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Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

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Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Exodor » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:24 pm

Wa Po Reports
The Bush administration appears to have violated the National Security Act by limiting its briefings about a warrantless domestic eavesdropping program to congressional leaders, according to a memo from Congress's research arm released yesterday.

The Congressional Research Service opinion said that the amended 1947 law requires President Bush to keep all members of the House and Senate intelligence committees "fully and currently informed" of such intelligence activities as the domestic surveillance effort.

The memo from national security specialist Alfred Cumming is the second report this month from CRS to question the legality of aspects of Bush's domestic spying program. A Jan. 6 report concluded that the administration's justifications for the program conflicted with current law.

Cumming's analysis found that both intelligence committees should have been briefed because the program involved intelligence collection activities.
This is an interesting angle - even putting aside the legality of the spying itself, is it possible that Bush broke the law by failing to brief the correct committees?

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Post by Mr. Fed » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:30 pm

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Post by Exodor » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:33 pm

You forgot Poland.


And Osama. I'm sure we could work him in somehow as well.

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Post by WAW » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:50 pm

Exodor wrote:You forgot Poland.


And Osama. I'm sure we could work him in somehow as well.

And he's back and not a moment to soon. :?
The CIA determined Thursday that the voice on a tape claiming preparation for an al-Qaida attack on the United States was that of Osama bin Laden, an agency official said.
:lol: :lol:
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Post by Poleaxe » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:03 pm

Interesting, but I doubt such an obscure and technical breech of the law will have much of an effect on the presidency.

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Post by Exodor » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:07 pm

Poleaxe wrote:Interesting, but I doubt such an obscure and technical breech of the law will have much of an effect on the presidency.
Will you say the same when President Hillary uses this precedent to have the NSA spy on the NRA without briefing anyone other than Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and Joe Lieberman? :wink:

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Post by ChrisGwinn » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:09 pm

It's hardly fair to start a thread like this while Rip is busy fixing a server.

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Post by WAW » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:15 pm

N.A.C.I.A.R.D.I. :roll:
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Post by Poleaxe » Thu Jan 19, 2006 6:42 pm

Exodor wrote:
Poleaxe wrote:Interesting, but I doubt such an obscure and technical breech of the law will have much of an effect on the presidency.
Will you say the same when President Hillary uses this precedent to have the NSA spy on the NRA without briefing anyone other than Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid and Joe Lieberman? :wink:
Unfortunately, I probably will.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Defiant » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:32 am

Change we can believe in!
The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by The Preacher » Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:06 pm

Nade wrote:Change we can believe in!
The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.
BushObama is evil!
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by gbasden » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:35 pm

That's disappointing.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Padre » Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:52 pm

Man, what happened to Poleaxe, anyway?

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by RLMullen » Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:43 pm

gbasden wrote:That's disappointing.
It ought to be eye-opening... and scary.

Obama opposed damn near everything that the Bush administration did in the past 8 years, including voting against the Bush administration whenever he had the chance. He ran an epic campaign whose very theme was to offer 'change' from the Bush administration. Now that he's been getting security briefings for the past two months, he is falling in line with Bush on a few topics. This *SHOULD* convince you that the threat of terror is much greater than what we actually believe.

I don't like the Patriot Act (and all items that fall under the category of 'erosion of liberties') any more than the next freedom loving American, but the fact that Obama is continuing some of the Bush administration's more controversial programs worries me a bit. I voted for Bush twice and Obama this time. I'd been convinced that Bush overreached a great deal in the past 8 years. This action by the Obama administration worries me a bit; it makes me think that Bush was "more correct" than we'd thought.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by pr0ner » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:03 pm

RLMullen wrote: This action by the Obama administration worries me a bit; it makes me think that Bush was "more correct" than we'd thought.
How is that a bad thing?
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by silverjon » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:23 pm

It's a bad thing if all the fear-mongering isn't based in some ludicrous colour-coded threat level fantasy. The bad doesn't inherently come from being right. It comes from what they could have been right about.

That said, the "threat of terror" is still grammatically laughable, because it sounds like y'all are afraid of monsters under your beds. Which from much of the world's perspective, you bleeding ARE.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by The Preacher » Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:34 pm

silverjon wrote:It's a bad thing if all the fear-mongering isn't based in some ludicrous colour-coded threat level fantasy. The bad doesn't inherently come from being right. It comes from what they could have been right about.

That said, the "threat of terror" is still grammatically laughable, because it sounds like y'all are afraid of monsters under your beds. Which from much of the world's perspective, you bleeding ARE.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Dan_Theman » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:17 pm

Could someone with a law degree please read that .pdf and explain it to me, because to my layperson eyes it seems very tame when compared to the hype it's receiving. If I'm reading it correctly, and I offer that it's entirely conceivable that I'm not, the government is stating that it doesn't want to disclose classified info to the plaintiff's lawyers in a lawsuit case until after the appeal on the constitutionality regarding the method by which it was obtained is determined in another case.

Again, completely out of my depth here, but from what I'm understanding I think a stay makes sense to me. That wouldn't mean that Obama's position on whether warrantless wiretapping is in line with Bush's, just that as a matter of course he doesn't want the government to fork over potentially useful info unless they have to.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by LawBeefaroni » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:32 pm

RLMullen wrote:
gbasden wrote:That's disappointing.
It ought to be eye-opening... and scary.

Obama opposed damn near everything that the Bush administration did in the past 8 years, including voting against the Bush administration whenever he had the chance. He ran an epic campaign whose very theme was to offer 'change' from the Bush administration. Now that he's been getting security briefings for the past two months, he is falling in line with Bush on a few topics. This *SHOULD* convince you that the threat of terror is much greater than what we actually believe.

I don't like the Patriot Act (and all items that fall under the category of 'erosion of liberties') any more than the next freedom loving American, but the fact that Obama is continuing some of the Bush administration's more controversial programs worries me a bit. I voted for Bush twice and Obama this time. I'd been convinced that Bush overreached a great deal in the past 8 years. This action by the Obama administration worries me a bit; it makes me think that Bush was "more correct" than we'd thought.
It doesn't necessarily mean that Bush was fully justified and that some private briefing scared the shit out of Obama. I could mean instead that Obama is just another politician. His "epic campaign whose very theme was to offer 'change' " might have been just that. A campaign.
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Post by Rip » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:52 pm

ChrisGwinn wrote:It's hardly fair to start a thread like this while Rip is busy fixing a server.
Don't worry the NSA is forwarding me briefings.

:ninja:

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by RLMullen » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:16 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:It doesn't necessarily mean that Bush was fully justified and that some private briefing scared the shit out of Obama. I could mean instead that Obama is just another politician. His "epic campaign whose very theme was to offer 'change' " might have been just that. A campaign.
The Obama Administration is still too young for my cynicism to have set in. A year from now I may agree with you.

The only way that I can see Obama siding with Bush on wiretapping, something where they are ideological opposites, is for there to be evidence that the wiretap program produced actionable intelligence that actually prevented an attack... quite possibly a major attack. The reason that this is worrisome is that it is starting to feel like September 10th again. I just hope that President Obama has the balls to stand up to his liberal base when it comes to protecting the country.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Rip » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:24 am

Like I hve said countless times you guys would be petrified if you knew how much the NSA knew/knows/will know or at least has the access to know if they could actually analyze everything in real time.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/05/politics/ ... ?hpt=hp_t1
The U.S. government has obtained a top secret court order that requires Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency on an "ongoing daily basis," the UK-based Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday.
The four-page order, which The Guardian published on its website, requires the communications giant to turn over "originating and terminating" telephone numbers as well as the location, time and duration of the calls. The order, published on the newspaper's website, does not require the contents of conversations to be turned over.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:39 am

I'm sure Verizon is just the tip of the iceberg. AT&T (nee Cingular) has toed the line plenty.

On the bright side, the cell phone in your pocket is now a sound basis for an "I wasn't there" alibi when you need one.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by cheeba » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:48 am

It makes it fun to look back at this post, though!
RLMullen wrote:The only way that I can see Obama siding with Bush on wiretapping, something where they are ideological opposites, is for there to be evidence that the wiretap program produced actionable intelligence that actually prevented an attack... quite possibly a major attack. The reason that this is worrisome is that it is starting to feel like September 10th again. I just hope that President Obama has the balls to stand up to his liberal base when it comes to protecting the country.
It's as if power corrupts or something.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Rip » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:51 am

"Can you Hear me now?"

Why yes, yes we can!

:lol:

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by hepcat » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:53 am

Rip wrote:Like I hve said countless times you guys would be petrified if you knew how much the NSA knew/knows/will know or at least has the access to know if they could actually analyze everything in real time.
You're not a modern day Nostradamus with that pearl of wisdom. That's like telling everyone that they would be scared if we knew cops could stop you for speeding. Of course most folks know the NSA has a frightening amount of power. It's figuring out how to reign that in without compromising our safety that is the rub.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Rip » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:13 am

hepcat wrote:
Rip wrote:Like I hve said countless times you guys would be petrified if you knew how much the NSA knew/knows/will know or at least has the access to know if they could actually analyze everything in real time.
You're not a modern day Nostradamus with that pearl of wisdom. That's like telling everyone that they would be scared if we knew cops could stop you for speeding. Of course most folks know the NSA has a frightening amount of power. It's figuring out how to reign that in without compromising our safety that is the rub.
What is funny is that anyone thinks that access to this info has made us any safer. I would challenge that even a single incident has been detected/stopped by gleaning through these records. Those that have been stopped have been so by entrapment and good old fashion investigating. If they don't even manage to stop an attack from someone the Russians of all people gave us a heads up on, I don't buy that seeing a few calls logs is going to lead to stopping some terrorist attack.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by hepcat » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:31 am

Rip wrote: What is funny is that anyone thinks that access to this info has made us any safer. I would challenge that even a single incident has been detected/stopped by gleaning through these records.
Considering your level of security clearance outside your living room, I have a seriously hard time taking this assertion with anything but a very large grain of salt. :wink:

I'm not saying that the loss of our privacy or rights is justified in the name of national security, I'm simply saying that you are stating something you cannot even begin to back up with any facts whatsoever.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Fretmute » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:52 am

hepcat wrote:I'm not saying that the loss of our privacy or rights is justified in the name of national security, I'm simply saying that you are stating something you cannot even begin to back up with any facts whatsoever.
Given that the whole operation is classified, none of us can supply facts.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:55 am

LawBeefaroni wrote:
It doesn't necessarily mean that Bush was fully justified [in wiretapping] and that some private briefing [on imminent terror] scared the shit out of Obama. I could mean instead that Obama is just another politician. His "epic campaign whose very theme was to offer 'change' " might have been just that. A campaign.
Ahem.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by RLMullen » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:13 am

RLMullen wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:It doesn't necessarily mean that Bush was fully justified and that some private briefing scared the shit out of Obama. I could mean instead that Obama is just another politician. His "epic campaign whose very theme was to offer 'change' " might have been just that. A campaign.
The Obama Administration is still too young for my cynicism to have set in. A year from now I may agree with you.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Exodor » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:25 am

The facts as they've been presented so far (a court order requiring a daily reporting by Version of ALL calls by ALL customers to the government) are outrageous and this deserves the full Bengazi Treatment.

Why do I have a feeling this will be quickly forgotten while the focus remains on the Bengazi/IRS non-scandals? :grund:




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“I read intelligence carefully. And I know that people are trying to get to us,” Feinstein said. “This is the reason we keep TSA doing what it’s doing. This the reason the FBI now has 10,000 people doing intelligence on counter-terrorism. This is the reason for the national counter-terrorism center that’s been set up in the time we’ve been active.”

“And it’s to ferret this out before it happens,” she said. “It’s called protecting America.”

Insert that "rolly-eyes smiley face spewing endless rolly-eyes smiley faces" graphic here. :x

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:28 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:I'm sure Verizon is just the tip of the iceberg. AT&T (nee Cingular) has toed the line plenty.
CNN
"As far as I know this is the exact three month renewal of what has been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out by the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court under the business records section of the Patriot Act," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the intelligence committee, told reporters in the Senate gallery. "Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress."
...
Feinstein, D-California, said the government can only access the metadata, not the actual conversations that take place on the calls. After the information goes into a database, it can only be used if there is "reasonable and articulate suspicion that the records are relevant and related to terrorist activity."
...
Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the vice chairman and top Republican on the committee, said "this is nothing new." He added it's been "very clear all along through the years of this program" that the information is "simply" metadata and can't be tapped into without approval from the FISA court.

"It has proved meritorious because we have gathered significant information on bad guys and only on bad guys over the years," he said.
I love the "Why should you be outraged just because you just found out? We've been doing this for years and no one has complained until now" argument.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by stessier » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:51 pm

Wow, every phone call in America for the last 7 years. Who gets to he that db admin?
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Fretmute » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:23 pm

I suppose the "only bad guys" line is true by default, if they get to decide who the bad guys are and we're not allowed to know.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by LordMortis » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:33 pm

Fretmute wrote:I suppose the "only bad guys" line is true by default, if they get to decide who the bad guys are and we're not allowed to know.
I always love the Congress line "what is being done is legal." The law makers seem to always be more concerned with what it legal than what is right.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by hepcat » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:37 pm

I can't help but wonder how many times someone searching through these phone calls will come across me doing my god awful Popeye impersonation for the 27th time, turn to his coworkers and just say, "You know what? Let the terrorists win."
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Rip » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:06 pm

hepcat wrote:
Rip wrote: What is funny is that anyone thinks that access to this info has made us any safer. I would challenge that even a single incident has been detected/stopped by gleaning through these records.
Considering your level of security clearance outside your living room, I have a seriously hard time taking this assertion with anything but a very large grain of salt. :wink:

I'm not saying that the loss of our privacy or rights is justified in the name of national security, I'm simply saying that you are stating something you cannot even begin to back up with any facts whatsoever.
I base it on the fact that most of the plots they have uncovered involved them entrapping nutjobs or incompetent wannabes that make it easy. Certainly didn't do much to help them get the Boston bombers who would probably still be out there and unknown if they were pros.

I mean we are talking about the same authorities who had a guy on the watch list and didn't even know he went back to Chechnya or whereever and didn't put together he ws the Boston bomber till he was stupid enough to start carjacking and gunning it out with cops.

While I don't have a clearance anymore I once did and worked extensively with the NSA. I do understand how they work.

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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by LawBeefaroni » Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:17 pm

Rip wrote:
I mean we are talking about the same authorities who had a guy on the watch list and didn't even know he went back to Chechnya or whereever and didn't put together he ws the Boston bomber till he was stupid enough to start carjacking and gunning it out with cops.

While I don't have a clearance anymore I once did and worked extensively with the NSA. I do understand how they work.

Don't attribute departmental incompetence to that which can easily be explained by malice. The Stated Department wanted to revoke Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's visa but "intelligence agencies" advised them not to because it would hamper ongoing investigations. So he's allowed to get on a plane with a WMD (per his conviction) and the TSA and other agencies get a huge windfall.
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Re: Congressional Agency Questions Legality of Wiretaps

Post by Rip » Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:30 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
Rip wrote:
I mean we are talking about the same authorities who had a guy on the watch list and didn't even know he went back to Chechnya or whereever and didn't put together he ws the Boston bomber till he was stupid enough to start carjacking and gunning it out with cops.

While I don't have a clearance anymore I once did and worked extensively with the NSA. I do understand how they work.

Don't attribute departmental incompetence to that which can easily be explained by malice. The Stated Department wanted to revoke Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's visa but "intelligence agencies" advised them not to because it would hamper ongoing investigations. So he's allowed to get on a plane with a WMD (per his conviction) and the TSA and other agencies get a huge windfall.

So they aren't stupid just beholden to incentives that are contrary to doing what is best. Great, I feel so much better now.

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