coram nobis? Guess not.

I'm familiar with Ex parte Milligan and it had nothing to with a law, idiot. He was an actor on Empty Nest.

You may not want to believe it but these terrorists are just as dangerous as the Nazi's and if my President needs to tap my phone for security purposes, I'm going to believe it's for a good reason. I live close to the army base in my state and what I'm afraid of is they'll attack there first. If you're not afraid of these things, you're just stupid.

We're at WAR! They are coming after US! Is there something YOU don't understand?

What specifically would I d... (Below threshold)
Robert:

What specifically would I do if I read the PDB of 8/6/01?

Easy.
Go on vacation.
Let 3000 Americans die.
Run for re-election and say that I (unlike my Democratic counterpart) am the only one you can trust to protect Americans.
Get 51% of the vote.
Push the new Bankruptcy Law written by the Financial Services industry. (Tough crap you poor suckers with healthcare problems!!)
Fall asleep at the wheel when Katrina hit and prove exactly how little protection I can offer US citizens.
Refrain from having any accountability whatsoever.

Now, do I have your vote?

No, beacuse you're a smart ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

No, beacuse you're a smart ass Demcorat who STILL has no answers and NO solutions, only trite comments and juevenile quips about you wouldn't have done instead of what you would have done.

Weenie.

Personally, I'd rather vote... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Personally, I'd rather vote for my boyfriend as president - and he's got some talents I can assure you - than another lame democrat.

Oh, look, somebody thinks t... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Oh, look, somebody thinks they're funny by using MY name and saying I'M gay! What a laugh riot! Must've plucked that one right out of the High School Comedy text book!

"You know how I know you're gay...you listen to Coldplay."

Fuckwit.

Not real... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Not really. We've made plenty of mistakes that were declared legal at the time, only to be reversed by the courts later, such as those I cited. Not familiar with Ex parte Milligan? Coram nobis? Guess not.

Seeing as how the judge has LITERALLY no actual basis for her decision, you seem to be hoping against hope that the courts are in the mood to invent law.

As a heads up mantis --- if you're really as much in favor of checks and balances as you claim, you'd be livid that the courts --- which have, Constitutionally, NO power in regards to execution of a war --- are interfering at all.

If you cared about law, you'd be livid that a court would rule for a defendant who cannot actually state that anything is being done to him at all. Breathless newspaper headlines, shockingly enough, ain't the same thing as honest evidence.

And, mods, seriously --- what is up with the impostors? Kinda lame.

Easy.
Go on vacation.
Let 3000 Americans die.
Run for re-election and say that I (unlike my Democratic counterpart) am the only one you can trust to protect Americans.
Get 51% of the vote.
Push the new Bankruptcy Law written by the Financial Services industry. (Tough crap you poor suckers with healthcare problems!!)
Fall asleep at the wheel when Katrina hit and prove exactly how little protection I can offer US citizens.
Refrain from having any accountability whatsoever.

Now, do I have your vote?

Ahh, so you'd bitch about problems you invent in your heads?

Nah, I tend to vote for sane people.

BTW, nice of you to whine that Bush said his policies would make people safer and NOT whine that Dems are saying the same thing against him. I guess it's only valid if you're in the minority, eh?

But, hey, at least you admitted he actually won. I wish the rest of your brethren would do the same.
-=Mike

Someone was impersonating p... (Below threshold)

Someone was impersonating people in one of Lorie's threads. Same person?

Not that being gay is so terrible, but why is it presumably people on the "gay-friendly" left who think it matters?

Anywho... just wanted to say I disagree with you Mantis. Profiling is unconstitutional. Well, not really, not the way it would be done because you're right about there being other factors than race... but do you think that will matter? Do you really think that if Bush started/starts officially profiling that it will matter that there are all sorts of factors other than race that are part of the profile? It will *appear* to be racial profiling and he'll get absolutely clobbered by the usual suspects and likely sued by the ACLU. Maybe they'll even get a ruling in their favor.

That's what gets me most about this wiretapping thing. It had oversight. Congress knew about it. It wasn't until it was revealed to the public that the constitutionality became an issue at all, and boy did it ever. Because the words "warrentless wiretapping" is a little bit like "racial profiling." Everyone KNOWS it's wrong. They don't have to get to the details or various conflicting legal opinions, all they need are those words.

I don't believe that *anyone* is listening to random conversations... it's just not practical. The same with the financial stuff. Keywords or data, entirely impersonal, looking for patterns. I don't think this violates privacy. A pattern means they know where to look and can get a warrant.

I just don't know how it's possible that telemarketers can purchase phone listings or any amount of data about me and you can be collected and sorted and it's all okay but if the NSA does it to look for terrorists it's suddenly not okay.

I realize there are reasons, and darned good ones, to separate foreign spying from domestic spying and totally agree that domestic spying needs far harsher rules but separating all those agencies is part of what got us into the situation that we're in. Can one agency who legally collected information pass it to some other agency that would require a warrant before they were even allowed to look? It defies common sense.

It defies common sense not to profile terror suspects and it defies common sense to hang up on a phone call because the person you're wiretapping called a US phone. It also makes no sense at all to make people walk through the emergency warrant paperwork every time it was a wrong number.

I also think it's terribly funny that a leak that was supposedly no big deal because everyone *knew* we were spying on terrorists has now been claimed to have harmed people in their professions because people used to be willing to correspond or talk with them but now they are not. It's not particuarly relevant, just serendipity... or something.

Its truly a pathetic displa... (Below threshold)
Syntax:

Its truly a pathetic display to resort to juvenile gay pranks when losing a debate. How desperate.

Somebody asked if a Democrat did it would I accept it. The answer is NO! That was the basis behind the Republican Contract with America. Democrats controlled the three branches of government and checks and balances promised by the Constitution of the United States of America were not present. It was an abuse of power and I can only assume that most individuals here agreed with it when the Democrats did it but it's completely forgiveable for Republicans to abuse the power in the same manner and..I mean AND breach the Contract with America. If the program is legal, than send it through the legal channels then. It really is that simple. What was said..."If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about then!"




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